Pattern Hacking Smorgasbord

First off, thank you for the wonderful comments and messages on all my social media formats on my last post. Your support means so much to me and helps life me up on bad days. I cannot thank you enough for both reading my posts on chronic illness and responding to them. Even a “like” makes me feel better. Chronic illness can be so isolating and lonely, but I love having an online community to make that feel less and less true. I may be at home in bed, but I am able to feel the love. ❤

I can’t use the word Smorgasbord without thinking of Charlotte’s Web.

Man, that rat knows how to live. It is living its most authentic life. Hahah.

August was pattern hacking month at the CSC and I got quite a bit of inspiration from the posts that fueled some recent sewing.

First up on my recent pattern hacks, is a Cashmerette Concord T-shirt. Anyone who follows me knows this is my TNT t-shirt pattern. I just adore it. It fits me perfectly. So why even try another t-shirt pattern to achieve what can easily be done with an existing pattern?

I didn’t even make a paper pattern for this. I was feel super lazy and having a low energy and medium pain day. I grabbed my tailor’s chalk and just made the adjustments with that on the actual fabric. I had minimal fabric leftover from my friend’s dress, but it was determined to become a 1980s inspired top.

The shirt is a bit of a flashback to an early 80s top that I vaguely remember and can’t find a single picture of. The 80s top had a tie neckline with a keyhole too and puffed sleeves with cuffs and a banded hem. Because of the small amount of fabric there was no way I could stripe match and I had to cut it shorter than I would prefer. I cut the back going in the opposite direction from the front and failed to remember to take a picture of that.

It was an easy top to hack. I extended the width of the sleeve across the entire sleeve from the centre. This gives enough width for the gathers at the sleeve head and the gathers around the sleeve band. I cut the sleeve band against the grain. This does effect the stretch of the fabric so I had to extend the length. I am probably about an inch and half too short for that so I do find the sleeve band doesn’t quite hit in the right place. But I was working with very little fabric and didn’t have enough for a longer band. I used my chalk to draw the shape of the keyhole and then cut a very long neckband. I also cut a small piece of fabric to finish the keyhole. The easiest part was likely the bottom band. You cut it slightly shorter than your hem. I didn’t even need to really cut it. It was the bottom edge of the fabric after cutting off the sleeves on the fold. I think I may have cut it a bit shorter and that is it.

Well I like this so far! #concordtshirt #sewing #sewcialists

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

Cashmerette Concord T

I just love the top and really want to make more that look the same. Since I didn’t make a pattern paper for this, I will have to do backtracking and make it. I can’t kick past Andie for not doing it. It was an accomplishment for me to cut out the top that day. No way I was putting my spoons toward making a pattern.

Next up on the pattern hacking smorgasbord is a *finally* finished pleated Cake Pavlova skirt. Another TNT pattern for me. Speaking of TNTs, which is all that I used in this post, have you heard of the upcoming Sewcialist TNT month? I’m pretty excited for it! Clearly TNTs have also been on my mind.

Cake Patterns Pavlova Skirt

The skirt is black so unfortunately you might not see the pleats I added. There are two pleats halfway between the centre and the side seam on each side and on both the front and back.

A note on the socks. They are the Wolf and the Tree Going Rogue socks. I never got around to posting on them and these are the only pair I made. I will say they run bigger than I thought they would and I had to size down significantly. I really love them though and will eventually get around to making more since I am on board with matching my socks and cardi (cardi is my Gryffindor Sophi Cardi).

Cake Patterns Pavlova Skirt

There is a side seam pocket on the left side of the skirt and the zipper is on the left side of the skirt.

Cake Patterns Pavlova Skirt

The above picture highlights the pleats a bit better. The fabric is from the thrift store and is a lovely and extremely soft cotton stretch suiting. I had no idea fabric like that existed, but it is lovely. The waistband is unfortunately a bit tight. It’s due to the interfacing on the waistband. I am hoping it relaxes with washing. I should have used knit interfacing to make for pie room in the waistband. I started making the skirt earlier this year and left it aside to take out the waistband. I’m kick myself for not removing the interfacing at the same time. 😦

As long as I am not swollen or having GI issues, I can wear the skirt without issue. It’s just not going to be one I reach for on bad days.

