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Saturday, February 27, 2010

The joys of Saturday shopping

So how is your weekend going? Mine? So far so good. Today, I did some shopping because retail therapy is supposed to make everything better! My first stop was Hancock's. They're having what seems to be a "once in a lifetime" 20% off Kwik Sew patterns sale. I've been planning to start sewing for Michael and this was a great opportunity to pick up shirt patterns for him. I also picked up a striped shirting fabric.

Since JoAnn's is in the same shopping center as Hancock's, I had to stop by there too. It was a madhouse! I had previously purchased the Rebecca Taylor dress pattern (Vogue 1152), which I thought was adorable with the cute shirttail hem. I was looking for suittable fabric when Miss Mikaela asked what I was going to make. I showed her the pattern. She asked if I wanted her "honest opinion"? I stopped, looked at her and sighed. Even at 12 years old, that kid is VERY opinionated and perceptive. I can always count on her to be straightforward with me. So I said, "Go for it." She told me that the Rebecca Taylor dress looked like something that Nikki from "Big Love" would wear. I laughed aloud and said, "Could it just be the fabric? Take a look at the drawing." She said, "That dress is simply not you." Her case was made and I completely value her opinion. So I'll be marking Vogue 1152 off of my "To Sew" list. LOL!

So, by then I had moved on to Burda 7827. See, I had been envisioning a khaki shirtdress with dark wooden buttons. My inspiration dress was based on the Tahari by ASL Shirtdress that was in a Dillard's ad in several of the major fashion magazines. I fantasized of it being accessorized with a wooden necklace and bracelets and a great pair of funky brown leather strappy wedges. See, I had it all thought out. Even though I knew I'd have to slightly modify Burda 7827, it was a great starting point. I'd even found some fabulous 100% khaki colored linen (I even had a 40% coupon) and all 17 PERFECT buttons that were 50% off. I pull my number and I was #63. They were calling #40. Sigh...

After about 30 mins., I decided that since my coupon was good for another week I'd just come back for the fabric. I put it back and headed to the check out with my Burda pattern, buttons, my rotary cutter blade and some Crayola craft thingy for Mikaela. I had NEVER, since that store opened, seen a line that long in there. And to add insult to injury I was standing in front of a woman with a screaming toddler. Even though I've been that woman before, I'm not now. It's been 10 years since I've had a wailing brat beautiful and precocious toddler and my nerves just can't handle all of that anymore. I ended up ditching all of the goods and hightailed it out of there. Maybe I'll try again on Monday morning in an almost empty store.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Update!

Well, my dress form arrived on Friday and I love it! I've named her Penny! Thanks Roslyn! LOL

Sadly, even though I now own the fancy form my sewing mojo is a no-show. I really think it's the crazy weather we've been having. Over the weekend it was sunny and almost 70°. I saw quite a few people in shorts. Last night and this morning? Snow flurries! Sigh... I'll just be glad when it's finally Spring and the flowers start to bloom.

Since there hasn't been any sewing, I've had the opportunity to peruse all of the Spring magazines. I've been ripping pages out left and right!

I know that I MUST have:
  • something orange or coral
  • a crisp white sheath dress
  • a crisp white shirt (probably a few!)
  • khaki utility pants
  • khaki utility skirt
  • khaki shirt dress
  • something gray
  • something turquoise
Have YOU been inspired to start Spring sewing yet?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Draping: Finding the right dress form

*** UPDATE (2/15/10): I went ahead and purchased the PGM Pro. I bought it on eBay from PGM Pro. It was less than $400 and the shipping was FREE! I'll do a post about it as soon as it arrives!

While reading my draping book, I realized that my Twin-Fit dress form ain't gonna cut it! I'm going to need a pinnable form.

My first choice is a professional type, like the PGM Pro:

I'm not going to lie. I scoffed at the $400 price tag and kept looking.

