July 30, 2012

Burda 07/2010 Trouser #103

With any pattern, I always avoided pants because I was so intimidated by instaling the zipper.
But thanks to Sandra Betzina's zipper installation tutorial, I'm no longer afraid!!!
With my Marrakesh pants, I successfully installed the fly front zipper... twice!
So now I have this ambition to make me a fitted pants.

I always wear loose pants like linen drawstring pants.
My recent friends probably have never seen me in fitted pants, or jeans.
It's not because I don't like them.  I love the look of it.
I just don't own a pair that fits me!!!
I used to wear them more often when I was younger, when fashion was more important than the fit.
So I do have alot of these pants in my closet, but when I went through them, there were maybe two that fits me decent.
Because my waist is proportionally bigger than my hip, it's just so hard to find a RTW pants that fit.
If I go with my waist, it's just too baggy, and if I go with my hip, I can't close the zipper.
It's even hard to find something that fits around my thighs.

So I decided to make Burda 7/2010 Trouser #103.
I like the jeans style of this pattern.
When I first saw it , I was drooling and thought it would be great if I can make this, but no... it's got a zipper. I cannot.
And ha!  Now I can!

Since it's made with stretch fabric (I chose stretch gabardine), I can't really use my sewable tracing paper for muslin.
So I traced my size (36 at hip, 38 at waist) and gave a generous seam allowance, which is 5/8".
I wanted to make 1in, but I didn't have enough fabric.
I basted the pieces at seam allowance, and it was a little too tight.
So I tried it with extra 1/4in SA all over, and it was perfect!!!
So I think it actually ended up fitting just right without any alteration to the pattern.

Now I'm off to installing a zipper.

I just wish this pattern had back pockets.
It looks so much like jeans, but it doesn't have pockets.
But oh well, I didn't have enough fabric anyways.
With my next fabric (stretch denim), I have enough fabric so I'll try to add pockets.

Phew, what a couple of days!!
I easily installed the zipper... That wasn't the problem.
The problem was the side seams!!
The back pieces were alot longer than the front piece, so I had the hardest time easing it together.
I tried it maybe three times, and thought that was my best, so I serged them to finish...

Then I *thought* I realized that front and back waistbands were different width, so I ripped the side seams apart, serged seam and all...
Then I realized that the waistbands were the same width.
I was looking at the waistband fabric that I cut wrong. :(
So back to square one...
I had to ease the side seams.
Which was actually not that bad compared to ripping the serged seams!

Then I moved onto attaching the waistband.
My waist size varies so much during the day...
I get bloated easily, so the pants that I wore in the morning cannot fit me, by maybe 2 inches.
I used Sandra Betzina's elastic waistband method.
I cut the waistbands at my biggest waist measurement, and cut the elastic at my smallest waist measurement.
After attaching one side of the waistband to the pants, I zigzagged the elastic to the seam allowance of the waistband.
Then I folded the waistband over to finish.

This is brilliant!!!
I tried it on, and since it's night time, my waist is at the biggest size, and it was still snuggy comfortable.
And I'm sure it'll be as comfortable in the morning because the elastic will put it back in place.
I think I could've added a little more to the elastic...
Even though it's no longer tight, but it's still more comfortable if I unzip a little. Haha

I'm almost done with this pants. All I need to do is hem the bottom.
I almost pushed myself to do it tonight, but I stopped myself to give me some rest.
Thank goodness this is almost over!!

I'm not complaining about the pattern...
It just feels like I've been working on this pants forever.
I really like it, and I'm thinking about making it in stretch denim after this.
The only thing is, as mentioned in the reviews, that this is pretty high waisted... Maybe 1in above naval.
I don't really mind it as I normally wear my tops over the pants.

July 29, 2012

Alison Bathing Suit

I live in Hawaii.
We go to the beach, the pool, and I swim at the gym 2-3 times a week.
Needless to say, I go through my swimsuit fast.
I normally get them on sale, but it still costs about $30.
So I figured it's about time I learn how to make a bathing suit.

I downloaded Alison swimsuit pattern from BurdaStyle website.
It came in 3 sizes- 32-34, 36-38, 40-42.
I fit right about 36-38.

It was easier than I expected.
They called for zig-zag or stretch stitch.
I tried zig-zag but when I tried it on, the stitches stretched and you can see the seams.
So I checked the machine's manual and discovered stretch stitch.
They recommend it for something that needs stretching and durability.
It's pretty cool, except it's a pain to undo if you make a mistake!

