Monday, September 29, 2008

Bits and Pieces

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. ..., still celebrating my birthday. wink! wink! There are several things on the sewing table. Saturday, I starting putting together a Burda skirt (May 2008, Tulip 108). The instructions are so, so. It was easier to follow my own method for putting it together. I'm also work on B4984, view B. The plan is to wear these two as an outfit. We'll see how it goes. More on that later.

Both, Ann and Paco, nominated me for an blog award (big grin). Thank you so much for honoring me. This nomination means a lot coming from two phenomenal experts. I'll post my full response to the nomination later.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

Paul Newman dies at 83.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Play Up Plaids and Stripes

More on Fashion Trends - This fall play up plaids and stripes

Monday, September 22, 2008

Straight Lace - New Look 6824

New Look 6824

I made this dress to wear on the climax of our annual Unity Conference (church) and to celebrate my birthday. Lace is all the rage this year. So I decided to incorporate it into my dress. For the conference, the women dressed in white/ivory and the men dressed in black suits. Hence my color selection.

Pattern Description: Misses Design Your Look Dresses. This pattern includes a variety of necklines, skirts, and sleeves style that can be mixed and matched. I chose the combination of B+C+E+G.

Pattern Sizing: 8 - 18. I made size 14 with my usual fitting adjustments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? As far as the lines of the illustration, yes it looks like the drawing. I made a few changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were easy to follow. I noticed that there was no instruction to stay stitch the front bodice. I did before clipping the allowance and attaching the side front bodice.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the various options of this pattern, "mixing and matching pattern pieces. You can get a lot of use out of this pattern, creating several different dresses. The pattern also had the vintage style of the 60's, which I love. My dislike is that there were no instructions on how to incorporate lace into the design of the dress. See view B+D+G.

Fabric Used: Polyester lace,dull satin, and lining purchased from Hancock's Fabric.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made my usual fitting adjustments and added lace to the design of the dress.

Front bodice - FBA

Back Adjustment- The necklines of most New Look patterns are too wide for me. So I folded out the excess and rotated the decrease to the waist dart. I also added to the shoulder and armhole seam for more move across my upper back. The one thing that I forgot to do was the sway back adjustment. It does not look too bad, but I recognized it was needed for this particular dress.

Added 2" to the length of the skirt.


I couldn't find adequate instructions on how to incorporate lace into the dress so I followed/created my own method. I also wanted to use the scalloped edge of the lace at the hem of the sleeves and skirt. So I cut the lace crosswise placing the lace even with the unfinished hemline. I finished the edges of the skirt and sleeves for the satin only. Next, I hemmed each portion of the skirt and sleeves before sewing the pieces together. Then I joined the lace to each piece of the dress, no lace on the collar. After that I constructed the dress following the pattern instructions.

My preference is to completely line my dresses. So I cut the skirt lining to match that of the dress, shortening it by 1 1/2", then attached it at the waistline after machine stitching the hem and back slit.

Dress inside out

I also made a sash, cutting a piece a fabric 5 1/2" inches wide and 55 inches long.

Dress and Sash

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will use this pattern again as there are more design options. And yes I would recommend it to others. It's not difficult to sew and gives the sewers some creative options by combining various bodice and skirt designs within the pattern and with other patterns.

I bought these shoes to wear with the dress, but decided to wear the pair photographed.

Here is my flickr photo set.

Conclusion: I really like this dress. It suits me. My DD says it's very June Cleaver-ish and is not a surprise that I like this style or pattern. A beginner could sew this pattern with no problems.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Neue Mode Stil Young Collection J22928

This is my girlfriend's all time favorite pants pattern. I've used it at least 15 times. It's very versatile; I've added pockets, slits, and waistband to style them up a bit.

This time last year, DeeDee and I made a trip over to Vogue Fabrics during the lunch hour. In less than an hour, she had 10 cuts of raw silk basket weave fabric for pants and jackets. At that time she was in no hurry for the pants and said, "Just take my fabric home with you and I'll let you know when I'm ready." Well a few months ago she said, "I'm ready." I made five pair (Black and Purple and three multi-color) this time around, no additions (pockets or waistbands) and no belt loops.

Pattern Description: Wide leg pants with front and back darts, front zipper, faced waist and optional carriers.

Pattern Sizing: 8-18

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much. I omitted the belt loops.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yep. I just glanced over them. Typical instructions for basic pants.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Like: Everything. These pants go together really fast. I finished all of the seams and sew them together in two sewing evenings. I also like the versatility of the style; it's very easy to add pockets (patch or in-set), the zipper can be moved to the side or back seam, and slits can be added as well. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used: Raw silk, basket weave

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: This time I only added two darts to the back for better shaping at the waist.

Matching the pattern of the fabric side seam.

Matching the pattern of the fabric at center front seam.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and Yes, if you can find it or have it in your collection. Dee will probably have me to make a few more this winter. We'll see. ;-)

Conclusion: This is a great pattern that a beginner could easily put together. Great wardrobe builder.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another View - New Look 6749-C

Well, This is the second time around for this pattern and is probably the last summer dress that I'll make this year. Here's my view:

Pattern Description: Four dresses with sleeve and neckline variations. Empire waist. The skirt is A line mid knee in length.
Pattern Sizing: 6 - 16.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were easy to follow-- no confusing steps.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the empire waist and the bodice variations. This pattern is a simple summer dress that can be dressed up or down. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used: The fabric is from my stash. It's a polyester/rayon twill that I purchased in 1994 from a mail order fabric store. Sorry I can't remember the name.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I only made minor alterations to the front bodice, added a few inches to the length and increased the depth of the skirt back darts.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but not until next summer. I'm planning my fall wardrobe now.

Conclusion: I like this cute little dress. It easy to sew, easy to wear, and can be dressed up or down. I would recommend it to beginners.

I've seen so many inspirational garments for the fall. It's time to sew my fall wardrobe. This weekend I'll look through my stash for some rich fall hues. And you know I will end up at Vogue Fabrics to supplement what I already have.

Anywho.., My DD received her awards for her entry in the poetry writing contest. She didn't win first prize ($10,000), but her poem was cited at the convention held in Vegas during the summer. She is the proud poet and I'm very happy that she is passionate about writing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pencil Skirts for Ms. PB

Ms. PB has commissioned me again..., This time the order is for pencil skirts. Ms. PB sings in the choir at church. The choir (sometime) wears white blouse/shirt and black skirt/pants, instead of robes. She wants two skirts: black and heather gray. I picked up swatches from Vogue of some lovely menswear and wool crepe. Ms. PB also allowed me to select a pattern. I chose Butterick 5249, with a slight modification (taper from the lower hip to the hem) it is perfect. This is not a urgent commission so I have time to finish my coat and start some things for DD.

BTW- I finished hemming the five pants for Ms. DD last night. She on vacation this week. So no pictures until she returns.

Gearing Up for Fall Sewing

Three day weekends are the best! Pattern sales at JoAnn's and Hancock's make it even better. No ranting and raving about too many patterns in my collection. I'm just going with the flow of "this is what I love to do". I collect patterns; I collect fabric; and I sew. First, Miss DD liked two dress patterns that I picked. Wow! What a moment. I'm getting misty. lol She also allowed me to pay for some fabric that she selected. She hasn't completely decided on the fabric yet but is thinking one will be in a pin wale corduroy.

I also picked up this "great pant" pattern. It's makes a lot of promises on the envelope. These pants would be a compliment to all kinds of tops and blouses worn inside or out. Definitely a wardrobe builder. If it makes good it's promises, It may become a TNT pattern for me. We'll see.

I also grabbed these:

Last but not least, I picked up the patterns shown in the previous post.

Happy Sewing!


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