Friday, March 27, 2015

Fun with Stencils and My 500th Ottobre Garment!!!

Yes, I do keep track of important things like this. This week, I officially sewed my 500th Ottobre Magazine garment. The first Ottobre garments came off my sewing machine 7 years ago, in 2009. They were two t-shirts made from the Ottobre Workshop 301, and were pretty much stretched-out disasters made from ribbing. Oh, how much I've learned since then!

My stairsteps all turned a year older this winter. Their age shirts were a bit belated, so I made them short-sleeved for a change. Now if the girls would just stop growing so the shirts will fit when it warms up!

I did the usual freezer paper stenciling here.

The sleeveless/cap sleeve top is the Watermelon Top (Ottobre 3-2013-29). I wonder if the top runs a little short? Maybe that's the intended fit. The sleeve hems are finished with bands.

Six year old's top is Brave Fireman Raglan Tee (Ottobre 3-2013-9), and is shown as a boys' top in the magazine. As it's meant for such a little person, I thought it wouldn't make much of a difference in fit, but in hindsight I would have preferred the slimmer cut of a girls' top on her.

My 14 year old has graduated out of "age" shirts, haha! He designed the "Scandium" shirt above. Guess who got to cut out all the little stencil pieces? But I love how it turned out.

Younger brother chose a dragon for his shirt, but didn't like the scratchy feel of the raglan seams on this one, so big brother got two shirts.

This shirt is Beisbol Raglan Tee (Ottobre 3-2013-39). I really like the fit of this one, although it's much nicer in the softer, stretchier jersey (gray) than in the stiffer interlock (blue).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bruyère Deux

Here's my second go at Deer and Doe's Bruyere Shirt. The fabric appears to be a lovely red chambray and seemed perfect for an interesting button-up shirt. Unfortunately, all the cutting, stitching and pressing revealed it to be a melty fraying mess. After several washes, it has been holding up fine, though, so that's something.

Although I made some small bodice fit changes for the second version, I still have some drag lines in the back, more visible in the solid red than in the seersucker (see the seersucker version here).

In a future version, I may try a dress length instead.

On my second time through the pattern, I noticed how much I did not follow the instructions the first time around (which is, incidentally how I follow recipes, much to my husband's amusement). The directions are 'clever' and I used standard shirt-making techniques. I did omit the front facing intentionally.

I made these jeggings to go underneath: jeans weren't quite right. Leggings weren't quite right. I think these are a good compromise.

They are "Lampi Jeggings (Ottobre 5-2014-13). The pattern includes a leggings version, which is the same except without the pockets and fake fly. I omitted the front pockets for this pair.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stats for Your Inner Nerd: Version 2014

2014 was a slower sewing year than the previous three. Sewing is like economics, I guess. I can't expect continuous growth. There has to be a recession in there occasionally.

In 2014, I sewed: 155 items, using 144.1 yards of fabrics.

By comparison:
2013: 190 items; 172 yards
2012: 169 items: 154 yards
2011: 166 items; 174 yards
2010: 117 items; 129 yards
2009: 125 items (no yardage count, due to primitive data collection efforts)

And here are the graphs to be perused at your geeky leisure:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Last Garments of the Old Year

Post-Christmas, I stitched up a few cozy items for Molly. She ends up wearing a few select comfortable favorites from her closet, which I've become weary of seeing. Plus, they're really too shabby for public viewing.

I used my trusty Kitschy Coo Skater Dress pattern for the two dresses. Molly chose some beloved fabrics from stash.  The fox fabric didn't live in stash for long, unsurprisingly!

The brown floral jersey is from Chez Ami and the fox print is from Girl Charlee.

The tunic is remake of an out-grown, holey garment: The Hilda Hooded Dress (Ottobre 6-2007-27) out of some heavy and firm interlock jersey from Chez Ami (weird fabric, difficult to use).

I lined the hood for a cleaner finish and some interest.

And these leggings are probably the simplest pattern I own: Lily Leggings (Ottobre 6-2007-28). One pattern piece means no outseams.

The red jersey leggings shown above are from this pattern as well.

Here, I used a very stretchy denim, but stitched them with some extra ease, which seems to have been a good choice.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Windy Days

The hard thing about being able to sew is knowing you can make something and yet being constrained by ... TIME... and needing to weigh the pros and cons of buying vs. making. My boys just keep on growing and although they're almost a year and half apart, they insist being too close in size for hand me downs.