The instruction, although Kitty Couture made it really good, it was still a little vague...
Well, I guess not the instruction, but the pattern.
There's no notches to attach things, so you just need to try it on and pin where you want things to be.
That's what I did with attaching the binding to bust insert, and I think it came out a little higher than expected.  It turned out ok, as I like neckline higher anyways.

One thing to note, is when you add the center tab, make sure you add it on before you attach the lining to the bodice. 
The instruction to attach the tab comes much later, so I attached the lining to bodice first, and found out later that you need it to attach it before, so it'll be enclosed to the seam.
I didn't want to undo the stretch stitches, so I added on from the outside, and although it doesn't show outside, it wasn't easy to do.

Also there isn't really a pattern for single back strap.
I used the pattern given- which is meant to be a tie so you cut 2- I only used one- and it was too tight that I couldn't get to put the suit on, so I took it off.
I was too lazy to make measure and make another one.

I used the Kitty Couture's leg binding instruction, but for the width I cut the binging in half - which was too narrow, I think.
Next time I'll use something a little narrower than the binding, like suggested.

I made one alteration - I copied the front & back bodice and cut it around the crotch area and baste them to front and back bodice.
This, in my head would've made it a skirt, like my current bathing suit, but it just ended up making a tankini over this bathing suit.  :p
I had to widen the sides if I wanted it to be a skirt.

So I bought a yard & half of swimsuit material for this at $10/yd.
I think I can make one with 3/4yd, which makes this suit $7.
Alot cheaper than RTW!!!



Yesterday I went to the gym to test out my new swimsuit.
Luckily I took a shower in the locker room first.
The suit bottom was almost see through when wet!!
It's because the background of the fabric is almost white.
I think I could even see my c-section scar.
I was glad I had the "tankini" over it, since it's not really see through once there's another layer.
But because it's a tankini, it would rise up in the water I had to constantly pull down on it.
I'll probably have to wear a board shorts with it just so I don't get too self concious.

The fit was great, though.
I thout it was a little tight when I tried it on, but it felt great under water.

Since I had some extra fabric I actually made another one.
This time I made it a tankini top, and cut the bottom below the waist to make a panty bottom.
I took apart my old bathing suit and used the lining to line the bottom.
I guess at least the bottom should be lined, huh?

Uploading the picture tomorrow.

July 24, 2012

Marrakesh Pants #2

I was happy with my white Marrakesh pants, so I wanted to make another one.
I had this pink linen/rayon blends I got from www.fabricmart.com.
Well, I think it's linen/rayon.  It was part of the mystery bundle, and it looked exactly like my white linen/rayon blends.

This time I added the buttons to roll up the hem.
But because the hem is kinda heavy, it doesn't really stay up...
It wants fold down in the weird way.
If you really want to keep it this way, you might want to stitch a little on the side.
I ended up wearing it without the roll up, because I forgot to shave my legs.  :p

The only thing about this pink pants is, I really don't know how to wear it!!
It just looks like pajamas if you don't somehow dress it up.
Today I matched it with a black top & black sandals, but that's all I can think of...
I definitely cannot wear it with a tshirt and sandals, unless I'm going for a "I just woke up, and this is what I slept in" look.

July 20, 2012

Burda 3/2010 #118 top

Oh this was a satisfying project.
It was so easy that it only took me about 2hrs to make this.
The best part?
I made this from 1/2yd of fabric!!!

One thing that made it easier is because I've already made this before.
So I already had the pattern traced and I knew it would fit me.
Last time I made it, I used a thicker jersey, and it wasn't drapey enough to work the cowl neck.
So everything was a little poofy...
That was actually a nice organic cotton jersey too.  What a waste of a nice fabric...
I still wear it, to the park or something, but I think I'll take it apart and make something else...

This fabric was from www.GirlCharlee.com 1/2yd fabric bundle.
When I saw this fabric and felt the drape of it, I thought it would be a perfect fabric for this pattern.
I just didn't know if it was enough...  I mean, 1/2yd.
So I cut it on crosswise grain.
I really don't know if this is the right thing to do...
Every pattern tells you to cut it on the grain.
But I remember some patterns actually tells you both the grain & crosswise grain, so I thought it was ok.
So I did, and I barely got the top out of it.
The pattern calls for a waistband & drawstring, but I didn't have enough for that detail.
It probably would've been cute!

It's such an easy top...
Since it's a knit, it doesn't fray so I didn't even use the serger which made it easier.
The only thing is, the cowl neck is way too low for my taste.
It's such a nice light fabric, that I really want to wear it on its own, but I have to wear a cami underneath.
I'm really starting to hate to wearing a cami to all my clothes because of low necks.
It's July, and it's HOT!!
I'm thinking about sewing a bandeau instead.

