McCalls 6796

While waiting for some Style Arc blouse patterns I sewed McCalls 6796 pullover top. Originally I had planned for Butterick 5954 , but I did not have enough fabric for that. And I am still unsure if I really like the style. I had totally forgotten about the McCall pattern, but it seemed to be a good substitute. And I really like how it turned out.

2014-09-10-MC-6796-front

I cut a size 10 extending to 12 at the hips. The pattern is described as close-fitting, but is has a lot of ease. However, for a pullover top this is just fine. The only other alteration I made was narrowing the shoulders by 1 cm as I found them a bit too wide.

2014-09-10-MC-6796-back

2014-09-10-MC-6796-side

I was a bit confused how to attach the collar. Firt I thought the instructions were wrong, but of course, they were not. I topstitched the seam to make sure that everything stays were it should.

2014-09-10-MC6796-Kragen

 

The fabric I used is a heavy weight cotton knit (“Feinstrick”).

I like the collar and the button detail. This makes the otherwise simple top interesting. All in all easy to sew and easy to wear, this top is a real winner.

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Kwik Sew 3555: a Classic Tailored Shirt

After sewing knits for the last few weeks I looked forward to sewing with wovens again and made a classic shirt. I did not take pictures during the construction, I just enjoyed the process.

2014-09-10-KS-3555-front-tucked

The pattern is Kwik Sew 3555, a loose fitting shirt without darts. This is the pattern that comes with the crafty class “The classic tailored shirt” from Pam Howard. You need a little patience when following the class, as Pam is really speaking slowly (even for me as a non-native speaker), but she explains everything very detailed and has lots of little tricks to show which help to get great results. This is not the first shirt I have sewn, but it is by far the best I ever made.

2014-09-10-KS-3555-front

2014-09-10-KS-3555-back

The shirt is meant to be tucked in. It has a collar and a collar stand with a button, a breast pocket and a double yoke at the back. I could close all buttons if I liked to:

2014-09-10-KS-3555-shirt-buttoned up

2014-09-10-KS-3555-collar3

All seams are flat felled seams. The sleeves were set in flat, before the side seams were closed. This was something new for me for a woven. The shirt has a lot of topstitching and edgestitching. Some of the topstitching was done from the wrong/left side of the shirt. Unfortunately, the stitches my machine makes do not look as good from the “bobbin” side. Maybe I have to try different settings for my machine to get better results.

The seam allowances of the breast pocket are not trimmed but help to shape a perfect crisp angle:

2014-09-10-KS-3555-pocket

The same method was used on the sleeve cuffs:

2014-09-10-KS-3555-sleeve

I did have some problems with the hem at the curves, but as the shirt is tucked in, nobody will notice this:

2014-09-10-KS-3555-hem

Overall I am really happy how this shirt turned out. It is also very comfortable to wear. Maybe I will sew one or two more versions, but I usually like a more fitted style. Nevertheless, I will use all the new techniques I have learned for the next shirt.

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Anima Pants meet Stripes

I stuck to my plan and have finished my casual wardrobe so far (except for the cardigan that I am still knitting).  The pants are the Anima Pants from papercut, the T-shirt is self drafted.

Tha Anima Pants are quite popular at the moment, but as I ordered the pattern I was not aware of this.  I was reading some blogs and came across the version from Devon from Miss Make which I liked very much. It was my first papercut pattern, and I ordered the paper version as I was not in the mood of printing and taping a pdf pattern. And I am glad I did. The pattern is beautifully packed and you can cut out the instructions and make them into a little booklet.

The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I first made some shorts as a muslin before cutting my good fabric. They turned out very nice. I cut a size S and did not make any changes.

2014-09-01-shorts-front

2014-09-01-shorts-backHowever, I did not like two things construction wise. First, the topstitching for the faux fly has to be stitched from the left side. For my next version I marked the stitching line on the right side, so I was sure it came out correctly. Secondly, I did not like the waistband finish on the inside: the lower edge is not turned under. I did this for the long version.

2014-09-01-shorts-außen

2014-09-01-shorts-innen

I am not sure if I am happy with the fit of the long version. There seems to be too much fabric at the front crotch and the legs are quite slim so that I have the feeling the whole pants are a bit unbalanced. I skipped the cuffs at the bottom, but honestly, I do not know how that would have looked like with the legs already tight fitting. The front crotch issue might be due to my body shape as I have this problem also with other pants.

