Thursday, November 27, 2008

Coat Sew Along - Done!

Yea, yea, I know I'm not looking too hot. Colds will do that to a person.

Flasher! I love this lining.

All buttoned up.

I'm proud of the back because that is where I always have fitting issues.

I inside button. I think the little buttonhole looks funny on the lapel but whatever. I am pleased with the coat overall.

Here is the review on

I heart KwikSew

I receive the KwikSew newsletter (to sign up)which they send out a few times per year. I always read it because they always have some helpful tips, fashion tidbits, or interesting KwikSew historical information.

This time they had a link to reprints of their technical articles. I read a few of them and they are chock full of great information. It looks like these have appeared in Stitches magazine, an Australian publication.

Customer service is something I really value and this company has it in spades. The one time I had a question about one of their patterns, I emailed them. They responded within 24 hours and politely pointed out why I was putting together incorrectly. They have a Completed Projects Survey, the Colour Visualizer (it you haven't played with this you need to), and a places for you to add feedback. When I did break my pattern fast (because I have a subscription to BWOF ) it was with KwikSew (this dress).

Here are a few of the articles they cover and here are all of them.

I'm going to work on a LBD today!

Very appropriate for all the jackets and pants I've been doing.

I want to try this on a neckline.
Great, basic, well-written information. I wish I had had this article for the Coat Sew Along because it goes from start to finish. There are two parts. The only snafu? The link for Part 1 goes to Part 2 and the link for Part 2 goes to Part 1.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Coat Sew Along - Lining

I've made a bit of progress on The Coat and I thought I would post a tip. I used those garage sale stickers to keep the back and front sorted out. This is dark purple melton wool and it's hard to decipher the right side. I figured the best offense was a good defense. I attached these stickers to the wrong sides of the fabric as I was cutting so I would always know which side was which. These stickers barely stick to regular garage sale things so I knew that them leaving behind residue was not going to be a problem. Before I fused on the interfacing, I removed them of course. That, and they amuse me. These stickers say Make An Offer.

I took several full length photos of the coat but they were all blurry, dark, and crappy. So I settled on two that turned out okay. This is the princess seam detailing with one of the belt loops and belt.

Is this lining kick ass or what? This fabric is from Gorgeous Fabrics (which is having a 20% off sale, btw!) and after-the-fact I asked Ann if she had some lining that would look nice with the purple. Boy did she ever.

All I have left is to attach the wigan (I know, I was supposed to do this the other day), attach the lining sleeves to the fabric sleeves, sew the hem, attach buttons, sew buttonholes, do a lot of pressing, and do a little topstitching.
It seems like a lot now that I wrote it all out. Hopefully I'll have it done by the end of the week.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Moving Slowly

Well, Alex won the Jalie pattern. Good for her! I wanted to participate in the contest but am feeling a bit overwhelmed by this wool coat. I don't have too much left to do on it so hopefully I'll be done in a day or two. We had new windows put in our house as part of an energy audit so that has transformed my sewing room into a mess.

This is what I will try to accomplish today.
  • All belt loops on coat.
  • Sew together lining.
  • Attach wigan to sleeves and hem. (Maybe I'll still get this done. It only takes 10-15 minutes for all of it.)

Yea, not much I know but this cold is kicking my butt and my sewing room is a mess. I'll check in later today and update this post. Hopefully I'll be able to cross those things off the list.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Win a Free Jalie Pattern!

Did you guys see this?? According to at 8:45pm AST there have been 495 Jalie reviews. Only five more and you could be a winner. If I won, I would have to choose one of the following I think.

I am dreaming of somewhere warm but that may not happen this winter.

I have always loved this coat. I love that green one with the hood. I have the perfect fabric for it in my stash right now!

Again, warm weather.

I have liked this hoodie since it came out too.

Do you see a pattern? Either a bathing suit or a coat. Funny.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm Closer to Being On-Task

These are the alterations I made to the t-shirt front. I made a low v-neck by looking at this BWOF top. I took in a few inches at the waist and I made the skirt part a bit more a-line (left photo). The middle photo just shows the places where I slashed and spread the pieces. The right picture shows what parts I slashed and when. The pink slashes were done for the muslin. I found that it wasn't gathered enough for me on the muslin so I added the teal slashes for the real dress.

