Category Archives: sewing

McCalls M5976 aka Dang Pin Tuck Shirt

McCalls M5976

McCalls M5976

After much stewing and being angry, this shirt finally got finished.  Its a mixed bag.

Pros:

  • Everyone always compliments it.
  • The pin tucks look nice and allow for a blousy effect.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • The shoulders and body of the shirt fit really well and are very comfortable.

Cons:

  • I made the elastic in the cuffs too small, so its not really very comfortable to wear with the sleeves scrunched up.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • I had to hem it twice to get the length right and I’m not sure I love the length yet.
  • The collar.. . URGH!  It is completely not right.  Since I had messed with the width of the neck, I didn’t want to just cut the collar stand straight from the pattern.  In my infinite wisdom, I thought, “Eh, I’ll just make it using bias tape.”  Its super wonky and lays all wrong, and I really really should have just laid the neck out and drafted a new collar stand.  I didn’t know how to do that at the time.  I learned how to later and haven’t had the patience to rip it out and re do it. But that is exactly what needs done.
  • The placket: I didn’t sew it very well so part of the raw edge sticks out on the front near the hem.  I just zig zagged over it with a short stitch in black thread.  I’m sure no one else would ever notice it.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • I added a lot of width to the sleeves to make them flowy and blousy, and that turned out alright, but I should have added a good 3-4 inches in length.

Most of everything that I don’t like about it was my fault, stemming from inexperience.  I finished this months ago, so thankfully I have moved on and learned from my mistakes.

Dang pin tuck shirt

McCall’s M5893 Jersey Maxi Dress

M5893

All reviews on PR for this dress!

sewn Aug 2011

Pattern Description: “MISSES’ AND WOMEN’S DRESSES IN FOUR LENGTHS: Empire waist dresses A, B, C, D have hemmed, scoop necklines, side seam pockets and elastic casing at waist; dresses A, C and D have hemmed armholes; dress A has contrast bodice and hem band; dress B has sleeves gathered to sleeve band.” I made D with the sleeves from B

Pattern Sizing:18 – 24 W

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It absolutely does!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Don’t know, its really basic construction, so I just winged it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Its a nice summer maxi dress.

Fabric Used: Rayon Ikat jersey from fabric.com, summer 2011

Rayon Jersey

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I did view D, but added the sleeves included for B. But I didn’t gather them at the bottom. Just did a narrow hem. I also had to make my usual grading changes to the pattern to fit me.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would sew it again. The problem for me, as a person without a serger, is that it MAY have taken someone 2 hours to sew with a serger, but it took considerably longer for me. The hem, sleeve hem, neckline, and shoulders all needed some special treatment that may have been negated with a serger. Also, I’m silly and cut it PLENTY long, and had washed the fabric once, but it shrank up a good 2-3 inches. So beware.

Conclusion: I like it! Its breezy and easy to wear. Simple to construct. I think next time I’ll line the bodice with a sturdier knit because the weight of the skirt on it is a lot. It could use a little more stability.

Pattern Review (Its the same thing as you just read. But if you’re a PR’er you might care!)

McCall's M5893 Maxi dress

Cynthia Rowley Tunic + Life

We have “settled into” our temporary housing. It has certain perks.
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These are now decorating my sewing table and the tv area.
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I hope I’m not the only person in the world who has put flowers in a Nalgene instead of a vase…

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Here’s a peak of my new sewing space before I made a mess of it.

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It really isn’t very fun condensing all your sewing goodies that will be required for the next month into one grocery bag. Very sad. At least we’re moving on to bigger and better things.

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And here’s one after I settled in to alter the pattern…

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I couldn’t bring myself to show you how messy it is now, in full on sewing mess mode.

I started sewing this Cynthia Rowley top on Monday night, in foolish hopes that I’d be able to get it done by lunch on Tuesday. Of course, that didn’t happen.

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Original Inspiration: This version by LindsayT

She did these two other ones that I really liked, and here’s one by Miss Muslin, and one from Amanda at Adventures in Dressmaking

It looked good judging from PR, so I jumped right in.

I used Carolyn’s method to alter it, and was very careful with my alterations.

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I’m glad I’m using an old sheet from Goodwill to do a muslin, the first go round didn’t go too well. It looks alright standing in these pictures, but it did not FEEL comfortable at all. Too tight and too big in all the wrong places.

