I’ve sewn KS1425 before, twice, actually, but its such a comfy, casual style and I wanted to sew it again. I traced the patter sizes I’d previously cut out to a larger size (boo! weight gain!) and I started cutting. I was proud of myself because I graded things perfectly and all my pieces lined up just right. Of course this top has 4 pieces, plus the little strips across the back, so there’s not a lot to it. I didn’t take process photos but there’s not a lot to see in this one anyway.

Afterwards, I took some photos wearing it, along with the red pants from my previous post. The pants are kind of growing on me, and as I said, they are super comfortable. I’m thinking  after looking at these photos, maybe they aren’t so bad.

Here we go! Picture time!

3

 

I’m still not 100% crazy about the fit in the front but I’ve gone over several fitting cheat sheets and there’s nothing super glaringly wrong with them. They’ve just kind of loose which I’m not sure to, though as I said, I like the rear fit okay.

4

 

So, new top, and the final view of the red pants. I’ll hopefully be posting new projects soon. I have some crazy stuff in mind!

S1620Simplicity 1620 is a cute set of separates, which includes tops, dress, and pants. I decided to do the pants but oh my god was I shocked, disappointed, and completely confused as to how these pants that I made were the same pants as seen on the envelope.

I did use a heavier fabric than it called for, however, these pants are awful. For one, they are huge. I’ve gained weight so I remeasured myself to make sure I was making the right size. The pattern is for an elastic waist, pull-on pant, and I initially followed the directions to a T and I think I could have fit two of me into them.

I wish I had taken a photo of these pants when I first made them so you could see how bad they were, but I was honestly so shocked at their awfulness I set to work right away ripping them apart and remaking them.

S1620CutWhen I started, I started out right. I traced my original pattern pieces onto kraft paper so not to cut the original pattern up. I elected to add pockets, which are easy enough to draft yourself. The trick is just making sure the opening edge is large enough to admit your hand easily after sewing it in.

I cut my fabric, which was a not-very-heavy red corduroy that I originally bought to make a jumper with. I figured I’d either have really cool pants (That make unfortunate noise when I walk) or I would have wasted the approximately $10 I spent on this fabric off of eBay.

I followed the directions to a T, as I said above, and ended up with awful, super bulky pants that made me look like I weighed about 400 pounds.

I ripped out the waist casing and tossed the elastic aside. I grabbed my tape measure and started marking darts- 4 front and 4 back. That took up about 12 inches of fabric from the waistline and when I tried them on I could just wiggle them over my hips. I took the extra fabric and cut a waistband and stitched that in place, and I added a front zipper with a button and loop closure on the waistband.

I tried them on. The fit at the waist and upper hip was good, but they were so big everywhere else. I decided to take them in from about 3 inches down from the waistband to 3/4 of the way down the leg about 2″. Basically I cut a straight line from one point to the other. Stitched them. Tried them on again.

They were better but still not great. The back fit pretty well but the front was really poofy and just awful. I now looked like I weighed about 300 pounds. An improvement from 400, but still not okay. 😉

Finally I stitches a line of basting down the hips, closing off the pockets. My beloved pockets. I tried them on. I saw most of the poof was gone out of the front and they laid much flatter. I looked closer to my actual weight. Time to grab the scissors and cut off the pockets and sew things up for real!

Here’s the final outcome after all of those adjustments and changes.

I feel like I finally have a wearable pair of pants, though not the best fitting ones.

Would I use this pattern again? Probably not, even knowing what mods to make to make them “okay”, because in all honesty, they are barely what I can call okay. I will however, look forward to sewing other pants that are hopefully much better fitting and not needing so many modifications just to make them semi-wearable.

Oh, and did I mention I bought a serger? Its just a basic model but I for to use it for most of these pants! That was after my first one broke after less then 30 seconds of use and i had to return it to Amazon for a replacement. This one seems to be doing much better though!

 

 

 

Yesterday I showed you the jacket from this costume and the nearly finished blouse underneath it. Today I am showing you the whole thing together. I am really please with how this costume turned out and I cannot wait to wear it for Halloween! I’m so excited!

