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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Simplicity 3800 - Q & A's

"This looks wonderful on you - both stylish and comfortable - a great combination. Would it be hard to do this without a serger?"
No it would not be hard to sew without a serger. Since knits don't ravel, you wouldn't have to do a lot of finishing. It was just my preference to use the serger because it was a lot quicker.

"What is negative ease?"
Ease is the extra amount of fabric added to give a garment "style" and also so that you can move and sit. I used negative ease because this was a stretch garment and I wanted it to have a cling fit.

"What is a FBA?"
A FBA is a "Full Bust Adjustment". The full bust is measured across the fullest part of the bust. Pattern companies create patterns based on average sizes. They have come to the conclusion that the average woman has is a B cup. If you are larger than a the "norm" then you have to make an adjustment for that.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Simplicity 3800 - Shades of Grey

Project Details

Simplicity 3800 - Views A & E
Fabric: Jersey knit

Description: Threads Collection - Twist Knot Top and Knit Pants

Talk about an easy outfit... it took me a whole 4 hours at the most to finish both pieces. This is what I would consider "play clothes"... easy, breezy loungewear. I would opt for something like this instead of normal sweats. I think I was the only sewer in blogland that hadn't made a twist top. This pattern was so easy, I barely had to make any alterations. I cut the top in a size 16, and graduated to size 18, 1" below the waist. No FBA was needed since the fabric that I chose is a 4-way stretch (similar to that of workout clothing) and I wanted negative ease. However, I did add 1" to the length. Also, I eliminated the facings. Like others that have made this top, I didn't see the need for facings on this type of top. You can't apply a lot of heat and they never want to behave on knit garments.

For the pants, I cut the size 18 and added 4" to the length. I did 90% of the sewing on the serger. I love the style of the twist top... I see more of these in my future! Also, this top has a back seam, which I felt added to the fit. I highly recommend this pattern for anyone who has never worked with knits before and also to anyone who would like to add quick and easy pieces to their wardrobe.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Couture Knits

Knits are another big trend this Fall, especially chunky knits.

Giles tangerine oversize wool scarf, Image courtesy of Vogue, Sept. 2007

Giles olive wool cardigan, Image courtesy of Vogue, Sept. 2007

"Soft Chunky" by Twinkle by Wenlan, Image courtesy of Vogue Knitting, Fall 2007

I like this chunky cardigan by Twinkle and not to mention that this will be a very easy knit -- done on US size 15 and 17 needles!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reason #573 Why I Sew

The InStyle Summer Soiree

Eva LaRue

Tichina Arnold

I would absolutely DIE if I were at a Red Carpet event thinking I am looking fly and someone showed up wearing my dress! Another reason for "custom clothes"!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Brace yourselves...

... don't pass out, you might want to sit for this -- I've been KNITTING! I know, shocker right?? I've been determined for months to finish Flair. I've put it down and picked it up and put it down and picked it up! LOL It had been such a long time, that I'd forgotten where I was in the pattern so I frogged it and started fresh. I'm feeling really committed to it this time and I should be done in a few days.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sew Stylish - The Best Issue Ever!

This has to be the best issue Sew Stylish has ever published... EVER! The Fall issue focuses on taking Simplicity 3631 and creating 11 outfits! And they created some pretty jazzy ones... I am impressed!
I bought this issue on Tuesday at Barnes & Noble when I was in there. I was so excited I was flipping through it while sitting at traffic lights and I haven't put it down since!

The details that they give on how to reconstruct these patterns to create these fabulous garments are impeccable.

Can you believe they made this dress out of the same pattern as the coat?!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Erica B.'s - Top Ten Fall Trends

1. Check Mate - Houndstooth (Fabric Trend)

Donna Karan, Fall 2006 (V2983)

2. The Color Purple (Color Trend)

Nanette Lepore and Donna Karan

3. Shades of Gray (Color Trend)
Chaiken - Fall 2007

4. Bubble Sleeves (A new take on the white shirt)

5. Capes

Emilio Pucci

6. A Funnel-Neck Shift
Mariemarie, $525

7. Wide-legged Trousers

8. High-Waisted Skirt
Rock and Republic skirt

Now you need something for your feet!

