You may remember Easter - Hollywood 1025

7.23.2017

Hey guys, do you remember Spring time?  When the flowers were blooming and we weren't dying of oppressive heat? No me neither. My current hobbies are switching out ice packs and bitching about being hot. I'm so Delightful to live with in the summer! #summerhater #nordicgenes #whyamIhashtagginghere

We've probably reached the point that blogging about April makes is ridiculous, but I'm doing it anyway. I didn't entertain/confuse the people driving by my picture location for nothing. (I should make a little sign that says, "Can't understand your drive by yelling," for photo shoots. Right now I just assume they're yelling complement about my hats.)
In the tradition of seamstresses everywhere, I used the Easter holiday as an excuse to sew a new piece of clothing.... and to buy a new hat.  Can I blame my mother for buying me pretty dresses and hats when I was a toddler? I'm just trying to recapture that sugar fueled high of matching dresses and sun hats.  If only I could still find chocolate covered animal crackers that come in a pencil box the trifecta would be complete.
After freezing my butt off previous Easter  Sundays I decided to go with a 3/4 sleeve jacket/blouse made out of cotton sateen for Easter 2017. No worrying about finding matching cardigans this year. Ya hear that Mother Nature?! HA!  (Spoiler Alert - Mother Nature took that as a challenge and made it about 87 degrees on Easter Sunday. F'ing Nature. )

But enough about my personal vendetta with weather, let's talk about sewing. You know I like peplum jackets and Hollywood 1025 is the third version to grace the blog.  This design's claim to fame is that the waist shaping is created with inset pieces. I'd eyed this design a couple of times but couldn't get past all the things that could go wrong grading up insets.  Images of too tiny insets going across my bust danced through my head at night. Then BAM, the pattern showed up in my waist size. Huzzah!  Now my insets won't wind up in unsightly locations. There is a bust dart on the front inset seam that needed to be tweeked due to my low bust point.  The angle is a bit funky but that's why we sew things in bold patterns. You can't see a thing!
As you may have expected, sewing the insets is the trickiest part. I like to mark all my seam allowances around the point of the inset with disappearing marker. Then I clip the allowances a bit and do a bit of basting at the point. Then go in and sew the whole seam on a slightly smaller stitch length than usual. There's always one inset that you have to rip a few times but the rest sewed up fine.

Everything else was pretty standard jacket construction minus a lining. :) That might be while I like jacket/blouses so much.

Pattern
Hollywood 1025

Fabrics used
Stretch Cotton Sateen from the stash. (An old Emmaonesock purchase.)

Pattern changes/alterations
No grading on this baby, Hooray!
1. Standard .5" forward shoulder adjustment to shoulder seam and sleeve cap.

Confessions/Advice
This was the first time I've made a peplum style in a heavier weight fabric and hoo boy did that make a difference in the body of the peplum. Duh.  The top is supposed to go with the standard A-line 40's skirt but with the fluffy peplum it didn't look right.  (Because flat butts do not run in my family.) Happily I'd sewn up this dark red circle skirt a couple of years ago and it was the right amount of volume to balance out the peplum.

(I also confess that I made a dirndl skirt to go with this and it was so hideous that it went straight into the the trash. We shall never speak of it again.)

Husband Comment
"Very festive color and I like the slightly puffy shoulders."  - I assume he's talking about the shoulder pads. If so I've successfully brainwashed him into also liking shoulder pads.


My Final Thoughts
If you've been reading my drivel for awhile you may have noticed that I have a fondness for the peplum jacket/blouse combo.  They are more versatile if made in a blouse weight fabric. You can layer them with sweaters and they work with more styles of skirts. It was fun to try a different weight of fabric and it worked well in the outfit.  I probably wouldn't do it again though. Better to save that bottom weight sateen for regular jackets.

Not related to the pattern, but when I walked into the yard at church it was a sea of clothing in blue/white or tasteful pastels. As I was gleefully giggling to myself about my searing red ensemble a lady ran up to me and said, "I was dying to know what you were wearing today because you always look fabulous."  Then I talked her ear off about my hat because I'm bad at social interactions and crazy about hats.

