Friday, December 28, 2012

Copy That: Trendy Top Using Sandra Betzina's Vogue 8151- Part II

Last week I finished my trendy color blocked turtleneck. This was a really fun and easy project. It all started when I saw this sweater on Pinterest. Initially I did not know what fabrics I would use for it. Then Rhonda made a top out of stretch velvet. So I decided to make this top using the same fabric. It worked out well. I need to tweak it a little more. There are a few wrinkles around the bust area and I need to do a sway back adjustment.
I used Sandra Betzina's Vogue 8151 View B to draft the color block top. I wondered if the bust darts would take away from the design. They didn't. So I will use it again. One big advantage of the design is you can increase your fit options along the newly drafted princess seams. My first post gives details on how I drafted the pattern.

The original pattern is described as MISSES’ TOPS: Pullover tops with set in sleeves. A: wrapped front, band, shirred sides and long sleeves. B: top with three-quarter length sleeves and optional tie front. Sizing A through J.

I selected this pattern because it had the basic design lines needed to create my inspiration top. Of course when I finished, my version did not look like the pattern photo or drawing. But it did look very much like the inspiration sweater.

As for the instructions, I didn't read them. I basically followed typical construction techniques for a princess seam top with a turtleneck. Now, in sewing, I needed to carefully assemble it as not to lose the curves in the design. I added notches and circles where needed to join the pieces.

The original design used the 3/4 length sleeves. I just used the long sleeve provided for view A instead. For the turtle neck. I cut the velvet crosswise the length of the neckband, adding about ten inches to the width to form the turtle neck. The seam allowance was added to the princess seams during the cutting process. I also added to the side seam allowances just in case. Still, I ended up trimming it away later. About two inches were added to the length of the top. I really like how this project turned out. And I will certainly make at least one more.

Since I purchased quite a bit of velvet, I decided to make a second top. This one followed more of the basic design of the original pattern. I added the sleeves from Simplicity 2054. Again, I wanted to do a little color blocking. The Simplicity sleeve is slightly smaller than the Vogue sleeve. So before you try this top, please make sure you make adjustments to the pattern before cutting into your fabric.

On the Fabric: The first top is cut to showcase the matte color of the velvet and the second top showcases the frosty pile of the velvet.

The original pattern is a great basic t-shirt faux wrap top pattern that can be used to beef up your wardrobe. Or you can use it as a basis to create an inspiration top like the one I just made. Following this practice can greatly reduce the number of pattern you purchase, and you will increase the usability of the patterns you already own.

Side note: My skirt was made using Vogue 8727 the slim skirt of View A, shortened and a band added to the bottom. My skirt was fully lined and a band attached to the bottom so no seaming is exposed.

 Happy Sewing!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lovely Blogger Award

Big Thanks to Lori and L for the Lovely Blogger award.  These two "Lovely" creative bloggers gave me an award!

The rules of the award are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Add The One Lovely Blog Award/The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the award on to 10 nominees
  • Include this set of rules
  • Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs

Seven Things About Me:  honestly, I think my blog tells quite a bit about me.  But I tell seven things anyway.

  • This year I turned 50 and am very happy to be above ground.
  • I'm the 2012-13 Fashion Show Chairperson  for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago.  I didn't think I was qualified because I'm inexperienced in this area.  We will see how it goes. Wink, wink.
  • Two years ago, I was diagnosed with scoliosis.  I always wondered why I had prominent shoulder blades and a swayed back.
  • I'm kind of nerdy.  I love science.  As a kid, I was also one of the first people to volunteer for the science fair.  
  • I'm a daddy's girl.  My dad passed in 2006 and I miss him. He was my confidant and devoted adviser. 
  • I'm a foodie.  I love trying different cuisine and watching the food network.
  • I'm seriously thinking about retiring in the next five years.  Hopefully, I can do more teaching  and sewing.
  • You can count on me to cry during sad or happy scenes in movies.

Now the hard part, nominating ten creative souls.

