Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Made By A Fabricista: Receiving Blankets for Baby Boy

 HI Fashionistas!

I am just one month away from my due date and this week I am working on getting my hospital bag ready and wrapping up any loose ends to be best prepared for when baby arrives.

I made a receiving blanket with a beautiful blue seersucker on one side and a soft flannel on the other side. It is such an easy DIY and I documented the steps to took to make this super simple DIY. Then I could not stop myself and made a second one with this fishbone embroidered seersucker.




Arent these so cute?

Here is what the flannel side looks like, which is soft and would face the babe


This is how I made the blanket:

I started with one yard of this seersucker fabric and this flannel fabric. The flannel is a shirting fabric. It is so soft and thick enough to be perfect for the blanket.


Step 1: I folded the fabric selvage to selvage, chopped it off along the fold and used one piece, and then trimmed down the edges to make sure it was a rectable with straight edges.   I cut the seersucker fabric first using its lines as a guide. Then I used the seersucker as a template to cut out the flannel.


Step 2: Placing the right sides of the fabric together, I sewed along all the 4 sides, leaving a 4 inch opening to easily be able to turn the blanket inside out (see bottom right of blacnket). I'll show this with the second blanket as it was a smaller cut and easier to photograph



Step 3: I turned the blacket right sides out, gave the blanket a good overall press, neatly tucking in the seam allowance on the 4 inch opening.

Step 4: I topstitched with a decorative stitch. In the process, I closed up the 4-inch opening.  I have to tell you that my domestic machine does not get a lot of use, but I have a makeshift studio set up in my closet at the moment.  It's hard to get into my studio these days, which is in the basemement.. so my brother machine is getting lots of attention!

Love the top stitching.. so cute!


I tested out a few decorative stitches before deciding on this one!





That is it for my latest DIY! The royal blue thread was already in my machine from this other sewing project I just completed a few days ago, my maternity dress for family pictures.... so that worked out perfectly. I am really digging all shades of blue lately.


I hope that you enjoyed reading this little DIY project of mine. I am going to attempt one more project, a robe/ duster before the baby arrives! I have the most beautiful  emerald green damask fabric picked out for that! I'll be working on that fairly soon.

Xoxo
-Vatsla from Fashion Behind The Seams



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Separates to mix and match!

For this month's post, I knew I wanted to use this gorgeous cobalt and black viscose and mohair woven to make something.... the question was what to do!  It is too cold where I live to make a dress that doesn't need some sort of jacket, sweater, etc., so I also ordered this beautiful super wash wool jersey in deep black.  


Sorry about the indoor photos.  Like most of the nation, we are in a deep freeze and the air temp just barely made it above zero degrees Fahrenheit today.  


That fun purple print is a sweater knit from my stash that I also purchased from FM quite some time ago.  The colors in it are just perfect with the cobalt and black.  Plus, I really to add some additional color in my life. 


All three fabrics sewed up dreamily.  Is that a word? 


Even though all three were awesome, the skirt is my favorite fabric.  I've never used a fabric with mohair in it and it just sewed and pressed beautifully.  This skirt will be a frequent rotation in my closet.


Here is a link to the McCall's pattern I used: Skirt pattern


Of course I lined this skirt and since this is a dark fabric, I decided to have some fun with a big pop of color!


I am not sure what I was doing there, but at least you can see the vibrant lining I used!  The lining is also from FM.




I like having the option to wear the long black cardigan with the skirt and top. 


I did mention to the hubby that I sort of felt like a librarian--no offence to any of you that may be a librarian, this is just very conservative.



I also wanted to be able to wear the cardi and sweater with other things, like jeans!  


This super wash wool is just light, warm, and wonderful to work with!


It drapes just beautifully!  To stabilize the hems, I used a notion that you can purchase on FM's site.  SeweyeKeys is amazing and works magic!  If you've never used it before, try it.  



If you are wondering, here are the patterns I used for the cardi and the top.  