P.S. - There's me on the right at age 3 on Easter Sunday. I'm probably that happy about candy but let's pretend it's about hats.

McCall's 3242 - The Pendleton Jacket Knock Off

6.17.2017

Last year I feel deeply in love with the Pendleton 49er jacket.  At first I was all, "Oooo look at me, embracing boxy plaid garments. How shocking!"  Then I slowly remembered that my mother had a closet full of 90's style Pendleton suits with plaid jackets and matching kilt style skirts. These were in the hall closet that also held all the family photo albums.  Sometimes you'd tunnel yourself in there to get out the pictures but also to sniff the wool/cedar blocks. (Unrepentant wool sniffer since my early years.) Sooo yes, we all become our parents eventually, but with slight variations. :)  Also I wish I had a closet to fill with just wool and cedar for my boy to sniff.......Digression finished.

After buying my first 49er jacket I discovered a bunch of other great things about the garment.

1. Giant patch pockets you can throw just about anything in. Phones, kids toys, pens, measuring tapes, snacks, your toy frog eating the snacks, etc.

2.  The roomy fit lets you put all manner of shirts underneath.  Well maybe nothing bulky around the wrist area but I can work around that. Three quarter sleeves anyone?

3. Plaid fabric helps hide food stains if you happen to be a be one of those people who's hands randomly release things without your brain's instruction. (I am one of those people.)

4. Wool fabric does it's job of being a great insulator without making you feel overly sweaty.

5. Boxy fit goes great with swing pants and man-ish shoes making it a practical work outfit. (Pants are the Living History Smooth Sailing Trousers once again)
Basically the 49er jacket is exactly the kind of layering garment I want in my life right now.  However the thought to make my own didn't cross my mind until my father gifted me 3 yards of plaid wool for Christmas. Should I try to copy one of my vintage Pendleton jackets or was there a vintage pattern out there that was similar?  To the Internets, the power of Google compels you!

Googling "vintage Pendleton pattern" took me to some long dead message board where several vintage pattern numbers were suggested. I had Froggie write them down for me and then we surfed on over to Etsy to see what was available.  Low and behold Etsy had most of the patterns mentioned and McCall's 3242 was perfect!
Perfect doesn't really describe it because McCall's 3242 is an exact copy of the Pendleton 49er jacket. Shoulder pleat in the same place? Yes.  Back yoke gathers? Yes.  Collar has same curved shape on the outer edge? Yes again!  Obviously someone in charge at McCall's thought this design was popular enough to copy for the sewing public. I thank you sir or madam for doing all the work for me.

Construction was easy pleesy since the style is basically a cross between a jacket and collared shirt. Well as easy as plaid matching can be.  My walking foot does help a bunch to keep everything matched up after it's been pinned. The only construction details I changed was tweaking the pocket placement, flat felling the side seams/under arms and serging the armhole seams at the finish.  At the end you get a very pretty inside where the only exposed seams are the armholes.  Nothing like a pretty inside to make you feel accomplished.

Pattern
McCall's 3242

Fabrics used
Light weight plaid wool that was a gift.

Pattern changes/alterations
1.Standard forward shoulder adjustment to the shoulder seam and sleeve
2. Reduced with of cuff by .5".
3. Took in side seams about an inch.
4. Lengthened sleeves .5".
5. Reduced the width of the pockets .5".

Confessions/Advice
-The fit came out a bit roomier than I'd wanted.  Probably need to grade the entire pattern down one size for the fit to be similar to my vintage jackets.

-The color in the plaid are probably a little too 60's for regular wear.  I do like that kelly green though.

Husband Comment
"You finally made something with decent pockets. Good job."

Bonus son comment, "That doesn't look to good.  I mean you look good, but that jacket doesn't." (I'm still laughing about this.)


My Final Thoughts
McCall's 3242 is a excellent copy of the Pendleton 49er style. As with our modern Big 4 patterns I think it comes with a little more ease than I'd like.  Mind you I muslined the whole thing up and decided the ease was fine, so I have no one but myself to blame.  I'd like to give this pattern another go with a heavier wool plaid after grading it down a bit. That should give me the exact fit I'm looking for.

