Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year 2009 in Review

It's hard to believe that this year is coming to a close but what a year it has been. My year was full of highs and lows. Early in the year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and believe me that was a low. I was mainly able to endure it through prayer and sewing. Prior to the cancer my main goal was to work on better fitting patterns to my body and I must say I largely successful on that front. I bought way too much fabric but I think that was partly due to needing something to do to keep my mind off of cancer. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I entered my first ever sewing contest at Pattern Review and won. That was so not expected. During the year I made at least 13 pairs of slacks with only two being wadders. Added to that were 20 tops, seven jackets, two skirts and seven dresses which included my wedding dress! I was married for the first time August 30 at age 52. It's never too late. I married the most wonderful man in the world who totally supports my sewing addiction.

My three favorite tops

Favorite Dress

Best Fitting Slacks

I also moved from a home I've lived in for the past 20 years reducing my sewing space to about 1/3 of what I'm used to! I had to scale way back. On the up side I no longer sew in the basement and have two windows. Sewing by natural light is wonderful. I also have a sewing closet complete with overhead light. I increased my sewing library by quite a bit with books and DVDs. For 2010 I plan to continue working on fit and want to continue removing RTW items from my closet. I need to pay more attention to SWAP and make fewer orphans. I hate standing in front of the closet thinking "I have nothing to wear."
Once again the husband and I have another challenge. He has bet me $100 that I can't go for three months without buying garment fabric. I can only purchase lining, interfacing or notions. I'm always up for a challenge. After all, if I can go a year without purchasing shoes I can certainly go for three months without purchasing fabric. Last but not least I made many internet sewing friends. Thank you all for letting my join your internet sewing family.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stalemate over - M5975

Well my sewing stalemate is over. I started right in on a garment that I've needed for ever...a black dress. I'm not totally satisfied with it. Could be that I did everything wrong. First my fabric probably didn't have enough stretch to totally get the desired look. The pattern is described as close-fitting but I had no desire to look like a stuffed sausage. I decided to make sure I had enough room by cutting a size 16 in the neck and front armhole with a 24 for the remainder. I also went into overkill when I added additional 1" side seams. Let's just say my stupidity even amazes me sometimes! I wound up taking about 2 1/2" side seams which almost negated my bust darts including the vertical ones I added. The armholes are way uncomfortable (small) and installing a center back seam zipper as the pattern instructs was simply asinine! I should have added one inch to the hem when I added 1 1/2" to the bodice front and back. Going to have to put a very small hem in. I'm going to omit the facings as I hate them on knits. The good part is that I don't think it looks too bad especially since I bought this "pebble polyester double knit" fabric at a yard sale this past summer for $1 for 2 1/2 yards. I didn't feel like putting on makeup and barely combed my hair. I'll post more pictures when I get all dolled-up. Static cling wasn't helping and I should have had on a body shaper! The question much more work should I put into a $1 dress??

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sewing stalemate

Have you ever had a sewing stalemate. That's what I call wanting to sew but not being able to decide what to make!
Garments I need to add to my wardrobe:
Skirts-including black
Dresses-including black
Jackets--including black
Lately I've spent most of my energy making slacks and blouses. Although I am mindful of the garments I need to round out my wardrobe, I really enjoying making blouses and slacks.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get over the sewing stalemate and crank out something to start rounding out my wardrobe!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I'm still here...McCalls 5929

I'm still here but my computer hasn't been. I took it in just for some much needed maintainence and also have a wonder new DVD burner. I haven't done as much sewing as I planned but I did finish this little beauty. It seemed to take me forever. Since you all know how much I hate UFO's I had to finish it before I can move on to my next project.

You can read the entire review here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Today's my blogversary

Yipee! Today's my blogversary. I can't believe it's been a whole year. I never thought I would like blogging so much but I do...I love it. None of my friends sew and they only person I really talk about my sewing with is my husband. He is a hoot. Every since he watched Schmatta: Rags to Riches, he walks around the house saying he used to be a cutter in the garment district! He loved that documentary and must have watched it at least five times. Anyway I'm happy to have so many internet sewing friends. Thank you all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Amazing Fit

After all of my ranting and raving about the Amazing Fit I got with the Simplicity slack pattern 2860, Faye asked what I meant by "scooped out crotch." I think part of the reason the 2860 slacks fit so well is that I've finally figured out how to shape the back crotch for my particular figure.

While these don't look too bad, I hate how I get the weird cupping under my butt cheeks.

I'm pretty sure it's because most commercial patterns are shaped like figure A. For the Simplicity pattern I scooped out the rear crotch curve to look like figure B. If you think about it, look at your figure from the side. Figure A represents a figure that has a relatively flat rear while figure B represents a figure with curves. FYI I did use the curvy pattern pieces for the Simplicity slacks.

What do you think? Am I onto something?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Amazing Fit - Simplicity 2860

Marketed as Amazing Fit, these slacks are just that...Amazing. When I started these slacks I did my usual 1 1/2" wedge to the center back but had to remove all of it.

The only change I had to make was to scoop out the back crotch curve a little and got this amazing fit. So inamored was I with the fit that I quickly got to JoAnn's and bought 2700, 2562 and an Amazing Fit skirt pattern 2475. The only thing I disliked about the pattern was the zipper application as I forgot to overlay the fly pattern piece on the slacks front so had to install the zipper per the instructions. Couldn't quite wrap my head around that and had to remover the zipper three times before I got it right. I didn't have the correct color zipper and since I didn't start them until midnight, had to use what I had on hand.

I omitted the belt carriers and lengthened the legs 1 1/2". I'm going to try them again in a black crepe. I want to make sure the amazing fit didn't happen by accident.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Simplicity 3686

I'm really getting the hang of transferring my personal figure variation to commercial patterns. I lengthend the back crotch my adding to the crotch point and adding a 1 1/2" wedge to the back. I'm pretty satisfied with them.

I really like the pocket detail as I've become obsessed with pockets lately. I didn't much stick to the instructions and was a bit perturbed that the there are 13 pattern pieces! The contoured band is very comfortable with no gaping in the back. I don't think I'll make them again as the finished pant leg is 31" wide of which the style may not be around much longer.

Next pair up is either Simplicity 2860 or Vogue 7881.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fabric Covered Shoes -- Part 2

The response to the fabric covered shoes has been great. As you can see, I started with a nice shoe that was good quality material and in good repair.



I'm going to put a tutorial together so stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fabric Covered Shoes

I don't normally do an end of month recap but I think I like the idea. I did manage to finally get everything moved, got the old house rented and am now all settled into wedded bliss. Of course my new husband moved the majority of my things so other than most of my sewing stuff and my clothes, I don't know where anything is! On the sewing front, I worked on pant fitting and sewed 5 pairs of slacks with only one being a wadder. I also sewed one jacket, and two blouses, but best of all I covered a pair of shoes with fabric! I've had the idea in my head for quite some time but never got around to trying it. What do you think? Drop me a line and let me know! I absolutely love them.