Stashbusting and #2017makenine

One of my 2017 goals from my top 5 post has to do with stashbusting. In the stashbusting group, we were all asked to submit our totals at the end of January since the goal is to be 10% down as a group. Last week, I measured all the fabric in my stash and cataloged it using google sheets so that I would be able to access it anywhere. I made categories for fabrics: cotton prints, satins, crepes, suiting, etc. Then I held my breath and did a sum of it all.

Stashbusting!

Three shelves, two drawers, and a bit of flannel on the left there equals 233 yards of fabric. I have 138 different pieces of fabric. That doesn’t include my trim, like pieces of stretch lace or elastics. I didn’t see the point in including that since they are attached to fabric and don’t stand alone.

Plans are to reduce my overall stash to 150 yards and, if I buy fabric, to only buy for specific projects or to use up an equal amount that is brought in. For knit projects, I almost always use up what I buy immediately and as a result there are very few knits in my stash. I will likely continue to buy those more than other fabrics, but I do want to use some of my deep stash: fabrics that have been around for a while like brocades and satins and rayon fabric that I love, but have been reluctant to sew.

Some people in the group posted smaller amounts than me, but lots more people posted with 5 times or even 10 times my amount. It blows my mind to have that much space for fabric! Makes me think of Carolyn’s drool worthy stash….

I sadly don’t have that much room. I am able to house fabric in my cabinet, but outside of that… I slowly push my husband out of the bedroom so… I would like to avoid that since I love him very much. ❤

This month’s theme in the group is sewing organization. My stash is pretty organized and neat, especially after taking everything out and measuring it and then  putting it back neatly. I also have a nicely organized UFO area with everything in two wicker baskets and all of my supplies, trims, and tools are organized as well. The big mess is my scraps. I have two large overflowing plastic tubs and two large plastic bags of scrap fabric on the floor of our closet. *hangs head in shame*

Now that I have measured the stash, my next goal is to go through the scrap fabric. Whatever I can’t use will be put into bags so I can take them to H&M. Did you know that they take fabric scraps? I am excited to have a more sustainable hobby by packing up my scraps rather than throwing them in the landfill. I assume there are still amounts that end up in the landfill, but I would much rather a portion of my scraps goes towards recycled material than 0%.

The plan is to cut up some of the cotton scraps into quilt squares for a quick scrap quilt. It will probably just amount to a small quilt and I will back it with a fleece blanket from the dollar store or thrift store. Some things may become baby hats or little bags that I might post on etsy. I also have a huge bra project that will need some non-precious fabric for testing so I can use my scraps for that.

Another part of my stashbusting goals this year is to use up patterns that I have owned for a while. I have a lot of Burda patterns downloaded from the website that I want to use this year. I’ve made some Burda in the past and really liked them. KS_Sews is also doing a Burda challenge and has for the past couple years. I am joining that with a commitment of at least 6 patterns.

Here is my #2017makenine Except for the middle column, these are @burda_style patterns. I made a goal to make more Burda patterns since I love the designs and think the block fits me pretty well. Plan is to make at least these 6 this year starting with the grey sweatshirt using some cat print terry I have. In the middle column, I want to make a maxi length @cashmerette #appletondress with some lovely tropical fabric I recently acquired in a swap. I love #M7537 from the @mccallpatterncompany early spring release. I can see it becoming a quick favourite. Finally, I have a bunch of flannel in my stash that is due to become pjs using the free pattern from @5outof4patterns If I bust that stash, I clear out an entire shelf of my stash! And I get many cozy pjs to wear about the house in various lengths for the year. Last year I didn't get any of my list done. This year feels pretty reasonable and should be doable. 😁 #sewing #sewcialists

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Last year, I didn’t accomplish a single item on my #2016makenine post. This year, I have a mix of easy projects and more complicated projects. My #2017makenine is mostly filled with the six Burda patterns I want to make this year. Starting with the first row and going across:

  1. Prairie Style Dress from Burda. I’ve been drooling over patterns like this for a while and really love the details in it. I am not a huge fan of the ruffles, though, and may leave them off. I actually love ruffles on a bodice, but they seem a bit excessive in this dress since there are so many lovely design details.
  2. I want to make the Cashmerette Appleton dress using up some lovely tropical print material I got in a local sewcialist swap. Ever since seeing Gillian’s lovely dress, this has been in my head and I’ve wanted a tropical maxi version of my own.
  3. Cowl Neck Top from Burda. I will need to buy fabric for this one.
  4. Keyhole dress from Burda. While this one is similar to #1 with those front pleats, it is different enough to have me wanting to make it.
  5. M7537. I don’t have this pattern yet so it would sadly add to my stash. I really love view C with the different prints and colours. I love the sleeves in view B as well.
  6. Raglan sweater with zip. I have some fleece and some cat print terry in my stash that I will use, but I might need to buy some more rib knit. I will leave the zipper off of the top, though. I’m not one for unnecessary zippers.
  7. Belted Kimono from Burda. This will require fabric, but I hear there are some nice bamboo terry fabrics at Fabricland. I’ll try to coordinate with a sale to make the journey to get to one.
  8. I have 22.5 yards of flannel in my stash that are begging to become pj pants using the 5 out of 4 free pj pattern that I made a bunch of for family/friends this Christmas.
  9. Boho maxi dress from Burda. I have a gorgeous crepe print for this pattern. I will have to wear a little slip under it since it is a bit see-through. Now I just need a lovely beach to walk along…

