Friday, November 16, 2018

Simplicity 1018 Fit and Flared Top in Black Panne

Here is my second Simplicity 1018 top.  I used a crushed black panne.  When I put it on, I realized that crushed panne has a slimming effect.  The fabric is difficult to work with, but it's worth the trouble as it makes me look skinnier than I actually am:

I had a little leftover fabric so I made the removable cowl, too.  I winged it on the cowl's dimensions because I didn't have too much fabric to work with:

When I sewed this top, I had to re-do the band because on the first go round, it looked stretched out.  I'd never wear it like that, so I took it off, shortened the length of the band by around 2 inches, and sewed it again.  I found it really strange that I had to do this because I cut it exactly the same length as the band for my red version, which was perfect.  Oh well.

I like the way this top turned out, but I don't like sewing with crushed panne.  It has a tendency to want to curl a little too much!  As with the last one, I let the panne be panne and worked with its tendency to roll.  I used a narrow rolled hand stitch for the hem and sleeves.  And for the neckband, there was too much rolling to sew it the way I'd normally sew a neckband, so I opened up the band to a single layer, sewed it, then folded it over and sewed it to the neckline again.

I didn't have to do this with the red one.  It's the same type of fabric, so I'm not sure why.  But it all turned out fine, and I am happy with my workaround.  Except for what I mentioned above, I sewed it exactly like the red one that I sewed earlier.

I have already worn this black one twice, and really like it.  It's comfy and very flattering.

I really love the princess seams on this!

I also made one more of this top, and will share it when I take a pic of it.

I'm going to be working on five of the Simplicity 8545 camis this weekend.  All of my fabrics are going to be from my stash.  The pattern is for wovens, but the camis that I'm going to make will be a mix of wovens and knits.

Be back when they're done.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sewing of Multiples

If you look at past posts of mine, you will see a lot of multiple sewing.  That's because when I like a basic style that I've sewn, I'm usually not satisfied with just one.  I want one in every one of my fave colors to wear.  I'll usually sew at least 5 of them, but usually, it's even more than that.  And they end up being go to pieces that I find myself happily wearing over and over again.

I have tried to limit myself to sewing just one of each style, but I guess sewing just one of basic styles I really like just isn't in my DNA.

My wardrobe is pretty skimpy still and really lacks basics.  From now until the end of the year, I'm going to sew multiples of my fave basics.

Earlier this year, I sewed multiples of the cami from Simplicity 8545:

And guess what?  I need to sew more because I've worn them so much that they are wearing out.

A few years ago, I sewed multiples of the fitted and flared top from Simplicity 1051 :

Every single one that I sewed has been tossed because I wore them out.  I need to make more of this top, too!

I made multiples of some elastic waist skirts and shorts, but I am not sewing those again as I have given up elastic waists on anything that's not a pj bottom.  I am in dire need of shorts and skirts and will have to sew multiples of them, too.  I already have the patterns and will probably sew these:

McCalls 6756 shorts:

Simplicity 8652 pencil skirt:

I also love surplice tops, but don't have many, so I am going to make several with McCalls 6513:

I also want a few New Look 6526 dresses:

I also want multiples of a simple fitted dress.  After I pick my pattern, I will probably sew 4 or 5 of them in different colors and prints.

After these wardrobe filling basic pieces are sewn, I'll get to work on some non basics.

Sooooo, I'm changing my queue once again to make room for basics that I'm in dire need of.  I'm starting with the cami because they are quick and easy to sew.  


Monday, November 12, 2018

Simplicity 8416 Update and Simplicity 1018 Red Panne Top

Enjoy this Veteran's Day, and to all the Vets, Thank You!

And as for sewing, I was going through my pattern stash the other day and came across a pattern for a loose fitting button down shirt, similar in style to my lumberjack shirt, but with side pockets!  I thought it was a great idea and decided to add pockets to my lumberjack shirt.  I could do this without any difficulty because I serge all pieces separately.  The seams in the pic below are my side seams:

The most difficult thing about this adjustment was that I had to figure out pocket size and where to place them so they wouldn't peek out at the bottom of the shirt.  It wasn't difficult at all:

I have already worn this shirt twice, once like a topper open over jeggings and a knit top, and another time tied at the waist (calypso style) over jeggings and a knit top.  Because this is such a basic style for me at this time of the year, I know I'll be getting a lot of use out of this top!

