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Fall for Spring

I tuck in my shirts. Like, I tuck them in 90% of the time. So, a bodysuit seemed like the answer to all my problems. I’ve been dabbling in sewing underwear, and I made a swim suit, so a bodysuit didn’t seem far off. I bought the pattern and fabric at Joann Fabrics last fall, and I finally got around to it. Part of the delay, was watching others on Instagram struggle with this pattern. I’m no exception, but I’ll show you what to keep an eye out for.

First up: the pattern. This pattern is Simplicity 8513. I like this bodysuit because it was not a thong. Another one I was considering was Madalynne X Simplicity 8435 which Madalynne sells kits for this bodysuit that are very cute. I may by trying that next, but frankly I’m not sure where to get my hands on the pattern right now. I didn’t see it on the Madalynne or Simplicity websites.

The biggest critique of this pattern is the armhole. See below. I believe this has to do with the armhole being drafted as if for woven fabrics so it doesn’t sit snug to your armpit.

As you can see the armpit is somewhat of a saggy crotch.

So, I would highly recommend making a muslin and checking the arm if you are to make this pattern! With that said, I made a size medium with NO alterations to the body, and the body fit amazing! That is practically unheard of since my hips are two sizes larger than my waist. The bottom fit nicely around my rump and the body was long enough.

My thoughts on this partial lining are in the paragraph below.

My second concern (not really an “issue”) is the lining for this bodysuit. The person who drafted it opted for a partial lining. The lining is great since the very deep v-neck on this pattern doesn’t allow for a bra. Though, you can put a camisole underneath, and it still looks cute. However, the partial lining bothers me since it stops right around the waist and there is no fantastic way to tack it down. What I did do, was tack it at the side and back seam, but it is still shifting around more than I would like. I think just lining the whole bodysuit would be a better solution.

I sewed right over the seam so you can’t see it from the outside. The front is still loose though because it has no seam.

The instructions also don’t mention to finish the raw edge on the bottom of the lining. This is knit so it should be fine, but I hate to leave an edge raw, it seems unfinished and unprofessional feeling to me. If you opt to finish, I suggest doing so right after you construct the lining piece. Remember to finish the raw edge of the crotch lining because the pattern won’t instruct on that either.

Last, I think it is a huge negligence for the pattern to not specify stabilizing the crotch connection points! I got so excited to finish that I didn’t even thing about it and the result were a bummer… I am going to have to redo the bottom entirely, but thankfully I have some extra crotch length and room to do so. I suggest twill tape to finish the raw edge and attaching the snaps to that. Also, sew on snaps. I moronically use the kind that go through the fabric. I think if you use the twill tape and sew on snaps, you should be good.

The snaps were there until the (very quickly) ripped out.

Overall, I like this pattern. I don’t think the fixes will be hard to make and I love the views. I also like that it isn’t a thong, but I know that is personal preference. It would be pretty easy to alter it to be one if you wanted. Focus on the armhole and stabilize the crotch, and you’ll be alright.

P.S. if I can squeeze one more tip in here at the end, this is it: for this view (view A), I recommend tacking the tie in place, particularly at the bottom. It is seeming to like to spread wider and wider until it’s almost indecently wide. I think just a couple stitches at the bottom two sets of loops would hold the tie from loosening at the bottom just fine. 😉

Sewing

Live and Let Dye

So much stress in life, but sew much fun in life. Do you sew much? I’m not sure how much time you all have to sew, but my true and honest goal is to make one item per month, sewing or other means. Right now, Mr. Andy and I are going through the process of adoption so I am trying to prepare the house for invasive inspections, continue to work my job to save money for house projects and the adoption and take care of everything else in life. Sewing time and budget has been minimized the last few weeks, but I did manage this skirt for March!

Repainted the ceiling in the living room and dining room and put this new chandelier up. I can do more than sew. 😉

Now, like every good sewist, I have stash fabric. My stash is different than a lot of the other stashes I have seen. Very few pieces in my stash have I bought myself. A lot of my stash was given to me be others cleaning out their stashes. Thus, I have a lot of mystery fabric and a lot of fabric I would never have picked out. Generally if I buy fabric, it is for something in particular. I have helped this process by keeping a digital directory of my patterns so if I am at the fabric store and see fabric I like, I can instantly look through my patterns to see what I will make with it and buy the necessary amount. I use the Trello app.

Upon first inspection of my stash, (which I also have digitally organized in Trello to save myself digging) I didn’t see anything for this skirt because I had a very clear vision of something safari inspired, which isn’t me, and probably wouldn’t get worn much in retrospect. However, as I mentioned earlier, my fabric budget is minimized, and I just couldn’t find “the one” for the right price. I very begrudgingly forced myself back to my stash. There was one fabric that was the right weight, and if I cut the pattern out just right, I might be able to squeeze this pattern out of it. I often find, I can use less fabric than called for by the pattern if I just redo the cutting layout a little.

