Friday, November 13, 2015

Fall Kidiform: Cords and Bimaas and Turtlenecks

It's gotten colder out. Fall isn't kidding around anymore. This week has been in the 40's and 50's and crazy windy. We've had rain and hail, and only a little sunshine. Cold and wet makes me feel chilly. Elena never seems cold, but I felt the need to make her some more warm things. I don't know why I didn't make myself more warm things. I know it doesn't make any sense.

We are on a strict spending freeze. We are within mere months of paying off our house and now that the end of the mortgage is really, really close, nothing can sway me from my course. I could only shop my stash, so thank goodness it has some really good stuff in it. Is it just me or is it impossible to source stretch corduroy at a store or online? I can't ever find it anywhere so repurposing is the best route. I recently bought a few pairs of very large women's cords at half price at the thrift store for $2/pair. I can afford that. I'm rambling, let me just show you what I made.

These cords (wrinkled as all heck because I took them off of her for pictures) are Peek-a-Boo Skinny Jeans but with a jersey knit and elastic waistband. They are reborn from the ugliest high waisted, darted, relaxed fit, tapered leg cords you ever saw. They were happy to be transformed into cute skinnies with gold topstitching. And if you follow me on Instagram you already know that I ran out of gold thread with 2" to go on the last hem so they have a little bit of tan topstitching on the back too.

Also at the thrift store that same day, I found a woman's tee of exceptionally good quality - thick and soft. It was a mock turtleneck, but on a 4 year old, it's a full turtleneck. I used the Sofilantjes Otium Sweater pattern and made it kind of big and comfy. Elena rarely complains about things being uncomfortable, but she definitely gravitates to the more comfortable fabrics. Soft, stretchy corduroy and thick, soft knit are perfect. and this outfit comes in at $3. That has to be a savings of at least $25 to go towards the house payment.

I have 2 more pairs of cords to repurpose, if needed. We'll wait and see a bit. But we needed more long sleeved tees so I went through the stash again and made a hooded LouBee Clothing Bimaa. I've made 4 or 5 Bimaa's before, but never the hooded version. I really love it. I had to get super creative to eek this out of less than a half yard of Girl Charlee cotton lycra (the mustard color) and some scraps of leftover Mabel Madison Stenzo knit.

Elena isn't supposed to be on the blog for a while, but this doesn't qualify as a photo shoot because we were just outside playing on one of the brighter days and I snuck a couple of pictures. She was freezing by the way so we put a jacket on right after and kept on playing.

Anyhow, the point of this post is ... I don't actually know. I guess it's that you can make good stuff out of other good stuff and it doesn't have to cost much at all. Also, that these 3 patterns are so good, I could almost just use them for everything, all the time. So I'll keep reminding myself of that so that I can stick to the budget and get this house paid off.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Butterick Moto Jacket

 For some crazy reason, I thought this would be a good time to push myself and my sewing skills and make a jacket. I picked up Butterick 6169 a Lisette Moto Jacket and Dress pattern at a recent Joann's sale. This wool blend houndstooth fabric was given to me so there was little to lose if it didn't work out. Overall, I'm glad I did it. I think it turned out pretty decent.

I made a couple of mistakes so it's far from perfect. First off, it's too big. All over. I took the sides and center back in about an inch each but it's really big in the shoulders and high bust. I forgot to compare the finished measurements and just went off the sizing chart measurements. Dumb mistake. Second, I forgot to put the shoulder pads in. That would have helped the structure there. Third, It's a bit bunchy right at the neck/shoulder seams. Not a great job sewing there. I'll be more careful in that spot next time.

The things I like about this jacket are the princess seams, the pockets, and the assymetrical zipper. The instructions are good and there is a sewalong on the Lisette website that offers some hand holding and some additional suggestions. They break it up into 5 days, I did mine in 3 sessions over 2 days (not counting cutting). I have a hard time leaving things unfinished once I start. It's why I rarely do 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles at home, or delve into 600 page fiction novels. I just can't leave it alone until it's done.

The sewalong suggests adding some canvas to the bottom hem to give it structural support and I think that would have been a good idea. This fabric is fairly thick, but it looks wimpy along the bottom. I'd probably add it to the sleeve hems as well. Also very visible in the picture below is my not so great job at the neckine. I'm not sure what is up with it, but it makes me wish the pattern had a collar to hide it.

 But that lining is beautiful and I am still impressed with myself for trying. I am a life-long learner. It's important to me to keep pushing, keep growing. This one is OK, but the next time will be better.