Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer Makes, nothing too complicated, or so I thought!


I thought that I didn't do much complicated sewing this summer....but then I looked over all my pictures of the garments I made in about two months time and what I didn't accomplish in complexity, I accomplished in volume! 



This beautiful lady is my Mom!  She visited early in the summer and while she was here I made her two tops from the Deer and Doe Plantain T-shirt pattern (a FREE pattern btw).  She loved them, one I made the morning before we went to have a special lunch with friends- that tells you how fast they are to sew!  I made both tops from some soft rayon/lycra from Fabric Mart.   The scoop neck on this top is so pretty on her.  

 As she wore them during her visit I kept noticing little tweaks to the pattern that could improve on it, two being a small sway back adjustment and raising the neckline a smidge.  I also kept imaging how cute it would be as a tunic with a split hem and a little looser fit over the hips- would be so adorable!  I may have to try that for her, probably from the bustline down make it more of an A-line shape...hmmmm thoughts for her next visit!


These swimsuits were made for my Fabric Mart post.  The patterns for the rashguard were from Jalie and I have to say that although mine fit pretty standard, I had to significantly grade out the one for my daughter.  The two piece top is the Sophie swimsuit from Closet Case Patterns and I love it! It was a challenge and seeing as I have never sewn a bra or anything close to bra like, I was super proud at how great this one turned out! 
The bottoms are a McCalls pattern that I really like.  I made them last summer and it fits me really well. The pattern has princess seams in the front and back which really help achieve a good fit.

This guy was such a great sport in posing for me, I know its not his thing but he never complained and likes this rashguard!  Win win!  Its the Jalie Nico pattern and its a great guys T shirt pattern.  Here I used a nylon/lycra fabric from Fabric Mart and although it serves its purpose as a rashguard I think the fabric is a little on the too thick side.  He's worn it many times this summer and as far as fit goes, I did take it in a little to get the tighter rashguard fit that you need for swimming. 
For all of the swimwear I used wooly nylon thread in my loopers and I love that stuff now, total convert.  I highly recommend using it in your serger for swimwear.  It makes the threads softer on the inside of your garment and I think, in the long run will hold up to the chlorine/salt water exposure...here's hoping!
I hemmed my husbands rash guard with a twin needle and although it looked great it didn't hold up to the stretching of the top on and off.  Accomplishing a stretchy twin needle finish is still a mystery to me and not to mention making sure that it goes through my machine with out creating a big crazy mess!  Need to trouble shoot a little more in that regard.


This gal makes me smile, I mean come on she's doing a hula dance in her new skirt (Simplicity 8225)!  So fun!  This outfit was made for Pattern Review's pattern stash contest.  The top (McCalls 7463) is from a great soft knit from my local quilt shop and the skirt is a rayon challis from the stash.  I love this little skirt, good for school with leggings.


The skirt gives her a swish in her step but she wasn't feeling the dress below, so only one picture of it!
She likes the dress (McCalls 6915), just sooo un-enthused about  posing for a picture!  I get it sister, its a little weird feeling!  It was another pattern stash buster for Pattern review and I love this little pattern. 


I couldn't leave tiny gal out of the Pattern Stash bust either, its been some time since I've sewn for these two so it was good to roll up my sleeves and get school basics like this one made up.
This is the Oliver and S hopscotch top/dress.  I altered it into a swing dress adding a little volume around the hemline.  You can't really tell because she is holding onto the hem :)


And of course I had to make this silk charmeuse top because I have been eyeing a pattern by Lisette for Butterick that is almost identical and I could not in good conscious buy that pattern when this doppelganger was already in the stash.   The neckline on this was tricky, lets just leave it at that.

I now have the Lisette pattern in my possession and I think it will probably be better constructed than this New Look 6372.
 

This top doesn't look like much, but I must say that I love the fit of it!  Its McCalls 6964 and is a Palmer/Pletsch.  I have professed my love for Palmer/Pletsch in past posts but they are so great because they have all the alteration lines already.on.the.pattern!  I love that! 

In my mind, the whole time I was making this top, I was comparing it to the Grainline Lark tee.  I really like the fit of this one better.  The shoulders are better fitting for my frame, there isn't as much volume around the waist and I love the shaping of the v at the neckline. 

If you are curious to see how the two compare, the tee on the left is the Lark and the tee on the right is the McCalls.  Both are very wearable, I just prefer the fit of the McCalls top a bit more.




