I love to sew

I love to sew

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mad About Plaid - Butterick 5218

I've been sewing up a storm. Haven't been blogging about it but take my word for it...but believe me, it's happening. I made two more pairs of Jalie Eleanore jeans, another Appleton dress and McCall's 7195. I need some casual tops to go with my new jeans. I chose Butterick 5218 and a Homespun cotton fabric from my stash.

Pattern Description: Rated Easy. Loose-fitting, pullover tops have collar variations, front button closure with front pleats, back gathers, dropped shoulders and sleeve variations.
Pattern Sizing:
9-22 I made the size 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I think so

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Super. The instructions for the front pleat were spot-on.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the relaxed fit
Fabric Used:
100% Cotton Homespun from JoAnn Fabrics
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't make any alterations but should have made a cheater FBA by adding 2" additional length to the center front. Luckily the high-low look is in style so it's not that big of a deal. Although I sewed View B, I added the pockets from View C and used the garment length and sleeves from View A. I cut bot the sleeves and the the pockets on the bias as I didn't want to have to worry about matching this uneven plaid.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'll sew it again. I'd love to make it in a white linen blend. I'd recommend it to others if you don't mind the relaxed fit. Unfortunately it is out of print!
The hardest part of the garment was finding a button that matched. I'll use the one button you see. Currently it's just stuck on. I like how the color blends and will be making the buttonholes later this evening.

Next up is Simplicity 1062

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jalie Eleonore

Jalie Eleonore 3461

I've seen these pants many times of Pattern Review but none of the sewers look like me. It seemed that only smaller sized were being sewn but the sometimes I do hop on the "bandwagon" and what everybody else is doing. I purchased the pattern from Pattern Review and it arrived soon after.

In case you didn't know I am mostly a Big 4 sewer. I know the adjustments I need to make but pants are always particularly problematic. I've got a butt and it's not going anywhere! I also hate tracing patterns. Seeing the lines sometimes presents a problem but mostly it because I just don't like doing it. So what an old broad supposed to do? I traced the pattern doing an episode of Project Runway. There's only seven pattern pieces and went very smoothly.

The pattern is described as Pull-On Jeans. Of course my first thought was "Mom Jeans" but the pattern goes on to say they are "stretch pull-on jeans (long or cropped) with wide waistband. Yoke, faux fly in the front, patch pockets in the back. Fitted fitted through waist and hips, straight from the knee down. Very easy to turn into skinny jeans. While I'm a 16 in RTW, someone wearing a size 20 in a pattern should never describe their jeans as "skinny." But I digress.

I chose a lightweight denim from my stash. After comparing to pattern to a pair of denim leggings-like pull-on RTW pants, I decided to add a 3" wedge underneath the back pocket and a 3/4" wedge to the crotch in the front. From their I followed the sewing directions. I will add this is my first Jalie pattern and I don't necessarily like that the directions are printed on the same single page as the pattern pieces.

The directions and illustrations are very good. An experienced sewer probably doesn't need them but I liked having them handy. Everything was straightforward. I used the size BB pattern and was skeptical about them fitting. Even when I got them to the "try-on" stage I was still skeptical. When I finally sewed on the waistband and had a "try-on" with shoes, I was pleasantly surprised. The pants were a wonderful fit. I've got some wrinkles in the back but they don't bother me at all. I love the shape of the legs and am really impressed that I didn't need to add length. Although I was also skeptical of the 3/8" seam allowance not allow room for alterations...I didn't need any. No I know what all the fuss is about. I LOVE YOU ELEONORE! I do have one minor alteration to make. The front waist is pull to the back as the front pattern piece is wider than the back. I'm going to shave that amount off the front and add it to the back. Then I'll use my front waistband for the back and vice versa. I can't even describe how comfortable these are. They feel like pajamas. No kidding! I might add front pockets but not sure I will. If you've been on the fence about this pattern, take the plunge, you won't be sorry.

Here's so not so good photos. My dog kept photobombing me and the sun is in the wrong position. No hair or makeup and I didn't want you'll to think I had on a Halloween mask. LOL. I'm going to take better pictures later but I just couldn't wait to spew how much I like this pattern. Don't judge me for the back picture. I don't know why I have the jeans hiked up like that. They really do look and feel good on me. This is also the only top I could find that almost matched. I'm pretty sure I won't wear them together.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Cashmerette Appleton Dress

I am not an independent pattern person. I like to stick to the Big 4 because I already know most of the adjustments I'll need to make and because of the prices I can get them when they are on sale. When I saw that Jenny had designed the Appleton dress for curvy girls, I didn't hesitate to purchase a hard copy. I know that I'm not nearly patient enough to tape together 40 or more sheets of paper. Nope. Not ever going to happen.

