Show Your Stoff: Alizia Top

Hey, Sewists! I am excited to share another Zierstoff Patterns creation for the Show Your Stoff tour.  Before I talk about my new make, I have to confess that I am one of those who is completely obsessed with the HGTV show Fixer Upper.  Chip and Joanna Gaines are totally adorable, share a deep love of each other, and keep humor alive in their relationship.   Joanna’s design style has given me a newfound love of shiplap and shopping for antiques.  More than that though, I am smitten with Joanna’s personal wardrobe style.  She is down to earth and wears lots of flannel plaid and army green.  Be still my heart!  Okay, all gushing aside, she wore a navy and brown top in an episode that I loved and knew I had to make.  Hours after watching her wear this top I saw Melissa’s call out for sewing bloggers to join this tour.  I found the Alizia batwing top and knew exactly what I was going to be making.

For this top, I used all stashed fabrics! Can I tell you, I am feeling pretty confident in my stashbusting efforts so far this year. Anyways, for most of the top, I used 1.75 yards of Patriot Blue Rayon Lycra Jersey from Fabric Mart. I purchased this fabric in 2016 for $4.00 a yard. For my accent details, I used .75 yards of a tan faux suede 2-way stretch fabric. This fabric has been languishing in my stash for over 10 years! I think that it was purchased sometime between 2004 and 2005, with the intention of using it for a fairy type of renaissance festival costume. I figured that since I had not made the costume in the last 10 years that I was probably never going to make it and it was safe to use this fabric for another project. I have no idea how much I originally spent on it since it was well before started keeping track of that.

Much like the Pia Dress pattern I stitched up before, I have the same concerns for new sewists with these PDF patterns. Also like my Pia Dress, I still ended up with a great finished garment.

I did make a couple of changes to the neckband piece due to my fabric choices. Since the fabric is only a 2-way stretch I ended up cutting it two inches longer. This allowed me to be able to fit the neckline of the jersey into the neckband with l little more ease and help the neckline to lay flat without puckers. I also took a deeper seam allowance around the neck than the pattern calls for. The instructions say to use a 3/8” seam allowance, however, my neckband was not laying flat and stuck up instead. It was also a bit tight to pull on over my head. To remedy this I stitched the neckband at 5/8” This made all the world of difference. The end result was having a neckband that was just over a 1/2” wide and laid flat against the body. To help keep it laying flat, I topstitched around the neckline of the jersey. Topstitching this type of neckline is my personal preference, as I think it helps to give a cleaner look to the finished garment.

All in all, I am pretty pleased with how this top turned out.  If you have not checked out Zierstoff Patterns yet, go do it now!  Zierstoff is giving everyone 30% off your purchase.

Check out the rest of the stops on the Show Your Stoff blog tour.
Monday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Anne-Mari Sews, Inspinration, Tenille’s Thread, Sew Cucio, Embrace Everyday

Tuesday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Musings of A Seamstress, mahlicadesigns, Anna’s Heirloom Boutique, Ronda B Handmade, FABulous Home Sewn

Wednesday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Thread and Scissors, Kaleidothought, Idle Sunshine, mahlicadesigns

Thursday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)

Very Blissful, Sew A Piece of Joy, Zowie Zo, Nina Makes, Lulu & Celeste, Thread and Scissors.

Friday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Tales of a Tester; Anne-Mari Sews; Bless, by Tone; Life Sew Savory; Needles to Say, and Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Saturday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Musings of A Seamstress, Anna’s Heirloom Boutique, Ronda B Handmade, Glitter in my Coffee, Anne-Mari Sews, Stitches by Laura; Tea, Dust and Stitches

Breaking Ground: Sew Liberated

Hey, Sewists! How has your week been going?  Mine has been busy, which is to be expected while in the process of uprooting one’s life to another state.  I did, however, find time to stitch up another new pattern for the Breaking Ground tour Melissa is hosting. Today, I will be sharing my thoughts on the Sew Liberated – Esme Top.

