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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vogue 8601 - Part 2 - Shaping the Jacket Back

My fabric has a very soft hand. Instead of underlining, I interfaced all of the pieces with a nylon fusible.

In order to stabilize the jacket and prevent stretching across the shoulders and armholes, I drafted a back stay or "half-back interfacing". I used cotton muslin (or you can use any thin fabric), but DO NOT USE FUSIBLE INTERFACING for this part!

This is drafted by cutting it 6" to 8" inches from the neckline and about 3" below the armscye.

It's basted to the neckline, armhole and the side.

For the shoulder seams, I eased the back and used stay tape.

Note: I pinked the edges of the back stay that was hanging free to prevent fraying.

What I'm working on...

Vogue 8601

Well, it's officially Fall and this is my first jacket project of the season! I've decided to do something rather trendy. I figured a fun project such as this, would hold my attention.

In the October issue of Vogue Patterns magazine, they showed this design made in a lovely brocade. I wanted to stick with something more traditional and I decided to go with a brown wool tweed, faux suede collar and leather buttons.

Since I've been working out, I've lost an inch in the bust. This means I now have to make a smaller FBA. When I did my tissue fit, I was only off by 1/2", so this is how my FBA looks.

I've already finished padstitching the undercollar.

More to come...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Birthday Present?

My husband gave me my very first DSLR -- a Nikon D40. He promised an upgrade next year if I show great effort in learning to use it. It takes great pictures and it's so tempting to just leave it in the "point and shoot" mode! But, I'm declaring today, that I will learn to use it manually. I'm reading up on aperature and "Depth of Field" today! I love a new toy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Simplicity 2554 & Vogue 8603 - Two Ruffled Tops and a Denim Pencil Skirt!

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 2554, View C(modified) & F
Fabric: Rayon/Lycra Jersey

Both of these were pretty much sewn right out of the envelope. On view c, I left off the banded hem. These were VERY easy... sewn on the serger and both done in the same day. They're both perfect for the "Indian Summer" weather we're having!

Pattern: Vogue 8603, View C
Fabric: Lightweight Stretch Denim

I had this fabric in my stash for a while. It was too lightweight for jeans, so I decided to use it for a denim skirt. Even though the pattern suggested lining this skirt, I omitted it because I wanted it to be casual. This is another pattern that was ridiculously easy, that only took a couple of hours from cut to finish.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's My Birthday!

On this day, 39 years ago:

Richard M. Nixon was the 39th POTUS

The top songs were:

I'll Be There - The Jackson Five
Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross
Let It Be - The Beatles
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
I Think I Love You - The Partridge Family

The top tv shows were:

The Carol Burnett Show
Hawaii Five-0
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Brady Bunch
The Odd Couple

Ahh... if we could only go back to these prices:

bread - $0.24/loaf
milk - $1.32/gal
eggs - $1.16/doz
car - $3,542
gas - $0.36/gal
house - $26,600
stamp - $0.06/ea
Avg Income - $11,106/yr
min wage - $1.60/hr

Life's Lessons...
Well... here I am entering the last year of my 30s. It's been a great decade for me. I've gone through a tremendous amount of growth and change... very significant in comparison to the 20s! I've learned who I am. I've learned to love the skin I'm in. I've learned to love all of my flaws... and there are PLENTY! I've learned that I'm not perfect, nor do I have to be. I've learned to say "no" and mean it! I've learned that it's okay if others don't like it. I've learned that I'm a great mother and a great wife. I've learned that it's my own responsibility to make ME happy. I've learned that it's okay NOT to be a martyr. I've learned that it's okay to etch out some "me time". I've learned that it's not always about me. I've learned to put others first. And, I've learned what's important and what's not.

I'm going into this new year of my life with no sadness and no regrets. I'm going to live it up and look forward to turning the "Big 4-0" one year from now. May this last leg of the 30s, be as good (and better) to me as the last nine!

Happy 39th Birthday to Me!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Q:  "Do you do custom orders/sew for others?"
A:  At this time, I do not.

Q:  "Do you trace your patterns?"
A:  NO!  I almost always sew from Big 4 patterns (Vogue, McCall's, Butterick & Simplicity).  They are always on sale for 99 cents to $3.99.  Not worth the trouble of tracing.  I cut, alter and keep it moving.

Q: "What kind of sewing machine do you suggest for a beginner?"
A: I don't. Read: "Erica, which one should I buy?"

Q: "What machines do you have?"
A: A Bernina Activa 130; a Brother SE-270D embroidery machine; a Brother 1034 D serger (it lasted about 4-5 years and died)... Janome 7933 serger and Brother 2340 CV coverstitch

Q: "What sewing books do you have?"
A: A few and I use them all of the time! See here: "My Sewing Library"

Q: "What book(s) do you recommend for a beginner?"
A: "The Complete Guide to Photo Sewing - Singer"

Q: "What kind of dressform do you have?"
A:  PGM Pro #601.

