Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Look 6301 Faux Wrap Dress


As the warm weather gets washed away by crazy bouts of cold, I decided I needed another dress that would keep me looking cute while I dodged the certain uncertain weather changes.  To get my Summer/Winter look on I decided to go with  New Look 6301.  This pattern was the apple of my attention from the moment that I saw it.

Even as I saw the leaves falling and turning colors, my mind ran rampant with ideas about this pattern.  I had gone on an outing with the girls and all I could see were these gorgeous winter wrap dresses.  To my delight the color palettes were dreamy.  I had to have one, but my in my color and my style.
When I completed my project I felt as if I had a winner on my hands.  Some of the dresses that I had seen were pretty, but the colors were so Wintery and dark.  I'm in love with this fabric.  I got it from Fabric Mart a while back and I'm sorry to say that they are all sold out of this one, but they are running a sale on ITY fabric right now that is really making me a happy ITY camper.

The Review

Pattern Description: 
Misses knit dress with skirt and sleeve options and tie that can be worn in the front or the back.
Pattern Sizing:
A ( 8- 20)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The pieces were easy to manipulate and it came together rather quickly.

Fabric Used: ITY knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't make any adjustments to this pattern.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? yes and yes

Conclusion:  This is an awesome pattern to add to your pattern stash.  It was very easy to assemble and the instructions were great.  The ITY that I used was very sturdy (stable and not flimsy).  I liked how this particular piece of fabric made this dress look and feel.  I think the next time I will go with either a wool jersey (winter style) or a matte jersey.  

I am very pleased with how this pattern worked out and to me, New Look patterns make a lot of sense without a lot of fuss.

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Until next time.

Lots of Love

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

McCall's 6657 In Red


I've realized that it is getting cold outside and I've decided that a coat is in order.  This Summer, the idea of a coat was all I could really think about.  I kept putting it off and for good reason, I had never made one.  Of course you have blazers and light jackets, but when it came down to it, if you haven't gone to the attack of an actual "Coat", you haven't really delved into "fabric".

A few weeks ago, I made the jump, but before I even dared to tackle the fabric, I took a look at different online courses that would help guide me in the right direction.  Because I subscribe to Patternreview and Burdastlye I felt those two should be the starting point for more information.  Here's the kicker,,,just as I was finishing my coat Burdastyle came up with a cute quiz that helps you decide which courses to take according to the direction that you want your sewing skills to go.  That little nudge of direction would have been very helpful to me last month.  However, I began my project with a look at a blog I found last year, Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing.

Last year this young lady (Known to me as) Victoria, went through a personal experience with James McFarland and his dynamic tailoring techniques.  Her blog made me feel as if I were taking the courses with her, only I wasn't actually present to get the real deal.  Boy was I green, but now I have the opportunity to have a similar experience with Gentleman Jim because he is now teaching Master Fit: Advanced Tailoring on Burdastyle.

Needless to say that with this project I didn't have his help, but I will definately be having him next to me on some of my future projects.  So, here is my very first COAT!!!!

For this coat my daughter chose McCall's 6657.  I've had this pattern in my stash for a while because it is now OOP.  Believe me when I say that when I purchased this pattern my intentions were to make it right away, but the idea of a coat was more powerful than the will.  I had a piece of wool that I really didn't want to part with on this particular coat, but hey, it can only cut once, right?
I love the color of this coat and once finished my daughter was in love.  As I was putting the pieces together, she kept saying that I was making her a robe.  The fur collar kind of changed her mind.

The Review

Pattern Description:  Misses unlined/lined coast with different variations.

Pattern Sizing:  Y (XSM - MED)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were easy, but applying the lining was a bit tricky. (honestly, I started the lining before I read the lining instructions and ended up redoing another set of lining pieces, which makes that my fault. oh oh).

Fabric Used:  Wool

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I had to make a pattern specifically for my daughter and I used muslin as a guide for the fit.  With my daughter being a lot of different sizes in 1 the sizes ranged between the medium, small, and extra small. (as reference not numbers).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, Yes.

