Fall Wardrobe Additions


My fall sewing plans are probably out of control already but I couldn't help added a few new things to the list.

1. Tunic tops!
Now that I've got a handle on some of my upper body fit issues wearing woven tops is a lot more comfortable. Also seems a great way to sew up some of those 2 yard silk cuts that are in the stash.

Bought Vogue 1323 with this in mind but have yet to get the patterned muslined up.  (Is that a real term? Muslined up.  It is now.)

Also have my old standby pattern the Wiksten Tova top. Whipped up this one from some new polka dot rayon on Tuesday.
Realized after making it that I know a lot more about fitting now and should make a couple of changes. Originally I added a dart to the armhole which should be moved to the side seam. Should also add a sway back adjustment and maybe drop the armholes a tad. My original review is here.

2. Winter Coat
Been walking around in a maternity coat since my son was born 2 years ago.  Guess what, a maternity coat makes you look pregnant. Which is fine if you are pregnant but not so great if you're just carrying around 20lbs of baby weight.

Love Gertie's new Retro Butterick pattern but I don't have the funds to buy 6-7 yards of wool coating right now.  Did pick up the pattern in the 99 cent JoAnn's sale, because some day that coat will be mine.

Colette patterns came through for me with the new Ansie pattern.

In the stash I've got 3.5 yards of kelly green coating and some contrasting leopard lining.

Could even get crazy and add one of these stashed faux furs to the collar or add some cuffs.
Oh yeah that's gonna be nice. Not to mention that wool coating takes up a ton of stash storage area. Plans are to finish up the second Salme blazer muslin and then start tracing off the pattern for Anise.

The Slim Blazer version 1 - McCalls 6519


How cute is McCall's 6519 with it's little one piece collar, roll up cuffs, and patch pockets?  Even better it's an easy no dart or lining affair, just finish the seams and you're good to go.

Or you could decide that it needs a lining, welt pockets and some darts. Cause why not complicate matters.
Do you like my pockets flaps? You know you do.
I did not plan on making any of these changes when this project began. But give me a couple days to think and I'll come up with a way to "improve" things.  (OK, this time it totally worked out but it could have very easily been a wadder.)

I started out with the usual fitting changes.....
-1/2" forward shoulder adjustment.
- Blending the size 16/18 together for more ease in the hip.
- 1/2" sway back adjustment.
- Increased width across the upper back by 1", adding shoulder dart to take care of the excess at the shoulder seam.

Pulled out my long stashed navy wool suiting (using stash Yeah!) cut out the pieces and got the shell all sewn up complete with the patch pockets.   About this time I decided this jacket really did need a lining because the wool suiting was unraveling all over the place.  So I popped on over to Grainline Studio and used Jen's lovely tutorial.  I also drafted facings for the hem and the back neck, just trace those areas of the pattern and cut them down to the width you want.

I'm trying on the shell, checking to see if my fitting changes are good and the jacket just looks blah.  Got that horrible feeling that you've just spent a bunch of time making something you're never going to wear. Uh Ohhhhhhh!  In an uncharacteristic moment of clarity I realized the collar and sleeves were great but the body of the jacket was bringing the whole garment down.  The patch pockets looked too small for the size 18 and the boxy cut just wasn't working with my large bust. 

The patch pockets were ripped off and immediately the jacket looked better.  Sigh of relief, now I know we're on the right track.  Then I thought, "What if I fudge the look of a princess line seam by putting a long dart where a princess line seam would be."  Took out a burda pattern with princess line seams I'd just traced (118 from issue 1/2010) and used that as a guide for dart placement.  The front darts are 1/2" wide (1/4" dart intake) and 9 3/4" long, the back darts are also 1/2" wide but are 17" long.  The burda pattern also had welt pockets with flaps so I borrowed them for the McCalls jacket. 
Yes we did take 2 hours to sew on.  You must work for your flap happy welts.

