Lauren's Virtual World

Monday, July 30, 2012

In the Sewing Room

So whats up next in the sewing room?  I could of course knock out a few UFOs  (I think I’m at 5 right now), but what’s the fun in that, lol.

I promised myself that after I finished that green cowl top, I would finally start my shorts.  So yay! The shorts are finally up next. I’m a little scared because I’ve sworn off pleated fronts, but what the hell, I’m feeling a little adventurous. I must be really crazy because it has an elastic waistband too. But I have this image in my head about how awesome it will look, lol.


I know some complain about Simplicity and New Look, but usually have good results with them. My main issues mostly occur with Vogue/Butterick/McCalls instead.  I really love how Simplicity always has the finished measurements on their pattern envelopes and clearly on their pattern pieces. Plus, they use better tissue.  Of course this is all just my opinion so take it how you will.

I also plan to work on a Burda jacket from the 7/2010 issue because I want to enter the Lined Jacket Contest on PR.  Seriously, how cute is this jacket!

Well that’s all for now.  Hopefully, I will have some cool new shorts to show you soon. I have my fingers crossed that they will come out cute.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Finally!- Vogue 1282

Pattern: Vogue 1282

Finished Photo:






Fabric Used: Modal/ Spandex Jersey.  The color is emerald green, not turquoise like it looks in the picture.

Pattern Notes:

I can’t believe how long it took me to finish this.  I cut this out in March and it’s been mocking me from the UFO pile until now.  It was supposed to go with the skirt I posted about earlier this week.  Although the green looks great with the green in the skirt, the styles don’t really go that well.

Needless to say, I already griped about this pattern before.  So if you’ve been reading you already know how I feel about it.

Overall, I just think the pattern and instructions were kind of sloppy and could’ve been better.  I raised the neckline by 4” and took out 8” (4” on each side) total in the upper center back.  It was a PITA to blend that into to the center back seam and make the back facing lay nicely.  Also, the armholes are way too low.  I debated on raising them.  But since there wasn’t a side seam, it would involve making some kind of dart.  The project has been in the UFO pile for so long I just decided to leave it as is and just finish the armholes.  My hem is simply coverstitched.

One thing I do like is how the facing is caught in the armhole finish:


Here’s an inside view to see how it’s constructed:



In the end, I’m still on the fence with this top.  The cowl is cute, but it could benefit from tucks in the shoulder to help with the drape and to it keep it in place.  When I wear it, the drape seems to just pool at the bottom.  Also, it doesn’t have much appeal from the back.  I really need to wear it for a day to see how I really feel about it.

Do I recommend it?  Not really.  There are only four seams: the center back, center front, and two armholes.  And something is wrong with each one!  Also, I feel the instructions are lacking.  I would only recommend this pattern if you really love the style and just have to have it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

BWOF Skirt 3/07 111

Pattern Used:  BWOF 3/07 111


Finished Skirt:

Fabric Used:  Printed textured cotton woven

Pattern Notes:  The pattern was well drafted and I didn’t have any issues with it.  The only change I made was to shorted it by 2”.

Construction notes:  I sew a lot with Burda Magazine, so I’m pretty used to just skimming the instructions.  The skirt was pretty straight forward to sew. 

Since this skirt is high waisted and uses a facing instead of a waistband, I stayed the waist with firm interfacing


I also used two buttons at the top for extra security. 


The ruffled bottom calls for tiny pleats!  Yeah right, mine is just gathered, lol.


Another Peek Inside:


Conclusion:  Another winner for Burda.  I feel sexy and classy all at the same time in this.  It’s been my most worn skirt of the summer.  Plus it goes with so many things- taupe, green, blue, and white.  You can’t beat the versatility.

Friday, July 20, 2012

More Undies

I’ve been busy with more lingerie.  Here’s a string bikini style that I drafted from a pair of RTW panties that fit well.

Fabric/ Materials:  Jersey scraps, stretch lace trim, and picot edge elastic

First Pair:


It’s kinda weird to have a pair of panties made out of the exact same fabric as one of my dresses.

Construction details:




Second Pair:

Here’s the second pair w/ the cami from KS 2467. 


Love the panties, hate the cami. I’m kinda bummed that I used the last of my jersey and lace to make this.

I don’t blame the pattern, b/c it is well drafted and it looks like the pattern picture. It’s just doesn’t work for me. The tucks look terrible and the triangle shape where the cups meet the bodice just make the girls look droopy. I think this one is probably better suited for a smaller bust. I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep or toss the cami. It looks terrible on me, but it feels soft and comfy.

