McCall’s 6711– the blouse!

McCalls 6711 blouseI really like the versatile and comprehensive pattern McCalls 6711. I have made the dress, muslined the jacket, and I like both the skirt and pants. And now I’ve made the blouse (which is just a shortened version of the dress). If it goes on sale I may buy another copy to have on hand!M6711

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Sew it Chic in a Week #9

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Sally

Sally’s Cascade Duffle Coat

We had such amazing projects linked up from a wonderful variety of seamstresses this last week, and in all the excitement of my new puppy (eek!) I forgot to contact any of them for an interview. Sorry about that! We did have a talented first timer link up: Sally doesn’t have a blog and didn’t know how to link up, so she wrote up her first review on Pattern Review to show off her beautiful Cascade coat that she modified. It is a very special project!

Coconut

Coconut

You all know that I love my Pattern Review contests, and went through the crazy fun ride of the Sewing Bee last year. I guess I didn’t learn my lesson because I am planning on entering their upcoming Wardrobe contest. It involves making 8 items in 6 weeks; 4 tops, 3 bottoms and 1 free choice. And actually 1 more item that can be purchased or previously sewn. The key is they must all coordinate and ALL tops must match ALL bottoms. This has been a fun puzzle to ponder for the past few days, especially while waiting around for my puppy to potty so I can give him a treat. Ha!

As long as I keep in the blue/gray/white family of colors, I have plenty of fabric in stash for this. I also think this may give me a push to make those more simple, wearable items I like to have but don’t like to sew. I really like to wear the clothes I made myself everyday, but I’m not always up for getting so fancy. And yet I don’t really sew T-shirts. Last year I planned to do something like this with my Gear up for Me Made May plan, but didn’t get it all finished. Oops. But this year I will be wearing these pieces all through May and beyond!

I’d love to see you link up items if you are also entering the contest! Wouldn’t that be fun?


 

Now for the link up rules: 

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to http://www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as new puppy kisses. They are encouraging and build community.

[inlinkz_linkup id=510224 mode=1]

Sew it Chic in a Week #8

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This week has flown by and it is time once again to share the garments we have sewn up. Yay! If you saw the caliber and attention to detail of the links last week, I was not surprised that there were only a few. If everyone is working on projects like that, you certainly can’t post every week! It was astonishing.

So, I love sewing, and I love pattern designing, but besides those 2 glorious past times I also have a job. I really like my job, and I’m not complaining, but I have been in a bit of denial about how much time it takes up. I work from home and structure my time at will; I also bill my hours as needed. I am not a “full time employee” but I do need to get the projects done that I am assigned. I’ve been getting by without working full time hours until recently. My work load has increased steadily until now there is no denying it. I really work full time!

I’m glad I made that obvious discovery, though, because I think it is going to force me into structuring my time more wisely. If I am determined to fit in the sewing I want to do and the designing I long to do (and the parenting I have to do, and the marathon training I’m crazy for doing) I have begun to schedule my time into “periods” like in school. My work sessions are a bit longer than a class would be, but I do and must take a break in the middle of the day to refresh. That break will be sewing time. And then there are the glorious evenings where sewing time stretches out in front of me. Some of that I will use for designing.

Of course I wonder how everyone else structures their sewing time, too. I might make that a question in the next Sew it Chic feature. Is that of interest to others?

Now we turn to our featured seamstress: Geni! Last week everyone was excited to see her leopard trench, a perfect spring piece! She doesn’t keep her blog up, since she prefers to sew durin gher free time, so here is a link to her Pattern Review page.

Genisewfeature1What is your motivation to sew?
There are several things that motivate me to sew.
1. Creative outlet:  I am a Registered Nurse and need an outlet to burn off some of the stressful energy that often builds up, but more importantly it allows me to refill my bucket so to speak.  I have always had a creative spirit and it has been useful over the years when budgets were tight.  This leads me to my next…
2. Financial savings:  Yes, I spend and have spent quite a bit of money on my sewing, however when you open my closet…it looks like I spend thousands on clothes!  I have several favorite patterns, aka “TNT” that I have made up multiple times which saves money.  I love to have multiple jackets for different occasions, but they are very pricey and generally change from season to season. But sewing for myself, I can make up what I want for the long haul…or short, whatever I choose.
3. One hole that I always had in my wardrobe were tops.  I never could find tops in the stores that fit my style.  I don’t necessarily like to be in the trendy crowd so shopping was always a chore.  Now that I sew…and A LOT, I have more tops than I could have ever imagined I would have.
4. Someone to sew for: My husband is more than supportive of my art and loves to wear things I make for him.
5. Fit! I have learned over the years to ignore the printed size on the pattern and revel in how something that fits me just right actually can make me appear smaller than I look in something that is either too tight or too loose.
GeniSewfeature2What is your favorite thing about sewing? So many things are my favorite, but if I had to choose one thing its that I love the details.  This has not always been the case. My mother always harped on me to press every seam after sewing it….press press press.  Ugh!  Now I love pressing because the finished garment shows in the quality.  I like to challenge myself to do topstitching perfectly.
What is your least favorite thing about sewing? Not very much…lol!  I guess when I make something and it just isnt working.  Its hard to throw away something that has taken so much energy.
What is the most recent thing you’ve learned about sewing? I have recently learned how to make a bra.  I have taken thousands of hours of classes mostly through Craftsy and bra making is one of the most recent.  Still a long way to go, but I’ve started.  Oh and I just started a class on pattern making for a pant sloper.  I am really excited to actually start…I have asked my Mom to be my model 😉

