Saturday, March 21, 2015

Thinking Outside The Box New Look 6183


Recently I was looking for something different to make for myself.  I decided that I would use a pattern from my stash that I had passed over several times as my muse.  I thought to myself, "I've passed over a lot of patterns".  But, my elimination process was the key.  I began by laying out 5 patterns that were on my mind, but as of yet sat unsewn.  Then I closed my eyes and picked 1 from the bunch.  The winning pattern, New Look 6183, was really cute, but I didn't want to make mine from the suggested fabrics.

Well, I had a slight mind bender on my hands because I had satin, sateen, crepe, and poplins in many different colors, but my thoughts were that those fabrics were not "talking" to me the way I needed for this dress.  I kept thinking and looking until I found the most gorgeous suiting fabric.  The colors were perfect (Dark teal & white) and my mind  was reeling with the idea of this dress as a completed look.

To me, View A seemed to work for me and had more of a vintage look.  My thoughts were that with the type of fabric I was using I would be close to a modern day vintage dress.  Either way I was happy that I let fate decide which project to take on.

 The Review

Pattern Description: Pattern Description: Misses Retro style dress with empire waist, princess seamed trumpet skirt.  Neckline and sleeve options.

Pattern Sizing:  10-22

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 have to say that these princess seams were the best part about this dress and the empire waist surprised me.

Fabric Used: Poly/Rayon Suiting.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, This is an awesome pattern.  I recommend it completely.

Conclusion:  Even though this started out as a surprise project, it was a joy from start to finish.

I changed the suggested fabric choice to something that looked more vintage and it worked out wonderfully.  Finding ways to make something your own can be daunting, but if you look hard enough you will find a way to turn things inside out and mix it with yourself and your personality. My other choices for fabric are Here, Here, and Here.  I still say go with the suggested fabrics if you aren't quit sure, but thinking outside the box always pushes you to another level of sewing and creating.  You never know unless you try.

My button was a little larger than the suggested button because the sizing seemed off to me.  I chose a silver look because the white against the teal really wanted a silver button vs. a gold or solid colored button.  I used a teal color coordinated invisible zipper and thread.  The teal accents made the dress "Pop".  By using teal to accent the color played against the specks that were in the fabric and made for a subtle second glance.

This is a good wardrobe builder type pattern and it's also good for an advanced beginner.  The V in the bodice will give some sewing time and experience with this type of bodice Vs.  The more you sew them,, the better you will get at it.  You don't have to use and invisible zipper.  I chose one because that was all I had that actually matched the fabric.

Well, that's all for this post.  I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to our next post.  Thank you for joining me.

Lots of Love

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ready For Spring Breeze With McCall's 7057


All winter long I was very excited about McCall's 7057.  The only problem was that I was in love with the envelope cover's fabric.  I really wanted to find a fabric that matched the cover to make my jacket/ sweater out of and that search went a little long.

I thought that this jacket was simply the cutest thing.  I knew I had a few yards of point knit and other types of sweater knit, but I really wanted something similar to the lamb look that you see above.  It took some doing and some constant searching, but I finally found my fabric at Fabricmart.  My local stores had nothing comparable to match it and  I don't know if it was fate or just luck, but I was happy to see my fabric.

So,,,,, guess what I did.?  I ordered 2 1/2yds without thinking or looking at the instructions (3 1/8 yds).  I just dove right in and let my excitement take over.  Needless to say that once I got ready to make the jacket, I was trying to figure out how to make it all fit without the extra yard.  I went back to the site, there wasn't any more.  I was crushed.  I still didn't let that get me down because I kept thinking that if I could find enough yardage in another color, I would use that.  Wow, what a nightmare that was.  I looked almost everywhere and I still couldn't find anything like it.  I thanked my lucky stars when I took one last  look back at Fabricmart and there it was.  A few more yards on sale and I quickly snatched up my other yard.  LOL. Whew,  That was a really close call.  I can laugh now, but it was not funny to me at the time.

