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Friday, May 25, 2007

Simplicity 3867 - Silk Empire Waist Tunic

S.W.A.P. Preview

Project Details

Pattern: Simplicity 3867, View C
Fabric: Silk Dupioni (100% silk)
Lining: Cotton Batiste (100% cotton)
Notions: 18" invisible zipper; hook & eye; 1" wide twill tape; lace hem tape

Description: Silk empire waist tunic

When I first saw this pattern, it really did nothing for me. It especially did nothing for me when I say it in Sew Stylish magazine. The way the dress and the top was shown on the model on the inside made her chest look like deflated balloons... talk about an ill fit. But I kept on seeing positive reviews on PR and decided to give it a shot by adding it to my S.W.A.P. collection. Plus, it looks very Anthro!

I always get a little concern with the fit of the bodice with sewing tops that aren't knit and don't have front darts or princess seams. When I did my tissue fit, I saw that my usual size 14 would not provide enough ease through the bust area. I cut the bodice front in a size 16 to compensate for my full bust size and cut the back in a size 14. I also cut the yoke (shoulder piece) in a size 16 for additional length and cut the skirt part in a 14. I used cotton batiste to line both bodice pieces and also used it for the interfacing of the yokes.

I added a waist stay using twill tape because when I did a fitting, the waist felt like it wanted to ride up underneath my bra. Since I was working with the dupioni that ravels something awful, I used french seams. The instructions suggested a lapped zipper installation and 99% of the time when I make a top or a dress, I ALWAYS use invisible zippers. I haven't done it yet, but I do plan to add lingerie guards to keep my bra straps in place.

Overall, this was a very simple pattern that is well drafted and I hardly read the instructions.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Vogue 8365 - The Cuffed Shorts

Alice + Olivia Gathered Top, $165 & Metallic Shorts, $198; Mint Printed Silk Tank, $250 & Cuffed Shorts, $270.

S.W.A.P. Preview

Top, Hot Patterns 107

I also liked the shorts with the t-shirt.

Top, Simplicity 4076

Project Details
Pattern: Vogue 8365, View A
Fabric: Linen (linen/polyester blend)
Notions: 7" Zipper, Two Hook and Eye Closures, One 1/2" Snap

Description: Shorts with shaped waistband, slanted side front pockets, mock fly and cuffs.

What is Summer with shorts? Unheard of in this neck of the woods when the mercury rises to 100 degrees. Last year, I make a couple of pairs of bermuda shorts and I decided to go a little shorter... not Daisy Dukes, just a little more skin. I choose this particular view because I know that pleats look horrible on me and no matter what I do, they would never lie flat. If you've made pants before, then this is an easy pair to make even though I had to make several adjustments. I lengthened the rise which made mine 10" in the front and 13" in the back... y'all know how I feel about being able to bend over without showing all your business. I also made a full hip adjustment by cutting the waistband and the top of the shorts in a size 16 and at the fullest part of my hip, I came out to a size 18. I always sew my darts right before I put the waistband on. I try on at this point so that I can accurately tell how much they need to be taken in. I then adjusted the waistband accordingly. By doing this, it prevented them from gaping at the back waistband. I wore them today and the test is walking and getting in and out of the car. I'm happy to say that there was no riding up and no smiling crotch! LOL

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Designer - Elena Miro

Too fat for fashion? No such thing! Italian designer Elena Miro has proven that even if you have curves, you can still be fantastically stylish, trendy and dynamic!

Fall 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

S.W.A.P. Changes!

I'll probably be changing pieces out until I make my last garment! LOL

M5395 is out!

M5329, the Nanette Lepore knockoff is in!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Simplicity 4076 - The Scoop-neck t-shirt

S.W.A.P. Preview

Project Details

Pattern: Simplicity 4076, View D
Fabric: Cotton interlock (100% cotton)

Description: Scoop neck t-shirt

As you see, I'm getting all of the easy pieces out of the way before I run into those that will take a lot of time to resolve fitting issues.

