Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Staples: Complete A Wardrobe - Simplicity 4020

This next review is on Simplicity 4020. This is an oldie, but goody. The published date is 2006. Many of you have already made these tops or have the pattern in your collection. I've made Views B, D, and C with the most recent being View C. I consider these staple knit tops, especially, View C.

For the description, I will let the illustration speak for itself. The only thing I'll add is that the fabric used needs to have 30 percent stretch. The sizing is 4 to 20. I've used 12 and 14 over the years. The drawings give an accurate representation of the design lines for each top.

As far as the instructions, easy. Very simple and easy to follow. My likes are:

Pictured wearing a self-drafted skirt, slightly higher in the front (January 2014)
  • Simple casual tops that can be worn to work under a cardigan or jacket. They can also be worn on the weekend with jeans or knit pants.
  • Sews up quickly.

I used knits from Vogue Fabrics for all three tops made. This first one shown is View C with a self-draft skirt. Also, pictured with M5818 pant (TNT).

The next top shown is View B in a sweater knit; the pants are Simplicity 2315. (This pictures was taken Christmas 2012.)

I only made a FBA for View C; shown here, Simplicity 2594.

My favorite these days is View C. I may make it again. And I would recommend trying to pattern. It's easy; it sew up fast; and can be used as a staple in your wardrobe.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Notes on a Pattern - M6986

Today's installment of Note on a Pattern is the new Palmer/Pletsch fall wrap dress.  It has a little bit of 80's vibe with a "cinched waist".  I'm seeing a lot of 80-ish styling for the upcoming fall season and the "wrap dress" is a favorite.   I purchased this pattern as soon as I saw it. 

Things I like about it:

  • Wrap dress
  • Cut on sleeves (dolman), more room across the chest area.  More comfort and ease in wearing, still stylish.
  • Cinch waist; I'm thinking of using a stable knit for the dress and a faux leather/suede for the midriff to create an obi effect.
  • Palmer/Pletsch instructions and fitting techniques; I like having the fit lines drawn on the pattern.  It saves time.  Plus, this pattern as a different style bodice with cut on sleeves.  I like having the detailed instructions on how to handle the FBA.  
  • Because it's fall, I'm going to make view B, with length of view A.

The dress on the model, appears to be too big.  The cinching at the waist is not apparent.  I will  eliminate some of the style ease throughtout the dress.  Also, I will stitch the pleats so they lay flat.  They fall right on the tummy area.  I like to fit of the dress below.

That's it for this installment of Notes on a Pattern.  What do you think about this pattern?

Happy Sewing!

Notes on a Pattern - Updates

I bet you're wondering what happened to the "Note on a Pattern" series.  It's still on the table, but I have not made anything progress with the first two installments:  bomber/baseball jacket (still looking for the right lace) and something with fringe (debating on whether or not I can make my own fringe).  I wanted to complete one of the two before moving on to more Note on a Pattern. I may very well have multiple Notes as I have multiple projects going on at the same time.

At the beginning of the summer, I hoped to complete a dozen or so reviews from last year and early 2014.  Work and some personal issues are still in the way of me doing as much blogging and sewing as I would like.  Summer is quickly slipping away and the reviews remain on note cards and pattern guide sheets.  Some of my hesitation can be attributed to the whether or note the project is note worthy.  Often I ponder should post a review on garments made with older patterns. Or if the process of making the garment merits a post.  Some of my projects, believe it or not, simply got trashed.  But I still wanted to make some note of those "never to be worn" articles.   So today, I decided do what I can and forgot about the rest.  Keep it moving..,

"Notes on a Pattern will continue".  Some will be linked to trends and others will be related to some goal or interest that are on my list to achieve.  So you will definitely see more trend inspirational posts.  The posts may have style element or color that I'd like to try or it may be purely trend based notations for the season.

I hope you will continue to come see what's new on my blog.  As always, I appreciate your visits as well as your comments.

Thank you,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chanel is a Cinch Fall 2014 - Inspiration

Happy Monday!

Today's inspirational post is from the Chanel RTW Fall 2014 collection.  The ladies are still at the grocery store wearing seemingly relaxed, comfortable clothing.  Most of the designs are sporty looking featuring legging, cropped tops, A-line skirts, and dusters.  The collection comes with a rainbow of colors ranging from black and white to colorful confetti over a soft blue.  The footwear is sneakers and lace up boots.  (I want a pair of those boots. Wink, wink) One designs element that really caught my eye was the cinched waist or the illusion of one.  Here are a few designs from the Chanel RTW Fall 2014 Collection.  Enjoy!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ruffled Bodice Dress - McCall 6518

Hi there!

First I wanted to thank everyone for your visits and comments on my blog. You are welcomed to ask questions and dialogue with me about the content posted here.

Yours truly,

This is one of my summer dresses that I was on the fence about publishing a review on. I finished it early July but was not totally pleased with the outcome. So, it took awhile for me to decide to publish a review. Why was I on the fence about it? Because I didn't think this dress was the best silhouette for me and the pressing wasn't that great either. I had decided that I didn't want to do the photo shoot again. So for the sake of not excluding projects because they are not the best, I decided to go ahead with publishing a review.

I purchased the pattern a few years ago. I liked the contrasting midriff, ruffled bodice, and the exposed zipper. Looking at the drawings and the photographed model versions, the skirt of the dress looks more penciled than a-linish. But in the end the silhouette was somewhere between the two. See instruction step 16 of the guide sheet for a true illustration of the skirt.

