Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vogue 1250 - Donna Karan

I've been a sewing fool, then again, I'm into instant gratification and none of these things I've sewn lately is very complicated or time consuming.

This is a great dress! It is 3, yes 3 pieces, no zipper, buttons, very little marking. I cut this out this afternoon and sewed a bit here and there tonight. The only fiddly thing I can find with it is the side seams. They are kind of like darts in that they don't go all the way down and in my fairly sheer, light colored fabric, they were tricky.

This is some poly I bought online somewhere. I think FabricMart. I'm pretty sure it was a nicer one. It definitely feels and acts nicer than some of that $1.99 junk. It didn't shed and was very easy to sew with. It is thin though and required a slip and some Spanx. Otherwise you could see all of my tattoos and every lump and bump I had.

This is a great "going out" dress if you need something quick and easy yet really nice. I will definitely be making more of these. Donna Karan is a genious in how she makes clothes fit women.

For the next version, I will probably shorten it in the waist about an inch. It's too long on me which is not abnormal. Looking at the photo on the pattern, I think the back waist seam sits too low on me.

Stewie says "HI" again! And ignore my lovely shoe....;-) Hopefully, I will be back in my heels soon. I already miss them.

Vogue 1224

I'm working my way through the newer Vogues. This time it was Vogue 1224.

Another one I loved from the get-go. But also another one that is iffy for my figure. Generally I try to shy away from elasiticized waistbands. They do nothing for me. I need sometthing that delineates my waist between under bust and hip because that's my narrowest. Yes, this pulls in at the waist but it doesn't do much because I'm so top heavy. I did want to try it though as it would be nice for a quick summer dress.

I'm not completely unhappy with it. I did a few modifications like adding an inch to the bodice and adding two inches to the hemline. I bought this cheapy fabric at Joann's, once again, Red Tag 50% off so it was bout $2 a yard. I bought it because I wanted the border to go around the hem. Well, I didn't even check it but this is only 2 way stretch and it doesn't stretch that way at all! So I got creative. It is also supposedly rayon but I'm not so sure on that.

For this version, I cut an 18 which is actually pretty close to my measurements. I don't usually cut it that big because anything over a 16 is usually huge where I don't want it to be, shoulders, back, arms, etc. I figured though with this having elastic in the waist and neckline, I could adjust it easily instead of doing and FBA. I was mostly right. The elasitc is good to adjust it. I should have cut it smaller in the shoulders anyway though. It hangs on me. I think I will add the inch to the bodice but cut the shoulders smaller. It is pretty low too. I could not find any finished measurements on the pattern either so I figured I'd go big and cut down if needed. However, it's pretty comfy and fits ok. I usually have to add to the waist in a 14 or 16 anyways.

This is very short as others have said. I'm 5 foot 3 on a tall day and I added 2 inches to the hem. It hits me above the knee but it's an ok length for me. Two inches shorter and I think it would be too short for me.

I didn't add the lining, I was making a cheapy trial run, so I just folded over the waist seam to make a casing. I like the lining idea if you were making this out of thinner fabric. I just wanted cool and easy for this one.

It's a decent pattern.

Excuse the pretty shoe...I broke my baby toe the other night pretty badly.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vogue 1228 - Vena Cava

I fell in love with this dress the minute I saw it. I'm a sucker for 1920's fashions and to me this has that vibe. However, that era was not designed for curvy girls. I still love it though.

I had planned on making it out of this yummy silk from FabricMart that I stashed away sometime last year.

However my concern was that despite the love I had for this design, it would be a travesty on my figure. So, I perused the Red Tag sale at Joann's which was 50% off this week and found this, surprisingly nice, floral rayon. I've been wanting to stretch myself in prints and florals definitely stretch me. Plus, they are "In" this season again. So I picked this up for a whopping $3 a yard and whipped it up. Seriously, this is a super quick, easy project.

There are only five pieces, two of which are the sleeve tabs and the neckline binding. I would say that a beginner could probably handle this dress. It teaches you how to do French Seams, which I had never done. It has some funky pleats in the front and back but they aren't hard. There is minimal marking for this. They want you to put in a zipper...puhlease...zipper??? Seriously??? Nothing cranks me more than erroneous zipper insertion. I'm super busty and did not in the least need a zipper to get this on.

I'm on the fence about whether I will make it in the silk or not. The silk wasn't very expensive, in fact, I don't think it was much more than my practice dress here. However, I do really like it and didn't want to waste it. I'll probably give this dress a run through and see how I like it after I wear it. That is one reason I don't do true muslins, I like to test it out. I'm not sure how to style this oh, and the neckline is VERY LOW!!! I read the one review and did remember to check it, but it is deceiving! I could easily take this up a full inch! There will definitely need to be a cami of some sort worn. I was considering some kind of a lace modesty panel...yeah, lace! Really, this is a stretch for me...I love my harder, biker chick look ;-)

All in all, I'm happily surprised by this dress. I really thought it was going to be a total downer. It has more shape than I thought and isn't a total box. It's not my ideal silouette for a dress but sometimes you just gotta say WTF and go for it.

Sorry you got me with no makeup after a day home alone with nowhere to go but up to my sewing room.