Here is a look at my little lamby jacket.

The Review

Pattern Description:   Loose-fitting, unlined vest and jackets have front extending into hood or collar, and side front seams. 

Pattern Sizing: XS-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?  Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I liked that this pattern was easy with very few pieces to assemble.

Fabric Used:  Poly/Lycra Curly Knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn't make any alterations to the jacket itself, but I felt that it needed belt loops for the belt.  I used the same fabric as the main to make my loops.  I measured 12" long by 1" wide.  Sewed the seams, turned the tube, cut it in half, then attached 1 to each sideseam on the outside instead of within the sideseam.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, but with a different fabric.  This one was so much fun (red fuzz everywhere).  I do recommend this pattern to anyone who is looking for a quick sweater or jacket.  It's all in what you make it from.

Conclusion:   I like this pattern because the options are limitless so far wise as fabric.  I really wanted a jacket like the cover example and I found it hard to find the fabric, but in the end, it was all worth it.

Since my fabric did not appear to be heavy, I was expecting a lightweight jacket, but this fabric, once my project was completed, weighs a ton.  This is a "Real" jacket and it's not even lined.  If it was lined I think it would be even heavier.  The feel of the acrylic is so soft.  It makes me feel as if I am wearing my own heard of lambs.  I love my fabric choice and will definitely consider lining my next one.

I made my jacket from the size Medium.  I read other reviews where some of the sewers were having problems with the sizing.  I looked at the pieces before I got started and everything measured up to my exact size, so I didn't have to do anything to get it to fit me.  It was because of the other reviews that I actually resized the pattern (to a small) with a muslin and found that the new size was way to small for me.  My suggestion would be to test with a knit muslin before you start.  That way you will be able to see where you will need to grade.

I recommend this pattern to beginners most of all who really want to make something in the coat/ jacket area.  This pattern has big pieces, but it sews very quickly.  All of the seams are quit easy and it didn't have any tricky stitching whatsoever.  I see this pattern as a staple for jackets.  The options range from vest, to jacket, to hood, or no hood can be endless.  But, the one option that I also see is that it can be taken down a few more inches and made into a duster.  This is something that I will look into to verify my theory because I think that might would take a full 4.5 yds.

Thank you for joining me today and until next post...

Lots of Love

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Vogue 8945 In Red


My viewing of this Spring's Vogue collection has really sent me in that direction and since I had a pattern from 2013 that was driving me crazy, I decided to dive into a little Vogue fantasy.  I've already picked out my must haves for this Spring from Vogue and I'm still in debate about the others, but I do plan on finding what works for me really soon.

While I was strolling through the new Spring collection and having some issues with my sewing machines, I finally figured a way around my sewing problems.  Over the holidays and a little before then I started sewing with heavier weight fabric.  I didn't really think that that would cause an issue with my machines, but somehow that is the only reason I could come up with to explain the troubles.  So, to alleviate not being able to sew at all I began to go through my pattern stash to find patterns that required lightweight fabric.

Boy, was this a hard task.  I flipped fabric and tossed patterns until this little light went off and said,,,,,"Don't you have a couple of yards of Faille?"  Then me, being on that slow role,,," Which one is it?"  At that point my hands touched the fabric that my little light was talking about and I could feel my blood pushing to THE pattern.

Wow,,,,that was a life saving moment for me.  I hadn't thought about that pattern or that piece of fabric in a while because the fabric was so soooo light.  As I quickly gathered all my items, I knew Vogue 8945 was the pattern that I gotten for this particular piece fabric.  When I first saw this pattern it took me back to the late 60s and early 70s ( without telling my age ) and yet in so many ways it was in tune with today's style of fashion.

Here is a look at a Vintage Sweety made in Faille.

