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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.  
 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

La, La, La LO-LA: Victory Patterns Lola Dress

Those of us in North America have been freezing our butts off this winter.  I have grown tired of my winter indoor uniform of yoga pants, long sleeve shirt, and fleece jacket.  When I saw the Lola dress made by Lori from Girls in the Garden, I thought...."That looks like a cozy dress.  I could make one to wear indoors on cold days.  I would never leave the house in it, because that looks like it might be the most unflattering dress in the world on me."  I've been in a sewing funk since breaking up with Butterick 5958, and the Lola was the first thing to spark my interest since the breakup.  The Lola dress is from Victory Patterns, which is a new-to-me pattern company.  I bought the pdf version (since it was cheaper), taped it together, and went to work.  

I had 2 yards of french terry in my stash that would be perfect.  I knew that I wanted to make the dress as warm as possible so I cut the sleeves to be full length.  I didn't have any ribbed knit so I skipped the bottom hem band and just extended the length of the dress.  I didn't have enough fabric left to make pockets and I didn't want the extra bulk at my hip anyway.  I considered drafting a kangaroo pocket for the front so that I could carry my phone around in, but I got excited by the sewing and never stopped to draft one.  I cut a size 12 and graded to a 14 at the hip.  It sewed up very quickly.  The seams lined up perfectly and the dress was well drafted.  When I tried it on, I was surprised.  It was not the most unflattering dress in the world.  While it didn't do me many favors, it looked better than I expected.  I really like the seaming and I think it would look good color-blocked with black panels on the side. 

 It was a little floppy in the swayback area so I took in each seam to give it a closer fit. To give my long sleeves even more length, I added hem bands Renfrew-style.  For the hem, I turned up 5/8" and used my coverstitch machine.

The neckline was too low and wide to qualify as warm and snuggle-y since I'm used to wearing a fleece jacket zipped up to my chin.  I wasn't about to wear a scarf indoors so I had to come up with some sort of neckline modification.  I tried to make an extra wide neck band, but that turned out pretty lousy: a cross between an enormous and stumpy turtleneck and a stiff standing-up cowl.  I took what few bits of fabric I had left and created a wide band V-neck!


Eureka!  It was warm and snuggle-y with lots of neck coverage!  I don't think I can ever reproduce exactly what I did to make this.  It was a trial and error process to come up with the look I wanted.  Since I had so little fabric I had to piece together bits of fabric and now there are 2 seams on the back of the neck band which (pat on the back here) I lined up with the raglan sleeve seams!  Woo hoo!


The front V does It doesn't lie perfectly and there is a bit of a bump at the bottom of the V.  I think this is because the neckline was more of a rounded shape with a small v made at the bottom, while my neck band created a very sharp V.  Does it bother me?  Yes.  Am I going to fix it?  Probably not, because I never intended to wear this out of the house  Although, I already have :)

In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised by the Lola dress, and I think it would be much more flattering on someone who is slimmer through the hips than I.  Will I make it again?  Yes, I think I will!  

Friday, February 14, 2014

I'm just not that in to you, Butterick 5958

Dear Butterick 5958,

I wish I didn't have to do this, but it wouldn't be fair to you to keep our relationship going.  To be honest, I'm just not that in to you.  There I said it.  I wasn't immediately infatuated with you, but I liked you enough to give it a go.  The first two courses during our first date when I cut and sewed a muslin went along perfectly fine.  But when dessert rolled around and I tried that first muslin on, I knew things were taking a turn for the worse.  Not wanting to give up on you just yet, I agreed to a second date (muslin). 

That second date/muslin was laborious and at times frustrating, and while it turned out ok, it left me exhausted.  I've had plenty of time to be with you during these past few snow days, but my heart wasn't in it, and I spent the time alone instead.  It was with a mixture of regret and relief that I folded up your pattern pieces and put them back in your envelope.  I regret that it didn't work out, and yet I was relieved that I could walk away.

I wish you the best in the future, please know that you won't leave my mind or my pattern stash, and maybe one day I will have the energy and enthusiasm for you that you deserve.

Meigan
 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Jacket: Butterick 5958, Muslin #1

I've decided on a jacket pattern.  It's going to be Butterick 5958. 
 
 
I've started on a muslin and my first impression of this jacket is that there are a lot of pattern pieces for something that looks so simple. 
 
I started by cutting a 16 an adding a 1/2" FBA, and grading up to a 20 at the hip.  I narrowed the shoulders by 1/2" each which is a typical adjustment for me.  

 
It's too big.  The front panels are too wide and I really didn't need to grade up so much at the hip. 
 
The bust point is too low; I'm going to raise it up about 3/4":
 
Edited to add: Thanks to a few good suggestions and advice, I will also widen the side fronts so that the princess seams fall in the right spot.
 