One of the other projects that I finished earlier is a Simplicity 1018 top:

Because I'm petite and don't wear tunics, I cut my top a little shorter than the tunic length.  I used a red crushed panne that makes this top look very festive.  All I have to do to turn it into a Mrs. Santa top is to wear it with a white removable cowl and a black belt:

I am petite and shortened the waist.  The shoulders felt a little tight, so I sewed the sleeve on with a 1/8 seam in that area.  I believe the fit at the shoulders is due to the pattern, and not the fabric that I chose because it was a little snug the last time I sewed this, too. 

In the picture above, the neckline looks like it might have a little too much ease, but after I topstitched the band down and tried it on, the neckline lay perfectly flat.  The fit is perfect as is!  

If you have ever sewn with a stretch panne, then you know that it tends to want to roll.  I let the panne be panne and hemmed this with a hand stitched narrow rolled hem.  

I also sewed a removable cowl with the leftover fabric, and now that I know how to sew one, I will be sewing more:

This was a very quick and easy project that only took a couple of hours to complete.  Because it was so easy, and is a style that I love, I also made multiples of this and will share the others when I have time to take pics.  


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Simplicity 8416 Morph - My Lumberjack Shirt

Every year at around this time, I will usually get a loose fitting RTW plaid or checked lumberjack shirt to wear very casually as a topper.  In the past, they have all been made of flannel, and normally haven't lasted for more than a season.  You know how flannel is.  It pills, loses all its body, might even start fraying, and just pretty much looks terrible pretty quickly. Every year, they get too worn out to keep.  So every year, I get a new one.

I was thinking that I should probably go shopping for my shirt before all that was left were crazy colored checks, or wild plaids.  But then, as I thought about it, I decided that I wanted a lumberjack shirt with a little more style.  I looked online for what I was thinking about, but didn't see anything even close.  That meant that I'd have to sew it.  So I did:

I used a cotton check, which is a little dressier and will last longer than flannel.

When it gets a little cooler here, I'm planning to wear this buttoned over black jeggings for a "big top skinny bottom" silhouette, or open over a black knit top and black jeggings/pants/jeans.  It's a lumberjack shirt, but I still want it to be stylish.

I pulled Simplicity 8416 from my stash and used it as my base pattern because it has the basic style elements that I wanted.  It's loose fitting, has an oversized look without being too oversized or sloppy looking, and has a yoke and a back pleat.  It also has extended shoulders, which I usually avoid like the plague, and it is also longer than I'd normally prefer, but this is meant to have an oversized look, so I sewed it as is:

But the pattern design didn't have everything I wanted.  

The front band for Simplicity 8416 is a foldover band, which means that it doesn't have a separate piece for the front band.  I wanted contrasting bands and to get that, I used the band from my trusty TNT, Vogue 2789.  I morphed the Simplicity front piece with the front piece from Vogue 2789, which involved trimming away the fold over band so I could sew it with the separate front band.  

To avoid any complications at the neckline from that change, I also used the Vogue 2789 collar and neckband.  The Vogue 2789 sleeves are the perfect length for me, so I used those sleeves, too, but of course, I kept the Simplicity armscye and sleeve top:  

I wanted my shirt to have contrasting ruffles.  For that, I pulled Butterick 5284 from my stash.  I'd never sewn with this pattern before, and at first, I decided to use the flared ruffles.  After I cut it out and placed it on the shirt to see how it would look, I decided that the ruffles were too large and took up more space than I wanted it to.  Next, I tried the gathered ruffles.  There are two, and I used the bottom ruffle because it was wider:

The ruffle piece is wider at the bottom and narrower at the top because the narrower part is supposed to be sewn around the neckline and into the shoulder seam.  I didn't sew it like that.  Instead, I flipped it so the narrow part would be at the bottom.  When I sewed, I sewed the ruffle to the front band and sewed the top width of the ruffle into the neckline.  If you look at the pattern picture, the bottom edge of the ruffle is supposed to be loose.  I didn't like the look of that, so I trimmed it and tapered it in to the front band.  I think it's cleaner and neater this way.  If you're not sure about what I mean, take a look at the picture of the ruffles on my finished top and compare it to the picture of the ruffles on the pattern envelope.