I picked this pattern up at a local fabric shop in Indianapolis two years ago.  Two years it has been sitting in my pattern stash just waiting to be sewn up.  I have no good reason why it has gone un-sewn for so long, other than I get nervous about cutting into my indie patterns that I have spent way more money on.  When I buy patterns from the big four I always do it during a sale at Jo-Ann’s, so I pay less than $2 for a pattern.  When I am paying anywhere from $15-25 for a paper pattern from an indie designer I tend to be a bit more reserved with them and so they languish in my pattern stash a little bit longer than others would.  Here’s to getting over that caution and trying something new!

My initial attractions to this pattern were the yoke and the gathered sleeve with cuff.  I like unique details and that yoke fits into that category for me.  I just love that curved yoke with button detail.  One of the things the instructions say is that the buttons can either be sewn through both layers of the yoke, making it a faux closure, or you could add buttonholes to make it functional.  I choose to make functional buttonholes even though I will never unbutton them.  It is the little details, like functional buttonholes, that I am looking to include more of in my sewing this year.

Sew Liberated patterns are unique with their packaging and instructions in that they are minimal.  This is all the packaging included: a front cover, a back cover, the pattern pieces, and a single page (front and back) instruction sheet.  The instructions are the basic slimmed down version for a more experienced sewer, which is great for me.  They are easy to follow and the diagrams are helpful to clarify the written directions.  There is also a website and access code provided that lead you to a more in-depth video tutorial.  This is great for beginner sewists, as she walks you through making the top from start to finish with different tips and tricks along the way.  My only critique of the video is that it needs to be updated to look more professional.  The photography on the pattern envelope and the website are great and very professional.  The video, unfortunately, falls short of that professional expectation for me.

On the instruction sheet, it does have a size chart that is pretty standard with other pattern lines.  It does not have finished garment measurements on either the pattern pieces or the instruction sheet, which I find disappointing.  My bust measurement is 2″ bigger than the biggest size (20) on the pattern.  Normally, I would consult the finished measurements to see just how much ease is in the pattern to know whether or not I should add more width to the bust.  Because that finished measurement was not available to me and because of how roomy the top looked on the pattern cover and after a rough tissue fit, I choose to make the standard size 20 with no alterations.  I took a risk and it ended better than it could have been.  The top came out much larger in the bust than expected.  I probably could have made a size 18 and still had enough bust room.  As it is now when I wear it unbelted the side view is not pretty and I look like I am wearing a tent.  This pretty much guarantees I will always be belting this top when worn, which is fine because I have quite the collection of fashion belts to pair with it.  Below are the finished garment measurements and my personal measurements as a comparison.

Finished measurements (sz 20)

Bust:53.5″/Waist: 58″/Hip: 61.5″

My measurements

Bust: 46.5″/Waist: 42″/Hip: 48″

I ended up using 2.5 yards of a light blue denim chambray from Jo-Ann’s for a total cost of $12.50.  This fabric has been in my stash since 2014 because I had a completely different idea of what I would be using it for.  I also used six 1/2″ buttons from my button stash.  This whole project has been an all around stashbusting success!  I am going to enjoy wearing this top as it is just basic enough that I can wear it with any of my colorful jeggings and fashion belts.  The neckline also gives me plenty of options for different necklaces making the outfit possibilities virtually endless.  I would like to make it again with a stripe or plaid fabric.  The sleeve is on the bias and the yoke can be turned on the crossgrain, so I think there are some opportunities to really make those details stand out with a directional fabric choice.

Have you tried a Sew Liberated pattern?  What were your thoughts on it?

