Tuesday, July 28

Jewelry Making:: Cute Tops:: and a Pattern Review- Simplicity 1424

What do lobster claws, split rings and jump rings have to do with sewing.  When jewelry making and sewing meet head to head, a person like me is open to whatever comes out of the meeting.  I don't mind learning new things and getting really great ideas to make my handmades look extra special with that little detail that causes it to stand apart in my closet.  Besides, I enjoy DIY in every form, when the mood strikes.  I'm feeling mighty accomplished because I took the time to learn a little something about jewelry making and how to apply it to garment making.  I know full well I'm not the first to add a little extra, but this is really kinda cool.  A little tedious, but all the same--cool.
TaaDaaa!!  ahem...I'm happy.  Jewelry supplies and findings may become another storage bin in my sewing cave for an additional creative outlet, when the mood arises.  Until then, jeweled additions to my sewing arsenal may become a regular occurrence.  The top was simple enough to finish in three - four hours because of the fine sewing needed to finish all the hemming and straps.  
Adding the jewelry took it to the next level, and I am glad I made the effort.  This was a learning curve.  First, I didn't know that every little piece of the necklace was a different purchase.  What are jump rings, lobster claws, cable chains, and split rings used for.  I ended up going back and forth to the Joanns Fabric and crafts three to four times.  No one at the store knew what to tell me, so of course, I had to go to the trusty YouTube university to learn a little jewelry making 101.  My hats off to the wonderful folks who take the time to serve up a little advice and direction for trying new things.  I consider all YouTube videos an introduction to skills before I go to a college course and layout my money, only to discover it isn't something I like to do.  I'll dabble in YouTube videos all day.

Pattern Review:  Simplicity 1424 with several views.   Let us say...straight off the bat, I love love love this top!!!  So much so, that I need to hurry and make another version before I ruin this one with snags and makeup stains.  It is not silk, too bad.  I was desperate to find this color to go with my palazzo pants, but couldn't decide on any other top than this one.  The fabric just cried out to be this blouse.  Lots of back interest, both mine and the blouse.  Great for daytime summer fun, or a great date with the mate.
The front has an overlay for you to add extra layers for modesty of the girls and to coverup and camouflage the "unmentionables."  But I dare mention the "un-mentionables!!!  Adhesive Bras, bust lifts and the like are the thing for swanky tops, dresses and blouses, these days.  I love them, OMG, did I say I love them.  Yes, I did!!!  Anyhoo, moving on to the topic at hand.  No more avoiding certain styles because you don't have options for coverage.  Check out what is out there.

The back has the cowl neck finish which could use a weight added to the center to help hold it down, if you use a light flowing fabric.  It falls really low!!!  My pants are high-waisted, it doesn't get to the top of the pants because I pulled up the strap.  But, keep that in mind when you decide to make this.
The hem length is really long in the back and has adjustable strap rings that connect the cross strap as well as the shoulder straps together in one.  This helped, at least for me to pull up the under arm as well as the front to the height you want, and you can change it later for more room.  

Alterations:  My changes to the pattern were very minimum with this top.  I used the size 14 with a 3/4" FBA using the pivot and slide method.  (I suggest if you want to know something about the pivot and slide method, to start with Nancy Zeiman...she is the originator of the technique, anyone else, may very well be watering it down.  I figure, learn from the best to understand the rest.) I usually use this technique when I need to make a very small change without lengthening the front.

Instructions:  Pretty straight forward.  The confusing part was threading the straps and sewing them down around the rings.  On the front I chose to leave off the strap across the chest. (it looked dorky).
Simplicity 1424
As always, thanks for visiting my slice of the world wide web.  Anytime you have any questions please let me know by emailing me or hitting me up on Instagram or twitter.  Also, most of my reviews are placed on the Pattern Review website in much more detail. 