Construction Details:




Overall, I’m happy with both pairs of panties.  I really couldn’t believe how quick and easy they are to make.  I can’t see myself ever buying RTW panties again. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fun with Stretch Lace

I’ve been wanting to make lingerie for awhile, but all the notions, fabrics, and techniques seamed a little overwhelming to learn.  To start me off, I placed an order to  I ordered a Stretch Lace Value Pack, a real bra pattern, 2 bra kits, and some samples.  The Stretch Lace Value Pack was awesome! 


Lots and lots of stretch lace in all different widths and colors.

Here’s what I’ve done with it so far:


I made a white set, a light pink set, and a pair of coral panties.

Pattern Used: Kwik Sew 3167

Construction Details:



Kwik Sew always has great instructions, but I did my seams a little different.  I did a narrow zigzag to sew the seam.  I then moved the seam allowance to one side, and topstitched it down with a wide zigzag.  I like the way it came out.

Lace Attached:


I followed the instructions by topstitching with a wide zigzag to attach the lace.  The panty portions are cotton jersey from the stash.  I just happened to have really nice, soft jersey to match all pieces.  I love when that happens.

Wrong Side View:




The pattern calls for using jersey straps, but I wasn’t sure that was the way I wanted to go.  I had some elastic from an elastic bag from Fabricmart.  For the white set, I wrapped lace around picot trimmed elastic.  The pink set I used fold over elastic that matched and used the 3 step zig zag to close it.  I love the white straps, but I’m not happy with the pink strap.  But I guess that’s how you learn, by experimenting.

Pattern Notes:

This pattern is a really great pattern.  Everything came together nicely and it was well drafted.  Another bonus, for me atleast, is that the cups fit!  I’m D cup and the size medium was perfect.  That probably means if you are an A or B cup, you will have to make some adjustments.

This also is the most comfortable thong I’ve ever worn.  It’s nice and skinny and I was able to make it the length perfect for me.  I only had to shorted it by 1”.  I think the suggested lace width make too high panties.  The coral pair is from 3” wide lace, and it’s the perfect rise, IMO.  Either way, I love all pair.  They’re comfy and best of all seamless.  They’re invisible even under my slinkiest knits.

Kwik Sew always has great directions and this pattern is no exception.  They are very detailed and they leave you with a clean finish.  They even provide instructions for using a serger and a sewing machine.

Conclusion:  Great pattern!  I can’t wait to try some of the other views.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

FNSI Results

Okay, so I decided to just finish up Vogue 1282 instead of working on my shorts.  It’s always nice to knock out a UFO. So my goal was to finish it, and ofcourse, I didn’t.  I spent too long trying to fix the cb seam- the only seam- at the neck.  Plus it has a cut on facing so….  Well anyways, I ended up taking out about 8” at the cb neck.  No, I am not kidding.  And I had to blend it into the rest of the seam.  Well, it’s almost finished.  I decided to just step away because it was late and I was starting to get sloppy b/c I was annoyed.  Everything is done except for the armholes.  I also might go back and fine tune the cb/facing thing a little more.  Here’s the status:

Front and Back:


I also made a quick, no pattern maxi skirt for my sister.  She came to the fabric store with me and liked this fabric. 



That’s all I got.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FNSI- Tonight is the Night!

I’m participating in Friday Night Sew In again.  It’s a great way to make myself set aside time to get some sewing done.  Then I get to share what I’ve done the next day with my virtual sewing sisters.  And of course I get to see what they’ve worked on as well.  If you want to join in, you can sign up at Handmade by Heidi.

Now the question is- what to work on?  I have the top to Vogue 1282 sitting in my UFO pile waiting to be finished.  It’s been there since April.  That’s pretty ridiculous since it’s a pretty easy pattern.  The problem is that the instructions/ finishing techniques suck and I just don’t want to deal with it.  I know many people love Mcall/ Vogue/ Butterick, but I’m really close to being thru with them.  Yes, I love my top from V1259, but, they just really need to work on their instructions and drafting.  I actually have a lot of gripes with that pattern too.

My other option is to start the shorts from Simplicity 1808.  The shorts have been on my to sew list for awhile now.  I saw some great versions sewn here.  So of course now I really wanna sew mine, lol. 

Hmm, start something new or finish a UFO?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review Burda 9500

Okay so I initially set out to make jeans for T b/c I hate skinnies.  And then she told me that she only liked skinnies.  I decided what the heck, I might as well try out some skinnies.  Plus it’s great practice because I eventually do want to make some jeans for myself. 