Finally, my last pattern hack is using the Cashmerette Springfield top.

While at work one day, I got it in my head and HAD to draw it out.

I have been wanting a tie-neck top for a while and had never gotten around to it. I saw Elizabeth make a top with ruffle cap sleeves and just had to make one. Then my brain suddenly put the two together at work and I freaked out because it became my dream top. Add to that a lovely tunic length and a high-low split hem! OMG. A veritable smorgasbord!

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Edit: No shame posting the back with a big sweat stain from having worn it all day. Hahah. 😛 Shirt is poly crepe so no breathing! Also as an aside… I’m noticing how wonky my ankles are looking here. Yeay, EDS? lol

For this pattern hack, I had changed the neckline to a v-neck. I just drew the line on my pattern and folded it under. I extended the front by 2 inches and the back for 3.5 inches for the high-low hem. The top already has a split hem. I used the pattern view with the princess seams on the back. I do see from pull lines that I might benefit from going up a size in the butt area due to the extra length and needing to skim over my widest asset (har har). But otherwise, the fit is good. I added some handstitched gathers to the shoulder area of the neckband to help it sit well. The ruffle cap sleeves are just long rectangles gathered. The sleeve and neckline are finished with bias binding.

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Really feeling myself in that picture. Ha!

Cashmerette Springfield Top

A bonus to this post is my alteration of my Auberley dress. The sleeves never quite felt right. They were big enough, but with EDS sometimes woven sleeves can be too constricting and can cause issues. I split them down the centre and then added some cute cuffs with snap closures and gathered the sleeve hem into them. What I achieved is a sleeveless feel for my wonky joints but a sleeved look that is “on trend.”

And now after all that, I want some fair food. Bring on the cotton candy and popcorn!

Advertisements

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

For the final challenge for Indie Pattern Month at the Monthly Stitch, I shared 8 garments that I made in July! The challenge was called Indie Royalty and involved making 2 or more garments. I guess I am just an over-achiever. Originally, I planned to make two for the other challenges but I never got them finished in time. Summer tends to be a busy time and the end of the competitions just never fell on a date that worked for me. I had friends and family visiting and all sorts of plans that got in the way of sewing. The challenge was due on July 31st instead of the Friday. That meant I got all the things I had planned done. I made the following:

  1. Blank Slate Barton Shorts in a floral linen rayon blend with cotton lace trim. I’ll write a separate blog post on this later since it is my first time using the pattern.
  2. Cashmerette Concord t-shirt in Hello Kitty print cotton lycra. I made my usual a 22G/H graded to a 24 at the waist. It’s seriously my favourite shirt to date. I want to wear it all the time.
  3. Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan in a lightweight rib knit with white and green stripes. More on this in a different blog post later.
  4. Blank Slate Oceanside shorts in green rayon linen blend. I made a 3XL again. I compared the pieces to the final pattern version since I made the tester version before and decided to go with the tester version again. It looks like I would need to do a few adjustments to the final version of the pattern for fit so I decided to continue using the tester.
  5. Cashmerette Dartmouth top in pink monkey bamboo jersey. I made a 22G/H graded to 24 at the waist. I had to shorten the length by about 3 inches. It might have been because the fabric is really drapey and heavy. I love it. It fits perfectly.
  6. Decades of Style Three’s a Charm Jacket in black jersey. I’ve made the jacket before and really liked it. The pattern is made for wovens but I really wanted to try it in a knit. I love the style. It ends up as a boxy jersey jacket.
  7. Cashmerette Upton skirt hack. I made a 24. I had to shorten the length to fit it on my fabric. It’s made with green cotton fabric. I gathered the skirt instead of pleated and extended the waistband by 2 inches to get an overlapping back for my closure. I think next time I will shorten the front waistband by an inch and half since it ended up a bit too long.
  8. Cashmerette Webster dress in a soft pink and white patterned cotton. More on this in a later post.

