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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cake: Endeavours - Cullottes for Sew Long Summer Blog Tour.

This morning it was 9 degrees (48F) and that was *just* a little too chilly for shorts and a tee shirt (I am Canadian).  Luckily I have been prepping for the Sew Long Summer - transitioning into Autumn - Blog Tour. 

Last Spring I found an Indie Pattern Shelf at Fabrications in Ottawa  and was BEYOND THRILLED to find a copy of the Cake Endeavour Trouser.  I quickly made up a pair of very wearable shorts and made plans to use the pattern as a wardrobe starting point - but then I decided to make a dress, and tested a few patterns and got away from my "wardrobe" plans.

So here we are - AUTUMN! and I don't need shorts.
When Melissa touched base and suggested I join the Sew Long Summer Blog tour I immediately thought of the Cake pattern.

SewManju does a lovely job styling her cullottes and I thought the look might work for me, and I had some black linen in my queue, so I decided  to give it a go.

First - let's talk about the pattern:  
FORMAT:  I am normally a pdf gal when it comes to indie patterns - we just don't have access to the gorgeous printed patterns in my neck of the woods.  I was reluctant to buy the pdf of this pattern because I had heard it was complex (but it is not, really) with many pattern pieces for different size combinations (true).

The packaging is lovely - the colour coding is valuable (don't stick to B&W if you are printing the pdf), and the printed sheet is not enormous - I imagine it will be manageable as a pdf.

SIZE RUN: Until recently - there weren't many offerings of plus size patterns in printed versions.  Cake has a nice size range (Hip measurements included: 30"-55" (76-150))  - the pattern concept is especially wonderful for a curvy body because there are grading lines for various body types and measurements.  If you are an experienced size blender it is an awesome and easy experience to grade from a 54" hip to a small waist using the pattern pieces.

INSTRUCTIONS: if you have marked your notches and know how to follow them the instructions are excellent.  StephC comes very close to beginner level instructions, but it's definitely and advanced beginner pattern.  There are a few parts to the instruction puzzle that are on the pattern pages them selves, so don't pack the pattern away after tracing until you have checked for additional info on the sheets.  There are fewer pictures than typical (more than StyleArc... but no four colour photos, for sure)

TECHNIQUE:  I particularly liked the pocket design and construction process on this pattern.
FEATURES:  The Darling Pant (there is also a Sailor Pant pattern in this offering) features an invisible zipper (easily installed above the pocket seams) and generous, slanted hip pockets.  The real perk of this pattern, is the front leg (princess?) seam on the pant and the back yoke, which allow for tweaking in the fit.  The leg is very wide, and I am told that somewher out there there are instructions for narrowing the leg pattern, but other than the mention on Flikr I have not been able to uncover an instruction set.  (Cake's  Designer, StephC is on a LOA recently and is sometimes present on these interwebs, but you are better to turn to your Facebook groups for any advice ). 

ALTERATIONS: I added 13" to the shorts length to get this cullotte.  I also did a full tumy adjustment by temporarily piceing together the front panel pieces and following Michelle's tutorial on the Curvy Sewing Collective.  I moved some of the front leg inseam to the back leg (narrowing the front crotch curve and lengthening the back crotch curve to eliminate some bunching I found when walking in my shorts - it seems to have done the trick.  Next time I will use my self-drafted shaped wastband - the pattern will accept a different wasitband easily.

And the pants themselves?
FABRIC - Delicious black linen with a viscose blend - not itchy, good body, washes well and has held it's colour very well.   I am not new to linen and canvas for multi-season wear.... it's great for when the mornings are too cool for cotton skirts, and transitions perfectly to hot afternoons.  It's dreamy and soft and warm and cool.
For the pockets, I used a knit lining I had on hand (hence, the olive) and the pocket technique that uses adhesive seam tape is really nice.
Pocket on the inside of the garment
The inside of the pocket and invisible zipper (what? you can't see it?)

