Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jalie Crossover Top 2910-UFO

Full length view with a black lab (Where's Waldo?)

You're going to think this is a fundamental problem that should have never occurred- I've always used a 5/8" seam allowance with Jalie and now after reading the instructions, I should have been using a 1/4".  Duh, right?  Well, no wonder I was having a snug fit- that's a big difference all the way around.  Now that I've learned to read directions, the new top is done.  I do feel the shoulders and the waist are too big but overall, I like the new top and I didn't have to cut it out.

Bias tape at neckline
Since the fabric had a cream color I decided to topstitch with the cover stitch in cream.  The neckline has bias tape added to prevent it from stretching and to give it a different look- what do you think?  I used Steam-a-seam to keep the crossover where I wanted it.  It makes it much more manageable and so easy to put together.

All the hems were also stitched with the cover stitch and Steam-a-seam placed prior to final stitching.
Mesh lining and underside of hem
This top was cut out about 8 months ago- I think.  It is a mesh knit with a nude colored mesh under the front for modesty.

The back is straight mesh fabric without the blocking layer.
Sideways view of he top with cover stitching

Look Ma, no show-thru (yeah, that's not my tail)- token boob shot
Does this look like I'm wearing too much make-up?  I look like a clown because of the lighting.  
Also, we have a really old house and the door leaks cold air so the towels are there to keep the wind at bay.  Really, I'm not that messy:)  Did you even notice them?

Another boob shot but now you can see how it stays in place because of the Steam-a-Seam.
See, no movement- those things look huge!  Even with the multiple layers you can see a hint of shine from the bra fabric.  I don't think this is a problem but something to keep in mind if using a stretch mesh.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Burda Magazine and Their Instructions

What do you think of this new template?  I'd like to have another one but for the life of me, I can't get it to download.  So, when there's more time, I'm going to be transferring HTML over to the Layout.  Meanwhile...

I'm planning on making the Burda magazine (formerly BWOF) jacket  10/07.  As you can imagine, the instructions are limited.  I don't know whether it is lost in translation or limited space or what.  But, I am planning on detailing every step in the process of how I'm making this jacket (for future reference) to help anyone who plans on making a similar Burda product.  This may send me over the edge.

I've traced the jacket- no pictures necessary at this point.  Although, the instructions recommend 5 cm seam allowances.  I prefer my good ol' 5/8" so everywhere in the pattern it calls for turning under 5 cm, substitute the 5/8".  I'll show you more as it takes place.

A question for those who are interested and following, do you want a video or just a bunch of pictures with information?  I can't see myself doing a very good video so don't expect Hollywood.

A few changes in store for this jacket-
1) No hoodie- everyone knows I love hoodies but I want something a little more safari-ish and less hoodie-ish.  (yes, I've been known to make up words)

2) The instructions recommend batting, split thickness, to line the coat.  I will not be doing this and am thinking of using cotton flannel instead or nothing at all.

3) Snaps- the jury is out, snaps or no snaps, buttons or rivets.  We'll see as it comes together.

This is rated 3.5 stars (4 max) for difficulty.   The fabric was $1.95/yd so I'm not concerned if it ends up in the trash- nothing gained, nothing lost.  If it is a success, I'm going to be wearing the best $5-ish jacket I've ever made.

On top of this, I'm crazy for planning a Spring/Summer wardrobe and lots of contracting work out of the area and starting a new business.  Maybe I should be making this in white so they can carry me away when it's all over.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Boxer shorts finished... kinda

For those of you who are following the review and progress of making my DH boxer shorts, here is the original post.  blog for shorts 
Front view (difficult to see the details)

It is absolutely amazing how much work I've had to do to get these to fit correctly.  There is incredible ease- I took these babies up about 5 inches and they still need some tweaking.  His measurements are for a size 38 so I used size "X" man, my mistake I should have used size "V".  I knew they were going to be big but he wanted them loose.  Nope, he REALLY wanted them fitting and not tight.  Big difference!

I am now going back to the tracing board and making these things in a size "V" to start and tweaking from there.  What was I thinking he needed that size over the other?  Thank goodness I didn't make him something really complex in that size.

