Saturday, August 23, 2014

Casual Wardrobe Boost Update and Review 2


While I am still trying to get finished with other projects, I want to post my findings from my recent pattern wardrobe boost for casual clothes.  I love wearing the fancy materials, but let's face it, I'm not going to be wearing shantung and silk around the house.  Normally when I get up in the morning I will grab something made of cotton and most likely elastic in the waist.  If it's a dress it will be something to just throw on over my head and no thought about how it looks.

My idea for this little challenge came to me when I started trying to catalog my pattern stash.  I realized that I had purchased some patterns while I was at Walmart.  In case you didn't know, Walmart carries just about everything and you can get it at a reasonable price.  Me, I like reasonable prices and Walmart is my store for low prices and sales for just about anything that I could want or need.  Which leads me to the patterns that I have chosen to boost my wardrobe with.

In giving my reviews, I want to be as candid as I can about them that way you won't feel like you've wasted $2.00 on a pattern that really isn't well thought out or won't produce a good garment.  When I first started back sewing, Walmart was my pattern store.  I didn't want to go to Hancock's because I didn't think that I would be sewing as much as I am now and I also didn't think that I had the skills to stand around in a specialty store with all those experienced sewers and creative thinkers.  Little did I know that those specialty stores (Hancock Fabric and Joann's) would be just what the dr. ordered for my low skilled self-esteem.  But Wally World was still on the top of my list for patterns that I couldn't find at one of the specialty stores.  Fabrics that I wouldn't let myself buy in Hancock's or Joann's, I could and often times did buy at Walmart.

Today's pattern is just a casual dress that was purchased from Walmart.  For some strange reason, it had an appeal to me that just spoke "casual".  I liked the cover photo and thought that it would make a good "mommy" dress for school meetings or just running around town.  It's Sew Easy 2120 is about as low key as a garment can get, but I could also see that it had the potential for a little more.
Here is the dress made with a ponte knit.  I wasn't too pleased at first because Sara has a way of either making things look too good or not good at all.  I couldn't see how nice it was until I placed a small belt around the waist.
Now, this dress is more along the lines of what I'm looking for in a casual aspect.  I would feel totally comfortable with the dress at church, a school meeting, or just beating about town.  I've tried to find this dress with some other sewing bloggers, but Tanya Today was the only one that I could find that seemed to have any results for this dress.  I loved how her dress turned out and she even says that it was her first completed garment.  Yay, Tanya!!
I made my sleeves a little different from the pattern because I wanted something different.  I sometimes change things when I'm going my own way.
I have a cute little neck band that actually looks like a rolled band, but I trimmed the seams, pressed really good, then stitched about 1/4" from the seam line.

This is the back.  The pattern called for a seam down the middle of the front and the back, but I only kept the seam in the back. Since I am a pocket person, I'm thinking that pockets would have gone great with this one.

The Review
Pattern Description:   Misses dress with scarf

Pattern Sizing:   10-18

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?  I liked this pattern for it's simplistic values, 2 main pieces and 2 bindings.

Fabric Used:  Ponte knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made a single piece out of the front so that I wouldn't have a seam in the front.  I changed the sleeves to have a stitched line part the way instead of an overlap look.  I slimmed the hips to make the bottom more straight.  I used a 1/4" seam to add more flare to the neckline and sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes. I think I will try the shantung that I had for this dress.  Yes. I think this is a good first pattern.

Conclusion:  This is really a good pattern for beginners and a good pattern for more advanced sewers who want a quick pic-me-up.  I think this dress could be made with a lot of different fabrics and turn out different with each different one.  I chose not to have a middle seam in the front, but a fabric with more drape would make the seam almost invisible.  By grading the hipline down I made the dress more straight and that was because the ponte knit was a little stiffer than a satin or challis.  Fabrics with more drape would make the flared hem look more subtle and give the dress a fancier look.  I hope to remake this one again because I really love and easy pattern.  If you don't have this pattern,,,,,try it and put your own spin to it.

Well, that's it for this post.  Thank you for joining me today.. Until next time,

Lots of Love

Friday, August 22, 2014

Casual Wardrobe Boost Update and Review 1


Today, I want to post the results from my wardrobe boost It's Sew Easy projects.  I have compiled a few photos of the finished projects that I did manage to do and a few words about the patterns themselves.  The reason I chose these patterns for my projects is because they are patterns that you would find at just about any Walmart.  I remember a time when I was not so avid about sewing, but I would buy an occasional pattern here and there whenever I was in Walmart.  A lot of people will actually do the same thing because the price of the patterns are really low, but there are several questions that I would ask myself when I bought Walmart patterns.
1- Are these patterns as good as a regular Simplicity pattern?
2- Are the instructions complete in detail?
3- Will my project turn out like the photo?
4- Will this be a pattern that I will use more than once?
These are just a few of my major concerns with the It's Sew Easy patterns from Walmart and here is where and when I decided to put some of my fears to rest.

First on my Review scale is It's Sew Easy 1853.  This is a skirt pattern that had various skirt lengths, elastic waistband, pouch pockets, and tie front.  This pattern appealed to me because of the many possibilities.  I am going to show the pattern in it's original version spruced up my way and then I will show it in one with my own twist.

