Seamwork Audrey Jacket #sewyourpride

I’ve wanted to make a jean jacket for a while and the Seamwork Audrey was on my list. It’s one of few jean jacket patterns that actually goes up to my bust measurement. On one level, I find that appalling, but there are also not many jean jacket patterns out there with this style. The Alina Design Co Hampton Jean Jacket also has a similar look but only goes up to a 42″ bust. The lack of patterns going up to or beyond a 52″ bust isn’t shocking to me at all. Say there are a 100 patterns out there of a certain type; probably around 20 of those have a more inclusive sizing, but maybe 1 has sizing that goes beyond a 60″ bust. Soap box: it would be great to see companies that go into 50″ bust land upping that into 60″ bust land. Show the companies that are just starting to increase their sizing AND show them it can be even more inclusive.

Back to the jean jacket. What I really had in mind for a jean jacket was to get a lovely light pink denim. However, my budget plus the availability of light pink denim made that a future hope. LOL. Instead, I used three different stretch denims in my stash plus scrap fabric for my pockets and pocket flaps.

Because I was using denim, I wanted to use some of the sew on patches that I have acquired over the years to make a #sewyourpride project.

On the back, I used a large sequin rainbow and on the sleeves three pride flags and a Sailor Moon patch, because if you don’t know that Sailor Moon is an LGBTQ2+ show…then you watched the American dubbed version or didn’t watch it at all.

I made a size 26 with a large bicep adjustment. With my measurements, the size 24 would have been fine but I went with the size 26 to get a jean jacket perfect for wearing with hoodies in the fall. I love a layering piece. The pattern does run large, though, so just be aware of that.

I did faux flat fells for the seams and topstitched in a bright yellow using the triple straight stitch on my machine. I don’t like struggling with topstitching thread and the triple straight stitch looks so good.

The welt pockets have a different construction method than I have done in the past. The welt pocket facing actually gets folded up to become the welt. I love the method, actually. Later the method helped me since the pants I cloned for my husband use the same method. Basically, what I am trying to say is that I am a welt pocket expert now. Hahha. Joking, but I do feel really confident about them.

Some things I had issues with are the pocket bags for the welt pockets. I was careful about the placement but they still didn’t extend to the be sewn into the button band. I had to sew the tops of the pocket bags down. The welt pockets also open a bit too far back for me. So once I get the light pink denim of my dreams, I will move the location of the welt pocket closer to centre so I can catch the pocket bag in the button band as the instructions dictate. The flap pockets on the bust are also fake. I won’t change that, but it’s a bit ugh to put in fake pockets. I’m not a fan. I also don’t love the collar construction. You snip into the neckline to put it in. I worry that this method will lead to wear and tear in that area.

The jacket is definitely not perfect but I love the result. I can definitely improve on managing corners like on the waistband or the sleeve bands. It’s not perfect in those areas, but not too bad.

I’ve been wearing the jacket non-stop since I finished it so in spite of any “imperfections,” I love it. My fav style is to roll up the sleeves and wear it open. I used to have a jean jacket back in the 90s that I wore in this style and I loved it.

It’s strange how styles repeat themselves. I’m basically back in the styles that I loved back in my teen years. But this time, I am happier, more confident, and can sew the styles that were barred from me by lack of inclusive sizing. So, fuck you, 90s designers; I got this.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Audrey
  • Pros: Okay size range up to a 54 inch bust and likely due to the oversized look can probably push that a bit. I love the details and all the topstitching. It’s a definite “classic” jean jacket style.
  • Cons: The issues with the welt pocket bags not going to the button band to be sewn into it. Faux pockets ughhh. Welt pockets are too far back.
  • Make again?: Obviously I still require a light pink denim version. OBVIOUSLY.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

Rad Patterns So Over-it-Alls

Okay, I might have a problem with buying every overalls pattern out there. Yes, I have the Yanta overalls, too. When I saw Martha rock the So Over-it-Alls from Rad Patterns on IG, I knew I had to have them. And then they sat in my sewing queue for a bit. But truly what is better than overalls… obviously knit overalls. Hello, comfort to the max!

