Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 Swap First Garment - Lekala 4075 (long post)

I finished Lekala 4075 last night. I ordered it from Lekala patterns on their American website. I had been checking out the site when I decided to test the waters. I ordered the 5 pattern bundle special for 10 bucks and then got 10% off because I registered. I ended up paying $8.79. I got a form letter saying that there was a problem with my order. Later that night, I got an email asking for my pattern choices. When I wore up the next morning the patterns were in my in-box. I asked for seam allowances and they are about 3/8" wide.

I was pleasantly suprised at how well the pattern turned out. It was easy to glue together after I got pass my self-inflicted problems printing the pattern out. I couldn't figure out what was wrong when I tried to line the pattern up. I printed it out again and got DH to look at it. Lightbulb moment - remember that spouse's help is not always helpful. Bless his heart, he tried but he only made me more frustrated. Men and woman definitely speak a different language. I ordered the pattern to fit legal paper and didn't change the printer properties. After I changed the printer setting, it printed out without any problems. A light box would be  helpful. The pages are numbered and it went together without a problem. It took less than 1/2 hour to glue the pattern together and cut it out. I traced the pattern onto soil separator paper for future use. The pattern comes with a diagram.

I threw together a muslin that turned out nice. The only issues that I ran across was the front sleeve draft. I think that problems was due to my bust size. The front sleeve drafted too short so I copied the back sleeve length onto the front pattern piece. I eased the darts in place instead of sewing them. Added 5/8 inch of fabric to the front pattern piece for added insurance. Pay attention to the markings on the v-neck. Clip the markings - the opening is about 2 1/2inches wide on each side of the V.

I used a soft drapy knit that I bought from A Fabric Place ( only been in the stash since November).

The pattern directions had me scratching my head.  I started out by interfacing the neck and sleeve opening with 1/2" knit interfacing. Used 1" interfacing on the hems.

Serged shoulder seams together and pressed them towards the garment back. Sew the tie together. Turn it right side out and press.

Place the fabric front right side up on the table. On the right side fold over the edge 1/4" back and topstitch in place. The opening will be 2 1/2" long.

On the left side of the opening, line up the edges of the tie and pin both ends in place. Pleat the fabric between the pins in place. Baste them in place. Sew the tie in place on the left side of the neck opening.


Pull the tie across to the right side of the neck opening. Starting with the right side of the topstitched opening, pin the tie to the neck opening until you reach the left side of the tie.  Baste the tie in place stretching it slightly so the tie will hug the neck.  Stitch the tie in place.

Finish the side seams easing the bust dart to the back fabric. Finish the blouse as usual.

I ended up hand stitching the tie in place so it would stay in place because the weight of the tie wants to pull it to the left side of the opening.

 Girlie is wearing the finished top.

 Closer view of the tie area.

The pattern was well drafted except for the front sleeve length. I plan to make it again using a black woven fabric. This is a long post but I wanted to write down the directions for future reference. I might make this again as a dress with long sleeves. Three more Lekala patterns to try out.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2012-2013 Winter 6PAC

Last year, I decided to work on my fall/winter wardrobe following the Stitcher's Guild 2012-2013 Winter 6PAC thread. My second goal was to use up some of the fabric that has been lingering in my stash taking up too much space. I managed to get 6 garments out of 11 yards of a lightweight black ponte knit I bought last year. I made a tank top, cowl neck top, 2 skirts, pair of pants and a cardigan. All of the bottoms were underlined because the fabric was lightweight. I used PMB to draft all of the patterns except for the pants so I could test some design decisions.
I used Louise Cutting One Seam pants  for my pants pattern. This pattern is great. Her directions are excellent and I can make a pair in 2 hours. I discovered that the the pants are too big when I wore them last weekend. I need to see if I can take the waist in. I did remove one inch from the pattern for the next pair. The collar on the cowl neck top is not high enough. I will probably give DSIS this top.

I made two black skirts. I wanted a longer skirt to wear with boots.  The shorter skirt is knee length and has two kick pleats in the back. I didn't take pictures of the shorter skirt or the cardigan yet.



