Tuesday, November 13, 2012

McCalls 6656

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.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vogue 1087 - Done

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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Progress on Vogue 1087

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.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vogue 1087 - "Difficult, but great for Advanced Sewers"

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.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wardrobe Contest 2012

I always seem to be a day late or dollar short when it comes to these contests but I think this is just what I need to get me out of my sewing doldrums.  Now that I am working from home, I have no idea what to sew.  I want to get up and get dressed in the morning but skirts and heels just seem silly and pretty uncomfortable for a day working from the basement.

I've decided to try and sew a casual yet luxe wardrobe for the contest or in other words...NOT Pajamas!

So here is some of my inspiration...

There are a couple other great links on Net-a-Porter but I can't get the pictures to save.


So far I'm planning on:

McCalls 6514 in the Wide Leg version in black knit.

Vogue 8837 Pants in Red!

And for tops maybe...

Vogue 8831

And...Butterick 5815

So far, I'm planning on Blacks and Reds with maybe some grey thrown in.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vogue 1179 - A meager attempt at some sewing

I finally sewed something last month.  I was going through withdrawal and needed to sew.  I picked the easiest, quickest pattern I had and knew I liked.  With my house up for sale and most things packed away, I couldn't pull out a bunch of stuff and make a big mess.  This is such a great bang for your buck pattern.  I've worn the dress a ton already.  Sorry for the poor quality photo!

I doubt there will be any sewing again for at least another month or two.  My moving day is July 16th...Hello Montana!!!  My stuff may take up to two weeks to get there but I am very excited about the move and looking forward to this awesome new chapter in my life.

I am going to have some great space for my new sewing area where I can spread out and create!  I am wondering though what to sew.  I have sewn work clothes for the last several years and my new job will be remote so my commute is to the basement.  I don't have to get dressed up but really don't want to fall into the "sweatpants and bunny slippers" habit either.  I do think it will be fun to make things I never was able to wear.  The more casual, fun stuff, that I always said I'd love to make but couldn't wear to work.

I purged a ton of fabric and old patterns.  I had every intention of putting them up here for free but the time contraints were too tight...sorry ;-)  I am packing a ton of fabric.  I am going to have to resort it out and maybe sell or give away some of the more formal work type fabric that I won't be sewing in the foreseeable future.

I will try to be more frequent in my posts even if it is only meager sewing and maybe from road trip pictures next month!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yep...I'm a sewing slacker!

I keep being reminded that I haven't posted anything to my blog in a LONG time by someone...:-) But the problem is that I haven't sewn anything since the beginning of February. I made another of the New Look dresses that the previous post was about. Turned out great with minor changes, I have pictures of me in it, but just haven't had time to get them on here.

I've been so busy getting my house ready to sell, getting divorced, etc, etc, etc. Another large time consumer has been my son's gymnastics. This is his first year on team and he is loving it! It takes up a lot of our time but it's worth it. I will get back to sewing...soon! But for now here are some pictures and a video of him doing gymnastics.

Darn, can't get the pictures to upload...

Yeah...got 'em to work!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Look 6097

I saw this pattern and had to make it. I love the wrap top and the pockets and the skirt...great dress!

Well, it was a bit frustrating trying to pick out a size. I measure for an 18, but 18's never fit me. So, usually I make a 14 or 16 and then cut a smaller shoulder/neck area since I am short waisted. I don't sew too many New Look patterns so I'm not sure if this is standard or not, but it had seperate pieces for about 3 sizes. So cutting out a 16 through the bust but 14 in the shoulders would have been tricky. I think the 16 top pieces had the 12, 16 and 20 on it. I usually grade the shoulders to the smaller size.

I was really torn on the 14 or 16 for this. The bust finished measurement is only 1 inch ease if I remember correctly, so the 16 measured 39 inches. But the waist measurement had, I think, around 5 or 6 inches of ease built in. Then I realized the waist had an elastic casing in it to snug it up. Now to me, the dress looks all across rather form fitting. I don't get how the elastic waist with that much ease would look. Long story short, I decided to cut the 16, even though when I put the Vogue 8379 bodice piece that fits me great(which is similar) on top of the 14 and 16, it matched the 14 pretty well. Doh!!!

So, I'm wishing I would have cut out the 14. The bodice is droopy and has gapiosis, but if that was gone there would be excellent coverage. Now, I'm not sure, but this could be a technique issue. They have you fold a neckline facing piece, stitch it on then understitch. It seems mine got stretched out in the understitching even though I had the tension and everything correct. It got kind of wavy. I thought I had pulled enough "extra" through on the bottom of the bodice when I basted it but it still gapes. I don't feel like I'm going to expose myself though and with a cami on under it, it looks ok. Next time, I will skip the facing and just fold over and use clear elastic.

