"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Friday, February 28, 2014

Vogue 1378 In Purple

Fresh out of the shower and modeling the pants I finished today before I put on what I'm really going to wear for the evening... while I tidy my house because the home inspector is coming tomorrow.  We are renting currently and our landlords have decided to sell.  We have until April 15th to find a new place and hopefully, I will be able to say that my husband has found a job with a Radiology group by that time as well.  
In the meantime, we can keep ourselves occupied with Vogue pants.
Shall we?

I ordered a couple of fabrics from Fabric Mart to remake these, one black and grey zebra print double knit and this purple ponte knit.  Once I had them in my hand, the purple wanted to be pants and the zebra didn't.

I made the changes to the pattern pieces that I talked about in my last post and, overall, achieved the results I was looking for.
This ponte is MUCH softer, so that helps tremendously with comfort.

See?  I told you I was fresh out of the shower.  Anyone else have to just take a shower when they can get it?  For me it is often mid-day during my girls' TV time.

Even after shortening them more, it was like they magically grew as I sewed and I still lost a lot of the overlap detail at the bottom because I had to cut about 3" off of these before hemming!

Knees are still in the right place.

Flats are exactly my style, so this length is perfect.

I thought this pattern might be the kind of pattern that, once I got it to fit me, I would make it again and again in different fabrics.  But, I don't think that's going to be the case with these.  I just don't feel really really ME in them, so I don't want a bunch of pairs.  I also need to figure out how to best style them.  I threw on this shirt really quickly, but I need to do some experimenting to see what will be flattering with them.
Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway

Monday, February 17, 2014

Accidental Goodness for Valentine's Day

I have two identical dresses cut from some gorgeous blue and pink Jennifer Paganelli fabric that I was planning to sew up to dress my girl's identically for church and lunch with the family on the 16th.  
I never got inspired to sew them, though.  I wanted to do some embroidery on them and just couldn't get a vision in my head.

So, this is what my 6-year-old wore instead.

It's an Old Navy white shirt that I cut off the bottom of and added this remnant of oh-so-soft watercolor knit I found fabric shopping in DC last year.

I have to be totally honest with you.  The whole reason I cut off the bottom of the shirt is because I embroidered a bird on it, but it was sideways.  I hadn't used the pattern before and didn't know which direction it would face in the hoop.  I guessed wrong, so I had to cut the bottom off, cut the bird out and sew it somewhere else.

It ended up on the sleeve and, thankfully, this was a happy accident with a lovely ending.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Let's Get Real

We are going to have a "let's get real" post today.  I am honest about things here on my blog, but I don't post much on total faliures.  This isn't really a faliure because it was technically a muslin, but I always hope a muslin will be wearable.... Not so much in this case.

I spent all afternoon yesterday on Vogue 1378 pants.  There are a LOT of pieces to cut out to make these pants.  
Let's go back to the beginning, though.  First, I had to find and cut out all the pieces from the tissue.  Yes, LGR (Let's Get Real) I cut them right out of the tissue most of the time instead of tracing.  I gamble and win most of the time, but it's also a consolation that if I need a larger size and can't alter the cut pieces myself, I can just wait for another $3.99 sale and get another pattern and try again.
After cutting them out, I started looking for the shorten/lengthen lines.  Aha!  Found them!  Only between the waist and crotch... none on any other pieces.  
Next, I tried my best to assemble all the pieces so I could measure the inseam.  4-5" too long!  I had to shorten these somehow!
I ended up drawing a line across all the pattern pieces in the top half and across all the pieces on the bottom half.  LGR, I really have no idea where the best places are to shorten pants so you maintain the placement of the knee and the correct shape to match your leg.

Here is what they looked like after I shortened the pieces.

Back to cutting the fabric.  There are lots of pieces and lots of grainline markings to pay attention to, so it took quite a while to carefully line up and cut each piece twice.

Now let's talk about sewing them.  It is very important to pay attention to right side and wrong side of fabric. (well duh) But my fabric didn't really have a right and wrong side, so I had to lay everything out by shape.  LGR, I'm notorius for cutting or sewing two of the same leg and I really didn't want that to happen.  There are two to four rows of decorative stitching on practically every seam and I was not interested in spending a significant amount of time with my seam ripper that day.
Once you get each leg constructed then there is just a traditional inseam and crotch seam to sew and elastic waist to add.

