Monday, September 22, 2014

Meshed in Anna Sui Lace - Teach Me Fashion Two Tone Singlet

At first sight, I ordered Anna Sui's Black Multicolored Stripe Lace. The lace has texture and has a soft embroidered feel to it and the mesh is smooth and silky. I love working with it.  The lace and mesh were combined to reduce transparency (first version for DD) and the ponte knit was used for the lower portion and the neck and armhole bands.

A few months ago Harrison from Teach Me Fashion asked me to test their Two Tone Singlet.  Last week I was able to finally complete a top that was post worthy.  The top pictured here is my third attempt.  I made it for myself, making a few adjustments.  But I couldn't address my requirements for a FBA without altering the block design.  Plus it wasn't flattering on me.  So I worked towards making the top for my daughter. 

The sizing is a little different from the big four patterns.   I would say it runs small.   I usually make her a size small.  In this pattern it was too tight across the bust.  The second top is a size medium.  That was perfect for her.


The top does look like the photo.  But the version on the model appears to be a larger size than she normally wears.  She appears to be about the same size as my daughter.  The top looks like a large or x-large.

The instructions were great.  They are included with the pattern download.  Additionally,  Teach Me Fashion includes a video on how to make it on their site.  I didn't have any problems following the instruction of the top.

This is a cute trendy top that can be made in a variety of fabrics.  I liked that it sew up very quickly and you have the option to color block it. 

Instead of making neck and armhole facings, I made bands using a black ponte knit.  My DD was very pleased with the results and wouldn't mind a second top. The Anna Sui lace is a great fabric to play up the color blocking aspect of this little trendy top.

Happy Sewing!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

McCall 6464 - Notes on a Pattern My Peacock Dress

Today is my 52 birthday.  I'm very thankful to be in the land of the living. This year has been  challenging for me for many reasons.  But I will not go into that now.

This post is about the birthday dress (Peacock dress) that I had planned to finished by today.  I like Rhonda's idea of naming her creations.  (I think I need a matching fascinator.) So I took a tip from her and decided to name this dress, the Peacock dress.  The colors of the fabric are vibrant like the feathers of a male peacock.

I'm using McCall 6464, the 3/4 sleeve with the straight skirt.  The good thing is I've already made the bodice adjustments that I require.

FBA:  I may need to relocate the dart, but I'll determine where once I start to sew the dress.

Swayback and Prominent Shoulder Blades:

I forgot to make the tuck on the side back pattern before taking the picture.  But you can see where I made the tuck.  Palmer/Pletsch includes the lines, which is very helpful.  You can increase the depth if needed.  The adjustment for the prominent shoulder blades adds width throughout the back pattern.  I only need it in the upper back area.  It's not needed below the bust area.  The excess can be removed by increasing the depth of the seams where needed.

That's it for this post.  Enjoy your day!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Trendy Embossed Faux Leather Skirt - McCall's 6842-A In Review

Today's post is on trend with a little circle embossed faux leather skirt for my daughter. She loves McCall 6842 and has been asking for a skirt since I purchased this pattern several months ago. These days we are seeing fuller skirts in all types of textures and lengths. Also on trend for this fall are embossed leather minis. So for this project I decided to combination the two trends and came up with an embossed faux leather mini circle skirt. My DD is well pleased with the skirt and has already asked for another.
This isn't the first time I reviewed this pattern. I made it for myself last winter. So I won't take time to described it again. That information can be found in my first post. What I'd like to review is the sewing process and how I handled the faux leather. I purchased the fabric at Vogue about a month ago, thinking it would be a great fabric to make my daughter a skirt. It looks like some of the embossed leathers I've seen in stores. The feel is smooth and supple. The wrong side is knit. So the fabric has some stretch to it.

When sewing with the two wrong sides on the outside, I had no problems. But any sewing with the right side out was a challenge. I do not have a teflon foot. So I used waxed paper when sewing on the right side of the fabric. This made it easy to sew. Any holes made in the fabric are permanent. So it is important to take your time and know precisely where want to stitch.  Work out all fitting issues before starting.

When sewing the zipper, I used very fine straight pins to anchor the zipper until I sewed it to the fabric.  The pins were strategically placed where I would make the final stitching. It worked and there is no evidence of additional holes along the zipper. When top stitching with the right sides against plate and the foot, I sandwiched the skirt between two pieces of waxed paper having the edges even with the edge of the skirt.

Only minor changes were made: I used a size 12 (size 10 at waist) only adding 1.5" to the length of it. To minimize the stitching, I didn't stay stitch the upper edge of the circle. I carefully made 3/8" clippings along the edge as needed. I top stitched the waist for added security. No pressing; but I thought about top stitching where the yoke and circle are joined. No hem; I've seem this treatment on garments made with neoprene as well as other RTW faux leather garments. Besides I thought it would be a bear trying to hem this fabric in the circle.

This is a great project to start my fall sewing. The pattern is easy and the embossed faux leather adds a little interest to it. My daughter loves the new skirt. My too! ;-) I'm sure this will be a favorite skirt for fall 2014.

Happy Sewing and Have a Fantastic Weekend!

PS - I'm still reviewing some summer garments.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jean Pool 2014 - A Back Story of a Practicing Sewists

Good morning everyone,

Thank you for commenting on the previous Jean Pool post. Lately, I haven't been able to sew much, but wanted to keep posting about upcoming projects and overdue reviews.

