5.17.2018

Me-Made the Month of May 2018 | aka Me-Made-May 2018

Me-Made-May..... the month set aside in the sewing community to formulate and implement a personal pledge to 'improve their relationship with their handmade wardrobe' is in its 9th year now.    Zoe , who has been our sweet hostess all these years, leaves everything up to the individual participant on what part of your handmade journey you might want to work on during this month, with nothing set in stone, which makes this a great challenge to be a part of, if you sort of like to do your own thing...... which it seems I like to do.  ;)

My handmade wardrobe journey began 2013 and I've participated in Me-Made-May each year since 2014, but for some reason it was a struggle to decide whether I wanted to participate this year or not.  Not sure why..... just wasn't 'feeling' it.  I wear handmade clothing made-by-me every single day and feel pretty comfortable with where I'm at.  Also, the platform has moved to Instagram using the hashtag #mmmay18..... and though I LOVE Instagram.... wasn't sure I wanted to fill my feed with daily handmade outfits.  Ya' know.... didn't want to bore everybody over there.  But with sweet encouragement from SaSa, and a couple of other IG friends, I thought I'd try.  And boy am I glad I did.  It's been a great month so far, and I'm looking forward to completing.  Remember, you don't have to have an Instagram account to see the photos there, only if you want to 'like' or comment.  So if you want to just sort of check in and out, that'd be fine.  You can find my IG account here where I am also sort of 'journaling' the days along with the outfits. Once you are there, simply type the mmmay18 in the search box and it will take you to the hashtagged collection and you can see everyone's work.  Let me warn you..... it has exploded in numbers this year!!!

So today's post will show the first 15 days of outfits, and then I'll conclude with the rest when the month is over.  I'm using my Photo Journal site to log the links to outfit information, so if you want those, just click on the 'DAY' link under each photo to click through there.  So here we go!
DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

DAY 5

DAY 6

DAY 7

DAY 8

DAY 9

DAY 10

DAY 11

DAY 12

DAY 13

DAY 14

DAY 15
Aaaaand that's it so far.  Not going to bore you with any analytical evaluations because, truthfully, there are none.  Now let's get back to sewing and making!
Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)

4.25.2018

Thoughts on Ruffles | Burda 04/2018 #108 Blouse with Ruffles

Can Ruffles be Sporty?
Sarah Liz's April Theme for Make a Garment a Month Challenge was 'Alternative April'.  To make a garment that is 'alternative' for you made me immediately think of this ruffled top I'd spotted in the April 2018 issue of Burda, which by the way can now be viewed in its entirety in Burda's online 'Lookbook'.  Because never, in my whole life have I been a fan of ruffles on me.  On others..... absolutely.... but me.... no.  So a ruffled blouse seemed a pretty good choice to meet this theme.
As I am also participating in the 2018 Burda Challenge, where you make 1 garment a month from a Burda pattern..... in my case my monthly subscription magazine.....this choice of Burda's April 2018 #108 Blouse with Ruffles pattern also met this goal.  Everyone is welcome to participate in these challenges.  There is no sign-up or invitation deadline, just join in if you'd like.
Burda's line drawing shows ruffles at shoulder seams and bottom of sleeves on a boxy top.  No darts, v-neck finished with bias binding and a belt secured by crochet thread loops.
Photo Credit:  BurdaStyle.com
Mine originally turned out like this below.  The shoulder ruffles sort of stood out like 'wings' and was just oh-so-not-me.  Shortly after taking this photo, the seams were unpicked and resewn sans shoulder ruffles.
Much better don't you think!
This the cover shot for Burda's April 2018 issue.  She has the top tucked in and wearing the belt around her neck.  I thought this was a cute look too.  But if you look carefully at the photo, you will see how the top looks all slidey at the shoulders, where one could possibly be constantly yanking the top up from sliding all over the place.  Been there, done that with a few previous makes and I did not want that type of top here.
Photo Credit:  BurdaStyle.com
So after tracing a size 36, I placed the pattern's center back neck @1/2" off the fold line, cocking the pattern back to the fold line, thus narrowing the neckline in the back.  This top fits perfectly with no slipping and sliding around.
Polyester crepe opaque fabric purchased at Hobby Lobby, surprisingly with the print printed sideways.... off grain..... which sort of ruined plans for the original intended purchase to be a dress.  Guess it was meant to be this top as I cannot imagine this top out of any other fabric!  Great care was taken in print placement and I really like the way the print turned out.  Nicely centered down the front and the back.
Just as I began this project, knowing I wanted to sew tiny, narrow hems on the ruffle hems, I had the opportunity to purchase Rolled Hem presser feet for my 'vintage' (mid 1990's) Bernina 1230.  I jumped at the chance and below I am test-driving them the day they arrived.  Foot #62 sews a 2mm rolled hem, #63 a 3mm rolled hem and you guessed it the #66 sews a 6mm rolled hem.
I chose the #62 2mm rolled hem for these ruffles and have to say it was a huge learning curve to get the hang of keeping my slippery, thin, crepe rolling through this assembly to get the proper stitch.  If it rolled out of the hemmer while you are stitching, not catching the 'roll', you had to rip unpick everything and start again.  Am very proud of the tiny hems these ruffles have.
Really love this sleeve!  It has a sort of dropped shoulder leading into the sleeve.
French seams at shoulder and bodice side seams, armscye and sleeve ruffle seams were sewn then serged, hem was blind-stitched hemmed on the machine.  Oh, the neck binding.... how could I forget that.  I don't have a lot of experience binding V-necks but this one turned out very well following Burda's instructions, though it took me a while to figure out exactly what they were trying to tell me what to do.  It's funny because once you 'get' what the instructions are trying to tell you, when constructing a new-to-me technique, it seems so easy and you wonder why it seemed so complex at first.  That was this v-neck binding application.  Since I finished my top, Allison showed a very clear photograph how Burda wants you to pin the binding to the V at the front, so I'll just link to her blog post for you to see.  I trimmed the neckline seam allowance on the pattern to 1/4" before cutting out the fabric so I could pin the binding directly to the neckline's raw edge and it made it easier.
And I have not put in the crochet belt loops yet.  Still deciding if I want them or not.  Right now the belt stays in place nicely without them.  Burda included the instruction for the belt loops with the pattern instructions and I've also found a picture tutorial on the Burda site you can find here.
And how incredibly lucky am I!!!  A very sweet family member surprised me with my very own labels.  She had the printing company download my blog logo to create these for me.  Love!!
So to answer the question from the beginning.... yes, methinks ruffles can be sporty when wearing the Ottobre white pants , tennis shoes and a hat hiding a bad-hair-day, but can see this top easily transforming into a romantic, feminine top with the right skirt and shoes.  Super comfortable, lots of wearable options..... this pattern will definitely be made again!  So maybe I have become a fan of ruffles after all.
The Ox-eye Daisies are in glorious bloom right now.  These are wildflowers that I transplanted to this front island area and they've spread each year.  One of my favorite blooms.
Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)