On to the fabric--


Here is a close up of the skirt fabric and lining.  Dark colors are really hard to photograph.  


Here is another try at the skirt fabric.  


Here is a closer look at the sweater knit.  It feels like it has some wool in it and it again sewed up beautifully.


Here is a closer look at the cardigan made from the wool knit.  I decided to use a decorative stitch on the pocket edges.  

I enjoyed making these separates that I will wear together and apart.  

Happy New Year all!
Sue from Ilove2sew!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Dusty Lavender Duffle Coat


Baby, it's cold outside!  If you're in the northern hemisphere, you likely agree.  We've had some crazy sub-zero temperatures, haven't we?  But what better excuse than to make a cozy new coat!  This time, I chose a gorgeous dusty lavender wool/cashmere blend to make Simplicity 8470- a duffle style coat.  Fabric Mart has an incredible coating selection this year.  The fabric that I chose has sold out, but there are many more beautiful ones to choose from!

The reason that I chose this pattern was pure and simple- it had a hood!  I'm so surprised that very few coat patterns come with hoods!  Sure, hats are good, but when it is really cold and windy, nothing beats the protection of a hood.


I chose to line my hood with a silvery grey polyester fleece, just to turn up the warmth factor a little more.  Here you can see that the hood has a turn back cuff, and a center panel with topstitching detail.


And from the back, you can see the back yoke and center back seam.  I added 1" to the length of the body of the coat and to the sleeves.  I also did a substantial full bust adjustment, forward shoulder, round back and full bicep adjustment, which are all normal adjustments for me on a Big 4 pattern. 


The pattern also has some interesting pocket options.  I don't know about you, but I can never have enough pockets!  I chose to make the view with two lower and two upper pockets.  The lower ones are the perfect size for a cell phone, and the upper ones are just at the right spot for you to put your hands in.


I really love coats with toggles, but they aren't really very easy to find in fabric stores here.  So, I did a little searching and found Cosmosapparelwear on Etsy.  They have a wonderful selection of hand made toggles at reasonable prices.  The hardest part about using these toggles was getting them to stay in place before sewing.  The leather is too thick to put a pin through, and wonder tape was not strong enough to hold them in place.  So, I ended up using regular scotch tape to tape them place until I could get to the sewing machine.


I chose a lavender polyester satin for the lining.  I had a devil of the time with static electricity and this lining though.  It just wanted to grab on to everything it touched and not let go!  With the cold air, our humidity level has gone way down and static electricity has gone way up.  I think that I understand the reason now that some linings are labelled "anti-static". 


Even though I'm in love with my new coat, I have some misgivings about the pattern.  First, there is a drafting error in the lower back piece- it was drawn wider than the corresponding lining piece.  Luckily, I had read this on Patternreview before I started, so I was able to make the change to the pattern.  Second, the instructions for the pockets are odd  They show you actually covering up the bottom pocket with the top one, which I decided not to do, due to thickness of my fabric, and also for wanting to make the bottom pocket easier to use.  And third, the side front lining needs to be cut 1" shorter, but the only place that this is noted is in a very tiny sentence in the cutting layout section.  It should have been noted on the pattern piece, or at least in the directions section, as it is way too easy to miss where it is.  So, if you decide to try this pattern, take your time, and definitely make a muslin to make sure that the fit is good for you before cutting into good coat fabric.


I'm so happy with how this coat turned out.  It's one of my favorite colors, and I'm sure that I will be wearing this years from now!  If you haven't tried making a coat yet, I highly encourage you to take the plunge.  Not the polar bear plunge, mind you, just the coat making plunge!  Stay warm!

Happy Sewing and Happy 2018!
Ann

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: The Lisette Shawl Collar Coat (Butterick 6423) in Wool/Cashmere!

It snowed just in time for my coat debut!

