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.