Happy Thanksgiving!


Home dec sewing and I do not get along, but I decided to try anyway. The tablecloth is newly made today with three yards of some heavy cotton from the $5/yard section at Fabric Basement. I know absolutely nothing about picking the right fabric for décor applications, and I suspect this one is a bit too thick for what I was envisioning. However, its hand was improved greatly by a trip through the dryer’s steam cycle, and I think(hope) it will launder well. The one part I failed to account for prior to starting this project is the sheer tedium of hemming three yards of fabric. 28 feet of hemming is more than I’m used to doing. It makes a circle skirt hem feel small!

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M7009 Child’s Knit Top

Wow, two posts in two days.  So this is what having sewing enthusiasm again feels like! Knit tops are helpful like that.  Also, I never dislike quick and easy projects, which McCall 7009 definitely qualifies as.

My daughter has decided to keep growing and all of last year’s long sleeve tops are now three quarter sleeves.  Alas, the selection of long sleeve tops in colors or prints that she likes are slim pickings at least at the price point I shop at.  I asked her if she would like me to make tops for her, and after looking through my pattern library she agreed on a test run.  I got this striped interlock of mystery fabric off the cheap table at G Street Fabrics when they closed their location at Seven Corners and well, if it didn’t work out, I wasn’t going to be upset.

After much consideration with the recipient of the top, I decided to cut a straight size 10 and see how it would work out.  As expected it’s too big in the torso, and the sleeves are way long.  On her request, I added an extra inch of length in the torso as she likes her tops on the longer side, and looking at it, I’m glad.  I feel like Big4 kid’s top run a smidge short compared to their width causing a bit of a boxy look.

I forgot how much not fun it can be matching stripes, but the end result is worth it.  The sleeves and body are matched at the notches.  To make sure that the serger would not pull the stripes out of alignment, all seams except the collar center back seam were basted first on the sewing machine before a final pass through the serger.  The sleeves were sewn in flat and then the arm and body were sewn in one pass.  The sleeve cap ease was not out of control on this one, though the give of the interlock may have accounted for the ease in sewing.  I did not stabilize the shoulder seams, which in retrospect, I should have.  In fairness, I don’t expect this shirt to still be in my house this time next year, so I don’t think it will matter much.  The hems are coverstitched with in brown.  I found a tip online somewhere to iron the hems first to make it easier to stitch down, and I wish I could remember where I found that because it made such a difference and I want to credit the site.

This shirt does suffer from one flaw consisting of two parts.  The collar as drafted is too close to the size of the neck opening.  In pinning, it seemed to match exactly and I prefer a 90-95% of the opening circumference to keep it from gaping later.  With this collar, it’s less of a concern, but worth mentioning.  Also, sewing the collar to the neck opening has a lettuce effect going on and that’s unacceptable.  I don’t know if it was the presser foot pressure on the serger or what (though messing with the differential feed helped some, but not completely), but I hate when fabrics do this.  Every interlock I have ever sewn wants to do this at some point, and I hate it.  I like the idea of the heavier double knit for winter tops, but as much heartache as jersey can be, it does not do this to me.  However, it’s not obvious from the right side when worn, so all’s well that ends well.

M6841 Palmer/Pletsch Knit Top

Long time, no blogging.  Yeah, that blue dress ended up destroying my mojo all summer long.  I just wish I had thrown in the towel sooner so I could have moved on to projects that I enjoy.  The quickest way I could think of for that is to whip up a knit top.

Indoor pictures are going to be a nightmare in this house…

I had 2.5 yards of this poly/lycra jersey acquired from my closest Joann last spring.  I love the colors in this but couldn’t see me wearing a dress in it.  The idea of the drapey, fluid front appealed though and I found the pattern stashed in a moving box that I had not yet opened (after only 11.5 months, pfft).  The sizing is XS-S-M for the envelope I had, so I went with small in the shoulder and sleeves and tapering out to a medium below the sleeve.  As big as it ended up being, I did not need to do that, but it doesn’t bother me.  I should have done the forward shoulder adjustment as the seam line falls way back on me, but I did not.  Note the laziness that went into the project.  The pattern warns the sleeve is narrow and that is no joke.  I lengthened by 1.5 inches trying to get the long sleeve and then I still end up pushing it up.  The front seam stopped very low on me, so I sewed it closed by another 2.5 inches, but that’s kind of an individual judgment call.  I got what I envisioned, but oh how I am not a fan of the dolman sleeve.  It looks just like the pattern photo and design lines, but it feels weird to me wearing it, so no I won’t be making another one of these, but I’m glad I made this one.

And some minor Halloween sewing may have happened this year.  The halberd and cape were made by me super fast on October 30, and the longest part was appliqueing the cross motif on the halberd.  I did not use a stabilizer as I don’t own any, but it would have been a good choice so if I ever do something like this again, I hope I remember to use some.

