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Thursday, April 24, 2008

McCall's 5586 - Embellished Tunic

Project Details

Pattern: McCall's 5586, View A
Fabric: Chocolate Matte Jersey

Description: Loose fitting tops have self-faced yoke, gathered front and purchased bias tape finished armhole; have gathered back; purchased metallic, plastic or acrylic jewel stones, flat sequins or beads to creatively embellish yokes.

This was a really easy top to make. I cut this out and had it made within a few hours (while doing things around the house, checking email and talking on the phone). I thought it would really be challenging to find embellishments for this top, but it was not. I wanted to stick with this season's global trend. I found these wooden pieces in Hobby Lobby that reminded me of African jewelry and provided the perfect tribal motif. I wanted to keep the embellishments kind of downplayed... more of a daytime look and not too "bling blingy".

This top was really easy to sew... side seams done on the serger, but the yoke facing was handsewn down. What I liked about this top was that the there were no armhole facings... they were finished with seam binding. This left a cleaner, neater look without the fear of the facings sticking out. I finished the with a coverstitched hem.

I cut the size 14 in this and I probably could have made this in the 12. I decided to belt this top because it looked a bit "maternity-ish". This was such an easy top to make, I may also make the v-neck style.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Simplicity 2923 - The Shirtdress

Shirtdresses are a closet staple. They're an instant outfit and all about easy dressing, so easy does it with accessories. You want to look as if getting dressed was effortless, which means go light on jewelry and stick to breezy shoes like a wedge or an espadrille. Enhance the figure-flattering nature of shirtdresses with a belt to emphasize your waist. And if you feel too prim and proper, you can always forget to fasten the buttons all the way up! ;)

Project Details

Pattern: Simplicity 2923
Fabric: Cotton Twill (100% cotton)
Notions: Five - 7/8" Buttons

This is one of Simplicity's "Inspired by Project Runway" patterns -- meaning that you can be the designer and select from the endless variations offered in the pattern to create your own individual style. I chose the banded collar bodice, the flat sleeve with the slit, and the straight skirt.

This was my first time working with one of these patterns. It kinda threw me for a loop when I read the back of the envelope. The fabric amounts are divided by sections. I found when I added all of the amounts and cut everything out, I had almost a yard of fabric leftover. You may want to make a note of this. I have another one of these patterns I plan to make and I will cut the pieces out first and decide how much fabric I will need. Other than that, the directions were fine.

I made a 1" FBA on the princess seams. I decided to try out bound buttonholes for the simple fact that I had never use them on a dress before. I also love the rounded back yoke. It's doubtful that I will make this one again since there are so many more patterns I want to use, but this is a good addition to my Spring wardrobe that I'll be wearing this week.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I'm sitting here staring at M5586, so that I can place an order for sew-on stones from M&J Trimming (thanks Kris). BUT, how am I suppose to know what size and how many? This is what the envelope says:

NOTIONS: Top A, B, C - Assorted Shapes, Sizes, Colors of Metallic, Plastic or Acrylic Jewel Stones, Flat Sequins, Beads...

Can they be anymore vague?

I'm planning on using a black jersey fabric and I wanted something that would stand out (but not in a gaudy way). I wanted to place an order now because the stones are currently 15% off and I wanted to give them time to arrive so that I can began my top soon.

I did notice that Vogue has a pattern with embellishments and they were kind enough to suggest size and amounts.

It would suck so much if I didn't buy enough and started sewing them on and ran out!

So... anybody got any suggestions?

McCall's Summer Patterns

The new McCall's patterns for Summer are on the site... check it out HERE.

M5658, view A & C is the only thing that piqued my fancy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Crow is mighty tasty.

I had a hellacious last week... no time to sew for me and that is never good.

Remember way back when I expressed rather... um, era *STRONG* feelings about Simplicity's - Project Runway patterns? Um, yeah... I did find a couple that I like!

I am currently working on Simplicity 2923. I decided to go to another color from my Spring Color palette -- Cantaloupe. As you know, I am completely obsessed in love with Freesia, but I've resisted all urges to purchase. I was planning to make this shirtdress, but when I saw this one, the possibilities were just endless... it had so much more character.

Have you gotten your June/July issue of this? I am loving it already. And I think you know why!
I knew the momemt I saw this dress, I had to make it. I'm currently awaiting my Milliner Needles as suggested by Phyllis. There is a fantastic article on Ralph Rucci that is a must read. So, in between sewing, I've been researching how I am going to make a FBA on the bodice. I'm not sure yet, but I've seen a couple of possibilities in FFRP.

I've also been putting together more items for my Spring/Summer wardrobe:

I am also on the look out for fabric and embellishments for these.

Now for a second helping of Crow...

Remember when I had my doubts about Club BMV? Well... I joined! Boy did it pay off. I did not want to risk that CHADO Ralph Rucci pattern being sold out when they go on sale at Hancock!

Life's little lesson: Never say never!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Spring Trend: The Shirtdress

The shirtdress is making a cutting-edge comeback this season. Throwing on a shirtdress is one of the quickest ways to look polished and pulled together.

This pattern is one that I've never given a second glance, until I saw it beautifully made up by Claire Shaeffer in the latest issue of Vogue Patterns Magazine.

I will be doing mine in a grey and white pinstripe seersucker.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Just for kicks and giggles!

Question: How should you NOT wear Vogue 1053?

Answer: Like this!!!

Ladies, always remember... "A girl should always be two things: CLASSY and FABULOUS." -- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I've got yellow fever!

Image - Life & Style Magazine
Angie Harmon is wearing the Tory Burch "Elson" top

Project Details

Pattern: Simplicity 2938, View B
Fabric: Stretch Charmeuse
Notions: 12" invisible zipper; grosgrain ribbon

If you are in need a cute, trendy top that's really easy to make, this is the one. When I initially selected the pattern, I didn't have a fabric in mind. I just knew that I wanted it to be this fantastic color! I was prepared to take my pattern to the register in Hancock and then leave and saw this beautiful charmeuse... and it had stretch to boot! I added 2" to the length. This was my first time working with a stretch charmeuse... it was um, er um... interesting to work with. Notice that the bodice is constructed with princess seams. Right at the bust, the directions stated that ease needed to be removed. This caused the fabric to pucker. I had to repeat the process a couple of times to produce a smooth seam. Also, this is NOT the easiest fabric to press, but I made it work with steam and a pressing cloth.

Instead of using the fabric tie, I used grosgrain ribbon. I wanted a look similar to the Tory Burch which appears to have the ties coming from darts or princess seams (I can't tell which). Placed mine in the side seams... just thought it would look better on me. The instructions suggested a lapped zipper but I used an invisible one instead. Overall, this is a great little top that can be whipped up in a couple of hours!

I also made another version of Simplicity 4076.
Not much to tell on this. I think everyone in blogland that sews has made this shirt or some variation of it.

I used a poly/lycra knit. I added about 3/8" to the neckband to make it slightly wider and 3" to the length. all of the hems are coverstitched.

The skirt is a simple a-line -- Simplicity 4036. This skirt is so basic and so simple... it's not much of a review to do. I used a lightweight garbadine. I sewed the side and back seams, zipper and facings. I did add a cotton batiste lining because I felt that the fabric was too lightweight to stand alone.

I have found this color to be completely addictive and I really don't know if I can stop! LOL Next time I shop for fabric, I've made myself a promise to keep walking!