Sunday, March 5, 2017

MAGAM March ideas - Red Carpet Dresses

The March theme for MAGAM (Make A Garment A Month) is 'Movie Makes'. I am interpreting this as a grand dress for movie premieres, red carpet, etc. I have been itching to make a grand dress but I have nowhere to wear this type of garment. This MAGAM theme gives me a good excuse to make something completely useless but fun! :-)

I have been gathering special occasion dresses pictures on Pinterest. There are just too many beautiful dresses that I want to make!






















As much as I would love to make every dress I see, I have to have a look at my fabric stash and pattern stash to see what I actually have. I'm not buying anything new to make this grand dress that I have no occasion to wear! Also, considering that I will have lost a good 2 weeks of sewing time this month (1.5 weeks of March break with the kids), I probably won't have a lot of time to draft new patterns and do muslins for the gowns. All of the above dresses will require me to learn something new with this project that is not a straight-out-of-the-pattern type sewing. Some require more drafting and alterations than others. Some of them require more fabric than others. Time to dive into my fabric and pattern stash to have a look.!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Garments - RTW prices

Since I haven't shopped RTW garments/accessories for a long time, and I used all stash fabrics/notions/patterns to make all the Wardrobe Sudoku Contest garments, I thought it might be a fun idea to find out approximately how much I would have to pay for all the garments/accessories that I have made for this contest.

I went online to do a quick check on the sale prices of garments that have a similar look and made with a similar fabric. I concentrated on the items that are on sale because I probably wouldn't have paid full price for those items if I was shopping at the stores. I didn't factor in the 2 pre-sewn garments for this exercise.

1. Red/Green polyester chiffon blouse - approx. $30
2. Red stretch cotton woven slim pants - approx. $40
3. Grey stretch woven slim pants - approx. $50
4. White striped tunic shirt - approx. $45
5. Red floral cotton tunic - approx. $45
6. Large Denim patchwork tote bag - approx. $30
7. Medium Denim patchwork tote bag - approx.$25
8. Large Wool paisley wrap - approx. $55
9. Long green chiffon scarf - approx. $15
10. Grey knit cardigan jacket - approx. $50

So all the items I sewed in the last few weeks with existing materials would have cost me approximately $385 if they were all on sale. That's 2 week's worth of groceries for my entire family! I am just happy that I can make my own garments and garments. But at the same time, I'm quite embarrassed how large my fabric/notion stash really is!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: Final Summary and Outfit photos

This is the last task to finish my entry of the Wardrobe Sudoku Contest. My final Wardrobe Sudoku Composite:

I chose 2 out of the 3 tote bags that I have made this month. I switched out the green suede wedge shoes for the black patent leather heels.

And here are all the outfits from this Wardorbe Sudoku:









I'm pretty happy with this new Spring wardrobe! I think I'll have a great time wearing these outfits. I have enjoyed this process greatly. Initially I thought I wouldn't be able to find enough complementary fabrics/notions, then I thought I wouldn't be able to finish all the garments before the contest deadline. But I realize now that if I plan carefully, sew consistently and not stress too much about it, it can be done! Most important of all, I have used up a lot of my stash fabrics/notions, and depleted some of my to-be-refashioned stash and scraps stash. Yay!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: Last item Red slim pants McCall's 5273

Wow! This is the last piece of garment for the Wardrobe Sudoku Contest. I made a pair of red slim pants a few years ago but I wore and laundered it so much that those pants were falling apart. I had more red stretch woven cotton fabrics in my stash so I decided to make another pair with a slight twist.

I used the same tried and true and tweaked McCall's 5273 that calls for moderate stretch fabrics. I made view C which is an elastic pull-on style. This is my 14th (?) time using this pattern so it all came together really quickly. I added a faux front fly and sewed down permanent narrow pleats in the front leg pieces.


I'm pretty happy with them. I think I'll be wearing these very often in the Spring, Summer and Autumn.

