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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vogue 8425 - The High-Waisted Skirt

Project Details
Pattern: Vogue 8425, View C
Fabric: polyester crepe
Notions: 12" zipper; four 5/8" buttons; hook & eye

Descriptions: High waisted, below mid-knee semi-fitted skirts have back zipper and front band has button closing.

This skirt is so easy and that's how Vogue Patterns has it rated. I literally sewed this skirt in a few hours. I love the princess seam construction and the back vent which helps a lot for walking... especially when you have a long stride as I do. This is #8 on my trends list. At first, I'm sure you remember, I was a little apprehensive about this trend... whether or not it was for me. Even though I have hips, I've never had a problem with straight-styled, pencil skirts as long as they were the "right size". I think this one turned out pretty well. I followed the instructions and the only thing I did differently was to add boning to the waistband. I did this by creating casings in the seam allowances and sliding the pieces in there. I feel that the boning allowed the waistband to keep it's shape and structure. So, if you want try this trend out, I would recommend this to those that have longer torsos. If it wasn't the fact that I am as tall as I am, and have plenty of torso, this skirt could have easily stopped level with my bra band.

Just Checkin' In

So, what y'all been doing this week? First, I needed to rest after the homecoming dress... that took a lot out of me. BTW, thanks for all of the wonderful compliments on the dress and the fabulous birthday greetings. This weekend, I had a lot of family time. Michael took four days off to spend with me. This is a big deal because he is the biggest work-a-holic and it was fun just having him around.

Last evening, I went to "Girls' Night Out" at Gus Mayer (my favorite luxury store in Birmingham).

It was a very nice spread catered by Brio and an open bar.

While in there, I did some snoop shopping until the manager asked me not to take pictures of the merchandise. LMAO Next time, I'll engage one of her sales associates and have them start me a fitting room and take pics I want in there. ROFL

So, when did Nascar start making shoes???

Capes are definitely popular and have a big presence in RTW. I'll be making my own version this winter (if it ever gets here *sigh*).

And houndstooth is everywhere! If y'all know of a large houndstooth print fabric, preferably a wool or wool blend (jacket/coat weight) -- LET ME KNOW!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's my birthday....

Go, go, go, go, go, go, go me - it's my birthday
we gon party like it's my birthday....

Friday, September 21, 2007

Vogue 2732 - Project: Homecoming - The Finale!

Mademoiselle Petit!

Project Details

Pattern: Vogue 2732
Fabric: black bridal satin
Lining: 100% polyester basic lining fabric
Underlining: Netting


  • 18" invisible zipper
  • 4 3/4 yds of boning
  • 1 1/2 yds of 5/8" grosgrain ribbon
  • 1 yd of 1" grosgrain ribbon
  • 5 yds of 5/8" sequin trim
  • hooks and eyes
  • seam binding
  • embroidery thread
  • hem tape
  • bra cups
Description: Badgley Mischka inspired lined evening dress, tea-length, has close-fitting, boned bodice, dropped shaped waist bodice with princess seams, flared skirt and back zipper closing.

I chose this dress for my 15 year old daughter's homecoming dance. I cut the bodice is a size 6 flaring out to a size 8 at the waistline. I cut the skirt in a size 8. Amber is 5'3", so I made the petite adjustment on the bodice by reducing the length by 1". Also, we decided against a floor length skirt and cut it down to tea length.
  • Underlined the 16 bodice pieces with the netting.
  • Sewed them together, pressed all seams to the right.
  • Topstitched the right side 3/8" from the seamline with the embroidery thread.
  • Added the boning.
  • Handstitched the sequin embellishment to the right side.
  • Added the bra cups.
  • Sewed lining pieces in the same manner as the bodice.
  • Sewed the neckstrap and attached it to the bodice.
  • Attached the lining to the bodice.
  • Sewed grosgrain ribbon to the inside of the top of the bodice.
  • Sewed skirt and skirt lining pieces with french seams.
  • Sewed bodice to skirt.
  • Handstitched invisible zipper with tiny backstitches.
  • Slipstitched lining to zipper tape and bodice lining to skirt lining.
  • Added hook and eye above zipper.
  • Added dress hangers using 1/4" wide bias twill tape.
  • Added a waist stay.
  • Allowed dress to hang for 24 hours so bias cut skirt could set.
  • Created lining hem by turning edge up 1/2", stitching and repeating.
  • Created dress hem by turning edge up 1/2", stitching once, added hem tape by machine stitching to the edge and handstitching hem with prickstitches.
This is a great pattern. There was nothing that I disliked and we both love the corset-style bodice. The drafting is superb... all of the pieces matched perfectly. The instructions were well written and very easy to interpret.


