Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Simplicity Pattern Design Contest!

Please click on the link below
Simplicity Contest

GRAND PRIZE: Winner will win a trip to NYC, meet with the Design and Production staff. The winning original design will be produced and distributed worldwide as an Inspired by Project Runway® pattern in the Simplicity Pattern Collection and featured on

+First Prize: Brother Project Runway® Sewing Machine,a $300 shopping spree and your design featured on

+Second Prize: Simplicity Bias Tape Maker and a Simplicity Rotary Cutter Machine.

+Third Prize: A $50 shopping spree and Simplicity 8” Shears.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Perfect Cover Up Simplicity 4256

This jacket has been in my collection for about four years. I purchased it for two reasons: it includes B-D cups sizes and the peplum jacket (view b).

Pattern Description: Misses' lined jackets with trim variations.

Pattern Sizing: 6 -22. I used size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much. All except for the length of the jacket. It appears to be a little longer on the model. Maybe it's me. If I make it again, I will add a little length to it to create a "leaner" silhouette.

Were the instructions easy to follow? There were no confusing instructions. Pretty standard for the view I made. Caution - The joining of the lining to the front facing/upper collar at the shoulder is a little tricky, but doable.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Peplum waistline and the varying cup sizes. I try to take advantage of patterns that offer multiple cup sizes.

Fabric Used: Stretch woven poly twill from Vogue Fabric's on Roosevelt Rd. Cling free lining from JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No alterations. But I decided to follow Vogue's method of sewing the peplum.

Here is a photo of the finished peplum. Simplicity 4256 says to cut 2 pieces of the front flounce and 1 piece of the back flounce; sew them together; sew a rolled hem; then attach to jacket. I prefer Vogue's method: Cut 4 pieces of front and 2 of the back. Sew 2 complete flounces then combine them to create a more polished peplum. As I pressed at the hem, I slightly rolled the upper flounce toward the under side;then I understitched at the hem. Next the waist of the flounce (under) was trimmed evenly then attached to the jacket.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think I may make one more version of it. And yes, I recommend it if you have it in your collection.

Conclusion: Cute little jacket that is not difficult to sew and would compliment your spring wardrobe.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Springing It Up With Butterick 5455

We are four months into the new year and I still haven't tried any new tailoring techniques. Oh well..., At least this cute dress does have some piping to show off the design lines.

Here's my review:

Pattern Description: Misses' Dresses semi-fitted, straight dresses A, B, midknee length, have lined bodice, pleated front neckline, midriff front, side slant pockets, back zipper and hemline vent A; self fabric piping trim.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 8 to 20. I used size 14 with modifications. View A.

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? Easy breezy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the pleated neckline, piping, and shape of the pockets. No dislikes.

Fabric Used: I think the fabric roll tag said some type of silk. The lining is bemberg. Both purchased at Fishman's Fabrics in February this year. Great fabric to work with. I wasn't concerned with matching of the "starburst". Just made sure the center of a burst didn't fall on a particular body part. ;-)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a few alterations/design changes:

-Added a inch or two to the hemline
-Instead of making piping from the fashion fabric, I bought white piping to add a little contrast since I was making a matching white jacket.
-Made a FBA

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Probably not for myself. But I do recommend it to others.

Conclusion: This is a great little spring/summer dress to add to your wardrobe. And it's easy to sew.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Carnivale - Haute Couture Club of Chicago

From the moment I stepped off the elevator (14th floor of the Mart) til bed time 10:00pm I was on 10. There was energy, excitement, and loads of fun in the atmosphere. I was in seventh heaven. Who would have thought such an illustrious organization/club existed. It was great!

The floor was abuzz with fellow artisans and guests, all full of anticipation of the events of the day. Waves of emotions came over me as I surveyed the land of the Haute Couture Carnivale! I felt inspired and energized to make better garments in the days to come. There were moments when I felt totally out of my league and then I was back to feeling absolutely grateful to have been invited to become a member.

After four months of membership, I was at the annual fashion show with two garments, modeled by my DD. The entire program was a spectacular event. From the marketplace to the grand finale on the runway. The event was very well organized. There was so much to observe and learn. My fellow members/artisans are all joy, not a one without a huge smile and inviting conversation.

