Friday, July 30, 2010

Beach Wear B4526 - Halter Coverup and Wrap Skirt

About a month ago, my cousin asked me to make two wrap skirts for her upcoming vacation. I selected Butterick 4526 because the wrap skirt could also convert into a halter coverup. The swimsuit aren't bad either. This patterns includes cup sizes A to D which is always good.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ SWIMSUIT AND WRAP: Lined one piece or two piece swimsuit has neckline variations, front darts, low back and panty shield. A, B: braless. C, D: size A, B or C, D bra cup. Wrap laps in front and ties at back neck.
Pattern Sizing: 6 - 20

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much. I shorten it by four inches.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't read them until after I made two skirts. Lol They are simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the style options wrap skirt or halter coverup.

No dislikes.

Fabric Used: Georgette and chiffon from Vogue Fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a few changes.
- I cut both skirt crosswise as I would not have had enough fabric otherwise.
- It's about four inches shorter.
- The center back was placed on the fold. I didn't see the need to add another seam to this clear skirt. I added a dart for shaping at the waist. This looks better to me.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. I'm going to make myself a few and at least one for my sister. Yes I do recommend it. It's easy to make and you have a few style options.

Conclusion: Quick, easy wrap skirt with a few style options.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gores and Godets - How to Sew Them

HLT of Before the Door asked if there was a trick to sewing gores and godets. So I decided to do a little tutorial on how I sew them.

Step 1 -
The middle of large circle on the godet pattern is exactly 5/8 inch away from the edge of the pattern. It is important to sew the exact distance on either side of the godet.

Step 2 -
I cut triangles to indicate the replacement of the large circles on the godet.

Step 3 -
Here you see the indicators for joining the gore to the godet.

Step 4 -
Next, stitch the seam of the gore to the large circle indicator. Back stitch a few stitches to secure it.

Step 5 -
After the seam is complete, pin the left side of the godet to the left side of the gore making sure to match the notches and large circles.

Step 6 -
Position the needle about a 1/4 inch below the seam already sewn. Back stitch to the seam above. Then continue to stitch the godet to the gore.

Step 7 -
Next, sew from the hem up to the large dot, stop and reinforce stitching before breaking.

Step 8 -
Press the seam away from the godet. Here is a view from the wrong side.

Step 9 -
Here is a view from the right side. That's it.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Simplicity's Godet Summer Dress

I wore this to church on Sunday (7-25-10). It was a hot and sunny day. Perfect dress for this type of weather.

For years I shied away from all garments that included a godet. Recently, I conquered the fear of the imperfect godet and I'm enjoying the victory of mastering another design technique. To build up my courage, I tried sewing one or two godets in a skirt or dress. Last week I sewed eight in Simplicity 3877. All turned out perfect.

Here's my review of S3877.

Pattern Description: Misses'dress in two lengths with bodice variations. Separate patterns included for B, C, D cup sizes. I love those patterns that include separate patterns for the cup size. It makes it a little easier. In most cases a only have to increase the seam allowance from under the bust to the waistline.

Pattern Sizing: 6 - 22; I used size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much. I barely had enough fabric for the main pieces of the dress. The belt is about 4 inches shorter than the pattern.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I only glanced at them; but I didn't see anything that was confusing. Make sure you press as you go.

Initially I thought I'd add cap sleeves to view A, but when it came time to insert them, I decided to go with no sleeves. I used bias tape for the armhole facing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

-I love the full skirt. My DD calls this type of dress "June Cleaver-ish".
-The wrapped bodice is a favorite design element of mine as well.
-This pattern included separate patterns for cup sizes. This is always a plus for me.

No dislikes.

Fabric Used: Linen blend from Vogue. I bought about four yards, barely having enough to fit all the pattern pieces.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: A few minor changes were made:

- shorten the tie about 4 inches due to not enough fabric
- small board shoulder adjustment
- used voile for the neck facing and used bias tape for the armholes
- at center back of the skirt, I added a little soft pleat as the skirt was bigger
at the (back) waist. Everything else lined up perfectly. (I don't know what happened in my measurements.)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Maybe, it's a good pattern to sew from. I may mix and match with another pattern. Maybe..., Yes, I do recommend it. I love this summery dress.

Conclusion: This is a good pattern to try. It offers bodice and sleeve variations. The instructions are typical at glance. It took me about seven hours to make this dress.

Parting shots: Me wearing V8380 on Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Maxi in V8380


Sunday evening I spent about two hours sewing V8380. Maxi/day dresses are very trendy. This will be the second I've made this season. Almost any dress pattern can be morphed into a maxi dress.

I really like the neckline of this dress. This version is made out of a linen blend from Vogue Fabrics on Roosevelt. On the pattern, the hemline is just below the knee. I extended the hemline to make my version a maxi.

This pattern has been in my collection for about three years. When I pulled out the contents of the envelope, I was surprised I had already cut the pattern at size 12. Obviously I was planning to make this a few years old and a few pounds lighter. So I had to scale it up to a size 14. Other adjustments were: FBA, swayback, and I made my first version into a maxi dress.

Side gathering for FBA - I added about 1 1/2 inches to the front bodice (FBA). Shown here is gathering at the side before joining the front and back. I've seen this in the "design" on a BWOF top.

The pattern included pieces for front and back facings at the armhole. I decided to line the bodice.

The necklace seen is over 20 years old. I'm glad I keep it.

Full Front View

Full Back View

That's it.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Slacks - TNT M5818 and M5597

Last week I finished four pairs of pants: Three M5818 and one pair using M5597. All turned out nice and yesterday I wore the brown pair with a Grecian style knit top.

