Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Party Top


Hi everyone! The holidays are upon us and I know everyone must be CRAZY busy with the final preparations for your holiday celebrations! So I will make this really quick!

I was invited to my old company's Christmas party (last Friday) and wanted something new to wear. Since it was Casual Friday, I opted for jeans and just made a top. I had something in mind, so I used Simplicity 1063 as a start and added my changes to bring my thoughts to creation.

The only portion of the pattern I used was the front twist. All other pieces, sleeves, upper chest/neckline and back were all self drafted by me. This was such a quick sew...that I actually created it Friday morning prior to the 1:00pm Christmas party! Very very easy!

It was the perfect top for a casual office party and so very comfortable too. The black lace has a large amount of stretch and was gifted to me quite some time ago. The black fabric for the body of the top is a luxurious wool knit I purchased from Pennie Fabrics during the summer. I may make another and if so, I'll post how I did it if anyone is interested!

Thanks for stopping by and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and enjoyable Happy New Year!

Let's Go Sew!


Friday, December 4, 2015

First Drape on Ms. Thing (my dress form)

Hi everyone! Thank you to everyone who selected patterns during the giveaway on my last blog post. I'm very happy all of my patterns found good homes and hopefully I can see some of those patterns made up on your blogs (that is, if you have a blog!)

I'm going on vacation very soon and have been selecting items I want to make to go along with me. Today's post is about one of those outfits. I've never owned an entire linen outfit and since I will be going to the Caribbean, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to create an entire outfit in linen! I recently had taken a few classes in draping and patternmaking, so I decided to put my newly gained skills to the test and create a top. The inspiration for this top started with a RTW vest I purchased and never wore because I didn't really like the shape of it; but loved the fabric! I designed this top based around the fabric of that vest.

Below is a copy of the paper pattern pieces I created after draping muslin fabric on Ms. Thing (My dress form)...

Next, because I wasn't sure of my fit, I decided to make a muslin first. (Ya'll know I hate making muslins, but it had to be done!!).

My muslin (sorry no makeup!!)

But I nailed the fit the first time!! (even I can't believe that and I did it!) This is definitely going to be a wearable muslin! So now, onto the real thing!! BTW...the leggings I'm wearing I made using neoprene fabric I purchased from Mood Fabrics but never blogged about them. Extremely comfortable and quick to make!

The ombre salmon colored lace is from the original RTW vest I mentioned earlier. I decided to incorporate it with the linen since it was the original inspiration for the top. It's a combination of mesh and lace. The linen I purchased from Pennie Fabrics (now my favorite fabric store!) and is a cream colored Italian stretch linen...and believe me when I say, it's sews beautifully! I absolutely love how it turned out and can't wait to wear it!

I have to give credit to the lovely Andrea from Satin Bird Designs! She and I were shopping together and both purchased the same fabric and we both planned on making linen drawstring pants from our purchases. I washed and dried my fabric in preparation for making the pants. However, it took me a few weeks before I got back to it and unfortunately realized I didn't have enough to make my pants! I don't know if it was because it shrank that much or if I just didn't get enough (I know it was me!). I called Pennie Fabric to order more and NOOOOO, they were sold out!!

I mentioned to Andrea she should definitely pre-washed her fabric before starting the pants just to make sure she had enough. Then a few days later what do you know…I receive a gift in the mail and it's Andrea's purchase of her stretch linen! This woman is so selfless beyond belief! Her portion was not only enough to make my linen drawstring pants, but enough for my vision of the top above! Thank you so much Ms. Andrea, I love you!

Now for the pants to go with this top. I used Simplicity Pattern 3796 to create these drawstring pants! I believe the pattern is now out of print but can be purchased on Etsy (I provided a link above). I first made a Muslim which turned out pretty good after my adjustments. Unfortunately, in my haste to make these drawstring pants I neglected to transfer my short waist adjustments from the muslin to the paper pattern pieces! So of course now my crotch line is a little too long! Oh well it's going to be underneath the top so it won't matter, the fit is still good! (and if needed, I can do the "old school" waistband roll down, right Andrea, LOL!)