S9723FrontAll

 

I made a lot of changes to this pattern as I went. As I think I mentioned yesterday, the blouse was lengthened to be able to be a separate piece from the skirt, and I added a side zip to it as well as slitted the upper back and finishing the edges with bias tape and a snap so my head would fit through to put it on.

Ruffles

 

I let off most of the trim this pattern called for. The jacket is already really wild so I was going to let that be the eye catching piece of the outfit and not compete with that.

I decided to tuck the front of the skirt up to give it more body and to show of those ruffles in the petticoat that I spent so much time working on. If you now me, you know I hate gathering and I hate doing ruffles, even if I love them when they are done. That petticoat was sent from Hell to make me crazy!

This was taken before I tacked up the over skirt.
This was taken before I tacked up the over skirt.

I was worried the waist would be too snug with the skirt fitted over the petticoat but if anything its a little loose and could be a bit tighter.

All in all I am really pleased with this one and glad I ignored the bad things people have said about this pattern and decided to give it a try with modifications.

Thanks for reading!

 

S9723EnvelopeSimplicity 9723 features a dress with two styles of skirt, and a jacket. At PatternReview.com, two people have reviewed this pattern and they have had mixed things to say. One, its extremely historically inaccurate. Two, there have been various issues with the pattern, which I was glad I read about before getting started. The bad comments were almost enough to make me search for another pattern to use for Halloween (yup this is the basis of my Halloween costume this year!) but in the end I decided to go with it and make corrections as needed.

I spent a small fortune on fabrics for this project and so far I seem to have overbought across the board but the fabric allowances given on the envelope back are given for multiple pieces of the costume together-  there is no measurement given for just the jacket, its the jacket and skirt together. This left to me guessing at the amounts needed and at this point I have an extra yard+ of silver pleather as well as a good 1.5 yards left over of the black poly-cotton broadcloth.

The jacket is done in a bright silver metallic pleather with a reptile texturing to it, with black poly-cotton broadcloth for the lining. The blouse and petticoat (which I am currently working on) is done in the same poly-cotton broadcloth, and the skirt will be done in a deep red medium weight satin.

S9723Front

 

The biggest complaint with this pattern, and I agree with it completely, is that the blouse and skirt are sewn as one item, not separates. This is easy enough to fix. I added several inches in length to the blouse, and instead of having a center back zip as was intended, I cut the center back on the fold, and inserted a zipper under the arm. The neckline is high and snug though, so I cut a slit into the upper back at the neckline, finished the edges with bias tape, and added a snap closure at the neck. That way I can pull it on easily, but still retain the same look as before. I thought the neckline would make me feel claustrophobic but oddly enough its pretty comfortable to wear.

S9723Back

 

People who reviewed this also complained that the sleeve cuffs of the blouse are too tight to close when worn. All I can figure is they took too large of a seam allowance because not only are they closed when I put it on, but I can slide my hands through them while they are fastened without issue.

S9723Piece

 

I have the main pieces of the petticoat stitched together at this point, and when I resume working on it, I’ll be stitching together the ruffle pieces and adding them to the bottom of the petticoat. Then it will be on to the outer skirt an after that I’m done. I’m not looking forward to the petticoat ruffles as I hate gathering, but its got to be done. I’m looking forward to finishing this one and getting to wear it out for Halloween!

Back in June, I sewed up the blouse in this pattern, and though my fabric choice was pretty and it looked nice, it didn’t work out. The fabric shredded through the seams with the slightest pressure, and even with seam binding added onto it, it just didn’t work out. I loved the pattern though and knew I was going to make it again in a different fabric. Wednesday I sat down in my craft room and cut the pieces out of a cotton fabric I bought for something else originally but decided would work great for this blouse. I cut it slightly large then the pattern called for where the seams would be to give myself a little extra room to do French seams. The first time I made this I found out this blouse has very little ease, so cutting a little bigger was a must for this. I also added about 2 inches to the length of the blouse. This goes together really quickly and soon I had a super cute top in an adorable button print. I will swap out the zipper in the side most likely later on for a lighter weight one, but aside form that, I am thrilled with it.

