Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You choose...

I was going to write this witty commentary about these two fabric sales...but I decided to let the pictures do the talking...

First this from

Tiered Coupon

Now this from Fabric Mart: tell me which one is the better bang for your buck!

If you are still unconvinced, you know all those discounts on the front of FM's first page...well they still apply.   And the pyramid discounts are applied on top of the first ones...ummm, I can only think the sale from the other online spot benefits people outside the United States because the first retailer does ship internationally...but if you are in the U.S. and Canada...all I gotta say is on over before the good stuff is gone! *LOL*


In personal sewing news, I've pulled all but two pieces of fabric from the closet for the sewcation...I know it's in there I've just got to find it!!!   I'm headed to the garment district tomorrow afternoon for notions and trims ONLY.  I'm not even hitting up a fabric store because ~ hey I have my own personal store right here at home!  *LOL*

There will be more updates from the sewing front soon!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Five in Five

It's late on Tuesday evening and I've got 1.5 more days of work...and I can't wait.  I'm having an abbreviated sewcation this year due to work requirements but I'm gonna try to stuff as much sewing in those five days as I possibly can.

There are alot of changes occurring in my life right now and my sewing is going to be very limited over the coming weeks.  These changes are both work-related and personal...and I'm going to have to work a few weekends something that I HATE to do because they take away from my sewing but since I need my day job to support my fabric addiction...I will be at work.

Anyhoo, I know exactly what I want to make because, of course, I have a list.  I've started to pull fabrics from the collection and even tho' PR NYC Fabric Shopping Day was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irene, I will be making a run to the garment district Thursday afternoon to pick up a few supplies...but mostly I can't wait.

Five days of wallowing in my creativity, five days to sew my list of five things, five days to be silent and let my creative soul speak to me...*sigh* just five days! always,  more later!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The sun is shining...

...the winds are gently blowing...Irene has gone on to visit others...and still no sewing!  *LOL*

I was lucky.  I didn't lose power during the worse of the storm last night or this morning...however, my Mom did and then her basement sump pump stopped working so when I got there this morning at 9am, there was at least a foot of water in her basement.

After spending a few hours in my apartment...I only live 5 minutes up the road from her...we went back to find the power on and the sump pump slowly doing it's job.  Another hour's wait and we were able to get into the basement and mop up all the leftover water.  Of course, we will need to go through a few boxes that even tho' they were raised up off the floor, managed to get wet!

So I'm finally back home and I'm no sewing for me.  However, I did discover that the next town over from me is totally flooded and the highway by me is also flooded...unless the waters recede tonight, I won't be able to get to work on the bus tomorrow...gosh...I'm soooo sad about that! ;) always, more later!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So far its just raining...

...and I haven't sewn a stitch!  It's been so gray, cloudy and rainy and then there's that crazy need to sit in front of the TV and watch the newscasters explain just how much rain we are going to get, how high the waves are going to be and how hard the wind is going to blow...

...that when I finally pulled myself from in front of the television, I picked up one of the many fashion magazines that have come to my apartment in the last couple of weeks and then I ended up surfing the internet! 

After that I had to make a few Powerpoint slides of inspirational ideas...I know all of you Pin Interest peeps would have just saved the images to that program...but I use Powerpoint so much at work that this is my first thought...drag it into Powerpoint, resize and turn it into a jpeg...seemingly old school now!  *LOL*
Anyway, here's what feeding my creative urges now:

This YSL Dress reminded me so much of McCalls 6395

Several dresses from various sites

I love me some Jason Wu!

More Jason Wu!

Finally can I share a 10 Fall Must-Haves all Fashionistas should buy/sew/own this fall courtesy of the September 2011 People Stylewatch issue:
  • A Bold Red Piece
  • A Pony Hair Piece
  • Something in a Southwestern Print
  • A Feminine Menswear Piece
  • A Chunky Cable Knit Sweater
  • Heeled Loafers
  • A Longer Dress
  • A Metal Choker
  • A Structured Bag
  • A Mixed Material Coat or Jacket

They even provide a little pull-out card to put in your purse and take shopping with you to make sure that you get everything!  It's pictured above.  For fashion buying/sewing/owning, I think this mag was the most "realistic."  No over the top designer gear with 4 and 5 digit price tags for a garment.  The editors made sure to include an example in the high, mid and lower price range with sources as diverse as designer (Kate Spade, Oscar dela Renta, Tom Ford), JCPenny, H&M, Forever 21, The Loft/Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Banana Republic and a host of internet sources.  I really like the fantasy of the other fashion magazines but if you just want one source of what's hot for Fall 2011, spend your $3.99 USD for this one!

