Friday, March 26, 2010

I think I have an illness...

My hubby cringes at the site of another package of fabric being delivered to the home. He has said many times that I'm not allowed to buy any more fabric until I've used what I have. So I decided to take inventory of how many patterns that I have the fabric purchased for and have not made...


The good news is that most of my projects are geared toward warmer weather clothing, so now is a great time to hammer them out. I hate to make promises because I easily break them... but my goal is to not buy any more fabric until I'm down into the single digits.

What about you? How many projects are in your unmade stash?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back to where it all began... another Hot Patterns Pencil Skirt

A little over a year ago I posted my first pattern review: the Hot Patterns Pencil Skirt.

I made another one specifically to go with the pair of shoes I am wearing. I got these really cute shoes at Bakers at least five years ago. I've never worn them because I didn't have anything that really goes with them. They are tan heels with brown trim. So I thought a pencil skirt was in order- brown to pick up the brown trim. I know that the pictures don't do them justice.

I made the skirt the same way. Except this time I took in an additional 1/4" on each side. This skirt is made out of a stretch cotton sateen.

And I don't think I am done with this pattern yet. It is very quick and easy and a very flattering style, even for a woman with curves. Next time I need to do a fun print or something to mix it up.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pattern Review- McCall's 5819

I finally finished this outfit. This is one of the items in my cut, but not sewn pile that I'm trying to bust out. I really like these pants, and would use this pattern again to make several pairs of the pants. They are so comfortable!

The whole outfit together is my "I'm not getting off the couch right now so don't even try" look. The whole look is just a little too much velour for me to go out in public. However, I wore the pants out today for some errands, paired with a cute tee and jean jacket.

Here is the little blurb I added to my review on the pant: They went together quickly and easily- in less than 2 hours. I did a size 14 as well, two sizes smaller than my measurements. Instead of using a rib knit for the waistband, I cut the waistband out of the same fabric, cut on the cross grain. This worked perfectly and I like that the waistband matches the rest of the pant. These pants are so comfortable! I think I will made more pairs of the pants. However, they are very roomy in the leg- I think I will slim down the leg next time.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Top Part 2: New Look 6937

Pattern Description: This pattern if for tops with sleeve and hem variations.

I made view B with short sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: This is available is sizes 10-22.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were fine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I am drawn to peasant style tops- I liked the look and shape of the neckband on this one.

I very much disliked putting the dang neckband in! First of all, the curves and shape of the neckband make it difficult to put in to start with. But what makes it even more difficult is that the neck of the blouse has too much ease for the neckband- making it nearly impossible to fit together. I finally solved this issue by taking in more fabric in the back pleat than the pattern calls for.

Fabric Used: Contain your laughter- I used a cotton seersucker from Joann's Tutti Fruitti collection. If anyone has seen this collection, they will know it is geared toward juvenile clothing. But I love seersucker! So I picked the least juvenile print I could find.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Like I mentioned- I altered the back pleat to make the neckband fit. Also- I had to cut a longer than called for piece of elastic for the sleeves to fit my plump upper arms.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I like the look of view D- the one the model is wearing with the elbow length sleeves. I don't think I would recommend this one for beginners- the neckband might be too discouraging.

Conclusion: After the angst of putting in the neckband, I like the finished look of the curved neckline.


Spring Top Part 1: McCall's 5665

Can you tell I'm anxious for Spring? The New Mexico weather is teasing us. On Saturday it was a bright and sunny 60 degrees. On Sunday, it was snowing buckets. I'm a sucker for easy breezy Spring tops- especially peasant styles.

I've got about five projects that have been cut out but not sewn that I am working on busting out. This one has been cut out since last Spring.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ AND WOMEN’S TOPS: Tops A, B in two lengths have front and back gathers, self-faced yokes and bubble sleeve in two lengths; top A has short sleeves and is shorter length; top B has elbow length sleeves, patch pockets, optional purchased belt and is longer length.

I made view A- the shorter length.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 8- 24W are available. There is quite a bit of ease with this pattern- I made two sizes smaller than what my measurements called for.

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- the instructions were fine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the shape and lines of the blouse. I like the gathering along the bodice and the button up style. I also like the bubble sleeves. I didn't have any dislikes.

Fabric Used: A cotton lawn from Denver Fabrics. . I really like the print of this fabric- it has a vintage feel.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: A very minor change- the pattern instructions does not have you finish the edge of your facings. I did this for a cleaner look.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might use this pattern again. I think if I do, I will go with regular sleeves instead of the bubble ones. They are cute but I felt a little strange in them.

Conclusion: Very easy to wear spring top. I wore mine out with a pair of jeans and ballet flats.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still looking for denim...

FYI... I went to Joann Fabrics today and I didn't find the right combination of weight, lycra content, and suitable color to make a pair of Jalie jeans from. I will probably go with one of the stretch denims from instead.


Jeans Anyone?

Thank you for your encouragement on the floral dress. It may not be something I typically wear but I have to admit it's pretty cute. At almost 29 years of age, I'm still finding my own personal style.

I just got Jalie 2908 in the mail yesterday. Everyone at Pattern Review has been raving about this pattern. There's about 40 reviews and everyone looks like they have a great fitting pair of jeans- many of them look RTW. So I've decided to give it a try. And I may have picked the perfect time because CabinBaby at Two On Two Off is thinking about doing a sew along. She's made a few pairs from this pattern and they are very enviable.

Finding a great stretch denim is my next task. CabinBaby recommends 10.5-12 oz denim which is a heavier weight. There are some selections at For my first pair, I may run over to Joanns and see if they have anything suitable.

CabinBaby has compiled some great info from a previous jeans sew along. Check out this link for more tips and resources for making a great pair of jeans.

And if you are interested in the sew along, bounce over to Two On Two Off and let her know!

Happy sewing!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pattern Review: Butterick 5348

My first garment since October! I'm so happy to be sewing again. I will post pictures of my new sewing room soon.

Although I'm happy with the way this dress came out, I'm finding myself getting into a rut. My sewing skills are fine. But I feel like I lack the skill to match the right pattern to my body... and the right fabric to the pattern. It's hit and miss. Honestly, if I saw this dress in a store, I would walk on by. So I need to refine my eye for style and fabric. I've been trying to peruse RTW styles that I like and try to emulate that in my sewing. And I realize I should be making more fitted styles for a more sophisticated look. Do you have any other tips and tricks for matching fabric with style?

On another note, I've been impressed with Joann Fabrics special fashion fabric collections lately. This fabric was from one of thier fall lines- I can't remember which one. Just a few weeks ago I scooped up some pieces from thier Riviera line. They seem to be more fashion forward, better quality, and they coordinate with eachother.

Pattern Description: MISSES' DRESS: Dresses A, B, C, D in three lengths, with raglan sleeves or sleeveless, have front and back gathered bodice, self-faced neck band, back zipper and gathered skirt. A: contrast belt with self-ties and buttons. B: self-ruffle. C: sleeves with elastic casing, belt with self-ties, buttons and contrast band. A: length 3" above mid-knee. B, C: length mid-knee. D: length 2" below ankle.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 8-24 are available.

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, the instructions were fine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the gathering along the neckline and empire waist. After looking at the pattern, I envisioned an easy to wear, comfortable dress. I dislike the overly girly feel of the dress- it almost feels little girlish... but maybe that's just me.

Fabric Used: A polyester dress weight material from one of Joanns fashion collections. I saw it recently on sale in the clearance section for $3 a yard so if you like it- go snag it up.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the skirt by 1 inch. I made one size smaller than the pattern recommends by my measurements. The dress is pretty roomy- I took in each side above the waist by about 1/2 an inch. I still have room to slip the dress on over my head without opening the zipper. So if you aren't too busty- I recommend omitting the zipper. Also, instead of doing a narrow hem on the sleeves and bottom hem, I did a very narrow rolled hem. I thought this gave it a more professional look.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I probably won't sew this one again.

Conclusion: Good warm weather dress. I will wear this one with flip flops in the spring/summer... and maybe a jean jacket to lessen the little girl feel.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Coming soon...

I should be ashamed of myself. No sewing since October! Well, we are getting more and more settled into our new home. My sewing room is just about complete (pics to come). And today I actually finished a garment! And I've started a second one as well! Reviews and pics to come over the weekend- gotta have a photo shoot with the hubby.