Saturday, August 30, 2008

5 Must Haves for Fall 2008

I received a free fashion mag that had tons of advertisements and several articles on Fall fashion. One that caught my eye was the "Five Must Haves for Fall 2008".

What's hot Fall 2008!

Relaxed Jacket

Tailored Dress

Romantic Top

Big and Bold Necklace


Monday, August 25, 2008

Still Here

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mines was quite busy filled with various activities and family engagements. But I was able to complete another dress from New Look 6749 which I will post later. This pattern is simple and cute. I will probably use it again next summer.

I'm almost done with five pairs of pants (Out of print NM) for my girlfriend/client. These pants are simple and take no time to make. She loves this pattern. I've made it at least 10 times adding a pocket here or there with or without a waistband.

I haven't worked on my coat (grrrr), but plan to spend sometime on it this weekend. I'm picking up my fabric from the cleaners today. I featured I'd save sometime by letting them pre shrink it.

Hopefully this week I can catch up on my blog reading. I miss the enriching tutorials and inspirational creativity of my fellow sewists. I myself have several fall posts to publish, but haven't had time to work on them.

That's all for now.
Happy Sewing!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fall 2008 - Coat for DD

DD's coat pick for this fall is McCalls 5717. She hasn't selected the fabric yet. But she wants view A.

Vogue 1015 - Final Bits and Pieces

Well I have waited about a month since Ms. CB event for a photo of her in the dress. The only photo sent to me is very grainy and does really show the dress. So I decided to post the photo that I took at the final fitting and pick up.

(Ms. CB was having a bad hair day on the pick up day.)

I also wanted to include some final thoughts on the project.

- Ms. CB wanted to wear the shoulder straps directly on top of the shoulder as the photographed model. But the dress is designed to wear just above the ball of the shoulder. This changes the way the dress falls and/or drapes across the neckline.

- I added small bra strap holders to the straps to hold them in place.

- There is a lot of hand sewing involved. The attachment and closure of the armholes, straps, and foundation were all sewn by hand. The flowers were almost completely sewn by hand except for the streams and gathering of the flowers pedals. Before joining the lining to the foundation, I sew one of my labels to the inside.

- As requested I cut off about 3 1/2 inches from the length of the skirt. Note: the hem of the dress is longer in the back, which creates a small train. This I liked, Ms. CB was very conscientious about ease of movement in the dress. She was the coordinator for her family reunion. Her role, of course, required a lot of movement. And hence, she wanted to remove any opportunity of tripping over the train of the dress. She reported that the dress was still a little too long, but workable.

Word on Ms. CB:
Ms. CB asked me to make this dress around the time that Ms. PB asked me to make the white suit from Vogue 8355. I was skeptical about doing it for several reasons:

- Ms. CB has been sewing prom and formal attire for as long as I've been trying to sew. I asked, "Why me." She knows several other seamstress and she sews! Well her response was, "I'm tired of sewing 'like that'. All I want to make is blankets. I'm confident that you'll be able to make the dress." That being said I cautiously agreed to do it.

- The first fitting was, of course, the muslin. It revealed some sticky points with attaching the skirt to the bodice, completing the skirt front closure, and fitting the neckline. At the fitting she asked, "Why bother? You've taken my measurements." I was surprised and answered, "I have to do this step. It helps me know what changes to make and helps identify sticky points." Good thing I did. The straight size 14 needed several changes. I will always make a muslin when sewing for other people and will make one (or paper pattern fit) 95 percent of the time for myself or DD.

- Very detailed and time consuming process. I promised myself to limit the number of challenging projects for other people. Practice on me. I'd seen this pattern online and in the catalogue at the fabric store. My thought was hmmmm.., pretty..., interesting..., Who will make this?..., But in everything, I tried to find the positive. It was a challenge that I could also benefit from giving me an opportunity to give life to my new year's resolution.

Lessons Learned:
"Practice on me"-- I'd feel more comfortable practicing new techniques on me or DD. This was the first for: hand picked zipper with beading and attaching the foundation to the dress. Both are interesting processes that I enjoyed trying. They are also very time consuming. My favorite of the two was the hand picked zipper. I really like the affect of the added beads. This is a process that I will definitely do again in the near future.

Still more to grow on fitting. Continue refinement of my fitting skills. After doing the muslin, I still struggled with the bias neckline fitting.

Have complete clarity on positioning of straps, waistlines, and hemlines before cutting into the fashion fabric.

And finally,

Make sure I take an adequate number of pictures at the final fitting. ;-)

All related posts.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Great Coat Sew Along - The Muslin

Boy I'm so behind on the Great Coat Sew Along. Two weeks ago, I completed the first go round of the Muslin fitting and have a few adjustments to make. I didn't attempt to make any of my normal changes, straight from the pattern. Here are the photos and noted changes. If you can identify additional changes needed, please don't hesitate to comment.

I think I need to do a FBA. There a bit of gapping at the front closure across the bustline

Too much room from the shoulder blades through the waist area. I forgot to insert the shoulder pads. They will elminate some of the excess.

Remove some of the fullness along the lower half of the front princess seam. Sway back adjustment needed. Coat stand away from the small of my back.

Last week I went to Vogue fabrics hunting for the perfect lining but came away empty handed. I'm also thinking about adding a unlining to help protect me from the Chicago winds.

This weekend I'll start making the adjustments mentioned above.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, August 8, 2008

New Look 6749 - View D

Pattern Description: NL6749 Four dresses with sleeve and neckline variations. Empire waist. The skirt is A line mid knee in length.

Pattern Sizing: Multiple sizes from 6 to 16. I made a 14 with modifications. (*Sorry about the wrinkles. The photos (fuzzy) were taken after I wore the dress.*)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. I added another bust dart to each bodice front.