Original Version My Way
As you will see with the pattern instructions, you can use lace, ribbon, d-rings, or bias tape to create your own personal touch.  I chose bias tape because I didn't want to go out and get a set of d-rings ( I already had bias tape).
  These are the pockets.  The first picture is the line up of the darts on the pockets and the 2nd picture are the pockets trimmed with a contrasting bias tape.
Here I was trying to decide between 2 different sizes of bias tape.  I actually liked the small sized tape, but I found it interesting that the larger tape just captured my attention a little more (top picture).
I chose to go with the small bias tape on the pockets and the larger tape on the hem.  I finished the look off with a black top.  The fabric is a light weight linen that I had gotten from Hancock Fabrics last year.  This fabric is perfect for Summer time.  I like the way it makes the skirt stand out with very little effort and it has a great deal of comfort.

My Altered Version

 I didn't want the side bucket pockets for this project, so I used a pocket piece from another pattern that I liked, cut the pattern shorter than the first version.  All of it together was cut from 1 1/2 yds. cotton fabric.
With this version I decided to use just 1 piece for the front and 2 side pieces for the back.  I wanted the skirt to be more along the A line look with an elastic waist and side seam pockets.
Here are the button holes for the drawstring pulls.  The holes were sewn to the front side only.
These are the pockets.  I took the pockets and basted them to the front of the skirt before setting the waistband.
 With his skirt I topped the look off with a pink V-neck tee.  Instead of using twill tape for the ties, I made a self tie from the fabric.  This is what the skirt looks like from the front.
Back view.  The hem was serged and turned under and trimmed in contrasting cream colored thread.
Pockets,,,, Yes, this is going to be my favorite skirt.  I love the fit of this skirt.  The cotton fabric is so soft and easy to iron.  It makes me want to have a load of these in every color.

The Review
Pattern Description:   Misses skirt with length variations, elastic waistband, and pockets.

Pattern Sizing:   XS-XL

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, they were very easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I absolutely loved the ease of the pattern.  There were straight lines and pockets which made for a quick basic project..

Fabric Used:  Project 1-Linen.  Project 2- cotton.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Changed the pockets in project 2 and length.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes. I am going to make this pattern as a maxi skirt.  Yes. I think this is a good first pattern.

Conclusion:  This is an excellent pattern to have in your pattern stash.  It was very easy to read and simply looking at the illustrations are a great help as well.  I can see this skirt with several different types of fabric,, satin, silk, shantung, woven blend, poly blend.  There are a numerous amount of fabrics that would suit this pattern.  The pockets can be eliminated or changed very easily.  Trims can vary from ric-rac, lace, and ribbon, or anything that you want to accent your garment.  The elastic in the waistband is kind of thin.  If you want a full inch in the waist, adding another 1/2" to the waistband pieces and keeping the buttonholes in the same position should make for a more firm waistband.  If this is one of the patterns you bought on a trip to Walmart, I would suggest that you give it a try.  It's a good beginner pattern and a quick cute pattern for the more advanced sewer.

Thank you for joining me, Until next time

Lots of Love

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Senior Year Congratulations!!! School's In Session


This has been a really fast paced, lost track of time, and busy last 2 weeks.  I actually had a lot going on and didn't realize that I would be pushed for time (I get that way sometimes).  I woke up at 5:55 a.m. this morning just so I could go from room to room cutting on lights and greeting my girls with a smile and a very loud, "GOOD MORNING"!  During all my planning and gathering of upcoming sewing tasks, I actually forgot that today the children were scheduled to go back to school.  So, that meant that my sewing plans that I started with for August were put on hold.

The past 2 weeks I had driver's license to get, school documents to fill, senior pictures to sit for, and teachers to meet.  Wow, who would have figured that every year the schools would need "Proof of Roof" the way these people do.  It seemed like everytime I closed my eyes it was time to open them again.   Paper on top of more paper had to taken here and copied there.  My feet and all of me is just plain tired.

Hearing the rumble of the passing buses was almost music to my ears.  It was a sign that Summer for the girls had come to an end and today school was back in session.  I love it when Summer starts and all the kids start going outside to play.  The constant laughter, bouncing of basketballs, and bicycle riders brings a sense of joy to my heart but, today is a day all too different for me.

Today is a day that marks a benchmark for my oldest daughter and her final year of high school.  With all the scurrying that the girls were doing to prepare for the day, I pasted a smile and inside my heart was breaking.  As I drive my girls to school,  I found that taking my little one to school didn't  hurt quite as much as it use to.  But, when time came for my oldest daughter to make her exit out of the car, I could feel an elephant sitting on my chest.  I couldn't show her that I wasn't the strong mom that she thought I was, so I joked about all the paperwork during our ride to her school.  When she made her little departure at the "Tower",  I drove off looking in the rearview mirror the whole time.  I even had the nerves to look back once I got to the red light.  My thoughts were far away to my last year of school and how my mother must have felt my last year.  Was it this hard for her?  Did she have her apron strings tied in a knot as I do now?  I am only going to say that I have an awesome Mom and I know that if I am having these knots in my stomach, she definitely had far worse when I stepped into my senior year.

Loosening those strings will be so hard.  It gets to where every time I look at her I see that little baby that I brought home with me from the hospital 17 year ago.  I want to hold her in my arms and rock her the way I use to, but lord, she's gotten so big I don't think my lap can hold her like that anymore.  I have spent many years trying to give her the best of me and fill her with the best that my Mom past down to me.  I pray that she will always remember who she is and whose she is as she begins this new year that is a prelude to her adult life.

For all the parents who will be taking this journey with me this year, I wish  you strength and lots of love.  As we shed our tears and open our memory banks to yesteryear remember that when it's all said and done,,,We did the best we could do with what we had at the time we were doing what we did and when you have done all you can do,,,All you can do is enough.

                    Happy Senior Year My Little Sweetheart

Thank you for joining me today for this special post.  I will be back on task soon.  Until then,,,,,

Lots of Love