Also, I cut the outer yoke on the bias and the under yoke on the grain so it would act as a stay for the bias cut piece.   

I'm not sure what happened, but I when I first pinned the hem, it had a lot of crinkling.  To fix this, I trimmed to re-shape the hem.  It was an easy fix.  

And that is how I got my oversized lumberjack shirt with contrasting bands and ruffles.

I also have some other finished pieces and will share them soon.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Vogue 2789 in a Red Solid - Finally a Pic!

I finished the solid red version of my Vogue 2789 fitted shirt from the Anne Klein line a while ago, and finally took a pic.  I made one in a red and white pindot, but didn't like that the reverse side showed up as white.  I would never have worn it much.  Since I really love this style and wanted a red one that I would feel comfortable wearing, I felt like I had to make another one, and did.  Unlike those who believe you have to suffer for fashion, I like clothes that I don't have to think about when I'm wearing it.  The reverse side is really white and having it showing would have bothered me from the moment I put it on until I changed into something else.  Here's my worry free version:

Below is the one that I don't like - see the white?  The white would have shown up when I rolled up the sleeves, too.  UGH!  The white is all I would have thought about when I wore it.  

Neckbands are not that easy to sew neatly, and I have learned a lot about them after sewing all of the button downs that I've sewn recently.  I learned from each one that I sewed.  And now, my neckbands are pretty much perfect.  Here's an important tip that I figured out after having to re-sew several times to get the distance from the center edge correct and balanced with the other side.   Pinned, it won't shift when you are sewing.  The little extra time it takes to do this is worth it for me.  You might not need to do this if you are really good at sewing, but for someone like me, who is just an average sewer, it really helps:

I've already sewn a few other projects and will be back to share them soon.  


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A New Shirtwaist Dress in a Crazy Busy Print!

I finally took a picture of my new shirtwaist dress.  I used the bodice and skirt from my TNT, OOP New Look 6587.  What I love about this pattern, and the reason I use it over and over again, are the front princess seams:

I used the collar, neckband, waist band, and front band from the very popular McCalls 6696, which is still in the pattern books as of today:

Normally, I avoid cartoon-y prints, but I made an exception for this crazy busy cotton print that I really like!  Look at how cute this is!  

To break up the busy-ness of the print, I originally sewed this with contrasting bands.  But once I saw it IRL, yeah-NO!  I decided that the contrasting bands were just too jarring and had to go!

I never would have worn it like that, so I took all of the contrasting pieces off, recut them in the original fabric and ended up with a dress that I like MUCH better!  I also have to say that my other half saw the dress with the contrasting bands hanging in the closet and said it reminded him of what his Granny used to wear.  WHAT?  NO!

But anyway, I had decided to remove the bands before he said anything.  I wasn't influenced by what he said.

To break up the print, I am thinking that I'll sometimes wear it with either a black belt or a red one:

I used fun flower buttons in alternating green and red that seem made for this print:

I love pockets and added a side seam pocket on each side.

I also cut the neckband with an angle instead of a curve.  An angle is much easier to sew than a curve.  It allows my collars on a band to look very professional.  Of course, even if it's easier to sew, I still measure very carefully so everything is symmetrical and perfectly balanced.  I don't think I'll ever sew a neckband with a curve again.

I wanted it perfectly spaced before sewing the other neck band piece on.  Here it is folded over to make sure it was perfect.  See the angle?  If you sew, then you know it is much easier to sew that angle than a curve:

Also, here is a TIP for getting a neck band without any puckering when you are stitching in the ditch to finish it - interface both neck band pieces with a featherweight interfacing.  Give it a try.  You'll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes!