 

Check out the rest of this weeks tour participants:

Monday March 20- Anne-Mari Sews, Sewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Tenille’s Thread, Couturious, Embrace Everyday, Sewing A La Carte

Tuesday March 21- mahlicadesigns,  Kaleidothought,  Ronda B Handmade, Elizabeth Made This

Wednesday March 22- Rainy Day SewingAnne-Mari Sews, Sprouting Jube JubeSewing A La CarteTales of a Tester

Thursday March 23- mahlicadesigns, Lulu & Celeste, Very BlissfulSprouting Jube Jube, Ronda B Handmade, Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Friday March 24- Anne-Mari Sews, Tales of a TesterSewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Harper + Lu,  Sewing A La Carte

 

Sew Long Summer T-shirt edition

 

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hackHey Sewists!  I volunteered for double duty for the Sew Long Summer tour, so I am back with another new garment.  Today, I am sharing my pattern hack version of Simplicity 1062. This is my second version of this pattern hacked top I have made this year.  I posted about my previous version and the non-hacked version here.  I never did write my how to hack post though.  Maybe next month.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hack

 

Back to this version now!  I made a few pattern tweaks from the last version and it made all the difference.  I love love love this top! The inspiration came from a top I purchased at Torrid a while back.  I has a woven front panel with a knit back  panel and neckline/armhole trim.  Not a typical combination, but it works for this top.  The front used .75 yards of Grayscale Tree Silhouettes Peach Skin Fabric from Girl Charlee purchased back in 2014 for $2.73.  The black is 1 yard of Ponte De Roma from Jo-Ann’s purchased in 2015 for $7.79 a yard. Total fabric cost: $10.52, which is less than half of what I paid for the inspiration piece.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hackThis is a great quick and easy make.  My typical fall wardrobe consists of skinny jeans, boots, and a cute top.  This top will fit into that wardrobe perfectly!  It was also a great way to use up some smaller pieces from my stash!  I am going to have to make more versions of this top. I want to make one with a bright colored Ponte De Roma instead of the black.  I promise I will write a how to hack post at some point while making other versions.

 

I have really enjoyed participating in the Sew Long Summer Tour again this year.  Check out the other tour stops while you are at it.
Sewing by Ti, Musings of a Seamstress, Tales of a Tester, Almost a hippy, At Margareta’s Haus, Sewing A La Carte, Birds Of A Kettle

 

 

 

TNT Stashbusting

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Hey Stashbusters!  How are you doing on your dress sewing this month? I meant to post about this dress two weeks ago, but Eric and I were celebrating our anniversary by going to Canada!  It was a blast! I may have bought one piece of fabric as a souvenir.  We’ll pretend like I didn’t do that for now though.

This week I am back with another version of my TNT knit dress, McCall’s 6073.  I have made this dress so many times I can’t even tell you what version number this one is.  I think maybe I should give this pattern a rest for a bit.  For this version, I used my redrafted bodice pieces to create a scoop neckline instead of the cross over V-neck.  I also did a quick and easy rolled hem.  That is my new preferred hem finish for knit dresses.  It is easier and looks better than a turned and stitched hem, in my opinion.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

For my fabrics I picked up two yards of this awesome Aztec coral and purple cotton jersey blend from Girl Charlee way back in February.  I had intended to use it for this dress and picked up a royal purple cotton spandex to go with it.  On the Girl Charlee site they looked like they would match perfectly together.  Unfortunately,  in person that was not the case.  The purple in the print was just too dark to match the royal purple solid.  Now, I have one yard of royal purple cotton spandex in my stash.  Bah!

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Luckily, I still had a little bit of navy ponte de roma from a few years ago when I did the Adoption Dress Project.  The navy looked great with the coral print, so it won!  In the end I used, 1.5 yards of purple/coral Aztec print for $9.38, and .75 yards of navy ponte de roma for $5.84.  The total fabric cost for this dress is $15.22.  I don’t think that is too bad for just the materials cost.  If you were to factor in an hourly rate of minimum wage for two hours, this is about what you would pay for a knit dress at Target.  I will take that!

