Sunday, February 19, 2012

Simplicity Spring Pattern Picks

I'm usually a Simplicity girl- you can see from my blog that the majority of what I have sewn has been Simplicity. However, I'm a little underwhelmed by their patterns they have put out for Spring. There's not a lot that I haven't seen before. Here are a couple that did catch my eye though...

Leanne Marshall was the winner of Project Runway Season 5. She has very feminine designs and I'm excited to see that she's working with Simplicity! I love these dresses in 1877.

I love these dresses in 1872. They look so sweet with the ruffles in the skirt and the v-neck, wrap bodices. I even love the orange! It makes me think Spring!

Pattern Review: All in a bunch Top

Simplicity 2181

Here is one of my "everyday" tops that I talked about in my last post. That is- tops that I can pair with jeans and still look a little more put together than just jeans and a t-shirt.

This top was quick and easy to make. I used a knit that I found at Joann Fabrics. It's light and drapey, very much like an ITY knit. I can't remember exactly how much I spent but it was less than $15. The print is an abstract blue, purple and pink combo.

I like how this top turned out. The sleeve and body of the top are all one piece. I actually do prefer v-necks in my tops, I think they are more flattering. This top is a low v-neck, but with all of the fabric bunched together it doesn't gape or feel immodest.

My one gripe is how Simplicity has you construct the front v-neck. This will probably make more sense if you have sewn it or are going to. The front of the top has a center seam. The instructions have you stop sewing several inches below where the v-neck ends, leaving a slit about four-five inches open below the small band that holds all of the bunched up fabric together in the center. At first, I didn't think this was a big deal because with all of the bunched up fabric, you would think that the "slit" would stay closed. This was not the case. When I wore this the first time, I looked down at one point and noticed that the slit was open, revealing my tummy underneath. Of course I was in public too! So I promptly sewed the remaining center seam up to the bottom of the v-neck. This did not impact the finished look of the garment and made it much more easier to wear. I'm not quite sure why the instructions have you leave the slit.

Overall, this is a keeper. I think I would like to make it once more in a solid knit. The print distracts from the interesting style of the top.

Paired with the first garment that I posted to this blog- my denim pencil skirt! It's a little more snug than when I first made it but I'm just glad I can get it zipped up... LOL!
Stay tuned for a big project that I have planned. I'll be adding another tab up on top for it. I've been inspired by Lori and her Wardrobe Sewalong on her blog Girls in the Garden. More to come!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pattern Review: Donna Karen Shirtdress

I was drawn to this pattern because I love the shape of this shirt dress. I like the hidden placket and the slight tulip shaped skirt. I didn't study the line drawings very well and didn't realize what a uniquely designed dress this really is until I got to making it.

I went with a size 18. It ended up just a bit on the large side but the large fabric belt cinches it in nicely. (I'm still getting used to that post-pregnancy body. I think I over compensate. That, and I have lost some weight. Just a few more pounds and I'll be back to pre-baby-body! It only took a year... lol!) I made petite adjustments by taking off a half inch length in the bodice and in the skirt for a total of one inch.

I had my eye on this blue and white print fabric from Jo-ann for some time but I could decide what I would use it for. It is a larger scale print so it needed just the right pattern for it. I think this pattern fit the bill. I can't remember what I paid for the fabric but I am guessing under $25.
Vogue rates the pattern as "average" and I think that's about right. There are some tricky corners and details but I didn't think it was overly difficult. I spent about 6-8 hours sewing after cutting it out.

I made a couple of minor changes, the first one being on the construction of the roll-up sleeve. Because my fabric had an obvious wrong side, I didn't want it to show on the roll-up sleeve. So what I did was made a deep hem- about 4 inches to the inside of the sleeve. Then I folded the hem of the sleeve to the outside to give it the rolled up look without having the wrong side of the fabric show. For this same reason, I folded the tie belt in half lengthwise, sewed it together, and turned it right side out. So now it is a skinnier belt. But I think it looks a lot cleaner without the wrong side showing.

It turned out to be a very flattering, well designed dress! I have not had a chance to wear this out yet but I think I will wear it on date night with the hubby once the weather warms up.

My legs have not seen the light of day for several months and you can tell! And yes, I chopped my hair off! Well I didn't- the nice ladies at JcPenney Salon did it for me. I've been thinking about it for a long time and I bit the bullet and went for it! I have a love-hate relationship with the new do. Sometimes I look in the mirror and say "what have I done?", and other times I really like the new, short, choppy look!