Thursday, December 16, 2010

Party Dress Number Two - Butterick 5559

I'm so glad I went with my gut. I finished this over the weekend and when I tried it on my husband loved it. Now for most that would be no biggie, but my husband doesn't say much. Usually I get an "It's nice" or "That works" from him, but I actually got a bit of a jaw drop from him which I don't think I even got on our wedding day.

Also, it was a good choice for the party which was last night. There was an array of clothing, from hootchie mamma to matronly and from jeans to sequins, so I fit in the middle nicely. It was also frigid here and this ponte is nice and warm.

I loved this pattern from the minute I saw it. I couldn't believe it was a Butterick. They surely aren't my grandmother's Butterick anymore. This dress is very fitted and pretty darn sexy if you ask me. I don't usually make things with that high of a neckline but I went for it. That neckline usually makes my bust look huge. I'm going to say that it definitely didn't minimize it but I don't think I look any more out of proportion than I normally do ;-)

The pattern itself is actually quite a simple pattern. You do however need to be patient enough to mark all the lines and the darts reasonably carefully. The goal of the dart placement is so that it hides underneath the folds of the lines. I have one that is slightly off but you can't really tell too much. Ponte is such a great fabric is you can wear poly, it hides so much.

Below are the pictures of the marks. I marked both the lines and the darts on the wrong side but should have done the darts on them on the right side. It was a "doh" moment. It ended up working out ok, just took a bit longer to pin them.



You do need to stretch the garment while you are stitching the lines so that when you stretch it to put it on you don't rip the threads. I popped a couple of them while trying it on and had to fix them. Straight stitching and a stretchy fitted garment are not conduscive. A straigter zig zag stitch didn't look right on the folds. I was careful when I put it on last night but it doesn't deter me from loving this dress. If I make it again, I'll make sure to stretch it more when I sew the folds.

I did end up cutting out a 14 and did end up only taking 1/4 inch seams on the sides. It did fit like they said it would. Normally Butterick has quite a bit of ease but this didn't. The shoulders fit me great in the 14 but I should have cut the sides from the bust to the hips in a 16. It would have given me bigger seam allowances and been easier to sew but I think the sizing ended up roughly the same. I don't know how I would have done an FBA on this and didn't even try. Ponte is quite a forgiving material so I just went with it. I didn't have any funky pulling across the front really, maybe a smidge but it loosened up as the night went on. This is quite a fitted dress though.

I'm actually extemely happy with the dress. I love the royal blue ponte, I love the fit and the style. I can see me making this again. I don't think it would work in a lighter weight I think the dress needs some heft to it. I might try it in a stretch woven though. Ponte is one of my favorite fabrics. I know lots of folks don't like poly but this one is a nice blend of poly/rayon/lycra from FabricMart. I bought it in just about all the colors they offered it in. I still have about 2 1/2 yards of this blue left too.

I wish you could see the details better. It was hard to get a picture of. Usually I take them until I get one I like but DH offered to take the picture and wasn't really patient in getting a good one.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Plan B

Well I made a practice dress for the McCalls knit dress. I liked it, but didn't love it. I think it was the fabric I chose. It was just some thinner rayon knit and it kind of drooped in the bodice on my. I cut out a 14 based on reading reviews that it ran big, yes, it does run big. I will definitely cut a smaller size in the shoulders on the next one. My practice dress is very salvagable but at the moment it just didn't interest me. I thought maybe once I got started on the good stuff I'd be happier. I laid it out all neat and was about to cut into it but just couldn't. There was that little voice in the back of my head telling me it wasn't right...ok, so maybe I'm crazy but whenever I have ignored this little voice, I don't like the garment. So, I listened this time instead of cutting in to the gorgeous silk jersey. I folded it all up neatly and put it away for future inspiration.