I am so very pleased with the turnout of this outfit, especially since this beautiful top was created in my mind and brought to fruition by little old me! I can't wait to go on vacation so I can wear it...

Again, thank you all so very much for stopping by and sharing a little of your time with me! I can't tell you how much it's appreciated!



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pattern Giveaway!

I am giving away some of my patterns everyone and I'll tell you why...I recently started cleaning out and reorganizing my pattern stash. This is a task I've been wanting to do for years! I know I am so behind in the game on this because everyone else has been blogging about their great organizational processes for some time now. However, going through my pattern stash now, I realize I don't just need to reorganize, I also need to purge!!! I have patterns I know I will NEVER make. Why did I purchase them you ask? Because I got caught up in the "glitz & glam" of what others made and looked good in too! Not paying attention to my own personal style!! I truly can't say this will not happen again because you know how we sewers's our passion and we can't help ourselves! (it might just be an addiction!!) What I truly can't believe is that I still have some patterns from the 1980's, LOL!!! (you all know how old I am, so I'm not dating myself!)

Here are some of the 1980's patterns...

I promise you, none of these "ancient" patterns will be included in the giveaway, LOL!! (Unless you really want them!)...and any of you born in the 80's, STOP LAUGHING!! Some of them I actually made, so they would be "used" patterns.

So without further ado, below are the pattern groups I'm giving away (all are unused)...

Group A - McCalls:

Group B - Simplicity:

Group C - New Look:

Group D - Vogue:

Group E - Burda/Butterick:

The giveaway will be on a first come basis and the only thing I ask is that you take the entire group where your selection resides. Please let me know in the comments below if you are interested, then you can email me privately with your shipping information.

On the sewing front, I do have some items completed I want to share with you and plan on posting them shortly! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a little of your day with me!



Friday, November 6, 2015

Random blog post...

Hey there everyone, I've been sewing a little here and there (Busy with classes, meetings and appointments!) but I do have a few projects lined up that will be coming your way very soon!

One of the classes I took a few weeks ago, was a "pattern making" class in Sarasota Florida at Pennie Fabrics! It was a great class, I learned so much and was able to create and bring home my very own sloper! The class was very intimate (approximately 10 to 15) individuals, so we were each able to have one on ones easily with the instructor! Overall the class was extremely informative and I'm looking forward to additional upcoming classes! Below are a couple of photos from the class (and of course, you bet there was plenty of fabric shopping afterwards!)...

During that class, I learned some great information I wasn't aware of and wanted to share it with all of you...just in case you weren't aware either.

I've been wanting a professional dress form for sometime now. The dress form I currently have (Miss Thing) has been with me since the early 80s! She's served me very well, but now it's time for an update don't you think? Unfortunately the prices of professional dress forms kept me hanging onto "Miss thing" all this time. Well during the pattern making class, to my surprise, I heard that you can purchase them for under $200...WAIT WHAT DID YOU SAY!!! (That's what went on in my little head when I heard it!). Of course, right then and there while in the class, I quickly went to my trusty IPhone and searched Amazon and to my surprise, there she was! (see here) I found one for under $200 and needless to say this baby was coming home to mama! My New dress form arrived yesterday and I am totally in love!

I purchased the dress form in my normal size 10 (for knits) and to make sure I could get a good custom fit, I also purchased the "Fabulous fit" kit. A whole heck of a lot cheaper than a custom dress form! (one that I may gain weight and grow out of anyway-especially now that I'm getting older maturing!)

I can't wait to start using it! I especially like the fact that now I can use my draping tape! The tape would not stick to my current dress form and my found myself having to pin it, didn't work the same!

Were you all aware you could purchase professional dress forms for under $200? Do you feel you even need one?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a little of your day with me? Now...



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Coral is just my color… Butterick 5313

I'm finally getting caught up on my blogging! (It's about time, LOL!). This was a dress I'd made for work a while back. Unlike most of my projects, this dress started with the selection of the fabric. The fabric had been in my stash for a while but until recently, I truly didn't know what to do with it. It's an ITY knit with a print that has the look of denim. Very soft with lots of stretch!
Finally one day it came to me, (I have absolutely no clue mind seems to do mysterious things sometimes!) I could make a specific dress! I searched through my pattern stash looking for the pattern I knew I had (I have to get these patterns organized one day very soon!). Butterick 5313 turned out to be a great decision for this luscious fabric!