Were the instructions easy to follow? No problem following or understanding the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There is nothing to dislike. I like all versions of the dress.

Fabric Used: Stretch Poplin from Vogue's. I purchased this fabric last year at the end of the season sale.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I had to make a FBA.
- 1. I traced the pattern piece and added the needed width and depth. After pattern fitting the bodice I noticed a little bit of gapping at the neckline. So I folded the excess out of the paper pattern.

- 2. Then I redrew the front bodice adding another dart and about inch more to the length in the bust area.

Here's a Comparison of the two front bodices.

I basted the front and back together and attached the straps to check the fit. I added too much to the length. So I removed the basting and trimmed the excess from all pieces of the front bodice.

- I increased the depth of the back darts to better fit my sway back.

- Added 3 inches to the length of the skirt.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? For sure. I would like to sew view A and C as well. And yes I recommend it to others.

Conclusion: This is a quick and easy dress to sew that can be dressed up or down.

Vogue 8232 - Jacket

I made this jacket to wear with McCall's 5466, but didn't finish it until June. Here's my review:

Pattern Description: MISSES’/MISSES’ PETITE JACKET AND DRESS: Unlined, below waist jacket has open front, neckline gathered into neck band, and above elbow length sleeve. Sleeveless, below mid-knee dress has princess seam bodice and flared skirt.

Pattern Sizing: size 6 to 20. I made size 12. (jacket)

The jacket did look like the pattern. I only made a small change, adding an inch to the width of the front and back.

I agree with the very easy rating given by Vogue. There were no confusing steps in the instructions and the methods were easy to follow. I wanted a no fuss jacket to complete the outfit and this one fit the bill.

The fabric used: polyester satin purchased from Vogue Fabrics (remnant room). The entire outfit cost less than $35.00, which a plus for me.

I can't say that I will sew it again for myself, but may sew it for my DD. I like this pattern and plan to make the dress as well. A beginner would have no problem sewing this up.

M5379- View C

Pattern Description: McCall's 5379 (out of print)
MISSES’ DRESSES IN THREE LENGTHS AND BELT: Wrap dress, close-fitting at bodice; dresses A, C have pleated bodice fronts; dress B has darted bodice with front drape; dresses A, B, C have gathered upper bodice variations; dress B skirt angles at sides; dress C has cap sleeves, skirt with gathered ruffle; dresses A, C have belt tied as desired at waist; all dresses are below mid-knee length with narrow hem finish.

Pattern Sizing: 4 - 20. I used size between 12 and 14 View C

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much. I made a slight change to the sleeve cap.

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were easy to follow, but a little confusing when starting the instructions for view C. Page three the instructions didn't indicate the change from view B to C as instructed for A and B. So they just kind of blended the instructions for view B and C. Otherwise, no problems.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? What initially attracted me to this pattern was the pleats in the bodice and the various hem lines. This was a different look for a wrap dress. After I made the it, the pleats were as flattering on me. Each bodice front has three pleats that meet at the waistline. I have a little, just a little pot in my belly that causes the pleats to unfold and stick out slightly. May be I'll stitch along the pleats to flatten them.

Fabric Used:Cotton Jersey from Vogue

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
- First I had to grade the pattern up to what would be a size 13 using the drafted lines for size 10 and 12 as a guide.
- I made my usual FBA.

- I increased the sleeve cap to add a few gathering instead of easing the cap to a smooth finish.
- At the each side I attached a belt loop instead of making a thread belt loop. This was done following typical sewing methods for spaghetti straps or thin belt loops for a skirt or pants.
- Added 3 inches to the length of the skirt.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Probably not, I have several dress patterns I would like to try. Besides, I think it makes me look a little thick in the middle. I would recommend it to others.
Oops, I forgot to adjust the belt so that I fits at the waistline. It does when it's tied properly.

Conclusion: This pattern was easy to sew and would be very flattering on someone else.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back at Work Today - 3 Week Sewing ReCap

Monday was my first day back in the office since July 18th. My, my, my..., It would be so, so nice to be independently wealthy. I certainly enjoyed the time away from the office. This vacation I did not leave the city. I spent the first week de-stressing and sewing with a few outings here and there. Second week, more sewing, cleaning and cooking. Boy, the more I cleaned the more things needed to be organized or updated. It was good being at home.

I got a lot of sewing done, but still lots to go on the summer sewing list.


2 dresses for DD
5 dresses for me
2 jackets for me
muslin for coat sew along
Wrote some reviews

Short working list

5 Reviews to write
1 jacket to complete from May
More planning for early fall wardrobe

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mimic This - Fall 2008 Jacket

Last week I previewed fall jackets at Nordstrom's. I really like this one. I think I'm going to copy this style. First I have to find a pattern with the same style lines. The sleeves will probably come from simplicity vintage pattern.

There were a few other outfits that caught my attention.

Happy Birthday To My One and Only DD

DD at 3 years old

Today is my DD's Birthday. She turns 21 at 12:35pm. I can't believe it! It doesn't seem like it. I'm very proud of her and glad God gave her to me. DD will start her fourth year of college and has enrolled in the UIC internship program. It will take DD five years to complete the BA requirement, same as most student in her college. The internship program will teach her how to develop good resume and how to interview well. It will also serve as a networking base for potential employers.

I'll probably make her an interviewing wardrobe within the next year. Once she completes the program, hopefully she'll gain employment in her major. It's my hope that DD completes the master's program. Anyway..., the decision is hers to make and I'll support here decision.

So tonight the family will be celebrating and dining at Chez Joel on Taylor Street. DD will be celebrating with friends for next two weeks. What fun it is to be young.

DD at 17 years old, Graduate of Queen of Peace College Prep School

Happy Birthday, Suga'


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