2014_09_01_casual_1

2014-09-01-casual2

Some details of the waistband and and the inside (and I hate to stitch in the ditch…):

2014-09-01-front

2014-09-01-innenThe shirt is nothing special, I changed the neckline of my basic block to a boat neckline which I finished with an elastic. The combination is very comfy but I feel like wearing pyjamas….I had planned for a second striped top, but I am not sure if I want more pyjamas feeling at the moment.

It is not as easy to stick to my sewing plan as I thought. I would really love to sew a dress now and I think I will soon. But first I need some basic shirts/blouses. And I am looking forward to sewing with wovens again.

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Serging, Zipper Bags and Giveaway

Before starting on sewing my casual wardrobe, I wanted to get a bit more familiar with my serger. I own it for one year now, but I did not use it often. I kind of hated the machine. I always felt that I did not have control over it and consequently was not very happy with the results. But as the serger was too expensive to just sit on the shelf, I decided it was time to do something. So I took the Craftsy “Beginner serging” course. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Amy Alan, the teacher, explains in detail how a serger works, goes through all basic stitches and also shows decorative stichtes with different threads, yarn or ribbon.

I worked my way through the class and also prepared a sample book. The use of different colors for each thread helped me to understand how everything works together to create the stitches.

2014-08-17-Samplebook

As I have a babylock, I do not need to make many changes to my machine settings, but even the small ones make such a difference. Now I feel much more confident about my machine and my skills.

One of the class projects are zipper bags. If you told me I would sew in a zipper with my serger a few weeks ago, I would not have believed you….But look at the result:

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2014-08-17-Taschen offen

2014-08-17-innen

For practice reasons I made two bags, and the second one (the little orange one) was already much easier to make. All fabrics and zippers were from my stash. I also had some interfacing, but as it was not fusible, I quilted it to the outer fabric.

I use the green zipper bag now for my serger accessories, but I have no use for the little one. So I decided to make my very first giveaway on my blog!

2014-08-17-orange bag

The bag is 16x8x8 cm (approx. 6.25x3x3 inches). If you like it, or maybe have a little girl that would have fun with it, just leave a comment and let me know if you have a serger, and if you hate it or if you love it.

The winner will be chosen randomly. The giveaway is open worldwide and ends August 31, 12:00 pm CET.

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Butterick 6031

One basic I can not live without in winter are slips. The last ones I made are worn out by now and so I needed a replacement. Last time I used Jalie 2568. The pattern is quite nice, however, the neckline was too high for some of my V-neck tops, the armscye rather tight, and the lenght to short. I can’t stand a gap between the slip and my trousers. Before making changes to the Jalie pattern, I tried a new one: Butterick 6031, one of the patterns from Gertie.

Of course, I first made a muslin. The pattern comes with different cup sizes, what I really like. For the muslin I cut view B in size 8 and A/B cup.

2014-08-10-B6031-musli-front

2014-08-10-B6031-muslin-back

The general fit was ok, however the side seams were a bit distorted, so for the next version I cut a size 10. I also lowered the edge of the cups a bit.

2014-08-10-B6031-version1

When I was happy with the fit I went into mass production. I cut fabric for further 7 slips. While sewing, I always kept the pieces belonging to one slip together, so that I would not mix up the little bustier pieces.

2014-07-26-zuschnitt Hemdchen

The construction was not difficult. Gertie also made a sew-along for this pattern on her blog. Applying all the lace is a bit time consuming, but it is worth it in the end. This is the inside of the front bodice.

2014-08-10-B6031-innen

My first items for the fall/winter wardrobe are completed!

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2014-08-10-B6031-version3

2014-08-10-B6031-Stapel

I really love this pattern, and with the lace it feels like a bit of luxury.

Fabrics: white rayon jersey and white doted cotton jersey with elasthan, both from Stoffhandel Gädtke, Hamburg

Lace: Spitzenparadies

 

 

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Pattern Testing: Dolores Pocket Skirt

I have been a pattern tester for the first time! Some weeks ago, Beth of Ready Ruthie was looking for some pattern testers for her skirt pattern and I was lucky enough to get accepted. The skirt itself is an A-line skirt with or without pockets. Piping is optional. I cut a size 4, but had to do add a bit at the hips, and take in a bit at the waist.

