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Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 -- A Year in Review!

This has been a pretty good year for sewing for me. Even though I didn't do a lot of things sewing-wise, I'm happy with what I did!

Favorite Garments of the year!
I couldn't pick just one!

Vogue 1154 - I love the construction process on this one!

Vogue 1174 - This dress translated really well to a casual sundress with flat sandals!

Most Worn Garments:
I wore these two garments more than ANYTHING I made this year.

Simplicity 2603 - Cardi Wrap

I wore this dress so much over the Summer!

Everything else I made:

Vogue 1092
McCall's 6038
Simplicity 2512
Vogue 8424

Butterick 5284 - Great White shirt
Butterick 5526 - Great White shirt
McCall's 6078 - Sequin top

McCall's 6083

Simplicity 2315
Vogue 1201

Couture Jacket
Vogue 8333

Vogue 1214

New Look 6912
Vogue 1159
Vogue 1089
Simplicity 2579
Vogue 1190
New Look 6909

Vogue 1183

Sewing for Amber
Simplicity 2440 - Amber's Prom Dress

McCall's 5850 - Amber's Graduation Dress

Sewing for Mikaela
McCall's 4767 - Sadie Hawkins Dance dress for Mikaela
McCall's 5574 - halter dress for Mikaela
Simplicity 2436 - Birthday dress for Mikaela

I even sewed for Michael! Major accomplishment!
Kwik Sew 3422 & Kwik Sew 3267

Major sewing-related purchase...

I bought my dress form that I'm completely in love with!

I also attended...

"The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo" in Atlanta and "The Golden Age of Couture" exhibit in Nashville.

What I didn't do that I wanted to do in 2010:
  • I didn't get around to making another Chanel jacket.
  • I didn't make a coat.
  • I didn't finish the tailored jacket that I'm currently working on.
  • I didn't make anything with welts or bound buttonholes.
  • I didn't drape a single thing.
  • I didn't make anything from Burda. Can't bring myself to trace a pattern when there are perfectly good ones that I can just cut out.
  • I didn't make anything from Marfy.
Here's hoping that 2011 brings much more fabulous sewing!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

McCall's Spring Patterns?!

So... on an impromptu Hancock Fabrics run last evening, I happened upon the Spring 2011 catalog. And I just happened to open the pattern drawers and lo and behold -- NEW patterns! AND they were on sale for $1.99! Me being the me that I am, I can't resist a pattern sale. There weren't many that I cared for, so I only left with a mere four. McCall's 6163 is an older pattern that somehow flew under my radar. And of the new ones I really love M6279 - the sleeveless trench dress; M6281 - it's a sheath dress that's business in the front and a party in the back! And I picked up M6291 - which I can only describe as some "I Dream of Jeannie" cargo pants, LOL! I think they're cute and will look great made up in a drapey washed silk and worn with platform wedge sandals. See... I have it all pictured in my mind! Now I'm excited to see what Vogue will release!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Instant Gratification! Vogue 8424 - DVF-Inspired Box-Pleat Skirt

I'd like to interrupt the last minute holiday shopping and preparations with a quick project! I had just recently viewed the Diane von Furstenberg Pre-Fall 2011 Collection. I loved how retro it is. It's 1970s sportswear at its finest! One of the things featured are box-pleat skirts. I've had this pattern in my stash for a few years and decided to make one.

Images from Style.com

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 8424 (OOP)

Pattern Sizing: 8 - 24, I cut the 16.
Description: Above mid-knee or mid-calf, straight or A-line skirt has faced waistline and back zipper. A: center back pleat. B, C: side front pockets and center front pleat.

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

Fabric: Light-weight camel wool flannel (100% wool)

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

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that it was just what I was looking for!

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I cut view C and removed 3" from the hem. This was easier and made more sense than lengthening view B.

Conclusion: This is a simple skirt that would work in a variety of fabrications. Even though I have a definitive preference for pencil skirts, this is a great addition to my wardrobe.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vogue 1201 - Donna Karan Menswear Trouser

In light of our recent discussion about pants, I decided to say forget dealing with all of that finicky tweaking! I decided to make a pair of fun and "un-fussy", yet trendy pair of pants!

