October 28, 2017


...raise your hand if you have an animal print fabric in your stash (specifically a knit). I remember
animal print fabrics being really hot a few years ago, I just don't see them being used as much as before.  Back then there were so many different knit ones - for some the animal they mimicked were almost unidentifiable - like the one I  pulled out of the stash this week to use as a muslin.  I must have really adored the fabric when I purchased it because after using 2 1/4 yards for this top, I still have 2  yards left.

When using a pattern for the first time I quite often forget to check out "Pattern Review" to see what others have experienced, but with McCall's 7249 I remembered to do that and it was well worth my time.

Reviewers spoke the absolute truth - the pattern is truly a puzzle.  With reviews like this I normally say, "never mind" and put the pattern neatly back in the drawer.  But since I've had the pattern for a while and was still very attracted to it, I decided to give it a go first as a muslin.  I cut on Tuesday, worked on it a little each day, finished it tonight, and yes indeed it was truly a puzzle.  Reviewers said that the pattern ran large, but I did not find that to be so.

Overlay Side Ruching

Did I make changes to the pattern?  Yes. I used a rectangular fabric strip to create a back neck facing rather than turn under and stitch which I like much better.  I tacked down the overlay facings to prevent them from flipping outward.
Will I wear this muslin?  Yes I will
Will I make the pattern again?  Probably not.  Original plans were to make the muslin, then if I liked it enough, use the pattern for my black ITY knit.  Although I'll wear the muslin, I don't think the pattern is worthy of my (hard to come by for my area) black ITY; and it involved a bit too much work for a knit top.

 Four garments down, 12 to go...

October 21, 2017

FALL'S SWEET 16 (Garment 3)...

...how does one make a 16 piece wardrobe capsule? - One garment at a time.  I reached way back in my pattern collection and fabric stash for my third piece of the capsule.  This time I retrieved OOP Vogue 8323 and a deep chocolate ITY knit - both of which have been in my stash collections for eons.

I made View C in this same chocolate ITY knit long ago when I was just starting to sew again.  That was back when I was very unsure of pattern sizing and still having problems accepting the fact that my RTW size and pattern size quite often did not correlate.  On the flip side, that was when I was (and sometimes still am) unsure of sizing - so I would often cut a larger size just to make sure.  That top ended up being way too large through the neck and bust area, not to mention really too low cut for my taste. That top has long been discarded.

This time I raised the neckline 1 1/2", cut size 16 through the neckline and bust area and graded to size 18 through the waist and high hip area.  I also increased the princess seam - seam allowance in the bust area for a much better fit.  This top has princess seaming on both the front and back that I stitched down afterwards.  Rather than add bias tape to finish the neckline, I used a 1 3/8" wide self fabric strip for finishing.  I cannot stand bias tape around my neck.  I also used a twin needle on the neckline and bottom and sleeve hems.  I'm glad to finally get around to replacing my Chocolate ITY knit top.  The princess seaming adds  great fit detail.

Now to decide on garment #4.  Happy weekend sewing ya'll...

October 15, 2017


...I did mention in the original Fall's Sweet 16 post that I was inspired by the Project Runway Season title.  Not that I think I'm a designer, but the title motivated me to attempt a simple 16 piece capsule would give my wardrobe a great boost.  I'm still going along with that thought process, although it's going a bit slower than anticipated.  I had actually wanted to complete one garment per week to coincide with the PR season.  Project Runway started on August 17th - nine weeks ago (where did time go?), and now they are down to only 6 contestants.  Guess I should be on garment 9 by now - I am so glad I didn't put a time frame on this project...

Garment 2 is the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen's Closet - it's hot on the Indie Pattern circuit right now, and I was attracted to it - OF COURSE!  I tried to talk myself out of it, really I did!  Telling myself that it was just a simple cardigan pattern and I already had so many similar patterns in my stash.   I was really attracted to the sculpted shape, the cuff and the banded hem so when the pattern went on sale a few weeks ago I caved in and went for the PDF pattern.

I used a variegated mustard sweater knit.  It's light weight and I thought it would really do well for this pattern.  Originally I went for the longer version but the length really wasn't me, or maybe it was that I didn't like the drape of it in the sweater knit.  The front band was wavy because I did not interface because it made the band too heavy.  This was not going to work for me.

So I unpicked the bottom and front bands and cut the cardigan off to the shorter length.  Sewn and serged seams - talk about a trying job!  But I knew I wouldn't ever wear it in the longer version - cutting it off would give it a much better chance of being worn.  So yesterday was spent unpicking, shortening and re-attaching the bands.
The band is much less wavy and this stands a much better chance of getting worn.  I think I will make this pattern again (the shorter version) next time in a beefier knit, maybe in ponte.
Simplicity 1916                   Blackwood Cardigan
2 down and 14 to go.

I'm interested in your Fall Sewing Plans too!  Tell me a little about them in the comments!!!

October 5, 2017


...it seems that I have neglected my blog.  But you know me better than that - it wasn't neglect at all but rather - circumstances.  We had the aftermath of Hurricane Irma that not only knocked out my power for three days, but also the data disk that held 2 years worth of saved documents and pictures.  Then the stressful busyness of work played it's part.  And finally the fact that my sewing motivation just up and flew away with Irma.

Finally after much coxing just a little bit of the motivation has returned, and now it's time for me to get back to my Fall Sweet 16 sewing plans that I talked about here at the end of August.  My plans were not rigid or stressful, just a simple 16 piece capsule that would define my personal style for the upcoming Fall/Winter Season:

  • 4 Coat/Jacket/Vest or Cardigan
  • 4 Tops/Tunics/Blouses or Tees
  • 4 Pants
  • 4 Dresses and/or Skirts
Back in August when the plans were made I didn't even want to commit myself to patterns and fabrics that I'd use for the capsule. I just wanted to pull patterns and fabrics that struck my fancy along the way.

My first  project:

Bell Sleeved Hem
 I made a Modified version of View D with this TNT pattern. I added a choker tie to the surplice bodice; and changed the 3/4 length sleeve to an over exaggerated full length with a bell shape at the hem.  I remember buying this purple and white jersey knit from JoAnn's.  The printed selvage edge noted April Johnson 2010.  Do you remember April of Savannah from Project Runway Season 8 in 2010.  Do you think 7 years was long enough to let this fabric marinate?

Paying Homage to Black Pattern Designers...

...for years February has been set aside as a special time to learn about and recognize accomplishments of African Americans and other peopl...