Well thats the summer sewing.  I have been taking a little break from sewing.  Other things in life are encroaching on my sewing time these days.  Here's hoping things will even out soon enough so that I can get back to my machine! 

Thanks for reading! 
Elizabeth

Friday, June 9, 2017

Much Needed Maritime Shorts


Just a short post here to share these Grainline Maritime shorts that are so useful.  I have needed a new pair of denim shorts for a long time and I finally was able to make these up.  

Pattern:

Although I don't relish showing the back of these shorts to the internets I think its really helpful for others who are making this pattern to see all angles of the final garment.  The Grainline Maritime is a short shorts pattern, just be forewarned (Hanni, I guess I forgot to mention this to you back when?).  I have always added about 1 1/2 inches of length since first making a muslin a few years back.  I am not what I would call tall, 5'5" and my legs are on the shorter side so take all that into account if you are unsure about the length of these shorts.  
The rest of the fit is really well.  I love the comfort of these shorts and they look so put together.  For next time I will definitely scoop out the back crotch more. 

The directions for this pattern are not great, just sayin'.  I have been able to navigate them but a new sewist will more than likely have some issues.  The fly instructions are not the best, I usually pull out an old pair of maritime shorts to see how I put them together in the past.  

 Fabric:

I sewed them up in a short length bought at Hancocks quite some time ago.  The denim has a lot of stretch and is on the lighter side as far as weight goes.  This pattern uses so little fabric that I could probably squeeze them out of a yard of fabric using alternate insides.  

I have plans for making another pair in an adorable ikat sateen bought years ago at Fabric Mart.  They are on my cutting table but are behind a few other things that I am currently working on. 


This is how I wear these shorts, chasing after people who climb on climbing rocks and ropes.  Lifting, bending, squatting etc.  So they fit well into my casual wardrobe and match almost any top in my closet. 

I am coming up short on creative things to say about these shorts, they are a great basic and its pieces like this that go with ALL THE TOPS in my wardrobe- so less time wondering what to match up and more time chasing the cute small ones in my life! 



I hope your summer is off to a great start and thanks for reading!
Elizabeth

Monday, May 29, 2017

Six Skirts for Summer






When Julie at Fabric Mart shared that Fabric Mart would host a skirt challenge month in May I knew I wanted to participate but an honest evaluation of my closet revealed a gaping hole- and it wasn't skirts.  

I have PLENTY of skirts, and most of them handmade!  What I was lacking were suitable tops that looked great with my skirts.    

This is where I turned to the Closet Case Nettie, a full bodysuit.  I blogged mostly about the Nettie pattern on the Fabric Mart blog and promised that I would speak to all the skirts I paired with it on this blog.  So here ya go.



Skirt #1

This skirt was a Christmas present from my Mom some years ago.  It is an awesome wrap skirt that ties at the back, the skirt portion is all one printed piece.  I love this skirt, so comfortable and the design is so fun.  I have tried to find a similar pattern and the closest I have come is in the book Shape Shape 2. Its a pattern for a seamless wrap skirt that has a waistband and ties.  

Its possible to get a similar look from McCall's 7129 but it looks a little more full to my eye than the skirt I am wearing.   



Just a side note, aren't these huge whimsical flowers awesome!  I happened to notice them when I went to sign up for a quilting class and convinced my husband to snap a few pictures with them.  




Skirt #2

I made this skirt a couple of years ago for work purposes.  It is sooo hot here in the summers and I though this rayon challis maxi would be great for summer work days.  Its McCall's 7096 and I just never got around to blogging it.  I remember being so proud of my stripe matching when I made it, especially at the back since I had to piece the fabric together to get enough length.  Those stripes match all the way around!



This skirt is a good pattern, I made it in a gorgeous blue and you can that one here.  The fabric is a rayon challis from Hancock Fabrics, I still miss you Hancocks!  It has a good weight to it, a little more substantial than some rayon challis. 



Skirt #3

I posted this skirt last August and wrote about it here.  It is a really luxurious skirt, charmeuse feels so good and knowing that my Mom and Grandmother both wore this pattern elevates everything about it to me.  I loved the way it paired so perfectly with this bodysuit.  Since charmeuse can show every little lump and bump the bodysuit worked great to smooth things out in the caboose area. Just sayin. 




The pattern is a paneled, gathered wrap skirt.  McCall's 5430 might achieve something similar, plus it has a ruffle option and I am seeing ruffles everywhere these days!   


If you are new to working with charmeuse, I will say it again, get yourself some Sullivans fabric stabilizer and stabilize that shifty fabric.  It can be real pain to sew charmeuse without some form of stabilizer.  