Considering how many projects I tackle in a year, I know nine won’t even really cover my plans, but I haven’t enjoyed planning my sewing for a while and prefer to live wild and free. I have a massive bra project I will be starting soon and a blazer I want to make and a bunch of party dresses I put in my top 5 goals. I also am full of plans to make bow tops and cute pinafore dresses to go with them. Not to mention the basics I need throughout the year, like leggings and underwear and little shorts for the summer to wear with skirts and dresses. I’d like to anticipate those and not scramble to sew them when I am desperate for them. Right now I need a couple more pairs of leggings to get me through the winter, but then around March I’d like to buy some fabric to get me ready for spring and summer.

I’m excited to show you some different projects this year. I really want to challenge myself to create an even better and more accessible wardrobe.

Sewing for Accessibility

I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It’s a genetic disorder that means I produce defective collagen. Collagen is in every part of the body including skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. As a result of my defective collagen, my joints are hypermobile meaning that they bend back far beyond where they should. Think of an elastic that is stretched out and has lost all its ability to snap back into place. That is what is happening with my joints. They bend backwards because there is very little to keep them in place. As a result, I am prone to injuries like dislocations or subluxations (partial dislocations where the joint “slips” out of place but goes back in on its own). I have cartilage breakdown in my knees and my right hip and frequent dislocations in my left shoulder and right hip. Subluxations are everywhere, including really weird places like my fingers, ribs, and toes. I am always in pain. EDS sufferers generally invent a new pain scale so my 5 is probably more like a 15/10 on the pain scale and I never experience less than a 5 on my pain scale.

I was recently diagnosed this year, but have lived with it my whole life and started gaining weight around 12 years old as my injuries got worse and the pain associated with EDS got more difficult. I fought for my diagnosis in a medical world that looked at my body weight and decided the reason for all of it was because of that instead of seeing that as a symptom of a much bigger issue.

This past year, I’ve come to realize how big a part my sewing is playing in my life in terms of making fashion more accessible to me. I can, for instance, change a dress pattern to have a right side zipper because of my left shoulder difficulties. Instead of sewing woven clothes with sleeves that are hard for my shoulder to navigate in a dress without stretch, I can sew a sleeveless dress and a coordinating cardigan or blazer. I can sew fuller sleeves with fun elements like gathering at the top as well to make sure the fit isn’t too tight to prevent my arm from getting out of the blazer or cardigan. Recently, I’ve been having a lot of trouble closing bras in the back and need to make changes to my pattern to accommodate a front closure.

In RTW, accessible clothing in my size is often not fashionable and not made in fabrics I would wear. It’s overly large and shapeless. The shoes I buy are often incredibly ugly (I keep pretty shoes for photoshoots and immediately take them off after the pictures!). I need comfort and functionality before fashion and don’t have the spare cash to buy the premium fashionable shoes that are also comfortable. Front closure bras are often made in RTW without wires in my size or they are nursing bras. Options in that respect are next to impossible to find for my size. Going without a bra is also not an option since I find that places too much strain on my back.

Sewing truly does increase my accessibility to the retro inspired fashion I love. I create the fashion for myself and make changes based on what I need. As I get braces to help my limbs stay in place, that will also evolve my sewing and create interesting details in my garments. If I end up needing a wheelchair, I will be able to make clothes with that in mind. In that case, too, I might be able to wear prettier shoes since I am sitting down. 😉

I’m really grateful lately that sewing hasn’t been impeded by my disability, except in terms of energy, but I am trying really hard to not push myself when I am low on energy. Sewing is a lot easier for me than most activities. Except for cutting out patterns, I don’t find it overly physically taxing. I will need to get an adjustable desk for cutting eventually to help me with that plus a real ironing board instead of the desk top one I have so I don’t have to bend over unnecessarily. I tend to cut out patterns all at once and then take the rest of the day off.