UPDATED 4.29.2018: Wanted to show this pretty top all dressed up.  Worn to church this morning with the Yoshiko Tsukiori jacket and heavily modified Megan Nielsen Axel Skirt.  Such a versatile top!!

4.02.2018

Easter Dress 2018 | Ottobre Design Woman 02/2015 no. 4 Sheath Dress

Do you ever want to cry, as a project you've envisioned comes to 'life' in a perfectly perfect way for you?  And you only realize it when it is complete?  That's exactly how I felt when I finished this dress.  I simply wanted to cry!  With joy!
This year I wanted to sew more 'fitted' garments.....  and more 'quality-made' garments....
..... and after falling in love with this beautiful floral watercolor print, made of humble calico, 100% cotton, (basically quilting cotton)..... I knew immediately it must be made using the Ottobre Design Woman 02/2015 no. 4 Sheath Dress pattern.  My notes show it was traced February 2016, so it's a pattern I've clearly been wanting to make for a while.  I traced a size 38 and this dress was made with no modifications.  Fabric purchased at Hobby Lobby, as was the satin/crepe lining fabric.  It is fully lined.
Fully lined, the lining gives the dress structure and affords a luxurious wear with a streamlined skimming of the body.  Words cannot express how comfortable this dress is.  During the construction process, the dress lay completely different on my body to such a degree I was worried that I'd made a huge mistake in choosing this pattern and had messed up somewhere on the side seams.  Forging on..... believing the lining would smooth everything out (literally and figuratively!).... am so glad I did because it was oh-so-worth it and I am greatly pleased.  Again, used Lucky Sew and Sew's fantastic tutorial 'Lining a Sleeveless Sheath Dress by Machine'.
May I say I am ever so proud of not only how the front seams line up, but also the back!  Top of invisible zip meets evenly.... and no puckers at the bottom of the zip!
Back view showing invisible zip line in the middle and how the bodice princess seams match up perfectly with the adjoining skirt princess(?) seams.  This is where quilting comes in handy to feeling comfortable matching seams.
A big Thank You to Diane at Dream.Cut.Sew, who so generously shares many great tips at her blog, who also recently showed how to offset the invisible zip seamlines ever so slighty where they 'meet', to not pucker.   This is my first dress I've put an invisible zip in that did not pucker and that I did not have to un-pick and re-do multiple times.  I apologize I could not find Diane's direct post with her great photo, but hope mine will do, below.  I first sewed the invisible zip..... then changing to a regular zip foot, pinned this 'meeting place' very carefully, and beginning at the bottom..... stitched up and ended here, slightly offsetting.  EDITED TO ADD:  the link to take you directly to Diane's awesome  tutorial complete with lots of photos.
Thought it'd add a whimsical touch to cover the serged hemline, with yellow gingham bias binding left over from the Pilvi Jacket last year, before machine stitching a blind hem.  Super love the way this turned out.  I'd made yards and yards of the stuff, (think quilt binding quantity!) not fully realizing how little a garment actually uses..... so yes!... more will be popping up in my posts as I sew through the pile.  Good thing it's cute!  ;)   The last hemming stitch was stitched late Saturday afternoon for my new dress to be worn to church Easter Sunday, all to find my daughter did not feel well Sunday morning, so we all stayed home to be with her.  And that was the right thing to do.  Also in the photo below, is part of the lining hem.  This was simply serged, rolled twice into a 'narrow hem' and top-stitched in place  Experience is showing with how even the 'rolling' is, coupled with the even stitching.  Nice to be becoming 'experienced'.... finally!!!
Still feel like such a newbie sometimes though.  For instance..... in Ottobre's instructions, she has you serging or zigzagging all edges of garment pieces before starting to construct the garment.  This gave me such pause, because the front bodice princess seams have a pretty severe curvature and I was concerned about how to snip and/or grade those seams to lay well.  But no worries, again, blindly forging ahead and giving in to the process (i.e. instructions), all seams lay well with no grading or snipping and are pressed to the center front and center back respectively.  Treated the lining fabric the very same.
And finally!  I can tell sweet, ever patient, ever supportive Sarah Liz, that my March Make a Garment a Month plans were made and COMPLETED in March!  Yes!!  :)
Looking forward to wearing my new dress as a 'sporty look'.....
..... as well as a more 'formal look'.
Paired with the BurdaStyle 01/2016 #120 Reversible Jacket
Happy Sewing All!   :)
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