2012: The sewing year

It’s that time of the year again!

All things that I have sewed in 2012:

For me: Several tops, pants, skirts and lots of dresses. My style has shifted a lot from the recent days of this blog, this year I didn’t make a single thing for me from my Japanese pattern books. I guess it’s time to find a better place for them and make rooms for more sewing patterns!

Violet Vogue 1250 Pistachio green coat Renfrew top Renfrew top Pink Pendrell and Zebra print Kasia Splotches dress (Vogue 1285 Denim pants (Evan - Tamanegi Kobo) Banksia top and Iris shorts Cambie dress Grey Mission Maxi Starry Mission Maxi dress Orange dress (Vogue 8313) Chevron jersey dress (Vogue 8728) Hearts silk dress (Vogue 1288) Green Pastille dress Peplum top and ankle-length jeans Red silk dress (Simplicity 2281) Houndstooth pants - wearable muslin (Vogue 2948) Hollyburn skirt Vogue 2948

Lingerie: Still passionate about making bra and finding the perfect fit! I finally bought The Bra-Makers Manual (the CD version) and have been learning a lot from it. 2013 will certainly see a lot more of better fitting bra and lingerie for me.

Spring flowers set Red lace set nani IRO lingerie set

Black lingerie set Blue and white lace set Striped bra set

For Sidra: Unfortunately I didn’t make him as many stuff as previous years. Sidra likes clothes and loves to look good in them, but his style is developing to be quite different than mine. I think it is a good thing though, he is now a little man who clearly knows what he wants to wear. Once a while we could work together where I made something that he’s proud to wear and I enjoyed making, like this Thriller jacket! It is one of my master piece.

Dropped crotch jersey pants Jersey pants Boys

For my husband: I swear I didn’t neglect him! But once a man has several nice fitting shirts and pants, what more can you make for him?

Grey hoodie (McCall


5 Most-worn Items:

Side pleats dress (Butterick 5672) Splotches dress (Vogue 1285) Cambie dress Green Pastille dress Jeans

  • Side pleats dress (Butterick 5672). When it was just finished, I wasn’t too sure that I would wear it a lot, it looks like a sculpture. But it turned out to be one of the most worn dress this year. It is such a comfortable dress that hugs my body in all the right places. The double knit wool is beautiful and the color is fabulous. It’s my favorite dress this year and probably ever!
  • Splotches dress (Vogue 1285). Pretty and comfortable dress. Easy to wear. Looks good all the time. What more could I want? I wore this dress so much last spring.
  • Cambie dress. The combination between the pattern, the fabric weight and the style of the dress is just perfect. Not to mention that it is comfortable to wear and has pockets.
  • Green Pastille dress. I had a lot of difficulties making this pattern to fit me that I thought I would hate the dress once it was done. But it turned out looking so cute and comfortable to wear!
  • Ankle-length jeans (Butterick 5682). Simply because I don’t have any other pants in my wardrobe. Next year I shall make more jeans!

Clearly, comfortable is the key word. Also, maybe I should change my nickname to verygreenperson….

5 Never Worn Items:

Hot pink Pendrell Blouse Zebra print Kasia Banksia top Iris shorts Orange dress (Vogue 8313)

  • Pink Pendrell. This is my third Pendrell and I really love this pattern, but the hot pink is just too bright for me to wear comfortably.
  • Zebra print Kasia. I omitted the pockets in this version of Kasia. Big mistake. Now when the skirt rides up, I can’t put my hands in the pockets to pull the skirt down. Apparently this tiny detail is enough to make me not feeling comfortable in it.
  • Banksia top. Entirely my fault in choosing the fabric. It is just too thin and vulnerable.
  • Iris shorts. Same mistake as above. The cotton twill wrinkles too easily.
  • Orange dress (Vogue 8313). The dress is very pretty but as you might guess, the low back with bow is not very practical for my lifestyle. Maybe if I’m a more social person with lots of cocktail parties to attend….

I hope you had a lot of fun too in 2012! Cheers to you and here’s to a new year with more handmade items with love!

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.

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