Conclusion:  This pattern would make a really good pattern to use with a less bulky fabric (poplin, flannel, or brushed wool).  I liked that this was an easier pattern that I had first thought.  It was similar to making a robe, but with more detail on the collar.  The front facing and the front panel had to be lined in order to get the collar to line up for tacking.
I used a heavy weight interfacing and a lot of steam and dry ironing to press this particular fabric to make it workable and to get the seams as small as they would go,  The pins are in place because the idea was to run a seam along the lines and omit the fur collar (here is where the robe look happens).  With my daughter the shoulders were way to long, so I had to cut 1 1/2" off both shoulders and the sleeves.  The S sleeves were too tight and the MED sleeves were too big.  So, I used her arm measurements to make a sleeve that fit between the 2 and added 1/2" for seam allowance.  The bodice of the MED was way too big from the waist down.  Here I had to take her measurements and adjust the muslin to suit her.  I had to take a complete 1" off the back at the top and graded down by 3" from the waist and 4" at the widest hip area.  For the front (without the attached facing and lining) I continued with 1' taken from the top, 3" at the waist and 4" at the hips.  With the lining and front facing I took 1" off the facing that attached to the lining side and used the same 1"- 3"- 4" for the lining piece that connected to the lining back.  I also used those measurements for the lining back.  The sleeve lining was made using the adjusted sleeve muslin minus 1/2".  

Once I had completed all of this it was time to try the coat on again and here is were my young lady says,,,,,,"It's too long".  I can't agree with her on this, but she kind of wanted an above the waist jacket.  I wished she had told me this earlier.  I knew that if I had left the coat as long as it was, she wouldn't want to wear it, so I went back into  the coat lining on the inside left side and cut away 5" from the bottom.  Then cut 1" off the lining and stitched it close all the way across the bottom, closed the side opening and now it is ready for the cleaners.  

Overall, I liked this pattern, but making this coat again is not at the top of my "to do" list.  My daughter has expressed to me that she wants more collars since the fur one is removeable and I do see those in the future, so as I complete those, I'll keep you up to date with that.

Well, that concludes today's post.  I hope you enjoy it.  Thank you for joining me.

Lots of Love 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

McCall's 7021 and Review


I think I probably said in an earlier post that Halloween kind of stopped me in my tracks with a couple of projects that I really wanted and needed to get done.  I started looking for new and interesting patterns for the 2014 Fall/Winter season, but making my mind up on which one to start with was kind of hard when there were some awesome patterns coming out.  Some were repeats, but I was still mesmerized when I saw McCall's 7021.  I actually figured I would make a few of these for my daughter, but I knew that in order to get her to like it I would have to make one for myself first.  Guess what,,,,It worked?  When she saw my blouse she was all excited to get one for herself.  She actually picked a leopard print jersey that I had and a solid red.   Halloween cut into the red one, but here are a few pics of the 2 that I did manage to finish.

This is my blouse.

I just turned under the sleeves for a small hem.

I decided not to do the waste according to the instructions because I wanted my elastic almost invisible.
I used a Rayon Jersey for my blouse which can be found Here, Here, and Here.  The rayon has a silky soft feel.  This is the last piece of fabric that I had from a previous project.  I was impressed with this fabric then and almost too happy that I had just enough left to make this top.

I used the same pattern that I had for myself for my daughter.  I was not about to buy 2 of the same pattern.  I had to grade it to a small so that it would fit her.  Then I made the sides in the front a little longer that what the pattern called for.   This gives a significant dip for the front part of the peplum.

After I alter the front, I used the front to match the length of the seams and then cut the back.  I applied her elastic the same way that I did mine.

I turned under the neck and the sleeves per instructions.

My daughter wore her blouse the very next day and she just loves it.  I don't know when I will get a chance to wear mine, but I'm sure I'll find an excuse to put on...LOL.

The Review

Pattern Description: Misses top with variations

Pattern Sizing: B5 (8-16)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. Completely

Were the instructions easy to follow?  These were the best and easiest instructions that I've had in a while.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I liked how easy everything was. From cutting to sewing, the whole process was a breeze.

