Friday, September 27, 2013

SBCC (Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick) Free T-Shirt Pattern

This pattern comes highly recommended by so many of our PatternReview friends, and now I know why.  I am 5' 1" so the pattern worked very well for me.  It's cut for petites (5' 4" and under), thus the length measurements are much closer to my own.  I didn't have to remove length in the back-waist the way I usually do with other patterns.  I did however, add an inch or so to the hem since reviewers said this shirt is short.  As stated by other PR members, the fit of this shirt is snug, so I cut mine using M-L-L.  My actual measurements fall between S-M on top, and M in the waist and hip. I do not like when t-shirts cling around my middle and show bulges when I sit so this worked out perfect for me.  It's flattering  and doesn't cling.

The fabric is from a maxi dress I bought about a year ago.  It was cheap and I really thought I'd wear it... but it's a dress... so I never did.  I really liked the border detail at the hem, so I chopped off the skirt and used it for my t-shirt.  It's a very thin fabric though, and needed to be lined.  I used some plain white cotton t-shirt knit which was also too thin to use alone.  Now, I have a functional t-shirt that fits well.  :)

So, is this a type 2 type fabric?  Close, but maybe not quite... it's a little bold.   I might stick it in a dye bath, but I don't think it'll change the black.  It does go well with my jeans and my shorts.  And did you know.... with the darker color across the middle, and lighter strips across the shoulder and hips, my waist appears to be an actual waist!  It's not as obvious in these pics, but I noticed it when I was checking the fit of this shirt in the mirror.  Now that's a happy coinicidence!

And that completes my 4 piece Mini Wardrobe entries.  :)   I got it done and have 4 new pieces I can enjoy... Automatic winner!   Next month is a lined jacket contest.  I think I'll enter that one with the jacket pattern I wanted to work on.  Haven't started yet and I know I'll need lots of time to work on it. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Butterick 3595 with waterfall collar - part 1

I've seen some very positive reviews about this pattern, and have always wanted to make it.  But then I saw this jacket:

And fell in love with the collar!  So I decided to adapt my pattern to add the waterfall collar.  Now, I haven't drafted for many years now.  I've been buying patterns when I sew for myself or family because I'm usually sewing Home Dec projects for work.  But I have about 1 week more to concentrate on my own things before I might have work flowing in again, so I'm going to get this collar drafted!

I've consulted my Patternmaking book and the only helpful thing could figure out was that this collar is based on a shawl collar design.  So I'm starting with that.  Then after consulting with some of the helpful ladies at,  I managed to figure out how the waterfall collar was drafted.  So now it's trial and error.

Here's my first draft at the front pieces.

After folding the collar to what I'd like it to look like, it seems a little wimpy.... see?

I'm thinking of lengthening it a little more and adding a bit more to the Center Back seam.  Crossing my fingers.
And yes, I know I should be taking pics to post of my recent Mini-Wardrobe entries, but I REALLY want to have this jacket!  :D  I'll get to those pics soon....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mini Wardrobe Entry #3: Jalie 2908 - stretch jeans

I made a pair of these jeans quite some time ago and loved the fit.  So I've made a new pair, according to my current measurements (slightly larger...)

I'm a petite 5'1" and don't have the long leggy look of the model on the pattern, but the fit still is nice for my body shape.

This is the 3rd piece for my Mini Wardrobe entry.  This time, I made the low-rise version... just to try it out.  I'm used to a slightly higher waistline, but this is pretty comfortable.  I used a dark indigo stretch denim with grey thread for all the accent stitching.  I discovered the perfect stitch on my machine for all that bold topstitching!  The Triple Stitch!  Yup... I'm lovin' it.  It's slower, but looks so much nicer than topstitching 2 or 3 times to attempt a bolder line.  The stitches are actually looking like individual stitches rather than blended together lines.  :)  Here you can see how nice that triple stitch looks on the back pockets.

I also added the same elastic waist treatment as I did on the Maritime Shorts.  Here's a pic showing the elastic sewn in before I sealed up the waistband.  It's really quite simple.

You simply stitch the elastic ends to the waistband where the side seams are.  I cut it about 2" smaller than the back waistline.  The hardest part it the topstitching along the top of the waistband.  Make sure you don't catch the elastic... in fact, make sure your elastic is thinner than then one I have here.  I barely fit it.  It snugs up well, but it was difficult to push the elastic out of the way to topstitch.