Oh oh and before I go, I have to tell you some exciting news!  If you follow me on Facebook you probably already saw this last month, so I am sorry for being repetitive. But……I am one of the new bloggers for Cali & Co Fabrics! I am pretty excited about this opportunity!  Awhile back they posted a call out for bloggers on their blog and I applied.  I was surprised that I actually got picked.  The list of other bloggers is full of quite a few well known sewing bloggers.  I finished my first garment this past weekend and it should go live on their blog sometime soon.  Make sure to follow their blog to see all the awesome things my co-bloggers are making!

Battle of the Cotton Knits

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Hey Stashbusters!  Today we are talking about knit fabrics!  Inspired by Melissa at Mahlica Designs and her fantastic Versus series, I thought I would write up my own version of this.  I wanted to compare how the exact same pattern would sew up in two different knits.  Cotton Spandex Knit and Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit to be exact.

Let’s start with a little background on the pattern first.  The pattern I picked is M6559 in view D.  This is a pretty basic pattern as it only has two pieces.  It is a quick make, which is good for me.  These are the 3rd and 4th versions I have made using this pattern. Surprisingly, this is the first time I am really blogging about this pattern.  I kind of reviewed it here but not very much. For both versions I made a size 22 with no fitting alterations.  For both versions I did add a contrasting trim to the neckline and armholes and a simple rolled hem finish.  I love the contrasting trim I added as a different way to finish my openings.  I haven’t posted it yet, but I do have a pattern hack tutorial written for a different pattern that includes how to add this trim, so I am not going to post it here.  I really do love this pattern for its simplicity.  It makes a great summer dress for me that I am going to make over and over again.

Let’s get down to the main event though.  I compared each fabric in the following areas: sewing experience, all day wearability, first laundry cycle.

THE FABRICS:

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit

 

First up is a Kumquat Teal Navajo Modal Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee.  I used 1.75 yards of this fabric that I purchased back in 2014 during their Black Friday sale.  The total cost of this one is $4.38.  I also used scraps of an Orange Rayon Spandex.  It wasn’t enough to count for anything though.  This is a very soft drapey knit, that clings in all the right places. It is typically used for sleep wear, making this kinda like secret pajamas.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

Cotton Spandex Knit

 

The second fabric is Pink and Black Ethnic Cotton Spandex Knit.  This one also came from Girl Charlee and was in the August 2015 Knitfix I purchased last year. I used 2 yards which was a cost of $11.50.  For the contrast I used some scraps of Black Ponte De Roma that I had laying around. For this version I added 3″ to the bottom hem since I did not pre-wash the fabric because I wanted to do a laundry test.  This fabric is a little thicker than the other, but it feels more like a comfy t-shirt.

SEWING EXPERIENCE:

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559  The Rayon Spandex print can go either direction, so I had no problems being able to match up the print at the side seams.  It is darn near perfect! Rayon Spandex does present it’s own set of sewing challenges though.  This fabric has a lot of stretch to it, so it was very important that I not stretch the fabric as I was sewing. Having a pattern to match at the side seams helped immensely with that. For all knits I make sure I use bulky nylon as my bobbin thread on my straight stitch machine and looper threads on serger.  I also make sure I use a jersey needle.

 

The cotton spandex, Musings of a Seamstress - M6559unfortunately, is a one way print.  With only having two yards the front and back panels go different directions, so there was no way I was able to match prints at the side seam.  This one has a good amount of stretch to it, but not as much as the rayon spandex,  making it a bit easier to sew with.  It would be a great knit to sew if you are new to knits.  The only downside to sewing this fabric was hemming.  The cotton spandex tends to curl up and my rolled hem is not visible now and I have a narrow band of the underside of the fabric showing.

ALL DAY WEARABILITY:

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Musings of a Seamstress - M6559I love wearing this rayon spandex dress.  I said earlier that it is like secret pajamas, making it a super comfortable fabric to wear.  The stretch and drape in this fabric makes it flattering in that it shows off my curves!  The fabric does tend to stretch out during the course of the day, but after letting it sit over night it recovered pretty darn well.

 

 

 

 

 

Since the cotton spandex doesn’t have the drape as the rayon spandex, it does show off my curves as well.  It is a little baggier looking in the waist creating more of a column look from the chest down. On the plus side, this one does stretch out a bit while wearing, but does not recover as well as the rayon spandex did. Since I didn’t wash it before wearing, the extra inches I added were slightly problematic.  Good thing that isn’t going to be permanent.

 

 

 

 

FIRST LAUNDRY CYCLE:

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Part of the reason I wanted to wait to wash them until after wearing them was I knew how the rayon spandex would turn out and it performed as expected.  This is the biggest let down of rayon spandex for me.  In the picture the fabric on the left is unwashed and the one on the right is the finished garment.  You can see that the finished garment has white fuzzies all over it, causing it to have a faded look.  This is because of the rayon fibers.  I hate that this dress now looks super worn after only one wash.  Musings of a Seamstress - M6559The cotton spandex, by contrast, washed up wonderfully!  If you can see the dividing line down the center, the one on the left is the unwashed fabric and the one on the right is the washed garment.  They are identical in look!  No fading at all!  The fabric did become a bit softer though, which is a plus.  It did shrink up a bit in the hem, but not as much as I added to the hem, so I will re-hem this one.

THE RESULTS:

So, which fabric does it come down to as being the winner…

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

The cotton spandex knit!  I think the washability of the fabric was the deal breaker for the cotton rayon spandex knit.  I want my garments to be of great quality and how they wash and wear is a huge part of that.  The downsides of this cotton spandex can be looked passed because this fabric still looks great after washing and I expect it will hold up for quite a some time.  I do have another cotton rayon spandex knit that is mostly white and navy that I am curious to sew up and see if it washes the same as this mostly black version.

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Have you sewn up either of these fabrics before?  What are your thoughts on them?

July Stashbusting Sewalong

Hey Stashbusters, welcome to July!  This months stashbusting theme is all about dresses.  This is my second year hosting this theme and I do not even know if I can begin to tell you all how much I love dresses in the summer time!  This may sound crazy to you, but we do not have central air or air conditioning so lightweight airy dresses are a must for me in the summer months.  The warmer the temps are here in the Midwest the more I rely on dresses to help me stay comfortable and cool.  I sort of kicked off this theme on Friday with my Independence Day outfit, but today I am for real kicking it off.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

To start I am sharing my version of Simplicity 1808, which is most definitely out of print now.  There are several other reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review already and between those and the fact that it is OOP, I don’t really see the need to add my review to the site.  I will keep my review here short too.  I made this dress way back in February, just in preparation for this month.  It was a quick and easy instant gratification make, that fills a void in my wardrobe for solid basic dresses.  For those reasons I would definitely make more and recommend this pattern to others.  I will probably make at least one more this summer.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

Of course I shopped my stash for this dress.  I used 2.25 yards of coral jersey knit that I picked up last year at Zinick’s Fabric Outlet.  Total fabric cost for this project was $3.38!  I know I have said it before but it is still true, Zinick’s is great for discounted fabrics.  Even after wearing and washing, this dress and fabric have held up very well.  I still have quite a good deal of this fabric left too.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

I have so many dresses to share that I have made earlier this year to prep for this month, as well as several dresses I am currently finishing up.  I am writing my versus posts already.  The first will be a fabric versus, using M6559.  I made the same dress up in two different fabrics and will be comparing how each fabric does.  I also have a shirt dress versus post comparing M6891 to S8014.  I want to do one more versus post but I haven’t decided on what it should be yet.  I also have quite a few pattern reviews to share too.

This month is going to be jam packed with all the dresses and posts I have planned. I guess that means I better get back to my sewing machine.  I hope you will stitch up a dress and share it with the rest of us Stashbusters this month!

Simplicity 1317 and Summer Plans

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

Hey Sewcialists!  What have you been up to lately?  I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I would like but I have been sewing and planning a lot.  I am slowly getting photos of all my makes, especially the dresses.  I have four dresses that I have made so far this year and none of them have had their time in front of the lens.  This crazy cold Indiana weather is making me not want to go outside.  Yesterday I wore my winter coat out to dinner! My winter coat…in mid May!  Ack!  Today, I am sharing one of my March makes.  Another version of Simplicity 1317.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

I really do love this pattern.  This is my 4th version, I believe, and I am still not sick of this pattern.  I really want to make another long sleeve version because of all this cold weather we have been having, but I will hold off for now.  For this version I made view E with an added 4″ of length.  I have a pair of olive jeggings that I love and I wanted some tunic length tops to wear with them.  I knew this pattern was a must to go with them.  While not pictured with the jeggings in these shots, the colors do all work really well together.

I also added the waistband from view A/B/C/D.  I prefer this waistband as a hem finish over just the turn and stitch hem.  Plus, it gives me another opportunity to add the contrasting fabric, like I did here, to balance out the main print fabric.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

Speaking of fabrics, all of these fabrics are ponte knits that came from the stash!  The main magenta and taupe print is from a previous Girl Charlee Knitfix that I purchased off of a seller on Facebook last year. I used 1.25 yards for cost of $11.88.  The solid color is called shitake mushroom brown, interesting name, is also from Girl Charlee purchased in 2014 during a Black Friday sale.  I used 1 yard for a cost of $3.50.  Total fabric cost of this top is $15.38 and another 2.25 yards are out of the stash.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

All in all I really enjoy wearing this top, especially when made in a ponte.

Other than all the sewing that has been happening around here, I have been planning.  Lots of planning.  I wanted to share just a little bit about what I have in store for the summer.

To start, I am hosting the Stashbusting Sewalong for July with the theme of dresses.  I am planning and prepping a series of versus posts for that month.  There will be woven shirt dresses, knit maxi dresses, and fun novelty dresses stitched up with comparisons between the different patterns and fabrics I use. Melissa of Mahlica Designs did this series earlier this year and I absolutely loved it and knew I had to do it too.  Right now I am getting all the patterns cut out that I plan on using for this.

I am also planning a learning to sew series to help out those wishing to learn sewing.  I am a part of several different sewing groups on Facebook and have seen numerous comments from members about how they are intimidated by sewing patterns.  That patterns are confusing and make the users want to give up because they cannot understand them.  I hate that others feel that way, so I want to hopefully shed a little light for them.  I have most of the pictures for the first series of posts ready to edit.  It is a lot of pictures to go through and prep.

Lastly, I have started planning costumes for our annual trek to the Ohio Renaissance Festival.  Besides Eric and I needing new costumes, I am also going to be making costumes for our nephews and their parents.  It is a lot of pieces to make and I fear I have put it off for far too long to get it all done in time.  My costume, which I have been pushing off for YEARS now, is most likely going to be pushed off again.  Eric’s costume should prove to be a learning experience for me as it will be made with real leather and I have never sewn that before. You can for sure expect a post about that experience.  After last year, my nephew decided he wanted to be Robin Hood for this year.  Of course I am going to make this happen for him.  Today I even pulled several fabrics from my stash to show him for his approval.

Until all that, I am working on a pattern hack tutorial of Simplicity 1062 for this week. Make sure to follow along on Bloglovin’ or through email to keep up to date on all of these upcoming projects and more.  I would love to hear what you all are working on too. Please leave a comment with something you are excited about for this summer.

Simplicity 1062 Review

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

I am back this week with another new-ish make.  I made it back in mid-March.  This top is the reason I stopped working on my PR wardrobe collection.  I had a vision of how this top could turn out and I desperately wanted to create it.  I used Simplicity 1062 in view C for this top.  This is actually the second version of this pattern I made.  The pattern envelope describes this as an easy to wear hi-lo top, and I must agree with them.  I made an XL which is the size my measurements fit into on the measurement chart.  There is a lot of ease in the pattern that makes it super casual and comfortable.  The finished top is 10.5″ bigger in the bust than the standard measurements.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

For this top I used 2 yards of green stripe cotton jersey from my August 2015 Girl Charlee Knitfix.  The fabric was $5.75 a yard for a total of $11.50 in materials cost for this top.  Another well worth it make.  I have one last 2 yard cut from my August Knitfix left to use, before I can purchase another bag.  I think the Knitfix is well worth the cost and I do love a mystery fabric grab bag.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

Overall, I really like the way this top turned out.  I love that the strips on the cuff go the opposite direction as the stripes on the sleeve.  I also love the techniques for adding the cuffs and neckband. The are both fold in half pieces that I serged on.  The only thing I would change is the front length.  While I like the hi-lo, it is just a couple of inches to high for my preference in the front.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062 modified

Having shared my second version, now I want to share my first version.  It is drastically different than what the original pattern is.  This is the last of my tops that I had made for the PR Wardrobe contest.  I made this version way back in February.   I bought a top from Torrid last year that I love so much I wanted to recreate my own version of it.  Simplicity 1062 was the perfect pattern to hack for this project.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062 modified

For this top I used one yard of black jegging ponte knit from Jo-Ann’s ($8.99/yd) and .75 yards of polka dot and roses chiffon from Fabric Mart ($4.49), both of which came from my stash.  Total fabric cost for this version was $13.48, which is far less than what I paid for the inspiration piece.

I don’t want to go into any details just yet on how I hacked the pattern to create this top.  I am planning on making another version this weekend so I can get some good pictures and write up a tutorial for the pattern hack with that next version.  I think that this makes a great basic that could work for almost everyone, so I want to share how to get your own version.

What do you think?  Have you tried this pattern yet? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!

2016 Goals

Happy New Years to all my sewcialist friends!  I hope your years are off to a great start!  I know mine is.  I do have a few goals that I want to accomplish this year.  In my 2015 review post I mentioned goals related to my results of last year, so here they are.

  1.  Sew 100 yards of stash fabric.  I used 83.5 yards last year and I really thought I would have used at least 100 yards.  Some other things happened and, of course, I over scheduled myself with some projects for others so I didn’t quite hit that number.  This year I don’t want to do that and I want to stick to my goal of using 100 yards.  I am going to continue to track my usage to hold myself accountable.  If you are interested in the spreadsheets I use to keep, you can download them through the this link, 2016 Sewing Stats.  I am also co-hosting the Stashbusting Sewalong again this year.  Go to the Facebook group to check it out and join us.
  2. Sew more selfishly for Eric and I.  I actually didn’t make Eric a lot of things this year, which is unfortunate.  I did make him a pretty in depth project with the Albion coat, but other than that I made him 2 vests and 2 pairs of pj pants.  This month I am sewing myself a new wool coat and next fall I want to sew Eric the Thread Theory Goldstream coat. I know I want to sew more indie patterns this year as research (see #6).  I am, however, going to strive towards making at least 60 total garments this year, including my renaissance costume.
  3. Buy less fabric.  I have not tallied up the exact total of my stash in several years now because, quite frankly, it is too overwhelming of a task.  I am fairly certain that I have somewhere around 8oo yards of fabric stashed away in my 8’x10′ sewing room.  It takes up a lot of space.  My room is packed full.  I absolutely cannot add to the stash again this year like I did last year.  I just do not have anywhere to put it.  I am not sure if I spent less/brought in less in 2015 compared to 2014, but I will do better in 2016.  I bought 194.5 yards this past year, so my goal for 2016 is to buy less than 100 yards.  Who wouldn’t like to have some extra money too?  I know I would!
  4. Be more conscience about my fabric choices.  I know that I cannot cut out buying fabric all together.  That would be real rough.  Instead I would like to put more thought behind my choices.  I do not want to purchase cheap fabrics just because I like the prints or color.  I want to make sure I am buying fabrics that go with my coloring and are going to last.  I plan on investing a little more to get higher quality fabrics, like wool.
  5. Pattern more.  I do this as my day job and I want to do it more for myself.  I have a couple of patterns I have been working on during my lunch breaks for the last couple of months that I want to make fairly soon.  One of the patterns is a new coat using that awesome Aztec fabric I got on Black Friday.  I haven’t really put this out there for the whole of the sewing community yet, but my long term goal is to release these patterns under my own indie label.  I have been and will continue to work on figuring out what my brand and niche will be.  Right now my goal is to take this year to figure that out and to start releasing patterns in 2017.  That is the huge goal.  I have a lot of work to do there, including making PDF versions of my patterns, writing our instructions, and creating illustrations.
  6. Improve my blog.  There are three specific things I want to do to improve my blog.  First, is take better photography.  I was able to pull together several giftcards I had been saving from Christmas and my birthday to purchase a new DSLR camera over the summer.  I have been slowly learning to use it.  I need to speed up that learning now.  Second, I need to post more regularly, like at least once week.  If I want to be able to release a successful pattern line I need to post more to build a following and generate buzz about my patterns.  Third,  I need to write more tutorials.  I have so many in mind it is not even funny.  I just need to take the time to write them out.  Some of the ones I want to write about are the method I use for inserting zippers, how I add a lining to coat sleeves, and how to make your own toggle closures.

There you have it. My 2016 goals and plans.  What are you working towards this year?

April Round-up

Another month has come and gone so quickly.  At this time last month I started re-watching Sex and the City, now I am almost finished with it.  I have gone through 94 episodes in one month, only watching while sewing.  Whew!  I think next month I may re-watch Friends. We’ll see.  Now for the real reason for this post, because you know it wasn’t to discuss Carrie and Mr. Big.

I have had another great stashbusting month with no new fabric purchases!  I used 12.5 yards of stash fabric for April, which brings my year to date fabric total to 48.75 yards.  I have been sewing like mad these past 4 months.  I am on track to have a record sewing year and I am super excited about that.   Sew, what did I make this month?  It was definitely not keeping with the stashbusting theme of vibrant color, that’s for sure.  I really wanted to stay on theme but I have been on this black and white kick that I couldn’t seem to get enough of.

B5153 Starting with this past Sunday I made a new pair of pajama pants using my TNT B5153 pattern.  I went on a work trip to Chicago and decided that I should have new pj pants to wear.  I used 2.75 yards of cotton flannel from Jo-Ann’s that I got on Black Friday in 2013.  Total cost for the fabric: $4.79.  I love the print because it has owls hidden in it.  Look closely and you will find them.

Before that I finished sewing a dress I cut out inMusings of a Seamstress March.  I also made a non-traditional denim jacket, which I posted a sneak peak of on Instagram, and a chiffon kimono cover up.  I have yet to photograph any of those garments or two garments I made way back in February.  It has just been too chilly for me to want to go outside in dresses for a photo shoot.  Luckily it is supposed to be in the 70’s this weekend, so I will make sure to do it and share all my new lovelies with you.

Simplicity 2621

I did also post a picture of cutting out my corset for my renaissance costume.  It and the hoop skirt are cut out and ready to be sewn.  I will post reviews for each once they are completed as part of a series for building this costume.  I have been putting this project off for far to long now, like 3 years too long.  It’s time to take the plunge into the deep end.

The upcoming Stashbusting Sewalong theme for May will be lingerie, hosted by Andrea of Obsessive Creativeness.  We will see how I do with this theme.  Does my corset count?  Also, it is Me Made May.  I am going to participate this year.  I will wear something me made everyday.  I will post daily on Instagram and do a weekly round up here on the blog.