New Look 6527 – Flowy Tunic

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I had some kind of tunic in mind when I purchased this polyester chiffon from Fabric Mart a while back. It sat in my stash waiting for the right pattern. After seeing a RTW (Ready-to-Wear for my non-sewing readers) top with a front and back overlay in a print similar to this fabric, I went looking for a pattern to re-create the top. I found New Look 6527.

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I like that the overlay is actually a little longer than the fabric underneath.

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I changed the sleeve to be similar to the tunic I saw in the store. I cut out a bell sleeve and created a casing with bias tape in order to insert 3/8″ elastic. I also sewed French seams throughout the top because the fabric was sheer. The fabric wasn’t much fun to work with but that is just the nature of polyester chiffon. I knew this going in and decided it was worth the effort.

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The high-low hem was another feature I liked about this pattern.

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I think this is a fun top to have in my closet and am glad I was inspired to finally sew up this fabric.

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Vogue 1531 – Deep Cowl Dress

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As soon as Vogue introduced this Lialia by Julia Alarcon pattern last year I knew I had to make this for myself.  The deep cowl and the open back were striking. The challenge was going to be finding the right fabric. Thankfully there is a wonderful sewing community out there that loves to share their projects. The talented Erica Bunker made a beautiful version of this dress with an Italian stretch polyester crepe from Mood Fabrics. I hurried over to Mood’s website and bought the fabric to make this dress. The cowl requires a drapey fabric and this crepe was perfect.

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The instructions were good and the pattern well drafted. I omitted the center front seam but cutting the front skirt on the fold. I added 0.5″ to the length of the bodice (normal for me) and 0.5″ to the length of the skirt and made a 1″ hem instead of the 1.5″ called for by the pattern. The dress is fully lined with the top being out of the fashion fabric and the skirt being from lining of your choice. I opted for a stretch satin.

The cowl is very interesting and allows for different styling options as demonstrated in this picture from Vogue Patterns.

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I prefer the cowl but I also like the hooded version. It was windy today so it made taking pictures of the cowl and the hood challenging.

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I was not sure how I would feel about this color as I tend to gravitate towards brighter colors but after seeing quite a few RTW dresses in this color I got used to it. I’m so thankful for this sewing community of ours. I get so much inspiration from other sewists. This dress turned out even better than I imagined. I plan on wearing to it to a couple of upcoming events with my fashion photographer. By the way, this fabric is so wonderful I bought a bunch of it in black as well.

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Burda Style 01-2018-102 – Knit Top with a Twist

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The RTW Fast is helping me focus on filling in the gaps in my closet. Instead of just sewing whatever suits my fancy (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I’m purposefully sewing for my needs. Right now I need a casual top or two. I feel like I’ve been wearing the same ones over and over.

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This Burda Style top caught my attention with its twist detail at the waist and the pleats hidden under it. The fabric was purchased last April at Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, QC. This rayon-Lycra knit has a soft hand and four-way stretch.

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The center back seam helps to create a nice shape and would come in helpful if adjustments were needed. I just glanced at the instructions so I can’t comment whether they were good or not. The pattern is quite long. I shortened my top by 2 inches.

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While I have your attention, here is another pair of Jalie jeans I made. This time I used black denim purchased online from Cali Fabrics. The top pictured below is Burda Style 10-2014-103. I made it a few years ago.

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Sewaholic 1130 – Minoru Jacket

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I knew I needed an all-weather jacket for an upcoming vacation when Goodbye Valentino sent out the invitation to the 2018 RTW Fast in November. My first thought was to rush over to North Face and buy a jacket before January 1st. I gave it some thought and decided that I was going to use the fast to challenge myself (See my previous post about making jeans). I chose the Minoru pattern because I had made it in the past and was pleased with the results. The problem was going to be finding the right fabric. This is where my friend Bernadette comes in. Bernadette is an accomplished sewist that I met through  Pattern Review.com. Lucky for me she had a daughter in San Francisco that she and her husband were planning to visit. We caught up and spent the day exploring our area and wine tasting. We’ve been friends ever since.

Bernadette sent me a picture of a raincoat she made for her daughter. One look at the beige/navy waterproof fabric from Vogue Fabrics and I knew this was going to be my jacket fabric. The fabric is 100% cotton. The beige side is waterproof and the navy side is windproof. It would be perfect for an unlined jacket but I wanted a lining in mine. I found other ways to show off the navy side; inside of the hood and the cuffs I added.

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The Minoru jacket has 2 inside breast pockets but no outside pockets. Sewists have added all kinds of pockets to this pattern. I chose to add two inseam pockets.

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I lined the jacket with a printed polyester from JoAnn Fabrics “Simply Silky” collection. I quilted Thinsulate to the lining. I’ve done this in the past for coats and am very happy with the warmth it creates without adding weight or much bulk.

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Some construction notes: The Minoru sleeves have an elastic cuff. I created cuffs to show off the navy side of the fabric. Below I have my hand in the inside pocket that is closed with Velcro. I added 1.25″ to the length of the jacket. The zipper is a #5 Antique Brass YKK zipper from WAWAK Sewing Supplies.

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The hood fits easily inside the collar.

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I’m very happy I decided to make my jacket. It was not a difficult project to sew and I like the results a lot. I have a unique jacket that fits well and is perfect for our vacation.