I made a 3XL to accomodate my waist measurement of 48-50 depending on the time of month. These are my first version so they aren’t perfect in terms of fit. That won’t stop me from wearing them all the time, though.

For my next version, I will narrow the bib at the top by taking out a wedge at the centre front. I don’t have any issues with how the front or back fit, but the length of the shorts means that my thighs want to eat the fabric (hence how they are bunching in the back, but the fit of the back is fine otherwise). They are meant to fit loosely with the drawstring pulling them in tighter.

I think they are super cute overalls and I’m not fussed over the fit issues. I used a ponte knit in a lovely raspberry colour from a local store. I just managed to get the shorts out of a yard and a half of fabric with some super strategic cutting. I’m pretty proud of myself for that.

Except for topstitching, I used my serger for the whole thing. Sure there are instructions that say don’t use a serger for this step, but I definitely just used my serger. It worked out just fine.

Some things about the pattern that I am not super thrilled about are the size of the pockets. I know I love to put the world in my pockets but my smallish phone *just* fits. I also don’t like that the waistband doesn’t have lines of channeling for the cord. It’s huge in comparison to the cord and the cord just goes wherever in that wise waistband. I’d fix this by sewing lines of channeling for the cord to sit nicely in. I am also not a fan of having the cord there and would prefer to used some elastic and then sew the cord to the ends. That tends to be more comfortable for me.

What else can I say about these? I love them and I could wear them 24/7. I’m going to hunt for some soft French Terry to make a longer cropped length pair. I can’t go to the store in my onesies, but these are pretty close in terms of comfort.

Edited to add: I used snaps for the straps instead of overall clasps because the size I ordered was too bit. The snaps look cute though so I actually need to get more of those now!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Rad Patterns So Over-it-Alls
  • Pros: Great size range. Easy to make on the serger. Good instructions.
  • Cons: I don’t like that the waistband is so large given the size of the recommended cord for it. The cord goes wherever it wants in the waistband. Also the pockets are actually quite small imho.
  • Make again?: YES. I have a vision of these in french terry.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

Me Made May Round Up 2019

This year for Me Made May, I didn’t pledge publicly before like I usually do. Part of that was due to surgery recovery and not being on top of things before or even 100% sure I would do any documentation or keep up my pledge. But I knew I would do sketches at least. My Body Model started the #sketchmystyle challenge for May. I did come up with the following challenge for myself:

  • Wear “me mades”
  • Sketch “me mades”
  • Try not to repeat
  • Follow themes: Dresses, skirts, comfy, rainbow

And if I didn’t achieve it or achieved it in part, that’s okay since surgery recovery hasn’t been as smooth as I had hoped.

I made 31 sketches of 31 outfits. I got 29 pictures of said outfits. Except for 2 outfits, they were all according to the themes for each week. I didn’t care to document how many “me mades” I wore but just that I wore them. I usually have three or more pieces on, because 98% of my underwear is made by me and then I wear leggings underneath everything until I switch to short leggings in the summer.

Dresses

From May 1 to 10, with the exception of 2 days, I wore dresses.

I wore Belmont leggings most days but didn’t always draw them in. Starting on the first line left to right: Turner dress, McCall’s 7624, Verity dress, Moneta dress; second line left to right: Simplicity 1549, Myrtle dress, Burda wrap tunic, and McCall’s 6887 with Jenna cardi.

Two days during this period didn’t get documented but did get sketched:

On the left, Prefontaine shorts and a RTW shirt; on the right, Concord tank top and Belmont leggings.

I was not feeling well so I took a day of rest.

Skirts

 

From May 11 to 17, I wore skirts. Starting on the first line left to right: Concord tshirt with Pavlova skirt, Swoon scarf neck cardi with self-drafted skirt and crop top using Simplicity 8096, modified Cedar dolman with Pavlova skirt. Second line left to right: Upton skirt with Brit top, Burda cowl neck with self-drafted skirt, Concord tshirt with self-drafted skirt, Concord tshirt with Pavlova skirt.

