Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grommets and Studs for the Edgy Woman - Spring 2009 Trend

Yes, grommets and studs are popular this season. If you live on the edge, toss a few into your wardrobe. Be careful; they can magnify problem areas. Accessories are a great way to showcase them. Don't spend too much on this trend, in today gone tomorrow.

Parting Shots:

Me doing the trend - Grommet sweater gifted to me from my sister Mona.

Happy Style Watching!

No Blogging, But A Lot of Sewing and Other Acitivities

Boy, it has been a while. I'm about half done with my nieces prom dress. It's coming along beautifully. This is the last graduation/prom dress I'm making this season. Last week I finished my niece's gal pal's dinner dance dress. Her mom is picking it up on Wednesday. I'll report on that experience later. I'm still waiting to post the review and photos of my niece's (Dominique) dinner dance outfit.

Sunday was the climate of my Pastor's Anniversary celebration. We had services from Tuesday to Friday evening. My crew (media services) worked every night. By Friday I was exhausted. Thank goodness for vacation time. By day I sewed and rested, by night I was a pseudo cinematographer, sound and light technician.

In the midst of one my busyness, my desktop computer was bite by a bug. The laptop is fine though. I'll bring it into work so the technicians can restore it.

Today I'm back at work with a Business Owner's meeting scheduled at 10:00am. We have lots to discuss. So it's going to be a looonnnnng meeting. Grrrr! :-0 The work e-mail is out of control as expected. After the meeting, I'll "work" catch up. Maybe tonight I'll post something.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Muslin Fitting for B5182 - The Second Choice

Last weekend I was able to fit my niece's second choice prom dress. Sometimes I hate doing muslins, but they are so necessary when I'm sewing for others. Butterick 5182, view A is a go. There are several changes that need to be made. And most are in the bodice area.

I started with cutting the pattern based on her measurements. In these photos, every part of the bodice needs some type of adjustment. I probably could go down a size to eliminate some of the excess room at the neckline and at the side. There are several photos below to help me with transferring the changing to the paper pattern. And of course, I welcome any suggestions from you.

First photo: You can see, I have pinned out the gapping neckline and bust area. There is an under bodice (didn't want to share that photo, too revealing.) It's too long; that's a minor adjustment.

Full back photo: Where the bodice joins at the waist, there is some excess fabric that I sort of pinned out. She has a slight sway back.

Here is a better photo of the back bodice. I think the side also come to close under the arm area.

Bodice side: I pinned out the excess at the sides.

Front bodice: Here you can see the gapping area of the bust line. Also the bodice is a little to long for her torso.

Neckline: The center back appears to stand away from her body.

Parting Shot: This was actually the first picture taken. My niece was clowning around. I thought it would be a funny parting shot. Prom preparation can be tense. So we tried to have some silly moments throughout the process.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Never Ending Inspiration - ChicStar.com

A few weeks ago my DD showed me a fashion site that allows “designers” to showcase their fashion designs and/or sell them. It’s called
Chicstar.com. There are some interesting fashion posted, and we picked a few inspiration pieces. Here they are!

This little number is one of DD's favorites. She wants it copied.

The trench coats may find their way into my closet. Love them!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jacket Wear - M4656

I contemplated not posted a review for this coat/jacket. This is my first time using this pattern. I was in a rush to make it and didn't feel like a did my best work on it. The fit is fine. The finishing wasn't as crisp as I would have liked it to be.

I selected this coat/jacket to complement B5032. The day of the banquet, we got about three inches of heavy wet snow.

This pattern is out of print and is not in the McCalls pattern online database anymore. So I scanned and uploaded it into my flickr photostream. M4656

Pattern Description: Misses/Miss Petite Unlined Jacket in Two Lengths, top, bias skirt, pants and flower.

Pattern Sizing: 8 to 22; I made 14 with a few alterations/changes.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. The pattern is true to the photo.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were easy. All sewing levels should be able to follow them with no problems.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I purchased this pattern a few years ago thinking it was a good basic pattern to make some nice coordinates from. It has clean lines and looks a bit sophisticated. I also like the inclusion of the flower pattern and instructions for making it.

Fabric Used: dull satin and polyester lining from Hancock's.
Notions: I used some that I removed from a thrift store sweater.

I noticed in the photos that they are too heavy for the jacket. I'm thinking of swapping them out for a lighter set of buttons.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I only made a few alterations and design changes.
- FBA - no photos, but the adjustment is the same made for one piece bodice pattern.
- The height of the collar was more than I cared for. So I trimmed out about 1/2".
- I underlined the entire coat/jacket.
- I added a few inches to the length for my height, but I forgot to take into consideration the length of my dress. As it is the dress was longer than the coat. Initially, I worried about this combination being a fashion no, no. But after some surfing on the web, I found a few photos displaying coats longer than the dress. So I decided to go ahead with wearing the coat with the dress.

On the Next Try - I will reduce the ease in the sleeve cap. I had to rip them out twice and still wasn't completely satisfied with the outcome. The underlining may have cause some of the difficulty with setting the sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I plan to sew it again. It's a easy versatile pattern. That could easily become a TNT. And yes, I would recommend it to others if you have it in your collection.

Conclusion: Although this coat/jacket did not turn out perfect, I like this pattern and think this it's worth a try.

Parting Shots:
Pictures of my place of worship on March 28, 2009.

Back to the Clients - Prom and Graduation 2009

I've finished my nieces dinner dance outfit. It's ready for pick up. I think it turned out well. Final photo shot when my sister picks up the dress. The full review posted after that.

Over the weekend, I got things in order for the next two client projects. Patterns cut, notions and fabric all accounted for. Last night I cut the muslin for another niece. This is the second muslin, B5182. I hope this one works for her.

I'm sewing a dress for my niece's friend, Rianna, using Butterick 4731, Views:B & D. It's cut and ready to sew. Hopefully, she will be available for a fitting Saturday or Sunday. Need to call and schedule.

There are quite a few events and deadlines coming up. I want to have these projects finished by the first week in May. My DD is going to the Anime Convention next month and wants part of her custom made. The media team is expected to work every evening from April 21st through 24th. I'm working on a clergy proposal for my pastor, due May 16th. I'm hosting Mother's Day. Part of my team (work) will be travelling to Urbana for retreat; and then in June three of us will travel to the User Group Meeting (I want something new to wear, of course. lol).


Happy Sewing!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Flower Power – The Art of Wearing Flowers Part II

“Real Simple” magazine (April 2009) features an article: Say it with Flowers. The article showcases 16 pieces to make your spring/summer wardrobe shine. From the self-proclaimed shrinking violet to the ultra flower child (like me), there is something for everyone. Here are a few ideas.

Tiered Peasant Top from White House Black Market

Kate Spade Dress buy at katespade.com for a cool $425.00. (You can make it for much less than that.)
Cute little shoes from Bodenusa.com.

Corsage pin from Customfabricflowers.com of NY.

Boden Clutch, $128, at bodenusa.com.

J.Crew Belt, $68.00 buy it at jcrew.com.

Flower Power - Crochet Bouquet

I hope everyone had a fine resurrection Sunday. My family usually goes to church, even those that do not make the commitment to attend a place of worship every Sunday. After morning service, we all made the trek over to my mother’s house for dinner. I love it when we are all together, talking and laughing, enjoying one another.

The day was beautiful and I was happy for three reasons: resurrection, family and spring like weather. The sun was shining; the earth is starting to show greater signs of green trees and floral blossoms. I’m glad spring has finally arrived in Chicago. I’m ready for it.

This morning as I was dressing for work, I thought about my spring and summer sewing projects (for me). It occurred to me I have three more dresses ready to sew that are cut from a floral print fabric. (Hmmm.., I need some solid color garments, for sure.) Over the weekend I made a trip to JoAnn’s Fabric just because. I find my way to the book section. All of their stitching books were 40 percent off. I found three that I really liked. But I put two back in the rack. I have several books. Most only have one or two projects that I really like. To exercise some self control, I picked the book that could give me the most “bang” for my buck. The winner is Suzann Thompson’s “Crochet Bouquet”. It teaches easy designs for crocheted flowers.

I think it’s a great book and the flowers can be a great way to adorn garments and accessories. It is beautifully illustrated and the gives clear step by step instructions on how to make them. I’ll probably get a lot of use out of it. We will see.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blossoms - But No Spring Weather In Sight - B5032

Lately, I have been wanting to sew more vintage patterns. This time it's the simple, but glamorous .Butterick 5032 that landed on the cutting table. I wanted a new dress for the Patoral 32nd Anniversary dinner. Here's my review.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ CAPELET, DRESS, OVERSKIRT, CUMMERBUND SASH AND BELT: Lined to edge capelet, darted at shoulders, collar and button closure. Fitted dress, darted bodice, waistline seam, square faced neckline, pleated skirt front with back zipper closure and back slit. Gather waistline overskirt, contrast hem band with back zipper and button closures. Cummerbund sash with front tucks and gathered drape. Belt with purchased buckle.

