Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jalie Eleonore pants, take 2

I knew once I had made and worn my first pair of Eleonore pants that I would need another pair.
They are comfortable to wear and still feel put together, since they have all the typical jeans detailing.
Even a back yoke and pockets big enough for my phone!
My first pair was such a crazy print, I have a hard time wearing them often, so this time I went with a nice, basic red. Red skinnies are so useful! They can be a nice neutral with a print or work well as a pop of color with other neutrals.
The fabric for these is a Dockers brand stretch twill from It's pretty much the ideal fabric for this pattern, as it has enough stretch to go on easily but plenty of recovery so the seat and knees don't bag.
I did the topstiching in an upholstery weight thread in a matching color, as I felt that would give it more options as far as mixing and matching. I like the way it looks in person, but it does get a bit lost in photos.
I'm so glad I jumped on this pattern, With my sewing time being as limited as it has been lately, this is the perfect solution. They take about half the time as a full on pair of jeans, but fill the same wardrobe hole.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

McCalls 5752: the "Perfect" knit dress?

This pattern has been in my stash a while. I keep pulling it out to make, then deciding to do something else. Finally, I traced it in June. And then got sidetracked again. But it sat on my sewing table glaring at me and I finally sewed it.
But to be honest, I'm kind of lukewarm about it. It's one of those dresses that looks OK in pictures, but really doesn't wear well in real life.
But let me start at the beginning. The pattern is McCalls 5752, AKA "The Perfect Knit Dress" by Palmer/Pletsch. I made view B, but omitted the ruching on the midriff panel and lengthened the skirt 18 inches.
For fit, I only wrapped the front an additional 1/2 inch, but I should have shortened the front wrap. It gapes a bit - partly due to my fabric, which is very drapey. I stitched together the bodice wrap at the facing fold line to keep it modest. It works, but stitching a wrap bodice bugs me. It's a cheater move and I know it. I also added pockets because I cannot wear a dress without pockets.
The fabric I used is a very thin ITY. I normally wouldn't use a knit this weight for a dress, as it is quite clingy, but it kept telling me it wanted to be a maxi dress. And I really like the print as a maxi dress, I just wish I had chosen a pattern with a less clingy skirt. Because that is the problem I'm having with this dress. Without hard core shapewear, it clings to my hips in very unflattering ways.
The shaping of the midriff band is no help. I have a bit of a tummy, courtesy of three children and a general disinclination to exercise. The seam that attaches the midriff to the skirt highlights this area by curving over it. Not an ideal design element for me.
Overall, I think after a week of consideration, I like this dress enough to keep it in the closet, but it definitely won't be a go to, since it requires shapewear for me to wear in public. I'm not opposed to that generally, but it isn't an everyday thing for me. And the pattern is going in the circular file. Sorry, McCalls. This is definitely NOT the Perfect Knit Dress. Back to the drawing board...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Kitschy Coo Comino Cap: Picture perfect!

So, I made a dress. But I don't think I like it. Wadders suck and as precious as my sewing time is lately, they are very discouraging. I needed a quick win.
Kitschy Coo Comino Cap top to the rescue!! I just love this pattern. I know, I've made a few of them, but I wear them all the time. I can always use another.
For the fabric, I used a precious camera print that I purchased from Kitschy Coo last year. There is still a bit in stock, if you hurry! Check it out here. Since this is a nice beefy knit, I paired it with an interlock from Chez Ami. They are similar weights, so they work well together.
I've made this pattern enough times that I can go from staring at my stash to putting on my new top in less than two hours. I love a quick win. It's so good for the mojo.
One thing I have discovered, as I've made several of the colorblocked style, is that I find that I like to make the bottom section separate from the top, then sew the joining seam in the round. That way, I can match the thread in each section. It was particularly important to me here, since hot pink thread would have been rather obvious in the black section, and black thread quite noticable in the pink.
Thank goodness for a quick win! Maybe I won't give up on this sewing thing after all.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lillestoff winner!!

I'm so excited to announce the two lucky winners of the Lillestoff fabric giveaway!
For the Holland and Lara fabrics, the winner is Tia R, who said that she would make a tank top for herself! I have emailed Tia and as soon as I hear from her, her fabrics will be on their way.

For the Summer Forest and rib knit fabrics, the winner is Diane D, w ho said that she would make new tshirts! I have emailed her as well.

I hope both ladies really enjoy their new fabrics! Thank you so much to everyone who participated!! It was really fun to read through your entries and see what you were thinking of sewing.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lovely Lillestoff: Ottobre 02/2007-6 Ottobre wrap top

A few weeks ago, a representative from Lillestoff contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out some of their new women's fabrics to show you all. After I finished squealling with delight, I responded with a hearty "yes, please!".
The fabrics I selected arrived super quickly from Germany. I had already chosen a pattern, but new fabric requires careful selection! After perusing the pattern stash, I ended up back with my first choice.
The pattern is from the 02/2007 issue of Ottobre woman. I've had this issue for years, with intentions of making this top. This Lillestof fabric was pretty much designed for this pattern! For the main body of the fabric, I used the Aloha Flamingo Paradise print.
The pattern is fairly basic, but with an interesting twist. The front is tank with a wrap overlay. The ties wrap fully around the body, giving shaping at the waist and flattering the bust. It makes a basic tee into something not at all basic.
The back is all one piece, but the wrap ties prevent the top from looking like the back was forgotten. The sleeves are also trimmed with the binding fabric, which adds a cohesive touch.
The Lillestoff knit was absolutely perfect for this top. The fabric has enough stretch to shape to the body nicely, but great recovery so that it doesn't sag or droop. The wrap sections stay in place perfectly all day, no readjustment required.
For the binding fabric, I used a ring-striped jersey, in "rosa/himbeer". It is a perfect match for the pink flowers. The aweseme thing about the Lillestoff jerseys is that the stretch runs in both directions, so I could use the stripes in whichever direction and still have the stretch and recovery I needed in the binding.
This isn't the first Lillestoff fabric I've sewn with, and it won't be the last. If you haven't had the pleasure of sewing up some Lillestoff, I have an exciting giveaway for you! As part of my bundle, I also recieved some fabrics to share with you! I have two separate packages, so hopefully they'll be an option you are interested it.
The first selection of fabrics are Lara and Holland prints. Each piece is about 2 meters. They would be lovely together or in separate projects. Enter below in the Rafflecopter giveaway! US and Canada only please. a Rafflecopter giveaway
For the other selection, Lillestoff sent me this adorable Summer Forest print. I've added about 3/4 of a yard of red rib knit from my own stash to coordinate. Enter here in the Rafflecopter giveaway. You can enter for both if you wish! US and Canada only please. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck! I'll announce the winner on the 11th! Be sure to check back then.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Not JUST a Sunsuit!

I was so thrilled to be asked to participate in Call Ajaire's Not Just a Sunsuit Tour, showing off the huge variety of looks you can achieve, all with this one pattern! May I present, the Call Ajaire Paneled Sunsuit!
Of course, Myra is a world wise 2nd grader, with very decided opinions about her wardrobe. She wanted the maxi dress. Decidedly.
That made me cackle with glee, since that is the view I had been hoping to sew! My mother gave me this pretty batik several years ago. It's left over from a quilt she made, then a skirt she made for herself. Useful yardage, that. Now it's Myra's favorite dress.
Since Myra is the girliest of girls, I added a bit of pretty crocheted lace that I had lying around. I think my sister-in-law gave it to me. The slightly creamy beige went very nicely with the vibrant batik and I like the boho vibe it has. The pattern includes the piecing in the bodice, making adding trim a snap! I inserted a bit into the straps as well for a pretty ruffle effect.
The back is also pieced for colorblocking or trim insertion, and has elastic gathering just below the armholes. It keeps the bodice snug while still allowing this to be an easy, pull-on dress. It also makes the back blouse attractively.
The waistline is also fitted with an elastic casing. The bodice is blousy and cool - perfect for the Indian Summer weather we are having!
Another favorite feature - pockets! They are optional, but we love pockets around here. Where else is a girl to put her rocks? The shape of the skirt is also quite nice. It is slim through the hip, but flares just below the pocket edge. This allows for a sleek look, even with the elastic waist and in a stiffer fabric like this batik.
We love our Paneled Sunsuit Maxi dress!
If you've hung out this far, I have a treat for you!
In honor of the Not Just a Sunsuit Tour, all of Call Ajaire's patterns will be 15% off until September 7th!! Just use the code SUNSUIT15 in her Etsy shop or on UpCraft Club.
Be sure to head over and check out the other bloggers on the tour as well. There are some amazing projects showing up!

