27 July 2015

Completed: Dog Walker's Shorts

Early this spring I set out to make a pair of shorts I could use just for dog walking in summer - very lightweight linen fabric to stay cool, pockets for plastic bags and maybe a loop for my keyring.
Pattern: Simplicity 2414
Size: 12
Rating: 3/5  
Fabric, etc.: STASHBUST! This linen was the same linen as my 1940s shorts I made earlier this year, only with the sparkly side showing, ribbon and elastic from stash too.
Cost: $0 for the pattern Needle/Tension/Stitch Length: Size 12 universal/4/3
  •  The worst part about this design is that the stomach is drafted with a similar amount of room as the rear, so you get a poochy bubble there. Oddly, the rear end drafting looks really nice!
  • This design has a paper bag top. These are not my favorite, being more thick waisted. I like them on other people, with a top tucked in at natural waist. However, these shorts are drafted to set an inch or so below the belly button. For me, they cause a weird texture under my shirt.
  • The patch pockets are a weird design - they're partially set in the side seam and they are not particularly deep.
  • I liked the drawstring sides, my boyfriend on the other hand says they look like fancy pants for someone who got shipwrecked.
  • They're definitely comfy, but not quite what I had in mind - into the donation pile they go!

11 July 2015

I'm Back! Completed: Sew Caroline Downtown Tunic

Friends, I've been on a long hiatus - since MMM in fact - and I enjoyed every minute of it. I feel like myself and my lifestyle are undergoing a metamorphosis at the moment and whether or not blogging will stay part of it, I am unsure. However, I've got a few small items I've sewn up on my break and it felt like a good time to show them off.

This was actually completed sometime in March, but I never managed to catch a good photo of it until the beginning of MMM.
Pattern: Sew Caroline Downtown Tunic ($14)
Size: Medium
Rating: 3/5  
Fabric, etc.: STASHBUST! Jersey is probably a cotton/rayon blend from Spandex House I bought a few years ago and the cotton woven is leftovers from a shirt I made from James.
Cost: $14 for the pattern
Needle/Tension/Stitch Length: Size 11 ballpoint for jersey, 12 universal for woven/4/Widest Zigzag at 3
The idea for the design is great - modern, flattering, and hip enough to look like I bought it at the mall. However, the execution of it is a little less wonderful, although I partially blame my fabric choices. The jersey is too light in that it shows every tiny bump (see above) and the woven is too stiff, so it flares out weirdly from the jersey in a Poiret lamp-dress sort of way. The pleat in the back makes it look like you are pooping fabric. See photo below for visual.

Note also that the curve where the two fabrics meet in the back is puckery - one of them is significantly off in length so I had to ease it in. I had tried just stretching the jersey to fit and it looked terrible.
  •  The jersey was really tricky to work with. It didn't like straight stitches, so I did a zigzag for my seams which I never like. I did manage to hem the sleeves and neckline, but it looks less than stellar because the tension and needle combination were never quite right. Not bad enough for a passerby to notice, but a fellow sewist might scrutinize it.
  • The placket instructions were confusing. They would have been better off illustrated, rather than explained by text.
  • There was a discrepancy between the button hole guide and the written instructions. I regret that I did not write down exactly what that was.
  • The interfacing, which I probably did not need at all in the placket since it isn't really functional, should not extend into the hem allowance because it gets way too bulky.
  • I made my hem allowance as small as I could because the curve was too severe and was causing pulling with the given allowance.
  • Also, if you do the full hem allowance, it ends up blocking part of the bottom buttonhole. Because of this you should also not opt for buttons bigger than the suggested size.
  • Despite all this, the knit part of the shirt fits exactly the way I like my t-shirts, so I will probably make this again but leave off the bottom part and even out the hem. So, not a total loss because I've gained an awesome t-shirt pattern from this.

30 April 2015

MMMay '15: A Guess At Success

Folks, I've participated in at least 3 (that I remember) Me-Made-Month challenges since 2011 and the last time I played was the only time I was completely successful. If you can count wearing both garments you love and garments you feel sort of meh about and garments that you downright hate a success.

I AM participating again, but this is the first year where I feel that I won't be quite so bound to wear me-mades that I don't love. My last two years of sewing have really brought me on a journey towards sewing things I love and will actually wear.

I, Lisette of WWNDW?, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear one me made item each day for the duration of May 2015.

Yes, you've heard me right - despite that, I'm still pledging the same pledge I've always pledged. I think this is the first year I'm being realistic about my goal, the first time I feel I'm not overestimating my hand sewn wardrobe. I know I'm a slow sewer and as long as I'm producing a high quality, well-fitted garment I've become really happy with that title. 

So I've made a cheater list of my Me-Mades with a rating based on how I felt wearing them in the past to see what I might need to consider finally donating to the Goodwill at the end of May.

Happiest Makes
1. Organic sweatshirt Lola Dress
2. 1940s linen shorts
3. 1930s tap pants
4. Leather Clutch
5. 1950s swimsuit
6. Project bag
7. 1940s plaid blouse with pearl snaps
8. "Gunne Sax" dress
9. Pink 1940s shirtdress
10. Two zip hipster bag
11. Lacy underpants
12. Madeleine bloomers
13. 1970s linen stripe pullover
14. Bird dress
15. Banadana skirt
16. Psychedelic stripe pants
17. Peasant blouses x2
18. Pillbox hat
19. Refashioned 90s dress

Meh Makes
1. Downtown tunic
2. Plaintain Tee
3. 1940s cycling blouse
4. White one-shoulder tee
5. Land Army overalls
6. 1970s dickey
7. Purple 1940s pajamas
8. 1970s camp shirts x2
9. Sorbetto
10. Teal jersey dress
11. Galaxy dress
12. Peasant blouse of muslin

Really Unloved Makes
1. Gold leggings
2. Tie-front skirt
3. Envelope pleat sheath dress
4. Psychedelic sheath dress
5. 1970s pleated skirt

Costume Pieces
1. Medieval dress
2. Regency chemise
3. 1970s does regency dress

In Purgatory (The Mending/Finishing Pile)
1. Pleather bustier
2. Pin-Up girls bra
3. Pink t-shirt
4. Navy knit dress
5. 1970s plaid skirt

At the beginning of this challenge, I'm starting with 5 dresses, 2 pairs shorts/pants, 4 shirts, 2 pairs underwear, 1 pair pajama shorts, 1 skirt, 3 bags, 1 hat and 1 swimsuit that I love. Now that isn't a bad wardrobe if I'd been better in the past about sewing for a wardrobe rather than a whim. I'm still in the process of learning to make things that make up outfits and are cohesive with things like shoes that I already own. Although the lack of pants and shorts, which in RTW I wear almost every day, would be my handicap.

For my "meh makes" I have 2 dresses, 1 pair overalls, 8 shirts and 1 dickey. I guess from that we could draw that I have a hard time making shirts that I like, and that would be true! I think the trouble is I haven't tried to sew knit tops, which is what I prefer to wear.

The really unloved makes I'm still holding on to are 2 dresses, 2 skirts and 1 pair of leggings. These are often items that had weird fits but I've loved too much to throw away. Those that are well made will probably finally be retired to a bin in my closet.

Sadly my mending/WIP pile is still a bit out of control. I usually like to focus on getting these done during MMM rather than before since the effort of doing MMM often eclipses my enthusiasm for sewing during that month.

See you all in the morning in my me-made jammies!

28 April 2015

Completed: 50s Romper For SHB SewAlong

EDIT: I ran out of time partly from just not having enough of it and partly from sustaining a hand injury in pilates class that prevented me from getting the hand sewing done in time on my actual Spring for Cotton project, so I'm counting this instead.

Heyo, I actually have something to show to y'all today! I've just squeaked this in for the Small Human Being Sew Along (see banner on right hand side). I was originally going to do View 3 with the bretelle ruffles, but the eyelet I had was much too white so I nixed it for some off-white rick rack from my Grammy's stash.

Ta-Da! So the story behind this is that last year James built a gorgeous dark brown midcentury style dresser for his friends' new baby. When I pulled out this romper pattern and then this great caning print fabric it seemed meant to be as my half of the gift for her. I like to wait until babies are at least 6 months before sewing for them because tiny baby clothes are boring.

Now to the eagle-eyed sewists out there, I challenge you to find the three things that I goofed that I find irksome...

1. One of the legs is cut with the print upside down. The gathering has disguised that a bit, thank goodness. I didn't realize there was an up and down to the print until it was too late.

2. There should be two rows of rick-rack on the waistband or the one row should be centered. Due to the highly confusing and vague instructions I ended up using my own method for constructing and applying the waistband. This meant my pre-sewn rick rack was no longer centered.

3. The buttons don't fall on the center back line. Because the instructions and pattern envelope have no guide as to what size of buttons to use or how many or even a line for placement I was at the mercy of my Reader's Digest Guide as to how to set all that up. I used some vintage buttons and did lots of careful measuring but I was doomed from the start because the yet again crummy instructions led me to attach the bloomers to the waistband so that they didn't go all the way to either of the waistband, rather there are two 1" "tabs" of waistband that overlap. This should only have happened on one side, so the back bib overlaps 1" more than it should as well...I think..my brain still hurts from trying to figure it out.

Pattern: Advance 6063 (1952)

Size: Size 1

Rating: 3/5  

Fabric, etc.: 1 yard of quilter's cotton from JoAnn's years ago. STASHBUST! Rick rack is from my Grammy's stash, vintage buttons, elastic and skirt hook are all from stash.

Cost: $0
Needle/Tension/Stitch Length: Size 12 universal/4/3

Time: About a week, mostly due to the terrible instructions!

Notes: Besides the instructions, these would have been a lot faster to make and really they're pretty cute. I think I would only attempt them again if I were making them for my own children though, and then I would definitely keep the bretelle ruffles, they remind me of Stephanie from Full House!
It also doesn't give you a measurement for how long to make the leg elastic, so I had to look up standard baby measurements for the clothing industry.

25 April 2015

30% Off Coupon Code For May!

May is just about here, which means in a month I will be visiting the West Coast for the first time (not counting a one time layover in LA) and to celebrate I am offering 30% off any purchases in my Etsy Shop through May 31st using the code CALIFORNIA.

Let me show you some of the goodies available! The second price in the description reflects the applied discount.

Butterick 6020 is a reproduction from the Vintage Fashion Library for a darling pair of pajamas. Make the simpler view A for spring in silk. B36 $13 $9.10

Jumpsuits are back and Simplicity 7795 is a zinger from the 1970s. If this were my size you can bet I'd already be stitching it up. B30.5-31.5 $3 $2.1

Superior Patterns 9898 with its tulip pockets is perfect for any spring event. B40 $20 $14

On the other hand, rare Mail Order 3799 will have you perfectly outfitted for summer boating. B34 $20 $14

For something more modern, this Lisette pattern will help you and your daughter beat the summer heat. Child's sizes 3-8, Adult XS-XL $4 $2.8

I'm not sure why my Men's version of Simplicity 8257 sold out faster then the boy's version, because I think the terry towel version would be great for a boy or girl for beach and poolside use. Chest 28 $4 $2.8

For half-size vintage-loving ladies, Simplicity 2847 will fulfill your sundress with matching bolero needs this summer. B37 $15 $10.5
And of course, we can all use a simple shirtdress like McCalls 4992. B34 $4 $2.80

Folks Serv