I am No Cynthia Rowley-2281

OK, I think I am ready to talk about my dress failure. I feel bad I hyped it up. As you would recall I tackled a Cynthia Rowley dress(2281) which was supposed to be, well for me, a casual dress. I think that's one place it went wrong right off the bat. I wish I could show you how perfect it was in my head. A nice lightweight sweatshirt like dress that would be worn with brown knee high boots. Instead I got this piece of shit:

It's a thick, wonky waste of time. I had to line the skirt which added bulk.

Well, I did get the fit right! I could have taken a bit of fabric out of the sleeve, but that is the least of what is wrong with this dress. The interfacing I used for the middle band is supposed to be for a stiff collar, it was in my stash, I thought "meh, good enough" WRONG. It's too stiff and takes some ease of wear out of the damn thing, because it's just, well, too stiff.

OK let's talk fabric and patterns. The fabric was too light, and the lining was too thick. Ok lesson learned, I knew it was a risk when I started. One thing I didn't see coming was the pattern mess ups. In my mind the boob stripe was straight and not a U shape. DUH the gathering at the top and the bottom OF COURSE are going to change the line from how it was cut. Also raglan sleeves just angle things ffs. The fabric had the stripe pattern, then a chunk of plain blue, notice that red line at the top of the skirt? Yeah, couldn't avoid that and just makes it looks sloppy due to the inconsistency of the gathering right above it. But I did get some good matching done at the seams (the sleeves were two pieces). Good practice I guess.

I learned A LOT from this zipper. 1) I need a zipper foot and 'by hand' doesn't always mean perfection (it was supposed to be invisible). 2) Zippers can go into pocket areas and you have do do them differently, and its's easier than it looks! 3) Pay attention to other things in the area besides the zipper. I didn't even think about the band lining up! And surprise, it didn't.

I didn't add the hook and eye I had planned (instead of the stupid bow the pattern called for) at the back of the neck. But I didn't even put on make up or do a proper photo shoot so it all fits together. In any case, here is the back.

I threw it on my broken down dress form as reminder off all the hard work that could have paid off. Too many lessons and hours spent to just throw away. I mean I made it fit like a glove; every piece had something different to do to it like gathering, lining, pockets, zippers, and pattern matching...sigh.

You can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or if you'd like to watch my latest projects in the works, add me on Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com

So the big project I hyped up turned out to be a throw away. I learned a lot and will blog about it so we can all learn from my mistakes but I'm still pretty salty about it, and need to let the anger about it all cool off first.

BUT I did whip up a new staple in my wardrobe!

This is once again M6992. But this time it fits PERFECTLY!

I threw out the old adjustments I had made, and started back over with a straight size 12.

This time I just cut the neck (also neck band) and shoulder seams on both the shirt parts and the sleeve parts a size 8 and left everything else a 12, and BAM it fits like a dream. I didn't even lengthen it this time and I think I'm ok with it.

I used the softest jersey ever. I got it at Jo-Ann's with a 60% off coupon.

It's really hard to show the pattern. It is SO bright out! I had to take my photo shoot out to my backyard due to weird shadows, and exchanged shadows for the sun in my eyes and a dulling of the fabric.

I used plain black stretch fabric for all the bands.

 Pretty good seam matching if I do say so myself! I fiddled with the feed differential on my serger and it didn't move my matched up lines. It sounds like I know what I'm doing now, doesn't it? I learned that you turn it up (greater than one) for stretch fabrics.

I could wear it inside out if I really wanted to...I won't though.

You can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or if you'd like to watch my latest projects in the works, add me on Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com

I am doing stuff I swear!

I'm not dead, and I'm not pregnant. I'm working on a dress that I swear is never ending, I can only hope this is just the time before something awesome happens

Just in case you are here just for some finished work here is a skirt I whipped up a few weekends ago.

It's one of my favorite skirt patterns ever. I used every last inch of leftover cape fabric, which is like thick dress pants. I even added some hem lace for cuteness sake.

OK, now back to my dress. I've been doing simple stuff lately so I thought I would put my time into something a little more complicated. Like they always say, be careful what you ask for!
I started with making a muslin and taking my first stab at a perfect fit.

I found this Simplicity book from the late 60's that goes over everything you could ever want to know about dress fitting and quickly learned why dresses off the rack don't fit me.

I have narrow, sloped, rounded shoulders. I also own a large bust and a short torso with a twist of small butt and long legs. In short I have to adjust Every. Fucking. Thing.

I am doing view B, what I thought was a simple raglan long sleeve pocketed dress.

