Confused Scout…

You all know it, you’ve all made it. But I still can’t decide if it’s a “meh” or “ye” for me… Grainline Scout Tee.

IMG_2362Maybe it is that I did the Full Bust Adjustment? I used the brilliant method that brilliant Susan posted on her blog moonthirty. Like Susan, I thought that having a woven tee that has no bust darts was very appealing, but now I wonder if bust darts (or lack of thereof) are a big deal at all? I feel like I have tons and tons of fabric billowing in front of my stomach, because you cannot add all that volume to the top, without adding even more to the bottom…

IMG_2319Or maybe it’s the fabric, a bit too matronly? Yeah, but what do ya expect young lady (snort!) when you buy 4 yards of this polyester glory for $5 for the entire piece?

And what is that weird drag line going from the shoulder to the armpit? I actually dislike the whole sleeve situation, I do not like the cap sleeve (not that I don’t like THIS sleeve, it’s just that I do not like cap sleeves at all)…

As a matter of fact, I don’t like it so much that I decided to ruin 1.5 yards of beautiful, golden coloured silk on making a dress that I hacked from this pattern. What was I smoking, I wonder?

Oh well, we’ve all done that… Let’s forgive and forget, there, there, pat-pat…


Actually, this is my muslin, the only alterations that I’ve done to the original pattern was the aforementioned FBA and I made the shoulders narrower. OK, I changed my mind: for a wearable muslin I quite like it! I actually wore it a few times already. And I YEARN to tweak this pattern to the point that it will become THE perfect piece and a go-to pattern for me. Dream big, baby, dream big!


Letting go…

It’s been becoming more and more apparent to me that I need to let go more. I am a person that gets attached to people, causes, routines, unnecessary scraps of fabric, and what not. When things are over, it is hard to let go. I sometimes agonize about things that happened years ago, and any homegrown psychologist will tell you how unhealthy such behaviour can be. It is time to stop, and since sewing became such a coping tool and metaphor  for my life the only logical thing to do is to join the….

STASHBUSTING SEWALONG 2014!!! (I will add the button when I have the code for the button, for now the link will have to do).

So here’s my pledge:

I, Jagoda of pledge to decrease my stash by at least 3/4 (probably approx. 2,4597,841 yards) by the end of this year. I will not purchase fabric for any of my projects, unless I really, really, really need it. I will also restrain from buying patterns from the Big 4, but I will GENTLY support indie pattern makers. Furthermore, I will curb my binge of Craftsy courses (damn you Craftsy, why do you have to be so good?). I may purchase only 1 course every 3 months. Therefore, I would highly encourage my friends and relatives, and other enablers, to gift me fabric, especially if it’s awesome. Please and thank you very much. 

IMG_0201So here’s my stash, innocent enough, right? Not so, considering that I have more stuff in the laundry room, and also on another shelf. I also have boxes and boxes and bags of scraps, which are larger than an elbow patch and smaller than half a yard. So I gathered all of that stuff, dumped it on the floor, and I got a pile 2 feet tall.

PicMonkey Collage

All this stuff! I separated everything by it’s kind, and my attention zeroed in on a bunch of flannelette baby blankets that I saved since my son was a baby. Why? Apparently, to eventually make me a PJ top! I guess that counts for letting go in some way, no? I used Butterick 5932 view B with some modifications, as I was limited by the dimensions of the blankies. I actually used one double-sided blanket, and another single-sided. Just a warning, the pictures are showing off all the wrinkles on the material, somebody might or might not have been sitting on the garment while composing this blog entry.

PicMonkey Collagepj
Heavily modified neck treatment, sure as hell I was not going to have a neck facing in my PJs!
PicMonkey Collagedetail
A little detail. Two rows of contrasting topstitching around the cuff and neckband, a little bias trim bow by each elbow, and the crown…
…is there to let people know the function that I have in this house. I needed to break up the plainness of the back, and a crown was better than a heart or something…

So here we are! I enjoyed this project, as I purposely did not do any fitting. It was easy, and it made me feel good that I can still hang on to that blanket, rather than give it away or throw it out. Maybe it’s my security blanket… Maybe I’m totally missing the point… And you know what’s funny? 95% of the time I sleep in the buff. Maybe I’m totally missing the point…

I love you Gertie! I have boobs!

