A Statement Jacket – Sew Lisette Moto Jacket

You may recognize this jacket from an older post about my wardrobe sudoku contest entry. This jacket got a lot of love from the sewing community. And to toot my horn just a little bit, it was a great match of pattern and fabric.

I’ve long professed my love for everything from the Liesl + Co brand. That includes Oliver + S sewing patterns for children, her Sew Lisette brand for commercial pattern companies (previously Simplicity and now Butterick), and the Liesl + Co sewing patterns for women.

When I got the initial urge to participate in the wardrobe sudoku contest, this fabric soon became the focal point of all my planning. It is a special piece I picked up at the Sew Expo in Puyallup, WA a few years ago. Since nice apparel fabric stores are hard to come by in my neck of the woods this was a very treasured piece of fabric.

The Sew Lisette moto jacket (Butterick 6169) was a good contender for a jacket pattern. It’s a very stylish and simple pattern, great for a statement fabric like this green, black and cream tweed.

A few notes on construction and sourcing supplies

I used my Palmer Pletsch Jackets for Real People book for the bagged lining method and a few other construction tips. Liesl’s sewalong is also very helpful.

Since this was a fairly loose woven tweed I block fused interfacing to the entire piece of fabric before I cut out the pieces. I purchased my weft interfacing from Wawak. It helped to reduce the fraying of the fabric and also gave it a little extra body. I added a muslin back stay and small shoulder pads.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the zipper. The zipper is from Wawak as well. They have a great selection and amazing prices. Their shipping is fast and very reasonably priced. I bought 3 zippers (black, cream, and green) and simply used the one that matched the best and saved the other 2 for my stash.

 

 

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Spring Sewing – a sweet SewLisette Easter dress

This is the second project I have made with this lovely linen/lyocel blend from Joann Fabrics. The first was this kimono for my wardrobe sudoku contest.

I bought 2.5 yards of the peachy pink for an Easter Dress. I originally intended to use Butterick 6168, a cute dress with a pleated front. Of course, it’s also a Sew Lisette pattern because I have collected so many and loved every one that I’ve used.

I settled on the fit and flare style of Simplicity 1419 (sadly now out of print) because I thought it would take less effort to fit properly and I knew I would be short on time. As with all her patterns, Liesl was able to take this great classic style and make it something special.

What’s so special about this fit and flare dress is the pleated skirt and the keyhole front.

This is definitely a feminine dress. Perfect for Easter. I wasn’t 100% sure the color would flatter my fair skin, but I think it is a good choice.

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Comfy Mom Clothes: Simplicity 1198

I finished this t-shirt about a month ago and I’ve worn it several times since then.

This fits the bill for exactly what I need in my wardrobe right now. Easy wearable pieces that are comfortable and don’t need much accessorizing to make me feel put together. The pattern is Simplicity 1198. I made view E.

As soon as I finished this piece I cut another out in black stretch velvet and wore it on Christmas Eve with dark skinny jeans and pearls. My black stretch velvet is another wardrobe workhorse because it can be dressed up or simply worn with jeans. Now I need a denim pencil skirt so I can wear it to church.

I recommend making this pattern in more drapey knits. A less fluid knit wouldn’t hang as well and with the front fold-over detail you do really want something that isn’t going to be too voluminous or stiff.

The version pictured here is a Nicole Miller rayon knit print from Joann’s. I love a lot of prints from the Nicole Miller line. I have another t-shirt made from the same line and black has faded quite a bit over the last 6 months, but I still love it. I would consider being a little more careful with this one, but I’m a realist and with two little kids at home and several loads of laundry a week I don’t spend a lot of time paying close attention to clothing that requires special care.

I’m sure I’ll be making this again. When I do I’ll be sure to shorten the neck band piece because it gapes quite a bit. I ran a piece of 1/8″ elastic through the neckline of the stretch velvet piece and I need to do it with the rayon print shirt as well. It worked great, but it would be better to simply have a neck band that does that itself.

Now I just need to find another great printed rayon knit.

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Holiday Dresses: Oliver and S Building Block Dress

I was thrilled by Liesl’s announcement of the Building Block Dress several months ago. If you follow this blog much you know I’m a huge fan of Oliver and S Patterns, so this book was a must buy. I don’t much sewing for people besides my children, but when I do it’s usually for one of my nieces. I had a vision of my daughter and her two cousins dressed in matching but not identical dresses for Christmas. Luckily, I had the time to pull it off.

My vision was a dress that was festive but not so much that it couldn’t be worn after Christmas. I found two fabrics in my stash that seemed to fit perfectly, a cranberry red baby corduroy and a sparkly blue chambray shirting.

I started with my daughter’s dress in size 6-12 months. I made the A-line variation silhouette, a gathered cap sleeve, and the tie collar.

This photo was taken before hemming or finishing the neckline, but you get the idea.

And my adorable baby girl, with crazy post nap hair and wrinkled dress.

The second dress I finished was made in a size 8. Since my niece is tall and thin, I lengthened the bodice and skirt to a size 10. That’s one of the best things about sewing.

My niece Ava pretty much designed the dress herself. She really liked the foldover pockets. These were the hardest drafting task of any of the three dresses, but they turned out great. I chose a cute button with a sparkly rhinestone center. Too bad I didn’t get a better photo of that little detail.

With the third dress I asked Bella’s mom if I could take creative license and she said, “sure.” I did remember that she liked the shaped yoke and wanted long sleeves, so this is what I came up with. This dress also has an a-line silhouette, which I think is ideal for babies and toddlers. Bella’s dress was a size 3T.

Instead of doing the yoke like the instructions, I made an external facing. It seemed like it would be a little easier to topstitch the facing down rather than fiddle with curved seams. 

The yoke/facing is straight on the back and has the cute scallops on the front.

This dress has gathered long sleeves with a cuff. If I were to do it again I would have gathered the sleeve head a little more and definitely sewn the cuffs on before sewing the sleeve together. It was a headache to get my sewing machine inside that little 7″ cuff.

The three girlies looking adorable in their matching dresses. Seeing them all together was such a treat. Next year I’ll have to treat the nieces on the other side of the family to matching dresses because this is definitely a once a year type project.

 

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2016 Sewing Highlights

2016MakeNine only covered a few of my sewing projects for the year.

Here are a few more of my favorites.

Christmas shirts for the littles. Fabric from Girl Charlee (a few years back, but still familiar to many). I used knit ribbing for the neckbands. The first time I made a t-shirt with Girl Charlee knit in the neckband it wasn’t stretchy enough for little heads. The pattern is Oliver and S (field trip raglan). Baby girl’s shirt was shortened a few inches and a gathered peplum added to the bottom.

Continue reading “2016 Sewing Highlights”

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2016MakeNine – A follow up

The end of 2016 is upon us. Thank goodness.

2016 was such a weird year…a hard year. We added a second child to our family. My children are such a joy…and equally exhausting.

In August, when my baby girl was just 4 months old, my husband was in a bad bicycle accident and fractured most of the bones in his face. It was a pretty rough couple of months.

I have managed to get sewing in here and there throughout the year. My 2016MakeNine didn’t get followed too closely, but I did manage to make my gingham Grainline Archer. I might not have followed through on that project without my original intention made public.

These were my original plans…and here is how it went.

Sew Sweetness Dot Dot Dash – Nope. I didn’t make a bag of any sort this year. Continue reading “2016MakeNine – A follow up”

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Pattern Testing: Megan Nielsen Karri

I was excited when the opportunity to test Megan Nielsen’s latest pattern, the Karri Dress.

Megan has really been on a roll lately. She has recently released the Dove Blouse, Harper Shorts & Skort, Reef Camisole & Shorts, Axel Skirt, and Sudley Blouse & Dress. I want them all.

Testing was going on back in July and it’s been hard to keep my mouth shut about this cute pattern.

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The line drawing really opens you up to a wealth of possibilities. Color-blocking, yes!

I had several color schemes for color-blocking running through my mind. In the end I decided to use something very wearable, and already in my stash.megan-nielsen-karri

Continue reading “Pattern Testing: Megan Nielsen Karri”

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Sewing for Baby: Simplicity 1470

My sewing time is still limited, so I have to be more careful about how I prioritize my projects. A blessing dress for my daughter was definitely a top priority.

My local sewing guild is having a stash busting challenge this year. I’m sure I could have found a suitable fabric in my stash, but nothing that quite captured my vision. I made a compromise and used a pattern that I did have in my abundant stash, Simplicity 1470.

I had a fabric.com coupon burning a hole in my pocket and I used it to pick up a beautiful cotton + steel doublegauze (sadly no longer on the website). Part of my vision was to make a dress that was not so dressy that it would only get worn once. My son never wore his blessing outfit after his blessing which I thought was a shame for so much work.

IMG_0168 Continue reading “Sewing for Baby: Simplicity 1470”

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Fourth Trimester Sewing: McCall’s 7284

My baby is already five weeks old. I really can’t believe how fast the time has flown by.

She has been a great baby so far. And our 18 month toddler has been pretty great. I’m not going to lie and say that everything is rosy all the time, but it has gone as well as 1 month with a newborn and 18 month old could be expected.

Baby girl has been a great nurser. I remember the first six weeks with Little D it was pretty hard to get the hang of things for both of us. Baby girl did great from the start.

I’ve always been a busy-body and having a newborn and a toddler at the same time makes it really difficult to feel like I have any time to do anything productive. When the toddler is sleeping the baby is nursing, both during his daytime nap and her evening fussy/cluster-feeding times. As I write this I’m bouncing baby girl in the bouncer seat and Little D has gone down for the night.

I have managed to get a little sewing done, but I have to get used to sewing in small segments instead of the marathon sessions that I prefer. Today I managed to get a t-shirt hemmed. The blouse for this post took me several small sessions over a couple weeks.

I don’t know what happened to all my post partum clothes from my first pregnancy because I feel like I have absolutely nothing to wear. Then I remembered that I had Little D in November, so most of my tops were sweaters and long-sleeved tops. It’s a lot easier to hide the baby weight under a sweater or button front shirt than it is a t-shirt. I feel like I’ve been wearing the same pair of french terry joggers and maternity t-shirts for the past 5 weeks. I needed something to wear that made me feel like a grown-up again.

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This bohemian flowy blouse seemed to fit the bill. I knew that a rayon challis would be a good fit for this because rayon has a great drape and is so much nicer to wear, especially in warmer months, than polyester.

The pattern is McCall’s 7284. I made a size medium (my pre-pregnancy size) thinking that the loose fit would be forgiving enough for me to wear comfortably til I lose that pesky 20 lbs I picked up this pregnancy. I used the hemline from view B for the front and view D for the back. I wanted a hi-low look with a little extra length in the front for the baby belly and it worked out great.

To get the rayon to behave a little better I sprayed it with Best Press and pressed it before I cut it out. I was particularly afraid of getting that really drapey fabric to behave for the front contrast insert and the Best Press was really helpful.

While I was sewing I slipped the sleeve on before I set it and I noticed that the bicep was going to be a bit tight so I let out the seam about 1/4″. This was the only alteration I made since all my other seams were already finished.

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I’m really glad that I let the sleeves out. When I put on the finished blouse it felt a little tight in the arms and shoulders. I looked in the mirror a few times to try and figure out what alteration I might make for my next version, because I definitely need to remake this one.

It wasn’t until I started looking at the photos I took that I realized that I really just need to make a bigger size and do a little tweaking on a size large. You can see from the back view that it hangs up on my hips just a little bit. And the fit is tight through the bust and shoulders. All of this could be alleviated with a larger size before I start thinking about forward shoulders or broad backs. I always get a lot of good insight on fitting when I start looking at the photos. It is so much more helpful than glancing in the mirror for me. I’m going to have to go back to Joann’s the next time they have a pattern sale and pick up the other size…but maybe by the time I have time to make this again I’ll have lost enough weight that the bigger size isn’t necessary. I guess we’ll just have to see.

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I’m no fashion blogger and my styling skills are pretty minimal, but I’m always interested in how people complete their outfits…so I added a few other details for you here.

I bought these “always skinny” jeans from Gap after my last pregnancy. They’re 2 sizes bigger than my pre-pregnancy size and I would definitely buy them again if I was looking for a skinny jean.

My lipstick is just cheap Wet ‘n Wild. I was cleaning out my drawer of lipstick that I never wear and “auditioning” what I should keep. The hubby said he liked this one which I was pretty surprised about. It’s a pretty bold lipstick for someone who never wears lipstick, but I’ve worn it a few times. I need to find a similar color in a better formulation because it is cheap and it shows after about an hour.

My shoes are Born, bought on Zappos last year. I bought three pairs of nice leather sandals last spring so I won’t be buying sandals again for a while.

In conclusion, I love this top even if the fit is not perfect. I need a few more tops like this in my wardrobe.

 

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An Easter Outfit From Oliver + S

Last week I was at my local sewing guild meeting and we were talking about indie pattern designers. One of the ladies was working on a dress and she said that the instructions were not great and the pattern was missing some important markings.

It’s true that not all indie patterns are created equal. I grew up sewing with commercial patterns, so I’m accustomed to how they are put together. I learned from a Pati Palmer workshop just how much money goes into the development of a commercial pattern (…about $20k) so we should be able to expect that they are consistently high quality. I’m not planning to give up stocking up on all my favorite designs at the regular pattern sales.

There are some really great indie designers out there and the biggest selling points for me are that their designs are more unique and there is a community with indie patterns that you simply don’t find with commercial patterns. Indie designers are great about fostering an environment were sewing enthusiasts can share tips, ideas, and pattern hack ideas. I definitely have gotten the most “mileage” out of my favorite indie patterns because I make them over and over.

My favorite children’s pattern designer is Oliver + S. I would say that Liesl’s drafting and instructions are top notch. And her designs are timeless, which suits my personal style very well. With all the patterns I’ve made so far, the sizing is consistent which is great. I’m definitely not going to be making fitting muslins for my toddler.

I’ve made the after school pants about a dozen times now. I love those pants so much. For Easter, I was inspired by the Sailboat Top & Pants. What a cute, classic look – perfect for Easter.

I started with my stash for inspiration and picked out a piece of chambray that was just big enough for the top. I toyed with the idea of a railroad stripe denim for the pants, but ended up with a khaki twill which was inherited from a fellow sewist’s stash not too long ago.

The buttons for the top were the one purchase for the project and they really make it special.

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