This is definitely my preferred style. I find skirts and tops to be the most comfortable for me. I love dresses, but skirts just feel more comfortable outside of say… the next bunch of looks….

Comfy

 

First line left to right: modified Cedar dolman and modified Forsythe trousers, Gabriela onesie, Concord tank top with Barton shorts. Second line left to right: modified Concord tshirt and Belmont leggings, Concord tank top and Forsythe trousers, Ophelia overalls with a Bronte top, modified Concord tshirt with Belmont leggings.

These looks are all for around the house, sewing, going to doctor’s appointments. All worn May 18 to 24.

Rainbow

The final set is according to the colour of the rainbow. There is one repeat here due to not having much in yellow.

 

Starting on the top line left to right: modified Concord tshirt and Belmont leggings, Cate’s Cousin top with Willow robe and Belmont leggings, modified Cedar dolman and Belmont leggings. Second line left to right: Upton dress with Swoon scarf neck cardigan and Belmont leggings, modified Springfield top with rtw rub-off leggings, Rivermont dress with Belmont leggings.

I paired each look with white, black or grey and for the most part went with solid colours. The Rivermont dress ended out the month with my favourite dress. I need to make more of those dresses asap.

It was such a fun month. Granted, the sketching and documenting took most of my attention. I did sew a bit this past month but overall didn’t have the energy to take pictures for blogging. That’s okay. I did tons while recovering from my surgery.

Me Made May

I loved sketching each of my outfits throughout the month. I also loved learning how to do digital sketches. I definitely need a better program for sketching, but I can see the improvement throughout the month. There weren’t very many revelations about my outfits this month. Just that I want to make more tops and overalls. I do need more bras, but that is always true. I can’t make enough of those. Also, underwear. But nothing is urgent. I have a great handmade wardrobe and really love how colourful and happy it makes me.

Health Update

I’ve sort of been skirting around (haha punny) the topic during this post, but I figure a health update is in order. I had my surgery on April 16th correcting my deviated septum and scraping out my sinuses. I got the stents (plastic bits that keep your sinsuses open) removed on April 23rd. I experienced a lot of pain with the stents so the removal was a relief, but after that the inflammation made it almost impossible to breathe through my sinuses and that is where I am at. My doctor gave me steroid nasal spray to help with that but I haven’t seen an improvement and I had a thrush reaction to the steroids. So that’s fun. I’ve also for the first time in my life been having Spring allergies. I hope it’s just an anomaly due to being sensitive after the surgery and not a permanent occurrence. I usually get allergies after the snow goes away before things start growing because of the levels of dust and mold in the air, but not with pollen. Thankfully it stopped feeling so terrible to sneeze. For about a month, it felt like I was tearing my nose off with a sneeze.

I’ve been pretty low in energy until recently (probably the past week). I’ve been really grateful for not working during this time because I definitely needed more time. Since my sinuses have been so congested, it’s been difficult to sleep. I have gotten sleep back more recently. Increasing my energy.

The other huge thing that happened is due to an appropriate amount of rest and meds plus cannabis, I actually reached zero on the pain scale a few times in the past couple of weeks making my rest more restful and restorative than it has been in a really really long time. All of this makes me realize how much working a full time job was hurting me. I was pushing far beyond my spoons and burning out fast. No wonder I had so little energy for anything else.

Of course, that makes me worried about finding a job in the future. Money will become a factor sending me back at some point but I hope I can figure out a means to work from home on my own schedule.

In other news, more hereditary factors kicked in. I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, which runs in my family, so I always knew it was a major risk factor. I have minor diet improvements to make, but overall my levels aren’t too bad. I’m just in the range so with meds and diet improvements, I could be normal within the next 6 months. Having another health thing to worry over, though, sucks a lot. My diet is already pretty restricted due to allergies and intolerances that having another factor to think about is a lot more labour.

