Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Easy Staple Vogue 8477 - Another UFO Completed

This is another UFO that has been lurking in the sewing room.  Over the weekend I felt so accomplished when I finished this top and Vogue 8251.  Both have been in a bag in a box for several months.  Part of my sewing goals this summer and fall is to reduced the number of UFO's waiting for me in the sewing room.

Vogues 8477 is surely a wardrobe staple.  You can literally have a dozen of these mock wrap tops.  It's not recommended for the inverted triangle figure, but I beg to differ.  It's a good look for me.  And I plan to make more.

Vogue describes this pattern as Misses' top:  semi-fitted pullover tops have mock wrap fronts and banded neckline.  A, B: short, banded sleeves.  B: contrast neck and sleeve bands.  C: three-quarter length sleeves.

For starters I made view C out of a beefy four way stretch knit from JoAnn's.  This top is perfect for the cool summer days, which we are known to have in Chicagoland area.  No doubt I will wear it fall  and winter seasons.  The pattern comes in sizes 6 to 22.  I used size 14 with modifications.

I really like the mock wrap style and the banded neckline and sleeves.  The instructions are exactly as the pattern indicates Very Easy Vogue.  All level sewists can make this top with no problems.   And the drawing is spot on for the style and look of the top. 

My likes:

  • Mock wrap front
  • gathered neckline
  • Side shaping
  • Banded neck and sleeve options

I made my usual pattern adjustments:

  • FBA - The adjustments increases the width from the bust to the hem.  You may need to make adjustments below the bust.  For this version I didn't, but will decrease the width for future versions.
  • Swayback - I added a center back seams as well.  Also added the amount of the swayback horizonal tuck to the bottom of the back top pattern
  • Slight prominent shoulder blade

I will probably make a few more of these in the coming months.  Overall, I like this staple top a lot.  And I recommend it to others if you have it.  This is another one that is out of print.  The copyright is 2006.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Better Than Leggings - Burda 6879 and Mood's Beefy Sateen with Stretch

I consider myself one fortunate soul.  Each month I have an opportunity to select from a huge inventory of gorgeous fabrics at Moods online fabric store.  This month I'm pleased to showcase my second pair of Burda 6879 made with Mood's Theory Elmwood Stretch Cotton Sateen.  It's all around beautiful:  the texture, the ease of sewing, the look.  This lovely sateen is a medium weight sateen elastane/cotton blend.  It has a soft hand with a silky finish.  It wears easy and is not binding.  The weight is sturdy enough to make a curved waistband that cradles your waist.  Beautiful that supports in all the right places. I bought this textile several months ago and it is still in stock.  This is a must have staple fabric and I'd recommend that you grab a few yards for that perfect structure jacket or jean style skirt.  And oh yeah, a pair of slim pants like the ones I've made. 

One of my goals this summer is to sew more pants and woven tops.  So I decided to take a look at some of my UFO's lurking in the recesses of my sew room before starting new projects.  And behold what did I find, my second pair of Burda 6879 cut and all ready to sew. 

After making my first pair, also with Mood fabric, I immediately wanted more of the same style pants. So I ordered this sateen.  Between the large array of colors and prints there is something for everyone.

Initially, I had decided not to review the the lime and white shirt that I'm wearing with the pants.  This was also cut and ready to sew months ago.  But I changed my mind.  I at least wanted to tell the story about how it went from cute vintage shirt (Simplicity 1166) to pajama top.

In my creative little mind, I thought it would be great to add piping.  And so I did: collar, front, and armhole.   In the process of doing so, my sister comes by.  She joins me in the sewing room.  She says, "So you are making pajamas."  Me..., UGG!! Suddenly, the shirt that I thought was coming along nicely, looked like pajamas.  So I quickly, added darts trying to give it shape.  Well, it still looks like pajamas according to my sewing buddies :-(

Oh well, I'll make some pajama shorts and call it a day ;-)  Anyway, the fabric is a lovely cotton-lycra shirting by Ralph Lauren.  It's still available as well.

Also pictured with Princeton Silk Twill top.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Butterick 5209 - First Summer Dress of 2016

Finally posting my review of Butterick 5209, Retro '47, dress.  This is my first summer dress of the season.  I finished it several weeks ago, but can't find the perfect tomato red hat and shoes to wear with it.  So, today without further hesitation I decided to go ahead with publishing the rest of my review.

Part I was posted in April, 2016.  Of course, I had to tweak it just a little more, but nothing extreme.  I'm sure all of us go through some minor tweaking during the sewing process.

Pattern Description:
Halter or cap sleeve dress, below mid-knee length, has side zipper, gathered bust, waist yoke, fitted self-lined bodice and flared, gathered skirt.

Pattern Sizing:  6-20; I used size 16 with modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looked like the drawing.  On the website though, Butterick has a model wearing view A, halter style, dress.  I see that the dress does not fit well at the neckline and around the front of the bodice near the arm.  While sewing the actual dress I experience the same results at the neckline.  I was a little puzzled as the muslin did not fit like that.  So, to resolve the issue, I stitched an inch higher on the neckline and curved the center front seam a little for a better fit in the neckline.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instruction were super easy.  No problems at all.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the style of both dress bodices.   No real dislikes.

Fabric Used:  I used a rayon challis from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL.  It's been in the stash for several years.  I like the feel of rayon; it's soft and floaty, perfect for summer dresses.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  My alterations are indicating in the Notes on a Pattern post from April 16, 2016.  The link is above in the introduction.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes, but with modifications.  Definitely make a muslin for the bodice at least.  I started with size 16 and ended up taking it in a bit during the sewing process. I think all level sewists can make this dress.  Just be careful with fitting the neckline.

