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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More Red...just not for me

After celebrating an excellent Fourth of July, both of my daughters realized the wisdom in my words "Reapply sunscreen!"  My eldest had been complaining about her current rash guard being too small and didn't want to wear it.  (tsk tsk)
I had her search through my spandex stash to find something she liked which I could make into a rash guard and bikini bottoms.  She chose the red polka dots which I used for my most recent Jalie 3023:

 
I had only purchased 1 yard of the polka dots so there wasn't enough to make an entire rash guard from it, but I was able to make the bottoms of Jalie 2447 in size M.
 
 
 
The bottoms come in either a high or normal waist version.  From previous experience I knew that the high waist version is quite high...about belly-button high.  I cut the high waist anyway knowing that I could trim it down before adding the elastic.  My eldest thought that the high waist was indeed too high and I trimmed it down 1.25" before adding the elastic.   After finishing the briefs, I made a solid red rash guard for her from Jalie 2566 with a raised neckline and lengthened sleeves.   I had enough polka dot scraps to make the neck band and sleeve bands (Renfrew-style) to up the style factor.

 
 

 I topstitched the seam allowances down using a chain-stitch on my coverstitch machine.

 
So there you go...more red threads.  If this keeps up I will soon need a new huge spool of red thread!  
 


Friday, June 27, 2014

My Red Threads

For some inexplicable reason I have been sewing a lot of red garments lately.  Remember my Polka dot tankini?  Red.  Back in May I whipped out a pair of red twill Jalie 2908 shorts.  I know...Jalie 2908 is the jeans pattern that I have made 4 times already.  Well, the shorts make it 5 times.  Since making them, I have lost a little weight and they are now loose.  I will continue to wear them and bask in my weight loss.  :)



For Father's Day, I made my husband 2 new Hawaiian shirts (to be blogged about sometime in the future).  When ordering his fabric from Hawaiianfabric.com I ordered myself some fabric too with the intention of making myself a Hawaiian shirt.  Last week's swim meet had a "Red" theme, so I took that opportunity to sew up my Red Hawaiian Shirt.


Big thanks to my 7yo photographer!

 
 
 I used New Look 6197 which has both a men's and a woman's version of the classic Hawaiian (aka casual) shirt. 

 
 
The woman's version has a shirt-tail hem and bust darts.  I made a size 14 which had a finished bust measurement of 43" and did a 1" FBA. Thank goodness I did...it would have been too tight otherwise.   I learned my lesson from this top:  remember to ignore the ease across the back when considering whether or not it will fit over your chest.

My major complaint was that there was too much ease at the sleeve cap.  I could tell right from the pattern piece and followed this tutorial to remove the excess.    Unfortunately I chickened out and didn't remove the entire 1" of extra ease, so I wound up having to do the basting stitches and ease the sleeve into the armhole.  I will be brave and bold next time and remove it all :)  FYI: The men's version doesn't have nearly that much ease.

My final observation: shirt-tail hems are not the easiest thing to hem.  Seriously.  I'm going to straighten it out next time.

So while there is still some red fabric in my stash, next up is blue...Stay tuned :)
 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Swim Shorts! Jalie 3351

I loved Jalie's new pattern releases.  The first one that made me say "Oooh!" was #3351, the swim shorts. 
 
Jalie 3351
I am pretty conservative when it comes to swimwear.  I always wear a rash guard and typically wear a swim skirt.  While living in India for 3 years conservative dressing was the norm and anything very revealing was scandalous.  I got used to people staring at me no matter what I wore, so it was just better and less stressful/annoying for me to be covered up.  Also, when we first arrived in India, my girls were 2.5 and 4.5 years old; I could not rely on them to get sunscreen on my back so a rash guard was really necessary.

I made the swim short in boring black milliskin matte from Spandex World.   I cut a size X at the waist and a Y at the hip.  I made the shorts as designed with the attached brief.  The leg opening of the brief is very modest and quite low cut.  Like all Jalie patterns I have made, the drafting is excellent.  I had only one issue with the instructions.  The final step didn't mention how to attach the brief to the shorts and waistband.  Strangely, the French version of the instructions didn't mention how to attach the shorts...I emailed Jalie and got a response the next morning:

 
Hi Meigan,
 
You attach the briefs at figure 31 (very last step, after the waistband is attached to the shorts):
Pin wrong side of shorts to waistband facing, at the seam allowance, matching centers and sides (fig. 31). Stitch, stretching the band as you sew.



There is indeed a small mistake on fig. 31 (on the label at the bottom of the shorts). It should be like this:
Thanks for pointing it out! 


