Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Getting My Mom Beach Ready

I love to make something for my Mom every now and then and it occurred to me that she might love to have a kimono to wear on our beach trip.  I love making pieces for her like this one since the sizing is forgiving and the project is fairly quick to whip out.  I think this would be a perfect project for a beginner sewist.

I've previously made a Simplicity kimono for myself (for last years beach trip) and while I love that pattern I think this one (which is Butterick 6464) has some really great features.  The shape flares out at the bottom and the kimono sleeves bell out and drape into a really pretty shape.  I also love the collar on this, the way that it lays up against the neck is so pretty and for someone like my Mom, who has narrow shoulders the weight of this collar holds the kimono in place really nicely.  

The chiffon fabric used here was partially salvaged from a failed wrap dress made for the Fabric Mart Fabricista contest way back when.  I held on to it along with the fabric remnants for an opportunity just like this one!  I loved the fabric and didn't want to just throw it out or donate.  The pink linen is left over from a Fabric Mart make as well.  The chiffon is floaty and the linen helps the whole kimono drape better that something light weight would have.

As far as cutting out the chiffon, I used tissue paper underneath and it worked well.  The shape of the pattern pieces cooperate with chiffon.  I used a serger to construct the chiffon and my regular machine for the rest.  I referenced the directions but went my own way in construction. 

My Mom loves this kimono and I think was just as tickled as I was that it looked so fabulous on her.  She is already making outfit plans, scheming about what is in her closet that would look great with it.  

I can't wait to see her wearing it at the beach and now have a great pattern to make her something special with in the future!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Flint Again

I made the Megan Nielsen Flint pant again (!) and I love them, AGAIN! 

I originally made the Flint pant as a tester last fall and that pair was more work appropriate, made up in a stretch pinstripe suiting.  For this pair I really wanted something more everyday, casual that would work great for our, you guessed it, beach trip.  Yep, still sewing for that.  What can I say, I really do better with my sewing if I have some goal to work toward, I am hugely productive when that is the case.  For some reason lately the beach trip has been motivating my sewing more that all the contests at Pattern Review. 

 In any case, these turned out awesome.  I love them and have worn them two days in a row after making them.  Sometimes I wonder about the shape of these, are they flattering-are they not...but I come back to the fact that I really enjoy wearing them and that's what matters most! 

The fabric is from Fabric Mart Fabrics, and I believe it is a tencil/poly blend or cotton/poly blend chambray.  It has a little stretch and isn't shirt weight or bottom weight, somewhere in between.  So it feels very light, is opaque but not too light.  Helpful for you to know all that, I'm sure!  

I believe it was a "Julie's Pick," and if you aren't familiar with Julie's pick, its a monthly subscription over at Fabric Mart.  You receive samples of gorgeous fabrics each month that only subscribers can purchase.  You also receive a set on monthly coupons which are really good, things like free bundles, free shipping, discount this or that...good stuff.  Worth it if you are new to sewing and trying to familiarize yourself with fabric types.  

As far as construction, and fit, I made the size Medium, like last time.  I also changed the waistband interfacing a little (since it is folded over on itself I added interfacing to only one half the length of the waistband so that it wouldn't be too restrictive or stiff) and added quarters to the hemline to weigh them down (one at each seam at the hem, four total).  This is not my original idea, I read about it on Erika Bunker's blog and thought it was a great tip!

The top is McCalls 6963 and is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern, I love these for the alteration lines that they include on the pattern pieces.  I should've narrowed the shoulders on this one and will do so the next time I make it.  I will also have to rethink the back neck finishing, maybe adding a dart.  It sits out away from my neck a bit.  I like that this is a T-shirt pattern with a little something extra with the cowl neck.  The fabric is from Fabric Mart as well and was included in a free bundle.  I am pretty sure its a rayon/lycra.   


My eight year old is my fashion photographer and in exchange for her time and talents I have to oblige her photo direction and pose however she instructs.  This pose is called "super mom" however I think it looks more like an off kilter yoga pose :)  she is much better at the super hero poses than I!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Uncommon Beach Wear

This is what my kids see every morning, me gulping down cup after cup of coffee!

I know this is not a swimsuit or a beach cover-up or really a garment that anyone would wear anywhere near a beach, but for me its what I plan on lounging in all morning (and night) while at the beach!  We are having our parents join us this trip and I felt like my current pj's are pretty ratty, or close to it!  And I have a habit of getting up super early, I love the quiet and solitude, sitting on the deck and drinking coffee.  There's something so quieting to my spirit to sit and listen to the day as it begins, so peaceful and grounding. 

 I have been planning on these pajamas for at least a couple of years- sheesh, get your sewing on already right!?  But every time I picked up the pattern, it just looked so involved! 

Its just that I have come to a place in my sewing journey where I really get annoyed with sloppy unfinished facings that just get folded over leaving some raw seams exposed to the washer and dryer.  I've also come to a place that really appreciates all the small design details such as piping. 

All that being said, I knew, when looking at the pattern, that I'd have to pipe the darn thing to be happy with it and then alter the facings to make everything inside enclosed, sigh.  So, two years later, here they are!!

I used McCall's 6659 and made the same adjustments to the back pants piece that I made to the last pants pattern I made and it worked again!  There are minimal back wrinkles!  I also shortened the pant by 2 inches at the cuff.  The cuff finishing is nicely constructed with everything neatly enclosed.  

The originally designed finishing and construction used to make the top were pretty sub par.  I read through the instructions after cutting everything out and as I began to put it all together in my mind I was not happy with the finished product, so I decided to trim down the front facing, graded it, notched it to help ease it in and folded it under, stitching it down to the top enclosing everything.  Essentially its an enclosed button band.     

The only place where I wasn't 100% happy with my finishing changes was at the point where the facing, shoulder seam and collar facing all came together.  There was some snipping of fabric, as instructed by the pattern and then some hangy, thready bits left out to dry.  Ugh, I HATE that.  I tried to catch it all as best I could in my altered enclosed facing.

But for all my nit picking, the finished pajamas are really nice.  I LOVE this cotton lawn, its a Hancock's purchase.  The piping  was from my stash, I did end up running out of it after making the top but luckily had a length of cotton in the exact same peacock green and made bias tape and piping for the pants cuff.  The buttons were from my stash and were on a super old card.

I am so glad these finally came together, cotton lawn is perfect for pajamas, this print is opaque and the hand is really soft.  Just great for wearing at the beach, gulping pots of coffee and listening to the day begin.    

Thanks for reading and happy stitching!