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:

wrap tunic dress

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:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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!

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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….

Upcycled: Circle Skirt Mania

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Oh how I love circle skirts. I’ve made the Pavlova skirt and refashioned a UFO into a circle skirt recently. I haven’t been wearing skirts over the past couple of years, but since making the Pavlova, I’ve caught a bug for high-waisted circle skirts.

This one is a wrap skirt that I upcycled from my first me-made dress from a pattern:

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I made it for a burlesque routine to Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit (hence, the sexy face as I strip). Wrap dresses are great for burlesque reveals. This one had awesome twirl action.

Unfortunately, since doing that routine in 2009, about a month after, I fell down some stairs (klutzy Andie!) and couldn’t walk without pain for about…..um….6 months…. and haven’t done burlesque since. I didn’t break anything, but I tore something and the doctors I saw didn’t figure it out. I got physio in the summer of 2010, but haven’t had a great left knee since.

I still adore dance and I have been wanting to take lessons again. I took hip hop and Bollywood dance workshops in June and loved it, but I have a lot of health setbacks that make me worry about taking a full class if I can’t commit or have to miss classes. Health setbacks and weight fluctuations resulted in me not being able to wear this dress anymore. The bodice showed off the girls (good for burlesque, bad for office work) and didn’t fit quite right with a camisole under it, because of the princess seams and the fitted look of the bodice. The original is from McCall’s 5314 view B:

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I really do love this pattern and plan to use it again in the future, but my dress couldn’t be fixed and the fabric/colour was too nice to waste and I was too attached to it to put in the charity bin.

So, I chopped off the bodice and ties and cut about two inches from the bodice for a small waistband. I attached the waistband and then reattached the ties and opened a small slit for the ties to go through. I finished it in an episode and a half of Battlestar Galactica (swoon Starbuck!). And now I can twirl again:

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Or do a cute curtsy:

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Oh how I love it. I want to make more, but I have lots of other plans in the works, which I will talk about in length on Friday. I’ll have to make more circle skirts after all my plans.

There are a lot of other garments at home that I want to upcycle as well. I have a tendency to hold on to my favs, but not be able to wear them. I’d love them to stay complete and just shrink down to that size again, but ultimately I spent the money on them and I know how to sew so I might as well upcycle them into things that I can wear again. Lara over at Dreaming of Avonlea inspires me to do it. Check her out!

August Dress

After a huge amount of work on my dissertation last week, I started sewing this dress on Friday after massive stress-induced migraines and sleeping half of Friday in a drugged-up state. I had migraines the rest of the weekend, as well. It was not fun and I demand a do-over weekend.

Edit: This is McCall’s M6124. View E.

I was extremely happy that I not only started the dress, but completed it. The pattern is listed as easy and it was very much that. I managed to only make two errors: sewing the collar and sewing the sleeve. It was my error for both and not the pattern. For the collar, I read the directions for view A, followed them, and then angrily tore it out when I realized I was working on view E. In my defense, I was on migraine pills all weekend.

The plan was to wear it with a belt and I love the look. I did have to add a hook in between the second and third button to prevent button popping. This is a common issue I have with button-up shirts.

Without the belt, the dress looks rather blah and shapeless. Although, the princess seams are really flattering. I love princess seams. 50% of my dresses have princess seams.

I’m extremely pleased with these buttons. They are an orange-red framing white and I love them. They really pop on the dress and make me love it. I love buttons, though. I think I spent an hour looking at the buttons trying to pick the perfect set out for this dress. The other ones I saw were an indigo blue and had a unique shape to them, but I am glad I picked these ones.

It was my first time using the button foot on my sewing machine. It was so easy to use. I barely had to touch the fabric once I put it in place. Actually, I didn’t touch the fabric once I put it in place.

All in all, the sewing took me about 9 hours after ripping out a few things and sewing them right the second time. I had trouble with the sleeves, too, because my fabric bunched up and I was sewing too fast. I was more careful the second time sewing the one sleeve and didn’t have any issues on the other sleeve.

The sleeves ended up too tight, but that was an issue with the pattern. The size was great for all other areas of my body, but the sleeves were made a little too tight. The bust was perfect. Luckily, I have fabric left over from the purple plaid to do an alteration for my next shirt dress. I can also fix the green, but the sleeves aren’t so tight that I need to alter it. I might try lifting some weights first.

I also figured out how to fix the July dress so that I like it more. I cut up the sleeves on the weekend and plan to sew them up tonight. I also have to fix a purple stretch dress that I split on the seam. I sewed it with a previous machine that didn’t have a stretch stitch. I’m excited to use that tonight. I have a ton of stiches on that machine that I haven’t touched. I’ll post on that tomorrow.

I thought about quilts way too much this weekend and about men’s clothing.

I’ve had an idea for a quilt for my bed for over a year that I would love to get started on.

Does anyone know of any good computer programs for creating a quilt pattern?