Winter Has Left the Building
Seriously I think we had 2 weeks of winter here in Southern California. Not that I’m complaining. Depending on the day it’s feels like Spring or Summer has arrived. I’ve been looking for thin cardigan to throw on on “chilly” nights. The SBCC Limoncello cardigan was just what I was looking for. It was available in PDF so I could make it quickly before the winter decides to come back. I finished everything but the hemming in one night. Hemming and pressing the next night and I was dancing around it. The fabric was gifted to me by my friend Raye Ann. I think she said she got it at Rimmon Fabrics in LA. I felt bad about taking so much fabric from her but I’m glad I did. I had to recut the front numerous times due to repeated user error. There was no wine involved so I’m not sure what my issue was.
I made 1 size smaller due to the more stretchiness of my fabric. I lengthen the sleeves to about elbow length/half sleeve. I prefer 3/4 sleeve but it just didn’t look right with the length of the cardigan. Lastly I eliminated the back neck bias trim and made a facing. I thought the trim added too much bulk for my very thin fabric. It wouldn’t finish the garment as cleanly. To make the back facing I traced the back piece and cut across almost like making a yoke. When I sewed it I sandwiched the front pieces in between. Sorry I don’t have any pics of the steps but it’s very common method of attaching a facing.
I was worried the extra layer would show through but it doesn’t if it’s laying flat.
I really like the swingy-ness of the back. Speaking of swingy-ness…
This is my best shot and an action shot. Getting the timer, swinging action and my face to coordinate was a challenge.
Happy Lunar New Year
For anyone celebrating the Lunar New Year, I wish you a year of sewing success. Chúc mừng năm mới. That’s happy new year in Vietnamese.
Impending Bra Doom! Eek!!
About 2 years ago I made my first bra. It was the Pin-Up Girls Anita foam cup bra. Even then I knew that I needed a dozen more to replace my aging RTW bras. I use to buy bras at the Victoria Secret during their Semi-Annual Sale. When I say “buy” it was more like binge buying. I hate shopping so I just stocked up; buying up any bras that were my size and style just so I wouldn’t need to shop again for a long time. Now another 2 years later (that’s 4 years for those counting) all of my bras are on their last leg… all at the same time. Binge buying bites me in the butt.
The Search for Bra Do-dads
My first bra I didn’t wear that much until recently when bras where dying left and right and I had no choice. They didn’t fit right and I hated the foam cup that was designed for the pattern. I still love foam cup bras like the Victoria Secret T-shirt bras so I decided to give the Pin-Up Girls Anita and Amanda foam cup patterns another try. I slowly started amassing bra do-dads. I picked up components from random places in the LA garment district, the swap meet, on-line and from other sewists’ stashes. Finding the right foam cups and getting all the components in coordinating colors was a huge challenge. I know some sewists dye but it’s too messy for me. So I ended up picking fabric that have multiple colors i.e. multiple matching opportunities. This really worked for me and relieved me of the stress of trying to match everything.
Let the Binge Sewing Begin
First up: black knit with white and yellow large polka dots. The fabric was leftovers from this maxi dress. I love using up scraps. I was able to use white powernet since I covered it with the polka dot fabric. For straps I used pre-made white and yellow straps. The underwire channel is beige but who cares. No one will see it. I was making myself crazy looking for matching components when it was so unnecessary. This is the bra on invisible me. It has the nice clean lines of a t-shirt bra. *I’m not sure who to credit invisible bra person to. I think it was either Sandra from Brown Paper Pattern or Kathy from Kathy Sews. It was brilliant.*
Forgot to mention that I put a dart in the fabric because my fabric didn’t have enough stretch. Since the dart is under the bust I don’t see it under my clothes.
Next up: White fabric with tiny black polka dots. I bought a small bit of this fabric for a dalmatian plush puppy. I ended up not using it when I found this perfect dalmatian fabric.
Back to the bra… I had bought a very small amount of the now unused white dotted fabric, so it’s been sitting in my scraps pile. Since bras don’t take that much fabric, it was perfect. I used self fabric for the straps with a small length of pre-made straps in the back for adjust-ability. I had black picot elastic so I trimmed the cups and straps.
And finally: green lace with beige and white flowers. The lace was left over from my lace undies sewing binge. I bought the lace in the LA Garment district. The straps are fold-over elastic with some nice (read: not that stiff, thick stuff from JoAnns) clear elastic in between. I stitched the layers together using a long swiggle stitch. Since matching the lace pattern wastes a lot of lace I wasn’t able to make a lacy strap or to cover the back band with lace.