Skirt #4

I made this Hollyburn skirt by Sewaholic about two years ago and rarely wear it. I don't think I was really very happy with the tops I paired it with and the top in the original blog post is long gone, a mishap with a jumping dog and his untrimmed claws.  Now with a great top to pair it with it will see more outings!  Yippee!   



As far as the Hollyburn skirt pattern goes, I remember it being a really enjoyable sew and I don't know why I haven't tried my hand at one of the longer versions, need to do that.  The pockets are great and I love the fullness of the skirt, its just enough not to be too vintage looking.  Not that there's anything wrong with vintage its just not my strong preference.


Skirt #5

I can't recall that I ever blogged this skirt.  It is from the Built By Wendy Sewing book.  I really love that little book, I bought it at the beginning of my sewing journey and its a great little introduction to sewing and making your projects your own.  The denim used here was thrifted and has no stretch.  I drafted the pockets and added the belt loops.  Its a great skirt. It does have the tendency to cling to this bodysuit, not sure why but, meh, it doesn't keep me from wearing them together.  




I love a good A-line skirt pattern and have used this one several times.  I looked over a few sewing pattern company's offerings and I didn't spot a simple A-line off the bat.  I am sure there has to be one out there, but if you like the idea of a denim skirt with similar styling to mine I suggest McCall's 7475.  It has some of the features that I added to mine, pockets, belt loops and a yoke (which I didn't add).  Do note that its a little fuller than mine.    





Skirt # 6

I love so many things about this Simplicity pattern Cynthia Rowley skirt (2215).  It is so sad that its out of print (oop) because it has so many cute features that I haven't seen elsewhere.  The pleats are not uniform, which makes them fun to sew and the side pockets are so well explained and placed.  The invisible zipper is magically incorporated in the side pocket and the included instructions were wonderful.  



I blogged about this skirt along with a lot of other spring separates in this post. As you can see its a pretty full skirt but the style is so fun to wear that I can overlook the excessive fluff. 

I used a cotton eyelet from Fabric Mart and jimmied my own lining out of yellow linen. 


There you have it, six skirts for summer...and the Nettie bodysuit works so well with all of them.  I have to hand it to my husband for taking all these pictures, there were a lot of wardrobe changes but I was so excited to see how well the bodysuit paired with my skirts that I kept saying "just one more, let me see how it looks!"  

I hope you feel inspired to try your hand at either a bodysuit or a summer skirt and make your significant other take lots of pictures of you too! :)


Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
Elizabeth

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Me Made May Week 2 (for me)

I continued (as best I could!) with documenting the handmade garments I wore each day this week.  I have a couple of days that just didn't work out but here are the ones that did!

 Sunday:
This is a dress that I LOVE, its Butterick 6446 made in a cotton/linen gauze from Fabric Mart.  I wore it to church and its a great pattern, highly recommend.  Of course I changed into something more comfortable and casual after church but can't remember what that was.  My girlies (below) were also in Me Made dresses.  These were their Easter dresses (unblogged) and they look sooooo cute, I'm not biased! Promise!





Monday:
Now this picture was taken for my May Fabric Mart post, not on Monday but since I wore this Monday and knew I already had a photo of it, I DID NOT bother to re-take a picture of the outfit. The top is a modified McCalls OOP pattern and the shorts are Megan Nielsen's Flint shorts which I pattern tested in the fall.  This was the first time I wore the shorts all day and they were sooo comfy.  I will definitely need another pair of these, so breezy in our Georgia heat.


Tuesday:
Its obvious that I love these Grainline Maritime shorts (fabric from Hancocks).  They work so well for me.  The perfect length, great pockets, sit closely to the small of back- which is a minor miracle. The only thing that I will adjust next time is the back crotch curve.  I just need a little more of a scooped out curve back there.
This was a Grainline day because the top in an unblogged Lark tee in a Fabric Mart Precut knit.  So soft!


Wednesday:
This is a Grainline Alder made some time back in a quilting cotton.  Its a cheery dress and good for casual days.

Thursday:
No picture on Thursday because I was elbows deep in scrubbing bathroom floors, walls and toilets, changing soiled bedsheets, cleaning carpets, washing a child twice, changing garbage can liners, fetching apple juice, changing DVDs etc, can any of you Moms out there guess what was going on?!! My child had an upper and lower GI virus, ugh, not pretty that day.  I almost didn't get out of my pajamas on Thursday.