They desperately wanted nice fall coats...I say "desperately" because they sorely want to wear their bulky winter coats for less than six months straight. They keep trying to sneak out of the house wearing just fleeces/sweatshirts. So, I strolled through Old Navy. On one rack of jackets, the left shoulder seam was wonky on every. single. jacket. Target's jackets are no better.

So, I flip through my Ottobre magazines. Ah, so many beautiful boys' coats to choose from. And, as it turns out, my fabric stash also holds plenty of options, hehe.

I make a concession and purchase oldest daughter's fall coat from Children's Place (a disappointment, as it's too short, too thin, and the pockets are FAKE) so I can focus on these jackets.

I've traced hundreds of Ottobre patterns (almost 400 actually), but I always find the patterns with linings confusing, as they do not create separate pattern pieces for the lining, but use dotted lines to indicate where to cut the lining differently, etc. I definitely relied on previous coat and lining experience to figure it out. I ended up cutting the hood lining piece wrong, but it was easily fixed during sewing.

I made the two coats at the same time, choosing a topstiching thread that would work with both to make my life a little easier.

The details are great, if time-consuming. As I was stitching all this up, though, I was thinking I wouldn't mind if Ottobre went beyond patch pockets more often. Patch pockets are easier (except any wonky topstitching shows up pretty well), but on a coat this involved, why not go the whole way and do more professional pockets all around?

Per request, I did add some zippered welt pockets on the inside. So I guess I had my way with the pockets, after all, hehe.

The hems (lining and shell) are topstitched together and not bagged, which is interesting, but actually not a bad idea.

Overall, I'm very pleased with how these turned out. I graded the size up to make the coats slightly too big but, looking at the pictures, I realize they're not too large after all. I hope they still fit in the spring.

Pattern: Windy Days Jacket (Ottobre 1-2013-34)
Lining Fabrics: plaid flannel and plaid shirting
Olive shell fabric: some sort of stretchy brushed velveteen ?
Khaki shell fabric: cotton ripstop

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bruyère Shirt

Bruyère means "where the heather grows". Despite studying French in college, I had to google that one. A lot of good all that conjugating did me...

I really love shirts, shirtdresses, and variations on the theme. Hence me trying this new Deer & Doe pattern right out of the gate instead of waiting a couple of years. 

Although I've made two other Deer & Doe patterns, I did muslin this one. I'm glad I did. While the drafting seems consistent (unlike my experience with my as-yet-unblogged Colette pattern efforts) and my standard fitting changes worked well, this one was tight in the bust/back. So I made the next size up instead.

Note the sizing runs quite a bit smaller than the other Euro-sized Burda and Ottobre patterns. Trust the measurements on the envelope!

Sizing up affected my alterations somewhat, so I'll tweak them in a future version. Beyond that, I'll cinch in the waist. The arms are also fairly roomy.

Aside from having a tad more ease in the girth than I want (easily fixed), I love this and, ahem, wore it for almost a week straight. It's very comfy with leggings (or jeggings as shown here).

I plan to make this again in a solid (denim?) and whatever other stash fabrics call my name.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pleated Cardigan

You may have seen this pleated cardigan all over the sewblogisphere. Um, for a while now. Jalie even came out with an updated knit cardigan (last year?) but I still like this one better. The new one could grow on me, I suppose, but this is one pretty classic.

I used a (probable) rayon jersey and with the cozy shawl-like collar and the soft fabric, this might be the most comfortable garment ever.

There are 8 pleats, which are sewn wrong-sides together and pressed to one side. I was surprised my machine didn't mind sewing the pleats on this super thin, stretchy jersey, but the multiple fabric layers surely helped.

The pleats end at the slightly-shaped waist.

I like the length, but think it would work well shortened, as well. Not to mention, it'd be nice to use less than the 2 yards of fabric required by the long length.

 Billowing wind not included.

While I was at it, I whipped up a black version for my mom in another rayon blend jersey. I took a guess and made the same size (sans my shoulder adjustments, so I still had to trace the pattern twice, ha!) but the fit on her seemed really good. Well, you know, it's stretchy jersey, not a tailored shirt.


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