Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I won a La Mia Boutique!

Thank you Johanna! I put my name in for a drawing for the February 2010 La Mia Boutique magazine and won!!!! Woooo hoooooo! I scanned the line drawings for your viewing pleasure. There are quite a few things that I really like. Here are the two pictures of the complete line drawings.

Here are a couple close-ups for you guys. I absolutely loooove this jersey dress. How fun are all those pleats? There are 12 pieces and it looks a little complicated. I'm pretty sure I could figure it out though.

Here's a woven shirt that I love. This magazine has a lot of nice details.

I don't much like skinny jeans on my butt/legs (can you say incandescent light bulb?) but I love the seaming details on this pair of pants. I could easily make them straight leg jeans. The seaming is all decorative. There is only one piece for the front and back pant legs instead of several pieces. Actually, this would be really easy to duplicate on my Jalie jeans.

This is another cute knit top. Or, at least I think it's a knit top. It says, "maglina, vellutino di ciniglia, lycra (elasticizzati)" for fabrics. I put those into BabelFish and it wasn't very helpful. The model photo looks like it's a knit.

I'm a total sucker for skirts. I'm pretty sure this is for knits as the fabric says, "vellutino di ciniglia, jersey, and felpa (elasticizzati)". I'm pretty sure that "jersey" means, well, jersey.

And I can always use a turtleneck. I love the neck gathers.

After converting my measurements, I'm pretty sure that I would be a size 40. I'll probably mock up the skirt and see how it fits.

I am out of town starting tomorrow for a family death. I'll be gone for about a week so I'll see you when I get back.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Answers to Questions

Sewing Geek has left a new comment on your post "Jalie 2215 -- Pants while I wait":
So, did you coverstitch through the elastic? And, if so, what elastic did you use?

First I serge the elastic to the pants. Then I flip it to the inside and coverstitch from the right side. I bought a 50 yard roll of 1" elastic from I use it for all the kids' pants so I figured I would use up that much.

AngelaB has left a new comment on your post "KS 3740 - Cowl-neck Top - I *heart* you.":
Oh, I so love your blog! I wanted to send an email with this question, but you don't have an email address listed, so I guess I'll just ask it here.
You mention that you have been sewing for a couple of years, and I am a beginning/intermediate sewist who would like to improve her skills, but don't really know where to begin. I have a lot of books that I refer to, and am a careful and conscientious sewer and presser, but my stuff never seems to end up looking quite right. I have some problems with fit and making pattern alterations. Do you have any suggestions or words of wisdom about the best way to learn more about this? Thanks.

Hi Angela! I only own a few sewing books. My favorite go-to book is mt Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. See it on this blog post. I think the key to making things look "right" is to practice, practice, practice. I've sewn a lot of things that look really handmade and not in a good way. I think one of the most important factors is matching your fabric to your pattern. I do a lot of snoop shopping. It's a great learning experience to wander around, feel fabric, and see how the manufacturer put it together. Also, practice helps you figure out which parts of sewing really count for that RTW look. For example, you really need to watch the tops of a zipper on a skirt of jacket. If the tops are off by an 1/8", you'll really notice. Making sure that buttons and closures are the correct distance from the edge is another big thing. Nothing screams homemade more than closures that are too far or too close to the edge.

weeza has left a new comment on your post "KS 3740 - Cowl-neck Top - I *heart* you.":
looks fab on you. when you take out the .5" from the shoulder, do you also have to take something off the sleeve so it still fits in the armhole? I need a SEA (small-everything-adjustment) and I'm having trouble getting my head around the geometry...

Weeza, I use this Burda Workshop for my petite-ing adjustment. I sometimes don't have to do it on Burda patterns but I always do if for KwikSew patterns.

Summerlea has left a new comment on your post "Fun Fabrics!":
Hi, I wondered if you could help me source denim for jeans. I checked out but they don't list the denim weight. Have you used their denim, or is there another denim you'd recommend? The only heavy denim I've found locally is $20/yd and up!

