There is nothing worse than feeling hot, sticky and uncomfortable during the warmer months! And though we might not be able to change the weather, we can certainly change the way we show up during spring/summer 2018. Carefully picking your garments based on their fabrics – is a great way to stay cool while mister sun is out doing his thang.

Just like people are reading labels to learn what they are putting in their bodies, you should be reading your clothing tags (and product descriptions) to see what you’re putting on your body. Just by doing that, you can predetermine whether a garment is good for spring or summer. You might think that you can tell by a garment’s appearance whether the fabric is going do you justice on a sunny day at the park, but because some shops generally use a combination of materials in their garments  (eg. 50% cotton – what’s the other 50% made of?) – you can’t always be sure. Oh, and just because an item feel soft to the touch, does not mean it will wear well in the summer.

As a fellow shopper and seamstress, I wanted to hook you up with the bits I know about spring/summer appropriate fabrics.There are so many to choose from, but in this post, we’re focusing on the basics – which you probably wear often. Besides these fabrics being commonplace, I don’t think we’re using them to our advantage!

Four woven fabrics (non-stretchy fabrics) you need in your wardrobe this summer

Cotton

Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the seedpod of the cotton plant and is used to make many fabric types at every price point. The fiber is hollow in the center and, under the microscope, resembles a twisted ribbon. Cotton can be knit or woven into cloth. The two most common weaves for cotton are the plain and twill weave. A plain weave produces fabrics like gingham, percale, chambray and broadcloth. A twill weave is more durable and is found in denim, khaki and gabardine. Satin weave is less common with cotton fibers because it’s a little dressier, but it is found in high-sheen cottons like sateen. – sewing.org

Cotton is great for summer because it absorbs moisture – which is a big help for people who sweat a lot.  It will naturally keep you cool and comfortable – a win in my books. The downside with cotton is that it will shrink and can yellow when left in sun for long periods of time.  This can be remedied by following the recommended wash instructions and maintaining your clothing well. Cotton does not drape but there are so many variants that you should be able to find cotton in a design you love. I love gingham prints.

 

Rayon

Rayon Challis (pronounced sha-lee) is a lightweight, semi-synthetic woven fabric. Often this apparel fabric is referred to simply as rayon. Rayon is a man-made fiber but is comprised of natural fibers. Thus, rayon challis is the perfect fabric for warm weather clothing. Rayon challis is 100% rayon. –indiesews.com

Rayon has a great drape and flows well – perfect for spring and summer looks at an affordable price point. Rayon doesn’t absorb as well as cotton, so it’s best worn in dry heat. Rayon is available in a number of colors so you should be able to get the look you want without compromising on the colors you love. This 100% rayon skirt comes with the instruction to dry clean only – so again, read your labels!

 

 

Linen

When I think of linen I think of a Frankie Beverly summer concert… Before I let you gooooooooooooooooooo …okay well anyways! I think most people avoid linen for a very obvious reason: it creases!

It’s all a part of the look and if you hate to iron, get yourself a steamer or lightly spray your linen garment with water and wipe over the creases with your hands. Personally, I prefer linen blends because it gives me the benefits of linen without as much wrinkle! If you do want to give linen a shot, try linen fabrics in structured pieces to balance out the crease factor.

The main benefit (of linen) in hot weather is the coolness they provide. Thanks to the weave and linen fiber specifics linen fabric allows more airflow and it’s structure means it stays away from your skin allowing better airflow over your body. Linen is a “stiff” fabric and is less likely to cling to the skin; when it billows away, it quickly dries out and becomes cool again. Summer clothes made of linen possess high air permeability, which allows air to flow through the fabric easily and allows the body to breathe. – linenme.com

 

Summer Blends

Summer blends are the examples listed above but mixed together. Summer blends including cotton, polyester, spandex, nylon & rayon are great in humid conditions because they kinda repel moisture -when blending of fabrics is done well the good qualities of each fabric emphasized – minimizing the poor qualities. So you can use the list above to find your perfect summer blend. The dress below is 61% linen and 39% cotton.

Which fabrics will you be wearing during the summer months?

 

Image result for May

Can you believe that it’s May already? I’m excited about the warm weather – summer is around the corner! Yay!

