It’s February, which means it’s Black History Month. In honor of Black History Month and showing support to Black owned businesses in the Sewing Industry I joined the Instagram challenge hosted by @sewnaturaldane and @onesweetsew.
My first make for February is this Lisa top from Style Sew Me Patterns. I love this top it is a quick and easy make. This is the second one I have made using this pattern and I love them both. I need to find the other make it is in a Pink Camouflage, my favorite fabric and I can’t find it.
This one is made out of a Vino Camouflage I purchased at the San Francisco Fabric Outlet. It can be found here. The Vino is no longer available online, but the same fabric can be found in brown, grey, green. purple, pink, white, and black camouflage combinations.
This is Vogue 1314, by Tracy Reece, a Black Pattern Designer for Vogue, it is now Out-of-Print (OOP). I tried sewing this dress when I started sewing 5 years ago and it did not come out as planned. I had no idea how to line a dress, do the rousing or any of that in the construction of the garment. So this year for Valentine’s Day I decided to make this again and it came out great. I have no plans for Valentine’s Day, but I love this color and the dress, so it became an honorary Valentine’s Day Dress! This fabric was purchased at Michael Levine’s in Los Angeles, about 4 years ago. Still sewing from my stash.
This fabric is from My Daily Threadz
And as much as I love this dress and the way it turned out, the bodice is too tight. I can’t move in it, the struggle was real getting out of it. LOL!!! I do know that I need to adjust the bodice moving forward when making garments out of non-stretch materials. I am so sad, because I even added pockets to the dress, who doesn’t love a dress with pockets. I am going to salvage this fabric. I don’t know how yet, but I might extend the opening down the front and have it be an open shirt dress. Not sure, but I am sure I will figure something out. This fabric is too fabulous for it to be a Mannequin dress. No ma’am.
For the month of January I completed 8 pieces. Here you will find 3 of the dresses completed using McCall’s 7531, one of my TNT’s and an absolute favorite dress to make. It can be styled with a printed or solid fabric and look absolutely different each time you make it. I went with prints for all of these. I love a good fun print, it’s kind of how I make my garments my OWN.
Yes you will see this dress again as part of my Spring/Summer collection, which I will start the first week in March. I plan to do some solid colors using View C.
This fabric is a knit border print that I purchased from Michael Levine a few years back. I say a few years because I can’t remember when I actually purchased it. Too much fabric shopping over the years. Did I really just admit that? Oh well!!!!
This green snakeskin like fabric was also purchased at Michael Levine, I think, if not there it was from Angels Textiles. I did a lot of fabric shopping during time I spent in Los Angeles and of course I can’t find my fabric album. I usually take photos of all the fabric from each trip in order to reference back when posting a blog in case someone wants to know where to purchase the fabric or something similar in print.
The last dress is out of this knit, but I am sure what kind of knit this one is. There is a good amount of stretch to it, but it has a silky feel to the fabric. I need to learn more about this fabric because I love how it feels against the skin and it was a nice and easy sew. I didn’t have any issues sewing this one. I have about 1.5 yards to make a tank top for the Spring.
These 2 dresses were made in the past using the same pattern. I guess you can see why I love it so much it.
Pattern Description: McCall’s 7531 Misses’ Knit Bodycon Dresses – Learn to Sew
Pattern Sizing: 4-14, I cut a size 12
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looks just like the pattern envelope when I completed it.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were so easy, by the time I made it to the 2nd dress, I have made this dress 5 times, I didn’t need the instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? How easy the pattern is to make and the endless possibilities you have with the sleeve variations. Also depending on the fabric used, this dress can look so different each time it is created.
Fabric Used: Green Snakeskin look is an ITY Fabric, Black white tan look is a knit, Rose and white border print look is a knit, Floral print is a double knit, and the Blue white, black look is a double knit. All this fabric is fabric that was in my stash and purchased a few years back. I am sewing down my stash. The floral and blue dresses were the first made, but I hadn’t added to the Review until now. I want to say I made them both in 2018 or 2019. The other 3 looks were just made in January of 2020.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No alterations needed I made view B for all of these looks. For summer I plan to make View C
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes as you can tell this pattern is one of my Tried and True (TNT) patterns. It’s quick and easy. What girl doesn’t want a new dress that she can she made herself?
Conclusion: Great pattern and I can’t wait for Spring/Summer Sewing. I will more than likely start that collection first week in March. Happy Sewing!!!
This challenge was exactly what I needed to spark that SEW-JO I so needed. I love this and I may repeat this each month, a girl can never have to many Me Made Garments in her closet.
