FESA 2014 round up

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Back on September 12th, I planned out all my sewing from then until November 30th (today!). I’m actually really pleased with how it went and it’s shaped some plans for my winter sewing. There are some things that didn’t work and some things that I tossed out the window in favour of the newest shiny thing and one thing I am still working on.

I’ll address each FESA 2014 category and then show you what I made or talk about the fail in that category.

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather: Two Fails, but a bonus win!

Leggings:

I made two pairs of Espresso leggings and both were utter failures. I just was not able to fit the top of the leggings. The fit for the legs was fine, but the top never fit correctly. I hate wasting jersey so much, because it’s really tough to find cheap jersey that makes a decent muslin. I’ve decided to scrap it and just make leggings from existing RTW leggings that fit me perfectly. I will do that in December and write up a tutorial, if you are interested. ūüôā I wish I could show you a picture of the fails, but it would just be me with the leggings at my knees and I am not ready to break the internet with that horrible sight.

Pencil Skirt:

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Another fail for this category with Lekala #5088. I just hated it so much. I am planning on continuing my lovely search for a perfect pattern. Next up will be Tenterhook’s Snapdragon and Bluegingerdoll’s Betsy. Both are high waisted skirts and will be more flattering on me than this one, which I pulled up to my high waist and then clipped at the back (which is why it looks better in the pic than in real life).

Bonus Skirt:

I didn’t plan another Pavlova out, but I did make it and twirl in it:

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And I love it so much.

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates: Three Wins!

Cardigans:

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Talk about two wonderful wins in this category! I adore my hacked Parisian cardigan and my Jenna Cardi so much. I have plans to make a ton more Jenna Cardis before the year is done.

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I didn’t plan it, but I also had a great win with my Muse Pattern’s Gillian wrap top! I wear it pretty regularly and love the colour so much. I plan on making the dress up soon.

Fabulous Frocks: Three wins and one not made!

Wrapalong:

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My wrapalong dress was a huge success. I adore this Burda faux wrap tunic so much. I wear it once a week and find it incredible comfortable and warm.

Fall of 1000 Shirt Dresses:

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I am super proud of this cat lady shirt dress. It’s definitely my favourite make of the year and my best make of all time. I highly recommend using McCall’s 6696, if you love shirt dresses or cute dresses. It’s a really great pattern and fits most people out of the envelope due to the smart bust sized pieces. I will be doing a full bust adjustment for a future version due to the pulling in the bodice, but it worked for me straight out of the envelope and that is very rare for me. I plan on making a ton more during my two weeks off at Christmas.

Lekala #4155:

Well, that dress never happened. Perhaps a bit ambitious of me. I also wasn’t feeling it after the Lekala pencil skirt didn’t work out.

Colette Moneta:

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I love this fall Moneta. However, I have rarely worn it at all this fall. It doesn’t help that it¬†sat in my sewing room for two months waiting for elastic at the waist. I’m a horrible procrastinator. I love the Moneta, but I think it’s my last one for a little bit.

Tender Tootsies: A whole lot of nope!

Since the espresso leggings never happened, my idea to make espresso tights never happened. I think I might try out Rose Hip tights someday in the future, though, especially after seeing the lovely Lauren’s version at Lladybird.

I also never cut the knit tights I had into socks. It would be perfect right now to do that, though, since all my socks are filling with holes and I need to get new ones as of two months ago. I’m a horrible procrastinator! Or I am always drawn into the shiny things. ūüėČ

Underneath it All: A Win and a not made!

Underwear was never made, sadly. Like the socks, I kept procrastinating with them. I will try my hand at it soon.

BRA!

I was at the Bra Maker’s Supply on the 28th and 29th this month for a beginner bra making class. Which was absolutely perfect, because the 28th is my birthday! I am just going to give you a preview here of the first bra and I will write up a whole post about this experience and the alterations for the next version.

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Baby It’s Cold Outside: In progress!

My First Coat!

I decided to not use any of the patterns in my planning post, because I looked at View A of Vogue 8346 and saw that they used a similar print to the wool I had. I finished the muslin and have the coat cut out, but it won’t be done for a little while longer. I’m so pleased with it so far!

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Colour/Pattern Palette:

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Well, I didn’t stick with my intended palette much. My fall Moneta was orange, but more on the burnt orange side. I didn’t get around to making anything in plaid or pink. I have yellow accents in my Jenna cardi, though. I did purchase a few pink fabrics, including a pink plaid that looks even better than the one above. More pink will emerge in my wardrobe in the future.

All in all, more successes than fails or not doing anything at all. I’m pretty pleased with how FESA 2014 went for me this year.

Cardigans and Skirts, Oh my!

I’ve been hard at work sewing lately and instagramming the #bpsewvember photo-a-day challenge. Phew. Busy, busy.

First up is a skirt I made in about an hour for my halloween costume. A black circle skirt for a skeleton costume.

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You can’t really see it there, but I made some pretty horrid mistakes when I put this together the night before halloween and then just decided to frack it and come back to it later. I made the flower garland for my head as well:

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Ooooh creeepy!

The circle skirt wasn’t the greatest. I used my Pavlova skirt pattern and forgot to cut a smaller size. Luckily, I had a belt on to hide all the flaws in the waistband. This past week I unpicked and sewed not only the waistband, but also the seams and zipper again (although, the zipper was fine, but I had to take the side seams in). I made french seams and hand-stitched the waistband facing.

Then I made the Jenna Cardi from Muse Patterns, because I always need a cardigan and it matches my black circle skirt perfectly!

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I put heels on for this picture…

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This is my “why did I put heels on for this picture?” face Oww……

Of course, all my photos are inside now, because outside has turned into winter overnight and the sun now sets around 4:30pm, which is shortly before I get home from work.

Anyway, back to sewing, because it’s far more interesting than the weather.

I love this cardigan so much. I sewed a size 48 and altered the sleeve to be more fitted. In larger sizes, Muse patterns sleeves tend to be rather big, which is fine if you prefer a loose fit. If you want a more fitted look, I suggest grading down toward the wrist and cutting the smaller cuff. The patterns are drafted for tall 5’10” women. I am only 5’4″ so the sleeves are long and big on me. I shortened them down a few inches and graded them in at the wrist, because I have tiny wrists (and super small hands). The cardigan hits in the right place for me. For future versions, I will be cutting out a smaller size, though, because it doesn’t quite go in enough at the waist for me, but that is my preference.

Sewing was very easy it took under two hours and the instructions were brilliant. I love the cardi. I used a mustard yellow ribbing and a black jersey with silver stripes for the main fabric. Of course, I ran out of black thread! I had finished the circle skirt right before and ran out during that. So, unfortunately, the whole cardigan was sewn with navy blue.

Obligatory circle skirt blurry twirl picture!

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I also took care of an old UFO that I had been wanting to fix up.

It started off as this:

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It’s a hacked Go To Patterns Parisian top. I made it into a cardigan and didn’t like the length.

Now, it’s shorter, like my Jenna cardi. Although, a little shorter than that because I had a cutting accident. Oops! Don’t drink and cut, kids! (Kidding, I didn’t. I just cut the button bands shorter than I wanted by accident)

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Happy again because I took off the heels… Heels are so pretty, but I find them horribly painful…

I love the cardigan now. I still have trouble finding dresses to wear with it, though, because of the neckline. The Jenna cardi is definitely more to my taste. I think the Parisian top is best left as is and I will be making up the pattern again without any hacks.

The final piece to show you to round off my skirts and cardigans post is this major fail and I will be tossing it into the donation pile:

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Nope, not wearing heels just really unhappy with this horrible skirt. And yes, I am wearing a top underneath my cardigan, it’s just really light and I didn’t want to change for a horrible skirt.

Oh pencil skirt, why did you fail me?

This is the free pencil skirt pattern from Lekala. The pattern itself is totally fine, but it looks horrible on me. I tried it lower, I tried it higher, but the position and fit were never flattering on me. It just does not look right. I shortened the darts, lengthened the darts, removed the darts, etc. It just didn’t work.

My quest for a pencil skirt does not end here, though! I refuse to give up! I recently got Tenterhook’s Snapdragon skirt and Bluegingerdoll’s Betsy. I want to try out both patterns in the future and maybe, just maybe, I will finally have the perfect pencil skirt for all my sexy librarian needs.

I’m currently working on a coat as part of my Fall Essential Sewing Plans. I have sewn up the muslin and am excited about the fit. After the coat, the only items that are still outstanding for the Fall Essentials Sew Along are leggings and underwear. I am still trying to get the Espresso Leggings pattern right, but I should have that done, too. I am taking my bra making class on the 28th/29th and have some panties patterns picked out for a quick sew up. Some of the dress patterns I chose got replaced with other patterns, because of timing and my mood. Actually, the only one I didn’t sew was a Lekala pattern. I will do a round up post after FESA 2014 ends on the 30th and a round up of my #bpsewvember photos. Many round ups.

Speaking of round ups, check out the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge round up post at Miss Crayola Creepy! Some amazing amazing things there!

 

 

Kitty Chronicle

When Erin announced the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge over at Miss Crayola Creepy, I was pretty jazzed about it. I starting looking up cat prints and scouring the interwebs for ideas. I found this lovely print, which I had lusted after in the past:

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The Kitty Chronicle print was available on etsy through Custom Creations, which is located here in Ontario. I messaged the owner for a cut of three yards knowing that I would be using black fabric from my stash for the collar, yoke, button bands, and waistband. The almost simultaneous announcement of the fall of 1000 Shirtdresses by Mary over Idle Fancy cemented the pattern I would use for the challenge: McCall’s 6696. The pattern is making its round in the sewing blogverse right now and I figured I would try out this apparently amazing pattern. This is also part of my FESA 2014 fabulous frocks.

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I chose View D for my cat lady dress.

My muslin went really well:

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I didn’t bother making the button band, but knew it would fit well. It was my first woven dress in a really long time and I wanted to make it perfect. I did french seams and handsewed the waistband rather than use my usual method of topstitching on the right side and hoping it works. I may have reverted back to that method for the button bands and the collar, but my future version of M6696 will all have handsewn collar facings and button band facings, because it just makes for a much neater and stronger finish.

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Look at those sexy sexy insides. ūüôā This is before I sewed the buttons on.

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My buttons are from another etsy seller, Krafty Sian. My favourite thing about my cat is her adorable paws that look like jelly beans. I got pink little paws to sew on the dress:

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So adorable, right?! ūüôā

Okay, so by now, you probably want to see this wicked dress, right?

Well, heeeeeere it is! *drum roll*

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Psyche! It’s me and the cat. Trinity is NOT an outdoor cat and was pretty upset at being wrangled into my arms and then dragged outside into the outdoors that she calls “the netherworld” (I assume she calls it that). She spent the entire time clawing at me to get away and back inside to her scratch pad, which she sleeps on and doesn’t use to scratch (duh, she has two couches for that!).

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Much happier.

Okay, here is the dress sans kitty cat.

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I sewed up view D. I usually sew fuller skirts and future versions will definitely be the fuller skirt version. The width of the fabric and the weight (quilting cotton) meant it would never look quite right as a full skirt and really the concept wouldn’t show off the print. Considering I am still trying to sew a perfect pencil skirt, I figured a figure hugging skirt for a shirtdress would look very cool with this print. And I love it.

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I love this dress. Although, confession time: In a race to get pictures taken before the sun set (which it does now at unreasonably early times), I basically just pinned the buttons in place and then took the pictures. I still have to sew them on. The magic of the camera. Also, I am not barefoot. There are just tons of leaves that I should sweep on our back deck. Fall is in full swing here and I’m about to make a 1000 shirtdresses for it.

Other technical parts: I sewed up a¬†size 24 in a D-cup. I made a large bicep alteration to the sleeve and didn’t add the cuff to the sleeve, because I did not like the look after I pinned it on. I also graded up to a size 26 in the butt, because I got junk in my trunk.

For future versions of the pattern, I will be making the fuller skirt. I do love this view and it definitely works best for a heavier weight fabric. I can see it in a lightweight floral denim with contrasting bands and collar again. Hmm….. Maybe….. I feel great in it, but I know I would be more comfortable in the fuller skirt version. More me.

I would also make more button holes than this (I totally ignored the pattern…listen to the pattern, people! I was just in a rush to finish the button holes). I find that I always need a few more buttons to keep the girls inside my shirtdresses. I’ll follow the pattern next time. ūüėČ I didn’t even look at it. :-S

I see there is some pulling in the bodice buttons which would likely be solved by doing a small FBA in the d-cup pattern. I think I just need about an inch more room to make it a perfect fit.

All in all, I loved making this dress.

A final note, I haven’t posted in a while here. October was insane for me. I plan on making a ton and blogging a ton in November with my bra-making class on the 28th (my birthday!!)/29th at Bra Maker’s Supply. There will be tons to talk about including the round-up of Bimble and Pimple’s sewvember photo challenge. Check me out on Instagram if you miss my posts. I am a frequent poster there and you can often get previews of my makes and adorable shots of my cat and food (mmm, food). Also, the Instagram sewing peeps rock my world.

Burda Faux Wrap Tunic Dress

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Fittingly, I found the Burda Faux Wrap Dress through a link on the Curvy Sewing Collective’s facebook page. And I sewed it up for the CSC Wrapalong¬†and as part of my FESA 2014 sewing plans (a fabulous frock, indeed!)

I’m pleased with the result. In the middle of summer, I would probably see the dress as frumpy and shapeless and find the draping really odd, but in the middle of our Canadian fall with the doom-stricken Game of Thrones-like “Winter is Coming” on the horizon, I am loving the comfort¬†of the dress. It’s like wearing a sweatshirt and still looking stylish with all that draping and the cuff details.

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The look at my pockets stance

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The casual lean against the wall and look cool stance

Sorry for the indoor photos. All it does it rain rain rain and when it doesn’t rain, I am too busy to take pictures so I sucked it up and took pictures in the house. I finished this up last week and figured I should get on posting it.

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Fashion….

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….Turn to the left…. FASHION

I had quite the time with the pattern instructions. You can read about some¬†issues with Burda patterns in CSC’s burda sewing tour wrap-up post. Basically, to sum up, the pattern pieces are marked with numbers and don’t also have what they are written on them (ie. front bodice, back skirt, etc.). A lot of the direction isn’t written on the pattern pieces either. The instructions are also all in text and the instructions for this dress specifically were missing steps.

Burda magazine patterns can be challenging and are definitely not for beginners. One of my first dresses was a burda dress, in fact, but the Kristen dress actually had really nicely detailed instructions, if the pattern itself ran extremely large. Start off by reading through the instructions really well and then read through them again and again and go slowly to make sure you get them.

For the instructions, there were missing steps¬†and not clear steps. Missing was the step¬†to sew the back bodice together. I get that is practical knowledge, but it’s not there at all and that is a huge oversight. Unclear was the draping at the front. Basically, the front skirt is one large piece, where you take the bottom and then fold it in half and pleat and baste the bottom into the waistline, essentially making the fold line the hem. The pattern really stumped me in how that was worded and I ripped the thing out three times before I got the pleating and the folding right. There is also pleating in the centre back, which to be honest made very little design sense to me. I did it, but I think the pleating adds unnecessary bulk to the waistline where it can easily be gathered more. The other part that was unclear was the waistband construction. I chose to use the instructions from Colette’s Myrtle dress instead, except that I fed the elastic into the channel, which was reallllly difficult with all the pleats and fabric bulk in the channel. Anyway, I did it and it came out lovely. The last bit that I just chucked out the window was the waistband ties. The placement of the faux ties didn’t work out for me and so I didn’t add them. I also didn’t do flat felled seams, because again it added a lot of bulk. I used a lightweight jersey, but maybe not light enough for this pattern and all that fabric!

Fitting for this pattern runs super large. I cut a size 52 and added the seam allowances. I am probably more in line with a size 54 + FBA with Burda, but I figured the stretch in the material would make that a non-issue, but I could have cut out a 52 without adding the seam allowance and still had the dress be roomy. If you decide to try this pattern out and don’t size down, I definitely recommend sizing down for the cuffs, because they are humongous and by the end of the day are stretched out and falling down. Do yourself a favour and cut two sizes smaller for the cuffs, because ripping out¬†all of the drawstring channels and drawstrings to size down the cuffs is not something I am willing to do. I do recommend grading up to the larger size¬†for the kimono sleeves, though, if you have bigger arms like me. Mine are fine, but not as puffy as the pattern picture.

I followed¬†Jen’s instructions in the wrapalong for the neckline. Partially because the instructions rock and also because the pattern pieces for the neckline in this pattern are cut into three pieces: left side, neck curve, right side. I tried going with burda’s¬†pattern pieces and then ripped out the whole thing and drafted my own piece. ¬†The neck curve ends up being stupid. It bunches and doesn’t sit right and is just stupid. STUPID. One long continuous band is much much smarter. Draft it slightly shorter than the length of the neck and right and left sides and stretch it a little as you sew. I should have made it shorter and stretched, because it is a faux wrap, but I didn’t. It’s fine, but by the end of the day the neckline stretches out a bit even though my fabric has good recovery and becomes slightly revealing. Hence, the camisole underneath for work. So, I recommend making it two inches shorter and then stretching to fit the bodice and neck. Gillian over at Crafting a Rainbow has an excellent guide on where to stretch for a faux wrap dress neckband.

To sum up:

  • Start by sewing the back together, because the pattern doesn’t mention it!
  • Draft a new neckband (one long piece two to three inches shorter than the length of the right side/neck/left side combined) and follow the CSC tutorial¬†for sewing it like a t-shirt neckband and follow Gillian’s tutorial on where to stretch the neckband to get the perfect faux wrap dress look
  • Size down or leave the seam allowances out, because the pattern runs large (Size 52 is supposed to fit up to a 48 inch bust, but my bust is 52 inches and it is still very roomy)
  • If you decide not to size down, make the cuffs smaller or else you will have them fall all over the place by the end of the day
  • If you have big upper arms, size up the kimono sleeves to get the puffy look
  • Follow the Colette¬†tutorial¬†for installing the waistband
  • Use a lightweight jersey keeping in mind the bulk of the material throughout (the lighter the better without being totally see-through)
  • Fold the bottom of the front skirt up to the waistband and pleat at the waistband
  • Mark paper pattern pieces with what they are (front right, cuff, etc.) and with some instructions, especially for the front folds/pleats

I actually, in spite of all of that, enjoyed sewing this up and love wearing it. It’s a super comfy faux wrap dress and perfect for the impending Canadian winter.

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WINTER IS COMING!!!

Fall Moneta

Along with fall starting, I got a lovely cold/flu thing and have been existing on the couch or next to the stove as I wait for my tea. I have a trail of kleenex and bottles of cold fx everywhere between the couch and the kitchen.

This is the current state of me:

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Not pictured: Piles and piles of kleenex

I sip from my “Little Miss Fun” mug because coughing and sneezing is so much fun!

I actually really love this mug and feel happy drinking from it. ūüėÄ

The night before I got sick, I sewed this up in such a crabby mood. I had plans of making a tie to go along with the dress, but was so tired. Turns out I was sick!

I hope to still make the tie. A long black one that I can tie in a bow and use for many different dresses.

This is the start of FESA (Fall Essentials Sew Along) with a Fabulous Frock! A Fall Colette’s Moneta.

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Oh and I dyed my hair red!

This is the first piece of orange clothing I’ve ever owned in my life and I made it. I adore it. I am also sew pleased with how this long-sleeve Moneta worked out (not so sick I can’t make a pun). The fabric is the only disappointment and the fact that my clear elastic snapped and I didn’t replace it (hence the belt to make it better). The fabric has less recovery after washing. Has that ever happened to you? It was fine in the store, but then I washed it and bam…. Doesn’t want to recover. Oh well. The only place where this is a big issue is in the waist and that will be remedied once I put the elastic in.

Oh man, I am so sick in this picture. I’d just come home mid-day from work and was like: “I better just take the pictures right now, because I’m only going to look worse over the next few days.” I can barely muster a smile. I tried harder in the next pic, but it was tough. I just slept the rest of the day after this.

Back to the garment.

In the interest of making this a warm dress (even though I am Canadian I cannot stand the cold), other than making the sleeves long with a lovely cuff to them, I also fully lined the bodice with the same orange fabric. It’s basically like wearing a comfy sweater dress. Perfect with a pair of tights for fall.

With the long sleeves and lined bodice, the neckline ends up being a very wide scoop neck. I have to add bra strap holders to prevent slippage for my work. I would definitely make the neckline smaller for the next version. I also have an idea of making another Moneta into a turtle neck and really maximizing the warmth.

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I think this is my favourite Moneta yet. Mostly because the colour is so outside what I normally wear, but it’s a colour I’ve been wanting to wear for a reallllly long time. I also really love the autumn/Halloween vibe to it. The hair colour change helps the colour look good on me. I am curious whether the colour would look okay with my natural blonde hair. When I got the fabric, I looked in a mirror with it and it seemed okay with the blonde hair, but looks so so good with the red.

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Here is where I leave you. Back to tea and making piles of kleenex.

I’m basically Howl in this scene from Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle:

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Gross

Fall Sewing Plans

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I originally started this post in draft over the weekend and in the meantime I found The Creative Perfectionist¬†from browsing around other people’s blogs and their favourites on bloglovin’¬†(yes, I am a stalker). I follow a ton of blogs on there and apparently never have enough to read.

I love the categories that Sarah put together for this and my original post really conformed to it. I have other sewing plans that are outside of FESA 2014 categories, but I figure why not join the group? I started this blog to join a community of sewists and to share creative endeavours. If my own plans can join in with a group, I might as well do it.

There are seven categories and I have plans in all except for Those Cozy Nights, which focuses on sleepwear. I have no plans to make any more pajamas.

Here are my plans in the six other categories:

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather

Leggings

I’ve had Cake’s espresso leggings pattern for almost a year now and I have yet to touch it. Must make all the leggings, because I am always cold and hate winter so much, but refuse to not wear dresses. Pants suck, gals! I need dresses!

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Espresso leggings are one of Cake’s RiFF patterns, which means they are customized based on your measurements. Once you create a wearable muslin, you can basically make them with very little fabric and make them up super quick from the many blogs I’ve read talking about them.

Check out these blog entries on their espresso leggings reviews: Dreamstress, Dixie DIY, happilycaffienated, and Blinky Sews¬†(Blinky’s post was the one that first made me buy the pattern).

Basically fall/winter are all about layers and I need tons, because I am ALWAYS cold in the fall/winter. I am the person you hate in the summer who runs about in 40 degree Celsius weather and gets angry when it dips below 25 Celsius. In the fall/winter, I am always in way more layers than everyone else. I even have a work blanket that I use ALL YEAR ROUND.

Fabric/notions needed: stretch material in different colours, 3/4 inch elastic.

Pencil skirts.

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I recently went WAY outside my fashion box by trying on a pencil skirt at Old Navy and an orange one at that. I love orange, but the colour has never been in my wardrobe, because my skin often doesn’t like yellowy hues and I end up looking like an extra from Walking Dead. I’ve only been wearing red in the past couple of years and discovered how much I adore it. I used to be 100% the pink girl. I wore pink, pink, and more pink. I feel like my readers are always expecting me to sew with pink and I swear I will! I’ve just been trying different colours a lot more lately.

I’ve decided to make a few pencil skirts as a result of the above pics. I didn’t buy that skirt, because the material was stretchy and had poor recovery (yeay for learning about that! Thanks, Colette Patterns!). My versions will be made of stretchy suit material from my stash and I am excited. I am starting off with a free Lekala pattern #5088:

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It’s a super basic pencil skirt. I have four¬†fabrics in my stash for pencil skirts (yeay stashbusting!):

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Top: plaid stretch suiting, red stretch suiting Bottom: stretch corduroy, thick cotton blend (no stretch)

Depending on how I feel about the Lekala pattern, they may all be the same pattern, but I may keep my eye out for some other ones or try drafting my own. I really like the idea of drafting a vintage style high-waisted pencil skirt, but I dunno if I would really like that look on me… We’ll see. Gotta live outside the box!

Fabric/notions needed: Zippers.

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates

Cardigans.

With the Parisian top into a cardigan pattern hack, I’ve realized what I want in a cardigan: cute features for different colours and prints of fabric, versatility, and one that hits me at my natural¬†waist.

Enter the Jenna Cardi from Muse patterns. Kat over at Modern Vintage Cupcakes recently launched her first pattern with her new label Muse Patterns and I am jazzed. More than jazzed. What is more than jazzed? Whatever that is, I am that.

Yes, I do love everything about this pattern. Yes, I do. Look at the versatility, the size range ¬†(up to 48″ bust size!), the fun details in variation B and the simplicity in variation A.

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It only needs about two yards of fabric depending on your size and the version. I will be doing variation B at waist length with long sleeves to start and then likely trying every variation and the variations within the variations with variations. Verily!

Fabric/notions needed: Stable light-medium weight jersey/knit fabrics (such as merino wool, wool or acrylic blends, cotton knit, cotton blends, or even stretch lace), and buttons.

Fabulous Frocks

Wrapalong

The Curvy Sewing Collective is doing a Wrap Dress Sew Along and they posted a link on their facebook page to a plus size Burda collection that included the most awesome Wrap Tunic Dress that would go perfectly with a new pair of Espresso leggings. I wasn’t going to join the Wrapalong, because with the exception of a woven wrap dress from yesteryears made into a circle skirt recently, I am not a big fan of wrap dresses. I love a nice wrap cardigan, but wrap dresses never quite fit the girls.¬†I am in love with the style on this one though and the draping in the finished version they have is making me go nuts:

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Fabric/Notions needed: Stretch jersey, 1/4 elastic.

Fall of 1000 Shirt Dresses

Following Mary at Idle Fancy‘s lead, I’m declaring it the Fall of 1000 shirt dresses. She may end up making this a sewing challenge and I am in full support of that!

Combined with this is also the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge with Erin at Miss Crayola Creepy.

I recently acquired this awesome fabric:

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I plan on making McCall’s 6696 in view D:

M6696

I will be using black cotton fabric for the waistband, button bands, collar, and the cuffs. I will be the coolest cat around (heheh, so punny again!).

Of course, I will be making a¬†wearable muslin to prep for the October challenge and that means: MORE SHIRT DRESSES! ALL THE SHIRT DRESSES! I mean… I guesssss I will make shirt dresses….. (dances)

Lots of these Fall of 1000 Shirt Dresses fabrics will come from my stash (Yeay stashbusting!):

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Mostly cottons, except for the black at the top, a polyester blend.

Other fall dresses include:

Lekala #4115 (with one of the above stash fabrics):

lekala 4115

Colette Moneta

I’m going to try to find merino wool or ponte knit and make a few of these in a heavier knit with long sleeves. The Moneta is so easy for me cut and to sew up.

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Fabric/notions needed: Merino wool, ponte knit, heavier stretch fabrics, buttons for shirt dresses, zipper for Lekala 4115, elastic for Moneta.

Tender Tootsies

I also have an idea of making Espresso tights.

Handmade by Carolyn has a great tutorial for drafting your own tights that would be useful combined with the custom fit of the Espresso leggings. Basically just using her tutorial for making the feet for the tights.

Along with this, I have a few pairs of knit tights that don’t quite fit me anymore in the butt, but I am planning on hacking into slouchy knee high socks.

Fabric/notions needed: Elastic.

Underneath It All

I have a lot of remnants of stretch material and a lot of plans with more jersey knits and other things that I can fashion into: Underwear!

I plan on¬†taking the Bra-Making Workshop in Hamilton at the Bra Maker’s Supply in November over my birthday weekend. Bras are hella expensive and I want a better fit. They say if you can set a sleeve you can make a bra! Sign up if you are in the area and meet me!

Baby It’s Cold Outside

My First Coat!

In the beginning of the summer before I was put on a fabric-buying hold as part of the Summer Stashbust, which I failed in sew many ways (ha, punny!), I bought this wool from a thrift store.

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I have yet to determine how much of it I have (I keep forgetting), but I have plans to combine it with other wool fabric, if I need more. I think there is enough for the main parts of the coat, but accents like straps and the collar might be made of a contrasting solid wool rather than the main.

I love the smell of this wool. I can’t get over how wonderful it smells. I’m not normally a fan of wool fabric, but this one… I dunno just smells so wonderful. It had original tags on it that said it was 50 bucks. Maybe it’s just higher quality than I’ve been used to.

Possible patterns for this include:

Lekala #5835 acquired with my Monthly Stitch dresses win of five patterns.

lekala 5835

I have to lay out the pattern pieces on my wool to see if I have enough fabric minus the smaller straps and the top collar.

If that doesn’t work, I also own these two patterns:

Butterick #5685:

B5685

I would shorten this and have to use the D-cup pattern pieces. Actually, this may be moving up my list to top choice, because I really like the pattern…and that the bust variations are there.

McCall’s #6657:

M6657

I might also have to shorten this one, but I don’t need to alter the pattern based on finished garment measurements.

All three make me super happy. I’ll definitely be doing a muslin, though, because the fabric is too gorgeous to make a coat that I won’t show off like crazy and be absolutely in love with in every single way.

I also want to line it with this fabric, if I have enough:

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Even if I have enough for just the main pieces minus the sleeves, I have black liner fabric I can use for the sleeves. I just adore this fabric. I got it in a swap a million years ago when I was doing burlesque in St. John’s Newfoundland and I’ve been hoarding it since. It’s lovely. It’s cotton, I think?

Aside: learn more about fabric types.

I have brilliant dreams of combining brown leather with coat pattern 1 and 3, but my wallet might get pissed at me. Although, really, a coat for the 10 bucks the wool cost me at the thrift store and buttons and some leather…. still a cheap coat…

Fabric/notions needed: Contrasting accent fabrics in wool or leather, if needed, buttons.

Colour/pattern Palette:

fall colour palette

I’m all about the plaid this fall so I want to hopefully find some plaids in stretchy materials to take home and be mine for a Jenna cardi or Espresso leggings. And yes, pink is on my list of colours. I’ve been trying to find more pink, but I keep getting distracted by other colours… I am going to try to find a nice one for my wrapalong dress.

Oranges and yellows are on my list for the first time ever! I am going to break it up with having them as accents on black or brown or possibly grey cardis or making my Moneta with the skirt in one colour and top in another.

Lots of options there.

Complete shopping list:

  • Burdastyle wrap tunic dress: 4 yards light weight drapey jersey/knit fabrics, 2 yards 1/4 inch elastic
  • Espresso Leggings & tights: 2 yards of medium weight jersey/knit fabrics, 4¬†yards 3/4 inch elastic
  • McCall’s shirt dress: 11 1/2 inch Buttons (hopefully cat related)
  • Jenna Cardigan: 2 yards stable light-medium weight jersey/knit fabrics, 6 1/2 inch buttons
  • Moneta: 3.5 yards merino wool, ponte knit, heavier stretch fabrics, 2 yards clear elastic
  • Lekala pencil skirts: 4 7 inch zippers
  • Lekala 4115: 6 1/2 inch buttons (zipper in my stash)
  • Coat: Wool for contrasting accent fabrics for coat or leather (this one is more in the air as I haven’t settled on a pattern yet, but I likely won’t be sewing this until November)

Not too long of a shopping list. Only 13.5 yards of fabric to get over a couple of months. Some of those items can certainly get out of hand, but I’m not allowed to go to the Toronto Fashion District and buy a year’s worth of fabric like I did last year at this time. I am only allowed to get enough for one of each of the above patterns and definitely not at once. The moment I buy more means that I start hoarding them all!

gollum

Finding Balance and Realizing Limits:

I am in love with how all of these challenges overlap so that I can take part in a few with one garment. However, given my up and down health, I am not going to stress if I don’t get it all done. I also have a lot of non-selfish stuff in the works for Halloween and those plans may overtake my selfish sewing. I definitely want to get three things done, though: Espresso leggings, Burda wrap tunic, and McCall’s cat print shirt dress. I know I will get at least one pencil skirt done as well, but I also know the Halloween stuff will be taking over soon! I’ll tell you about it eventually, but no planning posts on that. Secrets! You’ll have to wait until after Halloween to see what I accomplished. It’s also possible that most of this list will be sewn in November outside of the three top things. I can always push some of these into my winter sewing plans…..I do have another stashcation planned for Christmas holidays….