I wanted a “good” t-shirt, that I could dress up or down. I was inspired by the luxurious Michael Stars t-shirt and a couple of others. I chose this simplicity pattern because it closely resembled the very popular scoop-neck style. This pattern is so simple that you could easily make a couple a day! It has 4 pattern pieces: front, back, sleeves and neckband.

I had seen many reviews at Pattern Review.com of this shirt and the thing that I noticed most was that they seem to run very short and on me it would look like it shrunk in the dryer... not cute. To solve this problem, I added 3” to the length. When I made my muslin, I noticed that the neckband was not quite wide enough (for me), so I added about 3/8” to it. All of the pieces were very well drafted. The only error I found was that the notches on the side seams did not match, but that was not big deal. I have completely fallen in love with this shirt and this will be my “TNT” t-shirt pattern.

Hot Patterns 107 - Key-hole back camisole

S.W.A.P. Preview
Project Details

Pattern: Hot Patterns 107
Fabric: Black & White Charmeuse (100% polyester)
Notions: 1 ¼ yd of ½” bias tape; 2 ½ yds of 1” wide ribbon

Description: Key-hole back camisole with a casing at the front & back necklines and ties together at the shoulder with ribbon.

I first saw the fabric and thought that it would be perfect for this top... you know the trendy, scarf-type tops that are really popular. As always with Hot Patterns, the instructions were simple, brief and straight to the point... perfect for the sewer that does not require a lot of visual instructions. The pattern pieces were well drafted. I used French seams for the sides, the armholes have a bias tape finish and the front and back facings are used as a casing for the ribbon. The back casing required a lot of fiddling and a good steam pressing to get it to actually look like the illustration... well, it did for me and my choice of fabric. Once I got it to look right, I pinned the casing to the ribbon and stitched it in place because I wouldn’t want to go through that every time I want to wear it. Since the key-hole is very low in the back, and the top has ribbon ties, I ran into a bra issue. I figured my best bet would be to just layer over a white tank so I could still wear a bra. I think this is a cool little Summer top that would make a great addition to my wardrobe.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I'm back!

I haven't blogged in like a week... some times you just get caught up in life and need a break or one is demanded of you. I did manage to get some well deserved rest and relaxation poolside. I've also been sewing, working on my S.W.A.P.... cutting out out and making muslins. I actually have finished two pieces... as soon as I get photos, I'll show you. During my brief hiatus, here are some things I wanted to share.

I've got the blues!

Cobalt blues that is! I've been seeing this electrifying color everywhere.

Camoflaging a belly

If you're like me, I have pretty decent arms and legs but I have a pooch. After three babies, I've made peace with the fact that I'll never have six-pack abs without medical intervention and I'm cool with that. But, there are ways to still be cute and trendy and conceal your flaw.

  1. The first look is a belted jacket cinched at the natural waistline.
  2. The second is a busy print babydoll top made in a flowy fabric.
  3. The third is a boxy jacket layered over a drapey blouse.
- Lucky Magazine, June 2007, page 98

BTW, more learn to sewing posts to come!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

S.W.A.P. Fabric

From left to right:
cotton pique - Simplicity 3744, view A**
black linen - Vogue 8365
cotton interlock - Simplicity 4076
chiffon polka dot - Simplicity 3887
white linen
polyester - Hot Patterns 107

**Note: Remember when I said there could possibly be changes? Well, here's the first substitution. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to replace a dress or a top. We'll see...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

S.W.A.P. Selections

Here are my S.W.A.P. selections. These are all of the essentials a S.A.H.M. would need (in hot-ass Alabama) for a fashionable Summer!

Semi-fitted jacket with princess seams, McCall's 5395

Wrap dress with cap sleeves, McCall's 5314

Day dress with gathered bodice and shoulder straps, Butterick 5029

Wide-Leg Linen Pants, Simplicity 4366

Boot-cut jeans, McCall's 5142

Tailored shorts, Vogue 8365

Pullover top with waist tie, Simplicity 3887

Knit scoop neck top, Simplicity 4076

Linen top, Simplicity 3867

Sleeveless tunic, Simplicity 4022

Key-hole back camisole, Hot Pattern 107

*** Note: These selections are subject to change.