Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Have a Little Wine Velvet and Ring in the New Year


Hello!  Well, it’s that time of year when you start making resolutions to be or do things better in your life, whether that is lose weight, save money, travel, or love more.  Your resolutions may work out for the entire year or it may last for one month, nevertheless, a new year always brings the opportunity for a fresh start.  At least that is how I see it, so I always look forward to my 365 (or 366 leap year) restart of days, whether I am successful at my promises to myself or not.  Each year, I like to make vision boards for the things I want to accomplish during the year.  If there is something I didn’t accomplish but still aspire to do, I roll it over to the following year.  Last year, I started jotting down steps for achieving the things on my vision board and I continue to build on how I do them each year.  One of my goals this year is to really sew things that I love and are true to the things I envision myself wearing.  Though I made things this year I love, not all things were a winner for me in my closet.  So to get an early start on this goal, I decided to make an outfit that I would wear to ring in the New Year!  I chose this beautiful wine velvet from Fabric Mart to make this look.  The sun was directly in my eyes, so pardon my somewhat squinty/frowny face in ALL of the pictures (smile).


Okay, before I get started on how I made my outfit, I must provide the disclaimer that I am not necessarily giving tips on sewing or working with velvet, because my velvet sewing skills are not refined.  I made the outfit without researching things like cutting it, nap direction, marking, pressing, etc.  My schedule has been jam packed and I needed to make sure this project was done.   However, I do feel it is important to understand techniques for sewing and working with velvet, so I have included a few links to resources that offer tips below.  

I made the cardigan using McCall’s M6844 View B and the leggings using Butterick B5895 View B. 


For the cardigan, I played around with sizes XS to M to get the fit I was going for.  For example, I cut the shoulders at an x-small, the upper portion of the jacket in a small, and eased into a medium towards the hips.  I made the sleeves a little wider to give them a slight flowy feel. 




My biggest mishap with this cardigan is I used the hot iron to press down a few places on the shawl 
collar, BIG MISTAKE.  I scorched my fabric in two places, one is not seen but the other is right in front.  I knew better, but you know how sometimes you have moments where you think you are invincible and “it won’t happen to me”, well it did.  So now I have a reminder on my cardigan not to use a hot iron on velvet. In the picture below, I am pointing the yardstick to the spot that I scorched (ouch).


Now on to the leggings.  Prior to receiving the fabric in the mail, I had every intention on creating a pair of velvet pants.  Once I felt the fabric, I realized it had too much stretch and drape for pants with pockets and a zipper.  Pants would have been more suitable for a stiffer fabric such as a velveteen.  I still wanted to create the style and look of Butterick B5895 View B with the high-waist pants and pockets, so I decided I could accomplish the look by making them as leggings with faux pockets.


Most of the times I cut a size 16 in pants, but since the pattern was not designed for leggings and stretchy fabric, I cut a much smaller size (size 12), which gave me the proper fit for leggings.  I did not add a zipper in the back, because I had enough stretch to pull the leggings up.  I used the waistband pattern piece to cut out the waistband, but I used 1-inch wide elastic to make it, adjusting the size according to my waist.  Even though these are leggings, I still added the darts for a nice fit. Despite having a fitted look, these leggings are very roomy and comfy.  The stretch in the fabric is also very generous.


Instead of making functional pockets, I made faux pockets, because I knew real pockets would probably look sloppy and stretchy with this fabric. To do so, I made the pockets according to the directions, but I serged off the pocket insides and top-stitched the pockets closed.



To create the gathered look on the side bottom of my leggings, I measured 10 inches from the finished hemline and added a 7-inch strip of 1/4-inch elastic. I attached the elastic at the 10-inch mark and I pulled the elastic down to the hemline and stitched the elastic along the side seam line. By cutting the elastic shorter, I was able to achieve a really nice gather. After trying the leggings on, I tapered the legs along the inner seam line to achieve a more fitted look. Lastly, I tacked down the outer side seam/hemline to secure the v-shape on the side of the leggings.





Hope you enjoyed and until next year...be safe and have a Happy New Year!

Yours Truly, Tee from Maggie Elaine

Click the link for tips on sewing with velvet...

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Striped Duster


Have you ever run out to buy a pattern with the intention to make it right away, but then you get side tracked and days become weeks that become months? Well, that is what happened with early fall pattern, Simplicity 8177. I purchased this pattern this summer with plans to make it right away for the fall, because I love dusters. Whelp, that didn't happen, but I did finally sew it up this week. Even though I'm a season behind, I'm calling this a win, because it didn't get pushed back into next year.



I originally selected a brown and orange tweed wool suiting for this project (here), but then this navy and cream striped suiting (here) arrived and I quickly switched to it. I love, Love, LOVE stripes, my stash proves it. What I always forget when buying striped fabric is the added work of matching stripes when sewing. LOL. It is not difficult but it does take time. Sadly time is what I was short on due to some delays with FedEx (not Fabric Mart's fault). The stripes don't line up as nicely as I would like in a few places, but I have a finished coat to show you!


