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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Prom 2010 - Simplicity 2440

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 2440, View A

Description: Misses'/Miss Petite Dress sewing pattern in three lengths with skirt variations. Separate patterns included for B, C, D, cup sizes. Fit For Petite.

Pattern Sizing: 4 - 20. I cut the 4 and blended it out to the size 10.

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

Fabric: Special Occasion fabrics from Hancock Fabrics.

Were the instructions easy to follow? This instructions weren't really needed. If you've ever made a similar styled dress, you could easily wing it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Amber loved this pattern from the moment she flipped through the Simplicity catalog and saw it.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made a petite alteration on the bodice. As stated previously, I cut the size 4 in the smallest cup size. I graded out to the size 10 to accommodate her pear shaped figure.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I wouldn't sew it again. The next time Amber needs a dress, I'm sure she'll just pick another pattern. But I do recommend it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Prom Time!

I'm currently working on a slightly modified version of Simplicity 2440, View A. These are the fabrics that Amber picked from Hancock Fabrics. I completed the bodice (late) last night. I'll do the skirt and the organza flowers today. Pictures to come this weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What do you wear daily?

This is what I wore today. The dress is Vogue 8379 and the shoes are Tahari 'Becky' wedges.

There was a question posed to me by one of the readers as to what I wear day-to-day. Well, since I sew 90% of my wardrobe, I found that odd. It's not like I sew formal wear, so I was thrown that anyone would think I wore something other than what you see here. I make pretty basic things... you know, the types of sportswear that will take you from day to evening. I've made quite a few pair of trousers, several pairs of jeans, dresses galore, tops, skirts, jackets and even coats. I don't think I make anything that I would consider "fancy". There are occasions that I may run an errand or two in workout gear on the way home from the gym. But I'm RARELY in sweats outside of my home.

And it was a good thing I was dressed appropriately. I stopped in Hancock's while I was out and saw local Birmingham designer Ken Lawrence of House of DeVinci! You NEVER know who you may see!

My question to you is what do YOU wear day to day... for school runs, grocery shopping and errands?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vogue Patterns - Summer 2010!

Here a few of the new Vogue Patterns for Summer!

Two BEAUTIFUL dresses from one of my favorite designers -- Kay Unger!

The portrait collar on this one is beautiful! This dress retails for $300 at Nordstrom. I may not make this anytime soon, but this is a must have for my pattern collection. You just never know when you'll have a need for a fabulous dress. And it is the beginning of wedding season!

This one is gorgeous too! This style can easily go from a day dress to after-five. Linen for the day and shantung or satin for the evening!

Michael Kors is back with an offering for this season. I love the retro style of this dress.

This the "Anne" dress that's currently in stores now. I really hope that Amber has an occasion for a dress like this soon, because I would love to make this one for her!

I love the possibility of color blocking this one!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

McCall's 6083 - Khaki Jumpsuit

Spring is in the air! It was a gorgeous 70 degrees today! So I'm not in full-blown spring-sewing mode! According to magazines and fashion experts, jumpsuits and rompers (which are not for me) have become a must have attire for every women’s wardrobe. Best feature of this piece of clothing is that it can be worn by person of any size as these can be made in a wide range of lengths, from short rompers to long and flowy pantsuit. No matter which length you prefer, you can still look chic and iconic

Project Details:

Pattern: McCall's 6063 - View E

Description: Jumpsuits A, B, C, D, E have side front pockets, elastic casings and stitched hem; jumpsuit B has shoulder straps; jumpsuit C has sash; jumpsuits D, E have bodice with gathered shoulders, narrow hemmed armholes; jumpsuits A, D are thigh length; jumpsuit B above ankle length; jumpsuits C, E are floor length; optional purchased belt.

Pattern Sizing: 4 - 20. I cut the 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I think it does.

Fabric: Silk Twill from Vogue Fabrics

Were the instructions easy to follow? This pattern was extremely easy. After fighting with the last project, this one was a breeze!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I'd been looking for a jumpsuit pattern for a while. This one is a real treat for me, because I love both styles. Also, it's drafted for either a woven or a knit!

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I lengthened the bodice by 1". But I hadn't noticed that the seam allowance for the bodice and the pant part was supposed to be 1". Since I miscalculated my alteration, I used a 5/8" allowance and 3/8" wide elastic for the waist. I also lengthened the pants by 3".

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? If you like jumpsuits, I recommend this pattern. I will also sew View C in a knit for Summer!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Vogue 1159 - Donna Karan Draped Dress

This is my contribution to the gray trend for Spring 2010!

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 1159

Description: Fitted, above mid-knee length dress has front pleated at back dropped shoulder, crossed fronts forming drape effect, lined skirt and topstitched seams.

Pattern Sizing: 8 - 22. I cut the 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I think it does.