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

 

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

I love how I accidentally made a nicely matching capsule wardrobe. I bought most of the fabric at the thrift store and it just happened to go together really well. I got the Pink Monkey print locally, the linen rayon fabrics were from fabricville and the cotton lycra Kello Kitty print was from a Christmas gift exchange at a Sewcialist meet up here in Toronto.

These two collages don’t even show every combination for the capsule wardrobe:

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

I’ll be sharing more information on each garment in the next couple of weeks and probably another Swoon cardigan since I just got some super cheap sheer white fabric from Fabricland for another version. Stay tuned!

SMH It’s been a while…

Luckily, I was not absent from blogging due to illness, but due to summer being busy and fun so far!

My main source of enjoyment has been my garden.

Flamingos and pinwheels. #gardening #urbangardening #smallspacegardening #containergardening

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

Our front step is looking pretty snazzy! #plants #smallspacegardening #urbangarden

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

And my plants

I haven’t taken a recent picture of my garden. The tomato plants have grown to be 3 feet tall! The cucumber, red peppers, and beans are coming along too. Sadly, the amount of rain drowned my herb seedlings and made my lettuce turn from good to bad in a day. Oh well, lessons learned. I will buy some mature herb plants soon and just keep them inside, I think.

My jade plant sadly got a mold disease and looks really bad. I used a spray solution on it and all the diseased leaves are falling off. I hope I saved it in time. I have one little cactus that is looking poorly, but stabilized over the past month. If anyone has a clue what is wrong with it, please let me know. I know it isn’t bugs or too much water…

Why yes…I do anthropomorphize my plants. #plants #cactus #indoorplants

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

The big news is that I met Kat!

She came all the way from New Zealand and we met up and did some fabric shopping.

She brought me some tasty chocolate and lush merino from New Zealand. We also bought matching pink monkey jersey!

It was so good meeting her. We even discussed a Monthly Stitch meetup in Japan for 2018. I’d love to do that!

In the sewing world, I made three more Pavlova skirts. Cake Patterns is no longer, but this skirt pattern is a staple for me.

Unfortunately, I need to alter the black skirt since I mis-measured and need about another inch and a half. Luckily the skirt has pleats and a long waistband to let out.

The skirts have pleats in the front and in the back. They are meant to copy this Butterick skirt pattern by Gertie. In my version the pleats are a bit different and a bit more flattering on me. I seriously love the black and white skirt and wear it a ton in spite of it being made in a mid-weight suiting material. The blue one is pretty short and works great for a variety of casual cosplay, including Wonder Woman.

I made a new born outfit for a friend’s baby boy.

And the finished outfit. Yeay! #sewing #sewcialists #babyclothes

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

The E is totally covering up a serged hole. 😦

I have two dress cut out and ready to make for two different friends.

I have to get on those and send them off.

I managed to get a wicked good haul at the thrift store and add 30 yards to my stash…

I’m not doing great on stashbusting….

I still have UFOs and am slowly getting through them.

These Misty Jeans require topstitching.

This Harrison shirt still needs button bands and a collar:

I still need to redo this dress.

I think I will take the waistband off and add darts to the skirt. At first, I was just going to do fisheye darts, but now I want to do it properly.

My swimsuit is half done. The bottoms are all done. They look messy when laid flat, but are fine on me. I have to make the bra top soon.

This is an in progress picture of them:

Done now, but I didn’t take another picture after this.

I cut out and made a Concord T shirt yesterday.

Well that was quick! #concordtshirt #sewing #sewcialists

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I also have an Appleton maxi almost done. Here is a sneak preview.

