Monday, March 30, 2009

Sewing Like A Mad Woman!

I've been sewing like a mad woman for the past three days finishing two dresses for myself and nearly finishing my niece's dinner dance dress and jacket. She needs to try it on for the final fit before hemming and sewing the lining to the dress. I took off Thursday, Friday and today to do some sewing and a few things around the house. It was a very productive time and am pleased with my accomplishments.

I'll have pictures later this week. Today I need to make a run to Hancock for more fabric. I didn't get enough for the jacket/coat for the banquet dress. I really want to try to complete a large portion of it today. The dinner is Sunday evening. The jacket/coat is simple so it shouldn't take long to finish. Also, my niece is coming today to try on her dress. So I've making a lot of progress of the projects.

Next week I'll make the second muslin for my other niece's prom dress. Then I start sewing for another client, who is attending the same dinner dance as my niece Dominique. Meanwhile, DD is itching for another dress and some knit tops. It never ends.

BTW- It was about 45 degrees on Saturday. Sunday morning we got several inches of snow. It's still winter in Chicago.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Working with Large Floral Prints - B5314

At first sight of Butterick 5314, I decided it would be one of my spring/summer dresses of 2009. And of course, I would make it using a large floral print same as the pattern. Large floral prints aren't for everyone, but I thought I could pull it off with my height and size.

After altering the pattern, I starting experimenting with the placement of the flowers trying to duplicate the placement of the flowers of the pattern illustration. Here's how I copied the design of the print using a stretch woven purchased at Hancock.

Stay Tuned, more later on my many projects in progress!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Buying Stuff Is A Sweet Substitute

I may not be able to sew as much as I would like, but I'm shopping up a storm! Here are some of my sweet treasures.

From Pam's

Gorgeous Fabrics is having a sale on coating. I grabbed this beautiful black basket weave boucle and this royal purple flannel coating.

Of course I had to take advantage of the sale at Vogue Fabrics. Thanks, Cindy for the 411 on the sale. I didn't get any dupioni silk, but I picked up some nice pieces.

Floral Shantung from the remnant room.

Brown and Blue striped shirting at $1.99 per yard.

Gray linen blend from the remnant room.

Beautiful knits at $4.99 per yard.

What would craft shopping be without a few patterns. I received my Burda World of Fashion in the mail yesterday. I truly need to sew more from Burda. The magazines and patterns are stacking up. lol Saturday I only bought two Vogue patterns at the JoAnn's pattern sale.

Well that's all for now.

Happy Sewing!


Cutting, But No Sewing!

Man, oh Man! Work is still getting in the way of my creativity. We've received upgrade, patch, after patch on the four servers that host our application. So the entire team has been load testing, reporting bugs, working three weekends straight. And I am TIRED!

I had big plans to work on my niece's outfit this weekend, but it just didn't happen. So after church and work I forced myself to do something creativity. Afraid of ruining something at the sewing machine, I decided to cut a few dresses for myself. Guess what, I messed up. While cutting a dress on a "just enough" piece of fabric, I cut the back skirt on the fold side of the fabric. When I realized the mistake, it was too late to switch the front skirt. To save the dress I added seam allowance to the center front of the skirt. Maybe I'll do a mock flat fold seam so it will look like it was on purpose.

Hopefully, I'll finish up my niece's jacket this week. It's half done. Another niece decided to go with a different pattern after fitting the muslin from the first pattern. Her mom brought the "new" pattern and the lining for her dress last night.

At the beginning of the year I had BIG plans to tackle the ever growing collection of UFO's. Needless to say it's increasing not decreasing. I need a month off work. lol

Happy Sewing!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Off to the Emerald City - S2724 The Final Chapter

I couldn't help but think about the Wizard of Oz and the Emerald City as I posted the final chapter on the making of Simplicity 2724.

When I originally purchased this pattern, it was for me. I was planning to make the view with the white pleated bodice and black skirt. In February DD and I were shopping at Hancock's looking at the silk Dupioni and talking about how much we love jewel colors. The emerald green spoke to us this time. I wanted to make something special for my DD, because she is always patient when I'm sewing for others. As her "I want that sewn for me" list grows, I feel somewhat obligated to quench her desire for a version of this dress. She will wear this dress on Easter. The prom and graduation session is underway, and I'm glad I was able to work this in.

This is a great pattern to sew. There are so many options for dresses, skirts and blouses. This is on my favorites list for 2009. You should try it.

Pattern Description: Misses' Dress with skirt, bodice and sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing: 4-20; I used a size 10 and made modifications. I'll talk about that later.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It looked like the basic dress combination of the bodice and skirt (pink version). She wanted the 3/4 sleeves. My version is slightly longer, but it's looks like it.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were easy to follow. One suggestion: follow the instructions on the ruffle as stated. It makes the process easy. Take your time with making it. It will pay off in the long run. This version of the dress showcases it. I made a few changes in how I completed my version of the dress. All will be listed in the design/alteration section.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love this dress. It was a joy to make. I only have one dislike and that's the side zipper. The dress is semi-fitted in the bodice and you may have difficulty getting in and out of it. The pattern calls for a 14" zipper; I inserted a 22" one cutting it off at 18" to ease the burden of contorting the body to get in it.

Fabric Used: The queen of fabrics, silk (dupioni). I love sewing this fabric. It's easy to handle and sews beautifully.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: There were are few alterations and design changes:

As you know, the Simplicity Project Runway patterns gives you the option to create your own design.

