Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pattern Review - Butterick 5638

Pattern Description:
Easy Misses' fitted dress with belt and A/B, C, D Cup sizes
Pattern Sizing:
8-22 I cut a 16 through the neck, shoulder and armhole gradually out to a 20 at the hips
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I think so, how about you?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy and straight forward.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the sleeveless style and the ruffled front. Of course you can't see the detail because of the fabric print! I disliked that the small dots (markings) on the side front and front pattern pieces did not seem to want to line up. It was very screwy but I channeled my inner Tim Gunn and made it work!
Fabric Used:
Cotton with a small amount of lycra from JoAnns
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I used the D cup pattern pieces and the only pattern alterations I had to make were to lower the bust point 1" and add 2" to the length.
This is absolutely the best I've ever installed an invisible zipper. This shot is after I'd wore the dress all day!To say I'm proud of it is an understatement.

After I was nearly finished, I decided it needed a lining. I did have to take the neckline binding loose but improvised on the front inset.

I used a very light-weight knit fabric from my stash for the lining and eliminated the armhole binding pieces.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'll think I'll definitely sew this dress again. Don't know when but it is worth repeating.
The reason I chose this fabric and style is because I found this belt on sale and just had to make something to go with it! I wore it to work today and got tons compliments. I felt very chic wearing it. Because of the high cotton content of the fabric, I say about 97%, the dress was totally "butt sprung" by the time I got home. This dress will have to be washed after each wearing to shrink the butt back into shape.!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vogue 1250 Refashion -- Part 1

I guess I owe Vogue 1250 another try. Why is it that not until I started the refashion did I realize the reason I didn't like 1250 is because my fabric was all wrong. My bad! The fabric I used has way too much drape. The fabric was just fine for Vogue 1179. See?

Not so much for 1250

I've been wanting to sew McCalls 6319 and decided to give it a try. I pin-fit my pattern to see what adjustments I might need to make. Oops...rewind. I first went to Pattern Review and while no one there did, I decided I needed to add a bust dart to my pattern. I do not like using the pattern design ease as wearing ease! Is it just me or is this pattern piece just screaming for a bust dart on the left side?? I didn't want any armhole gapping going on.

The red line shows where I cut the pattern apart and added a bust dart but only on the left side. Here's a picture of my altered pattern piece. I also added 2" to the bodice front and back.

I am a self-taught sewer and don't feel confined by any sewing rules. That said I hope I don't screw it up! I don't see any reason to add a dart on the other side because the shoulder pleats take care of that.
Luckily I had enough leftover fabric to cut the skirt front. I used the original Vogue lower front piece to cut the skirt back. I added a center back seam to the upper back of the original pattern and was able to cut the bodice back by placing the pattern center along the seam.. After removing the darts I was able to cut the bodice front out of the upper dress front.
After I sewed the bodice together, it became apparent that this is fabric is too drapey for this dress as well. Initially I wasn't going to line it but I dug into my stash and found some knit lining --"fabric of unknown origin" from Walmart. Actually the fabric really reminds me of "Jet Set" from JoAnns. Anyway...
The dress is going together really well. I was concerned about the neckline possibly being wonky so I added some clear elastic to the shoulder seams and the neckline.

I stretched the elastic slightly (on purpose)  while stitching and although in the photo it doesn't look that great, once I understitched, trimmed and steamed the seam it's perfect.
To give you an idea of what the finished dress will look like...

The skirt front is pinned in place.

So far the refashion is going just as I planned. More later

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Musings 6/27/2011

  • There are some very interesting stories about student loan debt here.
  • After church I spent the rest of the day sewing and scrapbooking.
  • If you haven't seen Hachi: A Dogs Tale with Richard Gere, you've missed a good one.
  • I cut Vogue 1250 apart last night. I tried to like it but I just couldn't.
  • I'm refashioning it into McCalls 6319..
  • I finished Butterick 5638 last night.
  • I fully lined it!
  • My stylist gave it two thumbs up!
  • You'll have to wait to see it. Weather not very photograph worthy today.
  • Remember these shoes from this post, they were supposed to be my go-to shoes this season.
  • They are going-to my SIL. I only wore them twice!
  • They will not stay on my feet. I've tried everything. They flop up and down like slippers.
  • A Diva like myself cannot go around tripping over her own feet.
  • Don't worry, I'm replacing them with the exact same pair a size smaller!
  • If I see one more ant in this house "they gone make me lose my mind, up in here up in here!"
  • How did the Fourth of July get here so soon?
  • I've been taking Calcium per my oncologist not the intended purpose but I think it helping my fingernails to grow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Thoughts 6/23/2011

  • Debbie Cook of Stitches and Seams wondered why I have a dozen pairs of shoes in my sewing room. They're in there because I have to audition my outfits before I wear them. When I get my garments to the point that I can try them on, I like to do so with the shoes I plan on wearing. Being the procrastinator that I am, I don't have time in the mornings to figure out what I'll wear.
  • If I must say so myself, I am the best dressed woman at my job.
  • I'm loving the dresses I've been wearing, both current and from seasons past.
  • I'm wearing an absolutely beautiful ring and bracelet that I ordered from HSN.
  • I lost 2.4 lbs this week.
  • I gained 2 lbs last week. In my defense I did have on a pair of lined slacks when I weighed in.
  • My sewing mojo is off the chain!
  • Is it ever going to stop raining?
  • Yikes! JCPenney has stopped selling my favorite Geena DeRossi handbags.
  • BTW how do they ever make any money. Seems everything is always on sale or marked for clearance.
  • Guess I can say the same thing about JoAnns too.
  • My dining room is still my unofficial scrapbooking room
  • I know it's bad when I get excited about $3.59 gas.
  • I need to stop buying fabric.
  • That's not about to happen!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Pattern Description:
Very easy Misses' close-fitting dress in two lengths with overlapping front pleats and custom-fit cup sizes
Pattern Sizing:
6-20 I made the size 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It looks exactly like the envelope only problem is you can't see any detail with the fabric I chose!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Super easy
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I think this pattern would look good on all shapes and sizes. I especially like that the back has princess seams allowing more opportunities for alterations if needed.
Fabric Used:
Matte Jersey from my local Walmart
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't make any changes on the pattern...but I should have. This is the second garment I've made recently and didn't consult Pattern Review first...mistake. You absolutely must add the the front armhole shaping. As it is I only sewed 1/4" seam. It's not just the way I'm holding my arm that is showing so much underarm skin. Don't make the mistake I made. Next time I will add 1/2"-3/4" at the front armhole shaping.

I cut the D cup and while looking at the dart I thought of converting it to gathers but didn't...that too was a mistake. The dart is so deep that I had to sew the dart much higher to get some of the point out of it. No amount of steam helped. I did have some gaping at the center front and decided to sew it down because I didn't want any cleavage showing. I used Steam-A-Seam on the hem and then topstitched with a double needle.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'll sew it again and would recommend it to others.
I sewed the majority of this dress on my serger and estimate that my actual sewing time was a little less than an hour. You can't beat that.
(My photographer insisted on taking my pictures as I was trying to get out the door to work!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Musings

  • Today I'm working on finishing up Butterick 5638. I was nearly finished when I decided it absolutely needed a lining. I've got it cut and ready for stitching.
  • I think I'm going to try cutting out several different patterns today. I usually only cut out a new garment after I've finished the previous one.
  • I absolutely must make more panties this week. I am in love with the ones I've made and have been wearing nothing else.
  • I can tell when my husband loves the outfit I'm wearing. He insists on taking my picture.
  • Wish he'd actually learn how to take better pictures.
  • This outfit is from Summer 2009 and it still fits...Yippeee!
  • Why are there over a dozen pairs of shoes in my sewing room?
  • Want to know what frustration is? How about preparing your fabric, laying it out on the cutting table, envisioning how absolutely gorgeous you'll look when you finish the garment only to realize the pattern pieces aren't in the envelope! WTH. Have to wait until patterns are on sale because I refuse to pay full price.
  • I teach sewing classes at JoAnns and while I love it, I wished they would allot more time to finish garments. Two classes three hours each is not enough time to finish a Cynthia Rowley dress if you don't have any real sewing experience. I don't get to pick the patterns for my classes!
  • It seems I haven't sewn a pair of slacks in forever! Need to remedy that soon.
  • Don't you hate it when you put something away to make sure that you can find it when you need it only to realize you've forgotten where you put it...the cable that works for two of my digital cameras!
  • Oops. Found it. I moved it and didn't replace it.
  • I have to get my teeth cleaned tomorrow. How exciting :{

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A little bit of everything

I live in a rural community right outside of the city and I love it. We own quite a bit of property and I really love not having neighbors to bother me. I'm at a point in my life where I really enjoy the quiet. This is what I woke up to in my front yard this morning.

It is not at all unusual. I'd venture to say that you don't see much of this in the city. We have a small swing set in our back yard and yesterday I saw both a huge black bird and a small rabbit make an attempt to walk up the slide only to wind up back at the bottom. Very entertaining to say the least.
The class I taught at JoAnn's yesterday went well. It was also 1/2 on  classes day. I usually sit in the front of the store sewing and promoting my sewing classes. It was a good day and I expect to be really busy over the next couple of months.
Don't you love it when you dig something out of your closet from a couple of season ago and
  1. it still fits.
  2. it still looks good on you.
  3. it's still in style.
That's what happened to me this morning. This dress is from 2009 and is still one of my favorites. I got the fabric at Walmart and only paid $1.50 a yard. Not too bad for a $3 dress. The cropped sweater came from Dots for $12. I wore this to church but of course I had shoes on!