As I move reluctantly into fall sewing, I will be choosing patterns with more care due to mobility issues. My mobility issues for the most part will not get better. Once joints begin dislocating there is little that can be done to prevent it entirely. Physiotherapy will help a great deal but some things will lead to surgery or further disability. I’ll share with you my bra refashioning woes. I am not looking forward to the changes I will need to make to my bra pattern for a front closure! Mobility is something that affects my life very deeply and the issues I encounter are so different than an able person. I think very carefully before I do anything and have to consider my energy and pain levels. I’ve been hearing from a lot of other spoonies or people with mobility issues and I think it would be helpful to discuss why I choose certain patterns or how I change certain patterns to adapt to my mobility. Each body is different but sometimes my particular issues match with another person who sews. I’m reluctant to put up a post about wardrobe planning (I never follow my plan!), but this is the type of wardrobe planning I can get behind. In that sense, I will have some planning posts and construction changes and what I have done starting with the front closure for my bra pattern.

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! ❤ ) 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. 😉

Spring Sewing Round up + Summer Sewing Plans

It’s a week before the weddddding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yeay!

I also recently got this lovely bundle in the mail from Jenny at Cashmerette!

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She had a giveaway on her blog and I won it. 😀

I think the panel of fabric is screaming to become a cute mini-quilt for a wall hanging.

Okay, excitement is high here, but I do have some Summer sewing plans for after the wedding and wanted to post a roundup of my Spring sewing.

Spring Sewing Roundup

1. Outerwear:

I made two M7100 bomber jackets as planned (click the pictures for links to the entries):

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And spent most of the Spring wearing them every day. We have had a strange Spring here. Usually by this time in Toronto, we have weather that is over 20 degrees and less rain. This Spring is weather anywhere between 10 degrees and 30 degrees and tons of rain. It’s crazy. I never know how to dress so having these jackets is perfect.

2. Men’s clothes:

I want to formally apologize to my husband-to-be for neglecting him yet again in this area.

3. Dresses:

I made a few dresses:

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I haven’t blogged about the striped dress yet. I keep spilling coffee on myself before I get pictures taken! At this point, too, it’s definitely going to be a post-wedding entry…

I never made anything for Indie Pattern Month, sadly. Oh well, I’ll be able to participate next year. Not the million dress I planned, but enough.

I also made my wedding dress, but you have to wait until July to see that.

I made a flower girl dress. So cute! Not my size, though. 😉 Darn.

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4. Tops:

I didn’t make the top I planned (M7094) but I did make two JVL Bronte tops:

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5. Lingerie

I made two bras from my cloned Elomi bra pattern!! Neither of these are blogged about, but I will be doing that before the wedding.

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Summer Sewing Plans

1. Outerwear:

I did not get to the raincoat with the Spring sewing, but I will get that raincoat made this summer. I didn’t get to it, because of a minor alteration on the sleeves and basically just wanted to sew up projects I knew would be easy. As a reminder, these are the fabrics and the pattern I plan to use:

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M6517:

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I decided to sketch it out for fun!

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I’m using my Curvy Sketchbook from Cashmerette.

2. Men’s clothes:

I swear I will get this done. I already have the first version cut out in a black cotton. It will be Simplicity 1544:

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View A with just the collar stay and not the full collar in black cotton from a local store.

Other than that, I am making him some boxer shorts, but I will not be posting them here. I can post my underwear without issue, but not other people’s.

3. Lingerie:

On the heels of two more successful bras, I want to make all the bras! I have enough of the fuchsia duoplex to make another bra and this time I will be using pink and purple elastics/findings. I will also be making two in turquoise fabric. One is planning with white lace and blue elastics/findings. I have yet to find a lace for the second version, but I am leaning toward hot pink or something else crazy and loud with black elastics/findings. Black powernet for both. Although, I might “harvest” my first bra for white powernet for the turquoise bra, but I haven’t decided yet. I may also just get some white powernet since I need more underwires anyway.

Here are some of my fabrics:

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I also have plans for some funky strapping across the front of the fuchsia one, like this bra:

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The straps would replace the stretch lace in the upper cup… We’ll see if that ends up being something I make… Or even something that will work…

4. Dresses:

Now that it is summer. I want to make all the dresses ever. I have started sketching a couple with my Curvy Sketchbook.

a) B6210 in the same stripe fabric as I’ve used before:

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b) For the Outfit Along, I am planning to make the Embrace wrap cardigan in a mint green wool/acrylic blend from Ice Yarn and M6887 in a lovely apple fabric with a light blue lining and mint green bias tape accents:

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The knit wrap cardigan is the Embrace pattern. It’s available for free on Ravelry.

c) Decades of Style ESP Dress in Wonder Woman fabric:

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d) Muse Patterns’ Melissa dress in a mint green floral print with forest green accents on the front v pockets and the sleeves, and an ivory lace insert on the back V:

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e) I currently have another M6696 all cut out and ready to be sewn using these fabrics and buttons:

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The plan for this is to have sleeves that turn up with a cuff and button tabs with the green flower buttons. We’ll see if that works out! 🙂

5. Shorts:

I don’t really know whether this will happen or not. To be honest, I almost didn’t put it on the list, but if I try this and fail, I still want to write about what happened. I’m not a fan of shorts or pants. You see me wear leggings with dresses and I get by okay all year round. The thickness of the leggings just change based on the weather.