Here’s a quick recap from April:

  • I did not sew as much
  • I did buy a lot of fabric – don’t judge! I was emotional!
  • I made a prom dress – which took a lot of my time.
  • My spring jacket is still waiting to be muslin (practice garment).
  • I have also decided what I would like to focus on sewing wise until the beginning of summer.

May/June Sewing Focus

I would like to focus on shirt-dress making, which will be new for me. I’m a little nervous, I have never bought a ready-to-wear (store bought) shirt dress, that fit. They were either too big or too small.

June Shirtdress | $110

women's belted shirtdress - women's dresses

Articleand.com/J Crew (Photo sources)

I know I will have to make adjustments to the patterns so my list of  14 shirt dresses and (2), I discovered today may only end up being 4, lol. But I do have a list that I will try to work through by late fall. I won’t bore you with the list of patterns I am using but it includes a couple McCall’s patterns, some Simplicity and a couple from Vogue.

Some of the adjustments, I know I will have to make will be:

  1. Full bust adjustment (patterns are mostly made based on a b cup, making a full bust adjustment allows for a better fit in the bust area, without sizing up the entire pattern which tends to make it to big in other areas)
  2. Bicep adjustment (adjustment to sleeve pattern for larger arms; increases room in the sleeve)
  3. Swayback adjustment (removing the excess fabric that sometimes pools in the dip of the back)
  4. Hopefully, I can grade for hips (smoothing out the pattern lines, sizing up a size for more room in the hips)

I’m noticing that I’m having to take out a lot of fabric in my center back in my knit dress dresses so I’m assuming this will transfer over to woven. However I have not yet been able to locate in my pattern adjusting books what this adjustment is called, its right at the center of back from the top to about 4 inches in, I need to scoop on average 2 inches out. So if you know what I’m talking about and what adjustment I will need please let me know.

I’m excited about the next couple weeks, my list is long and I probably will only get 4 done but I will extend the shirtdress making depending on how things go.

Suggestions/Recommendation Requested?

Before I go, I’m interested in getting some slopers done, I know there are some online classes I could take but I’m interested in a hands-on class. If you know of any, please let me know. Right now I’m eyeing attending Kenneth King Moulage Class, they take place in August and October. During August the class is hosted in Washington and during October it is in New York. This will be considered my annual trip because with the 3 day class, along with travel and lodging expenses its a pretty penny. So I am considering alternatives.

Well, that’s it for now,

Until next time,

Sew On!!

 

Happy Easter weekend

I’m currently revamping the blog so bare with me while I make some changes. So you all know that I’ve been trying to reduce my pattern stash and I had reduced it greatly. But now with this haul I’m back to 500+

My goal is to stay under 500 patterns. One thing I did notice when I went through my patterns is I don’t really have a lot of blouse patterns, so I did pick up some during this pattern haul.

I did purchase two sew over it blouse patterns. And I will be honest I do not like taping patterns together. But decided to give it a go This weekend I tried to make the pussy bow blouse pattern and it was a fail. I cut a size 18 based on the garment finished measurements

Bust 46 (my measurement is 44.5)

Waist 44.5 (waist 37-38)

Hem 51 (Hips 50)

It was to little. I think even moving up to a 20 it still wasn’t going to be a flattering fit. So I tossed it. I do hate I used my good fabric lol should have did a Muslin (practice fit garment)

I have two other patterns from this company, I don’t plan to make them anytime soon maybe later in the Fall. When I feel like during a Muslin.

Oddly enough I end up picking up to Burda patterns that are similar to the Sew Over It styles I wanted so I’m hoping they work out better. Now time to discuss the pattern haul!

McCall’s Pattern Haul

McCalls 7745 Summer wrap dress You know I love my wrap dresses I got this for View B. View D to me is a Vogue dupe that was released last spring

 

McCalls 7747 I got for View B also I just love it

McCalls 7752 want the base pieces to mix with Another pattern

One jumpsuit pattern from McCall’s 7728,

 

 

more wrap dresses

My Sew Over it pussy bow replacement Yes Burda 6476 Is a sweater pattern lol and it’s spring time but this is the Midwest sweaters year round lol My Sew Over it Anderson Blouse replacement

Some Burda skirts

I also picked up a coat pattern a recommended dupe to another pdf pattern I was looking at

And lastly some dresses that wait for it!… are not wrap dresses

Lastly my Simplicity patterns

Well I may have gone overboard with this haul but Burda only goes on sale 2-3 times a year so I took advantage!

