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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Completed: An Olive Watson


Guys! I **MADE** a bra! I also had this entire post written two weeks ago, and blogger ate it when I went to add some more photos. Apologies if this is short, I'm still annoyed that happened!



This is such a fast, satisfying make. I've really started to savor the idea of "slow sewing". I think after I've whipped up renfrews in a couple hours, "fast" fashion with less fiddly bits are losing their appeal. Give me details, sharp corners, precision!


I didn't think I'd ever make underthings. I'd seen a lot of the old-school bloggers doing this many years ago, and thought they were crazy. Well, here I am. The Cloth Habit Watson pattern came out in November. I liked it but still clung to my "making a bra isn't for me" attitude. Of course, I starting having Watson envy, because I saw all these amazing versions popping up everywhere, and I love me a soft-bra.


So I did it. I made this bra, you guys. I ordered a kit from Blackbird fabrics, and I cut everything out and I just took it one step at a time and it LOOKS like a legit bra. The hardware and the elastics are really what makes this.


I've since made a couple of other versions (I will hopefully write about those in a more timely manner than this one) and for my fourth version I've modified the back band piece to continue the slope from the underarm. I don't care for the curve of the straps where they attach to the back band, they typically don't sit flat and can cause some discomfort. My plan is to first attach the strapping to the back band RST, and then extend the underarm elastic all the way to the back on top of the strapping for the first pass, and then flipping it for the second pass. Will report back on how that works out.


One of the biggest things that kept me from moving forward faster, was the fear of setting in concave/convex curves. The last attempt I made was last summer for a bustier style top, which I was muslining for a dress to wear to a wedding.  Here's that muslin:


The inside is horrendous. Oh well. I'm kinda glad I kept that so I can look at it again. I think maybe I'll revisit that style.




It was all swears and seam ripping so I ended up trashing that idea entirely for my faithful McCalls 5850 with a halter strap added.


Three row hook and eye closure for the long-line style


I uh, got a new sewing machine, and the topstitching is DYNAMITE.






The guts! This was such a great experience, and I can't recommend this pattern along with the sewalong resources enough!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Completed: Self Drafted Leggings

I love to be comfortable. I live in leggings as much as I can, and while I love the ooh Lah leggings I've made, sometimes I just want a basic version without all of the seaming details.

So, I drafted a leggings pattern using this tutorial!

I used this Cotton Spandex knit from... GirlCharlee! Where else, right?

This is really more of a fabric suited to a t-shirt, as it's somewhat thin. I really only wear these around the house or with a skirt over top.



What is going on with the side shape of my butt? I guess that's probably some underwear lines!


Overall, the drafting tutorial is really straightforward. I think I either mis-measured my rise, or I didn't fully take into account the stretchiness of the fabric, but BOY that rise is HIGH (and I love me a high-rise). I actually ended up chopping a whole SIX inches off and it's still hitting at my belly button. I also need to adjust the back curve, because there is a bubble above my butt and it looks weird. Again, since I don't generally wear these in public, it's probably ok. In all, this was a fun exercise in dabbling in drafting, and I'd like to continue to tweak the pattern for a better fit!


I also made a second pair in my favorite 85/15 poly/spandex material:


I  call these my "smurf" leggings. They're pretty sturdy, and you can see I paired it with my Pneuma tank with matching bra. I'm like a modern day big city gym-princess. Or something.

In any case, I must admit I felt pretty fancy wearing my coordinating outfit to the gym, and that it was all handmade by me!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Completed: Baby Hacci Floral Cardigan



Another finished item! I've been on a tear lately, and I'd definitely say the inspiration is coming from a lot of my favorite blogs.

This is McCall's 6084, which is a pretty basic cardigan. Let's get one thing straight, though. I'm lazy. If I'm sewing with a knit, I surely don't want to be bothered to include finicky details like a dart. This pattern calls for darts at the shoulders, and I could not be bothered to execute those in such a drapey, fluid fabric. This is a baby hacci sweater knit from Girl Charlee's January KnitFix. (I may or may not have ordered two of those. HI BOYFRIEND, YEP JUST ORDERIN' MOAR FABRIC!)


This pattern has a self-facing collar that you simply turn in on itself. I tacked it down at the back neck to keep it from rolling forward. I also didn't hem or finish any seams. Remember: Lazy. We covered this!


Very pretty drape from the back. I love this floral!


I needed to do something with the excess where the dart *should* have been. I instead just made an inverted box pleat, which seems to be my go-to for dealing with fabric I don't want to ease or dart or generally deal with. #Lazy4Life


In the same vein, I also attached the sleeves flat, and inverted-box-pleated out that excess. One day I'll read about how to remove sleep cap ease so I can stop doing that. It's still a fun feminine touch, so it doesn't bother me any. Oh! I also shortened it by 10 inches, since I didn't want something to hit me at my knees. I have some more sweater knits, but I'm not sure if I like this pattern enough to make it again, so I'm still on the hunt for a good one!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Completed: More Ooh La Leggings!

Ahoy! Just a couple more pairs of these! Why yes, it is the Ooh La Leggings pattern from Papercut Patterns. I'm still in love with this pattern. Fun seaming, and I had a go and refashioned 4 pairs of terrible store-bought leggings into one pair of color-blocked Ooh La's!


I love the high rise on these! I may take another inch or so off the top for the next version for a slightly better fit.




