Monday, November 5, 2012

Lots of New Stuff!

Boring post because there are no pics today.  However, I've been very busy and my machines have been smokin'!  First off, I made a quickie, no-pattern-needed knit top from the Threads website.  I became a Threads Insider last month and have been checking things out here and there and am very interested in reducing my stash.  Thus, my vast knit stash has been reduced by at least yard.  I know, I know, just a yard.  But every little bit helps.

Second, I'm halfway through making a dress for myself from my previous post on my daughter's McCalls black LBD.  She liked it and took it back to college .  It was a little short for me though.  Again, using up some stash yardage of a beautiful blue and black shiny brocade purchased from the first PR Weekend I attended.  About 2007, I think.  

And finally, a quick knit top from my Textile Studio TNT pattern that I have morphed so many different ways.  I used a knit purchased from Kashi at Metro Textiles from PR Weekend last May. 

Pics are coming.  I'm just so busy.  Also working on four pillows for my daughter's two littles in her sorority this semester.  Making two more for my niece (also in the same sorority) that is also taking on two littles.  The pillows will have appliqued greek letters on them and the names possibly embroidered.  I'm still waiting on that directive from my daughter.   I asked my daughter what do you call two littles in the same family line because I've never heard of taking two.  She responded, (a duh on my part) "They're called twins."  How cute!  She also requested two pink, fleece embroidered sorority hats--another stash reducer. 

Must get going.  Lots to do and so little time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

McCalls 6460

Let's just say I love this dress!  So much so that I'm going to make one for myself.  I'm modeling the one made for my oldest daughter who always needs something for her sorority functions.  It's her second LBD in that many months.  The first was reviewed a few weeks ago on my blog, McCalls 6111.

My full review of this pattern can be found at PR.  It's a dress that you really want to read all the reviews, google for information before you ever lay a scissors to your fabric.  There are some issues, but none that can't be worked out beforehand.  Doing so will create a beautiful dress with a beautiful fit.  My review includes all the particulars including fit issues I encountered as well as all my alterations. 

Still bloggers want to see the full review on blogs?  Some do, some don't, and I haven't been blogging a while so I just decide to keep my full, detailed reviews on PR.  Please let me know.

And now, without further adieu, here is McCalls 6460:

Swing Jacket is a Simplicity Retro pattern, leather purse with custom-made handle was created from the book, Vintage Bags, and a reminder to never arch back for a posterior shot.  My poor satin backed crepe started puddling on me :( .  Otherwise it was looking pretty good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An "Interesting" Discovery

It was interesting to me at first, then a bit disturbing when I was viewing a recent JC Penney ad.  I'm not sure, but I think it might be a case of photo trickery.  So I decided to ask my husband.

Here are two pics from a recent ad.  Look at the models on these two pages.  Yes, three of the four pics are of the same girl.  But look at the thighs.  They look almost identical in all four pics.  All four have that "inner thigh gap" as if thighs should not be touching.  Each picture appears to have an indent about 4" below the crotch line.  Forget trying to slide a manilla folder between their legs, you could slide a 2X4 right through without it every touching their thighs lol!  Very few people I know have thighs like that.  There are some but they are a tiny minority.

Point is, I hate advertising like this.  As if they pants they sell are going to make us normal people look like we have this huge inner thigh gap.  Or like it's even desired.  It's not normal.  Not that it's abnormal, it's just not a mainstream look and most women and teens I know are simply not built this way.  Except for that very small minority.

Now, look at a model from another JC Penney ad.  It was either the same ad or maybe a week or two apart.  This model has realistic hips and thighs.  They are fuller and normal looking.  No, not heavy at all.  Simply normal like the way many of us are built.

Please JC Penney, use young teens in your ads that have thighs built like the majority.  Go for the manilla-folder-could-fit-between-the-thighs look.  Not a stinkin' 2X4.  And if these pics were photoshopped like many are, shame on you.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

McCalls 6111

I've been sewing SO much lately, and my blogging has been non existent.  However, I have decided to actually do a blog post on McCalls 6111.  My dress has already been reviewed at Pattern Review so all details have been posted in my review.

I'm just including a few extra pics.  This is a dress for my daughter who needs some black dresses for sorority functions.  I see what she pins on Pinterest on her fashion board, and I thought this little number fit in with styles she likes.  The feature I like the most about this dress is the low back with straps that are knotted into a bow just above the waist.  I used a Slinky knit for the dress (not recommended by the pattern--wovens) and black lace on top of black silk organza for the straps.  It worked out just fine.  This is a bias cut dress so if you normally don't sew bias-cut garments, do a little review homework before making this.  I forgot to do that, but I don't think it mattered.

What I love about this style--it's hip and cute.  What I hate about this style--can't wear a strapless or conventional bra.  Must use those stick on cups or uniboob devices with adhesive. 

