Thursday, June 20, 2019

Paper Theory Kabuki Tee on Me

Hey there! So after the rip-roaring sewing success of my Zadie jumpsuit, I grew more curious about Paper Theory. Don't we all do that? It's like finding an author you like, so then you want to read all their books. And since I can't ever resist a quickie top pattern, making the Kabuiki Tee next was an obvious choice. This is also a good one to blog about because I think it's helpful to see versions in larger cup sizes.  

But first, isn't this sleeve super cool? I was so scared I would mess up, which is why I'm so utterly pleased with how they turned out.

Overall, I think it's a little too big. I personally love oversized tops, but I think this needs a few tweaks. In the website product photos, the sleeves fall just above the elbow. So mine are a little too long, which is a common problem for this T-Rex. I could also take the hem up another inch.

 Just a few details:

  • I found the fabric on a clearance table at Fabric Outlet. It was around five dollars a yard. I like that even though it's inexpensive it doesn't look cheap. It has an interesting texture, and the colors are nice and muted. It's actually a knit, but only two-way and not very stretchy.
  • The Kabuki is a one-yard-wonder--even in the largest size (20). 
  • I spent a good amount of time scrolling through Kabukis on Instagram, which helped me decide my stripe direction. I tended to gravitate towards the vertical orientation. 
  • I interfaced the right angle corners for extra strength and am glad I did. 
I'm interested in seeing what else Tara from Paper Theory comes up with. She seems so cool--a minimalist, surfer chick who cares about the environment and designs interesting patterns. So glad she's made her cool aesthetic accessible for the rest of us!

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

CCP Carolyn Pajamas: Finally a Matching Set

Hello! Ever since I made my first  Closet Case Patterns pajama bottoms, I've been pining for a matching set.  I just didn't want to pay a lot for five yards of fabric, so I waited until Fabric Outlet had a big sale, which is quite often, and picked up this sweet elephant patterned double gauze. I still couldn't bring myself to buy a whole five yards, ending up with 4 and 3/4, since I planned to make the short sleeved version.

I think this fabric is intended to be used for baby cribs...or, you know...pajamas for middle aged ladies. Hey, if you can't be whimsical with pajamas, when can you let loose? So, just in time for the heat wave we're currently experiencing, I have my matching set of Carolyn PJs. Double gauze is a wonderful fabric for pajamas; it feels like wearing air. It frays a lot and it's hard to unpick, so it can be a bit of a pain to sew but so worth the comfort!

And here we are! I love my new pajamas and wish I had an excuse to spend all day in them.

Here are the deets:

  • Combo of version B and C. Size 18 for the bottoms and 20 for the top. 
  • Pants: 3" shortened at leg line; 1/2" shortened at hip line (I changed from 1" to 1/2" for the hip line as it had shortened the crotch line too much, and I wanted a little more booty room. Since gauze is such a loosely weaved fabric, I shortened my stitch length around the crotch and inner thighs for extra strength. The pants come together quite quick, especially compared to the top. 
  • For the top I shortened 1/2 inch at the shorten bodice line and cut at the length for a size 12 since I didn't want the shirt to be too long. (I'm 5'2")
  • The piping was fun and drama-free although far from perfect. I used store-bought bias and inserted as flat piping. This can be a pretty labor-intensive project with the faux fly, pockets, piping, and cuffs,  so it was a shortcut that made sense for me. I'm dreaming of a satin pair with piping, but I'm gonna need a LOT of practice before taking that on. 
  • Major drama at the end! My button hole foot made two perfect button holes and lost the plot on the other three. I ended up unpicking and hand sewing the final three. The horror! Just kidding. It was actually okay. I found some tutorials online. Admittedly, they look like ass, but you don't really see them because the button covers them. Not sure what I should do about the button hole foot for future projects, though. 
  • I didn't even think about pattern matching, which is not a big deal for me; however, I do regret the front pocket placement. This is not me "ablogagizing"--just trying to develop a critical eye and think about when fabric placement matters. I suppose I can always remove the front pocket, since it's not like I'm going to keep pens in my pocket while I sleep. We'll see. 
So that's a wrap. Big Little Lies is on so gotta go. Thanks for reading and have a fantastic week!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Paper Theory Zadie Jumpsuit

Hey there!  After seeing so many fab Zadie jumpsuits on instagram for months now, I finally succumbed, and I'm so excited to have made a new kind of garment that isn't a top or a pair of underwear AND something that's a little out of my comfort zone.

