Thursday, January 18, 2018

TNT Renfrew and Love Notions Rhapsody Blouse

These are the first makes of the year!  Well, kind of.  These are the first two I can show you, because I’ve been doing a bit of pattern testing.  Plus the Love Notions blouse has been finished a long time now I just never got pictures. Let’s start with the Renfrew.

Sewaholic ~ Renfrew 1201

renfrew blue real main

This is the 7th one I have made.  It is now a TNT (tried and true) pattern for me.  I have my alterations and fit worked out so it is a fast and usually successful sew. I felt like starting the year with something I knew would turn out well;  A confidence boost of sorts.

renfrew blue 1

Here are the other times I’ve made this top:
1. Elephants  2. birds  3. Gray  4. Skater Mashup  5. Sweetheart Mashup 6. Navy Long sleeve
Size: 8 for shoulders and bust, 10 for waist, 12 for hips. This is 2 sizes smaller than my measurements for the shoulders/bust and one size smaller for the waist hips.  I find the Renfrew to fit very well but the pattern runs just 1 or 2 sizes big.   1/2" forward shoulder adjustment

renfrew blue 3

Fabric: 1 yard Aqua floral feathered arrows - Poly Rayon Spandex French Terry -$8.99; purchased in Oct 2017.  I picked this up from So Sew English.  It came snagged, cut weird, and dirty.  The fabric is so pretty, so I was sad.  But I used it anyway.  By the way, this is the third French terry in that order and they were all snagged on both side as well as off grain, super thin, and dirty.  No more ordering from them for me. 

renfrew blue 2

Thoughts: Love it!  I love the fabric print, despite the issues in quality.  It is soft, wears and washes well.  The fit is spot on for me.  I used a lovely wide cover stitch to topstitch the neck and also for the sleeve hems and hem.  I chose not to do cuffs on the sleeves because they bug me and make my arms look chunkier.  I did leave the band on the bottom because I like that part.  It is a bit thicker with the double fabric on the hem band and my shirt stays in place better.  I’m sure I’ll make more of these in the future.

renfrew blue close
renfrew blue neck

Love Notions ~ Rhapsody Blouse

When I saw this pattern come out I just had to have it. 

fish 1

Size: Straight size Medium with 1/2” forward shoulder adjustment. My High bust and waist fit into a M. my hips into a L but since this top is flowy I figured there would be room enough for my hips.  
There are lots of different sleeve options for this top.  I chose to do the sleeveless view. The only “hard” part about sewing this was attaching that bias tape to the V-neck part on the front.  It went alright, but was a bit tricky.

fish 2

Fabric: Awesome Aqua Blue Fish print from FabricMart.  It is 100% rayon and so soft with excellent drape.  I grabbed 4 yards of it when it was on sale for $4.80/yard.  This top uses 1 yard (yay for 1 yard wonders!), but also some for the self made bias tape.  I would guess 1.5 yards? 

fish dislike

Thoughts:  I like this top.  I like the pattern.  I usually don’t wear wovens but I can see this being a great top in summer.  When it’s cold I can just throw on a cardi over it and it works great.  What I am not sure about is the armscye.  It is just a bit tight;.  Not all around, but just in the front here where I’m grabbing. Also, there is a bit too much flare in the hip – it shoots out sort of awkwardly where the bottom arrows are. Perhaps next time I will straighten out that flare and make a more casual shift to the hips.  Overall I am very happy with this top and will most likely make another.

fish 4

The pattern is written well.  The instructions are excellent.  Everything is very put together and professional.  There are finished measurements included.   I would highly recommend this pattern. The best part is the no trim pages and layers on the PDF. 

fish 5

fish 6


Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Moving Forward ~ 2018 Plans and Goals

2017 was not a good year for me.  Most of the year I was too sick to sew, too sick to do many things.  I spent a good deal of time shopping for more fabric and patterns.  I purchased a few new machines too (new coverstitch, new to me serger, and new embroidery machine).  Near the end of 2017 I started to feel ok enough that I could be in the sewing room for small bits of time.  However,  I would get so overwhelmed by the amount of fabric I have that I just couldn't sew much of anything!

I know some people have a much larger fabric stash than I do, and some have smaller; however, for me, this amount is just too much.  It dampers my creativity.  So I decided for 2018 I will buy no more fabric.  This is going to be super hard because, OMG look at all the pretty fabric!  Pushing this further, I will be buying no patterns this year either.  2018 is going to be a year of using what I have. Use it, Make it

Another thing that has bothered me is that I tend to get fabric and never want to cut into it.  Fear that I will mess it up and lose that fabric.  No more.  I am going to just go for it and use everything in my stash without fear!  I learned that there will always be fabric I covet. 

Unedited mess of fabric stash below.  those boxes under the coverstitch box are filled with “muslin” fabric – or stuff I wouldn’t use due to color or feel.  I’m curious to see the “after” picture at the end of this year.