I used a modal knit from an ebay vendor for the top and cardigan. This is another fabric that has been in the stash for awhile. It is so soft.  I love modal knit. PMB doesn't draft a one inch facing so I had to manually cut the facing smaller. I didn't bother with buttons since it will never be worn buttoned up.  The camisole is too wide across the top but I need the width across the bust so I used elastic to make it fit more snug. The next time I make a camisole, I will try PMB scaling to accommodate the stretch of the fabric.
Up next was a dress and jacket from fabric that has been in the stash for quite a while. I could never figure out what to make out of this fabric. The pattern for the dress had too much ease so I reduced the ease. One of these days, I'll get the hang of figuring out ease. I need to stop being lazy and baste the side seams together before I sew them. The armcye was gapping so I took a wedge out of the pattern.
The jacket was an adventure because I made a huge mistake when I drafted the original pattern. The original pattern had a built up neckline and shoulder darts. Big mistake, it looked horrible. I loved the fabric and wanted to save the jacket. I removed the neck area and cut it up to draft a front and back yoke. I used gathers to take up the excess fabric from the shoulder dart. I used a binding for the collar and front facing.  The back of the jacket has a center pleat. I made a couple of other garments that I gave away before I took pictures. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stash busting -just keep on using me until you use me up

I've been working on using stash fabrics for a couple of months. So far, I've made a tiny, tiny, tiny dent in the stash. I've used about 35 yards of fabric that has been keeping me company. 
Gone are:
11 yards of a black double knit -  Some garments worked better than others.
5  yards of a green/black print knit - dress & jacket. This is one of my favorite outfits so far
3 yards of a printed knit from A Fabric Place- 2 tops that turned out to be a pleasant suprise. I made Hot patterns 3 Graces cowl neck and a PMB surplice top that I ruched one side of the center panel. I just need to hem the tops and shorten the sleeves on the cowl neck
8 yards used as failed muslins - now trashed. I had to stop myself from trying to reuse the fabric. I had put the used fabric in the trash and then pulled it out. It went back in the trash.
6 yards for testing pants. The crotch fit is not perfect but they will be fine to wear under long tops.
2 1/2 yards modal knit used to make a cardigan and camisole

I was spending way too much time visiting blogs yesterday and I came across a stash busting sewalong at Cation Designs . I figured that this would help to keep me motivated to use up some of this fabric that is occupying way too much space in my house.

Here is my pledge:
I, Towanda, commit to using as many as possible pieces of stash fabric in 2013. I am committing to spend at least 15  minutes in my sewing room 4-5 days a week. I also am committing to not buying any new fabric except for fabric that I need to finish a collection or special one time pieces that I can't easily find again. I will shop my stash before hitting the submit button and ordering fabric.

This is fabric that I am thinking about using for the 2013 SWAP Contest. I started out pre-washing most of this fabric and ended up prewashing 2 big ziploc bags of fabric that are taunting me in my sewing room.   

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Do the work

I just finished reading a powerful blog post  Three Rows of Ruffles  by Myrna. Her posts always provide serious food for thought. Some of her posts touch on things that I didn't know were rummaging around in my head. I didn't thrive last year but spend a lot of time being tired. The commute and being a full-time grandmother has kicked my butt. I didn't think that DGD would be here with us as much as she is. Most of the time when I am home, she is my sidekick. I love her and it is worth it because she is a happy child who is well loved by everybody around her.

I have been spending more time in the sewing room and working on developing some TNT patterns. I am going to work on merging my PMB patterns with commercial patterns. I've accumulated the patterns so that should be put to use. My pants pattern is close to being the final one . I need to learn more challenging techniques.

I need to find a way to balance sewing and jewelry making. I love making my own jewelry but find that I either sew or make jewelry. I need to carve out some time for both hobbies.

I didn't write or mentally make definite New Year resolutions other than to shop the stash first and to sew more. I plan to make her phrase "Do the Work" my motto for this year. I need to DO THE WORK. I have everything that I need to accomplish my goals except the umph to get busy. I do have some loose goals floating around in my head. I really need a serious wardrobe based on my current lifestyle. I love dressy clothes but I only need them for church and occasionally going out. I need to work at dressing better when I'm running errands. I need to take better care of me.

I looking forward to a more productive year with achieving peace and balance as the core goals. I just need to do the work.