Fabric Used:  The pink top I used a Rayon and the leopard print was a cotton jersey.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn't make any changes to my pattern other than the elastic change.  With the second one, I had to adjust the pattern to fit my daughter. (didn't buy 2 patterns).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I am definitely going to make this one again and again.  I recommend this pattern completely!!!!

Conclusion:   Well, I will say it again.  This is an awesome pattern for beginners and anyone who wants a quick peplum top without all the fuss. Construction time was about 2hrs without distractions.   I used 2 different types of fabric which shows how versatile this pattern is.  I will be trying a few other fabric choices for some of my other projects, but that will be at a later time.

Converting a pre-cut for my daughter was so easy (knit fabrics are so forgiving).  I will be using the same pattern for the both of us in other projects because this pattern will make you feel like a pro.

Well, That's it for now.  I hope you enjoyed today's post and I look forward to next time.

Lots of Love

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween Pirates and Simplicity 3685


The past couple of weeks I have been busy with Halloween costumes.  At first I wasn't too happy about it, but when my sister asked me to make her a costume I naturally picked up my step and got in to spirit of things.  The only reason I like Halloween is for the candy and the knowledge that I might possibly be able to talk my Mom into cooking me my favorite turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving around this time.

My sister on the other hand doesn't need an invite to enjoy anything.  She loves the Holidays and any reason to dress up, makes her a happy girl.  This year her theme for the spooky day was "Pirates".  She had come up with a color scheme for everyone to wear and she wanted a special look for herself.  The task of dressing her fell on me.  I was so happy that she decided to let me do my thing until my mind was running wild, but she quickly put me in check with "I want a jacket".

I had coat patterns, sweater patterns, and a few costume patterns, but nothing that I was willing to think outside the box on with such short notice.  Why?  I was right in the middle of making a couple of tops that I was trying to get the tutorial for, but I didn't want to let her down.

  So, I went out and found her a pattern that had the perfect jacket.  Simplicity 3685 was the costume that I used.   I was told to make whatever I chose in black and gold....Yep,, she told me to make it. lol.  It felt so funny to me to have her breathing down my back on this one, but it was fun.

Here's a look at the process and the finish.

With this pattern the bodice and the back was lined with a lightweight interfacing and I used a heavy weight interfacing on the collar.
Right in the middle of construction I decided that I wanted organza on the sleeves and the collar.
 So, I took the collar apart and started again.  The satin collar was pretty, but the organza collar just looked better since I had put some on the sleeves.  This tied the look together for me.  I already had the gold buttons and the gold ribbon.  I got them on sale at Hancock's, but I never knew I would be using them like this.  The gold chain look are chained beads that were sewn on and secured with jewelry caps.  The gold ribbon has a 1" trim between it on the sleeves and the same trim is used on the bottom of the jacket.
Here's my sister all dolled up.
My Matie topped her look off with a black and gold trimmed pirate hat, fishnet stockings, and knee high flat boots (for walking,,, trick or treat).  The pattern came with a makeshift vest and I used a gold stretchy leather like fabric.
My sister and one of her friends.  He looks weird with those eyes, but he's got the pirate thing down pat. LOL...

She already had a cute chiffon skirt that went great with the jacket.  When I was completed with the jacket, I didn't like the look so I stitched a seam really close to the edge.  That was something that I did to make me secure with the lining.

The Review

Simplicity Costumes for adults 3685

I'm not going to give a basic review because this isn't a basic everyday pattern, so I'll start with the fabric for this pattern.   The pattern gives several good option choices for fabric,,,Brocade, Satin, Broadcloth, Velvet, and my thoughts about the fabric would be how much do you want to spend and how fancy do you want it.  Broadcloth would be on the less expensive side and this is where you would say "you get what you pay for".  On the other hand if you want to be in line with a more traditional look you will put a little more into your fabric, but they all would make this project well.

