I finally finished my first piece from my fall 6PAC.
This is HotPatterns Fit to Be Tied (Tie me down) shirt.
I really like the pattern. However, about halfway through the project, I tried it on and felt I really wanted it 3-4 inches longer. It fit. It was fine. But it would have hung in the back of the closet unless I could fix it.
Thankfully, the most recent Threads magazine cover story way about adding variety to your favorite shirt pattern. One option was to add cut the bottom off and make a "hem" that runs cross grain. This was shown with a stripe.
I don't know if I would do this pattern in a stripe again because of the curve of the stripe due to the gathers. But it worked for me this time. The additional length was added with bias stripes of fabric. I'm quite pleased with my solution.
The plan apparently started for people who wanted to do the SWAP (sewing with a plan) but needed a more realistic pace.
The 6 PAC (6 piece autumn collection) is just that--6 items of clothing that all fit together and fit into your wardrobe.
I'm working with these 4 fabrics. (So far.) The grey and white print is actually a blouse in progress on chubby. It's the grey and cream and white cotton lawn. I am making HotPatterns' Fit to Be Tied Shirt. In my head, I keep calling it the Tie Me Down shirt. I don't know what Freud would make of that one!
The floral with is tan and gold and lavender is also a cotton lawn. This will be another Tie Me Down shirt. It will also match some goldy-tan slacks I already own.
The smokey lavender is denim I picked up at Field's Fabrics in Kalamazoo a couple weeks ago. I have 5 yards of this. I am definitely making a jacket. I am thinking a jacket with a separating zipper. I am going back and forth about the pattern. Maybe Hariku from burdastyle or one from Burda Plus magazine from a few years back. I will have enough leftover fabric for a skirt. Maybe pants. But I don't think I'd ever wear the jacket and matching skirt together. Too much.
The charcoal grey is RPL from Emma One Sock. I believe I also have 5 yards of this. This will be Vogue 1051. The Alice and Olivia pants. I may make a blazer too. That I would wear together.
This isn't really 6 pieces yet. I am a bit unsure. I really need jackets and blouses. I do have more knits.
This is the latest sunshine top from HP. I copied the idea from another blogger whose name escapes me now. She did it better. But I am happy. And I love the color.
Finally, I am leaving for Goddess Weekend tomorrow. And I have two, count 'em two, tankinis. And it is possible it won't be swimming weather. Whatever.
Here are the tops. The both are built with old bras. I am pretty pleased with the results. The black one has solid black bottoms and I made a matching bottom for the blue.
I've spent the last couple weeks working on bathing suits. Mostly, tankinis.
I have taken photos, but haven't gotten them off the camera yet. Coming soon.
The first one, I had an old bra the underwire came out of. I used the bra as a foundation for the tankini top. I bought a yard of fabric. It's a black floral print that matches the black tankini bottoms I already have. I really like how it turned out.
Nothing will make you feel unattractive faster than walking around in a bathing suit where the twins are hanging around your waist.
You know, like this:
Then I had purchased 1.5 yards of an appropriate bathing suit fabric on Joann's sale rack. I made bottoms from a Jalie's panty pattern--lined with lightweight power mesh. And then started a top based on a pattern downloaded from Burdastyle.com. But I didn't like how it fit in the bust and then adjusted. It's still not as supportive as I would like, but will be fab for a short time.
Next weekend I am supposed to go to my one annual girls' outing on Lake Michigan. Mainly, we sit on the beach and talk and wade in the water when we get too hot. And then sit around the campfire at night and talk. I missed it last year. And I really missed it. This is the one girls outing I do all year long.
I don't go out with the girls weekly or monthly. My social network mostly is my nuclear family. And really that is okay because I just happened to marry and/or give birth to 10 of the coolest people on this planet.
But as of today, I am in the midst of a family crisis. Extended family. The in laws specifically.
I have just the teeniest tiniest bit of sewing to do to finish the other tankini top. And technically, I could get by with one. But man I just hate putting on a still damp bathing suit. And if I don't have this done by next weekend, I won't wear a bathing suit again for a year.