Long story short, Excellent pattern but check your sizing. And with that I'll leave you with an action shot.
See you next time with the exact opposite of this jacket.  Fitted, Floral and Floucey, Oh my!

Deep Stash Sew-a-long Results

5.27.2017

If it wasn't obvious by now intermittent blogging is the new normal. If you could call blogging every couple of months intermittent.  Hmmm let's call it a quarterly "gift" instead. Gift or flaming poop on your door step, take your pick. ;)

Today's gift/poop is an overview of the garments completed for the Deep Stash Sew-a-long challenge. I don't expect you to remember what that was all. I'll just put a link to the particulars if you're interested. With the help of my trusty sewing helper Froggie, we were able to finish about 2 garments a month and complete the challenge on time. We might have had a cake celebration about about it...just like we do about everything else.  Cake, it's not just a dessert, it's a lifestyle.

Most of that productivity was due to TNT's.  Even Froggie can't muslin and sew 8 new garments in a four month time period.  How would we fit in our cake celebrations if so much time was devoted to sewing?  Anyway I'm pretty sure none of you are derisively shaking your heads while muttering, "How dare you sew more of a pattern you like Heather! What kind of monster are you?" (A monster who likes cake obviously.)  I'll link to my review blog posts for any of the TNT patterns in case more detail is desired.  So let's get on the photos shall we?

Garment #1 - Wearing History Smooth Sailing Trousers (4th pair of these) in some tencle denim we have at EOS.

Garment #2 - My hacked Grainline Studio Lark Tee pattern in some cotton jersey from Marcy Tilton.


Garment #3 - McCall's 3242 in some wool plaid that my father got me as present last year.  


Garment #4 - Hollywood 1214 in wool coating from Gorgeous fabrics many years ago. You'd remember this one since it was my last blog post in......February.


Garment #5 - McCall's 4265 in washed silk. Also a very old Gorgeous fabrics purchase. This was my first time making the long sleeve version and as some of you know I had to make the sleeves twice. On this pattern the single notch on the sleeve head was the back of the sleeve. (Which I didn't notice) Thanks to my standard forward shoulder adjustment I couldn't just rip the sleeves out and swap them. At least there was enough fabric to fix my mistake.

Garment #6 - Hollywood 1032 (Skirt Half) in some black wool suiting from Mood Fabrics.


Garment #7 - Hollywood 1025 (Blouse Half) in an cotton sateen which was an old EOS purchase.


Garment #8 - Mae Blouse from Blueginger doll in some cotton oxford. I got this from the brick and mortar Steve's Sewing.  (Holy crap, my photography skills have improved since that last Mae post.)

A couple of good things came out of doing this sewing challenge.
- All of the fabric used was from the stash.  Sure 3 pieces I bought in late December before the challenge started but It Got Sewed.  ;)  You know how planning garments doesn't necessarily mean they happen.

- The challenge got me to sew a few basics that have come in handy. The trousers, back skirt and black knit top weren't exciting to make but I've been thankful to have them in the closet.

- The challenge got me to sew a few projects that have been "bucket list" items. I stole this term from Crystal in the stash busting group because it perfectly describes those garments that have been on your "to sew" list for years.  The gray coat and green blouse were my bucket list items and also used some deep stash fabrics. Feels good to clean out some of that old stash layer.

On the flip side after 3 months of sewing only stash fabric and patterns my sewjo died.  In early April I even posted in the group I might be tapped out at 6 garments. At the start of the challenge sewing those long planned items felt good. After about two months I started to itch for something new. A new pattern to sew some long stashed fabric would have been fine. Or some lining to make any number of jacket patterns I already have wool for. (Poor planning on my part here. Could have gotten the lining during the last minute December buying spree.)  You can see that I had to psych myself up at the finish by digging out the fun prints.   At least it did the trick!