Pattern: Burda 9500


Finished Jeans:


Fabric: Stretch Denim

I used rhinestone rivets.  How cute are those!  You know little girls love sparkly things.


Pattern Notes:

I had some issues with this pattern.  First, the back (butt) is way too small.  I guess this is good if you have a really thin child.  I increased the back rise, did a full butt adjustment, and added a little at the hips, and the back is still too small.  The rise needs to be increased even more.

Also, this pattern has the wierdest fly ever.  Its way too long and wide.  I just redid the fly, including the marking on the CF to something that made more sense.

I also added buttonhole elastic to make the waistband adjustable- which is a must with kids.  I’ve been stealing them from old jeans.  Can you believe my local fabric store is charging $5/ yard for buttonhole elastic!

Besides that, everything else was great.

Conclusion:  I really like the pattern.  The butt and fly are just plain weird, but I still recommend the pattern.  And honestly, I can’t think of any other skinny jean patterns for girls anyways.  After the quick adjustments, you come up with a pair of really cute jeans. 

I have redeemed myself, these are T’s favorite jeans and she wears them as soon as they are clean again.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: BWOF 11/05 137

I do try to finish most of what I start, and didn’t want to leave anyone hanging on how the jeans I traced back in December turned out.

Pattern Used: BWOF 11/05 137


Finished Jeans:


Fabric Used: 100% cotton denim, I bleached them at home to try to play around w/ a washed look



I used two buttons with an extended tab on the front.


Elastic Adjustable Waist:


I’m not sure if the pattern included some kind of elastic because I wasn’t sure what the directions and markings meant.  I just used a pair of older jeans that T grew out to figure out how to do it.  Plus I stole the elastic, buttons, and zipper, lol.  It’s a great way to save on notions.

Cuff with binding:


Not sure if this is silly or not, but I thought it was cute.  I made cuffs for the pants so she could grow into them.  To make the edge more decorative, I used a binding for the seam finish.

I don’t have much to say about the pattern besides that it is well drafted which is what I have come to expect from Burda.  The only design adjustment I made was for the extended tab with double buttons and cuffs.  The only other alterations were fit adjustments for Tina.

Construction Notes:

These are officially my first pair of jeans.  I used a pair of T’s old jeans to try to figure out the construction.  Some things worked and some didn’t.  I couldn’t figure out the fly so I just stuck with the ole Sandra Betzina style zipper with some added toptstiching, but it’s not authentic.  I also had trouble with sewing all the bar tacks the way they are on true jeans because all the bulk and heavy jeans thread.  I probably need real industrial equipment to handle it.  My machine actually made me proud and handled it, but it took too much time figuring out the proper adjustments to get it right.  In the future I will just do regular topstitching for the belt loops and other areas that I had trouble with.

More photos just for fun:

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She really likes to have fun with poses, lol.

Conclusion:  I am very happy with the results but T doesn’t like them!  She only wants skinnies. Can you believe that!  She only wears them when they are the last jeans clean, lol. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Kwik Sew 2725

FYI, Kwik Sew 2725 and 2754 are the same pattern, just different sizes.  I don’t get why they do that.


Fabric Used:  Nylon/spandex Leotard fabric

Construction Notes:

I had some constructions issues.  I wanted to have a ready to wear look and use my coverstitch but she was not behaving.  I couldn’t get the tension right for the life of me.  I tried all kinds of things and the underside just kept coming out really loopy. It looked fine on the outside, but the loopiness on the inside was really bothering me.  I finally decided that life was too short and I just used the 3 step zig zag (or elastic) stitch.

Here’s what it looks like on your machine:


And on the garment:


Here’s the inside.  I think it looks pretty clean, but of course that is personal preference.

The 3 step zig zag stitch is my new favorite stitch.  It’s amazing!  And I’m not kidding, lol.  I used it to attach my elastic ( I used 1/4” braided elastic) to the wrong side, then, I flipped it over and finished with another 3 step zig zag stich on top.  Fast, quick, easy, and super stretchy.  To be honest, I actually prefer this to the RTW coverstitching.  It just feels more secure- to me at least.

This pattern is awesome!  It fit all the girls perfect right out the package.  I only had to do pattern alterations for one girl who had wildly different measurements outside standard sizes.  The fact that it fit so many girls and body types was awesome. 

Conclusion:  I highly recommend this pattern!  Patterns are supposed to make our sewing easier and this pattern did just that.  I will definitely keep this as my go to leotard pattern.  If you have a girl in dance or gymnastics, this leotard is a must have.