Itch to stich Emily Culottes Version 2

My sewing mojo is back and I have already done some pattern testing and started a summer dress I hope to finish soon, now that summer finally seems to visit us here.

I finished a second version of the Emily culottes already in April. Do you know those projects that  seem to never come to an end? After I had finished my first emily culottes I started this second version right away. For this version I lenghtened the legs and chose the waist tab option of the pattern. I had some ideas how to construct the culottes, but most of how they look now only developed during the process, one decision making other steps necessary.

I love to pair the culottes with my Style Arc Sissy Blouse. Please excuse the wrinkles, the pictures were taken after I came back from work.

2015_06_30_EC_front

2015_06_30_EC_back_2Fabric:

The fabric is some lightweigt printed cotton denim. It has some golden highlights which give a bit of glamour.

Alterations:

Only alteration I did was the same as for my first version: I took out 1 cm at each side in the center back at the bottom of the waist band and the top of the back.

Construction Notes:

I wanted to make the culottes with longer legs, but I did not have enough fabric to cut the legs as one piece. It was also not enough fabric to try any pattern matching. So I had the idea to add a piping at the lower leg where the fabric pieces met (I had to skip this idea later on though). This led to the idea to add some piping to the welt pockets as well as to the waist band. The culottes are unlined so I opted for a clean finish in the inside with HongKong finish of the seam allowances.

For the welt pockets I had a bit to try how to add the piping. This is not too difficult, but you have to make sure that the piping is caught at the sides. This is the welt with piping laid onto the pocket:

2015-06-3-welt_pocket1

While sewing make sure that the piping is turned back:

2015-06-30-welt_pocket-2

This is how it looks later after sewing the pocket on the pants:

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I did not like the mess at the inside with all the interfacing showing. Is there any way to have this look nice and neat?

2015-06-30-welt_pocket

I decided to line the front upper part of the culottes:

2015-06-30-front-lining

I did skip the piping at the legs where I pieced the fabric together because it added too much stiffness. I did not want to disturb the drape of the fabric. I got a bit paranoid about this, so I also skipped the HongKong finish for this seam. This is now the only seam that is finished with the serger. To add some interest and also to avoid a stiff hem I finished the bottom of the legs with a wide bias tape. At the inside the tape is sewn on by hand.

One button of the waist tabs is functional, and I decided to sew a tiny bound button hole. I am really proud of this, it is so cute.

2015-07-01-button hole

Here are some pictures of the inside. I also finished the zipper tape with bias binding.

2015-07-01-inside front

2015-07-01-inside back2015-07-01-zipper

Conclusion:

I wear the culottes on a regular basis. They are very comfy and great for cycling.

2015_06_30_EC_bck_1

Posted in Itch to Stitch, Style Arc | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Marfy Jacket 1756 Part IV

I can still not believe that – finally–I finished the Marfy Jacket.

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The last post about it was in July last year. All I had to do was placing the pockets, hemming and inserting the lining. But after summer I was not motivated to work on the jacket and so it hang on my dress form and looked at me accusingly every day…

I found my motivation in this book: Thomas von Nordheim, Vintage Couture Tailoring. I had this on my wishlist forever, and finally decided to buy it. I was not disappointed. Usually, I skip the first chapters of sewing books, but this one kept my interest and I read it from cover to cover.

I did not just finish the jacket according to the instructions, I even unpicked the hem (that I had already  catchstiched in place) and the sleeves! I followed the instructions step by step. Most steps are described very clearly, and together with the pictures easy to follow.

The jacket is far from perfect, but it was a great learning experience and I am confident to use these techniques again for future jackets.

So, what did I do?

The hem:

I unpicked my already catchstiched hem and placed silk organza strips at the bottom. As the hem line is curved, I did not use a single strip, but several pieces, always from seam to seam.

The sleeves:

What was completely new to me was a technique that has you ease in the armhole to get the fabric closer to the body:

2015-05-05-Marfy1756_armhole

2015-05-05-Marfy1756-armhole2You see in the picture above the difference (left side is not yet eased in). The difference is subtle.

