Monday, April 14, 2014

Flower Power...McCalls 6740 Pattern Review

A curtsy to those that blog regularly, I respect you sincerely.
Often times I feel like I am cheating all the bloggers that update regularly.  No one wants to have a relationship with anyone who only "takes" and "receives" yet never gives anything in return.  I have been blogging for a few years now, and yet I can still get through my entire site in a few minutes.  Now don't get mistaken, I am not trying to be like anyone else, I know that everyone is on their own schedule and pace for blogging.  However, in my personal case, I have all the wonderful ideas and projects to share, yet when I sit down to share, I go on a blogging adventure, never to return to my initial objective, that of posting my days blog.  
I like this modeling is getting much better.  It takes work blogging, but it is so satisfying, sharing with others that sew and design their own clothing.  Posing for photos comes especially hard for me, since I am basically deep down an athletic type of girl. But, it is enjoy.

Lets get to it, I did say this is a pattern review...

This dress was finished last year for a Craftsy fitting class I completed with Joi Mahon.  I had good intentions of sharing all that I had learned.  However, because this dress was made for an upcoming vacation to Antigua, I was in such a hurry, that I never got a chance to really get good pictures.  It was really important I share this particular project with you mainly because of all the extensive work that when into the fitting.

I used McCalls 6740, a fitted princess seamed bra-cup button front dress with godets a hi-lo shaped hem and thin straps.  The godets were shaped, so it was important to arrange them in the correct order for insertion since the front and sides were of different lengths because of the shaping.
After all the fitting and such was completed the dress went together really easily.  The fitting work was well worth it since I plan to use the bodice half as a halter top in later iterations of this pattern.  Otherwise, I would not have bothered due to all the lengthening and re-positioning of the bust seam lines that run through the cups. 
I literally had to redraft the pattern for the cups and reshape it so the "points" would go to the front of the dress and not "out" to the sides. Its almost embarrassing to share on a public format like this, but I have to remember, it not for so many trailblazers before me, paving the way for "share & share alike" blogs, I wouldn't learn so many great techniques myself.

I plan to make this dress again, or some iteration, however, I plan to further raise top necklines another inch or so....since, here I can see this might not be appropriate for a church function..I don't want to distract anyone. lol

Yes, that is a little skin showing....just says, I had a little too much fun with the photo shoot. 

I hope you all enjoyed as much as I enjoyed sharing with you.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm tailoring.

Oh how I miss tailoring. For the last eight or ten years I have not tailored a single jacket or men's shirt. It comes so naturally for me, so why haven't I done anything tailored. After all, I have a Certificate of Tailoring from Design School, on top of many many years of experience with both men's and women's tailoring. From pad stitching to welt pockets, nothing intimidated me. One needs to first understand what it means to be a "tailor" today. (See Tailor vs. Dressmaker)

My departure may have come because tailoring in its true sense was not "in vogue" since the nineties. Thus, I concentrated on proms and daywear for women. I know dresses can actually be "tailored" in a sense, but I naturally lean towards a sport coat or jacket when I want to pull together an outfit. As for clients, they REALLY must appreciate the craft for me to break out the hymo-weft and shoulder pads.

I lingered in the shadows watching to blogger after blogger practice their skills at tailoring and participating in various sew-a-longs. Although I had yet to participate, until two weeks ago, I watched and dreamed, waiting for the day my long lost love would come once again knocking at my door.

Christmas 2013 brought something out in me! I made some men's shirts for my loved ones. Oh! How exhilarating!!! The task was so satisfying that I didn't want to do anything else.

I had hoarded these fabrics since 2008. I bought them at an American Sewing Guild conference in Atlanta. How about that for hoarding? 

Then Two weeks ago Peggy Sagers with Silhouette Patterns offered a free webcast jacket sew-a-long and ASG also offered a free tailored jacket sew-a-long.

There my love was, standing at my door, beckoning me to allow him in once more. I responded in kind and pulled out my green leather which I bought on a NYC fabric buying trip last year with Peggy Sagers.

More to come...leather jacket. Here's a sneak peek.

Until next time.. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shameful....simply shameful...!!!!

Vogue....what on earth were you all thinking??!!


Vogue 8969 Winter 2014
Sandra Betzina Vogue 1386, Winter 2014

Shameful, simply shameful....this should never have come out with a Vogue label affixed!!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mini-Me…the 5yr Old Sewist

Teaching sewing skills is what I do to spread the joy of sewing to other interested, crafty, creative folks.  I have taught young and old alike.  My heart leaps at the sight of a satisfied newbie. 