So, it really wasn't that I lost my mojo, it was just not the right pattern or the right fabric for the moment. Instead, as I told my husband, I was more in a $5.99 yard poly/rayon/lycra mood versus the $30 a yard silk jersey mood. I cut this out last night. It's Butterick 5559. It's not a neckline that I normally wear and may stretch it out a bit into a boatneck but I'm waiting to give it a try first. But holy darts and lines Batman! It looks like an easy pattern but there is a lot of prep to mark all the darts and folds. I cut out a straight 14 with no FBA. The measurements say it's 38 1/2 inches in the bust finished which is a smidge too tight for me, but I find that Butterick runs larger than they say IMO. I'm going to take 1/4 seams instead of 5/8 inch seams and then take in as I need to or not. I don't even know how I'd do an FBA on this. It has side darts on both sides of the front but they aren't even and there are three darts on one side but only one on the other. I have the front and back bodice marked and will take a picture before I sew them in.

And just to make things difficult, the pattern did not include one of the facing pieces in size 14. There were two size 16s. I even laid them on top of each other and they were the same. Printing error! So I had to grade down the 16, hopefully it will be right. It's just the facing so I can tweak it if necessary. I may end up redrafting them anyways if I make the neck more boatnecky.

Pictures to follow tonight.

Here's the fabric. It looks like it's $6.99 a yard but I got it on sale at FabricMart.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Party Dress Number Two

I seem to have lost my mojo...oh were did you go mojo??? I have a second dress to make for my husband's work party. But having found out that jeans are acceptable to wear, I'm wondering now if I'll be too dressed up. It's in a big ballroom and an event center. I guess there were several people who complained years past that it they didn't want to dress up. Well I just don't get it, I guess to each his own though. There will be several hundred people there so I'm sure there will be a variety.

At this moment I've decided on McCall's 5974 - Palmer Pleitsch Perfect Knit dress.

I didn't even have this pattern which is strange for me. I buy so much when they are on sale. Luckily, Joann's had a sale this past weekend. Someone brought up this pattern as a copycat for the Kate Middleton engagement dress. I'm not trying to copy it, especially since my fabric is a light tangerine color, but I thought it would really do the silk jersey justice.

I like to make a practice dress out of a casual/work fabric. I hate making muslins, especially for knitwear, but do make some for fitted things. So instead, before I cut the good stuff, I make a practice one I know I will wear. I don't doubt I can get it to fit and that I will like it. I just want the experience of making it once before I used the $30 a yard stuff for it ;-)

I've been working on a vest as a third piece in the Endless combinations but it's not going well and I got frustrated. So, I'm going to put that down and work on the dress. If I get the dress done, which I also need by the 15th, then I will return to the Endless combination contest. If not, then oh well...

It's so cold here that I will likely move on to my winter coat!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Burda Magazine 10-2008 Issues for Sale

I ended up with three copies of this issue. I have two complete issues that I want to sell. Now I think I've used all the issues, long story!, but nonetheless each one has all their pieces. The pattern sheets have all been removed from the magazine but are all there, however a couple may have been cut in half for ease of tracing.

$10 per issue not including shipping. Actual shipping charged but I have no idea what it would be.

Link to the archive on the Russian Burda site.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Party Dress Numero Uno

It's finished and I wore it last night. I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. This is a great pattern and I can't believe it doesn't have 50 reviews on Pattern Review. I found it shearly by accident. I was trying to figure out what to make and was perusing through the old Burda's I have. I need to pick up some more back issues. Anyway, this dress jumped out at me from the page because it was made out of metallic jersey, which is the exact fabric I was looking at making the dress out of. There were only two reviews on PR for it but both were good. So I made a practice version. I knew I would like the style and pretty much figured it would be flattering so the one I made was out of some nice fabric from a new to me ebay seller, High End Fabrics. This is some of the European Viscose fabric. This print is gone I think but the fabric was wonderful!

This isn't hemmed yet since I put it aside to work on the party dress. I didn't have enough fabric for the inside bodice piece so it is some grey poly. However, I think I laid out the pattern wrong. When I laid it out on the party dress fabric I didn't have enough either, but when I went back to the picture of the layout and actually followed the instructions, I had enough. I SMART! It really didn't matter though because you can't even see the inside bodice at all in the finished dress.

You can see here how it pulls a bit on the sides. This is why I added a little to the drapes. My party version did this too though, but not quite as badly. The other reviews mentioned something about this too. The dress is pulled together at the waist and over the bust by the drapes so I think this is just a bit inherent in the design.