In case you're wondering, after this challenge I bought 7 yards of various linings. In May I've been lining all the things which I'll hopefully blog about before August.   In fact I'm hoping to do my regular "review format" on the new makes of McCall's 3242 and Hollywood 1025 sometime in June.  Maybe Froggie could plan a cake party for me if I complete them? Let's hope so.

My Annual Winter Coat Project - Hollywood 1214

2.26.2017

I think most of you guys know by now that I'm not much of a planner.  Usually I cast my little squirrel eyes around and sew what ever seems bright and shiny at the current moment in time.  Funny though, I looked through the blog archives this week and discovered that my squirrel brain always likes sewing a coat in January/February.  It's almost like the cold weather sets off a craving to cocoon myself in coating weight wool.
This year I finally broke out the coat pattern snagged off of ebay months ago for $5.00, yes $5.00!  Oh I was sooo pleased with my bargain pattern acquisition of Hollywood 1214 that it was never even pulled it out of the envelope. When I did so to trace it in December that's when it was discovered there were no directions. Crap!
Now I don't rely on directions that heavily, but they do come in handy on non printed patterns. I use them while tracing a copy of the pattern to correctly label all the pattern pieces. It's also nice to have a reference for things like top-stitching and any sort of vintage sewing technique that has fallen out of fashion.  I was also a little concerned about the pockets on this design. I've sewed a lot of garments, but never one with pockets that look quite like this.  After mulling it over for a day I decided to give it a shot.
Between several years of coat sewing experience, 1 year of familiarity with non-printed patterns and an excellent fashion illustration it all worked out. When sewing the muslin I turned off my brain and my hands figured out how the pockets went together without a hitch.  Isn't it nice how a lot of garment constructions is common sense? The rest of the sewing was standard coat/jacket stuff that I can do without any directions. Hooray!  I also lucked out that the 40's fashion illustration was very detailed and showed where all the top-stitching should go. You'll probably have to look at the illustration yourself to be able to see any top-stitching details. My light gray on light gray stitching mostly gets lost in the photos.  I do want you to know that I spent hours trying to get smooth top-stitching curves on my coat lapels. ;)
On to the review portion of the blog post..

Pattern
Hollywood 1214


Fabrics used
Stashed gray wool coating - originally from Gorgeous Fabrics
Stashed floral viscose as lining - originally from Emma one sock

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Standard 1/2 forward shoulder adjustment to the shoulder and sleeve head.
2. Added 1" extra ease to the hem line and hem.
3.  Removed 3" of ease out of the sleeve cap. Some was removed by making the dart at the top of the sleeve wider. Some was pinched out.
4. Drafted my own lining for the coat.

Confessions/Advice
- This pattern seems to have been drafted with shoulders that are supposed to jut out past the natural line. Despite all the extra shoulder padding I added in that area it still looks like I didn't fit the coat right.  If I had to do it over again I would take the shoulder line in to met my natural shoulder edge.

- I do like all the little details this pattern has. Lots of top-stitching, the little faux belt at the back, the lovely big pockets. It's really hard to keep your hands out of them!

- Compared with all my other coats, the lack of buttons below the waist feels a bit odd. I'm always thinking that I've forgotten to fasten a button or two. Thanks to the thickness of the coat there isn't too much problem with the bottom half blowing open unless it's a really stiff wind.

- Confession, the bugs got to this piece of wool too. One yard was badly compromised, but there were nips taken out here and there through out the yardage. The bugs seemed to favor the fuzzier side which probably was the right side of the fabric. I decided to use the "wrong side" and not worry about cutting around any nips in the fabric.

Husband + Son Comment
Steve - "Looks like there's a lot of room in that coat."
Desmond - "Room for 100 people the size of ants!"
Steve - "I was thinking along the line of thick sweaters or smuggling goods, but sure."

My Final Thoughts
Not gonna lie, my red McCall's 6800 is still my favorite coat. You know how a looooove red.  However this project was an interesting sew and gave me a real ego boost. It's nice to find out that you can finish something without out any directions.
Can you guys believe this is the last of my stashed wool coating? I'm going to cry big crocodile tears next year when I have to fork money over for my seasonal coat.

