Helen’s Closet York Pinafore

Hot on the tail of my last post is my Helen’s Closet York Pinafore!

I made view B with the kangaroo pocket. I did some grading between sizes. 22 at the shoulders. 26 at the bust. 28 at the hips.

I’m wearing it with my Adrienne blouse.

The fabric I used was a poly twill I had in my stash from the thrift store. And yes, I have already stained the pocket with something. LOL.

The fit isn’t bad overall. There are some issues at the bust and I think that the sides could be graded out a bit better. It’s very curved and needs more of an A-line shape, I think. There also needs to be a bit more room at the centre back. Overall, though, this is the look I was going for and I think it’s pretty cute. I do think the fabric is a bit stiff for the pattern. Poly twills tend to be pretty stiff, in my opinion. The fabric calls for twill but specifies cotton twill, which does have a softer hand.

The York Pinafore probably won’t become a favourite of mine. I love this version. I just don’t see myself making a bunch more. I may try out some of the “hacks” posted on the Helen’s Closet blog, though. I really love the tiered gathered version. But that is likely not happening until the Spring.

In the meantime, it’s Autumn here in Toronto. Our back patio is filled with fallen leaves. There might be snow on Halloween night. More pinafores are not in my plans at all.

I recently used the latest MyBodyModel release to plan out a “Fall for Pastels” capsule wardrobe. There are more outfits planned than just these three, but this gives you an idea of what I plan to make. The first outfit is Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan in a pastel rainbow cotton lycra with soft blue corduroy Helen’s Closet Yanta overalls. I drew a white top on underneath since I have a Concord T already made that would work with the outfit. The second outfit is a Cashmerette Tobin Sweater in a coral striped ponte knit that I found at the thrift store with navy ponte contrasts and Muna & Broad Glebe pants in a seafoam suiting (also a thrift store purchase). The third outfit is the Blackwood cardigan from the first outfit with a Decades of Style Dorothy Lara dress in a lilac swiss dot. Paired with some fleece-lined leggings in white, it will work well for the Winter.

I have a few other plans including some PJ plans and an epic Onesie, but some will have to wait until I start my new job. 🙂 I just signed my job agreement today and start November 18th! My job is a remote position so I am feeling pretty positive about it with my disability. I think it’s going to be a great fit. Mostly, I am just relieved as anything to have a job and over the moon that it works for my disability. It’s been really difficult the past couple of months especially and now I am feeling a lot of relief. I haven’t been on some meds due to lack of funds so I am hopeful once those resume that I will be doing a lot better.

I’m excited to share my Halloween costume with you. So keep an eye out this Thursday for the reveal! 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Helen’s Closet York Pinafore
  • Pros: Good size range up to 58 inch hip. Super simple sew. Only took about two hours to make them.
  • Cons: No cons, really.
  • Make again?: No plans right now for future versions since Winter is Coming and more pinafores aren’t part of my plan.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

 

I’m on a Podcast and my Helen’s Closet Donovan skirt

I Can Make That Podcast Interview

Check out the latest episode of the I Can Make That Podcast featuring me! Andie! That’s me!

I was excited when Katy reached out to me for an interview. It was a great opportunity to talk sewing, plus size sewing, chronic illness, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, @chronicallysewn, geek culture, improv and being schmoopy about my husband. Check it out!

Helen’s Closet Donovan Skirt

When the Donovan skirt was released by Helen’s Closet, I impulse bought it. It’s a relatively simple design but something I was seeing a lot in RTW inspirations and knew I needed to have it.

I loved the longer version of the skirt with the side slits.

My size on the bottom for Helen’s Closet patterns is a size 28. On top, I am a size 26 at the bust, but a size 20 at the shoulders so I usually have a lot of grading between sizes. I didn’t have to at all for this skirt since it is easy to fit. You just need to fit your waist and you can also cut shorter elastic if you decide to pick a larger size for your hips.

My first version was for the Minerva blog. It has yet to go live but I will share a preview of it. It’s made using a chartreuse viscose fabric. The fabric is lovely but it stretched out bunches sewing so do stay stitch. I tend to skip stay stitching, because I hate it but don’t for this fabric, okay? Also saying that to remind myself, because I actually did skip it again with my next Donovan skirt.

I paired it with a top made with the Workhorse Ione shirt in a sheer watermelon crepe that I modified so it was cut as one piece and used bias tape to finish the armholes and neckline. I was going for all watermelon outfit by pairing this skirt with the chartreuse fabric.

