Grey pants – Vogue 2948 #2

Vogue 2948 Vogue 2948

Fixing the front crotch curve

My second take on Vogue 2948, the pants pattern used in Craftsy Pant Fitting Techniques by Sandra Betzina. My wearable muslin was not too bad, the thing that I need to do was fixing the horizontal lines across the front.

The first thing I did was releasing the side seams a bit around the waist to hip area. I noticed several lines radiating from the crotch, so the area might need more room. To do this, I reduced the front curve a bit to add more room there.

I moved the zipper to the center back because I feel that the side seam zipper on my first version made the pants hang a bit differently on each side. I also added a couple of side seam pockets, the tiny pockets on the original pattern wouldn’t be too useful for me.

The alterations seemed to work, I think my pants don’t look too bad! My fabric has a bit of stretch in it though, so that might contribute to the finished result.

Vogue 2948 Vogue 2948

Pant Fitting Techniques

Pant Fitting Techniques

If you’re interested in taking this class, Craftsy is having Christmas sale until December 25. This class is offered with 50% discount from its original price of USD 49.99. But if you want to join later, you can still get a 40% discount by clicking this link: Pant Fitting Techniques with Sandra Betzina.

Also, wishing you a merry Christmas and happy holiday! \(^_^)/

 

 

Pattern testing: Hollyburn skirt

Hollyburn skirt

Hollyburn skirt

You must have known by now that Tasia of Sewaholic has just launched her newest pattern, the Hollyburn skirt. It means that now I can share the pictures of the skirt that I have made as one of the pattern tester!

This is the third time I’ve been a pattern tester for Sewaholic pattern, the other ones are Minoru Jacket and these Renfrew tops. I’ve also made her Pendrell top several times and this Cambie dress is one of my favorite thing in the world. I never have to alter her pattern too much, each time it was just shortening the bodice or hem and other slight adjustments. All the things I made from her pattern are worn in daily basis and this is the sign of a succesful project. I think Tasia is a genius!

With this skirt pattern, I didn’t even have to alter any single thing. This pattern is drafted for beginner level. A flared skirt, almost half-circle, with three different lengths with three different amounts of flare. Because it is a flared skirt, you only have to choose the size based on the waist. The skirt also has pockets and optional button tabs or belt loops.

I made view C, the shortest length in size 2 with button tabs. The fabric is black polyester with suede-like texture and the lining is black rayon. Tasia’s sewing instructions are clear as usual and I’m sure anybody in beginner level won’t have any trouble following it.

Actually I wasn’t too sure about the skirt when I first saw the pattern. It was not the style that I usually consider to wear. But I changed my mind after wearing it. It is flattering and comfortable at the same time. This is a very versatile pattern that will look good in solid or patterned fabric, in any length, and even in almost any type of fabric. It’s a good thing that I tested this pattern, now I know that I can wear this style of skirt!

Hollyburn skirt Hollyburn skirt
Hollyburn skirt Hollyburn skirt
Hollyburn skirt Hollyburn skirt

Pattern is Hollyburn skirt by Sewaholic, size 2.

Craftsy Pant Fitting Techniques by Sandra Betzina

Houndstooth pants - wearable muslin (Vogue 2948)

Vogue 2948

Pants. Why is it so hard to find the perfect fit? I get how to fit a dress, skirt or even bra, but it seems that I just don’t get pants. Luckily for me, recently I was asked to review a Craftsy online class: Pant Fitting Techniques. I love Craftsy’s sewing classes so this is perfect for me!

Vogue 2948

Vogue 2948

The class is about 4 hours, divided into nine chapters, and taught by Power Sewing host Sandra Betzina. It includes Vogue 2948, a pattern for classic trouser with princess seams in sizes A-J, that will be shipped directly by Vogue.

If you live outside US like me, the pattern might need sometime to reach you. I got my pattern about three weeks after I signed up. In the mean time, I spent my time watching all the videos and took notes. No time should be wasted!

