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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Mikaela!

I got myself a brand spankin' new teenager! Mikaela turned 13 today! And she is so much taller than she was last year this time! And of course I had to make her annual birthday dress!My apologies for the crappy camera phone pic. I brought my camera with me, but it *only* works with the memory card that was home inserted in my laptop. Sigh...

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 2436

Fabric: Linen-look Fabric from Hancock. (I think it's a poly-rayon blend)

Description: Girls' dress with sleeve, design detail and trim variations.

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 very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Right now, I'm loving all things "Mad Men". This dress has a very retro style that is reminiscent of the 1960's Mod Era. So we added a head band, big hair and modern little kitten heel slingbacks.

Pattern Sizing: 8 - 16, I cut the size 12.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I added 4" to the hemline.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I actually would like to make this again for her (if she wants another one). I think the 3/4 sleeve version would look really cute in a lightweight boucle with the chain detail.

**Sidenote: Not only did she want me to make her a dress for her birthday, she wanted a *homemade* birthday cake. See... I DON'T BAKE! I mean I CAN bake, I just don't like to. She's been watching "Cake Boss" and food challenges on The Food Network and figured, "Hey! My mom can do that too!" Sigh... But for her, I gave it a shot.
Decorating a cake is no where near as easy as those experts make it look! LOL

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Instant Gratification! Simplicity 2512

Since I'm pretty sick of sewing Summer clothes, I decided that I'm sewing what I'm calling "Pre-Fall". Those are things I can wear now with sandals and things that will transition into cooler weather. I thought this skirt was a good start. I loved the colorway of this print. It works now and it'll work with opague tights when it's chilly out.

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 2512 - Cynthia Rowley Skirt

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

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much.
Fabric: a silky print from Jo-Ann's (100% polyester) and I used a black crepe back satin from my stash for the contrasting binding.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very. I only read over them to see how the binding was supposed to be attached.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the style of this skirt. I've had it since it first came out and I'm just getting around to making it.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I lengthened it by three inches.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would not. Even if I did find the time to sew this again, it would be the other view. And there's another skirt that's similar (but cuter, LOL) that I'd rather make instead.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Decorative Linings!

I was perusing the new offerings at Net-a-porter.com. And I came across this beauty. It's a lovely LBD, but what really caught my eye was the multi-colored polka dot lining. I stopped and asked myself, "Why have I never thought to do this?" I mean, I line coats and jackets with colorful and contrasting linings all of the time. Why NOT a dress or skirt? Why do they not deserve to have a decorative interior? Well, this is about to change! This is something I plan to start doing. Of course it's not going to show while I'm wearing it. But, it'll be like having a little secret. And it'll look beautiful hanging in the closet!

Do you line your dresses and/or skirts with fancy linings like this?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

If I were...

a CEO of a major corporation or a big time fashion magazine editor-in-chief, THIS is how I'd dress! Miranda Priestly would have nothing on me!

Armani Privé Fall Couture 2010

THIS is my idea of couture! Not all of that costumey "eye-candy".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fall Vogues!

I really get excited about Fall patterns, especially Vogue! Fall is my absolute favorite season (I'm a September baby) and these did not disappoint!

Here are my picks!

Tracy Reese
This dress is sweet and sexy all at the same time!

Great pieces that can stand on their own. And I don't cute a-line skirt for cooler months! And I'll probably make it with the exposed zipper.

Donna Karan, of course! These are fabulous separates! I could see the open back top layered with something else and worn with jeans and boots! And the Donna Karan draping isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
I'd probably wear that skirt backwards!

Michael Kors
This dress is very similar to the Donna Karan dress I made last year. But I like that it has long sleeves! It's already in my mental queue.

Rebecca TaylorI was sold on the self-braided trim!

The blouse is way too frilly for me, but I love the skirt!

Issey Miyake
I love the lines of the top and I'm sure it would be fun to make. But tops like this give me flashback to my maternity days. I'll pass. But those would make great straight-leg jeans!

Anne Klein
I feel like I've seen this dress so many times. BUT, I haven't seen it hanging in my closet! LOL It's on my list.

Vogue Wardrobe
I only want the top (it's a great basic tee) and the jacket.

Vogue Easy Options
They've been doing a variation of this skirt for the last couple of seasons. I'm still adding this pattern to my collection.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Simplicity 2579 - Botanic Inspiration!

Here is my flowered dress. Not quite as "literal" as John Galliano's Fall Couture Collection for Christian Dior!

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 2579 - View C/D (Modified)

Description: Dress with fitted bodice and gathered skirt. Invisible back zipper, and options for either a halter top or gathered bust with or without sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: 8 - 22. I cut the 14 in the bodice and graded to size 16 at the waist. There's a lot of ease in this dress and I could have made the whole thing in a size 14.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Meh... similar! LOL

Fabric: Floral silk crepe de chine from Hancock.

Lining: Ivory silk habotai from my stash.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I only read over them briefly if that's any indication.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I just love everything about it... with the exception that the instructions would ONLY have you line the bodice?!

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I wanted the short halter dress, but the ruffle on the bottom seemed a bit more "cutesy" than the look I was going for. I cut View D in the length that I wanted it to be. I also wanted to make sure that there would be NO "side boob" spillage and that the dress would be bra-friendly. Meaning -- I didn't want my bra showing on the sides, nor the band showing in the back. So I raised the sides and the back.

Like I said, I also fully lined it:
Of course I used French Seams...

and a narrow hem.

Here is a view of the back. It's a halter and I think it would defeat the purpose of posting if you don't see what the back looks like!
Oh and I made my ties extra long just because!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I wouldn't sew it again, but I love this one. I think I made GREAT fabric choices! This dress feels so luxurious on. And even though this pattern was marketed for "special occasion", this is a simple sundress for me. I don't require a special occasion to wear a silk dress. Being able to rise every morning in great health is enough of a celebration! Life is too short! Better start living!