finished objects · Sewing

Pattern Review: Burda 6265

Pattern: Burda 6265

Fabric: Mammoth Flannel by Robert Kauffman, purchased from Etsy.

Size: 40, blended to 42 at the waist

Notes: I was initially not sure what to make of the cottagecore trend. Admittedly, I do love ruffles and silly collars, but I did experience a twinge of “Am I too old for all this?” But you know what? Wear what makes you happy. Those rules are all silly. And this dress? Makes me happy to wear!

I’ve seen a few others make lovely flannel dresses online this year so I decided to give it a try. I’ve been diagnosed with Reynaud’s Syndrome which leads to me being excessively cold most of the time, so I really need to focus on covering myself in warm things during the winter! I made my Ilford jacket out of Robert Kauffman’s Durango flannel, the heavyweight version of this fabric, so I already knew how nice it was. It doesn’t pill, and I don’t think it shrinks as badly as cheap flannel either. This is the small version of the buffalo plaid. The checks are around 3/4 inches.

The pattern was a joy, although the directions were the usual Burda nonsense. The collar is attached and the seam is covered in bias tape – a good method, but strips are cut rather too narrow. I would make them wider so it’s easier to cover the seam allowance.

This is mostly view A, but I did cut the ruffle from view B at half the length (folded it in half longways before cutting.) I’m very happy with how it came out!

You can see my video review here:

crafts · finished objects · Sewing

My top makes of 2021

Happy 2022 to you all! I’m sorry that I’ve not always been amazing at posting my favorite makes on here, but I have been sewing!

I am so glad that I started sewing again in 2021, even though at first it seemed that I had forgotten everything I knew before. It was humbling to start again, and invigorating to see all the new sewists who have taken up the craft! It eventually came back, and I’m looking forward to a productive new year of sewing. I’d like to sew a real blazer, and maybe explore pants making a bit more. And of course I’m going to end up making lots and lots of dresses, since that’s mostly what I wear!

One of my resolutions was to do a better job of keeping up this space, so look for more content here, and hopefully a move to self-host this blog in the future.

Over Christmas break, my wonderful boyfriend got me started on a YouTube channel about sewing. Since I don’t actually have anyone to talk to in my real life about crafting, I’m looking forward to using that space to give updates. I’d also like to do a few sew-a-longs, as that’s something that has helped me tremendously from other channels!

If you’d like to see my top garments from last year, please take a look at this video:

I hope you enjoy listening to me go on about my favorite things!

I’ll be back in this space soon with some new pattern reviews – I just made a killer Burda pattern that I can’t wait to talk about! In the meantime, here is a preview of how it turned out:

crafts · Life · Sewing

A Wardrobe from Scratch

Hi there! You may have noticed that I’ve decided to revive my blog after a very long hiatus! I’ve had lots of life changes – new job, new city, new everything pretty much. I’m loving my life living in downtown Cincinnati. I live right next to a big city park in a neighborhood where there’s always something to do!

I took a really long break from sewing clothes. I have a very small apartment, and only recently got my sewing space set up (and it’s still in my kitchen, but I’m making it work!) And then Covid happened, so I pretty much only sewed masks. With things opening back up again in Ohio I realized that I had basically two pairs of pants and only three dresses in my wardrobe.

I got online and started reconnecting with the online sewing community. Wow – it’s changed so much while I was away! When I was last sewing there were only a few Indies, and now they are everywhere! There are also more independent shops to buy fabric from, which is great because my local selection isn’t amazing. I’m so inspired by the community on social media (you can find me on Instagram as Stitchywitchcreates) and blogs.

So here I am – ready to sew my way to a new wardrobe again! I’m going to use this space to document my plans and my sewing discoveries as I go along. I’d also like to make a quilt perhaps and knit some cardigans. Mostly I’d like to be engaged in the act of creating. My job is creative, but in my downtime I really need to create something tangible. It’s been way too long since I’ve felt engaged in the art of making something for its own sake.

So to start? A pair of culottes.

I bought some tencel twill from an Etsy shop in a deep navy. The price was good, but the edges of the fabric look like it was cut off the bolt with hedgeclippers – I would definitely not recommend. The fabric is nice though, with a great drape. I cut up a rtw top from my closet for pocket fabric, as I didn’t have enough of the main if I wanted to make view B (the medium length above.) I’ve never been one for making a ton of separates, but they are greatly needed in my wardrobe – here’s hoping they fit well!

