Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Does your fabric have a story?

Isn't this a lovely trenchcoat?!

The wonderful Kathryn, who authors the blog, I Made This, created this awesome trenchcoat from some wool crepe that she bought at Fabric Mart and felted.  Of course I had to have some of the fabric too!  I had this wonderful idea to make a 3/4 length felted jacket and a matching dress from the  unfelted wool crepe.  So I bought 8 yards of this fabric at the amazing price of $2.99 per yard.

After it arrived, it sat out waiting its turn for awhile and then it got relegated to the fabric closet...the seasons changed several times and still it sat patiently abiding.  When I changed my SWAP plan earlier this month, it came to mind because the color of the fabric is one of the flecks in the fabric of the Vogue 8623 jacket.

It will become SWAP Dress #3 - another variation of my TNT dress.  I wanted a simple style dress to go under cardigans and jackets for work...a working neutral.  That's what I'm making missing sewing mojo finally showed up Sunday at 5:00 pm!

The entire time that I've been working with the fabric, I've been reminded of its tie to Kathryn's amazing trench.  So tell me...have you used a piece of fabric that had a story or sentimental value?  Does your fabric have a story?  Talk to me people because this is the Question of the Day!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So the way I've been moaning (okay whining really! *smile*) I think spring is finally on its way.

So I've got dress fever.

So the good thing is that I do need to make three dresses to finish off my SWAP.

So I'm looking for ideas to make it work and

So I found this link to Dillards...I'm in pig heaven.

So now I have to figure out which three dresses to make...(and none of the dresses pictured are in the running.  I just thought they were very pretty!)

...and I'm finally happy...spring is coming...I will be able to make some new dresses...

So there!  *LOL*

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Going My Own Way...

I stopped doing reviews of new pattern offerings years ago.  There are so many bloggers out there that do the reviews much better and then actually go on to make the patterns.  Patterns just seem to be inspiration to me and I tend to go my own way, but they still stir my creative juices and make me believe that there are new possibilities just over the horizon. 

So today when I saw Erica's post about the new Summer Vogues, I was thrilled and couldn't wait to get home to view the listings.  And now here I sit deflated...because there was NOTHING there for me.  I can usually find at least one, two, three or five patterns that I want from the new selections, but this time nada, zip, zippo...

And I'm sad...because I think this Kay Unger dress can be graded up to at least a size 30 ~ why doesn't Vogue?

...and this a great party dress...if you only want a size 22!

But if I want to wear a bag with a square shoulders and a large cowlneck...oh and let's not forget the designer version of that look...or gathers at the neck or on the shoulders or a large v-neck, or a caftan (seriously that was the best Ralph Rucci garment they could find!) any of those patterns will do.

So what's a fashionable fat girl suppose to do?  Why go her own way!  Thank God for TNT patterns cause I won't be purchasing any of these offerings...and yet, here I sit, sad that there is nuthin for me...*sigh*

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Diary Bits

1.  I did not sew on Sunday.  I just couldn't get it together.  I think I needed another day to rest.  So I let it go.

2.  I'm fully registered for PR Weekend in Philly.  Yes, I've committed with a little arm-bending from Karen, so I'm looking forward to seeing you all there!

3.  Since I'm going to PR Philly, I've told myself that I can't buy another piece of fabric until that weekend.  I even cancelled my last Fabric Mart order.  What the h*ll have I just done?  If you see a woman roaming around the streets of NYC with a single swatch in her hand, saying I need more fabric...I gotta have some fabric...Why can't I buy a yard of fabric?  Just give her a hug and tell her that May will be here sooner than she thinks!

4.  But on the upside ~ we are going to JoMars!  JoMars - I think I love that place as much as I love Fabric Mart, so I will just quietly chant it to myself when I get a little shaky from fabric withdrawal.

4.  Ummm, I've got five weekends left to finish my SWAP!  D*mn now I'm starting to get worried!  I've still got quite a few pieces left to sew. *LOL*

5.  I sent one of the pairs of shoes back - the tan patent pump ones from Dillards.  They weren't comfortable.  And I tried to make them work...HARD!  I wore them in the morning, y'know when they say it's the best time to wear your new shoes, still a little tight.  I wore them with yesterday they were boxed up and sent back!