Pattern Sizing: AA(6-8-10-12), EE(14-16-18-20). I made the dress and belt, size 14 with adjustments. I thought the cummerbund sash was ultra cute, but I didn't have enough fabric for it.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It would have looked like the drawing; I accidentally cut the front skirt "not" on the fold. But it worked to my advantage because it created a slimming affect. And that's always a plus ;-). NOTE: The skirt appears to taper more as it reaches the hem line. But the pattern did not. I ended up slimming it down a bit to look more like the view on the envelope. It could be me, though, as my hips are more narrow than I'd like them to be.

Were the instructions easy to follow? No problems there. I added a lining so some of them didn't apply to my version of the dress.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the form fitting the style. I liked the cummerbund sash as well. No real dislike.

Fabric Used: I purchased the polyester ??fabric?? from Vogue Fabric over a year ago. The lining came from Hancock. They were having a sale on lining about two months ago. So I bought several yards of various colors.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made a few:

-My usual FBA - didn't take pictures this time. But the standard adjustment for a one piece bodice pattern.
-I eliminated the front and back facing. Instead I cut lining of the front and back bodice and followed the instructions were applicable.
-Also lined the skirt. You can easily follow any pattern instruction for attaching the lining to the skirt slit.
-Taper the skirt as I reached the hem of it. It created a slimming affect as well as copying the view on the pattern envelope.

Without the Belt

Belt Buckle from JoAnn's Fabric. Purchased package of three.

Fashion Trend: Neutral

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I probably won't sew it again for myself. I have many, too many more patterns to try. I like it, but will skip on making it again.

Conclusion: If you like vintage, this is a nice pattern to try. It's relatively easily to sew, and I would recommend it to beginners

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wild Flower Large Floral Print - B5314 Part II

Pattern Description: MISSES' DRESS AND BELT: Lined dresses A, B, C have front and back darts, back zipper, skirt with front and back darts, back slit. A: gathered collar with self loop. B: slight draped collar. A, B: self-fabric belt with purchased buckle. C: neckline slit, squared armholes and purchased belt. All dress lengths are 2" above mid-knee.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22. I made 14 with a few adjustments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? For the most part. The collar on the photo appears to lay closer to the body the mine. This is probably due to the weight and fiber content of my fabric selection. I excluded the belt and the back slit in the skirt.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very, I had no problems following them. Pretty standard. It would have been great if the instructions including some a tip on placement of large floral print. Since the pattern showcased the it. Just a thought.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Everything. When I first laid eyes on this pattern I knew I would buy and make it this season. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used: Stretch cotton woven from Hancock. I bought the fabric from Hancock's late February. I thought it would be perfect for this dress. This fabric speaks to two fashion trends: Floral prints and the color fuchsia. And I'm a fan of both. The polyester lining also purchased from Hancock's

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I only made a few.
FBA and experimenting with the placement of floral pattern.
No slit in the back
Didn't make a belt
Understitched the neckline and armholes - my preference.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
That's the plan. Next dress will be in a solid color. And yes I highly recommend this pattern to others. It is like the pattern says: "Fast and Easy".

Caution; the layers at the CB neckline may be a little thick depending on the weight of the fabric you use. Take your time with it.

Conclusion: I like this pattern and plan to make it again. When: Don't know. But it's a winner. Great spring/summer dress that easy to sew and very comfortable to wear. Try it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dinner Dance Dress - Part II

Last Friday I completed a fair amount of work on my niece's dinner dance outfit. I was so happy; then I thought: Now I can work on some dresses for me. I finished two. That's another post.

Okay back to my niece's ensemble. First, I finished the jacket made from M5669. I really like the ruffled collar on this jacket. My dislike is the finishing on the under side. I placed the upper ruffle carefully above the lower one on the stitching line, but still couldn't keep the sewing line as straight as I would have liked. I tried twice. So I thought: What could I do to cover the unsightly stitching? Ribbon or bias tape. So I picked up a pack of lavender bias tape from Walmart. Another thing I noticed about the jacket was there is a little puckering at the sleeve. Hopefully, I can press it out, but if not I may have to redo the stitching. On Monday afternoon, my sister brought my niece over for her second fitting of her dinner dance outfit.

Here is my niece wearing the jacket.

I added a little move around in the middle section as the muslin was tight. For her that was uncomfortable and caused some winkles in the upper bodice. The dress is almost finished except for attaching the lining to the waist, hemming and pressing. It's done.

There was one thing that struck me as odd about this pattern and that is the front skirt had about 1/3 the gathering width of the back skirt. So if you plan to make this dress you may want to consider increasing the width of the front skirt pattern to match that of the back skirt. On the pattern photo the gathering is equal on the front and back.

I didn't start on the purse yet. I'll work on the later. So my nieces dress should be completed by the weekend.

Stay Tuned; more client projects and posting of my dresses soon!


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