Introducing the Muse Patterns Manuka top and dress

I had promised myself to take a hiatus from testing patterns for a little bit and then immediately broke my promise when Kat posted about Muse Patterns next pattern, the Manuka top and dress, which was designed by Johanna Morris. It just happened to be the exact thing that I wanted to add to my wardrobe.

The Manuka top and dress is a loose fit with a dropped shoulder that skims over the hips. The pattern comes in three lengths: crop top, hip length, and dress length. As with all Muse Pattern releases, the first week the full profit of the sales goes to a charity. This time it is Kids Can.

I absolutely love the models for this pattern. They both look fantastic.

I made the crop top version with short flutter sleeves. I chose a size 48 with D-cup and I think the fit is spot on.

The reason I wanted to make this top was to go with this skirt. I have a couple of red tops, but they are all long sleeved tops instead of something nice and light for summer. The top also has no closures on it so it just slips over my head and shoulders with ease. It’s really great!

The length hits just above my belly button in the front and a little bit lower in the back.

Since the skirt is high-waisted, the top still tucks in nicely.

I love the sleeves on this top. They are circles and the shape of the shorter sleeves are perfect for summer. I definitely feel cool whenever I wear this top.

I really love the look of the top tucked into the skirt with a bit of a blousey look in the back.

I can’t wait to try out the dress version. I love the way it looks on the plus sized model! ❤

In other news, I have a few posts on other blogs that I am proud of and really excited to share. Check them out:

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Upton Maxi dress

Back on my honeymoon, I was 3 weeks away from my sewing machine and I started dreaming of what I would make when I returned. The fabric haul I brought back helped, of course, but I also dreamed about the fabric I already had, including this lovely bright print:

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It’s definitely reminiscent of African wax prints, but I am not 100% sure if it is one. I forgot to ask and, quite frankly, at $5/metre, I doubt it is a wax print. Every wax print I saw while I was in the Netherlands was around 15 euros a metre or more and looking briefly online I see similar prices. I saw so many gorgeous wax prints in the Netherlands:

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I wanted to buy them all. As a result, my mind wandered back to this fabric I already had. I bought 5 metres of it without a clear idea in my head of what I would make, but it was only $25 so I just did it. I was 100% after my trip that it was screaming to become a maxi dress. Then Cashmerette released the Upton dress and Ashley announced the Maxi dress sewalong and I knew: an Upton maxi dress.

I’ve never worn or even tried a maxi dress on before in my life. I had a strange notion that because I was short and fat, it would make me look even shorter and fatter. Now I don’t give a flying beep about that. I just want to try new styles and stretch my fashion wings. So a maxi dress is perfect for getting over that fashion fear.

Usual disclaimer: I didn’t test the Upton pattern, because the timing was off for me, but I did receive it for free.

I’ll go into a more extensive review when I actually sew the entire dress, but for my maxi dress, I only used the bodice, didn’t even line it, completely ignored the instructions, and can only speak to how that worked out. I made two muslins for the bodice. One I tried the 24C/D graded to the 26 at the waist.

Another I made the 22G/H graded to the 24 at the waist (that one wasn’t even IG worthy!). Then I measured myself again and chose to make the 24G/H graded to the 26 at the waist and it was perfect:

Next version, I will narrow the shoulders and maybe do a forward shoulder adjustment, too.

I made extra darts at the armholes to get a good fit. I had this opinion that armhole darts are not ideal for some reason and should be avoided, but unless I am working with princess seams I really need them to get a good fit everywhere. My high bust to full bust to underbust ratio is extreme and my shoulders are narrow. With princess seams, I’m always shaving off a bit where the armhole meets the princess seam. It works well without a dart there for princess seams, but in a darted bodice, that extra dart at the armhole works so much better for me. Any flat pattern adjustments won’t quite get the right shape, because we are 3D beings. In patterns with sleeves, it’s a bit different as the sleeve generally pulls that extra fabric in, but in a sleeveless bodice with darts, I’m all for that armhole dart. It just looks better on me.

Again I had a horrible time with my zipper. I need more practice, but also my machine just does not want to work with zippers. It won’t feed them through for whatever reason. It’s not bulky and there is no thread in the way. It just hates zippers. I’ll figure out what the issue is eventually or get a new machine, but in the meantime I am trying to figure out how to perfect my lapped zippers. I’ve looked up many a tutorial and am ready to get better at it. I changed the zipper from a back zipper to a side lapped zipper. My mobility in my shoulder is pretty limited and I definitely have an easier time with the side zipper.

I’m slightly ashamed of my sewing on this dress. Neither of the waistband seams meet in the right place and the zipper is a bit of a mess. But there is no way I am ripping it out to make it perfect. The print hides everything so I will just wear it as is. I didn’t take any pictures of the mistakes either because they don’t really matter. If you zoom in on some of the pictures, you’ll probably see them anyway. If you really want to be like that.

For the skirt, I just gathered two panels of the fabric from selvage to selvage and attached them. I also added pockets because why wouldn’t you add pockets. I should have checked the skirt pieces on the pattern for pocket placement because they sit just slightly too low. I can still get my hands in, but for getting anything out of the bottom of the pocket, it’s a bit tricky. Trickier when you have mobility issues with your shoulder.

I also made a Muse Patterns Jenna cardi. My many versions of these are worn all the time. I got this pink knit content unknown from the thrift store. It’s a perfect addition to my wardrobe since I have many dresses that would work with it. Pink is totally a neutral for me. I don’t have buttons on it yet and am definitely wearing it around until I find the right ones. The cardigan fits with the stashbusting sewalong theme for the month of seasonal change and will help transition my dresses into the fall nicely. I can’t believe I am actually thinking about fall. I’ve pulled out a bunch more patterns for seasonal change so I am hoping to do some more fabric stashbusting. I’ve got one shelf in my stash almost half gone! It feels great! Almost all the fabric from my honeymoon is sewn up. Knits get sewn really fast for me. I’m trying to focus on wovens more lately, though, so I can stashbust those.

Prepare for a bunch of pictures of my maxi dress!!!

Jenna Cardi and Upton Maxi Dress

Jenna cardi and Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

Excuse the picture dump, but I am stoked about the dress. I made it with v-neck back and front and finished the armholes and neckline with bias tape.

I’ll review the Upton dress properly when I actually make it in full.

 

 

 

Muse Pattern’s Philippa Pattern

I’m back from the honeymoon. I had a great time and will talk a bit more about that here in the next couple of weeks as I get over my jet lag. That’s a real thing. I was a zombie by 4pm last night and fought to stay awake until 9pm and then woke up at 1am ready to get up and go to work…. SMH.

Before I left, I tested a pattern for Muse Patterns: the Philippa dress, top, and skirt. Dress and top can have cap sleeves or be sleeveless. As with most Muse Patterns, the pattern is very versatile and can be customized for several different types of garments and different looks. Philippa also has the added bonus of different types of fabric. It can be made in light-medium weight for the top, medium to heavy weight for the skirt, and in either for the dress, depending on whether you include pockets. You can also use a stable ponte or mix and match with ponte side panels and woven in the front. It’s a 1960s mod-inspired look with princess seams on the front and back. The sizing is a bit different for this one as you choose your size based on your high bust.

I chose to make the top out of ponte because it was right before I left and I knew I could whip it up fast on my serger. I made it with blue ponte on the front and green on the side. I used polkadot rayon fabric for the collar. I left the zipper off as the ponte had a slight stretch to it making it easy to get over my head. I also made a triangle peakaboo detail at the back with a small band of fabric across to join the collar. I love the detail.

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Sizing was spot on. I was a little concerned about the size since my middle has gained a couple of inches since the fall and I’m a bit above the size range in that area now, but there was no issue with the top, except that I do prefer longer tops. So I will be lengthening it in the future. I think with the dress I would grade out at the waist a bit in a woven material. Here is a mirror picture showing the length of the top. Excuse the leggings as pants look.

