Honeymoon Wardrobe Planning

I haven’t done a planning post in a while, because lately my plans have gone awry. The last time I planned was in my Sewing Blahs post and even with three things I didn’t achieve them at all. I made a M6754, but it wasn’t even the one I planned at all because of raglan sleeve issues that I was too lazy to resolve. I used to love planning posts. I’d like to bring them back! Maybe not one a season, though. That got kind of nutty for me.

Our honeymoon is a week in Amsterdam followed by a cruise in the Baltic Sea with several stops. There will be some pretty weather, but it will be Spring, there will be a possibility of rain, and the temperature will range anywhere from 1 degree to 20 degrees Celsius depending on the location. I’ve never been so all this information is from research I did on the region.

I have some plans based on the length of the trip, weather, durability/wear (ie. can survive a couple of wears without being laundered), and what will survive in a suitcase. I have a few months to get it all done.

Outerwear

Waffle Patterns’ Pepernoot hooded coat

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Appropriately, my first plan is for a pattern straight out of Amsterdam! Waffle Patterns is based in Amsterdam and founded by Yuki. I found out about the pattern because of the GOMI crafting forum (darn enablers there! <3 ) and found out that there is a sewalong starting on March 7 on Rhonda’s Creative Life. Sewalong plus a bunch of people raving about how adorable and wonderful the pattern is….equals Andie saying, “YES AND!” (improv reference there).

I’m going to make this a lighter weight coat and use flannel for the exterior instead of wool. The dilemma is what flannel!

I have two in my stash that I would love to use:

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A black and red buffalo plaid that was originally a sheet, but has a crisper feel to it and isn’t super soft. Good for a coat with structure and design like that fine thang above. The other choice is a pink brushed cotton plaid that I’ve had in my stash for over a year now.

With either choice, I want to line the coat with a poly satin. For the buffalo plaid, I would line it with royal blue polka dots or some other neat print. For the pink plaid, I would line it with a mint, teal, or aqua satin.

Faux fur is an option for either for the hood, but I am not sure about it. I want to add some contrast options for the pockets, yoke, and tabs to bring out the pattern details.

What I decide on for the final fabric will have a lot to do with the alterations and fabric needs. I need to grade the pattern up two sizes and do an FBA. So: muslin, muslin, muslin.

Pants

Style Arc Misty Jeans!

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I was going to attempt another pants pattern, but why bother with that when I will be working on a complicated coat pattern! Screw that!

I’m just going to make a bunch of Misty Jeans. I will probably make a waistband for them to insert the elastic into instead of having it against my skin. And I will do the adjustments I talked about in my post.

Here are the fabrics I have so far! All stretch denims.

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I also want to make another pair in a stretch corduroy and then there are other possibilities I am looking at for different fabrics. I’d like to have five pairs ready for the trip. Since my other pair took very little time to make, I think I can get five done easily.

Tops

I seriously need lots of tops in my wardrobe. Seriously.

Style Arc Skye Top

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This top will be perfect to wear untucked with skirts. I already have a possibly wearable muslin for this, but I think the pattern drafting might have an error in it. I need to email Style Arc after I measure the pattern and I’m going to try printing out the size larger. My first version won’t quite look like the pattern since I had to add in a panel at the front and some fun pleating to accommodate the issue. I’ll update you on that! The one I have cut out already is a mint satin, but I also want to make a pink lace one (I’ll wear a camisole underneath):

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Style Arc Eva Knit Top

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Style Arc Cate’s Cousin Top

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For both of these knit tops, I have quite a few candidates for fabric. All solids and all rayon poly spandex blends in the following colours: the extra black fabric from my niece’s Violet dress, magenta, royal blue, and red. I’d also like to pick up a green colour, if I can find it. Green is hard to find!

I also have a plan of refashioning an orange Colette Moneta dress that just didn’t work out. The fabric is a thick sweater knit. I am going to use regular round neck with the shoulder yoke and make it into a sweater using a tutorial on the Muse Patterns blog. There is more than enough fabric in the skirt of the dress to make a sweater for the trip. Hip length or waist length depends on my fabric, but I think I can get a hip length sweater out of it, since I can cut the neckbands, yoke, and cuffs from the top of the dress. Probably go with full length sleeves, as well. I think that skirt is three yards of fabric. It’s ridiculous.

Blazers/Cardigans

Three’s a Charm Jacket

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I think this pattern has the possibility of becoming a favourite of mine, especially after seeing Tanya’s and Meg’s versions. They are both just lovely. I’m not sure what fabric I will be using left. I will need to make a muslin since I will be doing a large bicep adjustment and an FBA.

Here are a bunch of fabrics that I want to be blazers and might become this jacket!

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Other than the above, I have a ton of solid colours that photograph horribly! I have pink, purple, blue, black, grey, etc. etc. I got a ton of suiting fabric at my local thrift store over the past year and want to make a ton of suits. With this jacket and the lower fabric requirements, I could likely get a skirt out of most of the fabric, too.

Jenna cardi

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My beloved TNT Jenna cardi now has an expansion pack for v-neck and peter pan collar. I will be making a v-neck in a gorgeous blue merino I got as part of the Muse Loves Merino contest!