The back isn't too bad, it's just a little wide especially across the shoulders.  Once I get the front figured out, I'll look more closely at the back. 
 
You may be wondering which fabric I'm going to use, the purple boucle wool blend or the light gray wool blend.  Neither fabric has arrived yet (my Denver Fabrics order hasn't even been shipped...Arrg!), so I haven't made a decision.   Honestly, it might be neither.  While at Jo-Ann last week, I bought some dark blue non-wale corduroy which I may use instead.  Time will tell.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fearless February Garment of the Month Plan...

February is a short month and I am diving in head first.  I'm going to make another lined short coat/jacket!  Here are the pattern contenders:










Butterick & Vogue patterns went on sale at Jo-Ann's yesterday and I may have bought a few...

Butterick 5958: Princess seams and an off-center opening, and either a zip or button closure

Butterick 5966: Princess seamed flared coat with standup collar and hidden buttons

Vogue 8931:  Jacket with front and back darts, waist seam and quasi-peplum, and hidden buttons

Simplicty 2508: Raglan sleeve jacket/coat with center or off-set opening and collar variations.  I will say that I have a bit of a girl crush on the model on this pattern envelope.  She is so gorgeous in that white coat, that it makes me want to stare at the photo and then make a white coat.
 
I have ordered 2 different fabrics: a purple wool blend which is already on its way from Hart's Fabric, and a light gray wool blend which will hang out at Denver Fabrics for a while before being shipped via snail mail until it finally arrives at my house.  Does it drive anyone else nuts when you order from Denver Fabrics/Fashion Fabrics Club (same company btw) and it takes 2 weeks for your order to arrive? 

In the meantime, I need to figure out exactly what kind of jacket/short coat I want.  I'd like an early springtime coat so it won't need to be interlined and super warm, and it won't need to be long.  Decisions, decisions. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Jalie Sweetheart top: A top good enough for a Blogger Meet-up

Last week was a great one for me and my blog.  First, Rhonda, of Rhonda's Creative Life, included me in her Wednesday Showcase!  Did you see it?  If not, HERE it is!  Then on Saturday I had my first IRL Blogger meet-up, where I met Renee, Trena, and Tommie and had a fantastic time.  I must have had a silly grin on my face the rest of the day.

In honor of our meet-up, I sewed up a new top.  I used one of my new Jalie patterns that I purchased after winning Day #9 in Pattern Review's 12 Days of Giving Thanks. I made Jalie #2794, the Sweetheart Top.
 

I wisely made a test run using a forest green interlock knit purchased at Jo-Ann's.  I made the sleeves full length rather than 3/4.  I made a size X which corresponded to a 39" bust.  When I measured the pattern, it was only 36".  I thought that 3" was a bit too much stretch for an interlock knit so I did a cheater FBA and cut the bust a size Z, which turned out fine.  The shoulders were slightly wide and the neck binding was rather floppy.  Since I was using an interlock with not-so-great recovery, I should have shortened the neck band by at least and inch.  The neckline was too wide and my bra straps were just covered while standing perfectly still and perfectly upright.  Any movement exposed a strap. 
 
partial orange kitty photobomb!

Knowing myself as I do, I knew that this would drive me nuts (sewist...know thyself!).  So I unpicked the entire front of the bodice and shifted the shoulder pieces over 7/8" toward the center front to make sure all straps would stay covered.

Much better! 
 
The shoulders are still a little wide
 
So I cut into some fabric I have been saving.  It's a thin knit with good recovery that I purchased at Win-Mill Fabrics in Boston's Chinatown.  The print didn't extend all the way to one selvedge which left about 5" of plain white which I used for the contrast bands. 
 
 
When I first put this on, I didn't know what to think.  It looked weird for some reason.  Then I realized...I rarely wear prints, especially on tops!  Looking through my me-made wardrobe, there are very few prints, mostly solids.  Even though wearing a print is taking some getting used to, I really like the top.  I prefer it in the thinner, stretchier fabric, rather than in the heavier interlock.  Here is a close-up of the neckline, where you can see the contrast bands as well as the gathers along the center front.  


 
So the Sweetheart Top is another great pattern from Jalie.  Sweet!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blogger Meetup in Richmond!

When Renee of Miss Celie's Pants wanted to organize a meetup in Richmond to see the Hollywood Costume Exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, I was definitely in!  Immediately my brain asked the question "What am I going to wear?  This is serious...I'm going to meet Miss Celie's Pants and The Slapdash Sewist, I've got to wear something GOOD!"  My pink coat was a given, but what else?  I mentally went through my entire wardrobe thinking of dresses or skirts or refashions, but in the end I decided to be true to myself and wear something that I'm completely comfortable in: my Jalie jeans and a knit top.  Since it was a special occasion, I did made a new knit top: the Jalie Sweetheart top #2794.   I'll do a proper write up of that top another post. 