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Like all Muse Patterns, the instructions are detailed and easy to follow. The patterns are drafted really well and all the notches match perfectly. I will be making the top again in the future and making a muslin of the dress. 1960s mod-inspired dress isn’t really my style, but I adore this one. Instead of the basic shift dress, the princess seams and style lines really give this dress more shape and interest than the basic mod-inspired dress. The collar is so awesome, too. It’s so cute. Since the skirt is an A-line skirt, I probably won’t be making it. I don’t think the A-line shape looks great on me in a skirt. You never know, though! It does have pockets!

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These two pictures where taken outside our hotel after a day of sightseeing when we were in Amsterdam for 9 days before our Baltic Sea cruise. I was freeeeeeezing my butt off. It was around 5 degrees celcius. My husband took these pics. ❤

I love the way the top looks with my green Pavlova skirt. Instead of finishing the arms with bias binding, I used a narrow band for this version.

I won’t put in a review for this as this is the test pattern. When I sew it up using the final pattern, I will do a full review.

 

 

Progress Report

First off, check out the interview I did as part of Muse Pattern’s Meet the Maker series! It was a blast to be a part of. You all know I’m a big Muse Patterns fan. I’m also a pattern tester, but I wouldn’t be doing that if I didn’t love them. 🙂

Second, one of the things about working through a super long list of sewing like I have on my honeymoon plans is finding time when I am not sewing to actually take pictures of my finished products. It’s pretty difficult, actually. Add to that chronic pain. Add to that full time job. Add to that not ignoring my husband or stepkids. Add to that eating, sleeping, improv comedy, etc. It’s not my preference to share cell phone pictures, but I’ve decided to do that for a few of them since otherwise I will have far too many pictures to take at once. Some I will save for better pictures and full pattern reviews, but some will be in posts like this, because I am sewing too fast for blogging right now.

In the inane and boring category, I sewed a bunch of leggings. They weren’t part of my plans, but I recently retired three pairs of leggings and then took a closer look at the remaining ones and saw that I had very little time left with them as well. RIP leggings. I usually buy my leggings from Old Navy on sale, because they tend to be a lot cheaper than buying the fabric. But I’ve decided to not give in to fast fashion and make them myself. I had to buy some fabric for this, but I went to the clearance section at Fabricland and bought a bunch for actually much less than the Old Navy sale leggings would have been.

I used my Old Navy leggings as a template for a pattern and got to cutting my muslin.

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Of course, my muslin is in a shiny spandex… Hahha. They turned out okay. A little small in the butt due to the stretch in the spandex.

My next version was in snake skin print:

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These fit so well.

My next two are black and black with white polkadots:

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Unfortunately the fabric isn’t that great and was a lot thinner than I expected. The pair on the right might actually be a wadder sadly.

I’ve got some stretchier and thicker material (read: better material) for my next four (two pairs of the gray):

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On to the next:

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I made a pair of lace underwear using a tutorial. I’m not going to link to it, because I really didn’t follow it correctly. Hahha. Ever the rebel. The underwear are okay and fit well, but the lace is a bit scratchy.

I have a ton more Kitschy Coo Barrie Briefs cut out and ready for sewing. I sewed one pair, but the stretch percentage made it a wadder. I test for these things. Sounds like I don’t, but I do. But with fitted garments like knickers even a slight difference makes the fit go wonky. Ugh. Luckily, it wasn’t a huge amount of wasted time. The knickers looked good, though. Totally forgot to take a picture of them, though.

In geeky things I made:

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This smoking hat reminiscent of Dumbledore’s hat in the Harry Potter movies.

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Why? Because my husband was playing Dumbledore in a local show called Potterprov. I, of course, was ill both times he played. Nerd fail.

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I made the hat with some fleece on the inside to give the satin body. I just stuck a band on a round piece of fabric otherwise and serged the whole thing. It’s fast and easy not right….

I made some other garments:

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A Jenna cardi hacked into a sweater using this tutorial on the Muse Patterns blog. I refashioned my Fall Moneta from years ago. I used the sleeves cut a bit shorter into 3/4 length. The skirt became the sweater, except for the band which was from the bodice. I did make the band a bit longer so it fit over my high-waisted skirts without any issue.

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Next up a Snapdragon skirt from Tenterhook Patterns made in cream suiting with pastel threads throughout.