Skirts

Style Arc Candice skirt

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I have a lovely poly crepe back satin in black and white floral planned for this:

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I’m not sure I will sew the pleats down as far as the pattern suggests. I fear the impact of sewn pleats after a tasty meal of cheese in Amsterdam.

Snapdragon skirts

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I kind of feel like I am cheating with this one since I’ve had both of these skirts cut out since before Christmas and they are just sitting around as UFOs…. View C.

Here are the fabrics:

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A heavy wool fabric in red and black and a lighter weight suiting fabric in white with pastels throughout. The white one will be lined with bemberg lining since it is a loose weave fabric. I *might* have enough of the fabric for a Three’s a Charm jacket…. Maybe with a shorter sleeve… or maybe just a vest… Hmm….

Cake Pavlova Skirt

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I’ve made this a few times before and continue to love it. I will be making this in a lightweight suiting in white and black:

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I also have a blue poly fabric (there is some stretch to the fabric). I didn’t take a picture of it since it is just a solid colour and, to be honest, I couldn’t get the colour right in the picture. You’ll just have to wait to see it.

That makes for a total of five different skirts with varying weights depending on the weather! I will also bring along my green Pavlova skirt, because I wear it all the time, and another couple of skirts.

Lingerie

More bras!

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The plan is to make a few more bras so I don’t need to worry about washing them. Since I am working on my Maya bra pattern and perfecting that, I will likely bring a couple of those. But my cloned bra pattern is definitely coming with. Although, I’ll be making some modifications to the pattern soon. Goal is to have 8 wearable bras by the time I leave. I’ve got two so far: Desert Sunset and Sailor Mercury. I’m also working on the Garden bra and Naughty Nautical Maya Bra, the sequel: Even more Naughty and Nautical (long name for a bra, but damn it makes me laugh… I figure if I am doing a crazy thing like naming bras I can have a blast doing it!). I am sure I can get four more done, if not more….right? I’m a fast sewer.

Here are a few of my plans for fabric combos:

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You may remember these got names already. On the left we have Black Raspberry and on the right we have Ruby.

Blush bra kit

This is a bra tulle kit from Emerald Studio. I will likely be copying Erin’s Parisian bra with this one, because I am a copy cat. Mine will be lined with sheer nylon cup lining. So….what to name my copy…. Tianducheng bra since it is a copy of a Parisian bra…? I kind of like it, but at the same time the town is abandoned… I don’t want to abandon this bra! Oh wait…. maybe on my honeymoon…I do. Hehehhe. *chortle*

I also want to use these duoplex/lace combinations in the future:

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I have plans for some all lace ones with sheer cup lining for support:

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The above two poly stretch sateens will be Maya bras and maybe the leftovers from my apple dress (which is still sitting in my UFO basket):

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Then I can say, how do you like them apples?! Hahahah! *zing*

Barrie Briefs

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So…..I cut these out a month ago to make a wearable muslin and then…. bra sewing. I’d like to work out a good fit and then sew them in a bunch of colours using my scraps from the knit tops above as well as some lovely hot pink spandex Alicia sent me as a wedding gift. I will be using lace on the top band instead of fabric. I also have ideas for a couple of lace ones. Plan is to sew a bunch until I run out of fabric.

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Et. Al.

Wolf and the Tree Going Rogue Sock Pattern

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I’m excited to try this pattern out and want to get a review on the Curvy Sewing Collective for it. I adore thigh high and knee high socks but can never find them in my size. This pattern goes up to 33 inches for thigh and 20.75 inches for calf! But wait there’s more! You can also make the foot size in your shoe size too! I am just starting with my first pair this weekend and can’t wait to see the results! These will be great to wear with skirts while I am on the trip.

I have visions of a lacy pair using ivory lace with a mint lace trim:

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I have a busy few months before the honeymoon! I’ve never been anywhere in Europe or ever had my passport stamped! I’ve been to a few places in the US and quite a few across Canada, but no where else. I’ve been on a plane, though, but never that long of a flight. I’m ridiculously excited for this.

Has anyone ever been to Amsterdam? What do you recommend I do? I want to visit at least one fabric shop! I plan on heading to Kantje Boord, a shop with lingerie fabrics. Of course. ;)

Desert Sunset Bra

Do you remember long ago I asked for a name for this bra? Nicole came up with Desert Sunset.

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I cut out the bra back in August and then it sat around for quite a while….

I made some modifications from the last bra: increased the lower cup, moved the apex slightly to match my apex (edit: up and to the centre).

What results is the best fit yet for my cloned bras. I really love this pattern and am excited to see the fit improve with each adjustment.

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before and show you how it fit after I made it. I didn’t put the bows on it yet in this picture.

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The bridge sits nice and flat against my chest, the cups are perfect, and the band is perfect. After wearing it for a day, the bridge does come out about 1 cm from my chest. May be due to the fabric stretching out as I wear it.

For the next one, I want to add a little more to the power bar on the side to push them a little further to the front as I have a bit of splaying to the side. Doesn’t bother me, though, since you can’t tell the difference when I am wearing a shirt.