Hopefully we will wake up with power in the morning and I will sew then...if not it's a book, surfing on my iPad, some card games with my daughters while we hunker down and wait for the hurricane to pass.  If you are anywhere on the East Coast in the hurricane zone, my thoughts are with you and please be safe! always, more later!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Rare Sighting

Yes, this is me in jeans...and how I went to work today!

This is for the unbelievers...photographic proof that I do wear and own jeans!

I will definitely be sewing tomorrow before Irene makes her appearance and possibly ruins it... always, more later!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Little Housekeeping - Part 2

I love questions, really I do, however I'm going to need a little help in answering them.  When you leave a question and your profile doesn't link back to a blog or contain some information where I can contact you, would you kindly leave your email addy along with your question?  Because sometimes your questions are specific just to you and I don't need to do a blog post about them.

Second, I have removed my email address from my profile.  Yes, it use to be there until an incident occurred where I found it best to remove it.  So, my email address is no longer on my blog - consider yourself one of the fortunate ones if you do have it! *smile*

Three, many times people ask a question without checking the sidebar of my blog or even reading a post or two back.  If I haven't responded to your question its because the answer is in either a post 1 or 2 back or in the Reference Post on the side of my blog.  The Reference Post links to various posts I've written on things like my TNT patterns, what sewing books I like, how I handle different types of fabric, etc.  So if you don't mind, please look around the blog first, you may find what you're looking for without having to wait for me to respond to you.

Okay that's the end of the housekeeping tidbits.
Yes, I know that PR NYC Shopping Day has been cancelled.  So I guess I will be home sewing waiting for the rain and the wind to descend upon us!

[Tho' I have to tell you I'm worried about the rain that they are predicting for Saturday.  I mean I'm still gonna come to PR NYC Shopping Day but if it does rain on and off like they predict, I will be in jeans.] always, more later!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just a little summer sewing left

I know that I've been quite quiet lately...probably because I've been immersing myself in all things Fall 2011.  I have a pile of fall fashion magazines by my bedside, as well as on my iPad and I'm trying to determine exactly what I want to sew for fall...

Which means that summer sewing is starting to falter...I have a few skirt ideas (as in 2) that I want to complete, the pea green linen dress is a shell that needs to be finished and I really want to make one of the Hot Patterns Fringe Festival Knit Top pattern that is a free download from I've already printed out and taped the pattern together so I just need to choose a piece of fabric. 

Otherwise, I'm really itching to sew fall especially since I'm not lacking in the clothing department for the early fall/transisitional period.  I've even decided to switch out the linens in my 6pac plan and use wool crepes instead...which means I have some thinking to do about the dress portion of my 6pac...

I've always liked the designer Dries Van Noten...his garments are a little edgy but I love his use of color, prints and silhouettes.  I can't often translate his designs to MY work life but the sheath dress which was featured in the September Elle's article on him had me mentally digging in my fabric collection to see if I could make it work appropriate...

Okay, let me take that back...I've already dug around in my fabric collection (mentally that is) and I have a couple of fabrics that I could use to make this work for me...because it's basically a sheath dress with a different take due to Van Noten's use of fabric, color, silhouette and print.

From what I've seen and read so far, I've developed a list of 4 or 5 garments that I want to sew and no I'm not gonna share them will just have to wait for them to come out of the development stage!  This list has in turn spawned another list for supplies and a couple of pieces of fabric that I will need to purchase on Saturday during the PR NYC Fabric Shopping Day.

I'm looking forward to spending time in the Garment District without a time limit on it.  Too often making a trip to the Garment District at lunchtime involves a lot of rushing...hopefully I can take my time and linger, fingering some beautiful fabric and imagining what I will do with various trims.

So other than the maxi-mized version of V1250, no sewing has been going on here...but hopefully there will be something soon! always, more later!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vogue 1250 Maxi-mized

Okay I'm gonna admit it right up front...I'm a copy cat.  Because I copied this idea straight from Katie, who blogs as, KidMD.  She posted about how she maxi-mized her Vogue 1250 dress and I followed suit.