I sewed the inseams and then put one leg on.
Y'all, LGR, it looked like scuba pants, so tight.  Maybe I should just do another pair in Neoprene.

I don't really know at this point if I picked too small of a size or if my ponte knit doesn't have enough stretch.
I ripped out the inseam and sewed it with 1/4" seam allowance instead of 5/8".  That's all I could do.  Not much help.  They don't cut off my circulation, but...

I know, I know, you are going to say, "Sara, you are being too hard on yourself and your sewing.  These look great!"  But I'm really not being hard on them.  They do LOOK pretty ok, from far away...or just laying on the floor,

 but they do not FEEL good.

See all the little wrinkles?  All evidence of the way my pants are squeezing me like a sausage casing.
Then can we mention that I couldn't even get the camera straight today? (and apparently the lamp was more important than I was?)  Here is an appropriate pose I found when editing my pics.
Looks like I'm losing my balance on my crooked floor. 

And let's have another LGR moment here.  I will not be wearing these with platform heels typically, so they are really still too long.  
Here's a closer look at the seams since you can't see them in the other pictures.  I used olive thread instead of brown because I wanted to highlight the lines since they are the coolest part of the pants.

Ouchy!  It hurts me to even look at this next picture.  Can you see the sausage effect now?  
And they are not hemmed to different lengths, it's just that once they wrinkle and ride up, they get stuck.   

Looks to me like the seams are in the right places even though I really have nothing to base that on since you can't see the seams on the pants shown on the pattern cover.  I'm assuming that sideways "v" shape is supposed to have the back of my knee in the middle and it does.
That means that I shouldn't make these any shorter in the thigh, only below the knee.
As far as the tightness, I will probably just add some extra on the side of each piece that ends up being the inseam, which is probably harder than I'm thinking it is.
So, LGR, I'm kinda supossed to be on a fabric ban, but I don't have anything else in my stash to try a second pair of these with, so I have to buy something, right?  Please say yes, because, LGR, I already did.
Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Deer and Doe Plantain

I bought some fabric I didn't really need (big surprise)  because it was on sale (big surprise) and told you about it in this post.

The green and brown ITY isn't cut yet.

I have my brown ponte cut into the Vogue pants, but not sewn up.

But I have cut and sewn the pink and yellow ITY knit into a Plantain (free pattern by Deer and Doe).  I know I said it would be another Hemlock (free pattern by Grainline), but then the Plantain craze hit and  I wanted to join in the party.

I originally considered making it long-sleeved, but the very thin ITY knit seemed more suited to a short-sleeved shirt.

 I have nothing bad to say about this pattern.  I took me the same amount of time to make this tee for me as it does to make one for either of my girls, which is maybe 20-30 minutes.
It was pretty much a given that I would love the shape, specifically how it flares out at the bottom.  I almost always grade up two sizes from my waist down and this shirt has that width already built in.

This outfit will look cute with a wide-brimmed hat and sun glasses, but for today, since I already have it on, I'll wear it like this.

The roads are covered with ice here in Atlanta today, so I don't have to figure out what kind of shoes would match this outfit-that-can't-decide-if-it's-cold-or-hot because I'm not going anywhere.

Guess I should do some more sewing in case I can't later if the power goes out.
Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2014

Finding Focus

.....because I can win stuff.

I'm participating in the Sew Yourself Some Love festivities this month.
Even though I'm always alternating between sewing for me and sewing for my girls and even though I do have about four things in my queue right at this moment to sew for my girls, I am using this as an excuse to ramp it up when it comes to getting some things finished for me this month.
Prizes are excellent motivation.

Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway

I've already got a pair of pants and a Plantain (free pattern from Deer and Doe) shirt knocked out.  I've got immediate plans for a Simplicity Lisette Traveler tunic/shirt and the pants from Vogue 1378 (scary) and then we'll see what else develops.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What I Wore - Disney Edition

Disney trip - Day 1: We visited Epcot and meandered around World Showcase, visiting the shops and stopping for shows, drinks and snacks along the way.

Day 2: We toured the Magic Kingdom and kept thinking about how much fun it will be to bring the kids.  We had a fun breakfast at the Crystal Palace and stayed through the fireworks show.