A chronic illness is a full time job and a half. This is what I have confirmed in the past 2 and a half months of being unemployed. There is little escape or relief from it. To get to a zero on the pain scale, I really can’t do anything for the period of time my meds/cannabis are helping me there. I can only focus on recovery.

I wish people were more understanding of how much labour and time chronic illness maintenance takes.

 

Seamwork Sky Jumpsuit

Orginally published in part on the CSC

Over at the Sewcialists, they are having a theme month of Sew Brave, where you push yourself out of your comfort zone by sewing something that you wouldn’t normally sew either fabric-wise or pattern-wise or in any other way you want to interpret the theme.

For me, that meant a jumpsuit. I chose the Seamwork Sky, because I loved the look of it.

My measurements are: 52″ bust 48″ waist 56″ hips. I made a size 24 graded to a 26 at the hips to allow for fluctuations in my hip due to swelling with my chronic illness.

Other than grading between sizes, I also did a full butt adjustment and a full bicep adjustment (all the FBAs!). I also shortened the waist tie significantly since it was so long and I preferred to tie it at the back.

During construction, I changed the back invisible zipper to a front lapped zipper and changed a bit how the pockets are constructed since I didn’t like Seamwork’s pocket construction where it has you clip the seam allowance. There is no need to do that really. Their construction method is fine, though, just not my preference.

After putting the jumpsuit together and then trying it on, I found two things: 1) The crotch was super low on me. I am 5’3″ so I figured this might be an issue. 2) I didn’t like the full length in the seersucker gingham fabric (the tie is made with magenta tencel twill) I chose and decided that I would prefer a cropped length with elastic cuffs.

I raised the crotch by removing about 5 inches from the top of the pants. This worked for the most part except at the centre front where I wish I had split the difference and removed a bit from the bottom of the bodice as well. The waist seam hits lower than I prefer; I guess I really like the comfort of a high waist. If I make the pattern again, I would shorten the torso in the bodice and the bottoms as well.

After all of that, I do think I removed a smidge too much from the length but not uncomfortably so.

I am not sure if I will make the pattern again. I do like it a lot, but while I love rocking a onesie and throwing on a pair of overalls, I don’t think jumpsuits are my thing. I find the jumpsuit difficult to take on and off. I’m thinking if I were to make it again, I would definitely take the sleeves off as they make it hard to get on and off. Admittedly, I probably also need a longer zipper, too. That’s on me. I actually may remove the sleeves from this version or I will get a longer zipper. It’s honestly almost impossible for me to take off because of my limited shoulder mobility (well, I can move them but then they dislocate and that’s not fun…).

 

What it comes down to with this pattern or any other woven jumpsuit is that a muslin is pretty necessary. I wish I had given myself the time to do a muslin! LOL But I will call this a wearable muslin and try to figure out how to make it work.

All that said, I love the look that I created and love the fit on the bodice so I may be using that bodice again. It’s super cute. I’m glad I was brave enough to try the pattern out!

In other news, I dyed my hair red. I’ve been kind of absent here due to surgery recovery and a lot of costumes for my improv troupe as well as trousers for my husband. I’ve also been doing a Me Made May challenge on Instagram where I sketch each outfit. I’ve set themes as well (dresses, skirts, comfy wear, and rainbow). It’s been a lot of fun but also pretty time-consuming. Expect more regular posts again. I’ll also be posting over at the Minerva Crafts blog soon, too. I joined the #MinervaMakers team and started receiving fabric. I got my first fabric a couple of weeks ago and am getting ready to sew something up with it. I can’t wait to show you!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Sky Jumpsuit
  • Pros: Good size range. I love the V-neck.
  • Cons: Not a fan of some of the construction methods in the pattern (pockets). Difficult for me to get on and off due to mobility issues.
  • Make again?: I think I will use the bodice again for sure since I like the fit. I may not make a jumpsuit again, though. Although now that I am typing this, I would definitely make this again in a knit fabric since comfort is top of my list these days.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

Would you like to join the Sewcialists for Sew Brave this May? Make something that pushes your boundaries or try a new technique! Check out the hashtag #SewBraveSewcialists on Instagram for some great inspiration, and if you aren’t already, follow @Sewcialists on Instagram!

