Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jungle Fever Alma

Last week I went crazy with my Jungle Crazed Minoru. This week I don't feel quite right... I think I have a case of Jungle Fever!
I won't go into great detail as I've made the Alma up once before here. This time around, I made the version with the elbow length sleeves. I used the same neckline. I omitted the tie around the waist- I thought it would break up the linear pattern of the animal print too much. I also like the slightly retro vibe without the tie belt. I also lengthened this version by 1 inch. I find that when I'm wearing the first version it rides up a little too much for my taste when I raise my hands. The added 1 inch seemed to do the trick. I finished all of my exposed seams with french seams again.
The fabric is a cotton/lycra shirting from Mood Fabrics. I had my eye on this fabric for awhile. When my craving didn't go away, I broke down and bought it! I spent about $21 for fabric.
What can I say? I love it! It's another garment that's really fun to wear. The Alma fits me well and I like the shape. I'm probably not done with this pattern yet!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jungle Crazed Minoru

I've been wanting to make the Sewaholic Minoru Jacket forever out of an animal print. I thought it might come out too much on the wild side. However, I did a google search to look at other Minoru's and low and behold I found Suzy's version. Hers looked fabulous so I took the plunge!

The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen from The lining is a black baby silk blend from Joann Fabrics that I had in my stash. I ordered the zippers (front zipper and hidden hood zipper) from So if you are anything over a size 8, you will need a 30" separating zipper as opposed to a 28". This was impossible for me to find in the stores. I discovered ZipperStop online. They have a wide selection of various types of zippers and they cut to the length you request! They were not too expensive either. Will definitely be shopping with them again! So I spent $30 for the fabric, except for the lining, and about $10 for notions. I used a heavy duty thread for the top stitching.

The jacket was relatively easy to construct but time consuming! I spent several long evenings working on this after The Boy went to bed. The instructions were adequate for an intermediate or advanced seamstress. However, even if you are a newbie, Tasia hosted a sew-along that can be found on her website. She describes in detail each step of the process. It is an excellent resource. She also gives some alternative ways of doing things that are not described in her pattern instructions.

I didn't change much but here are some things I did do differently... I lined the hood. The instructions have you make the hood unlined and hem the raw edge. I thought lining it looked nicer and wasn't difficult to do. Next- the instructions have you stitch in the ditch to attach the shell to the lining at the collar seam. I found that the layers were just too bulky and shifted no matter how many pins I used. So to keep a clean finish, I reached in through the bottom of the jacket to hand stitch the layers together. Finally- the pattern states that the hidden hood zipper should be 18" long. Well, after sewing the opening for the zipper, I discovered that it is a 19" opening. I thought I did something wrong so I measured the pattern piece and sure enough it was 19". This ended up leaving a gap of 1/2" on either end of the zipper and did not look good. So I redid the zipper opening with an 18" window. So either buy a longer zipper or shorten the opening!

One thing I will change on my next version is the pockets! The inside pockets don't do anything for me. I guess I bury my hands in my pockets more than I thought because  I found I had no place to put my hands the first time I wore this out. It shouldn't be too hard to add some side seam pockets on the outside next time.

I love this jacket! It is so much fun to wear and I'm really proud of how nice it looks. I plan on making another one in a basic color to go with my day to day outfits!


(I couldn't resist this one. The Boy insisted on being in on the photo shoot. He likes to try to match my pose! He put up the hood on his own jacket to make sure he looked like mama!)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Flannel Lumberjack Shirt

I had purchased this flannel checkered fabric from Harts Fabric several months ago, knowing that I had wanted to make a classic button-down style shirt. You would think that every run of the mill pattern company would be able to offer such a beast to fit the description. However, finding the perfect pattern proved to be a more difficult task than I had imagined. The only button-down styles I found in the Big 4 companies were over sized, dowdy, and/or unisex. While flipping through some old Burda Style issues, I found a few styles that would do but I've been too lazy to trace a pattern and add seam allowances. While on a pattern sale run at Hancock Fabrics, I stumbled upon this design while looking through their Burda envelope patterns. It's perfect! It is a basic button-down style but has a more feminine shape with the darts. Just what I was looking for!
This shirt was not particularly difficult to make but I definitely put in more hours than I thought I would.
I cut the pocket, cuffs, and slit cover (what's this thing really called?) all on the bias to add some interest to these areas. In an effort to uphold one of my New Years Sewing Goals, I took extra care to finish all of my seam allowances. Believe it or not, I did my first true flat felled seams on the side and sleeve seams. It turned out really nice looking!

Close-up of Cuff and Slit Cover Thing
Flat Felled Seam
I did something new when choosing which size to make.  Based off of the size chart, I probably would have made a 44. However, after reading Mimi G's advice I took a shirt I already owned and measured the bust and waist. I then compared these numbers to the finished measurements on the pattern and went with a size smaller. Sounds like a no-brainer but I had never thought of doing it this way! I ended up with a closer, more stylish fit in my opinion.
On matching the stripes... they don't! So I painstakingly cut out each pattern piece in a single layer of fabric instead of with a fold. I did this to insure that all of the stripes lined up. I'm not quite sure what I did wrong but it didn't really work out for me. This is especially noticeable on the side seams and the sleeves.  Oh well- I really don't think it's too noticeable to anyone except for you guys! I checked out some RTW plaid and checkered shirts and they seem to have the same problem so I'm not too broken up about it. 
When I wore this for the first time, I discovered that I look like an axe toting lumberjack! Haha! I wore ballet flats and a pretty necklace from the hubby to soften up the look. I'm very pleased with this shirt. I'm really happy with the fit and the flannel is so comfy!