I pretty much wrote everything on the pattern review, so I'll just paste it.

I just gotta say, I'm VERY glad that I got to make a top with sleeves with 1/2yd fabric.
I've been wanting to make more tops with sleeves.
And I still got a whole bunch of 1/2yd fabrics from GirlCharlee bundle!  :)

Pattern Description: Knit top with cowl neck created by gathers by the shoulders.
Pattern Sizing: I traced between 36-38
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes except for my modifications
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really follow the instructions.  It's a pretty easy top.  Gather the slit by the shoulders, stitch shoulder & side seams, finish the hem, that's it! (the self neck facing is folded in)
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love how easy this pattern is, but it's a little more stylish than just a t-shirt.  I don' like how the cowl neck is too low.  Is there a way to raise a cowl neck?  It would be nice to not have to wear a cami underneath. 
Fabric Used:  Cotton Jersey from www.GirlCharlee.com.  Believe it or not, I made this with 1/2yd cut!!!  I cut the patterns on crosswise grain.  This was one time I was happy that I'm short.  (4'11'')  It was barely enough to make the top, so I couldn't add the waistband as the magazine.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  As I mentioned, I didn't add the waistband/drawstring because I didn't have enough fabric. 
I also didn't gather the sleeve hems, because I think my arms are big for my frame, and gathered sleeve hem will make emphasize it.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I really do recommend this top!  It's such an easy top...
Since it's in knit and it doesn't fray, I didn't even serge the edges, which made it even easier.  I probably made this in less than 2 hours.

Few things to mention.
I've made this top in the past, but with a thicker jersey.
It didn't drape well, so it came out a little puffy.  Drapey fabric is the key to this top.
Also, when you gather the shoulders, I think it would look better if you concentrate the gathers toward the neck. 
I didn't really pay much attention, so mine gathered toward the sleeves, and it flared the bottom hem outward.
I think if you gather it toward the neck, it'll fall down nicely.
(Do I make sense?)
Conclusion: This is a really easy top to make with nice style.  Highly recommended to even beginners, and it'll create a top that's more than just a t-shirt!

July 17, 2012

Vogue 1249 Rachel Comey Top

I'm working on Rachel Comey top from Vogue.
I got a nice rayon challis from www.fabricmart.com, and I thought it was perfect for this top.

Well, I was DEAD WRONG. :(
I'm actually almost done with it... i just need to finish one more sleeve hem, and hem the bottom.
So far, I don't like the look of it.
First of all it was the wrong choice of fabric.
Actually, I think the fabric is ok. It's nice and drapey for this top.
In fact, it's my first time using rayon challis and I'm loving it.
But it's the print!!!
I shouldn't have used a print for this pattern, ESPECIALLY in black, because all the nice details in the front don't show at all!!
If not for the slouchy sleeves, it really looks like a medical scrub. :(
I also don't like the pleats in the back shoulders.
When you look at it from the side it kinda poofs out and it gives an illusion that I have a big shoulder/arm.
Because I swim alot, I DO have broad shoulders, and I don't want to emphasize it! :(

It's still wearable, that it's a nice comfortable top.
But I think it'll really limit what I should wear on the bottom...
I guess my current love, the slouchy Marrakesh pants is out of the question...
It just makes everything look sloppy.
I wish I had a skinny jeans, that it'll probably makes it look ok, but I don't own one.
Well actually the jeans is one of my next project goals...
I also received a stretch denim from www.fabricmart.com.

Anyways, after almost finishing this top, I looked in the mirror and lost the motivation to continue...
It's not worth pursuing after 10pm.
I'll finish it up tomorrow...

Ok, here's the result.

It's actually not that bad...
I can still wear it, I just have few things that  would've make it better.

I really realized that with my current life style it's better to make more tops and bottoms.
I'm slowly understanding "It looks cute, but it doesn't mean I'm gonna wear it."
I've been making so much dresses but I hardly wear them.
Now I'm using this as an excuse to look at more patterns...  Hehe

July 15, 2012

Simplicity 2219

I had to take a little break from Marrakesh pants, because I ran out of white thread.
I ran out of white thread?  How can it be?  I thought I bought a big roll? 
But it did happen, and I decided to take this opportunity to use one of the knits from Girl Charlee to make a dress.

I used Simplicity 2219.
This is such a TNT pattern.
This is actually my 4th one, a 5th if you count the one I made for my sister-in-law.
Although it looks pretty stylish with the front gather and facing and everything, it comes together pretty quickly.
From cutting to finishing, it probably took about 4 horus total.
I really wanted to finish it in one night...but when I finished the top part and realized it's 10:30pm, I decided to go sleep.
Sure enough, I finished it really quick the next day.