6.  I'm really mad at Sheila!  Not because she did anything...well maybe she did!  She's made three amazing pieces from Butterick 5147.  I've had that pattern forever!  It's been on my to-sew list forever.  Have I made anything from it?  Noooooo...but Sheila's made some amazing pieces so I've decided that I'm mad at her! *LOL*

7.  I think I wanna sew!  I think I'm ready...of course I am...I have engagements for both days this weekend.  You know you always wanna do something when you don't have time to do it!

Okay...I'm out...these are just a few of the things rambling around in my brain.  Gotta go and watch Lost - only 8 more episodes left!

Oh, one last thing...I don't like alot of reality shows but I LOVE Dancing with the Stars and this is why!  Seriously...did she dance or was she just using her partner as a stripper pole!?  ROTFLOL!

One a serious note, please read NancyK's post today!  Stand up and be counted! always, more later!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Road Trip

...well not really a road trip but it d*mn sure seemed like it because we took the munchkin and I've forgotten how much stuff you have to take with you when a small child is involved!

Anyway, I went to Princeton today to visit my local Talbots store.  I've been oodling and oodling the goods online and I really wanted to touch them in person.  Plus it was such a lovely spring day here on the East Coast that it was just too nice to stay inside.

So we set off to Princeton, me, the darling daughter and the little one.  Who is such a flirt!  Seriously, dude just lit up as woman after woman proclaimed his cuteness! 

There use to be a Talbots Woman store in Princeton but there's only a Petite and Regular size one even though I didn't get to try anything on...I did get a sense of the fabrics that they are using in their garments.

The ones I specifically looked at were:

This tweed sheath is displayed prominently in their catalog, as well as on their website, with a cute floral cardigan sweater.  I thought the tweed fabric would be thin but it is a medium weight tweed.  Great for early spring and spring-like temps.  I don't think I would wear this dress during the hottest days of summer but would definitely pull it back out for the first crisp fall days.  I wasn't as impressed with the cardigan shown with the dress.  The fabric is thin and since I use cardigans during the summer to keep me warm from overly air conditioned places, this one wouldn't have provided much comfort.  However, I did like the mother of pearl shank buttons that they used...and will be using that on a garment of my own in the future.

This shirtdress again exceeded my expectations.  It is constructed from a firm medium-weight linen with a lot of body.  Of course the dress is lined with an invisible zipper in the even though the dress has its design roots in the early 60s, it is missing that side zip...which I've never fully understood anyway!  I was glad that I got to touch both dresses, even though Talbots website has considerably more dresses than the store does.  However, I have a much better idea of where I'm headed with creating my own spring dresses.

Of course there were shoe stores...Nine West and Aerosoles along with the shoe departments in Talbots, Ann Taylor, J. Crew and Banana Republic.  And all of these stores are featuring nude colored shoes. 

I like Nine West shoes, they just tend to come in heel heights over 3" which is my absolute cut-off for shoes.  Gone are the days when I can tip around in high, high heels *sigh* so I have to make it work with lower heeled ones.  However, I tried this pair on:

And I really wanted to take them home with me but since they were just a little over 4" heels, I left them.  Even though, I've really, really wanted some platform pumps, ultimately I decided to take this pair instead:

...which are really more me!  They also received the "seal of approval" from the Significant Other so I guess they are keepers.  He actually grinned quite broadly at them so I guess I did good!  Although, I did manage to find this pair:

from Dillards - they are a tan patent leather with a 2.5" heel...and this pair:

which are a ultimate favorite type of shoes to wear.  So now I'm in possession of three pairs of bone heels.  I think I went a little overboard! *LOL*  Won't need any more of these anytime soon!   Or maybe since I'm not really buying fabric...I've probably replaced buying fabric with buying shoes.  As you'll see in the upcoming months, I've bought quite a few pairs!

