Friday, October 24, 2014

Comfy Weekend Casual with Viscose Jersey and Cotton Twill



I guess by now you can tell that I love Mood's selection of twill.  They come in a variety of fibers, colors, and weights.  They sew like a dream and are perfect for pants, jackets, dresses and skirts.

I'm still working on beefing up the ole weekend casual wardrobe.  So I chose Steven Alan medal  cotton-lcyra twill for a relaxed pair of pants (Butterick 6028).  This fabric has a beautiful soft hand with a texture similar to linen with less wrinkles. I paired it with the brown abstract Missoni-esque jersey print for another version of Simplicity 1317.


Let me start with the review of Simplicity 1317.  This is the second time around for this pattern.  And it's possible that I may make it again.





It's one of those pullover decorative knit tops that are in department stores this season.  For this version, I added iron-on studs at the shoulders and used a black ponte knit for contrasting neckband and sleeves bands.  This is the first time I used the iron-on studs.  The process was fairly easy.  The placement of the studs does take a little time though. Sewing the top was quick and easy.  I was able to sew it up in less than two hours.

Now, let me talk a little bit about the pants.  I hesitated to buy this one because of the elasticized back.  I didn't think they would work for me.  Hmmm.., what's that saying about following your first mind.  Well, in this case, I think I should have followed my first thought on this pattern.  For me pants with the side front pockets are not my best friend.  Or should I say the most flattering look for me.  Second, elastic back pants tend to be a little of the "too roomy" side for me.  But I didn't think about the things before making these pants.






To help with the slight gap at the pocket, I added buttons.  Problem fixed.  However, I didn't make any changes to the back pant as I should have removed some of the width.  There is too much fabric through the pant for me.

This is not a bad pattern. It sews up with no problem.  The front pant does not add any bulk across the hips or waist.  I liked the idea of having a center back seam on each leg. (missed opportunity to for a better fit). 

In conclusion, I really like the simplicity top, but the Butterick pant is not the best style for me.


Happy Sewing!
C

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mom Can I Have A Simple Dress? - McCall 6988 In Review




Often when I'm sharing ideas with my daughter about future sewing projects, we end up talking about simple vs. fancy. More than often I opt for fancy when I'm going to make something for her.  I'm thinking special. But she always thinking about something simple and easy. Of course, if I want her to wear it, I need to compromise and make things that she has given me the knob and smile on. And I got that with this McCall's 6988 dress.

This pattern caught my eye when I read a review posted by Erica B.

Here is my review:

Pattern Description:
MISSES' DRESSES: Semi-fitted dresses have self-lined yokes, princess seams, and back zipper. A and B: flounce and narrow hem. B: front overlay. B and C: below elbow sleeves. D: short sleeves. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C,



Pattern Sizing:
sizes 6 - 22; I used size 10 with cup size C.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did.
 
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Nothing confusion. This really is an easy dress to make.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
We like:
  • the princess seams.
  • the flounce.
  • the inclusion of the cups sizes. 
No dislikes.

Fabric Used:  I used a stable knit from Hancock.  My DD had the mesh in her stash.  She has a stash and does almost no sewing. ;-)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  One of the great things about sewing for my DD there is minimum fit changes needed.  I added about 1/2" to the shoulder seam and squared it off a bit.  Removed about 1/2" from the center back.  It gaped at the back neckline.Added a few inches to the length of the dress. Additional change.  Thank you Linda for reminding me:  swayback adjustment. I folded out the center back, added 1/2" to the lower edge of the dress.  See this post for an example of my swayback adjustment.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I will probably make this dress at least one more time for her.  And I do recommend it to others.  It's fast and easy.


Conclusion:  This is an easy dress to sew.  And it's always great when DD and I can agree on a style and fabric for clothes I make for her.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Denim Like Twill - Fall Wardrobe Builder




Fall is here and I don't have enough casual wear in my wardrobe!  So this season I'll working on beefing up my casual wear.

A nice pair of jeans are a perfect start.  I found the absolute perfect Mood fabric.  Check out this cotton denim like twill.  It is gorgeous. The description  states that it has a softer hand than denim, which is true.  But I'd like to add that it feels buttery like a suede clothe.  It's great against the skin and moves gracefully with every step.  This is a must have fabric for fall casual wear.

The color is listed as black.  It's more like a charcoal gray.  I wore a black shirt to show the difference in color.  I wish it came in more colors. hint, hint.  Dear Mood can you find more colors please?








I paired it with McCall's 6610, which offers two styles. This pattern is described as misses jeans:  fitted, straight or boot-legged jeans have waistband, carriers, pockets, front stay, joke back, fly front zipper closing and narrow hem.

It comes in sizes 6 to 22.  I used size 14 with a few alterations: lengthen by 4 inches; added 1/4" to the upper front and back pants; and added about 1/2" to the hook on the back pant for more move in the crotch area. 

I also made a few changes to the design of the jeans:  I used the small pocket for view A (sewed view B) and topstitched side seams about a foot from the waist through the hip area.  For security, I also cut two of the carriers. I press and sew both.  This gives me more carrier length to play around with.  With this pair, I sewed on eight carriers instead of five.  I did not sew them flat to the pants.  I wanted to be able to easily thread different sized belts with no problem. 

