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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Monday, December 9, 2013

McCall's 6408

I've made this cute little knit jacket a few times now but have never taken the time to review it! 
Here is my review for McCall's 6408. 

Here is the limited description from the back of the envelope:
Very loose fitting jackets have stitched or serged seam and hem
SUGGESTED FABRICS: For Moderate Stretch Knits: Jersey, Cotton Knits.

M6408I made view D. 
I used a lace knit fabric I purchased from Fabric Mart.  This was one of their crazy priced fabrics and cost just a few dollars a yard.  This is truly one of the least inexpensive garments I have made in quite a while! 

Yes, my finished garment resembles the envelope. 

Directions are simple to use, although wordy with all the tips included.  I stabilized the shoulder seams with 1/4" elastic. 

I used my cover stitch machine to hem the sleeves and lower hem.  I haven't had it long and it is fun and fast to use! 

The only modification I made was to add 8" of clear elastic to the back waistline in order to rein it in a bit.  I guess I shouldn't say only, I made my usual 1/2" sway back adjustment as well.

All in all, this is a super easy, instant gratification project.   I'd like to make view C at some point.  I am not thrilled with the belted view. 

Try this pattern if you want a fast, easy, and fun project that lends itself to a variety of fabrics.

thanks for reading!

Sewaholic Jacket Minoru

I am finally getting around to creating my own version of one of the top patterns of 2012.  It is almost 2014 for heaven's sake!  Where does the time go? 
Anyway, here is my wearable muslin for the uber popular Minoru jacket. 

And here is a description from the website:
The Minoru Jacket is a zip-front weekend jacket with a secret hood hidden inside the wide collar! If you prefer, skip the hood and let the dramatic collar be the focus. Flattering raglan sleeves are comfortable and easy-to-sew, and the elastic waistline creates a slim, curve-hugging silhouette.
No need to choose between having a hood OR a cute collar. The hood is tucked away in the wide, roomy collar, ready for when you need it, but stays hidden when you don’t! The collar looks great done up or left open. The jacket is fully lined, with interior patch pockets to stash your cards and keys safely and out of sight.
Practical and pretty!

I made view B in a size between a 14 and 16.

Fabric used: my fabric is pretty dressy, and is dry clean only so it wasn't the best choice.  The fabric is a Maggy London brocade from Fabric Mart that I purchased a while back when it was on clearance.  It wasn't the best choice for this jacket but with a few modifications, it worked.

What did I like/dislike about the pattern?
Let's state the obvious--the secret collar.  How cool is that?  I didn't use it as it didn't make sense for my fabric choice but the mechanics of it is just genius!
The inside pocket is great.
I like how the lining is attached to the coat with minimal hand sewing.  Such a relief!  
I love the overall styling.  The elastic at the waistline is very nice and adds a great more fitted touch.
Dislikes--for a jacket, I really wish there were side seam pockets.   I can't believe I am even saying that since I typically detest pockets that add bulk, but in this case, I believe they are necessary. 

I believe most of these were due to my fabric selection--just so that is clear!
Instead of gathers along the neck edge--and believe me, I tried about everything--three rows of stitching, stitching over elastic thread, I ended up making 2.5 inch darts around the neck so the collar would fit properly.  With the collar folded over, you really can't tell it isn't gathered anyway. 
I made my usual 1/2" sway back adjustment. 
I shortened the elastic at the waistline by 2 inches. 
I had to make the cuffs smaller as well--they didn't fit with the sleeve fabric so I measured and cut them to fit the sleeves. 
The stitching lines for the waistline casing was in an odd place for me.  I took it out, put the jacket on, marked where I wanted the elastic and stitched in a place that fit me better.  
I was only able to find a 28" zipper rather than the 30".  It works fine. 

How did it turn out?
I think my jacket resembles the pattern, however I did use the wrong fabric.  I will have to try this again in the proper type of fabric as it is cute, goes together well, and that collar and hood are wonderful!

I am glad I finished this jacket.  There were a few times I just about threw it out the window.  Messing with the neckline to get it to fit the collar was a struggle. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Issey Miyake Coat--Vogue 1320

Oh, the joy of a well-made winter coat!  I just finished this today, just in time for winter and can't wait to wear it. 

Here is my version of the Issey Miyake coat. 

Semi-fitted, lined coat has rolled collar, yokes, side panels, no shoulder or side seams, side front pockets and two-piece (bias upper) sleeves. 

This pattern is rated as 'easy' by Vogue.  While it isn't hard, it certainly isn't easy.  I believe you need to have some basic sewing skills along with some patience for hand sewing if you are going to create a coat worthy of wearing out in public. 