I'm usually somewhat leery of jumpsuits, partly because I'm very practical by nature and don't want spend so much time undressing every time I go to the ladies room, but also because I tend to try to hide/camouflage my waist/tummy area. I haven't worn anything cinched at the waist for a really long time. Despite my own body hangups, I think this is one of those magical patterns that looks great on absolutely everyone. It's super comfortable, and the long line makes me feel very put together yet casual.

I've upped my selfie game from toilet selfies to streaked/blemished bedroom mirror selfies. Enjoy. ;)

Okay, how about some sewing deets:

  •  To begin with, this is a really fun sew. All you need is fabric and thread--no buttons, zippers, or interfacing. It comes together quite quickly and was designed to require minimal fitting. 
  • The BEST piece of advice I've read so far is to remember to put the ties in your pockets when going to the bathroom. Awesome. 
  • Fabric is a navy linen twill that I have absolutely no memory of buying. It's a bottom weight, though, so I suspect I bought it at Fabric Outlet to practice pants making, so I don't think it was very expensive. I tend to remember the pricey fabric.  I had three yards and used all of it for the pattern, piecing together bias strips to make the bias binding. I'm one of those weirdos who enjoy making bias tape, but this fabric was a bit too thick for the job--especially at the joins.
  • Speaking of the bias tape finish, that's the number one complaint about the pattern. A lot of people made facings instead, which I might try if I make it again. It's important to note that drafting a facing also means adding a 3/8" seam allowance to the main pattern pieces. 
  • I actually made a muslin for this! The front was super low cut and gaped a bit, so  I removed 1/2" from the bodice and sewed the shoulder at 1/2" instead of 3/8". It's still too low to wear without a tank or camisole underneath. I may add a snap at some point. 
  • For my purposes, Sewmanju had the most helpful review. I just love her blog. She knows exactly what she likes, and her reviews are so thorough. Since she's 5'3" (I'm 5'2") and curvy, I made a lot of the same modifications she did:
    • Shortened rise above crotch on both front and back by 2"
    • Shortened legs by 3" and hemmed 1.5" (pattern was drafted for 5'7")
  • I lengthened the ties by approximately 4 inches. 
  • Size 20
So that's my new jumpsuit. So glad I took a chance and tried something new. Thanks so much for reading and have a great week. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Seamwork Carter: Hacked Version

Hello from SFO! I'm heading down to San Diego for my nephew's wedding this weekend and, as is my habit, I'm quite a bit early for such a short flight. Thought I might use the extra time to write about my experience with the Seamwork Carter from April's issue. Carter is a dress pattern with a shirred waist, but they also have a suggested hack in the issue of a top/tunic. As soon as I saw this, I downloaded it right away. I've never sewn a square neckline, so I thought that part would be fun. Also, I haven't noticed very many raglan sleeves in their patterns, which also made me want to give it a try. 

I love the neckline and how the squares of the ikat pattern mirror the neckline. At first, as you'll see in my pic below, it was just a tidge too long. But I've washed it since, and it shrunk to a length I like. I had been thinking of an exaggerated tunic to wear with leggings or skinny jeans. 

I slashed and spread for a swingy shape, but I guess the fabric doesn't have enough body, or I did something wrong, because it has more of a cocoon shape. Ah well, still comfortable as all get out. I don't like the way it looks with these pants, though, so in the future I'll be wearing with closer fit pants to balance things out. 

Construction Notes:
  • Size 18 - I checked the fit of the sleeve--no bra showing. Neckline feels good. Could size down, though, since, like most Seamwork patterns, there's tons of ease. 
  • I had some trouble topstitching the neckline, so I used a fusible hem tap to tack it down and slip stitched the neckline to the seam allowance. Ever since my Match top, I don't mind a little slip stitching.
  • I think the pattern's pretty cute, but I don't know if I would make it again. I think it's the fabric that makes it for me. Fabric from Stonemountain and Her Daughter. I purchased 2 yards, but since it's around 46 inches wide, I had to do some major pattern tetris to make this. One sleeve is cut on the cross grain. I can't tell you which one. 

Next up, I'll need to finish some linen True Bias Emersons. Almost there.

In other news, sometimes I wake up with an overwhelming urge to make a pair of underwear. These are the Grace pants from OhhhLulu. I haven't made them in a while, and it's one of those patterns, where I'm, like, why did I forget about this pattern? It's designed for a combo of stretch fabric on the sides and woven center panels cut on the bias. I actually used a Birch Organic cotton for the center panels because it has very limited stretch. It was a scrap from a True Bias Lodo dress that I made and wore to death. (Sadly, the Birch Organic dark fabrics fade pretty quickly.)

Well, time to board soon! Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for reading!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Cashmerette Montrose

Hello! This will be a quickie blog post (in honor of a wonderfully quick pattern). 

Beej and I finally replaced our old mattress with a gloriously comfortable new one, so I'm shamelessly still in bed right now even though it's 10 AM and I'm looking for ANY excuse to stay right where I am, cup of tea in hand. 

Okay, back to the Cashmerette Montrose, a beginner pattern for a simple woven top. I bought this as soon as it dropped, knowing that it would be a good basic shell with lots of hacking potential. But then, as I tend to do, I sat on it for a while and followed a bunch of other sewing whims. Seeing a bunch of hacks by Rare Device, and this one in particular, as well as seeing so many adorable Sew Liberated Hinterlands Dresses reminded me of my earlier plans. Before trying to change anything (I'm thinking a Cashmer-lands Hinter-Hack), I wanted to make one as-is. After all, I can always use a well-fitting top in my wardrobe. I had 1.5 meters of this pretty and superbly drapey Atelier Brunette Moonstone in my stash, which seemed like a good match. And it is!

Warning: I think I might have reached a critical mass in the uselessness of my modeling pics. Here you have a toilet selfie, a cardigan that covers a large portion of the garment, AND my cross body bag. Yikes. Trust me, though, the fit's great. 

Here are a few details that may be more helpful than this pic:
  • Size 18 G/H -- Full bust adjustment included, Yeehaw!
  • The fit is fantastic around the neck and shoulders. The neckline (I made Version A, the scoop neckline) hits at just the right spot. Not too high, not too low. 
  • I French-seamed everything except the sleeves. Note for next time: Finish the sleeves seams (either serge or bias binding) BEFORE sewing up the side seams. 
  • Even though I'm a shorty (5'2"), I did not need to shorten the bodice as most of my shortness is in my arms and legs. 
  • This is an easy beginner pattern and also a great basic. The instructions are precise and detailed without being overwhelming. I liked that the sleeves went in flat (my favorite) and the helpful instructions include bits like sewing the "sleeve side down against the feed dogs." That's the kind of info that I always wonder about and can't recall seeing in other indie patterns. 
  • I didn't have enough fabric to cut the pattern piece for the bias neckline strip, so I used a few squares to make my own bias tape. Atelier Brunette actually sells matching bias tape, which I think is brilliant, but I didn't have any. It felt good to have only teeny tiny scraps left over, and, bonus, I have enough tape to finish another neckline. 😊
So that's all I can think of to say about the Montrose, which my phone keeps trying to turn into "Mint Rose." I'm looking forward to adding a few more to my wardrobe for spring and summer. And, of course, there's lots of hacking potential. 

In other news, I bought fabric for the first time in several months and added these beauties to my collection, which has caused so many ideas to swirl around in my head. I love project planning!

Well, that's all. My tea is finished, and I really should get out of bed so I can make something. Thank you so much for reading and have a fantastic week! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Sew Liberated Matcha Top

Hey there! Happy Hump Day! I've been wanting to blog my new Matcha top for a while and was waiting for better pictures. Unfortunately, that just never happened, and I didn't want it to go too long that I'd forget all my observations and fitting notes. It was important to get pics of this because it's one of those patterns I've only seen on lovely slender ladies and no lovely curvy ladies. Even though I don't have good pics, I will say this to any curious curvy ladies out there: Go for it! I think it really looks nice on a variety of body types, perhaps because the striking collar draws focus to the neck and face. It's also a loose, easy fit with tons of ease.

