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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Simplicity 3503

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 3503, View E
Fabric: Rayon/lycra jersey

Pattern Description: Misses' knit dress in two lengths with bodice variations.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22. I cut the size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Sure did, minus the suggested embellished neckline.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes... I only read over them initially. A beginner could easily make this.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love everything about this pattern. I bought this pattern last year with the intent of making a maxi dress and never got around to it. I was determined this year to make one.

Fabric Used: A rayon/lycra blend that I picked up last Summer from Metro Textiles in NYC.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't do a FBA, but I did however add 2 inches of length to the front and back bodice pieces. I also added around 3 inches to the length. In my opinion, a maxi dress should be floor length, even though I see so many RTW dresses that hit at the ankle. Those are not for me. Also, the pattern suggested that the bodice, neckband and midriff should be lined with tricot. I lined with the same fabric as the dress. Also, I omitted the pockets.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will probably not sew this version, but I definitely will be making the halter view. And yes, I highly recommend this!

Pardon the sitting wrinkles

Conclusion: Since the mercury has risen here, maxi dresses have been all the rage. I've looked in the stores and have yet to find one that is to my liking. I absolutely love this pattern and recommend it to anyone that likes this style of dress!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bravo's "The Fashion Show": Why can't these people sew???

So... what's really the deal with these contestants on "The Fashion Show"? I've watched the first two episodes and you know what? I am not impressed... AT ALL!

See the above picture. Can you BELIEVE that someone actually sent that crap down the runway?! Yes, you are seeing correctly. Those are indeed safety pins. This get up was "constructed" (snicker, snicker) by Johnny. Isaac was completely flabbergasted that he would send his garment down the runway with safety pins in the center front. Kelly wanted to know "why" and Fern simply thought it was "a mess". Johnny's "reasoning" behind this was that he is not a very good sewer and when he came on the show, he thought it was going to be about design. He stated that he is NOT a seamstress and he didn't think the show was going to be "America's Next Best Seamstress"! ROFL Fern Mallis said that if he wants to be a designer, he's going to have to learn the craft! Isaac made the analogy that you can't write recipes if you don't know how to cook!

That said it all!

And no, he was not sent home.

See here at around 7:05:

I've seen people that have design aspirations and they make lovely, lovely sketches. BUT, if you don't actually know how clothing is constructed and how to sew, can you be a great designer?

Are you watching the show? If so, what do you think?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vogue 1093 & Jalie 2908

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 1093 - Donna Karan
Fabric: Stretch Linen (97% linen, 3% lycra)
Notions: Six 1" buttons

Pattern description: Unlined, fitted, above hip length top has wide neckline, collar and lapel, patch pockets and flaps, flat fell princess seams, yoke extending into turn back sleeves, front extensions forming side pockets, topstitch and button trim.

Pattern sizing: 4 - 18. I cut the size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it does!

Were the instructions easy to follow? For this design, they were surprisingly easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved this pattern from the moment I saw it. I love garments with great details and this one has plenty! The lines of this jacket are incredible. It's finished completely with flat-felled seams and topstitching. This design was plucked straight off of the runway.

Fabric Used: I wanted it to be very Spring-like, so I choose a fuchsia stretch linen.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None. That does NOT happen often. With this pattern, I don't think it's even possible to make any alterations. Since the fabric contained lycra, I didn't need a FBA.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No, I only need one of these. I would recommend this to more advanced sewers.

Conclusion: This is a great, stylish jacket. It took a lot longer than I thought it would with all of the seam finishing and topstitching. I was tired after working on this for a few days and my topstitching was not the greatest. Good thing my thread matched my fabric perfectly!

Pattern: Jalie 2908
Fabric: Stretch denim
Notions: 7" brass zipper, jean button and rivets

Pattern Description: Women's flattering stretch jeans with slim fit through the hips and thigh and a flared leg, back and side front pockets, zip fly with button closure. View A has a low rise (2-3 inches below the navel) and View B has a regular rise (at the navel). I made the low rise.

Pattern Sizing: 2T - 22. I made the size Y.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Basically. I made a few minor alterations.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't use them. I've made pants and jeans many, many times.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love this pattern! The cut of these jeans are as close to RTW as you'll find in a pattern... IMHO.

Fabric Used: I used stretch denim from Fabric.com.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I lengthened (as usual) to produce a 37" inseam so that I can wear these with heels.
I created my own back pocket design.I added darts to the yoke to prevent gaposis.
I added the 5th pocket... the coin pocket. Hey, they just aren't jeans without it.
And I used a stretch poplin for the pocket lining.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Conclusion: This is the BEST jean pattern I've ever used! It's now my TNT for jeans and I'll be making these again and again and again!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reader Sewing Advice Needed!

From my inbox:

I'm hoping that by sewing some of my own things, I'll be able to afford some more of the clothes that I want (I'm on a grad student budget these days). However, I have often heard that with all the supplies and cost of fabrics, you end up spending just as much, if not more than you would shopping in a store (that is, if you are a bargain/clearance shopper). I'm curious to know what you think.

The only thing I can tell people is everyone is DIFFERENT. Prices vary! You could be a Target, Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Belk, Macys, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, etc... type of shopper. You may be a person that only buys fabric from the $1 table or you may be the type to buy the most expensive fabric you can afford. Sewing is as expensive as YOU make it. I can't tell you if YOU are going to save money from sewing.

As far as me, on some things I do and some things I don't. For me, it's not about trying to save money. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to sew. It's about the enjoyment of the art.

What's your take on this?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

JoAnn Fabrics Opens Superstore in Birmingham!

JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts is opening one of its "Superstores" in the former Marshalls space (I'm still kind of mad that they closed this location, but TJ Maxx is right down the street) at the Riverchase Promenade shopping center. The new store is slated to open in September. The great thing about this is that this location is only 3 minutes and 1.09 miles from me and in the same shopping center as Hancock. I'm curious to see what type of impact this will have on Hancock. I'm sure they will have to step their game up. (BTW, they just remodeled this store last Summer.) For those of you that live in an area that have both stores, which do you prefer and why?