Fabric Recommendations: Novelty Woolens, Mohair, Fleece.  You also need four 1" buttons.  I used a 100% wool coating fabric from Fabric Mart.  The lining was also purchased a Fabric Mart and I wanted something fun and funky on the inside of my coat.  Hair canvas is needed for the interfacing and that was purchased from Fashion Sewing supplies.  I love her fusible interfacing so much that I figured the sew in kind would be just as awesome and it was!  I purchased everything last spring when I was ready to burn my RTW coat I purchased last winter.  It was already falling apart at that time--a mere three or four months after purchase.  And, it wasn't cheap.  That is what irritates me and makes me wish I had more hours in the day to create all my own clothing. 

Instructions: They were great, except for what others mentioned as the pattern layout doesn't mention all the pieces you need for the lining.  Look at the diagram not the pieces listed.  Everything is clearly explained, all the notches and such line up.  This seems to be a well-drafted pattern. 

I made my usual 1/2" sway back adjustment and it was my only alteration.  If I were to make this again, I would add a little more ease into the bottom portion of the lining.  It is a snug fit to get it to not only lay flat but not be strained along the hemline. 

I love that this coat is semi-fitted.  It is refreshing to have a coat that fits rather than swim in it. 
Other reviewers mentioned lengthening the sleeves, but I found them just right.
I would really like to try this in another fabric such as the hounds tooth.  It gives it just the right funky edge.  Don't try to make this coat a size bigger than you normally wear, it won't look right if it is too big through the shoulders and armholes.
Oh my, did I mention the pockets?  They are deep and roomy and your entire hand fits inside.
You really need to clip and trim the sleeves carefully.  The directions don't have you topstitch to keep seams in place, so careful construction and pressing is essential.  My sewing room has smelt like a wet dog for days while constructing this coat!  But it was worth it!
I do like the rolled collar.  With the wool it rolled so nice and seems like it will be warm.    

A fun coat for winter that is stylish and a great length.  If you are up for quite a bit of hand sewing, then this is the coat for you!  I spent as long on the hand work as I did putting the coat together.

Thanks for reading!  I love my new coat!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

McCall's 5759 Misses Jacket

I love my new jacket!  Here is my review:

Misses' lined jackets and belt: Semi-fitted jacket with princess seams, flaps, front band and two-piece sleeves; jacket A has standing collar, jackets B, C have collar with collar band; jacket C has belt with buckle; button closing. I made view B. 

Suggested fabrics for the jacket are Gaberdine, Medium weight linen, denim, tweed, wool, wool blends along with lining fabrics.  I used 100% wool tweed I've had in my stash forever and chocolate brown lining that was also from my stash.

How did your finished garment turn out?
I love it, I think the fabric I luckily had was perfect for this.  It looks just like the pattern envelope sans the pocket flaps which are useless by the way.

I had no issues with the directions.  The order of construction was very logical, the pictures adequate and all the notches match up perfectly.  This is not a pattern for beginners.  You will want some sewing experience before you dive into a more tailored-looking jacket such as this.

I love the overall shape and the lovely collar.
The front bands add a unique front shape to the jacket and the slot button holes were fun!  I've never done those before and I am a huge fan!
There is a lot of ease in the sleeve cap but in the wool went beautifully.  My lining fabric doesn't look quite as nice as the wool, but since I am the only one that knows about that, I'll just keep that my secret.  
My only dislike is that the jacket doesn't have pockets.  Next time, I will add welt pockets to the front with the flap so there are more than decorative.

I made my usual 1/2" sway back adjustment on just the back piece by wedging out at the center and tapering to the side back seams.  I ended up slightly stretching the back pieces 2 inches above and below the waistline so the hem would lie evenly around the bottom.  What I love about wool is that you can coax it into a variety of shapes and it stays put!
The only alteration I made was to make a FBA.  I did this by finding another coat/jacket pattern that had cup sizes.  I took the C-cup pattern piece, laid it on top of this pattern, and redrew the lines.  It worked beautifully and my fits pretty well through the bust.
Since I plan to wear this as a jacket over other clothing, I am okay with the sleeves as long as they are.  I am 5'7" so if you are shorter or have shorter arms, you may want to measure prior to cutting this jacket out.  

I have had this pattern forever and when another review on sewing pattern reviews recently posted her version, I gasped and ran for my pattern and fabric stash!  I really love this jacket.  I've pulled the pattern out many times but just hadn't taken the time to create it.  It really didn't take that long to put together and sometimes a project that requries precise sewing, pinning, etc, is worth the effort! 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Jalie Twist Top

Another love from Jalie.