long

 

So Sew Easy had a post on making the perfect low-volume maxi skirt and I was excited to try it. I only recently sewed my first maxi dress and am crazy about the length. I’ve never had long skirts or dresses before. I grabbed a fabric I originally bought for a dress but decided I didn’t care too much for and got to work. I thought it might make a cute skirt so why not? Wrong! The fabric is super thin, super slippery, and just bad. When I had 2 layers of it, it sewed okay, but when I added a third layer the fabric kept getting stuck in my plate. I tried backing the fabric with tissue paper and wax paper. Nope. Still stuck in the plate. I tried my walking foot (that I finally looked up how to put on my machine- doh!) and that didn’t help. Finally I settled for pretty much dragging the fabric through by hand and it sort of sewed okay. I’m pretty darned sure the rest of that fabric (slightly more than 3 yards) is going up in my shop very soon!

longback

 

I did love the shape of the skirt though so I made another one out of a more stable, not slippery knit. This one turned out fabulously and its in the pictures with my blouse. I want to make another one but not sure if I have another cut of fabric that will work for it in my stash. I’ll have to go look.

First off, let me say I love this blouse! However, that said, I learned a few things form it about choosing the wrong fabric. This is a really cute blouse with a rounded collar and a giant bow in the front. I think this blouse would be equally cute (and someone suggested almost Asian) if finished without the collar and bow. I fully intent to make two other versions of this blouse, one with neither collar or bow, and one without the bow.

S2154ViewBFront

 

I chose a polyester charmeuse for this blouse, mainly on account of it being pretty, but that turned out to be a bad call. The fabric was so set on unraveling that after I finished it and put it on, the seams just started shredding apart. Eek! I ended up taking some bias tape and binding the seams which seems to have solved the problem.

S2154ViewBBack

 

I hadn’t finished the armholes when I took this pic of the back, but the only changes I made were adding a hook and eye to close the back neck rather than a button and loop as called for.

I love how this blouse turned out, but there is very little ease in this pattern and if you’re between sizes, definitely go up a size! I really should have cut a 20 instead of an 18 because of my large bust. Next time I sew it, I’ll be adding to the seam allowances just a bit to give myself enough room to finish this with French seams and not be quite so snug.

You might remember if you’ve been reading for long that I sewed up View E of this dress a while back. I sewed it out of an inexpensive green stretch velvet for a friend’s prom-themed birthday party and it turned out almost perfect. I realized a few days ago I have never had a maxi dress in my life- the only long dresses of any sort I’ve had have been at least semi-formal. I decided to fix that.

This pattern was not the one I first had picked out for this fabric. The one I initially bought it for is not bra strap friendly, and as an F cup, I need to be wearing a bra. This is my fabric, all ready to cut. Its more turquoise than blue in person. I wish I had the room for a huge cutting table so I wouldn’t have to fold my yardage back on itself when pinning and cutting, but I make do with the space I have. 🙂

ReadyToCut

 

View C is the full-length version without sleeves.

S1612Envelope

 

Its got the twisted back with that lovely opening, and a knotted center front. When I sewed View E of this dress, it was really easy, so I expected this view to be easy too. In a way it was. If I had followed the directions properly and not skipped a step (if this pattern says baste, for the love of all that’s holy, BASTE!) it would have gone together smoothly and easily. Instead I skipped a tiny step, and spent ages undoing my work to go back and do it because the issue could not resolved otherwise.

All told, I spent about 3 hours on this dress. I did have a break when we went out for beer and dinner, buut did the hemming when we got back and my head cleared a bit.

S1612CFront

 

I LOVE how it turned out! So comfortable and the fit is fabulous!

S1612CBack

 

The only thing I did not like was the back is just low enough I had to rig up some elastic to pull my bra strap down so it doesn’t show. Otherwise, a wonderful dress and pattern, and I love it!

