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Seamwork Gabrielle princess line skater dress with tie back
Seamwork Gabrielle, I feel pretty!

My sewing has been so inconsistent lately. My sewing energy was nonexistent for a while and I'm only lately having the energy and focus to even try sewing. When I saw the Gabrielle dress, I knew I had to have one! I searched for purple ponte and found a lovely rose print from Fabric.com.  I sometimes still feel like I'm only so-so on buying fabric online and loving it, but this one was a win! It's a great weight-heavy like ponte should be-and not too pricey.

After cutting it out, it sat for a while because my serger was down and out. Actually, it's been down and out for a while, but I didn't want to face the music and deal with it. This month, in addition to finally wanting to sew again, we had the extra money, so I took it in to the shop. It would have cost almost what I originally bought it for to have it fixed, so, instead, I traded it in for a new one! It's a Husqvarna Viking machine and I love it. It was quite a bit more pricey than my first one, but hopefully that means this one will have a longer life. (My old one was only 3 years old.)

Getting my new machine set up and running didn't take very long (I even re-threaded it, with no problems!). The dress was an easy sew. I'm not sure how long I actually spend on it, because I sewed a little bit at a time on this.  Sometimes I'd only sewing a couple seams before calling it a night. Even with my slow pace, it came together fairly quickly. Since I didn't force it, I felt good the entire time, no burn out. Feels good!!

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On a side note, I thought I'd be smart and buy less fabric than it called for, but then I ran out. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze it out by only lining the tie portion of the back tie piece instead of the whole thing. And I thought I was so smart.... oh well, live and learn and buy the right amount of fabric!

I cut out a XL (my measurements are 47.5"/41.5"/47") with approximately a 1" FBA. That makes it sound fancier than it was; I gave myself extra seam allowance at the bust and free-handed more width at the princess line bust point. Overall, it turned out a little large. I took out nearly an inch out of both sides seams and I still had to stitch down the top back tie piece to keep my bra from showing. I would definitely go down a size if I made it again, but keep the free-handed FBA.

Those familiar with the pattern may notice that this is a sleeveless version. I would like to pretend that was a thought-out and brilliant plan, but actually, I was tired and forgot them. Yep, I forgot to put in the sleeves. Instead, I hemmed the armholes. When I realized what I'd done, I figured I could go back and put them in if I want, but just wanted to be done. For now, I'm kind of liking it sleeveless.

Seamwork Gabrielle, side view

The tie detailing on the back is fun!
The tie detailing on the back is fun!

 

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Pink Linen Nantucket

These shorts make me so happy! If you'd asked me if I wanted a pair of pink shorts before I laid eyes on this fabric, I would have said no. But little did I know that I needed them. Truly, needed.

The fabric claimed it was linen (bought from the late Hancock Fabrics), but it wrinkles so little, I suspect it's a linen/poly blend. It's also lightweight and slightly see-through, so I will have to be conscious of undergarment choice. Other than that, it's perfect for summer shorts!

Pink Linen Nantucket - Back

The pattern is Seamwork's (referral link) Nantucket. It was a really quick sew and only a couple minor alterations. I raised the front and back crotch slightly as well as adding overall length, starting from a 16.

I also have a personal distaste of drawstrings. So, I altered the waistband to be flat in the front and gathered in the back. This worked beautifully with one exception.

When I sewed in the elastic on the back, I wanted the sewing to look like ready-to-wear. I zigzagged over the elastic to try to get it closer to that look. However, it stretched out the elastic really bad when I did, so now the waist band is slightly too large.

In addition, I should have taken some waist width out to account for the flat front, so it's all a little too loose. I'll have to take it in soon, as it tends to fall down to underwear showing levels.

Pink Linen Nantucket - Front waistband

Pink Linen Nantucket - Back waistband

Now, I have a fun pair of cool short to wear and they please my inner child. Fun in the sun!