How cute is this top?  I am on a Jalie kick lately and this is my latest.

Pattern Description:
V-neck top with a fashionable twist along the cleavage line and tie at back neckline.  View A has three-quarter sleeve, View B has a puff sleeve and View C is sleeveless.  The pattern includes optional front flounce and modesty panel for more coverage.  The hem can be finished with a wide stretch lace trim.  Made with a more stretch fabric, this pattern is perfect and stylish for mothers-to-be.

Fabric Used:
This super cute and colorful print from Marcy Tilton.  While I love the finished result, there was quite a bit of rolling at the cut edge requiring me to wrestle with it a bit.  Thank goodness I have a great serger that helped tremendously.

Did the finished garment look like the pattern picture:
Well, yes, it does!  I am happy with my finished result.  

What did you like/dislike?
The twist is too cute.  The geometry of it makes sense and the directions for it are super easy to follow.
I love the sizing.  This is sort of a fitted top or you could make it very fitted if you are young and thin.
Dislike: No stabilization at the shoulder seam.  And wow is the neckline super low.  Glad there is an option for the modesty panel.
I really don't care for the narrow hems on the neckline.  I think it cheapens the result, or can cheapen it.  

How were the instructions:
Awesome as with all Jalie patterns all you need are the visual directions.

My usual 1/2" sway back adjustment.
I added 1/4" clear elastic to the shoulder seam to stabilize.
Omitted the ties at the shoulder although I do think they are super cute.
I added long sleeves from the Jalie cardigan I reviewed recently.  While they are longer than to my wrist, I don't mind so much  as I typically push long sleeves up anyway.

The other change I made was due to my fabric choice and has nothing to do with the pattern.  Since the cut edge rolled so very much and I detest narrow hems on necklines, I added narrow bands at the neckline, sleeves hems and lower hem.  I feel like this also helps give the top a little weight as the fabric is a little on the light side. 

I did round out the back neckline so it is more of a scoop rather than a triangle shape.  It helped with the neckband I sewed on.
I was a little perplexed at how the twist causes part of the wrong side of the neckline to show no matter how much I fiddle with it.  I thought perhaps I had done something incorrectly, but I see other reviews have had the same issue.  See below:  

To a fellow blogger: I am sorry I didn't ask permission to use your photo prior to posting. :) 

Oh yes, I highly recommend this pattern.  I can't wait to make it again in different fabrics and I'd like one with the flounce.  It is just fun, fast and really cute.   

A fast, fun and stylish top.  No wonder Jalie are so popular.  I am in love!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Jalie 3132 Hoodie top

Add caption
I am so in love with Jalie patterns that I am repeating some of them simply because that are just that awesome!  Here is round two of Jalie 3132 known as the regular or nursing top, with or without hood. 

Fabric Used:
Really nice gray/cocoa stripe I purchased from Marcy Tilton.  Everything about the fabric is amazing from cutting out to top stitching.  Love this fabric!

Absolutely awesome, all you need are the visuals.  I made a few minor adjustments and I'll highlight those below. 

How did the final garment turn out?
I think it looks a lot like the photo on the pattern cover.  Of course, I couldn't add well enough alone so I added a simple, understated silkscreen print along on one side that you can see below.  

My usual 1/2" swayback adjustment. 
I added 1'4" clear elastic to the shoulder seams to stabilize them.
I lengthened the sleeves by about 3 or so inches.  I decided to add a little detail by putting a 'cuff' on the sleeve and running the stripe the opposite direction from the sleeve
The kangaroo pocket stripe is also running a different direction
Eliminated the drawstring on the hood.  They tend to get knotted up in the washer and honestly other than using a shoelace or making a narrow tube, I didn't think it would add all that much?

Love the hood, it is just the right size. 
Love the waist and how it follows the curve of your body rather than leaving you with a boxy garment
Did I mention it is comfortable?
No dislikes at all!

Oh yes, I plan on making this again.  It is just an awesome, easy to wear, comfortable top.  I love both versions I have made. 

A winner!  Try it!

Thanks for reading...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Jalie 2919 Cardigan

I love this cardigan, I always have and now I finally own one!  Here is my review of Jalie 2919. Jalie 2919 - Pattern Cover

Women's long-sleeved drapey cardigan (A) or vest (B) with shawl collar and figure-flattering pleated detailing from the shoulder seam to the waist.  

Pattern Sizing:
Jalie is awesome with 27 sizes all in one envelope.  Toddler to plus sizes.  

