Friday, May 30, 2014

Fixing The RTW Cardigan Problem Cocoa Shrug Review

When Steph released the Red Velvet collection I was most excited about Espresso and the shrug patterns so I went ahead and bought the whole collection. There’s been a big discussion in the MMM forums about how cardigans are one of the biggest gaps in all our wardrobes and I was especially wanting some fitted ones that hit at my natural waistline. Cocoa and Carmine seemed to fit the bill. 
I was a little worried starting out with the lack of reviews on it but the rest of Cake patterns I’ve tried worked out well so I decided to attack this fear head on and not let it hang over me all summer. Besides I needed a nice sweater. 

My fears were unfounded. While following step by step this pattern came together quickly and well. I chose the size based on my measurements and since I wanted it to hit at my natural waist I measured from shoulder to waist and ended up adding about two inches to the body of the pattern. I also cut the waistband at 4 1/2 inches because I wanted a thicker band. I also lengthened the sleeves because I want this sucker for warmth. 
Thankfully my gut led me correctly and it turned out the proper length. My head messed up when it came to the seam allowance and I sewed half the seams with too big of an allowance. Thanks to the power of knits it still fits. I am getting some odd wrinkles in the sleeve but I’m not sure if that’s because I lengthened it or because it is a bit too small.

A round of over exposed photos so you can see the wrinkles that appear sometimes.
It fits like a dream over my Red Velvet dress and I like it over regular tops too. It will definitely see a lot of wear this summer. It looks really nice hanging open as well as when it is closed. 

The front treatment gives you a great crisp opening line too. I always learn some new technique for knits when I use her patterns. I look forward to making some more up in the fall. 

Well that’s it for May! How did your stash busting go? I finished up two bottoms and three tops this month but I was also gifted a big box of fabric so…. How did you do? What do you think of my Cocoa and the pattern in general?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Enfolded By Love

Hello... Reader,

 I've packed everything up for camp and traveled a couple hundred miles to see my baby brother and some friends before camp training starts next week.

You don't realize what you're missing until it is there. The last couple days I have been embraced gently by love. As I had my very first soak in one of those claw foot tubs that were built for soaking, comfort surrounding me, I realized this was a visible expression of what had happened these last two days.
We're staying with some friends, a fabulous couple, a bit older than my parents. She offered her personal bathroom to me when she overheard me telling my mom I was going down to take a bath. They rearranged their menu so I could safely eat gluten free with them. They are the most giving, kind, funny and knowledgeable people... their house breathes comfort and the ease that comes upon you when you realize you have walked into a safe environment.

The night before, we saw my brother at his friend's house. With barely 24hrs notice they invited us to their Memorial day cookout. People I had never met before hugged me, included me, and made me feel ever so welcome. They invited me to play sports with them even after I showed how abysmal I was at them. I don't think I ever did hit that badminton birdie but they still had me get up there and play. It was another environment permeated by love and kindness.

I cannot describe how refreshed and thankful I am. As my nerves start to grow as the time comes to meet the strangers I'll be spending all summer with I only hope I can make the atmosphere around me as loving as what I have experienced these last couple days.

But this is a sewing blog and this has NOTHING to do with sewing. I disagree! Most of our sewing is done because we love the craft and some of our best work comes from love. Like my newest tunic top...

I really don't like the way my arms look hanging out of sleeveless tops. I didn't say anything about it in my last post and you all left such nice comments I thought, "Maybe this is all in my head." When I was gifted this very small piece of vintage fabric I immediately fell in love with it and buoyed by your comments cut out a sleeveless tunic before I could second guess myself.

This is how I'm wearing it most of the time
I love it and I love you all. We throw that word around so much it tends to lose it's meaning. But when you actually experience it, when it reaches out and touches your life, you can only sit back in amazement and bask as you are enfolded by love.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tank Top Hack Or When I Actually Sewed On Theme

Well hello there bloggy friends! I'm feeling a bit crazy right now because I'm leaving a week earlier than planned! Cue the crazy pre-trip sewing! I know I'm not the only one who does it....

One of the things I've been wanting to make is a shelf bra tank top for pajamas. It turned out to be super simple. I used my TNT knit top pattern and cut the front and back twice. The second set I just cut to my measurements from shoulder to under bust plus seam allowance. I made a casing and inserted elastic that was snug around my ribcage. I tested it for a week and it works great! Its also made from thrifted jersey bedsheets so it's soft and cozy.

That's it for today guys! Crazy Sewing Lady, Over and Out!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stashbusting By Proxy Sorbetto Hack

My little friend came for sewing day and as we were browsing through my projects she caught sight of this great abstract print in the stash. After pulling it from the pile and deciding she really liked it we cooked up a plan that involved an asymmetric hem and a tunic. I was left to ponder how we were going to accomplish that.