Today I wanted to post a short back story about a refashion project that I did 40 years ago. The thought occurred to me that this may be a good post for a number of reasons:

  • To encourage a new sewists.  Often new sewists have challenges with very basic sewing processes and sometimes give up on sewing far too soon.
  • To document my thoughts one of the first projects I made when I was  about 11 years old. I keep this jacket/over shirt because I was proud of myself.  Proud that I completed it.  And I'm glad I continue to sew.
  • Patch work denim is on trend now.  It's everywhere and there are patterns you can use to make your very own trendy denim shirt.

Now my little back story -

I had been sewing about two years when I tried to make a patch work denim over shirt using old jeans that would have ordinarily been tossed in the can.  But the little creative me decided to use them to make a shirt.  I can't remember the pattern I used back then, back I can almost guarantee it was a McCall pattern.  Those were my favorite patterns at that time.

Truth be told, I had no idea how to make the shirt or how it would turn out.  But I was excited about the project and, in my mind, this would be a special project once it was completed.  Although my execution of simple sewing processes and techniques were less the stellar, I was proud to say I made:

  • Button holes
  • Attached a collar
  • Patched pockets
  • Made tabs for the sleeves and shoulder
  • Installed in-set sleeves

Did I wear it?  Oh hell yeah, I did.  I was proud and felt I accomplished a lot with my refashion project.  Was it polished?  No way.  It looked homemade.  Because it was a first of many things, I thought I should keep it to remind me of the project.  Every five or so years, I pull it out to look at it again.  Which each survey I compare were I was then and where I am now with perfecting my sewing skills.  Needless to say, I've come a long way from the 11 year old girl who wanted to make all of her clothes.  I happy that I stayed the course and didn't let anyone detour me from that goal.

Did people (peers) comment about the flaws?  All the time.  That did not stop me.  I was determined and knew that someday I would be much better at sewing.  So I pressed on.  Now today, I am able to make a variety of shirts and jackets.  I'm still learning new skills and techniques.  Sewing is still a huge source of enjoyment for me.

Jean Jacket of 2012 M5860

Now, for part two:

If you are interested in creating your own patch work shirt, try McCall's 6649.  This pattern gives many style options for a button down shirt.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Jean Pool 2014 - Jeans vs. Leggings

Is everyone getting rid of their jeans?  This year has been the year of the leggings.  It looks like leggings are replacing the long time wardrobe staple, jeans.  I can't imagine life without them.  A recent study revealed that there is a decline in the purchase of jeans.  How could that be?

I like leggings too, but they will never replace my jeans.  So today's inspirational post is all about denim.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Staples: Complete A Wardrobe - Simplicity 4020

This next review is on Simplicity 4020. This is an oldie, but goody. The published date is 2006. Many of you have already made these tops or have the pattern in your collection. I've made Views B, D, and C with the most recent being View C. I consider these staple knit tops, especially, View C.

For the description, I will let the illustration speak for itself. The only thing I'll add is that the fabric used needs to have 30 percent stretch. The sizing is 4 to 20. I've used 12 and 14 over the years. The drawings give an accurate representation of the design lines for each top.

As far as the instructions, easy. Very simple and easy to follow. My likes are:

Pictured wearing a self-drafted skirt, slightly higher in the front (January 2014)
  • Simple casual tops that can be worn to work under a cardigan or jacket. They can also be worn on the weekend with jeans or knit pants.
  • Sews up quickly.

I used knits from Vogue Fabrics for all three tops made. This first one shown is View C with a self-draft skirt. Also, pictured with M5818 pant (TNT).

The next top shown is View B in a sweater knit; the pants are Simplicity 2315. (This pictures was taken Christmas 2012.)

I only made a FBA for View C; shown here, Simplicity 2594.

My favorite these days is View C. I may make it again. And I would recommend trying to pattern. It's easy; it sew up fast; and can be used as a staple in your wardrobe.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Notes on a Pattern - M6986

Today's installment of Note on a Pattern is the new Palmer/Pletsch fall wrap dress.  It has a little bit of 80's vibe with a "cinched waist".  I'm seeing a lot of 80-ish styling for the upcoming fall season and the "wrap dress" is a favorite.   I purchased this pattern as soon as I saw it. 

Things I like about it:

  • Wrap dress
  • Cut on sleeves (dolman), more room across the chest area.  More comfort and ease in wearing, still stylish.
  • Cinch waist; I'm thinking of using a stable knit for the dress and a faux leather/suede for the midriff to create an obi effect.
  • Palmer/Pletsch instructions and fitting techniques; I like having the fit lines drawn on the pattern.  It saves time.  Plus, this pattern as a different style bodice with cut on sleeves.  I like having the detailed instructions on how to handle the FBA.  
  • Because it's fall, I'm going to make view B, with length of view A.

The dress on the model, appears to be too big.  The cinching at the waist is not apparent.  I will  eliminate some of the style ease throughtout the dress.  Also, I will stitch the pleats so they lay flat.  They fall right on the tummy area.  I like to fit of the dress below.

That's it for this installment of Notes on a Pattern.  What do you think about this pattern?

Happy Sewing!


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