The Aloha Sorbetto – The top I love to hate!

Since winter seems to be dragging on and on this year, I decided I needed a project to bring a little bit of sun into the home.  Enter the cute grey, tan, green, and orange hibiscus printed cotton I found at the fabric store yesterday.  I have been wanting to take the plunge and make the Colette Sorbetto top as well, since half of the internet has made it.  I just wish I took the time to read some pattern reviews before I cut into my aloha fabric!

This shirt was a PITA, for me, as a beginner.  I have been avoiding all patterns with zippers, since the zipper fiasco of 2014.  I have also been avoiding patterns with bias tape – as it intimidates me for reasons I can’t articulate.  I decided to just take the plunge and do a pattern with bias tape because, how else would I learn?

Learn, I did.  I put the bias tape on the collar backwards (?) and had to unpick all the stitches.  Basically, I started the top yesterday afternoon, got to the point of ripping out the bias tape, and realized I needed to just pick it back up the next day.  So I got up bright and early and put the bias tape on the collar again.  I had some issues with the sewing machine becoming mis-threaded during the night (gnomes?) and didn’t realize it until after the giant bird’s nest – in which I had to figure out how to remove the throat plate (all before coffee).  It did give me a chance to clean the inside out and hammer in the fact that I need to cover it up when I am not using it!

Anyways, back to the bias tape – after many ups and downs, and ripping more stitches out – I finally got it on the collar and arm holes.  The shirt, after hemming, is a little shorter than I am comfortable with (which, has been mentioned in a gazillion pattern reviews), which is a shame.  I was planning on wearing this short to work on the next “Aloha Friday”.  I think I can still wear it as long as I wear an undershirt, but I sort of like the feeling of cotton against my skin now.  I converted this past Friday when I wore the paisley shirt at work; it was so comfortable!

So, I will call this a wearable muslin.  I have been working on trying to add a couple of inches to the pattern, which I already had traced out on swedish tracing paper.  It is also a little tight in the bust, which is weird, because I thought Colette Patterns were drafted for a C cup.  Besides the fitting issues – this is my favorite garment so far.  I love the print, the colors, the contrast bias tape, and the design!

Hmm, after seeing the picture of me wearing it, the arms appear a little tight as well.  Maybe I should think about enlarging them?  Man, I wish I knew more about fit.

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My Color Story

My Color Story

I am pretty inept at describing colors, so the following colors are just the names that I call them in my mind. 🙂
I want to really focus on building my wardrobe around this particular set of colors – it is 16 blocks, but it is technically different shades of a handful of colors.

First Row: Neutrals (ivory, khaki/camel, brown, and dark brown)
Second Row: Aquamarine, Teal, Dark Green, Green (avocado?)
Third Row: Peach, Melon, Salmon, Pumpkin Orange
Fourth Row: Rust Orange, Purple, Eggplant, Denim (jeans)

Pajama Shorts Reduex

Pajama Shorts Reduex

The pair on the left was my first attempt for pajama/lounge shorts (for myself – I somehow made hubby a successful pair of boxers). Notice the upside down birds, the terrible length (went with a pattern). I made the other pair this morning, all before noon. I used a self drafted pattern explained in the book One Yard Wonders (Christmas present from my mother in law). These fit WAY better! Plus the birds are the right way! Hubby pointed out that my print doesn’t match at the seam, but I told him that I am not there yet – maybe someday! He said they look much better – than his boxers and my last pair of shorts. I am just happy to see improvement!

First Wearable Woven!

I want a TNT for a basic woven shell.  I saw New Look 6483 at the craft store this weekend, and the “one hour sewing” + “easy” looked promising.  The directions were short (yay!) and it only had four pieces for the sleeveless shells.  I was a bit confused about the front and back facing.  Like, really confused.

Since I had just acquired 13 yards of muslin (I have big plans with finding perfect fits), and started a muslin of the top.  Given the disaster that was Simplicity 1589, I decided to cut a size ten.  First, let’s go back to Simplicity 1589 – it was super cute, and part of their “Learn to Sew” series, so I gave it a go a few weeks ago.  I cut out a size twelve, based on my true measurements, and went to town on some burnt orange linen.  I was working on View A, as I loved the cutout detail.  Well, about six hours later, I had most of a top.

I got hung up on the neck facing and armhole facing, but it’s ok – I didn’t need to figure it out to finish the top as I HATE the way it fits!  It is HUGE and I look like I am wearing a potato sack or circus tent.  The armsythes were too large, and I would not be able to wear the top without another top underneath!  I decided that any woven top I would make in the future would have darts, princess seams, or anything else to make it fitted.

Ok, back on topic.  I was seduced by some multicolor paisley cotton fabric with gold accents – it is so ugly, its pretty!  I had 3/4 a yard, but didn’t know what to do with it – I laid out the pattern and it would fit just right!  I first made most of the top with my muslin.  I got stumped last night with the facings and just basted everything together to get an idea of the fit.  It was a lot better than the circus tent, so I went ahead and cut out the paisley fabric and then went to bed.

I woke up this morning and had an “ah-ha” moment and realized what I needed to do with the facings!  I drank my coffee while stay stitching everything and ironing on my interfacing.  Instead of doing homework, I kept doing a little more on the shirt – until I had to stop and make myself do my homework.  I got back to the shirt, and finished it up.  I am still a bit confused on the stay stitching – it looks like crap and I am pretty sure it isn’t stay stitched!  To finish the seams, I turned the fabric under and edge stitched, but next time – I am going to do french seams, as I think it will be way quicker.

The shirt is done, minus the hem and the button – and I am really happy to have my first wearable woven garment, but I think I am having some fit issues.  I have no idea how to fix said fit issues.

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Self-imposed Limits

Rather than work on some homework today, I procrastinated a bit over at Youlookfab.com, scouring the forums. 

I noticed that a lot of the women who “have it together”, have some sort of limits to their purchasing/acquisition of new clothes and accessories.  Many years ago, I was limited by my parents’ budgets for clothing; then later, I was limited by my meager wages.

Now, I don’t really have any actual limits to my shopping, which I how I got into the overfilled closet nightmare to begin with.  While noticing the trend of personal budgets for clothes, accessories, etc., I thought that it might be a good idea to try it out!  This time last year, I was attempting “shop your closet” and failed.  Then I decided to track just how much I spent on clothes, but after a couple of months – I went back to ignorance is bliss.  I was sort of horrified over how much I was spending, for no real reason, but decided to just ignore the monetary figure and keep purchasing. *shudders*

I did a little bit of research and settled on 5% of my take home pay as my budget.  This is to cover fashion clothing, underthings, fashion shoes, accessories (purses, jewelry, scarves, etc.), makeup, hair and anything else that falls into the “style” category.  When I looked at the lump sum, I didn’t think it was too bad.  I had an “I can do this” mentality.  However, I figured out my monthly average budget and got a little sad.  It might be tougher than I thought!

Now, now, I know what you might be thinking.  “But, I thought she was on a shopping (ready to wear) fast?!”  I am.  I will continue to be – so this year.  I will be including fabric, notions, and patterns into the budget.  This is something that I will probably incorporate annually – as my sewing skills improve – I might be able to stretch the dollar further by making some big ticket items, rather than purchasing them.  (Way, way in the future!)

I hope this will also discourage me from any UFOs, as I only have so much money to buy things for the whole year – I should finish/salvage things and get use out of them!

I will not be including gear in this budget; good workout shoes can be quite pricey, but they are not “fashionable” and I do not wear them outside of the gym.  The same goes with workout apparel (ok, I try not to wear it outside of the gym, but sometimes, I can’t help it) and certain types of hiking/camping/fishing gear.  My convertible Columbia SPF pants, while really useful – are not something I wear outside of certain activities!

Now, I just have to poke around excel and try to create a spreadsheet to track my expenses! 

Turning Daydreams into Reality

I spoke last night of wishing of a closet full of perfect sheath dresses.  I figured there was no better time to start than today!

I have one “easy” sheath dress pattern, McCall’s 6699 (http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6699-products-44755.php?page_id=96) and I have some muslin on hand.  I copied the pattern onto poster board (wow – so much easier to draw the pattern onto the fabric and then cut!)  That way, if I have to make some changes or cut a different size, I have the original pattern, unscathed.  I am a convert to copying the pattern rather than pinning and cutting it.

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I am rather shocked with how easy (so far – but I haven’t gotten to the zipper, pockets, or lining, lol) it is and how quick the bodice came together!  I like how the pattern is sized like a normal pattern but also has cup sizes.  I am between cup sizes, so I went with the larger one for now.  I feel like the bodice might be a little large, but I will have a better idea when I get the skirt attached and install the zipper.

I hope to find some time this week to keep working on it, but school is pretty time demanding, as well as still trying to fit in a good workout every night after work – and before cooking dinner.