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Now its back to the drawing board again, or to the dining room table as the case may be.
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Going to try a Full Bust Adjustment for the first time.
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Looks manageable right?

Before I begin the slashing, I’m going to go enjoy the lovely life around me for a bit and hopefully go back refreshed.
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(I planted the begonias myself, and I am so proud! Let’s see how long they survive!)

Me Made June Week 1

collage Me Made June Week 1
I wore something me made for about an hour yesterday (the refashioned capris), and spent the rest of the day in sweats. So no picture for the 6th.

I think I’ll just do a weekly post about outfits. Kind of annoying to post every day to flickr and then to here.

In other news, got to do some awesome family portraits the other day as well as some baby shots, and a picture I took of a storm was on the news. Exciting!

We’re getting ready to move, and I would really rather be sewing than packing. But I need to pack. We are officially moving this Saturday, and have to be out on Sunday.

Ok, back to packing!

Trials and Troubles

Well Friends & Neighbors, I am extremely frustrated. I made the muslin for the graduation dress, and finished it today. It was awful. Not just sort of not good, but awful. Apparently I am no good at grading. The shoulders extended three inches beyond the movement point of my shoulder, the bodice was about 6 inches too wide at the underarms, and the boob pleats gave it waaaay too much ease.

So very frustrating. I wasn’t going to blog about it, but I think its important to share our struggles and not just our successes. Otherwise, I think the sewing blogosphere can come off as a bit too perfect.

I ripped it apart before I took any pictures, so there is no evidence of my failing. Sorry. Since that is the case, I am going to show you some VERY random pictures. Some are old, some are new. None are borrowed or blue though, so don’t worry about that.

Also, if you’d like to read a slice of the stories associated with these pictures, head on over to the Flickr photostream. They will still appear to be equally as random, but hey, they might make ya giggle.

My favorite picture of my Gram

What is my solution with graduation looming in a mere 3 days?

I don’t know.

Poor little Angus car after a wreck.

Plan A – trace off whatever the largest size of bodice was Burda offered, and compare it to where mine had too much ease. Maybe that will provide some help, and I can just sew it up.

Our old dog Bear.

Plan B – Version 2 of the Jamie Dress from Sis Boom Patterns. Did I ever mention that I finished my muslin of that? And hated it? And promptly threw my hands in the air and threw the muslin in a pile on the floor? It was supposed to be an Easter dress. Now its June. But I eventually picked it back up, and determined where I needed to add and where I needed to take away. The good thing about that dress is that it cut out very quickly, and didn’t take a super long time to sew up.

Buttons!

Plan C – dig out the pattern from a dress I made last summer that I know fits me, and use it.

Hyacinths Sping 2011

Sigh. In three days?! While I’m trying to pack all my earthly belongings and buy a house?!

Oh goodness.

As you may have noticed, today is the beginning of June. As I have yet to actually get dressed and put on “real” clothes, I will be wearing something of mine in an hour when we go inspect The House.

Yes, we are so enamored with it that I will, from here on out, refer to it as The House with capital letters.

Driving Dogs

But back to clothes. So I will post tomorrow what I wore today, or this afternoon. Whatever. Yay Me Made June!

Oh. And did I mention my sewing machine is on the fritz?

Awesome.

Lisette top is finally finished

The Lisette cotton lawn top is FINALLLLLLY finsihed.

I don’t know what my problem is with finishing things. It took me forever just to sew on the darned sleeves!

Lisette top

I really don’t care for this shirt. Its wearable, and it will be cool this summer, and I love the fabric. But I think it looks a little like some strange caftan or smock or something from the 70’s. Sometimes these things happen. Also, its too big, too low cut, and too bell sleeved.

Whatever! Its done, and its breezy. Two important characteristics of clothing for an Indiana summer.

Current projects

baby in a field

Let me be honest, I’m super unmotivated to create anything lately.

My sewing room is a disaster and I’ve been sewing in the dining room, which is half full of boxes. Blue Hippo Arts is in the process of buying a house, which has been rather arduous for us. Everything feels very up in the air, and that is a difficult place for me to live for very long.