I'm really happy with the pocket switch-a-roo, but I did find it impossible to get the welt corners to press flat.  There are so many layers of wool that a crease seems to get pressed in.  Maybe I need some special pressing tool.

Sewed in the super fun animal print lining, added a little top stitching to the collar and this jacket was perfect!
Business on the outside, party on the inside.

Complete flicker set here and my pattern review here if you want a few sewing notes.  Now it's time to sew my Salme jacket muslin which I forgot to add seam allowance too.  Haahaa, I'm an idiot.

Planning for Fall


The last couple of days I've been happily window shopping to figure out what fall trends to include in my fall sewing plan. The fact is that I need pants in my size and long sleeve T-shirts to replace the grease stained V-necks I've been wearing for 4+ years.  But all that is pretty bland sewing so here's a few fun pieces I'm thinking of making to spice things up.

1. Slim blazers
Love these little blazers that are more fashion forward than something that belongs in a matching pantsuit.  The one pictured has a leather collar which seems like the perfect thing to knock off now that I've got leather sewing "experience."  This is actually one area where I was thinking ahead and have just finished McCalls 6519 in a long stashed navy suiting.  Will be posting about it soon.
I also have a muslin cut out of Salme's Cropped Blazer pattern.   Hoping this will look cute on me since since about 7 different suitings were found in that last stash dive. 

2. Dolmen sleeve knit tops

Dolmen sleeve tops might be one of those trends I can't pull off but I'm gonna try.  They look so comfy and yet fashionable at the same time.

JoAnn's was having a sale on Burda patterns I so picked up 7203 which has a woven dolmen top.

What I probably should do is get out the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern and draft a dolmen sleeve onto it.  If this happens I'll show you how to do it.

3. Skinny jeans
Not as skinny as this model's jeans cause I'm not a size 4, but something that's a departure from the boot legs I've been wearing for years.

Last winter I played around with the Colette clover pattern to make into a skinny jean with some success.  The fit wasn't quiet right so it's probably time to take another stab at that.

I also picked up Vogue 8774 which has good reviews on PR, but I'm sure will need all my laborious pant alterations.
Those are the patterns I'm eyeing at the moment but as we all know sewing queues tend to change often.  Tomorrow I'll be pics of my finished McCalls 6519 and some details on how I "classed it up." 

Style Arc Karen Walk Short Review


While most of my August was spent sewing the motorcycle jacket I did manage to squeeze the Karen walk shorts from Style Arc.   They are styled much like a pair of trousers with back welt pockets and front slash pockets.  I thought the knee length would be great, giving me more leg coverage, but photos suggest otherwise.  Doh!  Oh well, it seems at 30 something I'm still finding out what flatters and doesn't flatter my figure.

Despite my blindness to figure flaws I think this is a nice pattern.  Like Thurlow they lots of pockets and a front fly zipper, which makes them practical to wear. Also as a plus my fitting alterations on the size 16 were not that extensive.

Most of the fitting changes were made to the back pant piece to add to the rise.  Added and 1 1/4" to the CB at the top of the pattern, redrew the crotch seam to more of a diagonal line,  added 2 1/4" to the width of the entire leg which also extended the crotch rise.  I tapered the inside leg a bit to compensate for all the extra width that was added. 

Interesting, at least to me, didn't have to drop the crotch at all which is pretty much a standard alteration on me.  However Style Arc seems to now that a size 16 girl needs some more room in the tush area.

Alternations I probably should have done were knock knee adjustment, cutting down the front waist a tad and maybe removing the front dart. 

Having just finished a pair of Thurlows sewing on the Karen walk short was a piece of cake.  Welt pockets go a heck of a lot faster when your skills aren't rusty.  The only confusion was that the pattern seemed to have an extra pocket bag/facing or something.  Tried to figure it out but in the end just didn't cut that pattern piece and made the welt pocket bags the way I usually do.

Final thoughts -  Next year I'll probably pull this pattern out, shorten the leg a tad and be perfectly happy with it. 
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