Monday, September 22, 2014

Fabricista Fashion Challenge #3

First off, I know I didn't update for last weeks challenge. I promise I will get to that this week.  But for now here is the week three challenge.  This week we were challenged to copy one of our favorite ready to wear garments.  We were to use the RTW garment to get the pattern for our version.  This definitely challenged me as I have never attempted this before.

I spent 2 days trying to figure out what I wanted to try.  I decided not to do a t-shirt because it would be to simple.  The problem with that is that T-shirts make up the majority of my RTW.  I thought about doing a jacket that I love but I really didn't want to try to copy the pattern as it has a lot of different pieces.  Plus I had a different idea on how to recreate that garment, which unfortunately didn't fit within the rules of this challenge.  So in the end I decided to copy my newest pair of Express Skyscraper jeans this time and I will be attempting the jacket later on.


Jeans have been something on my must make list for the longest time.  Why not try to tackle them now?!?!  I began by searching Pinterest for different copying techniques.  The first method I tries was where you put tracing/pattern paper under the garment and trace around the piece.  I totally failed at this. It was not good.  Then I tried the painters tape method, I found it on Cheap and Picky.  This actually worked out really well.  


I do not want to write yet another tutorial on how to do this since it was not my original method and because there are already several others out there.  The internets does not need another.  Instead I want to share how this worked out for me, some tips I found that helped and the finished results.


Here is what my taped leg piece looked like. At first I taped in straight lines but when I went to peal it off they did not stick together.  My recommendation would be to put additional strips of tape going diagonally across at several different spots.
 
Once I pealed it off I traced around it adding 1/2" seam allowance on all sides.
 

Now, I did not use this painters tape method for every piece. For the pockets and the waistband I drafted those by hand.  They were a lot of straight lines so I figured it would be easier to measure measure measure.  I will stand by this method over taping.  It took less time to do this and all the pieces matched exactly.

So, here is where I had issues.  Remember earlier when I said I had never tried this before?  Coping RTW and making jeans?  Yay, so I don't know what I was thinking when I decided that regardless of those two things I didn't need to make a muslin!  Possibly because I liked the way the RTW fit, but I cannot answer it because I knew the stretch of the denim was greater than the stretch of the fabric I choose.  But I was stubborn and forged ahead.  I cut them out of 1.5 yds of yellow stretch denim that has been in my stash since last year because I wanted yellow skinnies.  I still do by the way.  Well, I spent several hours on these before I was able to try them on.  There is so much detail stitching that needed to be done before I even had a full leg to try on.  I had them stitched all the way to where all I had left was to attach the waistband and hem them.  They didn't fit!  They didn't fit so badly that there is no way I would ever post pictures here.  It was bad!

So, it was back to the beginning.  The next morning I went out to Jo-Ann's and bought 2 more yards of a different color stretch denim to start over.  I needed to add width to the legs and I did not want to add it to the inner seam or outer seam because I didn't want to change the pocket size nor the crotch depth.  So I split the front and back legs, the waistband and the back yoke parallel with the grainline in spots where the split would go from the top all the way to the bottom without affecting the pocket or crotch depth.  For the front I added 1" and for the back I added 1/2", because the back was already so much bigger than the front.   


After many many more hours of restitching I came out with a finished pair of jeans.  On the left are my original pair and on the right are my new colorful pair.  I will say one thing I never noticed about my RTW jeans until I made the red pair is how loose and baggy they are around my knees.  At first I thought it was something I did while sewing until I looked down at the jeans I had on and they did the same thing.  


Uggh... here is the back view of each.  I am not one to willingly post back pics were my rear is the focus.  Sadly my copy pair is a terrible picture.  But they do fit about the same.  Both have the bagginess at the knees and a little bagginess under my rear.


Here is the side view of my version.  I didn't remember to take a pic of the side view of my RTW.



Detail shot of the back.  I put a lot of time into double stitching just about every freaking seam on these.  


Front detail.  See even more double stitching!  One thing you may notice is that I have no belt loops.  Yeah, I completely forgot about them.  I have enough fabric leftover that I can cut some and hopefully add them on this week.

All in all I think these turned out pretty well for my first pair of jeans and my first RTW coping experience.  I would love to make these again.  Luckily I wrote construction details down as I was going.  Way to go foresight!!  I am going to make a few adjustments to the pattern before I do that though.  I want to add a little more to the center front, as these pull slightly, therefore exposing a bit of the zipper.  I also want to find a better stretch denim.  Jo-Ann's has a terrible quality stretch denim selection.  But they did have fun colors and that was what I wanted at the time.  So now I am on the hunt for quality stretch denim.  Any recommendations?






Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fabricista Fashion Challenge #1


For the first challenge we were given the Scout tee from Grainline Studio to make.  The catch was that we had to make it unique. 


 No making it as the plain basic tee it is. 



 To start I took the line art from the pattern and started drawing different ideas for how I could change it up.  I have a few other versions that I will be trying in the future, but for now this is the version I settled upon.  


For the front I added a faux pleat to the center front with 3 white buttons near the top.  I also drafted a Peter Pan collar, which I had never done before.  I did also add 3" in length since I prefer my tops a little longer than this one started at.



I decided to split the back to create a yoke and then added a box pleat to the lower portion for a little more backside room.  The sleeve is the only pattern piece that I did not make a single change too.  

For this top I used 1.25yds of a lightweight woven cotton, from the stash, that I got last year in a Fabric Mart mystery bundle.  I also used scraps of white cotton from who knows what previous project.

I really like this top!  It is so different from what is already in my wardrobe right now!  It will be great to finish out the summer in since it is so lightweight.  I also think it will pair fantastically with a dark blue cardigan, meaning I am now on the look out for the perfect one or the perfect fabric to make one.  I think this top will work great as a casual top but I should be able to also pair it with some dressier trousers and my future cardigan for a more business casual look.

If you like my version please vote for it by going here.  You can vote today and tomorrow for mine or any of my awesome competitors!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sew What?!?! Fall 2014

With summer winding down I think it is time to start planning my fall sewing.  If you are new to my blog, fall has some of my absolute favorite fashions!  I am a lover of pretty much all woolens.  Tweeds, houndstooth, plaid, herringbone, you name it and I want it!  I love jewel tones and lots of layers. I really just love fall because of the crispness in the air, the leaves changing colors and all things pumpkin.  Then there is football,  oh how I have missed football.  Yep I would say that I am ready for fall, but my wardrobe is not.  So, here is what I am wanting this season.  These all came from my Pinterest board, so please go there to find the original sources.

1.  Dresses with layers


I really like these looks because they can extend the seasonality of my dresses.  Granted most of my dresses are bright, loud, summer dresses.  I think I am going to have to make some jewel tone dresses that I will be able to transition between seasons.  I am thinking the Lady Skater dress will be perfect for this!  I already have a good selection of tights/leggings, cardigans and scarves to pair the new dresses with.

2. Army green sleeveless jacket
























So this one is super specific.  I don't know what else to say other than I really like the look of these to outfits.  Normally, this kind of jacket is not my thing, but I want to give it a shot.

3. Gingham button up
Keeping with the previous want, is gingham.  Gingham is trendy right now and I am loving it.  I want to try a dark blue large gingham check.  Also, I really just need some button ups.  Believe it or not I do not have any!!  I am thinking that I may want to do some sort of flannel plaid button up as well.

4.  Lightweight blouses



Much like button ups, I do not have many blouses.  I  want to up the game of my work wardrobe and this is the clear way to do it.

Simplicity recently released their fall collection and in it was S1280.  I think view B, the one the model is wearing, will be perfect for what I am wanting.  I have a couple of stash fabrics in mind for this already.

5.  Maxi skirts


 You know I love a good maxi skirt or maxi dress, but I only wear them during spring and summer.  I came across these two outfits and knew I wanted to wear them for fall as well.  Much like my dresses, my current maxi skirts are very spring/summer wear.  So I need to make some for fall.  Plus, I really like the chambray button up paired with the gray maxi.  Maybe a chambray button up needs to be added to my button up list.

6. Cover ups
 While this is more of an outerwear thing, which I need too, I really want it.  I love gray view C from the new S1281.  I think I want to do this in a thick woolen tribal fabric.  Jo-Ann's has a couple that I like, but to be honest, I was less than impressed with how the plaid I made my coat out of last year looked at the end of the season.  It pilled so bad that it looked like I had been wearing it for years, which is a shame since I love it so much.  I am going to keep looking for another tribal wool that I like.

So that's what I want to make.  What is on your fall must haves list?


Monday, September 1, 2014

August Round Up

August was exciting and busy busy busy!!  We went to Gen Con and the Ohio Renaissance Festival this month.  Of course I made several different costumes for others to wear.


First was Gen Con in the middle of the month.  Eric is in the black and wore the same costume from last year. A couple of his friends joined us this year and I made a costume for one of them.  I spent a lot of time on this pattern.  I patterned the whole thing from scratch!  I made a prototype, a muslin sizing version and then the final version.  I wish I had taken more photos throughout the process though.  I didn't even take other photos than this of him in the costume.  I still need to make a few fit alterations to the belts and shorten the cloak a bit more though.

