And just like that it’s August

What happened to July? The last I knew I collapsed in a breathless heap after stitching my little fingers off (figuratively!) for Indie Pattern month in June to meet all of my deadlines for the contests on TMS as well as a submission to a knitting magazine [which was rejected. Boo hoo :*( ] .

Then my household was suddenly plagued with summer illnesses – multiple ear infections, pink eye, strep, sinus infections, a stomach bug, and most notably – hand, foot, and mouth disease. My baby caught HFM first – probably when he went to the doctor for pink eye and then shared it with the rest of us. He was the only one who got it really bad – so bad in fact that his skin looked like he was a burn victim but it still left me with blisters all over my fingertips and unable to sew or knit a stitch, or type anything for that matter, for weeks.

Ok. Enough of the pity party. That’s not what this is about. After more or less recovering I have managed a few projects in the past few weeks that I’d like to share but first, a big THANK YOU to all who voted for my entries for IPM on TMS. I won two of the three contests I entered and took home some beautiful prizes.

For the New to Me contest I received three patterns: the Natalie Dress and Top from Muse patterns,
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the Bronte top from Jennifer Lauren,

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and the Sylvie Dress from Christine Haynes which I think will look great in a border print floral I inherited from my Grandmama.
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For the Hack It contest I won two patterns from Oki Style – I chose the Cinco men’s raglan shirt 

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and the Nandia coat.
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And I got my coveted London Coat Dress pattern from Sew Chic! Squeal! london_1

 

I’ve already stitched up a Bronte top because this had been on my pattern wish list (yes, it’s an actual list about 100 items long) for a long time and I couldn’t wait to get started on it. I’d also been ogling the London Coat Dress, but that’s a longer term project so I haven’t started on that.

To start, I have to give some major credit to Jennifer Lauren for making the pdf tile together separately for each pattern piece. I really hate pdf patterns because if you get one page just a hair crooked it messes up the whole shebang. This one doesn’t end up being a giant floor puzzle gone wrong, but rather 4 separate puzzles that are much more managable. It really made it much more of a pleasure to assemble.
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I used some leftover $1/yard dark teal knit from the clearance bin at Walmart that I picked up to make a self drafted pattern that I worked up this winter. I wanted something cheap for that project in case I really screwed it up. Spoiler – I kinda screwed it up, but a better version will be in the works next winter. I’ll share it then. But now…
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I had plenty of that teal knit left to make the Bronte and probably another top (or skirt?) later. I chose the cheap again because I always have to shorten patterns between the shoulder and bust apex but because of this fold-over shoulder I wasn’t the least bit sure how much to shorten it. I took a wild stab in the dark and shortened it an arbitrary amount. Again, I didn’t want to screw up an expensive fabric so here is my dark teal Bronte. The fabric is drapey and has a slight sheen and a bit of weight to it but I haven’t a clue as to the the fiber content.

I’m glad I didn’t cut into a precious piece of material because while my shortening guess worked it turned out too tight for my liking. While I love very close fitting clothes, I feel like a sausage in this thing. It’s not awful and it is quite comfortable but I don’t really like everyone to be able to count the hooks on my bra strap because my shirt is so tight.

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I certainly want to go up a size for the next iteration. I also need to adjust the shoulder tacks where the front of the shoulders cross. I tacked them together while it was lying flat but once it was on me, they pull too much – probably because it’s too tight.
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All in all, it was a fairly quick project. Just a front, back, sleeve, and binding. The longest part of it was switching thread spools back and forth between my serger and my new-ish coverstitch machine (!) because I only have 4 spools of each color. I serged the binding on, coverstitched it on top, serged the sleeves on, serged the side seams, and coverstitched the sleeve and bottom hems. So it was back and forth a couple times. But it still only took me two quick sewing sessions.

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I’ll be back again soon with another knit top I whipped up yesterday.