I've seen a few sewing bloggers use the Uniquely You Pinnable Dress Form:

This one is $139 (with free shipping at AllBrands.com) which makes it really attractive to me. Another plus with this one is it comes with a tan cover, NOT this Pepto-Bismal pink one.

If you drape, what type of dress form do YOU have?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

McCall's 4767 - Polka Dots!



Project Details:

Pattern: McCall's 4767 - View E

Description: Dresses A, D, E have shoulder straps; dress B has ribbon tie shoulder straps; dress C has front bands and buckle at upper edge; dress D has contrasting hem band; dress E has flounce skirt; dress F has flaps and pleated skirt.

Pattern Sizing: 7 - 16, I cut the 14 in the bodice and graded up

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Basically, except for a minor modification.

Fabric: Black with white polka dot cotton pique.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love all of the different variations. This is a great pattern to make really cute Summer dresses.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: The one thing about having a tween daughter when they hit a growth spurt is that dresses are going to be either too big or too short. And this one was too short. I had to draft an additional flounce for the much needed length. I also added about 2" to the bodice. And I had to take in the sides of the bodice from the underarm to the waist. There was a ridiculous amount of ease there.

worn with her Ralph Lauren sweater

Conclusion: I made this dress for Mikaela's "Valentine's Day Dance" and she loves it. For the Summer, she can wear it with sandals for a casual look.

Check out her "big girl shoes"!

New addition to my library!

Draping for Fashion Design is THE basic instructional volume for draping in numerous fashion design programs since its original publication. This book covers all of the fundamental material for beginning and advanced study in an intensive fashion design program and prepares readers for the industry. Based on current industry methods, it reflects the dramatic changes of computer integration into the basic design and pattern development process and demonstrates simplified methods wherever they are employed in the industry. The authors provides clear guidelines regarding basic preparation and patterns, bodices, skirts, pants, the midriff and yokes, collars, sleeves, the shift, the princess dress, sportswear and casual wear, tailored garments, functional finishes, pockets, and draping in fabric and fitting. --Amazon.com


As always, I'm looking to improve my skills. I've had "draping" on my list of things I want to learn for a few years now. Since I haven't been able to locate a local draping class, I've decided to just take matters into my own hands. Since I'm pretty good at deciphering other sewing information from books, I'm hoping that I'll have the same luck with draping.

There are quite a few books out there on this subject. But unfortunately, my library didn't have any and there was no way I could do a "flip through" before purchasing. So I had to just pick one on blind faith to see what it had to offer. I haven't had time to sit down and read this book thoroughly from cover-to-cover and after only a brief perusal I feel that it has a lot of good information and instruction. The only fault I find with it (and this is purely personal preference) is that I wish there were color photos instead of illustrations. But alas there is not, so I'll take what I have and in the words of the illustrious Tim Gunn, I'll "make it work".


Monday, February 08, 2010

New Look 6912 - One-shoulder Dress

Project Details:
Nicole Miller

Description: Asymmetrical neckline with single shoulder strap; fitted; invisible side zipper; gathers at empire waist.

Pattern Sizing: 4 - 16, I cut the 14 in the bodice and graded up to a 16 at the hip.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were Align Centerdone sewing with it? Pretty much.

Fabric: A denim-looking striped fabric. Fiber content is unknown but it does contain lycra.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I've been wanting to sew a one-shoulder dress for a while now and I really liked the style of this pattern so I thought I'd give it a shot. They only thing I didn't like about this dress pattern is that there wasn't a lining drafted.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I cut the longest version of view C and didn't have to make my normal lengthening alteration. I cut the bodice in the size 14 and graded to the 16 to accomodate the widest point of my hips.

Conclusion: I love the style of this dress, but I hate the fabric I selected. It wrinkles like crazy! From the pictures, it looks as if I've been sitting all day in this dress. Those wrinkles are from just putting it on. I had planned on adding a lining, but as I worked I realized I just didn't love the fabric. Let's call this a "wearable muslin". I'm sure there will be a NL 6912 2.0 -- in better fabric!