Monday, May 30, 2011

Burda 7421 Progress Report

Aloha!  Well you all probably know that the RTW Tailoring Sew-a-Long has finished.  Unfortunately, I did not finish with the group, but I haven't given up.  I am making progress and I have prove it.  I have to admit, I am having a tough time staying focused.  I loved Eugenia's post today.  She described me to a T, especially with this particular project.  But I won't let it defeat me.  I'm going to keep working on it, even if it takes me all year.  (It really shouldn't take me that long :)

Anyway, I am making the jacket from Burda 7421.  I think one reason this project is taking me so long, is that it requires more mental energy than I have been willing to spare lately.  I love sewing projects that are fast with great results.  This is not like that.  I have never made a welt pocket, for instance, until I began this project.  However, now that I have my first one done, imperfect though it be, I am kicking myself for how long it took me to decide to sit down and concentrate on how to do it.  It wasn't all that hard.  The good news is, no matter how slow you go, you will get to the finish, so I will keep plugging along in little bits and chunks.  Sherry's instructions were fabulous, by the way, for how to make a proper welt (jet) pocket.  Here are my progress shots.  I am making this jacket out of grey pincord suiting that has a little bit of stretch.  Not a big investment if something goes terribly wrong or the fit is off.  Shame on me, but this is my trial run of the pattern.  I plan to wear it very casually this summer if it turns out wearable.  I like the design so much though, that I would want to make it again in a nice fabric later on down the road.
Jacket front with pocket stitched up prior to making the welt pocket.  I like how the side front piece cleverly joins to give a nice shape, but the jacket front is all one piece.

Jacket Back

Inside jacket front showing pocket bag all finished.
One thing I wish I had done on the pocket welt was cut it on the bias to have the stripes come in on the diagonal.  They do not match the lines of the jacket.  I cut them on grain.  Thankfully the stripes are very small, so it won't be glaringly obvious on the finished jacket, but something to think about for next time.

Thank you all for your thoughts and comments on my latest tunic.  I have already worn the outfit, and just love it!  There is a good chance I will sneak in more summer knits, capris, and skirts in the course of finishing my jacket.  Distractions...distractions.  Aloha!
View from Rice Park in Upcountry Maui on a recently cloudy day looking toward the West Maui Mountains.  Although I try to remember to count my blessings, sometimes being able to see to the end of my physical world disturbs me at times.  That's when I know I need to get off the "rock", even if only for a brief time.  Do you think this would bother you?  Or do you think the beauty of the island would be enough? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Butterick 5219 Oh Yeah!

Thank you for your thoughts on the last outfit.  I am seriously thinking about following through on Sue's and Irene's suggestion to maybe try to alter the skirt.  I really do like the fabric and it would be a versatile skirt in the long run, if it fit better, so thanks for the push! 

For now, let's talk about Butterick 5219!  It's a fast and easy pattern according to the envelope, and I'll vouch for that.  Though I wouldn't recommend sewing the yoke the way it suggests if you want to keep it fast and easy.  I also a made a couple of other modifications to keep it simple.  I don't like wasting time on details that will be lost in a print.  Therefore, I didn't add a separate hem band or sleeve band, but I did add the length that they would have provided.  I used my coverstitch machine to hem them.

So, what motivated me to make this tunic?  Well... now that I have a shop on Etsy, I have been spending some time there and am amazed by so many of the talented artisans.  Recently, I found and purchased a gorgeous agate earring and necklace set made by Andi of Wee Hippies.  The colors in it reminded me of a rayon knit fabric that I had purchased last fall/winter, and sure enough it was a perfect match.  The next decision was what pattern to use?  I definitely needed an open neckline to showcase the necklace.  I spent more time contemplating what pattern to use, than actually sewing it up.  Once I settled on Butterick 5219, I cut out view D in a size 10.  It fits pretty well straight out of the envelope.  And here it is all sewn up and modeled with the necklace set. 
This is how I finished the neckband.  I sewed the front neckband to the back neckband on the fashion fabric and the lining.  My lining is the same as my fashion fabric.  Then I laid the two right sides together and stitched the neckline.  I trimmed my seam allowance, then understitched on the lining side.  Next, I folded the neckband wrong sides together and basted the raw edges together to keep the neckband all one piece.  Finally, I attached the neckband to the tunic.  By doing it this way, I didn't have a facing to stitch down.  The neckline is all finished in this last step.  One more note on the knit fabric; it is very light-weight and nearly sheer, which makes it nice for summer.  I originally thought I might only want to wear this print in the fall/winter months.  But I think it works with the white, slim-fitting, RTW, stretch cords I've had for ages.  I may also make a pair of dark brown linen culottes from a vintage designer Vogue pattern which should work with it as well.  Don't you just love how one idea leads to another?  Now if only there was enough time... 
Mahalo to Andi for my beautiful new necklace and earrings.  I will enjoy wearing them!