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Below is a picture of the first Minoru jacket I made four years ago.

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Jalie 2908 – I Made JEANS!!!

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I’m not sure how to begin this post. I’m still overwhelmed with the fact that I made myself a pair of jeans. I guess I’ll start by saying I never thought I would be making jeans. I figured there were things you sewed and things you bought. Jeans fell into the things you bought category. The more I sewed clothes the more confidence I gained. I also started noticing more and more sewists making themselves some very flattering jeans. Maybe I should give it a try… Why not?

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I ordered Jalie’s stretch jeans patterns and some denim from Mood Fabrics a couple of years ago. I didn’t make a note of the weight of the denim which is too bad because it s perfect. Even with the pattern and denim sitting in my stash I was still finding excuses not to make my own jeans. When I joined the RTW Fast in December I was going to buy a pair of jeans before the Fast began. I stopped myself from doing this figuring that I should use the Fast to challenge myself. Here’s how I started the process:

  • I read countless reviews and noticed sewists having a lot of success with Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans as well as Jalie jeans.
  • I ordered the Ginger Jeans pattern and compared both the Ginger jeans and Jalie jeans patterns to all of my RTW jeans. I was on the floor of the living room with a tape measure, both patterns and all of my jeans.
  • I was going with the Ginger jeans but changed my mind at the last minute because I decided that since I had such success with Jalie Eleonore jeans I would stick with Jalie for my first jeans. The Ginger jeans will be the pattern I make next year.
  • I had my husband take front and back pictures of me wearing all of my jeans so I could compare the fit to the jeans I was making at every step of the way.
  • I used the fitting guide that was part of the Ginger jeans pattern as well as Pants for Real People by Pati Palmer & Marta Alto to help me fit my jeans.
  • I contacted both Julie Starr and Dorcas Ross, fellow sewists, who both made the Jalie jeans, to get their input.

I’ve never fretted over a sewing project as much as these jeans. I finally told myself to get over it and get going.

It took me about a week to come up with a design for the pocket. Pinterest was a big help with that.

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My trick when topstitching is to use my open-toe embroidery foot. I line up the edge or the seam, depending on where I’m topstitching, to the inside of the foot. This method has consistently given me good results. I basted the edges of the pocket to make sure the lining didn’t peek out. I baste A LOT when I’m sewing. I made a note of this on the picture below in case anyone was wondering what the diagonal blue stitches were. I used a size 16 Denim needle to sew my jeans.

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I chose to make the regular rise jeans. All of my current jeans are low rise and I wanted to add jeans with a higher rise to my closet. I was apprehensive about making the regular rise jeans.

I was nervous that I would wind up with Ed Grimley pants. Fortunately I didn’t.

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My jeans are not perfect but they are good enough for a first attempt. I have black denim lined up for another pair. I’m so glad that I finally gave jeans making a try. They were not difficult to sew. Fitting was the challenge but by reading and basting it all came together. I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m proud of myself!

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Butterick 5954 – Knit Tunic

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My first project of 2018 is a knit tunic that has been on my to-sew list for a couple of years. I like to start the sewing year with a simple project that “guarantees” a win. I always hope that it sets the tone for the year ahead.

The pattern was “Best of 2014 and 2015” on Pattern Review.com.

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This was a quick and easy pattern to sew.

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I used this same lightweight sweater knit for another top last year. The overlapping fronts were perfect for the loose knit. I hand-stitched the fronts along the right edge to keep the front “closed” because the fronts tended to separate when I moved. I added three decorative buttons to the top. I was inspired by some ready-to-wear tops I had seen.

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I like the shape of this top and the way it is fitted on top and flares out at the bottom.

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I’ve joined the 2018 Ready To Wear Fast organized by Sarah at Goodbye Valentino. Over 1,000 sewists have pledged not to buy any clothes in 2018. I make most of my clothes but there are some pieces such as jeans that I have been nervous about trying. I was going to run out and buy a pair in December but decided to take advantage of the fast to challenge myself to sew the type of clothes I’ve been avoiding. I’m hoping this challenge helps me improve my sewing skills. Here’s to another year of blogging about my sewing projects. I appreciate you reading about my sewing adventures.

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Vogue 9204 / Style Arc Harlow Top – Frankenpattern

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. This post is about the tunic I made for Christmas Eve. I needed a simple project because between the decorating and baking I didn’t have much time to sew during the month of December.

I’ve had Vogue 9204 on my to-sew list for a while.

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I like the statement sleeve trend and figured this pattern would be a great style to modify the sleeves.

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I searched my pattern stash and chose to use the sleeve from Style Arc’s Harlow top. I omitted the split in the sleeve and sewed the seam all the way.  I used French seams because the inside of the sleeves show when wearing the top.

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I was relieved that the sleeves did not get in the way of eating, drinking, etc. I noticed that when I was using my arms the sleeves tended to fold back on themselves. The fabric is polyester crepe purchased at Fabrix in San Francisco.

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I cut 1.5 inches off the bottom front to create a slight high-low hem.

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My fashion photographer always makes me laugh while we’re taking pictures. I normally reject the pictures where I’m cracking up but I figured this was a good way to end my last blog post of the year.

As the New Year approaches I want to take this opportunity to wish you a New Year full of joy, peace and good health. May you be inspired to create and experience success in all of your projects.

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