I'm almost afraid to start mentioning names for fear that I'd forgot someone. But I must say Ms. Rhonda Buss and Ms. Sandra Young are absolutely phenomenal. They gave "it" their ALL. Ms. Rhonda Buss, president, modeled at least six outfits. All were impeccably made. Ms. Sandra Young, headed the team of wonderful people who put together the event, also designed and modeled about the same number of equally impressive outfits. The runway was filled with notable expressions of creative interpretations of couture fashions from Martha Moser's Red orange linen short cape to Cleo Thomas's Valentino inspired Black lame stretch knit cocktail dress. It was all to great to miss.

Sorry no pictures to show. As usual I didn't think about my camera until I was half way to my destination. Shame on me. There were professional photographers on hand so I'm sure the club members will have an opportunity to view all the photos taken.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more on the Haute Coutour Club in the months to come.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter 2010 - Simplicity 2588

My DD and I decided this would be a nice Easter dress for her. Back in January 2010 Marji sent me a grand box of goodies. The fabric was part of the gift. Thanks again.

Pattern Description: Misses'/Miss Petite Dress with neckline and skirt variations.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 4 - 20. I made a size 10 with some adjustments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looked like the photo/drawing (yellow dress).

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yep, as easy as 1, 2, 3...,

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like all of the views of this pattern. You know I'm really liking the Project Runway patterns. The pattern collection offers so many options. At a glance you are given eight dress designs. With fabric, mixing and matching the bodice and skirts, there are endless possibilities.

No dislikes at all.

Fabric Used: The fabric is purple/blue jacquard polyester I think.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Alterations -
I made a muslin of the top thinking I may have to make a broad shoulder adjustment. Looking at the muslin of this yoked bodice made me wonder if I needed to make a different kind of alteration. DD has broad shoulder true enough, but I think she also has a slight pigeon chest and (like mother, like daughter) a sway back.

In the muslin, I tried to feature out how to make the adjustments. Ann uploaded some illustrations for me which were a big help. Thanks, Ann. So I begin with altering the sleeves then making the adjustments in the yoke and bodice. But I forgot to make a sway back adjustment.

Sleeves - altered from square shoulders.

Back Yoke and Bodice- I had to remove about a inch from the center back seam through the upper back portion. I guess the sleeve alteration caused the gaping at center back.

Design Changes -

Invisible Zipper
Bias Tape at the hems: skirt and sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. I plan to. I think this is a great dress to try.

Conclusion: Great wardrobe builder. The pattern has several style lines that can be mixed and matched.

Parting shot: My Baby Sis modeling accessories made by my DD. Red feathered hair comb and earrings!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vogue 1084 - Ms. PB

Today I'm practically forcing myself to at least post to my blog. Lately, I have been in a "no blogging" mood. Every day last week I kept telling myself, "Post the final segment of Ms. PB's dress, Vogue 1084." I couldn't seem to get it done. So now I'm on a mission to get back into blogging.

Here is Ms. PB in her vintage vogue dress at the Pastoral Banquet. She has already asked me to make another dress in a wool crepe for the fall. And..., she on the list for another Pastoral banquet outfit.

Pattern Description:
MISSES' DRESS: Close-fitting, flared dress with side front seams and darts, raised front neckline, low back with darts, waistline seam, tie, skirt with side back seams and inverted pleat, side zipper closing. A: short sleeves. B: long sleeves with snap closing. Below mid-calf length.

Pattern Sizing:
Sizes 6 - 20

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except for the changes that I made.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. They were pretty easy to follow. The only difficult process was joining of the sleeve, front and side front bodice. Before I cut into the fashion fabric, I made a muslin to help identify the difficult areas and/or construction processes. I also tested how the facing and the bodice would join using the pattern to help me visualize the join.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This dress was sewn for a client/friend. She adored the styling of this dress. No dislike reported. For me, I like to fullness of the skirt and the tie at the center back. My dislike is the front is very plain and the neckline didn't really drape as the illustration on the pattern envelope.

Fabric Used: The queen of fabric: silk (dupioni)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Plenty: All documented on my here on this blog.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. I'll make another dress for Ms. PB in the fall. Yes I would recommend it.

Conclusion: Ms. PB was very pleased with her dress. So pleased I've been commissioned to make another. Sewing it was not difficult at all. If this is your style of dress, try it.

More pictures on Flickr.


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