Thursday, May 21, 2015

Back in the saddle: Jalie 3246 in teal sweater knit

I finally sewed again on May 17.  The last time I sewed was on April 21, so it was great to be back at the machine again!!

It was mid-80's this past Sunday and steamy in my sewing room, so why not sew up a sweater knit shrug?

I knew it was going to cool down this week, and ever since I made the Vogue 1351 dress last fall I wanted a matching cardigan / shrug / sweater.
After loving Jalie 3246, and wearing it almost every day, I decided it was a great way to get back in the saddle again.

It's perfect for when you need to add sleeves to an outfit
"Just add sleeves!"
Sleeves completely down

This time I added a ribbon so I can hang the shrug in my gym locker...and also to serve as a second visual cue to wear it right side up! (Yes, the collar is much wider than the back band, but I have worn the gray one upside down, uhmmmmmm....)

Dressform pix:


The only thing I forgot to mention the last time I sewed this up is that it was the first Jalie pattern I traced where the lines were in color!
That's the shawl collar piece above.  The color coding made a BIG difference as far as ease of tracing.  Thanks Jalie for that HUGE improvement!

There's a three day weekend coming up for those of us in the US, and I plan to hit the sewing machine about you, wherever you are?

Be well!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Unintentionally Me-Made-May-ing, Days 1-12

My most editorial photo ever, at the Hedgehog and the Fox outdoor sculpture at Princeton.

I've known about Me-May-Made for a few years now, but have never taken part for various reasons (lack of self-made clothing to carry me through an entire month, lack of time/interest, etc).     I've always felt that May would be the month to do the challenge because I make mainly warmer-weather clothing, as opposed to September when the descent into cold weather starts in NJ.

On May 1 this year, I realized that I happened to be wearing something I made and I happened to be lunching with someone who wouldn't mind taking my picture, and that I happened to have a minute to tweet it and hashtag it with #mmmay15.

Then it kind of went from there.

So here are 8 pictures from Days 1-12.

There were skirts from the same pattern:
I love my New Look 6843 skirts.  I'm also wearing the Jalie 3246 shrug on day 1.

And also dresses from many patterns:
And this dress with the scalloped collar and self covered buttons that was the #SimplicityTweetoftheDay

I have still not vowed anything regarding Me-May-Made 2015.  I've been wearing at least something Me-Made on the weekends, but not taking pictures.   The documentation process has been weekdays thus far.


  • This made me dig deep into my closet and re-examine why I'm not wearing certain dresses
  • I love that there is a garment from each year spanning 2010-2015 as well as an outlier from 2007.
  • I enjoy looking at the #mmmay15 tweets on Twitter.  I'm still not on Instagram but it appears that's the place to be, as most tweets about #mmmay15 are from Instagram.
  • It's really hard to take a decent photo in bright sunlight without shadows.
  • Flickr does not provide any mechanism for producing photo collages which is disappointing but I have added that suggestion to their suggestion page.
  • I've had 5 different photographers (including myself) for these 8 photos and it is always interesting to hear the others opinions!
  • The folks @sewsimplicity are enthusiastic re-tweeters.  I've gotten new Twitter followers because of that. Thanks!  Love that enthusiasm!
In other news I had to take a day off  today.  It is gloriously, delightfully beautiful from my current location, writing this in my backyard.  Yay Spring!  

So are you doing #mmmay15? 
Be well!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jalie 3246: Shrugalicious, in about 2 hours.

If you've ever thought, "I made this sleeveless dress/shirt and need to cover my arms because it's cold outside/in my office but I do not want the added bulk of a bolero/cardigan/waterfall cardigan around my torso/waist/hips and I don't want buttons/snaps/closures and I only want to take 2 hours to make it" then this shrug for you!  Just the arms, ma'am, just the arms...and part of your back.  But not much else.  Which is exactly what I wanted.  Sign me up!
Sleeves pushed up a bit.
It think it's such a flattering shape.
Sleeves completely down.  I cut about an inch and a half off the sleeves before blind hemming.

