Hidden Gem, McCall's 7472

I know I'm not the only seamstress out there who feels like it's Christmas every time new patterns are released as the seasons change, right? I remember last year I hardly bought any from the Fall lines, just because I live in Hawaii and didn't see much that would work for my weather, but this year, I bought several when they went on sale! 

A hidden gem in the new McCall's line was 7472, which I would have just glanced right over and probably did several times, until I noticed view B! 

I got so excited about a short sleeved button down with raglan sleeves! I've seen a few around in ready to wear and have been hoping to find a pattern similar. Here is my first version:

I'm really liking this top a lot, I've already worn it a couple of times. It's fitted, but loose, if that's even possible, and the lightweight cotton voile makes it that much more dreamy in my tropical climate.

The only adjustment I made was to sew the side slits closed about another inch. Didn't want to show any stretch marks, I mean skin, ha! I think next time I'll take the sides in a little too and possibly shorten by one inch. But I'm gonna leave this one alone, it's just so cool! It's been hot and muggy here, can you tell by how often I'm mentioning the coolness of this shirt? 

Incidentally, I made this skirt too, it's a favorite, I've gotten lots of wear out of it. 

I've already planned another version of this pattern out of a dark gray rayon with yellow lace pockets! Can't wait. 

Cheers :)

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I entered the Pattern Review Sewing Bee!

Patternreview.com is having their own version of the Great British Sewing Bee again this year (if you haven't heard of the Great British Sewing Bee, run, don't walk, to YouTube and binge watch, you will love it!) I didn't enter last year because I didn't feel like I had time to participate, but this year when the first challenge (shorts or capris with a closure) was announced, I knew I could fit that in. It doesn't hurt that I can always use more shorts living here AND that I wanted the chance to perfect a shorts pattern. 

Here is what I entered into round one:

I used the Chi-Town Chinos pattern by Alina Design Co. I love supporting a fellow military spouse and that is made super easy when she produces such a stellar pattern! For reals, I love this pattern. 

I don't have a lot of fabric options at my local store here, but I went in hopeful that I'd find something. I didn't want to use denim for this pair, but I wasn't liking any of the cotton twill colors. I settled on this linen. In the store, I thought it was black. In the car, I decided it was more of a charcoal. Once I made the shorts, I realized it's brown. But when I went outside to photograph them, it looks almost purple/brown. Ha! It's magical. 

Alina's instructions for the zipper fly are on point! I found this vintage button in my big button bin and it's perfect. 

Pattern Review will announce who gets to move on to the next round on the 13th. Fingers crossed! But, even if I don't make it, I have a great pair of shorts! 

Cheers and happy sewing :)

Sewing Bee 2016 - Round 1
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McCall's 7441

Every now and then I break out of my style mold and try a new shape. This was one of those experiments and I'm not positive I love it. 

From the front I like it. I like the pockets and I used the best, softest, prettiest color of fabric. I wish the front were longer, but it'll do. 

It's the crazy drape I'm not sure I'm behind, though! 

In this photo it's fine. The problem is that the part the makes the drape actually forms a point. And the point isn't anchored to anything so when I stand up, or have been moving around a lot, I find myself reaching inside the back of the sweater and pulling that point back in where it belongs so it's not sticking out and looking weird, lol! 

See, I think in this next photo, it's starting to look more awkward:

The good news is, I think I can alter it to work. It's a very oddly shaped pattern piece, but that sorta makes it easy to fix this by simply making that point smaller. I'm gonna try it and see what happens. 

I was chatting with my friend the other day after salvaging a shirt I was making that old Nikki would have tossed rather than rip the collar out of to start over, and I realized how much living where fabric is not so accessible and not so cheap has really challenged me to make things work and alter them and take my time on them until I love them. 

Which brings me to something I AM loving! I had made a dress over a year ago, but I hadn't perfected my technique of using a top pattern and extending it into a dress. This resulted in a dress that wasn't very comfortable to sit down in, ha! But the fabric was so great, I loved it, and the fit was perfect on the top! So I kept it in my stash thinking I'd cut it up someday. I pulled it out and cut it into a top with a shirt tail hem (my favorite) and it's getting so much wear now, I just love it. 

Successful salvaging of projects gives me hope for the crazy-drape cardigan. Any suggestions would be quite helpful! 

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Weekend Sewing Report: Jalie Raglan Dress

I made a dress over the weekend and I am so excited about how it turned out! I bought these two fabrics, one a woven rayon and one a soft stretch knit at two different places, but when I realized they made such a great match, I wanted to find a dress pattern for wovens with raglan sleeves. Is that so much to ask?? Apparently so, because I could not find what I was looking for. 

It hit me that I had this amazing Jalie pattern (Jalie 3245) that I've made several times and love and I knew that I could hack it into the dress I was wanting. It turned out amazing! 

Because this pattern was made for knits and my fabric is woven, I made some adjustments when cutting to account for the lack of stretch and also to create more of a swing style. My method isn't super sophisticated, but it works. Basically, I pivot the pieces out from the fold so it gradually widens the dress all the way down. That's it. 

I wore this dress yesterday to church and to teach a sewing class and felt pretty darn fab all day! It's so comfortable and I'm very proud of how my neckline turned out, I think it looks pretty great if I may say so myself. This Jalie pattern is actually how I landed on my favorite method of applying knit neckbands a few years ago and it's the only method I ever use now. 

And these pockets! These are part of the pattern and I went ahead and cut them out, thinking I probably wouldn't use them. But I pinned them on and asked Natalie her opinion and we both decided they sort of make the dress! 