Friday:
A little fancier today since I went into work for a short time, so in contrast to Thursday I got to feel like a human being and get dressed!  This is the infamous McCalls 6886 and it really is a great little pattern.  I get compliments on this dress often and its such an easy make.

Saturday:
I can't report on my outfit for Saturday since it is for an upcoming post for Fabric Mart for their Skirt Sew along month!  I am very excited to share it though, and if you are so inclined Fabric Mart has some fantastic 50.00 gift certificates they are giving away each Monday this month during the sew along.  All you have to do is post a picture of a you-made skirt and include their hashtag and your name goes into the drawing!  Go on over to their blog HERE to see all the details.  I would totally enter every day if I were you! :)

So that's my summary of the second week of Me Made May.  
I hope you are having a great week,
and Happy Sewing!
Elizabeth

Saturday, May 20, 2017

McCalls 6844, A Very Useful Sweater



I am perpetually chilly in air conditioned settings and love a good lightweight knit sweater for the summer.  I began to have cute sweater envy when I saw the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet and I have always admired Grainline's Driftless cardigan, however I could not justify buying either pattern when I already had a cardigan pattern in my stash, unused but graded for my sizing and cut out and ready to go!

I realized what I liked about the two independent pattern designs were their pockets, cute details and simplicity.  So...I added a few of those things to my McCalls pattern and am super happy with the result.


You can see I added pockets that are simply rectangles and belt carriers which are long tubes of fabric.  I free handed all of these details as well as the tie belt.  Its just a long tube too!


Construction:
The entire sweater was basted on my machine and then serged together with the exception of the pockets and other details.  I stabilized the shoulder seam with twill tape and although the pattern instructed you to ease the shoulder seams together I didn't bother with that detail.

Fabric:
This was a length sent to me in a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  I believe its a linen knit and probably has no lycra or very little.  Its very breathable and super comfortable.


I find that sometimes the simplest designs with a few added details make me the happiest.  I also find that when I use what's in my stash, practice contentment and get to work I can generate the feeling that I am a good steward of my resources (enter smug self satisfied feelings)- and give myself an excuse to fill the now empty hole in my fabric stash :) !! Ha ha!

Happy Sewing and thanks for reading!
Elizabeth

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Me Made May

I have never ventured into the challenge of documenting my handmade outfits for Me-Made-May before but in a moment of inspiration last weekend I decided to give it a whirl this week.  If you are unfamiliar with Me Made May you can read this blog post: Click here!

Sunday 
Dress is a New Look mock wrap, Fabric is FabricMart ITY
Sweater is a McCalls(6844) pattern in a mystery knit from FabricMart
and I made some modifications to the pattern, added belt carriers, a tie belt and pockets.

As I understand it, Me Made May is the practice of intentionally wearing your handmades during the month of May and mulling over what you wear, why you wear and what you might like to add to your handmade wardrobe.

I wear at least one handmade garment a day on most days and this shouldn't be a huge stretch for me. I have not taken a pledge of any sort, I don't really do pledges anyway (no New Years Pledges either) but I do better with an overarching goal.  So since I wear at least one handmade garment a day anyway I figured I would document each day with a picture this year.  I am a little slow to start and missed the first week but here is my second week!

Monday
 Grainline Alder in a thrifted cotton

Tuesday
 McCalls (7348) T shirt dress in a Modal/lycra from FabricMart
and the sweater tied around my waist is a McCalls (7484) sweater in FabricMart rayon/lycra.

Wednesday
 Butterick (5526) Top in Cotton Voile from Hancocks
Grainline Maritime shorts in a stretch cotton sateen from Hancocks
This is my second favorite outfit of the week, its just about perfect to me, the shorts fit comfortably and I love a button down when I know that I can roll the sleeves down the air conditioned indoors. 

Thursday
 Hey June Raglan made from salvaged(a project that went awry) black rayon lycra and the white ribbed knit is from a 4X white tank bought at Walmart.  

Friday
Picture credit goes to my 4 year old :)
 Simplicity (1167) Tank made from a FabricMart rayon/lycra.

Saturday
 This has to be my favorite outfit of the week.  
The jeans are comfortable and I love this McCalls (7387) top, its very loose and breezy for summer heat but still feels put together. 

Saturday
 That is my first week of Me Made May, I think I will try to keep going and documenting each days outfit including at least one handmade garment.

I can already see that I need at least one more pair of shorts and since I love wearing the McCalls top, I should make another one of those as well.

Well that's it for this week!  
Happy sewing and thanks for reading!
Elizabeth