Hello there, I’m back from a little vacation, freshly baked and tan-line enriched in spite of wearing SPF 60 THE WHOLE TIME. Yes, we were camping in THAT heatwave. We were camping in a tent. It was effin hot! But pretty!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese days I seem to be playing catch-up, with almost everything in my life. To keep with this tradition, let me fill you in on this major revelation that I had maybe 2 months ago. You see, I bought Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I will not be reviewing it, since everyone else has already reviewed it backwards and forwards. Let me just tell you that I loved it, sooooooo so much, in so many different ways! And the patterns! Gasp! Immediately I decided to start with the Portrait Blouse. Ugh. Why does it look so good on her, and so bad on me? Then I decided that it must have been the “sleeves”, they were just too sticky-outy on me. So I decided to cut the sleeve a bit shorter, with an intention of making a few copies of the blouse, eventually turning it into a tank. Also, I did not bother with the tucks on the front and back, since I wanted a bit more room in the waist. Version #1 turned out like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASomething was off. Those folds just above my boobs? Yeeeeees, that’s it! But I did a nice job with the self-made bias binding around the sleeves and neckline.

Version #2 turned out like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore tank-y, and I took care of the folds by pinching out the excess fabric above my bust and making darts. It helped. This print struck  me as being very feminine, so I kicked it up a notch by adding a lace trim to the hem:

Isn’t it pretty? I love this print…

Version #3 went like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made it out of a beach cover-up that my mother-in-law brought me from Thailand or Bangladesh or something like that, gazillion years ago. I was quite convinced that I washed it before, after all there must have been a beach excursion that I wore it to? So I did not  pre-wash it. It turned out nice, same bias tape technique around neck and armholes. More of a tank. I wore it, I washed it. And…


It shrunk! So much! Awwwwwwwww…

So what’s my point here? Sure, pre-wash no matter what, bla, bla, bla… My point is that I need a full-bust adjustment! I had to put myself through the whole “reinventing the wheel” (aka pinching out the folds above my bust and making darts nonsense), just so I could be faced with a hard reality that I have boobs. Above average, whether I like it or not. There is no way around it, no use pretending that I’m a B cup. Now that I’ve settled and accepted this fact (as I mentioned before, this happened about 2 months ago), I pondered why it is that those who have them, try to ignore and deny them, or simply hate them. Those who don’t have so much of them covet the extra flesh, and often will pay big fat bucks to have the appearance of having bigger boobs. Human nature is truly boggling. It finally dawned on me that I needed to accept my body the way it is. If I want to sew fitting clothes, I need to sew for  my body the way it is, not the way I pretend it is… This realization of self-acceptance feels good: I am not angry at my body, just like I was angry when I realized I needed a swayback adjustment. I’m finding it amazing that I’m learning self-acceptance through sewing. Amazing!

Or maybe I should just suck it in, and look confident, like it was meant to be so tight?

Care to share what sewing taught you?

PS. Off I go back to portrait blouse pattern to do the FBA, just to discover that the bust apex is not marked on the pattern… Bleh!

Whatever makes you happy…

I’ve had this polyester fabric for almost a year, I could never figure out what to make out of it, and yet I wanted to use it so badly… The colour washed me out, I was too pale for it, but I looked at it longingly at least 3 times a day every day, wishing that I could come up with something.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The issue was, the combination of the colours and the pattern just made me so happy! I desperately wanted to wrap myself in that fabric when feeling blah. Finally, I stumbled on McCalls M6711 (I picked up that pattern because I really wanted to make the jacket, view A). As I am really intimidated to start on the jacket, I stalled by making the shirt (view B) and pants (view E). I did not make any muslins, I just  cut, sewed, crossed my fingers and toes, cut some more and more and unpicked stitches and sewed some more (in case of the shirt), and made my own waistband instead of the facing (in case of the pants). And here’s the result:

Not so impressed by the tapered cut. The pants are cotton twill, fairly high-waisted.

