I think taking a break was a good thing. I'm feeling ambitious and think I want to make myself a new winter coat. I've enjoyed making coats in the past and am in the mood for something new.
I have a few options I'm considering:
A Cape, New Look 6007.
McCalls 6442, the shorter version with the hood. However, as I was doing some research on coats for the well endowed, I read that hoods actually maximize your upper half. I never realized that I guess. It's quite a bummer because I love hoods. I know, wear what I like, but I don't want the girls looking bigger. So I may opt for the collared version instead. And on another note, the last couple McCalls I have made, I have been very disappointed in the pattern sizing and drafting.
Burdastyle 11-2010-124...in Shearling! Yes, well I said I was feeling ambitious. I bought some real shearling from FabricMart when they had a huge sale last year. I packed it up and moved it cross country. It is Winter in Montana after all so I am actually leaning towards this coat. I'd need to buy some cheap faux shearling to practice on first. I've looked at other coat patterns for shearling and nothing really jumps out. I found another Burdastyle but it's got a huge open collar and those I have found are not flattering on me at all. This one looks pretty straightforward. I need to make sure I have enough to make it though.
The dogs coats are boxed up and en route to Michigan. I'm trying to figure out what to sew next but in the meantime here is a shirt that I sewed up in December. This was either going to be a love or hate style for me and I actually LOVE it! I think it actually turns out to be somewhat minimizing on my upper half. The detail is above the bust so your eye goes up. I made a muslin out of dollar a yard poly and promptly chucked it when I was done but I found out I liked the design.
This is a yummy Rayon/Lycra knit from my old indie, Fabric Gallery, in Michigan that is no more. She retired. I found out she was selling out after I decided to move. I tell ya, if I had known prior to my move, I might just have bought her store!
I really am loving this pattern! There will be more of these, in fact, as I'm pondering a new coat to sew, I may make another one of these quickly. Once you figure out the construction, it's a breeze to make! I made my muslin wrong but figured it out before the final product.
Off to fondle fabric and stare at patterns to decide what to make next...
To say the least I've been very frustrated with sewing lately! Between lifestyle changes and body changes, I have no idea what to sew. I lay out fabric and patterns, put them all away, do it again, and then never sew anything. I really wanted to sew though so I offered to make some dog coats for some very worthy dog rescue groups back in Michigan.
One is Dog Aide, which was co founded by my very good friend since high school. They work as a uniting force for rescue groups in the Detroit area, trying to get everyone to work together instead of against. They help people be better pet owners, provide food, and help with vet costs.
The other is Detroit Bully Corp, which rescues and rehabilitates mostly bully breed dogs, of which I am a huge fan of. Love them slobbery bully kisses! They are wonderful, loving dogs that unfortunately have gotten a bad rap and are a victim of indiscriminate breeding.
I made a couple prototypes and sent them to my friend to try on her big bully breed dog to see if they fit. I had to modify my original coat design for the big head, big chest dogs. And now I am making about 15 coats to start with. I have some ideas for some cute ones down the road but for now I wanted to make a good chunk to send for the groups to use or sell.
I will get back to sewing something for me. I just don't really go anywhere now. I work from home, go to the YMCA, and go skiing or play with my dogs. I need to divest myself of some of this yummy dress fabric and buy more active wear to sew. Oh well, in the meantime, my sewing area looks like a fleece factory exploded!
So up next is McCall's 6656. I saw a picture of a knit motorcycle type jacket and loved it. I can't find it now but you get the gist. So I saw this pattern and thought it was perfect. NOPE! This picture looks fitted to me...does it not? Ok, so read the pattern description and it says, "Loose-fitting, unlined jackets or coats have front extending into collar, front princess seams, and two-piece sleeves"
Alright, so then I looked at the finished measurements and the XL has a finished bust measurement of 45. Perfect, just a little room. The package says I should be an XL. So I cut an XL in the body and a Large in the shoulders. OMG was this huge!!! The armcyes are down to my waist and I could fit another person in the coat with me. I took in the sides a full 2 inches on each side, so a total of 4 inches. It's short too. Even if left unfinished it would be short. I'm going to have to add a piece to the bottom so it's not riding up my back all the time.