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I find photographing my bras to be weird, because of that stretch lace upper cup and the fact the cups are so large. Inflated vs. deflated balloon. Ha! It’s also kind of why I wanted to show you how it looks on me. You get a better idea of the fit.

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Here is the inside of the bra.

Instead of using the band elastic from my BMS findings kit (material links below), I chose to use 5/8 strap/waistband elastic. It’s a firmer elastic and less stretchy. It made the band an even better fit due to the lower stretch. The main reason for the switch was because the band elastic was rolling after a couple of hours of wear. Now, there is only rolling at the end of the second day of wear.

I made so many mistakes when making this bra. Ripping out stitched from duoplex, stretch mesh/lace, and lingerie elastic is basically a horror movie. The fabric gets torn apart so easily. Some mistakes I just left because the bra itself was secure.

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My machine is seriously hating attaching the hook and eyes lately… I’ll get there and figure out the trick of not having my machine break five needles at that point and the hook and eye not moving about so much… I’ve been looking at tips and tutorials left and right for that. I just got so frustrated with all the mistakes and ripping out previously that I kind of just shrugged my shoulders at this point and said that is good enough. I’m not changing it now, but going forward… I really hope that area doesn’t look that shitty. I was getting better and then this…. UGH.

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I added some florescent orange bows to the bra. Originally, I want to overlay the power bar in a florescent orange lace, but affixing it to the fabric turned into a nightmare and I decided to leave it off.

I’m not sure why, but this bra makes me want a Sunset Margarita:

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Which fits in great with January’s Monthly Stitch Challenge! Originally, I was going to make a Mint skirt and top ensemble and site my drinkspiration as a mint milkshake…..but that never happened with all this bra making. But I kept thinking about Sunset Margaritas and it fit in well. They are so tasty.

Desert Sunset Materials:

Lilac large findings kit (KF-34) from Bra Maker’s Supply

Fuchsia duoplex (FJ-6) from Bra Maker’s Supply

5/8 inch black strap and waistband elastic from Porcelynne

Lilac and fuchsia lace from Arte Crafts

Black Powernet (FP-1) from Bra Maker’s Supply

Black Stretch Mesh (FP-7) from Bra Maker’s Supply

Florescent ribbon from stash

Up Next:

I have another cloned bra about halfway done along with my second Maya bra. I’ll be posting my Maya bra review on the Curvy Sewing Collective for Lingerie Month in February. I will also post my review here as well. I’ll be modelling the bra again (!) to show you how each one changes with fit. Check out the beautiful materials I am working with for my next few bras:

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Speaking of materials, Megan and I have some bra making materials tips and shopping lists that will be posted on CSC next week to help you start your bra making journey. I’ll be listing all the materials from the above and talking about large busted material tips. Keep your eye out for that!

Handmade Gifts

Over the past couple of months, I’ve made a lot of gifts for people. My nieces birthdays are in November and then Christmas I made gifts for people and some of those overlapped into January for me to finish them. Then my sister’s birthday is at the end of January. I still have one more thing to get done, but it has to wait… again… I’ve had a shirt cut out for my husband since uh… early 2015….oops.

My nieces are 14 and 7. I had a big dilemma regarding the 14 year old and what to send her for both her birthday and Christmas. I chose to make them both pajama sets for their birthday. Last year for Christmas, I sent all my nieces and nephew pj pants and they went over really well.

For the older niece’s top, I used Lydia #3197 from Burdastyle. I then graded the top down a couple of sizes for a 14 year old. I’ve used the Lydia pattern quite a bit for my Star Trek uniform shirts for the women in my troupe; I made a bunch of them in the fall. The Lydia is a nice basic long sleeve t-shirt and works well; it has nice hip shaping for the curvy among us and is very flattering.

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The top is made from white jersey with spandex in it (same fabric from my Simplicity 1812 top). It’s an awesome shirt fabric and has great recovery. It also washes well and doesn’t stain easily. I used my serger for the construction and my machine twin needle for all the topstitching. Although, I was disappointed with the lack of stretch in the twin needle. I think I should have increased my stitch length or used a different width of twin needle.

For the pj pants, I made an XS with the Simplicity free pattern (which isn’t available on their new site since they updated it). It’s the same one I used last year for Christmas. Then I freaked because they looked super small and added a four inch panel to each side. I figured bigger with a drawstring was probably fine. She says they fit okay. Phew.

This picture was taken before I added the panel:

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The pj pants are made with super soft blue and green plaid flannel. It was originally a double-sized flat sheet that I got at the thrift store. I used french seams in the whole thing. I hope I have enough of this fabric for a button-up top or a pair of pj pants for me or a top of some sort. I adore it. So soft. Excuse me, I need to go pet this fabric….

For my younger niece’s pj top, I used another Burda pattern: Raglan Tee 03/2014 #138. The pattern is really good. It includes two versions in it (here is the other version). I really love Burda kids patterns. They sew up very easily and fit my niece well.