The stripes are about 1" wide and I think its the perfect scale for this duster. I didn't have any trouble sewing with it, but it is a boucle and prone to tons of fraying. I serged all of my raw edges except for the bottom hem. This suiting is fairly lightweight and I was concerned initially about using it for this project, but in the end I feel it worked especially for fall or warmer winter days.


This was a straight forward sew as there is no collar or fasteners. The two piece sleeve did add an additional seam which meant more stripes to match. One arm is off ,but I didn't have the time or the patience to correct it as I didn't notice until I had attached it to the body. 



I decided to add a lining for a more finished look. I created the lining by cutting out the front, back and sleeve pieces and then tracing the facing pieces on the front and back pieces. I then added 5/8" seam allowance outside of that traced line and removed that portion to account for the facings. After sewing the lining pieces together I attached the raw edge to the facing of the jacket right sides facing.


I hemmed the sleeve lining and sleeve separately and then hand stitched the lining to the stitch line of the jacket I had planned on using the same method to finish the hem of the coat but somehow my lining was much shorter than the jacket. I'm not sure how that happened, maybe I was sleepy when I cut the lining. I had a bit of trouble with the vent and the lining. This led me to run out and buy double fold bias tape to enclose the raw edge of the hem. I simply did a narrow hem on the lining fabric.


The vent of the coat was no issue but I wasn't sure how to work the lining into the vent. So I sort of made this part up. I sewed the vent of the duster as instructed and then simply folded back the vent on both side of the lining. It doesn't show but I know this is not the correct way. I will be researching a proper way for the future, but for this project I made do.


I did omit the flaps because I don't quite get the "faux flaps"and the stripes are busy enough. I really like this duster and the only change I would make in the future would be to lengthen the sleeves by an inch and make the pocket larger. This pocket is teeny. Maybe I shouldn't have used a 5/8" seam allowance but even if I had made the seam narrower I still believe the pocket isn't deep enough. I will fit my large Samsung S7 but my hand does not fit comfortably. Then again I do have big hands.
I will make the project again, though I don't know when. I have such a long list of projects to sew over Christmas.


Check out my blog for a full pattern review and more pictures! Frougie Fashionista


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Made By A Fabricista: Dreaming of a White Christmas

HI Fashionistas!

Merry Christmas!! Hope you are having a fabulous holiday season.

I have been working on my outfit for Christmas Eve. I decided to go with a black and white holiday look. I am completely in love with monochromatic looks since they are chic and also so easy to style. You can just throw on a pair of nude pumps and a clutch and you are ready to go.

Well for my last project of the year, I decided to sew multiple garments that could give me many outfits by mixing and matching with existing pieces in my wardrobe.



Look 1: I drafted the top from my bodice sloper. I changed the neckline to boat neck, which is one of my favorites.  I also drafted this skirt from my sloper and changes the waist to an empire. I chose a midi length and it's one of my favorites. For drafting instructions for skirts, you can look into this class. I did not require any fitting as the sloper was drafted to my measurements.




Look 2 : Top and black bottoms:

A simpler, more casual look. Dressing up a pair of black skinnies with a tailored top. The top fit pretty well, but required some adjustments on the back neck.  I used the instructions in this book to draft the boat neck.




Look 3: My Fav look: Peplum Belt added to Look 2. The peplum I draped on the dress form and the waistband I drafted. I wanted some high-low action and a contrast lining to peek through. If you are interested in self-drafting tops, this class has great instruction on drafting the bodice sloper.




Look 4: Look 3 with a different top I have in my closet.




If you have any interest in self-drafting, I highly recommend these pattern making classes 

Well ladies.. I think for Christmas Eve, I will be going with one of look  2, 3 of 4. Not sure yet, can you help me decide?!!!

Have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you in my next blog post.

XOXO

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Winter Travel Wardrobe: Part 1


Planning a vacation is so much fun, and even more so when you can sew and get to plan your travel wardrobe.  This is part 1 of a 2 part post, and I'm keeping my destination a surprise until the 2nd post when I plan to show you the wardrobe on location!  I will give you a few hints, and maybe you can guess.

It's a big city, and the temperature is going to be in the high 50's during the day and the low 40's at night.  I read where the people in this city dress mostly in black, grey and brown during the winter months.  So, to fit in with the locals, I decided to go with a black/grey/brick red color palette.  Fabric Mart had one fabric that had all of these colors in it, and that is what I used as my centerpiece for the wardrobe plan:


This fabric was heavy enough to be a midweight coat, and I chose Butterick 6384 for my pattern.  I realize that using a print for a coat is a bit crazy, but this city is used to avant garde artists and architects (hint #1).
I trimmed it with real leather, and found this great toggle on Ebay to use as a closure instead of a belt. It's lined with this heavy black satin.