 

Have a great day,



Emilie FournierJalie Patterns Inc.
Now, the diagram on my pattern looked just like the one she sent me, but she didn't answer my question about the assembly.  EDIT: I email again before writing this blog post and she agreed that there was a mistake in the instructions and has made a note on the website. (Side note: I still think their errata on the website is incomplete and there is a missing step in their instructions.  I have sent another email and I am awaiting a response.)

****UPDATE****7/3/2014
I just received a response from Emilie at Jalie Patterns.  She realized that they were in fact missing a step between figure 30 & fig. 31.  She has updated the .pdf instructions.  Here is the link:
http://www.jalie.com/product_printing_guide/3351.pdf
 
Rather than waiting for an answer to my original enquiry, I sewed what made sense to me.  I basted the shorts and briefs together with a zig-zag stitch.  Then I attached the waistband to them both.  Ta Da!
 
Front view (photo is lightened so you can see the black)

Pocket!
 
I made the rash guard last summer.  I made it using the Jalie 2566 tee shirt pattern.  I cut at least one size smaller than I would have for a tee shirt, and raised the neckline, added a neck band and lengthened the sleeve.   It was an easy tweak to change the pattern from a tee to a rash guard. 
 
I wore the shorts swimming before writing up this post, because I wanted to give a complete and thorough review. 
 
First of all: elastic that is comfortable when you are in your sewing room and dry is a little too loose when swimming.  I did not follow Jalie's elastic lengths and measured what was comfortable on my waist instead.  Well...it's a little loose.  Not falling off in the water loose, but "I'd be happier if it were a little more snug."
Second, the shorts stayed soaking wet for a very long time. There is a lot of fabric that holds a lot of water.  Granted, my fabric is not super thin, so it's likely to be wetter and heavier than a thinner fabric, but I was noticeably wetter longer than normal when wearing a swim skirt.  For my next iterations, I may do something fancy and omit the pockets, and also use thinner spandex but for the sake of sharing knowledge, it's something to consider. 
 
Here are some more photos:
Side view

And because we are all friends, here is what I meant about the briefs being very modest and low cut around the legs:
 
 
So in summary, they look great, they feel good.  The length of the shorts was very good.  The instructions are missing a tiny bit of info, and consider the weight of the fabric when wet.  I will get some good wear out of these swim shorts and will make more pairs in the future.  Another winner from Jalie.
 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Easy Summer top: New Look 6892

The temperatures have been rising and I have become bored with tee shirts and wanted to make a loose summer top.  Enter New Look 6892:
New Look 6892
I knew that this type of top would not work well with a fabric with lots of body, so I looked through my stash for something that would both gather and drape well.  I chose a Lisette cotton print that I purchased at Jo-Anns last summer.  I rarely find any fabric worth purchasing at my local JoAnn so this one sticks out in my memory.

The top is very easy and has only 3 pieces: front, back and sleeve.  I made the casing for the elastic at the neckline by making my own bias tape rather than using purchased bias tape.  Since the fabric was so fine, ready made bias tape would have been too thick, stiff, and bulky.  It was well worth the trouble to make my own.

Here is the finished top:
Front View

Back view

Closeup
There is a bit of ease built into this pattern and I didn't want too much blousey-ness so instead of cutting a 14 (per my measurements), I cut a 10, which had a finished bust measurement of 43.5".  Now that it's done, I could use a little more room across the bust.  Yes, the finished measurement is bigger than my bust measurement, but half of that ease is across the back...so the next time I make this, I will cut the front in a size 12.

I played around with the neckline elastic a bit.  I was a little worried that the neckline would be too wide, so I adjusted the elastic until it felt right.   I took the photos above in the morning and after wearing the top for a while, I decided the elastic was too tight and was pulling the neckline up too far.  (Grab the seam ripper and add a small length of elastic...)  Now it feels better and isn't riding up.  I also added 1" to the sleeve elastic so that it wouldn't cut off the circulation in my upper arm.  Check the elastic length before you sew it into the sleeve. 

I'm very happy with this top.  It is cool and comfortable and I used some nice stash fabric!  Win-win!

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Polka-Dot Tankini: Jalie 3023

It's summertime so I am sewing swimsuits again!  I have made another Jalie 3023 Tankini.

Jalie 3023
My first one was made last March and I still love and wear it all the time:


First Version: Blogged Here
 I got the idea into my head that I really really wanted a red polka dot swimsuit, and so this one was born:

 

Ta Da!  I made only tiny changes on this version.  First, I raised the waistband of the bottoms by 1/2".  Second, I lengthened the skirt by 1"; I think the skirt hits my hips/thighs in a better spot now.  Third:  I added powermesh to the front waistband.  It now acts like a little tummy smoother which is awesome!
 
Once again I'm glad I made the little tutorial about the strap assembly and construction.  I referred back to it before I started sewing and it was a good refresher which sped up my sewing considerably. 
 