Oh yes. Yes. Yes. I do love this. Yes!!! #appletondress #sewing #sewcialists

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I also cut out a Webster dress and two pairs of shorts in linen rayon fabric

The Appleton dress will be posted soon. I just have to put on sleeve bands and hem the dress and take pictures. It’s going to be gorgeous. I am trying to meet the dresses deadline on Friday (@ 8pm in Toronto!) for the Monthly Stitch’s indie pattern month. It’s also part of the maxi dress sew along. 🙂

Are you taking part in either of Indie Pattern Month or the Maxi dress sewalong? 🙂

Handmade Christmas 2016

I got back to sewing in December and made a bunch of presents for people for Christmas. I did manage to make one thing for myself before the year ended, but I will post about that another day.

My mom got a dark purple bamboo knit Cashmerette Concord T:

Concord T shirt for my mom

I made her one for her birthday last year and she really liked it.

I made a bunch of pj pants and shorts using the free pj pants pattern from 5 out of 4 patterns.

5 out of 4 PJ Pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

The top two were made for two of my friends that I work with. The bottom two are for my stepkids. The pants all have pockets in them and every time I pointed that out the recipient was pretty excited about it!

I have plans to use up all the flannel I’ve been hoarding for myself for this and try out the pattern. If I used up my flannel, I’d clear off a shelf and get the surplus into my cabinet. Most of the surplus is fleece leftover from the next project so if I make some fleece tops then that is cleared, too! Plans to get my stash down by 10% are underway.

The next project was all self-drafted. And by drafted, I don’t mean to claim any professional skills, but that I eyeballed most things and made guesses and luckily it all worked out!

First up, I made three mermaid tail blankets!

Mermaid Tail Blanket

They are super cute. Two are adult size for my niece and sister and the one is a bit shorter for my youngest niece.

I made shark tail blankets for my nephew and brother in law:

Shark Tail Blanket

These are probably my favourite out of the lot. Those teeth make me giggle!

Finally, I made a Cashmerette Turner dress for my friend and couldn’t resist trying it on:

Turner Dress

It’s made with some lovely medium-weight knit that a friend gifted me. The colour and print looks great on my friend. It’s all coffee colours and was originally going to be a Gilmore Girls related gift with a Luke’s Diner brooch made by me, but I never got around to it. So she has to wait for that part of the gift. She sent me a pic of her wearing it for her birthday and Christmas Day and I was over the moon with happiness. She looked amazing.

That’s it for what I made for Christmas presents this year. My husband missed out on the handmade gifts this year sadly, but I tried to remind him that he got two wicked Star Trek uniforms earlier this year!

Did you make any handmade gifts this year?

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

Today I share with you my Made with Moxie Prefontaine shorts. I made them before my Upton maxi dress, but they have been constantly worn since. There are a few patterns like this one out there, but for some reason, these struck me as the ones for me. If you are looking for a similar pattern that is free, check out Purl Solo’s City Gym shorts (goes up to 46 inch hip).  The Prefontaine shorts, however, go up to a 55 inch hip and have pockets. I could have graded up the City gym shorts and altered them for a pocket, but I decided to go with the Prefontaine shorts. I’m glad I did.

Shorts are a continuing mission for me. I need to break that scarrier (a barrier you are scared of…lol). This year is all about fashion challenges to myself and conquering fashion scarriers, because of what people and magazines told me growing up.

Shorts are a scarrier for me. I haven’t worn them in public since I was in my teens and the last time I wore them…I had some mean girls at school make fun of my legs for being fat and super duper white and pale. I guess they were making fun of my entire fat body, but I was wearing a flowy peasant top a la mid-90s with cut off jean shorts so that translated to me hating shorts. I immediately went home and tossed the shorts in the garbage and never wore them again. My legs also become a huge object for my hatred after that. I’ve been pretty honest about my struggles with mental health. My legs were a target for self harm for most of my teen years until about 21 when I stopped harming myself for good. YAY ME! Ridiculously proud of myself for how far I have some in uh…almost 15 years.

