Thursday, October 9, 2014

Made by Me Files: Preppy Roar! Fabric Mart Bundle Challenge (McCall's 6711 and Butterick 5922).

Before I begin this "made by me" file, Boden is continuing their mid-season sale (post I wrote was here), and from what I can see, the sale seems to be successful.  Neither of the items I am watching are sold out, so I may or may not participate.  They also started a "up to 30% off EXTRA off clearance items" this week, but because I have been so hyper-focused on getting better from my bout with the flu, sewing this project up, and the mid-season sale, I didn't even notice.  The extra 30% off prices are good, but only some items received that full percentage off.

Okay onto this week's Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge Sewing Competition entry, the Bundle Challenge.  A couple weeks ago I received a ten yard bundle from Fabric Mart (LOVE THEIR FABRIC BUNDLES, btw), and in the hyper-focus of trying to finish the challenge of that week (I believe it was the fit challenge with the sheath dress), I didn't even open it until I started the next challenge.  (Which was still too early, but I did abstain at least a week, normally those bundles are like candy for me--ooh, what pretty fabric has come my way this time that I get to play with and make something from?)

I received two amazing pieces of wool yardage, a white wool and a light tan/blue plaid.  I also received two pieces of knit fabric, a maroon horizontal rib knit and a "funky" crinkle animal print knit with a solid black nylon reverse.  In the package was also a piece of iridescent mint green poly, or possibly silk, can't tell from just looking at it (didn't have the time to fully investigate it since I knew it wouldn't play well with the others).  So I knew when Julie said to use four fabrics, I had my four ready to go.

When she mentioned a TWO-PIECE GARMENT, I was sort of "huh?"  I looked back at the bundle challenge from last year and the contestants in general made a two-piece outfit from their fabrics (coat/dress; top/skirt, etc.) but one made a three-piece outfit, and three made two-pieces that needed an additional garment from their own closet to fully create a look.  So I just went with what I think was the safest route and created a two-piece outfit with my four fabrics, using three for the top I created, and one for the pants.

The top is made from Butterick 5922, view A, with a collar, and with view B's long sleeves.

The pants are from McCall's 6711, which I chose specifically because they had pockets, a back zip, a waistband facing instead of a waistband, and would be easy enough to fully line in a blue cotton I had in my stash.

The top was sewn up in a size 10 at the neck, bust, and waist, with a *slight* grade out to a size 12 at the hips (only the very bottom couple of inches are the 12).  This shirt is shorter than a lot of sewing patterns out there, so for once I didn't have to shorten the top for my short torso self.  Yeah!  (Bear that in mind if you are a petite sewer!)

The pants were sewn in the size 14, whose crotch curve looked almost exactly like a pair of Burda shorts that I sewed up last summer.  These pants are meant to be more fitted, like a classic pair of cigarette trousers.  The model's are quite baggy on her, which I think is a combo of them being unlined, the fabric they used, and the fact that she is very thin and that the sample size they sewed up (probably a size 10, if what I have read of the big sewing companies is true) was too big on her.  Normally a 14 wouldn't work on me, but McCall's does run big, so I wasn't surprised, either.

Throughout this competition, no matter what Julie has given us, I knew that I would only want to sew up something I would wear again.  I have three little children, I sub in a school, and so my time is very limited for sewing.  I didn't *not* think I could make a look for me from the four fabrics, I just felt initially that it may not turn out enough like "me" to be wearable again by me.  I knew the pants would be fine, because plaid straight pants on a preppy person, well, lol, yeah, but the top, even with the cute collar?  Mmm.  That animal print had me worried.

Which is why although the above photo shows straight preppy...

The side starts to hint at something else less preppy...

And the back gives it to you straight up...

Yes, it is preppy with a roar.  Get it?  I know, I'll stop.  It looks fine.  Kind of a party in the back, business in front...I can dig it...and wear it again!

I didn't show you this picture so you all could stare at my butt.  Seriously!  I tucked the shirt in so you could see HOW PERFECTLY I lined up the plaid on the seams there.  It isn't that easy, really.  This fabric required me to spend TWO FULL hours cutting it out to ensure that all the seam notches and lines would match up (add to that the wool was a bit off grain in a few places, UGH double UGH).  I also spent a LONG time at the sewing machine after pinning the seams up very carefully (checking and rechecking that all the plaid lines were matching perfectly).  I used a walking foot, which ensured that my plaids did come out even, but I knew that if I put in the back invisible zip and the plaid didn't match up, my biggest asset (hardeehar) would look ridiculous in these pants.

And because I know how hard it is for me to find a pair of pants that actually and properly shows off my bottom, I am beyond stoked that I accomplished a pair of fitted pants, in a plaid wool, fully lined, just after getting over the flu.  Hallelujah! 

I do have plans to increase the thigh circumference on my next pair, since though 95% of the pants fit very well, the straight, horizontal lines there on the back (below the butt) signify a need for some extra room.  I have athletic thighs and slight saddlebags, so this doesn't surprise me.  From what I read, this is not a difficult thing to change on the pattern pieces.  Those lines, though, don't mean the pants don't feel great, they feel awesome on, and when sitting don't pinch, bind, or jab.  YAY!

*BTW, I am not going to be tucking tops into this pair of pants unless I am wearing a long suit jacket.  I specifically made these so I could wear tops untucked, which is why I specified I wanted a pair with no waistband so the waistband wouldn't irritate me when sitting down in them (my belly button is unnaturally high!).  I just HAD to show you all the awesome plaid matching, yeah!


Pockets!  They are useable for me for my hands, but really too small for anything else.  If I make these again (probably, 'cause holla, they feel so good), I will likely make them a bit deeper and wider.

Fabrics all at once!

Front of the top is the horizontal rib knit.

Collar of the top is the white wool.

Back of the top is the crinkle animal print knit.

Sleeves of the top are the reverse black nylon from the animal print knit.

Pants are from the so soft gorgeous plaid wool (still at Fabric Mart--well at least it looks like the same fabric!).

I smile because I did it!  I felt so good and accomplished after getting it all done.  :-D

The top is very "Boden."  They have a ton of Peter Pan collar type tops and dresses, and have even done some colorblocked versions in the past, so after completing it, the smile was also because I had duplicated my favorite retailer so well!

Collar detail with button.

I know that if you want a pair of pants to last a long time, you make sure they are lined.  I chose to fully make this lining (waist to hem) and added it right before the waist facing was attached.  I hand sewed the lining to the zip for precision, and also hand sewed the facing to the zip.  It would be more "tidy" on the machine, but less precise.  I also hand tacked the facing to the lining in a few spots to keep it from flipping up (though the facing is properly understitched, etc.).

Front Detail of the facing and lining.

The lining is also very soft against my skin and during the winter will add an extra layer of warmth.  I could have used a poly lining, but there is something kind of luxurious to me about using a cotton with wool.  Normally I prefer silky linings in dresses and skirts (like a poly would provide), but I don't have to wear these pants with tights, so the "slippy" feel was unnecessary.  I just wanted comfort and softness.  They will also extend the life of the wool, which is important to me as I don't really want to make another pair of plaid pants for a long while.  ;-)

That's all for now. 

This is the second to last competition.  The only way I will make it is with your votes!  So PLEASE, with loads of yummy sugar on top *and a preppy ROOAARR*, would you all mind throwing me some votes your way if you are so inclined? 

Talk soon!  I should be back tomorrow with the Boden Spring 2015 preview picks post, so if you have a few items you just love from the preview, make sure you comment in tomorrow's post!