It was really easy.  First I went to the fabric closet (that is groaning under the weight of the newly added fabric, I may add) and picked this gorgeous knit that I purchased from GStreet in Rockville, MD during the Great Fabric Excursion this past April. 

Next I went over to Kay's blog, The Sewing Lawyer, because when she made her second version of V1250, she deepened the cowl neckline and added some more to the back armhole piece.

this gave my cowl neckline some extra ummph!

I had already added a little to my back armhole but following Kay's lead, I added a little more.

When I laid my fabric out, I added an additional 15" to lengthen the dress from knee to maxi length.  Now if you've made V1250 this season you know that this is a quick and easy sew.  It must be because presently there are 39 reviews on Pattern Review and I know that Erica and Liana have also made versions of this dress.  So if you've made it before you may want to maxi-mize one for yourself too.

I did make two changes to the maxi-mized version. Per Katie's advice, I added a back slit at the bottom of the dress then I added about an inch in width to the front of my dress from the waist down, to give it a little looser fit.  Finally right now the dress' hem is just serge may stay this way or I may hem it...but I'm not sweating it since it is a weekend dress.  Oh and is it necessary to remind you that my pattern now has side seams?  I changed that when I made dress number two.

A back view...

...I'll be wearing this out to dinner with friends later this afternoon...and if you are going to PR NYC fabric shopping day, you will probably see it there too!  Because this wears just as wonderfully as the shorter version does. always, more later!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Summer of the Knit Dress

Until this spring/summer I never sewed alot of knit dresses...maybe one or two a season but never as many as I've made this year.  I'm actually a little surprised because this is really stepping outside my comfort zone to wear and own this many knit dresses.  However, all of the real applause goes to Vogue Patterns.  Their spring/summer offerings were just awesome and not only did I purchase quite a few patterns...for a change I actually made quite a few of them too! 

Recapping the knit parade...

The star for me was Vogue 1250.  I made four of them...

left to right: black 'n white ponte knit, black 'n gray knit,
Anna Sui border print knit and a buttermilk knit from EOS

I absolutely love these dresses and have worn them all more than once this summer.  They are comfortable to wear, professional enough for my job and always garner compliments.  I still want just one more in a black knit...

I used my TNT pattern to make a couple of knit dresses...the first from a cotton pique knit purchased from GStreet Fabrics in Rockville, MD on the great fabric shopping adventure.

and the second from a striped knit from Elliot Berman in NYC.

The next one ended up being one of my favorite dresses of the summer.  It's the Christine Jonson princess seam dress...

Then another DKNY dress stole my heart...Vogue 1179...a pattern that I would like to use again before the cold breezes of winter touch me...

Finally an oldie but goodie out of print Vogue pattern slipped in...Vogue 9245 from an ITY knit...

I've learned a few things from the summer of knit dresses...

1.  As a plus size woman I can wear knit dresses in more styles than I previously thought.

2.  That knit dresses are a fast and gratifying sew...much less involved than some of my woven dresses.

3.  That half slips don't always work well with knit I'm gonna have to go back to lining them, if I make as many next spring/summer.

You can see every dress I've made this year in my flickr album.  Even though I highlighted my knit dresses, I made a couple of woven ones too...again, they can be seen in my photo album.  But a whole new dimension has been added to my wardrobe and it's totally because of "The Summer of the Knit Dress!" always, more later!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sewing room update, fabrics and more...

I have had absolutely no desire to sew lately...and I'm not upset about it.  I think I'm in that no man's land between summer and early fall sewing.  I've made quite a few summer garments and I'm not feeling the pressure to finish much more especially since my list is always greater than my ability to sew...

The new September magazines are on the newsstands...that means that they will soon be dropping into my mailbox or onto my iPad.  As my subscriptions are starting to expire I've been switching them to my iPad which I find I'm actually liking alot even tho' I was worried that I wouldn't.  Even though I now get Bazaar magazine on my iPad, I still bought a printed version from the newsstand because I have to be able to pull inspiration pictures from the magazine! *LOL*  I also lugged home the 10lb September Issue of Vogue.

