Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Burda Challenge - 06-2015 #121 Gathered Knit Dress

Well, hi there! Look at me, being all late with the Burda Challenge for June! I have no excuses. It has been a busy month, sure, but it only took me about four hours to make this dress. Oh well, better late than never right??

How much fun is this fabric, first off. And how great is this pattern?
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It’s certainly snug fitting, isn’t it? I feel VERY AWARE of that fact since my 40th (holy crap, howdidthathappen?!?!?!) birthday was yesterday. Am I too old to wear this? I read once that you aren’t supposed to wear mini-skirts after 30. This baby certainly borders on that territory and I’m way over 30!
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It’s funny how crooked this back zig-zagging makes my butt look. This dress is gathered at CF and CB and had cut-on sleeves with a gusset.
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I made my standard Burda 34 and it fits well. This dress needs to be snug because of the gathers. If you made it loose, they would just hang and look like droopy skin. Blech.
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Here you can see the bottom part of the underarm gusset. It’s probably really hard to tell with this fabric though. I bought this fabric at the National City Swap Meet (duh!). I didn’t realize until this picture how far down the gussets go. They go all the way down to my waist!
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For being so form-fitting it’s really comfortable. I think the underarm gussets help with making it snug but comfortable. The gussets were challenging to put in with this ITY jersey.
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I interfaced the facing and followed all the directions just like Burda dictated. They actually made sense.
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I’m not real happy with my topstitching. My machine was skipping stitches like crazy so I changed the needles, thread, bobbin, etc. It was no better. Then I (STUPIDLY!!!) tried the lightning stitch. Luckily I tried it on the black part on the back where it’s black fabric, because there is no unpicking that on ITY fabric. The thing that finally worked??? I used my new Janome Coverstitcher with the chainstitch! It worked like a charm! Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to see around the clunky foot, so I got the bottom horizontal stitch just the teeniest bit crooked. Dammit.
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Here’s the big gusset. I though about putting in something contrast-y, but they thought it might just look like my armpit was black, or orange, or whatever. I decided to play it safe with the fashion fabric.
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I have another Jalie pattern to show you!!! I actually made it months ago, but just got around to doing the glam photo shoot!

 

How is everyone coming along with the Burda Challenge? We are halfway done!!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Jalie 3461–The Éléonore Pull-On Jeans (<3!!!!!!!!!!)

Well, people, Jalie has done it again. Another OUTSTANDING pair of pants. Just like Jalie 2908, I predict this to be a winner for them and us. Jalie asked if I would do some pattern testing for them and I excitedly said yes (YES! YES! YES!!). I’ve had this pattern for a few months and have made several pairs (I did get it free). It’s been hard keeping a secret from you people for so long, so here goes. And yes, there are a billion pictures. I know when I’m looking at jeans on someone’s blog, I want to see all angles and look at all the parts reallllll good (the South has not worn off yet – imagine that with southern twang).

 

This was my first pair. They were originally more straight leg and I pegged them a bit to make skinny jeans. If you look here, it shows you exactly what I did. For reference, I took 3/4” from the side seam at the hem, tapering to 1/2” at the knee, and then taping to nothing. Jalie had a great graphic on this page. Mind that I have the world’s smallest calves. This is a stretch denim that I picked up long ago to make Jalie 2908. It’s too stretchy for “real” jeans, but perfect for these. I love them, I love them, I love them, I love them.
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Figuring out the “right” length on skinny jeans is a big challenge I think. I like them this cuffed length and just above the ankles (I show that below).
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See the slight back gap, I’ll show you how I fixed that below. Remember this was my “test” jean and I sewed it “straight outta the envelope” (or, off the computer printer). I was really pleased with the results. 
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What are you doing, chickie, chick-chickens? They are peering up at me, hoping I’ll drop something down. They love me.
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This fabric is from Joann’s. They have it now, I saw it just a couple of days ago. It’s a stretchy denim.
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See? No butt gap and I’ve got a booty on me.
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This is the other length I like; juuuust brushing my ankles. Another inch up might be cute too. These are tucked up under the pants to make them this length. The original pants are a little longer than this so you can scrunch them a little.
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I should have done all the detail pictures on the blue pair. Squint and you’ll be able to see everything. Maybe.
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On this pair, I knew I’d be cuffing them so I made sure to serge the seams to make them “right puuuuurty” when you look at them.
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I used my coverstitcher for doing all the topstitching. It makes it go really fast.
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I attach the waistband to the pants with two zig zags. That way, there is no chance that the waistband will pop when you pull on these to yank them up. You need a stretchy seam because this bad boy goes over your hips and then snaps back to your waist.
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To solve the gaping issue in the blue pair above, I gathered, every so slightly the back waistband. So to make these unaltered, yoo have a front and back waistband and add elastic that is the SAME width to them, no stretching when you sew. For mine, since I knew about the butt gape issue (I have this issue with all things butt related), I marked the actual width (the white chalk line), and then pulled the elastic 1/4” further on each side, effectively gathering the waistband in by 1/2” It seems to work great and I can still get them on easily.
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When you attach your elastic to the waistbands, make sure to use a stretch stitch like a zig-zag or coverstitch. It has to stretch to get over that booty and hips. You only see this stitching on the inside of your waistband.
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This is the cropped length. I can’t figure out if another inch or two would be better. Like I said, length of cropped pants is sooooooo annoying. Then there’s heel height to take into consideration too.
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OR maybe better this way? This fabric is also at Joann’s.
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Smug bitch.
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Okay, what else can I say about these pants?? They are AMAZING. They are comfortable, they are flattering, they fit with zero alterations (well, you can peg them like I did, or not), they come in all sizes from 2T to larger women’s. I think I can even get a little girl pair out of the remaining purple/black and red/black fabric.