That's it for today.  Stay tuned, I have more on UFO's and building my summer wardrobe.  And guess what?  I've already starting to plan fall and winter garments.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Vogue 8251 - Finally Made It

 Over two years ago I attempted to make Vogue 8251 to complement my floaty hi-low skirt.  Well, I wasn't totally please with the outcome.  I tried to do a FBA, but end-up with a not so attractive gathering in the center front of the top. 

V8251, View D

I pondered it for awhile.  Then decided to not gather the excess.  Instead I chose to stretch the band while sewing to adsorbed the excess fabric. As you can see after the FBA the center front is now curved and does not lay flushed against the fold of the fabric.  So I allowed the paper pattern to hang about 1/2 inch over the edge of the fold to bring the paper pattern closer to the fold line.

I know you are probably wondering why do anything to the pattern in the first place.  Well I still needed more room vertically as well as horizontally.  This seem to work and I'm sorry I can't explain it any further than that.   I'm happier with this second version of the top and plan to make another.  But next time I will add a little more width to the side through the bust area instead of the center front.

This pattern is described as Misses top:  close fitting, pullover top has neckline and shoulder strap variations.  A,B: front ties and ruched with elastic at sides. C, D: front tucks and front band.  It is out of print.  Sizes:  4-20. 

The top looked like the pattern illustrations.  On the back of the envelope it indicated that this style was only suitable for hour glass and pear shaped figures.  But I thought views C and D were suitable for any figure type. 

The instructions were for the most part easy to follow.  Except for 33 to 37.  Please read them carefully.  And use the illustration to help you form the cape like neckline. 

I like this top for the cape like neckline.  The front is flatter as well as the back.  No way does this pattern give you the feel of a "coffin dress/top".  There is interest front and back.  I also like the curve of the body.  It's not straight down.  You do not have to create a curvature side seam.

I used a medium weight four way stretch matte jersey from Vogue fabrics. 

This is a great summer top that wears well and is quite attractive.  I like it a lot and do recommend it to others. 

Happy Sewing!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Love My Cream Cheese Pound Cake

 Mmm Mmm Good Cream Cheese Pound Cake!

There are a few versions of this delicious cake online.  Originally, I got the recipe from Adrienne of Real Life:  Live & Unscripted.  Since then I tweaked it a bit.  So here is my version of Cream Cheese Pound Cake.


1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
3 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
6 eggs
3 cups of Swam Down cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

  • Bring eggs, butter, and cream cheese to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 345 degree F.  Grease one 10 inch bundt cake pan, sprinkle with flour, then sprinkle ground  cinnamon into the pan.
  •  Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light.
  • Stir in the vanilla and the almond extracts.

  • Add the flour (baking powder) and eggs alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.

  • Pour batter into the prepared pan.

  • Bake at 345 degree F for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (place a pan of water beneath the cake to keep it moist and prevent burning - from my grandmother.)

  • Add icing if you like or eat it plain.  Either way it's delicious.

Happy Baking!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Generosity ...,

Patty at the Sandra Betzina Retreat (2012)

Life is full of unexpected moments. Throughout our journey we meet people. Some we remember, some we forget, and others become friends. Social media has made the world seem very small compare to how we viewed it 25 years ago. So many people have crossed our paths via social media. So many enjoy sewing and crafting as we do.

Gay, Sandra Betzina Retreat (2012)

It never ceases to amaze me at the number of people I've met over the past ten years through blogging, Facebook, or Pattern Review. Last week I received a Facebook message from Gay, who I met at one of Sandra Betzina's retreat (2012). Gay attended with her friend Patty. At the workshop we were among many ladies who shared a passion for sewing.

Patty of the far left (2012)

In Gay's message, she said, "Patty was climbing a ladder in her garage and fell down. I'm not sure of the cause, but Ms. Patty passed.  I was shocked by this news. Patty was young and appeared to be in good health when I saw her at the retreat.  Gay was helping the family find new homes for Patty's fabric and pattern collections.  She thought of me. 

Patty far left (2012)

Gay shipped me a huge box containing many fabrics from Marci Tilton and Britex. Also, in the box were about three dozen patterns. It was so nice of her to send me such a gift.  I'm grateful and will put it to use. I already owned many of the patterns, so I shared them with some of my friends at the Haute Couture Club and with Andrea (Sew to Fit). Gay and Patty's family can rest assured that the patterns and the fabric will be used to create something beautiful. My plan is to start using some of the fabric this summer, post the finished garments on my blog as well as on Facebook to share with Gay and Patty's family to show my gratitude for the wonderful gift.

I hope and pray that the family and friends are healing after the lost of their love one.


Kimono fabric- some was gifted to a dear friend

Be well all,

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Black, Red, and White Striped Rayon Jersey Knit - Vogue 1314

After a mini purge of my closets, I noticed that there were huge empty spaces that need to be filled with more clothes made by me. ;-) I decided to start with a few tops. This is the second of many more to make.  My new toppers will fill the void were the worn tattered garments used to hang. So here's to beefing up my wardrobe with a simple pullover t-shirt made with Mood's Italian Pirate Black/Mars Red/Bright White Bengal Striped Stretch Rayon Jersey Knit.

This jersey is fantastic. It's perfect for keeping it simple. I used Vogue 1314 again. I wanted it to be a quick and easy project; I knew this pattern could deliver with no problem at all. So, here's to simple and easy with great fabric and a must have TNT pattern.

Parting Shot:  flowering bunches in my backyard.

 Happy Sewing!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin