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Moto Jacket Mid-Point Update

March 28, 2015

Here we go!


The back-Check out that print work!


Aligning the zipper was more difficult because I am using a “sport” one. I thought I had it adjusted correctly, but one side of my jacket is slightly larger than the other. I could also be fabric stretch. I’m not entirely sure. I recommend the suggested fabric zipper to keep things simple!


Zipper inserted and side panels/pockets completed.


Here is where I am. Front and back fitted and stitched. Sleeves stitched and waiting to be gathered and attached. This pattern is shaped for shoulder pads, so I have to either buy those or adjust that area to shape it for no shoulder pads.

Personally, this jacket is looser than I usually wear. It clearly says “semi-fitted” and the McCall’s blog describes it as boxy. I slimmed it up around the hem, but left some looseness for layers. I did fit over a long sleeve tee this time! I’m still concerned about the amount of ease in the back, but no matter where I pinned out bits, it always seems to throw off the overall look. I guess boxy in a soft fabric isn’t a bad thing. It will definitely accommodate layers!

I took a little slice of my Thursday afternoon, an early release Friday, and a 5 a.m. sewing cram session on Saturday to make it to the Mid-Point of the sew-a-long. I call it mid-point because the lining doesn’t need all the technical extras like zipper and pockets, and I’ve fabric fitted the bodice already. I hope to finish in time to join the others in the sew-a-long round-up!

Final cat photo:


Earning the good kibble as pattern weights!

Moto Jacket Pattern Adjustments

March 24, 2015

A Sew-A-Long should really be prep-a-long first! This jacket has a lot of pieces! Here are the “final” adjustments at this point:


First, the FBA for a C Cup, which is crucial for a fitted jacket. My son is helpfully pointing to the straight line I drew across the 3 front pattern pieces to ensure the adjustments lined up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe full bust adjustment when completed. I chose to spread through the center of the bust point rather than use the seams because that middle front piece had nice parallel seams. I kept my adjustment below the bust to 1/2″ to keep the lines equidistant and maintain that styling (I feel the need to call my old math teacher and let her know I actually use geometry terms for my hobby now!).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy usual short back waist length adjustment on the back, side back, and lining back pieces. I really like that this pattern has special lining pieces and all the hem marks for lining. (Remember the fun of Burda for this? Cut and go patterns save so much time!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally the “heavy upper arm adjustment” for girls with curvy biceps. That name is courtesy of Vogue Sewing’s fitting guide. Ugh! Anyway, whatever the name, I had to add an inch, because even though the finished measurement so helpfully printed on the tissue would work, I wanted to match designer ease. I wanted to avoid the Wool Jacket ease issue and insure I could layer as needed. I am excited that this pattern included a two piece sleeve! I am hoping to learn/practice my jacket techniques and come out with an edgy fun jacket.

The fabric finish survived the cold wash with mild detergent and is in the final stages of hanging dry. I’ve had to move it around to avoid cats and child. I plan to cut the fabric and start the sewing steps later this week. To follow the designer’s sew-a-long go here.

Moto Jacket Sew-a-long Prep

March 23, 2015

I can’t believe it has been a month since my last post. I have been sewing, but nothing photoed. Here’s what I started today:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASew Lisette is hosting a Sew-A-Long this week for her new pattern B6169 View A Moto Jacket. I dug through my stash and found two maroon separating zippers one in 18″ and one in 20″ and matching rayon lining. I have no idea when and why I bought these items (love stash-busting!). After digging around, I came across this poly-suede with a fuzzy burnout/shiny finish. Here’s hoping it survives the approved washing method! If it doesn’t, I have some black denim that I will swap out. Here’s a better idea of what the red really looks like:


Now, why this and not spring? I’m going to Brazil for June and July (South American winter)! I’m going for 6 weeks with no central heating at my in-laws house. I decided to plan a few travel pieces around a new jacket since everything I’ve made lately has been “work.” I was inspired by so many “New York” style travel wardrobes from pattern reviews contest that had lots of black (a mother’s favorite color). More coming soon!


The Power of the Hem

February 23, 2015

What a difference 6″ makes! Here’s my Laura now:


Here’s the original side pose:


Much better right?


I cut off 6″ before church this morning. I left it neat and unfinished. I am so much happier with this cardigan now. It flatters my curves with this length. I am going to keep that in mind for future jackets and cardigans. As for the skirt, I am passing it along to the charity shop. The fabric was poly/cheap and fine for a wearable muslin. No loss there.

Revisiting StyleArc’s Laura Cardigan

February 14, 2015

With my recent obsession with navy and the desire to have more winter wear, I pulled out my Laura cardigan again when I found an unexpected few hours of free time.