Edited to add a picture of me in the print dress. I finished up the hems on it tonight. I see this as a major go to dress. I can see me wearing it a ton! It's that great combination of feeling like you're wearing jammies, being stylish and flattering all at the same time. A win-win dress!

I find I don't photograph well in prints. I'm pretty unphotogenic to begin with though. Despite the photos, this dress is probably more flattering in person than the party dress is in my opinion.

For the party dress version I did a bit of an FBA on this which amounted only to adding 1/2 inch to the drapes. The bodice underneath is plenty large enough without any additions. My party version is fully lined with either a nude color poly (at the bodice) or power mesh. The fabric was very thin and while I don't think it is see through, I think the lining makes it lay a lot nicer. If you hang the dress on a hanger, the front pulls the sides forward. Even though this looks like it should be wrong, it's not. It's the design of the dress. But as I said, I did add 1/2 inch to the drape side for myself as an FBA. You also might need to fiddle with how they lay. The first version I didn't have any bulging out of the drape, probably because it was tight. On the second version, the spot where the top of the drape attaches to the side bulged out a smide. This is the side where the drape is on top. The other side, the drape is buried underneath the other drape. I just pulled the edge a little tighter before basting down the sides.

Now for the party dress. Sadly, these pictures don't do this fabric justice. And these pictures were taken at 11 at night after the party. No wrinkles, stretching, etc! It's from EmmaOneSock and is the most gorgeous cream/gold metallic jersey. It's soft and yummy! It was a big seller on her website a year or so ago. I missed the first batch but then she got some more in and I grabbed it. It's been aging in the stash for awhile for the perfect thing to make with it. I was considering a shirt like the Jalie tie front top but then thought about a party dress out of it. I think she actually as some more on her website now.

I'm pretty sure this is the same fabric.

Metallic Jersey

Some interior shots.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A skirt, a wadder and a party dress

The Skirt: Vogue 8603 View A (without the back ruffle)

This is piece 2 in the Endless combinations contest. Great, easy skirt pattern. Despite the fact that I measure for an 18 in Vogue, I usually cut out a 16. It was kind of iffy with the finished measurements that were listed but I'm glad I stuck with the 16. The 16 is still a bit big on me. It's supposed to be a fitted skirt but I have a bit more room in it that I think I'd like. I did not line it since the fabric has some stretch to it. It's a beautiful wool stretch remnant I got from Fashionista Fabrics probably last year some time.

The Wadder: Butterick 5564

Wow, what a disappointment. I really thought this was a cute pattern but man did it look bad on me. I made it out of a slub knit rayon from and maybe that was part of the problem. I have decided I hate this stuff. Nothing against the quality, etc, but it is slippery, thin, and just a bear to work with. Oh, and the pleats in that thin, no fun at all! No more slub knit rayon for me. The shirt looked so sad a droopy on me. I felt like an old woman in a cartoon who's chest had drooped to her waist. I pitched the whole thing, pattern, fabric, and instructions into the trash. I've never done that before but there was no salvaging this. Now, though looking back, maybe it's that "Rose colored glasses" thing, but I wonder if maybe in a beefier fabric it would look better. I really do like the idea of the pattern, maybe it's just three strikes on it for me, bad fabric choice, bad shape for me, and my large chest didn't work together.

I'm so sad...:-(

Party Dress: Burda 6-2009-129

This image was taken from Fehrtrade who made this dress already. I apologize for using the photo and wanted to give her credit. The archive for Burda for this magazine issue does not exist anymore and I couldn't find a photo, at least on the German website and we all know how wonderful the US version is...NOT! Sorry, tangent :-(

Yeah, I found them, on the Russian website. How sad that they can't make it easy. The German site only has archives back through mid 2009 now.

If you remember, I have two parties to go to and one dress was going to be out of the metallic jersey from EOS, shown below.

Well I looked around and decided that I wanted something more figure flattering and was just perusing my patterns when I found this one in the June 2009 issue. I made a "practice" version which I absolutely loved. So I decided to cut into the good stuff. I'm about halfway done and tweaked it here and there with some lining and skipping the facings which I hate! All in all, it's coming out quite nicely.

Some in progress pictures. I've lined the whole thing so far instead of the facings. In the back and on the front skirt, which hasn't been attached yet, is a powermesh and on the inside bodice piece it's lined with some Vera Wang nude colored poly knit. I've had to rethink things quite a bit to get it to work. The shoulders are just basted together right now. I basically put the back shoulder piece around the front shoulder piece then flipped it right side out so you won't be able to see the seams. I don't normally make things with linings so I don't have a clue if I'm doing this the way I should be or not, I'm just making it work.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Anthropologie Knockoff Done and Piece 1 of Endless Combinations

Ok, well I'm not sure you can call this a true knockoff because it's definitely not exact. Maybe more of an inspiration piece. I think it would have been closer if I'd use the true fabric, a boiled wool. I didn't get the softness of a cardigan out of the melton, even cut on the bias, but I'm happy with it as a jacket. I've had this fabric for probably over two years and I've only been sewing less than three so I thought it was time to use it. I've been on a stash busting goal for awhile. Now that doesn't mean I'm not buying fabric, but I'm trying to use up some of my older and bulkier fabrics.

The collar was actually a lot quicker than I thought once I got going on it. I haven't knit anything since last winter so I had to pull up a couple of Youtube videos for reference. The hardest part was figuring out how many stitches to cast on. I knit about 8 inches in width, then folded it over. At first, I knit only 4 inches and even cast off, then I realized I needed to have it folded over. Well, that was fun, picking out the casted off ribbing...NOT!

I took some creative license and left off the pockets and the waist strip. I pinned it on and didn't like it as much with it. Maybe I'll change my mind but for now, I like it as is. It's definitely tricky to get it on if you're wearing a knit shirt since it's not lined, but it's cozy and warm. I left the front pieces unhemmed but decided to fold over a small hem at the bottom and the sleeves.

It was really quite an easy pattern to modify. I really love how this pattern fit me without any alterations. The only thing I did was slightly pinch out some in the back where it bunched. I will definitely be making this pattern again as it is. I love these multi cup sized patterns.

And this has inspired me to try and do the Endless Combinations contest on Pattern Review. I'm not planning anything out...I'm just going to sew something that goes with the previous thing I've made and see what happens. I do need to do a party dress in there though so we'll see how far I get. I'm thinking about a grey pencil skirt to go with this coat, maybe something also Anthropologie inspired as a theme.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Anthropologie Knockoff

And this is why I shouldn't make plans! I had planned on sewing some simple, easy basics this week. I had a couple t shirt dresses in the works, a skirt, and then a sweater dress but no, I had to go and get all creative and decide to knockoff this Anthropologie cardigan.

Best of the Bunch

I Googled it and found a ton more pictures and personal blogs of Anthropologie fans who bought it or tried it on and reviewed it. I found one in particular who was built like me and it looked really nice on her so I decided to go for it.

I didn't have any boiled wool, but I had some thinner melton that had been aging in my stash for 2 years or so that I got inexpensively from I pulled it out and washed it in Eucalan, then dried it on low heat. Yes, dried it because I wanted it to get softer and look a little more like boiled wool and a bit roughed up.

I had just bought this pattern without any thought to use it for this but it was one of the multi sized bust patterns of which I buy just about every one now. I can't get the picture to upload but here's the link.

Simplicity 2284

The only changes I made to the pattern were to the front center pieces. I started with Version E I believe which is designed for front buttons but no overlap. I doubled this piece for the underlap and then copied that piece and slashed/spread it for the overlap piece. I just eyeballed it really and then laid them on top of each other and did a bit of tissue fiddling to see how much bunching I wanted. I'm pretty darn sure I don't have as much as they do but my fabric is a lot thicker I think and I didn't want the extra bulk. I'm still getting the idea of the jacket. You can slash and spread as much or as little as you want to get your desired effect. Also, I cut out one version on grain but decided that I wanted a bit of stretch so I cut out another version on the bias. I like it a lot better.