I then set my mind to making everything else.  First up, (since I still had black thread in the serger), was a very basic black turtleneck.  This was a fleece lined knit and I used Butterick 6389 for the base, but then lengthened it and made it more swingy.  I think it looks super dressy with these pearls that I picked up at a local resale store.  But really, it feels like a sweatshirt, so it is crazy comfy. I'm showing everything with a black skirt, but I will likely be wearing leggings with everything.



 For my second tunic, I chose a grey french terry type knit and used McCall's 7435.  This is a great tunic, because the cowl is actually also a hood!  It also has a really nice shaped hem.  I figure that I will wear this on the plane so that I can pull it up over my head and sleep during the long plane ride over the Atlantic ocean (hint #2).



 For my 3rd tunic, I used one of the pre-cut fabrics- a brick heathered knit.  For this one, I used Simplicity 8265.  Just a very basic tunic with side slits.  I like how it gives a nice canvas for necklaces.  Also, this city serves a very popular alcoholic beverage with fruit that will blend in with this color, should I spill any on myself.  (Hint #3)


And for my last tunic, I decided to go with a striped charcoal grey and white pique knit. I thought something sporty would be appropriate, as this city is crazy about football (hint #4)! This is lightweight, but it has both silk and wool in the fabric content, so I think it should still be warm.  I decided to place the stripes vertically and added patch pockets at the front and a fold over neckband.


Here's a closer look at the fabric:



I'm a little worried that the coat will be too hot during the day if the sun is shining, so I decided I should take some fleece vests as an alternative.  I had purchased a quilted red fleece and a black corded fleece during one of Fabric Mart's fleece sales.  For the red one, I used Butterick 6388.  I like how the color on the wrong side shows with this design.


 For the black fleece vest, I added patch pockets to Simplicity 8217.
 The bands are made with a faux suede knit, that I also used to make leggings.



And lastly, I had enough of the brick heather knit to make a dress, so I decided to make one that I have been wanting to try for a while Butterick 6241.  Some would say that this shape is "gawdy", but that would be a very high compliment in this particular city (hint #5).



Here's how it looks with the opened coat:


And lastly, here are the charcoal grey faux suede leggings, and jewelry to "tapas" off the looks (hint #6!).  My other pair of leggings will be a basic black.



To sum it all up, my destination city is known for it's unique architecture, modern art, sports, delicious (but small) foods, and stylish citizens.  Can you guess where I'm going?  I'll be back next month with photos to see if you guessed right. I'll also let you know if my wardrobe plan worked well or not!

Happy Sewing!

Ann

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Black, White, Gray and Boring?

My go to colors for winter--black, white, and gray...boring?    


It doesn't have to be!  


Even though they could be considered boring by some, consider the pattern on the fabric and the design silhouette before giving your opinion please!  


With the right shape for the fabric and the right execution, black, white and gray can be somewhat exciting if not loads of fun!  That 'spot' that appears to be on the fabric is really not there, that is from my camera.  I do love how my top-stitching looks on the seams.  I like to use a triple-stitch or a stretch-stitch for most of my top-stitching.  I love how it emphasizes that part of the design.


I choose a sweater knit in black and white that is so soft, so luscious, and so wonderful to work with! I want a pair of pajamas made from this fabric, it is that wonderful on your skin!  


The gray is a crepe with a wonderful texture that you expect from a crepe.  I love how it looks in the jacket I made. 


I used a StyleArc pattern for my jacket.  It is the Allegra jacket and I just think the shape is so much fun and something totally out of the ordinary for me to sew together.  



It has very deep raglan sleeves giving it a distinctive look.  The crepe does a great job of showing the dramatic lines of the jacket and doesn't droop which would mask the look.  

  ONE PATTERN TWO LOOKS: Short jacket with pleat back and deep raglan sleeves + Knee length zip front cocoon shaped coat

For the sweater knit, I used an old favorite of mine, Simplicty 2054.  This a Cynthia Rowley pattern. It works so very well in a sweater knit.   
Image result for images Simplicity 2054

I made view B with the elbow length sleeves.  I love the fit of this.  It has shape without being tight and is flattering as well as comfortable. I matched those strips like a boss if I do say so myself!



For the neckband, I cut it out on the cross-grain, just to get a different look.  I did however check the degree of stretch.  I wanted to make sure I could get it pulled on and off over my head!


With sweater knits, I like to take a couple of precautions.  


I use stay-tape at the neckline to keep it from stretching.  I stitch it to the neckline with just a bit of it extending into the seam allowance.  After attaching the neckband, the stay-tape is completely covered.


I also use clear elastic at the shoulder seams to stabilize the area and keep it from stretching out.  

I hemmed everything on my cover-stitch machine.  If you don't have a cover-stitch, a single needle or double needle works well to hem.  Just like a recent post from Julie, I used SewkeysE hem tape at the sleeve and lower hems. At the sleeves I used 1/2" tape and at the lower hem I used 1" tape.  This gives such a beautiful finish to your knits.


I hope you'll try sweater knits and a crepe in a shape you don't normally sew.  I had a great time sewing this ensemble!  

Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!