D & H Blogger Tour

D & H Blogger Tour

When you combine excellent quality fabric with an expert pattern maker you feel like you’ve just walked out of a luxury department store in style. This is how I felt when I ordered my denim and rib knit from D & H Fabrics. Then used the Nikko pattern by True Bias. Along with a modified pattern by McCalls.

Let’s start off with the fabric. I have always loved the quality of Tammy’s fabrics that she carries in her shop. I mainly purchase all my denim from her . So as soon as she stocked black 9oz cone mills denim I made sure to get some. I wanted a top to go with it and my wardrobe is lacking rib knit tops so there was some Melange Rib Knit in black and white. It’s light weight and such good recovery. As soon as my fabrics came in, the wheels started turning on what can I make.

(Me wearing the Nikko top to school to test it out)

I had been working on modifying McCalls #m7726 pants pattern into a button front skirt. The denim would work great with this pattern. Now onto choosing a pattern for the rib knit. I searched for a while for the right pattern. I have huge respect and admiration for Kelly’s work from True Bias. Being a pattern maker student I can tell she does an excellent job with her drafting. The Nikko top was the chosen one for the beautiful rib knit I ordered.

NIKKO TOP/RIB KNIT:

The Nikko top. Let me tell you I was OBSESSED as soon as I finished the top. I tried in on and I didn’t want to take it off and wanted to show everyone what I made. There was only one adjustment i made which was a full bust adjustment. I usually need to make this adjustment to pattern but I did measure the pattern pieces to double-check. I loved the fabric so much in this make that I actually direct messaged Tammy from D&H Fabric and raved about it. I was asking her if she was planning to carry more because I was so interested. I hope she carries some thicker rib knit so I can make a dress from it.

PAPER BAG WAIST MODIFIED BUTTON UP FRONT SKIRT:

I saw a picture on Pinterest of a skirt that was of a paper bag waist with a button up front detail and a belt. I wanted it and there were no patterns available like it. So I used my pattern making skills from school and converted the McCalls M7726 into one. Easy and quick! The denim in this make was so smooth to sew and press with. 9oz is the perfect weight for the skirt. Not to heavy.

Overall I’m more than happy with my makes. I want more of this rib knit for other planned projects and the cone mills denim never fails me.

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Laura Ashley Dress: A Dress for the Fall

Laura Ashley Dress: A Dress for the Fall

My favorite color is red, especially a deep red. It suites my skin tone and my personality haha! I was shopping online and came across two fabrics. They were from Alyssa-May Design fabrics. One stripped fabric and the other a beautiful red floral bubbled crepe!

How beautiful this would be in a maxi length dress?! After talking to Alyssa from Alyssa-May designs we decided to collaborate on this fabric! I was beyond excited. I wanted to make this fabric’s beauty shine!

Now off to finding the perfect maxi dress. I happened to have a McCall’s pattern that is out of print but is still available to purchase. McCall’s #7242

As soon as I received the fabric I washed it per care instructions. Wash cycle gentle in cold water and hang dry. Easy!

This time around I wanted to tissue fit this pattern. I’m a fan of Palmer and Pletsch. I recently received their new book and wanted to apply those techniques. Cut a size 14 and prepped it. As I was tissue fitting I decided that a full bust adjustment was needed.

This dress was a dream to sew up. I didn’t have to use a walking foot or stabilizers. I’m describing this fabric as a lightweight – slightly med drapy fabric. Color is vibrant and I know the shop has many other colors I want to consider in the future.

Planning out how I would cut this dress was important because there were large skirt pieces and this pattern does take up a lot of fabric.

This dress has a button front with an elastic waist. Mandarin collar that hits before the neck. I choose the bishop sleeves to give a little more flare for the upcoming fall/winter. To see more details on sewing this pattern go check out my YouTube channel. I made a video on this dress.

Tip/trick of the day:

The one thing I have learned when sewing a collar is to consider cutting out your interfacing on the bias. This is to allow it to have some give and wrap nicely around the neck. Yet you have the stability of the interfacing.

So here is the final dress!!

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A HUGE thank you to Alyssa for having faith in me to showcase this fabric!

Sewing Books!

Sewing Books!

I think I’m addicted to sewing or sewing related books. I’m a self taught seamstress and obtaining knowledge where I can is like finding treasure. I wanted to share with you my stash of books. I know it will be evolving and growing.

I have found that your local thrift store could be a wonderful place to find sewing books and for a really great price. Most of the time you will find book that are older but don’t judge them on that. They will have all the knowledge you need and is still used to this date. Find out what days your local thrift store have discounts and head over there in their book section. Here are a few that I found and they even had patterns in them!

