Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Corrin's Birthday Hoodie! - Jalie 2795 - Version 3

Shortly after I made my first hoodie, it dawned on me that Jalie patterns come in every size!  So I decided I would make my friend Corrin a hoodie for her birthday, which is today, by the way.
 I picked out some sweatshirt fleece from Fabricland, and it was 50% off.  Bonus!  It's really gorgeous fleece.  It's thick and oh so soft.  So snuggly.
 I sewed it up this weekend while watching 5 DVD's on my laptop.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
 I sewed up the size FF.  I'm guessing this pattern runs big.  But I'm not sure of Corrin's exact measurements.  I had them before Christmas, when I made her PJ pants, and I mostly remembered what they were, but I couldn't remember the exact bust size, which is the most important.  And Corrin has also lost 30 pounds since then, and I'm not sure how many inches she's lost, but I'm sure it's a few.  So, in short, the hoodie is a little too big.
 I will be taking in the side seams 4" total, and that will help make it wearable.  It probably needs to be taken in more, but I can't mess with it too much.  I'll just have to make her a new one in a smaller size!  
 She loves her birthday present and happily posed for me, including these cute sassy ones!
 I sewed the whole thing with orange thread in my serger and my sewing machine.  It looks really good against the burgundy.
 I think the orange zipper has a slimming effect.  And it will be much more slimming once it gets taken in. Other than the fit issues, I'm very happy with it, and so is she.
 Happy Birthday, Corrin!  I was so thrilled to be able to make this for you!  Now we're twinsies!  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Colour-blocked Hoodie! - Jalie 2795 - Version 2

I finished my second hoodie!  Good thing, too, because I wear that poor bright pink one every day!  Now I can let them take turns.
 I used a whole bunch of random scraps of sweatshirt fleece.  In fact, I had to use blue ribbing for the cuffs and waistband because I barely had enough blue for the sides and top of the sleeves.
 I'm really happy with how this turned out.  However, I think I need to acknowledge that I'm a bit thinner than I used to be, and I need to make a smaller size.  I took in the waist and hips 2", but the ribbing is really loose.  I also added an inch to the width of the bottom of the sleeves, and that solved the tightness problem, but again, the ribbing is loose, and they hang way down now!  They're about 1 1/2" too long now!  But that's okay.  I'll wear this hoodie when I go bike riding or something that requires me to reach forward a lot.
 It is very comfy, and I will wear it to bits.  I love the way the colours turned out.
 These are my kind of colours!  I absolutely love the combo of orange and blue!
 I'm so thrilled that I've managed to make 3 garments for myself in 2012, and it's only the middle of February!  I think that's a record!  :D

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Neon Red & Black Bathing Suit - Jalie 3134

I started following the Jalie blog shortly before they unveiled their 10 new patterns this fall.  I'm so glad I did!  As soon as I saw this bathing suit pattern, I knew I had to have it!
 I picked it up from Davey Fabrics on one of my regular trips there.  I waited until my swimsuit I made in August became unbearable to wear any longer, and this weekend, I finally made a new one!
My mom had 2 metres of black swimsuit spandex in her stash, and she gave it to me.  I dreamed up a colour-blocking combo using a bright colour as the accents and back straps, and black as the main colour. If there's one thing I've learned from my last suit, light colours are not good when wet.  Especially when there's no lining underneath.  There's a reason everyone wears black suits to the pool.  But of course, I have to add a crazy splash of colour.  This is neon red.  Besides orange, this is one of my all-time favourite colours.  It is incredibly hard to photograph accurately.  This is the best shot I could get.  Just imagine that this is crazy neon bright, to the point of being hard on the eyes.  That's my kind of colour!
I cut out a straight size X, based on my bust size of 39.  I figured since my Jalie hoodie fit me so well right out of the envelope, this suit would be just as good.  Bingo!  Even though the measurements correspond with someone with hips 2" bigger than mine, this size is perfect!  It even seems to be more roomy on top, and snugger at the hips.  It's exactly what I wanted!
I found this hideous Hawaiian print on sale for 30% off, and decided to use it for my full lining.  It's very beefy.  I pinned it to my bra and then pinned the soft cups in place.
I also sewed a length of 1" elastic under the bust for extra snugness.  What I love about this pattern is that the back band is elasticized right to the side seams, and that's right where I sewed my shelf bra elastic.  So there's extra stability at the back so the elastic doesn't pull to the front.
I also decided to try the piping design.  I cut some multi-coloured spandex so that it would be striped.  It doesn't curl under like it's supposed to because I cut it in the opposite direction.  And there's no pattern for the piping.  You have to do it freehand.  I'm not sure I like it as much as I thought I would.  I really like the accent colour-blocking just the way it is.  I might not do the piping again.
And here I have the whole suit lined and assembled, and elastic serged to all the edges.
I accidentally put the lining in inside out.  I wanted the white layer to be on the inside, and the hawaiian layer to be visible.  When it gets wet, you'll see the print coming through the red layers.  Oh well.  You live and learn.  
I finished coverstitching and attached the straps, and after 5 hours and 45 minutes, voila!  We have ourselves a new swimsuit!  This suit is definitely more work than my last simple design, but it is so worth it.  An hour of that time was tracing the pattern, so I won't have to worry about that next time.  
The instructions have you measure all your elastic ahead of time.  Since I made a few swimsuits last year, I learned that for the most part, you sew the elastic without stretching anything, except for the back of the bum curve.  That's what I did for this suit.  It's almost perfect.  The only other place I would stretch a bit is  the waist curve on the back.  At the sides, it bags out a little bit, so that part could be tighter.  Other than that, it's perfect!
I absolutely LOVE this colourblocking!  It joins up from the back band to the side and swoops down to the front.  Cool!
Here you can see what I mean about the little bit of bagginess at the waist.  And here you can see my body shape pretty well.  I'm a rectangle with wide shoulders, and this suit is custom made for me!  I just love it!
I thought the high cut legs would bother me, but I actually like them!  I'll have to adjust myself when I get out of the pool, but that's about it.  I've also lost over 10 pounds since I made my last suit in August.  I can hardly believe the transformation myself!  I have only 4.6 pounds to go until I reach my goal.  And my last 10 pounds is coming off quite nicely, so I should be at my goal by the time I make suit #2!  I don't think you'll be able to see much of a difference from this.  I've lost 4 pounds in the last 2 weeks, and I think I look exactly the same.
Here is a fun shot I took especially for my mom.  This is reminiscent of when I was a gangly 12-year-old that was all arms and legs.  "HI MOM!!!"
Notice I painted my fingernails to match?  I glow like crazy in the sunlight.  :D
I can't say enough good things about this swimsuit!  I absolutely LOVE it!!!  I can't wait to wear it to the pool!  
I also have prints picked out for 3 more suits!  They will all be black with an accent print.  One will be the coloured stripe from the piping, the flames from my tankini, and a tropical blue and green print that my mom gave me.  Heck, if I'm swimming twice a week, I need all the suits I can get!