Dressform pix:

Jalie 3246 View B Shrug
Jalie 3246 View B Shrug
The back.  The main thing is before you attach the back band, make sure the back is going straight across.  This is your chance to "level it out" by cutting it straight across before attaching the band.
Jalie 3246 View B Shrug
The wrong side of the sleeve hem.  The sleeves are blind hemmed. Thank you to Leslie In Austin for telling me about blind hemming sweater knits. First I serge the raw edge and press up the hem, then I use the stretch blind hem stitch on my machine.  Then I press again with my Elna Press.
Jalie 3246 View B Shrug
So then it looks like the above on the right side.
Jalie 3246 View B Shrug
Inside out. I only basted the CB seam and used my serger on it and all the rest of the seams. Whee!

I also want to say "Trust in Jalie".  If your fabric is stretchier crosswise compared to lengthwise, then you will want to follow their cutting diagram.  Trust.   (If you do not Trust,  you will not be able to get the sleeves onto your arms if your fabric is not stretchy in both directions, particularly if it is not stretchy at all in one direction.  This will make sense after you've made your muslin not trusting in Jalie.  Ask me how I know.)

I made the size V which was perfect for my gray sweater knit with x crosswise stretch and y lengthwise stretch.  I bought this sweater knit during PR weekend 2014 in Austin.  I'm pretty sure it was from TexStyles.

I've worn this shrug practically every day since I sewed it and also have worn it upside down for a 30 minute stretch of PR weekend, enough to be photographed, sigh.

I will be making this again in many colors!  I had been looking for a gray shrug/cardi/bolero in RTW and could not find one.  Now I have my own.

Fun fact: I made this between 6:30 and 8:30am on Tuesday, April 21, in a mad rush to include it in my PR weekend LA wardrobe.    I had traced it and muslined it the night before.

The skirt is blogged here.
The shirt is RTW.
Be well!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pattern Review Weekend LA 2015 wrapup

action drama....
Like an early 80's action drama set in downtown LA....with fabric....

I just returned from PR Weekend in downtown LA, near the Fashion District.

(Tip:  Take the day after PR weekend off from work so you can write your recap and recover from the weekend.)

Antoinette (ATP) and I flew in a day early for some pre-conference fun.

FIDM Scholarship Store was our first stop.   There is some great fabric here at $1 and $2 a yard and  fun necklaces for $4 and $6.  I love this place! They have sample garments too that we tried on.  We ran into fellow PR members Jeanette and Jo while we were there.
ATP on the hunt
We then went to the FIDM Museum for the 2014 movie costume exhibit

And we took a detour from fabric shopping and fashion to attend the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum


Tons of HK merchandise was on display, including this Janome HK sewing machine
and this HK sewing kit
Follow the bows!
How tall are you?
Hello Kitty themed artwork

The HK bow crowns were given to each person visiting the exhibit; not everyone wore theirs.

Thursday night at the hotel lobby ATP spotted Rod Stewart and made eye contact; I only saw the back of his head as he meandered out onto the street...

The conference got into full swing with the shopping day as ~70 of us were unleashed in the Fashion District.  We broke off into many groups so we had flexibility as far as which stores to go to.

Tip:  Wear comfy shoes or sneakers; you're on your feet all day!

ATP and Anne
Shopping at Michael Levine Loft ($3 a pound fabric--really really good fabric too--yes, by the pound not by the yard).  
More of the scene at Michael Levine Loft.  Paw through boxes of fabric.  You don't have to take the whole piece; you can cut it down yourself if you wish, or ask the cashier to cut it for you.    There are also rolls of fabric on the sides of the store that are sorted by color.  All of it is $3 a pound usually but because we were there for PR weekend we got 20% off of that!  Thanks Michael Levine Loft!
Love the random thread stuck to my pants.
Also love the cashier; he was there in 2013 and is super super nice.