For this version, I used white for the waistband just for some fun contrast.  :) 
 

Bring on Summer!

 


Friday, June 6, 2014

Me Made in May

I wore something Me-Made each day of May, but I was shockingly unsuccessful in taking photos each day.  Rather than boring you with me made Renfrews and other tees, I will share my highlights instead:

 Simplicity 2906 skirt


New Look 6735 Tee and beige Jalie 2908 Jeans 
 
      Sewaholic Renfrew Tee and Simplicity 3628 jacket

 
Maria Denmark Kimono Tee and Jalie 2908 Jeans in brown non-stretch denim
 
McCalls 6654 Maxi Skirt
 
In surprising news...I have been sewing!  While in London at the end of April, I made it to Walthamstow market on my last day there.  In the first shop I went in, I found this very cool striped knit with little accordion-like pleats/wrinkles.  It was 1pound per yard, so I bought 2 yards.  I thought it would make a cool maxi skirt.  I did actually use a pattern for the skirt which is almost silly, but whatever...It was McCalls 6654, and I made the flared version.  I didn't have enough fabric to match the stripes along the side seams but I think it makes the skirt more RTW ;)  For the hem, I marked it about 2"off of the floor and used my coverstitch machine. 
 
This is my first maxi skirt.  I am only 5'-2" tall and I have always thought that a maxi skirt would make me look even shorter than I am.  I was reading this blog post by Michelle at Happily Caffeinated, where she mentions in her "Pet Peeve #2" about being annoyed by being told what you should and should NOT wear, and that you can actually pull off whatever you feel comfortable wearing.  So all 5'-2" of me made a maxi skirt.  I cut off several inches from the pattern so it didn't use quite so much fabric, which is a benefit of being short.  I still didn't have enough fabric to match the stripes though.  Now that it's done,  I can see the appeal of a maxi skirt.  Unshaven legs stay hidden as well as post-winter pasty-white legs.  (I don't tan and I am an SPF freak so pale legs are pretty much year round).  When your fabric is pretty or interesting, there is a lot of it in a maxi skirt and it's really shown off.  I had a few small chunks of fabric left which got turned into a skirt for my youngest.  So I got 2 skirts for 2 pounds!  :)
 
In other news, I have been sewing like crazy, so more garment post are coming!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Leibster Award(s)!

I have been graciously nominated for a Liebster Award....several times.  This is the first I have acknowledge it, so Carrie, you tipped me over the edge...


 

First of all I'd like to thank those who have nominated me in chronological order (from first to most recent)

Jess from The Sometimes Sewist (back in May of last year)
Mary Ann from Little House on the Dairy
Kathy from The Nerdy Seamstress
Tracy from Tracy Sews Happy 
Anne from Anne's Blog
Carrie of Crafted by Carrie

The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to recognise and promote newer and smaller blogs with less than 200 followers. There are a few conditions that are attached: 
  1. Thank everyone who nominated me (check!)
  2. Answer her questions.  Seeing how I have been given about 60 questions, I'll pare that down a to 10 things you didn't know about me. 
  3. Nominate 5 blogs with fewer than 200 followers for the award
  4. Submit questions for them to answer in a post!
Doesn't seem hard does it?  Well, #3 is where I got hung up.  I have to follow the rules.  Seriously.  I'd rather not do something than to do it wrong.  Now that most people are using a blog reader of some sort, I had no idea how many followers a blog has, and I didn't want to nominate someone with too many followers.  And so I was so paralyzed by that roadblock I was unable to nominate anyone.  I realize that sounds ridiculous...

So I will nominate small-ish blogs that you may or may not know.  That works :)

10 Things You Don't know about Me:

  1. I can speak French.  I was an exchange student in France after graduating high school and my high school French turned into fluency.  I have forgotten a lot of vocabulary since then, but I am totally comfortable speaking.
  2. I have an Engineering degree and am a licensed Professional Structural Engineer. 
  3. I love to build and make things, which explains my education, former job, and current love of sewing.
  4. I learned to cook by watching the Food Network almost all day long during my maternity leave.
  5. The best advice I have heard is "No one can take advantage of you without your permission"
  6. The best parenting advice I have heard is "Don't try to be a good parent, be a responsible one."
  7. I am most proud of sewing jeans.
  8. One day I will sew a bra; it's the next frontier of "crazy yet awesome things to sew"
  9. My biggest pet peeve is when people use the words "anxious" and "eager" interchangeably.  They do not mean the same thing!! 
  10.  The title of my blog came from my friend Ammi whom I met while living in India.  She used the phrase "get my stitch on" when talking about making a dress for her daughter.  She is a person who is so full of life, verve, adventure, and craziness that you don't know whether she is totally insane or wildly awesome.  She blogs at: http://www.brazenapron.com/  Naming my blog "Get My Stitch On" is a reminder to me to live life to the fullest like Ammi does.
My 5 nominations (in no particular order):

