Updated: May 22
Hey Loves! How are you holding up during this pandemic or new quarantine life? Have you adjusted to this new normal? I am finally in the acceptance phase and have been making the most out of it. Even though I have NOT shared my sewing mask adventure here on social media, I still had to whip up a few for close family members and friends. I honestly did NOT want to stress myself out making masks for sale to the general public as I know a lot of sew sisters who are entrepreneurs would benefit from this business. Personally, I am blessed to still collect a paycheck while working from home. After being blessed with 20 yards of elastic, I decided to give in and make a limited quantity for my co-workers and close friends for sale with my ankara and cotton stash. Unfortunately, I am only mailing them as I do want to put my son suffers from respiratory issues at risk.
I honestly needed a sewing outlet other than mask making and decided this would be the best time to sew down my stash. I organized over 200+ patterns and 8 tubs of fabric and knew it was time to STOP buying for the next 6 months. I purchased in February over 24 yards of Ankara to make a few custom pieces for close friends for a few special events for the month of April which have all been postponed or canceled. I decided to make the best out of it as my couture design class was postponed until summer.
Now let’s finally talk about this makes!
I actually wanted to make comfy pieces such as jogger pants using Simplicity 1165 while working from home so the first fabric that caught my attention was this beautiful Ankara from Afriqueclothingstore on Etsy. I made ankle ties for a different look and while doing a fit test, I accidentally stepped on the ties and tore the left leg close to the seam. I was devasted at first but figured I would just remove the ties and taper the legs. I actually fell in love and plan to make another pair via Zoom with my sew students.
For the waistband, I actually widened the band to measure 7 inches and cut 2 pieces instead of one, leaving the opening on the side to feed the elastic. Be sure to measure the finish waist measurement which is the same for the front and back and add your seam allowance. I folded it over which measured 3.5 inches and attached at the normal 5/8 inch seam allowance which gave me enough room to feed 2 rows on 1-inch elastic (top and bottom) and 1 row of 1/2 inch elastic in the center. I figured since this a darker fabric, no one would even notice that the middle row is smaller. The elastic is super snug and I only allowed 1/4 inch extra for ease to feed the elastic. I absolutely love it as it lays pretty flat and will NOT roll.
Drop Shoulder Top Modifications – McCalls M7724
I have been wanting to make this McCalls 7724 View C since the pattern was released but my fears of buttonholes got the best of me. Even though last summer I made 2 crop tops with buttons, I actually went through a bit of challenge as I was using the brother buttonhole foot on my Viking. I actually had to purchase a new foot but my machine has been acting up the past 6 months so I have been meaning to take it to get it serviced.
Since my Brother machines were recently serviced, I decided to try buttonholes again. I was amazed by the fact that a small mistake that I have been making for 5 years hindered me from making button-down garments. I have only had 1 failed test buttonhole and I am in still awe that I allowed my fear to win for years. I was so excited after my first successful test garment and forgot to remove the seam allowance when I marked my button. I knew something look weird and shifted it over by 1/4 inch but needed to sew it only 1/2 from the seam vs. 1 inch. I guess it was a learning experience for me.
The only modification I made to the top pattern was the sleeves. I had to shorten it due to the limited remaining fabric and extended the bottom on each side (left and right) by 5 inches. I graded it up to the top for a bit more volume and add elastic. I actually cut the size 12 bodice and graded from the waist to the 14 hip. I am not a fan of drop sleeves and if I do make this again, I would definitely figure out how to create a regular set in sleeve.
This set here is absolutely amazing and I plan to make more sets for work. I absolutely love the flexibility of 2 piece sets because I can rock it more ways than one.
I have had a different mindset based on this pandemic and even though a prom collaboration project with a major fabric store was canceled, my couture design was canceled and my daughter’s promotion to 6 grade was canceled, HOPE IS NOT CANCELED. I have found ways to cope by getting up at 6am, getting in my morning prayer and meditation, walking/jogging 4 days a week and working with a personal trainer via zoom 3 days a week. I take a shower, do my hair and get dressed for Zoom virtual classes in my school t-shirts and stay away from the bed and work. I am learning so much about myself and plan to capitalize on this work from home experience. My renewed spirit has helped and I have been coping just fine.
I can’t say it was easy in the beginning as the past 3 years I have had to spend my Spring break in quarantine due to health challenges. In 2018 I did surgery in late February and spent almost 4 weeks home in recovery, in 2019 another major surgery to repair the failed surgery in 2018 and was on medical leave for 8 long weeks and now again home in March and April due to COVID-19. This experience has allowed me to reflect and put things into perspective and NEVER put plans on hold. I say go after what you want and live life to the fullest.
“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. Dalai Lama I am hopeful that everything will fall into place. Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to stop by my Instagram page to check out my latest makes. Hope you and your family are staying safe during this challenging period in our lives.
One Love, Marica