Saturday, March 17, 2018

Made by A Fabricista: Jazz in the Gardens

Oh how I look forward to SPRING in Miami as I truly enjoy the amazing weather and the entertainment events during the month of March.  My favorite of them all is the "Jazz in the Gardens" music fest that occurs annually to kick off Spring (happening today and tomorrow) that celebrates the diversity of arts and culture. I look forward to a weekend of relaxation and music without the kids each year and the musical artists (both old and new school) that graces the stage.  I was so excited to select berry fuchsia linen fabric (here) as my March blog post to wear to the event.

Styled with a TANK top and flats.
When I came across a few linen looks on PINTEREST, I knew I wanted to create another palazzo pants for my March post just in time for Spring break vacation and the Jazz event.  After grabbing some great deal from the PRE-CUT section back in January of this yummy marmalade linen and how amazing the palazzo pants turned out, I knew that I would use linen to create a few looks this Spring.

After creating my first linen pants above using Simplicity 8389, I browsed Pinterest for other inspiration and I stumbled across the the perfect high waisted linen wool pants on Moda Operandi Madison and after seeing the price, I was floored.

I knew for a fact that I would NEVER spend $1,745 on a pants that I can create for 3% of the price tag.

I am in love with my version as it is perfect for my height (5 feet 10 inches) and curves. I did NOT want to create a look that was more fitted at the thighs and hip based on my body type. I knew this Simplicity paper bag waist pattern (8605) has room yet drapes perfect and could be used to achieve a similar look.  I opted to add a 2-inch knife pleat 5 inches from the front center seam and used a flat waist band with interface instead of the paper bag elastic style. I also gathered the back slightly as I did NOT want to change the pattern and include back darts.

 I definitely had a few sewing aha moments and will make a few changes for the next pants or shorts that I create using the waistband method.

The modifications for this style that I will definitely make next time around are:
 1. Add darts in the back.
 2. Add 5 inches to the length if I plan to wear with heels.
 3. Add pockets and remove the side zipper.
 4. Include a back center seam invisible zipper all the way to the waistband.
 5. Use medium weight facing instead of light featherweight for more stability.

For this version, I wanted to wear it with FLATS so I only added 3 inches instead of my normal 5 inches to the length of the pattern.  Unfortunately, I had only an extra 1/2 inch for the hem.

I am totally in love with linen as it is classic and comes in a variety of colors. The feel is amazing as the fiber is absorbent which makes it cool and comfy. Despite the fact that it crunches easily, it is perfect for Spring or Summer and the beautiful selection here at Fabric Mart  are all great options for loose pants, shorts, culottes, jackets and shirt dresses.  I can't wait to share my more Spring/Summer makes on my blog and here next month.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out my latest post at Overdrive After 30.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: A Trio of Closet Case patterns

Have you tried any of the fabrics in the Pre-Cut and Kit buyout sections?  I have been enjoying these for quite some time now, and have been amazed at the quality of the fabrics and the prices!  I wanted to make a black and white mini-capsule using some of the white and black pre-cut and kit fabrics that I've purchased, and was looking for some styles that were modern and easy to sew, when I came across Closet Case patterns.  I'd heard of them before, mainly of their Ginger Jeans pattern, but since I'm not a jeans person, I hadn't looked any further. But, they also have some very cute tops and dresses, so I decided to give them a whirl!

My first Closet Case pattern was the Ebony- this is a swingy knit top and dress pattern. The fabric is a solid black rayon lycra jersey that came in a kit, and is very drapey.

I liked it so much that I made a second out of a black and white printed rayon jersey.  Really a super simple raglan sleeved design, that should look good on everyone! The hemline on all of the versions is a shorter in the front, and I made the difference a little less extreme in my top versions, as I wasn't quite sure how I'd like it. 

So, then I decided to try making the dress length version, in a white and black rayon jersey stripe from a kit.  This is a completely different draft from the top because it has set in sleeves.  Well, what can I say, it was not flattering, in the least.  That's one nice thing about doing these blog posts, is that I can see pretty clearly in the photos when something isn't working.  So, what to do?  I thought about cutting it off to top length, but decided that part of the problem was the color.  I threw it in a navy blue dye bath, and voila!  Instantly loved it.  I really enjoy dyeing fabrics.  It's a great tool to have up your sleeve when projects aren't up to your expectations, so give it a try if you haven't yet!  One thing to note here- all purpose polyester thread will not dye, unless you are using a dye specifically for synthetics.  I had used all black topstitching thread, so it worked to dye the garment after construction, as the black was still appropriate with my color.  But, if you have used a thread color for topstitching that doesn't coordinate with your dye color, this may not be the best idea!