STYLING - Cullottes are quite wearable!  I love how SewManju added a boxy T or a fited jacket - I think keeping proportions in thirds work well with the short length: 1/3 top and 2/3 pants.   I am wearing my nude M7093 in these pictures - tucked in - and untucked looked nice as well.  I have a nice cropped leather jacket that looks great with these, and a pretty frilled top that works well too.  I am happiest with the way they look with a pair of MaryJanes, but if these contine to be wearable, I might try pairing with my black boots to extend their season a little.

Since this is part of a Blog Tour there are some nice perks:

Fun discounts and coupon codes from our sponsors:
Zierstoff Patterns 20% off patterns Code: zierstoffpatterns20 Ends 9/17/16 
  Blue Dot Patterns 25% off patterns Code: SewLongSummer Ends 9/17/16 
  On the Cutting Floor 50% off patterns Code: SEWLONG Ends 9/17/16 Sponsor Collage Final

The rest of the Tuesday posts are here:

Here are some of the other posts:
I will come back and update this post with the links as they are published

Monday, August 29, 2016

Latest makes (again, a catchup post)

I've been testing and doing totally non-glamorous sewing lately, but I have a few makes to share:
This M5435 hack turned out to be an easy to wear dress

This Plantain Tee for the store was a nice make- the cowl is nicely sized
I took a course in felting and made a sweet Plover

3 Felting Projects I tried on my own.

The cute little bunny!
 And the 5T Chickadee has a couple new dresses:

This is the Peppermint Swirl Dress from Candy Castle Patterns 

This is an in-progress shot of a heirloom dress
I reviewed the pattern I used for the heirloom dress here.

My next post should be up soon - I am working on some Fall sewing: Linen Endeavours and it's part of a blog tour which will appear on this blog for once.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Next! Sewing Mojo is Flowin!

I have been sewing like crazy!   But NEXT:  I am going to go back to the Seamster Dandelion top to make a leather shell!  Here's my last (and fitting perfectly after more than a dozen washes) version:
Can you see the lovely side panel?
 It curves from halfway to center back up under the arm to a princess seam

There's a center back zip
(which I don't use in this version, but I am sure I will need in a leather version)

The fabric is gorgeous - some kind of batik on a plaid cotton

Here is my first version:  made in a cotton lawn - I put this one up at the store - I made an identical one for myself by the invisible zipper ate the lawn on my first zip - I immediately went out an bought a proper invisible zipper foot.  These shots show the design lines nicely.

the curved side panel shows up well on this shot

So - what else have I sewn?
I made a BBQ shirt for my DH using the bits from a shirt we ordered online  (apparently an XXL for a child)
 -I think the main fabric is a Kaufman Interweave chambray (pepper? I think) - I bought a remnant.

My friend gifted me some crazy poly-knit, I love it!  So I made (another) Lisbon Cardigan

Here's another one I didn't blog from May (apparently that was my last haircut!):

I made a Plantain Tee out of a gorgeous Rayon jersey from my Nature's Fabrics prize pack

Plantain Tee
And - a Sophie Swimsuit that I will blog when I make one from the finalized pattern
Sophie Swimsuit
Today I will finish this dress.  I totally messed with a woven pattern to make a knit version of view C

phew!  two weeks of holidays, then I will tackle the leather shell - do you think denim will make a good test run?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Look what I did to my Florence!

The Mumu/Maxi/Sundress theme in Sewing Land has taken a definite hold this summer, and I debated jumping onboard - until my SIL's announcement that her annual Heat of July BBQ was themed "Hippie".  In previous years I have worn Hawaiian, Hillbilly and White Trash outfits, so I succumbed to the pressure and started thinking about how to manage a sundress.

Remember the cute little dresses we wore as kids in the 70s?  The Smocked and Shirred dresses with the little ties that we pulled up WAY high in the front so our 7 year old boobies wouldn't peek out? - Well, I popped into Fabricland and found their rolls of Shirred fabric and bought enough to make a lazy, simple summer dress.

In typical Heather-fashion I started overthinking the dress (I was thinking I would make a built-in bra using the Fairy Bra Mother's Craftsy course) and had a stroke of brilliance! 
What if I used the Seamwork Florence?
use the Seamwork link above, signup for the 1 month trial and choose the Florence and one other pattern for $3 - that's an affiliate link; you (as one of my 6 followers) may eventually be a partial contributor to paying for 1 month of my ongoing subscription.