Disclaimer: Thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes for IPM. I received these patterns free as prizes for the contests. I was not compensated in any other way and not asked to blog about them. All opinions are my own. However, give the sponsors some love and thanks for being an integral part of this awesome online sewing community.

 

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Granville Shirtdress

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TMS Monosewn Double

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BIG NEWS & TMS Sept Challenge

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Lekala 4017 & More Thurlows

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Chevron Dress & Bonus Camisole

I’ve gotten my sewjo back and I’ve been cranking out projects. Unfortunately the 2 year old grabbed my camera off my desk and messed with some settings so you’ll have to forgive a whole lot of funky photos as I slowly mess with settings trying to fix what she’s done!

Anyway… this quick little summer dress was just what I needed to get the sewing machine’s motor roaring again.

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This is New Look 6096, view A in the short length. I chose this pattern because I have several old, cheap RTW dresses that are exactly this style that I’ve worn to death so it’s time for some new (ethically!) made replacements.

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The fabric is a drapey chevron knit from the mill ends bin at my local fabric store. It seems that the best knits are always hiding in there because they come from factory remnants or seconds and they’re fabrics people actually use to make clothing rather than a store full of quilting cottons and terrible sparkly denim. I snapped up this piece the second I saw it with this exact pattern in mind. You’ll just have to believe me that this print has black, white, tan and brown because you certainly can’t tell there’s any tan or brown, thanks to the terrible pic.

Straight out of the envelope, major pattern companies tend to add way too much ease so I always check the finished measurements to the sizes, especially when I use a knit for a woven pattern like this one. I was actually shocked, however, to find that this dress includes 11.5″ of ease above the body measurement. WHAT!? Who needs an extra 1/3 of their body width added to a dress bodice? It’s not like I picked up a mumu pattern. I’ll nearly guarantee that those models in the photograph don’t have 11.5″ of ease in those dresses. They were certainly pinned up in the back to make them look more fitted. In any case, I chose the smallest size 4 for a 30″ bust when with a 37″ bust I should have been a 10 or 12. That meant I had a finished garment measurement of 41″ still! Oh well. That’s supposed to be “blousy,” right?

I also hacked off about 4″ from the bottom of the smallest size to suit me. Other than that, I didn’t have to adjust anything.

I stitched much of it on the serger which meant it was super quick and easy.  I will definitely be stitching up a few more of this bad girls in the near future.

Thanks to a hasty decision to snatch this fabric from the bin and the simplicity of the pieces in the dress, I had plenty left for a bonus camisole without even having to use any creative cutting layouts.

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I cut it out at the same time as the dress using Butterick B4989 as a base but in the end it’s not even recognizable as this pattern. The camisole that comes with this pattern is intended to have fabric straps, bust darts, and use a woven fabric. I cut the smallest XS size for my knit and omitted the straps. I swapped them out for fold over elastic from my stash. I finished the entire upper edge with the elastic and extended it up to create the straps. I’m not thrilled with the place where I chose to join the elastic on the back but I’ve figured out a better way to do it next time.

To give a little better fit through the waist, I added waist shaping darts on the front and back, cleverly disguised along the chevron lines. You really have to search to find them.

I’m quite pleased with the changes I made to this and have plans for a few more of these camisoles as well.

I’m Still Alive…

Sorry for the radio silence lately. I have been down and out with stress-induced shingles since the end of March. The only blog post that went up was already written and scheduled.

I’ve been hurting too much to move more than my elbows down. All of my sewing machines have been sitting silent. My TMS March challenge Miss Bossy Patterns is almost done – it’s been hanging on the dress form waiting for the hem, buttons & button holes, and belt since March 24.

All that I’ve accomplished is a whole lot of sitting and knitting. I’ve knitted a sweater, a hat, a short sleeve top, and a long sleeve dress plus I have one more sweater on my needles. All waiting until I feel (and look) better to photograph!

I promise as soon as I don’t look like a medical mystery photo, I’ll get back to pinning, posing, and posting.