Sandra Betzina is a good teacher with wonderful, quirky personality. I would absolutely love to attend her class in person and learn so much from her. She seems to be so full of knowledge that she is eager to share. However I feel that this class is not edited or reviewed really well. Sandra often doesn’t finish her sentences and got distracted by other things that she wants to share rightaway.

She also makes all the fitting adjustments on the same pattern, and as the lesson progresses the pattern is full of lines in different colors that get rather confusing. I also wished that there would be more samples of figure problems, for instance how a swayback looks like in a person, or some before-after samples. I don’t think that the problems lie on Sandra though because all that she’s sharing are valuable knowledge, it’s just that they are not properly delivered. Well, I can just make video notes all over then!

When the pattern arrived, I immediately got to work. I cut my pants in the smallest size, size A. The waist seems to fit me fine, but there were lots of folds and lines below that needed fitting adjustment. Unfortunately I made the mistake of choosing the wrong fabric for my muslin. The fabric is actually really nice, but it ravels quite easily and the tiny houndstooth pattern made it hard to see all the marks that I’ve made on them. Lesson learned!

Here is my pants after the adjustments. I have shortened the length, made swayback adjustment and other fitting adjustments. The princess lines are great! They made it pretty easy to make fitting adjustments and also to understand the adjustments better. I think I might have overfitted them around the hip area because there are some horizontal lines on the front. But overall it is much better than before. This is my wearable muslin though, so I didn’t make the pockets. I still need to adjust the pants to make them fit properly and comfortable before I have the real thing, but I’m so glad to have joined the class. I finally feel that I understand pant fitting better now!

Houndstooth pants - wearable muslin (Vogue 2948) Houndstooth pants - wearable muslin (Vogue 2948)

Pant Fitting Techniques

Pant Fitting Techniques

If you are interested in joining the class, Craftsy is offering a 40% off discount for you. You can get the class for USD 29.99 instead of the original price USD 49.99! Just click this link to get your discount: Pant Fitting Techniques with Sandra Betzina.

Striped bra set

Striped bra set

Striped bra set

Hello! I made a new set of bra and undies yesterday. This is actually a test bra and so far I’m quite satisfied with the result.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post about bra, I’ve been using A Sophisticated Pair’s bra calculator to help me find my correct bra size. With my 26.5 inches band measurement and 31.5 inches bust measurement, the calculator gave me the size US 28E for moderately snug band. This time I wanted a very snug band, which requires the size US 26F.

The cups for 26F are actually the same as 28E and 30D. I used my Pin-up Girls Classic Bra #1230 size 30D and altered it to make size 26F. Here’s what I did during pattern alteration and construction:

  • removed 0.5 cm from center front
  • shortened the center back 4 cm
  • added downward hike on the back to make sure that the band doesn’t riding up
  • lined the bridge area and lower cup so they are not stretchy at all
  • added plastic boning to side seams
  • used 3 hooks

The fabric is cotton jersey with striped pattern. It is quite stable and not very stretchy. Unfortunately the wrong side is white and showed through a bit to the right side through the needle holes. I got the fabric and plush elastics from an auction at Merckwaerdigh at ebay.

Striped bra set
Striped bra set Striped bra set

I’m very happy that every bra I made fits me better than before. So far this is the best fitting bra that I’ve ever had! One little thing that I’d like to change in the future is moving the straps just a little closer to center back. The band is very snug as expected and it is more comfortable that way.

I’ve bravely modeled the bra! You can see that cup F is not as big as it is imagined, it is all just a matter of proportion. The right size underwires fully enclosed the breast and the center front sits comfortably against the sternum. Before I made my own bra, I thought I was size 32B and always had to wear my bra on the first (tightest hook). Here I wear the bra the right way, which is on the last (loosest hook). The hooks are actually there to maintain the snugness of the bra when the fabric is gradually loosing its elasticity.

Size 26F

Size 26F

Since I started wearing bra in the right size, the first thing I noticed was that my bra still stay in their place when I wake up in the morning (I sleep with my bra on because I don’t feel comfortable without them). Don’t you hate that you have to adjust your bra every time you change position and every time you lift your arms? Well, no moar!