To figure out how to slash and spread to make gathers I have Marie to thank for pointing out the BurdaStyle directions and Nancy K for pointing me to Debbie Cook's top over at Thanks guys!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'll Be On-Task Tomorrow . . .

I hate stopping when I've got a project almost done. I love this dress though so I'm glad I finished it up. I'll be wearing this Monday with tights. Here it is washed out so you can see the details. I'm miffed that the sleeves belled out like that at the top but I'm not ripping out the serger threads. It's because the band is just slightly bigger than the sleeve opening. Oops.

The actual fabric is closer to this color. It is a very dark eggplant purple wool knit from Gorgeous Fabrics. It is much thicker than the other fabric and it pulled the hem way down so I ended up cutting of about 5 inches off the bottom.
I added a center back seam to the back of the pattern. If I make this raglan top with the jewel neck I'll be adding the center back seam for shaping purposes. It really is a nice fitting raglan top.

Enjoy! I'll write a full review tomorrow. What is up with Bloglines today?? I know people have posted things but nothing is showing up in mt blog roll. Annoying.

I'm Not Off-Task

I'm not off-task right now, I'm just making sure I use all of my sewing time. See, I was fusing wool coating pieces all morning and then! Then, I ran out of interfacing! So, I had to wash it and now it is drying in the bathroom. I have been working on this instead of just sitting around, or cleaning, yuck.

In my last post, I saw that HotPatterns dress and I fell in love. I have made up a quick muslin to see if it is something I can do. I think soooo! It's a quick muslin so I used random thread and didn't waste any time making it look nice. This is a cheapy poly knit that has static like you can't believe. I know it looks kind of blah in the photos but I think it will be cute. I think I need to flare the hem a bit too. The BWOF pattern is very straight and the HP ones seems to be more A-line.

I increased the brightness and contrast so you can kind of see the details. It is still hard to see. There are not as many gathers as there are on the HotPatterns dress so I slashed and spread some more. The "real" knit is thicker and a bit stretchier.


I've got most of my underlining for my wool coat for the Coat Sew Along. But what am I doing instead of ironing it on?? Procrastinating. I saw the 'New HotPatterns' thread at and I'm in love with this new dress of theirs. I think I could totally knock it off using these two BWOF patterns. I am trying very hard to not buy patterns because I have this spendy BWOF subscription.

This is from the current 11/2008 issue. I'd use this for the base and add the v-neck and gathers.

I also have this 6/2004 issue. It has s a deep v-neck that I could use to compare to the raglan top. I just don't know how exactly to make the gathers. I assume I'll slash and spread but I've never done it before. On PR someone said that Debbie Cook had done some notes on one she did earlier. I searched her blog a few times but came up empty handed.

I also really like the dress on the back left.

Back the The Coat.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Burda 11-2008-124 Sweatshirt

I'm not super happy with the neckline around the back but I'll be the only one that ever notices. The seam allowances want to flip to the outside too. So I fused those suckers to the inside with staytape.

Looks like I'm really broad doesn't it? I'm not really. I think it's looks that way because of that CB seam.

I think I stretched the neckline out a bit with all the fiddling I did to it. It's not too bad though.

This is the full review from
Pattern Description: The inset with cord drawstring lends fashion flair to this fitted sweatshirt. The kimono sleeves ensure wearing comfort.
Pattern Sizing: 36-44. I made the 36 but probably could have graded down to a 34.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looks like the model photo and the line drawing.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I did look at the directions quite a but for this one and they did make sense once I read through them a few times.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I don't like facings on knits so I chose not to use them. I still don't like how the edges want to flip to the outside. Next time I'll do something different. This time, I just folded under the edges and topstitched. It didn't work as well as I had hoped. I ended up fusing a stay tape under the seam allowances at the neck edge to make it stay put. We'll see what happens when I wash it.
Fabric Used: This is a charcoal gray Malden Mills sweatshirt fleece. It is cozy. I used Gutterman upholstery thread in cornflower blue to topstitch. The drawstrings are from an old sweatshirt of mine.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made my standard 1/2" shoulder to bust tuck. I didn't topstitch the arms because the knit was stretching out of shape and my machine didn't like the thread with this material. I omitted the grommets under the arms because what Alaskan wants cold breezes in their torso region? It's, like, 17 degrees outside!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I probably will sew this again. It's a casual top and I wear a lot of those around the house. That is always my test too. I make something and wear it at the house for about a half hour with the kids. That's a good way to test any garment. If it comes out of The Test looking alright, I know it's a winner.
Conclusion: Cute, simple top that I'll wear a bunch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Time Management

This post is dedicated to Rachel.