The pattern has great instructions and it's very quick to create. (made in one day) I made my usual size 10 for knits. The only issue I had was installing the neck band. I had a little gaping across the upper back which caused the neckband to bow out in the back. In order to correct this, I had to make a small wedge from the top of the back neck to the mid upper back of the dress. Not the perfect way to fix this, but it was much easier than trying to take the neckband off the dress…knits are not the best to take apart using a seam ripper! (you'd be better off pulling your hairs out of your head one at a time!) I made a small back adjustment on the back pattern piece and shortened the neckband pattern piece to correct this for future versions!

Overall, I really love this dress! It's a very cute style that can dressed up or worn very casual. It's also very comfortable to wear!

In this photo, I wore it to work paired with a black RTW (Ann Taylor) jacket.
Because this fabric is a "performance fabric", it travels very well with no wrinkling! Now those of you who know me, know that I am normally not a dress person (I perfer two piece dresses). However, I plan to make a couple other casual versions of this dress to take along with me on vacation! If you're looking for a quick dress to make, casual and/or professional…give this pattern a try!

Again, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a little of your day with me!



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Episodes of a RTW Remake

Hello everyone, this is another episode of "ready to wear (RTW)" remake. When I was on a business trip a few months ago, I was frantically trying to find a top to wear to an event. Then I stumbled across this beautiful turquoise colored, combination chiffon and knit top! It was perfect for the occasion and I've quickly fallen in love with it! Now months later I was looking for another top to wear to a event my husband & I were attending and the first thing that popped into my mind was that beautiful turquoise colored top. If only I could have it in another color! But alas! I can sew…I can have any clothing item my heart desires (within reason that is!)

So off to my fabric stash I go…and I came out with this beautiful coral colored knit and a matching coral colored chiffon. I had purchased them both a while back from Pennie Fabrics and had posted about them here.

I felt this would be a quick and easy sew, because it's basically just a tank top with a chiffon drape across the front! Since I wanted it to be exactly like the turquoise color top, I decided not to try and find a pattern to match the tank top. (I'm positive I have one in my stash somewhere) Instead I traced The RTW top. It was very easy to do and so quick I actually made this top a few hours in the morning before the event! Really, no lie! You sewers out there know it's very easy to throw together a tank top...then drape fabric across the front, easy peasy, right?

So I traced the RTW top on to some of my pattern paper, and now I have a pattern to make this top again anyway I like in the future!

I took a close look at the RTW top, to figure out how I was going to put this one together. It worked out to my benefit because it looked pretty simple and straightforward. As I stated earlier, a few hours later and Wa La...I had a brand-new top in a beautiful coral color!

The fabric for the RTW tank is a rayon Lycra and is softer than my "me made" top which is rayon spandex. (I prefer the rayon lycra but both fit very nice) I did have one little area of concern that I will correct when I make my next one. However, the concern is not enough for anyone to really know who doesn't sew! (and sewers may not know… Can you tell? :) )

I really do like what I did with this remake and now when they are worn out or if I just want another, I can have it easily!

Do you have an RTW favorite that you remade recently?

Thanks for stopping by and spending a little of your day with me, it's truly appreciate it!



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

LWD (The Little White Dress)

Hello everyone, in my last post I mentioned I was working on a dress for the Janet Jackson concert and how it just did not work out. However, I only realized it after I tried it on. The problem wasn't the fit of the dress, it was more that I felt it was not the correct option for the occasion. Since I was attending the concert with the hubby and he was wearing jeans and a nice sweater, I just didn't think this dress would work. However, thank goodness for me, it's still a nice dress for another occasion! The hubby and I are going on another cruise vacation very soon, and I feel this dress will work perfectly for a dinner during that vacation.

Now back to the review…I purchased the fabric from Pennie Fabrics some time ago. It's an off white medium weight, four-way stretch knit with textured waves going through the fabric (not sure of the fabric content...I have to get better at getting this info!).

Since the fabric has a lot of character itself, I decided to use a simple tank pattern to make this dress. An old pattern from my stash, Kwik Sew 2517, seem to fit the bill perfectly!

Also, I wanted there to be a sheer panel somewhere in this dress, so I purchased some sheer off white stretch nylon netting from Spandex House (online). If you've not purchased from them before, you should really take a look! They have great selections, the prices are good and fast shipping too!

I sewed the top half of the dress, the sheer panel and the bottom half of the dress separately and then sewed them together as one. I did this because I wanted to make French Seams in the sheer panel. However, silly me, in my excitement of making the dress, neglected to try on each piece separately for fit first!!! You guessed it…the dress was too big and I needed to take it in!!! (give me a moment hoo!!) So, no french seams on my sheer panel now! I ended up serging the seams and I'm going to leave it that way because the dress is just for me. Had it been for a client, I would take it apart even if it meant purchasing more fabric just to make the French seams...after fitting first of course!

I had to add a center back seam for fitting purposes and unfortunately did not pay attention to the pattern design in the fabric, but it came out close enough for me. As you see here, we long-time sewers have our issues too, LOL!! Also, I have to say this fabric was a challenge sewing! I've never had a problem with very stretchy knits before...but this one really "kicked my you know what"!!! The fabric wanted to stretch out on me while sewing on the serger and my sewing machine. I had to be very creative with my serger and machine settings while handling the fabric so I wouldn't end up with wavy seams on my dress!

I really like the look of this very simple dress and will probably make it again just for the experience of doing it CORRECTLY! Maybe in black for that LBD I don't have!! Whenever I wear this dress, I plan on pairing it with a bold color since the dress is off-white…I can think of many options too! Below is one of my thoughts...royal blue mules (sandals) and a silver necklace with royal blue accents...

All in all, the dress turned out nice so I won't complain because this could have ended up a total wadder! (and Myra crying all over her sewing machines!) Have any of you experienced knits stretching out on you while sewing and if so, how did you handle? I'd love to hear any good tips and suggestions! Thanks again for stopping by!

Let's Go Sew!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

McCall's 6841 Remake, A Concert and An Announcement…

Hey everyone...remember me? I missed you all and hope you missed me too! I have not been sewing for sometime, so recently I worked on a couple of things and it really made me want to get back into the 2nd love of my life… "Sewing" of course! (The first love is my family!!)

My husband and I recently went to the Janet Jackson concert (her Unbreakable Tour) and of course like a average woman you know I needed something new to wear! I started off working on a dress that I thought would be really cute for the occasion…that immediately got sacked after I tried the completed dress on! (more on that in another post, LOL!).

I had this beautiful yellow sweater fabric in my stash I'd purchased from Michael Levine quite sometime ago (it's no longer available). I decided to use it with McCall's 6841...

that turned out to be a great choice! Because I had made this twice before I was used to working with the pattern. And I needed to get something done very quickly since this was made the day of the concert! (Nothing like waiting to the last minute, LOL!). I made this version sleeveless and made one slight change to the sleeveless version... I brought the armhole edges in towards the neckline approximately 1" for more of an expose shoulder. (The old girl wants to be a little sexy, sexy!) I have to say the fabric really made this top!!…

I wanted to make sure to got some pictures of the actual top on me, but unfortunately, the only ones I have are cell phone shots the Hubby took in the hotel and one at the actual concert...
This top paired with some black leggings and of course some killer 5" Black heels…made me feel absolutely FABULOUS!! My husband and I had a wonderful time and Janet was the ultimate professional who put on a great show! This was a great way to start my new life which leads me to my announcement…

I finally took the plunge and RETIRED from corporate!!! New life, New blog look and a New Attitude! Blogging can now be a full part of my life...can anyone say YEAH, HALLEUJAH!!! It's been a really long time coming and I'm so happy it's finally here! We'll be talking again very soon and thank you all so much for stopping by and giving me a little bit of your time!

Let's Go Sew!