It's such a relief to have completed all the garments for this Wardrobe Sudoku Contest! I was worried that I wouldn't find enough stash fabrics/notions that would go together, and then I was worried that I would run out of time because of the upcoming March Break. I am also very excited to have so many new sewn garments to wear this coming spring, summer, and autumn! I am also very thankful for all the encouragements I have received from my blog friends who cheered me along!

Now I will need to do a photo session with all the different combinations of garments/ accessories for this Wardrobe Sudoku.

My review of this pattern is at PatternReview.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: Accessories

I love making accessories and I wanted to bust my remnant stash by making useful tote bags. Here is my just 1 bag of my very large scraps stash:

I have made lots of bags from these remnants. I find that I can be very creative with the different small pieces of scrap fabrics.  Here are the 3 tote bags that I think will be quite versatile that should go with different outfits:


I need to choose 2 tote bags from this lot to go with my outfits in the Wardrobe Sudoku Contest. Which 2 do you think would be best? Any suggestions for me?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: 2nd Accessory

I was planning on making 2 bags and 2 scarves for this contest. I made the 1st scarf fairly quickly but I was having trouble figuring out what fabrics to use for the 2nd scarf. I dug deep into my fabric stash and found this wool paisley fabric that I bought in the UK in 2002!! 15 years ago! I love the various colours on this fabric. I simply folded over the edges twice and sewed it down to make one big rectangular scarf - 150" x 47".

And it seems to look nice with the new striped shirt I had made:

I'm pretty happy with this. It looks a bit more Autumn than Spring but I'm sure that this is something I will wear.

So now I need to figure out what 2 bags to make and finish the red slim pants for the contest.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: 4th Top New Look 6344 and Simplicity 5204

This is my 4th top for the Wardrobe Sudoku Contest. I found this striped cotton poplin with a slight stretch in my fabric stash. It had been there for years! If it wasn't for this contest, I would have totally forgotten about it. This contest is so great for my stash discovery and stash busting!

I was initially planning to use Simplicity 5204 to make a three quarter sleeves shirt with this fabric:

However, since the last tunic top with New Look 6344 went so well and fit so nicely on me, I decided to do a franken-pattern top. I would use New Look 6344 for the body and Simplicity 5204 for the sleeves. I have previously used Simplicity 5204 for a couple of linen shirts for the office and I liked the faux button up sleeve detail. But I had always dreaded a button up shirt as they tend to pull at the button front (I always end up 'wrestling' with the kids or carrying/moving heavy stuff).

I chose view C of New Look 6344 with the shirt collar and the sleeves of View D in Simplicity 5204. The shirt came together very quickly. I made my usual short waist adjustment. The buttons were also from my stash:

I think it looks fine and I'm pleased with how it turned out. It is versatile enough for the office or casual wear. It is basic enough that I can wear any colours with it. Yay! I have finished making all the tops for this contest! Now I need to concentrate on making the final bottom as well as 3 other accessories to complete the sudoku.

The review of this pattern is at PatternReview.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: 3rd top with New Look 6344

I'm on a roll here! I need to get much sewing done this month because next month I will be busy with March break and spring traveling. I will not have much time to sew next month. For the 3rd top I'm using up this beautiful red and white floral 100% cotton poplin. It has been in my possession for a number of years but I just found it recently. I thought it could make a lovely tunic top with New Look 6344.

I had previously used this pattern for a pyjama top for myself. It was roomy and comfortable but not too loose. I chose View D with View E sleeves. It was lovely to sew on crisp cotton and it came together fairly quickly The pattern has French darts (angled side darts) and side slits. I made my usual short waist adjustment and added a white bias trim (also from my stash) to the neckline to jazz it up a bit:

I think it looks fine. The print is quite busy and I usually don't wear such a busy print. But for spring and summer it should be fine. I'm quite happy with the fit of this pattern. Perhaps I should make more tops with this pattern in the future. There is a little bit of this floral fabric left. I am thinking of making my daughter a top for this summer.

So far, I have made 3 tops, 1 accessory and 1 bottom for this contest. I need to make 1 more top, 1 more bottom and 3 other accessories to complete the sudoku. Fun fun fun!