The pattern arrived just a few days after I ordered it. I was shocked that the pattern is actually printed on tissue unlike Jalie which is printed on butcher-like paper. Initially, I wasn't going to trace the pattern but later decided to bite the bullet. It wasn't bad at all. There are only seven pattern pieces and I traced and trimmed them during an episode of Project Runway.

Soon after I received the pattern I realized there was going to be an Appleton Sew-along run by Carrie from the Cashmerette blog team. Well sign me up! Although I did get carried away soon into the schedule, I like how she mapped out the itinerary...

  • Tuesday 10/13: Inspiration!
  • Thursday 10/15: Choosing your fabric
  • Monday 10/19: Prepping your fabric and your pattern, selecting your size
  • Wednesday 10/21: Small Bust Adjustment
  • Friday 10/23: Cutting & notching your fabric
  • Monday 10/26: Finishing waist tie hole, sewing shoulders, hemming wrap
  • Wednesday 10/28: Constructing neckband and waist tie
  • Friday 10/30: Attaching waist tie and neckband
  • Monday 11/2: Sewing in sleeves in the flat
  • Wednesday 11/4: Sewing side seams, reinforcing waist tie hole
  • Friday 11/6: Hemming sleeves and skirt
  • Friday 11/13: Appleton Party! Woohoo!
Every couple of days a blog post is made to help you along your way. A big thumbs up to this. The sew along is perfect for the beginning sewer or for a person that just needs a little hand holding to complete a garment. I also think it's especially good for someone with limited sewing time.

Based on the finished garment measurements, I chose the size 20 which is the same size I choose with Big 4 patterns. This pattern has tons of negative ease (8") and I wasn't about to set myself up for failure. I'm a mature woman (58) and I have a mature woman's body. I'm not a fan of showing my bumps, rolls, and back fat to the world!

The other concern I had was with how short the pattern is from shoulder to waist. When I posed the question on the blog I was told that I could just cut across the waist and add any length below that. I've been sewing for 48 years and believe me I know lot. I know that if you have a detail at the waist like waist ties and you add length at or below it...that detail will still be in the same place. I guess wanting to put myself in a position as somewhat of a tester, I sewed the pattern as it was although I did add 4" at the hem. If you go to Pattern Review, nearly every sewers ties are much too high...just like mine are. It's not supposed to be an empire waist. Although the ties are supposed to sit at the high waist, high waist is very subjective and nowhere on the pattern does it suggest or mention the high waist.

The fabric I used has been in my stash for at least six years. It was from the JoAnn's Red Tag table so I'm sure I got it for a steal. 

Again although I was supposed to be following the sew along, once I got started, I couldn't stop. I think I spent about five hours sewing. That included watching television, playing with the dog, stopping to record a short video using my loop turner and probably some internet surfing. Other than the hems, I sewed the entire dress on my serger. The seams are 3/8" and I put a reminder in RED on every pattern piece lest I forget and revert to the old 5/8."

I followed the directions exactly even adding the clear elastic at the shoulder, although I didn't follow the pattern layout. The directions are very well written with very good illustrations. The only changes I made other than lengthening 4" as well as lengthened the ties, were to sew the side seam all the way up and added a buttonhole for the left tie to fit through and I added thread belt loops to keep the ties in place. I did sew the buttonhole and thread loops lower in an effort to not have the ties directly below my breast but it barely helped. 

So what is my take on the Cashmerette Appleton dress? I give it five stars. It is well drafted I didn't have to do an FBA. But just like the Big 4 few will be able to fit it right out of the envelope. Be warned unless your torso is very short, the ties will be too high. Also it is a deep V-neck which translates into more cleavage showing than I'm really comfortable with. Marking a larger size wouldn't help because the nature of a wrap dress us that it crosses over and under your bust. The good thing is just as the pattern doesn't gape. 

Would I sew it again? Yes, as soon as I find another fabric in my stash with enough yardage but only after I add about 2" somewhere above the waist. Below are some construction photos and a few with me all "Appleton-ed" up. I wish the photos of me were better but it was freezing outside, the wind was blowing, the photographer was impatient and the dog kept trying to photobomb!