Anyway...that was my day trip...a little snoop shopping, a little shoe shopping...and a great lunch with my darling daughter & the Little Prince (who was so well behaved in the restuarant - but I think that had more to do with the great french fries than the stimulating conversation!) 

Tomorrow I will be more later!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Is Sewing First or Last in your life?

I haven't been feeling well lately...and it's caused me to think about several things...mostly what the h*ll would my daughters do with all this sewing stuff I've accumulated! *LOL*  But mostly I've reflected on the fact that I LOVE TO SEW!

I honestly don't know how I would adjust to a world where I couldn't sew.  Sewing allows me not only the ability to be imaginative and creative, but it also frees me from the everyday cares of this world...the mothering, the working, the friendships...etc.  It gives me time to just be me ~ which most times is the best of me. 

So the other day when I stumbled upon Myrna's post, it wasn't the main entry that grabbed my attention so much as the gratitude section at the end.  Now I read Myrna's blog now and times I read the "personal growth" section at the end and sometimes I skip it.  But this time it just resonated with today's Question of the Day is, "Is Sewing First or Last in your life?"  Do you take time for yourself or do you give it to others first?  Are housework and chores more important than replenishing or nurturing your creative side?

I'm sure y'all know my answer...but talk back to me people, I would love to hear yours! always, more later!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A few things I want for Spring

I've seen this Macy's ad in several variations in quite a few of the spring fashion magazines.

It's caused me to yearn for some spring things and has ignited my creative imagination.  Out of this yearning and my apparent lack of ability to sew right now, I have formed a preliminary list of items I want to make for spring.

1.  A floral skirt

I'm sure that I have a wonderful piece of floral linen in the collection to make one.  I know I have a great white twinset from last spring in the wardrobe.  This will be a quick and easy update to my wardrobe...thank goodness for TNT patterns!

2.  An architectural dress

There were so many of these on the Red Carpet at the Oscars and there are just as many being featured in the fashion mags.  I definitely want to make the two dresses featured in this blog post and have gathered the fabric needed to make these work.

3.  A Liberty of London Sheath Dress

My fabric arrived and it's beautiful.  Now I just need the willpower, my TNT dress pattern and the time to make my own version.  And yes, ladies I realize the fabric is thin and have always had plans to underline the Liberty Lawn.  It will make an amazing dress for those really hot and humid days of summer.

4.  A nude or bone pair of shoes

I don't know why but this is really appealing to me now.  So I want to purchase a pair of nude pumps this spring.

5.  Blue and black pieces

I laughed out loud when I read Adam Glassman's column in the April 2010 issue of O Magazine.  Geeze he could be describing my SWAP collection, "Midnight in the Oasis."  I am going to add some bursts of color to it because it is a transition wardrobe but the basis of the collection is black and navy!  Am I on trend or what!?!  I've even bought a necklace similar to the one pictured above...not quite so ornate because I want to wear it to work but it is a little funky and trendy.  

I need to note here that I've finally settled on my own version of the professional dress requirements for my job.  It's about time, right! *LOL*  I've made peace with "pretty and professional" I just hear it too often to be offended now.  I've decided that while I've managed to carve out my own look, I've made my peace with the fact that it's professional looking and it also makes me look pretty too.

6.  A spring coat

photo courtesy of

Not a trench coat but an old fashioned 1960s era example of a spring coat.  I've got a thigh length beige trench coat and a longer black one so I'm looking for something a little different this year...something a little more me!  Something pretty, polished and that makes a I'm planning on using Vogue 8626 in a lightweight creamy yellow fabric to achieve this look.

7.  A vintage dress

I've been looking for this pattern for months.  I originally saw it on Lanetz Living in a smaller size.  After locating a larger one on eBay, I really want to make a version of this using the original Vogue pattern and my TNT dress pattern.

8.  The Border Print Dress Collection
I've bought several border print fabrics in the last few months...some knits, some wovens and I've finally decided on how I want to use them.  So the fabrics will become a dress collection this spring/summer using some vintage patterns, some new patterns and of course my TNT dress pattern.