There's that Vintage Sleeve thing.  I love the way the sleeves just flowed and blew in the wind.  The fabric was a silk Faille I had purchased last year from FabricMart.  This fabric is no longer available, but I did find a few interesting pieces Here, Here, and Here.

The sheen from this fabric was so surprising to me because it looked so lifeless when it was folded.

                                         All accessories are from Charlotte Russe.

The Hair fits the vintage look, right?  I'm kind of thinking that you are looking at it and wondering where it went.  Well, last year in October, I got tired of trying to keep up with the grey hairs.  It was a tough decision, but I decided that I wouldn't fight the greys anymore.  Believe it or not, I have always had grey hair and as I aged, I felt the need to hide it and fight it to the end.  October, for me, was the end.  So, as a resolution for this year, 2015, I am going natural and letting the cat out of the bag.

This will be a very hard journey for me, but I am committed and determined to embrace the most simplistic me possible.  So far, I have cut approximately 14 inches of hair.  I didn't do those posts because that was a very serious event for me.  As I come to a full completion of this walk, I invite you to share in this process with me,,,,,BUT,,,,,THE BIG CHOP hasn't happened yet.  I wanted to give myself some crying time in between and most of all give my Mother time to embrace the idea.  The years that I kept my hair long were solely for her and I dedicate those locks in prayer to the years that she adored my long "black" hair, but she has taught me so much this past year about being true to myself and loving myself until I just stepped out into the rain and said, "This is me."  Now, I'm ready.    

The Review

Pattern Description:  Misses Semi-fitted dress with neck and sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing:  E5 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?  Funny thing, I didn't use the instructions.  It was a basic shift dress and the pattern just told which way to go itself.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love the sleeves on View B.  I might be the only one who's crazy about the sleeves, but they were talking to me.

Fabric Used:  Silk Faille

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn't make any major changes to the pattern.  I added 1" to the bottom for the hem and 1/4" to the sleeve because my arms are a little bigger that most.

Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, and Yes.  This is a quick and easy pattern to make.

Conclusion:   I am in love with the sleeves.  The sleeves are what gives this pattern a 60s-70s look.  The dress itself is a perfect fit.  I didn't have to do anything other than what I estimated ( sleeves and length).

The fabric suggestions are Faille, Crepe, Challis, and Linen.  I used a very, very lightweight Faille and ended up having to put a lining in.  I think it would look so creative if it was made out of a Handkerchief linen, but my next plan is for a Challis that I can see View A in.  I don't want to leave out the idea of this dress being made in a lightweight satin, lace or crepe de chine.  I think that because these fabrics are dressy and flowy, you will get the same affect from them when it comes to the sleeve.  When it comes to color, I think the form of this dress could handle just about any color, so go crazy with it.

Overall, this is a good stash pattern to have.  It was quick and painless and I still have a great "go to" dress for date night.  It can be dressed up or down according to your fabric choice.

Well, once again, I have come to the end of my post.  I hope you enjoyed it as I look forward to spending this time with you, ,,,,,,BUT, Until next time.

Lots of Love

I almost forgot.  I used my serger to finish the sleeves.  My sewing machine would not let me get any intricate sewing done, so I flipped a few dials on my serger to get that handkerchief look going (seen in the close up pic).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy New Year!!! A Look At Vogue Spring 2015 Vintage

Happy New Years to all my Sewingnistas

I wanted to get in a quick New Years greeting to everyone before January rolled out.  I hope everyone's year is filled with lots of love, excitement, joy, and of course,,,, Sewing.

I won't be able to do much sewing the next couple of weeks because I am on a down slope with my machines, which was something that started happening around August of last year.  However, even though the machines are down that doesn't mean that I'm down.

Not having my machines in good working order isn't going to slow me down from planning my future projects once I get my needles back.  So, I have been reviewing and looking at upcoming projects for a while and I was almost blown away this morning when the new Vogue Spring 2015 pattern line hit the screen.  I was in a state of Bliss with all the pretties that I saw.  I have thoroughly gone through the lineup and found many "Must Haves" during my scroll and decided to share my new obsessions list with you today.