So I hacked (it hardly justifies the term) the Florence Bra!

Interior shot showing the direction of shirring on the inner cups, the secondary bridge lining and the unshirred fabric on the outer cups.  I serged the lining to the side seam.
  1. I eliminated the back seam and added side seams (I wanted to have side slits for walking comfort, and knew that the easiest way was to hem back the side seams below the knee).  To do this I cut the back off where the side seam should lay, and added seam allowance to the side seam, then edited the center seam and cut the back on the fold.
  2. Using the new front piece of the bra bridge, I cut a knit lining fabric for bridge support (I have done this to my previous Florence Bras and recently did this in my Closet Case Swimsuit).
  3. I cut the front and back with the upper edge on the shirred edge (cutting the cups out of the shirring.  I checked to make sure that the shirring elastic was secured before I snipped.
  4. I cut the inner cup on the shirred edge of the fabric.
  5. I cut 4 of the outer cup in regular fabric (for support - I would have had too much bounce with shirred fabric on both halves of the cup).
  6. I hemmed the fabric and hemmed back the side slits.
  7. I finished the neckline edge of the cups with some picot elastic from my scraps.
  8. I added a little bow for humor.

Gratutious shot of the picot edged elastic; sewn using the lingerie method of zigzagging wrong side down to the right side of the cup and folding back and 3-step zigzagging on the right side to cover the elastic edge.

Voila!  I have a sexy, summery,supportive sundress to wear without an underbra (and the multiple straps) - and it worked really well on my curviness!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lisbon Cardigan: A Garden Sweater!

Spring is so pretty!  All the buds and explosions on branches, the lovely lushness and the colours!  Oh - and then there's the lasting winter chill that speckles the lovely sunshine filled days.  I love to underdress this time of year, and then nature punishes me if I haven't got a layer tucked away in a little bag.

I have some pretty fabrics in my stash that need a special garment - this small piece hasn't been languishing long, but that's because the perfect project landed on my cutting table (I was asked to test the pattern)!  The main fabric was a prize in a recent show and tell from Elliot Berman Textiles:  I had feared it was going to be long-term stash or face its destiny as panties because I only had  .8m of it.  The other fabric is a beautiful Teal Bamboo Jersey from my stash - I think I bought it at Fabrications as a remnant. ( I think this is the proper description:  66% Bamboo Viscose, 28% Organic Cotton and 6% Spandex. 58” wide  - 200 GSM.)
Both of these fabrics are 4 way and the main stretch is 100%

The pattern is a really simple cardigan with 4 design options - the Lisbon Cardigan from Itch to Stitch.

The design has a lovely amount of ease - and made with such a light jersey with all that Lycra I could have sized down - I am so thrilled with the relaxed look of the top.

The bands on this pattern really make this an easy garment to construct.  Taking a few minutes to mark the quarters of the sleeve, 8ths of the collar, and 16ths of the hem band mean that you can easily/evenly distribute the stretch and prevent any bunching.

The collar is the most challenging stretch - but as a result it lies nicely against the body.  Can I just shout out to Kennis to a gorgeously drafted sleeve?  Look how the armpit came together!

The back of the cardi is straight forward and clean

All in all - I am happy with my top, and I am happy to recommend the pattern.  Itch to Stitch provided me with the pattern, and you can be assured that if it was a dud I wouldn't recommend it.  Since I fall right at the top of her size range I wouldn't normally be an Itch to Stitch customer, but this experience has me re-examining the patterns on the site - Kennis wrote excellent instructions and the draft is spot-on.

My version of the pattern is the cropped cardi with 3/4 sleeves.  There is also a long sleeve and uncropped version.  In testing the only drafting feedback was that the sleeve was long in the test version - Kennis will be altering this for the final draft.

Did I manage to evoke a bit of the satin bomber-jacket fashion that the style bloggers are going on about?  (Am I maybe on the cutting edge? - not likely, but I love the top, so Whateve's)