Rachel said...
I love the skirt and the jeans. You are so talented. Can you write a blog on how you manage to accomplish so much in such a short time? It takes me a week to get a simple dress made. I work full time outside the home, but you have two children which I would think would take up much more time. Help.

Here is my day for those of you who are wondering. This is a typical day. Remember, my kids are not old enough to actually go anywhere. There is no soccer, basketball, hockey, or football. Yet.

5:30 Wake/Shower
6:00-6:45 Sew
6:45-7:30 Three kids get up (4YO, 2YO and 2YO), get breakfast, get dressed, etc.
7:30 Babysitter comes and I go to work. I'm a science teacher.
4:00 Return home to my cherubs.
4:00-6:00 Make dinner, wrestle with kids, shovel driveway with kids, eat, etc.
6:00-7:00 Girls go to bed about 6:45 and I clean the kitchen up.
7:30 Son goes to bed
8:00-9:30 Sew

I can usually get in about two hours of sewing a day. I don't have to go grocery shopping b/c my wonderful husband does that. I am a pretty efficient sewer and don't normally make mistakes so I very rarely have to rip things out. I like to visualize how things go together (I know it's weird)which really helps when it is time for the actual sewing. I cut lots of things at one time and I'll sew several things at once so I don't have to change the serger from one stitch to another. I try to batch items by color too. Changing thread, needles, and notions takes a lot of time. I also have a dedicated sewing room so I never have to get things out or put them away.

Hope that helps Rachel. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Burda 08-2006-103 Skirt with back godets

Finished the BWOF skirt. I really like it. I'll be making this in a wool too. Maybe wool crepe? Maybe this awesome purple wool twill? I do really like it though. Sorry for the fuzzy pictures.

I always use the zipper technique from the Fashion-Incubator website. There is a link in my favorite tutorials sidebar.

I think I made the lining a bit short. Oops. I didn't add seam allowances and I'm sure I should have done it. I may have to wear a slip with this one.

I love the butt shape it creates.

It is almost mermaid-y.

Here is the full review if you want to see it. No major issues or anything.

I finished my jeans too. The weather was much more conducive to driving today. I added brass snaps to the back flap pockets.

I added a brass "Dungaree Buttons" to the front. I've never used these before. I am wondering how sturdy they will be. Basically you put the tack part through the pants and then push the "button" on to the tack. It seems pretty secure but I'll keep you posted of any developments.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Questions and Answers

I keep trying to answer questions more frequently but then I always forget. I was supposed to go across town and get my jean snap and interfacing today but weather was not permitting that. I could have done it but who wants to wreck a car when the weather is this crummy? It's in the 30s and there is snow and rain. Perfect conditions for ice. So, instead I came home and had a snowball fight with my kids.

patsijean has left a new comment on your post "I may actually wear this.": The original shade of Beige is very difficult for almost anyone to wear, not enough contrast for lighter skinned folks. Darker skinned women can carry it off much better. I do love the purple on you and the garment dyed nicely. Did the dye leave a stain in your washer?I'm from the 60's and suggest that at least some of the time you wear the dress as intended without belts. I favor that look on you. Your photos in this dress seem to indicate a broad shoulder adjustment. Do you do that?

Patsijean- I don't a broad shoulder adjustment and I don't know what it entails. I probably need to do something though because all raglan tops looks a little funny right around my shoulder area. Like I need more room somewhere. I don't know how to fix it.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bitch Fabric. Really?": Where did you find the Bitch fabric? My mom has been searching for more after she found some over the summer. Any ideas of where to look would be extremely helpful. Thanks!

You can't get anymore of this fabric from my wholesale supplier. They ain't got none no more.

Sue has left a new comment on your post "Ottobre v. BWOF": Thanks for the comparison. It is interesting. I have recently got my first issue of Ottobre and am keen to try a pattern from it. How did you find the instructions? Were they any better than the Burda wof?

Sue- I found the directions more organized than BWOF. BWOF is sometimes so literal that I get confused. I also like how the Ottobre directions have little subtitles like, "Pockets", "Collar", "Waistband", etc. It makes it really easy to step away from your sewing and figure out where you were when you get back.

designdreamer has left a new comment on your post "Kwik Sew 3578 Pull-over Knit Dress": "This may be hit with the iDye Poly in black"Does that mean there's a dye that will dye poly?!?!

They have it in black at Dharma Trading. I ordered it but they were out of it. Of course, the day I get my wool iDye I also get an email saying it is back in stock. Are they affiliated with Apple Computers?

Rachel has left a new comment on your post "Burda 11-2006-138 Girls' Coat Part 3": What BWOF issue is that coat from? It is gorgeous!!! Also, you amaze me how fast you sew.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Burda 11-2006-138 Girls' Coat Part 3": I'm curious about your coat pattern, too! Please post what pattern it is. Inquiring minds wan to know! :)P.S. I've made that skirt -- it turned out fabulous and I feel super sexy wearing it. Just the extra little kick in the back is fun. Jodi

It is a Burda envelope pattern so it is not in one of the magazines. Sorry I wasn't more clear on that.

Kristine has left a new comment on your post "Not on my list . . .": No kidding, your topstitching is amazing... what's your secret? Cute back pocket details (shape of flap & stitching lines). How long does it take you (tracing to hem) to turn out a pair of pants?

I have fallen in love with feet of the sewing variety. I have an edge stitch foot and a, hmmmmm, I don't know what kind of foot it is. It has its guiding edge along the edge of the foot instead of in the middle like the edge stitching foot. They are both super handy and I use them for lots of things that are not topstitching. The one with the guide on the side works perfect for making skinny tubes. Before, my tubes were always different thicknesses because I had a hard time keeping the sewn edge the same distance from the folded edge. No more. I put the folded edge against the guiding edge of the foot and I sew down he tube, even the whole way. :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not on my list . . .

Oops. So much for making a list and sticking with it. This is Ottobre 05-2008-5. Excuse the very ignored hair. It's in a pony tail and I didn't want to deal with it today.

The inside waistband is lined with black broadcloth instead of denim. I didn't want to deal with that many layers at my waist.

Back pocket detail. I'll put snaps on tomorrow after I find some jeans post-type buttons for the front fly. I want to make sure they have it in copper before I put my copper snaps on the pockets.

The back view.

The back view on me. I wish they were an inch lower on the waist.

Front details. I'll change the pockets so they don't gape next time.

On the plus side. Pants that are this high on your waist make your legs look long. I probably won't wear then with my shirts tucked in but I wanted you guys to see the details.

I made the legs flare just a bit at the bottom.

Here's the full review at


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Burda 11-2006-138 Girls' Coat Part 3

The second coat is done!!! Notice that the front is none too decorative. After the last coat, I wanted it to be short and sweet. I used the lining pattern piece for the outside instead of the 10 pattern pieces that they use for the front. Needless to say, this one was much faster.

She likes it so much she had to take a cat-nap with it.

This is the only decorative thing I did to it. I used variegated purple/lilac/white thread to topstitch the zipper flaps.

The inside is the same as the last one. I used camo sweatshirt fleece for the lining and Polartec 200 for the insulation.

Here's a little zipper detail.
What's next? I just traced off both of these patterns from the newest November BWOF. I am waiting for my grommets to come in the mail. Then I crank these out in some cozy charcoal sweatshirt fleece.
This is my coat from the Coat Sew Along. I have to get to the boutique here to get the interfacing I need. That may have to wait until Monday when I am kid-free. Otherwise, I'll have to whip in with my kids, rush around (while trying to keep them from decimating the thread rack), and try to get the right amount of the right kind of interfacing. My coat is view B with the belt.

I love this skirt from 08/2006 BWOF. I have it traced but I have to decide which fabric to use. I think I'll use a pretty cotton stretch sateen in fall colors.
Happy Saturday!