The past two sleeveless version I made, I noticed that the armholes were pretty low.
It barely not show my bra.
I didn't want to take much time to adjust the pattern, since it involved too much curve and all, so I just used maybe 1/4 seam allowance instead of 5/8 for this area.
It turned out perfect!

I also had to modify the back skirt.
Because I had three separate cuts of 1/2yd fabrics, I couldn't make one big back skirt.
So I stitched two 1/2 yds together, and made it into a back center seam.

I still love this pattern...
I might make a top with sleeves with another knit from Girl Charlee.

marrakesh Pants Day 4 - Done!

I actually had a little break from Marrakesh pants, because I ran out of the thread, and made another Simplicity maxi dress, but that's another story.
Well this is the combination of Day 3 and Day 4, since I don't remember how far I got on Day 3.

First of all, lots of mahalo to Sandra Betzina for sharing her front fly zipper installation method.
Using her video, it was really simple, and gave the best finish!!
The only thing is, you have to remember to add fly extension to your front pieces...
Marrakesh pants have a separate pieces for fly extension, so I had to sew them on...

It still worked but it would've been nice to have it as a part of the pattern.


 I've noticed that the fly extensions were really big. 
This white linen is pretty thin, and you can see through the extension and it just looks huge...
I think I'd make it smaller next time.

I tried it on...  and it was huge!!!
I thought the muslin was perfect...  but I guess linen somehow stretches?
I ended up taking out around 1/2 inch from the waistline sides...
It probably ended up bringing it back to size 8.

Since both kids took a nap for almost 3 hours together, I got to finish the pants today.
I still need to attach hook & eye, but I'm debating if I want to.
I keep mentioning that my waistline changes throughout the day, and will be tightening/loosening the drawstring alot.  I don't know if hook & eye will be in the way of it.

I don't have the pictore of me wearing it...
But I LOVE it!!
I had this on today without finishing the hem, and changed to my RTW white linen pants to go out, and realized that my Marrakesh pants looked so much better on me.
It fit better, and felt better.

I'm glad I was convinced to buy this pattern... I sure will be making more of these.

Few things to mention, only in my opinion.
I think the drawstrings are so wide...  personally I like it narrower.
Although this supposed to be a little low-rise, 1in below the naval...even after cutting off about an inch off the top of the waist, it still sat right on my waistline.
It actually felt good to wear a pants at the waist again, since all my pants are low rise, and just uncomfortable.
However with the wide drawstrings, it adds a tad more volume around the belly, and with a certain top, I look pregnant!!!
I really don't think this is the pattern's fault...  I really need to work out more and reduce this waistline.

Although I love this pants, I need to be careful choosing what to match the top.
Not because of the pattern, but because of the material.
I got a linen/rayon blend from www.fabric.com, but it's pretty thin.
It probably looks ok if it's in darker color, but with white, it's somewhat see through.
If I wear a dark underwear it certainly shows.
I'd like to jump into getting more of these fabric, but I need to stop myself...
I just received some rayon challis from fabricmart.com.
I need to work on reducing the newly purchased stash.

July 12, 2012

Marrakesh Pants Day 3

Okay, I cut the fabric for Marrakesh pants and started sewing.

I thought the pants was perfect, but I trimmed the waist lower by about half an inch.Since I'm short, waistline was a little too high...
It was borderline Mama jeans and Erkel.
I don't mind the Mama jeans but don't do Erkel.
Still minor alteration for a pants, but I had to trim everything that involved waistline... The front/back pieces, pockets, fly shield, etc.

The instruction starts off by preparing the pieces...
So I did the drawstring/elastic first.
The drawstring was too wide and WAY too short for me.
It tells you to make the drawstring and cut in half, but I actually made two of them and cut maybe 4inches off of each.

July 10, 2012

Girl Charlee

I've ordered from Girl Charlee twice... And falling in love with them!
They have a good quality pretty knits for great price.

I just received a 1/2yd bunch from them.
I think it had about 10 different prints, for $12.
I thought it was a good deal but a little bit regretting, because the shipping was about $12 as well and that ended up doubling the cost.

But when I got it today I was so happy!!
Just by glancing, they were all such cute prints!
I bought it thinking it would be good for my daughter (since she only needs 1/2yd anyways) but the prints were actually more mature.
And some of them were actually 2-3 of 1/2 yd cuts of the same material so it was 1 1/2 yd, enough to make ME at least a top, possibly a dress.