I’m not sure of the pattern. I know I want them to be bermuda length (knee-length), though, anything shorter and I won’t feel comfortable wearing them. I have Green Style Taylor Shorts and Ginger Jeans in my pdf patterns. I also have M5894, a jeans pattern, in my paper pattern stash and that one is the closet in terms of sizing for me. I just discovered a new pattern that is yet to be released from Itch to Stitch called the Angelia Shorts. I saw a version over on the Monthly Stitch and really loved them. They aren’t really in my size range, though. I like the idea of adapting M5894 into a bermuda length with a draw string and making them in a lightweight pant material. We’ll see what happens here. If anyone knows of a pattern like the Itch to Stitch that is in a 24W or higher (there are tons with an elastic waist, but that isn’t what I am looking for at all), please let me know!

I have no sketches of this yet as I am just mulling it over…

6. Swimming:

This venture really depends on whether I can find a good swimsuit fabric that I like. I haven’t found any yet; although, I can make the first version in cheap fabric to check fit and figure the bra issue. I will be making B5795 in view B for the top and view F for the bottoms:

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The bottoms will be made in a solid colour, because I want to make a few and have them interchangeable for the tops. I would also like a few bottoms in boy shorts, too. The tops are going to be prints with the princess seams on the front in solid colours. There will also be a foam bra insert using my bra pattern so I will be changing the back a little bit so it dips lower and has an elastic band and a swim clasp.

I’ve sketched out the concept here:

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The bottoms have drawstring ties in the picture. Not sure if I want to do that yet.

Along with swimsuits, I also have plans for a swim cover up, using the free Medina mini-kaftan pattern from Hot Patterns on fabric.com I’d like it in the white island breeze gauze on fabric.com for the main fabric and a fluorescent cotton for the contrast. A store near me sells a few fluorescent cottons that I want to snag for this. I’m thinking hot pink for the neckline and orange or yellow for the sleeves/bottom. I love colour blocking like that, because I know the orange/yellow won’t work near my face in terms of my complexion, but it will be fine on the sleeves or bottom of the cover up.

hot patterns

I plan on going to the aquatic centre near my home for a drop-in class of aquafit or for the non-lane swim times. My post-wedding plans are to increase my fitness in low-impact ways. So that means yoga, swimming, light stretching at home, and some strength training at home, too. With my fibromyalgia, I can’t really do anything that leads to a flare up so that means I do smaller things and get fit in different ways.

I find it funny that most people try to lose weight for a wedding. How can anyone handle that with all the other stress? I plan on focusing on getting fit after the wedding. 🙂 I’m not purely focused on losing weight, but more on making sure I am getting my body to a better place in fitness. Not being in pain all the time will hopefully be a result of this.

I could write out more that I want to sew, but I’m trying to limit my planning a bit more. I tend to be pretty ambitious. I also want to focus on slower projects and make interesting details for them.

What are your summer sewing plans?

The Wedding Dress, pt. 1: The Design, the Muslin, the Fabric, and the Outfit

The Design:

When I first started researching what I wanted to make for my wedding dress, I came up with some very similar pictures. All of them had a sweetheart neckline and an overlay of lace or mesh. I eventually found Simplicity 1606 and had grand plans of making it in a combination of pink and white and burgundy accents.

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I want to add cap sleeves to the dress and I want a fuller tea-length layered skirt. This is my inspiration dress:

wedding dress

I made the muslin and was not happy with it. You know those pinterest fails?

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Yeah, it felt like that…

So, I went back to the drawing board. Okay…the pinterest boards and started pinning gorgeous shirt dresses.

Everyone knows I love a shirt dress! There is no better piece of clothing to wear than a shirt dress with a flared skirt.

I felt like a wedding shirt dress could be my dream wedding dress. I still wanted a full tea-length circle skirt on it. I got McCall’s 7084 around Christmas time and really loved the princess seams, flared skirt, cap sleeves, and the lace overlay in view C.

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All I needed to do was lengthen the skirt and do an FBA on the bodice.

The Muslin

The muslin process went incredibly well for this dress. I did pattern tissue adjustments and only created one muslin. Sorry just cell phone pictures for this process. I made a 2 inch FBA with size 22 using Mary’s method for princess seam FBAs. The FBA added 4 inches in total to the finished measurements for the bust and 6 inches to the waist. I also did a 1 inch narrow shoulder adjustment. Then I lengthened all of the skirt pieces by 4 inches. I further lengthened them by an additional two inches when I cut out my fabric.