But I am so pissed and frustrated and just plain mad, I cannot bring myself to work on this. Or anything else. And I don't know if I will ever stop being angry and frustrated about it. Ever.
Anyway. Please tell me I am not the only person to get in a funk and then completely lose all creative edge. And motivation. I'm not the only one, right?
Oh well. Pictures tomorrow if it kills me.
I have sewn and/or knat for like....................forever.
And this whole time, I've read posts on online boards, (Prodigy, anyone? Anyone?) where people have bemoaned the fact that their skills are unappreciated. People complained that their friends and coworkers just automatically assume the sewer/ knitter will make them socks, sweaters, quilts, whatever.
I have to confess, I scoffed. It seemed ridiculous. Just say no. Tell them you are too terribly busy and important to sew/knit for the likes of them.
In our house, we had the term "sock worthy." While I love my children beyond everything, I told them they were not sock worthy. I.E. they did not take care with their clothing items and I was not about to spend 10-20 hours knitting socks for them if they were not prepared to properly launder them. They have since become sock worthy. Whatever.
But I have to admit. I didn't get it when people complained about friends expecting them to craft for them.
But I do now.
I recently had a dear dear friend hand me a small pile of fabric to make a bag for her, and she also requested 2 slips and a dress and bought additional fabric for another bag.
Now I make 98% of my own clothing. And I have 9 children. Most of these want me to make clothing or accessories for them. So I have beaucoup sewing and knitting projects to fill all my "spare" time."
But I could not tell this friend no.
And the thing is, if I make myself lunch or a snack and one of the kids says, "Mom, can I have your leftovers?" I will make sure that I don't eat it all. I will make sure there are leftovers for this person to have. I nursed my children until they were 16. Okay. Not 16, but into toddlerhood. I nursed them until I wanted to scream,"Please just leave my body alone, do not touch me I need my space." I have shared my body, my food, my sleeping time, my privacy, my inner thoughts, my alone time. It was not always easy, but it is what I feel I, as a mother, should do. I let go any discomfort or whininess. It's not all about me.
But sewing and knitting is the ONE THING I have have given my self permission to be selfish about.
I would feel guilty about not sharing food or time or whatever. But I can sew or knit 5000 items in one year and even if every one of them is for me, it's okay. I don't need to feel guilty for being selfish about that. It's a rule that I CAN be selfish. So it's fine. The rule says that selfishness is fine and acceptable.
Now I do often choose to sew or knit for my DH or my kids. But it's MY choice. I choose the timing, the project, the materials. It's my thing so it's okay.
But during one 28 hour visit, I was given (assigned) five projects. Five. F I V E. I couldn't believe it. I felt like a sucker, a patsy. How did this happen?
First of all, this a friend that I have had for 30 years. Yes, 30. And she was so sweet. And so positive that of course I would want to make these for her. Now, understand, I am not including the other things, like pajamas for her son and things we did not buy materials for. We probably casually discussed 2 or 3 more projects.
But when someone plops fabric in my hands and says, I know this is presumptuous of me, but would you make me (fill in the blank), it really is NOT easy to say, "No, I really don't have time to make this. I know you have already purchased the fabric and you are my oldest dearest friend but I can't let your monetary investment influence me." Or "No, I don't like other people to set my personal agenda. I will choose my projects. Nuff said."
Nevermind that I do have 9 children, 8 of them still living at home and we homeschool and I have a very, very, VERY full schedule.
I feel so stupid to have gotten trapped this way. And I do feel trapped.
Near strangers, casual aquaintences, I have no problem turning down. And I do suck it up and do the occasional project for a friend. But it is so freaking hard when a very close friend hands me dozens (and dozens) of hours of work with the expectation that I am happy clappy to do it for them.
If this wasn't a skill anybody could do it.
My dear sweet second born daughter (child #4) got her first job today. She'll be working in our grocery store. All I want to know is if she'll get an employee discount! LOL! She is sooooo excited! And I am excited and hapyy for her. Way to go, Blythe!
I've been meaning to post this for 2 weeks and just haven't sat down to get it done.
