Friday, January 22, 2010

DD's Career Wardrobe -- Fall 2009/Winter 2010 PT II

This is a long post.

Finally, I'm posting the first of two Career Wardrobes that I made for my DD who will soon graduate from college, earning a degree in Business Management. Last summer I decided to make her starter wardrobe that would include some basic pieces to interchange as she seeks employment and starts her professional career.

She and I worked together and came up with this wardrobe which includes the jacket and pants from this pattern, the red dress photographed on the envelope of S2550, and the skirt of M5715. These four pieces makeup wardrobe 1.

Last week I came up with the bright idea of doing the photo shoot in the office. So Yesterday we waiting until everyone had gone home before starting.

Here's my review of the Jacket and pants of Wardrobe 1:

Pattern Description: MISSES’ LINED JACKETS, LINED TOP, LINED SKIRT AND PANTS: Semi-fitted, lined jacket has princess seams, self fabric or contrast pocket band, pocket with pleats, shoulder pads, two-piece sleeves and shaped hem; jacket B has contrast binding; semi-fitted, lined top has raised waistline, back zipper and ribbon tie belt; flared, lined bias skirt, below mid-knee has back zipper and inside ribbon facing; straight-legged pants have back zipper and faced waistline.

Pattern Sizing: 6-20. I made a size 8/10 with some changes. View A and E

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? For the most part. The design lines are the same. The changes that I made make it different from the drawing and the photograph.

Were the instructions easy to follow? There was nothing difficult or confusing about them. Typical instructions for a notched collar jacket and straight-legged pants.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? We liked the design lines of the two. This wardrobe pattern is a classic work "casual wear".

Fabric Used: I purchased the fabric from Vogue's Remnant room. It's a houndstooth fabric of assorted fibers.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Jacket -

I started with a size 10 across the shoulders tapering down to may size 8. DD has broad shoulders and this change allowed for a better fit. At the first fitting of the jacket, I noticed the shoulder extended to far over the shoulder bone. So I trimmed off about 1/4 inch.

I only topstitched around the collar and the front of the jacket.

Pants -

Like me, DD prefers a front or side zipper. So I added a mock fly at the front of the pant.

The back facing was cut on the fold eliminating the center back seam allowance. And the front facing cut in two pieces adding seam allowance to the center front. Finally, I added a button loop to the inside of the front opening above the zipper.

NOTE: dress and skirt reviewed separately as they are from other patterns.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Probably not. I have many, many more patterns to try. But if you have it, I do recommend it.

Conclusion: This non-stop wardrobe pattern is a perfect wardrobe builder. It not hard to sew, and DD likes it. ;-)

The Dress

Pattern Description: Misses' dress with bodice variations.

Pattern Sizing: 4 - 20. I made a size 10 the Red version on the envelope.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Not exactly. The drape wasn't quite the same. It could be due to the underlining. DD will probably add jewelry to help the placement of the drape.

Were the instructions easy to follow?Yes. Nothing difficult or confusing. Easy to sew.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? DD liked the design of the dress.

Fabric Used: cranberry wool gabardine.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I underlined the entire dress.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Probably not. I have hundreds of dress patterns to try. But do recommend it. NOTE: The size 10 is fitted in the bodice area. You may want to increase the seam allowances a little across the back and shoulder area.

Conclusion: This is a nice dress to add to your wardrobe. Yesterday DD confessed that this is one of DD's favorite garments of the two wardrobes. Only problem, I'm a little, just a little, unhappy with the drape.

The entire wardrobe can be viewed here.

This is the second wardrobe for my DD. I used M5715 and S2798 for it. The dress will be reviewed separately. I used all three views of this pattern.

My review.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ LINED JACKETS, SKIRT AND PANTS: Semi-fitted, lined, slightly below waist jacket has yoke, collar, side pockets, raglan sleeves, back pleats, button and buttonhole closure, stitched hem; jacket A has sleeve pleats and cuffs; jacket B has bell-shaped sleeves with stitched hem; tapered, mid-knee skirt C or straight-legged pants D have contour waist and back zipper; skirt C has back slit.

Pattern Sizing: 6 - 20. I used size 10.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. I made a few minor changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. No problems. The jacket is time consuming. It has a lot of pieces and it's fully lined. It's worth the effort.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I picked this pattern for DD. The jacket was what I liked. The skirt and pants are basic standards. I think McCalls uses them for many of their wardrobe patterns. No dislikes.

Fabric Used: I used a wool blend for the jacket; a polyester gabardine for the pants; and a grey suiting for the skirt. The skirt pattern was also used for the other Career Wardrobe (dark brown corduroy).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Jacket - No changes.

Skirt - I made a vent, instead of slit, added a waistband, and a pocket flap (dark brown version).
Pants - Moved zipper to the size. Made adjustments to the back facing.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Probably not. Lots of other patterns. The skirt and pants may be reused for wardrobes that have the same pattern.

Conclusion: This is a nice little wardrobe pattern that was fun to make. I really like the jacket. Give it a try. ;-)

See all photos of this wardrobe on Flickr

The UPS Man Cometh Bearing Beautiful Gifts

On Wednesday afternoon the doorbell rang. It was one of our favorite people. The UPS Man! To my surprise, this time he came ringing for me bearing beautiful gifts from generous Ms. Marji. This was such bountiful gift and I love every piece of it. Thank you Ms. Marji! You are an angel.

In Marji's letter she mentions making garments for my DD Career wardrobe. Well, DD may get one or two things from the fabric, but I'll be the benefactor of most of it. ;-)

Acquiring more reference books is on my list of goals for 2010. I started reading the Easy Guide to Sewing Jackets. Lots of good stuff in it. Over the weekend I'll take a serious look at the tailoring book.

Thanks again, Marji. This is such a lovely and thoughtful gift, and I really appreciate your precious gift.

Next Post - Reviews of DD Fall 2009/Winder 2010 Career Wardrobe. Here's a preview:

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


At years end Linda of Danvillegirl Sewing Diary presented me with two awards Sugar Doll and the Honest Scrap Awards. At the beginning of the year Trudy of Sewing with Trudy gave me other Honest Scrap Award. Thank you very much, ladies. So thoughtful of you.

Today I'm acknowledging and accepting both awards by following the guidelines:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Tell ten interesting things about yourself (oh, boy-- don't have much to tell).
3. Nominate seven other creative, inspiring bloggers .

Interesting things - That's hard. I may have to repeat things already told. Here goes. Oh, yeah...., I have some new stuff....,

1. Still working for the University of Illinois during this time of cutbacks and layoffs. Twenty-six years and counting. Thank God.

2. Proud Mama..., My DD is finishing up her Business degree and will be a Voters' Administrator for the upcoming election.

3. Officially became a member of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago by invitation. Thanks to M. Moser. She found me on Patti Palmer's website.

4. As a kid I wanted to be some kind of scientist always conducting experiments.

5. I love my sisters and enjoy their company. We are tighter than Dick's hat band.

6. I am the epitome of a Daddy's girl. I miss him ...,

7. Is making efforts to purchase a home.

8. Wants to go on an Alaskan cruise.

9. Since ten, I have been fascinated with making things: sewing crocheting, knitting, drawing, etc.

10. Used to play the flute.

Nomination of a few bloggers I follow. This is my least favorite part of the nomination process. There are hundreds of creative bloggers that I'd like to nominate. It's extremely hard to just name a few. In the true spirit of the cyberspace "award" eventually all of my fellow creative, sewing bloggers will be nominated. So here are a few favorites:

Summerset's Pins and Needles
Tany's Couture et Tricot
Marj's FiberArt Afloat
Erica's Erica B.'s DIY Style
Carolyn's Diary of a Sewing Fanatic
Lindsay's Lindsay T Sews
Cidell's Miss celie's Pants

Happy Sewing!


BTW- I finished one of DD's career wardrobes. One dress to complete for the second one. Pictures and reviews coming soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Looking Forward - 2010

I'm so looking forward to a new year of sewing and creating beautiful things. 2009 was a trying year, and I'm thankful that I had an outlet. I'm grateful to God for blessing with a creative hand, and try to share the gift with my family and friends. My client projects is growing: I already have: two clergy robes, a prom dress, two coats, and a alterations to do.

This year I decided to do an over haul of my sewing goals targeting specific things to accomplish.

1. New machine - I absolutely have to buy another sewing machine. My singer Quantum DSX died on me shortly after Christmas. It is over fifteen years old. It has paid for itself over and over again. So I'm shopping for a new one. I have Commercial Grade Singer Sewing machine that I am not fund of at all. It's my back up. So I will definitely buy a new sewing machine within the next few weeks.

2. Purchase Reference Books - There at least one I'm going to buy: Roberta Carr's Couture Sewing Book recommended by NancyK.

3. Adding some tailoring techniques - Make at least one garment with bound buttonholes, another some decorative top stitching (I love the midnight blue dress Carolyn recently made.), and try at least one of the techniques in Roberta Carr's Couture book.

4. Sew something from all those BWOF magazines on the shelf. I have a couple hundred dollars invested in them. I need to use them.


5. Make that cute little black Beyonce number on the side bar.

That's it.

Have a wonderful creative weekend!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Project of the Year - V8594 - Shift or Sheath PTIII

This is one of the dresses that I featured in a blog post "Do You Shift or Sheath" in late summer 2009. It's also the second of three sheath dresses that I planned to make. The third I will make next summer (V1118).

Vogue rates this pattern as easy. But I think it could have been rated average because the dress is fully lined and there are multiple pieces to it, in particular the back of the bodice and skirt.

It's recommended for body figures: inverted triangle and hourglass.

Pattern Description: Misses' Dress: Mid-knee or below mid-calf length, lined dresses A - F have fitted bodice with extended shoulders forming cap sleeves, two neckline variations, princess seam variations and midriff fron, tapered skirt side back seaming details back zipper and slit. A: contrast midriff fron, side back sections and middle skirt back sections. D: purchased flexible trim at neck. Purchased belts.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing: 9 to 24. I made the muslin size 16. It was too big. So I scaled it back to a size 14 with modifications. Details: neck and shoulders 14; bust 16 with additional FBA; midriff and skirt 14. More on the change below.

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 is nothing confusing about the instructions. The challenge is in collecting the design lines and making sure the dress fits.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Everything. I like the look of this dress. It's my favorite silhouette. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used: My sewing buddy, Pauline gave me about five yards of this fabric. It feels and looks like a poly blend (suiting)?

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Yes. I made a few. Details in this blog post.

I also change the zipper application, inserting a lapped zipper. Truth be told I purchased an invisible zipper, tried to install it with the wacky invisible zipper foot kit (green, blue, red, & white). It kept coming apart; so I ditched the invisible zipper. Is there a better IZFK available? Please let me know...., much appreciated.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes; I plan to make it again in the summer (View D).

Cute dress that can be worn as jumper (borrowed from EricaB), with a jacket or just by itself. It's not a difficult pattern to sew, but be careful with line up the design lines. I missed it just a little bit on the side of the skirt.

Parting Shot - Me next to my new dress form, a gift from my sister.

Goals are coming. ;-)
Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looking Back - 2009

Happy New Year!

I would like to thank everyone who visited my blog and special thanks to those of you who graciously left a word of encouragement. Last year was good; I've made some improvements but want to continue to explore some couture techniques. The list of goals for 2009 was the same as the previous year. Looking back on them, I still did not quite meet them. The reason maybe due to the breadth of them. For 2010 goals will be more targeted than last year's. I'll post them tomorrow.

A year in review 2009

More Challenging Projects - Yes. My nieces prom and dinner dance outfits.

Quality over Quantity - The list of finished garments is huge considering I have a full time job. I need to work on the quality part a little more.

Making something from leather - Didn't do yet.

New Specialized Machine - Haven't bought yet.

Refine Terms and Conditions for Clients - Almost done, needs a little more tweaking but usable.

Purchased more Reference Books - Just sewing magazines and crochet books.

Organize - Needs more work

UFO's - Only completed four, but haven't added to them. All 2009 unfinished (cut) projects are being worked on.

Networking - Not so much in person, a little in cyberspace. In November, I became a member of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago. My first meeting will be in February.

The Tally of Things Sewn

For Me

Dresses 11
Jackets/Vests 7
Coats 3
Skirts 3
Top 1
Pants 5

For Clients and Miss. DD

Dresses 6
Jackets/Vests 5
Skirts 4
Accessories 4
Robes 2
Pants 14

My Favorite Things

Least Favorites - Two UFO's - Maybe that's why it took me so long to sew them up.


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