Here are some in progress pictures. First off, my dress form does not fill out my clothes the way I do. The jacket/cardigan actually fits me pretty snugly. I am waiting to tweak the waist fitting until I get ready to put on the buttons. I'd also like to have the collar on before I do too much more. The shoulders fit very well. I pinched out the sleeve cap ease as I was inserting the sleeves, wow, that makes such a difference. Not more easing sleeves! I also narrowed the sleeves down, they were more full than I wanted for this jacket. I like the two piece sleeve construction. This is a nice pattern.

Second, I still have quite a bit of overlap on the fronts, moreso than I want in the end. The RTW version only comes over to halfway on the front center pieces. I'm waiting to decide how far I want mine to come over.

I hit the yarn shop yesterday and casted on the collar, twice, man, this knitting will take me three times as long as the sewing did. I'm a very novice knitter and I need to do this on round needles which I hate! The collar itself is around 33 inches which is too long for regular needles. I still haven't quite figured out how I will attach the collar. I'm going to finish the sleeves edges, they look bad without finishing. I think the RTW version is unfinished.

Well hopefully this will turn out decent. I love this cardigan but no way was I spending $230 on it and likely it wouldn't have fit my bust anyways.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meet me in St. Louis and some new projects

On a sewing vacation after the leather jacket. Not that I needed it since I really had a blast sewing it but it's time again for my other hobby, Flyball. Tomorrow morning we are heading down to St. Louis, Purina Farms outside of St. Louis to be exact, for the United Flyball League, Int. yearly Flyball Championships. We will get to race some of the top Flyball teams in North America. We also get to compete in an amazing new building designed specifically for canine competetion. We are coming up in the world. Usually we are in a dank, roughly concreted building with a tin roof on some fairgrounds. This is going to be wonderful!

Event Center

And when I get back, I have a couple projects planned. The first is a dress or maybe two for some parties we are attending this holiday season. I'm trying to be good and not buy any fabric (teehehe...we'll see how that goes). The first is probably going to be out of this gorgeous muted tangerine colored silk jersey. The second (if I have enough fabric) will be out of this metallic jersey that is so pretty. I've been sitting on it since last fall waiting for the perfect thing to make out of it. It seems to be a waste to make just a shirt out of it. It needs something important.

Then it's time to make a winter coat. I have this luscious olive green camel hair that's all prepped and ready to go. There's a winter wear contest on Pattern Review that runs from Dec 1 to 31 and I'll probably wait to cut it out until then. I haven't yet decided for sure on the pattern. It'll probably be the Vogue, but maybe the Simplicity. I like the back of the Vogue but the seam across the front of the Simplicity...decisions, decisions.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Leather Coat is Done!

It's done, it's done! I bought this leather in the spring when the McCall's patterns came out. This pattern came out and FabricMart had their leather skins on sale for 50% off at the exact same time...kismet! I only paid roughly $65 for the leather for this jacket. It's McCall's 6171 Made for You pattern, meaning it has prepackaged for cup sizes A through D.

I was all excited to make this then as the summer progressed, I got cold feet. I had already made up most of a muslin but didn't like the sleeves. There was way too much sleeve cap ease and I was leary to try and reduce it. It's not something I've done before. About two weeks ago, after I completed my Halloween costume, I pulled out the muslin and decided to try again. I wanted to make the jacket but I didn't think I'd go through with making it out of leather. Well, long story short, the sleeve modifications worked out very well so I decided it was time to be brave and use the leather. My new motto this year has been now or never!

I modified the zipper and took it all the way to the top. I actually stitched the zipper in up to the collar then when I turned over the collar with the lining, I didn't like it. Luckily, I was able to take out the first zipper and put in zipper number 2 in all the way to the top of the collar. I think it looks cleaner.

Here are some pictures. I plan on doing a review on Pattern Review here shortly to describe more of my modifications and working with leather. Leather turned out to be quite fun to work with. I'm even considering trying to make myself some leather pants.

Pattern Review Link

My dress form doesn't fill out the coat as well as I do.

I used glue I purchased from my local indie to secure the hem. I had tried it on some of the seams to hold them in place while I stitched them but I didn't like it. I ended up using pins, yet pins, and some clips. The hem is stil a bit tight but I believe it will loosen up as I wear it.