Fitted Turtleneck x2 | Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck

As part of my Fall/Winter plans, I knew I wanted a form-fitting turtleneck that could layer well without adding bulk.  I know Spring is right around the corner, but am determined to complete some of my earlier wardrobe plans and am super happy with this one.  :)
It took a bit of searching to find a simple turtleneck with a figure hugging design... finally settling on the Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck.  Sue wore her Hepburn Turtleneck on her glorious travels to Hong Kong where you can see her turtleneck near the bottom of her post.  She writes that it's easy to layer, but also looks okay on its own.  That's how I feel too.
The Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck pattern in .pdf download costs $10.00 that is truly a bargain considering it is such a well-designed, basic piece that will probably be made in multiples to re-fresh each Fall/Winter season's wardrobe.  A keeper!  Anyway, to be honest with you it was hard to tell exactly how form-fitting this pattern was designed to be.....
.... until one sort of studies the line drawings.  Itch to Stitch also has the 'layer' feature on her .pdf patterns, so you can only print the sizes you need.  This is nice as it makes cutting/tracing/grading so much easier on the eyes.  Seam allowances are included, which is also really nice.  I cut a size 2 at bust and waist, grading to a size 4 at the hips.  Perfect!
This is the second version I've made and the only modification was to shorten the turtleneck height by 1".  I don't like to turn the turtleneck down, preferring to leave the neck open with a sort of slouchy look.
A few weeks ago I finished the white Hepburn Turtleneck, my first version, and have been wearing it under a rtw cardi, under the Lotta Jansdotter Pilvi Jacket with the Ottobre Design Woman black miniskirt, black tights and short boots.  Nothing feels bulky.  You can see in the photo below more how I wear the turtleneck neck 'up', and how high this comes on my neck worn this way.  Also, this cotton was a slubby, thinnish, oh-so-soft knit that once it was all made and ready to be worn, I realized it was quite see-through.  At first I felt sort of disappointed, but soon realized it makes a perfect undergarment.
Mine fits almost like a bodysuit type of figure-hugging feel.
This is exactly what I was looking for.  It should also be noted this is a super quick make.  I used my serger on everything except the hems.  Oh, and I did follow her instructions and serged invisible elastic to each shoulder seam to stabilize those.  I am so tired of my knit pieces stretching out and am curious to see how that holds up.
This beautiful, abstract, 4-way stretch soft rayon spandex knit came from Joann Fabric and looks like it is still available.  It was purchased Fall 2017 as I was planning my Fall/Winter wardrobe around all these luscious colors.
And today our temps were hitting 80*F (26*C)!  Certainly an early Spring day for South Carolina!  Our weather changes so frequently this time of year between Winter and Spring that I'm sure it will get lots of wear this season and still be in good shape for next Fall/Winter 2018.  Guess you could say I'm either so far behind.... or so far ahead?!  :)
It was also fun to wear the Yoshiko Tsukiori Happy Homemade Sew Chic jacket again as a nice color contrast against the turtleneck.  And this skirt is a highly modified Megan Nielsen Axel skirt that I've still not blogged about.  It's super comfortable and exactly the type of skirt I find comfortable to wear.
Got a couple of microsuede pieces in the works, so am sort of hoping we will have more of a 'cold' Spring this year.  Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)


Geometric Leggings | Ottobre Design Woman 05/2016 no. 9 Classic Leggings

Floral print leggings are so popular right now, but not having any appropriate floral print knit in the stash, and wanting a new pair yesterday (isn't that always the case!) am loving my new blue and white geometric version!
Have no clue what this fabric content might be as it was recently purchased at the only-open-once-a-month-to-the-public sale at All About Fabrics Warehouse textile outlet and their fabrics are on unidentified, large round bolts located in the area of general fabric content.  For instance..... this one was in the section of Stretch Fabrics where there are all sorts of differing 'stretches' of fabrics and clearly different fabric content(s).  This is a 4-way stretch and feels like heaven on.
After seeing beautiful Paula's floral one-piece legging on Instagram recently, it encouraged me to re-look at my own one-piece legging pattern I've made many times before, here and here, from Ottobre Design Woman 05/2016 issue.  Paula was my inspiration to make this version.
This issue of Ottobre Design Woman was full of great pieces.  I've already made 4 of them, some in multiples, and have begun no. 18 shirt, with a collar and buttons, down there at the bottom, out of fluid powder-blue microsuede that, hopefully!, will be able to show you soon.
Back to the leggings..... such an easy pattern..... one piece, cut two, and after a couple of hours max, boom, you've got a new pair of leggings.  I've worn the others I've made to pieces, particularly the black ones, but it kind of bugged me there were no side seams and sometimes felt they had more of a 'tights' look, than a 'leggings' look and came real close to cutting my pattern in two.  Until I saw Paula's gorgeous pair and realized that a side seam would cut a print up and maybe no side seams would showcase a print well.
So I left my pattern piece intact and am so glad as I LOVE this pair of leggings so much.  Wearing the boxy Burda Sweatshirt with it today.
It was an early Spring, gorgeous mild South Carolina day when I took these photos.  One couldn't help but feel joyful in the warm, sun-filled air.
Soooooo I thought it'd be fun to copy my lovely, sweet, dear friend Carolyn's outfit of the day photo she posted on Tumblr this morning.......and....
..... graceful me landed butt first on the ground.  For this set of photos I wasn't using the remote, instead I'd set the camera for automatic, to shoot in sets of 10 shots, so it captured all the gracefulness of the plunge.  I'll spare you the other shots......
..... instead leaving you with a more refined stance.  :)
Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)


Black knit miniskirt | Ottobre Design Woman 05/2016 no. 7 miniskirt

Do you ever want to have something to go with your newly made something and you wanted it made yesterday?!  That's how I felt after I made the red/black plaid quilted vest recently and this little black knit miniskirt fit the bill perfectly!
Such a simple, easy skirt to make... it rounds out the wardrobe well.  There's a faux wrap feature in the front there.
 And the back is super cute!
I've made this skirt before out of a patterned knit and have always wanted a black knit version.  Shown in the photo below with the accompanying Ottobre top.  More about both pieces here.
Ottobre Design Woman 05/2016 issue shows how she styled both pieces together..... but this post is about the skirt, so let's look a little closer at the skirt.
Having always felt like the 'gap' of the faux wrap of the previously made skirt was a little too much for me, I widened the 'wraps' of both front pieces by 1" and feel this new 'gap' is much more modest, yet still has a cool vibe going.
Black is so hard to photograph so these construction images are lightened considerably.  This cute skirt takes minimal yardage so was able to use black pontiroma knit scraps from WalMart that was hanging around the stash leftover from earlier made black leggings.  So guess this skirt was sort of 'free'!  Nice!!  Twin-needled top-stitched the front wrap panel side 'hem' seams, and front and back yokes.  Decided to leave the side seams serged together..... no top-stitching.  Thought this was enough plus I didn't want the side seams to feel 'stiff'.
Isn't the back cute!  The 1 1/4" elastic is quartered, then serged on and turned down and zig-zagged stitched closed.  For the bottom hem I thought this was coming close to being a little on the short side so only sewed a 3/4" hem top-stitched with a single seam.
Love this back yoke!  Has a sort of 'jeans' vibe going on in the back.  Not worried about the elastic waist as there will never be a top tucked in.
 One more look of the set.  A perfect skirt for this vest.  It's super comfortable to wear too.
That's it for this week.  This little skirt took maybe a couple of afternoons..... deciding how to alter the pattern for the extra width and top-stitching took more time than the actual construction.
Happy Sewing Everyone!


Sherpa Suede Coat | McCall's M9097
January 2018 Make a Garment a Month Challenge

Having wished for a sherpa suede coat for ages..... I finally made myself one using McCall's Pattern Easy Stitch 'n Save M9097.
Living in a small rural town, I am so grateful our local WalMart has a small pattern, fabric and notions department.  Their pattern kiosk recently switched to these $4.97 McCall's Easy stitch 'n save patterns.  For a while it was all NewLook Patterns.... which were all well and good, but it's nice to have access to the ever popular McCall's Pattern brand at a reasonable price.  Hmm, for some reason this pattern is not showing up in the McCall Pattern Company website so I don't know if maybe it's exclusive to WalMart, but I cannot find anything to link to.  The full-length coat, view B, out of sherpa/suede immediately caught my eye and I knew that was 'the one'.
Ever since Carolyn made her gorgeous shearling jacket in 2016, I've been wanting one too and hers was a big factor in choosing this luscious chocolate brown faux suede/Sherpa at my nearby JoAnn Fabric Store.  It was a hard decision because they also carried the same tan Sherpa/suede that the model is wearing above.  I took care in choosing this particular suede/sherpa fabric as I wanted something substantial, not too drapey and thin.  The fabric care instructions read that it is machine washable on cold, line dry.... but I have not washed this yet.  I picked up 3 yards on sale at $15/yard and have enough left over to make a vest.
Following Carolyn's lead on her coat to make sleeve cuffs, I also extended the sleeves by 3" flaring out ever so slightly to be able to simply turn back to make a 'cuff', then sewed down over the sleeve seam to keep it all in place.
Loving the way the exposed Sherpa on the overlapped seam looked on the pattern envelope's front, but neglecting to read the pattern all the way through..... you would not believe how much time was spent researching how to get that overlapped exposed Sherpa seam 'look'.  Many samples were sewn, a few shown below, before all were thrown into one big pile after a while.  The photo below was a late night iPhone photo with not-too-great lighting as I wanted a visual on this process!
Then, and only then did I read my pattern instructions and it was all there!  You can see how the illustration shows how to overlap the seam and sew on the top layer's seamline.  I made it easy on myself by figuring out how to mark the suede to make the overlap easier.  Click on the photo to enlarge to read my notes if interested as there is no way a person could simply overlap seamlines without some sort of guiding point.  So easy after this point and the coat sewed up quickly.....
.....except I decided to sew all semi-flat-felled seams and top-stitch everywhere.  By semi-flat-felled seam..... I mean that I sewed a traditional 5/8" seam, cut the back of the excess of one of the seam allowances off.... like you would for a flat-felled seam..... but instead of wrapping that piece, I simply laid the seam flat and top-stitched it down.  This fabric is too bulky to 'wrap' and by sewing it flat, it flattened all the interior seams out to be able to wear the coat comfortably and finish everything off in a nice way.  My walking foot worked perfectly on this fabric no matter which side of the fabric was 'up' or 'down'.  This also meant the 'quick and easy sew' took a little longer than intended.  But that's okay as these are what makes wearing the garment more enjoyable to wear..... with all the little finishing details done.
The back of the pattern envelope reads 'Semi-fitted jackets have bust and shoulder darts, front extends to form collar and full length sleeves'.  Yes, this is definitely a semi-fitted jacket/coat and the heaviest top I can wear underneath is a turtleneck.  With no cardi.   But I knew this when I bought the pattern and that is what I wanted.  And you guys will be so glad to know the perfectionist me did not fret all these darts in this type of material at all..... I simply measured as best I could, eye-balled, and sewed!  Surprised even myself and all the darts turned out beautiful.  Even the sleeves have darts.
The pattern made the neatest 'collar'!  Love this!
You can see the back neckline a little better here and how the 'collar' forms.  Clever.
And speaking of the back, I wasn't too keen on the way the back looked after sewing the overlapped exposed Sherpa seam, photo below....
.....so that got ripped out and a regular right sides together seam, semi-flat-felled was put in with the same top-stitching used throughout.  I like this better for me.
Again, using Carolyn's beautiful coat as inspiration, I made a matching belt, but found it was too much with all my horizontal exposed seams.
So the belt got ditched and buttons were sewed on covering snaps because this girl was too chicken to cut into my fabric to make a buttonhole.  I shamelessly copied VelvetRibbon and Coco's Loft recent beautiful coats where they both used snaps covered with buttons.  ;)
Both the snaps...
.....and buttons came from WalMart.  The button is 1 1/2" Coconut and I didn't realize until I got home that all three buttons are completely different.  We shall call this a design feature.  I may add one more button later.
I cut an XS at the bust grading to a S from waist and hip on, and when I ripped the center back seam out, I also took in a big chunk from the neckline to the first horizontal seam.  This made the coat fit a little more streamlined on me and not quite so 'hunchbacked' looking... feeling?!  This pattern has no pockets and I've toyed with adding patch pockets but right now am wearing it this way.  Kind of afraid the pockets will detract from all the horizontal lines going on.
I haven't had the time to pull my plans together, but this coat completes the Make a Garment a Month January 2018 theme.  Starting out the year on track!  Yes!
This morning was one of those beautiful South Carolina blue-sky days, but v-v-v-ery cold.  Okay, v-v-v-ery cold for us here, maybe not so cold compared to my more northern friends!  :)  My new coat kept me warm.  And for some reason even Buster wanted in on the photos.  Silly cat.
Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)
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