Thankfully I remembered the Sorbetto pattern would be a great sleeveless base and already had the extra fullness in the pleat that we would need for this design. We found her size for the chest and I measured from the shoulder seam to the the lengths we wanted the hem to be. I flared the side seams out from the armhole so I didn't even have to mess with drafting out the bust dart.

Since the fabric was semi sheer I taught her how to do french seams and we used white bias tape on the neckline and armholes. The armholes are a bit snug in the finished product so make sure to check the fit before you sew the bias tape on. We were on a time frame and she'd already had to rip out some seams so getting her to redo the armholes wasn't an option. When you're eleven, everything is fine because you just made a shirt!

I'm so proud of her and how well her skills are improving over the years. She sewed this up all by herself even though it was fraying and shifting like crazy. She didn't even complain when we had to redo the shoulder seams. I got a bonus too because some super fun fabric finally gets to live off my shelf and I didn't have to do much to stash bust it! It's late so I'm going to leave you now! Night night.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Madness: Blitzing & Giveaways

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is Karrie Smith! Please send me your mailing address so I can get your goodies off to you!

Hello Sewists!
Nothing like everything happening at once! It's blitz day so I and my teammates are going to be busy listing as many patterns as we can in the next 24 hours. Check it out!
 Today Only

As I was sorting and counting patterns in preparation for this, I found a easy and cute summery pattern. I'm offering it and some other cheerful sewing bits and bobs in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day! 

To enter, leave me a comment letting me know: what is your favorite thing to sew? 
I will ship internationally and the giveaway will close on May 16th.
Want to see what you'll be winning?
Isn't it summery! 
Catch ya around! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

MMM Week 1 of 2014 and Surprise Pattern Sale

Hey MMMayer's! I made it through the first weeks and the photo documentation is below in all it's terrible keeping it real style. Links to better photos and garment details are in the dates below each photo. If you're already sick of all the MMM posts the sale details are at the end of the post.... See ya round, like a donut!

MMM 14 week one
May 1st Top
May 2nd Dress
May 3rd Top
May 4th
May 4th Skirt
May 5th
May 5th Top
May 6th
May 6th
Cake Espresso Leggings
Unseen Tunic
May 7th
same outfit as the 6th plus some amazing earrings you can't really see all
the cool details.

May 8th Long sleeve top apparently never blogged. Pretty basic

May 9th
Maxi Red Velvet

My Pre Camp Sale!
Before I head off into the wilds of Montana for the summer I wanted to purge some of my inventory, especially some of the fabrics... my car can only hold so much. :) MONDAY is going to be a huge PatternPatter Blitz, with world wide publicity and tons of patterns flooding the Etsy marketplace.
Before all of that happens I wanted to give my lovely blog readers a chance at my goodies early so I started my sale today! All the markdowns are already taken so all you have to do is fill your carts full of goodies so I can turn around and buy all those new patterns I'm loving from the MMM pool. :)
I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I'm going to try to finally finish the never ending jeans!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Knit Pattern and Sewing Advice Wanted: Rambles Included

Hello Lovelies,
Nothing new to show although I guess that's not totally true, you can see I've got two sets of back pockets done and I'm hung up on the fly fronts. It's more of a mental hurdle than anything... I chose my vintage zippers from the stash, yesterday. They are apple green and Copenhagen blue to semi coordinate with the pockets. Most importantly they are metal.

I think I'm going to win the consistently terrible photos award for MMM this year. I keep telling myself I'm keeping it real and the important thing is I am getting my outfit photographed every day. On the flip side, if the photo is so grainy, blurry and cluttered that no one can see my outfit what is the point?

MMM has also shown me I like every single version of the Wiksten Tova that I have ever seen. Coming in at a close second are all the Lolas I've been seeing pop up...
Speak of Lola, have any of you sewn her up? What have you sewn and loved in knits? With all the craziness going on I failed to get us a knit interview for this month so I thought I'd interview you all! Leave me your answers and I'll do my best to gather them up in another post.

What is your favorite knit pattern?
What is your biggest struggle/fear with knits?
What has been your greatest help/resource in learning to sew with knits?
Even though we're supposed to be stash busting... where is your favorite place to get good knits?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Stashbusting May Knits!

Hello Stashbusters! 
It's another new month with another new theme! Remember the themes are always optional and only there for our fun and enjoyment. May is all about sewing with those knit fabrics! We love wearing them and it's time to add more to our closets! 
There is no Curating Challenge for this month so use this time to catch up or relax because next month we'll be back with a doozy! 
I don't know about you but it's looking like this is going to be a pretty busy month so I'll catch you later!