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My muslin fit was amazing. The princess seams are perfect and there is no pulling across the bust where the buttons will be.

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Some tweaks in the collar had to be made (reduced the length of the collar stand by an inch in total), but other than that the muslin was perfect and truly felt like it was meant to be. After twirling around in the muslin, I decided to redraft the skirt from panels and godets into a full circle skirt do reduce the amount of seams I would need to make in the delicate silk and because I wasn’t sold on the look of the godets in a solid colour. It wasn’t difficult to cut the skirt pieces in three panels and I ended up using the muslin skirt itself as a pattern piece when I cut into my fabric.

The Fabric

I went back and forth and back and forth and did tons of research and visited tons of fabric stores and looked endlessly online for this and that and the other thing.

Getting me to settle on fabric was a difficult process, but I wanted it to be right for me.

I started off not wanting white. I started off wanting dusty rose and having burgundy or wine accents. I then thought maybe champagne with burgundy. Ultimately, I just drank a bottle of wine and clicked buy.

My main fabric is a white silk charmeuse from Dharma Trading. Dharma Trading sells wholesale dyeable fabrics in white or black along with fabric paints and dyes and many other things. I ordered samples from several different places. My samples from fabric.com were pretty disappointing. They were synthetic materials and I really wanted a silk charmeuse, because I’ve worked with it before and it sews like a dream, feels amazing next to the skin, and has a lovely drape that makes me so happy. The samples from Dharma Trading did not disappoint. I also got a few others at the time, as well, and might order again in the future. Dyeing my own fabric is definitely on my list of things to do in the future. I also got a few yards of silk organza from Dharma Trading, as well. You’ll find out what I used that for in my construction post.

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I was originally going to dye the white silk using tea or coffee to make it a champagne hue, but then I got an adorable “no” from my fiance who said he never gets to see me in white and that he really loved the idea of being traditional in that way. I was fighting hard against traditional things and I still am, but my fiance’s look was so sweet… I couldn’t say no. I never really do say no with him. It’s so difficult when he is so cute and dreamy and wonderful. *swoon*

Now that you’ve stopped gagging, I’ll go on about my fabric.

My lace fabric is from fabric.com. It’s not the best quality lace out there and is stretch lace, but it’s quite lovely as an overlay on the silk. I will be hand basting it to the lace to make sure it doesn’t move during the sewing process.

I have a synthetic cranberry satin for the waist tie. I didn’t want to use a silk for something that will be pulled and tied and possibly stepped on by family as they swoop in for hugs and kisses. I also got enough to make my sister a sash as one of my bride’s maids.

Finally, I got white rayon hug snug to bind the seams from fabric.com. My wedding dress will be pretty on the inside and on the outside.

I also ordered a lace in a pink blush from fabric.com for the lingerie, which I will talk about in a different post as I plan it out.

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I’ve now got the whole dress cut out and ready to sew:

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Creating the Outfit

I ordered was a tea-length petticoat crinoline in ivory from ReShashay. They are made of nylon organza and netting. They come with instructions to decrinkle them in the shower. It worked really well. The ivory looks quite lovely under the white silk. I originally ordered the crinoline during the champagne coloured fabric phase, but am still happy with my decision to keep it as ivory. It looks very cute under the white silk.

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If you are ever in the market for a crinoline, I really love the one I have and would definitely recommend it to other people. I could have gone through the process of making my own, but damn all that gathering and all that fabric can’t really be beat with a $36 price tag. Saves me time/money!

My shoes were also back and forth in my head. I wanted pink….red…..white…….etc.

I settled on gold and kept pinning all these lovely gold shoes. I looked into custom made ones (which were way too expensive for me) and then one day while at the mall I walked into Call it Spring and fell in love with these two matching pairs:

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The wedge heels were $40 dollars and will be worn during the ceremony. I’m not really a heel person (although, I could actually walk in these ones comfortably!) so I figure at some point I will want to burn them and put on cute flats. I picked up gold flats in a similar material as the heels for $35.

And, of course, I couldn’t resist finding buttons that matched (I have 12 buttons in total):

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I have no plans yet for jewelry, hair/nails, or the bouquet. It will all come together eventually. 🙂 I’m a pretty relaxed Bride-to-Be.

Next Up:

Sewing the dress, of course.

Stay tuned for:

May: The Wedding Dress, pt. 2: Construction and Details

June: The Wedding Lingerie

Also in June: The Flower Girl’s Dress and Sash

July: Wedding!

The Wedding Dress, pt. 3: The Reveal and the Day.

I promise I will be using the DSLR from now on so that you can see the details really well and don’t have to contend with shitty cell phone pictures.