Best Finds:

Out of those thrift finds these two books have been my favorite! They contain so much tips/ tricks it’s mind blowing. The book by Sue Haussmann gives so many useful tricks to sewing it gives the hobby stitchers a boost of excitement. The book by Sandra Betzina made me feel confident in my sewing by giving easy instructions on how to sew like an expert.

Fabric books:

Now lets get into the books that I know I’ll forever keep and will not part with. These two books I purchased by recommendations and they are about fabrics. The one by Gail Baugh gives descriptions of fabrics, the contents and what they are mostly used for. Great book to get to know more about fabric. The one by Sandra Betzina is how to sew with different types of fabrics. This book is great because it tells you what you ideally need to sew with that fabric. Like how to wash, what stitch length to use, what presser foot to use, and what cutting tool is ideal. But that’s not all, it also gives you helpful tips on how to rid of stains and how to identify fabrics when there is no label.

Sewing Books:

These books are what I call my “how to” sewing books. As you can see, the cover are self explanatory and these book are what help me understand the basics.

Now the good stuff! PATTERN DRAFTING:

Now this category is what started the whole library of sewing books. I wanted to attend pattern drafting course at my local college but couldn’t. So I thought I’ll teach myself! Googled pattern drafting books and purchased a used Sylvia Rosen pattern drafting book. Learned how to draft a sloper and was able to draft some trousers. It was great! There is not a big selection of items to draft but it does focus on the basics. I decided to step it up and purchase the pattern drafting by Julie Cole on pattern drafting knits. It is a textbook technically and a bit expensive but the best thing I’ve purchased. This book taught me so much about knits. Learning about how knits are drafted make me realize I need to pay attention to the amount of stretch in a fabric. I highly recommend this book!

Eventually I was able to enroll myself in the local college pattern drafting course. So I had to purchase the book by Helen Joseph-Armstrong. I think this book is used almost every school (practically) and everyone knows this book. I’m still attending school and will keep you updated on how it goes.

The “Bias Cut Blueprint” book I’m still working on reading it. From what I have read so far it seems that there is a lot more to bias cut than just a slight stretch! Who knew?!

Project Tailoring

Project Tailoring

Let me fit your pants!!

I named this project “Project Tailoring” because I wanted to make a pair of pants for someone else and custom fit them. This year I made it a mission to learn all about fit . One of the reasons I started sewing was not only for a creative outlet but to also allow me to wear the things I wanted to. My frustration came when I noticed I had a hard time finding clothes that fit me well. Shocker eh?

Well that pushed me to start sewing my own clothes. At first I would pick my size, cut that size and sew up the garment right away. Guess what … I still had fit issues. So I knew I had to really learn about fit. Why waste all this money and time sewing up clothes if I wasn’t too happy with them?!

I got books, I read all the articles that came my way and watch as many YouTube videos as I could all about fit. Guess what they said? You need to match all major points on the pattern to yours and you can make ANY pattern fit you. At the same time I was also learning how to pattern draft and this also gave me an AH -HA moment when it came to understanding fit.

Soon I’ll be discussing everything I’ve learned and what has made a big difference in my sewing. But let’s get onto discussing Project Tailoring!

I’ve notice that I had a very good success rate in fixing majority of my fit issues on a flat pattern before making a toile that I wondered if I could do it on someone else especially if they had a different body type. To give you an idea my body type I’m considered a rectangle shape and I do have a larger bust.

I was getting my hair done one day. Kacey, my hair colorist, had issues too when it came to shopping for clothes especially pants. I asked Kacey what her biggest issues were when shopping for clothes. She said when it came to pants, she would pick ones that would fit her hips really well and then there would be a gap in the back waist area. She also mentioned it seemed like she was always get them pants hemmed. I thought what better than to try making her some pants! She sweetly agreed to be my trial run at this. Great!!

I wrote down her measurements and she picked out McCalls 7726 paper bag style pants in view B.

I always make sure to write down when measuring, is after taking the circumference of an area, I measure the front and backs separately (side seam to side seam). They must add up to the circumference.

Here are her base line measurements (circumferences)

Bust : 38″

Waist: 36″

Hips: 46″

Crotch curve: 27.5″

Time to get started:

Step one: I took a look at the size chart and based on her measurements it looked like size 22 was her size category.

Step two: ok now after selecting the size I cross reference it with the finish measurement chart on the pattern. I felt that the finish measurements had too much ease to my liking so I looked at the next size down. That looked better. So I decided to go with a size 20.

Step three: I cut the size 20 and drew out all the seam allowances . Measured the pattern pieces, for example front waist I measured that area then compared it to her front waist, etc. Thankfully the big 4 companies have the major points marked out for us. The adjustments I made to the flat pattern was adding more to the back crotch curve, and adding length to the legs.

Step four: Using unbleached muslin fabric I cut out the patterns and sewed them together. I made sure to add the HBLs (horizontal balance lines) to the toile to help with identifying fit issues. (For more information on HBL lines I reference Sarah Veblen book)

Now for the try on.

Right away I noticed an excess of fabric in the front between the waist and hips. The top red line represents the waist line and that was hitting at her waist. The hips line below was sagging way below her hip line. So I pinched out the excess fabric so I could know how much to take out in the front crotch curve.

I didn’t want to recut a whole new toile with the adjustments. I decided to sew wedge taking off the excess fabric which was about an inch. Had her try on the toile for a second time after making the fit adjustments.

That was much better and she agreed! Now it was off to make the final piece. She wanted a grey color and I happened to have a grey stretch twill in my stash that I purchased from Joanns Fabric Store. Yay!!

Tip-trick of the day:

Using a transfer carbon paper rolls can be a big time saver along with a double tracing wheel. This allows you to cut transfer paper in the size you want and you can easily have enough for the bottom and top layers. A double tracing wheel was a great purchase because it allows me to mark out the seam allowances. Which helps with sewing accuracy and measuring. Transferring all markings was really important in this pattern. Every notch and circles transferred counted.

Saral transfer paper roll

Double tracing wheel

Now let’s look at all the angles!

A huge thank you to Kacey from Succulent Hair Co. for being my model for this project it made me extremely happy! ❤️

My Participation in #SewYourView

My Participation in #SewYourView

img_6093Have you heard of sewing destiny? I have. I believe in it. To me sewing destiny means you listen to that inner voice that says “just go for it!”

As I was walking down the aisles of Joanns fabric store, there was this colorful fabric that stood out. It was a jacquard fabric that looked like a brocade. Instantly it reminded me of an Ellie Saab runway show I watched online. This outfit, the model wore a some sort of blazer and it had some colorful details on it. This Joanns fabric doesn’t look anything like it but that image kept coming to mind and it was strong. So… I bought it.

Wanting to make some sort of blazer with it. I was thinking this is really loud print. Can I pull it off? Then I remember I have to start trusting myself and owning my own style even if nobody gets it.

Not too long after I saw Monica from @thatssewmonica post on Instagram. (Creator of #sewyourview ) August was going to feature Simplicity pattern #S8697. I knew instantly that this was the pattern for that vision.

I got started by looking at the back of the pattern at the size chart and finish garment measurements. In the Big 4 companies I’m always a size 14, but when I was looking at the finish measurements I notice that it seemed huge. I know the pattern says it’s a oversized jacket but I was afraid of it being way too big. So I sized down to a 12. I doubled checked by measuring the back shoulders making sure this was still going to fit me. After measuring the back I felt confident that this was going to be ok. So I measured out the rest of the pattern pieces planning to make all my fit adjustments on the flat pattern. The only adjustments I made were to the sleeves. They were a tad too short so I lengthen them.

Usually I go ahead and use muslin fabric to make a mock-up. But this was the first time I decided to go ahead and just cut the main fabric -scary! The reason for this decision was when I was measuring the pattern pieces they still had a lot of ease and I figured it was safe enough to just go ahead.

Construction of this pattern was easy enough since it wasn’t designed with a lining. I chose to use bias tape (1/4″ double fold) to take care of the sharp edges of the fabric.

I used black peach skin for the facing and pocket bands. Probably not the best choice but I wanted to used what I had in my stash.

In the end some challenge came to me in hemming the sleeves. I had a hard time reading the directions and having it work. But I think it came out ok .

 

 

Tip-Trick of the day:

Recently I learned this sewing technique and have wanted to apply it to an actual project. It’s “cording your button holes”. This is to make your button holes sturdy and make them last longer. I took the thickest thread I had and applied it to my singer button hole foot.

Then made sure that the cord was perfectly align with the prongs in the front. Attach the foot to the sewing machine and start making your button hole. Making sure to enclose the cord in the stitches.

Once finished I made sure that I pulled on the cord and pass the free ends through the back of the fabric. Then knotting it to secure.

I now, after many recommendations from fellow sewists, I’m using fray check and button hole chisel for my button holes.

Ta-dah!! Here is my colorful blazer for the win! img_6093.jpgimg_6108.jpg