Butterick 5333 Dress Update

I tossed the dress aside for three weeks while being overwhelmed with end of school year/beginning summer swim team scheduling/picking up saddle time busy-ness, but I finally got back to fixing the dress today.  Extra length has been removed from the top of all the midriff pieces and that alone fixed most of the fitting issues.  However, the pointy bust darts are no good, so I’ve been working on a good solution to those.  I think I almost have it fixed, so hopefully I will have pictures up soon.

B5333 Dress – A conundrum

I got the bright idea to cut a dress earlier this week based on the fact that the fabric is seven years aged in stash as is the pattern, and I wanted a new dress for summer. However, I didn’t really think through my plan, and so I have this unfinished project.
Mistake number one, not checking what alterations were needed for success.  I always have to shorten the bodice, but the bust point matched mine, so I just went ahead with the size 10 through the shoulders out to a 12 under the bust.  That’s it.  Umm, I know better, I swear, but look at this wreck.  The bust dart comes up and over my bust point.  How on Earth is that supposed to work for anyone?

Oh, in case it isn’t obvious, this is just basted together for all of the vertical seams to check the fit.  I knew that the bodice was wonky, so I figured if I assembled enough I could decide if this is worth salvaging.  I have enough fabric to recut a front bodice, but nothing else.

The marked waistline is at my waist here and you can see the extra length present in both the front and back bodice pieces.  The front is slightly less terrible as I did not do a full bust adjustment, though a slight one would have helped if nothing else than dropping that bust point as right now there is too much fabric above the waist but instead of the mass of horizontal wrinkles, the fabric has enough body to just lift away from my shoulders.

Ignoring the not great zipper basting job here, look at all of the wrinkles in the small of my back.  The back bodice ended up being huge and I really do need a narrow shoulder adjustment going forward.  If this were finished properly, my bra straps would definitely be visible.  The back neckline gapes by a ton, and the back dart is going too far into my shoulder blade.  This would be a total wadder if not for the fact that the color looks fantastic in the pictures.  I just don’t know how motivated I am to fix this, though on the plus side, it is another 2.5 yards of material out of stash.

Look what I found in the bottom of a moving box

Found these pants today as I was emptying another box.  I don’t know when I started them, but based on the size I think about 3 years ago.

These are supposed to be sitting at my waistline. That’s definitely not my waist.

These are from one of the Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns, and they are straight legged trousers.  I made them up in some mystery polyester that may have come from my grandma’s stash, finished everything but the hem, and abandoned them.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe it was the fact that the fabric feels gross, but I think I remember them being too tight through the hips.  I don’t have that problem today.

I could hide a small child in here

In the photo I’m bringing the pants up to where they are supposed to sit and wow, they’re big.  At least I can chuck these in the trash guilt free.  I’ve been reworking through Marie Kondo’s book, especially as I’m finding items like this where the guilt of needing but not wanting to finish them weighs me down.  I just wonder how many other surprises are lurking in the remaining craft room boxes.

Vogue 1020 Knit Top

Fresh from the UFO pile, I bring you Vogue 1020, a knit wardrobe pattern where I made the top.  It is gathered on the left side, has three quarter length sleeves, and in the pattern also has an option for a dress length.

Apologies for the crummy pictures but thunderstorms stole all of my daylight, of which there has been precious little this week

I cut out this top five years ago, I think.  I remember messing with it, getting upset with the gathering, chucking it in a closet, and finding it only when I was unpacking a moving box.  It’s a front, back, and two sleeves, and all of the pieces were together, but the one side was still open and I had no idea how I was going to finish this up as I still hadn’t unpacked my coverstitch machine.  The fabric choice for this was unfortunate.  I think it’s from Jo-Ann’s, but I don’t remember if I bought it or my mom.  It’s pretty beefy for a jersey, and it sewed up fine.  However, the print obscures the lines of the design, and honestly, I’m just not loving it.  It’s fun, but I feel like the print is wearing me rather than the other way around.  Also, I’m not really drawn to yellow or bronze tones these days, so I can already tell that its days in my closet are numbered.

The back piece is also gathered into the left side seam, not that you can tell in this print. The hem does sort of fall on that side too, alas

That’s a bit tragic because I like the lines of this and think that it would be really nice in a solid color. The only drawback to the pattern is the gathering is controlled by some sort of stay for the left side as both front and back are gathered, and finding something I liked for that was harder than I would have liked. I used clear elastic this time, and it’s a bit too bulky and it is a total pain to sew with.  That’s an understatement.  I hate clear elastic all the time, but gathering with clear elastic was a nightmare.  Still I think I want to make this again in a hefty knit for winter.  I need to take out more length just above the waist, but all in all, not a terrible fit.

All of the edges including the neckline are turned under and hem stitched.  Getting my coverstitch to behave for the first time in months was an interesting challenge as the looper thread tension was a mess, but once I fixed that via the third rethreading, hemming was a breeze.  So all of the sewing machines have made it back onto the sewing table, and I need to get cracking on some new projects.