Pink Linen Nantucket

 

PS: I finished these shorts just in time for the last heat wave to break. Isn't that just the way? By break, of course I mean that it's now mid- to upper-80's. Still summer and all of August left to go.

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I was digging through my stash and when I came across this fabric from who knows how long ago. I thought, there's enough here to muslin the Adelaide! I liked the blue roses and it seemed like a summery dress, what could go wrong....?

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Fabric

After looking at it a bit, I realized it would be too sheer to wear as is, so I decided to line it. No big deal. Since it's sleeveless, I would need to find a way to line it that would clean finish. No big deal.

Well, you know how it goes. First, the clean finish method I found worked like a charm, but because of the narrow straps took me nearly an hour to get the pieces turned through. An hour. This was after several hours of adjustments and muslining (probably not a word, but you know what I mean). *sigh*

So after fiddling with fit and fabric and finally getting it all sewing, then it sat for awhile as I couldn't find all the parts to my snap installer thingy. Finally, after way to long, I got this wrapped up.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Front View

Overall, the fit of this dress is pretty good. I give it B- in fit. For quality of construction I give it A-. But for fabric selection I give it C or maybe D. I feel like I'm clothed in drapery. This didn't occur to me until the first time I tried it on, so I don't know what I would have done differently.

This pattern was the first pattern I'd done an FBA on that didn't have a waist seam. I followed the Curvy Sewing Collective instructions here and got the front piece done, no problem. Then, when i tried to true it up to the back, it was all kinds of wonky. I knew it would pull really bad from the apex to the waist and it did. I split the difference between the pieces in half and added it to the back piece to get it lined up better. There's still some pulling, but it masquerades as needing more FBA room, which I don't think is true. (You can kind of see it in the above picture.) I'll keep practicing with this and see if I can figure out more of what I did wrong.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Back view

This doesn't wear all that comfortably. The snaps need to be closer together on me, so it gapes funny. It's nice for around the house or quick errands, but it's not good for any place I'll be sitting.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Side view

 

I'm not actually sure I'll make this again. I don't love how it fits on me and and I don't feel particularly awesome in it. It's OK and it's good to have a quick make (now that I got through this round) summer dress in my arsenal, but it won't be a go-to pattern.

Construction and Fit Notes

  • Cut size 16
  • 1.5" FBA
  • Graded out at waist a smidge (technical term)
  • Shortened 3/4" at back shoulder
  • Shortened by 2"
  • Added pockets
  • Sewed side seams above pocket at 1/2"
  • Sewed the bottom seam of the waist tie at 3/8"
  • Sewed the armhole seams (for clean finish) at 3/8" to make more room for turning (I might always do this as it's just wide enough to cover my bra straps as it is.)

Things I'll Do Different

  • Add more snaps. Due to all my fit fiddling, the snap marks weren't right anymore. I evened them out, but in the future, I'll add more. I might even go as close together as 4" and then add as many as I need to get down to the bottom. It gapes weird now.
  • Raise the darts up 1.5" or so
  • Remember to sew the side seam at 1/2" BEFORE putting the pockets in.
  • I'm on the fence about the length. I shorten things by 2" by default as that's a good start. I like the length when looking at the front, but the back seems kind of short to me. Next time I may add some length back in.
  • Sew the tie all at 3/8" seam. It seemed awfully narrow compared to the pictures at 5/8". I only didn't sew the whole thing that way because I was too lazy to pick all the stitches back out. 😀
  • There's weird bunching where the bottom of the pocket meets the seam. Not sure why or if my pocket piece

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Happy Blog Birthday to me! One year ago I posted about a top that I love and wear often. I only posted a small percentage of all the things I made in the last year, but I love all the things that I posted and the things that I didn't. Here's to another year of beautiful makes!

Tropical Pink Hayden

This is an awesome finish that's way high up my favorites list. I love the fabric (rayon) and the print. As much as I like it, it's not on my all time favorite makes because the fit isn't quite right. I made quite a few adjustments, so even though it isn't perfect, it's pretty good.

