Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vogue 9154 - Textured wool skirt

Finding wool clothing in south Texas is just about impossible. Of course our winters are pretty mild and don't last half the year, but it does get cold here. Well, cold to me anyway. If I want wool clothing I have to make it myself, which I am perfectly okay with as it's always such a well behaved fabric. I am really into textures lately, so when I spotted this striped novelty wool-acrylic blend at, I quickly bought 1.5 yards without anything in mind.

I decided to use Vogue 9154 and make the knee length version of the skirt. I really like the way the stripes come together in chevrons at CF and CB, and horizontally on the sides. The yoke has interesting seam lines as well, although those can not be easily seen with this fabric. I'm definitely making one of the longer views in the near future in a solid color to show them off better. Perhaps I'll add some topstitching as well.

This fabric might look striped from a distance but it's actually rows of yarn secured to an olive green backing. It's a fun texture that doesn't add much bulk. I'm really not sure how much acrylic content this fabric has. I was about to sweat to death while taking these pictures, so rest assured it is really warm. This wool pressed really well but it is somewhat thick to sew with. I had to wrangle it under my machine foot, but once in place it fed through easily. I sewed my seams using bright blue thread so that I could see it easily if I needed to rip it out. I also stitched all the seams with a 4mm stitch length.

I cut a straight size 12 and took a 1.5" hem instead of the 5/8" hem in the pattern directions. I like shorter skirts for winter when they'll likely be worn with tights. On my body, knee length skirts paired with tights make me look like I'm wearing my grandma's clothes. My maroon top was made this past January and is also wool. Can you see the perspiration forming on my forehead? Lol.

I have found that skirts without waistbands tend to slip around when worn over tights, so I wanted something on the inside that had a little gripping power. I chose a cobalt blue tricot lining from my stash for the inside facing. In order to give the waist some stability and prevent it from stretching out, I added clear elastic to the seamline. Early on I realized I was not going to be able to finish the seams with my typical overlocking stitch, so I cut strips of the tricot and did a Hong Kong finish instead. I also finished off the bottom hem the same way.

Although my camera is making this blue appear much brighter then it is in person, I quite like the pop of color on the inside. I'm also going to explore making more unlined sweater knits now that I know how to neatly finish off the edges.

Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

McCall's 7046 - Animal + paisley double tiered knit dress

I've had this ITY knit in my stash forever, most likely an online purchase. I had it set aside for a summer dress but decided that the colors were really more fall-ish. I've decided I really prefer these thin knits to be sewn into items that either drape or have ruching, so I chose McCall's 7046 which has both.

I like my winter dresses to be a little short since they're always worn with tights and sometimes tall boots. After eyeballing the envelope example, I cut two inches off the bottom of the bodice pattern piece. I also hemmed both tiers 1.25" with a twin needle. The length is so fun and flirty!

I cut a size 12 in this pattern. Normally I size down to a 10 for knits but the measurements on the tissue seemed really small. The waist is perfect but the bust is a tad loose. Next time I'll cut a 10 through the bust to snug it up a bit. For the neckline and sleeves I used fuchsia fold over elastic. This is the second time I've used that kind of notion and I love it. The finish is very RTW looking and provides a nice bit of contrast.

I really like this busy print but my husband does NOT. He says animal print and paisley have no business being on the same article of clothing. Haha. Oh well, I don't care, I love it anyway. This will be a great day dress for fall and winter.

Here you can see the neckline closer. This fold over elastic isn't hard to use but you've definitely got to sew slowly and be meticulous. JoAnn's is now stocking it in all different colors on the notions isle. If you do plan to use it, always get one package more then you think you'll need. I only got the neckline and one sleeve out of one package.

Dressform pictures:

Okay, that's two things for fall before the weather around here has even cooled off. Woohoo, I'm on a roll. Look for a cute wool skirt in the next few days. It's my monthly MSN garment, so I'll be posting it over there first.

Monday, September 5, 2016

McCall's 6844 - Cobalt blue geometric printed cardigan

I have this (slightly ratty) fleece jacket that I wear constantly around my house during the winter. It's warm but not too bulky and is just the perfect thing to ward off any indoor chill. Of course it never gets worn out and about because it's a weird color and doesn't match anything. And I have some really great outer wear that I like to wear. All this to say - I've decided to replace it with several pieces of similar weight and warmth that are hopefully more chic and not so dowdy.

I picked up this textural geometric novelty knit from I'm always on the lookout for interesting textures and I loved the colorway. Cobalt blue is probably my next favorite color next to yellow. I got it in the spring I think and it's now completely sold out. They do have a yellow colorway that is lovely and still available, and I had a hard time deciding between the two.

The pattern I chose is McCall's 6844, one of's best patterns of 2013, and it's been reviewed about a million times. It's a nice and simple pattern, great especially if you have a somewhat busy print. I really like the fact that it has some shape to it and isn't too voluminous. I cut the size small but sewed 3/8" seam allowances for the vertical sleeve seam and side seams. The sleeves were a bit tight when I first stitched them at 5/8".

I had a bit of a panic when I was cutting out the fabric. Because of my uneven print I did not have enough to cut out the collar with horizontal stripes. Of course this predicament is never noticed by me until half the pieces are cut out. The collar had to be cut on the cross grain, but I quite like how it turned out.

I matched up the stripes across the sleeves and at the side seams. I also ignored the 5/8" hem called for in the directions and put in a 1.25" hem by hand. All interior seams and edges were finished with my machine's overlock stitch.

This was a fun and relatively quick project, and I'll definitely be using the pattern again soon. (Maybe in a grey sweaterknit with leather sleeves? Hmmm..)