Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Fashion Forecast - On Trend Pt II Vertical Stripes

Hello Fashionastas!

Time for another fashion forecast.  Vertical stripes seem to be on Trend for 2013.  They are everywhere.  Some are referred to as burglar stripes.  But it's more than just black and white.  Stripes are on the runways and in the stores in all colors and all directions. 

When I saw this black and white outfit (above), MJ's song, "Black or White", popped into my head.

While looking at this photo I started singing Elvis's "Jail House Rock".  What's come over me?

Hmm.., I will definitely make something striped during the year.  There are several striped fabrics in the ole collection waiting to be transformed.

I'm making McCall's Fashion Star 6707 pants.  They look similar to the pants shown above.


Will you make a striped garment this Spring?  Please share your thoughts.

In the meantime, here are MJ - singing "Black or White" and Elvis - singing "Jail House Rock".

Stay Turned for more on Trend 2013



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thank you!

Thank you for taking time out of your day to complete the survey.  You've provided useful information, which I will pass on to Power Sewing.

Thanks again and Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Do You Think About Power Sewing?

Hello Beautiful Ones,

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Friday, January 18, 2013

McCall 5752 - The Second Time Around

McCall 5752

This is an out of print Palmer-Pletsch knit dress. I made view A about two years ago. This time I decided to give View C a try.  

Pattern Description: Misses' dresses with gathered, wrapped bodice, gathered self-lined midriff, A-line skirt and sleeve variations in two lengths; dresses A, B have gathered shawl collar and extended overarms, dresses C, D have gathered shoulders: dresses A, D have gathered drapes: dress C sleeves are three-quarter length; dresses A, B, C, D length are mid-knee.  

Pattern Sizing: 8-22; I used 14 with modifications  

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, pretty much. My alterations gave it a slightly different look at the center front.  

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were easy.
I change some of the steps due to the FBA. Step 11 states that you should gather the lower edge between the two circles. I stitched the gathering seams from notch to notch. I didn't completely baste the raw edges together in step 12 as I needed the lower edge open to adjust the gathers. So I only basted from the shoulder to the end of the side seam. I completed steps 13 and 14. skipped 15; finished 16 to 25. For Step 30 I basted starting at the side seam stitching the back bodice to the midriff across to the other side seam. At this point I gathered the lower edge of the front bodice and evenly distributed the gathers to fit the center front of the midriff. NOTE: Because my FBA was more than an inch for each side, I had to overlap beyond the indicated mark on the pattern. Here you can see the finished gathered front bodice. Compare it to the drawing to see the difference. The first dress has a bit of gaping in the center front. The length of the center bodice is too long. The length along the fullness of the bust area is okay, but where the bodice overlaps in the center front, it's too long. In this case, I trimmed about 1/2 inch from the center edge reducing as I approached the notch. I hope that makes sense. This small change makes the dress fit snug across the center bust line.

FBA Pattern Adjustment

The other changes were simple:

 - Sway back as instructed in the pattern guide sheet.
 - Contrast the midriff.
 - Usual prominent shoulder blade adjustment.
 - Long sleeves instead of 3/4 length.
 - A few inches to the length of the skirt.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like having the fit tips in the instruction guide and the adjustment lines drawn on the pattern. The design of the dress: the wrapped bodice, the ruching, and A-line skirt.  

Fabric Used: Novelty knits from Supreme Fabric on Fulton in Chicago.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Maybe.. This was the second time around for this pattern. Two dresses are enough. I have hundreds more dresses to try. But if you have this pattern I do recommend it for two reasons: it will help you with learning to fit, and if you are full busted, the wrap design is flattering.

 Conclusion: Good pattern to try. Especially if you need to make FBA's on wrapped tops or dresses. This one has two styles that show you step by step how to make the adjustment. The dress is nice too. ;-)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sporty Style of Vogue 8795

I absolutely love this cute little jacket. When I first saw it last Spring, I immediately purchased the pattern knowing that I would make it soon. Of course, life happens and other projects sort of pushed it down the "to make list". But when I saw Ann's beautifully crafted jacket, up to the top of the list it went.

Yesterday I discovered many ladies had made great looking jackets, some only made a few changes to the sleeve and back pattern. It looks great on everyone. This Marcy Tilton jacket is definitely a winner.

Vogue 8795 in Review:

Pattern Description: MISSES' JACKET: Semi-fitted, unlined jacket has collar, left front extending into drape and stitched hems. A: purchased decorative hook/eye tape for closing. A and C: right front and right collar edges may be cut on selvage, wrong side of fabric shows on drape. B and C: purchased decorative zipper.  

Pattern Sizing: 6 to 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. I made view B.  

Were the instructions easy to follow? A piece of cake. No difficult construction steps; nothing confusing either. I pretty much followed them to the letter. Construction time was about two hours.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the collar and the front drape. I also like the exposed closure. The combination of these two features is what sold me on this pattern. No dislikes.  