I am so glad to be back here on the blog writing about one of my latest makes (and because I am so busy with teaching middle-schoolers, one of my only makes of late)!  I was asked back in September what I wanted to make for my November make and I declared... a coat ... in wool-cashmere ... and then ... whomp whomp, my sewing machine tanked and I had to get it fixed.  Fortunately, I could use my serger, so I was able to write up a post on these dresses I made, and pushed back my coat post to January, giving me time to finish all of the coat up.


I spied a luscious wool/cashmere blend in a very lovely army green color*, and made a plan to make it up in any coat that would suit this somewhat heavy felted wool best.  In the end, I chose a Butterick Lisette pattern (Butterick 6423), since it really makes quite a statement in a solid color, what with its huge shawl collar, unique pockets, and slightly flared opening below the button closure.  It looked to be equally at home with jeans as well as pretty dresses, so I liked its versatility.

*Though my fabric is sold out, this army green suiting would suit this pattern, though I would definitely use an interfacing on the collar with that fabric.  This wool/cashmere is so thick, I felt it didn't require the extra interfacing on the collar/facing.  (Though when I made my red coat way back when, I did absolutely add a ton of interfacing, some by hand, and I recognize that interfacing has its place, especially when trying to do something more couture, which was not my intention with the Lisette coat!)


The process of turning this fabric into this coat was not without some difficulty.  Liesl doesn't dumb down her patterns, so the details take time, including the very special pockets (much like on her Portfolio dress, which I made here).  To create those, you must take special care to very precisely mark out the big and little circles (I used a white chalk pencil with this fabric) and line them up with the fabric's marking from its seam partner.  They are princess seamed pockets, so there is also some staystitching and clipping into the curve to make them match up work, too.  But the extra effort is very worth it, as it proves to be an easy enough sew (if marked precisely), as well as satisfying, as these pockets are deep and placed exactly where they should be for maximum comfort for use.


I also ran into some issues with the neckline directions at the back where the back collar meets the back shoulder and the upper back neck seam.  There is a square-shaped corner, and when attempting the original sew on the wool/cashmere, I found that my marking was off, and after ripping the seam out two or  three times, I found I had worn down the seam to the point where I had to add a ribbon stay on the outside of the seam (in a contrasting lime green grosgrain ribbon) to strengthen the seam after my mistakes.  It works, and it helps provide a bit of extra weightlifting on this heavier coat.  Please do remember to carefully mark these seams, too.  Once I moved to the lining version of this portion of the coat, I did much better, and it didn't require any extra stay tape to keep the seam solid.


The lining is almost as delightful as the outer fabric.  It is from a couple of years ago, when Fabric Mart was selling a high end designer's fabrics, including a beautiful silky rayon acetate blend lining in the same exact olive green color.  It was meant to be.  :-)  It slides well over my clothing, and feels so luxurious next to the wool/cashmere.  The two fabrics together feel very expensive, and had I not made my coat, I would have had to spend a lot more to get this in a store.

(BTW, though my lining is long gone, this silk satin in a gorgeous green color would be the ultimate in luxury for a lining for a wool coat.  I don't know that I would pair this green with the olive green suiting I mentioned above, but it would very nicely with this black/green plaid wool...just saying!)

Some items of note for those of you looking for more on sizing and changing the pattern:


I have fairly large hips for my frame.  I wear a size 10 pants but only a 6 top, so I know that with all patterns, and especially Lisette patterns (she seems to pattern for a flat-butted/small hipped lady, lol), I have to adjust the pattern to work with my frame.  The top half would be fine in a size small, but I knew even grading out to size medium wouldn't be enough to fit me properly, so I did a cut/slash method to expand the size medium closer to a large.


Crazy thing, though, even with that change, I STILL have the effect of the triangle slit below the button closure in excess.  True, the model (and most reviews I have seen of the pattern) also has the triangle slit thing going on, but it is most obvious on my version.