Next, the instructions were so very on point!!!!!  I believe that a determined beginner could make this jacket,  The grommets were easy to do, so don't be afraid of those.  I got my kit a few months back and had avoided doing anything with them because there wasn't anything that I wanted to do that required them, but this would be a great starting place if you want to try your luck with grommet placing.

Finally, I didn't have to do a lot of calculating or grading to get this Simplicity pattern to work.  This was an easy going process that took a few days to put together (aside from the embellishments).  I can't say how many hours I put into it, but a plain jacket wouldn't take that long.  If you can imagine it, just go with it and see what comes up.

Overall, this was a good pattern and a great fit into any costume stash.  I am definitely glad that I've added it to mine.

Thank you for joining my Halloween antics.  Until next time.

Lots of Love
I forgot to show you what I got in exchange for the costume. :-)
I'm so Happy....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homecoming Dance and McCall's 6646


The last couple of days were filled with trying to put together a dress for my oldest daughter's homecoming dance.  I actually wanted to start the project weeks ago, but as normal it is going to be a last minute decision to either go or what's in the lineup for what to wear.  I also know that we are going to bump heads on this subject, but this year,,, I actually won.  I made my mind up and came to a resolve within myself that I would not argue or fuss about her apparel choices, I would just make whatever she said she wanted.

Last month I tried so hard to get her to let me make her dress or even let my buy a dress for her, but she was undecided about going, but I noticed everyday she would come in from school talking about homecoming and sharing with her friends what she wanted to wear.  I could over hear all types of colors and this one pair of shoes she was trying to fit into her agenda.  I moved around the house and continued on as if I were oblivious to her schemes.

Well, I decided to go to Joann's fabric store for some simple supplies (zipper, buttons, pellon, etc.).  Once she got inside the fabric store, her eyes lit up and her wheels were turning.  When I go to the fabric store, I like to take a look around and see all the beautiful fabric.  Maybe sit down and look through the pattern books for inspiration.  So, that means that I will be there for a minute.  Out of all the time that I have been sewing, my oldest daughter was never interested in going with me to a fabric store or even looking at raw fabric.  She's one of those girls that likes things ready to go, but this day was different for her.  She was like a kid in a candy store.  When she found her fabric, she instantly picked it up and wouldn't put it down.  Then she told me she needed a pattern.

The pattern that she chose, I had already suggested it to her a few weeks back, but she couldn't see where I was going with it and lost interest just as fast as I put it in from of her.  McCall's 6646 had a really cute envelope photo that appealed to both of us until she decided she didn't want any straps.
For me, this dress was perfect for a party, so here is the big reveal and review.

Jessica Simpson Justinah Gladiator Sandal available Here and Here.
The Review
Pattern Description:  Lined dresses have close-fitting, boned bodice variations with or without straps, circular, short, double or long tiered skirt, back zipper, purchased trims and petticoat

Pattern Sizing: B5(8-10-12-14-16)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Not really.  I believe I found a discrepancy with the style that I chose.  I am still unsure about it, but my pattern called for 2 skirt front pieces to be cut, looking at the illustrations and thinking about it, it didn't make sense to go with 2 complete pieces unless you were trying to go completely 50s or 60s with a very wide skirt.  That was not the look that I was going for. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn't like this pattern without the straps.  I think the straps are what makes this dress complete.  I also found that the pattern only called for boning in the back of the bodice, so I had to take the whole dress apart to add the front boning to the bodice.

Fabric Used: Satin and Charmeuse.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I ended up cutting 1" away from all bodice seams.  The pattern sizing was way too big.  I cut 1/2" from both sides to make it equal all the way around.  I left the skirt as it was and used gathers (ease) to assemble it to the bodice.  I also installed an invisible zipper which gave it a clean finish in the back.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would love to try this dress again.  If I had to do it again, at least I would know which direction to go (not using the instructions is a start).  