My review of this pattern is at PatternReview.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: 2nd Top and 1st Accessory

For the 2nd top of this contest, I'm using this thrifted polyester 'art silk' large scarf that I thrifted earlier this year. It has this beautiful wine red that gradually morphs into a lovely green. To showcase the beautiful colours of this fabric, I used my tried and true pullover woven dress pattern - a vintage McCall's 8048 (published probably late 1970's or early 1980's). I thrifted this pattern a while back and had made a number of dresses with this pattern:


1. White tablecloth lace dress






2. Chiffon Scarf to dress

This time I wanted to make a tunic and not a dress. So I just reduce the length and here is how it turned out:

I also got a green scarf out of this fabric by cutting a long rectangle and serging the edges with black thread:

I really like the look of these 2 garments I made. I got a lovely top and a lovely accessory out of this large thrifted scarf. I still have some remnant of that scarf left for trims and embellishments. So for this contest, I'm now 4 down 6 more to go! Yay!

The review of this sewing pattern is at PatternReview.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: 1st top Butterick 5053

As my serger is still threaded with black and grey threads, I proceeded to sew the next garment that required these threads. My first top for this contest is this mixed moderate stretch knit cardigan/jacket/top. I have had these 2 knits for a while and I have made other garments with them before.

With the striped polyester knit I made The Irene Adler dress:


With the black/white check cotton knit I made:

1. Checked leggings

2. Checked dress

I have used Butterick 5053 once when I was pregnant. I modified the cardi/jacket pattern to allow lots of room at the tummy area and made a fleece jacket with it. I wore that jacket almost daily as my belly grew larger and larger. I still wear this often in the house during colder months. :


I had chosen size M (10-12) according to the envelope back information. I used the checkered knit for the body and the back of the striped knit for the sleeves and collar according to the yardage I had. It came together fairly quickly. I omitted the cuffs because I thought they would be too long for my arms. I made my usual short waist adjustment. I tried the initial jacket on. Boy it was really loose! I had to take off a good 5 cm off each side seams, as well as a good 3cm off the sleeve width. I understood that I was using a moderate stretch knit instead of a woven non-stretch fabric. But the looseness still really surprised me.

After trimming and trying it on a few times, this is how it looked in the end:

I had initially made a self-belt but it looked too much like I was going to a Karate tournament. So I used a thrifted belt for the photo above. I think it looked okay but I have to be really careful what I wear with this jacket to not look like I'm doing Asian martial arts. It's a good weight for the late Spring and early Autumn weather. I'm extremely happy that I busted some major fabric stash! The remnants of these 2 fabrics are now only good for trims or other embellishment details. So 2 garments down, 7 more to go!

My review of this pattern is on PatternReview.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest 2017 Composite 1

Someone on PatternReview.com reminded me that I was supposed to post a composite of my plan for this contest before I started sewing and posting about the actual garments. So I quickly put this picture together:
I haven't decided on the accessories and one of the footwears yet. I'll keep this grid updated as I sew along. All the footwear so far are thrifted from my local thrift stores over the years.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Wardrobe Sudoku Contest: 1st bottom McCall's 5273

I was initially planning to sew the tops first for this contest. But as I'm lazy, I saw that my serger was already threaded with grey and black threads, so I decided to make the grey stretch woven 'yoga comfort business pants' first.

I used my tried and true McCall's 5273 (for moderate stretch fabrics) for these pants. This must be the 12th time I have used this pattern! I chose View C with the elastic waist, which I have modified to fit my body (sway back, flat behind, short waist in the front, etc). I was going to add a welt pocket at the right back but thought it might make the close fitting pants too 'bumpy' at the bum. I can always add that later if I change my mind. I added a mock fly front.

Whoops! I splashed some water on the pants!

I need to clean the camera lens!

They are super comfortable and the colour and texture of these elastic stretch poly woven pants makes them versatile enough for office or casual wear. I'm really pleased with these pants and I'm even more pleased that I used all stash fabric/notions with them. One down, 7 more to go!

My review of this pattern is on PatternReview.