Fabric used:
I LOVE this fabric I purchased from Marcy Tilton.  It is an orangy-red with gray stripes.  It is the perfect mid-weight knit with great stretch and recovery.  I highly recommend this fabric!  I really want to try it in a mesh type fabric just to see the difference in how it fits and lays.  

As usual with Jalie, the visual directions are all you need in order to create a great cardigan.  No head scratching moments.  The only thing to remember is that with Jalie patterns you use 1/4" seams.
I love how the front drape is attached.  It looks professional and the width of it is perfect.  It snugs up to your neck in the back, perfect for fall!

I love the style, the length of it, the drape and the pleats on the front.  
This cardigan also has some waist-line shaping instead of being long and boxy.  Definitely a plus for me.  
The sleeves are exceptionally long.  I shortened them by 2.5 inches and feel they are perfect.  The models' sleeves are also really long so I wasn't too surprised I needed to shorten them.   

My usual 1/2" sway back adjustment.  
None really, although in hindsight, I should have stabilized the shoulder seam with clear elastic.  I should go back and do that before I forget or wear it ten times! 
I double stitched the hemlines and top stitched the front seam where the drape attaches to the front and neck.   

I so love this pattern!  Ever since I saw another PR reviewer make it in a stripe, I knew I needed to do the same thing!  I so love it!  It would be great with leggings and the length is really awesome.  I am 5'7" and found it perfect, so if you are shorter, you may want to measure or adjust the length of the sleeves and hem.  

Another winner from Jalie.  I just can't seem to get enough of Jalie lately.  Such wonder patterns that are exceptionally well drafted and come together beautifully.  Had I not been watching Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, I could have completed this in two or so hours from cutting out to clipping the last thread!  I can't wait to try the vest, it is super cute as well!  

Thanks so much for reading!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic

Pattern Description:  Here is a description from the back of the envelope: Stylish, flattering, and quick to sew, the Schoolhouse Tunic is a versatile addition to your wardrobe.  This pattern lets you make a tunic to wear as a dress of over jeans--or make a shirt.  The Schoolhouse Tunic features front and back pleats, 3/4-length sleeves with optional elastic gathering at the cuff, and an open bodice perfect for layering over your favorite camisole or tank.

Pattern Sizing: sizes 2 to 20 are included in one envelope.  I started with the 14-16 and ended up taking it in about 4 inches.  Keep that in mind if you decide to make this up. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Why yes, I think it does!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Directions are super easy.  I actually decided to read them since I am unfamiliar with this pattern company.  Any beginner could pick this up and if you follow the directions closely, you'll have a nice garment. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I really liked the styling.  It is super casual but yet fun.  DH said it was a little too hippy-dippy for him.  Honestly, I've never heard him say this before so I am a little stumped as to what he actually means and at the moment I can't press him too much as American Pickers is on. 
I disliked how big and floppy this top runs. 

Fabric Used:
I used this beautiful rayon blend I purchased a the American Quilt Society show in Des Moines last weekend.  The sales person was the guy that designed it.  I wish I would have kept the receipt as I really like it and it was a breeze to sew.  I have no idea how to contact him for future purchases.  :( 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I took in the front and made vertical pleats six inches long that ran parallel to the stitching that holds down the bodice facing.  It helped but I do think I could have taken the skirt in as well.
I ended up making the back darts bigger by one inch each and then making vertical darts three inches long that intersect at the waist seam.
Just for fun, I used variegated thread when topstitching.
There wasn't any interfacing and I added it to the facing pieces to give the bodice a little more shape.
I stay stitched the neck edge prior to attaching the facings.    

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
For me, I won't sew it again, but if one of my daughters wanted one, I'd create it for them.  It is a fun style, but let's face it, one is enough.  I do recommend this to others if you need an instant gratification project.  If you are a beginner, it is great as there are no zippers or button holes. 

This was a fun to construct and easy to whip up top.  I made a promise to myself to break out of my shell and sew patterns from Indy companies rather than my usual Vogue that I love so much.  The only problem is that many of the Indies are spendy.  I forked out 15 bucks for this pattern and usually I can find the big 4 patterns for less than four dollars each.  Now I know why I tend to stick with what I know.  :)  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jalie Women's City Coat

Hello!  I have to say, I LOVE this jacket.  It isn't really a coat as there is no way it is warm enough for winter (unless you live in Florida or Texas).  It is a perfect layering piece for fall and that is what I intended it for. 

Here is a description from the back of the pattern:

Three-quarter length coat with choice of standing collar or hood.  Button-front, flattering front and back princess seams and on-seam front pockets.  

There are 27 sizes all in one pattern!

