Monday, December 31, 2012

Last project of the year...and the fastest!

This is officially my last (completed) project of the year.....  My little decided he wanted me to make his new PJs versus have me buy them!  It's also my fastest project of the year....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Look 6070 and the art of color blocking

I did complete NL6070....  I was really happy with the black, fuchsia, and white which I purchased at Hancock Fabrics last fall.  It did fit... originally!  However, the weave of the fabric is so tight that it has very give/stretch...even on the bias; there was also very little ease in the finished garment.  Any variance in the weight or waistline and it was a bit too snug.... LOL!

Pattern Description:
Workroom from Project Runway; One piece dress

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were....

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I thought the sleeves and pleating details from the front were cute....

Fabric Used:
I think it was a faille; the weave of both fabrics was very tight.  No stretch at all.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
On the fuchsia, black and white, I stuck with the original details.    However, I had a challenge with the second iteration....  I purchased this black, orange, red and hints of copper tribal print many years ago.  I had been very excited about the fabric and wanted a pattern that wouldn't break up the print too much.  I cut the pattern too small and needed to figure out how to salvage the fabric.  I had a black faille (that had also been in the stash for years); so, I decided to try my hand "color blocking!"  I also created a side seam instead of the single waistband feature on the pattern.

Waistline detail
2nd version
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?No...I'm done.  It's a really cute dress, but I wore the first one once and passed the second one on to a friend.  I do, however, highly recommend it to others.  I love the style and think its a great dress.

Color blocking
Pleated cap on sleeve

Thursday, August 30, 2012

V8543 revisited...AGAIN!!!

That's right...!  This is technically my 3rd time tackling Vogue 8543.  Despite that, I'm excited about the prospect of it.  I cut a new muslin and made more pattern adjustments.  By way of review, the first attempt resulted in a beautifully made suit FOR SOMEONE ELSE...because I didn't make the FBA.  So, I gave it to a friend.  The second attempt (a beautiful chocolate brown) met its death with the skirt--consequently, there are some major changes coming to the skirt pattern when I get to it.  This third attempt has been forged in the fires of lessons learned along the way.  Can you tell I really love the pattern--everything about it?!

Special note regarding the accessory:
The beautiful scarf that accents the suit was a gift from someone at church.  Pamela Gaylord was a member of our church and sister in Christ who went to be with the Lord on November 9, 2010.  Her husband wanted to honor her memory and impact on our church family, so he presented a few of her signature belongings to members of our church family.... The scarf was a gift to me.  Though she's no longer with us, she left a powerful legacy of faith in her family and our church community.  I was really honored to wear it with the suit.  In fact, as I searched for buttons, I wanted something that would compliment the scarf as well.

Pattern Description: Jacket w/peplum and skirt

Pattern Sizing: I used 14-20 with a full bust alteration.  I actually cut a size 18.... Praise God retail sizes are smaller than patterns!  It took me two weeks to pin the pattern to the fabric--I kept saying, "there's no way I wear an way!!!!!"  I know...I're all saying, "you have to go by the actual measurements...."  Yeah, yeah, WHATEVER!  I usually make some speech about needing extra room for my bustline.  While that may be true,  my waistline was screaming, "I need room, too!"  At the risk of sounding childishly vain, I was prepared to cut the 16, make the jacket and insist that Vogue has some pattern drafting and manufacturing issues...LOL!  In the end, however, I loved the fabric too much to risk having another "do over" project.  
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely! I still love this pattern. I couldn't wait to make it in black.  I knew it would be great.  As a boost to my ego, I did have to make larger side seams just below the sleeves.  I added a fourth button as a result of the FBA.  I like the look....

Were the instructions easy to follow? I think the pattern was easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? My favorite details are the collar and sleeve. That skirt is "narly." I have some ideas about how to alter some of the details, but I will address that another time.  I passed on the skirt this time and opted for the one from Vogue 8781 (which is fabulous). 
Fabric Used: A twill polyester blend (?); it's great suiting. In fact, I loved it so much, I purchased it again (Hancock Fabrics) in order to make a different suit with slacks.  
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I had to make the full bust alteration in order to fit the jacket well for me.  I really look forward to the day when ALL pattern companies jump on the band wagon and add alternate pattern pieces for C/D cups.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may not make it again; I highly recommend it to others. While I do love it, I think I'm tired of looking at the pattern.  Perhaps I 8543d myself too much! :-)
Conclusion: Love it, love it, love it!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Miss Fancy Threads

This is a short post to give a "shout out" to Miss Fancy Threads.  She just posted Episode 2....  I hope you'll enjoy it!  I recently met her, and she's as adorable and gracious in person as she is online!  I'm going to tweet her to tell her about some of the fabulous ladies blazing new fashion trails with their own sewing machines!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Muslin for New Look 6070

Created the muslin for NL 6070 today.  Love the pattern....  The cut of the bodice is need for FBA.  This is my first New Look pattern and it might be a keeper!

These are the fabrics for the project....

This is the muslin for the dress.  The fit is pretty good.  The details for the dress are simple, so I'm excited about the prints I'll be using.  I'm not a fan of dresses with "no side seam" waistbands.  Of course, I haven't made that many dresses, but I know I don't think I'm a fan of that detail.  But the fit is nice on this dress.  The only sketchy area was the hips.  I don't know why pattern drafters insist on drafting hips that "jut out 2 inches" once you're 4" below the waist.  I wanna meet that woman because she needs to stop modeling for the drafts... :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Claire Schaeffer slacks, Vogue 7881

This one is a Claire Schaeffer favorite of mine....  I think the style and fit are very contemporary.  I picked up the fabric at Joann's.

