Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The last garment of 2014

I've managed to squeeze in one more garment for 2014.  This top is super simple and a very quick sew.  It's Vogue 8962 - view B - the top with the large cowl neckline.  I bought this wonderful knit fabric from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley, CA back in March of this year during a birthday fabric shopping trip.  

It's a fun knit with these gray loops that stick out from the rest of the fabric.  You can see a little of the loopy detail in the pic below.  

And here's the finished product!

The pattern envelope just doesn't do this pattern justice.  The back has a yoke on top and the bottom pieces are cut on the bias so they wrap around to the front.

There are no side seams - that's what I'm trying to show in this pic - not my imitation of a bird flapping - which is what it looks like.  

The cowl neck is quite large too - it almost covers my whole head!

It took me longer to cut out this top with lining up all of the loops and lines than it did to sew it together.

Drum roll please......  The final tally of stashbustin' comes to 48.75 yards since July!  That's not too bad!  We have alot of home improvement projects planned for next year so I'll be lucky if I can beat that total, but I'll give it a try.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Keep On Sewing!

Monday, December 29, 2014

December MAGAM Challenge finished

My December MAGAM Challenge is Simplicity 1465.  I sewed a combination of View E and F and added a lining. Since my main fabric is wool and for some reason wool and my skin just don't get on together, a lining was a must.  How a sheep can look so cute and cuddly with all that fur but when that fur is sheered and woven into fabric it can actually turn out to be itchy and scratchy, I will just never understand.  

View E has the peplum only on the front and the cascade down the mock wrap piece.  View F has the top peplum all the way around - with no cascade down the front.  I wanted a combination of the two - which lead to a few sewing challenges and learning experiences along the way.  Overall, I am very happy with how the front and sides turned out!

Still looking good at the side. 

But I am not happy with the back at all - and this was completely my fault.  The pattern calls for an invisible zipper - which I didn't have on hand and completely forgot to pick-up on my way home.  So, of course not wanting to make the 1.5 hour round trip to the local fabric store to pick up a zipper, I decided to sew in a regular zipper by hand instead.  The bottom portion of the zipper is ok, but the top portion with the peplum is what I am not happy about.  The pattern calls for the peplum portion to be finished separately and not be sewn into the zipper - which of course I figured out after I had already put in the zipper and then decided to look at the instructions.  Oh well - I think the front drape more than makes up for the disaster of a zipper in the back.  

This post is a little backwards, because I am showing you the finished product first and now moving onto the sewing process I used.

First - the initial fit test. In my practice muslin, I added 3/8 inches to each side to compensate for the thickness of my wool felted fabric (it's very thick!).

However, as you can see here - the side seams don't come anywhere close to the side seam area on my dress form and look at all of that extra fabric sticking out in the back!  That's without the zipper being put in.

I ended up taking in the sides the 3/8 inches I added and taking in a little more in the waist too and after that, the fit was much better.  Of course my struggle the entire time with this skirt was it's thickness.  Throughout the entire sewing process, I was trimming, trimming, trimming to try to reduce the bulk.  In the front waist area, there are 2 layers of the peplum, 2 layers of the wool, 1 layer of lining (which lines the front mock flap) and 1 facing on the inside of the skirt - for a total of 6 different pieces of fabric - which is alot for a waistline!

I wanted to add a few extra "fun" touches to this skirt too.  Here are some of the hidden features I added:

Along the facing on the inside, I added the "moo" themed bias tape I had in my stash.  I thought it would work well with the swirly felted fabric.

On the front mock flap - between the facing and the lining - I added this zebra trim.  The mock flap doesn't call for a lining piece, but I opted to add one.  I thought the wool would lay much nicer with a slippery lining rather than catching on the wool underneath it and riding up.

For the hem, I knew again I wanted to reduce as much bulk as possible so I grabbed this ripped silk shirt from my scrap bin and decided to cut it up into strips to make a facing for the hem.

Here you can see the strips sewn together and then sewn onto the hem of the skirt.

I pressed up the silk facing and sewed a catchstitch along the upper edge to hold it in place.