Here are a few simple rules for linking to Sew it Chic:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to http://www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as finding real wool at the thrift store. They are encouraging and build community.

[inlinkz_linkup id=508143 mode=1]

My Striped Tissue Knit Athena

This is obviously the sample I made for the pattern cover, so I know that you have seen it already. But I threw it on for a few action shots so you can see how it hangs on a body.

A few notes: I did not hem this version, since tissue knits are so thin and fine that a hem doesn’t always turn out well. Not hemming was also an adjustment for my long torso, since I cut the size small without any modifications to assess the sample. I also have wider shoulders than average, so the neckline on me does not look at open as on other people.

But despite all that, it is a fun example of my new pattern and I hope you get some ideas to make your own! It is still on 20% off sale until March 21st with coupon code “FIRSTWEEK”.

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Why is it so sunny all of a sudden?

Why is it so sunny all of a sudden?

 

A peek at the Athena testers

tinkerandstitcher.wordpress.com2tinkerandstitcher.wordpress.com1When I request help in testing my patterns, I do not require my testers to help market my patterns. They are using their time, energy and fabric to sew up a test, and I want to see if they encounter problems in fit, in instructions or in technical details. I also need to see how the design looks on different sizes, since I am only one size.

But I had someone specifically ask to see some other versions of the Athena top, to see how it looks in different fabrics and sizes. I asked my testers if they would be willing, and I am excited to show off just a few testers for some examples of how this top can look!

Please notice that some of these examples had a very wide neckline, and I ended up moving that in and up about half an inch on each side so it would not fall off anyone’s shoulders. The revised neckline is reflected in the line drawing and is more rounded.

Susan1GeniCOllageLisaCollagewww.rachsews.wordpress.com4SewExhaustedCollageMySewingsuite5

I know, these ladies are adorable and so helpful to share their hard work with me!

If you would like to try out the Athena top, I am still running an introductory sale through March 21st of 20% off with the coupon code “FIRSTWEEK”. That code is good for either of my patterns, actually!

 

Sew it Chic in a Week #7

 

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What a week! I released my second pattern (in case you hadn’t heard). The Athena Top is a easy, cute top that can easily be made in an afternoon — maybe for next week’s Sew it Chic feature? Ha!

Needless to say, putting the finishing touches on that took my entire week (actually it has taken the entire month) so I have nothing to link up quite yet. But I expect that many of you do, and I can’t wait to see them!

This week’s featured seamstress is Ali of Thimberlina. Her Osaka wrap skirt was much admired this past week. And then – she posted another lovely garment – her Athena top! She was one of my helpful testers, so she had a headstart.  And didn’t the top turn out great? Roar! Here’s what she had to say on her sewing journey-

What is your motivation to sew?

When I first started sewing I was in my late teens and working in an office. I wanted clothes better than I could afford so borrowed my mums old brother. I was really into in and my parents bought me an Overlocker for my 21st birthday(it’s still going strong!).  I sewed on and off over the years. I made my bridesmaids dresses when I married and all the soft furnishings for my sons nursery in 2002. From then until June ’13 the machine only came out for alterations. Then one of my golfing buddies started turning up on the golf course looking fab in outfits she’d made and really inspired me to dust off my machine and get back into it.  Now I can’t stop, last year I took part in Goodbye Valentino’s RTW fast, and now I can’t imagine shopping for clothes.  I’ve not signed up for this years fast officially but I’m going to try and make as much as I can.

What is your favorite thing about sewing?

Being able to wear something that I know no one else has!  And the company comments from friends – ‘no! You didn’t make that’!

What is your least favorite thing about sewing?

The least favourite is tidying up afterwards, but the hardest thing I find to do is actually choosing what to make.  I’m hooked on reading blogs and have more inspiration, fabric and patterns than I know what to do with!  But once I’ve made my mind up I don’t stop until it’s finished and it takes my life over, until the next project!

What is the most recent thing you’ve learned about sewing?