We decided to go to the renaissance festival yesterday for their opening weekend.  We were joined by some of our great friends.  The last time they went with us their oldest, who is now six, was only one.  So of course the boys needed costumes and their dad needed a new doublet. I had already promised Eric a new doublet a while ago.  Because I am a professional procrastinator I waited until the last minute to make all of these.

I worked on Eric's every night for an hour and a half or so after work last week.  It took me all week doing it this way.  For his I used all stash fabrics!h
1 1/4yds dark blue diamond weave home dec fabric
1/2 yd of black faux leather
1 3/4yds of black cotton
I also added 6 large 1 1/4 inch buttons and a braided trim at the seam of the blue and black.  I do not think this faux leather will hold up well though.  We will see how long it lasts.

So Eric' took me until Friday night to finish and we went to the ren fest on Sunday.  Let that sink in for a moment.  I made 2 pairs of boys pants, 2 boys doublets and 1 adult doublet in 24 hours! Yep,24 hours! I for seriously stayed up for 24 hours sewing.  I finished and had just enough time to pack our costumes and head out to Ohio with a large Redbull.  No sleep was worth it because those boys looked so freaking adorable.  All three used all stash fabrics as well!
For dad's I used:
1 3/4 yds of black cotton bottomweight twill
1 3/4yds of black cotton
I also used 6 of the same buttons I put on Eric's.  Those buttons have been in my stash for a few years because I got them for my pirate coat that I never made.

Both of the boys doublets have faux chemise sleeves attached.  It saved me time and I thought it would make them more comfortable.  They loved these and even picked out the fabrics a couple of weeks ago.
For the littlest I used:
1/2yd red twill
1/2yd black cotton
1/2yd muslin
1/2yd of black cotton twill
4 small black frog closures

For the oldest I used:
1yd gold brocade
1/2yd black cotton
1/2yd muslin
3/4yds black cotton twill

I am guessing I will have to make new ones for them next year since they are growing like crazy!  I am okay with that though because I really enjoyed making these and seeing them running around having so much fun.

For September I had wanted to start making a plan for fall sewing but that is going to have to wait for 6 weeks! Starting this Friday I will be 1 of 6 contestants in Fabric Mart's 2nd Fabricista Fashion Challenge.  I am super excited for this challenge and honored to be chosen to compete with such amazing talent.  Keep and eye out for those posts and vote for your favorite garment each week!

Friday, August 1, 2014

M5974 version 6

I have a new dress to share!  Let me start by saying I love it!!  It is by far the loudest print I have ever used.  It is my sixth version of McCall's 5974.  I really do have a deep love for this pattern.  It really is the perfect knit dress.  The fit is phenomenal!  The silhouette works really well for my body type.

For this version I used 2 yards of a semi lightweight knit from Jo-Ann's that has been in my stash for a year now.  I debated whether or not it needed a lining because it was not quite thin enough but in the end I decided I would rather put it in and know I felt comfortable over not putting it in and possibly wishing I had. For the lining I used 2 yards of white cotton knit from Fabric Mart that has also been in the stash for a year.  Woohoo for stashbusting. 

 After wearing it all day it did get a little baggy in the back.  Since I did not pre-wash my cottons I have confidence that it will shrink back down.  I actually got a few compliments on how well the back fits by some coworkers.  Of course this was before it got baggy.

 This dress doesn't have a lot of circle spin like the ones I make at work, but it is still fun to spin in.
I did also take a bending over shot, but I didn't like the way it turned out. The dress does gap a bit in the chest when bending over, but for now I am going to say it is because the dress stretched out a bit after wearing it all day at work.  We will see what happens after I wash it.

I do the belt differently than the instructions say.  The instructions do it to were the seams are all on the inside of the belt and include a bit of hand stitching.  That takes a good chunk of time and I am okay with my seams showing on the inside of my dress.  I straight stitched my bodice to they belt and to the skirt. Then I serged each of those seams to finish it off.  I think this works just as well as the way the instructions indicate.

Instead of doing a narrow hem, I just serged my lining to my shell and turned and stitched it.  It worked out much easier to do it this way than the narrow hem.  I think with the shell and the lining a narrow hem would have been too bulky.

 I decided I wanted to try a rolled hem for this version, something a little different than the other five I have previously made.  I made sure to make my lining an inch shorter than my shell so I don't run the risk of it hanging out.  I think my serger's rolled hem function worked quite nicely for this dress.

Seriously, if you have not made this dress yet, you really really need to!! What are you waiting for?  Go to your stash, find a great knit, and cut it out this weekend.  It is a quick and easy make.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Share My Stash Update




I wanted to share a quick update on how well this went!  I could hardly believe it.  I had anticipated 10-20 donations and was prepared for that.  I went to bed shortly after posting my giveaway/fundraising attempt to several different sewing Facebook groups.  While I was sleeping my post went crazy!  I checked first thing in the morning and found we had received nearly 70 donations.  I went to work vowing to find lots of boxes and start a list of donors.  Two hours into work and we received close to another 30 donations.  At that point, I posted that I had to stop accepting donations.  Where was I going to get 100 boxes to ship?  How was I going to fit 100 packages in my car?

100 DONATIONS!!!

It took a couple of hours once I got home to sort through all the donations. I also researched alternative shipping options and I decided on shipping in those Priority flexible envelopes.  It will be easier to transport them this way.  So I ordered 100 of these envelopes from the USPS website and they should arrive within the next day or two.  The other thing I decided was that I am going to have to do multiple shipments.  When I was thinking 10-20 donations I knew I could easily handle shipping that, but 100 is going to be way more than I had intended.  So the fabric goodies will have to go out in waves.  Please be patient with me in that respect.  I did get a few envelopes from the post office this past weekend and have started packing up the first orders, which will ship out tomorrow.

The picture above is a fraction of the fabrics I have pulled out ready to be packaged!  I am keeping track of how much is actually going out.  I am excited to see what that final tally will be!  I promise to share that with you all too.

So are you curious as to what our donation total is?

drumroll...

After Go Fund Me and PayPal took out their fees we received a total of...

$1029

Can you believe it?!?!?  I know I couldn't when I first added it up.  I am so incredibly blown away by the support of our online sewing community once again.  In less than 24 hours we became 1/10th of the way closer to our adoption goal!  There are some other things in the works that I cannot talk about that are very promising as well.  For the first time since starting our fundraising journey, I feel like I can see the light at the end of this tunnel and the beginning of our adoption journey.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Great Destashing

Oh my gosh!!  I am blown away by the response to this post.  I seriously anticipated maybe 10-20 donations.  As of right now, we have received nearly 100 donations.  Seriously, thank you for all the support!!  Because of the overwhelming response I am going to have to put a hold on any more donations until I can get caught up.  This is possibly going to take me a few weeks to get everything double checked, packed, and shipped.  I want to make sure I am not leaving anyone off.  Plus, I don't think I could fit this many packages in my car to take to the post office. 


Let me get straight to the point.  I want to give you my fabric!  Yes, you read that right! Take my fabric!  Please!  You know you want it!  
Why am I giving you my stash?  A couple of nights ago on Twitter I shared a pic of my sewing room and the maybe 6 feet of space I had to walk around in.  Then yesterday, I was trying to locate some particular fabric, which I never did find, and was stabbed in the toe by a straight pin in my fabric.  Oh and I was wearing shoes at the time.  Not cool.
  My stash is getting out of control!  I have been stressing about it and have not bought a great deal of fabric this year as a result.  Now, I am not saying that is bad by any means, but I don't want to stress about it anymore.  Sewing is supposed to be relaxing and fun.  I don't want to feel like I can never keep up.
 I am out of space to put my fabric away so it goes on top of any flat surface I can find.  For real!  These lovelies deserve to go to a seamstress who will actually use them.

So here is what I am proposing.  If you want a fun mystery box of fabric from my stash, it is yours!  I will pick a few pieces of goodies from my stash and ship it to you.  Each box will have at least 3 yards of fabric plus some other fun sample fabrics.  I am guessing that I can put some sort of sequin fabric in every box too!  I am going to make that a personal challenge.

Now this can get expensive on my end for shipping all of these lovely goodies to you to make gorgeous things out of.  I estimated it to be between $7-$10 based on weight for domestic.  So what I am asking is that you make a small donation of $5.00 to our adoption fund to help cover shipping costs. I am willing to do international shipments with a larger donation.  All the donations will stay in our adoption fund and shipping will still come out of my own pocket.
So what do you say?  Are you in?  I hope so, because of all these pics you see it does not even show all of my fabric stash.  There is more! Can you believe it!
 So, if you want some make a donation of $5.00 or more click on the Paypal link on the sidebar.  Make sure you enter the address you want it shipped too and a note saying "Share your stash".
Please help get the word out and share this post as well!  I really want to de-stash and raise money for our adoption!

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