My mojo is working overtime so expect quite a few posts this month with lots of pictures!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I have new panties -- Kwik Sew 2908

Kwik Sew 2908
Pattern Description:
Misses Panties
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Hard to say because the pattern envelope only has drawings. I sewed view B and while the pattern envelope gives the impressions of bikinis but they are more like high cut briefs. They are not as high as my navel.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy enough but it took me a minute to wrap my mind around how to sew the crotch lining
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I started out with Kwik Sew 2100. Even after altering them some they were HUGE. The sizing is WAY off.

Fabric Used:
Leftover Matte Jersey from previous projects
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
According to my hip measurement I should wear an XL. I compared a favorite pair to the sizes on the printed sheet and decided to cut a Small instead and added 1" to the front width. That alterations was spot on. I also decided to cut the crotch piece separate and attach as instructed for KS2100. I've not very fond of the loose crotch lining in the front. I also narrowed the crotch piece by 1." As it was it was much too wide.

I guess I wasn't paying attention and cut my elastic the lengths suggested for View D. Although it was for the wrong view, I liked the fit and will continue to use the elastic measurements from that view.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Ocne I figured out the size, I made three pairs. I'm impressed because they are very comfortable.
I honestly don't think I'll ever buy panties again. Why would I? It only took me about 40 minutes to make a pair for a fraction of the $8 a pair that I usually pay. I have enough left over Matte Jersey from previous projects to keep me in panties for years albeit quite a few will be made from the same fabric and I don't have a problem with that.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

I know, I's Friday but I was thinking about some of this stuff yesterday!
  • I'm wonking on Kwik Sew 2100--a pair of panties. Is there a reason I didn't read the reviews on Pattern Review before I started. Based on my hip size I cut out a size 9. Can I say they are HUGE. I know my butt is on the big side but this size 9 is huge in a way you can even begin to imagine. Also I totally disagree that the instructions are so my opinion they aren't.
  • Alright Style network. Enough Project Runway already!
  • I found fabric in my fabric closet that I didn't even know I had.
  • I can't believe I acutally bought a few yards of fabric today!
  • I lost 1 lb this week.
  • I gained 1.8 lbs last week.
  • You have got to try "Daily's". It's a 10 oz frozen drink with the alcohol already added. Love them
  • Hmmm. Might be where the 1.8lbs came from.
  • How could it be in the 90's Tuesday and Wednesday and not even reach 60 today?
  • I could watch Sling Blade a bajillion times and not get sick of it.
  • When people say I don't act like I'm 53, is that a compliment?
  • I rode my bicycle a couple of miles knee hurts.
  • I wish I could stay awake and watch late night t.v.
  • I'm not good at returning people's phone calls. I just don't like talking on the phone about nothing.
  • I have a class to teach tomorrow at Joann's. Gotta get ready.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Memorial Weekend Sewathon Part 2 - Picture heavy

Here's the other two dresses I made on my Memorial Weekend Sewcation
Vogue 1221
Pattern Description:
Vogue Patterms American Designer Tracy Reese
Partially lined, pullover dress has short dolman sleeves, elasticized waistline and neckline with tie ends stitched hems and above mid-knee length.
Pattern Sizing:
I sewed a size 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I think it does but you can see much detail here

I plan to wear it off the shoulder

I threw on the green shoes because I thought it looked a little boring. I need a belt or something.

On the other hand there is nothing boring about this version.

 I like it with or without a belt. 

I don't really like it on the shoulders but maybe I just need to tighten the neckline elastic

With a narrower belt than first photos.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy to follow but if I hadn't I don't think I would have gotten it together correctly
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern
I actually never noticed the pattern until I saw Melody's of Crazed Sewer's version.
Fabric Used:
The blue is Matte Jersey from Joanns. I'm not sure of the actual fabric content of the yellow and black but was visiting a sewing blog and the owner mentioned that an internet seller had this fabric. I bought it (over a year ago) and while I originally thought I would make a twinset out of it, I think it serves this dress much better.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Beware. This dress is extremely short. I added 3" to the center front bodice gradually going to just 1" on the side seam to match the 1" added to the bodice back. I then had to straighten the center front to reach the fold so I just slit the pattern which exposed a nice "pie slice" which I filled with more tissue.

I added 4"to the skirt. I didn't line the blue version but lined the skirt of the yellow/black combo. I wanted the top to look the same as the bottom so I underlined the bodice top.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I've already made it twice so I probably won't sew this again year. I highly recommend it to others but caution that both the bodice and the skirt run extremely short!
I plan to wear both dresses off the shoulder as I like the look better. I used the elastic piece that came with the pattern but think it needs to be shortened so that the top won't be so sloppy looking. Even on the pattern envelope the model looks as though her elastic at the neckline need to be shortened.
I wore the yellow/black dress Sunday and got sew many compliments I wanted to jump back and kiss myself! LOL