I told myself I was not going to get way behind on my sewing again and actually going to make the mock-ups I’ve created and keep my fabric stash flowing. If I buy more fabric, I need to use fabric I already have first, and I need to recheck my closet and see if there is any clothes I just don’t wear that I can part with. The reality is I do not have unlimited space for clothes, and it’s also rather silly to keep clothing I never wear, or stuff that doesn’t fit quite right when I have so many better options at hand.

Anyway, long story short, I pulled 2 dresses I never wear and listed them on my eBay and made myself two new shirts this afternoon. Ive got a half dozen clothing items up for grabs right now, and I will entertain offers on all of it. Seriously, just ask. Chances are I will accept it or something close to it. You can see my eBay items here. (http://www.ebay.com/sch/kittyloafdesigns/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=&rt=nc&_dmd=2) There are also sewing patterns, handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and fabrics listed besides the clothing.

detailweaveOkay, let’s get back on track. The first thing I sewed today was Kwik Sew 3740 View B. I’ve sewn this one before, in dark blue, and I love the fit. Its just a basic tan top, but it offers more coverage in the back- the shoulders and shoulder blades are fully covered. This time I used a tan fabric that is an athletic fabrics, and its supposed to help keep you dry. I’m not sure how good its moisture-wicking qualities are, but the stretch and drape are really nice, and it was super easy to work with. I have more of this fabric type coming in the mail tomorrow to make other workout clothes from. At left is a close-up of the weave o the fabric- as you can see, its pretty airy looking.

The only thing I do not like about this pattern is the stitch in the ditch parts for doing the neck and armhole binding, which I complained about last time as well. And because I never fail to royally screw up if I use matchy-matchy threads, I used a contrasting color on this. The stitching is not as hidden as it should be around the neckline and armholes, its actually very visible, but despite my sloppy stitching there, the fit is good and its very comfortable.

KS3740ViewB

 

So, score 1 for a great fitting and easy to wear top that will hopefully have excellent properties as well.

The next thing I sewed today was Simplicity 6816 View C. I’ve sewn one of the other views before in a polka dot fabric, but really want to do them all as its a nice basic wardrobe builder with a nice fit and they’re super easy to put together.

S6816ViewC

 

The fabric is navy blue and a pale yellow, and I feel pretty good about almost getting the stripes perfectly straight across the top. I don’t have a photo of the back, but my stripe matching on the center back seam was about as successful. Its not dead on, but its also not super off either.

I made one change to this top as I was sewing, and that was to add 4″ to the length of it as when I sewed the other view I did, it’s really only long enough if I am wearing something quite high-waisted- otherwise its almost a midi top. This way the bottom hem falls just about at my hip and the fit is still good. I’m finally beginning to remember the things I need to do to make things fit the way I want them to as I sew, and not seeing so much “should haves” in hindsight.

I may work on another view of this pattern tomorrow and use another piece of fabric I have destined for it- I’ve still got my orange eyelet fabric and the yellow burnout fabric to use. I’m leaning towards using the yellow burnout fabric first.

I promised myself some new workout clothes next month, and I set aside $50 in my budget to buy and try some new athletics fabrics I found on Fabric.com. Of course while I was there, I ended up finding some neat stuff on clearance, so got a little more then intended there, and not as much of the athletics fabrics as I had planned. But hey! I stayed under my budget!

Simplicity 6816 View B I’ve sewn in a blue and blue polka dot fabric, and View C I just sewed the other day out of that white birds fabric.I think View A is the same as View B but with hemmed sleeves instead of bound and gathered. I’m not sure if I got the yellow burn out fabric or not- I went back to it right after I placed my order and it was sold out, so hoping I bought the last of it and I did get it. The orange fabric has an eyelet lace detailing in it, which I love.

6

I also want to do either View A or a free pattern I found online in this cool red crochet lace I found. I am leaning towards the free pattern, but I’m not sure how much fabric it takes so we’ll see.

The tank top and cropped pants will be my new workout clothes. The pants are just the leggings pattern I’ve sewn a few times but shortened, and the tank top I’ve actually sewn twice before- once as is, and once with a cowl neck.