2014-07-26-Rock
The puckering at hip height is due to my dress form, that is the point where it ends…

I am a bit paranoid when I sew a new pattern. I ALWAYS make a muslin or use some fabric scraps or whatever I find, even if the pattern is as simple as this skirt. Despite so many years of sewing I am still afraid that the result might be a failure. For this project I did not feel like making a “real” muslin from muslin, so I looked through my stash and I found one of my very first sewing projects:

2014-07-26-alte HoseThis were originally some kind of bloomers, the ribbon at the bottom got lost eventually. I did actually wear these, but now they were laying in my closet for some years. I still like the fabric (I LOVE embroidered fabric and can hardly resit of buying it), but it never was really suitable for trousers. As the legs were so wide, there was enough fabric for testing the skirt!

I made the piping myself from some scraps I had lying around. Here is how the piping is sewn in at the pocket:

2014-07-26-Tasche

2014-07-26-Tasche fertigI used an invisible zipper at the center back. I like them because they are, yeah, invisible. And the matching of the piping was perfect at first go! I was already prepared to unpick the zipper several times, but this was not necessary at all.

2014-07-26-Zipper

I used cotton batiste as lining. For the side seams I used a french seam. The lining is attached to the skirt by hand. I also finished the hem of the skirt with handstitches.

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The waistband is interfaced with batiste. At the inner waistband I attached both layers with some rows of machine stiches to make it stronger. I do not like waistbands that wear out over time. I use this method in every skirt now and I am quite happy with it.

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The skirt is really a lightweight and perfect for the summer. And an old garment got a new life.

2014-07-26-Rock Seite

When I had fnished the skirt, it occured to me that I had sewn a very similar skirt last year….nearly same color, same piping, embroidered fabric….

2013-05-20-Rock vorne_1

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Capsule Wardrobe – Silhouettes, Colors and Fabric Choices

I have finished the planning of my capsule wardrobe for fall/winter and already started with the first project. More of that later. First, I decided on silhouettes for casual and office outfits. Do you know polyvore? I did not. But this is a really fun tool perfect for this purpose. I came up with two silhouettes for the casual wardrobe and with four silhouettes for office outfis.

 Casual:

casual 1

Casual 1

casual 2

Casual 2

Office outfits:

workoutfit 1

Office Outfit 1

workoutfit 2

Office Outfit 2

workoutfit 3

Office Outfit 3

work outfit 4

Office Outfit 4

The shoes are not always what I had in mind, but I did not find something better. Next I decided on the colors and diveded them into three categories: neutrals, near neutrals and statement colors (As you see I did not put too much effort in creating a perfect designed picture, but it is sufficient for my purpose):

Farbpalette_sortiert

Color Palette

For the beginning I chose one causal and two office outfits and reduced the color palette:

casual 1            workoutfit 2             work outfit 4

Farbpalette_reduziert

Reduced Color Palette

I might change my plans during the process. For example, I found it quite challenging to decide the colors for the office outfit with the flared skirt and do not yet know how this will work out. However, I can always refer back to this guideline.

Now starts the fun part: fabric and pattern choices! As many of you, I have a big fabric stash, and I will, of course, use fabrics from my stash, if they fit into my wardrobe plans. However, I have decided not to use fabrics because I just have them sitting in my stash. I will not be happy with my new garments (and won’t wear them) if I do not like the fabric. This means I will have to buy some new fabrics (ok, that is not really a burden). I will also take my time and buy/use only fabrics, that are good quality and fit in my plan regarding color/pattern/fabric content. No compromises here! I have started with the casual outfit. For the shirt pattern I will use a self-drafted pattern. For the pants I will use the Anima pants from Papercut Patterns. Here are swatches for the long-sleeved shirts:

2014-07-20-swatches

Jersey Swatches

First I thought the cardigan would be an item I would buy. But then I had the crazy idea of knitting it by myself. I am usually no knitter. The last item I knitted was a scarf and I needed half a year until it was completed. Nevertheless, I searched for a knitting pattern and found a quite easy one and the next day I was shopping yarn. I found a beautiful, cozy yarn, Merino Air from Lana Grossa. Now I am sitting in my small garden at 30 °C knitting a woolen cardigan!

