Saturday, September 10, 2011

Busy As a Beaver

I've been working like a "Beaver" trying to get all my sewing done.  I know I have about 8 weeks left before I leave, but that goes by fast and I have so much to get completed by then.  Some items I've not posted (sorry, I wouldn't have time for sewing if I posted everything!)  I've made a couple of very nice tee shirts I've designed for my hubby too!  I'll definitely get vacation pictures up so you can see all of the things I've made once I return.  This has definitely been a challenge for me and don't think I'll do it to this extreme again!  Maybe a few pieces but never a full wardrobe!  I must have been crazy when I decided that!

My lastest project is a dress for dinner during the cruise, not my formal, just a dress to were for dinner.  I chose Butterick 5559 (View B) the sleeveless version.

I used a Camel colored (Dark Beige) Ponte Roma Knit from Fabricmart.  The fabric has a very soft hand and firm stretch with a very nice recovery, which makes it perfect for this style dress.  When I first put it on, it almost acted as it's own body shaper!  The pattern size runs from 6 to 20, I made a size 12 and although I normally make a 10 in knits, I'm very happy I made a 12 because this pattern was snug.  The instructions were very easy to follow, but it is essential to your results that you transfer all the line markings from your pattern to your fabric!  The other tip I'll give is that you pin each tuck before sewing it to keep them straight while sewing.  It could be much, much harder if you don't!  As it is, it took me a couple of days to complete this dress. (and there's only 4 freakin pattern pieces!!!)  That's just how long it took me to work on this ensuring each tuck was in the perfect place.

I think my results turned out pretty good...

The only adjustment I made to the pattern was lengthening the dress by 3 inches.  Doing that, made this dress just 1" above the knee for me, so it would have been to short for my comfort level!!   I do really like this dress but will probably not make it again because I have so many patterns to get to.  I do recommend it to others if you like the style. 

On to my next project and thanks again for stopping by!!

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another Vacation Ensemble

Thank you all so much for your very kind comments on my last post regarding my first maxi dress!  I am so glad you all encouraged me to make it and so glad I did!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

This post is about two patterns I used to complete an ensemble.  Butterick 5646 (View C, the blue one and model wearing).  I only read one review of this top on Pattern Review, interesting.  Also, Kwik Sew 3770, there were no reviews of this one on Pattern Review at all!  However, I actually saw these leggings and fell in love with them on fellow blogger Shannon's blog, Mushywear

The top:  This pattern while easy to make, takes some time to complete.  You must read the instructions to completely understand how the pleats are developed.  It's equally important to transfer markings from the pattern to your fabric, especially if you have a chiffon fabric as I did where both sides look the same!  (because of this, my pleats ended up on the opposite side...oh well!)  The fabric is a polyester chiffon from JoAnn Fabrics.  This top took me a couple days to complete (sewing when I could...not all day)  Also, the front bands (with hidden buttons, that I love!) and the sleeve bands, require interfacing.  Since my fabric is sheer, I opted for a very sheer, fusible tricot interfacing which worked perfectly.  No alterations or changes were made to the pattern, it fit perfectly right out of the envelope. Although this top takes some time to complete, I really love the end results and would highly recommend if it's your style...

The leggings:  Very, very easy and quick to make!  However, because of the ruching, they do take a little longer than traditional leggings.  The results are oooooh so much nicer though!  I used a white bamboo knit from Fabric Mart, which is perfect for the comfort of these leggings!  I can see I'll be wearing these out very I'm really happy I knew how to sew!!  I made one alteration to the pattern which was my usual crotch adjust because I'm short-waisted.  Other than that, the pattern is perfect and I love these leggings!  They remind me of when I was a teenager, we used to wear mutiple pairs of knee high socks at once and push them down towards our ankle.  We did this to make our legs look bigger!  It was the cool thing to do back in the day!!  I'm highly recommending this pattern if you like these "very different" looking leggings.  I'm currently cutting out a pair in black too!

Sorry about the dark DH took them without the flash on our way out to dinner with friends yesterday.  It was a rainy Labor Day and not much natural lighting and I didn't have any time for re-takes.  :(    I do love this ensemble and it will make a perfect addition to my vacation wardrobe.  Of course I test drove the wearability of this one yesterday and it passed with flying colors!  So if you like either piece, they both get "two thumbs up" from me!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Sewing!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Maxi Dress does work for me...

Ok, I know some of you were really recommending my last top/dress be made as a maxi dress.  What some of you may not know is that I was very uncomfortable wearing them outside of the house!  I saw them all over the place looking gorgeous on ladies!  In the malls, at restaurants, just everywhere I went I'd see someone in a maxi dress!  So why did I feel uncomfortable(please don't laugh)... it's because both me and the DH felt it was like having your nightgown on (pajamas, loungewear) you know, that kind of thing.  Well after a couple of private email messages from some of you, I thought I'd give it a try and I'm happy to say, that won't be a problem now!! (Thank you all!!) 

I decided to use McCalls 6326, View C (leopard print) and definitely needed to make a muslin first.  Especially since I'd never made this pattern before and there were only a couple of reviews on the view I wanted to make. (there were issues with that one too...everyone else made view D - pink one shoulder). 

While this is definitely a very, very easy, quick pattern to make, there was only one issue  I noticed.  I hate to say it again, but the length of the "keyhole" in front at the bottom of the twist, is much too long and shows all your girls!  I think the reason is, these types of tops are designed for women who are not as "curvy" on top, if you know what I mean!  So I ended up figuring out how to shorten the "keyhole" so it was modest enough for me and my girls! :)  It was a very, very minor adjustment to the pattern too.  Step 3...where you stitch to the circle, move the circle my case 2.5" higher. (If someone needs me to be more specific, let me know and I'll post it).  After that, this top is perfect!! (and oh so comfortable!)   Here's my muslin/sample (which turned out very wearable too!)... 

This is such a nice pattern and look once completed, I couldn't wait to make a maxi dress out of it!!!  I started immediately and completed the maxi dress in the same day!!!  Now how's that for a quick pattern!!! My muslin fabric was left over from another top just recently made.  It's a Canary yellow bamboo from Fabricmart.   I love, love, love it!!

The fabric for my maxi dress is also from Fabricmart and is an ITY knit.  Other than the change noted above and lengthening the bottom half to make this a maxi dress, this creation was a breeze!!  I can't wait to wear it out and the DH absolutely loves it! 

I didn't want to wait until I returned from the cruise to show you how it looked on me, so I please excuse the "no makeup" face!!! (I got up first thing this morning to take pictures).  I think this is going to be the perfect look for my cruise, don't you?...

Now all I have to do is figure out what shoes to wear other than my trusty gold "flipflops" I wear with just about everything!  I think a great pair of gladiator style espadrille wedges would be beautiful with this outfit, of course I'll have to buy some...shoe shopping, YEAH!!!

So, if this pattern tickles your fancy, it's definitely a great one to make and I highly recommend it!!  I think I'm going to make a shorter version too!  Maybe in a wild animal print! 

Well it's time to get back to the sewing machine!  Lot's more to get completed before I leave!  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Sewing!