Day 3 was Epcot again and (surprise!) I did wear something I had sewn.  One night when I wasn't in the mood to wrestle with my bag and finish it, I quickly cut out some pants using a pattern I made for myself a couple years ago.  I already had the rayon challis in my stash awaiting it's turn.

They were perfect for the heat in the park.  The flowy, light fabric kept me cool while not having to bare my legs.

There have been several wide-leg loungy type pant patterns coming out in PDF form recently, but I just may add mine to the mix soon.
I've got more design options up my sleeve (up my pant leg?) to add to my pattern if I do make one.

We shall see.

I have to get Valentine's dresses and a piano recital dress done first and then maybe I can think about that.
Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Departure to Disney

 I just returned from a three-day trip to Disney World y'all!

It was just me and my husband.  I know, I know, I know.  How mean of us to leave our two little girls with their grandparents while we went and acted like kids.
Here's my justification:  It was a trip that combined two anniversaries and this past Christmas (we didn't give each other presents) aaaaaaaand we already decided years ago that we wouldn't be taking our kids until the oldest was at least 7.

It was hard for me not to try to sew something for me to wear for each day we would be there.  Some sort of princess inspired shirt or SOMETHING, but, truth be told, I didn't really have any time.  I was busy sewing Departure Satchels (pattern by Studio Cherie) for me and my man to use as our carry-on luggage.
Here are the beginnings of his.  I used fabric from my stash for the interior and bought some fabric from the clearance table at Hancock Fabrics for the outside.
I had a few mishaps that were completely my fault and not the fault of the pattern.
As you can see from this picture, the width of the zippered top section matches up perfectly to the width of the bottom of the bag.

Here are all the outside parts ready to be assembled.  I totally bought the wrong kind of separating zipper.  Mine is for a jacket and separates from either side so the pulls meet in the middle.  What I needed was a zipper that begins closed with the pulls in the middle and opens as you pull them apart to both ends.  arg.

Here it is finished!

This was my first time trying By Annie's Soft and Stable interfacing.  I kept hearing about it, but there wasn't anything important enough for me to spend the $$ to buy a package of this fancy schmancy stuff.  After I decided to make the Departure Satchels, my local fabric shop had a 30% off everything sale and I remembered that they carried By Annie's.  I took the plunge and grabbed some on sale and boy am I glad I did.
It was just like everyone says.  And if you've never heard of it before, watch this video made by my friend Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness.

This bag sitting on the dresser has nothing in it and look how nicely he stands all by himself.

The Departure Satchel pattern includes pockets on the outside and inside and even a flap covering a secret zip pocket.

This first one I made for him turned out beautifully.  Mine, not so much.  
I screwed it up by quartering the zipper side pieces instead of just halving them.
I had to taper the ends of the bag base piece and it was all downhill from there.  I did not take any detailed pictures of my bag when it was finished because I'm not as proud of it as was the first bag.

Here it is with my clothes for the first day and my Magic Band (which I don't think we'll ever be able to go to Disney without now, totally spoiled.)

And, since I didn't have handmade clothing for every day, I needed some other dose of cuteness to make myself Disneyfied.  That came in the form of Jamberry nail sheilds in a Minnie Mouse-like pattern.
If you wanna know more, I can send you to my friend who is a consultant. 
Aren't they cute?

Thumbs up for the Departure Satchel pattern and Two BIG Thumbs Up for a Disney vacation where me and hubby could spend time acting like kids without the kids.  

UPDATE: Feb. 10
I realized after I posted this originally that it was lame of me not to take any pictures at all of the interior of my bag, so as I was unpacking it just now (a whole 5 days after we got back) I snapped some quick shots with my phone.

I packed our park maps in the handy front pocket so we could whip them out on the plane and look over our plan of attack.

Here's the guts of my bag.  I ended up using a grey french script fabric and a grey polka dot because I didn't have enough of either the teal or zebra left.  It looks just fine, I just wasn't planning on such a hodge podge of fabrics.

I remembered to add the long zipper in mine for the laptop pocket that I neglected to add on my husband's bag.

I was actually a little perturbed with myself for not having interior pictures to show, so now I can let that go (cue "Frozen" song) and move on to more sewing and blogging!

Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway