Monday, June 29, 2009

I love this skirt ...Review Simplicity 2605

Simplicity 2605
Pattern Description:
Misses Skirts and Sash Belt
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes the skirt looks exactly like the photo. I made view E
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy but I didn't follow them. I first marked and sewing the front pleats and the back darts. Next I sewed the waist bands on the front and back. Because the fabric has lycra in it I used 1/4" twill tape in the seam allowance of the upper and lower seam of the waist band to make sure it didn't stretch while I was wearing it. Then I installed an invisible zipper in the center back. I pin-fitted the skirt and sewed the side seams. I also added a lining to keep the cotton lycra from getting "butt sprung!" From about 7" from the bottom up I took in an addition 3/4" gradually winding up back to the original seam line to give the illusion of a narrow skirt and smaller hips.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I'm not sure what it was but I've always looked at the pattern. I didn't buy it because a friend talked me out of it. When I saw the fabric I just knew the two would be perfect together. I really like the contoured waistband.

Fabric Used:
I chose a bold cotton/lycra from JoAnn's fabric. I tried to match the pattern at the center back. Unfortunately it's a little bit off.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a few changes like adding a lining and an invisible zipper in the center back.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will certainly sew this skirt again. I usually buy my skirts on clearance but this TNT pattern will probably change all of that! I highly recommend this pattern.
Conclusion: This is a great pattern for the now trendy pencil skirt.
Now for the good...the bad...and the ugly!

This good is I LOVE this skirt
The bad is that is all of the excitement I didn't measure the length. I wound up only being able to turn up about 1/4" for the hem. I improvised and added lace hem tape.

The ugly again involves that hem. The hem faux pas leaked over into the lining. The lining was too short because I figured I'd have about a 2" hem so cut the lining 2" shorter so it would hang below the skirt. This is what it looks like from the inside.

I still love this skirt and can't wait to wear it!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Date your machine

Do you have an old Singer sewing machine and are interested in finding out its age? I've always wanted more information about this machine. I've had it since about 1978. After visiting this link, I now know much more about it. It's a Model 66 and 35,000 of them were manufactured. It was made on August 2, 1928. So it was about 50 years old when I got it and is 81 years old now and still going!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pencil skirt back on track - Simplicity 2605

Although I had to go to both local JoAnn's locations, I did manage to find more fabric for my pencil skirt. It's currently in the wash and I should be able to cut the fabric tomorrow after work. I'm going to make the solid red version in the photo above. While I wasn't planning on matching the print at the side seams or center back, with all the extra fabric I now have, that shouldn't be a problem. If it is, nothing will match! I also managed to find a white invisible zipper so will be placing it in the center back. While the pattern doesn't call for it I'm going to line it as well. I think this pattern should work really well for me because of the front pleats. The front of my thighs are more full than my stomach and that tends to be a real PITA when fitting darted front or plan front designs. Wish me luck and you know I'll have finished photos!

Pencil Skirt disappointment and Pattern Review

I am so disappointed. I don't make a lot of skirts because I can usually find one on clearance somewhere. With all the buzz about pencil skirts I decided to bite the bullet and make one. I eyed the fabric at JoAnn's for a couple of weeks but didn't know what I could use it for. It's a cotton, polyester and spandex blend. Then I had my "aha" moment and it was on sale...and the rest is history. As soon as I got home I washed and dried it. I trimmed my intended pattern and set everything aside. This evening I went to my sewing room with the intention of cutting my fabric and to my utter dismay I didn't buy enough fabric! For some reason I thought the fabric was 58" wide when in fact it's only 45". What a bummer no way do I have enough fabric. If they had acutally cut the fabric straight I might have been able to get away with the 1 1/4 yard I bought but I'm lacking about 2" on each end! If I recall there wasn't much of the fabric left on the bolt. I'll be making a trip back to the store first thing tomorrow because I have my heart set on this particular fabric now.
Butterick 4789

Pattern Description: Maggy London Twist Top
Pattern Sizing:8-22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
This is the second time I've made this top so didn't need the instructionsWhat did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I love the twist but this top is not for the modest. The nature of the twist is such that it results in a very deep V above the twist.
Fabric Used:
Matte jersey.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
On the first top I trimmed the wrong size on the part that was to be the upper side seam and as a result I had to make a small armsyce dart to prevent gaping at the armhole. This time I added to the pattern piece that amount that I'd cut off. I have a wide back and usually have to make an adjustment for it so I omitted the back darts. Also I thought the first one I made rode up a little on my bust because I didn't to a FBA. On this pattern doing a FBA was not impossible, just more work than I wanted to do. This time I added 5/8" on the bottom of the seam that is under the bust. So that the side seams would still match, I gradually graded back to the original seam at the side. It made a huge difference. If you look at the front of the two tops you can tell.
Would you make it again? Do you recommend it for others?
I don't think I'll make this again this season but who knows. I would recommend it to others.
Conclusion: This top is too cute and too easy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Weight-mates" tutorial

I know there are several tutorials on making pattern weights and here is yet another one. I've used the Weight-mates for nearly 20 years. I've recently started using my rotary cutter to cut my fashion fabric and while I have two sets of the Weight-mates I realize that I need more. The original Weight-mates came in a set of six. They work really well because the tack keeps the weights from sliding around on the fabric.

Assemble 2" diameter washers, 1/4" craft ribbon, craft glue (I used brush on nail glue!), scissors and thumb tacks.

Glue 3 even spaced thumb tacks onto a washer

Cut a length of craft ribbon about 1 yard long and glue one end onto the washer

Tightly wind the craft ribbon around the washer while passing it through the center hole. Pass the ribbon over the point of the thumb tack

Continue winding the ribbon back to the starting point

Make one final loop and thread ribbon end through

Pull tightly and glue .Trim excess ribbon when dry

I love my new jewel-toned Weight-mates

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's official

Extend Your Closet - Mini Wardrobe Medium

It's official. I tied for first place in the PR Mini Wardrobe contest and I couldn't be happier. It's the first contest I've entered and to win first place on the first try!! It doesn't get better than that. I'd like to thank everybody that voted for me and in case you forgot what everything looked like, here it is again.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First ever garage/estate sale

Today I went to the first garage/estate sale I've ever been to. I don't know what made me want to go because I am not fond of picking through other people's crap...I have enough of my own. Since they were supposed to have some sewing stuff, I hopped in my car and drove 50 miles to see what they had. I only expected to maybe find a few pieces of acceptable fabric but this is what I got and all for on $40. Did I do good or what?

Of course I couldn't get the cabinet or chair in my Cadillac CTS so I called my sweetie for reinforcement!

Nearly perfect pants

Michelle over at Cheap and Picky is onto something. She has a tutorial on how to copy your favorite slacks pattern with Painter's Tape and it really works. Last weekend at my sister's in Mansfield, OH I copied my favorite RTW slacks and I couldn't be happier. This morning I stitched up a muslin (well the correct name would be toile since the fabric isn't muslin) and I love them. I think I might need to tweak the back crotch a bit but it's closest than I've ever gotten on slacks on the first try. One thing that really surprised is now shallow both my front and back crotch curves are. The only thing that I did differently than the tutorial is I placed tape on either side of the darts of the RTW slacks leaving a small area without tape on it. Once I placed them on my tissue, I slit the pattern and spread it open as much as I though was necessary to accommodate a dart. It worked like a charm and the darts are perfectly placed.

One roll of the Painter's Tape will couple 2-3 pairs of slacks. This pair is so comfortable I may have to turn them into a wearable muslin! Just need to hem and add the zipper and waistband. Of course I have enough fabric in my stash that I don't really need to do that. I can just imagine how great these would look had I put on a control top garment!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Do you rotary cut? Pattern Review B4789

I'm wondering how many people cut out their fabric/patterns with a rotary cutter? I've been sewing for so many years that until recently it had never occurred to me to cut an entire garment out with a rotary cutter. I recently bought the 36x59 rotary cutting mat for my cutting table. I've cut bias strips with my rotary cutter as well as quilting fabric but never a garment. While I did cut the top with the scissors, I cut the slacks for B4789 with a rotary cutter and frankly I really liked it. Of course I was holding my breath and biting my lip the entire time. Not too far in the back of my mind I was making mental notes on where the bandaids and gauze were in case of a slip.

Pattern Description:
Maggie London Dress, Pants, Top -- This review is of the top and the pants
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes I think it looks like the pattern envelope photo excepts that my pants seem to be a lot bigger.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes the instructions were easy to follow and follow you must. If you have not made one of the twist tops before it's hard to get your head around the idea of how it will go together. I decided to follow the instructions and not try to understand them. It worked like a charm but reminded me of orgami. It was also fun sewing the top on this machine. My goal is to sew all of my garment on this machine for the next month or so. Of course if I have to make buttonholes or do any kind of zigzag stitching, all bets are off. This baby only does one straight ahead! While it doesn't offer anything fancy, this machine will probably outlast all my others. I didn't need the instructions for the pants...they were a no-brainer.
I didn't sew the pants on it because it was stretching the fabric a little and I didn't want my side seams wavy!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the idea of the twist top that was not cut on the bias like so many other twist top patterns. Also make sure you get the amount of fabric the pattern calls for. I had absolutely not fabric left lengthwise!
The only thing I didn't like is how big the pants came out. In the photo you can see that they look pretty big. I think I will take the side seam in about an inch in the hip area. On the pattern photo the pants do not look as loose as mine are.
Fabric Used:
I used Matte Jersey for the top and Slinky for the pants. I adsolutely sewing with and wearing Slinky. I think this is my first experience with Matte Jersey and didn't have any problems with it.Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:I didn't make any alterations on the top but because I have a wide back and usually have to make an adjustment for it so I omitted the back darts. For the pants I shorted the front crotch about 2" and shortened the back 2" but only toward the side seam so that it would match the fronts. I left the center back it's original length to accommodate the "junk in my trunk!" I also lengthened the legs an inch. The pants appear to be dragging the ground but that is only because I didn't have the elastic tight enough and they were falling down.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'll certainly sew it again. Right now I am planning to make the dress version. I'd recommend it to others as it is fast and easy and very cute!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A new addition to the family

I didn't get any sewing done yesterday. It was Calvin's birthday so naturally I had to bake him a cake and from scratch no less!

I do have a new addition to the family. Don't get all excited. I mean my sewing family. I couldn't pass this up at the Salvation Army last week.

No, I didn't need it but it was only $10 and the salesman found me irresistable so sold it to me for only $8. Like I needed one more sewing machine!Click here to see the rest of my sewing brood...

This is what I wore today. Arriving home after a long day at the office. I guess I didn't mention in my twinset post that I made slacks to go with this set. I machine knit the "duster" in January.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PR Mini Wardrobe voting has started...

Just a heads up that the voting for the PR Mini Wardrobe contest has started. I'd appreciate your vote. Click here to vote. Thanks!