Thursday, October 23, 2008

Simplicity 3774

Well except for the hem I finally finished my dress, and I have come to the realization I probably made more work for myself than was necessary. Since I don't know a lot about pattern alterations (I'm currently taking a class) I more or less fit as I go. The fabric is a cotton/polyester? woven blend with stretch. I cut a size 16 as I need every bit of the 38 inch bust, and I was not sure of the amount of ease this pattern had to offer. The bodice was not difficult except to get the crossover point to where it fits well, but is not too revealing. I lined the bodice and shaped cap sleeves in white giving it a nice finish on the inside. The skirt on the other hand was another matter. I made the darts in the back, and the pattern is designed to have pleats in the skirt front. I basted it together and not only was the skirt huge, the pleats looked awful. I took it apart and recut the skirt without the pleats and sized it down to a 12. The skirt is now straight and fits well. Since I'm short waisted I also removed about an inch in width on the midriff section before joining the skirt to the bodice. Narrowing the midriff really improved the overall fit of the dress. I like the fabric because it has that little bit of stretch giving it a nice fit without being tight, but it frays badly. I serged all the seams, and inserted a center zipper instead of the lapped zipper that was called for. I'm pleased with the end result, but it was a lot more work than I expected. Next up: something fast and unfitted for some instant gratification!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Collecting Vintage Patterns

Hi All.......
I have not posted in quite a while due to lack of sewing time and a broken digital camera. I have recently been working on a dress that with a little luck should be done this evening, and with the use of my son's camera I hope to post photos tomorrow. In the meantime I found this great article on collecting vintage patterns. Speaking of vintage patterns I have been trying to locate Simplicity 6384 the Mondrian Color Block dress pattern from the 1960's. If anyone knows where I can find this fabulous pattern please let me know. Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 12, 2008


This image is from a website called Here is New York. It is a collection of photographs taken by ordinary citizens, documenting what they saw, and experienced that horrific day the US came under attack. So we never forget................

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Project Runway & QVC

I am not a QVC shopper. In fact I have never purchased anything from them. However I am a HUGE Project Runway fan, and have enjoyed every episode since season 1. I happen to be reading one of my favorite blogs yesterday Project Rungay and discovered season 1 winner Jay McCarroll was going to be introducing his first collection on QVC last night. Of course I had to tune in (I set my Tivo!) to see what his "creative" mind had come up with in RTW. I was pleasantly surprised to see a nice collection that included a few items I would actually wear. I loved the Checkerbox Topper Coat in gray and black, and the Silk Printed Tunic in the geometric print fabric. I was disappointed with Season 2 winner Chloe Dao's latest collection. Several of her styles were shapeless, and the colors in the collection were all over the place (IMO). Even the top she was wearing was baggy and not the most flattering style for her petite figure. To be objective I did go to the QVC site to view all of her items and her summer collection seemed slightly more stylish, than what I saw last night..
On the sewing front I am currently working on a summer top Simplicty 2962 that hopefully will be completed later today, and I will post pics. Maybe if I stayed off the blog sites I could get some sewing done..........

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July Fabric Sales

Damn these 4th of July fabric sales. Right now I have no time to sew, but I find time to shop and add to my rapidly growing stash. Joanne Fabrics was having a Vogue pattern sale $3.99 each. I love the Vogue styles, so I picked up a few. Also McCalls $1.99 each...
Than I went to my new favorite fabric store Fabric Warehouse. They were having a 40% off sale on all fabric. They have great quality knits there normally $4.00 a yard, BUT today 40% off (second photo). I also picked up 3 pieces of some silky/polyester type fabric (third photo) for under $2.00 a yard each. Well you know I can rationalize that for the price I just had to get them.......Happy 4th to all of you!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Project #1 Complete

Finally it's done! I haven't quite decided whether I'm going to put the trim under the bust line or not. For right now I'm just going to think about it. This top was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and trying to fit it as I sewed was a nightmare. In the end it turned out OK, but if I were to make it again I would modify some things (famous last words of every seamstress!) I've learned a lot making this shirt. First that my skills are very rusty, and secondly I have a lot to learn especially when it comes to pattern adjustments/fitting. I'm going to wear this tonight while I ponder my next project. Maybe a dress (that's not too fitted!).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Project #1.....Eight Hundred Dollars and Unfinished

This is my first sewing project in 30 years and already there are problems. My inspiration came from this top I spotted in a catalogue that I really liked, and thought it would be a great first project. I scanned the pattern books and found this which looked pretty close to my knock off, and even checked PR to anticipate any potential problems I may encounter (none posted). After finding what I thought was the perfect fabric I then began my project. As I was cutting out the pattern techniques were coming back to me that I had forgotten about. I was feeling good, and the creativity was flowing. I was having visions of wearing my trendy knock off and bragging about how little it costs (under $10.00 including notions and sale pattern) to make. Then the problems started.....due to my body shape (large chest smaller hips/waist) I was refitting the top every time I sewed a seam. This was a time consuming process as I had to stand on a stool in front of the bathroom mirror and pin the garment onto myself each time. My fitting "technique" was effective until I got to the side seams........then I realized this was no longer going to work ( I stuck myself several times with the pins, and even got it stuck half way over my head once). I decided I needed a dress form. I looked around, read reviews and found one I could purchase from Joanne's fabric for less than $150.00 (they were having a special 1/2 price sale with free shipping). After going back and forth several times whether I should or shouldn't I rationalized I could work an extra shift (OT!) to pay for it. At this point I was kind of stuck to complete the blouse as I needed the form to sew the side seams. I figured I could at least get the armhole bias tape sewn when the motor on my sewing machine burned old reliable 30 year old Kennmore bit the dust. So what to do? I went out and purchased a new machine (another Kenmore that was on sale for $650.00). It sews like a dream and I am thrilled with it. As of now it has cost me about $810.00 to make this knock off I could have bought for $54.00. You might think I am discouraged at this point but I'm not. My dress form just arrived a few hours ago and I think I have it adjusted fairly close to my own measurements. I have 2 more overtime shifts to work before I have the time to get sewing again, but when I do I will definitely post photos. That is if nothing else goes wrong.........
Today I decided to start my own sewing blog. Sewing was a big part of my life when I was growing up. A lot of my wardrobe in high school consisted of things I made including my prom gowns. Once my son was born (he's now 31 years old) I gave it up due to lack of time and life's ambitions. The last few years my interest in vintage clothing has really grown, but trying to find something that fits my 2008 body (large bust and small hips) has been discouraging (was everyone flat chested back then?). With all the vintage patterns and fabric available I thought I would try making my own vintage inspired clothing. It is also a challenge to myself to try to rediscover the talent I once had. Wish me luck.........