Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ottobre 03/2014-35 dress

After I finished cutting out my last dress, I had about a yard of fabric left over. I don't really use ITY much in small pieces, but I thought Myra might like a dress to match mine, so I went hunting for a pattern with similar features, particularly the gathering in the bodice and skirt.
After a perusal of my Ottobre collection, I found this dress from the 03/2014 issue. I love the style lines. It's a really nice echo of my dress, with the bodice gathers and waistband, but with a more youthful feel.
Ottobre suggested woven fabrics for it, but it works well in this lightweight knit with very few changes. I omitted the zipper, and rather than gathering the neckline with traditional gathering stitches, I used clear elastic so that the neckline would have sufficient stretch and recovery for the dress to go over Myra's head.
And of course, I added pockets. Dresses need pockets.
The design of the dress is fairly straightforward. The bodice gathers into the neckline binding and into the waistband at center front and center back.The skirt is full and gathered evenly around the waistband. Since the design is intended for wovens, the waistband has some ease in a knit.
I used my coverstitch binder to do the neckline and armholes. The pattern includes a pattern piece for bias binding, which I used to measure the elastic for the neckline. Myra loves her new dress and says she understands now why I like to wear dresses every day. They're so comfortable! Now to go hide my ITY stash before she claims it all...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Simplicity 3678 maxi

Hey look! It's me! I know y'all, I haven't been around much, and the few things I've sewn for me have been boring necessities. But I finally made myself something new and somewhat frivolous! Actually not at all because ITY maxi dresses are my summer uniform, so this will get worn all the time. But I digress - the dress!
This is Simplicity 3678, which I've made before (here). This is the first time I've tried this style bodice though, and I have to say, I'm pretty thrilled with it. During the maaaaannnnnyyyy years I was nursing my babies, I wore only wrap/surplice bodice dresses for easy nursing access, and I sort of got into a rut. But my last baby weaned 4 years ago, so it's well past time for some variety!
So, let's chat about this bodice. The neckband is shaped and faced. The pattern called for a self-fabric facing with fusible interfacing. Y'all know I'm incapable or following a pattern... I decided to try something out and instead used powernet for my facing pieces. I love how it turned out! The facing is nice and stable, but still stretchy and comfortable. Not to mention lightweight! Definitely going to do this in the future for knit facings.
The back bodice is straighforward, but the pattern uses this back for both bodices, so it was drafted without the neckband. Annoying but minor. I drafted one for it. The skirt back has a bit of gathering, if you've some fluff you'd like to minimize, but not enough to look juvenile or emphasize anything you'd rather not.
For the sleeve, I used the cap sleeve from another view. I like this sleeve a lot. It's double layered, so no hemming. It did require a tiny bit of altering to fit into this armscye, so if you're sleeve swapping with this pattern, be sure to check.
For fit, I added some length to the bodice in order to fake an FBA. Since the bodice is ruched, there is plenty of space horizontally, but I did need a couple of inches of length to cover the girls. I added length throughout the area of gathering and then tapered off around to the back, which didn't require any alterations for me. Obviously I also added significant length to the skirt to make it a maxi. After it was done, I actually went back and forth about the length, even polling the interwebs for length opinions. It was hotly contested! In the end, y'all liked the maxi just a little bit better, and given my maxi bias, that's what I went with. After all, I can always cut it shorter if it makes me crazy!
The final, critical alteration - pockets! Seriously, why else do we sew but to have well fitting clothes with POCKETS! Get with the program, Simplicity and put pocket pieces in your patterns. Seriously though, how hard is that?!
Final verdict? I love it! Maxi dresses are my favorite. I don't know why I questioned it. But maybe I should make another one in a knee length...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Jalie 3674 Isabelle running pant

Myra recently discovered a love for lycra running pants, so when Jalie unveiled the Isabelle running pants pattern, I knew I needed to get it for her.
She's also decided that Emojis are the coolest thing ever. (They're totally sick, mom.) So, when my friend Elizabeth sent me the link to this awesome emoji printed spandex, well. Must buy.
The Isabelle pattern is exactly the style Myra loves, and the pattern offers some super fun details. Myra chose the slim fit capri pant, but there is also a flare leg, as well as a style with leg bands to fit over ice skates.
I love the way the back legs wrap to the front, giving an interesting line when color blocked. The inset piece that wraps around the body just below the waistband is fun, and also where I did all my fit alterations, so those seams are super useful!
To fit Myra, I added some length at center back to cover her backside, which I tapered down around the contrast band. She wears her pants low in front, so I also lowered the center front to accommodate that, also using the contrast band piece as well as the center front leg. The waistband includes a hidden pocket at center front, so I didn't alter the waistband itself.
Myra is so happy with these that she's already asked me for another pair. They were surprisingly quick to sew, and I'm very pleased with how well they work out for her.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Jalie 3670, the Loulouxe skort (and a bonus raglan tee)