Conclusion:  Overall, this is a good pattern for young adults, teens, and pre-teens if there is ever a formal occasion and a question of what to pick.  It can be made with just about any type of formal fabric,,, Satin, Shantung, Lace, Sateen, Charmeuse, Taffeta,etc.  My daughter chose the Charmeuse and I chose the Satin.  I used a nice weight Satin for the bodice to help with the structure of the sweetheart top.  I love the way the soft Charmeuse swayed with the slightest blow of wind.  A stiffer fabric would have made the skirt stand out more and not move as much, but that too would be a personal taste thing.  The envelope cover is a Satin and taffeta lace combo which I thought was what turned my daughter on to this pattern.  She was very satisfied with her results and didn't want me to make a tulle slip because the drape of the Charmeuse was what she wanted for this dress.  Once I was done I could see her vision.

If you intend to make this dress be sure to measure all the pieces first.  Do any necessary grading before you cut.  I also suggest that you use boning in the front whether you use straps or not.  Even though I got my pattern last year there still may be some issues that have gone unnoticed with this pattern.

Well, I am off to start another project and I hope you enjoyed today's post. 
Until next time,

Lots of Love

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vogue 8871 In Black And White


I have been seeing the Little Black dress (LBD) popping up everywhere and I have been wanting me one with an edge.  Quite naturally, I am not fit enough for a "Body Con" dress, but I did find something that I could make work for me.  Everyday I would log online and see celebrities with their fit bodies in those tight leather dresses and I was so "green".  The fact that I couldn't wear a tight fitted dress was not a determining factor because I had envisioned my dress with little touches of leather and not all leather.

Here are a few inspiring celeb looks that caught my attention.
Rihanna is so daring and racey with her fashion sense.  I wouldn't wear this outfit now, but it appeals to the younger side of me as does most of her styling trends..
I will be one of the first to admit that Angelina has a flare for the rugged classy edge.  Both of these dresses make me swoon, but they still aren't on the top of my must have list.
Here are the dresses that suit my take on leather.  I am not particular about the whole dress being in leather, but the style of dress make sense to me and my body.  Which one do I like the most....All of them.  So, keeping this type of dress in mind I began my search for the pattern that would lead me to a fulfilled leather dream.

Vogue 8871 was my pattern of choice.  I could see clean lines and a very flared skirt with this pattern.
I had gotten this pattern when it first came out because I thought the envelope dress was extremely exciting and challenging.  As I kept tossing the concept around in my head, I saw a solid colored dress and decided to strike the zig-zag look out the door.  I had a piece of ivory colored ponte knit that was begging me to make something with it and I also had 1 yard of leather like fabric that was intended to be a skirt that just jumped on the table and screamed,,,"Me Next!!"  So, the task was on to go with a inverted LBD and make a LBWD (Little Black and White Dress)..hehehe.

So, here's my solution to my leather fetish.
I will mention this because it was too funny,,,keep an eye on the ducks...
As I was taking pictures the ducks got closer and closer.  There were 2 adults and 6 babies.  I was almost scared to continue because I know them momma ducks get a little excited about their babies, but they really wanted to smile for the camera.

The Review
Pattern Description: 
Close-fitting, flared, pullover dress has seam detail and narrow hem.
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, this pattern has staying power.j

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? My favorite was that there were only 5 pieces.  I added the neck binding myself.

Fabric Used: Medium weight Ponte Knit and leather like knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't make any adjustments to this pattern other than a neck binding.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? yes and yes

Conclusion:  If this pattern is not a part of your collection, get it.  I like the short version and I am definately going back for a longer version.  This pattern is from the very easy Vogue collection and I think that a beginner would be able to study this pattern and come up with a very professional looking dress.  It is very versatile with the jersey fabric list.  The heavier the fabric the less swing you will get from the skirt, the lighter weight fabrics will give more swing to the skirt.  I also think that this could be completely made out of the leather like knit that I used (will need a lining for comfort).  The pattern suggests using Jersey and Ponte knit.  I do too.  I am thinking of using a jersey for my long skirt version because the swing in this dress is awesome.  It's also well suited for all body types, which makes this pattern stand out as one of my favorites for longevity and versatility.

I hope you enjoyed today's post, Until next time.

Lots of Love

PS,, Here are my watchers that I just couldn't resist posting.