Thursday, April 23, 2015

More sparkle!!! M6752

Apparently, I was totally feelin' the sparkle for my recent trip to Las Vegas, because in addition to the sequin top and sparkle dress, I made this:

M6752, and another front view... I really like this top

The top is McCall's 6752, view A. I love the style and shape of the top and dig the zipper detail. The kimono sleeves seemed like a great fit for the fabric as well (less stripe matching!). The fabric is a 100% polyester jersey knit from

M6752, front view

I cut a size 16. My only alteration was to lengthen the bodice 1.5".

M6752, back view

The instructions were very straightforward. I did add a couple steps (as I have been wont to do lately with knits):
  • Used knit stay tap along the back neck edge.
  • Stabilized the shoulders with nylon stay tape.

M6752, zipper detail

I attempted to match the stripes on either side of the zipper. It kind of worked. I particularly love the zipper detail. It is something just a little different and it gives the top a bit of edge. I dig it! I can totally see myself making this top again at some point.

The skirt I've paired the top with here is Kwik Sew 3765, which I made back in 2012. Love this skirt!

M6752, another front view

Chevron sparkle, FTW!!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

V8961 - Vegas dress!

On my Vegas trip, my friends and I did the "Sin City Club Crawl" party bus. Quite the experience! This is what I wore (including the shoes, which I was kind of regretting by the end of the night... considering it was a party bus, there was a lot of walking involved!):

V8961, front view

This is Vogue 8961, View B. I cut a size 16. The fabric is "Metallic Glitter Stretch Slinky Knit Black/Violet Pink" (ha! that's a mouthful!) from This fabric just kind of begged for a disco-mama kind of dress, and this pattern's silhouette really seemed to fit the bill.

V8961, back view

Alterations included lengthening the bodice by 1.5" and shortening the skirt by 1". Because of the thinness of the fabric, I went ahead and lined the skirt as well.

V8961, side view

Construction-wise, I pretty much just followed the directions (which were very straightforward and easy to follow), but added in a couple of additional steps. I stabilized the shoulder seams with some nylon stay tape, and added knit stay tape around the neckline ("Extremely Fine Fusible" from SewKeysE). Because the fabric was knit (the pattern is actually designed for a woven), I used a knit stitch throughout and I finished the skirt hems with my coverstitch machine.

V8961, neck topstitching detail

In addition, I went ahead and topstitched the neck facings, because I just envisioned lots of floppiness otherwise.

V8961, sleeve detail collage

I like the gathered sleeve detail on this dress, and am happy with how clean it looks on the inside as well.

This dress was easy to put together, very comfy to wear and it totally met my disco-mama vision. I call it a WIN!

Finally, here's a flash picture, so you can get an idea of the sparkleliciousness:

V8961, sparkle view

Woo! Sparkle!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Kwik Sew 3740: My sequin salvage project

So after the debacle that was my sequin dress, I managed to salvage some of the fabric by taking it all apart and then using the pieces to cut out Kwik Sew 3740, View B, a tank top.

Kwik Sew 3740, front view

This one worked out MUCH better, thank goodness!

Kwik Sew 3740, on-the-hanger collage of outside and inside views

The fabulous kitty print sequin mesh fabric is from Gorgeous Fabrics. For the lining, I used a 70 Denier Poly/Lycra jersey knit in "Kona Coffee," also from Gorgeous Fabrics. I think they paired pretty well.

Kwik Sew 3740, understitching detail

I cut a size large and lengthened it by 2", adding at the Shorten/Lengthen mark. While I didn't do anything else with regards to alterations for fit, one major change I did make was to fully line the top. I used the instructions from Vogue 1351 as a guide for lining, including the handstitching at the shoulders to finish the lining and then understitching the neck and arm edges (as shown in the detail pic above).

Kwik Sew 3740, back view

After the dress, and seeing this top, I am beginning to think I need to try adding a swayback adjustment to my repertoire. I think most of my me-made clothes have the excess fabric at the lower back-- but the sequins exaggerate the issue to the point where I am definitely going to research it for projects in the future. Because why have pooling fabric if I don't have to?

A couple of other construction changes were to stabilize the shoulders with nylon stay tape, and then the neck edge with fusible knit stay tape (I used the "Extremely Fine Fusible" from SewkeysE-- it is pretty snazzy stuff!).

In order to keep the finish on the outside as clean as possible, I used a double-sided fusible tape to secure the hem. I used my cover-stitch machine to hem the lining.

Kwik Sew 3740, front side view

A few things I learned about sequins in this process:
  • They don't drape so hot.
  • They are on the delicate side and if you rub against them too hard (or are not careful enough putting on your coat), they can come off.
  • Also, they are not exactly comfy to wear... the edges of the garment definitely chafe.
So I made this top for my Las Vegas trip, because, you know, SPARKLE! But then I didn't even wear it. No worries though. I had bookgroup this week and totally rocked my sequin top there. Because bookgroup is pretty much the next best thing to Vegas.

