Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Revising My 2018 Sewing Resolutions

I am revising my sewing resolutions for 2018 because what I originally came up with isn't working for me.  It's still just May, and I would rather change them midyear than not at all.

Here are my new resolutions:

1.  I will sew multiples if that is what I need.  I want a wardrobe made up of pieces that I like wearing.  That means multiples of my fave pieces.  When I buy RTW, I always buy multiples of what I like, and there is no reason on earth, that I can fathom, that I shouldn't have multiples of what I sew.
2.  I am going to try new styles, even if I think I am happy with a TNT style.  Recently, I made multiples of a Simplicity cami, and was going to make a lot more of that one cami style.  But I was looking through my pattern stash and came across several other cami patterns that I really should try, or sew again.  I mean, who knows, I might like one of them better.  So, I am going to sew some of them.

3.  I am going to sew more quickly, so I'll have more "me made" clothes.  I hardly have any made by me clothes, but the ones that I do have are my faves.  I am committing to completing more items on a timely basis.  I can't say I'll sew one every week, because more difficult styles might take longer than that.  But my flexible goal is one per week.

4.  I am going to enjoy the process of sewing.  For me, my sewing focus has always been on the end game.  From now on, I am focusing on the process.  That means not cutting corners just to get something done.  Not doing that anymore.

5.  When I want to learn a new technique, or perfect one, I am going to commit at least 10 hours to learning or perfecting it.  And at the end of the 10 hours, if I haven't perfected it, I will commit another 10 hours to it.  Practice practice practice makes p-e-r-f-e-c-t!

6.   I am no longer going to only do selfish sewing.  For every 20 things that I sew for myself, I am going to sew one thing for someone else.  It doesn't sound like much, but everyone needs to start somewhere and . . . one is definitely be better than ZERO!

7.   I am no longer going to be afraid of my nice fabric.  By nice fabric, I don't mean expensive.  I mean fabric that I think is nice (nice color, nice print, etc.).  What scares me about cutting into nice fabric is that if I ruin it, I might not be able to get it again.  But you know what?  There's always nice fabric around.  If I can't get the exact same nice fabric, I'll just get something else.  No fear.

8.  I am going to clean out my pattern stash, but not in a "just dump it" way.  This is unbelievable, but I have different patterns for the same style.  I can't tell you how many patterns I have for plain sheath dresses, but it's a LOT!  I am going to sew a quick muslin from each pattern and will decide which one I like the best - that is the one that I'll keep.  The rest will be donated or tossed.  I am going through my pattern stash with that process in mind.  It will take longer, but in the end, I'll have a purposeful pattern stash.

9.  I am going to create a sewing game plan for each month.  If that proves to be too difficult to stick to, I'll work from a weekly sewing game plan.  I'm a goal oriented person and if I have a plan, not a SWAP, but a plan of what I want to sew for that month or week, I'll get more done.  By plan, I don't mean coordinates.  I just mean things that I want to sew.

10.  At least 2 things that I sew each month will coordinate with each other.  I don't want to only sew coordinates, but I do want to sew at least one matching set each month.

11.  I am going to spend around an hour a week looking at fashion sites, so I'll at least know what is in fashion.

I think these resolutions will work for me.  I know they'll help me to be more productive, and more stylish, too.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Sewing for Summer

I love my Simplicity 8545 camis - OMG! they are da bomb!  They are my faves and I have been wearing them a lot as tops.  I definitely don't have enough, so I am making more.  A lot more!

I was not going to sew multiples this year, but I want to have a lot of the styles that I like wearing.  To make it happen, I'm sewing multiples of my faves.

Even if I don't often follow through with sewing plans, I put together a plan of my fave styles anyway.  I'll be sewing at least 2 or more of each:

Red white and blue is my colorway and here are some stash fabrics (denim, twill, gingham) that I'll be using:

I've already started on the camis, and am sewing around 10 more.  Yes, I love the ones I made that much!!!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Simplicity 8545 - My TNT for Woven Camis!!!

I love the Simplicity 8545 woven cami .  I've already made a couple that I wrote about here:

Over the weekend, I finished camis 3, 4, and 5.  This is the best woven cami pattern ever!!!

The last time I made this, I raised the waist, and this time around, I raised it a little more. 

As far as length is concerned, I added what I needed to get the length to 22".  It is perfect!