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After 5 years in my home, I finally hung up photos. (Yes, it took me five years!)

Alright, so I have my pattern and fabric. I am making McCall’s M7906 to sew along with @SewYourView on Instagram. They pick a pattern every month, and it is super fun to see all the different versions of one pattern people come up with. There are some very talented people who participate. It really gives me something to look forward to, and it can take some creative burden off picking what I want to make from. I also have a fabric that’ll work because it’s the only thing I have. That’s just how life is sometimes, and I just have to make it work. Not going to lie, sometimes I like the challenge of seeing how much I can do with not much.

I decided to make view D. I am all about the midi skirt right now. I don’t know when this transformation happened because I used to hate that length, but here I am, obsessed. I also like the large belt loops and the sash belt, and I had just enough fabric to make it. Only two major problems to overcome:

  • The fabric was light yellow… like pastel… I am a super bright person, and pastels are so subdued, not the POW I usually go for. I have a serious problem with never making anything neutral. Heck, I hardly make something with a solid color. And…
  • The fabric was see through…21C2CD3A-B63C-49C1-B95E-0EAC05F7D206

 

Problem #2 is easy. I just have to add lining. Lucky for me, I also have lining fabric in my stash, and hey, it’s bright pink so it already made me feel better about the subdued yellow.

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The fabric is actually really nice. It is finely woven, and I believe it to be cotton, it was just the color! Nothing was coming to me until I saw my hairdresser (who happens to be my MIL) post a picture of a balayage she did. That’s it! I can dye the fabric. I love to try and practice new techniques, and dyeing fabric is something I have never done before. I just used powdered RIT dye in sunshine orange. I had a few small swatches I got to test it with. What I ended up doing was sewing the skirt up without the buttons and hem finished, then dipped the bottom in the dye. I let it sit for 20 minutes. Then after rinsing and drying the skirt, I poured out about a third of the dye, and filled it back up the original level, diluting the dye. Then, I put the skirt back in a couple inches deeper for the lighter orange. That is how I achieved the gradient color. (I even put gradient buttons on it!)

After dyeing it, I inserted the lining and added the buttons and buttonholes. Then just the hem, and done-zo! I loved how it turned out! It felt a little tyedye and a little retro. ❤️ Overall, I really like this pattern. I am a huge fan of pleats and the button front means you don’t have to fiddle with a zipper. I would make this skirt again. I think I would like it in a plaid. It would be easy to make it in a thicker fabric for fall or winter. Awesome, versatile pattern!

Love how it turned out! 💛🧡
Sewing

My Trash, Another’s Treasure

You know when you find that pattern you are super excited to make? Like you love everything about it, and it’s going to be sooo perfect? 💯! I love to try new things, and the Brya Pants free pattern from the Mood Fabrics blog had me wanting to make them instantly! I loved the drape, and the interesting silhouette of them instantly as soon as I saw them on Instagram. And they were a free pattern! Win, win!

What I initially liked about these pants was they were loose fit workout pants. I get sick of the painted on, tight running/yoga/workout pants. The Brya Pants looked supremely comfortable, and they would be great for either workout pants or lounge pants. Also, they come with pockets! I’m really trying to beef up my skills with knits while expanding my workout wardrobe. (Seriously, like before all of my yoga pants seams rip out!!) Yup, this pattern was going to be a winner.

For the pattern, Mood recommends their stretch bamboo jersey. It looks very luxurious, and at the time of writing this, goes for $15.99 per yard. The pattern requires three yards. $45 was more than I wanted to spend for the first pair I was making, as the first time I make a pattern is usually a “working” muslin. I buy a cheaper fabric that I would like the pattern in and will buy more expensive fabrics for the next go with the pattern, once I have all of my sizing and changes figured out. So, I sought some fabric at the local Joann Fabric Store. This was my first mistake. The fabric at Joann was still $12-$13 (after whatever coupons) per yard for a polyester jersey… I sacrificed the excellence of bamboo fiber for about $6. That being said, the fabric I got was very soft.

Fabric in hand, I was ready to start. I printed and tiled together the .pdf pattern. I prefer to tape all the pieces into rows; then tape the rows together. It goes pretty fast. There aren’t very many pieces to this pattern so I was able to cut it out quickly. One thing I will say, the Mood patterns don’t come with a fabric cutting layout. I rarely follow them anyway, so that is a non-issue for me, but worth noting. I did not need three yards. My guess is that the largest size needs the three yards, and the pattern doesn’t scale down your needs for specific sizes.

