Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pattern Review - McCall's 6069

After another failed attempt at Vogue 1250, I unceremoniously threw the entire pattern in the trash. Although I did have one success with it, three failed attempts is enough. If I keep the pattern I'll feel obligated to try it again.

I had enough fabric left to make McCall's 6069. I first sewed this pattern in 2010.

This time I sewed the drape neck in both the front and the back.

I think the fabric is from and is an ITY knit. I made my usual 1" FBA and lengthened the skirt 2". The rear strap across the back is optional but I can't even begin to image how this dress would stay on the shoulders without it. I also suggest sewing a tag or label on the back facing to be able to determine what is the front and back easily. I like that the elasticized waist helps to define my waist but found that the front drape shows more cleavage than I am comfortable with. Bending down at the waist is not an option unless you want to show clear down to your navel! I think this dress lends itself to being both casual or dressy depending on shoes and accessories.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter jacket - M5936

After making the white dress, I realized I absolutely HAD to have a jacket to match. So with only two days to go I decided on McCalls 5936!  It shouldn't surprise you that everything came from my stash. I'm not sure what the fabric is but I think it's some sort of double woven cotton. It was a breeze to sew.

As I normally do before starting a project, I consulted to find out if there was anything I needed to be particularly mindful of. Just from reviewing the photos, I knew the bodice ran particularly short. Aside from having the bust fit perfectly my next pet peeve is waistline placement. I'd rather have less than perfect seams than improper fit.

After making an 1 1/4" FBA, lowering the bust point 1" and adding an additional 1 1/2" length above the waist, this is how the front and side front pieces looked. I have scissors and tape and I'm not afraid to use them.

The finished jacket.

I added cording to break up the pattern a little, to match my shoes and just because I could! Although the pattern  only called for two buttons, I planned on using three. Even on the pattern envelope, the two buttons look to be spaced too far apart.

Collar and lapel

I love the red lining

I didn't line the sleeves because I intend to wear them rolled up not to mention I probably didn't have enough fabric anyway. I thought it would be a nice touch to show the constrast of the wrong side. It didn't quite work out as I planned because the difference is too subtle when looking at such a small portion of the overall effect. Although this is one of the most comfortable sleeves two-piece sleeve I've ever sewn, the cap was extremely poorly drafted. The cap was so much larger than the armhole that I had to trim it down. Unfortunately I didn't measure it during the fitting stage. I channeled my inner Tim Gunn and made it work.

 Modeling or whatever it is I'm doing!

Now that I look closer at the photos, my dress was getting "butt sprung" before leaving for church. The only time I sat down before these photos were taken was to put on my shoes! YIKES!

After church, keeping the white dress on was not an option. To the rescue was Simplicity 2648--my LBD. I really like the fit and the peplum is so on trend. I'll make it again but will reshape the peplum to lay flat.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter outfit w/extensive FBA photos

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. While I don't normally make an outfit specifically for Easter, this year was different. My church will soon be celebrating our 5th anniversary so we are planning a weekend full of festivities. Included as part of the weekend will be a souvenir booklet.

In college, I pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha and at least seven of my sorority sisters are members of the congregation. We've decided to purchase a full page ad complete with picture. It was decided that we should all wear white dresses. Fast forward to my fabric closet and fabric for a white dress was quickly located as well as lining, 22" zipper and any other notions I might need. I love shopping at home!

I've wanted to make Simplicity 2473 for quite some time and this was the perfect opportunity. I had to make my usual FBA and wide back adjustment.

Step 1: Pin-fit pattern

Step 2: Mark pattern for FBA

 Step 3: Cut and spread pattern and add tissue as needed

Step 4: Rotate bust dart

 Step 5: Measure at stitching line for amount to be added to center front

Step 6

Step 8: True seam with French Curve

Step 9: Pin-fit adjusted pieces

The bottom of bodice is pulling to the left. While it might seem as though there needs to be more width at the side seam, experience has taught me that I need to take a small tuck at the center front.

Step 10: Take tuck as center front.

 Step 11: Finally, adjust midriff and skirt to match width chances on bodice


I snapped these photos before I ran out the door. I love the fit of this dress. I used a double strand of black thread for my top stitching. The fabric is a linen blend and I included a full lining. I couldn't figure out why I have a few wrinkles in the back but I don't have any problem with that. Could be that I had my control garment on backwards and didn't realize it until I got in from church. Don't laugh! It could happen to anybody. I made a jacket to match but that will be posted later in the week.

My husband wasn't particularly a fan of this dress. He didn't see me in it until I got home from church. He said it looked too big and likes Simplicity 2648 better.  I tried to explain to him that this dress was more of an A-line. It was not until I glanced in the mirror that I really saw what he was talking about. A two-hour sit in the dress had caused the dress to become seriously "butt sprung!" Yikes! You know what "butt sprung" is. It's when your garment, usually a loosely woven or knit, does not retain its shape after you've sprung it out with your butt! In this dress it was absolutely horrible. My husband said it looked as if someone had stuffed a midget under my dress! I can't even begin to tell you how bad it was. And to think I was strutting around after church just thinking I was the S.H.I.T (she has it together)! Oh the horror of it all. Needless to say I changed into 2648 quicker than you can say "get that midget off my ass!"

I'm sure I'll make this dress again but I'll steer clear of this particular fabric.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Age appropriate shoes

The thing I like most about sewing my own garments is that I never have the issue of having to seek out age appropriate garments. At 54, soon to be 55, I don't want to look as if my wardrobe is from F21. Not only do I not have a F21 body, in my opinion, there are just things that women of a certain again should not try to wear. Up until a week about I never applied that theory to shoes.

I don't think I look  my age. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be anything but who I am. I know people that are my age who look 10-15 years older. Their thinking, mannerisms etc. are just old-fashioned. I consider myself quite edgy in a somewhat conservative kind of way. Come on now, how many 54 year olds do you know that would be rockin' the blond afro?

I love shoes and own over 100 pairs. Recently I wore a pair that had been in my closet for almost 15 years and had never been worn. They almost got the "boot" several times but each time they received a reprieve. One day I was having a "I don't have any matching shoes moment" when I remember them. Would they match? With baited breath I ran to my main shoe closet and lo and behold--they were perfect and "yes" still in style. Hallelujah!
I'd never given much thought to shoes being age appropriate until a week ago at my Aunt's funeral. Wait, that's not entirely true. I have given thought to age appropriate shoes before but it always pertained to little girls teetering about in heels that were way too mature for them. Anyway, it was at the funeral that I spied a much older woman, at least 70, teetering around in what appeared to be a pair of 5" heels with at least a 2" platform. On closer inspection the shoes looked like a pair I have in my closet.

She walked as if it were her first time ever in heels. Each step was tentative and unsure and she  never looked away from the ground as she walked. Her arms were slightly away from her body with palms parallel to the ground, as if walking some imaginary tightrope. It was almost comical but it made me wonder about my own shoe collection. With platform and wedges being so popular, was I too making  shoe "faux pas"?

Take this pair for instance,

Or these


And finally these.

As you can see, I am totally embracing the platform shoe but I wonder if I look a little too old for this trend? It is impossible  to go shoe shopping without being inundated with the plethora of platform shoes that are available. For me, there are some styles that I won't even consider. For instance I won't even consider the platform wedge. I think they just look too young for me. Or is it that I haven't found the right pair yet? What are your thoughts?