Me Made May – week 2

Not as many this week. 

Monday – Hot Patterns Riviera Summer Breeze 

This was a UFO (UnFinished Object) that I finished a couple of weeks ago, and it was the first time to wear it. Yes, you may recognize it as the same material as the other top last week, but definitely a different style. I may yet convert that self-fabric-I-already-converted-to-grosgrain-tie (at left waist), to a grosgrain “belt” with snaps. While it wasn’t egregious, several times over the day it did come untied. 

Tuesday – Vogue 1236

 
I made this last summer out of old fashioned cotton seersucker. It’s one of my favorites for comfort on a hot day! It has a tie of the same fabric but I decided to wear it with a belt this time. Getting better with fitting here; although it’s a loose style, the shoulders aren’t falling off and I’m covered. Every time I wear this a lady at my office threatens to steal it off me. 

Wednesday – NA

I had a meeting with a client Wednesday morning, and chickened out of wearing any of my own makes, mostly due to lack of confidence that any of my makes were really the appropriate style. I ended up actually buying a knit jacket that fit in well.

Thursday – HotPatterns 1133 Plain & Simple tee 

 Same starting pattern as the floral layered top, but made with a neatly textured cheap poly I got to practice working with knit fabrics. I actually made it before the floral top. I wore this half the day, then went home not feeling well.

Friday – NA
Spent the day home being sick, so no me-makes & even if there were I wouldn’t have been up for a pic. 

 

Me Made May – week 1

As mentioned, I only wore me-mades during the week. I did finish another top, and most of yet another, this weekend though, so there’s hope for more yet! ­čÖé

Review of last week’s Twitter pics:

Prior Friday –  Vogue 8831

This one was pretty straightforward.  Based on reviews from PR (my go-to before I attempt any pattern), I sized down more than usual even, and then used yet another size down on the cowl. If I were to make it again, I’d also raise the neckline maybe half an inch. I made this with a soft very drapy rayon knit from Hancocks, and used French seams throughout. Considering this one successful because no one believed it wasn’t purchased…. 

Monday – Simplicity 1693, view B/F

I liked the longer back of F and the sleeves on B.  

Tuesday – linen pants

I honestly cannot remember what pattern these are from, only that when I finished I was so disappointed in the fit. It was my first pair of pants, and I ended up taking out multiple inches at the waistband – to fit my junk in the trunk, the hip size that was closest to me came with a huge waist. But lessons learned!   

Wednesday – McCall’s 6702

One of my favorites. I bought this pattern while visiting my sister in NC and we both made this shirt over that weekend, so I could teach her a little about sewing clothes. I call it my “same-not-same” shirt. I didn’t get a pic on Wednesday; this one is from the weekend we made them.   

There’s nothing on the neckline binding in the pattern, but it goes pretty low, so I added three working snaps (my sister opted to top stitch the neckline closed – there’s still plenty of room to pull on overhead). I also stitched in the ditch everywhere, so no top stitching, and used this crazy awesome linen with tons of colors. I love the sleeves and it’s one of my most-worn items. Not bad for a pattern I didn’t choose!

 

Thursday – Wearing History 1940s Overalls, jeans view

In spite of/because of the color, I get lots of comments on these! ­čÖé I originally made them for dancing when the Jive Aces come into town, but they’ve worked out pretty well, and have great pockets. 

I did curve the high waistband, and took that in quite a bit (same “problem” as before, LOL), but otherwise these are as-written.  

Friday – HotPatterns 1133, “Plain & simple fitted T”

This was my second go-round at this pattern. I layered two very thin, too sheer alone, fabrics for the body and left the sleeves single layer. I did add bust darts as well. 

 

Me Made May progress

So, 4 days-ish (since I’m only counting work days) of Me Made May and I’m seeing serious holes in my plan! I need more business-casual appropriate clothing, much more. 

I also really need to conquer pants fitting. I’ve made two pair in woven so far. The first pair “fits”, as in, yes, I can wear them, but “why, yes, they are home made” is quite an appropriate answer when asked the source. The pockets stick out, the crotch hangs low (which in pants #2 was intentional, since they were 40s styled)… 
I have quite a few patterns on my table right now, begging for a decision to be made on which is next-in-queue.   

  
I swear I do have pants patterns; they’re just so challenging for me (I have a big butt I cannot lie, LOL, in comparison to my waist) that they rarely come to the top of the list. I also have an unfinished 60s dress that didn’t quite work out, and now I need to learn how to do underarm gussets, but I think I’ll save that one for later. 

Follow me on Twitter: @birdsofakettle

Seersucker!!

I’ve been sick the last few days, so not doing much. I slept until 10 on Saturday, which is really late for me, but woke up finally feeling better, so I guess my body just needed it.

I worked a bit on the Hot Patterns Riviera Summer Breeze, which looks good pinned just so on the dressform right now, but not so much on me. I will continue to fuss with it, but needed a break from the the slippery, slithery charmeuse (definitely not my usual choice in fabric).

It’s still summer, and it’s still hot, so I decided to break out the seersucker I got a few weeks ago on sale for $5/yard. $5/yard makes this a pretty inexpensive dress – I only used about two yards of fabric – as long as my time isn’t counted, LOL. (But I enjoy it, and there are certainly worse ways to spend my free time.) This is definitely unlike the typical 50s dresses I make for swing dancing, which usually take closer to 5 yards!

Out of the “antinami cabinet” (Scruff purchased a beautiful Ikea file cabinet for me, to prevent my “drowning in a pattern tsunami”; hence the nickname for the cabinet) came Vogue 1236:

20140713-210210-75730192.jpg The pattern’s fabric suggestions even include seersucker, so I’m thinking match made in heaven.