McCall's describes this as MISSES' LINED DRESS: Lined dress has fitted bodice with side front seams, midriff, single-layer ruffles (wrong side shows), front pleated/back darted skirt, side pockets, stitched hem and exposed back zipper. Midriff, hem and zipper: use decorative saddle stitch finish. Purchased ribbon trim. It comes in sizes 6 to 22. I used 14/16 with modifications.

Most of the instructions were clear, except those for installing the exposed zipper. I think they should have provided a few more steps to explain it. Click here for a better explanation of how to install a exposed zipper. I'm still practicing trying to achieve a clean installation all the way around.

I used a poplin purchased at Vogue Fabrics on Roosevelt Rd. I got it at a deal, $1.00 per yard. For the lining I used a remnant from my stash.

Of course I made quite a few adjustments to the bodice. They are:
 - FBA on the front bodice and the ruffles. If you planning to make this with a FBA don't forgot to make adjustments to the length of the ruffles. You will need to redraw the replacement lines for the ruffles.

 - Prominent shoulder blades adjustments. I added a small dart at the back shoulder seam and make deeper waist darts. - I only lined the bodice and midriff.

- I did not add ribbon to the midriff. (I need to make the midriff smaller and taper more below the bust line as it is still too roomy around the waist. This is easy to fit and maybe I'd like the dress more.) - I only added about 2" to the hem. I should have added more because this dress is pretty short. So instead of a 1.5" hem I only did a 1" hem.
 - I did not do any of the topstitching.

For some reason I couldn't/didn't do the best pressing on the bodice. I said that I was on the fence about publishing a review. I am forever trying to choose the best silhouettes for my shape, inverted triangle. I knew I was taking a chance with the ruffles on top as they add volume. I was hoping that the diagonal placement of the ruffles would make it a little more attractive on me.

In conclusion, I still think this is an attractive dress, but be warned. Make sure it is the correct silhouette for your body shape and you'll have to make some modifications if you want a little more shaping around the middle. Also, this is not a pencil skirt. It is more a-line than any other silhouette.

This dress isn't difficult to sew, but sewist may need a little more instruction on how to install the exposed zipper. But other than that an intermediate sewist should be able to make it. All pictures are on Flickr.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Flower Power with Mood's Nile Green and Black Cotton Floral

Can you believe it. July hurried by without much notice. It's been unusually cool for the month of July. We've had temperatures in the upper 70's by day and by night as low as 55 degrees. I had hoped for a much warmer summer after our Siberia winter. But instead we've only had a few hot weeks where the temps were above 90.

My plans were to sew as many summer dresses before the return of the polar vortex. The good thing is it not to cool for the summer dress production to continue. Last week I finished my August Mood project and it has all the essence of a summer garden party frock. Like many of the other network bloggers, I routinely check the new arrivals to scope out the new pretties before they vanish. As I was scrolling through the many swatches, I saw this lovely Nile green and black cotton floral print. It's beautiful and has several colors of my color palette. This soft semi-sheer cotton is slightly heavier than voile and it has a glossy finish similar to sateen. This summery print works well with Mood's white cotton voile, which I used to line this dress.

For this dress I used the bodice of Butterick 4443-F and the skirt of Vogue 8555-F. Both used in previous projects. Often I like to play around with mixing and matching bodices and skirts of different dress patterns.

The bodice is size 14 modified with my standard adjustments plus a little extra at the side seams.

For the skirt (size 14) I only added about an inch to the length and made adjusted the back and side pleats. The bodice from B4443 is my favorite out of the three included in the pattern. The pleated skirt from Vogue 8555 was a great alternative and provided an opportunity for different full skirt silhouette.

Pictures are really worth a thousand words. I had not noticed that the sleeve was slightly higher in the front than in the back until I looked at the pictures last Friday. They were set as stated in the guide sheet, but after my adjustments, I needed to lower the front about a half inch. This is an easy fix that I will address this week. Everything is fine.

The skirt has a pleat on each side. I did not like the suggested method for making them. So I attached the pocket pieces to the front and back skirt. Then sew the front and back skirt together. Lastly, I formed the pleat (without stitching) then attached the bodice to the skirt.

The entire dress is lined with white cotton voile. I added lace to the hem of the skirt lining and stitched a 1.5 inch hem in the skirt. I hand pitched a regular zipper adding seed beads along the stitching line. I think because this fabric is so light and smooth, zipper installation was not as easy as it has been in the past with using this technique. So I have a little zipper exposure.

All in all I really like my new dress. I wore it to lunch with a few of my sewing lady friends at the Zodiac Room in Nieman Marcus on Thursday. Throughout the day, I received a quite a few compliments. Shh.., they did not know the sleeves were slightly off kilter. ;-)

I will probably use both patterns again. They have the essential elements for a nice skirt waist dress.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Inspiration - Oscar De la Renta Fall/Winter RTW 2014

Today's inspiration is a preview of Oscar De la Renta Fall/Winter RTW collection.  I absolutely love the collection.  I started checking style site to see if the peplum was still on trend for Fall 2014.  It is and I'm glad.

Oscar De la Renta features the peplum is the fall collection.  Also featured are: cobalt blue, grey, black, white, gold, maroon red (if there is such a color) transparency, netting, boucle, tiers, fringes, lace.  The list goes on and on.  So, I will stop there and show you my favorites designs from the Fall/Winter RTW collection.


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