Here are several poses of this dress.  My major alteration was to create two, waist tucks extending near the bust apex.  The dress needed shape.  My daughter didn't not want a "bag".  There is PLENTY of ease in this dress.  I didn't make it fitted, just took out some excess as I didn't want to totally change the style.  Just wanted it to look more like the pattern cover photo.

That's it for now!  It's a cute little dress perfect for those pretty young things in the late teen/early 20-something group.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Sewing "Assistants"

If you have sewing "helpers"  or "assistants" and have pics of them, I'd sure love to see them!  I've been doing a lot of sewing lately but have yet to post about my projects.  In the meantime, I have a few updated pics of my boys.
My sewing helpers:  My black Devon especially LOVES helping me sew!   He loves to sit next to my machines or attempt to lie on my fabric while working.  Sometimes my Sphynx joins in on the action, but typically it is my handsome boy, Jake.

If you have pics of sewing helpers, I'd love to see them!  Please post a link as a comment.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Swimsuit that I Love!

Swimsuit shopping and jeans shopping have two things in common from what I hear from a lot of women I know. You have to try on lots of swimsuits and lots of jeans to find ones that not only fit, but look good.

This past weekend, I hit the jackpot :) ! I made one that I love (forget the countless hours trying them on!):

Right down to the black, slimming side panels,

and ruched neckline piece.

Also with a full-support bra lining to held everything in place just right!

Two years ago I started on my swimsuit endeavor, and last year I finally made my first one that I actually liked which was the same pattern with a blue/brown floral print. Since I've nailed the fit, I decided to work on improving construction on the bra lining, using my serger, and coverstitch machines.

All elastics were inserted via my elastic foot on my Babylock serger. No quartering, no marking, no pins. Just set the screw tension and the foot automatically places and stretches the elastic in place while it is being serged on. What a breeze!

This also presents a question I was asked by a fellow PR member. "What about the front leg opening having a 1:1 ratio of elastic/fabric vs. the back have more elastic tension?" I have read about this being done, but it is not my preference. I like a snug leg opening all the way around. And with the Babylock attaching it, the tension is the same the entire circumference of the leg. This works very well for me. I even do this for my panties. It is not too tight, nor uncomfortable. My guess is it depends on the person and the body. If a person is heavier, a tight front elastic might cut into the flesh uncomfortably; therefore, necessitating that 1:1 ratio on the front. For me, using the elastic foot on my serger produces a great and comfortable fit.

Let's talk topstitching. My coverstitch is da bomb! Used it for all my topstitching but secured the CB seam in the back with my regular machine. That's an area I want to refine the curve in tissue to make for smooth sewing at that spot.

I did a review at PR with loads of pics including step-by-step bra lining instructions/tips. If you would like to read them, you'll have to click on my sidebar and go there or click on this link: My Swimsuit Review . I just haven't had time to transfer all the pics and info to my blog...sorry about that!

If you haven't tried sewing a swimsuit, DO it! Prices for nice suits are outrageous, and making one is easy. The hardest part is doing a couple of test suits to get the fit right. I've done blog posts on that lol--the links to them are in my PR review. Once the fit is good, stitching them up is a breeze and quite cost effective too. And what's really great is picking out the fabric. Pages after pages of nylon/lycra at Spandex World and Spandex House.

So get going! Go to PR, look up swimsuit patterns and reviews, decide on your particular style, and make this YOUR year for the swimsuit that you love!

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why do I always do this???

This is a boring post. Just a rant. No pics. No need to read any further if you're looking for something remotely interesting.

Just wondering why I always make clothes for my oldest daughter, send them off with her, and never take a pic of the project first? It happens a lot! Like this past weekend. She came home from college, and we were headed out for grocery shopping. She asked her sister if she could borrow a sweatshirt, but I said there was no need to because her finished black, fleece jacket was hanging in the closet.

It looked great on her with her jeans and black boots. I was proud of my project, and that she liked it. She did mention the identical grey jacket I sent to her last month got her lots of compliments by her friends. Anyway, I drove her back to college AND NEVER TOOK A PIC OF HER IN THE JACKET!

Dummy me. Now I'm going to have to beg her for a pic lol. And her phone doesn't always take the best of pics either. Might as well wait until May.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Little Disappointments

I placed two orders last week from 3 fabrics in each order. One had wool suiting, wool/cashmere melton, and black fleece.

The fleece was a big disappointment. It had deep, vertical crease lines running from selvedge to selvedge. I need to return it. All four yards of it. I went out to JoAnn's today and bought 4 yards of their anti-pill fleece. It looks so much better. The wool/cashmere melton was advertised as being suitable for something like a coat or winter jacket? It's more like suiting fabric if you ask me, but I'll keep it. It is nice, just much thinner than what I was expecting. The wool suiting was really nice though.