I’m currently learning how to quilt on a Craftsy class.    I’m hoping to start my first proper quilt next week as my supplies were delivered this week and I’m raring to go!

 


And now for our link up party-

Let’s read the rules again for fun:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to http://www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as finding real wool at the thrift store. They are encouraging and build community.

An InLinkz Link-up

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Would you like to feel like a goddess in the Athena top?

 

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I hinted that I was working on a new pattern, and I finally did it! It is simple to put together, but still cute and unique. I love wearing mine!

The new Athena top is a relaxed but chic raglan sleeve knit or woven top that can be whipped up in an afternoon. The sleeves twist under the arm to create a graceful waterfall and the hem dips in back for a subtle hi-lo effect. The knit version is finished with bands at the neck and arms, while the woven uses bias binding. It is perfect for those ultra-soft drapey jerseys or tissue knits that feel so great to wear. It would also look great in a fluid, silky woven.

FirstAthenaCollageThe pattern comes in XS – XL and is quick and easy to put together, with only 18 printed pages. The new “layers” function allows you to view and print only the size you need. The instructions are fully diagrammed and include finished garment measurements and fit tips to ensure your top comes out great. Hint– it is roomy around the bust and tapers down at the hips, but remains relaxed.

I’m being featured on Pattern Revolution, which is a super cool site full of great info and very supportive of indie designers. I do have a rafflecopter giveaway set up there, so enter to win a copy of the Athena Top there. If you already follow this blog, be sure and enter the giveaway!

The Athena top is now available at GrayDayPatterns.com. Regular price will be $6.95, but for the introductory week it is offered for 20% off with the code FIRSTWEEK until March 21st. In fact, use that code to try out the Sandpoint top, too! I hope you like it and if you make it up, let me know so I can feature you! You could even link it up on Sew It Chic in a Week. How fun!

Sew it Chic in a Week #6

Light ChicHello and welcome to another Saturday where I have the pleasure of hosting your amazing garments. Last week was wonderful, wasn’t it? I was so thrilled each time I got a notification that someone had joined the party! Really great stuff!

And I did finally get my Vogue 1379 dress posted. Hooray! I linked it up below. I ask an important question about the hem length that I would love opinions on, so do chime in if you like.
Last week the most clicks was this beautiful dress by Gabrielle from UpSewLate. She answered a few questions for us below:

What is your motivation to sew? 
When I first started to sew I was an impoverished uni student and I wanted to be able to dress way beyond my means – I found a shop that specialised in super-cheap designer remnants, so sewing let me do that!  After uni I stopped sewing for a long, long time and only picked it up again a few years ago when my job got really stressful and I felt like I needed a creative activity to calm me down and help me not take the stress out on my family. I’d forgotten so much, but that wasn’t the point! And these days sewing is a compulsion – I’m always thinking about it; I just can’t keep away from my sewing stuff :).
What is your favorite thing about sewing?
My favourite thing about sewing is probably the daydreaming part! I also love when there’s a “puzzle” stage in making a garment – I love working out how to fit a pattern on a piece of fabric that *should* be too small, and I really enjoy pattern matching (does that make me a bit odd?).
What is your least favorite thing about sewing? 
My least favourite part of sewing is the finishing, so I always have lots of UFOs lying around, waiting to be hemmed or some hand stitching done. I know a lot of people hate the cutting out stage but I’d be happy to cut out twice if I could skip the finishing!
What is the most recent thing you’ve learned about sewing?

Recently I’ve been trying to improve my understanding of fit. For example, I love raglan sleeves but I get annoyed with the excessive folds of fabric you sometimes get under the arm when you have a raglan sleeve, so I’ve been reading an old pattern drafting book and comparing patterns to work out why some fit better than others!


 

Thank you Gabrielle! Now on to the new link up!

Ok, here are those tiny rules again:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to http://www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as sharp new sewing scissors. They are encouraging and build community.

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Armholes for days on Vogue 1379

Vogue 1379 SewnBefore I make up a pattern that I do not want to muslin (which is most things) I look around the interweb to see if anyone else has made it and how it hangs on them. I couldn’t find a single review or finished version of Vogue 1379. But, since this dress is very loose fitting, there will be no detailed notes on my adjustments to this pattern.  It may not be very helpful after all, even if it is the only review! Continue reading

Always learning at the Sew Expo

SewExpo CollageI have been looking forward to the Sew Expo since the day after last year’s ended. Every year it coincides with the first weekend of Girl Scout cookie season (I am a Girl Scout leader and both my girls are scouts now), and I can’t get down to Puyallup (an hour’s drive each way at least) as much as I want. But this year was going to be different. I was going to make time, schedule and plan it. I wanted to go Thursday, Friday and Saturday! But life intervened…

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Woven top detail at FitNice

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