4 months ago

Pattern Testing – Anza Jumpsuit

I made a jumpsuit! And I love it, but when I made it and put it on, Shaun saw me and laughed for 2 hours straight. I am not even joking. I am starting to think he really doesn’t understand fashion. Poor lad.

This jumpsuit is a brand new pattern from Itch to Stitch designs. Anza Jumpsuit and Dress was released today and I am very excited to share my version.

I originally signed up to test the dress version. It is a lovely front buttoned V-neck dress that is super easy to throw on and look put together in. I was very excited to jump in, but after sleeping on it for a few nights I realized I actually wanted to give a jumpsuit a try… I was very surprised by this very strange to me urge. I always thought of jumpsuits as very fashion forward and I envisioned them on super fashionable pinterest-worthy ladies who always look like they are having endless coffees, fabulous lives and are always busy looking effortlessly great and fashionable at every time of day and night. This is not who I am, so I didn’t think jumpsuit was for me. Yet, there I was with this insane urge to make a jumpsuit.

After trying to talk myself out of it, I decided why not? I sew after all, if I hate it I’ll just swap the pant part for the skirt part! So I asked Kennis if I could change my assigned dress to jumpsuit and she agreed. I was so happy! My jumpsuit was to become a reality.

For  my fabric I chose to go with Mouse Gray Tencel Twill from Blackbird Fabrics. I bought enough of it as I was thinking of making a super lightweight Kelly Anorak, but changed my mind in favor of Anza Jumpsuit. Not to worry, I did buy enough cotton twill to make Kelly Anorak, so it will still happen in the foreseeable future.

Tencel twill was the perfect choice for this jumpsuit. It is very lightweight and has a beautiful drape. It is also breathable and will be perfect for warmer months. I also really appreciate that it is opaque so no lining is needed. As well as I just love the subtle texture and sheen of the fabric, it almost looks silky. Yet unlike silk, it is a lot easier to work with and it has more weight.

I adjusted the pattern to fit my body. I graded from size 6 at the bust to size 10 at the waist and 12 at the hips. Even though my waist is quite a bit smaller than size 10, I needed to make sure that there was enough width in the waist to get my hips through. The jumpsuit only unbuttons to the waist and then is pulled on through the hips. So if your waist is smaller size than hips, I would recommend not adjusting for it, or making sure that the final measurements of the waist will allow for your hips to slide through. All the extra fabric will be synched in with the elastic anyways. I would think this will not be as essential if you are making a dress version though, as you are likely to be putting it on over your head anyways.

My other adjustments included adding length to the bodice and extending the shoulder. I am tall (5’10”) and I have broad shoulders. So I added 1.5″ to the length of the bodice and 1″ to the shoulder. I also deepened the seat of the pants by scooping out the crotch curve. All of these are very standard adjustments for me.

In hindsight, I should have added more length to the bodice. I didn’t muslin this jumpsuit as in my experience Kennis’ patterns are always on point and I figured I can make it work with loose fit, all the extra seams and pattern parts. Once I basted the top and the bottom pieces together I felt that I could really use an extra 3/4″ in length of the bodice. So my easy solution to this was to simply widen the waistband and attach it as its own piece, instead of Kennis’ unique way to attach waistband on top of the bodice. This worked out great and I am very happy with the result.

Once the jumpsuit was all finished and I tired it on, I decided that I want my extra wide cuff to be a little smaller. So I simply folded it over! That is why my cuff may look slightly different from other testers’ cuffs. I like both options but I felt that on me folded over cuff looked better.

I love this jumpsuit! I simply can not wait till it warms up enough to wear it. It snowed today in Calgary… so it still may be a few weeks for jumpsuit worthy weather.

As I’ve mentioned, Shaun found it hard to appreciate the beauty and fashion forwardness of this jumpsuit. He actually laughed for a couple hours while I paraded around the house in my jumpsuit, while holding a glass of wine and refusing to respond to him, because “I don’t talk to haters”.

Let me tell ya, did I ever feel polished and put together in my get up! Even though my hair hasn’t been washed in days and was beyond dry-shampooing, part of my make up ended up under my eyes and the other part left my face completely earlier in the day, my nail polished was chipped to almost non-existence on some of my nails and my legs weren’t shaved in weeks. But still, I felt beautiful and sophisticated. I even tried to converse in my very choppy and very forgotten French while I sat there sipping wine and ignoring Shaun’s giggling. “Violette à bicyclette” is usually my go-to phrase. I am clearly very cultured.

So my conclusion is jumpsuits make you feel awesome, put together and pinterest worthy. Well, jumpsuits, or wine. Either one will do.

