M7577 Heathered Wrap Jumpsuit

M7577 jumpsuit bodiceI really like this pattern, McCall’s 7577. My version is pretty plain at first glance, but then, party in the back! I like the unexpected twist on a basic, comfy jumpsuit.

M7577 back yokeThis fabric is a lightweight but substantial knit with a lovely brushed hand and good recovery. So many of the fabrics I find are mysteries, and this one said nothing on the bolt but was obviously better quality than the other fabrics in this tiny shop I discovered. It drapes nicely but doesn’t cling.

McCall's 7577 jumpsuitUsually when I make a garment in a knit out of a pattern drafted for wovens, I do go down a size. I already went down a size because this is a McCall’s pattern anyway. I chose not to go down another because I didn’t want this knit clinging to my backside and I am treating this as a comepletely wearable muslin. I would like to make one of the more flirtyy romper views in a rayon. I just about died over Thimberlina’s version. It has birds!

McCall's jumpsuit 7577 frontI pretty quickly veered off the pattern directions after I assembled the back yoke and front pieces. The front edge is a bias cut, and as such is very vulnerable. On my knit I knew I needed to deal with that or the front would gape open and basically, the whole thing would be a disater and not wearable. Since you must shimmy in and out of that top by opening and putting pressure on that front edge, I decided to reinforce it with fold-over elastic.

McCalls jumpuit patternWith the fold over elastic, I was able to draw up the front a little bit by stretching my elastic as I sewed it. So my front edges actually tuck in towards my chest and it keeps everything much more secure. The elastic also helps with recovery after I stretch the front open to go to the bathroom multiple times a day.

M7577 back viewThe rest of the construction is not noteworthy. I used a double needle to finish my armholes, and there was a bit of tunneling. Sad, but I needed the armholes to retain some stretch. The hem I just used a straight sstitch. The waistband is constructed by using the seam allowance of the waist seam folded up as a casing. I was not looking at the instructions anymore by that point, please note.

McCall's 7577I did add to the length of the bodice to ensure it would blouse nicely over the waistband. The hem length was totally invented, too. I wanted a shorter jumpsuit so it would be nice and casual. I may cut it off further…I can’t decide. Hem lengths have been all over the place in fashion right now and I know that affords me a lot of freedom to choose what looks best on me, but what DOES look best on me? I have the hardest time determining that. I just can’t look at my own image objectively. Suggestions welcome on this subject!

Episode10MichelleWe do have another exciting Clothes Making Mavens podcast episode up! I am so jealous that Lori got to interview Michelle of ThatBlackChic.com, but since she recorded it we all get to enjoy it. I really love how Michelle explains her outlook on fashion as art. I am always torn when faced with that question. I want to push the envelope, but am I comfortable wearing the more artsy ideas I come up with? Lately I’ve been buying much more subdued fabrics and it makes them a bit less inspiring, actually. And if you want to be inspired, listen to Michelle and check out her beautiful creations! She’s amazing, no lie.

 


Warm and Snuggly in my COPPÉLIA Cardi

Coppelia cardiganRecently I purchased a pair of high-waisted jeans. Oh how I love that they suck my tummy in and I don’t have to continuously hike them up! I have been loving them so much I thought it would be great to have more tops to wear with them. The Papercut Coppelia Cardigan has been on my to-sew list for quite a while, and I decided now is the time. This silhouette is so flattering!

papercut coppelia backI never took ballet lessons, but as soon as possible I put both my daughters in dance and loved dressing them up in pink leotards, chiffon skirts and ballet wrap sweaters. This is my chance to wear that look, but, you know, appropriate for someone over the age of 10 (that’s when my oldest decided no more dance, a day that broke my heart).

papercut coppelia necklineI made a muslin of this pattern because I knew it was going to be essential to get the shoulder and neckline to fit perfectly so I could avoid gaping in the front. It is already rather low cut, so it needs to be secure. I am very glad I took that extra step because there was quite a bit of necessary adjustments. I’m not sure how much of it had to do with my small upper bodice or forward shoulders, but I ended up taking nearly an inch from the front shoulder/bodice seam, angling from the neckline and just making that front raglan curve much more exaggerated.

Papercut Coppelia sleeve detailI also did a little skimming off the sleeves to make them slimmer, but that is a usual adjustment for me. You don’t want to take too much off because the sleeves have a cool shape to preserve.

cappelia wrap cardiganI thought I could get away with shorter ties than the pattern calls for. I wanted to knot it to one side and I didn’t want too much excess flopping around and getting in the way. It turns out I needed all the tie and I had to really scramble to attach more tie in a clean manner. That was stupid of me. So I have edgestitching all the way down both ties so I could close my tube up, and that is not called for in the instructions. It didn’t end up looking too bad.

IMG_4299 (2)My fabric is a sweatshirt type with the softest nap inside and quite a bit of stretch. I don’t think you need much stretch for this pattern, because you do want it to stay secure at the neckline. You really don’t want it to stretch out of shape and fail to bounce back. I am too paranoid to wear this without a cami underneath, which is tragic since my fabric feels like an angel’s kiss and I want to snuggle right up against it. But I did notice some shifting when I wore it and I know I’d be fearfully glancing down at my chest all day if I didn’t have cami insurance.

papercut coppelia cardigan frontI wore this and took the pictures on the last gloomy day we will experience for a while, so I will have to look forward to wearing it next fall. Now it is on to making summer dresses and lots and lots of swimsuits for our new pool!


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A serious black Anza jumpsuit

I’m a jumpsuit convert at this point. I feel so put together in this outfit. And with the addition of gold buttons I feel like it is accessorized already, too. It doesn’t get easier than that in the morning!Itch to Stitch jumpsuit

I don’t do many pattern tests, but when I saw this request from Kennis I really wanted to try it. The Itch to Stitch Anza Jumpsuit is such a unique pattern and has so many great details. I love the gusseted pockets and will use that pocket pattern piece again on other projects. It is very cleverly finished with a lining and really came out well. I also like the rounded V neckline. If I made it again I would make the V a little deeper on me, but I really love the shape of the facing and how it is stitched down to create a lovely detail.

The sleeves are cut onto the bodice with cuffs added. No setting in sleeves and it has a nice shape. The bodice fit is easy and Kennis includes cup sizes so I didn’t even bother making a muslin. Continue reading


Had to try the Off-the-Shoulder trend

SImplicity4177OfftheShoulderAnd I decided I like it! This is an easy fitting top that I actually feel pretty comfortable in. This knit is so soft and hangs well in this style. And I love bright pink tops. That accent color is definitely in my color palette.

S4177ElasticOfftheShoulderBefore the end of the year I bought The Curated Closet and devoured it. It makes so much sense to work out a plan so you feel great in every outfit in your closet. And on my recent trip to the LA fashion district for fabric procurement it really kept me focused on the fabrics and colors I want to wear. Except for one piece of rather expensive peach/gold linen I bought. Not sure what came over me there! Sometimes that happens to me in fabric heaven. I am getting better, though.

Anthropologie dressing roomSince I wasn’t sure about this trend I had not purchased an actual pattern specifically in this style. I tried on this top in Anthropologie and knew I liked the idea of it, but wanted to make it myself. You can see how transparent it is, and yet what can you wear under an off-the-shoulder top for modesty?

S4177modificationsSo I took a very simple peasant top pattern with raglan sleeves (Simplicity 4177 OOP), straightened off the top and folded it over for a casing and inserted elastic. You can see I didn’t cut down the neckline much because I knew I would be folding it over an inch and a half for my casing.

S4177SleeveDetailI love 3/4 sleeves, so I shortened those and made a mini casing for some comfortable elastic there. A very simple alteration that made the top feel customized.  Long sleeves are silly here, and I knew I wanted to wear this if I could during summer. This week it reached 90 degrees, but I know the entire summer won’t be that oppressive and I’ll get to wear it. It would even look cute with shorts.

SimplicityOffshoulderblouse1Now that I decided I like this trend, I went ahead and purchased Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 8124. I don’t know how necessary that pattern is, but I pretty much buy every Cynthia Rowley pattern and I do love the little romper. And I just noticed that the sample dress on the pattern is 3/4 sleeves! Cynthia and I, we think alike!

S4177BlouseMy one regret is my obvious and distracting tank top tan lines. Ugh. Since taking these photos I’ve remembered to apply sunscreen all over my shoulders before I go running. You would laugh harder if you saw my legs! A harsh shorts line mid-thigh and a less defined but still discernible one at my ankle.

And there is my handsome and helpful photographer reflected in the window. It is fun to have him in a shot with me! Where’s Waldo (I mean, Reid)?


Black, white and neon S1072 sweatshirt

Simplicity1072Top
I did a little scrapbusting! I get one million points for this, since I have soooooo much fabric in my stash and I want to sew with all of them immediately. But I did get to use this super fun neon athletic knit I picked up at the Swap Meet, so I got to try a new and use up the old. I’m feeling very saintly!

S1072Front
I have a couple RTW sweatshirts I wear quite often. They both have unique details and they are made from drapey, lightweight knit that make them relaxed but show a bit of shape and oh so comfortable. After rolling my eyes at myself wearing them again and again, it was time to figure out why I love them so and try making more.

S1072BackThis is Simplicity 1072, a cute sweatshirt and knit pencil skirt pattern. The neon knit is cool and very thin, and I paired it with the leftover crepe from my Trapeze Dress. I had to line the crepe for modesty, so I used the softest white jersey knit, making this so comfortable!

S1072NecklinePutting those 2 very different fabrics together was not without challenges, though. Actually, working with that very fine, smooth neon knit was just challenging all around. My neckline is so sad, all floppy and twisty, even though I picked out my first try and did it over. Yes, the first try was even worse!

S1072SweatshirtI think the cool seamlines on the side of this basic sweatshirt pattern make fabric pairing so fun. You can really see how the neon color frames the black and white print and I love the effect. I did go down a size because I knew the ease would be huge, but I also wish I had shortened the sleeves – they are quite long! I will almost always be pushing them up, but it is something to note. My new true love is 3/4 sleeves, which you will see examples of in my next 3 finished tops. I LOVE CALIFORNIA, land of short (or no!) sleeves!

Simplicity1072DIY sweatshirtLast week I also made a muslin of a real underwire bra. Yep, I’m jumping on the bandwagon! I hope to have something lacy to share soon. It is fun so far, and fairly quick, too.


Sew Over it Poppy Playsuit at the beach

poppy-playsuit-patternIt is a rare treat for me to buy myself a sewing magazine. I adore Burda magazines and consider them a great investment since they include so many patterns, and when the styles come from Europe I feel like they are a little ahead of the fashion trends and my slow sewing ends up right on time. I don’t usually buy any other magazines, though. But one day, in a moment of frivolity, I bought the magazine Simply Sewing while at Barnes and Noble. I liked how it had a envelope pattern included (not the difficult tracing of Burda) and I had heard a few bloggers mention it and even that they were included. That warmed my heart to hear that so many talented seamstresses that don’t necessarily put themselves out there to publish traditionally got some attention in a current magazine. Good for them! Continue reading


Suede S8174 Mimi G Moto Jacket

simplicity-8174-jacketAnother moto, really? I just can’t help myself! Yes, there is a limit to how many of these I need in my closet, but I will say that they are so fun to sew and it was really fun to try this new pattern from Mimi G, Simplicity 8174. I am getting better and better at constructing them, and that is so deeply satisfying! I think they look great with jeans, which I wear most of the time. Continue reading


Sew it Chic October 2016

Sew it Chic first saturdays

September was a great month of makes – I was so impressed! Thank you to everyone who linked up. I even met a new blog – Binding Off, written by Betty. At first glance, I thought it was a knitting blog, and I hate knitting blogs because I can’t knit, and I am incredibly jealous of those who can! But Betty had a very cute dress up there, so I will add her to my bloglovin’ and hope I don’t get too sad when I see her knitting projects.

Did you also notice ( of course you did) Elizabeth linking up so much gorgeousness? It is because she is involved in the Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge! I just had to highlight her beautiful work and get some insight into her process and the competition.

I asked her why she likes competitions and what has it stretched her to do and learn? She said, “I really like competitions because they force me to focus on a specific goal and because they push me to stretch my skills.  I can’t divulge my project for this week, but I will say that I’m dealing with fabric that I’ve always always been afraid to handle before, and I’m kind of enjoying it despite it’s difficulty.”

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Week 1 Sweater Knit Challenge

“I’ve so appreciated having the feedback of the judges.  In the sewing blogosphere people are crazy nice.  I think in the 9 years that I’ve been “out there”, I can count on less than one hand the bad comments I’ve received.  Likewise, it’s not always common to get really a really objective critique that helps you look at your work in a way that makes you grow.  The judges’ comments have at times made me look at things, and say, oh, maybe I can try something different next time.  One of the judges said of my sweater knit skirt that she was glad I thought about the wearability in choosing to line it.  In these last few weeks in the Fabric Mart competition, I don’t think I’ve lined so many garments!  But really, when I think about it, the garments that I actually wear are the lined ones.  I never remember where I put my slips, and I hate how they’re continually twisting and shifting.  I’d rather take the extra time and materials to line a garment than be fussing with wearing it later.  I think that comment will lead me to start stashing lining fabrics.”

Week 2 Trench Coat Challenge

Week 2 Trench Coat Challenge

“The other thing I really like about competitions is that it makes me look at the materials I have and do something different.  The sweater knit challenge was so fun in that respect.  It’s no secret that I have a really distinct color palette and that I’m totally devoted to it.  When I opened the envelope from Fabric Mart with this beautiful sweater knit, I kind of freaked out.  I do not wear any of those colors because they pretty much swallow me up.  But turning the sweater knit to the reverse side really softened things up and it became a design feature that I ran with in the skirt and the sweater.  I loved adding the velvet ribbon on that too.  I’d never worked with ribbon as a design feature, and wow, that stuff was so nice to work with.  Or on the trench coat, I didn’t have enough of the blue linen for the facings, so I used the blue crosshatch print for a funky lapel that’s totally my style.”

“I’m so proud of myself that I finally learned how to properly make a single welt pocket in this competition!  Double welts and zippered welts, I’m pretty well-practiced with, but every single welt that I’ve ever made has just looked not so great before this competion.  When the trench coat week came up, I watched Peggy Sagers do it on one of her webcasts, and gave it a go.  Her advice on construction is always so excellent, and I’m pretty pleased with how my pockets turned out on the coat.  I put them on my sheath dress too just because I could. “
Week 3 Coordinate Collection Challenge

Week 3 Coordinate Collection Challenge

“The pattern hacking has been fun too.  I’ve had that green knit tunic hanging in my sewing room closet for like 2 years, wanting to resize and petite-ify it for me, but I just haven’t had the motivation to do it.  I’m working on another pattern hack this week from another piece of RTW that I’ve had since forever.  It’s good to go after those tiny dream goals!”

Elizabeth made it to the final challenge – “Find your Inner Designer” and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with! Hasn’t she done some amazing work?
Now let’s see what you’ve been up to. Link up this month’s projects below!
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Style Maker Fabrics for Fall! Papercut Saiph and Simplicity 8174

saiph-tunic-1At least I am ready for fall, even if the weather here in Southern California is not cooperating. It is supposed to be 100 today. I guess no one told Murrieta that it is now autumn.

saiph-dress-back-viewBut it turns out that my newest true love, Japanese double gauze, is fine for warmer temperatures, too. It is light and breezy and I whipped this gorgeous geometric floral into a Papercut Saiph tunic that I can wear now and later.

papercut-saiph-4I wasn’t sure what to expect when Style Maker Fabrics offered to send me some, but I had heard such glowing reviews that I had to try. So I received my package, wrapped nicely in tissue paper, and I was decidedly unimpressed with the fabric. It felt like a textured quilting cotton. I didn’t know what all the fuss was about. But after my pre-wash this fabric came out  of the dryer like the wings of an angel! It is so soft, with light loft and total opacity. It cuts, sews and presses so well and was a joy to work with. Thank you, Style Maker Fabrics – I am so glad I tried it! I feel like Sam I Am and I now want to sew double gauze in a box with a fox, on a boat with a goat…

saiph-tunic-2I have been thinking about a nice easy tunic shape and the Saiph did not disappoint. I was a bit flummoxed by the dart placement – they are really high! But I like the shoulders and the sleeves and I just moved that dart. I’ll move it down more next time. I also chopped off the sleeves a little bit -no need for full length sleeves here. I added a total of 3 inches to the bodice and skirt combined to make it a wearable dress on me.

saiph-dress-4But wait, there’s more!

A vest is such a great trendy fall piece, and perfect for my climate, right? Well, I meant to whip up a nice easy vest to top my outfit off, but instead I ended up making the most detailed moto jacket I’ve ever made, since I am a moto jacket addict. Whew! I had to squeeze it in between rounds of the PR Sewing Bee, but I just couldn’t resist when I pulled this fabric out of the box. The olive green faux suede has such a lovely hand and structure; it was begging to be a moto jacket.

saiph-with-jacketI used the Mimi G for Simplicity pattern 8174. Isn’t it a cool pattern with such fun details? I love the back vent and the little tabs on the shoulders and waistband! The gold buttons and green suede just say fall and really balance out the simple dress.

simpllcity-8174The suede is not the easiest fabric to work with, since I had to topstitch down my seam allowance on both sides of every seam. But what I realized is that it really responded to steam, so I was able to shape it around the shoulders. I am debating whether to topstitch the fronts, they still look a little fluffy, but I wonder if it will smooth out with wear? I only just finished the jacket and bagged out the lining last night. Despite the extra work of using the suede, the gorgeous texture and color create such a showstopper! I am so pleased with it!

moto-jacket-with-saiph-tunicI will provide a thorough review of the pattern and Mimi G’s video tutorial and show off all the details of this gorgeous jacket in an upcoming post. It is an interesting sew and I already have plans for another one. Do I need more jackets? No! But I love them, okay?

saiph-tunic-with-motoSo here is my vision of Fall 2016 with Style Maker Fabrics! Beautiful fabrics with texture and rich color. Mixing a simple dress with a military detailed jacket and boots. And, of course, sweating in the sun for these pictures and hoping for temperatures below 80 by October!

colors-that-make-the-season-851x280There are more stops on this parade of fun fabrics with a fall theme. Did you see Erika’s outfit yesterday? And tomorrow Kelli will show us her creation!

Thanks to Style Maker Fabrics for the complimentary fabric! They were lovely to work with and I was so pleased to try out their gorgeous fabrics.