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For the pj pants, I used Livi Stitches’ Avery Lounge Pants. I used the same pattern last year for her pjs, but forgot to talk about it. It’s an easy pattern with lots of sizes included in it. It is unisex and goes from 6-12M for an infant all the way to 12 years for a kid. I will be using this pattern for years to come. The plus about the pattern is that you only need to print the size you are making. Now that does mean there are no nested sizes, unfortunately, but fitting kids is super easy. The sizes are pretty spot on with RTW kids sizes, which is pretty important to me when I make stuff for my niece or anyone else’s kids. They need to be close to RTW or else it is too much guess work and measuring. The pattern also has great options for length and adding cuffs and ruffles. It’s well worth the $5 I paid for it.

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Both top and bottom are made with purple cotton ribbing and blue cotton interlock with some machine embroidery detail on the hems of the sleeves, shirt, and pant legs. I tried to top stitch the neckline with it, but it failed and I had to cut off the original neckline and sew on a new one. Worked out fine and made for an even nicer neckline, but I was bummed that I couldn’t use the embroidery stitch there. It was the same flower chain stitch from my green circle skirt. I used my serger for the construction and my machine for top stitching.

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Their gifts were fueled by Reese Peanut Butter cups. Yum!

For Christmas, I made two more pj sets for my younger niece. I used the Avery Lounge pants again, but for the top I made a change. My sister informed me that my niece loved her pj set so much, but that she didn’t really wear long sleeve tops to bed. I found a free pattern for a kid’s tank top for sizes 3-8.

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One pj set includes a pink tank top made with poly rayon spandex jersey and fleece cupcake print fabric. Both are from Fabricland. Since Fabricland moved into Honest Ed’s at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor here in Toronto, I’ve been visiting there about once every month or two. It’s easier to navigate than the other fabric stores in the Fashion District and often has good sales. I am still frequenting King Textiles, Neveruns, and Affordable Textiles every once in a while, but Fabricland is also part of my rotation. Findings, notions, and trims are still kind of expensive at Fabricland. I find more of a price difference in the knit fabrics. Knit fabrics in the Fashion District are a little on the pricey side. The other advantage to a chain store is the sales. The independent places rarely have sales and their marked down stuff is pretty low quality sometimes dusty as anything from streetcar dust on Queen St or sun bleached. It’s pretty disappointing. It’s nice to get bigger discounts at Fabricland. I’ve been avoiding shopping online since the Canadian dollar is not doing well at all. Sadly, even the Black Friday and post-Christmas sales were too expensive for me after the exchange rate and shipping. I’m hoping the dollar is on par again soon. I have done some online shopping, but only for bramaking stuff.

All of this is to say that the cost of my niece’s outfit here was really low. Less than ten bucks and I get a shirt or two for myself out of the pink fabric. I’ve picked up different colours for myself.

The other fabrics for the second set are the same purple cotton ribbing from her birthday set and a flower power flannel both from the thrift store. It’s nice to stay on budget for the holidays for once! Thank goodness for my local thrift store.

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My older niece got a choice for her Christmas present, because my sister informed me she didn’t need anymore pj pants. I gave her the choice of either True Bias’s Hudson pants (which I hadn’t made before but I thought would be a good choice for a sporty teen) or a Bluegingerdoll Violet dress (my version was made for Jungle January last year). She was okay with either and gave the choice to me so I decided on the Violet dress, because I had made it previously and enjoyed the process. I used black poly rayon spandex fabric from Fabricland. Are you sensing that I love this fabric? This one was a little different: more lightweight fabric with a texture to it. I hope my camera picked that up okay for you in the picture below. It’s a lovely fabric and obviously I got enough to make myself a top.

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I did the neckline construction a little different than the instructions. I let the elastic gathering create the v-neck after I put the band on in the round. I had a bit of a messy neckline before so I wanted a nice professional one for this dress. The hem is finished with my serger.

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I can report that it fits her really well. I’m not going to share her picture, but it does look great!

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I also added some coffee beans to the package for my sister and brother-in-law and dressed them up like Rudolph. :)

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When I was chatting with my sister over the holidays, she asked in the most adorable way if I could make her a pair of pj pants. I think she might have gotten a little jealous of all the things I made the kids.

Instead of using the free Simplicity pattern for the pj pants, I wanted her to feel super special and give her a fancier pair. I went with Sewaholic’s Tofino pants for her, because I love the piping detail. I also knew the sizing would be a better choice since my sister is a pear shape.

I got the pdf version of the pattern. It was very easy to tape together. I had no issues with that at all. The instructions were really simple to follow. Definitely a great pattern. I’m a bit of a Sewaholic fan and would love to make more of their patterns in the future. I’m a little busty for them, though… But they are really nicely drafted patterns. Their current sizing is close to my measurements, except in the bust obviously. Tofino pants only go up to size 16, but I am confident on grading them up to a 20 or 22 for myself will work. I definitely want to make myself some in the future.

For my sister’s pants, I made size 12, but cut a size 10 elastic for the waistband. I made piping using red and white striped cotton fabric and a piece of yarn for the cording. I am a DIY queen when it comes to piping. Yarn as the centre works just fine for me!

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Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough to always match the stripes accurately, but I didn’t really fuss over that. With piping, it’s such a small band that shows and these are pj pants after all. My sister isn’t going to hang me for that small infraction.