I saw Sham of Communing with Fabric's bag. I can't remember if I saw it on Patten Review or her blog first. I couldn't have made it without her pictures. And I'm going to add mine, and my thoughts for a more complete review.
This is a really cool bag.
But frankly, the pattern write up doesn't do it justice.
You know how sometimes a movie is marketed as a romantic comedy and really it's a family drama with a few comedic moments? So you go to the movie expecting one thing and don't like the movie even though it is a very good movie, it's just not funny and wasn't meant to be.
I kind of feel this way about the write up of the bag. You don't realize until you open up the pattern instructions that it is completely reverable. So if you run across the pattern in the store and then buy your fabric, you might pick an inside fabric not suitable for an outside fabric, you know?
Okay. I used a 100% polyester fabric I got from the sale page at marcytilton.com. It was a gamble fabric. I thought it would still make a nice skirt. Although it is lightweight, it's pretty stiff. The fabric is 2 sided. One side is purple the other is grey. The grey still has purple and the purple side is very strongly purple.
Here is where I think it gets tricky. There are 3 "layers" to this bag.
The outside is shown in the top picture. On my bag it is the intense purple part of the fabric. You have 8 pieces to make the sides, 2 different pattern pieces you cut 4 of each, and a bottom cut out of your main outside fabric.
Then the pattern tells you contast A and contrast B and it doesn't really make it clear which fabric does where. This caused me a lot of frustration with the way the pattern is written. And there are 2 views, view C and view D of this bag and I still don't know what is the difference between them.
In the second picture you see the main middle compartment of the bag. In bag View C, this layer is made up of 1 large pattern piece that you cut two of to make your sides and 1 bottom piece. One of the large pieces has a zippered pocket. If you reverse your bag, this is the side that shows. I will never reverse my bag because my zipper looks like crap. I used the grey side of this two sided fabric on this layer. The pattern refers to this layer as the inset and inset lining.
In the last picture you see the paisley layers sandwiched between the two layers that would be the outside outside or the inside that can be turned to the outside. These layers are always in the middle. This uses pieces called front and back lining and you sew in large pockets which are useful.
I wish the pattern writers or the Head Muckety Mucks at Vogue would have had 1 simple sample bag explaining what is lining what is inset. I would have loved to see Black on outside and red on inside and green sandwiched in between and everything very specifically layered. But they seemed to think you would just know that the inset was the exact middle of the bag and the reversable portion. It was counterintuitive to me. I would have thought the inset to be the pockets between the layers. But I was wrong.
But having said that. I've been carrying for a couple weeks now. I added an inch and a half to the strap length. But I still don't think it will go easily over a winter coat. So if I make it again, I may add a bit more? We'll see. The fabric will wear well I think. So I'm really happy with it. I added a key hook. I hate digging in large purses for my keys so I add this to every one I make.
If you understand how they lable the layers, I really recommend this pattern. Well done, Marcy Tilton!
So my two youngest daughters (12 & 13 yos) and I decided to have a scary film/television program afternoon.
We started by watching Poltergeist and then Toddlers and Tiaras. I don't need to tell you which was more frightening.
Then we checked to see if Ghostbusters was available on instant view. It was not. And my 13 year old actually volunteered to watch Gone With the Wind with me. I never thought she would do that.
Life is good.
Today is July 1st. I cannot express just how thrilled I was to get dressed in junky clothing that may or may not constitute an "outfit." Yes, I made the major pieces. That isn't the point. It was nice to know no one would see it. Frankly, when I awoke we had heat index warnings. Highs in the 90s. And thunderstorms.
The thunderstorms came to pass. But the heat did not. I had to change out of my Colette Sorbetta and into a tee because my shoulders and upper arms were cold.
Did I mention this is JULY FIRST??????
Okay. Me Made June final entries.
'The 29th. The tank top started it's life as a polo shirt for DH. Cut it down. Added darts. Straps are lingerie elastic. Instant tank. And I made the shorts. V1051. I added what I thought was an appropriate inseam length and it looked HORRIBLE! Hense the sloppy rolled up cuffs.