Kwik Sew 3740, side view


Friday, April 3, 2015

March got away from me!

Yikes! March was crazy sauce. Where did it even go??? While I apparently failed to blog, I did manage to do some making-- including some fun clothes for my end-of-month trip to Las Vegas (which was Awesome!!! with a capital 'A'). Once I get them laundered (they have some Vegas stench going on at this point), I'll take pictures to share.

In the meantime, I finally had the opportunity to gift the baby quilt I finished at the beginning of the year!

Kitten Play, front

This is another happy design from the book Crazy for Baby by Me & My Sister Designs. Can you believe this is my third quilt from this book? (See: quilt one, quilt two) Clearly, I am a fan.

Kitten Play, quilting detail, front side

The pattern is called, "Crazy for Baby," but I am calling this one "Kitten Play"-- because, KITTIES! The kitty print is "Paris Paws" from Alexander Henry. So cute.

Kitten Play, quilting detail, back side

Through the center, my quilting was inspired by Natalia Bonner's book, Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting, and her "Loops and Poppies" design. Then I tried to balance the curvy quilting with straight-line action in the pieced border sections. I did a little poppy-loop chain through the kitty border. I think it all worked together really well. Auriful Mako 50/2 thread was used for all of the quilting (I'm pretty sure I used #2423, "Baby Pink" throughout).

Kitten Play, back

I'm running out of big pieces in the stash, so it's all about the pieced back lately. The beautiful solid in there is Flamingo Pink from Northcott (note to self: get more!).

Kitten Play, label

I especially like the label on this one. Cuteness!

Kitten Play, front side view

And baby Rina and mama love their new quilt!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Block do-over


my do-over Moda Building Blocks block 8

This time, with focused attention to accurate 1/4" seams and using the "no-waste flying geese" method (which meant less bias edge contention and increased accuracy), the finished block measures 18.5". And I like this turquoise fabric even better. So it is a win!

Meanwhile, I am nearly done with a sequin tank top made from the failed dress parts. A little bit of hand stitching and some hems to go. I'm feeling the garment bug right now, so I think I'll focus on clothing for a bit. I've traced a few patterns and look forward to getting some cutting done soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's a skill building kind of weekend!

Not every idea is a winner. In this case, I think my concept was good, but I ran into some issues with execution.

sequin dress mashup plan

The idea was to make a happy sparkly dress for my trip to Las Vegas next month (woo!). I found some beautiful feline-esque sequin mesh at Gorgeous Fabrics that I decided I needed to have. After much deliberation, I had a vision of a cowl neck and a straight skirt. So I combined two patterns that I have successfully made in the past (my mashup plan is pictured above): the Vogue 1351 bodice (for the cowl and the full lining) and the McCall's 6612 skirt (short and straight with no waist seam). What I did not take into consideration was the drape of the fabric (or rather, lack thereof). It should have been obvious, I guess-- but I had a vision and was blinded to anything else. Anyway:

failed sequin dress, front view weirdness

Yeah. It just looks weird!

sequin dress fail, side view of crazy cowl

My first thought was it looked kind of space-age the way it just kind of sticks straight up/out. Ha! (Gah-- I should have sucked in my belly more too... keeping it real here at the Crafty Musings! :P)

I did attempt to mitigate by cutting off the cowl and working to finagle it into a tank-style neckline without undoing everything else. That was a fail too (no pictures of that). So I went nuclear and took it all apart.

fun times picking out stitches from the sequin mesh

Unsewing sequin mesh fabric is about about as much fun as it sounds. But it is done. On the bright side, I have definitely learned some things that (hopefully!) will help me make some better choices. Skill building!

Now to figure out Plan B.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Skill building

As a gift to myself last Christmas, I signed up for a Block-of-the-Month at a local quilt shop, Gathering Fabric. They are offering a beautiful rendition of the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt as their Saturday Sampler this year.

I was all hyped to get going when I picked up my first packet. But after making the first block, I realized this project was going to be a test of my skills!

Moda Modern Building Block, block 8, with my wonky edges highlighed... a whole 1/2-inch too small

My finished block ended up a full 1/2" smaller than it was supposed to. You can see my issue(s) highlighted in the photo above. Gah!!! But-- it was a good eye-opener. This pattern is truly a skill builder, enforcing the importance of accuracy while piecing. There is very little room for error. I think I have been spoiled by the patterns I have been using lately-- relatively simple blocks, lots of "trimming down" to size as you go and whatnot. My piecing skills have definitely gotten a bit rusty (lazy).

With accuracy in mind, I finally dove into my second block paying very careful attention to seam allowances:

Moda Modern Building Block, block 12

Woo! And it is the right size! *happy dance*

Now I'm going to give that first block a do-over. I want to get it right!