I *don't* mind it on me, I actually think the style looks cute, but I suspect Liesl didn't make the pattern with the thought the triangle below the button closure would be that extreme (her aqua version definitely closes properly, but if I sized for my hips the top would be comically large on me and I also didn't want this coat to be too a-line, it loses the effect of being mod that way).  (Hey, Liesl, throw me a bone--make something adorable like this, with THOSE pockets, but incorporate some kind of lower half that suits us with --junk in the trunk-- better!)

I also did not care for the pleat thing in the back, so I just nixed that and cut the entire back on the fold.  I actually really like the back, it is simple but elegant.


The collar and facing give fits to some who make it, and I completely get it, after my dealing with it, too.  The under fabric wants to roll to the upper/outer bit, like it's playing some form of seamstress peek-a-boo, so the only way I could find to ameliorate that was to press the fabric as carefully and purposefully I could.  I also slightly rolled the underside to the underside a bit more, and then where the princess seam is, I stitched in the ditch, which keeps the underside peeking out (at least where the stitching in the ditch is).  I'm happy with the outcome, but barring some kind of complicated understitching, this was the only thing I could think to solve the problem.  (Though Liesl mentions a pickstitching element in her blog, too.)


One other thing I did was to use a snap closure (with a button front) instead of a button and buttonhole.  This fabric is thick and though I could have tried a buttonhole on the machine, I preferred to just stitch on the button and then create the snap closure underneath.  It's perfect and doesn't fly open...and it is easier to open with gloves on!


Well, I hope you all are staying warm.  I know I am.  :-)  I have a new coat to prove it.


Have any of you tried this pattern?  Have any of you ever made anything with wool/cashmere?  I would love to read about it!!! So definitely comment!


Have a lovely weekend...be back in March!

Dina, My Superfluities.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Ponte Basics

Happy New Year, Fabricistas!

For this new year post, I decided to focus on some solid basics for me and my husband in easy to wear, easy to sew ponte knits. For him, a shawl-collar Thread Theory Finlayson Sweater:


For me, a shawl-collar Hot Patterns Metropolitan Chimera cardigan/jacket:


When I was choosing fabric, Fabric Mart had some fabulous ponte in stock. For my husband, I opted for a fossil grey rayon/nylon/lyrca ponte, and a solid midnight black viscose/nylon/lycra ponte for myself. Both colors are out of stock, but they have some other fun shades in this fabulous substrate!


I found Tim was between sizes on the Thread Theory size chart, so for his Finlayson sweater, I cut the smaller size (a Large), but used a small seam allowance than called for. It worked out well! I love this pattern. Such nice details, like a decorative back neck facing.


Tim looks great in the Finlayson! He's worn it a bunch since I made it. It's perfect for layering over a t-shirt or buttondown shirt and, in this ponte, is classy enough to wear to his business casual office. I think the Finlayson could even go dressier if you left off the cuffs and hem band and just hemmed instead (you'd have to lengthen it a bit, of course).


Now onto my Metropolitan Chimera jacket! I was going for a classic black, slouchy, boyfriend-style blazer with this project. This shawl-collar pattern has panel seams, two-piece sleeves and Dior darts, which intrigued me!


I quite like the blazer. The fit is pretty great (the only adjustment I made was a full bicep adjustment, which is pretty common for me) and the fabric is super soft and comfortable to wear. I think the Dior darts (which are little bit difficult to see in the photos in this black fabric) really add a little something special to the simple design.


I'm having a little bit of trouble with the bodice of the blazer pulling away from the shawl collar, but I had a similar issue with another shawl collar blazer I made, so perhaps it's just an issue with the style.


I'm loving this great basic jacket, though. I think it will work well with many other pieces in my handmade wardrobe. Here I've paired it with a double gauze Beatrix blouse and my Ames jeans.


Thanks for reading and thanks to Fabric Mart for the lovely fabric! See you back here in a few months. Check out my blog, Cookin' and Craftin', in the meantime!