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.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Completed Simplicity 1466 and New Look 6303


Today I want to finish my last post.  I was right in the middle of making an outfit when I noticed that my serger was acting a little stranger than usual.  I felt kind of off balanced because I was really trying to finish my outfit and couldn't seem to get past the hurdle of a failing serger.  As, I said in my last post, I went to pick up my machine and I was determined to figure out what was going on with it and was I happy about the end results.

I managed to finish simplicity 1466 and New Look 6303, which made me very happy.  The big surprise here is that I have started another project and there has not been any faulty sewing going on out of neither machine.  The last couple of days has been like opening a new box and magically my "Dream Machine" is steady at work.  I'm really trying to say that I fixed my serger myself...LOL (yay me).

So, here's a look at my completed look.

Fergie shoes
 I am so excited to be done with this project.  I was afraid that I wasn't going to get it done and my straight stitch abilities were getting slim.  It was as if I couldn't think without my serger or get anything productive done.

So now I have a pair of Gabardine straight leg pants with ankle side slits.  These pants are so comfortable and light.  I had thought about making a little jacket out of the rest of the fabric, but I think I will save it for a dress (maybe?).  The top is a nice silky Challis.  I love the colors of both and the way they blended together was on point.

The Review
Pattern Description: 
Simplicity 1466- pants only.  New Look 6303- Misses blouse with different variations.
Pattern Sizing:
10- 18. 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. For both patterns.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved the pants.  The blouse was nice, but the opening in the front is serious business.  The opening in the front is completely open unless you put the tacking or a decorative pin to close it.

Fabric Used: Gabardine and Challis

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Pants- I had to do a tummy adjustment.  I used the Colettrie adjustment chart (  I also had to let the legs out in the thighs then all the way to the knees.

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

Conclusion: The Simplicity pattern was easy to make.  The adjustments that were needed were also helpful once I got done.  I completely made the pants then tried them on.  Once I could see that I actually needed help with the "Baby Pooge" I used Coletterie's cheat sheet to make the much needed changes and boy did it work for these pants. 

The blouse is a whole different story.  I liked the cover photo for this blouse and McCall's has a version that is almost the same.  I didn't like the front of the blouse.  It had the crossover in the front that I was looking for, but the bottom ( where the hem should be) seemed excessive.  A heavier fabric would have I think I should have used elastic all the way around, but I like the back.  It is an easy going shirt that has potential.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you enjoyed the finished look of today's post, Until next time.

Lots of Love