When I see their faces light up as the new project takes shape, I get so excited, that it encourages me to overlook the hiccups along the way.  All things just seem to be right with the world when they get to the point of completion.

All that to say, it has been such satisfaction to watch my granddaughter blossom into the sewist she is today.
 We started her really early, at three, when I bought her her first sewing machine; a Jenome “Hello Kitty” machine I found on for $89.00.  It was for her third birthday.  While others were outside celebrating her special day, she and I were at the kitchen table learning to thread her new machine.  What fond memories these are.

Fast forward several years and we come to now, at almost 6 years old, when she is cutting her own patterns and sewing up her very own outfits.  And I should add, not only is she sewing them up, but she is telling me how to design what she wants,  although she lacks the design/sewing terms, she knows what it is she is wanting.  She has no fear of fabrics nor notions, only just to say, what it is to be sewn into, or what it is to be used for in making something.  She does not hesitate at the suggestion of making something however difficult it might seem.

I love how she watches and listened to everything I say and do, especially, when I’m in my sewing room. 

 I may actually be in the presence of a future well known and acclaimed designer.  Oh my! What a joy.

Thanks for following.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Too Dressy to Cook In- Butterick 4945

DSCN4982Cooking has never been a skill that comes easily for me.  Although, I love to eat…I can’t say the same about my cooking.   Admittedly I enjoy sewing much more than cooking.  “Did I really need to say that?”  Oh well, there you have it.  I’m no Betty Crocker. 

I do like making my life more fun and easier to take.  So when I saw this cute little number in my pattern arsenal…. IMG_3036I was just driven to sew one for myself, and of course my grand-daughter. Don’t we just look so cute? DSCN4983

Thanks for following…sew til next time.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Butterick: 5885 a Dress Review

Pattern Description: Misses mock wrap dress with uneven handkerchief hem.

Pattern Sizing:I cut a size 14. The length was not altered.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?extremely simple, and definitely leaves something to be desired. Remember to use "sewing with knits" book or other tips for neckline and armhole finishing techniques. For the waist elastic, I did not follow the usual elastic guide, I took my waist and divided it in half to get the front length and the back, then I took two inches off of each piece. This made for a better fit, as the pattern called for 30inches on front and 30in on back then cut to size....way too much waste.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the simplicity. The front draped overlay is a nice simple addition. As for dislikes, I was slightly disappointed in how cheaply the instructions suggested you finish the neckline. It would be good to remember to install a 1/8th inch elastic to stabilize and secure the neckline. The reason being, is the weight of the front bodice pulls something terrible on the seams. Having the edges simple folded over and stitched isn't enough. To alleviate this, I also top stitched the front neckline into the back at the shoulda for symmetry.

Fabric Used:I used an ity jersey.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a FBA on the front underlay and the overlay. This adjustment caused me to add a necessary side bust dart. The dart made for a much snugger fit. I also made a sway back adjustment and shortened the shoulders by 1.5 inches because the weight caused it to be stretched too much for my taste. If I make it it again, I think stabilizing the neckline shoulders and armholes will prevent that. I did not add my usual 1inch to the waist length. Although, after shortening the shoulders, I wish I had. I also shortened the front and back v-necks by grading into the seam 1/4in towards the middle. This small alteration causes the neckline to hug the body better and prevents gaping.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I will most likely sew it again.

Conclusion: I highly recommend. This is a really sexy dress for any figure.

Monday, April 1, 2013

McCalls 6400 View A, the review

Tops are my priority this last week when I wanted a quick and easy top to use as a diversion from some other not so fun sewing I was doing. This nice little number saved my sanity. McCall's 6400
McCall's 6400, a lightweight jersey from Joann fabrics and 45 minutes of my time yielded a really nice asymmetrical number. 
After fiddling with the short sleeve side, I decided to sew up closer into the armhole in order to avoid bra show through.  The next time I make this I will for sure use the long sleeved version.  It is really hard to keep the "pull" of the fabric from causing the short side to skew underneath the bust.
Here it is with a new skirt that I will review in another blog.
All-in-all, I will definitely make this top again, and would highly recommend it for any beginner.
I hope you enjoy the pics.  Thanks for following.