So just to recap what the Challenge consisted of, sew using the patterns and fabric from your stash. Don’t BUY any new patterns or fabric, unless you need the fabric, to finish off a garment. I thought this was genius and started using the structure of this challenge in other parts of my day to day adventures as well. Like what, you ask? For example, we buy facial products and the nice lady at the checkout counter provides you with all these samples, some are samples of the very same products you are purchasing. I am using those, as I don’t travel much and when I do, it’s usually in the car and not on an airplane. Where can you use the rules for this challenge in your life? I also blogged about the challenge here in my 2020 Sewing plans. Go check it out if you haven’t already.
So what did I make during the Stashed Gems Challenge?
Week 1 Tops
Yes you have seen this top, probably 1 million times, from me alone. LOL!!! It is a quick and easy top and it helped me with busting my stash of knits.
This baseball tee, New Look 6230, I love the fit and the white fabric is super soft. I selected the gray for the sleeves because it is a little shear and I didn’t want to line this t-shirt.
The 2 bottom tops are Simplicity 8988. I didn’t do the raw edges on the outside, as I simply forgot that was the concept of the top. Ay yi yi, I am a creature of habit. So since I didn’t do the outside seams, I made it off the shoulder without the ties. I plan on using it for lounge wear in the house. I plan on making this one, the right way, blue in a sweatshirt knit I have in my stash. The fabric selected for this one was a sweatshirt knit as well.
Week 2 Skirt and Dresses
Yep, again McCall’s 8982 in the Dress. I don’t fit skirts well, store bought or Me Made, so you won’t see skirts from me, until i truly learn how to measure myself for the perfect fit. It’s another thing I have on my learn to-do sewing list. Pants and skirts. All the fabric here is knit fabrics purchased from Michael Levine’s way back in 2016. The black, pink, red fabric is a border print, so I placed the top and the bottom on the black portion of the border in order to give it that affect of matching the top and bottom. I then placed the sleeve on the floral section, with just a tiny bit of black to have a flowing of the pattern effect. That one is my favorite.
Week 3 Pants and Jumpsuits
This week has been a real struggle, school has started back and I am spending at least 2-3 hours a night doing homework, for just one class, MATH. Not my best subject either, but hey I am going to push through. I have a pair of jeans that I want to make and I think I picked a fairly easy pattern, but something about Jeans that just makes me nervous. I guess I just need to get it done.
The pattern I have selected for my jeans is Simplicity 8701. I have a denim fabric with 5% Spandex that I think will do the job. I will start on the fitting , take my time, and see how it goes. I am thinking to do a muslin first, but this fabric was so low priced, that if they don’t fit I won’t be to upset about it. Hoping to have them completed in about 2 weeks, to allow myself time to focus on making them and not feel rushed.
So on that note stay tuned…..
Week 4 Outerwear/Sportswear
I made this cape, Simplicity A1226, using some pink and gray flannel. I think I bought this at Joann Fabrics, but it has been in my stash so long I can’t remember. The pattern is also out of print. I thought I had found one on Etsy, but when I clicked the link it stated that the page was no longer available. Oh boy look at all those scraps, under the table, I have been busy in January with my sewing. I LOVE IT!!! There are a few more days left in the Stashed Gems Challenge it ends on February 2, 2020. My plan is to continue on with busting down my stash and using the patterns I have already all year long. I am planning a trip to Los Angeles, in April, so of course I’ll be stopping by the Fashion District for some Spring/Summer pieces. In between now and April I am planning to make a list of makes, so that way I can select the fabrics needed, instead of just going hog wild, because they are all so pretty, that’s how I usually approach fabric shopping, but now I need shop smarter.
I will also be making my first make for someone else, so I heed good fabric, for that dress. I am excited for that too. Sewing for others has been on my list to do and now I have the opportunity to do it. So I am on it.
Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses. -Kobe Bryant
Do you make plans every year to sew this and sew that? Well if you do you are not alone. I am the Queen of list making when it comes to making a plan for my sewing goals, especially when the the New Year starts. This year I doing it a little bit different. How? Well I am a member of the Sew Much Talent Facebook group, where Carol of Carol’s Sewing Corner Facebook group is hosting the Stashed Gems Fabric and Pattern busting Challenge for the month of January. There are rules to the Challenge, but the main purpose is to Sew from your pattern and fabric stash. If you’re interested in getting more details head over to the group and check out the video. Carol gives lots of amazing tips and tricks on to help you achieve your sewing goals by using what you have in your stash.