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This was a UFO for a while and made in the last days of February as part of the Monthly Stitch UFO theme. I think I cut this skirt out back in December or perhaps even earlier along with this version:

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The wool I used for this one is red with black and grey plaid stripes.  It’s a thick winter skirt, but will be nice for brisk Spring or Fall days. Right now I am writing up a review of the skirt for the Curvy Sewing Collective. I’ll let you know when that is out. Of course, I will also take much better pictures then.

I am also sporting my new vee neck Jenna Cardi using the expansion pack that Muse Patterns released a short while ago. This is made in the merino wool sent to me as my prize for the Muse Loves Merino contest for my Gryffindor cardi. This post is all about Muse Patterns love, it seems. I’m okay with that.

Up next, I am working on my next pair of Style Arc Misty Jeans in actual jeans fabric. I added front pockets and a waist stay to this version:

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I was inspired by Heather’s bright jeans pockets and added some gorgeous floral and butterfly fabric to make my insides pretty.

The waist stay is amazing. Seriously. I am so glad I added it. I was afraid at first that it would cause the pants to not fit well because of the lower stretch, but they fit so well. I’m very impressed. They suck that tummy in, too! The pockets are nice and deep for my phone and keys and whatever else I need. I drafted a waistband for the jeans, as well. It hasn’t been attached yet, but that’s happening tonight. I made a few other alterations to the pattern this time for fit: shortened the front crotch curve, full bum adjustment, and a large calf adjustment.

I also topstitched with purple thread!

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Some errors there, since my machine isn’t that great with heavy fabric, but it looks good to me and totally fine on. I’m a bit annoyed that the back yoke is slightly mismatched causing the pockets to be slightly out of line with each other, but I am not unpicking the seam since it looks fine on and my butt looks amazing in these jeans. Haha.

I’m working through my honeymoon wardrobe list pretty nicely. I have all the pattern alterations done for my Waffle Pattern’s Pepernoot coat. Graded up two sizes and did an FBA for a crazy amount of pattern pieces. I’m tempted to skip the muslin stage and just get started, but I will make the muslin. Sigh…. Being good is haaard.

I got faux fur for the coat and purchased zippers as well. I plan on making the faux fur trim on the hood removable with buttons and button holes. I think it should be an easy pattern hack. I might post a tutorial, if people are interested.

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I also got a bunch of bias tape, because I went a bit nuts that day in Fabricland. I do have plans to grade up the Sewaholic Tofino pants and make a bunch of pj pants, though. Bias tape is always useful, too, and it wasn’t expensive either. My zipper for is a two way separating zipper and heavy duty. It’s going to be a durable coat!

I settled on pink plaid for my Pepernoot coat. I’d like to make the red plaid version in the future if it turns out I love this pattern.

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I’m also going to use a brown wool I have for the pockets, yoke, and sleeve tabs, because I adore contrasting details.

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The wool on the bottom there will be the contrast. I want to play with stripe direction, too, for the heck of it. I just need to get interfacing for the coat and then I have all the materials ready to go.

I got my first Decades Everyday Three’s a Charm Jacket cut out in black with pink polkadots fabric. I think it’s cotton, but I haven’t tested it. I had just enough fabric for this by cutting the back with a seam along the selvage. I will have to cut the facings out of some black fabric I have, though.

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I was tempted to use the wrong side of the fabric since it is also fun, but I will sew it using the right side since polkadots. It’s a very soft fabric so I am leaving it unlined for this wearable muslin. Future version will be in plaid so I need to draft a lining for the pattern.

I also couldn’t resist getting the new Decades Everyday pattern, the Buttons and Bows blouse even with the horrible Canadian dollar. I need to resist making it up this second, though. I’m becoming a Decades Everyday fan and I haven’t even completed a garment yet! I own three of their patterns now, including the ESP dress. I just love vintage style, but need it in modern sizing. I am outside of the size range, but just need an FBA and a large bicep adjustment for their patterns since their largest conforms to my high bust measurement. So far I am impressed with their patterns. There’s a lot of thought in them and nice details I don’t see often in indie patterns.