The instructions are very clear with pictures of each step. I was able to make these pants super fast. I definitely recommend this pattern as a quick project, especially if you have a serger. I would recommend the following changes if you decide to make this pattern:

  • As soon as the pockets are sewed to the front, I would baste the top and side seams. The pattern calls for you to bast the top much later, but I think you would be better served to baste as soon as they are sewn one.
  • Shorten these giraffe pants! In the picture on the blog, the model’s pants are more like capris. In real life, these are full length pants. I have short legs, but they are not that short. I tried pushing them up, but there was way too much fabric.
  • I would do the waistband out of one piece of fabric folded over instead of a waistband and facing. Just a personal preference. I think I would like it better that way.
  • I would ADD ELASTIC OR A DRAWSTRING. Now, maybe it is just the fabric I used was not “springy” enough, but I would like to have a little extra waistband strength.

Those are all pretty easy fixes.

So, where’s the trash? Who ended up with treasure? As much of a delight as these pants were to make, I was so disappointed when I tried on the finished product. They were not flattering on me and did not fit me well. My husband was watching the disappointment, when he tried to cheer me up by making a comment about how comfortable they look. Jokingly, I told him to try them on and see just how comfortable they were! Like the good sport that Mr. AndyWear is, he (somewhat begrudgingly) got up off the couch and tried them on. He loved how comfortable they were! His gripe is that the pockets are too small. So, ladies and gents, if you make these pants for a man (or if you just like bigger pockets), I recommend you increase the pocket size. However, he has been pondering getting a pair of joggers, and these pants fit right into that hole in his wardrobe so he now has a new pair of pants.

In conclusion, this pattern is fun, quick, and easy to make, but a big ol’ bummer for me. The instructions were very clear, but I think there is some room for improvement on the quality of construction. Hindsight, I would have gotten the stretch bamboo jersey from Mood Fabrics. I would make the above listed recommended changes if I make another pair for my husband, but I will not be making these for myself.

But hey, the husband is always asking me to make things for him. So, it worked out alright.

This is them on me… I paired them with my, “I’m not amused” face. They look equally as unflattering. 😛

Knit and Crochet

Baby Bun Lovey

Another friend of mine is having a baby. This can only mean one thing… The inevitable baby shower. 😱😱😱 For me, showers (baby showers in particular) are akin to torture. Three words: Baby. Shower. Games. Ugh… Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy showering my good friends with gifts, but there is always the pressure as a “maker” to make something fabulous. However, I have this looming realization that the person to whom the gift is intended is going to stick it in their mouths, drag it through the mud, and probably spit up on it, and they won’t be able to comprehend the fact that someone put hours of love/work into that item. Heck, most of the adults I know don’t seem to understand that.

With that said, one of the most obvious items to knit/crochet is a baby blanket which just happens to be my absolute least favorite things to make. Why? I’m not 100% sure, as I quite enjoy making full size afghans, and a baby blanket is just a smaller version… Maybe one day I will gather my thoughts completely on that one, but until then, I will continue to find ways around making the dreaded baby blanket because I truly want to make things for my friends babies! (even if snot and spit-up end up all over it)

So, for this particular project, my way around that was a lovey! The theme for the baby shower was Baby Bunny. At a complete loss for what to make or buy (because I don’t always make things, I’m not that awesome 😉), I headed to the internet. For me, if I plan on making a yarn item, as opposed to sewing, my first stop is Ravelry. If you are not familiar with this website, wait until you have some time to explore it. It is a treasure trove of knit and crochet patterns. I personally find it better than Pinterest, and a lot of links from Pinterest will bring you to Ravelry anyway. So, once on Ravelry, I simply searched baby bunny and applied my favorite search filter: Free Patterns Only.

I came across The Crafty Mama Bear’s pattern for the 6 Point Star Baby Lovey on Ravelry. This clearly shows a star with six points, mine is only five. Not sure how I managed that, but it came out beautiful so that is an issue for next time. The pattern for the blanket part of the lovey is on The Crafty Mama Bear’s blog. Here is the link that will take you directly to the pattern. She has photos of the lovey with a bunny, owl or octopus. She provides link to each of the heads she used, but you could also use the head and arm patterns for just about any amigurumi pattern.

As you can see, I chose the bun head. I used the link the Crafty Mama Bear provided in her blog which led me over to Katrine Klarer’s blog post for her Bunny-lovey. She also provides a pattern for the blanket part of the lovey. Her version is essentially a large granny square, and is a much simpler pattern than the star if you wanted something easier and just as adorable. Be prepared to work in very tight stitches for the bunny! You don’t want any of the stuffing to come out. Also, I have heard mixed reviews on the plastic eyes being a choking hazard so I always opt for embroidery eyes when I make things for little ones, so you will notice my bunny is different in that respect, but otherwise I stuck to the pattern.

In conclusion, the bunny head pattern was easy to follow, a lot of very tight stitching. The only change I made to the head and arms was the embroidery. The blanket I would rate as a little more challenging. I attempted to follow the pattern as written, but did mess up somewhere as I only ended up with five points on my star instead of six, but I don’t believe this “mess up” had a negative effect on the end result, so I’m not really that upset about it. I used stash yarn and am honestly not sure what exactly it was. I just followed the yarn gauge. I would recommend both of these patterns.