2014-07-20-cardigan

Knitting Project

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Marfy Jacket 1756 Part III

It finally starts to look like a jacket. I have inserted both sleeves and added the facing: 2014-07-06-front 2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 back The sleeve cap is supported by a sleeve head. I used “Watteline” for this. I cut the sleeve head so that it goes from the middle of the front armhole to the middle of the back armhole to give more support, as my fabric is very soft. I still have some puckers at the sleeve. If I would have a wool as fabric you could iron these out, but that did not work here. 2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 sleevehead2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 sleeveThe inner corners of the facing are reinforced with silk Organza. To keep the facing inside I used a pickstich along the edge: 2014-07-06-Marfy1756 pickstitch facing 2014-07-06-Marfy1756 collar pickstitchAnd this is how it looks from the inside: 2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 inside front 2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 inside backNow I have to decide on the placement of the pockets and the hem.

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Building My Wardrobe

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my wardrobe and what direction my sewing takes meto. In most cases I sew something because I like the pattern or a specific fabric, or I want to try a new technique. This might be ok, but it leaves me with a wardrobe with many single pieces and I still stand before my closet in the morning and does not know what to wear. I have several times tried to sew with a plan, but I always got easily distracted by the next fancy dress or interesting pattern or whatever.

Before I started sewing, I did not care too much was I was wearing as long as it fit my budget and kept me warm. When I began sewing, I did have to give more thought to my clothes, but often I bought fabric, because it was cheap and not because I really liked it. I also used to buy those bundles, e.g. “1kg Jersey”, where the colors and size of the fabrics is a surprise. I still have many of those fabrics in my stash (I did not give them away, sometimes I use them for muslins, but that does not work always). So my fabric stash is a mixture of fabrics I love, fabrics I like, and fabrics I just have. Hm. Same for my garments. This is a situation that makes me unsatisfactory. Why should I spent my precious sewing time (and money) on garments that I do not really love and do not like to wear? What a waste of resources.

I have read about the “Wardrobe Architect” from Coletterie and started to work through it.

The Wardrobe Architect

Have you followed it? I have the feeling that this will really help me to build up a wardrobe that suits me and my lifestyle, so I decided to give it a try. I will use this guide to plan my fall/winter wardrobe (as I am a slow seamstress it does not make sense to start with a summer wardrobe with summer already half over).

I have already learned so much. For example, I love pencil skirts, but as I go to work each day by my bicycle, I rarely wear them (I could change clothes at work, maybe I should think this over….). The first execises were not easy for me, as I have never tried before to describe my style. I even got the feeling that I do not have any style and that I am still struggling to find mine. But in the end I have come up with styles that I am drawn to, that inspire me and that I am pretty sure do also suit me and my Lifestyle. I have put them together here. You can see that a few pictures are titled “inconsistent”. These are styles I am drawn to, but would not wear (I only dream of it) but it inspires me and its also a part of me and what I like, so I included this in my board.

The next step are colors and how to fit them into the wardrobe. I am pretty sure about my favourite colors so I think hope this step will be easier for me.

I am really excited and can’t wait to plan and start sewing my new wardrobe. As Sarai from Coletterie said, if you are confident that your plan will work, you will not get distracted easily and are also more willing to spent money on more expensive fabric or garments.

Do you sew with a plan for your wardrobe?

Posted in garments, sewing, wardrobe architect | Tagged | 3 Comments

Signe Summer Dress

After another exhausting week at work I wanted to sew something easy at the weekend. As much as I enjoy sewing the Marfy jacket, this is a long term project, and I needed something with instant gratification to treat myself with. I was looking for an easy summer dress to wear at home. First, I had a dress from an old Burda Magazine in mind. But a research at Pattern Review told me, that this would not be as easy as thought. Then I received the newsletter from Maria Denmark announcing her brand new pattern, the Signe Summer Dress. This dress was exactly what I needed: easy to sew, easy to wear.

2014-06-15-singe dress front

2014-06-15-singe dress back

It has only three pattern pieces and I sewed the dress completely with my serger. I own my serger for one year now, but it is still an alien for me and it frightens me. Everytime when I start sewing I have the feeling that I loose control and I just hope that the seam gets right…The fabric is a rayon knit with 3% elasthane that I found in my stash.

The bodice front is lined with self fabric. The pattern has three different lenghts: top, knee lenght and maxi. I chose the knee lenght. I cut a size S for the bust and waist and tapered to size M at the hips. Next time I coud even give a bit more room at the hips… The top of the back is finished with an elastic, so that it fits quite tight and stays where it should. I really love that you do not have to worry about gaping with this dress. It is really comfy and I am happy with my new summer dress.

So, no news regarding the Marfy jacket this week. We will see how it will be next week.

Posted in dresses, indie pattern, sewing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment