27 November 2011

2012 SWAP Intentions

A few days ago I mentioned that I was participating in the 2012 SWAP on Stitcher's Guild.  After perusing my pattern and magazine stash, I've finally settled on seven garments that I'd like to sew for the contest.

Button-down shirt with collar:  Vogue 1260 (x2)

During the American Sewing Expo, I had an opportunity to meet Sandra Betzina and try on the actual view B (the red & black one) featured on the pattern envelope.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the shirt (in size D) fit very well.  Although it was a little snug across the bust, cutting the next size up on only the front should fix that.

Fabric:  teal striped cotton shirting; yellow stretch cotton poplin

Vest:  New Look 6914

When I received this brochure from Clarks in the mail, I couldn't help but focus on her outfit.  It's simple, chic, and not too country.  On the inside is a closer shot of the vest.  The vest has front pockets with the welt cut on the bias.  Too cute!  I have a wool houndstooth very close to the one in the picture and have some boots that I think will go nicely with the vest.  If I have the time, I might attempt to make a denim shirt as well.

Fabric:  brown/blue/green/cranberry wool small-scale houndstooth

Top:  McCall's 6078
I made this top over the summer and love it.  I need to adjust the front to minimize the pooling that appears.  I don't think I can eliminate it entirely,  It seems as if everyone who's made this top has this problem to some degree - whether they were full busted or not.

Fabric:  gold metallic knit

Jacket:  Jalie 2559
This pattern is complete in so many ways.  It's fully lined, has welt pockets, separate pieces for the back lining (with pleat), self-fabric sleeve heads, and fabulous instructions.  I've already made my first muslin and alterations to the pattern.  The fit is quite good and only needed a bit of tweaking on the side front panel.  I may or may not make a second muslin (gasp!).

Fabric:  rust coloured or brown wool flannel with cream Bemberg lining

Jeans:  Jalie 2908 (x2)

Two garments can be sewn before the contest's official start date (26 Dec).  I'm sewing my two pairs of jeans as part of the Jeans Sew Along.

Fabric:  very dark blue stretch denim; dark blue non-stretch denim

Trousers:  BWOF 11-2006-102 (x2)
I traced a size 40 and am very happy with the fit.  I compared the front and back crotch curves of the pattern to my sloper and found that not much alteration was needed.  I made two muslins and am confident in cutting out my fashion fabric.  I just have to figure out a way to make the waistband look nice and neat on the inside.  Hmm...

Fabric:  brown wool; gray wool

Skirts:  Colette Patterns 1005 & New Look 6897

These are two returning favourites.  I made them both this summer and loved wearing them. 

Fabric:  gray wool suiting (CP); brown or teal wool solid (NL)

I don't really have a colour palette.  I'm sort of making stuff up as I go along.  I'm really excited about this plan and think I can complete it.


25 November 2011


Either I had too much or not enough wine. I'm going to go out on a limb and say 'not enough.'


23 November 2011

Jeans #5 & #6 Progress

As part of the Jeans Sew Along, I decided to tackle sewing two pairs at once.    Aside from having to change the topstitching thread between each pair, the whole process is going rather well.  I'm about half-way through completing both and hope to have them done in time for the weekend.

For #5, I am using a super dark blue (maybe black?) stretch denim from the stash.  This denim has more stretch than I prefer, so I am sewing with a larger seam allowance.  Plus since I lost more weight, the pattern I'm using doesn't quite fit anymore.  For #6, I am using a dark blue non-stretch denim, also from the stash.  Since the denim doesn't have any stretch, I added extra to the seam allowance for fit.  Bad idea!  These jokers are ginormous!  I will probably end up taking off an inch from the side seam to get these to fit.

I've lost twelve pounds since the end of August and it shows.  I took my measurements over the weekend and saw that I lost two inches off my hips and waist.  Losing off the waist is okay, the hips...ummm...I like my curves.  I won't do anything drastic, though.  I am happy to say that my lips, hips, and ass are cement free.  Wow. 

Of course this means I need to update several patterns to reflect my new size.  I will re-trace the jeans pattern and try to make another pair during semester break.  I will also have to re-trace my favourite skirt patterns and get cracking on making some new ones since the ones I made this summer no longer fit.  My friend suggested that I take them apart and make them smaller.  Um....thanks...but it would be much easier to just make another skirt.  Anyone who's seen my basement knows that I am not short on fabric!  Hopefully when school is over soon, I will have more time to focus on revamping and refitting some of my patterns.

Here are some photos of #s 5 & 6 in progress:

 non stretch denim with gold topstitching

 stretch denim with black topstitching and crystal design

Until next time, be well!


13 November 2011

SWAP 2012

It's that time again for the annual SWAP (Sewing With a Plan) contest on Stitcher's Guild and the rules are simply divine! Last year's contest was an utter failure as many people had good intentions (myself included), but only two (yes, TWO) people finished. The rules for last year's contest centered around techniques and each garment had to focus on a technique that was new to you or not totally mastered. While it was made clear that one could use the same technique on as many garments as desired, the general sense was that people were overwhelmed with the requirements.

This year, however, the rules center around fit and developing tried-n-true patterns. The focus is less on coordinating and outfit-building and more on working on one or two key patterns from a certain group to fit your body. To quote DragonLady from Stitcher's Guild:

"This year, our SWAP will focus on fitting, and making tried-and-true patterns: testing and fitting paper patterns, muslins, and fashion garments that will help lower the overall sewing failure rates, result in fabulous clothing to be proud of, and (hopefully) give every contestant a pattern or two that works every time it is used."

The rules are simple: Choose seven garments from the list below. Of these seven, select four to make twice for a total of eleven garments. The four garments you choose are thought to be the patterns you make tried-n-true.

Button down shirt w/collar
blouse or shirt (collar is optional)
shorts or capris
jacket (jean jacket, windbreaker, hoodie, etc.)
coat (suit or sport coat)
overcoat or raincoat
bathing suit or coverup

How can I not be excited about this?! Since fitting woven tops/jackets has been the bane of my sewing existence, I am determined to see this SWAP through. I have a bodice and pants sloper and even more knowledge about fitting.

Tentatively, my plan is as follows:

2 button down shirts with collar
2 pairs of jeans
2 pairs of trousers
1 or 2 jackets
1 shirt
1 or 2 skirts
1 coat or 1 vest

As for colour schemes, I'm still not sure of what to do. I seem to run into roadblocks when it comes to coordinating fabrics. I do okay with three or four garments, but eleven? Not so much. After perusing my closet, I noticed that I have a lot of gray pants and skirts. So, my current thought is to center the bottoms around browns and build from there.

Even though the contest starts in December, we can sew up to two garments before then and make mock-ups of everything else. Also, the fabric can be prepared and cut prior to the start date. The Jeans Sew Along is timed perfectly since I can complete two of the eleven garments now and focus my attention of fitting and sewing the trousers, blouses, and jacket.

I made a mock-up of a BWOF pattern and am really pleased with the fit. I cut a straight 40 (gasp!) and only had to tweak a couple of areas. I cut out a second muslin to re-check the fit and if all goes well, I will prepare and cut my luscious wool. More on that later!

Until next time, be well!


04 November 2011

It's a Jeans Thing Sew Along

Come one, come all and sew a new pair of jeans! The site is up and can be found here: It's Jeans Thing and will run from 15 Nov to 15 Dec. If you'd like to join, leave a comment here with your email address and I'll add you as a co-author. I don't have a badge because I can't figure out how to make it!



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