I found the ugliest fabric I had, plus an old sheet and set to work. I learned I need to take 1.5 inches out of the shoulders, and shorten the part under the bust an inch.

In the real dress I need to do the neck differently. I don't want it to end in ribbon and tie a bow to close it.

This is the fabric I'm using. It is almost 100% see through so I have to line the whole skirt as well. After all this pattern there is a 2 foot gap of just plain blue, so cutting and pattern matching was a NIGHTMARE.

I wanted the big stripes to go across my chest and through to the sleeves, but with the raglans, the angles got too hard to match it all up and I just gave up and cut plain blue sleeves.

Since I didn't finish the skirt on my muslin I ran into a surprise. A side zip that overlaps with pockets. I had some unpicking to do, but I think I got it. I still need to hand sew the zip in because I don't have the right kind of zipper foot. I like hand sewing so it's not the end of the world.

This pattern has so much to it. The gathering on the top and the skirt, the lining with darts, the pockets. Each piece takes twice as long to complete and sew together. I feel like I have been doing prep work for a week! And I still don't know if the fit adjustments will fit. I keep telling myself all I have left is BLAH. Then BLAH is really 4 more steps I didn't see coming. I just hope all this work pays off and doesn't end in a lesson learned and tears.

If you want more updates from me, you can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or add me on Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com too.

Butterick 5922- Peter Pan Meet Lumber Jack

I think my favorite thing is when someone says to me "That's a Lora shirt". This shirt is definitely a Lora shirt.

Is it a little short? Sure, but my collar is up here.

The pattern was one that I have always wanted to try, a good old fashioned peter pan collar. 

I was smart enough to cut a size 8 to be form fitting, and cut the shoulders and neck (and collar) a size 6 for the best fit, but stupid enough to not check the length.

The fabric is a super stretchy jersey, the same I used here.

It was the first collar that I've done in a long ass time. It came out ok. What didn't turn out was the head hole back thing. Since the fabric rolls up when cut, I couldn't hem it and square off the bottom where it meets the seam very well.

I'll just wear a black tank top under it and call it a day.

I should note I kinda cheated. I used stitchery witchery for the hems. Like I said this fabric rolls so I wanted to just reinforce it, but then said fuck it, it looks cool this way.

Invisible hems just give it a clean look. I have no idea if it will wash and wear well. Here's hoping!

Is it fall yet? Because I want to wear this like everyday.

If you're not sick of me yet, you can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or if you'd like to watch my latest projects in the works, add me on Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com

Easy Elastic Bands and Muslin Jam Jams

I've been obsessed with fit lately. I do not have anything close to a fit model body (not complaining) so that means I have lots of adjustments to make, so many in fact that it can easily throw the whole pattern off. So I thought I would start with a shirt I can make a 1,000 different ways, get one tried and true pattern in my stash. Enter McCalls 6992. I traced the pattern and hacked away at it. I took fabric out of the back, and made it less boxy. I also thought I would try my hand at leggings. Why not bite off more than you can chew? I used the pants from New Look 6323. Anyway why would you make a muslin when you can just make pajamas? 

The top I've made before so I won't go on and on about it. It's short sleeve only because I ran out of fabric, and I lazied out and just zig zaged the hem.

For a first try at leggings I think the fit came out great! I was going to cut a small, but after looking over my measurements beyond waist, I doubtfully cut an extra small. If I wanted yoga pants however I would have to take it in below the knees. Oh and I took some length off and drafted those cuffs at the bottom to help tie in the shirt.

I did find the easiest way to do an elastic waist band without doing that damn casting-threading the elastic through shit. Which I always mess up. Why does everyone act like that is easy?

This technique might have a name, but being self taught I don't know what it is. I believe that if everyone learns from the same place, no one does anything different. 

Start by making the ring of elastic. WHAT? Yeah, start that way, not end that way. Sew it together flat.

NOT this way, you get a weird bulge that way.

Then on the inside of the completed pants (wrong side of fabric) place the ring at the top of the fabric and serge it.

Or fold the top down a bit and zig zag stitch the top. This will become the bottom of the elastic and will show on the inside.

Then fold the whole thing down and top stitch two rows.

When you top stitch, pull both directions, expanding the elastic all the way. The stitches should be at the bottom, not the top like where my machine foot is. OOPS.

Like this.

Less room for error this way, no twisting, threading, pulling or trying to sew elastic closed with an inch of room to do so. 

 you're not sick of me yet, you can follow me on Instagram at pocketsandsleeves or if you'd like to watch my latest projects in the works, add me onIf Snapchat at Orangeowl4. You can always e-mail me at Pocketsandsleeves@gmail.com