Pattern Description:
Straight-legged pants (semi-fitted through hip) have contour, front button yoke and mock-fly zipper.

Pattern Sizing:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? did!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were very easy to follow.  I chose to go with the non-couture construction.


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the contour waistband.  I think it's flattering on just about any waist size/type.  I have a slightly thicker waist (even at my thinnest :-); so the final shape of the slacks was great for me.

Fabric Used:
A lightweight tweed-like fabric

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made view B (the non-couture version).  In an earlier (and ultimately, "do over") project, I attempted to make the pants to accompany an off-white suit.  With this version, I shortened the crotch and took in the sides by a half inch.  It's a great pattern. While the pattern doesn't call for it, I lined them as well.  In fact, I used the lining from the "first attempt" that didn't go well.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I love these slacks....  I intend to use the pattern several more times with a few of the Claire Shaeffer Jacket patterns I have in my stash. The contoured waistband is fantastic....  I think it more easily flatters almost any waist size.  The pants are fuller in the hips and legs, but I think I like that after all.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Butterick 3918_Completed...finally!

Well, it's been a long time coming, but I finally...finally...FINALLY completed this pattern.  I love the finished garment, but I will not be making it again.  My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE detail of the pattern are the lapels.  My synopsis below is the same I've shared on Pattern Review.

Pattern Description:
Fitted, lined jacket, hip-length has collar, lapels, princess seams and long, two-piece sleeves with slit fold-back with cuffs

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? did.  I love the styling of the jacket and the collar details.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
On the jacket itself, I love the "wing tip" detail on the lapel.  I also loved the different spin on the traditional princess seam.  The angular seams were what attracted me to the pattern in the first place.  What I didn't like, however, was that inner construction required the same attention to detail.  The lining was exactly the same as the jacket's outer construction.  I felt the pattern makers could have simplified the detail for the lining.'s still a great pattern. I've had it so long, you can't find it anymore.  Having said that, I don't think I'd make it again anyway.  I really like the finished look, but between the necessary FBA (which was interesting...) and the angular seams, I was sometimes too "in the weeds."

Fabric Used:
A gabardine, twill...I think

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The major alteration was the FBA.  I took so long to complete the suit after cutting it out, that I dropped a dress size.  Consequently, I had to take in a ridiculous amount in the side seams along the way ('m not complaining :-)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would recommend it to others, but I wouldn't sew it again....

Again...I love the suit!  In fact, I kept the pattern piece and guide sheet for the lapel wing tip....  I hope to incorporate the detail into another pattern in the future.  Btw, the skirt comes from another pattern.  I wanted something with no waistband.  Vogue XXXXX did the job nicely!  Happy sewing....

What a shame...Vogue 1159

After many months of being intimidated by Vogue 1159, I decided to tackle this one.  It's a Donna Karan design--fitted, above mid-knee length dress has front pleated at back dropped shoulder, crossed fronts forming drape effect.  This is the same review I posted at PR

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
What a knee slapping question--absolutely not!  Okay...please allow me to have some fun and vent for a moment.  I spent my Saturday cutting out the pattern and making the dress.  I was thrilled at how well it seemed to be coming together even after I took a 45 minute break to work through some intimidating design and construction issues.  Yes, it looks cute on the dress form, right?  The cuteness ends there....

After struggling through the final details of construction, I clipped the final strings and ran to put it on....  I was horrified!!  I can only describe it as an expensive-looking kitchen dress.  What's a kitchen dress you ask...?  I don't know, but that's what I call it.  I looked like Aunt Bee (from Andy Griffith) having a "sexy moment"--the neckline can showcase cleavage.  The criss-cross feature in the front jutted out too far (and, no, it wasn't my gut).  All that fabric twisted and bunched together in the front just wasn't flattering.  The hem hiked up in the back. was NOT flattering to look at from behind.  I'm not positive where it went wrong.  I don't think it was the print because the pattern jacket features a similar print pattern.  I honestly think it may be more flattering in a smaller size (like

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were a bit challenging in some areas....  The toughest part to understand was when making the final attachments of the lining and criss-crossing the fronts in order to attach them to create the shoulder seams and arm opening.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I actually thought the design of the dress was great.  At the end of the day, it wasn't flattering on me.

Fabric Used:
Two-way stretch print....

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't change any aspects of the pattern.  In fact, I didn't even make the usual FBA

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I won't sew it again, but I do think it's a great dress.  I wouldn't recommend it if you're larger than a B-bra cup.  If you are, you might need a FBA--I felt like it was pulling a bit across the front and back.  I would also that you not top stitch as the pattern suggests.  Be careful as well when stay-stitching on a knit.  That created a few problems when attaching the upper back.

I originally wasn't even going to review the pattern, but then thought someone might benefit from my lessons learned.  After you stop laughing at me...tread carefully.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Long overdue....

Butterick 3918 has seen its challenges!  I only have buttons to find and will post photos when complete.  I've dropped a size since beginning--that meant even more alterations to get a decent fit...but who's complaining.  I'll provide technique details and pattern review with my next post....