The angled edge of the strap threw me off again, so this time, I sewed it straight across.  It worked!

I used cotton prints for all three. 

The pattern calls for 7/8 of 44" wide fabric, but I wanted to make sure I had enough after shrinkage and bought 1 1/8 yards of 44" wide fabric for each.  I had fabric to spare for 2, but the third was just enough.  I'd rather have extra than not enough and will buy 1 1/8  yard for all future camis.

Here are my new camis:

Here's the pattern:

It feels really good to have some fun camis that fit me and that I love! 

I'm so glad I found this pattern.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Weight Loss Shorts - McCalls 6249

Once again, I am in the process of losing weight.  I pretty much have around 2 classic pairs of shorts with fly front zippers in my wardrobe, but RTW shorts are all cut 2-3 inches below the waist.  Shorts like that don't work with my figure type.  What happens is that the waist on the shorts end up sitting at my hips.  And what I end up doing to make it work is to use a safety pin to make the shorts fit my waist.  I'm tired of that!  So . . . during this weight loss go round, I decided to actually follow through and make some elastic waist shorts that will see me through the loss of 10-15 pounds.  I used McCalls 6249 for this project:

The shorts took around an hour from start to finish.  I cut a size larger than I am right now, just to be sure that it wouldn't be too small.  Unfortunately, it turned out a little too loose and a lot too short.  I'll make adjustments on my next one.  But here's the pair that I sewed:


Monday, April 30, 2018

Simplicity 8545 - Two Cami Tops (Faye's Tops that Pop)

The Simplicity 8545 cami is for wovens!  It's just what I've been wanting and I am absolutely over the moon about finding this pattern!!! 

The cami has front side darts, and nice shaping at the side and center back.  With all of that shaping, it is actually nicely fitted.  It's not as fitted as it could have been with vertical front and back darts, but I like it as is for a cami.  It has front and back facings, which I love for cotton camis like this.  Because you can interface the facings, the neckline ends up with a crisp and neat finish.  And it also has a center back zipper, which makes it really easy to dress.

This was easy to sew . . . and FAST, too!!!  The most difficult part was figuring out how to pin the straps so there was no strap gaping.  The instructions should have this info, but it didn't.

I originally wanted to make around 6 of these camis, but I have been so busy that I only had time for two - two is better than ZERO, so I am happy.

Here's the pattern:

I made one with a colorful cotton Hawaiian print with parrots. I don't often wear colors this bright, but I do love how colorful this is!

I might go back to the store to get more of this fabric to make a pair of shorts.  If I make matching shorts, I'm thinking it will look like a romper.  I love rompers and have a few, but honestly, they are a little inconvenient to wear.  Still just thinking about making the matching shorts.

I also made a cami with a pindot cotton.  I was going for a nautical look and embellished it with white piping and 2 small buttons.  It's been ages since I've embellished anything I've sewn, so I'm really happy with this:

I love this summery look:

Before I start another new project, I need to sew some shorts and finish a sundress that I started a while ago.  Working on those things next.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Faye's Tops that Pop Sew Along!!!

I love Faye's annual sew-a-long and am participating again this year.  I only started participating last year, but I LOVE it!!!  GET ALL THE INFO AND SIGN UP HERE!

I was browsing Simplicity's latest collection and absolutely fell in love with View D of 8606:

I am making that outfit! 

For Faye's event, I am starting off with 3 simple Simplicity 8545 camis to go with the skirt.  If you don't look closely at 8545, you might miss that it includes a simple no fuss no muss easy to sew cami.  I'm guessing that the cami is a one or two hour sew, and that I'll be able to finish all 3 tomorrow:

Heads up, the cami is a woven pullover and is finished with facings.  I actually prefer facings for woven camis and am totally excited about sewing this.  The only thing that I am not so sure about is that it's not fitted.  I might have to add some vertical darts and a back facing.  We'll see.

Here are my fabric choices - the solid is for the skirt and the campy Hawaiian prints are for the camis.  It's about time I had some FUN campy prints in my wardrobe again!

I'm also making a second wrap skirt and am pairing it with the easy to sew Simplicity 1112 top:

I'm using fabric that is a little more run of the mill for this set:

I'll be working on my skirts and the muslins for my camis today.  I can't wait to officially start on the tops tomorrow!!!