You can see that the fabric stretched out in those pockets. I should have used a bit of interfacing to stabilize them. On the other hand, the RTW inspirations I saw had the same feature. So now I can call it a design feature instead of a mistake. 😉 That’s definitely why it happened again with my second version and not at all that I was marathon sewing and cut corners before heading out to the Fringe Festival in Victoria BC. Not at all.

I love that side slit! I have no fit issues with this. Although, I do think the waistband elastic was slightly too long for both of my versions. I measured it on my body but I think the elastic is stretchier than I am used to and the recovery may not be great. It was cheap, though, so I will live with it… The drawstring in this version does help that issue, though.

My second version was made using a magenta tencel twill I got with a gift card earlier this year or last from Blackbird Fabrics. I paired this with my Forget-Me-Not Clementine top. I had planned to make another Workhorse Ione shirt with this since I love the look. I was planning on using the leftover chartreuse vicose with an ivory lace yoke. I still want to make that top, though, since it will also evoke watermelon vibes.

I didn’t make a drawstring for this version, which I regret. It’s not something you can really make after the fact since it requires buttonholes in the waistband. I’d have to take that apart and I am just not willing to do that.

Can I sing the praises of these pockets for a little bit? They are wonderful and big. I love them. Okay it was a short song…

I really love both skirts and wore them a lot this summer.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Helen’s Closet Donovan skirt
  • Pros: Good size range up to 58 inch hip, but can likely fit larger since they are a loose fit. Big lovely pockets. Thank you.
  • Cons: I really don’t have any.
  • Make again?: I want to make the shorter version at some point, but it’s getting colder and colder out so it will wait until next year.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

 

Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls

Hello Readers.

It’s been a while since I posted here. September was a tough month for me mentally and physically. At the end of August, I went to Victoria BC for their Fringe Festival, where my husband was showing his solo play, Personal Demon Hunter. We walked a lot in Victoria and I experienced a lot of pain and exhaustion on returning. Before that, my improv troupe was at FanExpo, our biggest local convention, and I was already low on energy. I spent the first part of September recovering from that and dealing with a lot of migraines and allergy-related hives. My mental health hasn’t been great since I became unemployed in April and money has been getting tighter and tighter to the point that I can’t cover some meds, which would help my migraines and allergies. I’ve been applying to jobs, though, so I am hopeful that the situation will change. In the meantime, though, everything is tough and the financial situation triggers a lot of anxiety and depression in me. I’m trying to focus on the positive and keep reminding myself the situation is temporary.

Before Victoria, I sewed up a bunch of garments, but I never got around to sharing them here. It took a while to take pictures and then I wasn’t sure what to say here. I have always been transparent about my health both mental and physical but I was having trouble speaking about it all. So there it is in all it’s messy glory. My situation sucks right now and that’s the reality of it all. I do have lots of support from family and friends and I am extremely grateful for that.

Let’s talk sewing now. ❤

I’ve been wanting to sew up the Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls since their release. Ever since making my first pair of overalls, I’ve been sort of obsessed with making more. I haven’t been able to wear most other types of pants due to compression issues. Even my stretch Misty Jeans became super uncomfortable. I can wear the ones I made with ponte still due to 4 way stretch but any made with denim are no longer wearable. My knees and waist don’t deal with the compression well. Compression actually triggers hives for me for fun chronic illness reasons. I tried altering them to make them bigger but they just don’t work for me anymore, which is okay since I have a lot of other options and ponte pants are super comfy. Overalls are next to leggings in my book for how comfortable they are, especially in short length since it allows my knees to be free to do their hypermobile thing.

I made these Yanta overalls with a non-stretch denim with red lurex in it. I got it locally earlier this year specifically for Yanta Overalls. I used the reverse side for the pockets. The sad part is that the pictures are not showing how awesome this fabric is with it’s sparkly redness all over. I used red for the topstitching too.

I made a size 28 with no modifications except for adding length to the straps so that I could use overall hardware. The fit is meant to be loose (for maximum overall comfort). I find the back crotch depth to be a bit low and the back pockets are a bit big and sit low on my seat. I actually would eliminate them entirely for my next pair as I find back pockets annoying. I kept them in because I was doing a Same Pattern, Different Bodies post for the Curvy Sewing Collective. Check out Michelle’s and Megan’s versions here. I think that the front pockets could also have a bit better placement, but I was following the pattern placement. I’m not a huge fan of patch pockets in general, though. I do like it on the bib but not the others. I will be narrowing the bib a bit as the straps fall off my shoulders a bit and the bib folds in when I sit. The waist is a bit large, but for comfort reasons I won’t be changing that.

Looking at the pictures, I could also lengthen the front crotch depth a bit.

Overall (harhar), though, I love them and have been wearing them a ton since I made them!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls
  • Pros: Good size range up to 58 inch hip, but can likely fit larger since they are such a loose fit. Without any zipper on the sides, they are easy overalls to make and fit.
  • Cons: Patch pockets aren’t really my favourite look. I like it on the bib, but not the lower ones or back ones. That’s more personal preference, though.
  • Make again?: YES. I have a bunch more planned so I will definitely be making ALL the overalls.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Seamwork Loretta top

I’ve been wanting to make a Seamwork Loretta top since it was released but for whatever reason just kept getting pushed out of my sewing queue. I’ve had it printed and put together for a while now but finally decided to take the plunge a few weeks ago.

The Loretta is a pull over woven top with raglan flutter sleeves and an elasticated neckline. It also features a rounded front hem and a straight back hem.

I made my usual size 28 with Seamwork patterns. I did no alterations. I actually find that it fits pretty well for the style. The fabric I chose for it, a yellow cotton gingham, is a bit stiff. I do think it would benefit from a much more drapey fabric. I am also not a huge fan of how high that neckline is on me.

In the top version, it’s also pretty short. I’ve been mostly wearing it with skirts rather than with pants like in these pictures. I think the tunic version with the tie would be super cute and help define my waist a bit more. I am getting major… um….”all boob” feels from these pictures. Not that there is anything wrong with that! But it’s not all I want to show off.

 

I think that the pattern is really cute, though, and already have another version cut out in a white gauze. I’m going to add some fringe trim to the hem and the arms for that one. I can’t wait. All in all, it’s a great pattern and looks especially cute with skirts. I’ll have to show that when I take pictures of my next version. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Loretta top
  • Pros: Good size range…although only to a 54 inch bust so it could be improved… Love those flutter sleeves.
  • Cons: A bit short in the top version and a pretty high neck, but these are preferences not major pattern issues.
  • Make again?: Already have another cut out.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Workhorse Pattern Ione shirt

When the Workhorse Ione shirt came out, I knew I needed it. And then we got an offer from Becky to get the pattern for free for a CSC post. As usual, my opinions are my own in spite of getting free shit. Unlike other boxy style shirts with cut on sleeves, this top has an interesting yoke feature and sleeve bands. It boasts being a scrapbuster. You can colourblock and mix and match prints and fabrics with the yoke, sleeve bands, and the front and back. I also love the hi-lo hem. All of these features together are what sold it for me.

The sizing system for the shirt is a bit different than usual. You rely on finished garment measurements and choose your size based on what sort of ease you want. I was going for the boxy shape so I made a size 30 and graded out the hips a bit to give me more ease there.

My first version used leftover cotton voile from my Willow robe and a small cut of linen blend fabric. Underneath the top, I styled it with a Cashmerette Concord tank dress in a white cotton lycra.

I used the square neckline for both versions. In my first version, I found the neckline to be a bit wide so I added in a half inch on either side to bring it in.

My second version uses leftover gingham seersucker from my Sky jumpsuit and my Maple dress. I used the pink colour for the front yoke and sleeve bands. The front yoke is also lined with a bit of pink cotton leftover from a different project.

I love both shirts. They have a boxy fit and style. They work great with layering or with shorts.

I definitely want to make the top again. Probably using a drapier fabric next time with the tie neckline in the hack pack.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Workhorse Patterns Ione shirt
  • Pros: Good size range. Love the colourblocking style and neckline choices.
  • Cons: None.
  • Make again?: Well of course!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Jalie Yoko Sweater

My mind is on Spring sewing plans, but I still have some projects from Winter sewing to share with you. The Jalie Yoko sweater is a free pattern. It’s a basic top pattern: square shape, turtleneck. If you look at the pattern pieces, it is a rectangle with neckline shaping and arms attached. It’s quick and simple.

I made size GG for the 51 inch bust. I am a bit bigger than that, but I knew the over-sized shape would be fine with an extra inch.

I can’t say much about the instructions, because I didn’t really touch them. What’s to puzzle over with a top this simple? It literally took me 20 minutes to sew up.

The shape is very similar to the Seamwork Tacara that I just made. Although, the Tacara has more hip and cocoon shaping. It also has a bit more shaping in the arm.

I love this top. I’ve always been a fan of turtleneck sweaters since I am always freezing.

I used a purple hacci sweater knit.

I hemmed it with my serger and the made me usual sleeve bands to hem the sleeves.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Jalie Yoko sweater
  • Pros: Boxy shape. Includes several sizes. Would work for any gender, as well. I’m not super sure why it can’t be listed as unisex.
  • Cons: It does only go up to a 51 inch bust…. but it’s got such a range from kids to adults.
  • Make again?: Yep. I would likely make it again. Probably not until cold weather returns in the fall. I’m dreaming of Spring.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Style Sew Me Nikki Blazer

When @naturaldane and @onesewsweet announced the Black History Month Pattern Designers Challenge, I was excited. I wanted to try Style Sew Me patterns for a while and what a perfect time to do it. I got the Nikki blazer pattern and the Alise top, which is a current work in progress.

I used a green ponte knit for this version. I made the largest size and used smaller seam allowances. Mostly because I was worried that the sleeves wouldn’t fit but that wasn’t an issue; I should have just measures the pieces but I guess I was feeling lazy at the time. Even with the seam allowances as recommended and not in a knit fabric, it seems like the sleeves would be fine. Also, another thing about the sleeves is they are 2 piece sleeves. I adore a 2-piece sleeve.

I made no alterations for this version. The fit is okay, but for the next versions, I will shorten the bodice by about 2 inches, and add a bit more flare to the back skirt piece. I know that the sleeves are about an inch too long, but my preference is that they are longer so it’s unlikely that I would change it. A note that in the pictures, I am holding my remote so my hands disappear in a lot of the pictures. The sleeves hit about 1/3 or 1/2 of the way into my palm so a bit long but I like it that way.

I didn’t line this version since the knit is sewn on my serger and all the insides are finished anyway.

In terms of instructions, the pattern actually has very few. But there are youtube tutorials on it and the other patterns so anything that isn’t clear in the instructions is understood through the video tutorials.

I have already made a second version of the blazer. For this one, I added a bit more flare to the back peplum as sort of a faux full butt adjustment. I shortened the bodice by 2 inches. I do think that I could use a narrow shoulder adjustment but I keep forgetting and it’s not bothering me too much. The fabric is antique gold coloured faux leather and cotton lycra for the side panels and under sleeve due to fabric constraints. I hemmed the blazer with Heat N Bond Super hem and it is holding nicely in place. I also used the Heat N Bond to give a nice crisp edge to the collar pieces.

I made this one for the Day and Night Dress Challenge.

I also made my tassel necklace and the clutch (although to be real, the clutch isn’t quite done since it still needs lining and I haven’t found the strap I want to use for it.

The theme this year was to take a dress that you have in your closet that you don’t wear that often and make things that complete a day look and a night look. This Cashmerette Rivermont is actually the opposite of the dress requirements. I wear this one so often that I needed different looks for it. Mission accomplished.

The clutch is the Seamwork Valencia. It’s made with purple leather and green suede. Both of these are my first projects with faux or real leather aside from some leather patches on a jacket that I made ages ago. The sewing could be better on the Seamwork Valencia, but it could also be worse. Thank goodness for past me getting a teflon foot for my sewing machine. Also thank goodness for an amazing sewing machine with the Singer Heavy Duty 4452. ❤ Oh and I will be posting my review on the machine soon since it’s been a year with it.

The Valencia needed some piecing since the purple leather I had was a small remnant. The clutch has a magentic snap. Part of the reason I am also waiting to finish this is that the holes I cut for the magentic snap were cut a bit big. I think it will be okay but it would benefit from some reinforcement behind the snap just to ensure the hole doesn’t get bigger. I’m procrastinating on doing that. But I’m also not sure about the lining yet. Do you ever hesitate on small details like that? I even had a lining all ready and then went to put it in and was all….nope I don’t like that. I’ll figure it out. I might have to visit a remnant bin or two. Oh no fabric shopping! hahah.

I definitely don’t think this is my last leather/suede/faux leather project. I really want to make a small backpack with a combination of tan and more of the hunter green suede. We’ll see when I get around to that. I still haven’t found the perfect pattern for that.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Style Sew Me Nikki Blazer
  • Pros: Princess seams in front a back, nice shaping. The sleeves are actually generously sized and didn’t require a large bicep adjustment at all.
  • Cons: I can’t think of any cons! My length issue is because I am short, but that’s a common adjustment and easy adjustment for me.
  • Make again?: Definitely. I want a woven version next!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Valencia
  • Pros: An easy project for a first leather purse.
  • Cons: No cons really.
  • Make again?: Probably not. I don’t know how many clutches I would need!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars