Friday, August 30, 2013

Reading is Sew Much Fun


Today is about testing, learning, and the building blocks for new skills.  For the past few weeks, I have been trying to up my knowledge with sewing and I have found so many new things.  I've also found more up to date ideas of sewing that I never knew.

When I was watching my mother sew as a little girl, I thought she was the fabric guru of the century and that she actually came up with the concept of making clothes.  I didn't know all the steps that it took for her to complete a project and as a child, what did I know?  In high school, home economics was just another class or an easy A.  I didn't take it too serious because my mother was always showing me things that the other girls didn't have a clue about.  This made my easy class so appealing and caused me to take the class in the 2 part session.

Well, needless to say, that like life, things change.  We are not instantly born knowing everything and as life changes so must everything else, including us (me).  Since I started back sewing last year, my childhood dream of being a fashion savvy diva who designs and makes her own clothing has kicked into full gear.  I've managed to clear out my whole closet, donate most of my clothes to charity, and go clothless since May of this year.  I am taking my sewing very serious and without fail, working on putting my closet back together with things "I Love".

I know that sounds a little crazy, but I have always wanted to have a closet full of clothes that I made.  I love the color yellow.  When I go to shop in the department stores I can always see something that I bought on someone else.  If I find something that I really like, most of the time there is going to be a size issue or a modesty issue.  Department stores tend to gear their sizing and clothes toward the smaller sized crowd or the younger generation.  It isn't often that I find the right size, style, and color all together in one item

Over the years, I've learned that sometimes people can buy clothes and wear the clothes, but there are instances when people buy clothes and the clothes wear them.  Meaning, just because something looks good on the rack or the "dummy", doesn't mean it will look good on you.  Certain styles are not meant for everyBODY and certain colors are not made for all people.  For instance, when I wear yellow I feel like a million dollars and I am genuinely happy all the way around.  If I wear blue,, that is how I am going to feel because I hate blue.  There are times when I do wear blue to appease others, but I am not the same when I do, so I tend to stay away from blue,,and yes, I have the good old faithful blue power suit in the closet.

Still, that says a lot about my journey into sewing and why I started back sewing.  The desire to have my own clothes in the closet and the skill to make it happen is what's driving me on a daily basis, plus the fact that my closet is very empty.  So, in order to fulfill my life long dream of ME clothes, I've taken the task on of reading and studying.  This past year has made me realize that I really needed to sharpen my skills with sewing.

As a beginner, a lot of the books written about sewing would have been so helpful, but hey,,,we're talking about a teenager,,,LOL. Even so, these books are priceless and they are helping me, now, to create the wardrobe that I could only imagine I'd have in my dreams   I embrace the opportunity to soak up any advice, wasted fabric, and many milled hours of sleepless thought trying to work through some of the projects.  My never ending fascination with reading brings me to a couple of books that I've just read through and I want to share them with you.
Fabrics A to Z by Dana Willard   and    The Pattern Making Primer by Jo Barnfield & Andrew Richards
Fabrics A to Z is all about fabric.  It shows examples of the different types of fabric.  It has a chart at the top of every page that tells you what a particular fabric could be used for ie, fashion, home dec., or crafts.  There is a chart that advises on fabric properties, care of that fabric, and how to work with that particular fabric.

There is even a guide for the different types of tools and notions that you might need or use.
The Pattern Making Primer is a must have for people like me.  My body doesn't seem to fit every pattern, so I have to adjust certain patterns more so than others.  This book is a total guide into making patterns and making clothes that fit you.  My last project was a test subject for this book and I am proud of the outcome.  I bought a pattern that was for my smaller body size last year, but I had not used the pattern until recently.  The sizing was from 8-14.  I guessed that my size was a 16, but my measurements were telling me that I was way off.  I ended up making my last dress in a size 20-18-18, but an 18 overall.  Meaning my bust was a size 20, my waist was an 18 and my hips were a size 18 (41-36-41 actually measurements).  If I had not read this book and put the methods to work, I would have had a fiasco on my hands, which is something that happened to me on a project for my oldest daughter just a couple of weeks ago.  It took a little extra time to do the steps, but I ended up with something that I could really be amazed with and wear in public with my head up high.  No walk of shame  I don't like being a size 16-18, but I love wearing clothes that fit beautifully.  So, I accept the measurements (while working out in my mind like I'm Jillian Michaels) and go from there.

Here are a few pages from The Pattern Making Primer.
Sizing chart
Drape method
I would love to share all that there is from both books, but I can't,,,not enough So the best that I can do is give a small review of both books and hope that they can help you as much as they've helped me.  

Both books are great.  The fabric book is a must have for when fabric knowledge.  With the different types of fabric on the market today, it's quite hard to decide which fabric to use and how to use it.  This book is an aid into deciding, fairly quickly, what to do with all different types of fabric.

The pattern primer is resourceful in pattern alterations.  Actually learning how to use your sewing tools is vital to a successful garment.  This book will help with altering your pattern before you cut which saves time.  The examples show a lot of different scenarios that pop up during sewing and simple quick fixes that  can sharpen your sewing instincts and skills.  
As you and I continue to grow our sewing skills on our sewing adventure, take some time to read, search the internet, or take some classes.  You'll find that in the end, you'll end up with more than you thought possibles.  I hope you enjoyed this book review. 

Until next time, LOLPOH, Dellia

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fall Wardrobe Planning with New Patterns from Butterick


For several days I have viewed ad reviewed the New Fall 2013 patterns from Butterick.  I have to say that not all of the patterns made the "Must Have" list, so today I'm only going to list the ones that did make the cut and a couple of possibles.

First up is this delightful vintage style pattern B5951.

This pattern is so soft and feminine.  The lines are plain and simple.  The puff on the sleeve adds that hint of femme fatale while the ruched bodice and sleeves smoothes out the rough edges.  Variations to the skirt allows for an A-line skirt or straight skirt finish.  The fabric choices (Challis, Faille and Crepeare kind of crazy, but I am guessing that this adds to the softness of the dress design.  I don't really like the fabric choice, but I can still see that this is a dress worth mentioning.

Keeping in line with guided fabric choices I would go with something like the two below and I would definitely stick closer to a solid if I wanted to be more bold and less feminine.
Next, I have B5949

I like this pattern, but I don't like the shoulder detail.  I don't like things that makes my body look lopsided.  I prefer the second view over the first one and I love the different variations of sleeves and skirts.  With the different options you don't have to make the view on the left if you are like me in cutting your body into separate pieces to intentionally look lopsided.  Recommended fabric choices Crepes, Wool Blends, Gabardine, and Sateen.   All of these fabrics would be perfect for this dress.

Now we come down to my 3 favorite picks.
Patterns By Gertie B5953


These 3 make it to the top of my favorites list.  I am totally a Gertie fan and I love her pattern (black/white).  Gertie has a way of understanding vintage style and women's bodies.  It seems as if she goes back in time to find the best of an era and brings it to life for today's vintage buffs.  My other two choices are just simple designs that will also withstand the fashion trends and roll with the times.  The last of the 3 is the coolest dress ever.  The fabric recommendations are Jersey and Cotton knits.  If you look at the fabric from the photo cover, you would think that it is a satin or silk, but it's not.  To get that  look be prepared to make your purse a little lighter, but know that when you are done, you will have a garment that shines (like Diamonds).  No $5.00 knits here!!! (catch a good sale,,hint)

With these being my most loved patterns from Butterick this Fall, I have to mention that I do not recommend these patterns to newbies at all.  I am only looking at some of the details from the pictures and I already know that these are going to be a handful for a seasoned sewist.  If you are a beginner and you have to have one of these patterns for this season, start with the Gerite pattern B5953.  Why this pattern?  The fabric that is used to make this garment is a little easier to sew with.  You might have more pieces to put together, but I believe that with these patterns it's going to be about the material.  And besides, you get to practice button holes.....Yay!!!.

Ok, down to the honorable mentions and my least favorite.
B5958 This jacket is awesome.  I would love to have one in every color of the rainbow.

B5952  This outfit runs the line of vintage.  I like the dress and I'm sure I've seen it before, but either way the fabric choice for display throws me off, but the dress is nice.
B5966 I am in love with this coat.  It has simple lines, flared bottom and no collar...Love It!!!

These 2 blouses are on point.  I like the sleeves on B5967 and I like the unusual character of B5954.

Finally, I come to B5962.  My honest opinion about this pattern is,,,,,,I don't like it as a set.

This suit is ok, but the jacket and the skirt together are not a good combo for me.  I am looking at the back view and I think,,,,"If my backside is already humongous, this suit will make me look like a HIPPO!"  However, I would still buy the pattern.  I think the pieces as separates are perfect.  The jacket with a straight long or short skirt would be nice.  The skirt with a softer blouse or a more refined jacket (closer fit) is a better combo.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Little Red Dress, Butterick 5640 DIY

Today is about my little RED DRESS that almost wasn't.  I like red somewhat, but not as much as I love yellow.  For weeks I had been contemplating this Butterick pattern and yet I had not found the right color or fabric for the project.  Last week I had come to the resolve that I would make the pattern, but what type of fabric to make it in was my delima.

I knew I had some broadcloth, but it was that dreadful red color that I wanted to use for something else.  I actually wanted the fuchsia colored eyelet from the pattern cover.  I have been looking for this color eyelet for a while and for some reason could not find the right shade (Bubble gum pink is not fuchsia).  So, after tossing the red idea around a few times, this is what came out of the "Red" rubble.

This was a great pattern and the dress turned out better than I had hoped.  I wore my strap up sandals today because I want to get every little bit of Summer.  I'm not a big fan of cold weather, so get out and enjoy the sun!!!  LOLPOH

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Vintage Inspired DIY New Look 6176

A few weeks back I posted some fabric that I had found at Fabric 101.  When I saw the fabric, I fell in love with it and at the time I didn't know what I was going to do with it.  That question was answered recently with a New Look pattern that I have had in my stash for a couple of weeks.

I wanted a dress that had a vintage feel to it and this was the pattern that I came up with and the yellow dot linen was the perfect fabric to top this pattern off.  I used all linen to make the dress and the white/cream colored neck binding just makes it so inspirational and reminiscent of the 60's.  My children are now teasing me about getting some white boots (that sounds good).  If I was going to wear boots, I might pick these,  this pair is cute, or these.  I'd like to think that this dress was made for a more classier easy going style, so maybe I will go with these, but these shoes are just what the fabric calls for.

I actually like the construction of the dress.  It was fairly simple to put together and wears great.  My only problem is that it is too, short.  I don't normally wear my dresses this short, but I thought I would make an exception with this one.  I really loved the way women looked in the 70's and 60's, to me, this was the era when women could really enjoy lively colors and prints.  The style of this dress reminds me of some of the dresses I used to see my mother wear.  She was really awesome in those days!!!

Thank you for joining me today. until next time, LOLPOH,

Saturday, August 17, 2013

McCall's 6566, Misses Tee Top


I finally found something that my oldest daughter actually likes and fits her style to a Tee. McCall's 6566 was the perfect prescription to finding something for my teenage fashion Diva's taste.  To say that her fashion sense is simple and plain, is a nice way of saying that she has idea no about fashion or style. Buying for her has always proven to be a big task because her favorite colors are either black or white.  Before school,
every morning, she will change her clothes 5 or 7 times only to put back on what she originally started out with.

So, what am I suppose to do when I have a teenager who has a weird taste in fashion wanting me to make stuff out of thin air,,,her way?  Compromise, improvise, and flip a coin.  I find that making clothes for her is a hit or miss type of situation.  If I make something that she halfway likes, she might wear it.  If I make something that I like, she will sabotage it in some way (not stand still for the fitting, lean her body to one side, or suck her stomach in during measurements).  I have come to learn that when she asks me to make her something,,,,ignore her initial elation about the project.  She means well, but at the same time I know it's going to be a struggle.  She is all excited for about the first 10 minutes and then she's gone.  I think she wants "Bewitch" to twinkle her nose and instantly her wish has been granted within those 10 minutes.  Teenagers, and a girl at that.

The answer to the million dollar question is,,,,,something quick and easy in whatever color she chooses.  My daughter is a girly type girl, but she is a simple girly girl.  I've noticed that she doesn't like the bows and lace side to girls.  She just likes to cover her body in something like THIS, THIS, or THIS.  If she thinks she is dressing up she might go for something like THIS or THIS.  Either way it goes, she is going to wear something that resembles a T-shirt unless I make a fuss.

Here is what worked for her.

This is a really simple T-shirt and it is very easy to make.  I loved how this top turned out and I look to make more for myself.   I hope you enjoyed this time with me...until next time LOLPOH,,, Dellia

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DIY--Circle Skirt


When I first began sewing my favorite thing in the world was a circle skirt.  I never thought that Home Economics should teach you how to make aprons, but clothes that you would one day wear.  My Home Ec. teacher thought the same thing.  She had us make an item of clothing for our first project.  She used this item to measure our skill level and then she would assign tasks according to how well our project went.  Several of the girls in that class did very well.  There were some of us who could read the directions and follow them pretty good, but there were others in the class who knew sewing was not for them.

Circle skirts seem to have played a large part of women's dress clothing for ages.  They are a popular item for any closet.  The different styles, lengths, and colors for some reason makes this a skirt the girly choice for me.  

I made this skirt for my little girl because she is the girly girl and she loves colors.  I didn't use a tutorial to make her skirt but here are a few that might help you make some for your little one or even yourself.
Flashback: Reversible Wrap Skirt
Circle Wrap Skirt

          A House Made of Straw Circle Skirt

A place to go for circle skirt inspiration.

Before I go, I would like to show you my little Girly Girl in her circle skirt..
This skirt took 15 minutes. All it took was 2 side seams, a casing with elastic and a hem.  Many more of these in her future!!!

Thank you for viewing today,,LOLPOH,,,Dellia