Hi Summerlea! I'm at a loss right now too. used to have a wide selection of stretch denim but they don't seem to have any right now. *sssiiiigggghhhhhh* You'll let me know if you find some good stuff, right??

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jalie 2215 -- Pants while I wait

I'm still debating the wool coat pattern. While I ponder I whipped up a pair of work-out pants. These are a thick, black, matte, nylon/lycra fabric I bought in Hawaii. They are nothing special but they are perfect for workout pants. I used the Jalie pattern I have used so many times before. These just fit really well. I used 1" elastic like they suggest.

I serged the elastic onto the WS and then flipped it to the right side and coverstitched it. In this (fuzzy/shitty/blurry) photo, you may be able tl see the four-thread overlock stitch and the wrong side of the coverstitch. Of course, maybe not.

Here you can see it from the right side.

I think I've decided on the 10-2008 jacket for my coat. I love the lines and the collar. I also love the snaps. I saw someone with tortoise-shell snaps a while back. I'll have to run through my blogroll and see if I can figure out where they bought theirs. I think I may like something like that for my coat.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Other Choices for my Coat . . .

This is a trencoat pattern from March 2009.

This is from 10-2008. I would make the sleeves full length and add a belt to it. This might be a good basic pattern for my BRIGHT plaid.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Possible Coat Patterns

I looked through some of my back issues of BWOF and found these promising patterns.

BWOF 11-2008
This isn't exactly the same but I really like the lines of the coat. Probably not the best match with my plaid.

This is from 10-2009. I love it but want it to be more fitted. I may stick this hood on another pattern.

10-2008 This isn't like my inspiration coat but I think it would be fun with the wool.


09-2006 I like the big lapels.


08-2006 Double-Breasted Coat. There is no image on BWOF even though there is a link.

And thank you to Digs who put up a nice digital Burda archive!

KS 3760 - I love it!

To remind ya'll, I used a silk suiting from Seams Like Home with a black wool gabardine for the neckband and waistband. I bought the suiting during their super sale. I used KS 3760 and made quite a few alterations. I had a little problem with my construction order but other than that things went off without a hitch.
Can I just say I love it? Like, this might be my favorite thing I've sewn in quite a while. I love sewing with knits but there is very little challenge. You can fake it on the fitting (for the most part) and they are usually pretty flattering. Wovens, on the other hand, take some time and some skill. It took me a little work to get the alterations done and I'm so happy I took the time. I really love this dress. I may have to wear it tomorrow night for the 6th Grade Parent Night assembly.
I'm happy with the back seams even though the black bands are off by an 1/8" or so. And I'm really proud of the swayback adjustment I did too. There is no pooling at all which is odd with my athletic sticky-outy butt.
Here's a side shot so you can see the swayback booty.
Here's a slightly closer front view. If you look carefully, you can see the princess seams in the top. One thing I thought was odd about this pattern was the front dart direction. Instead of the darts being vertical, they are slanted quite a bit in the front. The darts start at the top but then the end of the dart points toward your hip bones. It makes a nice drape in the front but I don't know if that's a design element or a fitting element.
Another Kwik Sew winner!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wool Coat Inspiration . . .

Here's my second installment of what I like to call, "Ann kicks much ass." See this blog entry over at Sew Random for more details. If I tackle this jacket I won't be making it in a week but, well, maybe I might. I think already a week behind . . .

I have had this delicious piece of wool coating for about a year now. It's one of those "it's too perfect to cut" pieces in my stash. It is, of course, from I don't even know how to describe how perfect this wool is. It's thick, sorta drapey, warm, and soft all wrapped into one. I want to make a thigh-length wool jacket out of it. I think I have three yards but there might only be two. I'll have to prep it and measure and see how much I have once that is done.

I picked up a Women's Health magazine this evening and saw these coats. I love this collar.

I love this jacket.