The sleeve cap was eased in before pinning it into the armhole. When I was happy how it hang, I first basted it in, then sewed it with the machine. The sleeve head is padded with ice wool. This works really good, as you can push it into the cap. I added also thin shoulder pads.

I do not recall all the single steps for the sleeve vent, but these vents are the best I have done so far.

2015-05-24-sleeve-openPiping:

I added piping around the jacket. It is quite easy but looks so much more professional. I used fabric scraps from my Marfy blouse. The only issue I had was with that corner at the neckline. I needed half an hour figuring out how to fold the piping so that it went around this corner only to realize that it was too much on the outside. Again half an hour to realign it….

Here is an inside view of the jacket before attaching the lining:

2015-05-05-Marfy1756_inside_front

2015-05-05-Marfy1756_inside_back

The Lining:

I wanted to use the same lining as for my Marfy skirt, but it was too sheer. I found a dark green taffeta like lining fabric in my stash that matched beautifully. It is a bit thick and was difficult to handle, probably more suitable for a coat and not a jacket.

Body and sleeves of the lining were attached separately. Attaching the body was easy, but I had some difficulties with the sleeves. You really have to pay attention that you do not pull on the lining too much so that it causes wrinkles in the jacket itself.

2015-05-05-Mafy1756_lining

When everything was pinned securely in place, the fellstitching was an easy go.

2015-05-24-insideButtons:

I always find it difficult to choose the right buttons as they can change the appearance of a garment significantly. A good solution are self-fabric covered buttons. That’s what I did. I made 12 buttons, 4 four the pockets and 4 for each sleeve vent. I really love how the sleeves vents are looking!

2015-05-24-sleeve

I have worn the jacket to work already several times, it really fills a gap in my wardrobe. I am not so sure about the quite boxy shape (I have already taken it in a bit in the back and site seams) and the front without closure (it looks a bit bare), but I feel very comfortabel in it. The blouse I am wearing with it is Vogue 8747.

2015-05-05-Marfy1756_back

2015-05-05-Marfy1756_front2

Posted in Marfy, sewing, tailoring | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Have you seen my Sewing Mojo?

Most of you probably have been there before, now I have lost my sewing mojo somehow. It does not mean that I do not sew at the moment, but it does not give me the joy it should. Mainly because I had a few failures in the last time. So I lost my confidence and with that my mojo went away. I am also behind with blogging (I finished my Marfy Jacket finally, a second version of the Emily culottes and a Watson bra).

After completing the Jaqueline Hoodie I was so eager to start sewing dresses and already chose some patterns and fabric. But I had promised my friend to sew sweat pants for him, so that came first. Sweat pants are easy, right, so this should not take too long. I somehow managed to mix up the front and back resulting in the pockets pointing in the wrong direction. I needed more time unpicking than actually sewing (black thread, black fabric, serged seams…).

Eventually they were finished and it was all dresses again. We will go to the “Phantom of the Opera” end of June for my birthday, so what better reason do you need for a new dress? And how about Marfy 3414? I had the muslin already cut out last year, so it was just basting it together. Alas, the fit was awful. A lot of gaping and too much fabric in the bust area and too small in the waist. Obviously I do not have a “Marfy compatible” body. I released the waist darts and pinned out the excess fabric along the princess seams. I also thought about shortening the straps a bit.

2015-05-14-Marfy_muslin

All these changes had a lot of impact to the neckline and the straps were no longer sitting at the end of the shoulder. I decided that this would take a long time to get the fit right and put it aside.

So I tried a knit dress. A knit dress is easy, right? You can sew it up on a weekend and usually you do not have any fitting issues, maybe a tweak here or there. I chose Vogue 8593. As I wanted to use a knit with a flower print, I eleminated the center back seam and shortened the back darts. This should minimize the disruption of the pattern. I made up a muslin (I am so glad I did), and the back turned out great. However, the front, way too much fabric below the bust. I know I have a small bust and usually have to make a small bust alteration for woven fabrics. With knits I usually can get awaywithout. Not with this pattern. I pinned out the excess fabric, but I have no idea how to change the pattern.

2015-05-14-Vogue_muslin (1)

The pattern has not front darts, I guess they disappeared in the pleats. I would try to hide the extra fabric in the pleats, too. Maybe I can try to drape it on my dress form. The two sides also differ. I assume this is due to the assymetric center pleat. Do you have any tip what I should do?