My Vogue 2789 fitted shirt in solid red is up next.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this style!  I am planning to step up that very elegant style even a little more by sewing one in a black and white print!  I'm working on something else right now, but it will be up very soon!

On another note, I was not kidding when I said I wanted a wardrobe made up only of pieces that I am absolutely and completely mad about.  I want a well curated wardrobe, and don't want anything hanging in my closet that I am only lukewarm about.  Why live with clutter?!  So, even if I hardly have any clothes right now, I looked at what I've made so far and tossed several pieces.  I also decided to re-make two pieces to better fit my taste.  I'll share them soon.

My wardrobe is still very small, but I can honestly say that I love everything in it!   And I am going to work very hard to keep it that way.  For me, from now on, it's all about quality, not quantity.

I intended to do much more sewing than I actually did during the past 2 weeks, but because things kept coming up,  I just didn't have the time.  The reality is that I really need clothes, so for the next 2 weeks, I am going to make time to sew (all from stash).  I actually don't have a choice if I want at least an average sized wardrobe before the end of the year.

Be back shortly!


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I Want More Fitted White Shirts!

I wore my Vogue 2789 fitted white shirt for the first time today.  I absolutely loved it!  I paired mine with black dress pants and black ballet flats.  I accessorized simply with a pearl necklace and gold hoops, and I carried my fave black tote.  I felt very chic in my outfit.

I now see why so many wardrobe experts categorize the white shirt as a must have basic!  I also now understand why Carolina Herrera made it her iconic piece.

I loved wearing my fitted white shirt so much that I have decided to sew at least 4 more in different styles.

I have a lot of things in my sewing queue, but the white shirts are now at the front of the line.

I haven't decided on the styles, yet, but what I really want to sew are other elegant styles, at the same level of style as my Vogue 2789.  I am also leaning towards making one or two with statement sleeves.  Statement sleeves are so not over, yet!

Here are all of my Vogue 2789 Anne Klein fitted shirts in all of their glorious glory (except for the solid red, which is in the wash)!  I love these shirts!

Be back with my shirtwaist dress next time.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Vogue 2789 - Finally! A Fitted White Shirt!!!

The fitted white shirt is widely renown as a wardrobe classic.  Well, I finally have mine, made with Vogue 2789:

This is my eighth version of this shirt.  You can read about how I sewed my first one here.

A morphed cotton shirtwaist dress in a really fun print will be up next.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Neck Bands - WOW! RTW Makes Me Look Good!!!

All of this time, I have been thinking that I was awful at sewing neck bands.  Just AWFUL!  The last time I was at Ross', which was just the other day, I looked at button down shirts in their designer section to see how mine compared.  Look at what I saw at Ross':

Mossimo (brand is sold at Macy's and Target).  Look at how sloppy this is - different curve shapes and distance between collar and end of collar band is different.  This is really sloppy sewing:

Anne Klein - again, the curves are not the same.  And the sewing is sloppy:

Michael Kors - the curves are not shaped the same.  And OMG, the width isn't even the same!

The collar is also not the same size, and the distance from collar to end of neck band is not the same:

Not sure what brand this is, but it was in their designer section - different curve shapes and there is a noticeable space between the end of the neck band and the center edge of the shirt:

This was from their regular long sleeve shirt section - look at how sloppy the top stitching is:

My neckbands are always neatly finished.  But I thought I was terrible at sewing them because I seam ripped them apart several times before I got one that I was satisfied with.  Too bad RTW isn't into sewing well.  After going snoop shopping and seeing all of that sloppy sewing, I couldn't help but conclude that RTW makes my sewing look really GOOD!!!  My sewing is just average, but wow it is so much better than RTW!  I am so glad I sew.  Here's the neckband from my latest Vogue 2789 fitted shirt:

And here's the shirt:

And the Vogue 2789 pattern:

I finished 2 other Vogue 2789 shirts and will be back with them shortly.