Giveaway Day 2014 Winner

Congratulations, lsse is the winner of the Blooming Flower Pin Cushion.

She’s just thrilled to have won and is looking forward to having this hand made item.

Blooming Pin Cushion

Thanks for everyone who stopped by during the contest. It was really interesting to see the goals some of us are thinking about for 2015. Stop back Friday to see some of my plans for 2015.

Be sure to follow my blog, to see more sewing awesomeness in the future.

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Kirsten Kimono Tee by Maria Denmark Core Wardrobe part 2

Back to building my core wardrobe, for now anyway. I’m at a bit of a block trying to figure out what to make while trying to find the right fabrics for the few things I do have figured out.

Today’s tee is using the Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern from Maria Denmark. The pattern is free when you sign up for her newsletter.

mahlicadesigns

I just loved this subtly printed knit when I saw it at Joanns (can you see the foil chevrons?) and bought 1.5yrds without a specific plan other than to use it for a Core Wardrobe piece. It’s a light weight knit, so I opted for a short sleeve tee for the summer months and chose the Kirsten Kimono pattern to keep trying new designers and silhouettes. The fabric is very transparent so be prepared to wear a camisole underneath if you get this same color.

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The only draw back to the pattern was having to add a seam allowance to the pattern pieces. Kind of a pain. I didn’t look at the pattern directions, so I can’t give a review of those but I do think this is a great fit and style, well worth making. I would make this again with a small adjustment to make the hip a bit wider for me. This may become a Go To pattern for me, I hate shirts being tight under my arms and the kimono sleeve is just right for me.

The pattern calls for less than 1yd of fabric, so at 60in wide and 1.5yrds I had enough fabric to make two size smalls. If your fabric shrinks more than mine (only 2in in length) you might not have this luck. Now to figure out who gets the second small my etsy shop or a Christmas gift.

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Hmm, I’m wondering if I need to start doing a sway back adjustment?

This project took 3.75 hours for the two tees.

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Filed under Core Wardrobe, Pattern review, Tops, Two hour project

Giveaway Day 2014

Welcome to mahlicadesigns.

Today I’m joining SewMamaSew for the 2014 Giveaway Day.

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I’m giving away this really cute Blooming Flower Pin Cushion. Handmade and just about 3 1\/2in diameter and 2 1\/2in tall.

Blooming Pin Cushion

All you need to enter is 1. leave a comment below and 2. enter the rafflecopter below.

Need a topic? Are you thinking past the holidays? Tell me about one of your goals or plans for 2015.

While you’re here, look around a bit. I have a variety of makes and a few tutorials. I’d be pleased if you found something interesting and helpful.

Like what you see? Follow Me for more.

Blooming Pin Cushion.2

Contest runs through the end of the day Friday December 12th 2014 and I will contact the winner shortly thereafter.

Contest is open to U.S. residents only, 18 and over.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Teal & Black Tee

As far as sewing for myself goes, I took a little break from Core Wardrobe pieces to work up an idea I had for a modified version of the Tonic 2 Tee.

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I really like asymmetry in clothing, so I modified the neckline a bit to make it interesting. I used a bit of the left over black knit from my original Tonic 2 Tee as the neckline trim, waistband, and cuff bands.

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I removed 3 inches from the lower bodice and added a 3in band in the contrasting fabric. From the sleeves I removed 1in in length and added back a 1in band. I measured my new neckline length and subtracted 15% to get my new neckline trim piece. That math worked well. Next time I’ll make the neckline trim a little wider and make the shape of the neckline opening a little more like a crew.

I’m pretty pleased with the result. This go around I made the small and the fit is so much better. Other than the narrow neckline band, it really came out pretty close to what I was imagining.

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Filed under mahlicadesigns, Three hour project, Tops, Womens

SBCC Tonic 2 Tee Core Wardrobe part 1

My first foray into building my core wardrobe is a long sleeve tee using the SBCC Tonic 2 Tee pattern.

I can only think of two items that I’ve done using a knit and one of those was a complete nightmare. This time I’m going in ready for success powered by sewing blogs.

Melly Sews suggests using the lightning aka wobble aka stretch stitch on knits so the seams can maintain the fabrics stretchable quality. Lladybird uses a walking foot so both layers of your knit feed through evenly. The Tiramisu Circus has a nice post on stabilizers for knits.

First off let’s talk about the pattern. It was free so that’s great. Instructions are super easy, though I modified the neckline procedure. The instructions have you apply the neckline trim while one shoulder seam is still open, then tacking down the trim after the shoulder seam is closed. That seamed sloppier than I want, so I did it the old-fashioned way of inserting the circle of trim into the closed neckline. Even if you follow her instructions your left to guess how much to stretch your trim so it will lay flat instead of gaping. A little guidance there would be nice. I had a little gaping that I had to press the heck out of, but it practically disappeared after washing. I like that the pattern calls for self fabric for the neckline trim.

My first seams, the shoulder seams, incorporated all three of my knit fabric firsts; walking foot, stay tape, and lightning stitch. Other than the fabric getting munched on the first couple stitches almost every time, things were working to plan. When I attached the neckline trim though, I found that the stitch length was so short that it was going to take forever to get this sewn. I did a few tests to try to figure out the problem and didn’t have my aha moment until I was half way through attaching the first sleeve.