 

DO YOU LOVE THEM??? I love them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

We Have Returned . . .

Howdy! Just thought I’d share a few vacation photos. We got home a couple of days ago and the four hour time change is driving me bonkers. I keep waking up at 3am ready to start my day! We went to South Carolina and Texas. Luckily, we left the day before the shootings in Charleston. Ugh, horrible . . . Sometimes it’s horrible what people do to one another. We did thoroughly enjoy our time down there though. My dad has 80 acres, cows, a fishing pond, tractors, dogs, etc. It’s a kid’s paradise.

 

Her first bass with proud Grandpa looking on.
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Sunbathing beauties and Handsome Man. (Jalie swim shirts!!)
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This was there favorite thing to do by far. I think they are actually fish.
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Isn’t it pretty here? Every morning we would fish in the pond. At night, we fed the fish. Now that I think about it, that seems a bit mean. It’s like we gave them afternoon treats if they allowed themselves to be caught (we released all of them!).
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Not growing wild. These were at the Biltmore Mansion.
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My kids wore the Jalie swim shirts all the time when we were in the water. I know for sure it saved The Boy from burning. He’s very pale.
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On the sewing front: I have another Jalie pattern to show you. I have three pairs (that’s how much I love this pattern!!!!!!) of the Éléonore pull-on jeans to show you!!!! One is “normal” dark blue stretch denim and two pairs are crazy prints (my favorites!!!!). I have one cropped pair and two long pairs to show you!! I haven’t started by June Burda Challenge but I will get it done before July! *fingers crossed*

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jalie 3460!!!! I'm in LOOOOVE.

By now you guys have seen the new Jalie patterns. Right? If you haven't, click your buttocks on over to the Jalie website (I would have a link but I'm posting from Mobile Blogger and it hates me. I apologize in advance for the crappy formatting!)

This is my favorite pattern of their new release and it's named after my very own child, Bella. It's the perfect name for the pattern (well, I think so anyway).

This was my first dress and this is Bella, the twin. She's ecstatic that she has a dress pattern named after her.



And these photo sessions barely happened because of all the spinning. I tell you, I could barely get them to stand still. 

Then there was the whining and crying from the other twin. Then I had to make one more. 

Again with the twirling!!


They begged me to wear these on the last day of school. BEGGED. PLEADED. I let them. :)


And more twirling. I'm excited to get this pattern in my size!!! Jalie asked me to test out a few of the new patterns so I have them in limited sizes. I also proofed the instructions on several of the patterns. 

Do you guys love the new collection?? I especially love the pants, this dress, and the running tights (named after the other twin!!). 

Again, sorry about the poor formatting.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Jalie 3247 - Swimsuit!

Tired of me yet? I’ve been posting like non-stop this week. Or, at least I feel like it. I had to just squeeze in one more thing before we leave tomorrow. Something for me!! I love making swimsuits. They are cheap, fast, and they FIT, unlike their retail cousins.

 

I made this using two of the pieces from the 3247 pattern. You’ve seen these bottoms before when I used them on this swimsuit. I cut them about the same. The top though, that’s different.
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For the top, I used the gymnastics top View C. Originally, I made it just like the envelope except that I lowered the CF by about an inch. When I was done with it, it looked exactly like a sports bra. Hmmmm, not what I was looking for in a swimsuit. Then I tried to figure out what made it look so sports bra-ish. I decided that the 3/4” band on the bottom didn’t help and the straight-across-the boob-uniboob look wasn’t helping either. I pulled out the 3/4” elastic and put in 3/8” swimwear elastic instead. Then I created a gather just using a tube of self-fabric. So this is basically a sports bra that was altered to look like this. I really like how it turned out in the end.
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I used this fabric before on one of my daughter’s suits. I really like the bias plaid and the color.
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My favorite part of this top is the criss-cross back. I love that.
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Because I gathered the top and pulled it down, I had to make the criss-cross straps in the back longer than I would normally. Luckily Jalie has you make them a little long in the beginning. If it’s one thing I hate, it’s turning tubes. Luckily, I only had to do it once.
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I made view C (the black on upper left) and a shortened view E (the red and white shorts).
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This baby is super hard to photograph on the ground.
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I’m just glad that my miss turned into something I could change with minimal seam ripping. I really like it now. Here’s the little tube I turned and stitched together. The only downside is that it travels, so when I go to put it on, I have excessive fabric on one side and it’s all kinda wrong on the other side. It’s easy to fix though.
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You won’t hear from me for a while. Keep sewing everyone!!! And do your Burda Challenges!!!