1.  I wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't go for the Vintage looks first.  Vogue has been revamping their Vintage line for today's fashionistas for a while and within this collection for Spring 2015 they didn't miss a step.

Vogue 1435.  It is on a modern scale look, but I and a few other sewers know that Vintage dresses were seldom seen without some type of little jacket to top off a dress.  To me, this makes a dress and a look more complete.  This is why Vintage patterns are so appealing to me.
 This modern suiting is so fabulous and the color "Pumpkin" is so Springy.  The jacket is what caught my eye.  It's paired with a simple column shift dress.
 The jacket details are mesmerizing.  I could see this dress in a blue, yellow, red, or even a mixed looking pattern, but I'm going wild and taking the solid colors first.
 Stand up collar- not too sure about this on a jacket, but it's working for me.
 Shift- Doesn't have to be a slit in the front,,,put it where you want and the effect will still be the same.
 Back-  The back is about an inch to 2" longer than the front.  This is something that I do with just about all of my shift dresses.  It might be a "booty" thing or a conservative thing, but I like that it's already built in and I don't have to stress it.  Yeeeessss,,, this Pumpkin dress is on the top of my "ta do" list.

2.  Staying with the Vintage thing, I am choosing Vogue 9082.  This is another pattern that is driving me insane.  I must have this dress in my understated wardrobe.  Here's why.
 This one dress converts into 3 different looks.  The top jacket

 A 2nd top jacket
 And a really gorgeous tailored Sundress blended together will make 3 totally separate looks.
The more I look at this combo, the dizzier I get.  I have to say,,, You go Girl!!!  I can already see this dress in a myriad of colors and yet,,,, I am unable to graze a hem.  But, it ain't gonna last for long.  I'll be back and this pattern can see that it is at the top of my list, so fear me!

3.  Ok, my 3rd choice is so very Vintage until my composure is hard to hold.  I am totally in Wove with this pattern.

Vogue 9083.  This is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time.
 Ladies, Easter is around the corner.  This outfit would top off my Easter wish list fast and I'll take it in the same Lavender that is before me.  This dress doesn't need words because it has pictures.
 Yesssss! an interjection here because I am having a Sailor Moon moment with this mini collar/ jacket.

 Look,,, no jacket at all.  Date night never looked so sexy.
Thank you all for walking on the wild side with me and my Vogue Vintage fetish, but I'm not done.  I'll be back a little later with my POV on the rest of their Spring 2015 collection and a few from the other pattern companies.  My elation about these just couldn't wait.

While I'm at it,,, I must share a little blog time with you.  When I am on my down time I like to surf the web and get inspired.  It helps to keep my mind fluttering and the machines jumping.  But, I found this site and it is really giving me new life.  Shari William over at My Daily Threadz.  This lady not only has style, but she is full of talent and it shows.  Even though we share some of the same style fetishes, she is really rocking the stage.  So, stop by and say hello to a wonderful lady and seamstress.

Over to the right are a list of blogs that I love.  Take a moment to click though and to give some cheer while you get a little inspiration to get your mojo going.  As for me, I'll have lots of time to browse and do a few house chores that have been neglected.

Again, Thank you all for making my 2014 year so great and I wish all of you a most prosperous and fulfilling 2015!!!!!!!!

Lots Of Love And Plenty Of Hugs

Sunday, December 21, 2014

McCall's 7016 Tutorial and Review


I know it's been a while since I was last on, but I came back today with a little something for the holidays.  The last few weeks have been filled with getting ready for Christmas and my schedule has been very,,,I mean Very,,,, busy.  

Santa's little helper has been finding stocking stuffers and gifts to make for everyone on this year's list, but before we can stuff the stockings I think we should have a quick tutorial for a fabulous dress that has been plaguing me since it hit the Winter collection at McCall's.  