9. Mary Janes
For a streamlined look, pair these with opaque tights of the same color and wear them with dresses and skirts.

10. The Ankleboot

Disclaimer: These selections are what I like... always use common sense and know what works for you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Sylvia of I Like Her Style!, was nice enough to inform me that I'm a finalist because I did not know! LOL Thanks Monnie for nominating me. My category is "Best Niche Blog". If you like, you can CLICK HERE TO VOTE. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Butterick Fall Patterns

Here are my picks:

You just can't go wrong with a jersey dress. This cute little number will take you into Spring.

I love the front of this dress! Another one that will take you from Fall to Spring and then you can use the sleeveless version for the Summer.

I love this one too! It's long length screams that it wants to be grey and worn with long boots!

You'll be definitely seeing this little jacket sewn up here! I plan to do the double-breast version and use the sleeves from the white one.

This is an easy piece that's great for layering.

These are made to be sewn using knits and the pants and tops are great alternatives to fugly, funky sweats (can you tell I'm not a fan).

Monday, August 13, 2007

Check this out...

For all of you D.I.Y. Divas:

Project: Homecoming

The start of school means that Homecoming is readily approaching. I have until September 25th, to find and construct Amber a dress. She's a 15 year old sophomore. I want her to look beautiful, but not too "grown" (know what I mean). No plunging necklines! No low cut backs! No minis! No slits up to "there"! After seeing how some of those young girls go to homecoming and prom, I have to wonder what kind of crack their parents smoke?! They look more like they're going to a party at Hef's mansion than to a school-related event. I've been searching and I have ALMOST narrowed down my choices.

But this one is my favorite:

My daughter is only 5'3"... I would have to alter the pattern and cut this dress to a tea-length so the dress will not be "wearing her". I love the bodice on this one, plus it's a halter for that extra support. You'll be hearing more about this project in the weeks to follow.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I'm gonna do me!

Jill Scott's - "The Real Thing" drops September 25th and I can't wait!

And the winner is...

Drumroll please:


I won the Wardrobe Contest!

I want to thank ALL OF YOU for your support!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The end of Summer!

Today was the first day of school (can you hear the angels singing "Hallelujah")! This was crazy to me because it's like the hottest day of the year -- a very unpleasant record high of 103 degrees! Way back in the dark ages, we started school after Labor Day. Mikaela told me they were only allowed 5 minutes of outdoor recess, the rest of the time was spent in the gym. Now, I have to buy school supplies for the high schoolers... we always have to wait until they get their course syllabi to find out exactly what they will need. I've been so busy this week that there was absolutely no time for sewing... I know -- SACRILEGE! But even though I'm not physically doing it, the mind is always working. I'm in the planning stage of my transitional pieces and Fall wardrobe. You'll be the first to know once my plans are complete.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Simplicity 3799 - Psychedelic Shift!

Project Details

Pattern: Simplicity 3799 (modified)
Fabric: rayon/lycra jersey from Gorgeous Things
Lining: polyester interlock

This dress is my "anti-black & white" project! I was in dire need of some color in my life and I had this fabric in my stash just waiting for the perfect project. I love this fabric... it's very retro and Pucci-esque and it deserved a retro-style project. I had seen versions of this dress made by Narcissaqtipie and Stacy and decided I wanted one too. What really sent me over the edge were these dresses:

Sandy Lomax (wire image)

Diane von Furstenberg (Nordstrom) and I.N.C. (Macy's)


I cut this dress out in a size medium and gradually came out to a large through the hip. I shortened it by 4 1/2" so that I could add the hem band. I drafted the hem band and made it around 4 1/2" wide and added it to the bottom of the dress. I also lined the dress with a white polyester interlock because the fabric is very clingy. Plus, since this dress has a "racer-back" style, I didn't want to bother with trying to find an appropriate slip.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Voting is now open!

I'm asking for all of you PR members that read my blog and liked my collection to vote for me in the Wardrobe Contest. Voting is open from August 3rd through the 9th and only to Pattern Review.com members but I thank ALL of you for your well wishes!