Monday August 24th:  Max California | Filles à Maman | Hey June | House of Estrela
Tuesday August 25th: Skirt Fixation | Gracious Threads | Kimmie Sew Crazy | Shaffer Sisters
Wednesday August 26th: Kid Approved | Pinkel | Falafel and the Bee | Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Thursday August 27th: Buzzmills | Pattern Revolution | Sprouting JubeJube | Handmade Martini
Friday August 28th: That's Sew Kari | Lulu & Celeste | Paisley Roots | Modern Handmade

Monday August 31st: Sew Cool for the Tween Scene | Kadiddlehopper | Imagine Gnats | Nap Time Creations
Tuesday September 1st: My Sweet Sunshine | Straight Stitch Designs | Handmade Boy | That's What She Crafted
Wednesday September 2nd: Climbing the Willow | Rebel & Malice | GYCT Designs | Two-Many
Thursday September 3rd: The Crazy Tailor | sewVery | Just Add Fabric | Delia Creates
Friday September 4th: A Jennuine Life | Conversas de Hermanas | Made by Sara | Not Sew Fast

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jalie 3461 - the Eleonore pull on pant

I haven't been buying many new patterns lately. My pattern stash is immense and it is starting to feel like I'm never going to make even half of them so getting new patterns seems a bit silly, but when Jalie announced that they were releasing a pull on pant for stretch wovens, I pre-ordered it immediately.
Then I shoved everything I should be making to the back of the queue and got up early a few mornings to sew them up. Sewing in the summer is challenging for me, but I really wanted these pants. So, here we are - Jalie 3461, the Eleonore pull on pant!
I did make a few changes right out of the gate. First off, Jalie calls these a low rise pant. 10 years and 3 kids ago I wore low rise pants, but that ship has sailed. I pulled out my trusty Jalie jeans pattern and compared the two. Based on that comparison, I raised the rise 2 inches. Since the waistband of the pull on pant pattern is wider than the jeans pattern, the end result is a pretty high waist, so keep that in mind if you are making rise alterations. The waistband is wide!
For the crotch curve, I just copied the alterations I used on the Jalie jeans. It worked well and I'm happy with the fit there. As for the legs, the pants are meant to be semi fitted, so since I wanted a more skinny type pant, I slimmed the legs down two sizes below the hip, then had to remove an additional 3 inches from the ankle, tapering up to the fullest part of the calf.
They're super comfortable and so quick to sew up! I'll definitely be making them again, and again and again!
Once final caution for the curvy girl, the pattern instructs you to use elastic to stabilize the waistband. The length of elastic you use is the same as the length of the waistband pattern piece, but if you have a small waist and fuller hips and backside, you will want your waistband to be snug in the back so that the pants pull in to the back waist. In order to do this myself, I simply measured my elastic on my own waist, then used the full length of the front waistband pattern piece and the remainder for the back piece. That meant that the elastic was significantly shorter in the back and had to be stretched to fit. As a result, my pants fit snugly in the back and don't slide down and gape.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Rescuing an orphan

My Rambo skirt is one of my favorite makes. It's fun. It fits well. It's easy to wear. It should be a favorite in my closet, but unfortunately it isn't. The body suit I made to wear with it is lovely and comfortable, but suffers from requiring specialty underwear, due to the low back. The color scheme of the skirt is unusual in my wardrobe, and I just didn't have another top that looks good with the skirt.
Fortunately, I did have a remnant of the ITY I used to make the original bodysuit. It was a smallish piece - long but skinny. And I didn't have enough for mess ups.
I decided to use Ottobre 02/2009-5, which I have made before here. I knew this pattern was a winner, and even if it wasn't perfect with the skirt, I would still wear it a lot.
Fortunately, it turned out to work well with the skirt, so it's a win all around!
I'm particularly pleased with the sleeve this time! The rayon jersey I used to make this top last time was quite limp, so while the sleeves are attractive, they don't really flutter. In this ITY, the sleeves are much more full and graceful. It's a winner!