Shorts are still a scarrier, though. They are a big part of me healing myself and saying “eff you, bullies of the past!” and healing the mental health scars internally. With all my health issues, I can’t change my body very easily so it is important to me that I embrace it and love it and work past these scarriers. 2 weeks ago, I posted this on Facebook and IG:

My body does great things on a daily basis just trying to keep my joints from flying off to Nantucket. I have to appreciate it for that and for how it helped me my whole life. Sure I will still curse every time I have weird things happen like dislocating my shoulder by putting on a bag. But it’s the only body I have. So I embrace its flaws and appreciate its strengths.

Shorts and trying out different dress silhouettes (tent dress, maxi dress) is really important to me. Next one is a two piece swimsuit to get into the pool for exercise.

Back to the Prefontaine shorts.

The thing is that I’ve made them, but there is no way I would or could wear these shorts out in public unless I was at the beach or back from the gym. They are a lot more like pajama shorts than I originally anticipated. That is totally okay, of course, pj shorts with pockets are an amazing thing and I will have tons of these, but I was looking for a nice short to wear around the city and feel confident in. On reflection, maybe a loose-fitting pair of shorts was never destined for that, but I didn’t know unless I tried.

The fit on the Prefontaine shorts isn’t really what I was hoping for. I graded up to a size 28. I could definitely have just done a size 26 or maybe with the ease tried the size 24 since my hips are 56 inches (to 58…depending on the time of the month) and the size 24 is for 55 inch hips. I think the ease might be a little bit more than the pattern suggests. For size 26, it should be only be a couple of inches of ease, but my shorts measure at 62 inches. Edit: the size chart is also not very detailed. It is more detailed with the finished measurements than anything else. So the ease for a 26 could be correct, but it’s hard to know without a complete size chart. It could definitely have been my grading, though. I’ll for sure be making the pattern again, but I will try sizing down next time. The butt fits okay, though, so even if I do size down, I want to keep the crotch curve almost as is on the back with a slightly larger adjustment. I’m not a huge fan of how the front looks. I have a shorter front crotch curve, which I discovered while making my Misty Jeans, so there is fabric pooling and pouching. Not the greatest look at all! Sizing down may help, but I also plan on shortening that curve for a better fit. I love the pockets, though, and the bias tape edges. It makes for a fun around the house short.

My main reason for not wearing them outside of the house is the potential for the crotch to ride up as I walk and for me to get chub rub. The shorts aren’t super functional unless they stop me from chafing. Around the house, they are fine, but I need something functional for walking. If I were to make these for outside shorts, I would have to lengthen them to cover my thighs, but I think I really just want to make a bunch of these for pj shorts for around the house.

I already have the Jennifer City Shorts from StyleArc cut out, but I just got the Itch to Stitch Belize shorts for a shorter short since the Jennifer City Shorts hit about knee level. The other plus of the Belize shorts is they seem to have a higher waist, which I much prefer. I also love the elastic back with the flat front and the skort version, but I don’t think that will be my first version of them. I’d prefer to try to get the fit correct and I think I might be lazy with the skort since that would just cover it up. I will need to grade the shorts up to a size 26.

And now here is a mini-rant. I know that plus sized women often aren’t the market for shorts, but there is a serious lack of patterns for them in bigger sizes. Shorts are becoming more popular in plus size fashion. I wish for two things: 1) that sewing patterns would hurry up and meet fashion trends so I can sew them and 2) that sewing pattern companies were more adventurous with their options. Release all the plus sized crop trops, short shorts, tank dresses, bodycon dresses, swing/tent dresses, sleeveless everything, and lingerie, for god’s sake, give me PLUS SIZED lingerie patterns! I just want more options and to get past more and more scarriers so that other women like me look at how I am rocking it and say, “hey, I can do that too!” or maybe they get past a different scarrier. End rant.