I took a lot of action shots of this cute little number. It is made for movement!
When Jalie announced this Spring's pattern release, this one actually didn't register on my radar. What was I thinking? It's adorable! But I'm not a sporty girl, so for some reason I just didn't see the cuteness potential until one of the ladies on the Jalie Facebook group posted one she had made for her daughter. I ran to the PR website and ordered the pattern (and a few others, ahem) immediately and sewed it up the next day.
So, here we have the Loulouxe skort, Jalie 3670. It's designed for comfort and style when running and biking, but it is also totally perfect for the playground or your bestie's backyard.
Myra's Loulouxe is made from a combination of digitally printed jersey (from Kitchy Coo) and solid pink interlock from Chez Ami. The pattern is designed for stretch knits with 60% stretch (like spandex and supplex knit), which these don't have, but it worked fine without size adjustments.
How cute is that flounce in the back?! The Loulouxe features a colorblocked skirt, with integrated shorts. The front skirt has a slight a-line for ease of movement, and the back is a full flounce, which is cute as well as functional, since it accommodates running, biking or playing equally well.
The shorts are nice and snug, with the option for a pocket or two. The size could easily be altered to fit a larger phone or device, but Myra's mp3 player fits just right as drafted.
I added a buttonhole to the top of the skirt to allow the headphone cord to pass through so Myra wouldn't have to put it under the skirt. If your devices uses bluetooth, or you're using the pocket for other things, you wouldn't need that, but Myra likes the functionality.
Other than adding the buttonhole, I made a few pattern changes for fit. Myra has a forward tilted waist, so I raised the back waist and lowered the front. That's a standard change for her. I also added 3/4 inches to the skirt length to make it school appropriate. Since it's designed as a sport skirt, it is quite short.
To complete the outfit, I also made Myra a raglan tee using Jalie 3245. I shortened the sleeve to a cap length (using the length of the cap sleeve on the Sweetheart top) to make it summer friendly. I also added a  vinyl decal to the front of the tee, just to break up all the candy print in front. And because I love my Cricut.
Myra and I are both pretty thrilled with the outfit. Cute and fun, but also functional. Jalie wins again!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jalie 3669: the Nico MEN'S raglan!

Hey y'all! Long time no see! I've been sewing some, but mostly boring stuff and repeat patterns, but today I have a brand new release pattern, as well as a model y'all haven't seen in a while. Poor Mitch. I don't sew for him enough, but thanks to Jalie, that's changing at least a little!
This is the brand new Nico Men's Raglan (Jalie 3669). I've been on the hunt for a good men's raglan for literally years. Most of the patterns available out there are terribly drafted or are not well proportioned, but as you can see, Jalie brought their usual excellent drafting to the table, and the proportions are spot on.
There is a bit of fabric bunching under the arms, but I find that typical for a raglan style and raising the armhole would restrict movement. Mitch loves the fit, so we're happy. The length for both the torso and sleeves is just right for him.
The fit through the back is also great. The neckband is nice and flat against the back neck and the shoulder fit is good. Through the body the fit is close without being too snug.
Since this was sort of a trial run, I used random fabrics from the stash. Both pieces are soft cotton/lycra single jersey left over from other projects. I was afraid the navy would be a bit thin, but it actually worked out really well. Mitch loves the softness of the fabrics, and I do too. ;)
I am so thrilled with this pattern! Jalie wins again. Mitch is happy too, and has requested a few more of these. Since they're a quick, easy sew, he'll definitely be getting his wish! Anybody know a good place to get camo jersey?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Jungle January forever!

Myra and I are in just under the wire, but we could not miss Jungle January! Leopard is our spirit animal.
We went with an easy wardrobe addition - simple knit tops. Leopard print, of course. And for a little flair, waist level ties. We like a little fun.
My top came first. I used burda magazine, 10/2016 #101, which is a drop shoulder tee with an integrated tie. The pattern is pretty interesting, which made for a fun sew.
The left side tie is cut on with the front of the tee, but the right tie is actually a separate piece. Both ties are faced, so the wrong side showing isn't a problem.
Since the ties are not incorporated into a waistband, it leaves the tee with a nice flowy, relaxed fit. It's not my usual style, but I think it works in this fabric, a slinky ITY from FabricMart.
For Myra's tee, I wanted a similar look. I started out searching for tie waist tees. And burda did publish one, but drafted for wovens and sleeveless.
I didn't want to do that much drafting, so I found a good drop shoulder Ottobre tee (01/2015-11) that I added a waistband and faux tie to.
The look is nicely complementary while the hip band and slightly longer length make wardrobe malfunctions less likely for my active girl.
Both tees got self fabric bound necklines and coverstitched sleeve hems. You can also see the dropped shoulder of both tops in this shot.
Blow a kiss, Myra! Let's go paint the town... leopard!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ottobre, with Sprinkles on top

So many things I should be sewing, but I really wanted to make this cute outfit from the 06/2016 issue of Ottobre. So I put the practical on hold in favor of the cute.
Myra's a fan. I'm always happy when something I created makes her want to dance.
Both pieces are packed with adorable details. The top (06/2016, #29, the Shy Eyes tunic) has a triangular shape which comes to points at the side seams. The flattened hemline is filled in with an adorable ruffle. The fabric I used is a digital printed jersey from Kitschy Coo, although I got it a few years ago so this print is no longer in stock.
Just in case sprinkles and ruffles weren't enough cuteness, I added a graphic decal to the front. The black is glitter and the shadow layer is pink metallic. It's hard to see them in photos, but there are also large multicolored, flocked sprinkles surrounding the words.
The pants (#30, also from the 06/2016 issue) are a slim leg style with an elastic waistband. While they are similar in shape to the Jalie Elenore pant, there are a few critical differences that made me want to try these out. The fabric is pink stretch corduroy left over from these jeans. It was nice to get the last of that out of the stash, but it is a very soft corduroy, perfect for comfy, kid pants.
From the rear, the inset heart was the detail that made me want to sew these. So cute!! Also a huge pain, but worth it. I think it's adorable and so does Myra. You can also peep the cute little keyhole in the back neckline of the tunic. Ottobre doesn't miss a trick. I love all the great details.
Another nice feature of these is functional front pockets. I did some hearts as the pocket topstitching, just for fun, and because I feel like Vera's decorative stitching is sadly underutilized. Myra likes them. Hearts, ruffles, sprinkles and glitter can't lose! She's already worn it two days in a row, so It's a win for sure.