I cut the waistband in between the size 14 and 16, then graded down to a 12 for the hips. I know the pattern says to just choose off waist size, but I was really worried about them being huge everywhere else. The fabric has a few strange marks on it, so I’m going to consider this a (hopefully!) wearable muslin.

crafts · finished objects · Sewing

When life gives you… You know.

I finished another new dress! I’m so enjoying working on new makes these days. This one cheers me up just looking at the fabric, so that’s a win in my book!

Pattern: Glenelly top and dress from Itch to Stitch.

Fabric: Knit blend from JoAnn’s

Notes: It’s been years since I sewed anything using a knit fabric, but when I saw this pattern I knew immediately that I had the perfect fabric!

I cut a straight size eight, which matched my measurements. After completing the dress, I feel that I probably should have sized down for the waist. The shoulders were a pretty good fit. I used the standard sized pieces and have a C cup bust.

The instructions were very clear. I didn’t follow all of them, but I think they were solid. I opted not to stabilize the corners of the neckline with interfacing, and as you can see it turned out fine.

I also didn’t stabilize the waist with stay tape, though I did use clear elastic. The waist is pretty loose, and is definitely the main thing I would change if I sewed this again.

I took two inches off the hem to get the length I wanted.

Overall this turned out very cute, and it was easy to sew! I liked that the pattern told you what seams would be best to serge and where to use a narrow zigzag. I definitely plan to give the top a try!

crafts · finished objects · Sewing

The Trillium dress

It’s certainly been a minute! While I was away from the blog I got a new job, moved to Ohio, and got a new cat. All good things, and I can promise many photos of the car. Lately I’ve been sewing again, and missed sharing what I’ve made.

Pattern: the Trillium Dress (formerly washi)

Designer: Made by Rae

Fabric: Anchor print cotton voile, Gertie for JoAnn several years ago.

Notes: I’ve owned this pattern for an embarrassing amount of time. I love a good empire waist, but the ruching intimidated me!

I’ve made a commitment to get back to some of my creative hobbies, so when I dug this fabric out of storage I knew what I wanted to make.

I cut a size small with the C cup bodice pieces. My waist measurement is larger than that size, but I figured it wouldn’t matter with the elastic. I was right about that.

The directions for this dress are excellent, very clear. When I got to the waist, I took a deep breath and watched YouTube videos. I ended up having to adjust my bobbin case tension, which was scary, but it worked out in the end!

I ran out of fabric and had to turn and stitch the armhole seam allowances. It’s not as neat as I would like, but it’s not noticeable.

If I made this again I would lower the bust darts by an inch or so – they are pretty high on me, and I am a 34 c bra. I’d also probably use bias binding instead of the facing option on the neck and armholes for a cleaner finish. But it fits well, and I got lots of compliments when I wore it to church last week – I see another of these (maybe in a solid linen?) in my future!

I’m hoping to post here more, but if you’re interested you can follow me on Instagram (in the sidebar or search for stitchywitchcreates.

And as promised, the cat photos! His name is Bones, and he is so spoiled! Here he is enjoying some nice fresh laundry.

Sewing

Liberty woes

I’m currently working on McCall’s 6750.

I’m making the sleeveless version, omitting the armhole facings.  I’m using Liberty Tana Lawn for the first time, as I got a single yard as a gift.

This colorway is Pepper E.

Anyway, I’m really starting to wonder if I’ve been misled, as this fabric is kind of terrible to work with.  Even using a walking foot, the layers shift and my stitches are uneven.  I tried rethreading the machine, cleaning out the machine, a new, smaller needle, different thread, changing the tension – the works, basically!  I really think it’s just that the fabric is so lightweight that it’s hard to control.  Is this just me?  Does my machine need to be punished with a visit to the shop?  I don’t have this issue with any other fabric, so my assumption is that I’m missing some vital bit of Liberty sewing info.  If I am, let me know, if not… well, I suppose I will continue, since I already sewed all 9 darts, and it won’t take long to finish.   I’m not looking forward to buttonholes!

crafts · Sewing

Vogue 9005

Pattern: Vogue 9005, view A

Size: XS in the shoulders, medium at hips (for reference, my measurements are: 33-28-38)

Fabric: Lightweight rayon jersey from Fabric Mart

Alterations: I lengthened the tank portion only by 2 inches, and I reduced the armhole depth by 2 inches in order to combat stretching.