These tailored peg-leg trousers are pared-down versions of harem pants with paper-bag waists and slouchy tailoring falling from the waist. These pants can look seriously sexy worn with boyfriend blazer and boot but with so much slouch these are not for the faint-hearted! I actually liked the harem pants, but the look was too sloppy, slouchy for me to want to leave the house in. I felt more "pulled together" wearing this look.
Both looks are Donna Karan Collection Fall/Winter 2009

I decided to pair my pants with a black sequined tank, black ruffled cardi and shoe booties to balance out the masculinity with some sparkly femininity.
Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 1201 - Donna Karan Collection

Pattern Sizing: 6 - 20, I cut the 16.Description: Loose-fitting, tapered leg pants has front pleats, back seam detail and waistband with back notch.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Not quite as full.

Fabric: Menswear suiting (100% wool) from my stash.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were pretty 'AVERAGE' for constructing pants.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked that this pattern was right on trend. Even though it is from the Donna Karan F/W 2009 Collection, the high-end RTW trend has now trickled down to regular RTW. I dislike that the pattern was drafted with an absurd amount of ease. The closer I examine the runway photos, the more I think the pattern is correct. It's me that had something else in mind.

I love the mens trouser details on the inside with the fly and the binding.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I lengthened the pants by 3" and I removed 1" from EACH seam. There was A LOT more pants than I had intended.

Conclusion: These pants were fun to make, even though the binding was a little time consuming and it's a good way to try out trends.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pants Fit: A Case Study

Halle Berry in Dolce & Gabbana

I was doing my typical blog perusing this morning and ran across this picture of the FABULOUS Halle Berry. When I saw it, my eyes were drawn not to her fantastic Jimmy Choo "Mandah" bag; not to her 'perfect' cleavage in her plunging neckline. It was drawn to the wrinkles in her crotch! As someone that has sweated, cried and cussed over the relentless pursuit of the perfect fitting pants, has it all been in vain??? THIS is what I see not only in real life, but on the red carpet!

So my dear fellow sewists, I ask -- if THIS is what passes for NORMAL, why do WE kill ourselves trying to make sure that our pants are free of drag lines and wrinkles? Does anyone really care?

When the average woman buys pants (and I know this because I use to be an average woman buying pants), she's making sure that:
  • They fit well in the butt.
  • There is NO camel toe.
  • They are NOT gaping at the center back.
  • They are long enough to wear with the shoes I plan to wear them with.
  • And if the pockets are lying flat.
Those were my only concerns, not whether or not I have these MYSTERIOUS lines down the back of my legs or the drag lines in the front like Halle.

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Vogue 1214 & Simplicity 2315

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 1214 - Alice + Olivia Godet Constructed Vest

Pattern Sizing: 4 - 18, I cut the 16.
Description: Close-fitting, lined top has front band extended into shawl collar, snap closure, front darts, side front pockets, back detailed seams, godets and topstitch trim.
Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It does!

Fabric: Black and white houndstooth suiting fabric (65% poly/35% rayon) from Hancock Fabrics

Lining: Black poly from my stash

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were very easy. The pattern is rated "AVERAGE", but I think an advanced beginner could handle this.

Alice + Olivia Godet Constructed Vest, $396 - Neiman Marcus

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I always love making designer patterns that have been hanging in stores. The original retailed for $400 and I made mine for only a fraction of the price! From the moment I saw this pattern, I loved it. I love the edginess of the design. I love that it's more than a *basic* vest. One of the benefits of sewing your own clothes is that you CAN make the trendy and "of-the-moment" styles for only the investment of your time. And next season, it's on to the next one...

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I lengthened 1" at the waist and 2" on the bottom. I didn't really like the length of the version on the cover of the envelope. I wanted something that would be closer to the original RTW version. I decided to not make the belt and just use one I already owned.

Here are some detailed shots:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I wouldn't sew this again. This style is very unique and a girl only needs one! I recommend this if it's your style!

My pants...

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 2315

Pattern Sizing: 6 - 22, I cut the 16.

Description: Misses Slim Pants

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Well, kind of!

Fabric: Wool-blend with stretch

Were the instructions easy to follow? Extremely easy! This is one-sitting project!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I wanted a slim-fit pant to wear in lieu of leggings and this pattern fit the bill!

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I lengthened the pants by 3" and omitted the tabs at the waist.

This one is a winner and I'll probably make this one again!