I wasn't too primed about making a tutorial for this dress because I had never sewn it before, but I kind of wanted to see what it was like and take this walk with you as I made this particular project.  The project that I chose was McCall's 7016.  When I first saw the pattern, I was not in love with anything about it, but the more that I kept looking the more interesting it became to me.  I think the pink model on the cover was what actually turned my head and made me take more than a 2nd look.

When I took the pattern out, I couldn't seem to wrap my head around any color other than this pink (fuchsia, magenta,,etc).  So, I kept looking though my stash and nothing was going to please me, but a pink.  However, every color in the world was in my stash except for a pink that was this dark.  It seems to go with this year's pantone colors for 2014.  Needless to say,,,,,I went against the grain again and yet, came so close..LOL

So, let's start the tutorial with an estimate of  1 day.  It actually took me about 8 hours to make this dress, but I kind of changed my mind during mid-flow about hems.

First, you will need your pattern and all of your supplies in order to get started.  I chose a beautiful green Double Knit.  My threads were not really what I wanted them to be, but I came as close to matching color as possible because this was a hard color to match.  Following the instructions you want to cut out all your pieces and lay them out according to the layout guide.  I am making View C with the sleeves from View B/D(long sleeves).  Plus after looking at how short the skirt is, I will be adding and extra inch to the skirt.  The pattern calls for 2 1/4 yds for View C, but because I am adding the long sleeves and the extra 1" to the skirt, I will be using a total of 3 yds.  I will also be using a modified size Medium.  

To begin with I will state that step 1 was not used because I felt this step would be perfect for the blouse and yet useless if a serger was going to be used to complete the project.  So I am skipping this step.

 Stitch the front sections to the back section.
I used a 1.5 zig-zag stitch and a 2.0 stitch in other places.  I will try to point those areas out as we go.
After I stitched the 3 pieces together at the shoulder, I pressed the seams open.  I have been having problems with my serger, so this project is done almost completely with the straight stitch.


Staystitch the entire neck area.  This helps to keep the neck area from stretching.  I would say to use this step if you  are using a knit that is not as forgiving as a Double Knit or a medium/heavy weight knit elsewise, serge the neck area instead of staystiching.


The collar
Here you are suppose to have 4 pieces of collar.  On 1 set you want to place you interfacing on the wrong side.  I used a regular lightweight fusible interfacing.
Join the collar pieces together and press the seams open.  Be sure to remark any markings that you might rub off or disappear while working with your fabric. ( I had that happen and had to go back and redo).


With right sides of collar facing  each other pin the seams then the markings and then pin to fill in the spaces.  Begin seaming from the first marking on the outer edge of the collar and sew until you reach the other marker.  (take your time and for those who have a walking foot,, it's a good idea to use one) Don't go past the markers on the tip end of the collar,, explain later.
After I stitched the outer collar edge, I pressed then I flipped the collar to it's right side and pressed again.  Then I went back to do an understitch and trim.

Turn collar to the right side then press and baste the raw edge (side with the pin) together.


Pin the collar to the neck with the interfacing side upward.  Here is where I will digress.  I thought the collar was going to be TOO big from the beginning.  I had originally made another collar piece to replace this one but decided against it.  With the interfacing going upward I felt that the stiffness from the collar would make me feel congested, so I just flipped mine to where the uninterfaced collar piece faced upward.  The collar still has the structure, but not the close stiffness of the original purpose.

Instead of basting the seams together, I serged the seams then pressed the going downward away from the collar.


Topstich neck edge.  This is the back of the collard with the seams meet.  I serged then pressed them down so that I could have this finish.   The serging process  helps to omit Step 10, but I ran the edge stitch all the way out to the end.

Lap the right fron over the left side front.
From the dots that are on the waistline to the bottom edge, stitch on both sides.  This will be the front of your garment completed.  I used a smaller allowance here because the 5/8' allowance would be used to for the side seams.  Here is where I would bast the 2 front pieces together at the bottom raw edge. 