Winter Round-up and Spring Sewing plans

Winter Round Up

Well, the rest of winter went by super fast and I wasn’t in the sewing mood for most of it. Let’s see how I achieved my objectives for the sewing categories I set out in my Winter Sewing Plans:

1. Underwear:

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I managed to clone my Elomi bra. I also this weekend tried Seamwork’s Florence lounge bra pattern. I will talk about it in a separate post. I also made another pair of underwear from my self-drafted pattern. I compared it to Seamwork’s Geneva knickers pattern, but found that the pattern ran very large for me and decided to go with my own pattern instead.

2. Outerwear:

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I made Golden Rippy’s Omega Angel Jacket and M6614, my Hello Kitty hoodie.

I did not get to making my raincoat M6517.

3. Skirts:

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I made my Tenterhook Patterns’ Snapdragon skirt in pink denim.

I haven’t blogged about them yet, but I made 2 dirndl skirts and have 2 more cut out and ready to go. I’m planning on blogging all four together to talk about the techniques I used for them and to not bore you with several posts of the same skirts. I’m hoping to get them done this week, though.

I did not get around to making a Sewaholic Hollyburn or a Bluegingerdoll Betsy skirt.

4. Men’s Clothes:

My poor understanding fiance. I have neglected this category completely.

5. Dresses:

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I made a Bluegingerdoll Violet Dress in snake print jersey with red accents.

I did not get to the Burdastyle tunic.

6. Tops:

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I made one white Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte top.

No Sewaholic Oakridge blouse, no M6649, and no M7094.

All in all, I did something in almost every category, but not everything. It was my goal to hopefully make something in every category, but not my goal to achieve everything. Planning posts are meant to direct me a little and inspire my sewing.

That being said, I am going for less ambitious plans for Spring sewing this time. We’re in full wedding planning mode and my desire to cuddle my fiance in the evening is stronger than my desire to sew right now.

Spring Sewing Plans:

1. Outerwear:

I swear I will get that raincoat made sometime this year. As a reminder, these are the fabrics I plan to use:

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Pattern M6517:

M6517

I also want to make M7100:

M7100

I have a major lack of Spring coats for weather that is in between. I plan on making this jacket twice in two fabrics with black rib knit and metal zippers:

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I bought the black/white fabric at the thrift store and the floral denim was from Joann fabrics. The black/white is actually a very small houndstooth with a loose weave and feels like cotton. I am pretty sure it will fray like crazy so I need to figure out how to line the jacket.

2. Men’s clothes:

I swear I will get this done. I plan on cutting out the first one this weekend. I have narrowed down the pattern to Simplicity 1544:

S1544

View A with just the collar stay and not the full collar in black cotton from a local store.

3. Dresses:

Well, number one here would be my wedding dress, which I plan on posting in a few stages: planning, construction, and then the reveal, which won’t be until July…. Sorry! Want my dress to be somewhat of a surprise for my family. 🙂

Other than that, I am shifting my Winter plans of sew all the skirts into Spring plans of sewing all the dresses. I don’t plan on making any more skirts until after the wedding, but I love Spring for wearing bright colours and gorgeous dresses.

Surprise! I want more M6696 shirtdresses. You’ve seen my other versions:

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Well, now I want to create a Spring version using these complementary purple prints:

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I have a few printed fabrics, including an amazing Wonder Woman fabric that Tanya sent me:

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I want to make them into simple dresses that don’t hide the prints: darted bodice and gathered skirt. I tried to find a simple darted bodice in my stash, but sadly wasn’t able to find one that I liked. The plan is to create a muslin with the bodice of Lekala’s free dress pattern #8000 and then add a gathered skirt to it. Instead of the back zipper, I will be making a side zipper and in-seam pockets. I’ve done this twice with my dirndl skirts. I like the look of the Lekala bodice, but it will be needing some fitting tweaks to work for me. Luckily, it’s just the bodice that I will need to fit. I will probably need to lengthen the bodice as I don’t feel like Lekala really accounts for the extra fabric needed to get around huge boobs.

I still want to make the Burda tunic dress:

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I also want to make Simplicity 1459:

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I really love Tanya’s versions of this and have been wanting to make this for a while. I have two fabrics for two versions; a lovely white and navy gingham cotton and white and blue polka dot cotton:

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Finally, I’d like to make another Muse Pattern’s Melissa dress using the final version of the pattern, but I don’t have any appropriate fabrics for it yet. I’m hoping for a sweet thrift store score sometime for that.

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4. Top:

Only one top planned. The same M7094 from the Winter plans:

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With this fabric:

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I managed to pick up this drapey hunter green polyester crepe at the thrift store and there is more than enough to make view B with the button tabs, but with the tunic length/shaped hem from view D.

5. Lingerie

I plan on making another cloned Elomi bra with the changes I noticed from wearing the previous version. Here are my fabrics:

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I am also planning out more underwear to finally write up the post on that. I have some more tweaks and learning from the version I made this weekend. My fabrics are all scraps for that from previous projects or clothes that I am deconstructing so I am not going to post them. You’ll just have to wait for the finished versions.

Those are my plans from now until June 21st. Less ambitious from my Winter plans or more depending on your view…? What are your plans?

Winter Sewing Plans

Lately, I am sewing a ton, but barely have time to take pictures for the blog. I have to this week as the deadline for Fall of 1000 Shirt Dresses is looming and I have another M6696 to share. It’s seasonally inappropriate, but very cute. Tomorrow I will take a bunch of pictures for a slew of posts.

Today, let’s talk winter sewing plans. I am a little late on this as winter officially started on the 21st of December and it’s now mid-January, but I figure better late than never, right? These are my plans until spring starts on March 20th. I like planning posts, because they tend to keep me on track in terms of focus. While I don’t always keep to the goals, it definitely keeps me somewhat on course. These plans are also meant to keep my eye on the stash  (patterns and fabric) and make sure I sew from that (except for wedding dress purposes and gifts) until after the wedding in July or until I run out of my stash (wouldn’t that be crazy?!). I have to curb my spending and toss my poor credit card in the freezer.

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I’m going to cover categories and talk about what patterns I intend to sewing in each. I’m also looking forward to Spring with some of these and sewing a bit for that. Although, it’s still cold here in Toronto so I am not sure how much sewing I will get done for the next season before it’s suddenly here! You’ll notice that the wedding dress is missing from these plans. I have a separate post planned for that when I talk about the muslin process.

1. Under where? Under there! Oh! Underwear: 

I love lame jokes. Sorry not sorry. I need new lingerie: bras, panties, a leather corset. Er…..I don’t need that last one…until the wedding night! Hahaha! Kidding, kidding.

Bras:

Now that I have made my first bra, I am excited to get the fit right for the second and other versions. The pattern will be the Classic Full Band Bra by Pin up Girl patterns, like my first one. I have some fitting changes from the first bra and I plan on changing the wires out from what the first bra had. I have to make a visit to Bra Maker’s Supply in Hamilton for this and exchanging the underwires, as well as getting more fitting tips from Beverly Johnson. I will also be picking up fabric for the undergarments for the wedding and some additional bra making supplies. I have set a budget for this and intend to only purchase within the budget.

Emerald Erin has an awesome bra a week challenge for this goal. While I don’t plan on participating every week, I will get a few bras done and send pictures to her. I have far too many things I want to sew to make tons of bras, but I will happily be sewing a few of them this season.

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After another boring white bra, I will be using these lovely fabrics:

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Underwear: 

I bought a lot of fold-over elastic and stretch lace for these purposes:

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The knit remnants in my stash will be perfect for this, too, as underwear doesn’t require a lot of fabric and several of the knits I have in my remnants will work very well for underwear. Nothing like using up the scraps for projects.

I have made a pattern for this using my best fitting underwear:

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We’ll see how the first pair goes. I will likely need to make adjustments for it and then I should have a perfect pattern.

2. Outerwear: 

Raincoat M6517:

For about a year now, I’ve had hot pink nylon fabric and clear vinyl with a pink swirl pattern on it:

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I searched for the perfect pattern for a vinyl coat and came across M6517. I ordered a teflon foot for my sewing machine after the horror of sewing the pleather for my coat. Plans are to cut the nylon into bias strips and use it to bind the seams as I sew for a perfect finish. I hope it goes well… I’ve always wanted a raincoat like this. I’m a little upset that the view they show for the clear vinyl doesn’t have a hood. I may have to add one since the pattern includes a hood. I have to look more closely at the pattern and decide whether it is a simple tweak or I will need to create a muslin. The coat is a loose fit so I wasn’t planning on a muslin for it.

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Knit Jackets:

I am currently finishing up a hoodie using M6614. It’s a very basic hoodie pattern.

M6614

I’ll leave the previews to my Instagram account. There were some issues in the construction that will mean some pointing/blaming fingers at McCall’s. If you have this pattern and are thinking of making it up in the larger sizes, you may need to order a longer zipper unless you want to make alterations to the length or the neckline. Also, size way way down. WAY DOWN. The hoodie is maaaaaaasssssive.

My other plan is to make Golden Rippy’s Omega Angel Jacket.

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I’m going to do a slight FBA on the princess seams, because my black contrast sweatshirt fleece has very little stretch. These are the fabrics I am using:

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I picked up the blue sweatshirt fleece from a thrift store and the black sweatshirt fleece and ribbing is from Joann’s.

I love all the seam details in this pattern and am excited to try it out. This and the other hoodie are perfect for transition weather in the early spring. I will probably wear them well into the summer, too.