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Look 6032 and 6078

One's a winner and the other, well not so much, but that is partly my fault since I didn't make a muslin.  Hello everybody.  I was able to finish both concert dresses last week and the girls looked lovely and played beautifully at their performance.  With that project complete, I was able to work on and complete the outfit I had envisioned and mentioned in my last post.  I ended up choosing a knit top pattern from New Look 6078 and am really happy with it, but the skirt from New Look 6032 is disappointing for a couple of reasons which I will talk about below. 
I made View C from New Look 6032 and View B from New Look 6078.
  Here is the completed outfit.  I love the black, red, white color combination.

The Top:
I'll talk about the top first.  Basically I cut a size 10 but kept the size 12 for the shoulder seams.  It is made out of a modal knit purchased here.  It has a lovely drape and is very soft.  There are three pieces, one front and two back.  I was able to match the stripes on the center back seam and side seams.  I used my coverstitch machine to hem the neckline, sleeves, and bottom.  I did this by turning each under 5/8" then trimming the excess.  From my experience with this top, I decided to finish the front and back neckline before I stitched my shoulder seams together.  I am happy with the results.  The neckline looks flawless.  Here are a couple of close-ups of the top.   I see more of these in my future!

The Skirt:
Now lets talk about the skirt.  I made it out of a mid-weight rayon/linen blend in black.  I inserted an invisible zipper instead of a centered back zipper.  I cut a size 12 based on measuring the tissue at the waist.  I realized this would only be minimally helpful since the yoke is cut on the bias, and would inevitably stretch to some degree.  I ended up taking in the side seams an extra 1/2" and the waist is still slightly big.  I used Pro-Weft from Fashion Sewing Supply to interface the front and back yoke. 

What I don't like about the skirt, is how it hangs, and I think the line drawings on the front of the pattern are deceiving.  However, the photo does kind of show the problem.  The skirt does not hang nicely.  I believe the problem is with the V-front yoke.  I have very narrow hips.  For me, the angle of the front yoke is too wide.  I would need to redraft that angle, to get the yoke to hang flat against my belly and to skim my hips.  The way it stands now, the point of the front yoke hangs away from my body, as does the side seams.  The whole lower portion of the yoke is too wide!  I think this flaw is much more apparent when you wear the skirt with a shirt tucked in.  Here is how it looks with the shirt on the outside:
I thought this skirt would be a slam dunk.  Lesson learned.  I should have made a muslin.  It isn't horrible, and I am sure I will wear it this season.  I really like the idea of the pointed front yoke, so I think some time in the future I will try to redraft it and make a new skirt.  Here are a couple of detail shots:
Invisible center back zipper.

Front Yoke
  I look forward to getting caught up on some blog reading this weekend.  Aloha everyone!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Butterick 4220 Concert Dresses

It's Aloha Friday...already!  I've been busy this week with my mind and hands engaged in several projects.  I'll highlight a few.

First up - Concert Dresses.  My dear friend has two daughters who play violin and they have a performance coming up this weekend.  All the girls wear jewel toned stretch velour dresses.  This year these two talented young ladies needed new dresses.  An adaptation of Butterick 4220 was the pattern chosen to accomplish this goal.  Basically I've used View D, and added 3/4 length sleeves.  I have faced the neckline to keep it smooth.  Even though I have understitched the facing and tacked it to the shoulder seams, I hope it will not roll out while the girls wear the dresses, since the fabric is so heavy.  I have used a midnight blue, stretch, polyester, velour.  I think this is the first time I've used my coverstitch machine to hem this type of fabric and it handled it beautifully.  If you take a close look, the neckline has a very slight V-shape.  I like how it is subtle.     
  One finished dress, with one to go...

Subtle V-neck
Cover-stitched Hem at Sleeve
I have also been adding bags to my shop, five new ones this week.  I just love picking out fabrics for these and sewing them up.  Maybe it's like the thrill quilters get when they coordinate fabrics for their quilts and envision the final look. 
I will continue to add a couple of bags a week for a while, but I am anxious to get started on a new project using New Look 6032 in a black rayon/linen blend and a knit top using a red and white striped knit with a "yet to be determined" t-shirt pattern.  I also need to make some more progress on my jacket for the RTW Tailoring Sew-Along, which is just finishing up.  I'm just a wee bit behind there :) 

On a personal note, the boys and I have about 5 weeks more weeks of school before our summer break.  Since we took our spring break last week while our guests were here, we have some catching up to do, and we are preparing for standardized testing.   So I am quite busy on the homeschooling front too.  Not only that, but I have already signed up all three boys for their favorite sport of the begins in August.  Life is moving at a lightning pace for me right now.  How about you?  Well whatever your pace, may  the weekend be glorious!  Aloha!
Protea, named after the Greek god Proteus.  There are so many varieties of these in upcountry Maui.  I will share more when I blog about the Alii Kula Lavender farm., one of my favorite places to visit in upcountry Maui.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Simplicity 3882

Good Morning and Happy Mother's Day!  Let me start out by saying thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post.  I was planning to wear my new dress today, but it has been a bit overcast and blustery the last couple of days, and I think I want to save it for a beautiful, bright, sunny, day.  Our guests are safely back home now, and the week spent together was a time to reconnect and remember how much we love and miss one another.  It had been about 4 years since we last saw some of them. I am so thankful for the time we had together.  

I will share a photo of yet another beach park we often frequent on the west side of the island near Lahaina toward the end of my post, but for now, I'd like to share Simplicity 3882.  I had a feeling I would love this style on me.  I think it works great for small busted gals.  I used my second to last cut of colorful matte jersey from  I wasn't sure I would like these colors on me, particularly the chartreuse, but I think it works okay because the neckline is quite open, therefore the colors are not so close to my face.  I do love the bold print, and it's another excuse to wear my wedges and leggings, a look I adore.
I made view A, but left off the bubble hem.  I cut a size 4 on the main body of the dress.  There is an awful lot of ease.   On the front and back band I cut between a size 10 and 12 to get the exact measurement of my chest there.  On the straps I cut a size 12, but needed to shorten them so that I had a snug fit over my shoulders.  I placed the straps so that my bra straps would be covered when I wear this.  I interfaced the front and back bands and the straps with Pro-Sheer Elegance in black.  I have not had a problem with bubbling on previous garments where I have used this on polyester matte jersey.  The pattern doesn't include a tie for the waist, but I think I prefer one.  Here is the look without the tie.  The picture doesn't really show the nice flow of the fabric when you wear it without the tie.  I guess it depends on what kind of mood you are in whether you'd want to wear it with the tie or not.  
The way Simplicity has you construct the straps is genious.  The straps don't move and they look very crisp and professional at the top edge of the front band.  I had never made a dress with straps attached in this way.  Here are two photos showing the inside of the straps before you fold the front band down and after.  By stitching in the center, across the band, then folding the front band down, the straps are securely and neatly attached to the top of the dress.  
This polyester matter jersey and dress style is also great for the beach.  It serves as a stylish swimsuit cover and the fabric doesn't pick up grains of sand.  That makes it nice for when you are finished at the beach.  A quick shake of the dress, throw it on, and you are ready to go to public places!
Styled for the beach!  The green bag is available in my Etsy Shop.  Free shipping this weekend when you use coupon code: onitsway!
Here is a  picture of Launiupoko Beach Park.  A great place to surf, hang out with your keiki in the man-made lava rock pool, or enjoy a bbq with friends.   You will also see humpback whales breaching and blowing water during whale season from about late October to late April.  The island of Lanai is in the background. 
*Updated 5/9/11 to add a clearer picture on the front view of the dress.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Look 6910

Hello everyone!  Gosh, it feels good to check in with you.  My family arrived safely last Thursday, and it has been a whirlwind of activity ever since.  It will be fun to post, in the near future, some of the attractions we have visited so far.  But this morning I have a small block of time to share New Look 6910.  I made it from a Hawaiian cotton poplin that I found at our one and only Walmart.  There are several places to buy Hawaiian fabrics, but I don't think I saw this print anywhere but at this store.  I also fully lined the dress with a cotton, Swiss dot, voile from  The pattern calls for lining on the bodice, but not on the skirt portion.  There was a lot of hand sewing to do on the lining.  I also opted to hand sew the top of the dress near the zipper to get both sides to match perfectly. 

New Look 6910 is a pattern for a princess seam sheath dress or one that has a full skirt with pleats.  I made view D, but I left off the bow detail on the front.  It also includes a pattern for a cropped, 3/4 sleeve, gathered neck, jacket with a wide collar.

I cut the size 10 based on the bust and waist measurements.  My alterations included taking 1/2" out of the front bodice piece, taking a tuck out of the armscyes so they wouldn't gape in the back, bringing in the back neckline about 1.5 inches, and  reducing the overall width of the bodice by approximately 2 inches, which I took out of the center back seam.  That meant I had to reset the pleats on the back of the skirt a couple of times to get them where I liked them.  I didn't notice when I made my muslin that I had the diagonal drag lines in the back along the sides, so I'm not sure if my lining is pulling here or if I need to make some kind of other alteration to get rid of those.  Overall I'm happy with the fit, particularly on the front bodice, which was my original goal.  In the future however, I will lengthen the front about an inch.  The dress is slightly raised in the front compared to the back.

Here are some detail shots:
Invisible Zipper
Skirt Lining

What a comfortable summery dress.  Even though the print and color is quite different from what I normally gravitate toward, I will certainly enjoy wearing this dress.  And how about those shoes?  Love them!

On a final note, I just wanted to show you these gorgeous cards I won from a Smoking Needle's give-away.  Thank you so much KMQ!  I absolutely love them!