General Notes:

I always seem to be attracted to the strange tops.   Although I am perfectly aware that this looks a little bit like I’m carrying around a spare napkin, I love the style anyway!  I’ve been wearing more pants this year, particularly skinny jeans, and because I’m both pear shaped and have a long torso I have a hard time buying tops that are long enough and which fit in both the shoulders and hips.  Plus, as I mentioned, I like weird, arty, drapey things, which aren’t always in abundance in stores. I was attracted to this design right away, and I have an abundance of knit fabric, so I knew I had to make it!

Pattern instructions for knits don’t always make sense, as they are often written as though the fabric were woven.  This one wasn’t bad, really, although the tank does have darts, and I don’t like darts in a t-shirt.  The binding instructions were a little crazy – I opted to edgestitch my binding from the front and then trim it close in the back – you can’t tell, and bindings on knits are a pain.

The pattern piece for the drape is enormous, and I had to cut it on the floor.  It was actually rather simple to construct, although the directions had to resort to saying things like “sew as in drawing” when it was hard to explain.  All you are doing it creating the top and drape separately, and then binding them together at the armhole and neckline.  I didn’t copy the matching symbols because my fabric would not mark, and it worked out fine.

The drape, as you can see, hangs freely:

I had to shorten the armholes by 2 inches due to the weight of all that fabric.  The neckline is also rather deep, although I don’t have much cleavage so it works ok for me.  Anyone larger would probably want to adjust that.  I did lengthen the tank by 2 inches, and I did not hem anything.  I do wish that the bottom edge of the tank could be hemmed easily, but this fabric doesn’t take hemming well.

The drape continues onto the back:

As you can see, it tends to hang off to the side.  That’s ok, but I don’t think the back view on this pattern is the greatest ever.

I think this is an interesting pattern, and it was simple to make – I recommend it!

 

finished objects · Sewing

Simplicity 1419

Pattern: Simplicity 1419, view B

Fabric:  Mystery fabric from Joann’s

Notions: 22″ invisible zipper, contrasting sateen for collar and bias binding

Notes:

So, I guess I’m back!  The musical was brilliant, and I’m so very proud of all my students.  Next spring I hope to produce another!   Now that I’ve done it once, perhaps it will not consume my life.  I wouldn’t want to do anything else, and I am so very happy with my career!  But now I have a few months off, so I’m back to sewing again.  Well, I had to kick my husband out of my sewing room, which he had turned into a LEGO construction room, but never you mind.   I decided t0 start back with this pattern, a Lisette dress in a very retro style.

I bought this fabric at Joann’s, and I’m not sure of the content.  My guess is rayon/poly/cotton.  It does like to fray, but it will  hold a press.  I have wanted a striped dress for a few years, so I was happy to make this one!

I cut a size a size 12 in the bodice, blending to a 14 in the waist (my measurements are a 28″ waist and 33″ bust, if that helps anyone!)  Honestly, the waist is a little big, but I don’t like things that are tight, so I’m happy with it!

I didn’t follow many of the instructions, but I did use the zipper instructions.  Honestly, I can’t recommend them if you do view B (with the collar):

(I am very proud of my stripe matching – not perfect on the skirt, but excellent in the bodice!)  So, the instructions direct you to interface both the collar and the facing.  This results in a lot of bulk.  It then asks you to place the edge of the zipper tape at the seamline, and to later fold the tape over the seam line and tack it down.  Quite frankly, that’s a lot of bulk, and I would recommend interfacing only the facing, and finishing the zipper with a hook and eye to close.

I decided that I would rather just hand sew the neck together, so my dress lacks the button and loop called for in the pattern.

Sewing this dress made me realize how much I was missing sewing.  Hopefully I will be able to make some balance this year, so that I don’t have to disappear again!  I would like to thank everyone who emailed me, asking where I was.  Although  I wasn’t always able to reply, it meant a lot to me that you all remembered!  I’m really hoping to be here more consistently now, and to find more balance in my life.  Plus, look at all the awesome patterns I missed (planning post coming soon!)

But really, thank you, and I hope I haven’t been forgotten!

 

crafts · finished objects · Sewing

Simplicity 1614: stripes!

Simplicity 1614

Pattern: Simplicity 1614

Fabric: Rayon Challis (ebay purchase)

Notes:

I am seeing this high/low hem tops everywhere this season.  I made one last year, which didn’t turn out so well.  I didn’t like how much longer that top was in the back – I prefer the more gentle rounded hem of this pattern.  I also think rayon challis is a much better choice, as it allows the pattern to drape naturally.