I bought exactly 7 pounds of fabric.
More of the scene at Michael Levine Loft

Next we headed across the street to the main Michael Levine store
Michael Levine welcomes PR weekend sign
Me, Anne, and the Wall of Locked Up Liberty  (I understand why it is locked up ($$$$), but it's ironic that fabric named Liberty is under lock and key.)

Me and Jacqui--we first met at PR weekend in 2010 in Philly and have shopped together ever since.  Love her contrast trim on her red shirt--her binding was absolutely perfect!!
atp and
ATP was next to Michael from Project Runway in the checkout line

On the street.  This gives you a sense of what the Fashion District shopping looks like-- fabric stores on street level with some of their fabrics on display outside (multiply this picture by, say, 100).  Having been to NYC Garment District many times and LA Fashion District twice, I'd say that it feels like there are more fabric and trim stores in LA, though I don't know if that is true.

I have my Jalie shrug on upside down it the above picture, ha ha ha ha ha

Lunch at Pattern Bar (a bar with sewing machines!)

You like big polka dots?  Now THAT'S a big polka dot.
Zippers at Zip Up Zipper

There were buses to take us to Mood and a fabric store appropriately called The Fabric Store about 8 miles away from the Fashion District, but streets were blocked off for a commemoration event all day so we wound up having only 30 minutes to shop at Mood LA, not enough time for me to buy fabric.
Unlike the NYC branch of Mood, the Mood LA store is all on one level.  Above is one half of the Mood LA store.

Bernina sponsored a party Friday night that included the pattern swap (so.many.patterns.) and the handbag contest.   I entered the handbag contest with my V6072 backpack.  I wish I took a picture of the winning backpack; it was the Vogue frog backpack and her prize was a Bernina serger.
Kossiwa and her amazing striped designer knockoff dress

Deepika, me and dots
PR Founder Deepika and I wore our dots for Saturday morning.

Saturday was the learning day with Lynda Maynard.  Roseana and Theresa were totally brave to stand in their foundation garments for about an hour each while Lynda and her volunteers sliced and diced their respective sheath dress and jacket muslins to get a perfect fit.  I found it quite interesting because it's a totally different way to fit a garment compared to Joi Mahon's method, but it appears to achieve the same results.

The room felt like a movie set.
Here's the view from the back of the room while Lynda shows how to make the changes to the flat pattern, post fitting the muslin.  Some of the leftover patterns are shown...there were a LOT of leftover patterns!

In the afternoon, ATP, Anne and I skipped couture techniques to return to the Fashion District to buy elastic at Button and Trim Expo, only to find out that it is closed on Saturdays, massive heaving sigh!
(Tip:  Always always always check store days and hours!!!)

I don't know for sure but I felt that this store, which I visited in Nov 2013 with Rachel and Jeanette, would have wide elastic in many colors that I could use for my exposed waistband on the Mimi G pants.

So we went to three other trim stores instead and the last one, Target Trim, had the BEST selection of elastic I was looking for, but I like the layout of Button and Trim Expo better.

It started raining on the way back, so we took shelter in the FIDM Scholarship Store, where we ran into Jacqui.
Tip:  Bring your shopping bag so you can consolidate your purchases; Jacqui's has hers from an earlier PR weekend.

Dinner was at a nearby Mexican restaurant but I didn't take pictures.

Some folks stayed on Sunday for brunch and more fabric shopping, but I left to return back to NJ.

Outfit roundup:
My me-made clothing closet at the Hotel Figueroa. 

Thursday:  Teal PR Linda shirt and gray Simplicity 1283 Mimi G pants.  

Friday: Black PR Linda shirt and black Simplicity 1283 Mimi G pants.
Friday night: Vogue 8571 red dress

Saturday:  McCalls 6559 polka dot dress.
Saturday night:  Teal Vogue 1351

Backpack:  Butterick 6072 view D backpack
Gray Jalie 3426 shrug (not blogged yet)

Wrapping up
Thank you to Kathi R who organized the entire weekend and all the PR volunteers, and of course to Deepika who founded PR.    PR is such an amazing resource for sewists.  I've made many friends because of PR.

Next year PR weekend will be in....Chicago!

Be well!