Deep Stash Plans

2.09.2017

It's February but it's never too late to talk about first quarter-ish sewing plans.  Heck at the rate I'm currently sewing what else do we have to talk about?  OK maybe cookies, but I'm fresh out of those too.  Could someone send a cookie drone? Carbs/sugar are the only things keeping me stable right now.

This year I have to keep a tighter reign on my purchases to continue reducing the size of my stash. (BTW, total stash reduction for 2016 was 90.5 yards.) So far instituting the rule that I must complete garments out of stashed fabric to get "credit" to buy new fabric is working.  In January I sewed up 3.75 yards and didn't buy any new fabric.  Froggie laughs and asks if I'd like a gold star for lasting a whole 5 weeks without buying fabric. Hey frog, I work in a fabric store so give a girl some credit!  I only thought about buying fabric every Friday.

To help with the stashed garment sewing I signed up for the Deep Stash sew along going in the FB Sew along group. The general guidelines for the sew along are:

- All patterns and fabric need to be from stash.

- You need to sew 8 garments for the same person.

- No repeat garments. All 8 garments need to be from a different pattern.

There's a 4 month time frame to complete everything if you want to be eligible for the prize pack. That might be too short for me cause I've got to overly complicate everything.  That's OK, having a prompt to get me pairing stashed fabric and patterns together is great. Here are the garments I've got planned so far.

Garment 1 - Hollywood 1214 in light gray wool coating and some stashed lining not pictured.

Garment 2 - McCall's 3242 out of plaid wool which was a Christmas gift from my father.

Garment 3 - McCall's 4265 in some washed silk.

Garment 4 - Smooth Sailing Trousers in tencel denim.

After sewing those 4 up I'll have to figure out another 4 garments.  Maybe I'll put my number #1 man on the job.  Froggie work your magic!

Sewing Vintage in February

2.01.2017

Hello all, today's post is about the Stashbusting Sewalong FB group.  I've been an active member for a number of years and it's been a wonderful group that has helped me make put a dent in the size of my fabric stash.  Mr. B no long worries about being smothered in his sleep by toppling piles of fabric. He still can't fit all his clothing in the closet but I'm working on it.  That goal might also be reached if Mr. B throws away some of his 10 year old T-shirts/pants with visible holes....but we're getting off topic.

This month I'm hosting the stashbusting group sewing theme which is Vintage Sewing!  Seems we have a number of vintage sewers in the group because this was one of the most requested themes. So without further ado let me lay out the general guidelines for sewing on theme.

- You can sew true vintage patterns.
Break open your pattern stashes and pull out all those vintage pattern you've been hoarding.  Or go out and buy a new vintage pattern you've had your eye on. The definition for vintage patterns is 20 years or older, which means any patterns from the mid 90's and older are eligible.   (Feel free to harumph and say, "What I wore in high school isn't vintage!" That sentence has been heard in my sewing room more than once.)

- You can sew vintage reprints or vintage inspired patterns.
Not in the mood to grade up a vintage pattern to fit yourself?  Really like that new pattern from Gertie's line? No problem. Feel free to sew up patterns that have a vintage look even if they were published recently.

-You can sew something you drafted yourself.
Have something on your sewing list you've been meaning to draft that has a vintage vibe. Feel free to use this month's theme to finally get that project done.

-You don't have to sew clothing, vintage accessories or home decor counts.

As you can see there are many way to sew along with the theme.  I hope everyone has fun and I can't wait to see your makes.

Guess what I made 3 months ago? - Simplicity 1155 and Decades of Style Empire Waist Trousers

