Thursday, 6 April 2017

Cobalt Blazer

I was listening to the Maker Style Podcast a while ago, when Rachel was interviewing Heather from Closet Case Files, and Heather mentioned that you shouldn't be afraid of projects, just do them. I put that advice into practise when Christina posted a tester call for the Blixen Blazer. One of the complaints I have when shopping is that my shoulders are too broad for many structured clothing items. If I can find something that fit my shoulders and arms, it's too boxy. If I find something that is flattering, the shoulders and arms are suffocating. The obvious solution: Sew my own!

This was my first pass at the pattern, so I made it knowing that it might not be perfect. The pattern itself is amazing - following the instructions was straight-forward, everything fits together really nicely, the darts are in the right places, everything gets finished nicely. I'm actually impressed with how well I did with the welt pockets and the lining and everything. I'm not very happy with the fit - the shoulders are the right size for me without shoulders pads, but the chest is very clearly too big. The sleeves are the right length but could be a bit snugger, although adding shoulder pads will likely help them fall nicer on my arms. the waist hits are the right point and is approximately the right size, and I like the length of the blazer itself, although I might add less length for my next one.

My modifications for this pattern were adding 2 inches in length to the sleeves (and then removing 1 because the sleeves were too long), adding 2.5 inches to the length of the body and grading out the 2 back pieces at the hips for obvious reasons. I cut a straight size 10 this time around.

I definitely intend to sew this pattern again. Next time I will cut a size 8 in the peplum version, then add 3/4inch to the width of the shoulders and add in shoulder pads. I would also only add 1 inch to the sleeves and 1.5 inches to the bodice. This would mean that I don't need to grade out any at the hips, the chest should fit and my shoulders should fit with shoulder pads in.

Quick confession time: I am not one of those people that care that the inside of a garment looks good. I am much happier to slack on finishing the seams so I can start wearing the garment sooner. That being said, having the blazer fully lined was the best of both worlds: It looks good on the inside, but didn't take extra work. The instructions say to hand sew the lining shut, but I just folded and machine sewed it. I hate hand sewing, and I'm not very good at it.


PatternBlixen Blazer by Wardrobe by Me (tester)
Material: A cobalt blue knit with a bit of stretch from the discount section of Fabricville about 2 years ago, probably for under $5/m. Lining is a jersey for $3/m, and for the first time I bought stretch interfacing
Modifications: I added 2 inches to the sleeves (then removed 1), added 2.5inches to the bodice and graded out at the waist to accommodate my rear.
Learning: I've done welt pockets before, but totally forgot how so re-learned that. Learned how to apply a lining, and most importantly learned that sewing a blazer is not that difficult (most excited about this learning. It's just very time consuming).

Friday, 20 January 2017

Plans for 2017

As people who know me are aware, I'm a bit of an obsessive planner. This is a trait that I find helps me stay focused and accomplish what I want to get done. Once and a while, I even follow the plans I come up with. My sewing life is no different. Here are some patterns that I own and have even printed that I have not gotten around to making yet:

I'm not going to lie, I hate buying patterns without making them right away. I am itching to use each and every one of these, and I have had some of them for a shamefully long time. My goal is to sew at least one of each of these by September. I also have some patterns that I would like to make again, and those are:

Hey June Charleston Dress (yes, yet another one...)

I want to do some extra work to the T-shirt pattern - it doesn't fit me super well right out of the package, but it's a good way to practise altering patterns and testing different amounts of slouch for shirts. I love the pants I made so much that I have been hunting for the perfect fabric to make more, but no such luck yet. I have fabric for one or two more Charleston dresses, but I don't think I'll ever be done making more of them.

Lastly, there are tons of patterns that I keep seeing that I would still like to acquire. While all of them are not going to make it to my downloaded pattern list soon, some of them will definitely get purchased in the next year. They are:

Joggers (Either the Mama bear joggers or hudson pants)

Jeans (thinking the ginger jeans, but open to other suggestions)

Flowy Shorts (Magnolia maybe?)

Not on that list is a new tee pattern if I can't get the WBM Tee to fit me that way that I want, and a knit dress with a fitted bodice and flared skirt (maybe the moneta or the boundless knit dress). Those are on my maybe list, but not strong enough contenders that I am confident I will get them in 2017.

I hope everyone is excited to see pictures of my sewing projects for the new year. I know I'm excited to make them and wear them and learn new skills. I'm definitely really looking forward to making patterns from different designers so that I will figure out which ones work best for me and come together easiest. I am also excited to talk so much about sewing that people's ears start to bleed and they fake cardiac arrest to get away from it. Happy (Belated) New Year!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Christmas Gifts

I have been a little radio silent lately because all my sewing energy in the weeks leading up to Christmas was devoted to sewing presents. I spent Christmas in Ottawa with my husband's family, and decided to make my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law the Boyfriend Cardigan from Love Notions. You may remember this pattern from the two that I made a couple months ago, the grey and the green ones, and how I bragged how quick it was to sew. When you commit to making 7 of them, it no longer feels quick. I was originally not going to exchange gifts with my sisters/mom, but we changed our minds about 3 weeks before Christmas, which is why it's 7 cardigans and not 4.

I would have gotten all 7 done if not for coming down with the flu 3 days before we left for Ottawa. Unfortunately, that means that mom still hasn't gotten hers, but it is in progress. I don't have much more to say about them, other than they got great reviews from the receivers, which is why I was willing to put so much time and effort into them in the first place. They've even been getting compliments on them! If you sew gifts for other people, I definitely recommend this pattern because the sizing is flexible and it's a quick sew.

I have one more to make, and then I am going to take a really long break from sewing cardigans. I have so many other things I want to get going on that it will be a while before you see one of these popping up again, although I will definitely be making myself one or two more in the future. I love the blue and burgundy colours, but I might try branching out to a different fabric.

PatternLove Notions Boyfriend Cardigan 
Material: Venice knit from Fabricville
Modifications: I actually was able to use the same size and traced pattern that I used for myself for all sisters. This meant that it didn't fit everyone perfectly, but there is a lot of flexibility with the slouch of the pattern. My mother-in-law and mother got their own sizes. 
Learning: Nothing new!

Coming up: Sewing plans for the new year, and learning to use the serger that my wonderful in-laws got me for Christmas! Words are inadequate to describe how excited I am about this gift.