Friday, December 18, 2015

India Hobo Bag, Swoon Patterns

Hobo Bag by 

My daughter has snuck this bag out of my sewing room for her Latin books.  
She loves it and feels she must use it for class.  

So, once again, I have lost a class sample. 

Close up of my stamps

India Hobo Bag by Swoon Patterns
Brown bag is the large size and the mint print is the small size.

Brown slightly sueded distressed twill cotton
Pellon Shape-Flex Interfacing
Wood Indian Stamps in floral circles and paisley

Mint bag fabric by Cotton and Steel with
Renaissance Ribbon

I had never fabric painted or stamped any of my projects before, so this was a test.  Wood stamps and good fabric paint make a project a winner!!!

The pattern was well written and easy to put together.

I LOVE Shape-Flex by Pellon.  It is WONDERFUL!

I plan to use this bag for a spring project for my teens to construct in my sewing school.  They all gravitate to the stamped bag.........

For those of you who follow my fitting journey, see this top from Old Navy.  Fabric bunching behind the shoulder and below the armpit.  I could remove 2" of fabric from the shoulder to bust line.  

My stamping tools.

The stamps worked like magic.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Purple Princess Line, Simplicity 1018

Simplicity 1018

Fall is coming to Texas!  I am ready with this dress.

Simplicity 1018, View B

Purple ITY knit 

Construction notes:

This pattern uses lots of fabric  The skirt is full and sways as you walk.  Just beautiful.
It takes longer to cut and pin this dress together than to sew it.

No surprises in the sewing.

Fabric selection is critical on this dress.  The ITY is almost too thin and gives you the ability to "see" what is underneath.  A velour would be stunning for this dress. 

I did a FBA and sloping shoulder adjustment. 

This purple ITY was not very forgiving and wouldn't allow you to ease in very much.  I can see a few wrinkles in the back of the sleeve.  Not sure many will notice when the skirt catches their eye first.

Unforgiving ITY in easing in the sleeve.
My grown up twirly dress.

Total winner project.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mad for Plaid, Simplicity 1465

Simplicity 1465

Simplicity 1465, View C
This is my favorite straight skirt pattern.  Nothing too special about it, front and back with a single dart at the waist.  My dart is a few inches shorter than the pattern's dart, but it fits me perfect.

Brown, tan, and green cotton woven that loved to stretch from my stash.
(Wish I would have quilted the fabric to the underlining.)
Cotton lawn underlining.
Brown poly lining.
Rayon Petersham ribbon at the waist.

I am in love with an "almost" couture skirt.
("Almost" due to my use of a serger for the seams of the lining.)

I trace the pattern pieces onto the interlining fabric with wax paper.
Thread trace the pattern pieces onto the fashion fabric.
Leave 1" seam allowances.
Hand baste all the seams.
Machine sew all the seams.
Hand pick the zipper.
Add the lining.
Add the Petersham ribbon for the waistband.
Hem the skirt.

All the hand stitching helps match all the plaids.
The skirt was used as a sample for a quick hand-picked zipper class I taught for Midnight Oil Smockers in Sugar Land.
The comfort of a Petersham ribbon waistband is unbelievable.  

Plaids match and the zipper is almost invisible.

Zipper is hidden in the plaid.

Petersham waistband.

Hand stitched hemline. 
The moral of this story..... I need a skirt like this in every color.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Drapey Top Love, Simplicity 1014

Simplicity 1014

Simplicity 1014, View B

Rayon lycra knit and velour knit
both from Fabric Mart
This rayon knit is very soft and super stretchy.  You could go down a pattern size and still have wiggle room.

For a simple knit top, this pattern required lots of alterations.

Front -
 Took out 1 1/2" from the center neckline, causing it to be too wide in the shoulders.
Added a FBA to get the width back from taking out of the center front.
Took out three huge chunks of fabric from the armseye.  The bottom of the sleeve would have hung at my waist without taking out all that fabric.

Back - 
Took out a chunk from the armseye length.

Sleeve - 
Did my forward rotated shoulder adjustment.  The photo shows where I cut and overlapped the pattern.

I used my serger and coverstitch machine and this top went together quickly.  (That is, after I spent a good while doing flat pattern alterations.)

Front pattern piece

back pattern piece

forward rotated shoulder adjustment

Back view of Simplicity 1014


The top is super comfy and great for Houston's fickly winter weather.  (It's still in the 80s.)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Winter Street Dress in the midst of a heat wave

I am still waiting on fall weather.

The temp today tops out at 94 degrees.

If I can't get the weather I desire, at least I got a great fit for this dress.

If you have followed my fitting journey over the last few years, you know I fight uneven, sloping shoulders that are forward rotated.  It is a wonderful recipe for wrinkles in a bodice.  

After lots of trial and error, I might have won the fit battle.

Winter Street Dress by Deepika from Pattern Review

Black and coral floral double knit from Fashion Fabrics.

Construction notes:
This is a quick dress to put together.  Like about two hours!
Added clear elastic in the shoulder and waistline.
Very proud of a perfect neckline on this baby!!!

Fit notes:
I have tried to keep the armseye of a pattern intact, but I am coming to realize that my shoulder joint isn't as big as the pattern companies think it is.  So, I took out about 1" in the front bodice height right in the armseye.  Don't have a panic attack!

