Wednesday, August 13, 2014

True Bias Hudson Pant: I Made Another Pair

Hello, second pair of Hudson Pants!  These are such a breeze to sew up, I was going to make another pair yet but didn't like what fabric I had in my stash this week.  My original pair kept me warm at night when I was camping... and I'm off to go camp again soon, so I whipped these up in one night after everyone went to bed.  From cutting the fabric to finishing, it took me about 3 hours.  It would take me longer to find a pair of comparable RTW pants like this if I went shopping.

I used materials only from past projects.  The gray ponte is a super soft two-way (width-wise) stretch fabric.  I think it's a poly?  I made the dumbest mistake using this fabric before: I made those super cool Papercut Ooh La Leggings with them... that is a no-no since those HAVE to have a 4-way stretch-- I can barely bend my legs in said Oh La Leggings. I never blogged about them but here are a pair of the Ohh La Leggings that I did right by.  To be honest, these Hudson Pants would be even better in a 4-way stretch but there is room for easy leg movement with only a 2-way stretch.

The killer animal print waistband is a ponte from my 2014 Jungle January turtleneck.  I love this fabric because it's soo stupid comfy and soft as can be.  The red cording and red nylon mesh pockets are from Marc Jacobs anorak knockoff-- that jacket kept my top half dry in the 6" (15.25 cm) of rain that showed up yesterday, you might be able to see in the pics some of my giant sunflowers uprooted and broken from the storm.

Like the last pair, I cut a 12 waist and graded to between a 16 and 18 hip, but took off the narrowest amount in the leg because the originals were a tad fuller.  I also only added 2" (5 cm) to the length this time.  I went nuts the first go round and made them 4" (10 cm) longer.

Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants. Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.  Pants.
Not much else to say.  They are pants. I like the wide elastic.  Several mosquitoes may have been slapped to death during the taking of these photos.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vogue 1314: The Kaleidoscope Scuba Knit Dress -- A Saucy Oonapalooza Dress

I've had Vogue 1314, a Tracy Reese pattern, in my stash for quite some time.  All that shirring to flatter the figure plus the ease of construction and a lining made it one of the top rated and most reviewed patterns in 2013.  Now it's my turn!  The design is a blank palette so I had to use this crazy kaleidoscope looking scuba knit, a recent acquisition from Julie's Picks from Fabric Mart.  And I can't not enter this one into the Oonpalooza Fest, too... that print is crazy fun!  

I cut a size 16 and graded to a 20 at the hip-- a normal choice for me.  Oh, my it was quite large!  I had to go back in and trim off about 2" (5 cm) to EACH side seam, yeah, a total of probably more then 4" (10cm).  I think all that shirring causes it to have sooo much extra room in the bodice.  I found I didn't need to go down about 2" (5 cm) total on the lining.  I added an extra inch (2.5 cm) to the hem of the sleeves... but didn't add any to the bodice length as I usually do since I'm 2" (5 cm) taller then what Vogue patterns are drafted for.

Now, after getting it on and looking in the mirror, I was a bit nervous about the placement of the print on my derriere.  You can see above that purple blob on the butt... are people going to be looking at it trying to do a Rorschach test as I walk around town?  It looks much less odd in the photos then when I was in my dark sewing room in my basement.  But I love the print on the upper back!  I wonder if the clothing manufacturer (Maggy London) who used this material meant this to be the edge of the print and not the center? 

The key to sewing this dress is purely getting the fit right... after that you can bust a move and make so many cute dresses.  I see this as a LBD in the right fabric, yes?! Maybe leave of the sleeves?   And look at that side shirring...

Okay, this next photo made me laugh... it says "I'm serious and I like corn".  My son was just picking corn a couple minutes before I took these photos.  I didn't even consider they were there... but dang, I look intense about it.

The scuba knit here is a moderate 4-way stretch material with great recovery, plus it's a double knit made from a poly spandex.  The reverse is a solid white.  It's super soft and comfy.  I used a brown, thinner poly fabric with a widthwise 2-way stretch (used here for this bodysuit as well), it's perfect here.

Overall, this dress has some weight to it, it'll be great for fall.  I used my serger for the seams and a 80/12 jersey ballpoint needle.  But when it came to hemming with my twin needle... ugh.. the scuba was a butt and there were skipped stitches left and right.  So I busted out my hand dandy Pellon Easy Knit Tape and ironed it to the wrong side of the skirt hem, folded it up and had zero problems sewing... I just used my ballpoint for a plain, long straight stitch.  I can't run or do yoga in the dress since the hem isn't stretchy now.

It's a fun dress!  I'm gonna even enter it into the Pattern Stash contest on Pattern Review along with the other 9,403 entries already on there.  Why not?!  

2014 PATTERN STASH CONTEST (July 1 - July 31)

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm on Twitter!

I'm back on Twitter after about a five year hiatus from it.  I'm too obsessed with sewing and need to know every last thing you are sewing, all the time, constantly, 24 hours a day.  I even made a little button for my sidebar... fancy! I tweeted for quite some time a while back for a small business I had-- life got busy and I closed the account.  Now I'm back and ready for more.  Follow me and read my tweets. Or not. I'll be following you.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Burda 8/2014 #116: Hi-Lo Dress With A Back Cutout (Plus It's OonaPalooza Time?!)

I was speedy fast with getting this dress done in time for two reasons:
1) It's my super fun birthday dress for later this month!
2) Oonapalooza time is almost up and I wanted to join the fun!


This is the hi-lo dress #116 from the the August 2014 issue of Burda (also available as a download here.)  I'm not one for the mullet dress or a backless look on me but this one whispered my name and said "Hey, go get that bright tropical hibiscus floral print on that rayon challis you bought in the winter and make me now".  It came from Fabric Mart's Julie's Picks Club.  I cut a straight size 42 with zero alterations.  The skirt is so full I had no reason to grade out the hips to my usual 46.  I was too lazy to work up a muslin, and now I have several fit issues, but they aren't the end of the world.  I totally forgot to add a little extra length to the bodice, I generally add 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) and now the waist is sitting a little higher then I'd like.  But I must say, I'm really happy with the location of were the back cutout sits-- it covers everything that needs covering (i.e. bra band and butt.)  The shoulder seams are riding back a touch because the bodice is slightly too short.  But you'd never notice, so who cares.

The directions are classically terrible Burda magazine directions.  This dress is not complicated to sew but to try to follow their poorly translated steps... oh, man, what a headache.  But like a good seamstress, I read them over to see if I could comprehend them.  It appears all most of the info is there but it's bamboozled.  So if need to rely heavily on directions when you sew, don't bang your head against the wall with this one.  Otherwise, you'll be a-okay.  

The bodice is fully lined with the same fashion fabric.  I had 3 yards of material and it worked out just fine but I had to piece the front bodice lining together and sew a center seam because I couldn't get a perfect full piece out of my yardage.  Now what does Burda forget to include in their directions?  They don't mention to do any understitching along the neckline, sleeves or back opening.  I always understitch because I hate when the lining starts to fold outward every so slightly as the garment is being worn.  They forget to tell you to trim most of your seam allowances. They don't specify why you need or how to attach elastic the your drawstring... they give some convoluted explanation on the elastic but I couldn't decipher it.  So this is what I did-- I cut about a 2" (5 cm) length of my 1/4" elastic and sewed one end of the drawstring to one side, then the other drawstring to the other.  When it's have the drawstring in the casing in back, this little bit of elastic in the center of the string creates a nice ease in the otherwise non-stretch drawstring.

I also had to go rogue with sewing in the facing/casing on the back cutout.  Sewing it on was nothing new or mind blowing but the directions manage to blow my face off with confusion.  I simply sewed the ends of the two facing pieces together t make ta big circle.  I pinned it on the back opening, right sides together and sewed it on with my 5/8" seam allowance I use.  I then trimmed the seam allowance and understitched.  I flipped it inside, wrong sides facing now, and ironed it.  I ironed the 5/8" seam allowance on the other side in and under the facing and sewed it to the dress to form the casing, leaving about 3" (7.5 cm) open to allow me to string my drawstring through.  After getting the drawstring through, I sewed up that last little open bit.  Yeah, I know, I should have taken photos.

Rayon challis loves a good french seam so this is how I finished this relatively straight seamed skirt.  Plus with a mullet hem I didn't really want serged edges flipping around as I walked.   I made machine rolled hems.  I could have done an invisible hem, but dang... the other option is so fast and works beautifully.  I love how you can barely see any of that stuff when I flip the skirt up to see the inside in the photo below.  