The color blocking is a little loud, I'll admit. I've worn these to the gym once, and relegated them to the backpacking pile.
This fabric is a weird one, since it's from other store-bought leggings and I long removed the tags, I have no idea what it's actually made of.

For the second pair, I used this Girl Charlee Ponte-De-Roma.It has less stretch than other knits I've used to make these before, so they're a bit tight. I used a light yellow and pale pink combo in my serger to constrcut these, and some of those threads show through, which is alright by me!


I am in love with this print, although the fabric doesn't breathe very well. It's quite synthetic-feeling.

The knees ended up being a little tight, so I might just chop a little length off right above the knee and wearing these as a "bermuda" type of length.


Oh boy. I kinda match my rug!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Completed: Floral Coppelia


I completed this Papercut Patterns Cooppelia Cardy back in December. Riding high right after I finished my Rigel Bomber, I cut this pattern out and got to work, finishing it in a few hours. I chose the full wrap top but extended the bottom pieces by 1". I like a cropped length, but that would require I wear a cami underneath, or wear it only with high-waisted bottoms.


Obligatory selfie! I read a lot of reviews, and this top seems to run large. I cut out the smallest size, XXS and still had to take a 1" chunk out of the back, on the fold. The fit is much better now, but the neckline is a little floppy right at the shoulders/neck.


I tend to have a difficult time with wrap style tops staying where they need to be - they ride up because my waist is much smaller than my hips or where I'd generally like a shirt to end. I also cut the ties too short, so I can only tie this in the back, which can be uncomfortable while sitting in a chair or driving.






You can see the back seam line, which I took out after I constructed the top to get it to fit. I transferred that change to my pattern, so the next time this is made it'll be cut on the fold with no back seam.

This wonderful knit is from Girl Charlee's January KnitFix! I love the large cuff bands and I do like the look of a wrap top. Hoping to make this one again, and perhaps do a 3/4 length sleeve.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Completed: Pneuma Sports Bras & Tank Tops

Next up: Papercut Pattern's Pneuma Tank & Sports Bra.  

This pattern is ACES.

I try to get to the gym about 4-5 times a week, so that means I'm burning through a lot of work out gear in a single week. When I first started going, I was content to use those ratty old dance pants and a t-shirt. As I've actually stayed committed to showing up, though, I want some cute stuff to sweat in.
Papercut's Tri collection is nothing short of absolutely amazing. I've made up the Pneuma as a stand-alone sports bra twice, and made the integrated tank top/bra combo three times, and had fun playing around with a stand alone tank.

Here's my first go-round with the bra:




I didn't want to spend time tracking down bra-strapping, so I ended up using 1/4" elastic encased in the same fabric I was using, with a nice zig zag down the center to secure. This method worked, and I used it for my second version as well.
First version: Fabric from Fashion Fabrics Club. I searched high and low for an 85/15 poly-spandex blend, which is the same fabric used for a pair of leggings I really liked from Old Navy. This is the Aqua Blue. For this version I started with the XXS. The fit is pretty good, but I found it was a little tight, which made it hard to get on and off, but great while wearing it.

Second version was made with the Vibrant Purple and the straps were made with this amazing Girl Charlee Ponte de Roma. Those were scraps leftover from some leggings I've yet to blog about!



For version number two, I added 1/4" to each pattern center (center back and center front) matching the length for the XS pattern piece, without raising the arm or neckline. This was a great alteration! I didn't pay attention to the fact that I should have then moved the strap locations, so you can see in the photo above that the outer straps are preeeeetty close to the side seams. Derp!

Version one with the tank was made with the same Vibrant Purple Milliken, but this time I used FOE kept flat for the straps and the shirt was made with a half-yard cut of this Girl Charlee Print.





I had been hoping for more of a peek-a-boo effect with the side and back cutouts, so I lowered those each by 1/4" on the following versions. I finished the edges of the tank with a narrow hem on my serger. In fact, the entire project was put together with my serger, save for topstitching the elastic in the bra and attaching the straps.

Version 2 was made with this Yellow Gold Milliken, and this "Neon Aztec" print, also a half yard cut from Girl Charlee.








And here are my mirror selfies actually wearing version 2:



Version 3 was made with the Aqua blue again, and this Girl Charlee floral print, half yard cut again! Since it was a half yard cut, I ended up changing the pattern direction on the front, but it's a knit, and following the grain isn't as important.







It seems I forgot to snap photos of the standalone tank, but, it's fun to wear to the gym. Buy this pattern, you won't be disappointed!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Completed: Modern Cross-Back Tank



We've been experiencing a wonderful deluge of sunny weather here in Seattle lately, and it means that summer really *is* on the way!

In honor of the weather, I completed a fun, basic tank top for the summer. I used this great cotton knit from GirlCharlee. It's described as a "mustard" triangle on mint, but in person it's really more of a gold. It's a wonderful color combination that I personally wouldn't have thought to put together!


I used McCall’s 6751. This is meant to be a wearable muslin, and I did end up having to make some changes to get this to fit correctly. I ended up scooping out the neckline by about 1", including rounding it a bit more. It's a pretty boxy fit out of the package. I also reduced the front piece width by about 1.5". I did this by redrawing the CF line, and I angled it in near the neck to reduce gaping, probably by about 1/4". I reduced the back pieces by 2" each, just slashing partway from the edge and overlapping. That change isn't shown on this version, so I hope to sew up another and that the fit will be a little closer.




Overall, this is a super quick make with some other really cute views. Definitely going to make this again!
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