Tuesday, April 30, 2013

McCall's 5525 - Green Trench-style Jacket

When I thought through my spring sewing plans, I came up with five things I really wanted to make for myself. That was the short list and I'm not sure I will actually make it happen, so I thought I would start with the most involved project. If I left it for the end it certainly wouldn't have gotten done.

McCall's 5525 - Green Trench

This is McCall's 5525 in my very favorite color - sour apple green. The pictures don't really show the color accurately. It's pretty bright, but I love it. I should have noted the date when I actually started this project because it feels like it took me forever - partly because I just didn't have significant chunks of time to work on it and partly because I did some tailoring work on the lapels and the collar. That meant that I had hours invested before doing any assembly.

I haven't done much classic tailoring work at all up until now. This book was a big help to me and I followed the machine method outlined in it. I also referred to this book and used some of the tips King offers. While it is time consuming, I really liked doing the tailoring and I will do more of it. I love how the lapel rolls so beautifully when it's taped and steamed and the structure and support that the hair canvas gives along the front and across the chest. Just writing about it makes me want to go do more right now!

McCall's 5525 - Green Trench

Before making a muslin I made some basic changes to the pattern:
-added 2" of length to the body
-added 1" of length to the sleeve
-removed a bit of sleeve cap ease

After making the muslin, I made some more changes:
-added 1" more length to sleeve
-took a lengthwise tuck down the back piece from shoulder to hem for narrow shoulders
-increased the pocket size

The pocket is the only thing about the finished jacket that I'm not all that impressed with. I enlarged the pocket pattern piece in both directions and I think I should have adjusted the placement of the pocket accordingly. It seems too low in the seam and it wants to droop. The pattern was so small it seemed useless, but maybe that's the size that it works best as.

McCall's 5525 - Green Trench

I completely forgot about the front yoke flap. I wasn't paying attention to the pattern directions and was well past the step where it should have been added by the time I noticed. I think I would have liked the look of it included, but not enough to do all the ripping that would have been necessary. Something about the back flap sure makes me happy, though.

McCall's 5525 - Green Trench

Here you can see the epaulets and the collar tab. I like these little details. The buttons match better in real life. The collar is a good shape and size.

McCall's 5525 - Green Trench

Since I wasn't reading the directions, I messed up these sleeve tabs on the first go. I assumed they would be caught in the sleeve seam and then tacked down with a button. Instead, they are sleeve bands (not tabs) and go all around the sleeve.

McCall's 5525 - Green Trench

This picture makes it look like the jacket is lined right to the lower edge, but it isn't. I again used this tutorial for a great finish at the facing/lining/hem juncture.

I'm so happy to have this finished - both so I can wear it and so I can move on to the next thing on my spring sewing list!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Supporting My Habit

In the last two months, I have spent a lot of my sewing time making things for other people. Some of the items were for the two stores in town that I supply and others were just for individuals that wanted something specific. My natural tendency is to be selfish with my sewing time, but it's good to have a bit of money coming in to keep the sewing room stocked. Not much to say about all the things, but I did want to record them here...

Daisy bib

Monster bib

Daisy bib

Bow Tie Bib

Owl pillow

Cat pillow

Cat pillow


Pillows for charity auction:
Mr and Mrs pillows

Vogue 8828 for a client (Really? Can I have a "client?" It sounds a bit more pretentious than I'm comfortable with, but I should probably own it and add a bit of professionalism to my work. And it's much more succinct than "a nice woman I know that wants me to sew things for her." I like succinct. But you'd never guess that from this long, rambling parenthetical comment).

Vogue 8828

It's a very poor fit on my dress form, but was so perfect on my...client. Color, style, fit, everything - perfect. I also made her a skirt, but don't have any photos. I copied a skirt that she already owned and really liked.

And since all this was completed, there has been selfish sewing! Yay!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Put Them All Together and What Do You Get?

Crazy Kids


Crazy Kids

And more crazy.

Crazy Kids

I’m really happy with how these three outfits came together. I like the fabrics, I like the patterns, and I like these kids (even though they’re crazy).

Crazy Kids

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Look 6089 - Navy and White Striped Dress

The fabric for my older daughter’s dress was the inspiration for this coordination effort. I picked it up for a great price at the end of the summer last year. I had the fabrics for my son’s clothes already in my stash. I knew that I wanted to use some sort of bold stripe for my younger daughter’s dress (initially inspired by this one) but it took me awhile to decide on exactly how to make it work.