With the tips that Carol has given, I have re-evaluated how I am sewing and taking her advice to Sew With A Purpose. I am definitely sewing the things I need and what everyone else is making. Don’t get me wrong there are tons of amazing sewists out there on Instagram and Facebook that absolutely fabulous in their makes, but we all have different styles and body types.
I am starting with tops and dresses made from my new favorite Tried and True (TNT) Fall/Winter pattern Simplicity 8982. Yes you have seen this pattern on my blog already I made a top and 2 dresses. What can I say I love it and how versatile the pattern is. I made the skirt and I did not like the way it fit me, but there it was it great on all the other ladies that made it and I just had to have it. The link to the original post is here where I participated in the Sew Your View Instagram make for the month of November. The 2 patterns below will be tops. The blue paint splatter top is done and I am working on the Red and White Polka dot one. Stay tuned to my Instagram Page for how I style them both.
This is the famous fabric stash that I will starting with. I plan on using all the fabric on this shelf this year to make space for my sewing notions that are on the floor under my cutting table. It is a pain to have to bend down and find things when in the middle of a project. I also have a very short attention span, so I will go digging through a container, because they are all not organized and find something I had no idea I had and try to start another project, before finishing the one I am working. No more that all STOPS now. I gotta get it together!!!! LOL!!!
Here is where all the patterns are housed. I went through them last year and got rid of a lot of duplicates, ones I wasn’t going to use, and those where I asked myself, why did you buy that, it’s not even your style, once again I was sewing or “buying” what I saw on Social Media. So the bottom 8 are my patterns and they are all in order by pattern company and pattern number.
I also have a bucket of Unfinished Projects (UFO’s) as well that I need to go through. I have 2 coats that I want to complete, these I will actually wear. I actually stopped the red coat, because it took me so long to get it started that the weather changed on me and it wasn’t cold enough to wear it. The red is the outside of the coat and the leopard will be lining.
This one I had in the UFO pile for quite some time, so long I can’t remember, I think since like 2017. The fabric is my style and the coat is as well, just look at those sleeves. I was frustrated with this one, because of all the pieces it had and I just stopped working on it. The fabric frayed when cut too, but that’s not an excuse, but I am sure we all go through this stage of sewing.
Well now that I have a goal to sew what I need, that should be much easier for me to start and finish my projects. I will be using my planner from My Daily Threadz to keep me on track.
Welcome to my Blog, I am Riesha, also known as the Sewcial Sewist. If you are new to my blog, thank you for stopping by and checking it out, if you are a returning viewer, thank you for your continued support. I wanted to start off the New Year with a get to know me better post.
Me and My Family
I am Riesha, mother of 2 grown children who I adore and am so proud of. My daughter is a Communications Major, who graduated in 2018 from Sacramento State University, she is the oldest. My son is an Economics Major with an expected date of graduation from Sacramento State University in December 2020. Now can you see why I am so proud? During the day I work for the State of California as an Analyst working on the Finance and Administration Committee Board items, by night I am a Sewist who loves to workout. I have been married to my husband since September 1997.
Where I work
My workstation is my formal dining and living room that I have converted into my own space, except for the 2 fish tanks we own, everything else is sewing or crafting related. This is a great space for me, as it is downstairs and when everyone else is upstairs sleeping I can easily work downstairs without waking anyone. I sew on a Babylock Aria sewing machine and a Babylock Evolution Serger as my main machines. I do own 2 other sewing machines, 1 sewing/embroidery machine, and 1 other serger. I do use them all depending on the project.
I have been sewing since Summer 2014 after the death of my mother. It was hard for me to deal with her loss, so I had to put my energy into something, to not fall into depression and not be able to cope. It’s not what she would have wanted for me. She would have wanted me to continue living. I did just that and now sewing has grown into a passion. I try to get some time in during the week, even if it is only 30 minutes a day here and there. I get most of my sewing done on the weekends or during a holiday week.
My Favorite Garments to Sew
I would have to say right now that my favorites are dresses. I haven’t mastered the art of making pants, YET!!!, but it is on my top 3 priorities for 2020. I love a maxi and a mini dress. It just depends on the print of the fabric or the cut of the dress on how I decide which one I make at that moment.
Addicted to sewing since the 70’s – Sewing Blogger since 2013 – Enjoying a #RTWFAST and Creator of #DESIGNINDECEMBER since 2015 – Designing Handbags and Accessories and PDF Sewing Patterns for bags and accessories at #LANYOSHANDMADE since 2018 – Lover of vegan, sustainable, repurposed and up-cycled projects – I want to try everything, learn everything and talk about it with you!