Wednesday, July 30, 2014

51 Shades of Grey...

(Thanks Bek!)

Soooo, in my last post, I whined about discussed how I have like 7,281 grey, black and white things. One could find it very ironic that the Sew Simple A1636 pattern that I made was cut out of...you guessed it! A b/w/g fabric. DOH!


And then...Since Jess of Sometimes Sewist made me complete my mini wardrobe, I needed a SUPER quick 5th piece. I decided on the Maria Denmark Kristen Kimono tee...in gray.

I've made this like 7 times so nothing new to add...well I did bands on the sleeve and hem to make it fast. And for the first time sewed them flat. I really liked this approach on the V1395 dress and on a casual item, I will definitely use the flat method from now on. I just did tiny stitches at the serged seam to keep it "down".


Laughing (HARD) at myself; I immediately redeemed myself by cutting another version of A1636...in a bright floral!


YAY! COLOR!

I had been looking for something like this for awhile and then Dina posted it here. I seriously went to WalMart the next day and bought it. I'll grab a couple more on my next trip and do a blog giveaway. 

So this pattern is like, the most awesome. It's super awesome. Super, really awesome. WHY don't regular Simplicity patterns fit like these?! This is my 2nd SS pattern and they are made so well and have really good instructions. Sheesh.

Front, back (bodice and skirt), front and back facings, pockets (optional-more on that later). Easy. Easy. Easy. It is so well made that it would be great for a beginner!

I cut a straight size 14 and made no adjustments. NONE. It fits very well at the neck/shoulders and the armscye is like, perfect.

Both dresses are made from rayon challis from Fabric Mart. I only had 1.5 yards of the snake print so it got a little dicey. I ended up having to do bias tape for the armholes from solid black challis. The floral print doesn't have pockets because pockets took a lot of time on the first one. I spent about 4 hours on dress 1 and exactly 2.5 hours on version 2. 

On BOTH dresses I miscalculated the width I needed on my bias tape and it doesn't cover the serged stitches. Oops.


The facings were sewn on, seams pinked, under stitched and I stitched in the ditch at the shoulders. I serged the loose edge. I will still need to tack it in a few places as it wants to move when I'm wearing it.

The pattern calls for 1/4" elastic but I used 3/8". I added 1/2" at the waist seam to account for the difference. Oh and it's kind of short. I don't know how long the finished length is but I know the hem is 1 1/4" and I did a 5/8" narrow hem. It's not too short but it's short.

And for kicks...


My daughter said "Mom, that's weird". hahahaha!

I'm going to be traveling but do have a couple of posts scheduled; a collage of my Mini Wardrobe and  my July wrap-up. 

Have a happy sewing weekend!!!




Monday, July 28, 2014

Failure...Well Not Completely

I am not a Stash Buster. I am a Stash Collector.

I do not like fabric fasting...much like I do not like dieting. All that restriction only makes me want, want, want!!

So yeah.

During an episode of packing, I realized I have a boatload of black, grey and black/grey, black/white, black/grey/white stuff. I haven't sewn nearly as many summer items as I planned and of the summer things I have sewn, several have been black, b/w, b/w/g, tan, denim. All good...but I need some color!

Then I asked my husband (he does the laundry), he said "everything you have is black and white". Sigh...

(today I am wearing a black cardigan, white shirt and b/g/w pants - SHEESH!)

I wore my V1395 dress yesterday and found a couple of pretty remnants for tops this weekend and that served to fuel the bug.

I have A LOT of sleeveless tops/shells because I am a lover of cardigans. But sometimes a cardigan is just too warm at work so I need more lightweight tops with sleeves (cap, 3/4, not long sleeved-yet).

I ventured to SR Harris (love that place!) and found some pretties. Pretty much everything in the store is 1/2 off the advertised price on the bolt and if you are knowledgeable about fabric you can really make out like a bandit! I spent $29 on ~ 8 yards of fabric. Not too bad.

I'm not great at identifying "the good stuff" so I mostly looked for things that were labeled.