  • Shortened the bodice by 3"
  • Took 3/4" out of back shoulder line, adjusted neckline and sleeve head to account for that
  • 1/5" FBA and adjusted front band to account for that
  • 1/2" swayback (I probably won't do this in the future)

Tropical Pink Hayden

I need to make a couple of changes to the front still. I did a 1.5" FBA on the side princess line piece and only took out .75" back out at the waist. I think I need to take a little more out of the princess line seams. The neckline is still a little weird. One recommendation from another sewing friend (thanks, Sarah!) is to take a 1/4-1/2" from the front shoulder line. Since I will probably be making this again, I might play around with that.

Tropical Pink Hayden - Back

The back isn't my favorite as it's not as flattering, but I think I could make it better with a few fitting tweaks.

Tropical Pink Hayden - Back Closure

I didn't have a button that I liked for the closure, so I tried using a hook and eye. Bad idea. Technically, it works. However, the neckline doesn't sit correctly as it needs a little bit of the gap the button closure provides. In addition, if the tension gets off the hook and eye pops open. One of these days, I'll fix it and add the button. You know, as soon as I have time. Ha!

Overall, a comfortable shirt that will be getting a lot of wear and a great pattern that I will be glad to make again.

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Since I did a post about my initial ideas on Me-Made-May, I thought I'd follow up on it now. I'm glad I didn't do a pledge about it, because it went pretty much as well as I thought it would. Which is to say, not much different than every other month. I wear me-mades two to three times a week, occasionally less depending on the status of laundry. :) While my number of me-mades has grown since the first year I did it, I still don't have the wardrobe for a full month.

Wardrobe planning is on my list, but not next on my list. First up is getting through some of my WIP that are floating around the sewing room. I'm going to do a post on how I'm getting organized. It makes my geeky heart happy. 😀

Until then, here's a bit of tatting that i did as a gift. It's not given yet, but I'm pretty sure that the person it goes to doesn't read my blog. *fingers crossed*

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I got this from a Craftsy class with Marilee Rockley (links are affiliate links). It's a great class and this is the second things I've completed from it. The first was a necklace, bracelet, earring set. By completed, of course, I mean I finished the tatting but not the findings. I guess that still counts? Either way, I enjoy tatting when I want something easy and pretty and fun to keep my hands busy when I can't sew.

Shuttle Tatting
Click to check out the class!

It's one of my favorite months: Me-Made-May! I haven't made a pledge because I'm absolutely sure I'll not be able to keep it.  Either way, I love it! I spend way too much time on Instagram this month.

I wore one of my oldest makes as it was made for the first Me-Made-May I participated in and I was feeling sentimental. Also, I had to be at church early, so I wanted to wear a super comfy secret pajama sweater and it matched nicely.

So I'm off to a Me-Made-May start and I'm looking forward to the rest of the month no matter how many me-makes I wear!

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This Christmas I did a lot of sewing, mostly bags. Due to working on these At. The. Last. Minute, I don't have pictures of most of them. Bad blogger, I know.

I used two patterns and made them twice and then I hacked one of those for a third bag. The patterns I used were both by Noodlehead, the 241 Tote and the Sidekick tote. I modified the Sidekick for the third bag. I gave the modified bag to my mom, so I'll see if she'll let me take pictures of it. :)

This is the 241 Tote using jewel tone brocade and brown suede. Quite classy, if you ask me.

241 Tote
241 Tote

Construction was straight forward, but those curved pockets were kind of a trick. I like to interline my bags with duck and interface my outside fabric, which makes for a little bit of a thick bag. Took some manhandling to get it all lined up, but the finished product was worth it!

241 Tote - Pocket Details
I added bias strips to the edge of the pockets to help give cleaner lines to my busy brocade fabric.
241 Tote - Inside Details
241 Tote closes with a snap and has a patch pocket inside.

This is the Sidekick Tote in the same fabrics.

Sidekick Tote
Sidekick Tote

This bag is a breeze to make up. No tricky seams or anything like that. I didn't bias bind the pocket which I kind of wish I had. It wouldn't have looked much different, but I think it would have been cleaner.