  • 1 - The super generous and acutely talented Rhonda Buss.  The is one phonenmenal creative woman.  Rhonda's "online design school" is priceless.  It has inspired me to experiment with patter drafting.  Every week she features a free pattern and showcases fellow creative souls.  Rhonda is a gem.
  • 2 - Allison C.  I absolutely love the things this woman makes.  Very polished and pristine.
  • 3 - You can count on Faye Lewis to inspire the sewing ladies to join a sew along.  It sparks creativity and encourages others to try something new.
  • 4  & 5 - Andrea and Sheila.  These two ladies are my friends.  We can talk for hours on the phone about, you know, sewing.  To top that they are expert knitters.  Boy do I wish they lived in my town.
  • 6  -  Bunny is another sewing expert who give free online lessons.  She meticulously shares how to details in sewing.
  • 7 - I've appreciated Ann's teachings for over ten years.  I like became acquainted with her on where she shared excellent details of her sewing projects.  
  • 8 - I think everyone knows of Carolyn.  This woman given new life to the concept of the TNT pattern.  The sista can work a pattern!
  • 9 - Irene is another favorite.  Her designs are clean and polished.  
  • 10 - I hate to stop at ten because there are so many great sewing designers out there.  For the sake of this nomination process.  I'd like to end with Pam who makes the most beautiful tailored shirts.  I wish.  
So this completes the nomination process for me.  Enjoy everyone.


Enjoying The Holiday Season!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. I've sort of taken a break from blogging and sewing to spend a little more time with family and friends. And, of course, I've watched a fair amount of Christmas stories on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). It's been a great relaxing time for me. Sometimes you don't know how tired you are until you take a little time to just be still.

This little break has also provided some time to reflect on the passed year and to think about how to do even better in the coming one. Right now, I have about five sewing projects to blog about and I'm hoping to get it all done by the end of the first week of the new year.

A few weeks ago Lori and L gave me a Lovely Blogger award, which I will blog about next. The hard part is to pass the award onto someone else. Many have already receive it. So who will I give the award to?  Anyway, I hope you will continue to enjoy this festive season.

God bless!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shades of Green - Simiplicity 1761

The it color for 2013 is emerald green. So I'm a little bit ahead of the trend. I'm already a fan of green, all shades of it. Today I'm reviewing skirt from Simplicity 1761, made in November first wearing last Sunday.

The pattern envelope photo shows the skirt made in a stiff fabric that doesn't do it justice in my opinion. I always open the envelope to see the actual line drawing. Before I made it, Sheila and I talked about how unattractive the skirt looked on the envelope. But I thought the faux suede, soft and fluid, would be a great fabric to showcase this pattern.

It can be described as unlined skirt in two lengths with front flounce that shows the wrong side of the fabric.  The pattern also includes a jacket and knit top.

The sizing is from 10 to 28W.  I used size 14, adding about 1/2 to side seams just in case.

My skirt does look like the one photographed, but with more drape.  The instructions were easy, nothing difficult.

What drew me to this pattern was the jacket.  Then I noticed the skirt.  I liked the flounces and fullness of the design. I thought this would be a great addition to my cold weather wardrobe.  There was nothing to dislike about it.  simple and easy.  It was perfect for what I had in mind for the fabric.

The green faux suede has been in my stash for about six years.  I bought it at Hancock's and initially thought I would make a button down shirt out of it.  Plans do change if you let enough time pass.

The changes I made were very minor.  I thought the fullness of the skirt would somehow expose the seaming.  So I sewed a french seam at the center back.  I didn't add any length to it.  As a result, my skirt stops higher the Khaliah Ali's version.

I might sew it again, but not soon.  Just last night I was looking at other skirt patterns I'd like to make this winter.  But I do recommend it to other if this is a style that you like.

This is a simple skirt to make that can be paired with a simple or dramatic top.

Next up, I will review the top that I am wearing with this skirt.  It is one of Rhonda Buss' designs.  It easy to sew and can be worn several different ways.

Stay Tuned!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rhonda's Slippers - The Third Time is A Charm!

Happy Monday everyone!

The Christmas Holiday Season is in full gear.  I'm looking forward to festive gatherings with family and friends.  This is also the season when we exchange gifts with our love ones.  If you are crafty, some of the gifts will be handmade with loving thoughtfulness.

A few weeks ago, Rhonda Buss posted a picture of some slippers made by one of her faithful readers.  When I saw them I said to myself, "I can do that."  Well, it took three iterations before I came up with a pair that I could be pride of.

So here are all three pairs, left to right:  Chewbacca, Man Size, and Just Right for Women.

And here is how the table looked after all the cutting and trimming.

My problem was I didn't start with Rhonda's pattern, I thought I could replicate it without the exact measurements.  Below is what I finally came up with and I still had to trim and adjust as I sewed.  In the end, I came up with wearable, comfortable boot slippers.

Supplies needed:

Paper to draft pattern
Serger and thread
Grip Stop, I found it at JoAnn's in the utility clothe section.

You are ready to make your very own boot slippers?