After some more searching and perusing, I came across this dress and thought it was perfect. Of course, I didn’t have a pattern exactly like that and looked for one that would get me close. Last year I was so happy with New Look 6089 so I decided to work with that one again.

New Look 6089 (modified)

The biggest change to the pattern was the cut-away shoulders and it wasn’t as hard to do as I thought it would be. If I were to do it again, I would cut them away a little further - more like the inspiration photo.

New Look 6089 (modified)

The stripes are made by sewing navy bands on top of the white skirt. I made pressing templates from file folders for each stripe. I really wanted the edges to be perfectly straight and even all the way around. The skirt pieces are rectangles, so that made the stripe placement easier.

New Look 6089 (modified)

The bottom stripe is applied like a facing turned to the right side, hemming the bottom. The dress is fully lined with white broadcloth.

New Look 6089 (modified)

I might still add some sort of bow to the band at the waist, but for now she’s been wearing it with the sweater and I think more embellishment might get in the way.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Two Winners from Ottobre

About this time last year, I made a pair of pants for my son from an Ottobre pattern (1-2011-29). I had wondered if all the pieces and details were really worth it, but concluded that they were. I really liked those pants and felt inspired to try more similar patterns. And here we are, one year later, and I didn't do anything of the sort. Time flies.

I considered using other Ottobre pants patterns for this project, but in light of the time crunch, I went with the same pattern. I did need to trace all the pieces again in a larger size, but the construction was familiar and I had the outgrown pair to reference as needed.

Ottobre 1-2011-29: Front view

I love this railroad engineer stripe fabric and couldn't resist playing with the stripes a bit.

Ottobre 1-2011-29

Sadly, most of that gets covered up by the shirt. The back pockets don't get used, but I really like how they're formed. I left off the belt loops and outer leg zippers in the name of simplification.

Ottobre 1-2011-29: Rear view

The shirt is another Ottobre pattern (6/2012-18) - a classic that I think I'll use many more times. The pattern is actually for long sleeves, but I wanted short ones and adjusted accordingly. The fabric is left over from this shirt made for me.

Ottobre 1-2011-29 (pants)

I didn't do any close-up shots of the shirt, but I used grey thread for the topstitching and dark grey buttons. I like that the pattern has all the authentic parts of a classic collared shirt - collar with separate stand, sewn-on button placket, sleeve plackets and cuffs. A serious shirt for a serious boy.

Ottobre 1-2011-29 (pants)

Or not.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Simplicity 4721 - Border Print Dress

Oh, this poor old neglected blog...so sad. Sometimes I think I should close it down rather than letting it sadly limp along like a wounded animal. I get close to pulling the trigger and then make something and find myself wanting to tell the blog about it. There is hope. The lack of posts are not for lack of sewing. There has been sewing. Much sewing. The lack of posts are more a reflection of a lack of quiet time and free energy. I do find I really appreciate having a record of my makes and perhaps some negotiating of the priorities could free up some blogging energy. For now, limp along with me, will you?

I made clothes for each of my three kids for the Easter holiday last week. Time was tight, so I cut some time by using patterns that I had used before. In some cases, it helped to know the construction method. In others, it was very helpful to know that the fit was already tweaked. The three kids were coordinated in navy blue and white, but they each used different fabrics. We'll start with the oldest...

Simplicity 4721

I used the same pattern that I used for this dress (Simplicity 4721), but with a different bodice view. I added a bit more length and a wee bit of width. There is some gaping at the right armhole (nicely accentuated by her pose above), which I didn't notice until very late in the process. I made no attempt to fix it. And I'm okay with that.

Simplicity 4721

The neckband with rickrack edging and the band at the waist seam are my additions. It seemed like the dress needed something extra and they help tie it together with my younger daughter's dress.

Simplicity 4721

I didn't consider any sort of pattern matching while I was cutting out, but it maybe would have been a good idea. The center back seam and the right side back in particular look somewhat awkward.

Simplicity 4721

Even though the calendar says "Spring," the weather is saying, "ummm...not so much." A (purchased) cardigan to wear over the sleeveless dress was essential. But, we have gotten by without tights! There is hope!