And back to some details on the shorts. They are made with a midweight soft as heck purple cotton that I bought years ago during a Fabricland closing. The hot pink bias tape is from a local shop. I recently learned that I have access to way better bias tape than 90% of the world. The stuff in packages is apparently what most people have, but my local stores actually make bias tape with their cotton fabric so you can match the bias tape perfectly to the cotton solids colours available in their shop. The bias tape isn’t a poly/cotton blend, but a nice cotton. It’s prices comparably to the stuff in packages. So now I get why people say they hate purchased bias tape. Before I was all “this is a good alternative.” But now I realize my privilege in having access to much better bias tape. There are higher qualities and 100% cotton bias tapes in the packages, but they aren’t everywhere like the scratchy poly/cotton stuff.

Even though most edges would be finished in the bias tape, I also finished them with my serger.

Construction went okay. I was watching Stephen King’s The Mist while making them. I’ve seen that movie about 20 times and got reminded of it while recently devouring Stranger Things on Netflix. People who have seen both can understand a bit of the correlation with Stranger Things in my mind. Even though I’ve seen the movie a lot, certain things distracted me. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a really good movie imho. The ending in the movie is controversial for book fans and even for movie fans, but I think it’s a good cinematic ending and it kills me every time. Basically, the movie is emotional, scary, and a great psychological trip.

But….it’s not good watch while you sew material…

I sewed the pockets to the front crotch curve during a particularly tense scene. So that happened. After ripping that out, everything was fine. The instructions are really clear.

I wore the shorts with a new Concord tank top with cotton lycra covered with cats in crowns. How much better can a shirt get?! Here pictures of me without makeup or having done my hair at all and I pretty much don’t care! I kind of love them. You can see the wicked hot pink and purple argyle KT tape on my shoulder that my Physiotherapist put on me. She gets me. She said she would have offered most people the black stuff, but not me. 😉

Concord T-shirt and Prefontaine Shorts

Concort T-shirt and Prefontaine Shorts

Concord T-shirt and Prefontaine Shorts

The elastic in the back isn’t twisting or anything, just wasn’t sitting right for the picture. Too lazy to retake it!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts
  • Pros: Nice deep pockets (I made them deeper in this version, but I am going back to the original length for the next pair because they are good as is). Bias tape edging is a great design detail. Lots of ease for a casual pattern.
  • Cons: Not wearable in public because of potential for crotch riding up. But that’s a personal thing. Might have more ease than the pattern suggests.
  • Make again?: Yes. I want to size down, decrease the front crotch curve, and leave the back crotch curve as is in this version. If I were to wear these in public, I would lengthen them, too.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

That feeling when…

…you are just ready to hibernate and it’s not even winter yet…

So far June has not been good to me!

I began gardening the back patio planter and then came out the day after I got the soil perfect on one side of the planter to this destruction on that very same side:

Planter destroyed!

That hole is through to my neighbor’s patio and all the soil and rocks for drainage is now under HER patio. Great fun. She is having her patio redone and the people doing it ripped it out and destroyed that portion of our fence/ planter. So bye bye newly rejuvenated soil and a bunch of rocks for drainage!

As I was doing that side, there were a ton of roots that I dug out. Turns out a tree is growing off the patio into the property behind us, which is a store. You can’t see a lot through the fence so it just looked like a tree on the other side, but it’s coming out of our planter and is making a nice big hole in it. Fun times.

Bad things come in three… The faucet for the hose in the back needs a part replaced as well before I can use it. For now, I am carting water back and forth from the kitchen. When my landlady replaces that and the hose is on, I can also wash the deck.

I scrapped my idea of having a nice garden in the planter this summer and will focus on it next year. The fence will be fixed and the soil replaced by the builders next door. They promised me and my landlady and best follow through… Then my landlady will have to negotiate the tree removal with the store behind us to get it removed. By-laws in Toronto are pretty strict about a tree crossing property lines. I figure it will take a while to get it out and get the roots removed. Then the faucet will be fixed.

Gardening

I put all the plants into pots and used the soil from the planter since I will need to remove it anyway to get the root system out. I posted a photo and Megan had some great tips on adding interest with levels since all her plants are in pots around her house. For now the recycling bin and other plant pots are temporary. I’m going to keep an eye out for pallets and cinder blocks and curb side tables for better looking things to put the pots on. I already found two steal plant pots. I also thought up some other great ideas and hope to eventually have lots of flowering plants, herbs, and ivy, etc. I will put everything in pots this summer and then maybe next summer I can refocus on the planter. That deck area may also need to be replaced next summer, too. Such a bummer.