Check out how full that back panel on the skirt is!  I needed a gust of wind to do a saucy Marylin Monroe skirt blowing up sort of photo.  But there wasn't any gusting, so I held it up and out so you can see how huge the back is.

I may already worn the dress today and my birthday isn't even here yet.  It's summer, it's a fun, colorful dress...  I couldn't help myself.

I had to take my pictures in quick shifts.  My yard has been invaded by these crazy HUGE bugs called cicada killers-- they are humongous, look like killer death wasps and chase me when I'm nearby.  Luckily they are basically harmless and could care less about people.  The last photo is of me looking back and realizing I had one of those bugs looking at me while it sat on a flower.  Inside I went.

Birthday Giveaway WINNERS!!!

I have the winners of my big Birthday Giveaway!!  There are several of you, so here we go:

-BurdaStyle: Sewing Vintage Modern Book: Linda of Danvillegirl Sewing Diary

-La Mia Boutique Magazines (Italian): Nadine in NC

-La Mia Boutique Magazines (Russian), Vogue 7119: Sarah

-M6512, M6282, S0350, S2184, Colette 1013: Diya of The Hobby Harbor

Congratulations everyone! I've emailed all the winners.  And thank you all so much for all the warm birthday wishes!!  I just finished a fun birthday dress last night from the new issue of Burda and will get it posted soon enough. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

True Bias Hudson Pant

I have a number of things I've sewn up in the past weeks that have not been blogged about.  I need closure on these garments, so I am going to start off with these really great new sweatpants.  This here pattern is the creation of Kelli from True Bias, it's her first.... the Hudson Pant.  I needed this pattern in my life.  I'm gonna sew up more when the weather cools down.  Kelli describes them to have an urban fit with space in the hip, tapering to a skinny leg.  I live in a city, need space in the hips and prefer a tapered leg these days... sign me up!  She actually put a call out for pattern testers on the higher end of her pattern sizing so I volunteered to test. 

I pulled my shirt up a tad so you can see where the waistline sits.  These pants are no low riders but don't sit up too high either.  I love the rise of these.  The back is cut a little higher and the front a little lower-- this accommodates your bum nicely.   There's not a weird low rise showing off the butt crack.  I cut a 12 waist and graded to between a 16 and 18 hip.  Her sizing chart is quite accurate, I went with the size that was closest to my own measurements.  did a full rear adjustment... I simply added about 1" to the back crotch length.  I got big buns, you know.  The pattern is sized for a 5'4" (1.63 m) body... I'm 5'8" (1.73 m), so I just added 4" (10 cm) to the inseam.   It's hard to tell, but the leg bags over the cuff some.  I will only add about 2" (5 cm) next time.  Plus I feel like I need to size down a little in the hip to a straight 16. FYI: Her sizing is 0-18, that's 34-46.5" (86-118 cm) hip.  I find her pattern draft to be comparable to RTW sizing. 

I used a really cool looking mottled black print fabric. It's a cotton knit with craptacular recovery (I wore these to sleep in while camping a few weeks ago and they stretched out like nuts.)  I used this fabric for a Vogue dress I made last year.  The white pocket edge is a scrap of ponte.  I lined the pockets with a blue mesh.  That  tie on the waist came from an old pair of too large running shorts. And a secret: the ties aren't threaded through the waist, just tied through the holes in front (I dropped the long string I needed behind my dresser and was too lazy to move it to retrieve it, so I used this smaller bit for decorative purposes.)  I will surely thread the tie in the waist next time, it would be helpful to tighten the waist if needed. 

I wish I took better photos of these before I ripped a whole in the seam.  These are the pics I sent Kelli after testing them, just to show her how they fit.  I was putting them on in the dark of the night in a tent in the woods when I realized  I was cold, then put them on but stepped on them funny and there was a tear. Ugh!  But I have to say, Kelli really did a top notch job with her first pattern.  I am impressed with the high quality of the directions and illustrations.  She just did a round up of (most) of her Hudson Pant testers... I was an idiot and forgot to let her know it was okay to use my version on her blog.  You can see on other folks how they are a closer fit on them and see how mine fit a little longer on the leg causing some extra fullness--- but I like the look!  I HAVE to sew more of these for fall and winter... I shiver and shake with coldness in my old age when the the cold weather arrives.

