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And my inspiration dyed…

May 11, 2015

I know it is a ridiculous pun, but I couldn’t help myself! I have been sewing, but I haven’t completed much. It all started with my lack-luster Vogue skirt:


See the meh? Because of the pattern drafting “options,” the skirt fits like a pencil front and back with these strange wing additions at the side. I’ve been tweaking the fit, but I should have known a light color for a big bottom was a poor choice.

So I decided to darken it up with a pack of dye I randomly bought awhile back.


test scraps and Dylon black dye


Test scraps complete.  The dye gave the natural fiber a nice even finish, which eliminated the white and blue weave of the fabric. I didn’t like the loss of texture.

I decided to finish the fit and create a waistband facing rather than use the recommended grosgrain ribbon. I also ordered more dye in brighter colors like purple-blue, red, and pink. When those come in, I am going to play with this technique and hopefully make this skirt a project I’ll love. As for the wardrobe, it is mutating as I go. Maroon and black are uninspiring when I’m surrounding by Spring flowers and bright fabric. More on that next time!


Huck voting “no” on the grosgrain ribbon finish. I always listen to the voice of wisdom!

Thoughts on Vogue’s New Collection

April 12, 2015

Sometimes when I see Vogue’s trendy stuff all I can say is “huh?” There are a few gems though.

First, I love Sandra Betzina’s new sportswear combo.

V1452 cute knit top with wide leg pull-on pants. I’m a little concerned about the back of the pants based on the photo of the model, but it could be the model’s lack of curves?

Here are the two dresses I’m thinking about buying. Trouble is I have tons of dress patterns I haven’t used. Why buy more?

V1448 cute faux wrap dress with contrast belt. I love the tiers/layers of the skirt! I think this would really flatter my figure.

V1446 is really beautiful yet complex white dress. The back is lovely and all the pin tucks are intense. I think it would be a couture style project if I did invest the time.

V1455 by MIzono seems to be a reversible girl’s dress. Too cute! Not buying it, but still admiring it.

Here some nice skirts but the tops are extremely questionable!

V1454 and check out those shoes! Shirt is a complete bust!

V1451 has a really cute mermaid skirt with elastic waistband. The shirt looks like it could work as a maternity top.

What are you all thinking? Any winners that will make it into your collection?

Wardrobe Ideas for the Moto Jacket

April 6, 2015

I’m probably going to shock you with the depth of my fabric stash. Just know that I know I am a fabric-o-holic. The first step is admitting the problem (and I’ve been admitting it for years, so it is all good!) Here’s what I unearthed when I took my Moto Jacket lining for matching:


The Moto Jacket is on the left. The fabrics on the right from top to bottom: Lace Jacquard Print (9/10 yd. remnant), Crepe Leopard print with maroon spot shading (3 yds), dark red tubular rib knit (1+ yd), Maroon suiting with black and white pinstripes (5 yds), Maroon Crepe back satin (3+ yds), and traditional leopard print in medium weight woven with a silky soft drape (3 yds)

OMG right? That’s of course not counting the other stuff I found in black, grey, tan, white, and navy as those are the neutrals that go with maroon. Of course, I began pre-washing and planning immediately. I also ran into Jo-Anns for notions and came across two remnants that were marked way down and were in the color grouping! Here’s what I’ve cut so far:


Lace Jaquard poly-cotton blend with a teeny bit of stretch but bad recovery. I cut a pencil skirt with a bit more ease from my TNT except I’ve lost the waist stay pattern piece. I also had enough lining left over from the jacket to fully line this skirt.


This soft light blue/white denim (no stretch) came as part of my “free bundle” fabric from Fabric Mart Fabrics black Friday sale. I cut V8750 View D-the above the knee swishy version.

And here’s what I’m  planning for a few others:


I loved my vogue peplum jacket to pieces, so rather than making another Laura cardigan, I’m going to try McCalls 6844 peplum cardigan with pretty shawl collar. It looks like it will fuse my favorite elements of the other two styles. This is a light weight black fine sweater knit (3 yds, unknown content or origins).


This remnant from Jo-Anns is a graphic “denim” print on a medium weight cotton blend jersey (.833 yds). I’m hoping to have enough for the sleeveless version with the big collar. If not, I’ll probably be able to get the shell with basic bais strip finish.


This 5 yards of suiting really screams trouser (Lisette’s new trouser pattern is prepped and ready), but I am also tempted to play with Melissa Watson’s A-line maxi view C with the stripe play meeting at CF. I have enough fabric for both, but I’m still not sure I want two bottoms and no jacket from this suiting. I know I bought it to make a traditional pants suit with stripe play, but have completely forgotten which Burda jacket I was inspired by. Decisions… decisions…

If you haven’t guessed yet, I am really trying to get the 8 other pieces together for Pattern Review’s Wardrobe Contest that runs April 1-May15. The Moto Jacket will count as my one “pre-contest or RTW” piece. Well I’m off to stitch up the two cut skirts and cogitate on the other items. I am really struggling for “top” ideas. Suggestions?

And of course, the cat, as always, wanted to help out with the photos!


Huck the project inspector

Moto Jacket with the finishing touches

April 3, 2015

I am so happy with my jacket!


Finished Moto Jacket (B6169 by Lisette)!

In my last post, I was just about finished with the shell. Here’s the some of the sewing highlights and fitting issues.


The lining went together per the directions on the Lisette blog’s sew-a-long posts. I love the color contrast with the marsala/maroon red rayon lining!


Then, two became one. I tried to “bag out” the lining as the blog directed, however I couldn’t. When I stitched the sport zipper in, I top-stitched at that time. The top-stitching is part of the bag out lining step, which would connect the lining facing to the jacket using a zipper foot around the zipper. Rather than ripping out the top-stitching, I only stitched above and below the zipper, leaving the rest of the seam open. I tried to show that by turned the interfaced facing to the camera.


To finish the lining attachment, I had to hand stitch the facing along the edge of the zipper.


Ultimately, I had to also hand stitch the lining hems to the jacket hems, which added a lot of time and a pretty ease pleat. I also has a little trouble with the facing edge around the bottom of the inseam portion of the zipper. It was impossible to finish the hems as described on the blog. I think the problems I had came from using a Sport zipper. Can’t believe that zipper change cost almost 2 hours of extra work!


As per Liesl’s comment on my last post about the boxy nature of the jacket, I inserted the shoulder pads and lining before trying to fit again. As you can see, there was a lot of excess around the hems. In the end, I had to take out 5.5+ inches. 1 inch in the front was completely my mistake from my FBA. The rest was ease in the pattern (size 20 as per my waist measurement). I took another 1 out of the side front panels, 2 out of the side back panels, and 3/4 at each side back princess seam at the waist and tapering above and below like a fish-eye dart.


And after all the fitting, I am much happier! I left some of the ease in the shoulders because I wanted the freedom to move. At this point, I could give someone a bear hug or do yoga in this jacket.


Finally, finished side front around my curves. I am sorry for the photo quality. I won’t be seeing my friend who helps me take pictures until tomorrow. I was so excited, I couldn’t wait. I’ll probably post some nicer finished photos tomorrow.

I really enjoyed this sew-a-long. I am considering sewing up the fit-and-flare dress that Lisette is hosting a sew-a-long for next week. We’ll see. I have so many things I want to sew, but I really need some tops.

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!



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