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I’ve got this massive pile left to go for things on my planning list before I can tackle that blouse pattern. I seem to be sewing at an insane pace, though, so I think I can get a good amount done by the end of the month. Imagine if I had it all done by the end of the month?! In my dreams… I do have to sleep and eat and work and pay attention to my family…

Can anyone spare some extra time?

 

Handmade Gifts

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

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

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

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

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

This picture was taken before I added the panel:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mmmm cake./sleeps forever

 

 

 

Waiting for my Hogwarts letter: Muse Patterns Sophi cardi and Tahi skirt

A while ago, I had plans of making a Muse Patterns outfit. Then Kat posted the Muse Loves Merino contest and I had to create an outfit for that! Check out the contest. There is still time to create something for it since it closes on November 30.

Eventually, my outfit evolved into a Gryffindor uniform. As soon as I picked the colours of the Sophi cardi, it was set: gold and red. I ordered my Gryffindor iron on patch from YourPatchStore on etsy and I decided to make a grey wool Tahi skirt to be reminiscent of a school uniform.

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I should do the disclaimer: Both of these patterns I received for free from Muse Patterns, but all the opinions and geekery are my own.

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I also had the perfect gold buttons in my stash for the cardigan.

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Both the skirt and the cardigan were extremely easy to make. The pdf pattern was a breeze to put together. I love that Kat added a feature to the pdfs where you can print just your size. The pdf is layered and you can choose what layers to print. It makes for a really clean pattern once it’s all put together. I never grade between sizes with Kat’s patterns. I’m pretty firmly at the top end of her sizing.

Both skirt and cardigan were easy to sew. The only issues I ran into were on the skirt with the paneling. My grey wool was very lightweight and prone to shifting around a little during construction. I had to sew one of the panels again to get it right. I loved the zipper construction for the skirt. It was so easy to follow and probably my best lapped zipper insertion yet! Of course I forgot to take a picture of it! I usually handpick my zippers, but I did this completely on the machine. Same with the waistband: I usually hand sew, but was able to do it on the machine really nicely. I always find I have a lot more control and a neater finish with hand sewing, but the instructions for the skirt really guide you and make sure the finish is great with the machine.

My only critique of the cardigan is that the neckband in the v-neck version could use shortening. It doesn’t seem to provide enough negative ease to make sure it doesn’t get loose at the neck and flip up. It might have been my mistake, though, as my fabric piece wasn’t big enough to make it all one piece and I have a seam at the center of the neckband.

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I’m a huge fan of Muse Patterns and often test for Kat. It didn’t work out to test for either of these patterns. One was released just before my wedding this summer and the other while my cat was ill. I am so glad I got to make them both, especially in such a nerdy way!

Here’s my photoshoot! Excuse the wrinkly skirt. I ironed it and sat down once to put my shoes on and well…. I decided not to iron again.

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In terms of fit, I think the skirt is slightly long for me, but I decided not to shorten it and lose the panel flares. I like the shape of the skirt, but I definitely prefer a circle skirt or a dirndl skirt shape to the a-line; I love fuller skirts and find they flatter my shape a lot more. I think the basic A-line would work really nicely in a suede with a shorter length, since suede holds it’s shape nicely. I might try this in the future since I have some suede. I love the cardigan. Although, I do think it would look better with pants instead of the high-waisted skirts or dresses that I normally wear. I also wear cardigans open more than closed like this so that tends to be a little better.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Tahi Skirt
  • Pros: Lovely construction and instructions for the zipper, panels, and waistband. Went together beautifully.
  • Cons: Nothing against the pattern, but if you are making in a slippery fabric use something like spray starch to stabilize the fabric for those corners in the panels.
  • Make again?: Absolutely. I think that suede one needs to happen!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars
  • Pattern: Sophi Cardi
  • Pros: I love the pockets. A cardigan with pockets is a hug bonus. The raglan sleeves went together really nicely and fit well unlike a lot of other patterns I have used with raglan sleeves.
  • Cons: The neckband was perhaps too long. I’m not 100% on whether this was my mistake or the pattern’s. I will make it again and decide whether I will give the half star back for that.
  • Make again?: Absolutely. My bestie commented on the picture on Instagram and went crazy. I will be making her one for her birthday this year.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars

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:

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I also want to make M7100:

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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:

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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?