What do you think of the new Anza pattern? Will you be making it? Would it be a dress or jumpsuit? Or may be both?

On that note, I am off to start another week of working.  I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Love,
Anya

 

P.S. This blog post contains affiliate links, but all opinions, as usual, are my own 🙂

4 months ago

Hampton Jean Jacket

You guys! I made a jean jacket!!! You’ve probably seen it on Instagram already but still, I am so pumped about this one.

I am so, so excited to finally write about this jacket! I was so honored when Alina asked me if I would test the Hampton Jean Jacket pattern for her, I agreed right away. When I saw the technical drawings of the jacket I was squealing with excitement.

I have been wanting to make a jean jacket for years. I remember looking at jean jacket patterns back in 2010, but I didn’t want to attempt it yet. I have trouble finding jean jackets that fit me right. Actually just like any other jacket and coat. Ready to wear stuff looks off on me, so much so that I have given up on finding a good fitting jean jacket a while back.

I am not going to tell you that it is a fast and easy project, it is definitely more involved. But! It is very manageable and so rewarding in the end. I have no doubts that anyone can make a jean jacket using this pattern if they are willing to invest some time. I am always impressed by Alina’s drafting and instructions. This pattern is not an exception. It was clearly apparent to me that she spent a very long time thinking over the pattern and coming up with the best ways to put it together and write instructions. You can see and feel Alina’s dedication to her craft in this pattern. It’s quite amazing actually.

It will be an understatement to say that the instruction are very thorough. If the paper could hold my hand, these instructions would be giving me hugs every so often. And I love hugs. Some of the steps are really cool too! I love how both front pockets are assembled.

The amount of pattern pieces can seem a little overwhelming, but I tell ya, once you put together those front and back panels it becomes significantly less scary. And putting together the bodice pieces is very easy.

The instructions tell you to either use flat felt seams, for super clean finish on the inside, or faux felt seams to make it easier. I opted out for faux felt seams. I was on a tight schedule trying to finish the jacket before we left for the weekend and I was also feeling lazy and needed an excuse not to do the actual flat felt seam. It worked out perfectly!

May be on my next jacket I would do flat felt seams, but my topstitched and serger finished seams do not bother me at all. It also sped the whole thing up significantly.

For my denim I chose light wash cotton denim I bought from Blackbird fabrics a long time ago. I bought this denim in black for a pair of Morgan Jeans and I loved it so much I ended up buying it in every color way. I still have a very indigo piece in my stash, waiting for it’s moment.

I love my denim worn in and weathered, so I knew right away I will be distressing the jacket as I put it together. It does take longer to make the garment, but results in a nicer jacket in the end. I sanded every panel and every seam AFTER I stitched it together, but BEFORE topstitching it. This way my topstitching thread stayed intact.

For sanding I used a mixture of power sander and hand held sander. I find that I like having both on hand, but if I had to chose one I would go with hand held sander. It provides for a more accurate and nicer finish. I used 80 grit sandpaper on both. I started off sanding with power sander to soften the fabric, and would finish off with hand held sander. Then do my topstitching. It is definitely a slow process but it is so worth it for that worn in look.

After I put the jacket together I felt that I wanted it to be even more vintage-y looking. I tried bleaching denim samples but it was just lightening up the blue. What I was looking for instead was a greenish or brownish tint to my denim. I toyed around with the idea of throwing my jacket on the driveway and driving over it a few times with my car, but I felt awful doing that to something I just made with so much love!

I started thinking about potentially dyeing my jacket in some sort of low solution of dye to water, but I eventually stumbled upon tea dyeing. I heard about tea dyeing in lingerie making. The idea is to take out the brightness of the white and to give the fabrics and notions a nice off-white tint. This is exactly what I wanted for my jacket! And it was all natural and I could use one of my cooking pots without any issues.

I started off with boiling a water in my biggest pot. Then I added about 10-15 black tea bags to it and let it sit for a few minutes. While the tea was brewing, I made myself some tea as well. Nothing like tea dyeing while drinking tea if you ask me!

My pot was not big enough for my jacket, so I transferred all the water into a bigger plastic bucket. I discarded all the tea bags as I didn’t want them to settle anywhere on the jacket and stain parts of it more than the rest. I held my jacket under running water to make sure it was all wet and then submerged it into my steeped tea mixture.

Using tongs I flipped the jacket around every so often. I want to say every 15 minutes but in reality it was whenever I remembered. The jacket stayed in the tea for about an hour or a little longer. At this time I ran it through a quick wash and hung it to dry.

When the jacket dried I didn’t think much of it until I took a picture of it for comparison. When I put the pictures side by side I was very impressed with the results! This is the exact tint I was looking for.