Maybe I should start developing slopers and drawing my own patterns, I am so tired of all these fitting issues. They are the reason why most projects lay around week after week…

In my despair I turned to knitting. I started a Myrna cardigan and are slowly deciphering an English knitting instruction. What would I do without You Tube? A big thank you to all the people who publish these great tutorials. I bought some yarn that was on sale as I am a total beginner with knitting and I have no idea how this will turn out. At the moment it looks quite promising, though.

If you have seen my sewing mojo, please ask it to come back to me. I will give it a warm welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in knitting, Marfy, sewing, Uncategorized, Vogue | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Itch to Stitch Jacqueline Hoodie and Giveaway

Kennis from Itch to Stitch called for pattern testers for the Jacqueline Hoodie two weeks ago, and I could not resist. This hoodie has so cute details that make it special.

2015-04-19-IS-hoodie-front

The hoodie has princess seams, welt pockets, decorative buttons, epaulettes and an off-center zipper.

2015-04-19-IS-hoodie-side

2015-04-19-IS-hoodie-backFabric:

The fabric I used was in my stash for about ten years. I always wanted to use it for a sweater, but thought that would be too boring. It is a cotton sweater knit. I was not sure if the print would work with the pattern, but it does!

2015-04-27-epaulette

Alterations:

I cut a size XS with the following alterations:

  • Small bust alteration: after basting everything together, the hoodie felt a bit loose on me. I took out 2cm width and 1cm length at the princess seams as described here.
  • Adding 1 cm to the shoulder: The Idyllwild Top was a bit small for me in the shoulder, this is why I added some width. Originally I wanted to add 2cm, but that had too much impact on the armhole. I think it went out ok though.
  • Adding 5cm width in total to the bottom. The instructions have “finished garment measurements” which is realy helpful. So I added the width before cutting my fabric. The instructions have you add only to the side seams in order to not destroy the design with the princess seams.

The sleeves are a bit on the long side. I did not shorten them, because I like a bit longer sleeves for this hoodie, but if you don’t or if you usually have to shorten your sleeves, this is something you definitively should check.

2015-04-27-Knöpfe

Construction Notes:

Due to all the details and a lot of topstitching, this is not a quick afternoon project. And you have some bulky seams to handle. The topstitching is absolutely neccessary to tame this bulk. My sewing machine is a real workhorse and did not complain once. However, I put my serger on its limits. While attaching the zipper one seam was so thick that it nearly was to thick to get cut by the serger blade. Here is a view of the inside:

2015-04-27-innen

Check out the other tester’s versions:

Monday, Apr 27: Coralie (stitch-n-smile.com)
Wednesday, Apr 29: Jordan (goddessofsewing.blogspot.com)
Thursday, Apr 30: Elsa (lacasacactus.canalblog.com – you are welcome to do it in French)
Monday, May 4: Stacey (allsewnupbystacey.blogspot.co.uk)
Tuesday, May 5: Rachel (onceuponasewingmachine.com)
Wednesday, May 6: Debbie (stitchitnow.net)

The pattern is currently on sale and in addition to that you also have the chance to win a pattern here.

Happy sewing!

 

Posted in Giveaway, Itch to Stitch, pattern tester | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Simplicity 1849 and some underwear

Do you plan your next sewing project while on work? I do, sometimes. Especially when I am standing in the rest room and looking into that big mirror. This happened a few weeks ago when I was thinking about a top that might go with my new pair of Emily Culottes. A white T-Shirt was in my mind, and as I do not own a single plain white T-Shirt I would have to sew one. But a simple T-Shirt is a bit boring, right? I wore a version of Simplicity 1849 that day and while looking in that big mirror  it occured to me that it would look great together with the culottes. I would just shorten the sleeves to make it more summer appropriate. One weekend later I had what you already saw in this picture.

2015-03-08-EC_side_2

There seems to be a bit of gaping at the neckline. I do not have this with the version I made two years ago:

2015-04-04-B1849_alt

Fabric:

The fabric is white cotton knit with elasthane. I got it during the sale when Elingeria closed down her business. It has a great recovery and was perfect for this top.