My big challenge was taking a selfie without blocking the pretty neckline, which caused dopey expressions like above.

Regarding sizing, this has lots of ease around the bust and waist, so it really should be considered as a curvy-friendly pattern. The instructions warned to base your size on shoulder width rather than bust size since it's most fitted around the shoulders. Of course I didn't listen and made the largest size CONVINCED that  the pattern could not handle my uber bust. Well, I should have given the pattern more credit. I ended up having to take the sides to the ends of the sleeves in an inch.

 I just love the neckline so much. Here are some final deets:

  • Size 24. Will definitely size down for the next version
  • Fabric is a viscose crepe. Kind of fancy for a wearable muslin, but I would argue that it's the perfect version for a wearable muslin. Mistakes don't really show, and it's not super obvious if the sizing is a little off. Also, it's beautifully drapey. I think that's the only requirement for this pattern: super drapey fabric is a must. 
  • In addition to taking the entire side and sleeve in an inch, I shortened the sleeves a whopping 4.5 inches. I'm a T-Rex. 
  • Sleeve heads are shallow and therefore very easy to put in. Also, you don't have to set or gather or anything for the sleeves. (Obviously, there is some gathering to do around the collar.) LOVE sewing in sleeves flat. 
  • I recommend taking the time to hand slipstitch the collar rather than stitching in the ditch. It's the focal point, and it really didn't take more than a half hour. 
  • Hemmed 3/4 inches per instructions and did not shorten the bodice. I like the length a lot. It sweeps past my tummy but doesn't drown me. 
So that's my new favorite top! Thanks for reading and have a fabulous week!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Moon Dust Toaster 2

Hey there! Just want to record my last winter make before I focus on spring sewing. I don't know about you, but I can't WAIT to wear my clogs again and bare my ankles. It won't be happening this week, though, since there's an "atmospheric river" on its way to the Bay Area. Oh well, at least I've got a new Toaster to keep me toasty. 

This is my third Toaster2, by Sew House 7. First one blogged here and second version unblogged but instagrammed here. The first version was a wearable muslin made from a cheap ponte with just a leeetle too much poly for my taste. The second version was made from a cheap french terry that shrunk (in length) to the point that it's now "around the house with sweats" clothing. 

First, the fabric...Can I just tell you, I'm having so much fun shopping my stash. I haven't bought a substantial amount of fabric in months and while I occasionally window shop online, I've been enjoying thinking of projects to use up all the really lovely pieces I've already purchased. For me, I need to hit just the right stash balance: Too much fabric weighs on me and makes me think I should hurry and sew it up. On the other hand, it's awesome to have beautiful, high quality fabric to whip something up whenever the mood strikes me.

I originally planned to make some Wendy Ward stretch pants with this. Ultimately, though, I decided that with its limited 2-way stretch, it might not be best. Also, I really liked the fabric too much to use it for a pattern in a book that I hadn't seen made up into very many successful and/or flattering versions out there in the blogosphere.

The fabric is composed of is a double faced double knit--70% poly, 25% wool, 5% viscose. It's navy blue with pink speckles, which gives it a really nice texture. I paid $9.43 per half meter from Blackbird Fabrics. It's super easy to work with, albeit not the most breathable of fabrics. I just need to remember to keep this baby out of the dryer.

Okay, before I forget... here are the deets:
  • Sized down from XXL to XL with a much better fit in the shoulder. 
  • Shortened 4" at sleeve. I like the length but could go 1/2 inch shorter. 
  • Lengthened the front by 1 and 1/8" but could do 2" and would be fine. 
  • Ended up tossing out my pdf version because the mitered corner, split hem did not go well. You can see this a little in the way the side bubbles out--that's fabric not flesh. Not sure why this happened, but sometimes it's better just to start fresh. 

So that's it for me. Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!