I wanted to go out on a positive note. I made the top--HP Weekender sunshine top and the pants. V1051 again.
I really like that pattern. The last two pairs, I've tried to make the thighs smaller. And that has worked. I needed to wear a pair a few times to really decide this.
Now, a rant.
I started sewing Butterick 5638 today.
I spent all of Sunday tissue fitting this one. Well, not all of Sunday. But it was the only sewing activity I did.
I added to the bust as usual. The pattern piece said the finished waist dimension would be 1/2 inch smaller than my waist measurement. There are few things, IMO, worse than a dress that is tight across your abdomin. Onb so many levels.
So I added about 1/2 inch to the waist in the front and back. I should be 1.5 inches over my actual waist. Not a lot of ease. But it seemed to be the way to make this pattern work. Tissue fitting looked about right. A wee bit snugger in tissue than I want, but fabric is different. I forge ahead. Cut out the pattern.
For once, I got smart. I sewed the princess seams and the back zipper. I sewed the shoulder seams and pressed them open. And I basted the side seams and tried it on.
Like 5 inches too big.
Obviously visually too big.
So I ended up cutting out exactly what I added on and a wee bit more and sewed.
I am still slightly concerned it's big. But it is more like appropriate ease and not just way way too big.
But this has been an on going thing. I adjust for the waist in a variety of patterns from a variety of makers and it is way too big.
Now, I am not an idiot. I can hold a tape measure around my waist and look at what it measures and read the number correctly. I can look at the finished garment measurement in the pattern. I can understand if this number is bigger than my waist or smaller and understand what needs to happen. I know if I add 1/2 inch to the side seams of front and back I am actually adding 2 inches.
But it isn't working. The number some how end up being way way WAY off! And I am starting to really be frustrated and even angry. This is a simple process and I don't know how I am going so terribly wrong.
The final dress will be worn with a belt. Now that I've taken it in, it's still big, but doable. But if I wanted to wear it without the belt, I would really need to re-examine this.
This isn't rocket science!!! Why isn't it working for me????????
A quick update of Me Made June and my thoughts on it.
The 24th, is the Loop Top from Hot Patterns and pants are V1051.
25th-I made the skirt. I don't remember the pattern. I think a New Look but can't be sure. I cut it out years ago, and never got to it. I found the skirt front on the top shelf in craft room, the two back pieces on the bottom shelf and the facings in my bedroom closet????? So I whipped it up a few weeks ago and hadn't worn it yet.
26th, this is a variation of #416B in Burda Plus S/S 2011. In the photo the model is standing on the bottom of the skirt it's so long! I wanted a maxi dress that wasn't too maxi. I want to take stairs without killing myself. I bought a dress last summer that is probably 3 inches longer in the petite department and I still walked around like Guinivere holding my skirts up all the time. I felt so very twee. So it's not as maxi as most people are making/buying now. But right for me. I cut down the widths somewhat so I could avoid the gathers. And I substituted elastic for the draw string. The fabric is from fabric.com and is in the new arrival section. I have enough for a top or tunic also.
27th Lazy day. The old pants of DH's that I cut down and cut off. The top is a muslin trying out a new tee pattern from Burda style. $1 a yard WalMart stuff. Funnily enough, it's wearing better than some of the JoAnn's knits.
28th. The top is HP Weekender Sunshine top and the skirt is from Sew Serendipity. The pink is from an old linen tablecloth. There is contrast fabric in the pockets and one side panel. The pockets are vintage pink and scraps of Racheal Ashworth and some Cath Kidston scraps.
Here is the good thing about Me Made June. I'm getting less anal about pictures taken of myself. That is a good thing. I would still prefer mannequin shots. But I'm getting better. Shoot for progress, not perfection, right?
The down side, all month I've felt weird about repeating outfits or pieces. And like today, we were pulling weeds and such, but because of MMJ, I was not exactly dressed for it. Which is fine. I just felt weird. Only two more days of this needless worry. Most of my wardrobe is made by me anyway. So I'm usually wearing something anyway.