Alterations:

I cut a size 10 without any alterations.

Construction Notes:

This top is actually a shirt with the twist as an overlay and a front facing. I fiddled a bit with the V-neckline to get it right, but else this is an easy sew. Seams are all finished with the serger.

From the leftovers I made two more Watson Bikinis and one Butterick 6031 camisole.

For the Bikinis I tried to add lace scraps (I hate to throw away fabric scraps and are constantly searching for ways to put them into use). I like how it turned out.

2015-04-03-bikinis

I even made some ribbons. It took me a whole Sunday morning to make these two, but aren’t they cute?

2015-04-03-bikini-detail

For the camisole I changed two things. Instad of using clear elastic to sew under the edge of the neckline lace, I used very tiny white “Dekollete” elastic. The reason is that when I iron my camisoles I always melt away a bit of the clear elastic. Secondly, I did not use small lace for the straps but usual lingerie elastic. The lace straps always come out of the washing machine quite crumpled.

2015-04-04-B6031
2015-04-04-B6031-detail

Posted in lingerie, Simplicity, Top | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Cloth Habit Watson Bra and Bikini

Have you already seen enough Watson bras in the blogosphere? Please bear with me, here is one more…. I sewed it already in January when Amy from Cloth Habit started the sew-along. As you probably already know, this is a soft bra. I thought it might be a good starting point to get into lingerie sewing, and I still think it is. The fit is forgiving, and you do not have to pay attention to underwires, let alone find the correct underwire size…. It was already quite an adventure to get all the notions.

So, this is my first ever Watson bra and bikini:

2015-02-03-Watson bra 3

2015-02-01-Watson-bikini

Fabric:

Honestly, I do not know what fabric it is I used. I placed an order at Wien 2000 and this fabric was in the parcel as extra. As it had the right amount of stretch I thought I could just use it for a first test version. Inspired by Amy’s bra that she showed during the sew-along I used black elastic I had in my stash.

Alterations:

I made no alterations for the bra. I cut a size 32A. For the bikini I cut size S. The first version is as the pattern came. For the second version (in the front of the picture above) I raised the leg opening a bit and added 1 cm lenght to the front piece at the crotch seam. I always feel that I need more lenght in the area, else the front always dips in a bit.

Construction Notes:

With the help of the sew-along I manged to sew the bra together. I did not try to have neat seam finishes, I just concentrated on the constuction. I struggeld with sewing the cups to the cradle, this needs a lot more of practicing.

2015-02-03-Watson bra 2

2015-02-03-Watson bra 1

Conclusion:

I love the bikini pattern. The fit is how I like it and they are a great starting point to play around with the design. This will become my favourite pattern.

For the bra, I am not sure. It felt uncomfortable when wearing it and first I thought that the band was too tight. But now I think that it is the cradle which is lined with some non-stretch fabric, as the pattern tells you. I do not have any RTW bra with a cradle, most of my bras only have a very narrow bridge. So I think that I am just not used to have a whole unstretchy cradle around my ribcage. For the next version I will try what happens when I use two layers of the outer fabric. This should reduce the stretch but still have some give.

 

Posted in Cloth Habit, lingerie, sew-along | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Itch to Stitch: Emily Culottes, Blog Tour and Giveaway

Hi all,

For the second time I had the opportunity to test a pattern for Itch to Stitch. This time it was the Emily Culottes and I enjoyed the process and the finished garment as much as last time.

2015-03-08-EC-front1

The pattern has different options:

  • pleated or unpleated front
  • waist tabs or waist tie
  • lined or unlined
  • slanted welt pockets or patch pockets
  • shorten or lengthen line

I made a lined version with unpleated front, waist tie and patch pockets. The length is the original length of the pattern.

2015-03-08-EC_side

2015-03-08-EC_back

Fabric:

Do you recognize the fabric? It is the same I used fo the Marfy blouse (no, I won’t wear both pieces together…). It is a lightweight cotton. Due to fabric shortage I skipped any attempt of pattern matching, but I think it is ok with this print. First I did not want to line the culottes, but the fabric was too sheer, so I used a white cotton batiste as lining.

