Monday, January 26, 2015

Patterns for Pirates Carefree Cardigan

On Thursday, Pattern for Pirates released a new pattern, which I had the opportunity to test!
And so I present the Carefree Cardigan! It is designed to be a semi-fitted, easy to wear topper that can bring some style to everyday, while remaining completely comfortable.
The pattern included several options, with 3 sleeve length and two varieties of bands, as well as a belted option. Mine is the 3/4 length sleeve with bands finishing all of the cardigan edges.
The fit is comfortable and perfect for layering. There is enough shaping through the waist for a ladylike look. The sleeves have plenty of ease to go over a long sleeve top.
The pattern is very versatile as far a fabrics go, and testers made their garments in everything from super thin sweater knits to bulky fleece. I went for a middle of the road weight with this ponte knit. It has a pretty metallic mini cheetah print, for a very subtle inclusion in Jungle January! The bands are a rayon terry from Mood. They're a bit heavier than the ponte, which gives the cardigan a nice drape.
The bands are attached with all seams enclosed in a flat felled seam, so the cardigan is very nicely finished on the inside. This is important, as the drapes do reveal the wrong side of the fabric, so take that into account when selecting your materials.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my Carefree Cardigan. It was fun and easy to sew and  it has definitely gotten a lot of wear on chilly days this winter! Pop over to Patterns for Pirates and get yours!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ottobre 03/2004-29 Faux fur jacket - Jungle style!

We've had some chilly weather around here lately. Myra has a nice warm wool coat that I made her last year. Sadly, she has decided that she is too sophisticated for a pointy gnome hood... Fortunately, I had a piece of faux fur that was just the right size for a Myra coat.
She loves it so much that she refused to take it off after I gave it to her. She even wore it over her nightgown when she got ready for bed. I'm so happy that she loves it! Faux fur and satin are an unholy combination. There was a significant amount of seam ripping, and I even managed to sew my finger trying to get this bulky stuff to feed.
But all is forgiven, because it really is adorable. The pattern I used is from the 03/2004 issue of Ottobre. It is designed for faux fur, so the sleeve cap is quite low and has no ease. There isn't any shaping in the body, which works for this bulky fabric. The wrists and top of the hood are fitted with elastic, which makes them even cozier.
Size-wise, I made it a size larger than she usually wears, and patterns from this era of Ottobre tend to have more ease than the more current ones. As a result, it is large on her, and I'm hoping it will still fit her next winter, since we don't have a whole lot of winter left this season.
The coat is lined to the edge with hot pink crepe back satin. It's nice thick satin, which should serve to block the wind. The fur itself is quite thick, with a heavy knitted backing, so the two layers together are plenty warm for our climate.
Myra is particularly enamored of the round patch pockets. I lined them with the pink satin, and she loves how soft they are. Overall, this coat is a total win. And thanks to Myra's love of all things animal print, we're still on for Jungle January!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jalie 2908 secret jungle jeans

Every year around this time I have an uncontrollable need to make a pair of jeans. This year was no different.
So I whipped out my old faithful Jalie 2908 and went to work. This is my 8th pair of jeans from this pattern, and I think I've got the fit nearly perfect.
The one thing that was bugging  me in my last couple of pairs was the under butt area. I always had some extra fabric there. For this pair, I took out a small (about 1/2 inch) wedge just in the rear inseam. And I think we have a winner!!
The fit is good in front as well. The wrinkles you see are from sitting in the car. They feel awesome. Custom jeans, y'all. It's worth the trouble.
But wait! It's Jungle January!! Where is the leopard?? The Cheetah?? Maybe even some fur?? Fear not, animal lovers! I have not left the jungle!
Zebra print waistband and pocketing! I had some zebra flannel left over from some PJ pants I made, so it was the natural thing here. I love sneaky printed insides on my jeans. Even better when they're jungle friendly! And the flannel is nice and soft against my skin - extra bonus.
I know some find them intimidating, but really, jeans are just so darn satisfying to sew! Don't get me wrong, I love a quick knit top as much as anyone (the one I'm wearing here is Burda 7625) but sewing up a pair of jeans is the best. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Kicking off Jungle January!

Last year around this time, I started off Jungle January by sewing an outfit for one of Myra's Barbies. Little did I know that this would be the start of a new hobby that would bring me such joy! Of course, this year I could do no different. My girls love leopard as much as I do!
And so, Roxy got a new top! I used a diagram I found on Pinterest to roughly draft this top. It is extremely simple, with only one pattern piece, as front and back are the same. I thought the asymmetrical sleeves were interesting, but I wish I had made the long sleeve a little longer. It almost looks like an afterthought here.
Even well articulated dolls aren't as flexible as a human, so I added a snap closure to the shorter shoulder seam. I want to try this pattern again in a thinner jersey, as the seam would open and give a flutter effect. This ITY is pretty beefy, so it stands up and just looks like a seam.
But Roxy's not the only one rocking the leopard! I also made a similar style top for me. This is Kwik Sew 3694, which I've made a couple of times before and really love. It's a crazy simple top, particularly as I skipped the drawstring this time and just let the negative ease in the hip do the ruching.
I bound the neckline with black. Roxy says she likes the additional element, and wants me to do that to hers next time. We'll see... Teeny bindings are a pain.
This cotton jersey (from FabricMart) is on the thin side, so it has a nice drape. It works well in the hip area, where a heavier fabric might add bulk. The holidays added enough bulk without my clothes helping out.
I really what a fun look this is from such a simple pattern. I love a good leopard top!
Roxy and I are both pretty pleased with our new tops. I have some more tweaks I want to do to the pattern for Roxy, but I know I'll wear mine a ton.
Roxy wants to know how your Jungle January is going. Have you cut out some leopard? Cheetah? Snake? The sky is the limit! Come join us in the Jungle!