Fabric Used: Poly-cotton knit. This was one of the times I shopped for fabric with a specific pattern in mind. I wanted something a little funky. I found this knit at Vogue on Roosevelt. It was less than $7 bulk per yard.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I was so grateful to learn (Ann's Review) that I probably wouldn't need to do a FBA. The jacket had more than enough style ease to compensate for the girls. I thought about going down a size, but changed my mind. I do like the fit in the bust area. Just past the bust area, I sewed larger side seams, just a little. The jacket is a little on the short side, I think I added maybe an inch to the length. The sleeves are very long. I didn't need to add to the length. A few ladies made reductions in the sleeve cap, but I didn't. Typically, I make some adjustments to the back, but not this time. This one was fine across my back. Caution - The joining of the collar to the jacket creates some bulk and may present a challenge when installing the zipper. I graded the seam allowances to reduce the bulk and had no problem sewing through all thicknesses.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Of course, I will sew it again. Love, love this jacket and will make at least one more with the hook and eye closure. I highly recommend it to others.

Conclusion: This is a very stylish jacket that can be dressed up or down. It's easy to sew.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The 2013 Forecast - On Trend Part I

It's January 10th and I still haven't posted my end of the year review 2012. My attention is on reviews and Trends for 2013. Here are a few notable styles to watch for.

The Colors:

 I'm partial to Emerald, Linen, Nectarine, Poppy Red, and Monaco Blue

The Fashion:

60's Silhouettes - Moschino

Exaggerated Volume - Carven

Bermuda Shorts - Chloe

Over Sized Ruffles - Gucci

Sheer Panels - Chado Ralph Rucci

Sheer Panels - BCBG

Stripes - Alice + Olivia

Burglar  Stripes - Jonathan Saunders

 Biker Jacket - Christopher Kane

 Patchwork Animal Print - Erdem

(Real Way) Over Sized Ruffles - Givenchy

Sportswear Separates - Chalayan

Japanese Dress - Prada

More Later..,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Look 6936 - Simple But Stylish

Today it's 51 degrees in Chicago. I can't believe it. The sky is clear and sunny. I thought it was perfect for taking pictures outside. Problem.., The wind is high and I couldn't keep my hair away from my eyes. So we got a few pictures outside then we went back inside for the rest.

This is the second time around for this dress. I made it for my sister a few years ago.

This pattern is described as Misses' knit dress in two lengths with variations. It's comes in sizes 8 to 18.

My version looks similar to the pictured model on the envelope except for the small changes that I made. The instructions were simple. This time around I didn't read them. I was able to complete this dress in less than two hours.

This pattern was perfect for the polyester knit fabric, a gift from Andrea a couple years ago. No dislikes.
 My changes were minimum or I should say my basic usual.

 -FBA - Similar to this.
 -Added neck binding in black spandex knit. Measure the length of the neckline; then subtract three inches to create a snug fix around the neckline.
 -Added a few inches to the length of the skirt.
 -Added a few inches to the length of the sleeves. It's winter. So I wanted the sleeves to come to at least my elbows.

I think I may sew View B in a solid. This is a super easy pattern to sew. I recommend it to all level sewists.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rhonda's Anyway You Want Top

                       Rhonda's Design shown here with self drafted sequined skirt.

Every Friday it's "Fabulous Free Pattern Friday" over at Rhonda's Creative Life. She has taught pattern drafting for almost a year. Rhonda is an excellent teacher.  She makes pattern drafting easy by carefully documenting and illustrating step-by-step instructions.  Her methods make it easy to understand and follow. Andrea of Knit-Knac (will post soon) recently made one of Rhonda's skirts.  It took less than an hour from start to finish. 

A few months ago, I started playing around with drafting her Anyway You Want Top. My first attempt was okay. I used a woven fabric to test it out.  I think it was too crisp and so I didn't get the drape that Rhonda achieved in her top posted here. The second challenge was the depth of the collar. I needed to bring it up a few inches.  In November, I was able to spend some time making another version of the top. This time I used a knit and got better results.

Going through the process has truly helped me overcome the intimidation of pattern drafting. Of course it's easier to buy the pattern; then make the adjustments, but it is so gratifying to be able to add uniqueness to the garments that I make. Rhonda has created the perfect platform to do just that with Free Pattern Friday.   Please visit Rhonda's blog for more details..

Here is my review of Rhonda's Anyway You Want Top.

This top consists of three rectangles and two triangles, with split triangle sleeves that taper along the side of the body.   It can be extended to create a tunic or dress and the collar can be draped forward, backward, or across the shoulders. 

There are no limitations on the sizes you can create because it's based on your hip measurement.

My first and second versions are closer to the silhouette of Rhonda's original design.  The fourth version (gold-for my sister), I modified the neckline by reducing the depth by 6 inches.  This version can not be draped about the shoulder as the first three versions.

Depending on the weave of the fabric, you can create different amounts of drape.  My first version is crisp while the second and fourth versions are fluid.
The instructions were super easy.  I was able to follow them with no problem.  I completed the gold stretch velvet top in less than an hour and a half.   That includes serging and pressing.

I really liked the shape and the versatility of this top.  No dislikes.

I tested this pattern using a variety of fabrics:  V1=polyester blend woven; V2 & V3 rayon knit; and V4=stretch velvet 

I'll at least make one more for myself, and I do recommend that you give it a try.

Thank you, Rhonda, for sharing your talent and knowledge.  I appreciate the effort you've taken to teach and help "me" realize my potential for pattern drafting.  You've made pattern drafting easy and stylish for all figures. 

BTW- This is the group project for the Haute Couture Club - Annual Fashion Show 2013.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Two More Dresses for DD McCall's 6460 and Vogue 1283

These are the last two dresses made for my daughter. The first is McCall's 6460. This was an easy dress to make that included separate patterns for bra cups sizes. This is my second favorite of the four dresses that I made for her (Christmas gift).

It is described as: MISSES'/MISS PETITE DRESSES: Fitted dress has neck binding and back zipper. A: baby narrow hem on armholes. B: long sleeves. C:front and back applied to yokes, attached hem band and bias armhole binding. D: three-quarter sleeves. B and D: narrow hem on sleeves. A/B, C, D cup sizes.  

Pattern Sizing:
The pattern comes in sizes 6 to 22. I used size 10 with a few modifications.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
There was nothing confusing about the instructions. Easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is a current style and DD liked the design. I like the bodice options and the sleeve variations.

Fabric Used:
Believe it or not. This is left over fabric from my Tracey Reese inspired red dress.
This little pin was crafted by my DD.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made the usual pattern adjustments.
 - pigeon chest adjustment and narrowed the center back section.
 - Sway back adjustment
 - added to the side seams below the bust area.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will probably make it at least one more time. Love this dress and do recommend it.

Conclusion: This is a nice trendy, but classic, style that offers a few variations. It's easy to sew and is flattering on most figures.

The second dress is Vogue 1283. I started working on the pattern adjustments in July. This is my least favorite of the four. Mainly because of the amount of work I put into adjusting the pattern, which resulted in over-fitting it. Looking at the photos, I think I will take it in along the side. DD insists that she lost some weight. Hmmm..., I wish it was me. ;-)

Pattern Description:  MISSES' DRESS: Semi-fitted, self-lined dress (very close-fitting through bust) has seam detail, sleeves cut-in-one with front/back, lingerie straps, very narrow hem and invisible upper side back zipper.

Pattern Sizing: This pattern is available in sizes 6 - 22.  I used 10 with modifications. Lots of them.  Go to Flickr for the details.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
 Yes. But slightly looser, which I'm going to correct.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Very easy. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  We liked the curvy gathered detail of the dress. 

Fabric Used: polyester knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made a labor intensive FBA.  See Flickr set for more details.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Probably not.  It's an okay dress.  I would recommend it if it is your style. 

Conclusion: This was a relatively easy dress to make.  My over-fitting made the process more labor intensive.  I think an intermediate sewer should be able to make it with no problems.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First Review of 2013 - Vogue 1124 Asymetric Vest/Cardigan

Happy New Year! Today is my first day back in the office since the start of the Christmas holiday season. It was a nice break. This morning the sun was bright and the temperature was a biting 15 degrees when I left for the office. But I'd rather have cold temps than snow.

This is my first review of the new year and my last garment made in 2012. Now, I have to say there are about about six more reviews for 2012 garments made. But I'll get to those later. This one is being reviewed because I actually wore this to work today. It's a Sandra Betzina pattern, Vogue 1124.

It is described as: MISSES' CARDIGAN AND VEST: Loose-fitting cardigan A and vest B. A: long sleeves and mitered hems. B: bands finishing the front lower edges and purchased belt, wrong side of fabric will show. Placement for armhole and sleeve is included for all sizes. It comes in sizes A through J.

 My version looks like the photo on the pattern envelope, except it's longer. I was a little confused about the joining of pattern pieces 2 to 5. Then when I added the band to the ends, it made the vest extremely long. I really like the shape of the vest. It's a relaxed look and comfortable to wear.

The fabric used was purchased at Stone Mountain and Daughter. It's a medium weight sweater knit. I didn't make any changes to the pattern. There is quite a bit of style ease in it. The only concern any may have is the width between the arm holes. Other than that, this is a easy pattern to sew and fit.

I don't know if I'll sew it again. It's unique enough that I only want one in my wardrobe. But I do recommend it to others. This is a definitely a statement piece for any wardrobe. It's versatile and can be worn to dress up or down.


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