And I super-dee duper-dee love this yellow and brown one. I think my coat will have toggle fasteners because I love them. I want a slightly fitted shape like these two coats. I'll comb through my back issues of BWOF and see what I want to make. They have so many great jacket patterns! Hmmmmm, notice how the plaids don't watch from the bodice to the sleeve?

Got any favorites you think I need to make?? I have BWOF from March 2008 to present and a few older issues. I think tomorrow I'll post some possibilities.

KS 3760 - Dress Done!

The dress is done and I love it. It was totally worth the stupid zipper incident. I will post on-the-hoof photos once I get some photos in natural light. But, I will totally be making this again in a different fabric.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

KS 3760 - F@#$$*!!!!

If you don't like cussing, you probably shouldn't read this post.
Fuck!!! Why do I always do this with sheath dresses? EVERY time I make one I do it wrong and end up ripping out the zipper. I can sew almost everything else without a sew ripper handy. Why does the sheath dress get me??? And what makes me even more mad is that I even thought about the steps today knowing that sheath dresses trip me up. I declined to look at Marji's tutorial because I already knew how to do it. Uck! Nothing pisses me off more than being stupid. I vow from now on the actually read that tutorial from beginning to end before I start the damn dress. Dammit!

So what did I do? It's the same damn thing I do every damn time I make a sheath dress. Marji wrote a fantastic tutorial on attaching the lining and zipper to a sheath dress that makes it very RTW. In order for you to turn the dress right side out, you must leave the CB seam and side seams open. Well, what did I do? I put in my invisible zipper (perfectly, I might add), attached the lining, and sewed up the CB seam! Arrrggggggg. I had to rip it all out and now I'll have to put in the zipper again and make sure all the black lines match up again.

I will start reading directions. I will start reading directions. I will start reading directions.

KS 3760 - Moving Along . . .

It's coming along. I have the dress put together and am working on the lining. I hope that I'll be able to put it together today. It's always the finishing things (pressing, hemming, etc.) that take me the longest. I decided on black wool gabardine for the neckband and the wasitband. I interfaced the entire bodice and the gabardine. On the skirt, I interfaced all the seam edges. I'm excited. I really like it so far.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

KS 3760 - Alterations for the dress

After trying on the dress, I realized that it was just too wide in the bodice. I pinched out a half an inch at CF and a 1/4" on each side back piece. Here you can see the dress when I pinched out the excess. I pinched it out from the shoulder to the waistband.

Here you can see the adjustments for the back. I'm glad that I'm writing this post because I realized I did not alter the waistband piece. Thank goodness I haven't cut it yet. I added an inch to the waist in length. I often find that KS patterns are a little short in the waist for me. And then I usually do a petite adjustment and that makes it even shorter.

Here's the front alterations. I snipped a 1/2" off at CF. I did it on the neckband too but that's not shown. I cut off a little of the princess seams curves so it wasn't so pointy there.

I also altered the armhole facings.

Several of you asked about my petite adjustments with a sleeve. I use this Burda Workshop to petite my patterns. I only do one tuck between the shoulders and bust. I sometimes add back that 1/2" below the bust.

I plan to cut this out this weekend. I am going slow on this dress because I really want it to be a knock-out.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yes, ladies, I have bolts.

I hope people don't think this is tacky but here goes . . .