M5818 reviewed here.

M5597 reviewed here.

Parting shots- NL6749

S2633 & M5818 - Forgive the shadow. This photo was taken early in the morning just before work.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Finally Finished with Simplicity 2633

It took me much longer than anticipated to finish this shirt/vest. During the process, I waffled back and forth on whether I should finish it because the neckline appeared to be too wide and the princess seam were not as smooth as I would like them to be. But once I attached the neckband and the collar, I decided it was worth the effort to finish the project.

Pattern Description: Misses' shirts and vest with neckline variations. Project Runway pattern. Looking at the instruction sheet I saw this as a short sleeve jacket with ultra cute sleeves. And that is basically how I fashioned my version of the first view.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 4 to 22. I used size 14 with modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, for the most part. My version fits so I can wear a knit top underneath it. Plus I added the flaps using the pattern for the pink view.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. There were no difficult steps.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes - The first three views illustrated in the instructions.
- The pleated sleeves.
Dislikes - May all be attributed to alterations made and my fabric choice.

Fabric Used: Stretch sateen gift from my friend. I thought it would be the perfect fabric for the "shirt/jacket".

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
FBA - I made my usual FBA. After looking at the photo of me in it I noticed the extra fabric at the armhole of the front princess seam. This will be addressed in the next version.

Neckline - Before I attached the neckband and collar, I noticed the neckline sits below the base of the neck. Initially, I thought this was due to less than perfect pattern drafting. But in retrospect I thinking is may be due to the fabric and my prominent shoulder blades. Adjustments were made to add more space in the shoulder area. The collar stands too far from my neck.

You can see the gap at the underarm front and the neckline.

Special note: You have to fiddle with the sleeves a bit. A beginner can managed them with a little patience.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I'm going to sew it again for myself and DD. Yes I recommend it to others.

Conclusion: Overall I like this pattern. I just need to make a few minor adjustments for my next version. Here is more on the process.

This version will be worn like a jacket over a knit top. Here are more photos on Flickr.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Thin Economy - Showing Up at the University Part II

Some time ago I wrote a post on the troubled economy from my own personal point of view. Today, the economy has not healed. It is evident at the university where I am employed and where my daughter is an undergraduate student.

At the beginning of the year, employees were asked to furlough six days between February and June of 2010. On top of that, the university had to cut 10 percent of its staff to offset costs. Tuition is expected to rise over the next year, and some fringe benefits may be reduced or eliminated. Boy am I glad my daughter was able to take advantage of the 50 percent free tuition during her studies.

These days, I’m reflecting on my blessings that no one in my unit was cut. We, at the university, are under severe constraints. We have not realized a raise in three years. Everyone on my team is grateful for continued employment. (It would be nice to realize a raise and some hope that things will improve soon.)

One thing I’ve been eternally grateful for is the ability to make additional monies sewing. I’m still not very good with pricing. The extra money has come in handy; it helps feed my fabric and pattern addiction. Wink, wink.

Currently, I have a few clients, some for the fall and others next year. Oh yeah, I have a project for my sister and another for my cousin. All to fuel my own fabric, pattern, and wardrobe desires. So in between client projects, I’m building my wardrobe and will make a few things for my DD.

So in the face of a failing economy, God is still forever present watching over us all. I’m thankful for everything; food, shelter, clothing, employment, social events, mini vacations, family and friends.
God’s continued blessings! Happy sewing to all the fashionistas out there! Keep up the good work.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Look 6749 The Third Time Around

Dress number three. This time I made View A.


Like the other views, there was nothing difficult about putting the dress together.
Changes: I did a FBA similar to the adjustment made for view C. I also added a few inches to the length.

Fabric: It's linen and rayon blend from Vogue Fabrics. A good choice for this dress as it perfect for warm weather.

How Does it Look: Yes, the dress looks like the dress on the model, except mines sits a little further off the ball of the shoulder. (Soon I'll post a photo of me wearing it. Lately I've been using Rochelle to showcase my creations.)

I will wear this blue bubble ring with it and maybe these shoes.

This is a great little summer dress pattern. You can get a lot of use out of it.

View D

View C

Happy Sewing!

PS - Simplicity jacket/blouse post coming soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Little Sewing Over The 4th of July Holiday - Starting w/S2633

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Ours was quiet compared to the normal gatherings. My third blogoversary went by almost unnoticed. Well, I did a little of this and that: shopping, sewing, socializing, and cooking. Lately, I've been on a strict pattern and fabric diet (ha, ha, ha). Seriously, I'm becoming more selective when choosing patterns for myself. These days I'm paying close attention to not just the designs I like, but whether or not this will look good on me. Recently, I sewed some wadders that didn't look good on and/or off the body.

Last month I thought I'd abandon the S2633 waistcoat/shirt project, but I couldn't let it go. So this weekend I was back at it trying to make this a wearable, likable garment. Today I'm very pleased with the results of my third attempt to get it hanging in the closet. So here's a preview:

I'm almost done. Last night I made the buttonholes and checked some of the seams again. I now need to hem, complete the closures, and press it. (Note on fabric: It is a stretch woven with the look and texture of sateen.)

When I tried this on I thought, "This can't be right. The collar stand is showing." So I looked at the diagram again. And yep it's showing.

Understitching of the facing.

Finally, the sleeve. This is what made this pattern attractive to me.

Closing on a tasty note, here are a few shots of the kabobs I grilled for the holiday. Hmmm, Hmmm, Good...,


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