Well, it's a good pattern but not really made for men with skinny legs who want a more fitted style.  I figure that's why they show the man at the side versus straight-on in the photo.  I wonder if it would help to use the style that didn't have a seam in the back?
Another front view

Stretch stitch

This is a poor view of the stretch stitch on the Juki.  It handled it well but I broke a needle doing it.  It was intended for stretch so that was probably a little of the problem.  (Size 75/11)

CB seam

I took it up this way because I wasn't about to rip out the stretch stitch to change the size.  It's practically a muslin since I so stupidly chose the wrong size to start with- duh!

So much for calling myself accomplished;)

Organizing for Spring- Again

I've adopted the method of storing my fabric stash and categorizing it based on the type of fabric so now I've got to find the time to sew.  You know you have a problem when you need to put the Winter fabric away so the Spring and Summer fabrics are in quick reach.  I need to stop buying, or rather, I need to start sewing.

A few things on the list:

I thought these pants (View F) were super cute. (They are the pants on the lower left with the ties)
Pants pattern link where you can zoom in to see better.

I plan to make them out of a putty colored stretch sateen with black topstitching and buttons.  They will be a little dressier so heels will look more appropriate.

Next up, boxers for the hubby and a summer shirt.  Boxers are so expensive and I can make them for much less.  The boxers will be based off the Jalie pattern for men.  It appears the sizing corresponding to his measurements will make really big boxers.  I know, that never happens with Jalie.  So, I've taken a pair he really likes and am using that to determine the size I'll sew.

Tommy Bahama has some great men's shirts but honestly, the price is a bit much for what you get.  So, pattern in hand, I found some great fabric (on-sale) at  It's soft but has a great smooth surface.  My hubby and I have an inside joke that involves dolphins looking like sharks.  This is the closest I could find to dolphins/sharks.

On the professional front, I am waiting to hear back on the lease for the office space.  Tuesday is D-day and hopefully they will concede to my demands.  If so, we're off and running.  The bank has approved my request, items have been put on hold and the office should then open by June.  If the leasehold company doesn't approve what I've asked then who knows what is going to happen.  More waiting...

I love comments so please don't be shy.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Burda Magazine Hoodie 12/2009-120

I just finished another BWOF magazine garment.  Don't you just love when things go together just right?!  I love Burda Magazine for that reason alone.  Now, don't get me started on the destructions (instructions).

Photos courtesy
This is a hoodie that has been made by others several times and now I see why.

It's pretty straight forward but the instructions are terrible.  The pattern tells you to make a front facing piece but never refers to it again.  There is already a facing piece so what's up with that?  Also, the placket details are *poof* missing.  So, here's my rendition.  I didn't like the look of buttons on this french terry fabric but needed the coverage as you can see from the photo on the right.  

So, in order to solve this dilemma, I added a button to the inside of the placket.  The buttonhole is on the inside and it buttons backwards.  This way it doesn't show when it's closed.

Annette came up with the idea of contrasting bias tape- love it and quickly bogarted it for mine too.

After cleaning the house and taking a long run with my trusty friend, I took the picture of it full length.  No face here- I'll spare you this time.  It's over exposed to show more detail.  The french terry is a nice weight for transitional times so I'm glad I made it from this.  Also, FYI, I used the coverstitch to hem the sleeves and bottom of the hoodie (is this a word since my spell-check doesn't like it...).  Chloe appears ready for another run- silly dog:)

Butterick 5297 in VW Wool Boucle

You know I'm a jacket whore.  Sorry if that's too blunt but I don't need more jackets- I want more jackets.  So, now that I've prepared you for what is to come, you've been warned...

I got a cut beautiful fabric at's VW sale (Vera Wang) for $1.95 yd.  Before it was on sale I coveted the fabric but at $1.95 a yd, can you go wrong.  So, I quickly ordered some up.  It arrived but was a few inches short- unfortunately, I needed every square inch.  So, my fellow KC Pinhead and newly found friend Annette came to the rescue.  She had some and wasn't planning on using it for anything: she gave it to me- THANKS again Annette.  So, I washed and dried the wool.  It felted some but improved the hand of the fabric.  It is quite stretchy so I needed to take this into consideration with this pattern.