Friday, July 24

Palazzo Pants, another Wrap Top and a Pattern Review: McCall's 6571

I love palazzo pants just as much as I love maxi skirts.  Jeans are not on my radar during the Houston summers.  Only dresses and shorts are my summer attire...but occasionally, when I really want to relax modestly and still feel dressed up enough to go out in this heat, lightweight pants are great.  In this case, the palazzo pants do the trick.  
There are so many different patterns on the market for palazzos, but these sort of went under the radar for such a long long time.  As a matter of fact, the envelope even screams "boring."  I spend more time opening pattern envelopes and reading and studying pattern pieces, than I care to admit.  I just want to see how they are designed, because that is my nature, never take anything at face value, and always look under the hood.
I always knew making leggings were easy to sew up and finish quickly.  So what does these palazzo pants have in common with a pair of leggings?--  They do not have a side seam, and there is only one pattern piece!  Gotta love simplicity, right?  This McCall's 6571 is a hidden gem, but not the first of its kind.  After a little research, I found another pattern from the same company "McCall's Pattern Company", a Vogue 2064, a really nice tunic and "wide leg" pant pattern.  They can be done up in a knit or woven fabric.  Both need to be light draped fabrics though.  The pattern made for woven fabrics come with extra darts for shaping the hips and waist, and includes an invisible zipper.  The knit pattern piece has darts on the side only at the waist for that final tweaking of the waist shaping, along with an elastic waistband.
I made them extra long and added a 2.5" topstitched hem for the look to balance out the stripes.  The pattern is listed as a Palmer/Pletsch pattern because of the helpful adjustment lines available to assist with making fitting alterations.  These fitting lines help you to make size and fitting changes in areas common for most people when using commercial patterns.  Mainly, these adjustments include crotch changes and lengthen or shorten lines.  The width is done down the side seam in most pants, but in this pattern, you would just increase the back crotch width or the front accordingly.  
I like this pattern because, it is balanced enough to allow for stripes to remain horizontal with no skewing like what happens with regular leggings.  This is because the inseam (inside leg seam) is straightened, thus causes the pant leg to hang straight on the grain.  

Pattern Details:  
  • Cut size 16 with a waist size 14.
  • lengthened 3 inches to achieve the large hem
  • I used a 1.5" flat elastic, and installed it like a sportswear waistband with 3 rows of stitching
Fabric Details:  A nice beefy cotton jersey knit purchased in New York.  (New Yorkers are so lucky.)  This fabric has a 32" repeat...why do I do that to myself!??  The matching striped was begging to be purchased at the same time, although I just can't seem to pull together a good look for it just yet.  I tried a making top from the small stripe, but it just did not work.  My instagram friends said, it works for two separate looks, but not together. 
Blouse:  I originally made this blouse (The Graffiti Wrap Top) from the 01/2008 Burda Style magazine here.  I just decided not to place the sleeves on this version, and folded over the sleeve opening's and stitched using a zigzag.  I can see the underlay pulls at the armhole giving it a really cute angle detail at the armhole.  Later I will try and figure out the problem, but for now, I kinda like the look.   I used a matte jersey to make the top, its really nice and cool even in this weather.
All-in-all, I am working on so many different looks right now...so getting back to another top from the same pattern within months of each other must mean I really must like it.  As for the pants, I will be pulling together another pair to wear with a cute tunic I'm working on currently.

Wednesday, July 15

Review: McCall's 7099- Jumpsuit craze, I'm feeling it.

I seem to have latched on to this jumpsuit trend. I can't get over how well put together you can look in one easy swoop. No guessing, the same as with a dress, yet legs covered. All that wrapped into one piece. Who knew?  Stylist are kinda smart I think.  They pay attention to everything, so people like me can pick and choose any of the latest designs to match our style and taste.
In this case, I have been trying out some new shapes. Shapes I wouldn't normally gravitate towards, were it not for this website, "Who What Where" giving me fantastic ideas for every occasion and taste.   This jumpsuit can even transfer into a little "Hammer Time" action.
The fabric is a lux silk jersey I got from New York on my vacation back in April. This fabric feels awesome, and ooh so comfy.  I can wear this jumpsuit dressed up or just lounging around the house, it's just that comfortable.  I didn't know silk jersey sewed up so nice and easily.
That pattern is McCall's 7099 .  Really easy to sew together with the following changes:
  1. Raised armhole by 1/2"
  2. took 3/4" off shoulder length
  3. Added scoop pockets instead of the inseam pockets in the pattern
  4. Topstitched the channel for the elastic instead of just having it hang loose inside.
  5. No FBA, cut a size 14
  6. Took out a 1/2" wedge at the front surplice neckline so it wouldn't gap
The bodice is extremely loose fitting...I even took out some fullness in the back so I wouldn't look like a quarterback.  This does make it a little more challenging to take on and off, but its better than it just hanging on me like a clothes line.
Shoutout to my daughter for styling my outfit.  Red shoes, I feel so Dorothy!  Y'all know I would have never, ever!! considered red shoes with this outfit.  So very cool.  All I need is a full-time stylist and I will be more diva-lishious than I already am, for sure.
On another note:  I hope you enjoy the new update and look of my online sewing space we call a blog....got a really nice lady off of the online store "Etsy" to pull it together for me.  Her name is Chelsea with Bellaluluink.  Don't worry this is non-sponsored, I just really liked working with her.  She made easy pudding of this mess of a blog I had going.  Like I said before...I SEW, that is all.  I do know my strengths.
My new logo and business cards were designed by Dena Jackson Studio, a really talented lady and extremely professional.

As well as with my skills and other areas in life, I try to improve and grow in knowledge and understanding.  Yet there are times I respect the craft and delegate more difficult task to someone more able than myself.  I have sought after professionals who's skill sets far outshine my own.  Anytime you have something or any services you like sharing on your blog, I am always grateful for the insight.  Online reviews are very helpful.  So, do tell about any services you have been keen to delegating to the more inclined mind.