Next time, I think I add a little more cushion to the sole of the slippers by doubling the fleece at the bottom.  We will see how that goes.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Copying That Trendy Sweater using Vogue 8151

Like most of us, my "project-to-make" list is way out of control. There are at least two large bags of things already cut and ready to sew.  Then there are things half sewn that are hanging in one of my closets.  And then there is a basket of patterns that I hope to make this season.  That's not all.  This year I became a "pinner" on Pinterest.  Need I say more.  Anyway, I pinned this O'2nd Color Blocked Turtleneck Sweater  a few weeks ago with the intention of making it before the color block trend disappears.  Vogue 8151 View-B basic t-shirt knit pattern has handy (in the basket) so I used it to draft a new pattern for the inspiration top.

First I traced the pattern onto the drafting paper that I use to copying and alter patterns.  I didn't make a FBA.  I went up a size.   I'm also thinking about eliminating the bust darts.  The new pattern is princess seam, which creates more opportunities to make adjustments in the bust area.  I'll see how it goes with fitting a muslin.  Above, I drew the cutting lines to create the blocked areas of the sweater.

Next I cut along the color block design lines.   When I cut the fabric, the seam allowances along the new cutting lines.   

Here's the new pattern pictured (front and back) with the inspiration top.

Stay Tuned. Caution -  Multiple projects in progress. 
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Look 6000 - Dress #2 A Little Holiday Spirit

New Look 6000

I finished the bead work on my daughter's second dress, Monday night. It took a while, but it was worth the effort. FX was featuring "X-Men Origin of Wolverine", so I decided it was as good a time as any to do the bead work on my daughter's second dress. So I watched the movie for the 100th time while I completed the dress.

Other bloggers and PR members inspired me to try this pattern. Its simple elegance is perfect for showcasing a beautiful fabric. My favorite view is View C. Here again, is a great basic pattern that has a few design options built in. Views E and D can be used to create a sloper for other dresses of the same style.

The pattern can be described as a fitted misses' dress, mid-knee with front side pleats or darts. The back has 22" inch zipper and darts. It comes with a two piece collar that over-laps on the front left. The pleated area can be embellished with fabric flower or beads. There are two sleeve options: 3/4 length with cuffs or short sleeves. View B is collared and sleeveless. The only description on the envelop is Misses' seven sizes in one.

Sizes are 4 to 16. I used size 10 with modifications.

My rendition looked like view C. I just added beads instead on buttons. I really didn't use the guide sheet during the construction of the dress.

When I sat down to write the review, I read them to help me identify the changes that I made and to properly review the construction of the dress. There was nothing difficult about the instructions.

There are quite a few things I liked about this dress. Most have been noted in other views. But here is my list:

 - Easy to make; Easy is always a plus. There is one less thing to consider when making adjustments to fit the body. Simple design lines and easy constructions techniques needed to make the garment.
  - Collar; For some reason, I really like dresses with this type of collar treatment.
  - Adorned Cuffs and Sleeve length; The below the elbow sleeve with the adorned cuffs is attractive to me.
  - Pleats; Love them along the side. Gives definition and option to add to design of the dress. I don't have any dislikes about the dress' design.

 My dislikes are related to its construction.

 - Facings; I prefer lining the dress. It adds body, sturdiness and it eliminates the need for a slip.
  - Zipper; I prefer an invisible zipper.
  - Flower; The flower pattern has a rolled hem edge. I prefer a pattern that conceal the wrong side of the fabric. (I didn't make that view, but it's one of my construction dislikes.)
  - Ease in Sleeve Cap; There is quite a bit of ease in the sleeve cap. You may want to take some of it out if your fabric is tightly woven.

I purchased this fabric at Hancock Fabrics about a month ago. It has a little stretch to it. The texture kind of reminded me of a stretch woven polyester taffeta. It's definitely a mystery polyester "something".

My changes and alterations include:

 - Pigeon Chest/Slight FBA Adjustment. This added a little length to the front side seams. I ease in the difference just above the side notch. (After thought - I think I added just a little too much. Next time I'll take out some of the adjusted fitting.)

 - Narrowed or Center Back Adjustment. I made a tuck in the center back section the length of the dress back. Then I added that amount starting at mid-back to the hem of the back dress.
 - Installed an invisible zipper.
 - Lined the dress instead on using the facings.

 - Added seed beads instead of buttons at the collar and cuffs. Also added them along the pleats.
 - Used Bias tape to finish the hem of the dress.

I plan to make this dress at least one more time for myself. This pattern has good bones. It sews up quickly and has simple, elegant details. I highly recommend it to others.

This is second of four dresses I'm making for my daughter. This one can be worn to holiday festivities or to church. My daughter loves it. And that's saying a lot. ;-)

Happy Sewing! C

 PS - Today she proclaimed, "Wrap this one so I can have something to open on Christmas Day!"


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