I’m trying really hard to sew things now that I can actually wear every day, not fancy stuff I will wear once or twice and that’s about it. What I really need are a few pairs of jeans but I’m terrified to start on them. Maybe I’ll get to that this month though. If I just start by cutting the pattern, hopefully it will follow from there. I actually have two cuts of stretch denim, and a cut of red corduroy, all of which I want to make pants out of. Maybe next month?

So I am pretty sure this is my new favorite pattern, at least for this week. I sewed View A as its supposed to be, then I sewed View A minus the flounce in white satin for the 80’s party, and this morning I sewed View A without the flounce again out of some black moleskin (?) fabric I had in my stash with no idea what to do with. I’m trying to use up some of the fabrics I already have before I buy more the beginning of next month. In May I’m planning on making some workout clothes with the nifty moisture-wicking fabrics I found at Fabric.com and I want room in my stash for anything I don’t use right away, and the fabrics I have stacked up on my tables right now.

M5184BlackFrontAnyway, here’s the latest version of McCalls 5184. I like it, but I did not stop to think about how bad of a dog hair magnet this fabric is going to be. Its going to be horrible… LOL. I added a few inches to the length like I did with the white version- this one got about 4″ added to it. Of course there is no give in this fabric so I have to remember to tug it down a bit before sitting. Thankfully most of my skirts are not this short!

 

 

You also might recognize the top I’m wearing as one of my 80’s Kwik Sew patterns I did last year (I think) from a tiny bit of fabric I thought I would never find a use for. Its one of my favorite tops now- so comfortable, airy, and the bright colors are fun. Its one of those tops I may find myself making again in time.

 

M5184BlackBackMy zipper almost went in perfectly the first time, but then I noticed a tiny edge of my interfacing (which is white) was visible where something wasn’t quite lined up right. This being black, it was super visible, so I had to rip out that side of the zipper and make adjustments to fix it. Still, overall the whole thing went super smoothly. I think I’m done with this pattern for now though and pretty sure I do not need any more skirts either way. Well, maybe a few long ones. I don’t have any maxi skirts.

 

I also spent a quick hour stitching up Simplicity 6816 View C, which is just a basic short-sleeved t-shirt. I remembered after sewing up I think it was View A before that these tops wind up a little short on me, so I added three inches to the bottom hem and it would up being hip length, which is perfect. I don’t have a photo of me in it yet, but here it is on one of my girls.

 

M5184BlackDogIts nothing fancy, just a simple scoop neck T, but I got to use some of the most hideous fabric in my stash (I bought 3 yards on clearance years ago) and it actually makes a good T-shirt. I was happily surprised. The pattern calls for binding on the neckline but I just hemmed it instead. I didn’t see how binding would really add anything to this top and since I really hate doing it…

I decided this year I will play along for Me Made May 2014. I thought about doing it last year but I really didn’t feel like I had enough me-mades to give it a real go. This year though! I took a count of my closet and I might be missing a few items but this is what I found.S6816ViewCFront

  • 13 shirts
  • 1 sweater dress
  • 9 skirts
  • 5 dresses
  • 1 formal dress + capelet
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 2 pairs pajama pants/shorts
  • 1 piece lingerie
  • 2 fleece jackets/capes
  • 1 belt
  • numerous purses

I’ve got at least 21 outfits without even thinking about it right there- that’s almost the full month just like that. I’m going to try to take a photo each day and show you everything at the end of the month, but no guarantees there. I most likely will not be wearing the jacket, cape, or the formal dress, but everything else will probably have a shot. One of the dresses needs to be taken in a bit, or even better disasembled and re-cut, but otherwise everything listed is in wearable condition.

Here’s my pledge:

I, Deb of http://debsinstitches.com/, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2013.

And here’s where you can sign up for Me Made May 2014 too!

I’m not going to promise to dress head to toe in my me-mades every day, but I will wear something. I’d also like to try to wear at least one piece of jewelry I’ve made each day as well. I have tons of it (and tons for sale!) so that should be no problem.