Finally, I also want to use my patterns.  I have tons.  I have lots of plans for patterns I already have and I just never get around to sewing them all.  This year I’m going to use them!  I have spreadsheets and lists of patterns I want to make so I’m forcing myself to make them.  Mainly my Burda magazines need to be used.  Of course I have many Jalie and Ottobre to get around to sewing,  some of the Big 4, and also many independent designer patterns.

Here are some pictures of my pattern stash.  They are many more unseen in drawers, the cabinet, and copy shop PDF’s some seen above in the fabric stash shot.



To help me stay on goal, I joined the 2018 RTW Fasters hosted by Goodbye Valentino.  I’m excited that this group will keep me on track.  Most are fasting only from buying RTW.  But there are a few of us who are also fabric/pattern fasting too. 


I think I attempted to stash bust in 2016?  I don’t remember exactly, but 2017 the flood gates opened.
So, I look forward to 2018 being a year of using things, making things, reducing the fabric stash. 

What are you goals for 2018?  Will you be on a pattern/fabric freeze as well? 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Older Makes I Still Love and Wear

Often times we like to focus on the new makes and patterns.  I enjoy looking at past makes, too.  I like to see what worked, what styles looked good, what colors work for me.  It helps me with future makes. 

Here are some of my makes 2015 and before that I still love and wear all the time.

old makes tilign bigger

Dec 2015: P4P Gray/Navy Elephant Relaxed Raglan
Mar 2015: Teal/Gray Bird Renfrew
Nov 2014: Gray Renfrew with Cowl
Dec 2014: Black Elephant Renfrew – one of my fav makes to date
My oldest make I still wear!!  Aug 2013: Jalie 2805 red cheetah t-shirt
Dec 2015: SUAT Merryweather L/S top in gray/black stripe
June 2015: New Look 6470 Gray mottled tank
Oct 2013: Ottobre 05/2013 #1A striped L/S top in teal/gray
Oct 2015: Burda 12/2009 #121 striped henley in navy/gray
May 2015: Jalie 3023 and 3351 Swimsuit in stripes
June 2015: New Look 6470, View B, Cowl tank in black; and New Look 6054, View A, Skirt in teal
Dec 2015: Burda Joggers in Navy 11/2012 #135
Dec 2015: Ottobre 05/2011 #5 Joggers in black and white lace print
July 2015: New Look 6470, View B, Cowl Tank in Gems
July 2015: Simplicity 1068 cheetah print skirt

More makes would have made this list, but my weight fluctuates so some are in storage being too small, or too big now.

What are some of the oldest makes you still love and wear? 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Hits and Misses

When I was looking through my 2017 makes I realized that everything I made on my SWAP (sewing with a plan) for Jan-April was a hit.  I will strive to make more SWAP’s going forward.  It is nice to have things planned out and work all together.  I am super proud of this SWAP because I have a hard time putting outfits together and I think this was very cohesive.

Here was the original SWAP for Q1 2017
modified swap

I made all but 2 things.  And I still hope to make those at a later date.  I did swap the Jalie cardi for black instead of teal and made a shrug for the dress instead of leggings.  I loved everything I made here, especially the Ginger Jeans.  I wear them alllll the time. 

ginger 6

Here are the Ginger jeans,  the Jalie drop pocket cardi, and the Burda cowl top.  I need to make more Gingers.  I wear these every time I go somewhere.  I don’t even wear my beloved Gap jeans anymore. 


Here is the P4P Sweetheart dress, with Jalie Shrug

20170310_203618[2] (1)

And here is the Renfrew top with Jalie Yoga bottoms.

I have to give an honorable mention to the below:

sweet tee 1

Patterns for Pirates Sweet Tee.  It is the perfect mix of color and fit for me. 

When there are hits, there are also misses.  Sometimes my misses are fabric choice, sometimes fabric.  And other times it’s both!  Here are the makes from 2017 that just didn’t work.

gray jalie 2

Jalie Dolman.  I just cannot get this pattern to work for me.  The fabric was a bad choice too.  I am chopping this one up for underwear. 


P4P sweetheart dress in Sweater Knit.  Now I love this pattern, and it is a hit in the right fabric, but the color of this is just all wrong.  The sweater knit doesn’t feel right; it is loose but somewhat heavy, pulling the dress down weird.  It just doesn’t work.  I have never worn it.  Technically I made it then end of 2016 but didn’t post it until 2017. 

The below are a bunch of misses this year, I just haven’t posted them yet!

I don’t even remember what the first shirt pattern is.  . .   The P4P sunshine bodice I just cannot get to fit right.  It’s poochy and weird in the front.  A McCall’s cardigan made with the wrong fabric, too thick.  A McCalls tank dress that was huge and crappy.  P4P Mama Joggers that were just all wrong in fit.  And P4P pegs as shorts with pocket add on.  Not really a fail for the pattern, but my fabric swish swishes and drives me bonkers.  Plus they ride up terribly. 

On to 2018!  Where I hope to have many more hits, a few misses, and loads of happy sewing.