For further readings on signs of poor fitting bra, please check out these links:

And if you want to try making a bra, Amy from Cloth Habit is starting a bra sew along in January!

Bra pattern is Pin-up Girls Classic Bra #1230 from eLingeria, size 30D altered to 26F.

Red silk dress (Simplicity 2281) and a haircut!

Red silk dress (Simplicity 2281) Red silk dress (Simplicity 2281)

Simplicity 2281

Simplicity 2281

Red silk dress (Simplicity 2281)

Red silk dress (Simplicity 2281)

A new dress! This one was made with Jewel of Brooklyn Dress kit from Kollabora, that consisted of Simplicity 2281, a Cynthia Rowley Collection pattern, and 2 m of 100% silk Solid Crepe de Chine from Mood Fabrics.

Since I didn’t really want the dress in two colors like the Kollabora version, I asked for the color Tango Red, Tara from Kollabora was really helpful to accommodate my request.

Simplicity 2281 is a sweet dress with gathered neckline, hidden pockets and gathered tulip skirt. I made view A in size 6 on bust and hip, size 8 on waist. Other than my usual adjustments, I also left off the back ties and adding center back seam for invisible zipper. This way I can adjust the sides later if I need to (which I did). Still too lazy for making a muslin first I suppose….

Pattern alteration:

  • shortening upper front and back bodice 1 cm
  • shortening midriff front and back 2 cm
  • swayback adjustment on upper back bodice 1 cm
  • discarded the ties and added center back seam to midriff back and skirt back for invisible zipper.

After sewing my first silk dress, I’m not afraid of silk anymore! This crepe de chine was easier to work with than the previous silk, it went smoothly under my sewing feet and was surprisingly a lot more stabler that I have imagined. So, no problem at all with the fabrics.

The instructions are quite clear although I didn’t really follow the instructions order, which called for finishing the bodice and lining it first before attaching the skirt. As I wanted to be able to alter the sides later, the side seams were sewed the last. After fitting, I did have to pinch the sides about 1.5 cm on each side from armhole to the waist. I also lowered the neckline about 1.5 cm. No further fitting alterations other than those two, I guess all the pattern alterations have worked quite well.
Red silk dress (Simplicity 2281) Red silk dress (Simplicity 2281)

Dress pattern and supplies are Jewel of Brooklyn Dress from Kollabora.

My Kollabora project page.

Needle felting newbie

If you’re following me on Instagram or twitter, you might know that recently I have found a new hobby. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon some very cheap wool rovings in a local market and bought them in a whim. I played with them for a couple of days, making balls and simple shapes.

Sidra and friend

Sidra and friend needle-felting

My husband and Sidra even got interested to join along. And in turn, Sidra’s friends got interested to try as well. For several days, my living room looks like a needle-felting after school workshop with kids sitting around the table poking with needles. They seem happy making little balls to take home. I love that they enjoy other activities beside playing games!

In the evening, Sidra loves to have me around when he’s watching his favorite shows. I don’t really like watching TV shows, so this activity is perfect for me! Sidra can watch TV while I sit next to him poking with my needles for hours. I found this new activity so meditative. Repetitive stabbing of needles, combined with finger pressings, turn the wool roving into any kind of shape.

Here’s some little creatures that I have made!

Doglet, made with Gretel Parker‘s tutorial in Mollie Makes magazine (I bought the digital version).
Doglet Doglet

Penguin, made with tutorial from Japanese book Basic technique of making felt wool mascot.
Penguin Penguin

Bunny with battery-operated LED eyes, made with Techno-Shugei kit (Japanese).
Laser eyed bunny Laser eyed bunny

Zombie sheep, made with tutorial from the book I Felt Awesome by Moxie (I bought the Kindle version).
Zombie sheep Zombie sheep

There are many things that I still need to learn. My needle-felted creatures seems so wuzzy with fibers flying around them, unlike those smooth ones that I saw in books and websites. I don’t know why, maybe I didn’t spend enough time stabbing them? If you do needle-felting, I really appreciate if you’re willing to share any tips!