Those are my thoughts on spring sewing.  What are yours?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Little Prince is One!

The Little Prince is a year old today!

Here is the little peanut on his first day of life:

And here is His Royal Highness now:

4 teeth later, crawling & walking a few steps and chattering non-stop...he is the bright spot to the end of a weary day!  I love being a grandma!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do we as sewists really understand ease?

Seriously, think about it..."Do we as sewists really understand ease and how it relates to the patterns we buy?"  This thought came to me as I was reading Gertie's blog post today.

How many times have we looked at the picture on the front of a pattern and made an assumption without actually reading the verbiage on the back of the pattern envelope.  That pattern description is there for a reason and it gives clues to the pattern designer's thoughts, as well as, to how the pattern company drafted the pattern pieces.

So let's examine the definition of the word we sewists frequently use.

In "Fit for Real People" by Pati Palmer and Maria Alto there is an entire chapter dedicated to ease.  They start their chapter with this definition:

"Ease is the difference between body measuements and garment measurements.  Some people like tight clothes and others like loose-fitting clothes.  The amount of ease you find comfortable is personal perference.  It varies with size, age and lifestyle." 

Then they go on to define two types of ease ~ minimum and design and what types of fabrics have more and less ease.

Adele Margolis in her book, "How to make clothes that fit and flatter" says this about ease:

"It is difficult and often unwise to give standard amounts of ease.  An amount that's right for one person may be altogether wrong for another.  If you just want to stand around decoratively, you'll need less ease.  If you're the type that insists on moving around you'll want more.  If you're heavy, you'll need more; your muscles in motion take up more room.  If you're an active type, you'll feel imprisoned by a dress that encases you.  An uncomfortably snug dress that keeps you tugging at it may spoil your fun and your looks.  A comfortable one leaves you free to enjoy all around you without worrying about "bustin' out all over" - like June."

Now I'm one of the first to stand up and criticize the pattern companies when I feel that they are coming up short when serving us their core customer.  However, sometimes I think our own lack of understanding causes us to blame the pattern companies for a wrong that isn't theirs but ours...and that's myself included.  We have to know & understand a few basic sewing terms and pay attention to the clues that the pattern company is giving us. 

For example ~ Loose fitting, very loose fitting, fitted and semi-fitted are terms that regularly appear in the pattern descriptions of the Big 4 Pattern Companies.  After looking through a few of my Burda Style Mags, I do realize that this information is not included in any of their definitions.  However, the Burda envelope patterns that I own do use these words such as; close-fitting, loose fitting and fitted.

I think we need to determine what amount of ease we like to wear before we cut into a pattern or are swayed by the pattern's photo or sketch.  And once you have a set amount of ease that you like to have in garments, then carefully use the wording on the pattern envelope to assist you when picking the style of garment to make...but to generally state that the pattern companies allow to much ease in their patterns...does not take into account these factors or the fact that the pattern company sells patterns to fit a variety of people who have different ideas about how much ease their clothing should have.  What works for you, may not work for me and vice versa.

We need to learn what works for us and use that.  We need to learn the principles of minimum, of very loose-fitting or of close-fitting ease and process that into our reasoning when starting a garment.  I think when we have a better understanding of how ease works in not only our garment's design but in our everyday lives, we will be happier with the ease in our finished garments.

To that end, I can not recommend highly enough, the book, Fit for Real People.  As stated earlier, there is an entire chapter on ease, how to measure for it, how to understand it in relation to a pattern vs. an actual garment, and how to achieve the right amount of ease that we desire in our garments.

I hope I haven't sounded like I'm lecturing...I guess I'm just passionate about the fact that we sewists should understand all of the complexities of making a well-fitted garment.  There are just so many decisions that we must make that ultimately affect the outcome of the finished garment...and there are several great tools in the marketplace that can assist us with learning to make the most informed choices.

So the next time you make a garment and wonder why it's too big or too small, ask yourself if you took the time to look for the "ease words" when choosing your pattern!

