Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hot Patterns–Metropolitan Good Times Dress/Tunic/Tee

So, let’s refresh ourselves shall we? Back in May, I bought three Hot Patterns to try them out and to see if they would fit me well. I had never tried Hot Patterns before but I have long admired their sassy line drawings. (Note to self: never, ever, ever rely on line drawings for informative consumer prices. Not that these drawings are misrepresentations of the patterns, but line drawn women always look so perfect with their wind-blown hair and sassy poses.)


Anyway, here is my dress version. Let’s see. I think it’s . . . okay. Initially, I was going for all purple, but then, obviously, I ran out of fabric. I chose the striped fabric because I knew I wouldn’t find anything to match it exactly. And I’ve learned that if you are going to mismatch, mismatch like a boss, meaning do it loud and proud. Here’s what I like. I like the yoke and overall shape. Yes, I think it would have been better in all one color. But I don’t think that’s the main issue.
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Here’s what I really don’t like. I really don’t like the sleeve shape. This is a very soft fabric and the sleeve just kind of collapses. In a stiffer fabric, I’m afraid this would stick out like wings. If I make this again, I’ll have to re-draft them to make them sit like they should. The sleeves on this are rectangles, with no shape. Literally rectangles. And the longer 3/4 length sleeves are the same but just longer. I think they would have the same issues.
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This is not the look I am going for but this is what I would get if the fabric had less drape.
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The amount of fabric in the back seems excessive too. Well, I’m not too impressed with this dress. It’s okay but it certainly doesn’t look like the billowy, wind-blown models.
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So, the tally. My first Hot Patterns was a bright success, the second was a horrible failure and this one, well . . . what do you guys think? Okay as is? Salvageable with changing the sleeves?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jalie 3676–Another Vanessa Pant

I knew I would make another pair of these quickly. Who doesn’t love an easy, elastic-waist, comfy pair of pants? Last time, I left off the leg elastic and made them a little cropped. This time, I used the leg cuffs. I did fold out an inch in the length at the thigh and again under the knee. I’m about 5’5” and my height is in my torso. I knew I wanted these a little shorter than called for and with my shorter legs, I decided two inches would be about good.
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Here’s a slightly lighter picture so you can see some details.
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This is a linen/rayon blend from JoAnn’s. This is a really comfortable fabric and it doesn’t wrinkle like I thought it would. There is no stretch in it all. I also bought it in a gray fabric. I’m not sure what I’m going to make with that, but another Jalie Vanessa pant is not out of the realm of possibilities.
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In this picture, I pulled them up a bit. I wish these pants were this length. What do you think? Is this a better length? I’d say this is another two inches. Next time I’ll crop them even more.
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I love the details and topstitching on these pants.
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This is a close-up of the fabric. I found it in the “suitings” section.
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Another Jalie winner!! And on a side note. We recently acquired a furry little friend. She’s six months old and a rescue kitty that was abandoned in a building. :( Poor baby!! She seems to be getting along with our other fur baby. The kids are totally in LOVE.

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She’s fierce like a lion.
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Isn’t she pretty? I love the red spot on her head.
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I made my last Hot Patterns dress too. I’ll unveil that in a day or so too. I still need to take the pictures.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Jalie 3463–Anne-Marie Dress

I’ve made this pattern up in a top before and I really like it and wear it often in the summer I was wearing it on vacation just last week. I kept putting things in that enormous back pocket. Like my phone, lip balm, tickets, car keys, etc. I know it’s supposed to be for tennis balls, but whatever. I realized that a dress version would be just the ticket on vacation. So, when I got home from vacation, I made one for my next vacation.


I did not make this, just so we are all clear, for a sport use. I made this purely for a travel/fun purpose. The CF/CB panels are made with a fun ivory/black scuba knit. The solid black is a Nike Dri-Fit fabric.
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I love how the side panels flare out a bit for an a-line shape. 
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This is what photoshoots in my house always look like, by the way. Little photobombers just waiting to jump into view.
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I love how it looks like I matched the pocket on the back. I didn’t. That was luck. I love the back on this dress.
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Oh, and this dress has a built-in shelf bra which is actually pretty supportive. I love that about a travel dress too.
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I love how big this pocket is. I may have to make another one of these dresses in a solid color just because comfort and pockets.
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I will also wear this to work with a jacket or cardigan. And I’m talking to my daughter here. She’s a sassy beast.
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jalie 3669–Nico Raglan T-Shirts (for Dudes!)