The fabric I used is another thrift store find and was during a 40% off sale at the thrift store. I got it for $2.50. I received the elastic as a gift and the striped cotton was leftover scraps from my Nautical M6696 dress. Sending it to her in the mail cost more than the whole thing.

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She didn’t care that the fabric was Christmas themed at all. It’s super soft. Maybe not quite as soft as the plaid flannel at the top of this post, but so very close. Excuse me while I go pet this fabric…

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Construction took about 2.5 hours in total even with making all that piping. I like that the waistband is a separate piece. I like the panels and the deep hem.

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I topstitched the piping down to make sure the seam didn’t bother her while she slept.

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I shortened the pants about 3 inches, because we are a family of shorties. The deep hem also means that if they are too short for her taste, she can bring that hem down. 3 inches is my standard shortening process.

Another item I made that was so late was for my friend, Lyndsey, who freaked when I posted my Gryffindor cardigan in such a cute way that I offered to make her one.

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Here it is before the buttons were on. I made the same size 48 I made myself for the Sophie Cardigan using the same fabric and buttons. The only difference is that the patch was slightly different. I, of course, totally neglected to take a picture of it.

The second last gift I made is one I refuse to take a picture of, because it was boxers for my husband. I’m not showing you his underwear. I made 6 pairs.

I will report, however, that the boxer shorts pattern in Simplicity 2741 is great. I made a size L and the fit is spot on. Although, I did need to increase the crotch curve. And that is all I am saying about that.

The final thing I made was a Slytherin cardigan for my husband using M6803 in size XXL.

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I used a polyester knit in grey and a dark forest green. I also got metal buttons and a patch from ebay.

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The pattern is great. Fit is great and he likes it.

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The only thing I did differently with the pattern was install the pockets more like my Sophie cardigan. Instead of making them a patch slightly above the band, I put them along the band and sewing up the bottom when I sewed on the band. Makes for a cleaner look, but the pockets are rather low. I might increase their height if I make this again.

I had so many requests for Harry Potter cardigans that I think I need to get some more patches!

I still have one more non-selfish gift to get to, but I have bras to do first.

This post covers 18 handmade gifts. I think I finally understand why I haven’t been posting much in the past two months……… Let’s celebrate with cake!

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Mmmm cake./sleeps forever

 

 

 

Style Arc Misty Jeans

This post is ridiculously long overdue. I held it up because I wanted to take “proper” photos, but the reality of that happening at this point is very low. I will be making “proper” photos in the future for other versions, though.

I started my Style Arc Misty Jeans pretty close to the deadline for Alicia’s sewalong. It ended November 30th and I finished it that night and posted pictures on Instagram to add to her link party. I’m pretty pleased that I won that! I even got my Style Arc pattern prize already in the mail with their bonus monthly pattern, too! They included fabric samples and a woven Style Arc tag.

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Tons more Style Arc for the future!

I made size 24 and only made one alteration to shorten the leg by 3 inches.

The fabric I used was a stretchy brown corduroy.

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I pressed that faux zipper out the wrong way. I was tired. Haha. Luckily, I didn’t sew it down like that. SMH.

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My topstitching was in regular green thread (it was a muslin – not wasting topstitching thread on a muslin) with a twin needle. I used my serger to sew most of the seams outside of topstitching. This is how they fit the moment I finished sewing them:

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The pictures are a little dark and sans makeup and a nice top with my house flipflops on, but whatever.

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Let’s talk fit. There is some extra room in the front crotch area that will need to be resolved. The side seam runs very nicely down the side of the pants, though.

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The back is where most of my issues are…. I definitely need to change the pocket placement and bring them closer to the centre, increase back crotch length to accommodate a fuller bum, a full thigh adjustment, and a full calf adjustment. Since I am not a pants fitting expert by any means (first pair here yo!), what do you think about those adjustments or do you think there are others to add or I need to change my list up? I’m mainly going off a few pants fitting resources on the web via Fashionable Stitch and Sewaholic. Also, do you know of any pocket placement guide out there?

For my first pair of pants ever and a wearable muslin, I think the fit was pretty good the first time around. They are incredibly comfortable and have the exact issues that RTW pants would have on me. I’ve been wearing them a lot since making them.

This was also my very first Style Arc pattern. I’m actually really impressed with them and their size range. I love their style and, since they added the etsy shop for pdfs, I’ve been adding them to my pattern stash like crazy. I have a few more of their patterns planned out for the future.

As for the Misty Jeans, I have quite a few projects upcoming, but plan on making a couple of more pairs in February with one or more of these stretch jean fabrics in my stash:

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I got the two on the right from my mom for Christmas. The one on the left is leftover from my floral bomber jacket.

I probably have enough fabric to make about five pairs of jeans!

The elastic waist made the Misty Jeans pretty easy, but I would like to try some real jeans in the future with a zipper. I’ve been eyeing the Jilly Jeans on the Style Arc website. I’m a straight leg jean person.

Other than the Misty Jeans, I also wanted to share another project that never got proper pictures. My latest Colette Myrtle dress in a bright orange tie dye fabric.