...more later!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Book Review ~ This I Accomplish by Kyra Hicks

I'm not a quilter and I don't pretend to be one.  Most times I don't understand the process...why you would want to cut fabric up into tiny pieces and then sew it back together mystifies me.  However, I do appreciate "the art" of quiltmaking and the history of quiltmaking...especially for black quilt makers.

There are some interesting blogs on my blog reading list.  Two of them are quilt blogs.  One because I love the art of what she creates (Allie's In Stitches) and the other because she discusses the history of black quilters (Black Threads).  Both are fascinating to me. 

Several months ago, Kyra sent me a copy of her book, "This I Accomplish:  Harriet Powers' Bible Quilt and Other Pieces"  It has taken me a few months to read through it because it is an engaging history of Harriet Powers, her quilts and the journey she makes.  It is a well-documented book, full of historical references, books and exhibits.  Quite frankly, the only books on quiltmaking that I've ever read were technique books so this one was interesting because it is a historical journey.

Harriet Powers was born in 1837 as a slave.  Was freed in 1872.  She was a wife and mother of 9 children.  She made 4 memorable quilts.  She exhibited and won an award for her quilts and Kyra's book thoughtfully examines her work.

If you are interested in the history of black quilters, this is a definite book for you.  If you are interested in the history of quiltmaking in America, this is a book for you.  And if you are just interested in quiltmaking, this is a book for you. 

Kyra, I know it took me a minute to review it but I wanted to read the book in its entirety and give it the review it deserved.  Thank you for sharing this with me and I'm thrilled to have it in my sewing library! always, more later!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not much sewing going on here...

I hate that the topic of this post is that...I want to sew!  But I have no desire to sew!  I know it's because the seasons are changing and I really don't want to make another fall/winter garment.  However, it's not warm here yet...rainy yes!  Cold and damp...yes!  But there are no warm spring long sunny days...just that transistional period that does not encourage me to sew.

Now buying...ha!  That's another story!  I am single-handledly keeping both my UPS Driver and my US Postal Person employed!  And it's not like I don't have ideas...oh please my mind is overflowing with ideas...of wait for it...spring dressses!  I even have the fabric, lining, pattern and buttons for a spring that I want in the worse way.  I should be working on that now, right?!  So that it's ready to wear when the spring weather comes...ummmm, yeah right...that ain't happening!

So I'm just checking in to let you know that I'm alive.  That nuthin' fiberly is going on in my little corner of the world...well that is if you don't count accumulating.  That even though the lights flickered on and off ALOT yesterday that we didn't ever really lose power during that very nasty Nor'easter.  And that even though today we turn the clocks ahead an hour in anticipation of spring...I'm just not feeling it!

Seriously, is spring EVAH coming?

...more later!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Changing my SWAP

...not the name...I'm still calling it "Midnight at the Oasis" I'm changing the option.  I'm seriously losing interest in the first version that I was creating and am in danger of not finishing it at all.  So after a week of deliberation, I've decided to go with the dress option.  Because seriously that's the option I should have been creating anyway! 

Here is the original option I chose:

Option #2:
2 dresses - single pieces consisting of top and bottom that can be worn alone.
6 tops - t-shirts, shirts, blouses, or camisoles
2 bottoms - jeans, pants, shorts, skirts or kilts.
1 your choice (not an accessory) 

Here is the option that I'm now going to use:

Option #3:
5 dresses -single pieces consisting of top and bottom that can be worn alone.
4 tops - t-shirts, shirts, blouses, or camisoles
1 bottom - jeans, pants, shorts, skirt or kilt.
1 your choice (not an accessory) 

I've still got quite a few garments to make but at least now I can plan garments that I actually want to sew.  Have to figure out what the three new dresses will be because I do want to continue using new patterns and not relying on just my TNT patterns for garments. 

I still have to incorporate these features:

1 will be a matched print or stripe.
1 will feature embroidery, beads or sashiko
1 will have buttons as the star feature OR use unusual or alternative closure(s). 

And now I only have to make 4 tops instead of 6 which helps because tops are not my strong suit.  I normally purchase tops...too busy making dresses, skirts and pants that I like instead of something that I usually can find in RTW. 

So here is a pic of where I'm at right now:

Jacket Vogue 8623; Pants from TNT pants pattern

Sorry the picture is so dark...however, it has shown me something...I do need to lighten this set up considerably ~ its looking a little dark and dreary!  I'm feeling like I'm on the right track now because I really don't want to drop out of SWAP.  I hate leaving things unfinished. always, more later!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Quick Diary Bit on a Saturday Afternoon

My daughters remind me consistently that I keep saying that I'm not going to purchase any more fabric...and then another box shows up! *LOL*  However, today, I'm going to share with you something I just found on Emmaonesock and I hope that you get some too...well if you want some that is! 

First a little background on the purchase.  Target like H&M have guest designers create affordable pieces for their stores.  Initially I tried to purchase some of these pieces but I don't have the kind of lifestyle that allows me to haunt their websites either waiting for the garments to appear or being annoyed because they don't come in plus sizes.  Cause dontcha know that haunting major retailers sites is just not the same as haunting fabric sites! *LOL*

Anyway, I've loved the pictures of the Target Liberty of London sheath dresses that have been featured in print ads in all of the spring magazines.  So instead of going the route of trying to purchase one from Target, I decided that if I "stumbled" upon a Liberty print, that I would buy it instead and make my own dress.  Well, I've stumbled...

Emmaonesock has some pretty awesome prints on her site.  This one followed me home:

So go over and check them out and see if any want to come home with you!

I haven't started to sew yet...probably because I haven't determined what I want to make...but I'm sure I will have something to either talk about or share with you later... 

Friday, March 05, 2010

Friday Diary Bits

Ohmygosh has this been a very long week of work!  I've had very little time to read blogs or even think about sewing...and even though I have no plans for this weekend (thank goodness!) I have no idea what I'm going to sew.  I feel like making a dress because the temps are suppose to be in the 50's at the beginning of the week...although I have several beautiful ones from last fall that have only been worn once...I guess I will decide tomorrow.

My Rowenta is leaking.  It's been leaking for a minute and I've been gingerly prodding it along.  Last weekend, was too much for me though and I decided that it's time for my baby to be replaced.  Now I know that some people get annoyed when their irons start to leak after a few years but I've put mine through the paces and realize that a household iron is NOT suppose to get that kind of a work-out.  So I carted another one home tonight.  I bought it from the Williams Sonoma in the Time Warner Center and I was surprised that it cost the same as the one I bought from Bed, Bath & Beyond 4 years ago!

While I was there, I went upstairs to Borders and looked in the Crafts section.  Sewing books have changed alot since I first started buying them.  I think the books that I bought years ago were more technique driven or fit oriented.  Sewing books today seem to be all about the fast, quick and flashy!  This of course is just my opinion and if it helps bring younger people to the Art of Sewing then I'm all for it!

I did buy two books.  You know I didn't leave without something right!  *LOL*  I bought the new Wendy book, "Built by Wendy Dresses" by Wendy Mullin which has been reviewed all over sewing blogland.

and "How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns" by Lee Hollahan.  I have to tell you that I'm most excited about the this book because I'm always trying to up my pattern drafting skills without putting any real effort into it!  *LOL*

Regarding my last post, I'm glad that other people use sewing journals too.  They really are a valuable resource and interesting to review your progress a few years later.  

Finally, thank you to everyone who have left such wonderfully nice comments on my last two garments.  I haven't worn either of them to work yet but I probably will this week.

...and as always, more later!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

My Project Journal

JustGail asked:
"You mentioned project notebooks - what information do you keep in them, that's different from what you keep in the blog? Fabric samples, more details??? Or is it more so that you can look up past projects without having to be at the computer?"

and Unemployed-notretired asked:
"I have a question for you. You recently mentioned your sewing journal. Would you mind explaining what you keep in it and why? I am a born-again sewer and think I should keep a journal with fabric swatches etc. but have not done it. How do you use yours?"