I am not a fan of the back patio, but am really determined to make it into something lovely where I want to hang out back there. It may be a place that we rent, but it’s our home and I love every other part of it. Our landlady treats us like family, as well, and I really can’t imagine living anywhere else in Toronto. I got the patio furniture all cleaned up and ready for sangria back there. It’s slowly coming together. The plus side of planting so late is that you can get a ton of discounted plants right now! They will be a little worse for the wear in some cases, but can come back without too much trouble.

Patio furniture

Other than the patio nightmares, I’ve had horrible health! The weather went from 30 degrees to 15 degrees and then back up to 20/22 degrees celcius. I got a week of migraines last week as a result and my allergies are nuts right now. My shoulder is still bothering me and my lower back is now too.

I sound like doom and gloom right now. I’m planning on taking some mental and physical health time and treating myself to quiet nights at home. I also decided not to participate in Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch. I love it. Last year, I wasn’t able to participate because it was the month before my wedding and I had planned out several things for it this year. But it wasn’t to be. My serger broke and that cost a mint meaning I couldn’t buy the fabric I needed for the swimsuit I had planned in conjunction with CSC’s swimsuit sewing month. All plans out the window!

I was in the middle of working on a Cashmerette Concord Tank top when my serger broke. I did manage to get it done on my sewing machine, though. I made two Concord Tank tops:

Concord Tank top!

Concord Tank top!

Nothing much to say about what I did here. I didn’t add sleeves. Made bands for the armhole instead. The pineapple top was cut a bit more narrow in front to get it to fit on the fabric and I think it worked out a bit better for the cotton lycra. The cherry top was a bit wider and didn’t need to be narrowed, but I think the fabric actually needs a size down due to stretch. I still love both tops. Used the same size as before and serged the raw hem.

While my serger was being repaired by Sewing World (took all of 48 hours btw. And incredible customer service so I recommend them as a repair shop. They are also a Janome dealer so they might be the place I go when I am ready to buy a new sewing machine), I reorganized my fabric stash and managed to fit it all into my cupboard again!

Yeay all of my fabric stash fits in here again. #sewing #sewcialists #fabricaddict

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

The sewing craze before our honeymoon really helped my stash go down. I worked a bit on a muslin for an Upton dress. My size is all over the map right now so two muslins later and still no good fit. It’s all my error with choosing a size, though.

I went through my UFOs since the reorganization meant they weren’t covered in fabric and found a vintage floral linen M6696 from last year that got tossed aside during the wedding and post-wedding blahs.

 

I finished the vintage floral linen M6696, though! I’ve made the pattern several times before.

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

Look at those lovely vintage buttons! And look at it on me!

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

I remember doing an extra inch FBA on this bodice last year and I need another one this year. The waistband was also increased by an inch. I just put in the collar stand and not the collar. I like the look. I made shoulder tabs, too, but neglected to take a picture of them. They are orange and have green flower buttons on them. Pretty cute. The sewing on the tabs isn’t the best, though.

I also found my failed apple print M6887 dress and plan on tackling that again, too. It’s so pretty, but just didn’t look good on me. I’ve taken apart and plan on adding a mint waistband. The apple material is slightly stretchy so using a stable non-stretch cotton will help it look better at the waist. I’m also trying to figure out how to add more volume to the skirt, but I will first bast it on the waistband and see if that improved the look on me. I have only a metre left of the fabric. Luckily, the bodice fits quite well. No alterations there.

wpid-wp-1439210749546.jpeg

After the apple print M6887 dress is done, I think I might revisit M7084, which was the pattern I used for my wedding dress. I plan on going with the same length from my wedding dress and sleeveless, but I think I will add a waistband since it really cinches me in at my underbust and I find the look flatters me. I will also be tackling my Upton dress again and making a muslin for the Decades of Style ESP dress since I have some lovely Wonder Woman fabric from Tanya that I need to sew now! I also have some awesome nerdy Hello Kitty fabric from Alicia that might also become an ESP dress.

20160613_204606.jpg 20160613_204740.jpg

It’s a summer of dresses! I have many other plans, but for now all I can focus on is making all the dresses.

Who else feels like making all the dresses?

 

Jellyfish and Flamingos!

It was a long weekend in Toronto this past weekend and that meant I got some sewing in! I made two dresses that are perfect for the summer!

The first one is a lengthened version of Cashmerette’s Concord t-shirt. Jenny posted a tutorial on making the top into a dress and I couldn’t resist after seeing her version. I decided to just have a straight hem on my version and make it with the digitally printed jellyfish cotton lycra I got at Lapjesmarkt in Utrecht, Netherlands.

DSC_2079 DSC_2084 DSC_2081

I adore this fabric. It is just the right amount of weight and lycra to make a body hugging dress hide all my lumps and accentuate all my bumps. Don’t get me wrong, I love my lumps and have no qualms about showing them off, but man I look damn good in this dress. I used yellow ribbing on the neckline and sleeve bands and chose the scoop neck and 3/4 sleeve. I should have reduced the length of the ribbing by an inch and a half or so because of how ribbing stretches out when you sew, but I didn’t. As a result the sleeve bands are a bit loose and the neck slightly stretched out. Neither are very noticeable, though. I didn’t topstitch the neckline down this time. I will see if it needs it after a few wears. The topstitching would just keep the neckband in place a little better, but it may be fine. When I make this dress again, I think doing a swayback adjustment would be good since there is some pooling of fabric in my lower back. I never did a narrow should adjustment for the top just but will be doing that for future versions.

I love the way my butt looks in this dress… Sorry not sorry. I love my butt. Hahha.

The second dress I made this weekend is a Colette Myrtle pink flamingos dress! This is my third version of the Myrtle dress and my first time using the longer length and the shoulder tabs. It’s also my last time using the shoulder tabs. Man, I hated putting them on and don’t really love the look. I used some lightweight knit interfacing because the first version was a disaster. This version sucked too so I changed the square ends to pointed ends like the tabs for the Concord t-shirt. The points still doing look great and then the position of them didn’t look great either… Ugh.

Here is my shaaaaaame:

DSC_2088 DSC_2087

Oh well. Still love this dress. I used a wider elastic for the waistband. It’s 1.5 inches and shortens the bodice slightly. I much prefer the shorter bodice and wider elastic so I will be repeating that in the future. When I bought the fabric, I thought I could get a maxi length out of the 3 metres (I’m short…), but neglected to think of the fact that the print is directional and that everything is cut on the fold. I got the midi length version out and much prefer it. I will make myself a maxi dress someday, though. I had to cut the back in two pieces with no attempt to pattern match. I cut it a bit wider than necessary, I think. It looks a bit too wide.

Here is my cute self in the dress:

DSC_2075 DSC_2076 DSC_2074

I put pockets in this one. Although I don’t love how it makes the side seams a little bumpy, I can’t live without pockets. The fabric is not super drapey so the cowl isn’t perfect draped, but that’s okay by me. The fabric is super soft and felt like I was wearing pjs all day at work. Nothing like secret pjs!

I’m going to be revitalizing our back patio into a flowery heaven for bees and butterflies. We got some flowers on the weekend, but before I plant I need to turn the soil in the plantar behind me, add compost/fertilizer and something to help the soil drain better. I thought I would start taking blog pictures in front of the plantar to show off the progress. I can’t wait to see the transformation, but I have to wait to get the soil/compost, etc until next week. I’m excited. The times I tried to do this in the past were not successful due to squirrels trying to dig up my plants. I have some ideas for solutions for that. I hope it works out this time. It seems such a waste of space otherwise and a great opportunity for feeding the pollinators  and helping raise up the city’s small bee population.