Without further ado, here's some photos!

Tommie and Renee


Me & Trena


Tommie, Trena, Renee, & Me!

The meetup plan was to attend the Hollywood Costume Exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The afternoon started out at a local pizza place where Tommie, who blogs at Unseamly Girl Blog, and I met and had lunch.  She is an avid runner who had run earlier in the morning in honor of Meg Menzies.  On this fact alone, I can tell that she's a good person.  She was wearing a denim Moss miniskirt from Grainline patterns and a very cool thin black tee over a black camisole.  Sewing is totally cool.  :)

From the pizza place (I behaved and had a chef salad) we went to the VMFA and met up with Renee & Trena.  "Oohh...there they are!" I said as I got my first glimpse while coming down the stairs toward them.  It was sort of like a celebrity sighting without the nervousness.  Renee was wearing her sweatshirt dress, which was so impeccably sewn I thought it was RTW.  Trena was wearing a new ITY knit dress which was anything but slapdash, with color coordinated glasses & jewelry.  Talk about having it all together!

The exhibit was awesome.  Kate Winslet's white dress from Titanic was on display and wow, just wow.  The layout, use, and the matching of the stripes was amazing, and gorgeous.

Another jaw-dropper was the wedding dress worn by Vanessa Redrave in the 1967 movie Camelot.  Look at this thing of beauty:


Source



Source
The train on that dress is covered with thousands of pumpkin seeds!  (use hand to manually close mouth).  The dress overlay is crocheted and decorated with tiny seashells.  A-maz-ing!!
 
Enough about the exhibit, but if you are ever nearby--go see it!!
 
This was my first blogger meet-up and it didn't disappoint.  It is so much fun to discuss patterns, stash, fabrics, and everything else with people who care about those things too!  I don't have anyone else IRL with whom I can share my sewing excitement, and our afternoon together flew by.  I would have happily chatted with them for several more hours.  Even now, I keep thinking of more and more things I should have asked them all.  Time flies when you talk sewing!
 
Thank you Renee for organizing our meet-up and for bringing Trena with you.  And thank you Tommie for joining us too!
 



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cardigan of the year, McCalls 6844

McCalls 6844 must be one of the most popular patterns released last fall.  To date, there are 33 reviews on PatternReview.com.  This is the pattern envelope photo:

 
It is a cardigan with peplum and length variations.  Here are the line drawings:
I am not on the peplum bandwagon, so I made view B, the longer version with no peplum.  Why am I not on the peplum bandwagon do you ask?  Well, #1: I'm not a trend follower, and I often dislike trends on the principle of them being trends, rather than what they are.  #2: I really really don't need extra volume at the hip/butt, I have plenty of volume on my own. 
 
I bought the pattern in the Large-XXL size range, before reading the reviews on PR.com.  Most of the reviews said that the pattern ran large and that cutting a size smaller than your measurements suggest is wise.  I, however, was skeptical and only adjusted the shoulders.  I cut a Large and graded to an XL at the hip. I cut the each of shoulders about 1/2" narrower than a size Large.  While the shoulder width is now pretty good, there is still too much width across the upper back and across the upper bust.  I will grade the pattern down in those areas to make it more like a Medium. 
 
The pattern states that this is a close fitting cardigan whose fronts do not meet.  Wrong!!  Even though I essentially cut a size too big, the fronts definitely overlap.   See?
 

Here it is belted and unbelted.  I am very short waisted; my natural waist is only a few inches below my bra band and I always wonder how it looks when I wear belts like this. 



Granted, with a big, loose style of cardigan like this, not cinching it in some way can add all-over volume, which isn't a great look either.  I'm not sure which way is best.  Here are some back views.  See how I really don't need the extra volume that a peplum would give me?  I'm all natural baby!
 

The construction of this cardigan was very quick and easy.  I didn't interface the front bands and I am happy with the result.  I used a sueded jersey knit from Denver Fabrics.  The sueded just means that the wrong side is a little fuzzy, which is very nice and cozy.

One more thing to check out...the hems:

Wait a minute...that looks like...is it?...Yes!  It IS!!  A Cover-Stitched Hem!  That's right friends, Santa was good to me this year.  (And by Santa I mean me)  My husband is not good at gift giving/shopping, so I placed the order for a Brother 2340CV and received it while he was out of the country on a business trip. 

I sent him a facebook chat: "You just bought me a lovely Christmas gift.  Thank you." 
His response was: "?" 

I have been putting money aside for most of the year saving up for a Cover-Stitch machine.  I had been looking at the Janome 1000cpx, but I simply could not justify the extra $$$ for it.  My serger is a brother (5234PRW), and I am very happy with it, so I felt comfortable with the brand.

So there it is, my first finished garment of 2014 and my January Garment of the Month.
 

 
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