My solution? Sulky Solvy original water soluble stabilizer that I bought forever ago thinking I’d make one of those lacy thread scarves. So glad I didn’t cause I stopped thinking those were cool after five minutes.  I started laying down strips of this stuff on top of my fabric and it helped my walking foot get enough grab on the top layer to move things through and give me the stitch length I was expecting. Wrapping a bit of this stuff around the beginning of my seams also helped with the afore-mentioned munching.

So here’s the results.

Tonic 2 Tee

I chose to make a medium since I was between sizes and I’m sick of tees that are too tight under the arms. Next time I’d definitely go with the small as I have plenty of room here. I took off 1.5in from the bottom before hemming and this tee is still on the longer side. Overall I’m not displeased with the tee but not terribly excited either. I’m holding judgement until I make this again in a smaller size and can make a couple of adjustments. I think I’d like a smaller neck opening and I’d like to figure out how to pinch out those folds between bust and underarms.

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Tonic 2 Tee backview

This project took a surprising 3.75 hours. Using the walking foot and fiddling with the stabilizer is just slow going, but worth it to get those seams to play nice.

So I’m wondering if its worth all the time and effort to make something so basic. Would it be better to keep looking for RTW tees that fit? But that would mean clothes shopping.

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Filed under Core Wardrobe, Four hour project, Pattern review, Tops

Frankie Dress. The Denver Sewing Collective Challenge.

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The Denver Sewing Collective is starting to put out monthly challenges. October’s challenge was to use that fabric you’ve been holding onto in your stash out of fear to use it or just because you didn’t know what to do with it. I had 4 yards of this large print in my stash as a hand me down. I just let it sit there because it’s not my color and big florals aren’t me either.

So I was feeling up to a challenge after visiting the DSC Meetup in September. After a lot of looking through my Pinterest boards for dress ideas and through my own pattern stash I thought I’d work up Simplicity 2886. The pattern envelope is no help for view A but I found better pics on Craftsy the other day.

One of my goals was to minimize seams to prevent breaking up the print. Here’s where Frankie starts to earn her name after Frankenstein’s monster. I redrafted the bodice to eliminate the midriff piece and eliminated the back center seam. This worked pretty well but made attaching the bodice lining a bit time intensive. The box pleated skirt was pretty easy to put together too.

Here’s the result (with unfinished hem).

In proess

Something about the darts on the bodice just looked strange to me and man is this an unflattering cut for me. Thanks to some input from Pam, Jill, and Jamie at the DSC October Meetup I came home with a plan to make Frankie a bit more of a mishmash and make those darts look better and to make the dress look a little less juvenile on me. To make the silhouette a better fit for my body shape I came away with the idea to redo the skirt to be more the shape of a shift dress and to add darts to the skirt to line up with those on the bodice.

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I traced off the bottom skirt part of Vogue 1809 DKNY (oop) as a guide and added a bit to the center front to account for the darts I was going to add. Mashing up the two patterns worked really well. The final silhouette is much more flattering and extending the line of the bodice darts down into the skirt looks better too. Too bad I didn’t just start with a shift dress pattern so there wouldn’t be the seam at the waistline. Oh well.

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Lessons learned:

1. The waistline of a dress needs to fall at my natural waist, not higher. This is going to be very helpful as I work on my Core Wardrobe.

2. Oh how valuable it is to have a kind fellow sewists to point out where you’ve messed up and how to fix it.

3. It is possible to line a bodice after the front and back are pieced together, but so time intensive it may be worth the back center seam.

4. Box pleats may work for me in a drapier fabric.

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If you were to work up this dress it would take you about 3 hours. I probably spent another 3 hours redrafting, making muslins, and redoing the skirt.

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Filed under Dresses, Four hour project

Going Hard Core this Winter

Ooo, sounds edgy huh? I am so far from. Here’s the real deal, I’m planning out my core wardrobe. I’m using a couple cute graphics as my visual guide to fill in some gaps, but if you want to take the 12+ step program in developing yours check out Coletterie.

I’ve spent a little time over the last few months paring down my closet and evaluating the pieces. I have a decent sized stack of items to donate that I just don’t love or lets face it I’m not going to lose enough weight to fit.

Now, I have some problems to solve that came into view:

I have a bunch of skirts and tops that just don’t pair up with anything very well to make an outfit.

A few items need to be altered.

My body shape has changed.

My wardrobe screams business office.

What I do know:

I’d like my basic colors to be charcoal grey, black, and cream.

The tee’s I have fit terribly. I can’t believe I’ve put up with that for so long.

I’m down to just a couple pairs of pants that still fit.

Leggings will not be part of my core wardrobe.

I see about 12 outfits here. Not including the leggings.

The plan:

Evaluate body shape and find silhouettes that work for me.

Start filling in the gaps: 1. long sleeve tees. I have two fabrics in my base colors and high hopes I’ll find a pattern that fits right at the start. 2. I don’t own a longer sleeve dress for cooler months. I have a pattern picked but still on the hunt for a lightweight wool that is suitable.

Do a more thorough eval of existing pieces to figure out what I need to make them an outfit.

Reformat brain to sew outfits not pieces.

Work up some system so I know what pieces go together. I’m thinking hang tags with outfit options, I’m that befuddled.

Have you jumped on the core wardrobe bandwagon? Any imput for me?

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