Party Pants Times Two

Secret pajama pants! What could be better? They’re perfect for a night out…a comfortable yet stylish option that makes you feel pretty good until your date says, uh…those pants are pretty baggy, aren’t they?

Well, yeah, but in a very evolved I don’t care if I show off my figure sort of way, am I right?

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Of the two pair of pants I made from McCall’s 7726, the linen ones are my favorites. This linen is especially nice with a soft hand (fabricdepot.com), perfect for this style. Soft wrinkles are inevitable with linen and they seem right at home here.

Pair number two is made from twill with an overlay of black lace.

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The fabric has been in my stash for along while, so I have no clue where it came from. Since twill is a recommended fabric for this pattern, I just had to give it a try. The twill added so much structure to the look, it’s as though I made a completely different pattern!

McCalls 7726 is a pretty forgiving option if you’re ready to sew a new pair of pants.

The paper bag waist is created by eight pleats, so if you need to adjust fit there, you can do so by tweaking of the size of the pleats. The pants have generous pockets and optional belt carriers. I cut a size 10 in the waist, then graded to a size six everywhere else. The fit is generous, so there’s quite a bit of wiggle room. The pants are long too…I cut off quite a bit to get my cropped look (I’m 5’4″).

I chose View C for both versions. The main difference between the views is the width of the leg. I love wide pants but they tend to look ridiculous on me, so I opted for the narrow leg. I also made the fabric sash for both pair.

This is an easy pattern and the instructions are spot on, even the ones for the fly zipper. The waist instructions vary a bit by the version. The facing is applied to the paper bag waist before or after making the pleats depending on the view that you choose.  I pleated the waist after creating the facing and it wasn’t hard at all.

 

Well, the fit of this style might be too loose for some people’s taste, but not not for me. I am a big fan of this style. These pants can be dressed up or down as the mood strikes. I wore the twill pair when I was out and about, and every woman I met wanted a pair, including a sales girl in Anthropologie, LOL!! We all love secret pajamas, don’t we?

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Next up for me are a few springy tops, a linen jacket, shorts and a skirt for Spring/summer, even though it’s cold and wet here.  I’m also considering another cardigan before Me-Made May, since the weather is frightful. I’m looking for a new cardigan pattern with a hem band…any suggestions?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

McCall’s 7430: A Knit Dress for Spring

IMG_9618I made this knit dress for a trip we just took to Santa Fe, but there was snow on the ground when we arrived so this dress never made it out of the suitcase, LOL! Still, I love wearing knit dresses, so I know this dress will have its day.

The trickiest part of this dress was positioning the stripes across the bodice and the sleeves.

Let me tell you….It took alot of pins and patience to get the stripes in the right place as I inserted the sleeves, but in the end, the effort was worth it.

I’ve made this knit dress pattern before and it’s now one of my favorites. McCalls 7430 offers a few variations that makes it easy to modify to give each version a fresh look. You can use contrast fabric for the yokes and the sleeve crowns as I did, or you can cut the entire sleeve from the same fabric as the bodice, or even make it sleeveless. There are collar variations too – a raised collar or a simple neck-band (my choice).

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I love a pattern that gives you alot of options!

Challenges: There aren’t any side seams on this pattern.

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This makes fit a little harder to modify. Because I’d made this pattern before (here), I wasn’t concerned, as I’d already done a trial run. The good news is, the pattern is well drafted and for me,  the size dictated by my measurements was perfect.
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The success of this dress depends in large part on the knit, I think. The fabric must have some weight and body so that it will give the dress some shape. A thin lightweight knit wouldn’t work because it would be cling too much and would show every bump. I was lucky to find this medium weight knit at Fabric Depot. It has just the right amount of weight and crosswise stretch. It’s a rayon/cotton blend which will make it easy to wear as the temperatures rise.  Now, if the weather would just improve around here.

New Mexico stole my heart last week, and the brief sprinkling of snow only made the high desert seem more exotic. Here’s one of the sights we enjoyed as we hiked.IMG_9384

It was a great trip, but it’s good to be back at my sewing machine:).

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A Peplum Jacket For Layering

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A love the four Helmis I made this year, so much so, they might make it into my Top Five Hits for 2017!  But unfortunately, those shirts aren’t warm enought to wear alone at this time of year. So, my Helmis became the perfect excuse to sew a new jacket!

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As you all know, I love anything with a peplum, so when I found Vogue 9214, it was instant love. It’s a knit jacket, which means it’s super comfortable to wear with a cute pleated peplum and an exposed zipper down the front.

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Vogue 9214 is a Very Easy Vogue too, which means it’s fast and easy. The collarless neckline is finished with bias tape.  It’s close fitting through the bust, so it’s a nice smooth layering piece. I love the exposed front zipper and the pleated peplum.