Next, I did a forward rotation on the sleeve.  Center front is moved forward by an inch.  Lowered cap height by about 3/4" and wedged the pieces in the front and back to form the correct armseye lengths on the front and back.  

Doing a happy dance with the results!!!!

See the overlapped section.  I should follow the green dashed line.

Forward rotated shoulder.  You can see the difference in my sleeve and the pattern.

Forward rotated shoulder heaven!!!  It fits!!!!  I can move my arm!!!
The whole dress.  Winter Street Dress
The back.

Look at the bodice, NO WRINKLES.

It fits!!!!

So happy!

This is a great little dress.  The skirt is very cute with pleats in the front and back.  I see more of these in my future.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall Moneta

Colette Moneta and Mood Fabrics

More "fall" sewing from Texas......where it is near 90s.  
Fall sewing in Texas is just more summer sewing in darker colors.  

Colette Patterns, 1028, Moneta, Version 1 & 3 combined. (Version 1 has a great collar.)  
This pattern had caught my attention, but I was "wow'ed" by the version on the cover of Threads a few months ago using a gorgeous floral knit.

Rayon paisley print jersey from Mood Fabrics in LA.

The directions for this dress are very detailed and easy to follow.  I used my coverstitch machine for the skirt hem and sleeve hem.  

Fitting Details:
I adjusted for my wonky shoulder slope.
Used parts of the L for the front FBA and a M for the back.  

In my last few tops/dresses, I have not changed the armhole depth or curve.  Most pattern alteration books tell you to save that design element.  But "saving" that design element places the bottom of the armseye drooping to the bustline for me.  So, I measured the top of my shoulder to the armpit in vertical height, 5 inches.  Most of the armhole shapes I am seeing are in the 6-7" range and they are for knits.  Clearly, I have a small shoulder joint for such a big body.  Expect some pattern changes from me in the next few makes. Sagging armholes no more!!!!

Moneta Front View

Monte Side View
Skirt View

A great fall dress for Texas!!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Plum, Paisley, Panel Print Dress, Butterick B5815

Butterick B5815

Butterick B5815, View C

Plum, paisley, panel print, rayon knit from Mood Fabrics in LA.

Construction Notes:
I only changed the shoulder slope for my wonky shoulders.
Coverstitched the hem of the dress, sleeves, and neckline.

This pattern is super easy to put together and great to wear.  
I added a frilly slip under the dress to add some flair.

I love plum and panel prints, but panel prints are hard to incorporate into your sewing.  B5815 doesn't have darts or much shaping, making it perfect for panel prints.

Sleeve View

Back View

Fun with my photo editor.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mississippi Avenue Dress for the Fall

Happy Autumn!

It sure sounds nice, but here in Texas, the heat stays with us until late October.  So, while others have visions of coats and jackets to sew, I continue with sewing summer patterns in the colors of fall.  

This summer I picked up some beautiful lawns at Mood Fabrics in Los Angeles.  When I saw this pattern on a few sewing blogs, I knew it would be a perfect match.

Mississippi Avenue Dress by Sew House Seven

Front view

Plum floral lawn from Mood Fabrics

107 The Mississippi Avenue Dress by Sew House Seven

Construction notes:
Since this lawn is almost see through, I used French seams on the side seams.  The center front panel is done with a Hong Kong seam.  The front neckband is easy to do with a lightweight lawn, but even a quilting cotton would be too thick and bunch up.

Fitting notes:
Pattern review had a few notes from reviewers about the armholes, so my radar was alerted to any large armhole issues.  

Based on my sloper, I made the following bodice changes:
- tuck in the back between the armhole and shoulder.
-adjusted both front and back shoulder slopes (both different for the left and right).
-added about 1" to the front side seam as a FBA.  I slightly gathered the bottom of the bodice to fit to the skirt. 

That is all the adjustment needed and it turned out great!!!!
I had no large armhole issue.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Summer Boho Pant M7164 with a summer top Simplicity 1316

M7164 & Simplicity 1316

Pants - McCall's M7164, View B
Top - Simplicity 1316, View D

Pants - Patchwork Rayon Challis print from Helen Enox in Oklahoma City (during the family Christmas time, I slipped away)
Top - Coral Rayon Challis from either Fabric Mart or Fashion Fabrics

Pants Fitting Notes
Since I make most of my clothes, I have no idea why I don't make more pants.  RTW just doesn't fit right, so I thumbed through my fitting books to find the solution. 
The Problem - Lower Buttocks Curve (I call is saggy bottom.)
The Solution - Widen and lower the crotch curve.  
Presto - no more sagging at the back waistline.

Top Fitting Notes
Problem - Uneven shoulders, sloping shoulders, and forward rotated shoulders.
Solution - One could spend hours working on a kimono type sleeve with all these fitting problems.  Since I didn't spend hours, I still have a few left.  

See the bottom picture:
You will see the shoulder line way behind where it should be.  It almost rides even with the back neckline.  (This is a common RTW problem for me.)  The shoulder seam that travels down the sleeve twist to the back and makes all sort of pull lines.  I am trying to decide if this is a type of garment to spend some quality time with and figure out the fit or just stay with set-in sleeves.  

Top Construction Notes:
This pattern has neckline facings.  Please replace them with some type of binding.  The flopping from the facings is bothersome.

Side view

Doesn't look too bad from the back.

Top fitting issues from the shoulder.  Shoulder seam rides too far back and isn't in line with the arm.