Pin the front of your garment to the back.  Line up darts, markings, and stitch close.  At his point this is what you should have.

Now you can see the blouse for this pattern coming into shape.  If I were going to change my mind I think here is where I would really start.  For the sleeveless blouse/ dress Step 17 shows how to finish the sleeveless look, but I chose long sleeves.  So, forging ahead....


The Sleeves.
Since I chose the long sleeves. I will  show those.  There were options in this pattern for 3/4, sleeveless, and long sleeves.  With a little effort short sleeves could also be used, but weren't included in this pattern. 

Easestitch 2 rows from 1 marking (the beginning) to the the other (the end, sewing past the middle marking).
 Join the sides of the sleeves together, matching notches.  Seam the edges.
STEP 14 /STEP 15
If you choose to do the blouse I would continue with Step 15 and hem the sleeves.  Since I could not make my mind up on how I wanted to finish my hems, I hemmed sleeves and skirt last., but here's Step 15.

Decide on the length that you want then mark off for your hem.  Check both front and back.
Looks good at a 1" hem.  I didn't use a double needle because as the dress began to come together I wanted a smooth finish and the double needle didn't appeal to me personally.  So I continued to with a 2.0 stitch for the sleeve hem.

With right sides together pin sleeve into arm opening.  Match seam and notches, pin then gently pull easestitch and match dots from sleeve to the dots on the main garment piece.  Stitch pieces together then press the allowance toward the sleeve.  When you're done it should look something like this.
If you don't like the way your shoulder cap looks some readjusting might be in order.

At this point the blouse would be almost done.  A hem to the bottom would be next Step 18, but this is not our ending and we will continue to Step 19.

Step 19

The Skirt

I decided to add an extra inch to my skirt because I felt that the pattern's skirt was going to be a little too short.  Now looking back I think that with a pair of tights, a short skirt wouldn't be so bad (hint for the younger ladies).  Even though I added to the length I still think that I will be cutting it a little close..LOL.

So, we will pin the skirt sides together.  Then seam both sides.
Once you complete the seams press the allowance open.
Staystitch the waist edge of the skirt.  If you want to hem your skirt now you can because once you connect it to the top the "bulky" effect steps in.  I didn't do Step 21 here.

Connect the skirt to the top.  Match seams and notches first.  Then pin the rest of the skirt as needed.   With the fabric that I used there was very little stretching to match everything up.  Stitch the top to the skirt then press the seam allowance upward towards the top.

After pressing your seam allowance on the right side stitch close to the seam.

 This step marks the very last to the last.  Our dress is to the point of done.  I take a last look before hemming.
And here is the finished look.

Right now, I think I am certainly ready for the upcoming holiday events and you could be too.

The Review

Pattern Description:  Misses Dress with sleeve and skirt alternatives.

Pattern Sizing:  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 and illustrations were so easy to follow,

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  The circle skirt.  It is so flirty and girly.

Fabric Used:  Double Knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:   I added and extra in to the skirt to make it longer.  I also did a FBA (full bust adjustment) to the bodice.

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

Conclusion:   This was an easy pattern.  I think that it was easy to make the alterations that I needed to make it fit me and I believe that it could be altered even further with some imagination.  I like the use of the double knit fabric which give room for stretching and our own personal flaws.  The 2 things that I didn't like was 1- the extremely big collar.  I made an alternative for this pattern, but felt that I should at least complete the original first to see if I liked it.  2- The short skirt.  The pattern has the skirt measured at 13".  For me, that was extremely too short for a dress, but kind of good for a tunic.  I didn't want a tunic, so I added to the length.  Once I had completed my dress, I liked the end results.  I believe that there are many different ways to make and style this dress. blouse, pattern and it is well worth a try.  I look forward to doing this one again with my own twist.

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

Lots of Love