Before the internet and the advent of blogs, I kept project notebooks.  These journals were usually five subject notebooks but I've used everything from one of them to a steno pad.  The best ones had pockets in them so that I could stuff magazine ads, my stick drawings and inspirational pictures.

So what do I keep in my project journal/notebook:

Shopping Lists - I love lists, btw 
*Items that need to be replenished in my sewing notion stock
*Fabrics I'm looking for to make a garment
*Pattern Lists (before the pattern companies went online and I could save them that way!)

What I want to sew for this season
*There is usually a list with patterns and fabric suggestions

Sometimes a fabric swatch is included. Especially in the earlier notebooks when I worked in the garment district and bought notions and thread on an as-needed basis.  But mostly my project notebooks contain construction details of garments that I've made and my doodlings regarding garments that I've dreamed up.  At times the notes are very detailed particularly when I'm working out a sewing sequence.  Other times, it's short bullet points with just enough information to remind me of what I've done.

The project journal works really well for writing blog posts.  As I'm constructing a garment, I write notes then I don't have to remember every step later on.  All  of this is very helpful when I'm blogging.  And sometimes I even write blog posts in the journal...things I'm thinking or wondering about...sometimes a question that comes to me while I'm sewing.

I've finally dated all of the books and I'm going to store them in magazine holders because they are informative resources.  I guess they really are just a low-tech source of information...a throwback if you will.  But since I've been keeping them for about a decade, I don't think I'm gonna change now.

Hopefully this answered your questions...and as always more later!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Butterick 5415 - My Fat Day Dress

I'll admit it.  I have fat days just like other women.  Days when I don't want anything too tight or too constricting on my body.  I have several dresses in my wardrobe for both fall & winter to wear on those days.  You've even seen a few:

Butterick 5179

      Butterick 5247

or these spring time versions:

         Vogue 1091                                        New Look 6779

So I deliberately chose Butterick 5415 for a fat day look.  Now I know that the pattern envelope shows a slim looking dress...but I'm not really a slim girl...and I knew that if I made this dress up in my measurements with enough ease to gently skim my protruding parts that I would end up with a fat day dress.

I have a few requirements for fat day dresses:

1.  They must have some interesting detail that the eye can focus on.  They can't just be large rectangles.

2.  They should be made from a distinctive the eye has something to engage it.

3.  It must not be long in length...can we just say dowdy!

4.  It must not constrict any body part or it defeats the purpose of a fat day dress!

5.  And it absolutely must be fashionable!

*LOL*  That's alot right!  So, here's a look at Butterick 5415 - my newest Fat Day Dress:

(please excuse the date and the glare from the necklace
I was using my daughter's camera because mine isn't working)

Some stats:

100% wool from Mood Fabrics
Black accents wool/poly blend from

Black Rayon Ambiance from Elegant Fabrics

20" black invisible zipper

1.  I did a pivot and slide on the front piece to add 2" to the waist and hemline.

2.  I added 1/2" to the center back starting at the waistline and going to the hem.

3.  I added 1/2" to both side seams on the sleeve gradually increasing from the underarm seam.

And that's it...since I was going for a loosely fitted dress, there weren't a lot of gyrations to perform.

The actual sewing of the dress is pretty straightforward.  I did add a lining to the dress.  That is where I experienced my only challenge because the pattern instructs you to sew the front facing to the wrong side of the garment and flip it to the front.  Since I sewed the lining to the right side and flipped it into the dress, I had to improvise adding the facing.   

It's okay...not great but workable and it will highlight a great pin or necklace...of which, I have both!  The pattern also advises using a back facing in the same contrast fabric ~ I omitted that.  I only wanted the facing in the front. 

To me this is actually a pretty fat day dress primarily because of the choice of fabric.  And it will make me feel good on one of those mornings when I wake up feeling bloated and achy and not wanting to work to hard when getting dressed.

So there you have it...Butterick 5415 - My Fat Day Dress! always, more later!


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