Now I just need to stay focus and so

Well until next time Sew on!!!

via GIPHY

I am back from the vacation, and I had plans for this evening, so I wanted to make something quick and easy.

I thought about McCall’s 7688 View E.

I pulled out a few sweater knits, and decided on this houndstooth, from Fabric Mart. I have been holding on this since probably 2014. I wanted some pants, out of it, but all the patterns I wanted to use, needed more than the 2 yards I had. So it has sat and sat. But today I cut this baby up.

Now I was a little scared because I really didnt want to waste this fabric.

I  knew I was taking a risk by changing the neckline but I truly despise the high neckline McCall’s pattern tend to have. I cut out the size Large, and graded to XL for the hips.

I did see a lot of reviews for this pattern, and noted that the bottom was unfinished, some people see to have some stress lines around the bust. And I thought the casing for the front hit the bust spot awkwardly. Maybe because the apex is higher than my bust line.

I made the following changes to this pattern:

1. Changed the neckline to a boat neck, I thought about a scoop neck but wanted a clean look, with the main details being the casing. So I went with a boat neck.

2. I added a half inch at the bust line, on each side, grading to nothing at the at side.

3. Took off a inch on the sleeve near the bottom, each side.

4. Accidentally took of  inches off the cuff each side (meant to take off 1/2 inch)  So it fits tightly but nicely just have to take my time getting it off.

5. Cut center back seam, to help eliminate some of the excess fabric that hits me midback.

6. Added piping to the shoulder seam, arm seam and cuff seam

7. Added bias binding, to the bottom. added bias binding to casing, used faux leather for casing.

8. Move casing down 1 inch

This is View E of course, I thought about making this with the hood, but I wanted a more polish look so I went with the boat-neckline.

Final Thoughts

I think that’s it. I love it. I was planning on going somewhere tonight but my plans got cancelled, so maybe I will get to wear it in a week or two.

PS: I didn’t gain any weight on my vacation, lol.

 

McCalls 7688/M7688 View E Modified

 

McCalls 7688/M7688 Neckline modification

 

McCall’s 7688/M7688 View E Piping details

 

McCall’s 7688 piping on the cuff

 

 

McCalls 7688/M7688 Casing

 

McCall’s 7688/M7688  Ribbon casing

 

 

So I open up my fabric closet this morning, looking for fabric, and came across some fabric I have been hoarding for awhile. Purchased from Hancock Fabrics. Not sure what dress I had in mind when I purchased it but I grabbed McCall’s 7121. I had made the pattern when I first started sewing, however the waist had issues, so its still in the closet to be altered. The fabric is  lighweight crotchet style knit. It sewed up easily, of course it does holes in the design. I plan to wear a slip/cami underneath.

No changes to the pattern was made, I did use bias binding on the sleeve, the fabric has these medallions, and I wanted to use that as the hem. So I extended the pattern pieces by 4 inches, and cut out the hem around the medallion give it a scallop finish. I also put the elastic in the waist, did not encase it.
It looked nice without the elastic but looks wonderful with.I’m not sure if I will make anything else for my trip. However I am traveling from Frozen Midwest to warmer weather, I don’t plan on wearing my winter coat so I may make a cardigan or something. We shall see.

Well until next time sew on….

McCalls 7121/McCall 7121  Front detail

McCall’s 7121 Skirt portion
McCall’s 7121

Let me start off by saying I made this pattern 3x.
The first one, the dress has been trashed, the second dress is a house dress, and the third dress is the dress that you will see today. This pattern is suppose to be a beginner pattern, and maybe it is and I’m just a little slow but I hated the gathering on this dress.

The waist is to be encased, and I tried that the first time, it was horrible, so I applied the elastic directly to the seam, I saw this option on Maggie Elaine’s instagram. It worked of course my sewing machine was acting up at that time, so its not the neatest. And even though, I said I wouldn’t make this pattern again, EVER the waist part gave me the blues. Guess what I’m doing or maybe the time I post this I would have done. I’m making it again.

So I did make this dress again, view C and well I will say this isn’t the best pattern. It has potential and can be manipulated to your liking but I don’t think its a great beginner pattern.
Making the 4th final version issues I ran into was how the front and back pieces met at the inner shoulder seam.

It didn’t curve along the body, but outward, I thought that I had made an error when cutting the pattern checked the pieces and no its how the pattern pieces were made.