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It’s incredibly seasonally inappropriate and the fabric is pretty thin and not entirely opaque…. Although, it’s really lovely fabric and has a silky feel to it. It’s a poly/rayon/spandex blend from Fabricland. I got it in August in Hamilton while meeting up with some fellow Sewcialists. The Myrtle dress is lined in the front for the cowl neckline so it works well to preserve modesty in a thinner fabric like this. I adore this dress. I kept the pockets off for whatever reason and regret that. I just miss having pockets, but they don’t lay super flat in this one. I’ve made the Myrtle dress before so this isn’t a full review.  This is my first time making it with a knit, though. I really like it. My other dress in silk charmeuse is worn frequently. Definitely summer dresses, though.

I made size 3X, used my serger for most parts except topstitching the waistband. I also didn’t follow the instructions for the waistband and instead inserted it into the casing later. The first time I made this, the waistband was constructed as per the instructions: sew the elastic closed and then topstitch the casing down by stretching the elastic while you sew. It was a fiddly method and didn’t give me a lot of control.

Other than this dress, I’ve mostly been making presents for people. I will share those in the next few days now that they have all their presents, except for the two I just put in the mail today.

Lingerie Month is coming up at the Curvy Sewing Collective. I am gearing up for that and already have one bra made up using my cloned bra pattern; watch for an entry on that! I’m going to be sewing a bunch this week to get at least three more done by the end of the month and (hopefully) get my Monthly Stitch outfit done as well! Cross your fingers that I can do that! I’m going to be doing a review for the Maya bra pattern from AFI, too. I’m really excited to start contributing to CSC and it’s about time, too! I’ve been meaning to since last year and never quite got to it. Gillian is quite the encouragement for me to contribute. I definitely needed that!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Style Arc Misty Jeans
  • Pros: Elastic waistband. Great first pants pattern. I thought the instructions were good. Although, they are brief, but the sewalong is a great resource for any questions you may have. Thanks, Alicia, for that!
  • Cons: I think maybe the pocket placement is a little off, but I notice this is true of most jeans patterns once they get on a real butt so I can’t really take points away for that. It’s just something to think about when you are making them.
  • Make again?: Abso-fucking-lutely.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Top 5 Reflections and Goals

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This is the last entry in this series. I really enjoy writing them! Thanks to Gillian for leading the series.

Top 5 Reflections

1.

Positive thinking

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I looked back over last year’s reflections and goals. I think I have done well in achieving all the goals I set out, except for dancing. I would have loved to be in a healthy position to take some dance classes, but sadly that was not to be. I did recently go to a Grimes concert and dance my butt off there. It was exhilarating. Although, it took a week to recover! I think this year I have been dancing internally a lot. While I’ve had my ups and downs, I tend to keep a positive and hopeful attitude. I know the dangers of not doing that and how depression can easily take hold. I think I’ve done a lot to not get discouraged and remain hopeful. With difficult sewing projects, I’ve also learned to be positive. Sometimes it’s better to set them aside and work on something else and come back to them when you are ready.

2.

Upped my skills

 

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I spent the year increasing my skills even with “simple” projects. I can really see the difference when comparing garments from 2014 with this year or even from earlier in the year. My serger has really helped with that as well.

3.

Sewing my stash

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I’m not one of those people who will ever stop buying to sew through their stash. I have no self control in that respect! In the summer, I moved my sewing space into our bedroom and seriously organized everything. It’s been great being so organized! It’s also been great not having my stash all over the place. I can easily access it and grab things for projects. The brown corduroy from my Misty Jeans was forgotten about for a while. I got it for Halloween stuff years ago and never used it. Lots of presents in the past while have been from my stash. I’ve been “shopping” there first to check if there is a suitable fabric and then going out for fabric as needed. I managed to get it down a bit to make room for the new stuff. ;)

4.

Organization

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I know I just mentioned this above, but damn…it’s been great. I know exactly how many notions and supplies I have and exactly where to find things as I need them. While the top of my cutting table can get disorganized when I am between projects, it’s a lot easier to clear things out. My pdf pattern organization has also been great. I need another crate for it, though, since it’s getting packed with recent additions. Black Friday was good for my pdf stash. ;) Since the room is also my bedroom, I’ve made a point of trying to be as neat as possible and it’s been working really well.

5.

Fabric quality

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I’ve learned a lot about what works for me and what doesn’t this year. Like Gillian notes in her Top 5 2015 Misses entry, polyester quilted knits are not really working out. The fabric for my blue dress above is pretty low in quality and already pulling and pilling. It’s also kind of scratchy. Of course, not all polyester is the same. The polyester knit I use for the Star Trek shirts is a lot better quality. Although, they do make for really warm stage wear! I find I am getting a lot pickier with fabric quality. I’ve left things behind in the thrift store in spite of them only be $5 for several yards, because of low quality. $5 for garbage is not a bargain!

Top 5 Goals

1.

Pushing my boundaries

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I swear I get scared of things for no reason and convince myself I am not skilled enough to try it. Well, I call bullshit on that! Your skills can’t get better unless you continue to push the boundaries. All this year, I wanted to make blazers. Well, 2016 will become the year of the blazer… and pants. Man, I never thought I would say I want to wear pants.