I decided to not take class this summer, so I have a ton of time I could be sewing right now, but I’m not. I feel like its not even worth talking about. So for now, I’m going to give you some pictures and tell you about the stuff that’s on tap to sew soon.

1. Dress for a graduation next weekend


(If you click on the line drawing, it will take you to the downloadable pattern at the Burda website.)

I wish I could find my Burda Plus Spring/Summer 2011 to show you the picture from the magazine.  It looks lovely, much lovelier than the line drawing.  Alas, I am ALWAYS misplacing my darned Burdas.  Oh well.  I’m sure it will turn up sooner rather than later.

Its going to be in this lovely fabric:
The fabric for the graduation dress

I’ve also begun a set just for whatever I make out of this issue of Burda. You can see it here.

So far I have altered the pattern, and sewn the muslin for the skirt. The altered muslin for the bodice is cut, partially pinned, and ready to be sewn.
altered muslin of Burda Plus Dress 411

altered muslin of Burda Plus Dress 411

2. Presents for graduation. Ok, I can’t actually talk about these because I hear that at least one of the recipients has read or reads my blog. Sorry. Lame, I know, but here are some of the fabrics I’ll be using.

Mystery project 1

Mystery project 2

Hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later, with completed projects to show you!

What I’ve been up to lately:

I’ve been busy. In between finals and whatnot, it became summer all of a sudden. I have this week off and plan to do a lot of sewing/blogging, so hopefully I’ll get back in the groove of this!

Like I said, it is all of a sudden hot and summery. So I “refashioned” some jeans into capri pants today. Took approximately 5 minutes. Very challenging stuff I’m into these days.

Short pants > long pants.
Sorry the picture is horrible. I really need to figure out a better way to take pictures of clothes I’m wearing.

One of my best girlfriends and I used to be devoted capri wearers around our sophomore year in college. Our friend Brandon asked her one time why we would ever wear short pants, and not just regular long pants. We thought the fact that he called them short pants was a riot, and here I am years and years later still calling them short pants. Old habits die hard I suppose.

It must be springtime in Indiana!  Lots of wild mustard everywhere!
Wild mustard is everywhere in Indiana at this time of year. I know it’s “just a weed” but it covers the fields and especially at sunset is just stunning. There’s a particular field on the way to my In Laws that always is filled with it. Its got a lovely creek on one side, and this beautiful saturated yellow on the other. Love it.

Love this place
I had a chance last Thursday to go sit by a pond I used to spend a lot of time at when I was younger. It was so peaceful & a great way to celebrate being done with my first final.

Creekside Growers flowers
Some of my momma’s flowers @ her greenhouse

Flowers from the Husband
Flowers the Husband bought me in April 🙂

Playing with a fisheye lens!
One of my husband’s friends loaned me a fisheye lens, so I’ve been playing around with it.

Well friends and neighbors, thats all for now. I have a bunch of cleaning I want to get done before a going away dinner for a friend tonight. I have about 3 hours, so we’ll see how far I can get!

Have a good evening!

Lisette fabric

So a while ago, I posted about this lovely Lisette fabric I bought and planned on making into a shirt.

Pretty fabric from Jo-Ann's that is bound to be a cute easy top.

It feels lovely, and I had guessed it was a cotton lawn, and it turns out I was correct.
Leisl, from Oliver + S, designed a whole line of these lovely prints for Jo-Ann’s fabrics!

You should seriously take a look at the Oliver + S website, they just have adorable, sort of retro graphics that I love, even though I don’t sew for kids.

She’s even got a new line of patterns from Simplicity that are very cute. My gripe is that of course they only run to a 22. I don’t think I love any of the patterns enough to take all the time to grade them up at this point in time, but who knows what they’ll come out with as the collection grows.

(For all you non-sewists, pattern sizes aren’t like regular ready to wear sizes like you find at Macy’s. They have a whole system of their own, and in my experience, I wear a much larger size in sewing patterns, than I do in ready to wear. And regular non-plus size patterns only go up to 22 which is too small!)

Here’s the progress on the Lisette top so far. I think it needs sleeves & a hem. Please ignore that. And the wrinkles…and my crazy expression.lol

Lisette Cotton Lawn top

Lisette cotton lawn top

I think it will get a lot of wear this summer, its very light and breezy!!