There is SO much shoulder cap ease which I completely took out, but the sleeves are very narrow. I kept thinking it weird because I made it out of a knit/fleece type material but I don't think so. I am really bummed about it. I was so hoping for this look below but it looks nothing like it. Maybe it was just my expectations of the pattern but I am very disappointed in it. I keep thinking I may buy it again in the XS, S, M size and cut a Medium out and see what it fits like. But I'd have to adjust the sleeves....ugh
I'm trying to salvage it so I can at least wear it around the house. It's super cozy, warm fabric and such a waste. It looks OK on the mannequin and I just have the sleeves pinned on.
I anticipated this dress to be more of a headache than what it was. Thanks to all those who had tackled this dress before me, it sure made it easier. Plus, I went into it knowing it was a PITA pattern.
I did do some alterations before cutting. Those were to take an inch off the bodice and back length, along with an inch from the shoulders. I normally need to shorten the bodice, even with my large chest because my back length is under 14 inches. However, for this pattern, I shouldn't have done it. I'm stretching it like crazy. I managed to take small seams which helped but it's not draping like it should. I also should have cut out an 18 instead of a 16. My new larger size is really throwing me. I normally fluctuate up and down 5 pounds but this extra 15-20 is not just a smidge factor in patterns. I need a bigger size! I've been trying to lose it but it's just stuck! Damn getting old!
I do like this dress and it is very flattering, I think anyways. It is a very tedious pattern but if you know that going in, it's worth it. I did find another copy of it on ebay and bought it so I could make it again in an 18. I think it would be fun in a pattern as a casual dress.
Here is a quickie shot after I finished it. I'll try to post some of the dress up version.
I'm actually making progress! And two posts in one week after no posting for months...yeah!
Yes, the instructions STINK! Thank goodness I had all the resources of those who came before me with this pattern. I think that was one of the reasons I shied away from this pattern for so long. It's kind of nice to not be rushed and to sew at a slower pace. Although I do have a deadline of next Saturday!
Oh, and thank goodness for a dress form. I really don't use it much but for this it was absolutely necessary!
I am a fairly spatial person (Multi-variable calculus was one of my favorite classes...NERD!) but this dress is still a tough one to visualize. All in all though it is coming along. I can see how the finishing will be fiddly but I am hoping...HOPING...it will be worth it and be as flattering as it appears to be.
Here's a blurry pic off my camera phone...it's showing up purple here but it's more of a burgundy/wine color. Nothing fancy fabric wise, just a plain old ponte blend.
I have been sewing a bit. I made another pair of my favorite TNT Burda pants, aka Crazy Pants, out of red denim. I also made one of my favorite tops, a Vogue, of which the number escapes me. I got all fired up to do the wardrobe challenge on PR but could not get into it.
Sewing for myself now that I work at home is HARD!!! I don't know what to sew! I work in yoga pants and hoodies mostly. As much as I try to get up and get dressed, I find myself in comfies, especially if I work out in the morning. Most of my awesome clothes that I love are languishing in my closet...so sad!!! Plus I work all day in the basement, which is very nice, but my sewing area is down there too. At the end of the day, I don't want to be downstairs anymore to sew.
And no, I really don't want to sew lounge clothes. It's just not that fun for me. I ordered some corduroy and some yummy mohair sweater knit so I'm planning on some pants and a sweater. It's cold in my "office" in the basement.
Add to all these other issues, I have put on weight! Ughh! Not a couple pounds but like 15 or 20...nothing like a stressful time in your life to pack on the poundage! So it's also really frustrating to sew bigger sizes.
Ok, well now that I got all the whining out of my system...I am trying a new approach to sewing. I'm going to start attempting things I would never have done before or was too "instant gratification" to sew. Things like, lined dresses, maybe a fitted jacket, the details I usually skip like welt pockets, etc. I've been sewing fast and quick for the most part because I want something new now! Well, now I don't have to do that.
So for my first, "I'd never have sewn that" project, I chose Vogue 1087. The reviews on it are good, but all say "Difficult, but great for Advanced Sewers." There is a lot of hand sewing which is not my favorite. And I tell you, this better turn out after all that hand sewing...lol!
I'm making the dress for a little cocktail thing to support a local animal rescue group. I need to get out so I figured this was a good cause and a fun reason to sew up a new dress.