Stash busting: Feed the Animal coin purses

Feed the animal coin purses Feed the animal coin purses
Just like any other who sews, I have acquired a massive amount of fabric scraps after several years. Of course I have tried not to hoard and got rid of those unnecessary scraps after each project. But there are always the ones that are too big too throw away and too small to be turned into a piece of garment. This has became  quite a problem. What do you do with all of those fabric scraps?

Recently I bought a PDF pattern for Feed the Animals coin purses by Straight Stitch Society. It’s a round zippered pouch (10 cm/4″ in diameter) with appliqued cat, dog, or monkey faces. I thought it was perfect for my fabric scraps!

Janome Equle CP 4850 stitches

Janome Equle CP 4850 stitches

I made these pouches using jersey fabrics from my previous sewing projects: this green dress, my husband’s jacket, Sidra’s white hoodie and Thriller jacket. The black fabric is from a skirt (not posted yet), the lining is lurik, an Indonesian traditional handloom fabric, and all the buttons and zippers were already in my stash. I had no idea I have that many buttons and zippers! The pouches have thin batting between the outer fabric and lining.

The faces may look like it should have taken sometime but actually it was quite fast as I did most of it on sewing machine. The black patches were appliqued to the face using stitch #18 on my Janome. The result looked like tiny blanket stitches. I also used stitch #16 to make the dog’s and cat’s noses instead of hand embroidered them. The handstitching I made for the face was only for the monkey’s dot noses and attaching the buttons for eyes. You can also see that I didn’t make the cat’s whiskers.

Initially I only made the green ones, but making them was so fun that I made several more! I gave them to my friends and their kids (little girls love them!), Sidra took a monkey, and even my husband wants one too. I’d say that these are great stash buster!
Feed the animal coin purses Feed the animal coin purses

Pattern is Feed the Animals coin purses by Straight Stitch Society (PDF).

Snood Dogg

Snood dogg

Snood Dogg

Several months ago, I was invited by Nora Abousteit, BurdaStyle co-founder, to have a first look at her new creative community, Kollabora.

It is a social platform for people who loves DIY and crafting, where they can share projects and connect with each other. Kollabora has sewing, knitting, and jewelry making communities and is planning to expand into many more DIY communities. It also has a market place where people can buy DIY supplies and kits for their project.

I love that they have DIY kits! They are wonderful for people who has just started crafting or just want to start a project without all the trouble finding the supplies.

I was offered to try one of the kits and I chose the Snood Dogg by Wool and The Gang. It is a giant cowl, knitted with extra thick wool and 15 mm needles. I haven’t been knitting for sometime so it is perfect for me as a starter project.

The kit arrived with this content:

  • 2 balls of WATG’s 100% Peruvian Wool in Sandy Beige
  • 1 pair of 15mm (US:19) wooden needles
  • 1 Snood Dogg pattern
  • 1 knitter’s sewing needle.
  • 1 WATG goody
Snood Dogg Kit

Snood Dogg Kit

However, it was summer when the kit arrived so I didn’t start the project until a few days ago. It was my first time knitting with such huge needles, the wooden needles were as big as drum sticks! They were also the most beautiful needles I’ve ever seen. I love how the thick yarn creates a wonderful texture. The knitting itself was pretty easy, it was just knit and purl all around and all the two balls were consumed after several nights of knitting.

I really love the result! The yarn is so warm and soft. It will certainly be a part of my everyday outfit this winter!


Snood dogg Snood dogg
Snood dogg Snood dogg

Pattern and supplies are the Snood Dogg by Wool and The Gang.

My Kollabora project page.

‘Cause This is Thriller!

Thriller jacket! Thriller jacket!

Thriller jacket!

Thriller jacket!

Here’s Sidra’s Thriller jacket! Although it is not supposed to be a costume, I think it is appropriate to post it on Halloween.