Jalie released three raglan tops in their last collection. One of them is for men/boys and I’m really excited about it. I have a boy’s Kwik Sew pattern that has been bullet proof for me so far, but it only goes up to size boys 14. My son is almost 13 and I am quickly approaching the time when that pattern won’t work anymore. The Kwik Sew pattern is also not a raglan t-shirt, it’s your standard sleeve t-shirt. This is the pattern I’ve been wanting to fill in the gaps between boy and adult sizes. Well, maybe “fill in the gap” really should be “replace my Kwik Sew pattern” instead. There are not many great mens/boy patterns that fit well. I love Ottobre but they don’t have much for the tween and older set. Once he grows out of the Kwik Sew pattern, there isn’t much left. Could I have modified an existing Jalie Women’s pattern? Probably yes, but things get weird with a man’s broader shoulders and narrower hips. This pattern is exactly perfect.


My son measures in the size 9 range but the size 11 height. He’s a string-bean, this one. Anyway, I should have made the size 10 and added length, but I went with the size 11. You can tell it’s large on him. He likes it anyway though. The middle gray/green fabric is a wool blend and he is always cold so he is happy. This pattern has the option of a straight hem or a slightly curves shirt hem. This has the curved hem. It also has three sleeve length options.

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It’s rare to catch this one in a smile.
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More later!! I’m busy sewing up a storm lately. :)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Gigi Bikini: Jalie 3671

Here’s my new Gigi bikini. I’m IN LOVE with this water/fishy fabric and this pattern. I bought it in Yardage Town in National City. The top has princess seaming so it would be easy to modify to larger or smaller cup sizes. This has wider straps and it’s really comfortable on. The front is lined and all the seams are sandwiched between the fashion fabric and the lining. The bottom is a very standard bikini bottom. But, a bottom THAT FITS and doesn’t go up my crack (sorry if that’s TMI). I hate that and it happens on almost all my swimsuits. This one is really comfortable and stays in place! Oh, and the side ties are optional but very cute.
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The top is very supportive and I could totally run, play volleyball, or swim with no worries about things moving around too much.
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Whoa, baby got back. “36-24-36? Only if she 5’3”.” Those are kind of my measurements in a nutshell except I’m 25 instead of 24. And I have the booty to go with the words from that song.
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I’ll be making more of these in the future. They are super cute and very comfortable. And I love the fabric. I may make another top to go with it too. Or a rash guard. I think I could get the front and back of the new cropped Jalie Valerie out of the fishy fabric. The sleeves would have to be something different because I definitely don’t have that much fabric left over.
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On the Jalie FB page, someone had the problem with the facing peeking out at the CF. Mine does that when it is laying on the floor like this, but not when it is on. I think the CF ruching helps with that. 
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I will have to modify the back a little next time. I need it to be slightly smaller on the underbust band. I am limited here by the back panels. Next time, on this triangle-looking piece, I’ll make it so the “leg” of the triangle ends closer to the side seams. That way, I can snug it up a little tighter on the underbust band. Other than that, the fit is GREAT!
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Another Jalie winner!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Tutorial: Adding a Pocket to Your Loulouxe!

Remember how I said I’d write a tutorial? Well, here it is!!

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Find Pattern Piece C (Skirt Back) and make it a full-sized pattern piece. As it is, it’s an “on the fold” piece. Make sure and mark your center line because that will be important later.
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Find a piece of fabric that is larger than the pattern piece.
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I used a 12-14” invisible zipper. You could also use a regular ol’ zipper too. Figure out where you want the zipper. You probably want it somewhere toward the top but do not go so high that you get right next to the seam allowances.
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Eyeball where you want the opening to be and make a nice, straight cut across the entire length of the fabric piece.
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This is where a ruler and rotary cutter are nice. Right now you are just eyeballing it. We’ll get precise later once the zipper is in.
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Install your zipper. Since I used an invisible zipper, I used my invisible zipper foot to install it.  I did not use any interfacing but this knit is pretty stretchy but also stable.
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Same thing but from the back.
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Here’s where we start getting precise. On your pattern piece, draw a perpendicular line where you want your zipper. Take your full pattern piece and put it on top of your pieced fabric.
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Now line up both edges of this horizontal line with your zipper. This ensures that your zipper opening will be straight across horizontally.
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Once you think everything is lined up, cut out your piece. Make you DO NOT CUT OFF YOUR ZIPPER TOP! You will probably need to unzip your fabric piece BEFORE you cut to avoid doing that.
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Cut out a second piece of fabric that will go behind your zippered piece. You can see here I basted my zipper opening closed. Otherwise, there is a the very real possibility that you will forget there is no zipper stop and pull your zipper head right off. Don’t do that, it’s annoying.
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Baste the two layers together and treat them as one piece for the remainder of the construction process. My serger dislikes going over plastic zipper tape, so I always also go over this seam with my sewing machine to make sure those stitches won’t come out. Also, if you are using a metal zipper you SHOULD NOT sew over it. You need to remove the zipper teeth.
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Here’s my skirt partially constructed. The only double layer is the one piece. Assemble the rest as stated in the directions! See? It’s EASY!!
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