Both the top and pants came out too roomy, even though I took in all the seams by considerate amount. I can’t believe how much ease was built into those garments. But oh so comfortable! And real, functional pockets! I also can’t believe that I made tapered pants, which I avoid like the plague (how did I ever miss the fact that it was tapered cut?) But wait for it…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you roll up the pants they have a totally different look, playful, and still so comfy. Unless you choose to wear them with some hooker platform heels, which I just adore! And with a belt even the top looks a bit more shaped. And with more bronzer  and blush I don’t look so washed out! Unfortunately, this is not the best choice of fabric for this top, it does not drape well, so the gathers at the shoulders and back need to be ironed down, otherwise they billow… But you know what? This top makes me happy! I’ve worn this shirt and pants (together and apart) at least 10 times since I made them. And every time I wear them, I feel so happy, it always works! As I was taking these pictures I was sick with an awful cold, super-sore throat, and second case of pinkeye. Can you tell? I know, right?!  It is because the shirt makes me so happy!

Since taking these pictures I acquired some more suitable belts to… ehem… “accentuate my waist”. They work better, but you get the idea.

So here you go, one more self-indulgent photo. The need-to-pee pose ever so slimming! And just so you know, I made the dress (view C) as well. So no more stalling, get on with the jacket now woman! But before I go, I will leave you with this gem I saw on Facebook. Heavily peppered with F-bombs, but reading this makes me so happy:

fbSo you know: whatever makes you happy! Do share…

Is there any hope for this fabric hog?

PicMonkey Collage

No, I don’t mean I am the hog. If that were the question, the answer would be NO, I am an utterly hopeless fabric hog. Earlier today, I found myself on Queen and Spadina, so I went in to L.A. Boutique Fabrics, where the white polka dot microfibre that I fondled so tenderly on February 23rd was still there… It was meant to be, so 3 yards of it made it’s way into my bag. On the way out, I noticed this fun black and white knit, and then I touched it… I negotiated with Dennis, who remembered the Toronto bloggers from that Saturday 10 days ago… And I left the store with almost 2 yards of that too (the rayon knit, not Dennis!) Both fabrics feel so delicious and luxurious, they drape so beautifully, and oh, I’m so speechless…  I hardly ever wear patterns, I’ve always been afraid of buying clothes which were not versatile. But now? I can do whatever I want!

What I really meant to ask is this: is there any hope for Butterick B5785, which is such a fabric hog that it’s truly mind-boggling? I was making view B (3/4 sleeve, shirt, not a tunic!), and the envelope called for 4 and a quarter yards! I had 4 meters, cut out most of the pieces, determined that I have enough for a sash if I modify it slightly, and then the adventure started. That was Sunday. Today, Tuesday, I have given up! I have to say it’s quite an idiotic pattern. The way those darts sit right by the stand-up collar, makes it extremely hard to work out the neckline at the back. I must have unpicked the stitches about 5 times. I had to fiddle around with the collar, which felt very restrictive and almost claustrophobic. I got it so stretched out that even staystitching on the neckline did not help keep it together. It was soooooooo frustrating. I played around with the placement of the darts, which helped a bit, but it was too late. Not even mentioning that the arm scythes looked totally whack, and I had so enough of it already! Look!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee, all that awful bulging around the neck? I am quite sure this kind of neckline would look nice on somebody with a slender, long neck, but that does not apply here… I was a bit sad, because I still liked that pattern. I think that it is pretty and feminine, and the rounded bottom pieces are so nice… But sometimes you have to know when to say when. Sewing is supposed to be fun, but when it becomes such a pain in the neck, time to turn a fresh leaf  to a different pattern and be grateful for a great learning experience (which it was), and for busting 4 meters from the stash! Yey me! And when I let go of the fixation on the neck/collar situation, it came to me that that pattern would look very nice in a knit! I am so excited to try it!

And now, I introduce THE IKEA FABRIC DARE. Catja from gjeometry admitted that she had fabric from Ikea that was untouched, so I issued her a dare to make something wearable out of it. She accepted. She challenged me back to make something from the same fabric, but a different pattern. Deadline is March 31st, the day before my birthday. Vicky, anothersewingscientist, also mentioned about having Ikea fabric, so Catja and I agree that Vicky should be included in the challenge. Vicky, do you read? Do you accept? Not putting you on the spot or anything… Anybody else wants in? You know you want to!

And lastly, here’s me in my January me-made cardi. Since I mostly whined about love of fabric and agonized about unfinished business, here’s something that is done, just like this post.