I will definitely be tea dyeing denim in the future again. The idea here is the more tea bags you use the darker the garment will become. And the same with the length of time you keep it submerged. At the same time, tea dye is not a chemical dye, so I can’t imagine your garment turning full on brown quickly.

To wrap this post up, I am very happy with my Hampton Jean Jacket! It is a fantastic pattern and I definitely recommend it. Alina is doing a very thorough sew-along on her blog right now, and seriously I think it will be really hard to mess this one up. I am very excited to start seeing these jackets popping up on social media soon!

Love,
Anya

P.S. The pictures where I am wearing jeans were taken before tea dyeing the jacket. The pictures in pink skirt were taken after the jacket was dyed.

 

 

5 months ago

Blackwood Cardigan

I have been feeling under the weather for the past few days here which has been slowing down my sewing, but has provided me with opportunities to catch up on blogging! I don’t need to say that this post is overdue. It has been overdue for what feels like months! The testing for this pattern was completed sometime in the beginning of February, and here we are at the beginning of April… Well, better late than never!!

I was over the moon when Helen asked me if I wanted to test Blackwood cardigan pattern. It is Helen’s second pattern. I really appreciate that her patterns are very beginner friendly and have thorough instructions. Yet the garments look anything but simple and both patterns are great wardrobe builders. I am very curious to see where she takes her patterns in the future!

I signed up to test the longer version, view A, but I knew that I would be making both versions and something in the middle in the future. My first Blackwood cardigan I sewed up exactly as per instructions. I chose the size based on my measurements. It is interesting to see that the final garment measurements do not provide the bust circumference. That is simply because the cardigan is not meant to close. It is a layering piece and is meant to be worn open.

For my first try I chose a very inexpensive mustard knit I had in my stash. It is some kind of polyester blend that I scored on sale at FabricLand a few years ago. I loved the color, but I wasn’t a fan of the feel of the fabric on my skin. Making a cardigan out of it seemed to be a perfect way to use this fabric up.

For my second and third versions of the cardigan I chose to shorten both the length of the body by about 5”, and the sleeve by about 1”. This resulted in a cardigan length being somewhere right in between view A and B. I wanted a cardigan to hit my low hip since I noticed that this is my favourite length of a cardigan.

This time around I skipped the pockets since I wanted to make the cardigans really fast. Seriously, when you skip the pockets on the cardigan the whole thing can come together in an hour and a half! It’s that fast.

In hindsight, I wish I left the arm length alone. I love the longer feel of the sleeve and the way it bunches on my wrist, but it is not a deal breaker at all.

When I first made all three cardigans I thought I would be wearing my teal and gray ones more often, but I can not believe how often I have been reaching for the long mustard one! I have been practically living in it on weekends. It is so comfy.

If you are worried to sew with knits, don’t fear! You do not need a serger to make this cardigan. You can make the whole thing on your sewing machine. Helen shows you how to. And if you are still scared, remember, you can skip those pockets to make the whole thing as easy as possible.

I am very impressed with this pattern and overall it is one of y favourite go-to patterns. I am planning to make two more of these for spring and summer season. I am still unsure of the length of each, but I know that I will make at least one view A. Nonetheless, both views are great layering pieces and the greedy side of me really wants one in every colour!

Love,
Anya

9 months ago

Pattern Testing – Panama Tee Dress

This post is a little late. It was meant to come out last week but we left for Portland on Thursday for the weekend, and prior to that I was running around trying to get everything that needed to be done completed. Still, better late than never!

I was one of the lucky ladies chosen to help out with testing the new Panama Tee and Dress pattern by Alina Design Co. Even with a busy reno schedule I couldn’t pass up on an opportunity to test! Luckily it was an easy pattern that can be put together in a couple hours.

Keep reading “Pattern Testing – Panama Tee Dress”

1 year ago

Brook Blossom Skirt

This may be my last catching up post! Although I bet I still have items I haven’t photographed or written about. I’ll get to those,  eventually…

I have posted teaser photos of this skirt on my instagram for a while and finally posted the full “reveal” picture last week. Now, I am finally writing about it! This is the last item in my pattern testing craze I have been on this summer. I swear, there is nothing else I am testing (at the moment of writing this post).

Keep reading “Brook Blossom Skirt”

1 year ago

Pencil Button-Up Skirt

I am in serious catching up mode here. As a matter of fact, I was sure that I have already written all about this skirt! I had to check my posts twice to make sure that I actually didn’t. I do that all the time, I don’t respond to my texts or emails because in my head I already have. Same with blog posts I guess. I’ll do better! Promise.

Keep reading “Pencil Button-Up Skirt”