This is the second time I've used it. The first time was a learning experience for me.  The legs didn't quite turnout as well as I thought the would.  With this pair I addressed the leg issue.  Also, confirmed that I really do not like the straight waistband.  Next time I will use a curved one for a better fit across my sway back.



For the most part the instructions were easy to follow and included fit tips.  The topstitching instructions is incorrect.  Both state that you should do the stitching to the right.  If you follow #37, do the topstitching for the (#44) center back on the left.  Then the joining of the front and back center seam will match as intended.




With a few more little tweaks, this will be my TNT jean pattern.  It has all the elements of a solid pair of jeans and is a good starting point for a custom fit/style.  So give both, the fabric and the pattern a try.  You won't be disappointed.


Happy Sewing!
Cennetta


Monday, October 13, 2014

Vogue 8805 - Color Blocked





Vogue  8805 has been around for a couple years.  Several bloggers and members of Patternreview.com have made it   When it was first published, I thought it was a nice easy pattern to try.    Back then I read a few reviews and saw that some ladies had no problems with it.  It didn't really find reviews that included changes that I may need to make to get a perfect fit.





The pattern includes cup sizes A, B, C, D, but that does not always work for ladies who need to make a FBA.  And believe it or not, most times when a pattern says "very easy" that means fewer pattern pieces or easy to sew together.  Keep in mind that does not always translate into very easy fitting.

So last weekend I decided to give V8805 a try.  Really this was my "wearable muslin" test.  My hopes was to make it work.  This pattern can be used to make a top and a long coat.  I got the long coat idea from one of my pins on Pinterest.com.



Here is my review of Vogue 8805:

Pattern Description: MISSES' DRESS: Pullover dress (semi-fitted through bust) has back neck slit, hook/eye closing and narrow hem. Purchased bias tape finishes neckline. A, B, C, D CUP SIZES.  This pattern can be worn by all body shapes as indicated on the pattern.

Pattern Sizing: It comes in sizes 8 - 24;  I used 14/16 with the middle section D cup.  Just testing the usability of the pattern options.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much.  The dress worn by the models seem to have a little more shaping about the waist area.  It appears to have less style ease than the illustrations on the envelope.  I wish Vogue included the photographs on the envelope.  That would reduce the number of times I have to go back to the website to look the shape and fit of the garment.  That probably cost more money.




Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The shape of the dress and the color blocking options.

Fabric Used:  Ponte knit from JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I was hoping that I could get away with minimum alterations.  Occasionally, I have a momentary brain freeze and forgot that I will always need certain types of fit alterations 99.5 percent of the time. This was no exception.



Construction Changes --
  • Only topstitched where the middle and the lower part of the dress is joined.
  • Made the hems wider than indicated in the guide sheet.
  • Added two inches to the lower section.
  • I prefer to finish the neckline with bias band cut from the fashion fabric.  It looks nicer.
Fit Changes --
  • Tapered the sides of the middle and lower section starting below the bust area.
  • Added vertical darts to the back of the dress.  But I forgot to do the swayback adjustment.  
  • Added a centered back seam.
With  the fitting changes I still see a drag marks start from the side in the bust area that travel to the back of the dress.  So I think I really do need to make the sway back adjustment and I think it would be better to alter the mid-section A/B cup size to get a better fit all together.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I plan to.  I want to at least try it again in a top and/or possibly making the jacket/cardigan similar to my pin.

Conclusion:  This is a easy pattern to sew.  But don't skip making your usual fit adjustments.  You may need to do a little reshaping of the dress.  This pattern can be used for a jacket or top.   I do recommend it to others.  But read some of the reviews before you start.  You may find a few helpful tips.

Happy Sewing!
Cennetta


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Casual - Simplicity 1317-F and Vogue 1355





One of my goals this fall is to beef up my casual (weekend) wardrobe. I want easy comfortable pieces to complement what I already have in my closets.  When I wasn't able to sew as much, I took advantage of those weekly pattern sales at JoAnn's and Hancock's.  I racked up on patterns with many styles to choose from.

Today's review is on Simplicity 1317-F and Vogue 1355 (Sandra Betzina loose-fitting pants).



So let me start the review with Simplicity 1317-F

Pattern Description:  Misses' pullover decorated knit top.  These tops are on trend and offer a lot of decorative options with studs, fringes, and fabric textures.

Pattern Sizing:  XXS to XXL.  I used a medium above the bust, large at the bust, and medium below the bust. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.  My embellishment was slightly different, but the design lines are as pictured and drawn on the pattern envelope.  No dislikes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  This is a very easy pullover sweat shirt type of top.  I didn't need the instructions, but I did take a look at them and didn't see anything difficult or confusing about them. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  As I stated above this type of top is on trend now.  It is simple; it offers style embellishment options; and it's a great pattern to use to beef up your casual weekend wear.  It took about 1.5 hours to sew.

