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My February 2021 makes

Progress! I lost some of my sewing mojo in the month of February (compared to January’s sewing mojo), but not so badly that I didn’t make any progress in my 2021 sewing plans. And to be honest, I’ve never even made this many garments before even in a year. Obviously, it’s the pandemic and lockdown that helps because my weekends are filled with sewing. It keeps my mind busy. It makes me feel productive and creative. Sewing really is good therapy (and so is Netflix).

Back to my sewing makes, I made four dresses and one top in February. Out of my 2021 sewing plans, I made three garments. Two of the garments were made as planned. One of the garments is from a chosen fabric but paired with a different pattern. The pattern is Simplicity 1692. I had this pattern in my stash for the longest time. I was saving it for when I got better in my sewing. It seemed like a complicated pattern, but in the end, it was a pretty simple sew. In addition, I learned a lot of new sewing techniques, which is always good! It is a 1940s style blouse that is a reproduction of a 1944 pattern. I love it and I plan on making more. It’s the perfect blouse for a cookie (1940s slang for a girl who is cute, look it up).

I originally intended to use this fabric to make a bow blouse, but I changed my mind and I’m glad I did. I feel like this 1940s style blouse is perfect for this fabric.

I made Simplicity 8910 using a shirting fabric. I call it my “Dreaming of Hawaii” dress since it has roses and hibiscus flowers all over it. It was my second time using this pattern, but my first successful make from this pattern. I made a smaller size this time, but I didn’t shorten the bodice by 1 inch like I usually do. I thought since the waist was already a bit high, it would be ok. Next time, I will shorten the bodice, especially for the back because the waistline ended up too low for my body.

It makes me dream of Hawaii…

Speaking of Hawaii, I also made a dress that reminds me of a tiki room. If I ever go to a tiki lounge, this is what I will wear. It has a Polynesian vibe to it and perhaps it’s because of the palm fronds on the fabric. This is the second time I made this dress. The first time was back in 2015 when I first started sewing. It was the first pattern I bought and used. Unfortunately, I cut up that dress since I never planned on wearing it again. I later used the fabric to make masks. I’m happy I made it again, with the necessary alterations. This is one from my 2021 sewing plans.

In the tiki,tiki,tiki,tiki,tiki room…

Another one from my 2021 sewing plans is McCall’s 7889. It was between that pattern or Simplicity 8914. They are both shirt dresses. I decided on M7889 because in looking at the reviews, I liked the finished makes better. It was my first time making a shirt dress. I was intimated by the button placket, but it wasn’t so hard to make. I was very intimated by the button holes. My first time trying to make button holes was not a success. I was hoping that this time would work out, but it didn’t. I ended up putting pearl snaps in instead. I’m still happy with how it turned out.

50’s vibe

And lastly, I made a valentine’s dress for my daughter. She loved it. In fact, she loved it so much that she asked me to make her another one but in linen. We went to Joann to buy the fabric yesterday and it was such a fun day. I was also able to pick up a few Butterick patterns since they were on sale for $1.99. I used McCall’s 8084 to make this dress. It has a tie in the front with a keyhole opening at the waist which looks really cute. I omitted the opening for her dress for a more conservative look. I asked her if she wanted the keyhole opening for her linen dress, but she asked to keep it conservative for that one too.

Cute keyhole opening with a tie waist

In summary, for my 2021 sewing plans, I still have McCall’s 7969 (which is a very popular loose dress with billowy sleeves) left to do. Since I used the fabric intended for that to make my daughter’s valentines dress, I will have to use another fabric instead. I also still need to make the bow blouse I originally wanted to make but will need to find another fabric for that as well since I used it to make the 1940s blouse. I have a New Look raglan blouse all cut up and ready to go but for some reason I can’t find the motivation to sew it together. Also left to make is a cute ruffle dress (M8089) and high waisted pants (S1069).

I recently bought more fabric (I couldn’t resist), so I plan on revising and adding more to my 2021 sewing plans. I really have a lot of fun planning, pairing and organizing, sometimes even more fun than actually sewing. I think for me, the planning adds to my sewing therapy. I don’t give myself any pressure to finish and I’m flexible with the fabric and patterns. It’s funny because I always felt a rush to finish a garment because I wanted to wear it right away. 2020 taught me to take my time in my sewing and to have patience. It taught me to practice techniques and to pay attention to the details but also to embrace the imperfections. It’s also a bit ironic because I have made more garments in 2020 and 2021 than I ever did in my previous years.