100% Cotton shirting

(super soft!) cotton voile

Cotton bottom weight

Feels like an ITY

This one isn't as "slinky" as the blue and feels more like rayon (I should run infrared on it!)

Mini Wardrobe:

I'm out. I haven't touched my machine in a week and won't have much time to sew until next weekend. I don't want to rush and make *something* just to enter the contest. 

I want to get a couple last summer things sewn, sew some tops that can transition to the cooler weather that will be here in 6ish weeks and then start my fall sewing.

I need pants, pants, PANTS!

Finished garments:

I actually finished this dress awhile ago and have even worn it twice! But I planned on making one for my sister for her birthday so I was waiting to post. I'll get to hers; promise.

For now: DD and I both have "new" maxi dresses!

McCall's 6559 which was a PR pattern of the year in 2012; and with good reason. It's a GREAT pattern!


I cut a 14 neck/shoulders/armhole and graded to a 16 for the rest. Somehow, the front and back were different lengths (maybe in all the seaming I got off) so I lost a much needed 2" of length, making mine "mostly maxi".

Cutting this one out was a bear but once cut, construction was smooth sailing. Wait...I think it took me longer to ensure I had the front pieces arranged properly than it did for me to sew them together! :) I used the serger for everything and used the 'turn twice and stitch' method for the neck and arms. It's been washed and worn again and that didn't come out poorly at all so...

I did NOT attempt to stripe match but it can certainly be done. But since I only had 2 yards of this, I don't think it would've been worth the headache to try to make it happen.


So then Dougie decided she NEEDED one too - of course!

I cut a straight size 8. She has broad shoulders and I knew she didn't need it narrower at the top. I did the other view, a simple front and back (yes, I matched the stripes!) so this was insanely fast to make.

Neither dress was hemmed. The stripes helped to ensure a nice straight cut on the bottom.

Next up:

Simplicity Sew Simple A1636 in rayon challis


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

McCall Pattern Co. and Mini Wardrobe Update

If you're way into social media, you'll notice that McCall Co. has amped up (started?) their social media presence via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Sewing blogs, Pattern Review (perhaps other streams like Kollabra too??)

I was pretty giddy about this development because I think it's awesome that they are getting more vested in what the home sewer likes/dislikes/wants/needs/opines on...etc. Yet I was surprised that NO ONE was talking about the fact that McCall Co. is talking! Eep!

So when the new Vogue's were released, of course Lauren of Lladybird (Vogue pattern release review here) unleashed a torrent. And then McCall replied and a little dialogue kicked up. In the link above, Lauren talks a little about their participation on the blog.

After some super-sleuth Googling (I am the world's worst Googler), I found this post by While She Naps and was again giddy that someone was directly talking about it!Yay!

WSN mentioned that she'd asked for a headshot of "Meg" (BMVKS social media person) to include with the article and they basically said no. Commenters thought this unfair; that McCall should include a face for us to follow.

I HIGHLY disagree.

I think it would be kind of crazy to have the social media person officially be the 'face' of McCall in the sewing community. And not solely because "what if she leaves the company" but because...it just isn't that way. There is a difference and that's okay! I'm not an "Indie pattern sewer". I don't have anything against them...I just don't go out of my way to acquire and sew from Indies. I will sew what I want and if what I want comes in a $3.99 New Look envelope or $1.40 McCall's envelope...yay me!

Besides...we don't have to live in a limited world, choosing between Indie -or- Big4 et al. We can have them both all!

Have you noticed McCall's new presence on social media? What do you think?? Like/dislike/indifferent??

Do you think McCall needs to give Meg a face?

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In other news...WHY DO CASUAL PANTS PATTERNS HAVE SO MUCH EXCESS LEG ROOM?!?!

whyyyyyyyyyyy?

Sorry for being so whiny lately. :) Last night I cut and sewed together the NL6130 pants. I swear I removed like 3/4" from the front rise and they still cover my belly button. Also, There's like 13 inches of excess fabric through the leg.  They look horrific in the legs and an insanely funny turn of events; the BEST view of these pants are the back! I took selfies so I don't have any...you'll just have to trust me.