 

Hot Patterns’ Cupid Cami and Tap Pants

First off, thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post. I haven’t had the energy yet to reply to everyone but hopefully soon.

Today I am sharing another pj project that I made for recovery.

Hot Patterns’ Cupid Cami and Tap Pants are available for free through the Fabric.com website. I’ve had the pattern downloaded for a while and have wanted to make the tap pants. Tap pants are lovely either under dresses for thigh chafing protection and for the danger of windy weather and dresses or to wear as cool pjs for warmer weather. The cami was just a bonus. It has some cute features, too, like the ties at the shoulders.

I made 2 pairs of tap pants and 1 cami. I love the tap pants, but the cami has quite a few fit issues. For my bust size, I used the largest size. The back is pretty big, though, and the sides. It would be a better fit in a smaller size with an FBA so the majority of the volume is in the front bust.

I’m not fussed about fixing this particular one since it’s just for around the house. The top is made with a slinky poly knit in a snakeskin print. I got it and the spiral print for the tap shorts above from a Minerva crafts win a couple of years ago.

The fit in the tap pants is much better than the top. There are a couple of crotch length corrections needed but overall it’s okay.

The pink pair of tap pants is made with a soft velvet given to me by a friend. It’s so soft. It’s the same velvet I used for my bralette pattern.

For a free pattern, it is okay. I did have to correct a weird looking crotch on the front crotch curve. Like I dunno how it was supposed to sew up like that.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Hot Patterns’ Cupid Cami and Tap Pants
  • Pros: Good size range. Free!
  • Cons: Top has typical errors for drafting up larger sizes where certain areas are disproportionately increased. Bottoms have the weird crotch curve. I thought about bumping this down to a 3.5 star review, but the free aspect plus the size range really does give it a 4 star.
  • Make again?: I likely won’t make the top again. I do need to tighten the back ties a bit more, but overall I think the fit on the top isn’t worth it. I also don’t really wear camis so to me it was just a fun one time thing to make. Tap pants I will make again after some minor crotch adjustments to get a better fit.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

 

 

 

A Unicorn Onesie for Recovery

I have loved my DIBY Gabriela Onesie since I made it. Every time I wear it, it increases my cozy factor by ten. That being said, I chose to make it with shorter legs and arms. While that’s great for some times, when it is cold in the house, I need a bit more fabric to keep my cozy levels high.

This onesie is perfect for colder nights or for maximum coziness. And it’s covered in unicorns!! I used the same pink bamboo fabric from my other onesie for the pockets, sleeve and leg bands, and the band for snaps. Instead of a zipper for this version, I made this version with snaps. The zipper was okay, but snaps are perfect. I do think I could improve on the location of the snaps so the band looks more centered. But I made the band with snaps as a last minute decision.

I’m really happy with these pjs.

Cozy things like this will make my recovery from surgery a bit better. I go in for sinus surgery tomorrow. I’ve been on the list for a few months and finally got the date earlier this year. It felt a bit unreal. Now I am just nervous. I’m sure it will be okay, but of course with any surgery I would be nervous.

I am really excited about the results post-surgery. I have a deviated septum and have never been able to breathe well at night. I’ve also had chronic sinusitis for well…. my entire life along with upper respiratory infections, allergies, asthma, snoring, etc. I don’t expect these all to be magically cured, but having a better chance to breathe well is huge, especially at night.

I might not be as responsive due to recovering. Hopefully it will all go well and I will recover quickly. But at least I will be wearing super cozy pjs!