1.09.2017

What's that I see on the horizon? Is it a new blog post? It couldn't possibly be! We all know I've disappeared into the fabric shelves of EOS and/or my winter hibernation cave.  It's true, I've been spending most of my time in those places and battling the tidal wave of germs that elementary kids so helpfully bring home to share.  But today I'm temporarily germ free and thought it was time to finally show you the last two FO's of 2016.
Wayyyy back in October of last year I blogged about some "Unofficial Halloween" sewing plans. You may remember that only because of the kick ass skull fabric that was dug out from the bottom of the stash. Fueled by the desire to show off my sewing skills to impressionable children, I stayed up a few late nights to finish in time.  My "candy giving out" costume was exactly what is pictured here.  It managed to simultaneously scare children under the age of 5 and illicit exclamations of, "That is so cool!" from middle school aged girls.
One of the design features of this blouse is the high neckline with visible darts on the front. Mmmmmm delicious darts. Of course if you need to lower the neckline then all those delicious darts are gonna become a problem.  I thought, "Well I know that 40's necklines can be super high but I'll muslin this as is and hope for the best."  Yeaaaaahhhh, that muslin was like being slowly strangled by a lethargic snake.  Not exactly what I'm looking for in handmade clothing.  After letting my brain mull over the problem over night, I decided to try lowering the neckline and lengthening the darts the same amount.  Viola, problem solved.
No other major issues to report on Simplicity 1155.  The sewing is very straight forward if you've made any sort of blouse in the past.  I do like both the button back and the full sleeves.  (You can tell I've drunk the 40's cool aid because I would have laughed about these sleeves a few years ago.)
Now on to the trousers.  Those of you familiar with this pattern might be saying, "I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to have a waistband." You are correct eagle eyed readers.   I got a little excited about sewing this outfit and didn't think about how a nice soft rayon probably isn't the best fabric for empire waist pants. (I was thinking about how rayon would make nice swingy pant legs instead.) Also once muslining the pattern I realized that my low bust point wasn't making this look like it did in my head. Any sort of waist definition disappeared and that bothered me.  So what to do to solve both of these problems? Cut some of the Empire waist off of the top of the pants and turn it into a wide waistband.  I did take pictures of this process so if you'd like a quickie "How to" blog post just say so in the comments. Otherwise I sewed this pattern as drafted and like it a whole bunch.
(Not the best pic of the back, but this was literally the only on in focus out of 35 pics)


Patterns
Simplicity 1155 and Decades of Style Empire Waist Trousers.

Fabrics used
Blouse - Stashed Crepe de Chine from EOS.  Thanks to Facebook time hop I can tell you this was bought in 2010 about a month and a half after Desmond was born. (Just making myself feel better about not sewing it right away.)

Pants - Stretch Rayon from Marcy Tilton. Fabric was a new purchase in October, but has sold out since then.

Pattern changes/alterations
Blouse
1. Lowered the neckline .5" and lengthen the neckline darts the same amount.
2. Standard 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment to shoulder and sleeve.
3. Added 1/2" more length to the sleeve.
4. Redrew the placement of the buttonholes on the back.

Pants
1. Extended the back crotch length about .75" (Used the Wearing History Smooth Sailing Trousers as a guide since those fit me well.)
2.  Took in 1.5" inches in at the side seams at the waistline. This alteration was mostly because of my fabric choose of a stretch woven. I had to give that area some negative ease to get it to stay in position.

Confessions/Advice
1.  I found the bias width of 1.25" a bit slim for my fumble fingers when finishing the neckline.  I increased it to 2".

2. The directions say to close the sleeve cuffs with thread loops and buttons.  I found this out really late in the process and was not in the mood to hand sew some thread loops.  Instead I checked to see if the cuffs would fit over my hands with a buttonhole added.  They were wide enough thanks to my hand and wrists being the daintiest part of my body. I did end up doing a standard button and button hole finish to the cuffs. Now 3 months later I'll admit that doing the thread loops would have been better. The cuffs are just a little bit too tight when the blouse needs to move with me.

Husband Comment
Pretty sure he said, "I like your sleeves" because Napoleon Dynami quotes are a staple of our household. Though I think this outfit is on the husband scale of "I'll keep my mouth shut because she'll put on a less weird outfit soon."

My Final Thoughts
It might have taken me three months to show off this outfit but I'm pretty pleased with it. In the end it turned out just like I'd imagined.
Going forward I'm hoping to blog a little more regularly. There's still plenty I want to sew and share with like minded people.   So here's hoping for a little more sewing and blogging time in the new year.
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