Friday, July 31, 2009

Wedding dress picked

Well I've made my final decision on the dress or rather Mr. Green made the final pick. It's the Chetta B 5324. I've already picked up the pattern although it wasn't on sale. I need to get it trimmed and stitched in muslin. I don't want to wait until the last minute as I am doing my own invitations (with a kit from Wilton...had a coupon) and making my own three-tier cake. This planning stuff is starting to take on a life of it's own. Nearly had a heart attack yesterday when I couldn't find the bands that go with my engagement ring but I did eventually find them. I still have to find him a band. I've only got 30 days so I've got to start getting it together.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Help me pick my wedding dress

Well it's all set. Calvin talked to the pastor yesterday and on August 30th, before the conclusion of the regular service, we are getting married! Each week after the regular service we have brunch as a way to mingle with and get to know other church members. So we only have order a cake and get a photographer. Of course I have to have a dress (ivory colored) and I've narrowed it down to these:

So far my thoughts are I want to be able to wear the dress for more than just the wedding. I really like the Vogue pattern but on closer examination that side bow might not be a good looks on someone with hips and boobs! The Butterick pattern at the top, view E, was really my first choice but now I'm not sure. I think I could do a lot with the McCall's Create It pattern but then again I don't know. I like the neckline on the McCall's wedding dress but to be able to be worn again I'd have to shorten it. The Chetta B dress is actually more my style and is calling my name! Let me know your thoughts.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pattern Review Butterick 5101

Pattern Description:
Misses' wrap front top with all-in-one sleeve and pleated collar extending into front neckline and side ties.
Pattern Sizing:
XS (4-6) - XL (20-22)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, exactly
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were very easy to follow as there are only four pieces but getting the ties sewn on correctly was really a challange.
Tie close up
Frankly if I were a beginner, I don't think I would have ever gotten them on properly. As it was I had to take them off about four times before getting them on to my satisfaction.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
In the beginning I didn't like this top at all. After I let it marinate overnight I decided I do actually like it...a lot. I haven't liked wrap tops on myself in the past but this one has really grown on me. It looks very sophiscated. I really like that unlike most wrap tops this one doesn't show any cleavage.
Pleated front close up
The placement of the front loop allows for adjusting the waist.
Side view with loop and tie
Another thing I like is that the ties don't tie in a bow so is less bulky than you might think. The only thing I didn't like was the directions for sewing the ties on.
Fabric Used:
Interlock knit. I fell in love with this fabric and while I originally thought I would make a dress out of it, I'm glad I opted for this top instead. I still have a yard and a half left so have enough for a simple dress. The fabric came from Walmart.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I cut the center back on the fold eliminating a center back seam and omitted the back darts then added 3/4" for wide back adjustment. Was there a need for a center back seam. I think not. With this print it would have meant trying to match the print.

I also made a FBA adding a side seam bust dart.
Side seam bust dart
The added length to the center front that results from the FBA was incorporated into the existing center front gathering. I still think I should have added 1 inch at the front and back waist.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'm not sure I'll sew it again but I would recomment it to others just beware when it come time to sew the ties!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Same dress...different day...M5423

I liked this pattern so much I had to do it again. What should have been fast and easy, since it was the second time around, almost wound up being a wadder! I've made countless garment with Slinky but never a dress. Boy was I in for a surprise. Unfortunately, I didn't take any "before" pictures. Let's just say this dress fit nothing like it's counterpart. The sheer weight of Slinky took care of that.

I had to take about 4" off of the hip and remove the FBA all together. In any other knit fabric this dress would be too short and too tight. The "empire waist" was almost at my actual waist! I also took about 3" off of the hem. As in the previous version I omitted the neckline facings and as a last resort and a great idea if I must say so myself, I used 1/4" ribbon to stabilize the neckline. I also omitted the lower center back seam. Had I really thought about it I would have omitted it on the upper back as well.

As it is, I still had to add an insert as I wanted to be able to wear this to work and church without showing clevage. The insert is just a "v" of fabric sewn in. Since the reverse of the fabric is solid black, I just used the wrong side of the fabric.

I finished it off with a 2-needle cover stitch hem and omitted the waist sash. It might be time to retire this pattern for the season!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Pattern Description:
Misses Knit Dress
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I don't think so because of the changes I made.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the overall silhouette of the design.
Fabric Used:
I think it's a lightweight polyester knit but as with most of the Walmart fabrics the end of the bolt said "fiber of unknown origin".
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a 1" FBA and rotated the subsequent dart to the center front but it wasn't enough. When I sewed the 1 1/4" seam under the bust, the seam was much higher than it should have been. Also I realized that the elastic under the bust was either not age appropriate or was just not a good look on me. I removed the elastic and unpicked the casing. I resewed the under bust seam at 1/4" and really liked how it looked. Not only did I omit the facing pieces, I threw them away. For the life of me I could not figure out why I would ever need or use them. I simply turned under the 5/8" seam allowance and stitched it down. No extra bulk and lays very flat. I omitted the waist tie. I also ruched the center front the same depth as the amount added after rotating the dart. To take it up another notch I added a bow tie.
Then I took about 4" out of the hemline. I really like this dress now. I think the fabric print and the silhouette are very retro. And lastly I added a couple of tucks at the back waist to give it a bit more shaping.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will certainly sew this again I think it might wind up being my TNT simple knit dress pattern. If you have a large bust I'm not sure it would be a good look with the elastic but who knows.
I think it's time for me to dig through my stash to see what other fabrics I have available to make another one of these. I also have to get to work on the the latest pair of Painter's Tape slacks. Until next time...

