Me Made May — not exactly

June 12, 2016

I've been busy. I guess that's nothing new, but it's been too long since I posted sewing photos. More than two months. In that time I've made five garments (actually seven, but I just finished two this weekend and really wanted to post this instead of editing more photos).

In March I made Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick's Gibson blouse. This was intended to be a wearable muslin for a blue and white double gauze from Portland, but I haven't gotten to that one yet. I've actually received a lot of compliments on this shirt. 

When you buy an SBCC pattern, you pick your size bundle, a skinny bitch or a curvy chick. :-) I cut size small, grading to XS at the waist. I then took it in a half-inch.

Construction on this shirt was not difficult, but the instructions are not for a beginner. I'd recommend making a shirt or two before trying this pattern. Also, watch out for the notches. They're inconsistent: Some point in, some point out and away from the pattern, and some are straight lines outside the pattern (so when you cut the pattern out, you might accidentally omit the notch).

Also, watch out for varying seam allowances.

The back facing is interfaced. I should have kept that in mind when I interfaced the center front, where I fused the interfacing to the outside, not the facing. Oops. But I haven't noticed any weirdness while wearing it.

I made this from a lovely soft mystery fabric from Fabric Recycles. My best guess is a cotton-rayon blend. I think I did a burn test and vaguely remember it burning like cotton but the ash being the wrong color. 

I wasn't sure about my decision to include the necktie until I attached it. The tie dresses it up a little for work.

I used cotton fusible interfacing on the center front and tie. Next time I'll use a lighter interfacing or none on the tie. It's a bit stiff.

I couldn't find buttons I loved for this shirt, so I made my first covered buttons, which was a little intimidating at the start. But it was so much fun, my favorite part of making this shirt! (I'm a huge crafting nerd.)

... around the back to the other center front panel.

The facing topstitching runs from one center front around the back to the other center front panel.

After gathering the skirt portion, the center front panels attach. According to the instructions, the center front should be shorter than the skirt. Mine wasn't. It still hemmed just fine.

I wasn't sure whether to go with sleeves or sleeveless, and I didn't have enough fabric to cut both sleeves and bias binding. I waited until I had everything else constructed and put the shirt on my dress form to decide. I'm glad I went without sleeves. My clinic is hot in the summer, and it's nice to have a dressy sleeveless shirt.

When I make the polka dot double gauze version (soon, I hope), I plan to omit the tie and include the sleeves.

Windy outtake.

More of my merino wool knits from Stitchology. I used the charcoal to make a skirt from the Colette Wren dress pattern. I cut the same size as my dress and again shortened it 4 inches. I cut a waistband and facing of 2.75 inches by 25.5 inches.

I'm wearing it with the tank I made from the leftover blue merino. That's a lot of comfy wool!

I finished this skirt at the beginning of April and have worn it recent weeks. It does well in the heat except one day I got a little warm, and the waistband got a little itchy.

This was the only bottom garment not for running or hiking that I took on vacation.

I accidentally attached the side front pieces the wrong way to the center front.To make the side seams work, I repeated the mistake with the back pieces, making the curves curvier. It worked, and I didn't have to ruin the fabric ripping out my error. 

I used my machine's overlock stitch to attach the waistband, so the seam would stretch over my hips. But it still wants to pop a seam when I put the skirt on and off. I think it's because I under stitched the waist band facing. I used a slight zigzag, but my stitch length was probably too long.

I really like this pattern and fabric combination. And this is one of those rare times making my own cost less than buying it. It's comparable to Icebreaker, which has listed a similar skirt for $80 to $90 and dress for about $150. I spent less than $20 on supplies for this skirt. It's been a while since I made the merino dress, but I'd guess that cost me about $50 to $60.

I'm sure I'll make more of this skirt at some point. It's comfortable, and the pockets work best of any knit skirt I have.

This is an unfinished version A of Vogue 1464 designed by Sandra Bettina. I worked on these at the end of April/beginning of May and put them aside until after vacation, when I made this white Renfrew. I bought this cotton knit from Stitchology when we visited in 2014 because it's not see-through! I'll keep the leftover yardage, so I can make a replacement when this inevitably gets dingy or stained.

I'm not sure this wearable muslin is actually wearable. Although I really like the design aesthetic of this pattern, the fit is terrible. I spent a couple of weeks working on alterations. Based on the hip measurement, I went with size B (grading to A at waist?). The legs on this were stupid baggy and looked terrible, so I took in the inseam a quarter-inch and side seam almost an inch. I can't remember where I started grading, but I think it was a few inches below the waist or hips. I also cut 3.75 inches from the length.

Then I could address the nightmare that was this crotch. I raised the depth as much as I could with the fabric available, and it still needs to go up at least a half-inch.

If I pull the pants up to where the crotch needs to sit, it's too big at the waist. That would be an easy enough fix, but I already strongly dislike where the waist hits. They need to sit way lower.

I'm sorry for how mean this sounds, but these pockets are just laughable. Who would want their pocket flaps this high? (At least the pocket bags are a good size.) The next time I make this, I'll lower the waist 1.5 inches and the pockets 2 to 3 inches. Also, that seam in the middle of the back has to go. I can see where it might be neat with piping or certain fabrics, but it hits in a terrible spot of the welt pocket, making that construction evil. I'll likely omit the pocket flaps and go with a normal welt pocket.

I haven't sewn on the buttons for the pocket flaps yet. I haven't decided whether it's worth my time to actually finish these pants.

I still really like the front design of these pants. The fabric, also from Fabric Recycles, is a cheap stretch woven originally sold at Jo-Ann. It has enough stretch that I was able to omit the side invisible zipper. I also left off the fourth pair of buttons, which were not functional, because I didn't like their look. Buttons are from Jo-Ann.

The fabric wanted to fray in corners and at this complicated junction. I bar tacked it to try to save it, but it still ripped while trying the pants on.

I hand stitched the rip to bring the fibers back together. If I actually wear these, we'll see how long it holds. This is another reason I might not bother to finish this project.

Another oddity of this pattern is  the inside. One, the instructions never call for finishing the edges of the facing. Two, I see no reason for the extensions to go all the way across. Next time, I'll end them at the buttons. If I finish this garment, I'll have to sew on hooks and eyes. (They go where I still have tailor's tacks — the purple threads.)

Any opinions on whether these pants are worth any more of my time?

I was going to include one more make in this entry, but it's already too long. I'll post it and a couple more probably later this week. Instead, here's a photo of my new ironing board cover. My old one was gross, and this one is interesting plus practical! You can also see some of the lights I hung in December (because we never put any on the outside of the house). I liked the look and the bright light they provided, so I left them!

Also, I need to explain the title of this post. I have tried to participate in Me Made May (wearing my creations every day of the month) since I've had enough garments to do so. But this May I spent about half my days in running clothes while traveling to Wichita to race and on vacation. The rest of my days were in my makes. I did wear the merino Wren skirt and Gibson blouse a few times (not together) in May, and the next entry will include a beautiful dress I finished and wore in May. (if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen a couple of hints of it.)

I've been following other makers using the hashtags #memademay2016 and #mmmay16, which I enjoyed. Maybe next year I'll participate in a more social fashion, but I doubt it because it's not my usual style. ;)

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