1. Khalje, S. (1997). Bridal couture: Fine sewing techniques for wedding gowns and eveningwear
2. Shaeffer, C.B. (2001). Couture sewing techniques
3. Ciemnoczolowski, R. (2007, Summer). Build a better bust. Sew Stylish, p. 41
4. Keuler, J. (2007, Summer). Secure your shape. Sew Stylish, p. 71

Flashback Friday: Walk This Way

In my opinion, one of the best collaborations ever!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Project: Homecoming - Update #2

Underpinnings are extremely important, especially in evening and formalwear. Creating a solid foundation in a bodice is very important in offering great support. In addition to the boning I added, I also added bra cups.

The bodice lining was sewn by placing the lining's wrong side to the bodice's wrong side and basting together. Then I added 5/8" grosgrain ribbon to the basted seamline and stitched it using a zipper foot to maneuver over all of the thickness. I trimmed the SA down to 1/4", turned the ribbon to the inside and stitched to the lining (while keeping the bodice free).

Here is the inside of the dress. The neck strap was done the same way of making a spaghetti strap. I added dress hangers by using 1/4" twill tape. I inserted a handstitched invisible zipper using tiny backstitches, a hook and eye. I handstitched the lining down by slipstitching to the zipper tape and also slipstitch the bodice lining to the skirt lining. BTW, all of the seams in the skirt and skirt lining are french seams.

And for a special detail, I created a waist stay with grosgrain ribbon. A waist stay provides support and holds the dress in place. I did this by cutting the ribbon, 7" longer than the waist of the dress (3 1/2" on each side). I folded back the ends a little over an inch, stitched it down and added a hook and eye. I sewed the waist stay inside the dress at the waistline seam. You just fasten the stay right before zipping the dress.

I let the dress hang for 24 hours, allowing the bias in the skirt to set. I made the hem of the lining by turning the lower edge 1/2" and stitching... turning again and stitching.

For the dress, I turned the lower edge 1/2" and stitched once. I sewed hem tape to the edge and handstitched the hem in place by using tiny prickstitches so that it would be virtually invisible.

This was my first attempt at anything remotely couture and I'll let you guys be the judge of whether or not my attempt was successful when I post my final review on tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Rock!

Thanks a lot Elaray for the nominimation.

Now, onto my Rockin' Girls:

My two favorite tell-it-like-it-is Rockin' Girls 1969 and CreoleinDC.

Crafty-chick extraordinaire Mimi Rocks!

And even though you've been nominate a hundred times, Carolyn you always ROCK!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Project: Homecoming - Update #1

So far, I've been working on the corseted bodice.
These are all of the bodice pieces after the were cut out and underlined with the netting. As you see, I hand basted them with white thread so I would be able to see it. These are the white threads that you will see in the next photos.

Right here, I have sewn together all of the bodice panels, added the boning and handstitched the sequin trim.

Here is the front of the bodice after I added the trim. As you see the seams have been toptstitched 3/8" from the seamline. I used black embroidery thread for this. Black is terribly difficult to photograph indoors without too much flash so I hope you can see the details. If not, I guarantee there will be plenty more photos to come.

ETA: I got a better detailed shot:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Flashback Friday: Free Your Mind

Let's go back to 1992 with the "Funky Divas". En Vogue was one of my all-time favorite girl groups. Still saddens me that they broke up.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Simplicity 3686 - Wide Leg Trousers

As you may have noticed, I working my way through the my 10 trends for Fall.

Project Details

Pattern: Simplicity 3686, View A & B
Fabric: Wool blend suiting
Lining: 100% Polyester
Notions: 7" zipper; one 3/8" button; four 5/8 buttons; 1/4" wide bias tape; hem tape

Description: Unlined wide leg trousers with wide contured waistband and button flap pockets. (cuffed hem optional)

I really like this style of pants and to me it's one of the easiest trends of this season. In my opinion, this style looks best when paired with a fitted top. I decided to wear this tailored shirt with them and the cuffs really balance out the legs.

These pants are constructed very basically with a fly front... if you've made pants before, these will not be a problem. I added in 3 1/2" of ease because I wanted a bit of a loose, slouchy look and they are very comfortable. These pants have a great rise which is right below the waist. I love the curved waistband. There was not any gaping and I didn't have to make an alteration to it. Instead of using the fashion fabric on the waistband facing, I used the lining fabric because I didn't want to take a chance that the wool would be itchy. I finished off the facings with the 1/4" wide bias tape, just like on a lot of RTW trousers.

I didn't like the faux flap back pocket option so I created double welt back pockets and included the pocket bags and all. I used Claire Shaeffer's method from "High-Fashion Sewing Secrets From the World's Best Designers". The front pockets are triangular shaped, button flaps. I love the front pockets. They are the type that extend to the CF which eliminates gaping. Since view A was the cuffed variation, I opted to use this one so I wouldn't have to alter for additional length as I would normally have to do. I added hem tape to my 1 1/2" hem and left them extra long to be worn with heels.