So now I get to unpick the seams and try to salvage them. I like this dark, dark fabric so I don't want to chuck them but good grief...

Saggy, droopy legs

Pinching out the excess in the back leg...and as you can see, I'm not pulling them taut against my body!

The back fits well even though the front is about an inch too high

Excess fabric at the knee. Again, I'm not pulling them super tight or anything.

UGH! 

I am ready to be done with my mini-wardrobe but it is just not happening.

The other leg looks slim because I tried pinning out and resewing but that doesn't really produce good results because there is still a crap-ton of fabric through the knee and at the back of the leg. Plus I made the leg opening way too small! LOL!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mini Wardrobe: V1395

First things first...

THIS DRESS TOOK SO DAMN LONG!!!!!!!!

I seriously thought I would finish up my projects this weekend but holy cow! Yes, we had a sort of busy one and I didn't sew at all Friday night but good grief! Between the binding and the french seams and the narrow hems...ACK!

But I finished it and I LOVE it!!!


My husband doesn't like it. But he doesn't like anything I make that is loose/flowy so I wasn't surprised. But then he said, "It makes you look wide." I happen to disagree. I think he dislikes the fullness from the elasticized waist but I am digging it so...I just won't wear it on date nights! :-p

Specifics:
*Time to complete: Forever

*Fabric: A lot of rayon challis and a little cotton voile 
I was going to get the bemberg but I didn't feel like going to JoAnn so I dug through the stash and found this pinkish-purplish cotton voile

*Thread: I went with red since it was the dominant color; it works.

*Size: Straight 16
I need to get it through my thick skull that I need an FBA. This has plenty of circumference but not enough length. It slightly rides up in front. Next time I'd cut a 14 and do an FBA. I'd also lengthen the bodice about an inch for some blousing.





Wide??





Construction wasn't difficult EXCEPT for the stupid shoulder sleeve! Will someone please read that and interpret what Vogue is trying to communicate!?!? Please!!!!

I hate this casing method. Hate. Hate. Hate.

I french seamed it all...time consuming but worth it. There are bias bindings applied to the neckline and armholes and it's done flat. THIS IS GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The lining was just serged (hey...no one will see it!). I serged the hem and turned up and stitched. For the fashion fabric I did a narrow hem.

Oh and if you're a tall person; this will be a mini dress...may want to lengthen it.

Hmmm....what else...the armholes area  bit low, even with the overlay. And the overlay makes it almost impossible to lift your arms up. I mean, how much arm lifting are you doing in a dress?? But still...

A very pretty dress that takes awhile but is worth the effort!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mini Wardrobe Update

I whined and moaned and groaned and decided to move forward with my sewing and whaddya know...I have a new mini-wardrobe plan!

One thing I've wanted to sew this summer is the Rebecca Taylor Vogue 1395




It's a simple but cute dress and has been made up successfully by several bloggers!


Morgan of Crab and Bee


Niema of Wearable Muslin 

Jamie on the Denver Sewing Collective blog

So I spent a whopping $5 on the pattern and put it in queue. Well my lime-sorbet-twill-disaster moved this dress right on up to the top of the list!

I only have the front of the bodice done; but it's a little bit of work; cut, apply bias bands to the neckline, top stitch, sew the CF seam, topstitch...Hopefully tonight I can get the rest of the construction done and hem it this weekend.

Can I line rayon challis with (poly) pongee? Or should I go for some lightweight cotton fabric? 

When I was still in my 'woe is me' state; I cut out M6754 in this mint(?) green ponte


I realized that with only a tweak or two; I am still well into having a 5 piece mini wardrobe completed!

Dress Progress:


With blazer:


So now my mini wardrobe will be:
B5926 kelly green blazer
V1395 dress 
M6841 white drape top
M6754 mint peplum top
NL6130 dark stretch denim pants