1/17/18

Fast Fashion & Sewing

Happy Wednesday!!! Figured while my sesame garlic wings are roasting, I'd post about my fast fashion & Sewing.

Despite the fact that I sew, I love to shop, yes, I love to browse through a store and window shop to see whats whats.  During my early days, I'd buy a boatload of rtw pieces and then have buyers remorse,  Why... because what I ended up lugging home was not worth the fast fashion thirst.  It wasn't about the quality of the garment, but the fact that the garment did not quench my thirst a/k/a it did not fit into my wardrobe routine.

What is a wardrobe routine you say?  It's certain colors or style lines that I gravitate to time and time again.  Of course, I would purchase something with the thought that this new and improved silhouette would be the bees-knees among my wardrobe routine.  However, once I'd get home and anxiously try on the garment, it became "what-the-hell-was-I-thinking".  My go-to wardrobe routine are simple silhouettes that pair well with me-mades, rtw pieces or pairs well with my suits.

Hand crocheted sweater with a loft skirt $9.88,
 then worn again with a $9.99 dress barn microsuede skirt

Walmart tank top paired with a me-made blazer & slacks, then jacket worn again with rtw loft slacks



Fast forward and the last couple of years I've matured shopping wise.  I now shop with a plan and only shop with a certain criteria in place, fit, color, minor adjustments, versatile & price.  Of course, like most sewistas, while browsing a store the mind-mantra is I can make that.  However, I am of the mind I ain't, yes I said ain't in the mood for sewing e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g., if  a rtw garment fits my criteria it's going home with me.  Mostly, I shop for blazers/jackets, but have branched out to skirts, tops and sometimes slacks.  Dresses are a rarity, but having a daughter that loves to shop and find it in her heart and soul to buy for me, she has been successful in the dress department.

Dress compliments of my daughter + love the print + fit +  $3.99 = priceless.


rtw tahari blazer + walmart tank top + and ellen tracey pencil pants = $43.00 outfit

 As for tailored garments, I have acquired a collection of suits that have stood the test of time and still going strong.  So I focus on rtw orphan pieces that I can pair with some of my me-mades and tailored orphan pieces like pants, blazers and skirts.


Butterick 6065 paired with rtw loft slacks + somebody's jeans = priceless

What really heighten my purchasing power is when I pair a rtw with a me-made... its like boom.com... this purchase was so worth it.

New Look 6351, paired with a refashioned $25.00 tahari blazer  + $1.68 walmart tank top = a match made in heaven





Of course, there is an instance or two that I luck upon or my daughter lucks upon rtw garments or two that just flows together effortlessly.

Mandee bomber jacket $6.99 purchased in 2016 + $3.50 roll back walmart velvet lace tank top + a $3.99 faux leather skirt compliments of my daugher = perfect OOTD.




Before I end this random post, I've heard the common words ... how can you shop rtw... most items don't fit well.  Well let me tell you, sometimes that's the case for me too.  However, I again, have a criteria in place.  I've learned that I am not just one size, i.e. when I buy a blazer, I take into consideration the silhouette.  If its a princess cut blazer, I go up a size,  and if it's a full cut blazer, I go down a size.  With those parameters in place I luck upon a near perfect fit that may only require minor adjustments.  Those minor adjustments will not take the time it would take to sew from scratch.  Most times I may need to just shorten the sleeves on a blazer/jacket or pant or skirt.

With that my friends is my fast fashion, sewing & tonight's dinner...


Sesame garlic roasted wings with oven baked broccoli florets tossed w/ roasted garlic & herb seasoning/olive oil.


Until then,
Have a Great Week!







1/13/18

New Look 6351 Pant Palooza

Hello.. Hello... Helllllo... its the weekend !!!!.  Has anyone noticed there is a hint of day light still hanging around at 5:00pm.  I noticed it this week and loving it.

Also, with the weekend at my fingerstips time to sew up another make of my favorite pattern New Look 6351.


For years, I followed the rules of always wear a printed top with dark bottoms.  As well as avoided wearing something bright or printed on my lower half for fear of it being unflattering.  After 30+ years in corporate dress code, a few years ago, decided it's my time. Having followed the rules long enough, decided I needed to add some unexpected pizazz to my collection of standard tailored pants.

In come New Look 6351, offering the comfort elastic waistband and a straight silhouette to jump start that unexpected pant pizazz.


This pattern has been my go-to since 2015 and after modifying the fit from a pair of rtw pant, it has been nonstop. 


Soft grey poly-cotton


Purple Plaid poly-cotton


Tartan plaid poly-linen fabric





Dark grey suiting with a vest from the same fabric.




Lt blue stretch denim 



This pair of pants has stretch silk lining and feels so good against my skin. I only had 2 cuts of stretch silk fabric, used that up and must buy more. My other pants I used 2 way knit for the lining in absence of the stretch silk. 

Love the ease of construction and of course the elastic waistband. The pocket is cool too, it's just a large square that is attached to front and back of pant from waist. Then folded to inside when sewing the side seams together and pocket bottom sewn together.  Also, I modified the waistband by opting out of a pull string, doubled the height of the waistband and use 1.5 or 2" elastic.


Fast forward and still going strong with NL6351 into 2018.  Currently on the sewing table is a navy stretch corduroy.  I'd lucked up on Joann's holiday door buster and purchased 14 cuts of fabric for pant making.

Cranberry red microsuede, from Joanns and looooooooooooove this fabric, it washed/dried and sewed up beautifully and unlined.


Beige microsuede



Plaid rayon and must say this fabric is soooooo thin. After initially just serging the seams, the serged stitches frayed from the seams.  I was beside myself, ended up straight stitching the seams,  serged and stitched down seam allowance. For the crotch I triple stitched and fully lined.  Yes, overkill, but I was dayuummm if I was going to let this be a wadder.

Floral stretch corduroy that washed and dried nicely with minimal ironing.  Sewed up very nicely.

Plaid acrylic and love the way it handled after pretreating & sewing it.   However, after a 8 hr day of wear, it has some tiny pilling going-on.

After making several in woven, I wanted a few in knit and being the lazy sewista that I am, I decided I would gamble with using the same size 14 for both woven and knits.  The difference comes in when I sew them, I use a 5/8" seam allowance for the 4 way knit w/ 2 back waist darts and 3/8" seam allowance for the woven. There are some instances wherein with certain 2 way knits with minimal stretch I will go with a 1/2" seam allowance. For the crotch on all fabrics I go with a 3/8" seam, after an earlier version did not comfortably afford sitting ease.  There's not much else I can say to convince you that this pattern is a winner.

My plan for this year is to sew the other versions of NL 6351 and hoping they too will become TnTs.



Until then,
Have A Great Weekend!









1/7/18

McCalls Activewear Love

Hello All, hoping everyone is enjoying the weekend.  I'm sure everyone is calming down from the holidays and settling in the New Year... I certainly am.

Thought I'd take a moment, while my black charcoal face mask cures and as my recently washed make-up brushes dry to share my love of activewear, versatility & sewing challenges.

I started a year ago, sewing my activewear.  It was borne out of my old activewear finally succumbing to years of wear & tear and the few new items I'd purchased showing loose threads and popped stitches.  Natural thing to do as a sewista, make your own.  Of course, there was trial & error in the process of creating them, baggy knee syndrome, loosey goosey neckline, too tight waistband and so forth.  However, I pressed on and have tweaked the fit and so far have been successful with my lil activewear collection.

Favorite Patterns: 
M7261 is my all time favorite and has become a tnt.





McCalls 7578


Newest pattern to sew was



I've also used pajama top patterns, as well as traced off existing activewear to create a few pieces.



What I've come to love about sewing my activewear is the motivation it gives me to workout and the use of colors to heighten it.  Also my activewear is versatile, with all of the fabric being knit may it be 2way or 4way, its comfortable enough to lounge in and perfect for on the go, may it be to the grocery store, library, post office or any quick errand.



With time I've come to learn that not all knits are alike, and my sewing arsenal of machines taught me.  Most of my activewear are sewn on my brother serger.  Some knits that are paired with stretch lace or mesh lace behave better with my kenmore sewing machine with zig zag stitches and finished off with my kenmore serger.  Other makes have faired better with my janome coverstitch.  So I have come to test the fabric before going full throttle with my project.


 Also, I have to play musical threads, some of  my machines like regular thread when sewing knits, another may prefer stretch maxi lock in the bobbin and regular thread on top, and the other prefer a combo of serger thread & wooly nylon.



Oh I can't forget, there is also the needle issues.  My kenmore serger prefers sewing machines needles instead of overlock needles, the Janome coverstitch only likes schmetz 90/14 needles, brother serger, which is approaching a year old has the original needles it came with.  With all that said, I at times have to swap out needles according to my machine behavior and the knit I'm sewing.  Calling for constant fabric/needle/thread checking before diving into my project.




Although, I have all the dos & don't of when sewing activewear, I still run into issues, but as with anything... sh*t happens.  Like this project, I like to call it crushed velveta.  When I pretreated the fabric I had a bunch of fluff stuck to the bottom of my washing machine, then when I dried it there was fluff making an exodus from the dryer.  I was like what the samhell is this.  However, I always like a challenge and pressed on with sewing it up.  The fabric used was a black crush-like velvetsomethingorother from walmart for $1.50/yd and the stripe remnant from Family Fabric @ $8.99/yd.  Honestly, the pair sewed well together, however, the fabrics did not take to decorative zig zag stitch, yielding a ripple catastrophe.  Then I added insult to injury by pressing the hell out of the top to smooth the ripples and obliterating the color and texture of the crushed velveta fabric.


However, the fit was comfortable and makes for comfy loungewear.  Off to figure out my next activewear venture.

Until then,

Have A Great Sunday !







12/12/17

The Last Stitch Sewing Activewear Book

Hello Everyone  !!!!  Hoping your Holiday was a Great One.  This year Thanksgiving was quiet, and whispering aloud that I truly enjoyed it.  Now I know I will experience some whiplash when my family reads this...lol

While I'm waiting for the impending whiplash... 

I am excitedly sharing some Awesome News.  We are all into the wellness lifestyle with exercising and eating right.  Well let's take it a step further... sewing your own activewear !!  I've  created a nice collection of activewear and it has definitely heightened my workout factor.  Matter of fact, sewing your own activewear not only rocks, but sporting it as athleisure makes it versatile too.

 Johanna of The Last Stitch's Sewing Activewear Book has launched!!!! There is a wealth of information to learn from.  Even for me.  



Please walk over....  matter of fact run to her site and check out snippets from her book and then click to order.  Yes, click to order, because the content offered will have you thirsty for creating your own fabulous activewear.  She has tips and tricks to help you sew your activewear collection.  Yes, collection, once you make one... you are going to want another and another.

Also, once you get your Sewing Activewear Book, and after feasting on the content, there you will find me.......... sharing a lil about me.


It was such an Honor and Shouting out to Johanna... You did an Awesome Job... your book has opened my eyes to so much more activewear possibilities.


Thank You!!!