It's pretty unusual for me to make or wear anything with sleeves these days, but as we only have about nine months left in Hawaii, and chances are we'll move somewhere with some degree of weather variation next, I'm starting to think ahead to that just a little bit. Although, when I'm stuck in traffic or have to turn around and go home because I can't find a parking spot some place, I start thinking ahead more than just a little bit. Ha! 

The back fits nicely too. We tried to take outside pictures, but the wind (and my hair) was not cooperating. Casey is so patient to take photos for me. Last time I had my nine-year-old do it, the grass behind me was in perfect focus while I was a blur in every photo. 

Aw :) 

I have enough of this beautiful lace left to make some other small things or parts of things. I love the color and am glad I snatched it up even before I had plans for it! 

Cheers :) 

Nikki

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Weekend Sewing Report: McCall's 6954

I have a crazy busy week coming up. I was really stressing over it and asked Casey to talk me back from the ledge and he suggested some sewing time. Ha! He gets me. Gotta make time for personal sewing, it's like therapy. 

I won't beat around the bush. I made a dress and I love it! 

McCall's 6954 by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

McCall's 6954 by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

If you're a quilter or are familiar at all with designer fabrics, or have shopped at JoAnn's at all, you may have noticed that this is a well known Denise Schmidt print. However, it's a rayon. I was at Hawaii Fabricmart and there miraculously appeared an entire wall of gorgeous rayons like this one! I swear it wasn't there before, there's no way I would have missed that for two years running. Anyway, I wasn't aware Denise Schmidt prints came in rayon, there was no info on the selvedge NOR on the end of the bolt. Which means it's quite possible this is a blatant knock-off of her work. Does anyone know if rayons were made in her prints? 

At any rate, I wanted to make a swingy summer dress and I had McCall's 6954 in my stash. I made the small and since there are four seams (front, back and sides), it was easy to adjust for more space in the bust. I have a history of making things too big, so I'm working on that and this size was perfect. 

It has so much movement to it, it's very comfortable and my husband really likes it! And, of course, it's looseness is a plus in my climate. It has been hot! 

These were taken outside my house. Don't hate me for my beautiful view. I promise it's leveraged by epic traffic! 

I plan to take this dress on my coming anniversary trip to the Big Island! I can't wait! 

Cheers :) 

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Weekend Sewing Report: Vogue 9109

I have made a top from this pattern and love it and wear it all the time. What I love most about it is the fit of the neckline and arms, so I knew I wanted to try to modify it into a dress someday. That day was yesterday! 

Vogue 9109

Vogue 9109

I slashed and spread the pattern pieces at the waist in order to create more of a tent dress shape on the bottom and then added length. Thankfully this worked beautifully, because I don't often take the time for muslins, ha! 

Vogue 9109

Vogue 9109

When I got to the hemming stage, I wanted to do something a little different and thought the slight high-lo would look cute. I feel like, with a semi-shapeless dress, making it too long just overwhelms me and looks frumpy. So I wanted it short enough not to do that, but also I wanted length enough in the back not to have to be sooo careful when I bend down. I think I covered my bases and it looks great! 

This is a keeper pattern for me, even though it's in several pieces now, haha. 

Vogue 9109

Vogue 9109

I hope to finish a few more projects this week before my next round of sewing camps starts. Until then, Happy Independence Day, America! 

Cheers and Happy Sewing :)

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Pattern Shout-Out: Jalie Pull-On Pants & Shorts

I would say the true test for any sewing pattern is to see if 14 kids can successfully sew it. All 14 of my June sewing campers went home with pajama shorts that they sewed by themselves and they all fit!

Sewing camp session 1: Jalie 3243

Sewing camp session 1: Jalie 3243

We used Jalie's Pull-on pants and shorts pattern. I measured each girl on day one of camp and then traced their correct size off of the pdf pattern I purchased. The size chart is so accurate, thankfully, as everyone's shorts fit perfectly! 

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Love that glasses fabric Natalie used! This isn't a pajama pattern, actually, but it works great as one. The pockets are super cute. I'm going to make a pair for myself and then maybe pick up some linen this weekend and make some pants for myself too! I love the Jalie patterns come with all sizes, from kids to adults, it's awesome. 

Here are my week 2 campers! I got to be in the photo this time! 

Sewing camp session 2: Jaile 3243

Sewing camp session 2: Jaile 3243

I highly recommend this pattern! If all these kids can make it, you can make it too. 

Cheers and happy sewing :)

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Weekend Sewing: Kwik Sew 4169

Even though I spent all week teaching kiddos to sew, somehow I still wanted to sew for fun on my "off time" (ha, off time, as if). My wardrobe is pretty pared down these days. I really only keep things I truly love and wear. Plus, style is pretty casual where I live. I noticed when getting ready for church last week that a few new dresses were needed, but I want dresses that are casual enough to work for the everyday.

Kwik Sew 4169 paired with a perfect-weight knit I got from Fabric.com recently resulted in my perfect dress! I love it! 

Kwik Sew 4169

Kwik Sew 4169

When you sew for yourself, you can learn to fix all the little fitting quirks that irritate you about ready to wear. For example, I make a swayback adjustment on everything, a short waist adjustment on many things and often take front armhole darts too. I do these simple things so often that they don't even take me any extra time! I think this is one of the best fitting things I've ever made and it's so comfortable! 

Kwik Sew 4169

Kwik Sew 4169

Kwik Sew 4169

Kwik Sew 4169

Thanks to my 9 year old for taking my photos for me, she did a good job. 

I also worked on a chambray sleeveless button down shirt this week! I just need to buy buttons for it. It turned out great and I think it will be super versatile! 

But for now, we're on to the next sewing camp!! Can't wait!

Cheers and Happy Sewing! 

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