I decided to accessorize with a black wide croc-embossed leather belt and a pair of lace up cap toe boots.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

D.I.Y. Style Verdict: Genius or Madness??

Marc Jacobs Spring 2008

The backward heel -- the heels of pumps protruded not from the heel at all but from the ball of the foot

The "too small pump"

The three-dimensional quilted leather bags were grafted onto square totes. This is very reminiscent of the infamous Louis Vuitton he designed.

image source

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

McCall's Winter/Holiday 2007

M5513 - I think this jacket is cute. Even thought it's a Hilary Duff pattern, I like the shaping of it and I still think it would look really cute over a pair of jeans with boots even if I am a G.A.W. (grown azz woman)!

M5512 - I love this dress too. I would add a little bit of length to it so it falls right above the knee, do it in a brocade and this would make quite the class little cocktail dress.

M5555 - This dress so cute, I've actually been considering making a dress on this style. I saw this dress at Gus. Can't remember who the RTW one is by, but it sure did inspire me.

M5515 - Another Hilary Duff... I like this one and I think it would look great sewn up in a hide or even a faux leather.

M5525 - This is the cutest trenchcoat pattern! Look at view B, I added the technical drawing so you could get a good look. I am soooooo making this. The Fall/Winter here is usually quite mild and this would be so perfect! I am loving those balloon/lantern sleeves!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Flashback Friday: Remember The Time

While I finish up some projects I'm currently working one, I'll share with you one of my favorite Michael Jackson hits! I love this video since I'm a big time Iman fan!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The perfect toy...

for a budding fashionista: Designer's World! My husband, the big kid that he is found this at Wal-Mart and decided to bring it home to add to Mikaela's Christmas stash... shhhhhhhhh! Don't tell her!

This game is so cool. If you're around my age, the only thing close to this we had was "Fashion Plates"! This game that you plug right into your tv, has nearly endless combinations of fabrics, styles and colors to choose from. There are also models to pick and judges. Sounds like Project Runway... I hope there is someone just like Nina Garcia and Michael Kors! LOL You can design the clothes any way you like! And they even have real brand accessories like Chinese Laundry. I hope she likes it and if not, I'll play with it! LOL

McCall's 5471 - The Classic White Shirt with a Twist!

Project Details

Pattern: McCall's 5471, View B
Fabric: 100% Cotton
Notions: eight 1/2" buttons

Description: Semi-fitted shirt has princess seams, mock front band, collar, collar band, shaped hem and 3/4 length "bubble” sleeve ruffle with stay.

I love this shirt. Here's all of the reason's why: First of all, just like Simplicity, McCall's now have patterns based on cup sizes (Made-For-You). You know what this means don't you? NO FBAs NEEDED! It doesn't get any better than that. This pattern came right out of the envelope ready to be cut and sewn and the fit is pretty dang good! I cut the size 16, according to my high bust measurement for the D cup (based on my full bust size) and brought it out to a size 18 at the waistline to the hem. I didn't have to lengthen... when I did my flat pattern measurement, I was comfortable with the length.

I love princess seams. I know a lot of sewers find them to be difficult to sew and fit, but this is a great pattern. It is very well drafted and all of the pieces lined up perfectly. To ensure that my front seamlines were perfectly smooth, I staystitched, clipped the curves and pressed as I sewed.

Another aspect of this shirt I love is the collar band construction. Those pieces went together quite smoothly with RTW styled results.

And the part that really sets this shirt apart from being a plain white shirt are the cuffs. Bubble, cocoon, lantern, tulip or whatever you want to call this sleeve, but I'm calling it HOT because this is what you will be seeing EVERYWHERE this Fall... so get use to it! LOL

I foresee this pattern becoming my "TNT" shirt pattern. I plan to combine this with McCall's 4922 for the different sleeve/cuff variations. I had done a muslin on M4922 along with my required FBA and I think I'll be using this one instead... why go through all of the necessary work. I highly recommend this pattern... I can't say too many times that it's very well drafted and how all of the pieces went together perfectly. Also, if you have never tackled a stand collar, this is a good one start with (also M4922). All of the instructions are clear and concise.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day!

What did y'all do today? I did my favorite thing to do on a holiday... SHOP! Hancock's had Vogue Patterns on sale for $3.99 and McCall's for $.99. The thing I hate most about this is they always limit 5 per customer so you have to figure out creative ways to circumvent that rule! LOL

They also had all the notions on sale for 50%... I stocked up on things I was out.
I also took this time to go ahead and buy everything I needed for "Project: Homecoming".

I don't know about you guys, but shopping always puts me in a good mood and makes it a good day!