A few reminders when using this pattern:

1)  It's made for women with thinner or normal thighs.  The thick thighed (like me) will need a little extra space.  I squeezed out 1/4" extra out of the tiny seams (it's cut with 3/8" seam allowance) and this was barely enough for comfort.  But I'm currently in a health/beauty phase and have started taking better care of myself adding more veggies, less junk to my diet and started exercising daily.  So even if these jeans are snug, I'll still feel good wearing them.

2)  The zipper treatment is wonderful.  One tip here though, to help your zipper tab stay hidden a little better.   When sewing the zipper to the underlap (fig 25,26) sew close to the teeth.  When sewing the zipper to the overlap (fig 27) sew closer to the edge of the zipper tape.  Here are a couple of pics showing you how my zipper came out. I didn't discover this until after my jeans were completed. The zipper tab is pushed slight outward rather than tucking into the the underlap... next time I'll know.

3)  Don't forget about the major gaposis problem at the CB seam.  Again, I forgot about this happening the first time and spent an evening removing a whole lot of stitches to close it up.   It also brought the pockets closer together at the center... it doesn't bother me, but it's just something to be aware of. 

4)  These are LARGE pockets.  I like them 'cuz they fit my phone nicely, but I think they'd look nicer if they were perhaps 1/2" smaller.  It points down past my butt... does it make my butt look big?  LOL

Okay... I have one more piece to go to finish up my entries. When they're all done, I'll post pics of these garments on a body.  It just doesn't seem right to start wearing them until they're ALL ready.  :D

Hopefully I'll get to start on my jacket as well. I'm working on adapting the pattern now. But I might just save the sewing for the next contest (lined jacket). That's next month... 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chair Bags (Not type 2, but very practical)

Deviating from my Mini wardrobe for a moment....

I made Chair Bags!  We've been bringing these to soccer games/practices and everytime we pick them up, the chair would slide out the bottom.  So I spent about an hour or two stitiching up these new bags.

These cost me nothing.  I cannibalized the drawstring and cord lock, the webbing for the handle and supplies I had on hand.  The fabric is some old upholstery barkcloth scraps leftover from a curtain project so there wasn't enough to match the print on the phone pocket, but it serves it's purpose of keeping my phone and keys at hand.  I also made them slightly larger so I could slip my umbrella into the bag too.  Handy! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MacPhee Patterns Linda's Best Dress & Top

For my first Mini Wardrobe piece, I constructed a simple knit top using MacPhee Patterns Linda's Best Top.  It's flattering and modest, with the neckline comfortably high enough so any leaning over will NOT offer a free show...  in fact, I might cut the neckline slightly wider next time, so it'll be cooler.  Here's the pattern:

You might just pass this one by... it's not spectacular looking by the line drawings, but it's a wonderful, quick fix when you want an attractive garment.  I did have to make a few adjustments the first time around. I made a dress, which I never use, but love the fit of.  It still hangs in my closet and I don't think I'll ever use it. It's not a T2 dress, black and bright pink... but I made this pre-DYT.   I almost never wear dresses this one included, but not because it doesn't fit.  Here's a pic of the finished, adjusted dress:

Adjustments I made:
Raised the empire waist by about 1/2".  I'm short, so if you're not, you may not have to do this.  I'm also small in the bust, so the dress kinda just hung.
Which brings me to the second adjustment I made.  
I took in about 2" total around the empire waistline.  Some of it was reshaped into the center back seam, the rest along the side seams.  It was shapeless till I did that, but it looks great now.

And here is a pic of the finished top:

Another pic with a body in it...

Ooooo.. I can hardly wait till I have a new pair of jeans to go with it!   And I just ordered more rayon jersey to make another one.

Grainline Designs Maritime shorts #2

Piece #2 for my Mini wardrobe entry is a pair of  very soft and comfy shorts.  It's a very dark plum color in wide wale corduroy.  Amazingly soft and cooshy.... I love them.  I think I might even wear these out of the house!  Did I tell you I never wear shorts out unless I'm going to the beach or the pool?  Yeah... I was brought up wearing dresses or long pants to school.  Shorts were to casual for school, only appropriate for home.  Not anymore.

Here's my favorite pair of shorts. It doesn't have much competition since there's only two others, and one is the test piece, but I did add a few extra special touches to this one.

 I added some very wide belt loops, thin ones didn't seem right for this fabric.  And I added an elastic to the the back half.  It fit fine before the elastic, there was just enough space to feel comfortable when I sat and relaxed, and I could definitely eat without worry of bursting buttons.  But I really prefer a waistline that's snug so it won't slip if some child happens to grab at my pants.  I'm sure my hips would stop them from falling, but just in case...
And instead of using hooks (which I'm finding inconvenient on my grey test shorts), I used buttons.  They don't poke, are easy to undo and are just as nice.