Monday, July 13, 2009

More painter's tape slacks and another refashion

I am so loving the painter's tape pattern. This time I used a pinstripe polyester blend. I lined them to the knee in case didn't want to wear a control garment with them. I am not into panty lines or cellulite! I cannot believe how cool and comfortable they were though the temperature got up 86 degrees.
On the refashion front, I bought this halter on clearance for $5.97 last year, regularly $40. The "necklace" is sewn right to it. The size is an extra large and the back nearly hung to my waist. I sewed clear elastic to the upper back and attached the halter tie as crisscross straps. While I did a good job of "Photoshopping" over it, my strapless bra was showing at the underarm. I need to shorten the straps more. Also I'm sure you're all thinking it because I was when I saw the back shot. WTF?? Is my back that fat?? While I do have a wide upper back, it's the strapless bra from hell squeezing the life out of me. Not really a good look but I can't see the back anyway. It's the people behind me that have to suffer(LOL)! I will say that not one time did I have to adjust my bra or do any rearranging. Of course when I removed my bra for the night my boobs leaped out like they had just been released from solitary confinement!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wardrobe Refashion

I joined the Wardrobe Refashion for 6 months so now not only can I not buy shoes ( bet with fiance') I can't buy clothes either! My first refashion was the blouse from my last post. This is what it looked like at first.

In my defense I never wore it. It's being hanging in my closet for about 4 years and frankly I think the two pieces together are hideous. It still had the $10 clearance price tag on it so surely I had refashioning in mind when I bought it. I cut 5" off the bottom of the tunic and then used that piece to make a casing to which I inserted elastic. I think I'm going to have to refashion my refashion because I think the top would look better if it were more fitted.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fine tuned Painter's Tape Pants

Michelle at Cheap and Picky posted her technique for Painter's Tape Pants by copying her favorite pair of slacks with Painter's Tape. I tried it and while it gave me a great starting point, I still wanted a better fit. After tweaking the crotch and lots of trying on, taking off, trying on, taking get the picture, I think I've finally gotten what I'm looking for. These photos are of my wearable muslin. The fabric is 100% polyester and I know it's been in my stash more than 10 years! I can just magine how fabulous they would look made out of a wool gabardine.

To what Michelle has written I'd like to add my thoughts:

  1. Add a 1" additional side seam allowance

  2. Add a 1" additonal waist seam allowance

  3. If you have more than an "average" (whatever that is) size butt, your back crotch curve should look more like a "J" or possibly even an "L"

  4. After sewing zipper, darts, back and inseams, pin-fit side seams to your liking

  5. Any excess seam allowance your remove from the waist or side seams, remove that same amount from your pattern pieces

  6. Have a good pants fitting reference book handy. I prefer "Sewing Pants That Fit" from the Singer Sewing Reference Library.

  7. Be patient, it may take making more than one muslin to get what you want.

I wanted to add just a simple 1" waistband to my slacks but wanted one that wouldn't bend. I used 1" not-roll elastic and absolutely love it! I'll do a simple tutorial in the next day or so. You are going to love it!

I need help ASAP

I'm trying to decide which one of these looks better as a label as I have to get the info to Lisa at ClothingLabels4U so that she can start on my labels for winning 1st prize in the PR Mini Wardrobe contest.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


All that good vibe you guys sent out to me worked. I'm feeling much better today and am actually keeping food down! Yippeee. I even did some sewing today. Hope to have pictures tomorrow. Again thanks for the good vibe.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm sick

If you'd seen me over that past few weeks, you'd have thought that I'd kick cancer in the rear and was on the high road. Well all that seems to have changed. Monday and Tuesday I felt pretty good. I was in my sewing room ready to create more great outfits. Wednesday at work I started not feeling so good. Started feeling really nauseous and shaky. Since Wednesday after work I've had to make sure I have a barf bag close at hand. I can't keep anything down. Even now I feel it coming on and nothing seems to stop it. I saw the surgeon today and he told me to stop taking the chemo medication and to take some Priolosec. The Priolosec seemed to work for a while but I think it's wearing off. I can't remember the last time I felt this bad. Have you ever felt so bad that you just want to cry? I'm there. I did sneak out to JoAnn's. If Calvin finds out he's going to freak out. I was supposed to be in bed. I picked up some McCalls patterns but as long as I continue to feel the way I do now, no more driving for me. The whole experience felt surreal and like an out of body experience. I feel like I've been drugged. First thing Monday morning I have got to call the chemo doctor because I can't function like this. Gotta go now and do more worshipping at the porcelain alter!