Next time, despite the finished measurements, I will cut out a 14, or if I cut a 16, I will take up the shoulders a good inch! There is a lot of extra room in the bust, even on me!

The pockets are another issue though. They have you stitch them then topstitch them...wavy!!! I though about sticking some clear elastic in between before the initial stitching and wish I had.

And the waistband, they have you create a casing when you sew the skirt to the bodice. Then, to secure it they have you tack it at the sides. I went ahead and created a casing by folding up the seam allowance instead. There is a seam line visible but I didn't want the casing flipping around on me.

All in all, this is a nice dress. This one is wearable but if I make it again I will tweak a few things. I think the lines of the dress are slightly different than what is represented on the drawing and picture. The picture seems very form fitted but I think if sewn up according to the pattern it would be less fitted.

I skipped the belt too.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Playing Catch Up

I've been too busy to blog lately and I was reminded by someone that I hadn't updated my blog in awhile...lol! So here is a quick pictorial update of what I have been sewing.

I have been participating in the Fabric Stash contest but really just don't have time to document everything with reviews. But, at least I am sewing stash fabric.

First up...Dress up clothes.

Midi Length bias cut skirt..McCalls 6438. I modified it to cut on the fold and bias. I'm not sure if it was the changes I made or the pattern but the waistband didn't match up right. It's just kind of an ok pattern. I cut View C.

It's an ok skirt. The fabric was cheapy stuff off the red tag tables at Joann's but it's really soft. Not my most stellar work.

Butterick 5243:

I've had this pattern for years. I think it was one of the first patterns I bought. The fabric was a Fabricmart mystery bundle cut. I don't know why I haven't made it. I'm glad I did now. I made a straight size 14 and it fit well, except if I make it again I will add an inch to the bodice. It isn't a hard pattern but the collar adds some time to it as does all the gathering for the sleeves. I think I might make this again for summer with the short sleeves. I really like the lines of the pattern.

Next Vogue 8581

Once again, another stash fabric and pattern I have had forever. I have been tormenting myself with gathering!!! Both the neckline and sleeves are gathered on this. I made a second one which I don't have a picture of with casings and elastic on both instead of gathering. It is a slightly different look but went together so much faster. I will be making this for summer too in the short sleeved version. I really like it. My favorite thing is the high armcyes! It's a peasant top but it doesn't look like I'm swimming in it.

Elepant Skirt...I think it's Butterick 5466

I think I have a couple more things to post but need to take pictures. The sewing room is going to get broken down and minimized to put the house up for sale. So the sewing will be less...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dress Up Clothes

Ok, well I'm going to give these a try. Some of this fabric is going to be hideous to work with but it doesn't have to be gorgeous.

I picked up a pattern for 99 cents at Hobby Lobby, McCalls 5732. Despiste the horrible pictures, it has a couple cute dresses.

Here are the lovely fabrics.

From L - R: Poly charmeuse, open weave crochet in pastels and glitter, purple poly charmeuse, lavender acetate lining, turquoise poly something, some poly chiffon stuff.

Green poly stretch velvet...ooooh

I think I'm going to start with the green stuff and View B on the pattern. Kind of going for the medieval princess thing...then if that works I'll go on to some of the other fabrics.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fabric Stash Contest

2012 Fabric Stash Contest

Well, I entered! I'm not sure how much I will sew up but I will try. I'm out of town one weekend and another weekend is my son's first gymnastic meet. I think I will be saving all my hand sewing for that weekend.

I do have two pairs of PJ pants for him completed.

Up next is a bias cut plaid flannel skirt I've had cut out for awhile. Then I think is a pencil skirt out of this fun fabric I've had for quite awhile.

I was doing a Fabric Fast as well and doing pretty well...for me at least. I bought one piece of fabric, some special Milly Peacock fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics that I could not pass up! I bought some back in November from FabricMart and while I had been able to control myself in December, I fell off the wagon today! FabricMart had a some nice things on sale, then threw in a 10% off coupon on Facebook, then there was the free mystery bundle for a $75 purchase...damn, well I caved!

Oh well!

I was going through my stash and pulling out fabrics I would never make anything wearable out of for me. I started thinking about fun play/dress up clothes for kids. My good friend's daughter loves dress up so I think I'm going to make some things for her out of it. Maybe some fun twirly skirts, a cape, and maybe a dress.