1.  Niema from Wearable Muslin
2.  Tommie from Unseamly Girl Blog
3.  Sophie-Lee from Two Random Words
4.  Nakisha from Sew Crafty Chemist
5.  Aleksandra from The Liveaboard Takes the Suburbs

So my questions for them:

1.  What is the best advice you have ever received?

2.  Toilet paper: do you mount it so the end is over or under the roll?  (I'm over!)

3.  What is the gutsiest/scariest thing you have ever done?

4.  How did your parents decide on your first name?

5.  If a stranger were to compliment you on something you made, would you tell them you made it?

6.  Do you tell friends/family/co-workers that you have a sewing blog?

7.  Name a fabric you love to touch (a lot)

8.  Favorite online source for fabric

9.  Favorite online source for other sewing supplies

10.  What is on your list of "crazy/awesome things to sew one day"?

Thank you everyone who nominated me and please visit the blogs of my nominees and check out their creations!
 

 

 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Own Personal Honey-Do List and my MMM '14 plans

Friends, I haven't been in the mood to sew.  I really don't need anything new right now, and would rather do other things.  (gasp!)  Instead of pulling up at the sewing machine, I have pulled out my power tools, painting supplies, and dove into some home improvements.  

I am the handy one in my house and I take charge of repairs, maintenance and upkeep at our house, so the Honey-do list is made by me and done by me.  My husband was also out of the country for business so I had free reign to go crazy without having to explain myself to anyone.  (Does anyone else do that?)  I also didn't feel bad about leaving cans of paint and tools on the dining room floor all month.  :)

I'm not sure where my motivation came from, but I felt as though I was experiencing an intense non-pregnant form of nesting.  Here's a brief look at my completed tasks:

  • primed and painted the family room ceiling (painting ceilings stinks)
  • washed and painted the stairwell walls
  • re-caulked trim where it separated from the walls
  • stained the front porch floor and back deck floor blue (it looks awesome btw)
  • scraped, sanded, primed and (almost) finished painting the porch railings
  • stained the back deck railings
  • fixed ALL drywall cracks
  • organized the junk drawer. 
  • fixed a sticky drawer on the coffee table
  • dug up and relocated 2 shrubs in my front yard
  • had the carpets shampooed
  • had the house power-washed
  • organized the front closet and BUILT a shoe rack
  • did a small closet purge
  • cleaned out the garage
  • fixed a closet door that wouldn't close
  • pruned low tree branches
  • bought a leaf blower and cleared leaves off my yard (we live in a very wooded area)
I don't even think that's everything...

Oh wait!  I've also lost over 6 pounds in the past 10 days by tracking my calorie intake and daily exercise.  A big Thank you to Erica B. for suggesting the My Fitness Pal app.  I downloaded it right away and have been faithfully and honestly inputting my meals.  There hasn't been any working out but I can count cleaning, painting, and yard work as exercise and calories burned.  :)

So, basically everything and anything that has annoyed me about my house has been addressed over the past 3 weeks and it feels great.  :)

Do you know what else is great?  Next week is my birthday and hubby and I are going to LONDON!  He has to go for work, but I get to tag along!!  We leave London on May 1st so that means that Me-Made-May must start in London!  The photo opportunities alone are making me giddy!  Here is my MMM pledge:

I, Meigan of Get My Stitch On, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I will endeavor to wear at least 1 handmade garment 6 days a week for the duration of May 2014.

Last year I made the pledge for 5 days a week and I wanted to step it up this year.  So there you have it.  What I've been doing and what's coming next.  :)
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I only made one thing in March, but I made it well!

I made another pair of Jalie 2908 jeans and this pair is even better than the previous 3 pairs!  What did I do differently?  Not much.  I curved the back yoke even more which eliminated the need to take darts in it after it was assembled.  So I have finally perfected my yoke piece.  YAY!

So here they are, made in a beige denim with 2% lycra.

 
 
 
 The pockets are a cute purple floral cotton which coordinate perfectly.  I love them!
 
 

The other thing I did was make the pants longer than my other versions.  My other pairs have shrunk a little lengthwise and are now just a tiny bit too short to wear with my favorite shoes.  I am (foolishly) self conscious about the too short jeans so I wanted to make this pair extra long to account for any future shrinkage.  Of course, now I can only wear this pair with heels...

I love making jeans.  I wear them all the time and they are comfortable.  I don't even wear any of my RTW jeans anymore.  The fit of the RTW doesn't even compare to these.  If you're thinking of making jeans for yourself (and you really should) I definitely recommend 2% or 3% lycra in the denim for maximum comfort.  
 
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