Alterations:

I cut a size 2 according to my measurements. The fit was spot on. The only alteration I had to do was to tweak the center back a bit due to my swayback. I took out 1 cm at each side in the center back at the bottom of the waist band and the top of the back.

Construction Notes:

The instructions were easy to follow. Kennis from Itch to Stitch really takes your hand and explains everything very clear and detailed. While still struggling with the lining of my Marfy jacket and not really knowing what I do, I was so happy to have this break and the straightforward sewing of the culottes. I even managed to sew in the lining by machine. Usually I do this by hand (a process that I really love) but for the testing I followed strictly the instructions and it never hurts to learn a new technique, right?

2015-03-15-EC-inside

You can see how the seam allowance gets wider where the center back meets the waistband. This is what I took out (I did not grade the seam allowance afterwards….).

Below is a detail shot of the patch pocket. I found this cute buttons with flowers:

2015-03-15-EC_Pocket

The hem is just folded over and machine sewn in place. The instructions tell you to do a blind hem which I skipped because my fabric is rather thin.

2015-03-15-EC-hem

The lining is tacked to the outer fabric at the side seams and inseams to avoid any twisting. As you can see, I finished all the seam allowances with the serger.

2015-03-15-hem-tack

Conclusion:

This is a straightforward and versatile pattern. Unfortunately it is still too cold to wear my new culottes. I have already cut out a long version with the welt pocket and waist tab option. I plan to use some piping, too. You can see some other tester versions here:

Jordan from  http://goddessofsewing.blogspot.com
Jessie from http://jesssewfabulous.wordpress.com
Stacey  http://allsewnupbystacey.blogspot.co.uk

And now for the fun part:

The pattern is currently on sale and in addition to that you also have the chance to win a pattern here: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Happy sewing!

2015-03-08-EC_front2

Posted in Itch to Stitch, pattern tester | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Knitted Cardigan

I finally completed my knitted cardigan last week.

2015_03_08_cardigan_sitzend

I am slow with my sewing projects, but with knitting it is worse: I started with the cardigan in July. I am glad that I chose a simple pattern. It is from a German women’s magazine, Brigitte. Front and back are basically rectangles.

08-cardigan-im-musterstrick

The pattern comes in two sizes, small and large. I chose the small size, but it turned out to be too tight around the hips. So I just knitted two side panels and inserted them into the side seams.

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The pockets and belt are my own idea. I always need a pocket, and the belt keeps things closed.

2015_03_08_cardigan_back

Despite having finished the cardigan at the end of winter, it got already a lot of wear. After completing the bodice I sewed it together and wore it without sleeves. Later on the sleeves were added and it already kept me warm while knitting the side panels which I actually had to knit twice: First I used the same pattern as for the bottom band, but that looked just awfully. So I decided to follow the pattern as for the bodice to keep the side panel a bit more inconspicuous (Please excuse that my English knitting vocabulary does not exist and I can not explain what stitches (?) I used…)

2015_03_08_cardigan_front

I am quite happy how everything turned out. The cardigan is so warm and cozy that I will never ever have to be cold in winter again.

Side note: with this piece I actually completed my casual wardrobe 1!

Posted in knitting, wardrobe architect | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Cloth Habit Ladyshorts

For years I have tried to sew underwear but always without success. I have used different patterns and tried to copy RTW underwear. Often the fit was not as I expected and they all looked ugly as I, of course, used knit scraps for my attempts. This was my biggest mistake, as the fabric I used was in most cases just not the right one.

After discovering “Cloth Habit” everything has changed. I have read through the blog for a few weeks now and learned so much about lingerie sewing and the different fabrics and how to sew on the elastics. Amy explains on her blog how to take into account the stretch factor of fabric and, most importantly, on her patterns is indicated what kind of fabric they are designed for.

I decided to try the “Ladyshorts“, the free pattern from Cloth Habit. I made a muslin first with a fabric that did have the 60-70% stretch as needed. It did look ugly. But I looked beyond the ugliness and found that the fit was good. So I ordered some nice lace and different trims and sewed four different Ladyshorts.

2015-02-01-Ladyshorts

I am so happy with the result. They do not only fit well, they also look nice.

The only issue I have with the pattern is the crotch lining. Next time I will make it wider so that it is the same width as the front piece. I am not sure how to sew the overlap of the lace trim. The first version is sewn as the pattern instruction tell you: first make a circle with the trim and then sew it on to the shorts.

2015-02-01-LS-band1

I found the seam a bit bulky and for the other versions I did not close the trim before. However, the overlap is not as neat as I wished it to be.

2015-02-01-LS-band2

Maybe the better method is as the instructions tells you and probaby I just need some more practice to get it right. Next time I will pay more attention to match the scallops of the lace.

The instructions also explain what to do when your fabric has less or more stretch than the 60-70% the pattern is designed for. This is one of the lessons I learned: always find out the percent of the fabric’s stretch. This will influence the fit considerably.

The great thing about sewing lingerie is that the pieces are small and you do not need much time. AND you can search for all those nice laces and other stuff…You will definetively see more lingerie on this blog in the future!

Posted in Cloth Habit, lingerie | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Itch to Stitch: Idyllwild Top & Dress

This is my first make of 2015. I already finished it a few weeks ago, but did not get around to taking pictures. It is so difficult in this season of the year to take good pictures. So please excuse the heavily photoshopped and dress form images.

The pattern is from Itch To Stitch and I was one of the pattern testers. It comes with different options for neckline, sleeves and lenght. I made one version with cap-sleeves and one version with ruched long sleeves and ruched T-shirt length.

2015_01_25_IWT_capsleeves

2015-01-25-IWT-front

2015-01-25-IWT-sideview

Fabric:

I used lightweight knits for both T-shirts. The blue one is viscose, the other one with the nondescript color (it was described as taupe on the website where I ordered it) is a bamboo knit. Except for the color I love it very much. It is the first time that I have used bamboo knit and it is incredible soft and feels very comfortable on the skin. It was a bit slippery while sewing, though.

Alterations:

I cut a size XS according to the measurements chart (which also comes in cm and not only inches!). My bust size is somewhat smaller, but usually I can neglect this fact with knit garments. The only fitting alteration I needed to do was lengthening the shoulder line. I added 1 cm for the blue version, but the sleeves were still pulled up a bit. For the long sleeved version I added 2cm and this is the right shoulder width for me now. With the new shoulder point I had to draw a new line for the armscye. I did not change the sleevecap. I assumed that the knit would be forgiving enough and still fit into the new armhole. the dashed line in the picture below is the original cutting line.

2015-05-25-IWT_pattern_alteration

For the long sleeved shirt I made the neckband wider. I also had to shorten the band by 1cm. I am not sure if this was because of the stretchiness of the fabric or because the band was wider now.

Construction Notes:

As this were simple T-shirts there is not much to say about the construction. Kennis provides detailed instructions with drawings, so that you will have no problems to sew this together even when this is your first T-shirt ever. I serged nearly all seams. For the neckline I sewed in the band with my sewing machine, folded the seam allowance to the inside and finished with the cover stitch of my serger. I am still not able to use my serger for sewing in a circle…All hems are just folded under and stitched in place with the cover stitch.

2015-01-25-IWT-neckline

I was quite curious how a cap sleeve is sewn: the whole sleeve is doubled with the hem as foldline. Then the sleeve is sewn to the top of the armscye. The seam allowance of the lower part of the armscye is folded to the inside and stitched in place. It is a bit fiddly if you do it the first time. I also sewed in some clear elastic to the lower seam allowance to prevent gaping.

Conclusion:

I really love the fit of this T-shirt: it is fitted but not too tight. For those who do not want to draft their own variations I think it is a nice idea to have many different options inluded in one pattern. In addition to this, Kennis is selling this pattern for only 1$ and all proceeds will be donated to Salvandos Corazones who care for child survivors of commercial exploitation.

Disclaimer: I got the test pattern for free with no strings/review requests attached. 

Side Note: I now have also a faceook page which you might already have noticed from the little icon on my side bar! I am quite new to facebook and still learning how it all works but it might be quite useful if I want to post something that is not worth a whole blog post.

 

Posted in Itch to Stitch, pattern tester, Top | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments