Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Newest Inspiration

I have been eyeing this fabric from Joann's Cosmopolitan collection for quite some time. I was thinking it would make a perfect jacket:

It might be difficult to see in the photo but the fabric is some sort of linen blend with a black sort of floral print on it. I picked the fabric up yesterday after I received some gift cards for my birthday.

I will be using Simplicity 2645 to make the jacket- view B which is the short sleeve version with the v-neck.

Well I have decided that I can't stop at the jacket. I wanted to make the skirt to go with it. I just ordered a dark gray suiting from Denver Fabrics to make the skirt. And because I can't leave well enough alone, I decided I needed another jacket to go with the skirt in the same suiting fabric. So I will end up with three pieces that I can switch out: the black and white print jacket, the gray jacket, and the gray skirt. It will be a mini wardrobe.

I'm excited to start working on this but have many other projects to work on as well.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vogue 8379- Wrap Dress

This dress has been reviewed a million times on Pattern Review. Everyone who has made it has really loved the results. I purchased a RTW wrap dress a couple of years ago (for $90) and it is one of my favorite dresses- it's a very flattering style for just about every body type. So I gave this pattern a whirl.

I used a floral jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. I purchased three yards- the project cost me about $25.

The dress went together smoothly and easily. The instructions for the dress are very clear. I do not own a serger so I straight stitched each seam, trimmed the SA to about 1/4 of an inch, and went back over the edges with an overlock stich feature on my machine. I used twill stay tape to stabilize the shoulder seams, sleeves, and the neckline. I interfaced the hems on the sleeves and bottom of dress and hand stitched these in place after "overlocking" the edges.

I am very pleased with the end results. I love the fabric I used. The style is super flattering and has a slimming effect. I have already ordered two more jersey fabrics to make two more of these dresses. I think it's one of my favorite dresses that I have ever made. I received plenty of compliments when I wore it for the first time today.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Simplicity 2685

I don't usually make accessories. However, I wanted a new Spring purse and just couldn't find anything that I liked in the stores. Everything was so boring and drab. I wanted something with color. So I decided to turn to sewing.

I made the purse out of quilting cotton from Joann Fabrics. It took aprox. 2 1/2 yards of fabric including the outside and lining. For the interfacing, the pattern suggests canvas. I used a duckcloth (which is pretty much canvas). This gave the purse a nice crispness and stability. I also purchased four buttons and a 7 inch zipper for the inside pocket. I spent about $25 for all of the materials. OK, so this is a little more than paying what you would in a store for the same thing but I got exactly what I wanted. I also used quilting cotton that was about $8 a yard... you can definately go less expensive but I fell in love with the print.

The purse went together fast and easy. Not including cutting time, this took about 2 1/2 hours to sew.

Here's a tip that worked well for me when sewing in the zipper. The instructions have you center the zipper inside the slit made for the pocket, then top stitch on the outside. To keep the zipper in place while I stitched, I taped the zipper in place with scotch tape on the inside of the pocket. I top-stitched in place then removed the tape afterward. Here's a picture:

And here's some finished views... Check out the full reveiw on Pattern Review.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Simplicity 3535

Last but not least. I didn't make all of these garments the last week. I don't have that much time. I actually only made two garments. But I'm catching up on reveiews on garments I made from before I discovered blogging.

This is another pattern from the Project Runway line at Simplicity. Again, I really like this one because you can get a ton of different looks from the one pattern. This time I made the top that the model is wearing. I used a sheer, cheap, polyester material. I liked how it turned out- it's very light and flowy. I'll probably make some other versions from this pattern.

Check out the full review on PR!


Simplicity 3538 Part 1 and 2

This is from the Project Runway line of patterns at Simplicity. Some people have had trouble with them because they feature styles that you can customize with different "designer additions". Following the instructions can be confusing because they jump around quite a bit depending on which "designer addition" you are trying to make. For example, this jacket can have a sleeve with slit, sleeve with ruffle, puff sleeve, short sleeve, or short puff sleeve. No, the "designer additions" aren't anything great (nothing like the fabulous garments on the real Project Runway show) but I'm a fan of the patterns because you can get several different looks from one pattern. One complication I have run into is not having enough fabric. This is because you have to add up all of the fabric requirements from the back of the envelope according to which look you want. Maybe I'm not a good mathmetician (I am a nurse though) or perhaps thier measurements are off. I came up short on my first project from this line. Ever since, I tend to get a little more fabric than what my math comes up with.

My novice look is the shorter jacket. I made it in a cotton chambray material. I had intended on making the jacket waist length, but again with my insufficient material, I improvised and made the shorter version. I still like it...

My second version is made from a brocade fabric... a little more dressier. I made the longer length with 3/4 sleeves.

As always, check out the full review on PR.


Simplicity 3751

Yet another peasant blouse... I can't help it- I really like them! I made this in a white cotton eyelet with lace trim along the neckline and center front. Check out the full review on PR!


New Look 6807

They can't all be winners...

I'm just not crazy about how this top turned out. On the pattern, I really liked the gathered neckline and back tie along the neckline. The top was simple and fast to make. I'm just not a fan of how it looks on me. Too big maybe? I don't know.

I really like the fabric. It's a rayon jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. This took one yard of fabric and cost me $12... not bad for a knit top. Kind of steep for one you don't like though.

Check out the full review on PR.


Mccalls 5388

I love this top. I had to make some pretty big adjustments to the pattern, however. Although the pattern lists jerseys in it's suggested fabrics, this pattern is mostly intended for wovens. Therefore it has quite a bit of ease. I usually go down one size in the big four- to a 16. However, because I was using a knit and didn't want a huge amount of ease I took it down to a size 10. I love the fit- it ended up working perfectly.

I used a cotton jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. It only took a yard and cost me $10. I know horizontal strips are usually a fashion no-no... but I really liked the acid wash look to the stripes. I played with the stripes on the neck band, making them go vertical instead of horizontal.

Check out the full pattern review on PR.


McCalls 5577

I'm not sure if I'm a fan of this one or not. I liked the look of this jumper because it is unique. It's got pleating details and I like the U shaped neck and the big pockets.

I used a navy linen/rayon blend.

The finished look is cute I suppose but it almost has a maternity look to it in my opinion. It might be nice for running around the house in but I don't know if I would ever wear it out. Check out the full review on PR.

What do you think?


Sunday, March 1, 2009

NewLook 6828

OK... so I just finished the hem on this dress. This is the second project I worked on this week. I have not worked with knits in a long while so this was sort of a refresher for me. The fabric is a gray rayon jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics.

I do not own a serger. Well that's not exactly true. I purchased a Singer serger from ebay a couple of years ago and have never been able to use it properly. Don't know if it's the serger or my inability to use it. So I made this all with my conventional Bernina 240. The dress took about 3 hours to make. But really it would have been faster with a serger. I sewed all the seams with a straight stitch; cut them down to 1/4 inch; then went back over them with the overlock feature on my Bernina.

I forgot what a pain doing hems on knits can be. At first I sewed down the hem with a straight stitch. However, I didn't stabilize or interface the knit at all. The end result was very homely looking. So I took the hem out and sewed it by hand which was much smoother looking. Next time will interface the hem first.

A note on the pattern sizing... my measurements corrospond to a size 18. However, according to the envelope there is five inches of ease in the bust which was not the look I was going for. I went down to a size 14 which, in my opinion, looks great. Also, the dress screams for a belt- otherwise it is very much shapeless. I used the tie belt pattern pictured with the sleeveless top.

The cat wanted to make an appearance. Sorry for the dark circles under my eyes in the picture- my makeup had run during the day.

Until next time... Byrdie~

NewLook 6705

So here is the project I worked on last week. I actually made a dress as well but am working on the hem so you'll have to wait to see it. I really like the way this shirt came out. It is made of a black cotton eyelet (I'm wearing a camisole underneath for modesty). Instead of using typical interfacing for the neck band, I used plain black cotton fabric as interfacing. So there is actually three layers of fabric in the neckband. This was an easy, breezy project- check out my full review on PR to the left.

My top is reminiscent of this $100 RTW:

I'm still working on the muslin for Vogue 1086. It is not a difficult garment to construct. However there are lots of pieces and lots of steps. Stay tuned...