I don't think that the dress in this pattern is going to be everyone's cup of tea.  I like it much better with the vest breaking up the large expanse of fabric.  Plus, I need pockets, and sadly, this dress has none.  Of course, that is an easy remedy, and I could easily add some side seam pockets if I make it again.  As far as the fit goes, I made the size 14, which I would take in ready to wear clothes, and I thought the fit in the bust, neck, sleeve and shoulder area was great.

I also had ordered the Kalle pattern.  Kalle is a shirt and shirtdress made for woven fabrics.

I decided to make the tunic length, View B, with a little extra length, out of a black cotton voile pre-cut with a tiny bird print.   The instructions for the front placket are very clever, and in all of my years of sewing, I don't think that I've done one quite like it.   I think that this one turned out really nice!

And here it is from the back.   I again made the 14 with no alterations, except for length because of my height, and I'm not sure that I even needed that- it's pretty long!  But, the designer says that her patterns are designed for a height of  5 feet 6 inches, and I'm 3 inches above that, so I added 1-1/2".  I always forget how much time woven shirts take to make.  I think that I made ALL of the Ebonys in less time than it took to make one Kalle!  But I did enjoy the process, and sometimes it's good to make yourself slow down and focus.

And last, but not least, I tried the Charlie Caftan.   This one has two lengths and two versions of the lower front.   I decided to make View B, with the pleated front.

My fabric was a black geometric rayon challis from a kit.  It was actually described as a cotton, and it had some sizing on it that made it feel more like cotton, but when I washed the sizing away,  I could tell that it was definitely a rayon challis.

This is a super comfortable dress, and I again, made no alterations to the pattern except for length.
I can definitely see making this one again, as it is pretty simple and I like the modern vibe.

I had enough scraps from the knit Ebonys to make one more top! The Ebony has one short top version, that is in the line drawings, view B.

Even though I had already added a couple of inches to the length of View B, it was still much too short for me. So in a "make it work" moment, I flipped the direction of the stripes from another scrap piece, and made a little addition at the hem.  I like this one a lot, and even though it's from the same white and black striped fabric that I ended up dyeing in the dress form, I think it works better here because there is the contrast neckband and sleeves to add in a little more color.

So, I'm really impressed with the Closet Case patterns that I tried!  They worked for me without as many alterations as I usually have to make for the more commercially available patterns, and that's a big plus in their favor.  But even more than that, I like the wearability and modern feel that the styles have.  I'm sure that I'll be using these patterns again!

Happy Sewing!
Ann for SewBaby News

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Sewing for little people!

Sometimes you just need to sew for others, right?  Do you ever feel that need?  I believe sewing for others and seeing them in your creations is so good for the soul!

I decided to sew for this little monkey, my granddaughter!  She is 11 months and on the move! 

She lives in a much warmer climate than I do so I am somewhat envious of the no shoes and short sleeves!

I had my daughter pick out the fabric choices and don't you just love this SHOCKING pink velour?  While this jacket is too big right now, in the fall it should fit just fine and won't that be fun to wear?  
Here is a link to the pattern I used: Simplicity 1566

I deviated from the pattern a bit.  I couldn't find a zipper the length I needed so I used oversized hooks and eyes.  I honestly thought this jacket needed a lower ruffle, so I decided how wide I wanted it and then cut the fabric 2.5 times longer than the length.  After gathering using my gathering foot, I attached it with my serger.  Easy.

These black pants are made from a ponte knit.  It is super soft and washes and dries beautifully.  You want to make sure your fabric has enough stretch for the pattern, and I knew this would.  

I based my decision on the description from Fabric Mart's site.  Here is a link to that pattern, if you are interested: Simplicity 8304

These pants are slightly large around the waist, and really, really long!  Momma is going to cuff them for now.  They should fit for a long time!  Every girl needs a pair of well-fitting black pants that are comfortable and go with everything! :) 

My favorite piece I made is this little onesie.  Here is a link to that pattern: Jalie 3133.  Some of Jalie's patterns are for sale on FMs site.  Jalie is the winner when it comes to drafting and working with knits.  I highly recommend their patterns! 

 Typically Jalie's patterns range in toddler to adult sizes, but this one is for babies only.  This pattern is so well drafted.  I made the 12 month size and since Elaina is almost 12 months exactly, I couldn't be more pleased with the fit.  I just love the fabric my daughter choose for this.  This is an ITY knit and it was rather lightweight.  It washes and dried beautifully and isn't that a fun print? 

It's hard to get a little one to sit long for photos!  To stabilize the shoulders and neckband, I used SewkeyeE staytape in the extremely fine weight.  It's typically for sale on FMs site.  If you've never used it, it is a must try!  

Here is the entire outfit once again.  I can't wait to see this little one in a few short weeks and smother her little face with kisses!  

Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!