Instead of a fluid lightweight sweater knit, I chose an medium weight Interlock jersey. I also went with the longer length that the pattern was originally designed for. I have to say, this awkward pose and outfit tells you something. While I loved my first make to pieces (literally), this one is less satisfying.


The collar/hood had more body than before. It was a quick make. I didn’t bother to hem the bottom or the neckline as this fabric doesn’t seem inclined to run. Overall, it is a nice, warm winter basic.

On a side note, this is a maxi skirt I also whipped up from a poly print crepe. It is the woven maxi pattern included in S1616.


As before, I hemmed it so I wouldn’t trip on it. Alas, there was no muslin, so I didn’t notice that the way the yoke lays over my curves, the skirt ended up shorter in the back and with the shorter hem all around, it is clearly a misstep.


In defense of this overall look, a) I was struggling to figure out a warm outfit for this maxi and b) I didn’t realize how frumpy the overall look was until I saw the pictures. I doubt I’ll make this maxi skirt again (or ever wear it again). I am tempted to whack off several inches from the navy cardigan or find another pretty knit and make the shorter Laura in hopes of falling in love it the way I did with the original. Oh well, at least I did get a wardrobe basic in navy out of an unexpected sewing session.


I won!

January 24, 2015

Karen @ Didyoumakethat held a giveaway recently. Yesterday, a package arrived from the UK bearing a sewing book and knit inspired tea towel (not the fabric):


And, of course, the cats decided that the pink tissue paper was their gift!


Now, I have to ask: Am I crazy to think these hot pink/red buttons go with this teal quilter’s cotton?


I’ve been wanting to make a “shirtwaist dress”. I’ve been seeking inspiration for the next silhouette project piece in a style I’ve never really worn. This style of dress is hard to find in RTW because of my pear shape. Here’s the pattern I’m thinking of using:

M6696 View D in Lace

I love that this pattern has the multi-cup pieces, pockets, cute sleeve cuffs, and a clear waistband, so it should be easier to fit to my curves. Maybe with contrast collars, cuffs, and waistband in solid black?

V8972 aka Princess Dress update

January 11, 2015

This pattern really requires precision. While princess seams to the shoulder seam make shoulder adjustments easier, it leaves a 4 square on top of the shoulder. If you are short like me, everyone can see if it doesn’t match up.


Lots of curved seams with tricky match points like the waist yoke seams (CB back here across the invisible zip)


and the side seams at the top and bottom of the yoke:


I used a navy stretch cotton poplin with a blackberry Bemburg rayon lining and a navy invisible zipper. I used a simple diamond fancy stitch for the top stitching on the seams.


Alas, between the stretch, the unevenness of the seams with clips and pinking, and no stabilizer, the stitching does not lay flat nor does the fabric. I noticed it, but when I started seam ripping, I realized it marked up the fabric too much to hide. At that point, I had to decide to wad it (as I had no more to recut skirt panels) or forge ahead. I chose to finish and hope for the best. At this even ironing isn’t going to get the lumps to lay flat. Le sigh…

Pro Tip: I did ask the Huskevarna ladies about it. They basically said, even with stabilizer trying to use a decorative stitch is not appropriate as the top stitch is a functional stitch that holds seam allowances in place. She suggested the reinforced top stitch as a better choice than a simple straight stitch, but never use embroidery stitches on princess seams. She suggested I play with embroidery around hems and in panels, but never in place of functional stitches or over uneven areas as the tension won’t stay even over lumps, bumps, or curves.

As for the pattern’s directions, I found the directions on how to go about lining this dress very confusing. I understand the theory of lining so that the neckline and armholes are finished without top stitching, but executing it with Vogue’s directions was more than I could muster. Therefore I did it in two steps.



First, I stitched up the lining as I did the fashion fabric omitting the top stitching. Then, I stitched the lining to the dress at the neckline. I used pinking shears to neaten the raw edges/grade. Then, its a quick clip, flip, and press. That left the neckline smooth.


To finish the armholes, I basted the raw edges wrong sides together, and used navy bias binding to finish it. It also required pinking, grading, and lots of curve clipping before pressing. Then I just hand stitched it to the lining, so it doesn’t show on the fashion fabric.


Now I’m finishing it according to the pattern for tacking the lining around the zipper with yoke seams aligned, hemming, and the back slit, which looks strange in the directions.

One of the producers of all the hair on my dress, Finn, wanted to get involved in this project.


I adopted two brothers. I can’t believe how much crazy two adolescent kittens can bring into one family!


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