You can see the pleat just above the bust line. You fold it up from the bottom to get the interesting pleat for the sleeve. It's not pulling, that's the way it is supposed to be.

And this here is why I sometimes have a stupid look on my face while I'm taking pictures...the doofus Cattle Dog makes me laugh doing his silly little happy dance!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another Vogue 8631

This pattern has turned out to be a favorite of mine. Vogue 8631. This is version 3. I actually sewed it awhile back but never got around to posting pics or a review. The last two times I've made this I used a knit. I wanted to try it in a woven this time. I originally purchased this fabric to make another Vogue wrap dress but used some of it in the lining of my Leather Coat so I didn't have quite enough for the one I had wanted to make.

I still have some fitting issues with this pattern. I cut out a 14 for the woven, which was still big in the shoulders. I had to take it up a good 2 inches because otherwise I get the droopy boobie effect which looks horrible. I am very short waisted though. On the bright side, there is no need for an FBA in this dress. Despite the adjustments, which are simple, I love the silouette of this dress. It's become my go to shape for my figure. It's very similar in shape to the Vogue 1220 dress, kind of tulip shaped.

I wore it yesterday to work and got many unsolicited comments from total strangers, including men, which is odd because they don't usually comment on things like someone's dress. Or maybe I'm just used to my oblivious husband who didn't utter a word about how I looked yesterday....grrrr...well that's a whole 'nother can o'worms!

Anyways, I love this dress and will definitely make more! And yes, I have on blue socks...I was feeling funky;-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Under Construction

I've been a bad blogger the last two weeks. After the crazy sewing frenzy to complete my wardrobe I had to step away from the sewing area. I'd been neglecting my hubby, kids, dogs, housework, etc. Plus I was a bit burnt out. It was still pretty cold here and it's hard to get motivated to sew sundresses when it's stil 40 degrees out.

In the meantime, I had been toying with the idea of revamping my sewing area. Almost 2 years ago I moved myself from the basement up to our loft. I lost a lot of room but gained the omnipotent watcher status so I could see and monitor all that was going on in my domain! When you have an 8 year old boy and 8 dogs, being sequesterd in the basement is not a good idea. While I loved the quiet and solitude, the constant running upstairs to see what this crash or that commotion was, got tiresome.

When I moved upstairs, it was a test so I didn't buy a lot of things. I used an existing desk I had bought from Pottery Barn (which I will never do again) that was in my old house but didn't fit anywhere else. I did find a cool little cutting table on Craigslist for $40. But other than that I just got a couple things for organizing.

So this year, my back has decided it needs something better and taller to cut out patterns. I decided to go with two Expedit small bookcases from Ikea and put them on casters for added height and movement. Then DH cut me a piece of plywood to go under a bigger cutting board. I'm going from a 30 by 60 to a 40 by 72 which is the absolute biggest I could fit. At first, this was all I was going to do. I had a desk for sewing, a desk for a computer, and I didn't want to dump a bunch of money in it. Then, as I was sitting there, I realized, darnit, I'm going for it. In total, I think it will be about $500 worth of updates. That doesn't include the extras I bought at Ikea when I was there for other things. Ikea is like a drug....good thing I'm an hour away!

So, here's where I'm at. Here is a just one picture to give an idea. I snapped it really quick this am. Here is also a link of how it looked before in a post I did awhile back.

I'm waiting on the cutting board which is due to arrive tonight before I assemble the new cutting table. Although I do have the Expedit bookcases under the existing table. I have the tables all together and up. I will be purchasing some wall mounts for my computer monitors. I need to put up a thread holder (I think). I love the new pattern storage. Those plastic bins that fit into the bookcases hold a TON of patterns and make them easily accessible!

I still need to reconsider fabric storage. I've hit my absolute limit. I have another 2 by 4 Expedit bookcase being used as a behind the sofa table that I'm replacing with a real table. So that may get moved up to store more fabric. My jelly cupboard may or may not stay. I'd like to put that downstairs with all the other antiques since it is such a pretty piece.

I'm hoping to have it all done by this weekend. Just in time to have to spend every waking moment outside doing Springtime yard cleanup...oh, the irony! And on top of that Little League Baseball has started so lots of practice time which means no sewing time.

Old Sewing Area

Friday, April 1, 2011

Back in the day

I was driving home last night from work and had this realization about how much my Wardrobe reminded me of my 1988 prom dress. The idea that I have "recycled" is pretty scary.

This was a gorgeous dress if I don't say so myself. My Mom made it for me. I'm pretty sure it was a Vogue pattern but can't be certain. It had a huge pink bow on the back of it. I didn't have a chance to scan a picture of the back. I loved having something totally unique and I guess you can see my tastes haven't changed all that much from 20 plus years ago.

My poor Mom went through heck with this dress and fitting me. I'd been very sick the last couple months of the year and lost about 15-20 pounds. Everytime she tried to fit the muslin, it was too big because I kept losing weight. This was the thinnest I had ever been since hitting high school. I very nearly did not graduate from high school because I missed so much school that year.

Gotta love all that big hair too!

Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my wardrobe. It sure was fun to sew! I fixed the link to the full photo album of my wardrobe on the previous post. Oops!