I haven't really opened the bag...
I have this guilty conscience about buying so much fabric, so I hid them from my husband...haha
I know he wouldn't care, but it's just me.
So while he's at work tomorrow I'll open up the package and take some pictures!

Here's the pix...  Not bad for $12, yea?

Marrakesh Pants Day 2

I've just sewn the muslin of Marrakesh pants, and WOW! It fit me right off the bat!
I couldn't believe it!!
Pants? No adjustment? Seriously?

Well, not entirely correct.
I had to pinch an about an inch off center back, because of sway back (I think that's what it is?) but I always have to do that.
Other than that, my waist feels fine and my butt feels perfect!
The leggs are coming down nice and straight.
I'm excited to sew it in real fabric.

BTW I cut size 12 in waist and 8 for the rest.
I'm petite, 4'11'', but after two pregnancies my belly has been protruding...
Plus my waistline changes drastically during the day.
I think it makes almost 3inches different.
I made it in size 12 which is the biggest of my waistline, and I can adjust the rest of the day using drawstring.
I'm starting to love this pattern!

July 9, 2012

Marrakesh Pants

Sewing mojo is back!!
Not only it's back, but in full speed.

I've sewn most of my fabric stash, so I let myself window shop for fabrics...
And all these projects came in mind.
Well, I ended up shopping.

One of them was Hot Patterns Marrakesh drawstring pants.
I've actually been eyeing on this pattern ever since I started sewing maybe 7 years ago, but I always thought $17 for a pattern was too steep.
But after consulting on pattern reviews forum, I figured it would be worth it if I Can perfect this pattern and make enough out of it.

I love linen drawstring pants, and I buy at least two colors maybe every other year whenever it goes on sale for around $20.
Yea, $20 for a pair of pants? It's the price I cannot pay anymore, knowing I can probably make it in alot better quality fabric for alot cheaper.
So hopefully I can work this pattern.

I love this pattern, because it has the trouser look with waistband and front fly zipper, but it's still a drawstring.
But that's why I was also intimidated by it, because it has a fly front zipper.
But after finding a tutorial video by Sandra Betzina I feel like "I can do this!"

*・*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚・*

I received my pattern and fabric today.
I got a linen/rayon blend for about $6/yd. I didn't know how if I can even perfect the pattern, so I didn't want to spend too much.
I guess this could be a wearable muslin?

I was a little disappointed with the pattern itself.
It was a pattern printed on regular (big) sheet of paper, and alot of places were faded, so much that I couldn't even read it.
I don't know if it's just faded and I cannot see, or if it's the pattern itself, but it didn't have any indication of waistline (well, I assume it's just the waistband) or the hip.
Since I have to grade so much between the waist and the hip, a little line would've been helpful.
Also there was no "shorten or lengthen" mark.
I guess you can just Shorten at the hem... But I didn't know if it would change the look of the pants. Although it probably doesn't since the pants legs seem very straight.
I guess I was expecting alot more for paying $17.

Well I traced and cut the patterns on sewable tracing paper tonight.
I wanted to jump on sewing it, but decided to take a nice bath and watch some TV.
I'm starting to learn to take things slow, in order to avoid any mistakes caused by tiredness.
So I'll be sewing my first muslin trial tomorrow...
Wish me luck!

July 5, 2012

A whole bunch of kids shorts/pants

I'm on sewing pause... (well, sort of)

I've lost my mojo since I got stuck making the last dress.
All I wanted to do was just sleep early with my kids.
But one day when I had some energy I decided to finish the last dress.
Since then I got my mojo back and want to sew again...
Then realized I'm out of tracing paper, so I can't make anything new. :(

I took this as an opportunity to organize my fabric stash and see what I can do without a tracing paper.
Well, I realized that I no longer have a stash.
Turned out, I had a scrap stash. :(
I sorted it out, and still keeping it thinking I might use it for applique, etc...
But I really don't know.
I was hoping someone on Craigslist would want to adopt them, but didn't find anyone.

I did find few of my and my husbands old clothes that I kept because I was going to make something for my kids.
So that's what I did...

I used my linen shorts/pants to make shorts for my son.
My husband's boardshorts to make him another shorts.
The boardshorts was really still in good condition.
The fabric was good, it's just he got a hole by his crotch so he didn't want it anymore. I don't blame him. Lol.
Then I made my daughter some pants.
I used my old pajama pants... Just like my husband, there's a hole around my butt.
I really didn't care since it's just a pj, but I got tired of getting poked through the hole by the kids.
It was my comfy pj, and now it's my daughter's comfy pj.

I really got a good use out of this pants pattern!