The pattern: Butterick 5297, View A (short version in red)  photo courtesy

The fabric: VW 100% Wool Boucle

The lining: Ambiance dyed with Dylon Poly

Interfacing: Grid Weft pre-shrunk 

I reinforced all the seams and hems with strips of interfacing.  Due to the nature of the boucle, it was difficult to get good adhesion but eventually with a hot iron and lots of steam, it worked.  Also, I used my walking foot to keep the layers from distorting.  It worked beautifully (first time ever using it).
As you can see, the lining is far from uniform in appearance.  Hot spots intensified the dye and cooler areas took up less.  The color is more royal blue but still adequate for the lining.  I thought I had red fabric paint and was going to streak the fabric but alas, I didn't have it on hand so this wasn't done.
This pattern has tons of ease- yes, tons.  I cut a size 6, no FBA and still took out 5 inches below the arms across the side seams and back seam.  I could have taken more and still achieved the desired drape and flow for the pattern.  It is a simple, unlined jacket but since there is so much stretch and wool and I don't play well together, I opted to make a lining.
The lining was made based off the pattern pieces.  I allowed a back pleat of 1.5 inches.  The front was cut based on the front minus the facing piece and shortening 0.5 inch.  This allowed for the 1.25" hem and a slight drape at the hemline.  No extra facing was added to the collar and the lining was extended from there.  

Back to the collar, the fabric didn't iron crisply and wanted to open at the seams with an unfinished appearance.  I didn't like the idea of edge stitching or topstitching so instead, I hand-stitched at the turn to adhere the facing and collar in a more finished appearance.  I bagged the lining as well.  (See what happened below...)

Shoulder pads- I figure I have pretty strong shoulders without much drooping so I wasn't sure about adding shoulder pads.  These pads are for dolman sleeves.  You see how there is a cap that extends into the sleeve to better define the sleeve.  The shoulder pad is about 1" thick at the top of the cap.  The jacket is lined so a covered shoulder pad isn't necessary.  
Here's how it looks with one shoulder pad (sorry it's out of focus).  Can you guess which side? (ahem, linebacker is not what I'm looking for!)  So, it's time to pass these on to my mother who has a little more slope to her shoulders.  I'm sure she'll be happy to get them.  I like the way the jacket looks without the shoulder pads since it gives it a more sweater look.

Ok, here's a bagging gone wrong.  I don't know if you can see but the sleeve is wrapped around the back of the jacket.  I don't think the straight-jacket look is in either.  

So, back to my faithful seam ripper and the sewing machine.  Here's a much better look at the lining.  I love the look of contrasting tape at the junction of the lining and the coat.  This is bias tape folded and stitched in place before the lining is added.  I like to add a little chain at the top for hanging purposes.  You can see how it looks in the blog post regarding the zebra coat.

Well, this has turned into a UFO and is hanging in the closet.  Not much is left to do so this weekend I'll finish it up.  This was one of those projects I started when the weather was really bad and I didn't work for a week.  I think this wardrobe is going to called the depressed time wardrobe.  Little work and crappy weather- who would want to finish it?  Or maybe, I need to look at it a different way- finish it and it's over...  

Money coming out his butt!

My DH has worn through his boxer shorts: I feel like he's a poor college student.  Well, I should be happy that at least he's not a spend-thrift.  So, I decided to make him some boxer shorts from the Jalie pattern 2326.

Honestly, it's hard to find manly fabric for a picky guy...

So, coupon in hand, I ran to Joann fabrics.  In the quilting section I found a perfect print for my Accountant hubby.

Michael Kaufman's "Pleasures and Pastimes" print- 

Photo courtesy-

So, hubby is going to have money on his butt- not really coming out of it but a girl can wish;)  I also ordered some far less expensive fabric from  His theme is going to be plaid.  The pattern did suggest a knit as well so he's going to have one pair of knit to see if he likes them.  (If he doesn't then it's no big deal other than the time it took to make them. ) I'm afraid they might ride up and cling to his pants.  Honestly, why don't they make mens underwear more like a bra to keep the parts separated so there is less of the "male adjustment" necessary?  Just a random thought.