Now to get super real here. Not only do I have the surgery coming up but I no longer have a job. The better part of the year, I had been worrying over this reality. I feel somewhat relieved that I don’t need to worry over it happening anymore and it’s just done. I am also glad it happened before my surgery so I don’t have to worry while I recover. Depression hit me hard this year with all the stress. I still have the tools I learned from cognitive behaviour therapy so I am safe, but it has been tough and one of the things I tend to do is avoid the topic. I’ve avoided talking about it pretty much everywhere which to be completely honest is an old habit of mine… Shove it all away and pretend it doesn’t exist. All in an effort to appear strong. But it’s not a good practice of mine and I am trying to get out of that. Depression is definitely nothing to be ashamed about and many people experience it. I’ve struggled with depression since I was about 12. I have also been suicidal and self-harmed, but I am not in that place any more thankfully.

I’m looking forward now with hope; recognizing that it will always be a struggle that I have to deal with and work through. Depression isn’t something that you recover from and suddenly are so cured and happy; it’s something that you have to manage, like a chronic illness.

It’s no surprise, as well, that chronic illness and depression often go together. I know several of my spoonie friends that struggle with depression along with their chronic illness like I do. Part of depression is a result of the isolating experiences of being disabled and chronically ill.

I’m sending a ton of love to anyone struggling with depression like I am. ❤

 

Scrapbusting with the Concord T shirt

When you are fat, all those suggestions for using smaller bits of fabric don’t really work the same way. You need far more fabric than people in smaller sizes so when you are looking up “what to make with less than a yard of fabric?” on google, the suggestions are a bit disheartening and frustrating when they use existing patterns that in larger sizes actually require much more fabric than a yard. When I buy fabric, I don’t ever buy less than a yard and a half. That can make me leggings or a short sleeve top and many other things. But sometimes, a yard doesn’t even make underwear in larger sizes. I think that’s tough to remember when you are smaller sized and writing these lists. There aren’t lists for “How to scrapbust when you are fat.” Although, now I want to write that list.

There’s always others ways to scrapbust, however, by using existing patterns and making design changes based on the fabric needs.

I had three different grey-based fabrics in my stash all with less than a yard of fabric left. I had a waffle knit with geometric print on it (only 1/4 of a yard), a striped doubleknit (just under a yard), and the remnant of a grey knit sheet that I used for a costume (about half a yard).

I used the waffle knit on the cowl neckline and for large sleeve bands. The grey knit sheet became the sleeves (please ignore the fact that they look twisted here…It’s because the sleeve bands are twisted because I didn’t pay attention putting it on before the picture) and the striped doubleknit became the body of the shirt (no attempt to stripe match since the yardage was so low). I did all this using the Cashmerette Concord T-shirt as a base pattern.

Originally, the shirt wasn’t going to be a cowl neckline, but the doubleknit stretched out when I sewed the neckband on it. You can see how it is stretching in that back view and pulling the fabric down off my shoulders. I’m almost sure the doubleknit has some rayon in the fabric. I got it with a bunch of other knits from LA Finch Fabrics when I won a sewing challenge last year. But not a problem, since I love a good cowl neckline.

The doubleknit is super stretchy; I had to remove a slight bit of width in the back to make it fit in the fabric constraints but the extra stretch makes that okay. The hem is the curved hem view using the grey knit sheet for the hem facing.

How soft is that doubleknit, though? It’s so soft! I wish that technology would catch up so you could feel this fabric. Like I just want to pet it. I wish I had more than just that piece!

I’m hoping the waffleknit softens a bit more in the wash since it’s not as drapey as I like a cowl to be. It looks okay but could definitely look a bit better.

Next time you have some pieces that are less than a yard, think strategically about what patterns you can use and mix and match! You can take any pattern and draw new panels or cut/design lines.

This is the last of my winter projects. I sadly didn’t get around to finishing all the things I wanted to for the season. I still haven’t started a new winter coat! But my brain is definitely not on Winter plans anymore so it will have to wait for the future. Some of my plans, however, might make it in my early Spring sewing since this is transitional weather in Toronto. For most of April, we’ll be anywhere from zero to plus 20 celcius. I’ll still be grabbing for all those layers for the next while.