This pattern being successful is also dependent on the fabric you use. I did use a knit however it some structure to it, so the turning over to hem the neckline didn’t look nice. So I undid it and went to the store and got some stretch elastic, I decided at the last minute to change the neckline to a V.

I also added pockets both dresses have pockets.
Last version I added 4 inches to the hem, I think the other version I may have added a inch or forgot I can’t recall.
Making the sleeveless version the arm holes are to high, so I cut off about an inch,
Again the pattern has potential but as a beginner pattern, it isn’t the greatest to me.

But I have two dresses now, and this pattern now goes to drawer, for  a long long time lol.
 First dress fabric from Amazon/Telio

McCall’s 7561/M7561

McCall’s 7561/M7561

McCall’s 7561/M7561 skirt detail

McCall’s 7561/M7561 Pockets Yay

Second dress fabric from Joann’s Fabric Store/Nicole Miller

McCall’s 7561/M7561
McCall’s 7561/M7561 back details

Well until next time….. Sew on….

Happy Thursday

I am officially on vacation, last night I finished this dress. I will say I love this dress, but not sure if it will make this vacation, or if I will leave it for the summer.
The lemon print, is from Gertie lines with joann’s very popular a few summers ago, I think I orginally bought it to make that, Dolce jumpsuit. But decided not to. I wrestle with making McCall’s 6558 or Vogue 9253, in a mini Version of A. I decided to go with McCall’s 6558. I also wasnt sure if I wanted the whole dress the lemon print. So I used this open weave mesh I had got from fabric mart. It was one of those I don’t know what it is but I’m ordering it deal. Then when I got it. I’m like what the heck is this mess.

But I used it for the bodice, so the bodice is see through, but the ruffle covers it a lot. However I do like how it broke up the print. The dress is really a statement piece.  And we shall see if it makes it on the trip. I cut the 18, and graded to 22 at the hips. I didst encase the elastic at the waist just added it to the seam line, it works but probably would have drawn the dress in more had I encased it. But since the bodice material is so fine, I didn’t want to wrestle with the two different textures to encase it.

The bottom skirt, is suppose to have gather fringe part on the outside, but since I was using the cotton fabir and no serger etc to clean up the edge I sewed the skirt to the inside.

It sorta gives me a feel of that banana lady, but its pretty to me. lol

Well that is it for now. Off to cut out a pattern before the movies.

Until next time sew on.

McCalls 6558/McCall’s 6558
McCalls 6558/McCall’s 6558

McCall’s 6558

Hey

So remember all those wonderful plans I had for the month of February, well they have all went out the door. I do not have a black panther outfit. However I’m going to the 11pm showing so I dont feel to bad. But I just did not plan accordingly, although I would like to point out with I was without a machine for a little bit. And had a couple days were I couldn’t sew once I had it.

I did not make a Valentine’s dress. The fabric I had, I took out and was like uhhh no, I will not make a dress with this. These shall be joggers. So I’m going to where something in my closet. I have two dresses I am narrowing it down to. Valentine’s Day isn’t anything big to me because it is so close to my birthday. However I do like to say Happy Valentine’s Day. And also they day after candy goes on sale and I love some chocolate.

Anyways so, now that my February plans are toss to the side, I am going on vacation next week. So the next few days I will be sewing up items to go for that trip. There is a meme floating around social media, and it caption, how woman pack for vacation, it had several wigs, shoes, and outfits, matched to the day. Well that is not me. If I could get away with making the same dress 5x I would. As long as I like it, its comfortable, I feel amazing in it, I will take it.

I do plan to only take 1 suitcase with me a carry on. I have decided to focus on only a few colors, color coordinated vacation, we shall call it. Colors are blue, yellow, black. I only plan to take a few accessories, maybe 2 pair of shoes but everything will go together and fit nicely in this one suitcase. So today I made outfit 1. I need at least 4,  I do have a dress that fits the color scheme that I could wear, but I want to save it for another occasion we shall see.

I’m on that RTW Fast, I was tempted to break it and just go buy clothes, but I need to save my money and use some of these hundreds of yards of fabric I have.

Today skirt is, New Look 6381 Very easy sew.  The skirt has a lot of ease in it. So I ended up making the 16, it has an encased elastic. I used a no roll elastic, when I tried on the skirt without the elastic it felt great. I did add the elastic anyways, and love the way it looked. I added a slit, inspired by a New York and Company skirt worn by Gabrielle Union.
Fabric is from fabric mart.

New Look 6381

New Look 6381

For the top I knew I wanted a yellow top, it took me over a year to find this fabric, it has the right feel, and weight. Purchased online from the surge fabric shop.
I used Simplicity 8424. I think I wanted to make a Large however there is a error with the pattern pieces, and I didn’t feel like trying to estimate where the line should be for the Large on the front piece. So I cut the XL. It’s a little to big in the lower portion, I think I should have did the a Large.

Simplicity 8424

I didn’t prewash this fabric so I’m going to throw it in the washer machine and hope it shrinks some. I think I rather have this to small and just throw something underneath.
I don’t know if I could recommend this pattern. I may toss it, the other pieces for the pattern are not most makes for me.

I did not use the elastic in the neckline but used some knit stabilizing tape. I also added a few inches to the ties, which I could have done without.

I wish this pattern worked better me because I could use a lot of these tops in the summer time, I do have a Gertie wrap topped I wanted to give a try. Maybe that one will work better.

New Look 6381 & Simplicity 8424

 Well that is it for now, back to vacation sewing

Until next time Sew On

Happy Friday!!!

NEW SEWING MACHINE

Well first thing, I did get a new sewing machine. I went with Ks Sews from http://dressmakingdebacles.blogspot.com/ suggestion. I picked up the Singer Quantum Stylist 9985. I have not used it. It did come Monday, there will be a learning curve because its different from my brother’s machine. But I have the manual out and hoping to get it threaded in a couple hours. I have things that need to be made. And the clock is ticking.
It is nice getting a machine that someone else has that you trust, that way if you get stuck you can ask for help. I will say shopping for sewing machines can be overwhelming at times. And it seems that a lot of manufacturers cater to the quilter, over the garment maker, when it comes to features on machines.

SERGER ISSUES

My serger is still in the shop no word from the repair shop, so that can’t be good. I am over my budget for the year for sewing equipment. Although a new machine wasn’t in the budget either so I’m hoping that my serger can be saved. I am an avid rummage sale fanatic so this spring and summer I will keep my eye out for a second serger.

PATTERNS
Simplicity spring patterns are out. Nothing to rush out and get.
Didn’t like Mimi G patterns this spring. Although she did make her pattern 8611 in a lace, on Instagram and I thought it was very pretty. But the pattern I don’t need for myself. On one of her stories a couple months back she stated she had an awesome fall pattern coming out, so I shall look to see what she release in the fall.



Simplicity Pattern 8609 Misses' Skirts and Knit Tops

I like this pattern, the tops, although I have a tummy so we shall see by summer if I’m willing to wear this. Again nothing I will picking up this month or next month. Just a mental note. Simplicity 8609 #8609

Simplicity Pattern 8604 Misses' and Petites' Jacket

I do like this pattern but I cant wait, or pass all together. Simplicity 8604

Simplicity Pattern 8595 Misses' Knit Dresses

I might pick this up in a later month on the 99 cent sales. Its a basic Maxi dress pattern. I don’t think I need it because I have 1 or 5 lol already but its a good pattern I think for someone just starting out to get patterns. Simplicity 8595


                                               INDIE PATTERNS


Helen’s Closet released a new pattern this week. I sort of want but I’m not sure. I did want her blackwood cardigan pattern but that’s 14.00 and the legging pattern she released is 11.90. So that would be 25.00 for two patterns. Pretty steep for me. I thought about asking for it for a birthday gift. I have a few vintages patterns I want, and I could get like 5 of them for 25.00.

The new pattern is a legging pattern, and I know a couple weeks ago I went on a vent about the never ending independent pattern makers, and the repeated styles. lol
So yes this is a legging pattern, why I’m interested in it is because
It has no side seams. It has a crotched gusset and is high waist. But 12.00 dollars I shall think about, or just get the cardigan.
Avery Leggings

Blackwood Cardiganhttps://helenscloset.ca/product/blackwood-cardigan-pdf-pattern/

WELL UNTIL NEXT TIME SEW ON
Edit- I just found another legging pattern that doesn’t have side seams. So maybe its a common option, this one is 7.95
http://ellieandmac.com/womens-urban-legs-shorts-legging-pattern/