Monday, April 9, 2018

Simplicity 8609 - Midriff Top

I was going to spend all day Sunday sewing, but life happened and I ended up having only about two hours of sewing time late in the evening. 

I didn't waste that time.  I finished a quick and easy Simplicity 8609 midriff length top. Normally, I wouldn't wear or sew something this short, but I really loved the waist criss-cross!

Here's the pattern:

I made the sleeveless version - don't mind the black and white pic as I took it late at night and the color pic looked weird, so I changed it to black and white.  I'm wearing it with PJ pants:

As you can see, there's crinkling going on with the neck band.  That was totally my fault.  I adjusted the neckline by a smidge, but was rushing and didn't stop to adjust the band.  I know better, but . . . that's what rushing late at night does!

I'm not planning to adjust the band on my finished top, as it is comfortable to wear as is and doesn't look too bad in person.  I'll sew it differently when I sew it again.

I used a cotton knit and the crew neck reminds me of Hanes T shirts that you can buy for around $5.  It's not a look that I like, so on my next one, I am changing the neckline and I will use better fabric.  

Changes that I made this time around:

1) I adjusted the neckline to be a smidge larger, but it was unnecessary.
2) I eliminated the armhole bands.  To finish the armholes, I simply serged the edge, turned it over, and hemmed it by hand.
3) To prevent puckering at the armhole, which was expected since the same pattern pieces are used for both the version with and without sleeves, I removed some excess from the front armhole by pinching it out on the pattern piece.

I stepped out of my style box with this top, as I don't normally wear midriffs.  BUT I'm very happy that I made something different, AND I think this will look really good with high waisted pants and shorts (which are in my queue).

If you are contemplating making this with sleeves, note that this top has cut in armholes.  The sleeves have a darted cap to accommodate your shoulders.  I'm mentioning this because I don't care for darted cap sleeves.  It never fits and never looks good on me.

Note, too, that this top is really short.  I'm petite, but didn't shorten it, and it is short on me.  Measure and adjust the pattern pieces before you cut into your good fabric.

The top is fitted, and as with every sewing project, check the measurements before you cut your fabric.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018

Started A Summer Dress

Hope everyone is well and that you all had a glorious Easter!  And if you celebrate another special day, hope it was glorious for you, too!

And now, on to sewing . . .

This is my sewing lineup for April:

McCalls 6113 - the handkerchief bottom is already cut out and is partially sewn:

I haven't completed this dress, yet, because I want my dress to have a different bodice and couldn't decide on the style.  But just today, I finally decided to use the empire bodice from McCalls 6029.  This hybrid dress should be done very soon:


Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Folly of Tossing Cute Patterns

I recently thinned my pattern collection and put all of the patterns I didn't think I'd sew in a donate bag.  I put Butterick 6219 in that bag.  I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "Why'd you do that?!  That's such a cute style!  Are you CRAZY??!!"  And the answer would be . . . YIKES . . . YES!

Well, anyway, I bought this pattern for the striped version with the contrasting band - I love that skirt!  It's simple, but packs so much style!

The pattern toss bag sat for a few weeks, waiting for me to take it out and either toss it in the trash or take it to the donation center.

I didn't give tossing that pattern a second thought, until today, when I was going through my fabrics and came across a striped piece that I knew would be perfect for that skirt!  PERFECT!

Ok, so I clearly remembered putting that pattern in a small toss bag, but I didn't see that little bag anywhere.  No bag, so I honestly thought the pattern was gone.  But you know how it is when you can't believe you made a stupid decision - you keep hoping that you didn't and so you start looking for the pattern, even if you know you tossed it. 

I decided to look through my pattern drawers just to make sure.  I looked several times, but didn't find the pattern.  I knew I wouldn't find it because I knew I tossed it, but optimist that I be, I had to look anyway!

When I didn't find it, I looked around and saw a big toss bag that was ready to go out.  I knew I didn't put the pattern in the big toss bag.  I explicitly remembered putting it in a small toss bag.  It couldn't be in that big bag, but I thought I'd look, just in case.  Well, JOY OH JOY, the little bag was in the big bag, and there was my pattern!

So this is going to be my next project . . . it has to be, just in case the thought, folly though it might be, strikes me to toss it . . . again.

Happy camper here!   Be back with my new skirt shortly!