Monday, August 31, 2015

Bettine Lucky Strikes Dress!

Bettine Dress 4
I just received Kimberly Kight, Lucky Strikes Dime Store, from Cotton and Steel in Navy from the Fabric Worm. Thank you Fabric Worm for this gorgeous fabric!!  It is a beautiful navy cotton with little tan, coral and pink polka dots all over it. I made a Bettine Dress from Tilly and the Buttons. This was the first time I used a Tilly and Buttons pattern. I love how crystal clear all of the instructions are. If you are new to sewing this would be a great first dress to make. It does not have any zippers or difficult notions to install. 
Bettine Dress 1
I am constantly looking for dresses I can make and wear to work. One requirement is pockets!!! I love the pockets on the Bettine Dress because they are so large and deep!! It is extremely comfy to wear and move around in. I love to look professional but I want to feel comfortable at the same time. This dress hits on all the requirements for a wonderful work dress. 
Bettine Dress 3
I think I will be able to extend the wear of this Bettine Dress through fall. I plan to wear my boots, tights and even a cute cardigan. The only adjustment I made was to the tulip skirt, it was a little too wide. The bodice was perfect! 
Pattern: Tilly and Buttons, Bettine Dress
Size: 3
Fabric: Kimberly Kight, Lucky Strikes Dime Store, from Cotton and Steel

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Super Online Sewing Match!!!

I did not win however I wanted to thank everyone for following me and giving me words of encouragement along the way. 
Thank you Beth and Kristin for hosting this competition on Sew Mama Sew
Thank you all so much!!!
I have learned more in the past 2 months than I thought possible. New sewing techniques like customizing a pattern for my size, new zipper installation on a pouch, piping pajamas and color blocking a dress. I have also learned a lot about taking pictures, modeling my handmade garments, updating my blog and new indie pattern hangouts. 
This competition really started with 10 fantastic seamstresses! I love their blogs and I love to follow their sewing projects they create. 
I hope to sew wonderful handmade garments, accessories, quilts, kid's clothes and more and I hope all of you come on the adventure with me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fur Trimmed Cascade Duffle Coat Round Five

Last Monday, August 10th, I found out that I made it into Round 5 of the Super Online Sewing Match!!!  I felt excited and thankful to have moved forward into the last challenge. In Round 5 we were asked to create the Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio. We were also given $100 to spend at Fabric Depot. Teresa Coates at Fabric Depot was wonderful and offered to help all three of us in this round. She and I texted back and fourth until I found what I was looking for. Teresa took pictures of fabric and zippers. It felt like I was in the store with her shopping. I have to say Fabric Depot surprised me by sending the fabric next day air!! They are awesome!
While I waited for my fabric to arrive, I printed out all of the templates and cut out a size 4. Being vertical challenged, I used the lengthen/shorten line and moved everything up 1.5" on all of the bodice templates. 
I decided to make View B which is a longer coat with a hood. I loved the style and look. However making a long coat for a petite frame is very risky. If my fitting is off, I could potentially look even shorter!!! 
I had a few yards of some plaid fabric at home, so I played with the templates and started to work on fitting. I overlapped the .5" seam allowance and taped together templates 2 (front upper body) and 26 (front lower body). I did the same for templates 4 (back upper body) and 27 (back lower body). The coat looked longer by taking out the seam on the hip line. Horizontal lines on a petite frame should be used across the natural waist line to help create shape. 
After taping, I cut the taped templates 2 and 26 vertically and then added a .5" seam allowance to make a princess seam down the front of the coat. This allowed the coat look long but proportional to my petite frame. 
I started to look through my coat closet. Most of my coats are hip length and navy or black. I also noticed I had two plaid coats but I never wore them. I had to start thinking about fabric, wool and what my Cascade Duffle Coat was going to look like in the end. Creating a Cascade Coat Pinterest board helped me brainstorm ideas.
My wool fabric color is camel, it is a great color to transition from fall to winter. I was very pleased in the color and texture of the wool. Teresa also found a black zipper with a silver zipper pull. Adding small details like this to your sewing projects can raise the level of your handmade garments. 
The lining fabrics are Bemberg, Ambiance, which is 100% rayon lining in the color of purple. I also used a purple plaid flannel as an accent. The toggles are from M&J Trimmings
The fur trim is from a sweater I had that started to fall apart, so I repurposed the fur trim for this project. It is faux fur but I love how soft and perfect the color is for this coat.
Once I had all of my supplies and the templates were taped and cut again, I was ready to cut out my coat. There are a lot of pieces for this coat. I found it helpful to make piles of main fabric, lining and interfacing. Making this coat was a lot of fun. I used my walking pressure foot on my sewing machine so that the layers would not shift during the sewing process. 
The fur trim was a little insane to put on. However, my sewing machine was a trooper. When I attached the fur trim I left 2" of hood on either side without trim. This made it easier when constructing the coat.
The magic of making this coat happens when attaching the lining to the coat's outer shell. I love how it is like turning a bag! Everything is sewn by machine nicely together (even the sleeves), then you trim the seams and corners and finally flip it right sides out. I was thinking there is no way all of this is going to work and then it pops out right sides out and you actually have a coat!!!! It was a little scary and amazing at the same time. 
I highly recommend this pattern. It is a classic style coat that never goes out of style. The wool is warm and the lining fabric is silky soft. Thank you so much for hosting this competition Kristin and Beth from Sew Mama Sew! Thank you Fabric Depot for the wonderful fabric and thank you Jennifer Beeman for a great pattern, I have to try your Morris Blazer! Can't wait to see the other contestants entries and the sewing communities entries too!
Size: 4
Fabric: Camel Wool from Fabric Depot, purple plaid flannel and purple Bemberg lining.
Notions: Black zipper, toggles, faux fur trim
Best Wishes and tons of Stitches!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What have you learned about yourself or your sewing in the contest?

When I started to reflect, I realized how much I have grown throughout this competition. I narrowed it down to these three points; goals, confidence and finding my fit. 
I have learned that I love to be challenged and given sewing goals to achieve each week. I will try to continue to set goals for myself. Perhaps each week or biweekly sewing up new patterns. I have learned so many new sewing skills by having a set goal or date to complete it by.
I have also learned how to go with my "gut feelings". At first, especially in Rounds 1 and 2, I felt hesitant about my fabric choices and adding any extra ideas into each pattern. However by Round 3, I began to feel more confident and free. I ordered my fabric without one worry or second guessing my choice. This competition has definitely given me more confidence.
In reflection the last thing I have learned about myself is how to make my wardrobe fit my petite frame better. In the past, I would overlook the lengthen/shorten line and just hem the end of the garment up 2-3”, some times more. This is a horrible way to try to adapt a pattern for a petite frame because it does not change where the waistline falls on your garment. After making many test runs of each of the patterns in Round 1-5, I finally figured out the best way for me to adapt the pattern is to take the paper templates and fold it at the lengthen/shorten line and tape it (then I fold over the paper at the edges if it is not smooth). This way if I shorten it too much, I can go back and refold at the lengthen/shorten line. This also helps when you have multiple templates to adapt. Like the coat for example there are 8 templates (outer shell and lining) that needed to be shortened. Since I folded the front upper body template 1.5" up at the lengthen/shorten line I did the same technique to the other 7 templates so everything would fit together. It makes all the difference in the world! Now and forever I will adapt my pattern templates so they fit me.
Thank you so much for hosting this competition Kristin and Beth! It has been an honor to sew beside these great seamstresses. I feel very fortunate to be able to compete. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On to Round 5!!!

Yeah! I can't believe I made it to Round 5 of the Sew Mama Sew, Super Online Sewing Match! All of these women are amazing seamstresses! Their sewing technique is impeccable. I enjoy looking at all of the entries to see how they made their garments and totes. I am learning new techniques with each new challenge in the competition. It has been a wonderful experience and now we are here at the last Round.
The above picture shows what I have made for the past 4 Rounds; the Sutton Blouse by Kelli at True Bias, the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes, the Caravan Tote by Anna Graham from Noodlehead and the Carolyn Pajamas by Heather Lou at Closet Case Files. I have never indulged myself in so much selfish sewing. It has been fantastic spending so much time making myself beautiful garments and the tote is my current favorite. 
The pattern we have been asked to sew is the Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio. I am looking forward to sewing up this coat!! I have made a special Pinterest Board just to collect my ideas. Fabric Depot has sponsored the fabric for this round and we received $100 to spend on fabric. Fabric Depot is amazing! I had a personal shopper, Teresa Coates, yesterday helping me look around the store. She would text me pictures of fabric, just so I could see what was available in the store. I am in North Carolina and Fabric Depot is located in Portland, OR, 2,884 miles away. I was able to shop around and feel like I was in the store with Teresa. They have so many wool fabrics to choose from!!! 
Well, as a wait for my fabric to arrive, I will print and cut out the templates. I might even have enough time to make a muslin. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mint Chocolate Chip Carolyn Pajamas, Round Four Challenge

Wow, We are already on Round 4! The Super Online Sewing Match has been a wonderful experience for me this summer. I have looked forward to each challenge because I have learned many new sewing techniques throughout this adventure. In Round 4 we were asked to make Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Files. I usually wear a t-shirt and sweatpants so this addition to my wardrobe was sorely needed. Thank you!!!
Carolyn Pajamas pants
Straight away, I decided that I was going to use piping! This was a bit of a challenge for me since my only experience with piping was with decorative pillows and handbags. I ordered my fabric from Sew Modern and began to practice piping everything. 
Thank you Sew Modern for sending my fabric so quickly to me. As I was waiting for my fabric to arrive, I made a muslin of the top and shorts to check fitting. I am a size 6, however, I am 5',1" (if I am standing up straight, with good posture) and this pattern was written for an average height of 5',6". 
Inside seams of Top
I had to shorten the top and the pajama bottoms by a few inches to make it petite enough for my frame. When I shortened the front and back bodice pieces, that changed the lapel facings, as well as the pocket and button placements. I am so glad that I had the time to check everything and test it out before cutting into my new Sew Modern fabric.
Faux fly
Once my fabric arrived my original plan was thrown out the window. I had purchased Michael Miller pinhead dots in sea foam and stone. I was going to make a simple spa like set of pajamas. Although, when I opened the fabric package, the fabric was mint in color and that is when it hit me, I had to make Mint Chocolate Chip Pajamas! 
Pants Side
My favorite summertime treat is diving into a mint chocolate chip ice cream from a local creamery in town. This delicious dessert is the inspiration for my mint chocolate chip pajamas! The cool refreshing mint is scooped up in Michael Miller's pinhead dots and the sweet chocolate is drizzled with piping, ribbon and buttons. This delectable creation is simple and sophisticated at the same time. 
Close up Collar
I decided to make the shorts, pants and short sleeve top because we are at the end of  summer and fall will arrive soon, with a chill in the air. The shorts are adorable and I could see making a pair for everyday wear. The Carolyn Pajamas pattern starts by making the bottoms first and I think that is great because even without the top you can wear the pajama bottoms. 
Then it moves into the top instructions. I have to admit the top gave me a few challenges, especially during the notched collar part. Again, I was so glad that I made it twice, practice makes perfect.  Heather, from Closet Case Files, wrote a wonderful blog post about the notched collar and lapel installation, this was a tremendous help. I used 3 pressure feet; an open toe foot for stitching in the ditch, a zipper foot for the piping and my standard foot. The only changes I made to the pattern was adding piping to the pockets of my shorts and pants. I also added ribbon to the top pocket and above the faux fly.
Carolyn Pajama shorts
After creating these cute pajamas I couldn't help but think of an entire line of Delectable Designs, sweet ice cream flavored pajamas; cookies and cream, strawberry with whip cream, vanilla fudge ripple or rocky road. Each one with an ice cream fabric and extra toppings sprinkled on top. What would your favorite flavor ice cream pajamas be? Wouldn't they make great sleepover party or bridesmaids gifts? 
Good Morning
I have plans to make myself warmer pajamas in the winter. Maybe for the whole family now that I have the notched collar technique down. Thank you so much for hosting this competition Kristin and Beth from Sew Mama Sew! Thank you Sew Modern for the wonderful fabric and thank you Heather Lou for a great pattern, I have to try your Ginger Jeans! Can't wait to see the other contestants entries and the sewing communities entries too!
Size: 6
Notions: Dark Brown Ribbon, piping and buttons
Best Wishes and tons of Stitches!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mesa Dress from Colette Sewing Patterns

I have been on a knit fabric kick! It feels good to wear, looks great and usually a knit project takes less time if the fabric and sewing machine and/or serger behaves. I had a lot of red ponte fabric from my Marianne Dress from the SOSM Round 2 so I decided to make another knit dress. 
I was looking for a boat neck line t-shirt dress to make and the Mesa pattern fit the bill. I made a size small, 4-6. The fitting was great. However, I am 5'1" and this is where the hem line fell without changing the pattern. If I were taller, I would have lengthen the dress. It must be is super short on a "regular height frame". 
The only challenge I had was the neckband needed to be a little shorter, so that it pulled the top of the dress in. I made the red dress first and a stripe shirt second. The neckband in the shirt looks and feels better because I stretch the band a little as I sewed it in.#MesaDress as a shirt
The Mesa Dress pattern is from Colette Sewing Patterns through their new online pattern magazine called Seamworks. It only costs $6 at the beginning of each month for a subscription. A subscription comes with 2 patterns each month and $2 off of any of the previous issues. If you buy one of their patterns later they are $7 each, if you don't have a subscription. This would also make a great gift if you know someone who loves to sew! Just $72 a year. I might have to Sew Spoil myself and get it as a birthday gift to me.
Best wishes and tons of stitches!