As I’ve posted before, I made this jacket on Sidra’s request for his fall jacket. He wanted either a Thriller or Beat It jacket. The number of zippers on Beat It jacket looks overwhelming so I went with the Thriller one.

The jacket is based on Nectarine jacket pattern from Tamanegi Kobo, a Japanese pattern shop. I changed the closure to zipper and then drafted the three flaps for the buttons. The original Thriller jacket doesn’t seem to have zipper, but I think a zipper would be more practical for kid’s jacket. Sidra doesn’t have to use all those snap buttons if he doesn’t want to.

The sleeves are redrafted to be one piece instead of two pieces and the side piece is divided and added to the back piece and front piece. The collar only needs little changes as the shape is already similar. Then I drafted the V parts over the jacket. The quilted parts on the shoulders are just two layers of fabric stitched together while the collar has thin batting inside.

I didn’t want to make the whole jacket in (vegan) leather as it would be too expensive and I wasn’t sure of my skill in sewing leather. So  I use red cotton jersey with black vegan leather for the details. The jacket is lined with thin black cotton jersey.

It turned out to be one of the most challenging project that I’ve ever had! My machine hated the thick layers, especially around the top and bottom of the zipper. I didn’t know anything about sewing leather, and it turned out that I might need special sewing feet and needle to do it. The sewing feet kept stuck over the leather, resulting in uneven stitches length. Thankfully the leather is just for the details, so glad that I decided not to make the whole jacket in leather. When it came to the leather straps around the cuffs and the jacket bottom band, I just glued two strips of leather and only sewed the end parts to the red fabric.

Thriller jacket! Thriller jacket!

Thriller jacket! Thriller jacket!

I also had difficulty installing the snap buttons. The ones I initially used had prong rings with little teeth around them (the left picture). The tiny teeth are supposed to pierce the fabric and hold the button cap on the other side. But they just couldn’t stay put and the button came off when I tried closing and opening them. I finally took them off and changed to a different kind of snap buttons (the right picture). These are sold under the name ‘Dot button’ in Japan. They require me to pierce a hole through all the layers and hammered down the snap buttons from the other side. These ones did it!

Snap button with prongs Snap button (sold as dot button in Japan)

Thriller jacket!

Check out the welt pocket!

In my previous post about the jacket, I stated that that the welt pockets are fake because I failed when making them. Guess what? They are now real pockets! Sidra kept trying to put his hands into the pocket in the fitting session so I knew the jacket wouldn’t be too wearable without real pockets. Luckily, Sarai at Colette recently posted a welt pocket tutorial in the Anise jacket sew-along!

By this time, the bottom band is already installed, but I bravely unpicked them and carefully crafted those welt pockets! Even I admired my own perseverance! Thank you Sarai!

Sidra was ecstatic to wear the jacket. And even happier when he could put his hands in the pockets! It’s his day-to-go jacket now and every time he put it on, he would turn at me and said, ‘Thank you for the jacket, Mama!’ Those are the the little things that would be my answer when I wonder why I went through all this trouble for a jacket that won’t be wearable anymore in about two years.

The other day I got a bit upset when Sidra asked me impatiently,‘What’s taking you so long with the jacket? Isn’t it easy making them?’ Easy?? But then  I couldn’t really blame him. He had been waiting for me for days to finish that jacket while he’s used to see me making things a bit faster than that. Oh you need a new pair of pants? Here it is (handed the pants to him a couple hours later). You want a hoodie? No problem! Etc.

No wonder he thought that everybody is DIY-ing all the time. When I finally presented the jacket to him, he asked,‘Did Michael Jackson make his own jacket as well?’ 😀
Thriller jacket! Thriller jacket!
Thriller jacket! Thriller jacket!
Thriller jacket! Thriller jacket!

Thriller jacket! Thriller jacket!

Pattern is based on Nectarine jacket size 130, PDF pattern (Japanese) from Tamanegi Kobo.

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