Talking about old age... it's my birthday this month and I'm doing a pretty nice little giveaway with patterns and a book and some international sewing pattern magazines.  Presents for everyone!  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Image Fall/Winter 2014/2015 Review

I usually leave all the reviewing of new patterns and pattern magazines to other folks, but it's so rare to see any talk on sewing blogs about My Image.  I've made well over a dozen of their patterns and own every issue since their inaugural one back in 2010, plus a few of their envelope patterns.   Since I'd bore my family to absolute tears sharing the Fall/Winter 2014/15 issue I got in the mail this week, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you guys.

Here's a little info I know about My Image if you aren't familiar:

My Image is an independent pattern company in Holland who design and publish patterns in My Image Magazine two times per year. The patterns in this magazine are for women.  Sizing goes from 34-52 (4-22 U.S.) Not all the patterns are in all the sizes, but they are doing a nice job of overlapping plus and regular sizes the latest issue. The directions are in Dutch, German, French and English. Their websites are all available in these languages as well.   They have a couple handfuls of individual printed envelope patterns available under the name ImageWear (here you can see one of my ImageWear makes, and another one here).  The same group of folks also publish Young Image-- patterns for babies to teens-- and they also put out a new one called B-Inspired-- also patterns for babies to teens, both girls and boys as well. 

Now check out the technical drawings for the latest issue...

I have found their sizing to be comparable to Burda-- I am the same size with both companies, generally a 42 bust and 46 hip.  I like My Image because their designs are very wearable.  I don't think they are super trendy nor are they super edgy, say like La Mia Boutique can be (who I really like a lot, but often can't find a reason to sew then wear most of the designer and cotoure inspired stuff in my life since I'm not working in a professional environment these days.)

Let's see what I like in this issue, shall we?  M1458 has a super cute equestrian riding jacket vibe.  Sizing is from 36-46 (6-16 US)! I may not necessarily choose a floral splash of color like they suggest with the model.  I'd go for a more traditional look for high wearabilty this fall.  I can see doing it a classic tweed, adding some faux leather elbow patches and maybe some welt pockets in the waist seam, like the Smythe blazers below.  I'd wear this for years to come!

Inspiration for M1458: Smythe blazers

Let's check out these two patterns in the photo below.  I like how M1452, in sizes 36-46 (6-16 US), is a dropped waist knit dress but it's more form fitted and shaped in the waist... I initially thought it was a shift dress.  I can't really wear a drop waist say to the Flapper style extreme, but I can do this!

There are loads of different ways to sew M1452 up. The pocket flaps are actually one of my favorite things about the dress but I really like the idea of replacing them with exposed zippers like that red one by Joan Vass dress (below). 

Now check out M1457.  It's a sweet little dress with a Peter Pan collar... I personally am likely to skip the collar and add a little length to the hemline if I sew it.  It reminds me so much of the Libby Dress I saw in Boden's catalog.

Inspiration for M1457: The Boden Libby Dress

M1451 is a classic princess seamed dress.  The technical drawing makes it look shapeless, but the model doesn't look like she's wearing a boxy thing and the pattern pieces all look very shaped and feminine.  This pattern is total blank palette, I could see this in a million different fabrics and prints.

I fell for M1456 immediately...  but I wonder why?!  Oh... because it's so close to the pattern hack I did last year from a Salme pattern.  This was one of my most worn outfits last fall.    

Most of the patterns go up to size 46 (US 16) but this jacket and skirt below  (model on the right) are for sizes 42-52 (12-22).  I love that my size 42 is included in the plus patterns in this issue!!! 

Depending on what fabrics you choose, you can make this into a zippler-less, faux leather biker style jacket like this one below... or maybe you can belt it like the purple Oscar de la Renta one.  The jacket on the cover of the magazine is M1459, it has a zipper and collar.  I would put in the moto style category.  Hmmm... are moto jackets like these too passé? Are we over it?  I'm not sure how I feel this moment.

I'm not likely to make the pants here.  I just sewed up True Bias's Hudson Pant (not yet blogged yet-- but worn in the woods at night when I was camping!) and I feel like I don't need more modern sweatpants at the moment like M1460.  I've never worn button fly trousers like M1453 are, how does that work out?  I think I like the concept but do they pop open all the time?  

I will likely sew up several things in this issue.  What do you guys think?  I feel like I need to look past the bright, floral, busy fabrics to see what I really want.  If you want to look at a digital version of the magazine layout you can find it on their site here.