For the back slit opening, I decided to use more of the "moo" bias tape to finish it off.

I added skirt hangers to the top using some more trim in the stash.  I also decided to sew along the top edge (with the peplum out of the way) about 1 inch down from the top to try to hold all of the layers together.  You can see from the different size stitches that my machine wasn't too happy sewing thru all of these layers and it did skip stitches in a few places.

Here's the zebra trim between the facing and the lining on the mock flap piece.   If a wind happens to blow my flap open, the fun zebra trim will flash any onlookers a fun little surprise!

All of the materials used in this skirt were again - from the stash.  Another 3.75 yards added to the total which brings me to 46.75 yards since July.  That's pretty good!  Now why doesn't it seem like my stash is going down?!!?!?

Until next time -

Happy Sewing everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December MAGAM Challenge decided

Continuing on my stashbustin' quest - I've decided to a skirt from the remaining fabric from this jacket.  I just couldn't bear to part with the leftovers from that jacket and I have just enough to squeeze out this mock-wrap skirt.  I'm going to make view E - the slightly longer view with the flounce down the front, but I want to also incorporate the peplum around to the back as pictured in view F.

The main body of the skirt will be the felted wool, the gray will be the peplum and the flounce and the white will be the lining.

I've even done a test muslin so far and miraculously - it fits first time!  OMG!  I don't know what happened here!  My wool fabric is very thick so I added a little to my pattern to compensate for that. My practice fabric is a thick home dec print that someone at work gave me because they didn't want to throw it away.  I told them I could put it to good use and it's worked quite well here as my tester muslin.

Of course the peplums will be doubled and will drape better than my test fabric here, but you get the idea.  I will need to add 3/8 inch to the small peplum on the left front, but other than that, it's fitting pretty nicely.

I started with size 14 waist and added 3/8 inch to the sides at the hips to accomodate the bulk of the fabric. There will be so many layers along the waistline, that I'll try to trim them down as much as possible during the construction process.

So far, I'm off to a good start!  I'm sure something will happen before I finish though.

Wish me luck!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

November MAGAM Challenge Done!

I'm just a bit behind with sewing, but I have a good excuse.  I was on vacation for almost two weeks around Thanksgiving in November so my sewing time was shortened.  We ventured to the cold of Quebec City and Montreal and had a great time.  Here's a pic from Quebec City of me doing my best interpretation of an Eskimo!

Ok, on with the sewing update.  My November MAGAM Challenge is complete - a rather simple garment this month.  I made Vogue 8854 out of a polka dot fleece from my stash.  The pattern has three different version - a sleeveless top that I made, one with sleeves and a pocket in the front and another with a hood.  Due to my limited fabric - the sleeveless version was my only option.

I think it turned out quite cute!  I trimmed the armholes and the hem with some matching lycra I had in my stash.  The collar pictured on the pattern envelope stands up like the one below, but I just figured that would get in the way too much, so I didn't sew on the 4th snap near the top because I thought I would more likely wear it with the collar turned down as pictured above.

I trimmed the collar seam by sewing some soutache braid along the seamline.  A subtle element, but I think it adds a little something unexpected.

Here's a close-up of the armhole binding.  I lowered the bottom of the armhole 1" because it was just a bit snug.  I will be wearing this over another top, and I didn't want it to bind up under the arm.

My center front makes you look twice at the different halfs of the dots.  I tried and tried to line up the same color down the front when cutting out the pattern, but I just didn't have enough fabric to do so. However,  I think this adds a little quirkiness to the garment too.

The hemline is a shirttail hem that I also trimmed with the lycra strips.  I shortened the overall length of the garment by 3 inches.  It falls at a much more pleasing spot on my body now.

Here's a better look at the soutache braid along the back.

Just a quick post today as I'm still trying to catch up and get back into the swing of things after vacation.  That's it for now!

Oh - and to add to the Stashbustin total since July - this puts me at 43 yards!  Yippee!  I'm starting to think about my goal for next year too.  I think sewing 100 yards out of my stash is a bit ambitious, but I might think about 80 yards for the year? That sounds kinda doable?  What do you think?

Happy Sewing everyone!