Fabric Used:
An absolute wonderful stretch denim I purchased in St Paul, Minnesota @ Treadle Yard Goods.  I had no idea what my plan was for using it but the colors, the drape, the stretch and recovery were so very awesome I had to have it!  I covered my own buttons with scraps of the lime green circles of the denim fabric. 

The directions were excellent.  I didn't have to read anything, I just looked at the pictures.  They are that good!  The order of construction was also logical and well thought out.  

Love the pattern drafting.  It is just amazing.  It fits so well, has just the right amount of ease and all the notches lined up perfectly.  What else would you expect from Jalie?
Love how the collar is put together.  I feel like it looks very professional.  
Love the on-seam front pockets.  No girth added to the hips!

The sleeves are exceptionally long.  I am 5'7" and the sleeves were too long for me.  I thought they looked long when I cut them out and yes, yes they were.  
As the directions are written, there needs to be a way to stitch down the back facing to the jacket itself.  I wore this jacket all weekend and the facing needed adjusted when I put it on and took it off.  I think stitching it down and following the curve of the facing will take care of that.  
Speaking of facings, the on-seam pockets aren't attached to anything.  I incorporated them into the front button holes on one side and they are tacked under the buttons on the other side.  
I need to come up with a solution to the front facings.  They also need firmly attached to the front so they don't flop.  

Shortened the sleeves by almost 2 inches.  When you look at the model's picture, her sleeves look exceptionally long as well.  I shouldn't have been surprised I need to shorten them.  
That's it!  

I so LOVE this pattern.  It was so fun and easy to put together!  It stitched up beautifully and there wasn't any fiddling with the collar, sleeves, or finish.  
Maybe a beginner could tackle this with okay results, but I believe you need a little sewing experience to execute this well.   

Everything you expect from Jalie is present in this pattern.  It is awesome!  I can totally see it made in fleece, quilted fabric, stretch wool, to name a few choices.  While the pattern calls for fabric with 201% crosswise stretch, you could most likely get by without it.  

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Butterick 5616 Jacket, round 2!

Round 2 of a classically styled jean-looking jacket. 
I made this previously in a printed denim and used a completely different fabric for this round.  Here is a description from the back of the envelope:
Very loose-fitting jackets A, B, C, D in three lengths have princess seams, front and back yokes, slightly forward shoulder, buttoned fronts and topstitch trim.  A, B, below waist, patch pockets with buttoned flaps, three-quarter length sleeves with buttoned cuffs.  A: Stand-up collar.  B: collar, topstitched band at lower edge.  C: Hip-length, collar, patch pockets and cap sleeves finished with bias tape.  D: hip length, collar, patch pockets with flaps and armholes finished with bias tape. 

I made view B this time.  Last time I made view A. 

I used a cottony, linen-y type fabric I purchased from Marcy Tilton.  I can't decide if it is a deep chocolate brown, a deep gray, or a brownish-black.  I had a whale of a time finding thread to use for the buttonholes!  This fabric was a dream to sew and I just love the silvery-white roses strewn all over the fabric. 

Obviously I like this pattern since I made it up a second time.  The styling is so classic for views A & B.  I am sure I will hang onto it for future use. 
Likes: over all styling, the bottom band, collar, cuffs and patch pockets.  Although you can't see the back of it because of my hair, the collar rolls beautifully despite it not having a stand.
Boxyness of the jacket.  It is perfect for this application.
Easy peasy to put together.

While I mentioned this as a like, it is also a dislike--if that is possible!  The boxyness of the jacket.  I made an alteration to give it a little less boxy fit.

I took the side seams in one inch on each side of the waistline for a total of two inches.  It is still boxy, but not quite as much.  I knew what I was getting into when I cut this jacket out.  I only used one row of topstitching as I didn't want to distract from the beautiful fabric.  

Directions are fine except for where the front makes up the button band.  The 'dot' really needs reinforced with stitching and then a clip to the dot before attaching the collar to the jacket.  It is a little fiddly and if you have a ravely fabric like mine, the dot you stitch to seems fragile.  I think this lack of reinforcement should have been examined by Butterick.
I attached the collar before I sewed up the side seams.  I think it is much easier to put in a collar when the garment is flat.
In all honesty, I really think you could sew the sleeves in flat and then sew up the side and sleeves.  They didn't need any easing at all.

I do like this pattern quite a bit.  I think it runs large through the body, but I have to say that I really like how it fits me in the shoulders.  It seems boxy in the back above the waist despite a sway-back adjustment.  Make this up in a out of the ordinary or unexpected fabric like I did and enjoy the results!

This is a great pattern with an ugly cover.  It is a classic and I am going to make a long sleeve version soon out of regular blue denim!

Thanks for reading!