Second order was a green rayon/lycra knit, a stretchy, black don't know what (DD#2 put it in the cart), and a lacy-look ITY. The ITY looked terrible, nothing like the screen pic. That is going to be returned as well. The other two were nice--they're keepers.

So 4 out of 6 were good, but the two stinkers have to be returned. I think I need to head into NYC PR Weekend for some nice wool. Paron's anyone?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sewing a lot, Writing a little.

What's a sewing review? I finally did one last week. Blogging and pattern reviews the past year have taken a serious hit. So here I am, the morning after Superbowl Sunday, playing a bit of catch-up on my blog.

I really have been sewing. What has been made recently: a grey jacket for DD#1 who is away at college, 3 pink hats with her sorority letters, a tote, a black dress for DD#2, a blue dress and an orange dress for DD#1, a blue dress for me but no pics of that as of yet. Projects that are brewing: maybe entering a pair of jeans in the jeans contest at PR, another jacket for DD#1, a suit for DD#2, and a multitude of dresses and shirts for DD#2. Here are some of the finished projects:

DD#1 asked me to make her some fleece hats for cold days in the city at college. She pledged a sorority last Fall so a hat request was in order. My fabric stash is too big, thus a request for one hat became three. Trying to trim the stash a bit. She can pick one and give the other two away. This was a pattern from the book Polarfleece Pizazz. The hat style is okay. Other hat styles are better but this one will suffice. It's very quick and easy though with the serger. All three hats can be assembled during the TV commercials of a one-hour show. Seriously, it took no time at all. What gobbled up the time was tracing off greek letters onto fabric, making the applique, satin stitching the edges of the applique on the hat, as well as embroidering the band with the script letters.

DD#2's dress. This was McCalls 5893. It was a tank style maxi dress. I made it a one-shouldered dress and shortened it up quite a bit. Added a self-drafted ruffle along the top, front edge.

My daughter's jacket. I told her I'm not sending it to her unless I get pics of BOTH her dresses lol. She only sent me one for her blue dress. Still waiting for the orange one. This jacket is Simplicity 2024, and the black fleece should arrive in the mail any day now to make version 2.

This is Butterick 4364. It has about 3 different bag styles, and I used some retro fabric from my mother's stash which she was getting rid of. You know the fabric is old when one of the widths was 36" lol. These three fabrics were from the early/mid 70's. The button was purchased from a local fabric store. What a don't like--the buttonhole closure. Next time, it will be a magnetic snap.

DD#1's blue dress. I'm finding it hard to recognize my daughter lately because she dyed her hair brown lol. This is a morph of two patterns: Simplicity 2364 (one-shouldered top) and McCalls 5893 (elastic empire line down to hem).

That's it for now. Still waiting for DD#1's orange dress pic and have to get a pic of my blue holiday dress. Maybe sometime soon.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Simplicity "Sew Simple" pattern

Last month I bought a cute jacket pattern I thought DD#1 might like at college. It's Simplicity 2024, a "Sew Simple" multi-size pattern (10-22).

On the pattern sheets there is a square that illustrates morphing between sizes for a perfect fit. Yeah, I do that. But there are at least two pattern pieces, maybe 3 because I can't remember for sure, that have the "old" 3 separate pattern pieces for (let's say) the collar/tie. As in "sizes 10 and 14 on piece X, sizes 12, 16, 18 on piece X, sizes 20 and 22 on piece X. I was VERY lucky! My morphing sizes are 10 and 14. I wouldn't have been too happy putting pattern pieces together and then morphing them. What a time hog. However, I thought it was kind of funny that the pattern is "Sew Simple", pattern morphing is illustrated for perfect sizing, then some of the pattern pieces are two or three sizes so the user has to pick/choose the appropriate one, then morph from two or three pieces on to a new one if they need to fine tune the fit.

If I was a newbie sewer, it would be very confusing in regard to the sizing aspect. And it does require a little thinking to morph properly on this pattern. So I thought it was kind of an oxymoron to call this pattern "Sew Simple". Yes, the sewing IS simple. Mostly thoughtless sewing, the kind experienced sewers could almost do with their eyes closed. However, the pattern pieces are not "sew simple" for a newbie sewer that might pick up this pattern and think it's easy based on that label. Especially if they want to morph it.

Really, it's just a minor vent. And I guess a newbie would probably sew the entire jacket in one size. Just thought it was weird because it actually does take some thinking in the pre-cutting/sewing stages. While it is simple to sew, it's more on the time-consuming side to fit. It's just one of those kind of patterns that surprised me in that regard.

Oh well, the pattern has been morphed. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be cutting the fabric and interfacing.