- DD and I started with the design of the pink dress on the envelope. She doesn't like sleeveless tops or dresses; so she decided that the 3/4 length sleeves would work for her.

- I pattern fit the bodice at size 10. I made a small full bust and broad shoulder alterations. Here are the pattern pieces laying flat atop the fabric.

- There is no lining for this dress. So I decided to underline it. The results give this dress a polished finish and a little more body to the fabric.

- For the stand collar, I under stitched the top edge and slip stitched it to the neckline of the dress.

- Inserted a longer zipper for easy access.

Back View

There are more pictures in my Flickr Album.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes DD has plans for more dresses from this pattern. I plan to try to make the ruffled bodice into a nice little peplum top.

Conclusion: This is a great pattern to try. It's not difficult to sew, but requires some patience with creating the ruffled bodice.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Green with Envy - S2724 Part II

Yesterday I nearly completed the emerald green dress for my DD. I'm so happy with the results and wanted to share a few photos. Today, I will hem, slip stitch the sleeve bands and collar, then press it.

Word on the fabric: I'm so glad we chose silk dupioni. It sews beautifully and is an excellent choice for this dress. I did very little pressing throughout the process and didn't have any problems with handling or shaping the fabric. The pattern didn't call for a lining. I underlined it with Ambiance lining for a more polished look.

I would strongly recommend trying this pattern. There is one thing that I dislike about it and that is the place of the zipper. The dress is semi-fitted in the upper body. You may want to consider putting the zipper in the back, starting it about two inches from the neckline through the hip area of the skirt.

Here are a few photos. Excuse me for not pressing before the photos. I'll take more with DD wearing it.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Easter Dress for DD Pattern Fitting S2724 - Part I

It's easy to work a pattern fitting for DD because she's home with me and is usually around when I'm sewing for her. So instead of doing a muslin fitting, I do a pattern fitting. I'm making S2724, the pink view with 3/4 sleeves for Easter. The fabric that I'm using is an emerald green silk dupioni purchased at Hancock's. The dress does not call for a lining, which I prefer. After experimenting with draping the ambiance lining and the silk over my hand and forearm I decided to underline it for a more polished look. Pretty inside and out. I also thought underlining would be best for the pleating and the full sleeves.

Here's the fitting process:

I cut the pattern at size 10. Noted from front view she needs a FBA and a little move in the shoulder area.

Pattern Fitting back of bodice DD's Easter Dress. There is pulling in the upper back and shoulder area. Plus I forget to pin the back waist pleat.


Broad shoulder and FBA for DD's Easter Dress. It's still uneven at the waist.

Back View

Dinner Dance Outfit - M5382 & M5669 - Part I

Finally able to post the first fitting for my niece's dinner dance outfit. I'm using two McCall patterns 5382 and 5669. Weekend before last she came over for the first fitting. Lucky me there aren't a lot of changes needed. It's good to be young, flat, and smooth. Sigh, sigh.

Tip: When I'm muslin fitting a client or relative, I write on the muslin to help me remember the changes needed.

Here goes:

First, I noticed that the front of the skirt pattern has half the gathering width of the back pattern. My sister said she liked the affect. So I won't add more gathers to the front.

Front view of dress. I need to raise the neckline about 1/2 inch. It's too low in the front. Everything else looks good.

Pulling will be eliminated with the added width and the boning. At the upper and lower back a small sway alteration is needed.

Side view of dress. I cut the muslin between size 6 and 8. I need to add about 1/2 inch to each side. Niecey said that it was a little tight around the stomach area.

Niecey will need something to keep her warm. Chicago can be cool in the evening. So I chose M5669-C for a stylish chill buster. The muslin fits a little tight acoss the shoulder area. So I'll add 1/4 inch to the shoulder area.

That it. Saturday afternoon I cut the dress and jacket. Sometime this week I'll finish the seams and then begin the process of putting the outfit together. This is one of four dresses that I'm working on.

Sunday, Another niece came to fit your muslin for V2891. She was not pleased. So back to the store for another pattern. I suggested five other options. We will see what she chooses.

Stay Tune...,

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Sisterhood Award

Last week I received four nominations for the Sisterhood Award. I'm all aglow thanks to these fabulous sewing divas: Moi, Karen, Summerset, and Dana! It's wonderful sharing our hobbies.

In keeping with the rules, I now must nominate at least 10 other outstanding "sisters". Now let's see..., There are so many "sisters" who deserve a nomination.


The Rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

This weekend: More sewing done another muslin, several velvet and satin scarfs. Another niece is graduating and going on prom. After trying on the muslin, she decided the dress wasn't for her. Thank you, Jesus! I thought the same thing when she showed me the pattern. So I'm back to square one on her project.

I was able to cut out a few things. The dress and jacket for Niece Dominique. Also cut dress for DD, Easter emerald green. Nothing for me yet. I'm not happy about that. lol

Hardly any blogging, still a lot going on at work. Upgrades and patches to the application that I support. We have four servers; all have to be tested after each upgrade/patch. We are even working on weekends. So I'm still playing catchup.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their comments on my recent posts. It's been hard to blog or read blog lately, too much work and too tired. But there is hope. Deadlines have past and work has been completed on time.

Last weekend I worked on several projects: Easter, prom, graduation, etc. Boy I'm all over the place. Anyway, several patterns cut and altered. I fitted one dress for my niece and one for my DD. Details next post.

Borrowing from Summerset, here is parting shot of my niece wearing the muslin dress.

Happy Sewing!


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