Fabric: A ponteroma knit

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions are just awful and you really have to take your time in order to decipher what they really "mean". I cut my fabric on the wrong side, so everything on my dress is opposite of the original. So that added to my confusion.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love just about everything from Donna Karan! I thought it was just me, but I read another review on this pattern and they had the same problem. I found that several of the notches did NOT match up. Also, just like Vogue 1119, this pattern canNOT be altered. Just like I warned on that pattern, be aware of the finished length. This is where it stops on me and I'm 5'9"! And also, the armhole is very low and the front is subject to come open. I decided to just add a cami underneath.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I actually would like to make this one again. I want to make it in a lighter weight fabric for summer. I would recommend this one to advanced sewers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Review: Original Sewing & Quilt Expo - Atlanta, Ga (Duluth)

I had been wanting to attend the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, but hadn't had the opportunity. It totally slipped my mind last year and before I knew it, it had come and gone. So this year, I made it my business to be in attendance. It's held in the Atlanta Metro Area -- Duluth at the Gwinnett Center, which made it just a hop, skip and a 179 mile jump from Birmingham. My loving husband took the day off and drove me there... yes I know, he's a keeper!

I didn't register for any classes, because I didn't really see anything I wanted to take. If there wasn't any couture sewing, draping or pattern drafting, I really wasn't interested. So I figured that I could just attend, do some shopping and soak up the overall atmosphere.

There were these beautiful "knockoff" dresses on exhibit! The construction of these dresses were just amazing!

I was all gung ho to get my shopping on. I walked and looked... and walked and looked some more. Lots and LOTS of quilting stuff. Oh... did I mention there were lots and LOTS of quilting stuff?! Wow. I am not a quilter. Sigh... And there was plenty of embroidery stuff too! The Sulky thread was endless! There were very few fashion sewing vendors (that I like). The independent pattern companies that were there are the ones that I never buy anything from. I would have liked to have seen companies such as Hot Patterns, Jalie, Colette, etc... You know, pattern companies that women under 50 would buy from. Just a suggestion.

Anyway... as I was walking I came across the Golden Hands Industries booth. I had been wanting to add to my pressing tools and found this great point presser and clapper. That made me happy! I was starting to feel that the trip was NOT a total bust. Michael had already given me the "side-eye" and said he couldn't believe we'd driven all of that way and I wasn't going to even buy anything.

As I said earlier, the majority of the fabric was for quilting. That seemed to be all they had at the Hancock Fabrics booth as well. And the few vendors that were selling fashion fabrics, their prices were through the roof! I'm talking $25-$35/yd. I don't have a problem with paying for "good" fabric, BUT I was expecting MUCH better pricing at a show. Apparently, I wasn't the only person feeling this way. Their booths were empty and they were standing around twiddling their thumbs.

As I was about ready to give up and leave, I saw Vogue Fabrics! Their booth looked like an actual store! They had plenty to choose from and GREAT prices!

I had mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to make a khaki shirtdress, pants and skirt. Well, I bought 7 yards of this delicious silk twill! This picture does not do it justice. It's beautiful

And what would Spring and Summer be without linen?! This 100% black linen will probably become a dress and something else! LOL

Graphic prints are so hot right now! I couldn't resist this knit. I'm not much of a print person, but this one is so striking that I had to have it.

And I also picked up a few pieces of chalk.

Now, don't take MY review of this to be negative... because it's not. Everyone has their own individual expectation of something. And this one really didn't meet mine. I just expected something different. I just wish they would've had more to interest younger , more hip/fashionable sewers. If you're looking to buy a machine or into the classes that are offered, heirloom sewing, embroidery and quilting, then this is the event for you.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Butterick 5284 - White Ruffle Shirt

Project Details:

Pattern: Butterick 5284, View A

Description: Shirts A, B, C, D have front band, collar, collar band and sleeve variations. A: self-double ruffles and cuff with slit. B: flounce, front and back darts. B, C, D: gathered sleeves with continuous lap and cuff. C: front panel with tucks. D: front and back darts, ribbon sash.

Pattern Sizing: 8 - 22. I cut the 14 and blended to a 16 at the waist to the hem.

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: White pima cotton shirting - 100% cotton

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't follow the pattern instructions. I referred to my shirtmaking book.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love all of the different variations.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: This pattern has a LOT of wearing ease (typical of Big 4 patterns). I cut the 14 so that it would fit in the shoulders and I still had to reduce the sleeve cap a bit... maybe around 1/4". And I blended to a 16 at the waist to the hem. I added 1 1/2" to the length. Oh and when you lengthen a shirt pattern, don't forget to also add length to the front bands! LOL Yeah... I was reminded of that the hard way! (NOTE: When the pattern *suggest* you splice and add length at the waist, don't do that on the front band. Add the length to the bottom.) Good thing I had enough leftover fabric. Also, when doing this type of shirt I sew French seams and bind the the armscye. I only used my serger to do rolled hems for the ruffles.

Conclusion: I'm a firm believer that one can never have too many great white shirts. I love the other variations and will be making the one with the tuxedo tucks.