Because my torso is incredibly long, I haven’t found any hi-lo tanks in the stores that fit me.  They all cut off in the front at precisely the widest part of my hips, and I don’t find that flattering on me.  I knew I would have to lengthen this top, so I added 3 inches in cutting.  I was worried that was too much, but it turned out to be just right!

I should probably mention that you won’t find this version of the top (rounded hem in with the front all one piece) in the pattern.  This version is cut in stripes on the front, but I taped the pieces together in order to have only one seam (the bust line, which is on all versions.)

I was really excited to use my striped fabric – I’ve had it for ages, but it was too overwhelming for a dress.  Imagine my dismay when I realized that the piece was actually vertical stripes!  No matter, I cut on the cross grain.  In fact, in order to get the stripes to line up I had to cut the yoke entirely off grain.  Luckily, that doesn’t seem to have caused any issues, but I’m sure it would in a more fitted top.

I cut a straight size 8, and I did not make any sizing adjustments (except the length) but for one.  I made the view with the single back strap, but after carefully assembling the straps I realized that the strap was really wide on me – several inches too wide!  Because it was already sewn into the seams, I ended up just folding under part of the strap and securing it under the armholes.  It’s invisible in this fabric!  I took out 2.5″ inches overall.  I probably have a narrow back:

IMG_2982

I am exceedingly proud of the back seam matching – I can’t even see it, can you?

On the subject of the pattern – it was generally pretty good, though I had one issue.  The pattern has you staystitch the neckline, but unfortunately the front neckline has a 3/8″ seam allowance, which isn’t marked.  Be sure to keep in to a quarter inch or it will show and have to be removed!

I think the pattern wanted a hidden bias finish, but I wasn’t thrilled with that on the neck.  The armholes have visible black binding, much neater imo!

In all, a very successful top.  I’m not done with tops for the summer, but I need to pause to make dresses for a few events I have coming up… look for that soon!

IMG_2999fix

crafts · finished objects · Sewing

Vogue 8856

Vogue 8856

Pattern: Vogue 8856

Fabric: Bamboo jersey from fabric mart

Notes:

I always wonder how companies choose the view they will sew for the pattern envelope.  In the case of Vogue 8866, they chose the simpler version (you can see it in the link above.)  If I hadn’t clicked through to look at the illustrations I would have never known about this version, and I would never have bought it for the plain t-shirt view.

I loved the skirted version.  Yes, ok, it looks a little like a dance costume, but so what?  I love dance costumes!  In fact, this particularly reminds me of a green number I wore while doing a dance to “The Sign” by Ace of Base.  Yes, it was probably twice as dorky as you are imagining in your head.

I was worried about sewing this up because of all the sharp angles.  Usually those are a pain to sew, but not here!  I was really impressed with the drafting.  Everything fit together perfectly, which is not always the case!  If you’ve never sewn something like this before the instructions might be a little vague (I think there were places that needed to be cut to the corner that were not listed in the instructions, but I’ve made enough of these to do it automatically.)

I think the style is very flattering.  It’s long enough to wear with leggings, almost long enough to be a minidress (I did not add any length to this one!)  I’m not really an enormous fan of cut on cowl necklines because I think they make me look a little top heavy, and this is no exception, but I still really like it.  If I made it again I would turn the cowl into a boatneck, because that’s a better neckline when you (like me) have little difference in size between your bust and waist

Let’s talk fabric choice:  I actually think this would be nicer in a more stable knit.  I used a medium weight bamboo jersey because it’s what I had, and I didn’t want to buy any new knits before using some up.  Bamboo jersey is heavy and stretchy.  I stabilized the shoulder seams, but it does still stretch out (especially in the back – the skirt is heavy!)  I think a ponte would work, or an interlock.  On the right hand side you can see the waist of my leggings through the knit, which is one of my pet peeves.  I will have to think carefully on what I wear underneath.

I did not hem the skirt, which I think it best for this style. I hemmed the neckline and armholes with a baby hem, as suggested in the pattern, but I think a bound finish might help to stabilize those edges even further (clear elastic can only do so much!)

I’m on a roll with tops – I have one more to complete this week!  I’m trying to get in my summer sewing this month, because I know when classes start in June I will have less time.
vogue 8856