Most (maybe??) of you know about my side business. I have decided to get out of it because I am too busy and I don't want to sew for others. I'm taking a page out of the Selfish Seamstress's book here. I did use it to support my habit but I don't want to do it anymore. Baby slings were trendy when I started the business and I quickly grew to a point where I either had to hire people to sew for me to squish some of advertising and promotions. Well, I squished it because I didn't want my business to get too big. So, I still have my site up and I'm still selling them but I'm planning on closing up shop soon. I still have a lot of fabric that never made it to baby sling stage. Do you guys want it? I buy it wholesale so it's super cheap. Several of you said you liked the blue one I used as a muslin. I'm selling it for $4 a yard. All of my fabric is cotton/lycra twill, sateen, or pique. It either has 3% or 4% lycra. It is all 60" wide. It's top notch fabric because I only use quality fabrics for my business. At this point, though, I just want to get rid of it. I am only willing to ship with Priority Mail because I can do that from the comfort of my basement. For 1-3 yards, the shipping is $5 because I can squeeze that in a Tyvek shipping envelope. For 4-6 yards, the shipping is $10 because I have to use a box. Right now, I'll put these three up for sale. It is not blouse fabric! It's perfect for dresses with body, skirts, pants (with these prints, yikes!), shirt-dresses, etc.

Here's a smaaaaaallllll selection of the fabric I have. You can see the blue I used for the muslin, the red I used for my Amy Winehouse dress, and a green that's the same print but a different colorway.

I can't figure out how to do multiple yards with one click (stupid PayPal or stupid me?). For now, just click on the "Add to Cart" button, another screen will pop up, and you can just type in the quantity of yards. I'll ship within three days and shipping from Alaska is amazingly fast. I've had packages go from here to the East coast in 24 hours.
Blue Dots Stretch Twill
*Sorry, it's alllllll gone!!*

Red, Orange, Purple Stretch Twill

Green, Purple, Yellow Stretch Twill
*Sorry, it's alllllll gone!!*

KS 3740 - Cowl-neck Top - Another one . . .

I am still working on the KwikSew dress but whipped this up while I alter the pattern pieces. It's another KwikSew cowl neck top. I made this one from a Gorgeous Fabrics fabric I've been stashing for a year or two. It's a rayon and it's fab-u-lous. It was really hard to use because it's a border print. Forever I tried to use it to make something symmetrical. I could never find anything that I really loved. But, I think this cowl-neck top and the print is a winner. I was careful with pattern placement so the print wrapped around one side of my body. The black sleeve is actually the "wrong side" of the fabric. ETA: I did add two inches to the sleeve length at the elbow. I like my sleeves looooong. Otherwise, it's the same as the other one.
The only part I don't love is where the back cowl connects. It's pretty abrupt. But, I'll never see it and I don't think there was any way to avoid it.
I wanted to show you the two sides. I really like the asymmetry.ks_3740_8ks_3740_9
I'll wear this a lot. I wore the striped cowl-neck top yesterday.
Have you guys seen this post by Lisa over at Sew Random?? This top is for Ann. I'll be holding her in my thoughts all day and sending positive thoughts her way. :) Rock on, Ann! I don't know if I have enough of Ann's fabric to make it 12 weeks but that just means I'll have to buy more. Shucks.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

KS 3760 - Dress Muslin

Here's my finished muslin. It turned out way cute. This is a stretch twill and I have an entire bolt of it. Yes, I said a whole bolt. Yikes. The pattern itself goes together very easily and quickly. There are a few fitting issues I need to work out.

The front fits okay although it is wide throughout the bust. The armholes and neckline will be okay once the facings are applied. I have already done my petite adjustment for the two front pieces and the back. You can't really tell from the front photos but the princess seams are kind of pointy over the bust point. I'll smooth out that curve next time because I don't want it pointy and it's a tad too boobilicious for me. I really like the contrast yoke and waistband. It's just the "wrong side" of the twill. I am thinking that I'll do the same thing for my silk suiting. I'll get some black wool and use that for the waistband and the yoke. Don't know . . . still debating.

Here's the back. There are more fitting issues here. It is also too wide in the upper area and way too big in the waist. The hip area is okay although maybe just a titch snug. I'll add 1/4" to the sides of the front and back skirt.

Here you can see what I'll basically do. I'll take a 1/2" out of the bodice width from and back and snug up the waist by about two inches. For reference this is a KS size XS.

You can see that pinching out the inch at CF makes the princess seams line up over the bust like they are supposed to.