So here’s to the end of February and to a happy March… Happy sewing!

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Simplicity 1692- Vintage 1940’s style blouse

I really like this pattern. Before I started on it, I did research on Patternreview.com and Instagram. I enjoyed looking at everyone’s makes and hearing about their reviews on the blouse. Many people used this pattern over and over again, so I can tell this is a Tried and True pattern and after making one of my own, this will be a TNT for me too.

Simplicity 1692 is a reproduction of a 1944 pattern. It is described as a misses’ vintage 1940’s top with a darted waistline. Views A and B have a bias-bound jewel neck with long or short puffed sleeves. Views C and D have a kimono sleeve with buttoned shoulders and a jewel or scoop neck.

I chose View B which is the view the model is wearing on the envelope. I learned a few new things using this pattern. I always like that! I learned how to make tucks, how to make a fabric loop with a button, how to make a back facing in a different way and how to turn out a skinny tie using a needle and thread.

I used a challis fabric that I purchased from L.A. Finch Fabrics. They sell a lot of deadstock fabric and remnants. This was remnant that I purchased which was the perfect amount for this blouse. I love the look and feel of this fabric. I felt that it was perfect for this 1940s style blouse.

This blouse calls for an invisible zipper. That made me nervous because historically, I have not been successful at installing invisible zippers. I bought an invisible zipper foot in hopes that it would help me out. I re-watched all my saved YouTube videos on how to install one. I read the directions on the pattern directions AND in the invisible zipper packet very carefully. But no luck. The invisible zipper situation did not work out again. I’ll have to spend a day practicing this skill. I’m sure one day I’ll get it and I’ll be so happy when I do. For now, I installed a regular zipper. In the end, it turned out that I didn’t need one only because I made the waist one size bigger, just in case it was too tight. I kept the zipper in anyway. For the next time, I will make the waist a size smaller and install the zipper or I can keep it a size bigger without the zipper.

The tucks in general seem easy to make. But in my case, I had a little difficulty because of the fabric I chose. I had a hard time seeing the chalk lines that I drew in to make the tucks. But the good side is that you can’t see it much (they ended up crooked, lol). The fabric loop was also easy to make. I was intimated by it before with another blouse I had made, so I avoided it in that pattern. But for this pattern, it was needed since it was used to close the neckline. It wasn’t as hard to do as I thought! I had to use a needle and thread to open out the fabric for the loop, which I also had to do for the ties.

I really like this blouse and I definitely plan to make more. It looks great with jeans. It looks even better with high waisted pants or a pencil or gathered skirt.

Happy Sewing!

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Simplicity 1107- A flowy, summer tank top

I made these tank tops back in 2016, so I’m a bit late in writing this post. But I like to document patterns that I have used so that I can remember what I’ve sewn. So here it goes:

Simplicity 1107 is described as a high-low top that can be made with several variations including sleeveless with or without side and back contrast, short contrast sleeves, or half sleeves with front lace overlay. I chose view C which is sleeveless without the side and back contrast.

This was an easy sew. I was not even a year experienced with sewing when I made these tops in the summer of 2016 and there were no complications and the directions were very easy to follow. I learned how to use single fold bias tape for the first time using this pattern. The bias tape is around the neckline and armholes. The V at the neckline is mitered so I learned how to miter corners in clothes using this pattern. I had a lot of practice with mitering since I made cloth napkins that year for my Etsy shop, so the mitering was easy for me. These days, I have difficulty with mitering so I should brush up on that skill.

I like the V neck of the top. The two individual pieces at the top and the two pieces at the bottom make it look a little different. It has more fabric in the back, so it’s flowy at the bottom.

I used crepe de chine fabric that I bought from Fabric.com. I bought mostly crepe de chine when I first started sewing.

That light blue at the top on the penguin tank top wasn’t on purpose. I made a mistake when cutting. Luckily, the wrong side of the fabric looks just like a lighter version.

Happy sewing!