2.

Participation

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My goal for 2016 is to participate in my two favourite sewing communities a lot more next year. Plan is to submit reviews to the Curvy Sewing Collective and try to participate in the Monthly Stitch Challenges every month.

3.

Sewing for others

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It’s been great making the Star Trek shirts and also sewing presents for others. I have plans for 2016 to make a bunch of stuff for my husband. He deserves custom clothes, too! :)

4.

Geek out

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I really enjoyed adding geeky elements to some of my garments this year. I want to continue to find ways to do that in 2016.

5.

It’s all in the details!

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One of the things I have learned this year is that I really love adding personal touches to my garments like a line of machine embroidery stitches or a little hand-embroidered element. I definitely want to continue that in 2016 and make it a goal to personalize with little details. I’d love to get custom clothing labels as well for a personal touch!

Top 5 Hits and Misses and 2015 Summary

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Now that I’ve covered the non-sewing highlights, it’s all about sewing from now on!

Top 5 Misses

Let’s start with the fails first and then end on a positive note. ;)

1.

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The Seamwork Florence Bra was the most horrible miss of the year. I never modeled it, because it was a hot mess. I even tried making it in a better fabric than all stretch lace, but it just didn’t work. It’s definitely not made for people with larger chests. The only way I could wear it is over another bra.

2.

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My Bronte top in white was a bit of a miss. I still wear it all the time, but the neckline was way too big for me. In the picture of me wearing it, it looks all stretched out, but it really is just too wide across the top. Even hanging on the hanger above the neckline drops down pretty far because of all the fabric across the top. My other three versions of the top are okay and my first version I had larger seam allowances than in the other ones so it worked out fine. But I do wear it occasionally and still like the style. This is the top, though, that made me realize how very narrow my shoulders are in comparison to my bust and that causes fit issues in stretchy shirts. I have been doing some cheater FBAs in other knit tops by grading to a smaller size at the shoulders, but sometimes it doesn’t always work…

3.

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Which brings me to my Simplicity 1812 top… I tried to grade down at the shoulders, but still sewed it twice to fix the issues with that yoke…

I wear the top, but I am more prone to wear it with a scarf to mitigate any yoke-revealing disasters.

4.

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This isn’t really a fail, because I ADORE THIS DRESS… but it is a fail, because I haven’t worn it at all. It’s my Muse Patterns Melissa dress and, in spite of the diner waitress look, I love the dress a ton. The problem is that the sleeves are too tight. I have been meaning to take them out, recut wider sleeves, and then put them back in… But shiny! I haven’t done it yet. I should make it a goal before the end of the year and then I can wear it a ton in the Spring again. This was the tester version and I know she did some sleeve alterations for the pattern version. I have some mint floral fabric that is dying to become a Melisssa dress in the Spring.

Gosh, I love this dress.

5.

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My Hello Kitty hoodie is a win from the perspective of my alterations of it, but a miss from the pattern’s perspective. M6614 has a few issues. Other than being enormous, the envelope says to buy a far shorter zipper than you should for the bigger sizes. I had to alter the neckline because I had a perfect zipper for it and then I had to make some massive cuts to the sides to make it fit right. I love it now and wear it when I am sitting around at home or this Spring I wore it for walks. Shame to the pattern, but win for me! And I adore my little embroidered Hello Kitty:

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Top 5 Hits

1.

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My wedding dress is my number 1 hit of 2015. You can read about it in these entries. There are definitely some things about it that are not perfect, but I love it and think it worked well for me.

2.

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My Sailor Mercury bra is by far my favourite bra I’ve made. It fits really well and hits my geeky side. I should have made more bras this year with the Bra-a-Week Challenge, but never quite got enough done. I hope Erin continues the challenge in some form for 2016, because I hope to rock it with all my bra plans.

The one thing I will say about the bras I have made this year is that the band elastic really irritates my skin and has a tendency to fold. I have some new stuff bought that will hopefully help. It’s actually strap elastic, but in my RTW bras, they use the thicker strap elastic. I think that will work better than the band elastic I have used previously. I’m hoping to report on the soon with my long overdue Desert Sunset bra that I cut out in August right after the Sailor Mercury bra. Ooooopsie….

3.

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I’ve made Simplicity 1459 twice now and I just love it with or without the collar and with or without the massive skirt. I have a polkadot version planned eventually!

4.

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I made two versions of the M7100 bomber jacket and just really love it. My floral denim version wasn’t worn as much as the houndstooth version, but they were both heavily in rotation this year from Spring to Fall…and into some of our very mild Winter so far. I really want to make a colder weather version using Cation Design’s idea of lining it in fleece (we had the same fabric for our versions! Isn’t that awesome!). She also had a great idea of going back and adding it to the houndstooth version, but I really want to make another. ;)

5.

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I haven’t even blogged about these yet! But my Style Arc Misty Jeans are a WIN! They got me a sewalong win! The day before my Gryffindor cardi won the Muse love Merino knits category! (I’m sew lucky!)