Sidekick Tote - Outside Pocket Detail
Sidekick Tote, pleated front pocket detail.
Sidekick Tote - Inside Details
Sidekick Tote closes with a zip and has a patch pocket on the inside.

For the other two, I made them in solid colors, red, yellow and blue and gave them to my two sister-in-laws, both of whom are big KU fans.

So there you go. One short post that doesn't even begin to feel like it covers the work and the love that went into these bags. I guess that's just a part of the crafting process, right? :)

Alos, here's an outtake moment from my photo shoot as my little helper was constantly trying to be in the pictures too. Wouldn't have it any other way, though!

My Little Helper
My Little Helper

Sewing Interrupted - Seeing toddler through the sewing machine

I feel like this picture sums up not only my sewing right now, but most of my life. Toddler's are so small yet they take so much time and energy, amiright? I love it, though! I wouldnt' change a thing. Ok, well, I might like a little more time to sew, but nothing other than that. :)

I have been busy in the sewing room, although I feel like I have little to show for it. Right now it's all Christmas presents, so everything's very hush hush.

I do have quite a bit to share to catch up with things and then I'll do Christmas makings revealed after the gifts are given. (I'm pretty sure none of the recipients would read this, but better safe than sorry!).

First up, I completed another set of socks for myself, the second pair I've made to date. The pattern is the Seaweed Pattern from the Craftsy class, Knit Toe Up Socks. I did a wedge toe and short row heel. I was planning on doing the gusset heel, but I forgot to stop in time, so I did the short row.

Seaweed Toe Up Socks - Finished Product
Finished pair!

I did very badly at these overall, but fortunately, It was nothing a little stitching couldn't deal with. Now they look as good as if someone who knows what their doing knitted them. Ha! Anyway, I do like how they turned out finally, but I didn't like a lot about the process.

Seaweed Toe Up Socks - Heel and Toe
Heel and Toe

First, I am terrible at short row heels. I tore the heel out on the first sock twice and then gave up and made it with holes. The second heel I didn't bother to rip out and fail again, I just left the holes the first time. There's something about the increasing part where I'm supposed to be k3tog or sssp that I'm missing. I should probably keep practicing it, but at this point, I like the gusset heel better, so I'll just use that. Lazy, I know, but c'mon, this is my hobby.

I also was a bit frustrated with the yarn. It's super fancy stuff (I had a gift card to my LYS!) bamboo and something. Unfortunately, all that fancy made it slippery and it split easily. Next time, I'll stick with less fancy until my skills catch up. Beginners should keep it simple for a reason. (Well, I'm counting myself a beginner at sock knitting, anyway.)

Seaweed Pattern Close Up
Seaweed Pattern detail

Everything seems less painful after it's all done and sitting pretty on my table. In spite of the learning curve on these, I will definitely be making more socks. I feel confident enough to inflict a pair on my mom or sister/in-law, too. :)

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Button Down Shirt
Completed and actually fitting button down shirt!

This pattern is from the Craftsy class One Pattern, Many Looks: Blouses. It's a Craftsy only pattern, M6649, but it's a basic button down shirt. I started with view C, left off the sleeves and pockets (I've never understood boob pockets, we're not guys, c'mon).  I am doing the first step which is to get the base pattern to fit nicely. It's a only mentioned briefly in the class, but it's taken me forever to get it right. The first half of that forever was just talking myself into it once I saw how bad the fit of the pattern was. The second half felt like forever but was actually just 5 muslins later. Could have been better, could have been worse.

I started with the D cup base, but ended up increasing the dart by about .5" and then splitting it into two. Even with that it was kind of pointy, so I've sewed them as very curvy darts. I shorted the back by over an 1.5" as well. Seems like that shouldn't have taken so many tries to get it right, but I just kept shortening and shortening.... guess I could have measured better or something. Also, the darts where super finicky and didn't want to stop being so pointy.

Button Down Shirt Darts
See the double darts (for DD! teehee!)

The sleeves felt like clown sleeves. Since I had enough fiddly work with trying to get the main bodice to fit, I decided to go sleeveless with it and work out the sleeves later. This fabric (free from my mom-in-law!) was super light weight, so I thought it would make sense for a lightweight summer shirt. I finished the armholes with bias tape.

Sounds good, so far, right? Well, let me add to this one drama moment (really, it was more of a d'oh! why????? moment, but drama sounds less .... stupid).

In order to get the bias tape binding on the arm holes to lie nicely, I was trimming the seam allowance down. I bet you can now see where this is going. Yep, I chopped right into the shirt itself. Ugh.

Sleeve Snip
Oops! Too much snipping

I'd been clawing out time to work on this shirt and it was the first version that fit, so I was not ready to just chuck it out. I saw Mary over at Idle Fancy do a patch with a skirt she made (looking for the link....) and she made it look very nice. Inspired by her, I tried using Wonder Under and a scrap of fabric to make a small patch. Fingers crossed it stays put...

Sleeve Snip Patch
Patched as seen from the back. Wonder Under to the rescue.
Sleeve Snip Patch Front
Trying to match the stripes in the snip wasn't too tricky. Wasn't perfect, either...
Finished Patch
Here it is with the binding on it. Not too noticeable. Besides, who's looking that close at the sleeve of my shirt?!

Overall, I'm ok with the fit of this shirt. I grade my work on the collar at a C or lower, so I need to practice there. Other than that, I really like it. Because I'm so busty, I've never really had button down shirts that were even close to the right size, so this is great! More to come of these and hopefully with even better fit and construction.

Back of Button Down Shirt
Back, with bias cut yoke

(PS, what's up with these pics?? Getting not horrible pictures is far more challenging than it seems like it should be. Still on the learning curve for it. I thought there was enough light, but my camera was glad to prove me wrong. Next time, better, I promise.)

Vianee Sweater completed!
Vianne Sweater completed!

Well, the Outfit Along 2015 is over and I didn't quite get it finished. I didn't get the dress part of it done (1 failed adjustment and 5 shirt muslins, but no finished outfit). However, I did get the sweater knitted for it and I'm so excited about it. So. EXCITED! I can't believe I successfully knitted my first sweater, gauge modification and everything.

I haven't put the buttons on yet, but details, details. I plan on wearing it open, like I do most of the cardigans I own. But again, let's focus on the happy bit: I finished it!

Sweater Front
Sweater Front

I really love it and it's very warm (taking these pictures in 90+ degree heat confirmed that). My gauge was off from the pattern's gauge, both row and stitch, so I had to modify a couple places and wing it in a couple places. I'm sure there's ways to not have to wing it, but I didn't know what they were. I'll be putting these things on a list to try to do better next time.

The biggest area I felt unsure about was the sleeves. Because my row gauge was off, I didn't have the same number of stitches as the pattern. Fortunately, it was a higher count, so I wasn't too worried about it fitting. I increased more often than the pattern called for until I was at the number of stitches I needed for my gauge and then followed again from there. It worked ok, although the sleeves seem a little weird in the shoulders.

The only other major thing I'm adding to the list is an FBA. Since this is a cardigan, I can wear it open and it's alright, but if I do a full sweater, I will definitely need to know how to do it. I've got the Craftsy class Knit to Flatter with Amy Herzog. I've watched it before, but I think it will make more sense now that I've knitted a sweater.

Sweater Back
Sweater Back

The back of the sweater had a mesh on it that I liked. I also was reading in the Ravelry forums for this and many were talking about elminiating the mesh and just doing a knitted back. I like that I can do that option as well, know that I'm more familiar with doing gauge mods.

I can't wait to do another sweater, but it's down the list of projects. For now, I'm on to other sewing projects and finishing up the mate to a mate-less sock. One final shot, just for fun!

Sweater Side
Sweater Side