Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Sew Trippy Stripe Jumpsuit!

Oh my goodness, I love this jumpsuit! 

I had big plans for my most recent acquisition from Natures Fabrics.  I ordered three black and white prints with large Polka Dotslarge stripes and micro stripes . My plan was to incorporate these three fabrics into a fun outfit. I planned on a slim leg stripe jumpsuit with a fun polka dot over-skirt.

I chose to sew Simplicity 1158, but when I saw the wide leg view, my '70's soul child spoke up and I made a switch up. I loved the dramatic vision of the over skirt, but as I thought about practicality, I couldn't go through with it. I have skinny calves and couldn't see myself wearing the slim leg jumpsuit without the over skirt. I also couldn't see myself wearing the dramatic combo in everyday life.

I decided to go with a simpler, yet wearable look. I went with the micro stripes for the bodice and the large stripes for the pants, the yoke and the back ties.

 To pull it all together, I made the waist tie with a solid black cotton from my stash.

The pattern construction was straight forward, but I made a few tweaks. The pattern is drafted for woven fabrics, but I used knits. Both are very stable with good recovery. This allowed me to cut them on the cross-grain to showcase vertical stripes.
Laser-cut pattern weights available in my Etsy store.
I added a bias casing to accommodate the elastic instead of using the suggested, folded up seam allowance casing. Such narrow casings are ridiculous to me. With the added bulk of the pockets, it would be a task to get the elastic through without a headache; I wasn't about to fiddle with that. I centered the casing over the seam line and stitched the edges down leaving an opening for insertion. 

This change allowed me to use wider elastic and makes for a more visually prominent waistline when it is not belted.

I shortened the "sleeves" by 1 1/2 inches. After construction, I felt it porturded too far giving a 80's shoulder pad vibe. I cut them down and re-hemmed with my cover stitch machine. 

The change to a knit fabric meant there is more flexibility and ease of getting in and out of this. The back overlap is secured only with the neck ties to allow for getting in and out easily with a woven. It is unnecessary with this fabric so I will stitch across the back overlap so it goes not fall open with wear. 

Every time I make a jumpsuit or see one on social media, there is a comment about the impossibility of using the bathroom while wearing one. I don't understand that. I have been potty-trained for 40+ years. I know when I need to go and how to hold it if the restroom is less than ideal. "But you have to get naked in the bathroom!" If I didn't wear underwear daily, I still wouldn't be concerned, the bathroom is the most (second most?) naked friendly room I know of.

There are probably larger issues behind the jumpsuit objections, the ones I can come up with are all medical. If health problems are the root of these objections, I will mind my own business.

Jumpsuits have been around and keep coming back around into fashion and I am here for it! This is my second jumpsuit of the year and I foresee more to come! This pattern has been in my stash for a few years and I am glad I made it up. I think I will get lots of wear with this one. I will be making  assorted waist ties to add pops of color versatility for greater use.

On which side do you fall in the jumpsuit debate? Do you wear them or is it a pass for you?

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Springtime Calls for Bold Florals, Sweet Stems and Versatile Dressing

Do you have a sewing task that you have avoided because of repeated failures? For me it has been sewing buttonholes. When I started sewing all those years ago, I wanted to make all the things! I had a good foundation in sewing and did not expect problems not of my own making. No matter how well prepared I was, I would have one or more failed buttonholes. It got to the point where I just decided it wasn't worth it to try and fail with them. I have a new sewing machine with digitally calibrated buttonholes. I figured it is time to tackle my fear.

Looking through the Riley Blake catalog at the Sweet Stems collection, I was inspired to make a floral shirt-dress. I was drawn to Sweet Stems Main Dark Blue and  Sweet Stems Dots Green. The beauty of these prints could surely get  me over my buttonhole aversion. 

I wanted a pattern to use both of my fabric choices and reached into my vintage pattern stash and found Mccalls 4992.

Image result for mccalls 4992 vintage

This maxi shirt-dress pattern with its back/shoulder yoke and waist tie was a perfect canvas for these fabrics. The construction was a breeze and the buttonhole anxiety was much ado about nothing! All of the buttonholes sewed effortlessly on my Bernina 535. After stitching, I added Fray Check to the front and back of the buttonhole, allowed it to dry, then cut them open with my buttonhole cutter. This gives a cleaner cut to the threads and prevents frays over time.

I wanted to bring in a bit more of the contrasting fabric to the front of the dress. I used a button cover kit to make my own fabric buttons. It was a quick and easy process and a fun addition to this dress.

I am working on making a wardrobe of interesting yet, everyday wearable pieces. I love that this dress can serve as a layering piece over my staple of jeans and a t-shirt.

I love the ample crescent shaped side pockets that eliminates the need for a handbag for quick trips to pick the kids up from school.

I added simple thread carriers to the side and center back seams. Though not functional when worn open, I like the look of the belt tied in back.

The contrasting fabric balances the bold floral by adding an unexpected interest.

When I need to be more than casual Mama, I love wearing it as intended buttoned-up and with its' twice wrap around belt tie. 

This is a slight departure from the dresses I normally make and I am liking it loads.

The belt pulls in the fullness in the back for a nice silhouette. 

I love this dress and how I feel triumphant in finally getting past my problems with buttonholes. 

What sewing related task do you avoid because of fear or failure? It took a machine upgrade to get me through it. What do you think will get you past yours?

Happy Sewing,


Monday, April 1, 2019

I Will Never Tire of Twinning with My Mini-Me.

Little Miss and I were sorting through her wardrobe to pack away clothes that she has out grown. I got sappy and nostalgic reminiscing about the projects she has inspired over the years. She asked what my sad face was about. I told her it was a mix of her growing up so fast and outgrowing me-made before they were worn out. She immediately reached in the storage bin, pulled out a dress and said, "What do you mean? My daughter is going to have the cutest clothes!" Proud Mama win!!!!

She then went on to remind me that we have a stack of Riley Blake Fabrics, she is still growing and my hands aren't broken! In other words, get to making her more clothes! The Serenade collection will be releasing soon and I am always surprised by her choices!

 This time she went with:
Serenade Bouquet Tide
Her garment tastes are a blend of twirling flowy pieces with the added practicality of play.

She wanted decided she wanted the tunic in Mccalls 7888 view A. She likes the style and the fact that the model looks like her was a deciding factor. Another  bit of proof that representation matters!Image result for mccalls 7888
She loves the feminine fabric with the security of the elastic of the on or off the shoulder neckline. It keeps her secure with her active play.

To increase longevity of wear, I went up a size to a 12 and added elastic to the back waistline seam to gather in the extra fullness. 

For my top, I went way back in my time machine for a pattern that I could use to mix prints. 

The vintage Simplicity 8587 is a simple pattern to showcase the coordinating Serenade Dot Tide print I chose.

 It is a fast and easy make and in line with my goal of making everyday pieces.

I love that is a good stash busting pattern and how cute is that little tie?  

Little Miss has advised me to enjoy this shirt, wear it well and keep in mind that she gets all of my hand-me-downs! "I do want my daughter to have cute clothes, right?"  

Happy Sewing,