Fabric Used:  Sweater like knit and a soft ponte knit.  Both were purchased at my local JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  It is very forgiving when it comes to fitting. This was a plus for me as I didn't spend much time making fitting adjustments. I added the waistband to view F.  I did not add the studs on the neckline and my fringe is faux suede much shorter than the fringe pictured on the modeled version.  I wish I had double the row of fringes.


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes and yes.  I've already made a second version.  But I will review that one later (Mood Sewing Network project). 

Conclusion:  This is a great pattern for beginners.  It easy and offers opportunities to add trendy embellishment.  It's also a top to use to beef up your fall casual wardrobe.

Vogue 1355 loose-fitting pants are just as easy to make as Simplicity 1317.   This is the second time I've made them and plan to make more.  They look a little like harem pants, except the drape is on the inside of the leg, which gives an interesting look to yoga styled pants.

 Pattern Description:  Misses' top and pants: Pullover, lined top (close-fitting through bust) has cut-in back armholes. Pants (very loose-fitting through hips) have waistband, inside leg drape, no side seams, and tapered lower edge. A, B, C: narrow hem.


Pattern Sizing:  A-J; I used size D for the pants.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?   Yes they did.  Exactly.

Were the instructions easy to follow? A piece of cake.  No problems with the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I liked the unique draping of the pants.   This is a nice alternative to the standard yoga style pants.  No dislikes.

Fabric Used:  I used a jersey knit from Vogue on Roosevelt Rd. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made only two changes to these very easy pants.  I added about 4 inches to the length and inserted wide elastic into the waistband.  Instructions 2 indicates that you shouldn't have to, but I wanted an added layer of security.  They fit snug and the elastic helps with tummy control.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I will definitely make them again and do recommend them to others.  Easy and comfortable.  You can't lose.

Conclusion:  This a easy pattern to sew and is a change from the standard yoga style pants.  Easy.

Note:  Please forgive the position of my hand.  I wanted to cover my neck.  Pictures taken 1 week post-surgery.

Thank you!

Thank you everyone for your prayers and sharing your life experiences. I enjoyed reading your comments and will post replies soon. Thank you again, Cennetta

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Mane Event - What's Happening to My Hair?


Are you obsessed with your Hair?  Do you frequently go to the Hair Salon?  Do you ever leave home without grooming it?  In recent years, have you noticed changes in the texture and density of it?  Is your confident level dependent on well your hair is groomed?  Do you where hair extensions to add volume or length?  Are you devastated by hair loss?

In recent years, I've had many thoughts about the overall health of my hair.  There have been moments when I was in tears because of the increased loss of hair.   Yeah, it all sounds superficial.  But women are losing their hair at a significant rate these days.  Some of it is due to medicine (high-blood pressure) or other health condition (thyroid disease or cancer).  With the huge accessibility to hair extension and countless hair professionals who add them, some women have turned to wearing hair extensions to address hair loss and to get the desired hair style.  This practice has further increased the instances of hair loss in women.

Okay.  Let's rewind..,  Let's go back to a time when hair loss was not in my thought process.  That was when I had big hair.  Back in the day when I religiously went to the hair salon every two weeks without fail.  Needless to say, I took good care of it and spend a lot of money doing it.   I never used extensions and was pleased with the density and length of it.

Then something happened.  At age 38 I started noticing a difference in the texture and density of my hair.  Occasionally I told my stylist that, "I think my hair is falling out."  Not to say she was the cause, but to acknowledge that there were changes happening to my hair and maybe some changes in the care of it may be necessary.  Well, I continue to tell her, but my persistence was not received as a proactive cry for help, but a negative declaration of her professional training and skills.  So, by the time  I was 47 and on a regiment of high-blood pressure medicine, it was noticeably thinning at the top.  To the point were if I made a part in my hair is was wider than the parts made in other areas of my hair.  This was devastating for me.  And I became more vocal about it and wanted to explore alternative hair care practices.  Needless to say, this was not well received by my stylist.  So in the end, I decided to take the care of my hair into my own hands.    The biggest change for me was to put oil and more moisture back into my hair care regiment.  No spritz or other drying agents with minimum use of heat application and reduced timing on the hair relaxer applications. This helped a little, but the bigger problems were related to my medicine, thyroid disease, and becoming a older women.



About two years ago, I came to turns with the fact that I losing my hair and it will probably continue regardless of the added oils and moisturizers.  They may slow the lose down, but inevitably I will continue to lose it.  So, with that acceptance, I'm looking at alternative ways to "keep up a good appearance about the head".  Of course, I will "wear" my own hair for as long as it looks okay.  But the the time will come when it will not.  I'm really afraid of hair extensions. So I'm left with hair pieces and wigs.

Oh, forgot to I like the current length of my hair, but if I start to look like this, I will definitely need to cut it off.


Nine Reasons You're Losing Your Hair 

Thinning Hair:  Causes and Solutions

So, what are your thoughts on hair loss and treatment?  I'm sure there are some ladies/women out there who have similar stories and may be have some suggestions on how to handle hair loss condition.

I leave you with a song my India Arie, Titled: "I Am Not My Hair".



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