Matilda Leggings from Spit Up and Stillettos

I’m pretty sure I mentioned earlier in a post about my Core Wardrobe that I would never wear leggings. I loath that people wear them as pants and I did leggings (stirrup pants back then) in middle school so…

Tonic 2 Tee hack by mahlicadesigns

So here are some leggings I made. Yup, never say never. In September, I joined in a challenge from the facebook group, Sew Alongs & Contests to sew four coordinates. For the challenge I made the Matilda leggings, a skirt, the color blocked Tonic 2 Tee you see above, and a self drafted wristlet. (Watch future posts for details)

The leggings were made to wear under skirts, but are already in heavy rotation around the house as a slightly less frumpy option then wearing my pjs past 10am. (Ah, the problems of a stay at home mom)

Matilda legging by mahlicadesigns

Just a few thoughts on the Matilda Leggings pattern:

This pattern is seriously short in the rise. Without the 3in waistband you’d be a little indecent. I added 1in to the front and back rise and will add another 1/2in to the back rise next time.

Matilda leggings by mahlicadesigns

I made a straight medium according to my measurements, but am feeling a little like a sausage around the rear end, so a little adjustment is needed there. There’s also a little extra room around the calves to slim down.

Matilda legging by mahlicadesigns

Caption: Earlier photo shoot with longer hair

If you are tall you’ll need to add some length to the legs also. I’m 5’4 and the length is perfect for me. I measured the inseam at about 27in.

matildas closeup 2

I picked up 1.5yd of this fabric from the red tag shelves of Joann Fabrics. (Of course I can’t find it online to link you) The right side is a grayish blue with a faded denim look. I used the wrong side, as it was so much cooler and in my Core color palette. I’d say it’s a medium weight knit with good stretch.

Matilda leggings close ip

Caption: I thought I set the..

These went together so quickly I was a little stunned. How often do you get a project done, cut to finish, in one hour? Bonus: At my height, I only used half of my yardage, so plenty left to make the Tonic 2 Tee (to be blogged later) and more.

The Matilda Leggings should take you one hour to complete.

Fabric $8   Pattern $Free    Total Cost: $8

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Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan for Core Wardrobe building

Holi-Daze week for my Sew Long Summer sew along was a bit of a challenge sewing wise. I was hoping to make a big batch of tees or undies, but it just didn’t happen. Weekends are not where I get my sewing time, so I just barely finished the Jalie cardigan I was working on to show off with my sewing tips post.

Drop Pocket Cardigan 1

I’ve had the Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan on my list since I saw Jamie’s last December. I’ve also been seeing Hacci knits around and wondered what they are like to sew and if using one would give me a warmer cardigan. The jury is still out on the warmth; it’s not quite cardigan weather yet. I purchased my Hacci sweater knit from Girl Charlee during their July 4 sale.

Drop Pocket Cardigan by mahlicadesigns

A little about the pattern. Jalie patterns come on a large sheet for you to trace off and include a huge range of sizes. The seam allowance on this one was pretty narrow at 1/4inch. Since I was using my serger I was ok with it, but otherwise I would recommend you think about adding more of a seam allowance as you trace. The pattern is put together to enclose as many seams as possible, because of this there were points in the instructions that I definitely would have been lost without the diagrams, so have both handy.

The pattern is a fabric hog, needing four of the front pieces shaped like a big “L” so the pocket part folds over the front. With stripe matching and my best pattern Tetris skills, I got a size U for 36in bust out of 2.25 yards (60in wide).

Drop Pocket Cardigan by mahlicadesigns

Hot Tip: Check your length before you cut. The pocket does not allow for much to be just cropped off the bottom if you forget.

Working with the Hacci sweater knit was very similar to working with a jersey knit; a little rolling at the edges but no fraying. I had some trouble getting the tension adjusted on my Janome 4618LE sewing machine to handle the stretch of the Hacci, but had no problem using my serger for the majority of the construction. I would think twice if I only had my machine to use.

Jalie’s Drop Pocket Cardigan should take you about 3.5 hours cut to finish.

Fabric $9      Pattern $ free     Total $9

Burda’s Asymmetric tee for Core Wardrobe building

This shirt really was rollercoaster experience for me. At first site I was pretty crazy about this top. I mean come on; black and white, stripes, asymmetry, mod styling. In true fashion I had to think about it, wait for the pattern to go on sale, and find the perfect fabric. Still very excited about it.

Burda 01/2014 122

Then, fabric ready and pattern printed, hesitation set in like no tomorrow. I was concerned this would be too long and the funky shaped pattern pieces did not lend themselves to getting a good measure of the finished product. I’m on the shorter side (5’4″) and really did not want a too long top, which could easily happen with this design. I also wanted this top to be more fitted so the gathers weren’t too droopy.

Burda Asymetric tee

In true Burda fashion, pattern details like finished measurements and instructions are of little help or non-existent, so I would have to make guesses at getting a good fit. After a few days of hemming and hawing, I just dove in. Still unsure. Hoping I wasn’t wasting this great fabric.

Burda asymmetric tee

Let me include that I downloaded the pattern, so I did not have the advantage of the better sewing instructions that are included in the January 2014 magazine.

I  used my size, a 40,  but did not add a seam allowance (they are not included in the pattern) I serged with a 3/8in seam allowance. Success number one, it’s fitted but not tight.  I shortened the pattern by removing 2.5in from the bodice hem line and 3in from the sleeve length. Success number two is a length that is working for me. I tried to stripe match between the sleeve and bodice but used a point that ended up under the arm. I should have lined up the stripes at the top of the sleeve. Stripe matching was a bust but not really a big deal.

Burda Asymmetric tee

A few more details:  I gathered the sides with a basting stitch, basted clear elastic tape on top of the gathers, then serged the side seams. I serged the sleeve seams then inserted them into the bodice. One sleeve connects with a gathered part of the bodice. I pinned the sleeve in, then gathered that part of the bodice to fit before serging in that sleeve.

Burda Asymmetric tee

I did a neckline insertion by sewing in an 18in neckband loop into the 21in opening. I hemmed the sleeves and bodice by folding up 1in secured with a stretch stitch.

Burda Asymmetric tee by mahlicadesigns

I used a cotton/spandex jersey knit in Midnight Navy/Heathered Gray Stripe (no longer available) from Fabric Mart.

Burda 01/2014 #122  should take you less than 2 hours.

Fabric $13*   Pattern $5    Total Cost: $18

*I include shipping in my calculations

Jade Skirt from Paprika Patterns for Summer Crush week

Meet my Summer Crush, the Jade Skirt from Paprika Patterns. (LinkUp your Summer Crush here)

Jade Skirt by mahlicadesigns

My interest was piqued last fall when the Jade came out, but it wasn’t until spring that I decided what fabric to use. Thanks to #sewlongsummer the Jade is finally taking up residence in my closet. I can really see this being a key part of my Core Wardrobe. The length is good for summer and paired with some colorful tights will be cute in fall and winter too.

Jade skirt by mahlicadesigns

I used a  Maggy London ponte from Fabric Mart for the shell and a cotton jersey from Girl Charlee for the lining. I’m very pleased with both fabrics for this project. The ponte is a good quality and the jersey has the right stability needed to support the folds on the Jade. The color is not as saturated on the jersey as I would like, so it may only be used in supporting rolls in other garments.

Jade skirt by mahlicadesigns

The pattern is not as difficult as those front folds make it look. There’s a tutorial video and a practice sheet to make sure you can do the folds correctly. I watched the video a couple of times and followed the tip to use colored pins and had no trouble with the folds. In fact, I got it on the first try.

Jade skirt by mahlicadesigns

Once you tack down those folds, the rest of the construction is elegant in its simplicity. The instructions include options to add an exposed zipper or an elastic waistband. I didn’t need to do either.

Jade Skirt by mahlicadesigns

The Jade Skirt should take you about 3.75 hours cut to finish.

Pattern: $7      Fabric: $9    Total: $16

Throwback Sew Days with Butterick 5029

Me Made May was quite a spark for me to continue evaluating my wardrobe.  I had already paired down my closet and done a little work with the Wardrobe Architect series, so taking pictures and trying to make outfits during MeMadeMay was a logical step in continuing the process. So, while digging through my closet for me made clothes to wear,  I was confronted with my decision to save anything handmade from my initial paring down session.

Frankly there’s stuff in there that doesn’t get worn much. My solution is to trot it out for all to see and ask you to chime in on it. And hence, my Throwback Sew Days posts begin.

First up for evaluation is this Butterick 5029 dress I made a few years back. It’s a cotton in an almost tribal print detail.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

My evaluation: At the time, I modified the front cross over portion of the bodice to cover a bit more. You can see I wasn’t quite successful. I have more coverage but it’s too wide where the ties cross my shoulders. I think putting in a little tuck will make it more narrow at the shoulder and may help with the gapping at the bust. The waist yoke is also a little too wide. I should have adjusted it more for my short waist. There’s no fixing it now.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

I go back and forth on if this color is flattering for me, it’s pretty close to my skin tone.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

So what do you think? Is it a keeper or should I put it in the upcycle pile?

Charcoal Shorts S1430 for Core Wardrobe building

I got lucky with a good fit on my Cobalt Shorts using simplicity 1430, so I decided to make one more pair in charcoal to fill out the shorts portion of my summer core wardrobe.

Charcoal Shorts by mahlicadesignsToo bad luck doesn’t strike twice. I used a reversible bottom weight in a poly blend from Joann’s. Its a classic and more dressy looking fabric, but I had a harder time with fitting since it has no stretch.

Here are the shorts almost done.

Charcoal Shorts pullingThere’s a little pulling across the front and gapping pockets. From the side you can see the too tight seat is pulling at the hip which is distorting the front.

Charcoal Shorts pulling I let out the center back seam as much as I could for only a minor improvement. I was too lazy to unpick the side seams for a little more help.

Charcoal Shorts by mahicadesignsYeah, not as slimming as one would hope. I guess rear pockets may be in order the next time I feel daring enough to try pants or shorts again.

A few details:

Simplicity 1430 view D size 12. The pattern calls for 1 1/4yrd. For both versions I made used closer to 3/4 yrd.

I narrowed the leg by grading the width at the inseam from 5/8in at the crotch to 1in wide at the hem.

I spent a little extra time cutting out each piece individually to make sure the stripe of the fabric was lined up properly. I used a printed quilting cotton instead for the pocket facing to reduce bulk. (The wrong side of the fabric was a hounds tooth, interesting)

pocket detail

I made a small position adjustment so the top of the zipper would not peak out like on my last version. Next time, I need to take into account that a little wider zipper overlap is needed when using a thicker fabric.

Charcoal Shorts by mahlicadesigns

Simplicity 1430 view D should take you about 6 hours.

Fabric $12*   Zipper $1.50*   Pattern from stash    Total Cost: $13.50

*Price after using discount coupons.

SewYourPatternStashSq213

Cobalt Shorts Simplicity 1430 Core Wardrobe part 7

I took a small jump into making pants by starting with a pair of shorts. I got really lucky that these ended up needing very little alteration, and a good thing too, since I have no idea what I’m doing on that score. I hope my next try later this year will go so well.

100_3910These shorts are Simplicity 1430. I saw Erica B work up a pair that looked really cute and took a chance. That was last September.

Things were going pretty well, I had just enough of this cobalt cotton sateen to eek out the pieces, I used this cotton batik from my stash for the pocket lining and it turned out cute,

100_3745fit was looking good as I tried them on frequently, I think I almost nailed the fly zipper,

100_3919then… I attached the waistband and everything got shot to, well you know.

Eek
Yikes

Sorry, should have given you warning about that pic.

I altered the width of the inseam seam allowance by grading it from 5/8 at the crotch out to 1in at the hem line. I don’t have skinny thighs, the pattern was just bulky there for me. I resewed that back seam many times trying to get a better fit on the bottom and just could not make it work. So my solution was to park the shorts in my UFO pile.

Now that spring is upon us, I decided just to finish them off and hope I lose a couple of pounds so they will fit better.

100_3916I don’t know why they fit better now, I don’t feel thinner (I don’t weigh myself), they just do. Lucky for me. Bonus, these are in a color I’m leaning toward for my core wardrobe.

100_3915A few details:

Simplicity 1430 view D. I thinned the leg width at the inseam and added 1in of length. This was my first try at a fly zipper and other than the zipper peeking out a bit at the top I think I did a pretty good job for a first time. I used a blind hem stitch and it was the right call with the cotton sateen.

I’d make this pattern again for shorts, but I think I’d have to thin out the legs too much for the pants version. I have another pattern I’m going to try for my first leap into pant making.

Simplicity 1430 view D should take you about 6 hours.