I think I’ve delayed Bra-megeddon for a little bit. I still have lots more bra sewing to do. Since I’ve tweaked this pattern to my liking, I’m planning to just sew up an arm load. I hadn’t notice how awfully cheap my VS ones were. The fabric is glued to the cups. The bands are filmsy fabric. The fit wasn’t quite right. So needless to say, I’m very happy with these me-made bras.
Link to my pattern review.
Happy Bra Sewing,
The One and Only Jalie Jeans
There has been gazillion makes of the Jalie Jeans starting from a few years ago. A few like.. uhh.. 5 or 6 years ago. But hey I hear from Oh Crafty One Jill that bootcut jeans are coming back so I’ll be on trend…soon.
Being comfortable is always on trend in my book. So I made these with jegging fabric which is a super comfy knit that looks like denim. (Am I fooling anyone?) I eliminated the zipper because it’s stretchy enough to pull on.
Back Pockets!! Ahhh!!
All my attention to detail to topstitching and making look like jeans and I blow it on the back pockets. I might have not transfer the pocket placement onto my tracing. I also might have just decided to wing it and plopped it down somewhere in the butt region. Unfortunately I didn’t check the placement until the waistband was sewed on.
Oh man. They’re way too low. Past my butt low. Here’s a close up of the horror show.
Yes, I can unpick it and resew. I’m just afraid the cheapy fabric won’t make it through the unpicking. Another option is to wear long shirts. Or we can just laugh and make gangsta pants jokes like Mr Detective Houndstooth and I did last night. LOL
Bonus Content: Back Pocket Topstitching
One thing I did do right was the topstitching design on the back pocket. I traced the pattern onto very thin gift wrap tissue paper. I pinned this on the pocket fabric and stitched through both layers. Because the tissue is super thin it tore off easily.
I like the pants. I applied a lot of my fitting changes from the SBCC Manhattan trousers. I’ll definitely make another pair. This one without absurd thigh pockets. Link to my Pattern Review.
High Fashion or Hi-larious?
I’m not really sure about this coat. My IRL sewing friend and coat sewing phenom (seriously all her coats are gorgeous) Caroline thinks it’s reminiscence of early Vivienne Westwood. I think it’s a bit much with the print AND the colors AND the collar. Some days I feel like a clown wearing it. On the other hand, it’s so super comfy that I’ve been wearing so often I think I need another… in a solid.. obviously. The collar feels like a cozy built in scarf. I think I need to speak to a sewing therapist about this. What? There’s no such thing?!!
Some Words of Advice from a non-qualified Sewing Therapist
Well, I figured since no one was doing this sewing therapist gig, I’d give it a try.
- Advice #1: Collar Orientation: The ruffle collar is taller on one side than the other. The instructions have you putting the shorter side up and longer side down. It definitely looked clownish. I turned it upside down, longer side up, and it looked a bit more high fashion.
- Advice #2: Hand Sew Ruffle. Sounds like more work but you’re dealing with 4 layers of fleece and there’s little to guide you to get the center of the ruffles right on the edge of the neckline. I was 100% sure I would end up angrily unpicking fleece and cursing. I stitched the back of the ruffle to the front of the neckline so there was no guessing.
- Advice 3: Check the sleeve length. It’s too short for what I would call sorta stumpy arms. The long sleeve shirt I’m wearing underneath is about 2″ longer. I could have unpicked the cuff and cut a longer cuff but I thought it would look weird and it would involve the unpicking and swearing I was trying to avoid in Advice #1. Not sure what terrible pose I was trying in this pic but it works great for demonstrating the too short sleeves.
- Advice #4: Print Match the Lazy Way. If I didn’t pick a print, this coat would have been super easy. Since I had a feeling that the coat would end up not that great, I decided to do lazy print matching. First you cut out one of the pattern pieces from your fashion fabric. Fold up the seam allowance that you’re trying to match and pin. Laid it down on the fabric where the print would be continuous and put down the next piece matching the seam lines and cut.
Look at this print matching.
- Advice #5: Skip the Print. In this style I think a solid or a small pattern would look better. It would also be much speedier.
Well, how did I do? Do I have a future dispensing sewing advice? Probably not but that was fun for a moment.
Link to my pattern review.