These are my my first pair of pants sewn (that weren’t pjs or leggings). They fit pretty well without any alterations, but there will be some for my next versions. I will be making tons of these. They are so comfortable and wonderful. I can’t even. I am wearing them right now. I no longer fear making pants which is the real win of the sewalong. Thanks so much to Alicia for hosting the sewalong and her great instructions for the pants. It’s also made me a Style Arc fan, because damn they fit pretty well without alterations! I have a bunch of Style Arc patterns planned for the future, including some shorts for the Summer next year! Shorts!

2015 Summary

My summary from last year was such a useful task that I wanted to do the same for this year. Even though I have some end of the year plans for tons of selfish sewing, I have decided to do my summary now since the blogging part will not happen until 2016.

2015 sewing

My year has had lots of ups and downs in sewing. Some months I was working on one project (wedding dress or cloning a bra) or just wasn’t up for it due to post-wedding exhaustion or Trinity passing. I’ve made a total of 54 things this year though! 21 more than last year. That’s a huge thing. I’ve also bought very little RTW this year. Mostly just leggings, underwear, and socks.

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I decided to include unselfish sewing in this chart unlike last year. Last year, knit dresses won this category, but I’ve been going away from knit dresses lately. They are great for casual wear, but I spend most of my time at work and really gravitate more toward separates than dresses this year. This year has definitely taught me some things about my personal style. I’ve made more in the “presents” category than any other this year, but in terms of selfish sewing skirts win with 7 made! I’ve seen my style evolve into a skirt/top look rather than wearing dresses. This theme is definitely continuing for 2016, but with pants as well!

2015 patterns

These patterns are only for selfish sewing. Last year, Colette patterns won this category, but I’ve not been a fan girl this year. I do have an unblogged Myrtle dress, but the only other thing I made from them was the Florence bra failure. Self-drafted in my chart this year is just a label, but not really accurate. The category includes dirndl skirts (which are just gathered rectangles and a waistband) and my cloned bras. No real “drafting” happening there, but it was a way to say differently patterned garments, which sounds odd. I went with self-drafted instead. Outside of that, McCall’s patterns are definitely my top with Simplicity coming in second and Muse Patterns third. I think next year we will see a lot more Style Arc, Burda, and continue my love affair with Muse Patterns. McCall’s and Simplicity will still be there in the top, though. I have so many of those patterns that I haven’t made up yet and lots of plans for them. There’s also another pattern company, Cashmerette, that will likely emerge as a top pick next year.

 

Top 5 Highlights

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FYI: I have some projects that need to be photographed and a ton of projects that were gifts and I can’t talk about until after Christmas. D’oh. When I have time, I will post about things!

Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow is hosting the Top 5 series again this year. I had a great time doing it last year and emailed her excitedly asking if she was doing it again.

I want to start off with highlights. This entry is not about sewing. It’s my highlights of the year.

1.

Wedding.

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I’ve reflected on this day a lot this year. It was perfect from start to finish. I am so happy.

2.

Minimoon!

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We had such a wicked time being dorky tourists in Niagara Falls. A heart-shaped whirlpool tub in the room. Visited a wax museum. Saw exotic birds. Rode the boat under the falls. Got our pictures taken in an old school saloon. It was the best time.

3.

My husband.

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Okay, I will switch gears from gushing over love, but the highlight of the year is my husband. Since getting married, I’ve never been more in love with him. We have grown so much as a couple this year and every day I find myself more and more in love. How is that even possible? Well, with such a wonderful guy as your partner, it’s easy! I love you, Dale. Sew very much.

4. My job.

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I don’t talk about it that much here, but I’ve been enjoying learning a lot this year as a project manager on several corporate initiatives. I have been taking a lot of pride in that. For Halloween, I went to work as the Super Project Manager, which inspired a coworker to create the comic book cover above.

5. My Health.

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I talk about it occasionally, but I live with chronic pain and it’s often the reason for large gaps in posting even when I have tons sewn. It takes so much energy out of me and makes it very difficult to do daily tasks let alone extracurricular tasks. I will often put my energy toward sewing rather than taking garment photos and writing blog entries.

I was “diagnosed” with fibromyalgia earlier this year. I say diagnosed because the rheumatologist did his tests in finding the pain centers and ruled out several things and then said “it’s probably fibromyalgia. Talk to your family doctor about these medications.” Then he handed me a list and I talked to my family doctor who wasn’t very helpful and hasn’t ever really been helpful for me.

Then I switched family doctors. My current doctor is amazing and sent me for a second opinion about the fibromyalgia due to joint dislocation I experience on a daily basis and the cause for the majority of my pain. I discussed that issue with the previous rheumatologist and my previous family doctor and they both saw that “as no issue.” Okay…

I have a bunch of specialist appointments booked and MRIs. I’ve seen another rheumatologist. I’ve had a ton of x-rays. It’s all been pretty painful to go through the tests and x-rays, because of the way they locate your pain, prode it to cause pain, and then manipulate your body to find the perfect angle for the x-rays.

I know this journey will lead me to a more definitive diagnosis. This is a highlight for me because I am finally on the right track and making my health a top priority. This is something I set as a goal this year and I am glad to finally be getting somewhere. I may never be cured, but I hope to have an actual treatment plan in place some day soon. I feel pretty hopeful!