Saturday, December 31, 2011

New McCall's Picks

To be honest, I haven't been impressed with McCall's patterns for close to a year now. However, some of their newest patterns are really intriguing!

I really like the shape and ruffle placement of 6518- Looks so fun and flirty!

Next is this color blocked tank, 6511. I especially like it in the monochromatic tones.

I also like the shape of these blouses in 6512. Love the tie neck with the shirttail hem line!

And finally, I really like the twist on the classic wrap top with these styles in 6513.

Yep, I definitely need these four patterns! Which ones do you have to have?


Monday, December 26, 2011

Pattern Review: Navy Jacket

Hope you all are having some wonderful holiday time, whatever you celebrate! It was my little one's first Christmas! He enjoyed it for small (30 second) increments at a time. But we had a great time with family.

By the way- I'm a jackass and owe many of you an apology! I turned on "comment moderation" a few months ago. I was getting some comments that I didn't feel were appropriate so wanted to make sure I screen them first. The other day, I was in my comment moderation page and deleted about twenty of the last comments made before my most recent blouse project. I thought I was deleting them from an inbox sort of thing, but no- I was deleting them off of my blog all together, with no hopes of recovery! Dang-it!!!! I doubt any of you would have noticed but that is the reason there are no comments left for the last several posts.

For this jacket I used Vogue 8480. I really liked the design details and lines of this jacket. Love the shorter, slightly flared sleeve. I like the notched collar. I also like the pockets that lay in the princess seam of the jacket. The topstitching makes the jacket much more RTW looking.
I used a stretch navy poplin. I can't remember where I got it- it's been in my stash for a while.

The jacket is not lined. I think if I were to make this again, I would add a lining to hide all of the seam allowances.
I made only a few minor changes. I shortened the sleeve cap height to make it easier to set-in. I also omitted the topstitching in just a few places where I thought it looked wonky. This included along the sleeve cap- it gave the cap a wrinkly appearance so I ripped the stitching out. And I also omitted topstitching along the pocket, another place I thought it just didn't look right, at least for me.

Overall, I am happy with the end garment. My only gripe is the color. It's kind of boring to wear a navy jacket so it needs to be paired with a great blouse or some stand out bottoms. I keep picturing it in my head over a white summer dress- not that I have a white summer dress. Maybe that will have to be on my to do list...


Monday, December 19, 2011

Pattern Review: Floral Blouse

This pattern has been reviewed at least 50 times on Pattern Review so I'll save you a long review. It is a "Best Pattern of 2010", and for good reason!

I initially bought this fabric at Joann's for a vintage look I was going to make. I think the floral print screams vintage, in a cute way. And then I decided that vintage sewing is just not for me. Eeek... I know I'm gonna get some flak for that last statement but let me explain! I follow a lot of your vintage inspired blogs and I think you all look amazing. I love to admire all of your vintage looks and how you pull the looks together. However, I've tried the vintage thing and I've found that it just doesn't work for me. I don't think I have the creativity that others have to incorporate the vintage looks into my wardrobe. Plus I've found that the sizing is quite different and I don't have the patience to deal with the fitting issues. That being said, I've got a modest collection of vintage patterns that I will be downsizing so keep an eye out for giveaways in the new year!

So back to this project- the print fabric cost me $9.75. It's just a polyester print from the Simply Silky collection.

This top was very easy to make, I think I spent about 3-4 hours sewing it, not including cutting it out.

As far as alteration, I cut a size 18 with a 'B' cup. I found that this pattern has quite a bit of ease though. I ended up doing 1 inch seam allowances on the side and the top is still a little big for my preference. I think next time, I will cut out the 16 or maybe even the 14 and I think I will still have plenty of room to slip this on.

I finished the inside seam allowances with bias tape, a la Amanda. She always has impeccably finished garments inside and out. I think one of my New Year's resolutions will be to take more time finishing the seam allowances- it really does make a big difference!

I really like how this blouse turned out! It's a perfect top for wearing under a jacket with the ruffles spilling out the top! I can see myself making several different versions from this pattern- I could use dressy tops that are good for layering!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Burda Bomber Jacket

I've been sewing! Baby boy and I have worked out a way for me to get my sewing fix in and I've been loving it. Thanks for all of the encouragement and advice! Here's how it's been working: my cutting table is on wheels so I've been rolling it over to the kitchen and getting my cutting done while the baby is up. He loves to crawl around on the floor for most of the day. Doing the cutting in the kitchen allows me to keep an eye on him and he doesn't have to be cooped up in the sewing room which doesn't go over well for long. As far as the actual sewing, I do need to wait until the baby goes to sleep for this. So I've been staying up for a couple of hours, a few times a week to sew. It's football season so it's working out well with the hubby too. He watches the games, I get my sewing in!

This is from the 10/2009 issue of Burda. It is from their "Take 1, make 4" section and is style 129. There's actually another jacket in the same section that I have fabric for. I didn't renew my Burda subscription for a couple of reasons. Although I usually like at least 3-4 things from an issue, I wasn't keeping up with sewing them. I also found that there were a lot of duplicate styles from issue to issue. There's only so many times you can see the safari theme! I may subscribe again at a later time but there's still so many styles I would like to sew from my current collection.

I used a wool blend from Hancock Fabrics and a polyester lining. It also needs ribbed knit for the collar, cuffs, and waistband. I couldn't for the life of me find a separating zipper that was long enough for the jacket! I didn't check online- perhaps there's some online sources out there. The jacket calls for a zipper up to 28 inches long depending on your size. I think the longest I found was 23". I tried to make this work because I knew I wouldn't be zipping the jacket up all the way anyway, but the shorter zipper just didn't look right. So I ripped the dang thing out and used large snaps instead. I'm pleased with the substitution- I still get the look I was going for.

The jacket is rated "intermediate difficulty, for advanced learners". I think it was a bit more challenging than they rate it. The instructions are vague, per the usual Burda, and I found myself just sitting there trying to go over in my mind the way things were supposed to go together. I was really intimidated by the welt pockets which I don't know if I've ever made before. I almost chickened out and made faux welts by just sewing the welt band in place. But with the help of some online searching and my Vogue Sewing book, I did the real thing! The rest of the jacket went together pretty smoothly.

Here's a close up of the cuffs.

My welt pockets turned out pretty well, I think!

I wore this out and about today. The temperature is cold over here! It was in the 30's today but felt even colder with the wind. Even with the wool and the lining, the jacket is still pretty lightweight so I did feel the bite of the cold today. But... it looks cute so that's all that matters, right?

Oh, and I created a Burda Style account finally! As far as I can tell it has the feel of Facebook but within the fashion and sewing community. This is my first project on there. Check it out!