I have to say I really enjoyed making this one. Two main pieces, plus pockets and facings, made it really straightforward to make. To make it even simpler, I didn’t even choose to use the facings – instead I used bias tape turned inside to finish the neckline and armholes. This looks good (if I do say so myself), and gives me an extra 1/2″ of coverage, since I don’t turn it in as wide as the seam allowance on the facings would be.

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The pockets were inserted with an extra step or two than I’ve used before, and while at the time I considered it fussy, the pockets seem to want to be turned to the front, even though they are not tacked to the front, so there’s a benefit to the extra steps.

I also decided to finish the inside seams with the same binding as the neckline, so the dress would last longer as wash’n’wear – no raveling seams.

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Final assessment: definitely worth making, possibly even multiples of. I can see this being worn a lot… (Pardon the poor photo; it’s dark & pouring out and I just finished it, so this is what I have).

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I’ve been reading up on fitting, and actually adjusted the pattern for my sloping shoulders – no little “wing” sticking up, yet lingerie straps are covered. Considering it a success!

SewNews HotPatterns 1137 Sewalong

The big news according to Scruff is – I’ve joined the Dark Side and bought a Mac. Hopefully, that means fewer issues! This is the inaugural Mac post…

 

SewNews magazine is hosting a sewalong of HotPatterns 1137, the Riviera Summer Breeze tie front sleeveless top.

HotPatterns 1137 Riviera Summer Breeze Tops pattern envelopeSince it’s summer weather, and I had the pattern, I’ve joined. This is week two, and we’ve chosen our fabrics, decided whether to convert the top into a dress, and cut out all our pieces, as well as stitched one seam.

The reviews of this pattern indicate that’s it’s pretty straightforward to put together. ┬áHaving made a least a few tops (and many bodices, in the construction of dresses), I thought this would be a pretty simple sewalong! So far, it’s been more of a challenge than I expected, and I was already anticipating issues with┬áwith my fabric, since I usually use less slippery ones!

Some things for folks to consider when choosing this pattern:

  • you need a really light, drapey fabric, but not sheer unless you plan to wear something under;
  • there are several “join this piece” “to this piece” pattern pieces. Tip: the sheets are in order and connect to the next page, and it seemed to work best if the paper edges were abutted, not overlapped at all;
  • the pattern pieces look really weird! You cut an entire front, that is very oddly shaped because there will be gathers in what ends up being a dart on one side, and then you cut the drapey part that goes over, which looks like a diagonal half of a bodice, instead of the more standard vertical half. So expect to look at this one a while if you have any fitting adjustments to make; and
  • speaking of fitting adjustments, in an attempt to get my me-made garments better fitted to me, I did a lot of futzing with this oddly shaped pattern. I won’t know til later whether my adjustments were effective.

The fabric:

Poly "hammered satin" charmeuse

A poly “hammered satin” charmeuse from my stash

A poly “hammered charmeuse” from my stash. My adjusted pieces are all cut out and awaiting the next task.

In the meantime, a sneak peek at another project I’ll be sewing at the same time (not literally, Scruff, and my fingers usually make it without being sewn together too):

100% cotton seersucker

100% cotton seersucker

Hot Patterns 1133

Plain & Simple Fitted T Redux

Decided to try making a t-shirt for the first time. I considered a nice knit fabric with some sheer stripes that I love, but ended up using a cheap knit from the G St discount table – no matter, it still looks great for a first try knit top! Love this pattern!

As for the instructions, I had to guess which sleeve went to which side as they are not labeled, and the diagrams did not say. Since the sleeve pieces are not front-to-back symmetrical, these really could be in wrong, but my fabric was very forgiving.

The one additional item I should mention is that the sleeve is snug at the elbow, so if you have any forearm muscle at all – measure and adjust!

It has an interesting back seam to help give it a bit of shape:

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And the front view:

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Burda 7108 – done!

Finished the dress in time for the party! It was my best invisible zip ever so I was pretty happy about that. Making the normal adjustments though, left it just a little roomy in the tush – perhaps because this was labeled plus size, and I was on the low end of the pattern sheet, vs regular, where I’m near the largest size, had something to do with it. It wasn’t enough for me to re-do anything over, but thankfully I did pay attention to sizing early enough to take out four inches at the waist, by curving the side seams just a little more (I find this unusual for a Burda for me). That would have been significant enough that I would have considered wearing something else!

For the rank beginners, if you’re used to folding darts… this pattern has you cut it in, but doesn’t tell you until several steps in, so definitely read ahead.

I took the sleeve pattern from the jacket, trimmed and inch down either side, and shortened to elbow length. It eased into the dress armscye quite well and came out just the way I wanted!

This was taken after the party… hopefully my exhaustion isn’t too obvious, but I forgot to get a photo before we left!
 

 

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Burda 7108

Not in keeping with my goals, but in keeping with the time I’ve left myself (gallivanted to NC, & stayed an extra day, instead of sewing, LOL), the first make of the year is a dress! I fell in love with the lace fabric

20140107-115759.jpg and finally found an excuse to actually get it and make it into something. I had planned a different pattern for the office party January 9th, but while in NC decided to buy the lace, and a coordinating poly shantung, and cut it all out while I was there.

(Remind me later to tell y’all about Mingo’s totally-but-unexpectedly-her-dress-to-be! We picked up fabric for that too!)

Once I got back, I cut lining pieces and started sewing. So far, so good.

To be continued. The party is Thursday! ­čÖé