Q: "What kind of iron do you use?"
A: A Consew Silver Star CES-300 Gravity Feed

Q: "What kind of cutting table do you have?"
A: I use a Sullivan Home Hobby Table - 36" x 36" x 59.5"

Q: "Will you post a picture of your sewing area?"
Here it is: Sewing Room!

Q: "Will I save money if I learn to sew my own clothes?"
A: See the discussion HERE!

Q: "How did you learn to sew and how long have you been sewing?"
A: I learned to sew in 8th grade home economics. I didn't sew throughout high school because it wasn't "fashionable" at the time. I started back sewing home decor (drapes, curtains, pillows, etc...) when I got married. I made my own maternity clothes, clothes for my children and costumes for Halloween and school plays when they were small. I got back into sewing around 5 years ago when I became a stay at home mom in need of a hobby.

Here's a great ARTICLE! Take a read!

Q: "Who takes your pictures?"

A: Usually I take them myself with my tripod and camera remote. Sometimes I enlist the help of my husband or my kids. Anybody can be a good photographer with a decent camera and GOOD direction.

Q: "What kind of camera do you use?"
A: I use a Nikon D40 DSLR.

Q: "What do you wear underneath your clothes?" (seriously, I'm asked this often!)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Vogue 1119 - Donna Karan Jersey Draped Dress

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 1119 - Donna Karan Collection

Fabric: Black Ponteroma Knit from Hancock Fabrics (72% Polyester; 24% Rayon and 4% Spandex)

Description: Semi-fitted dress has cowl collar, pleated and darted skirt, raw edges. Wrong side of fabric will show*.'

Pattern Sizing: 6 - 20. I cut the size 16, to insure that I would have adequate ease for draping... which is the essential design element of this pattern.

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? The instructions were easy enough that a beginner could handle this project with ease. I went from cutting the fabric, to muslin to finished garment in a day. Keep in mind, that's all I did that day, LOL!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I always love the "designer patterns". I love that this dress, was plucked right off of the runway. It was in the Donna Karan Fall 2008 RTW Collection:

This style also emphasized one of the hottest trends this season -- draping. I love that the style of this dress has minimal draping and could be made in a fabric that was appropriate for daytime.

InStyle - September 2009

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: When I open a pattern up, the first thing I do is flat pattern measurements. I very rarely make a FBA on knits with moderate stretch and according to the finish measurement, there was enough ease (for me). The design of the skirt was "interesting" to say the least. I always assume that I will need to lengthen everything, because I usually always have to. There was no alteration line on the skirt part of the dress. And the hemline left me confused, so I made a muslin. And on this rare occasion, NO alterations were necessary.

NOTE: Ladies shorter than 5'9", be aware of where you want the hemline to land. Mine hits in the same place as the model on the pattern envelope.

Instead of staystitching, I stabilized using clear elastic for the neckline and shoulder seams. Also, instead of using seam binding, I just made a 5/8" hem on the skirt edge and hem. I also did this at the armholes. I left the neckline unfinished. *When I wear it, I'll just turn it to the inside because I don't want the seam to show on the outside.

What I didn't like:
On the skirt, the markings seem to be misplaced. Where they suggest the center back and center front should be, was askew. Also, the instructions suggested that the skirt be attached to the top by an indicated square... when there was a perfectly good side seam. I tried it their way by basting the skirt to the top. The back darts were askew and the skirt didn't hang correctly. When I made my correction by lining up the right side seam of the skirt to the side seam of the top, everything else matched up accordingly.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No, because it's such a unique style, I only need one. If you like something a little more "edgy" and this is your style, it's a quick and (Vogue) easy project.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

My Favorite Room!

This is my favorite room and probably the one that I spend the most time in. Not my dream space, by I feel lucky enough to have a dedicated space. At the end of the day, I can just hit the lights and leave everything as is! As much as hated cubicle spaces when I worked outside the home, it's ironic that I set my sewing room up in such a manner. LOL... I guess it's what felt "natural".

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Valentino: The Last Emperor -- Coming soon on DVD!

I am so excited that this movie is coming out on DVD and Blue-Ray on September 8th, because it never played here in Alabama.

Also, you have a chance to...


Valentino Red is as about as iconic as you can get in the fashion world.
Now, courtesy of Phase 4 Films and Decades Inc., you have a chance to
own a piece of fashion history!

Here’s your chance to enter for the chance to win a classic Valentino Red vintage column crepe dress from the designer’s early 1990s collection. Beginning September 1st, people may submit their entry by sending an email to valentinodvdcontest@phase4films.com with their contact information including name, address, phone number and email address. The deadline for entry is December 31, 2009. Official contest rules are listed at www.valentinomovie.com.

Get the movie and good luck with the contest!