3. Skirts: 

Dirndl Skirts:

I plan on self-drafting a pattern, but if you want a pattern that goes up to many sizes, check out the Margo skirt from Style Arc:

margo skirt

You can make a dirndl skirt easily using two rectangles of fabric for the front and back, and one smaller rectangle for the waistband. I am adding pockets as well and I have a self-drafted pocket that I use. You base the size of the waistband rectangle on the width of where you want the skirt to sit (plus seam allowance and any overlap for a button or hook) and then your front/back is much wider than that. The amount of width is based on how gathered and full you want your skirt to look. Gertie has a tutorial that adds 25 more inches to the skirt pieces than the waist pieces for a total of 50 inches of extra material around. This will likely be a good amount of gathers around. Of course, you can add more or less depending on how full your skirt is… or you can get the Margo skirt and not have to think about it at all!

I have a bunch of floral fabric planned for these skirts and one plaid:

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Sewaholic Hollyburn:

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I have been wanting to make this skirt for a really long time, but putting it off due to having to create a muslin, as well as grading up the pattern several sizes. I have two fabrics planned for this skirt:

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The one on the right is dark navy blue, but looks black in this photo.

Bluegingerdoll Betsy:

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I am continuing my quest for a pencil skirt and am excited to try this pattern. I might need to make some adjustments to this pattern and will definitely be creating a muslin.

Tenterhook Patterns’ Snapdragon:

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Another pencil skirt pattern. I really love the two faux wrap styles and am excited to see how it works out in the muslin process.

For Besty and Snapdragon, I have some potential fabrics, but no firm plans and they all depend on which skirt pattern I like the most:

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One of the three skirts will be the skirt I make using this magenta jean fabric for the Monthly Stitches’ jeans challenge with the bonus pink challenge achieved:

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4. Men’s clothes: I am so selfish in my sewing and very prone to promising stuff for my fiance and not delivering on it. I have stash fabric already purchased and need to sew him some button up shirts for work in the next few weeks or else!

Shirts:

I have three potential pattern for a nice button down shirt for him:

Simplicity 1544:

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I’m not super thrilled with this one, but I do like the cuffs on it best out of the three. I do like the Western-styled version of the shirt, but I don’t think my fiance will love it.

Simplicity 2741:

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Bonus of this pattern, is the included boxer shorts and vest pattern. I doubt I will make the vest, but the boxer shorts will definitely get made. I may not share the finished version on here, though. I can show my underwear, but my fiance’s is a whole other thing.

The shirt pattern itself had some nice pleats on the back, but isn’t much different from the other Simplicity pattern.

McCall’s 6932:

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This one is probably better for more casual shirts than work shirts. I do like the pleat on the back, but am not thrilled that there isn’t a separate button band and the collar is different.

I figure I will create a muslin of all three and let my fiance decide, since he is the one wearing them.

Right now, I just have two black fabrics picked out for him. I’ll spare you a boring black fabric picture. I hope to get some nice cotton shirting from local stores.

5. Dresses:

I’m actually not really in the mood to make dresses lately, but have two planned out.

Bluegingerdoll Violet:

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I have two fabrics for this and plan on creating this for Jungle January:

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The red is the remainder from my Wonder Woman outfit and the snake print jersey is a thrift find.

BurdaStyle Printed Tunic (01/2013 #133A):

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Tanya made a gorgeous version of this as a dress and I’ve wanted to make it ever since. This will be lengthened into a dress and made in a light blue fabric that I picked up in a thrifting adventure:

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6. Tops

With skirts, there must be tops and I have a couple planned.

More Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte’s:

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Since I loved the top I made for my Wonder Woman outfit so much and have worn it a bunch since, I have three others planned in these fabrics:

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Sewaholic Oakridge Blouse:

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I really liked the Granville shirt, but the Oakridge blouse made me squeal in glee! I had been looking for a top with a bow detail for a while. I’m patiently waiting for it to come in the mail and then I will decide on fabric. I may need to purchase some drapey fabric for this. So I probably won’t be sewing this until around March.

M6649:

The main reason I didn’t get the Granville shirt pattern is because I already have a couple of nice shirt patterns with cup size variations. M6649 is one of them:

M6649

I want to make view B or D. I’m not sure I would have as many ruffles as are in the pattern. I may only do half the amount or decide that ruffles on boobs my size are ridiculous. No fabric planned for this and, if I have to buy some, we’re looking at March for this.

M7094:

M7094

More drapey fabrics. I love all the pleats at the shoulder and the gathers at the back. I might need to buy fabric for this, which will not make me happy, but we’ll see what is in my stash. This is definitely a couple months away from being made. I’m hoping I will have my stash depleted enough to justify the purchase of drapey fabrics.

Those are my non-wedding dress plans from now until the end of March. Do you have an sewing plans?