I was surprised and pleased at how easy this jacket was, and for me, the fit was spot on. I used a ponte knit from my stash in a cranberry red (a conveniently seasonal choice), that manages to look good with two of my Helmis. The exposed zipper was reallyt easy to insert. In fact, it seemed easier than the last standard insert zipper I tackled. The neckline is a breeze, because it’s just a bias tape finish. The peplum is created with four pleats, and as long as you have them marked well, it’s not hard at all. That means this is a very doable project at a very busy time of the year. I was able to cut and sew this in an afternoon.

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It’s always great to find a quick easy pattern with a bit of style that you can whip up without a struggle! I’m inspired to make this again out of a sweater knit. All sorts of ideas are churning around in my head!

Another project I finished this week, a collection of  glittery paper ornaments. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen these, but they were so fun to make, I had to share them here too.

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I’ve been trying to figure out how to do something similiar with fabric scraps, as I saw a ornament in a store that was fabulous. The paper version has accordian folds that are fanned out to make the circle. I just can’t figure out how to do the same thing in fabric so that the folds stay put. Thoughts? Maybe spray starch?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

New to Me: a Colette Moneta

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It’s Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch, a fun month of challenges designed to acquaint us with the wonderful world of Indie pattern designers. Last week’s challenge was to make a pattern from a company that was ‘New To Me’. I picked Colette patterns, a company based in my home town, Portland, and made their popular pattern, the Moneta dress.  And lucky me, my ‘make’ qualifed me as a finalist in this week’s competition! Voting is now on the Monthly Stitch and I’d love to have your vote!

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This is a fabulous pattern, and I can see why it’s been so popular in the sewing community. I’m not sure why I never made it before….I’ll be making it again and again. I used a cotton jersey knit and added a contrast collar, sleeve bindings and pockets. It came together easily, and my full review can be found on the Monthly Stitch website. The good news about this pattern is that Colette includes lots of collar options on their website so that you can make many fun versions.  It’s really a keeper.

If you’re new to the Monthly Stitch, it’s worth checking out. It’s a great community and every month brings a new challenge. It’s a fun way to get inspired to do something new and to make sewing friends.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A White Shirt and Jeans: Classics Recharged

IMG_5707I’m such a fan of wearing classics – jeans, button-down shirts, tee shirts to name a few, so it’s always fun when you see an updated classic that brings something new to the game.

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When I saw this white Vince Camuto shirt in the Nordstrom catalog, I just had to make a DIY version. It’s a classic redefined with bell sleeves. I love this version except for one thing. The Vince sleeves are a bit too long for me. They’d end up in my soup. So my DIY sleeves are a little shorter.IMG_5635

For the shirt, I used a tried and true pattern, Butterick 5526 (made here) and modified the sleeves. This shirt is one of my favorites because it has princess seams and fits well. 5526

I used a linen/cotton blend from Fabric Depot. It has just the right amount of body to support my bell sleeves. To make the bell, I used the bell off of another pattern, Butterick 6456 (made here). It was just my luck that the top of the bell sleeve on that pattern fit the shirt sleeve of B5526 perfectly! If it hadn’t, I would have tapered it slightly to make it fit.

IMG_5691 My jeans were inspired by the Nordstrom catalog too. I used the  Jalie Jeans pattern for my DIY version, and used stretch denim from Modern Domestic, one of the awesome fabric stores here in Portland. This is my second pair of Jalie’s so they went together without too much struggle. I did forget how to do the front pockets though. So I referred to a great tutorial on this blog, Jillie Be Joyful. It was so helpful! I kept the design on back pocket pretty simple this time.

IMG_5722 2To make the jeans straight legged, I tapered the pattern’s legs by using a ready to wear pair that I love to guide me. For a little variety, I added some of the raw jeans salvage to the hem as a border. It’s a popular look in ready to wear so I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

I like the fit of these jeans, but I’m a bit frustrated with the knees. As I took these photos, wrinkles started to appear. Grrr. I might make a pair of legging jeans next (maybe Mimi G’s version?) to see if that works better in the knees.

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DIY jeans are fun when you’re a top stitching maniac like me. I’m determined to get a pair with perfect fit though, so I’m considering ‘rubbing’ a favorite RTW pair to copy them. Have any of you ever tried that? Does it work? How about legging jeans? Do you have a favorite pattern?

Happy Spring sewing and thanks for stopping by!

McCall’s 7542 times two: Bubble and Tulip Sleeves

Hi all! I meant to post this earlier this week, but a horrid stomach virus took me out of action. According to my doc, it’s extremely contagious, but the good news? You can’t catch it by reading my blog :).

Spring hasn’t exactly sprung here, but I continue to sew as if it has! These two versions of McCalls 7542 are my attempt to lighten the mood in my closet by adding some more statement sleeves. It is one of the hottest trends around, probably because they are pretty fun to wear! You just have to believe warm weather is on it’s way when you’re wearing something this fun.

Bubble sleeves are how version one is described.IMG_5297Okay, I’d never heard this term, so I googled it, and was amazed at the varied interpretations of the word, ‘bubble’. The bubble look is made by simple gathering. After you’ve gathered the sleeve, it’s turned up to the outside to make the little ruffle where it attaches to the elbow of the main sleeve. It isn’t hard at all, and it’s a great way to take an ordinary sleeve to something special.

 

IMG_5324For fabric, I used a cotton shirting from Fabric Depot, and a remnant of rayon that I found on the sale rack there. Of course I love them both because they’re blue :), but they are also dreamy to sew with. The cotton shirting is crisp, but not too heavy, and feels as good as silk to wear! I wish I’d bought more of this!

My second version is with tulip sleeves.IMG_5386I made this version out of cotton double gauze from Fabric Depot and I love the way it drapes. The tulip sleeves are created by two pieces that overlap before you insert the sleeves into the bodice. It isn’t tricky or hard. These sleeves need to hang softly, so a cotton that was stiff or heavy probably wouldn’t work. I could imagine these sleeves would be fabulous out of rayon or silk or crepe. In fact, I just might have to try this again out of one of those yummy fabrics!

McCalls 7542 was easy and fun to sew.

The instructions are great, and I was happy that it fit without any modifications. I just made the size that I usually do in McCalls patterns. I made the longer version both times. I’m short waisted, but the cropped version was even a bit too short for me, and I wanted to be able to tuck them into my ruffled wrap skirt.  This pattern is a pretty quick sew because it doesn’t have a back zipper. The back opening is just finished with a hook/eye. I made it in a Saturday afternoon!

Both versions are part of my capsule wardrobe.

 

M7542 is going to be a TNT pattern for me, and I love how many options you get with this one purchase. I’m definitely a fan of the statement sleeve trend, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t end up making all of these options!

My only ‘issue’ with these ‘makes’ is that on my second version, the tulip sleeves fall open all the time.  Even though the pattern instructions don’t tell you to stitch the two overlapping pieces of the sleeve together, I’m tempted. But then, the drape-y look might be ruined…What to do? Opinions welcome…

McCalls Pattern Company is having a #M7542 Contest to see who can make the best version of this pattern! How fun is that? There are even prizes. I just might have to enter:).

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

Wardrobe Part 2: Safari and Long Cardi

Hi All! I’m back with part 2 of my Sudoku Wardrobe adventure for Pattern Review’s Contest. These makes are two of my ‘accessories’, a linen safari jacket and a long knit cardigan. I think the fact that I interpreted the accessory category as a chance to add jackets or toppers to my wardrobe is a big clue that I live in Oregon! Honestly, one doesn’t venture out of the house, even in summer, without a wrap of some sort in hand. You just never know when the weather is going to shift and catch you by surprise.

This safari jacket was one of my favorite makes of this contest.

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Why? Because it’s detailed with double rows of topstitching everywhere!

Of course, I used my trusty #57 edge stitch presser foot to help guide me as I did on my denim dress last year. There’s something so satisfying about seeing those stitches lined up in perfect rows!

I’ve wanted to make a jacket like this for a while with a belt and pockets and buttons. I imagined a version with buttons on the upper pockets, but when I tried them on my jacket, well, it just was too much for me. So I left them off. McCalls 7365 is a loose-fitting, unlined vest and jacket with a self lined yoke, two piece sleeves, french seams and lots of pockets with tucks. It also has a cool back pleat, and a tie belt. There are lots of pieces of course, which makes this long project but it’s so satisfying and well worth the time. I love the two piece sleeves and the pleated pockets. One note though: the fit of the jacket is loose. Adjusting it would be a bit tricky if you usually adjust fit at the side seams because there are none. There’s a side panel instead.

The pattern instructions were great, the fit was good, and nothing was too tricky or confusing, definitely, a new favorite! The linen was from my stash, (YAY) purchased so long ago, I forgot where!  For the contest, the Sudoku grid forced me to pair this jacket with a skirt, but I’ll likely wear it more often with jeans and shorts. I want another version out of twill
 My other topper in the accessory category was a long knit cardigan.IMG_4826
I am such a fan of this shape. Earlier this year, I made this pattern and loved my wool knit version so much , I had to add a Spring version to my wardrobe.IMG_3967
It’s made from a denim colored cotton knit that I bought at Fabric Depot last summer. The fabric has just the right amount of stretch to make it wearable, but it’s not so stretch that it loses its shape. McCalls 7476 is one of my new favorites, and I have fabric for another version in linen knit. I cut this version a bit larger than my last because I wanted to take advantage of the light flow-y nature of this fabric. It floats a bit as I walk, which will make it a perfect summer layer.
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I also made an Obagi belt from leather, and used that as one of my accessories too.

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This belt is basically just two pieces of leather sewn together with leather ties. I crafted the tassels by cutting strips of leather and sewing them to the ends :). Not sure I love how they turned out, but I do use this belt all the time!

That’s it for my accessories; The Moto jacket from last post, the Safari jacket, the cardigan and the belt…four pieces I’m glad to have in my wardrobe! Next post will be the tops I made.

I wandered around my sewing room a bit yesterday and noticed how airy and light I feel with a smaller stash :). That’s one of the best parts about entering a contest/challenge for me. I’m motivated to complete projects I’ve dreamed about for a long time, and I burn through my stash! I have to admit though. It is hard to part with some fabric, like the brown linen piece I used for the Safari jacket. I love the color and know I will never find a piece like that again. What? Do I have regrets? Not really, but I do get sentimental about fabric!  Am I the only one?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A Moto Jacket, part of a..capsule wardrobe?!?

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When Pattern Review announced their Wardrobe Sudoku Contest, I said, Never!  10 garments in two months that all have to coordinate with each other and shoes and accessories? Too mind-boggling for me. So I told myself I’d play along and use only fabric from my stash.

Well, the phrase, ‘never say never’ now clearly applies to me. I suppose my reluctance to join the fun had to do with the fact that I throw a hissy-fit whenever someone suggests I might sew with a plan (SWAP). I prefer to sew on a whim! But I’ve also secretly envied those who have used their sewing skills to achieve their dream capsule wardrobe too, which is basically what the Sudoku Challenge is all about.

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Here’s my completed Sudoku wardrobe.

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The grid shows ten combinations that work together, but the truth is, there are many, many more. The Mimi G jacket is one of the key pieces because it goes with everything, so it’s an accessory on the grid. I’ve wanted to sew this jacket for a long time. It’s a cool girl thing, you know? And this one is designed by Mimi G, no less! Definitely on my sewing bucket list, but it took this contest to get me to push through.

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I’ll wear it open, closed, over jeans, skirts and dresses. Here it is with other pieces in my Sudoku wardrobe.

The pattern; Simplicity 8174 is cute, but it’s not an easy make, to say the least. It’s a well designed pattern, but very complicated. It has a side zipper, back shoulder insets, epaulets, a waistband with carrier and belt detail, and inset zippered pockets, and it’s lined. There are lots of pattern pieces to manage, but once I got them labeled clearly, things started to work better. Here’s a shot of the back waistband, and the back shoulder panels. Cool details, eh?IMG_5094 2

I used brushed twill from my stash and cut my usual size, comparing my measurements to those on the envelope. It turned out to be perfect! Challenges….Construction took awhile, and required my full concentration. For me, the shoulder panels were the most frustrating part. They’re faced with another piece of fabric which gives them stiffness and makes them look cool when they’re top stitched. But, I found the instructions confusing. Mimi G’s video on U tube saved the day. In fact, I used it constantly through the process. It really helped, although I did find a few challenges even with that. She constantly says, do the same thing to the other side. That works for everything but the front bodice which has a right and left side.  In error, I applied the facings to both sides, but in reality, you have to wait on the left side until later in the process so that you can insert the front angled zipper correctly. So, I had a few stitches to rip out.

I did cheat on the belt carriers on the top epaulets and on the waist band. I could not get my thick fabric to turn, so I just winged it, making carriers without turning them.  My fingers were grateful.

This complex pattern had so many twists and turns, I had to turn off my new binge-watching obsession, Bloodline, so that I could concentrate. It was worth it though. I know this jacket will get worn alot, a key piece in my spring wardrobe.

Check out the contest over on Pattern Review.com for some great inspiration. I just love seeing how everyone puts together a wardrobe, and many are only using their stash like me. One of my favorite wardrobes is Elizabeth’s of Elizabeth Made This, so inspiring! Check out her fabulous makes on her blog.

My wardrobe is done and posted now,(my denim ruffled skirt is one item) and it feels good to have it behind me. Over the next few days, I’ll do some posts on my other makes, including two statement sleeve tops, a safari jacket, an alder shirt dress and a long blue cardigan. I stayed with blues and neutrals, which seems to be all I have in my stash these days!

Will I always sew with a plan? I doubt it….no new leaf being turned over here. How about you? Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!!