I think the other reason that I'm not thinking sewing is because my daughter is moving out next week and I'm back to finalizing decisions for my sewing room.  I read this article that says that as much storage as you think you need, you should double it.  Why?  Because people plan storage for what they already own with a little extra instead of adding alot of space to allow for growth.  I know this to be true because I've maxed out the magazine/bookshelf storage in my living room because I planned for what I had with a little more.  Don't wanna make that mistake with the sewing room.

So...we've picked different furniture...with a lot of drawer and shelf space.  I've incorporated some more stand alone shelves for the wall so that boxes can be added to them for even more storage.  Yeah, we've gone storage crazy!  We had a budget...not an overly expensive one...moderate...I mean I do live in an apartment and the furniture can't be built-ins...but then I saw this:

...and I want it!  Bad!  Now there was no pressing station in my original room design.  I was just going to use my current ironing board until I saw Renee's. (yes, I've been haunting people's blogs and the internet looking at sewing rooms trying to make sure that I've got EVERYTHING I want in mine!)  Now my friend and I are fighting over this.  Not because I don't have the space...not because it doesn't add additional storage to the room...but because I want to buy mine from Nancy's Notions instead of making it and it's blowing the budget up! Seriously, you can tell my designer is my friend because who else fights with their designer to spend more money! *LOL*  Usually you're reigning them in...*sigh*  Long story short...I don't know if this will make the final cut...

ETA:  It is important to note here that I don't want to MAKE my own pressing station!  I'm not a DIYer kinda girl nor do I have the time!  Even all of the furniture purchased for the room was picked because it comes already constructed.

With all this budget talk, you would think that I've stopped fabric shopping right?  Well you would be wrong! Between the stress of my daughter moving out, challenges at my job and not sewing...I've bought a few extra pieces of fabric.  Hey, another reason for more storage! *LOL*  But this time it's Rachel's fault...she showed these Van Gogh Rayon Challis'  prints from on her blog and I had to have some.  Yeah, yeah I know but they feed me at work so I can cut down on my food bill for a couple of weeks!  They arrived last night and they are G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!!!

Lastly, you know I don't facebook...but when a sewing friend asks for a favor I'm there for her!  So Lori who authors the blog, Girls in the Garden, and the podcast Sew Forth Now, has started a facebook page for the podcast.  Would all of you who have enjoyed her podcasts please "like" her!  And if you haven't heard one of Lori's podcasts, shame on you!  Get yourself over to iTunes or her blog and download one.  They are fun and informative...and tho' I'm not a podcast kinda girl...I really enjoy Lori's.

Okay, I've caught up!  I think I might sew this weekend but who knows I may end up reading another novel and vegging... always, more later!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Help - The Movie

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing the movie which I've been anxiously awaiting since I read and loved the book.

I know that there has been some controversary about the race of the author telling a story about women of a different race in a difficult time in American history...but as Octavia Spencer (Minny) said in an interview, just see the movie before you decide!

I can tell you that it is worth it for the storyline, the humanity that shows in the movie and even the clothing from that time period...especially if you are a vintage afficiendo who loves clothing from the early 60s ala Jackie Kennedy.

So I hope that you can find time during this weekend or in the next couple of days to go and check out this awesome is so much better than the silliness that was Sex and the City 2 and I would hate for that movie to do better at the box office than this one!

I do have one criticism and even that is too strong a word...if you've read the book they do change one major storyline making it more palatable...but I've forgiven the producers for that because they are so true to the book in every other way!  Academy Award nominations should be awarded to these wonderful actresses who turned in amazing performances! 

Viola Davis (Abileen)

Octavia Spencer (Minny)

Bryce Dallas Howard (Hilly)

Take a chance and bring some tissues because this movie will touch your heart! always, more later

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm not missing it!

True confession time...I haven't bought a Burda Style monthly mag or a Burda Plus since the May issue 2011...and I'm not missing it!  I was really worried that I would miss the trendy stylings and the fashion forward garments but I have to say that nope...not feeling any separation need to scour NYC for a copy of one...nuthin'!

I think alot of this can be contributed to Vogue Pattern Magazine upping its game and providing a magazine with a lot of the things that I loved about the old Burda magazine...not that thing that the new BS has morphed into.  I truly feel that the Burda Style editors kicked me and some of it's long time American readers to the curb when they dismantled the old website and replaced it with the new one.  And please understand that I'm not bashing that website, because it does provide a service to the new sewist...a service that is needed so that our craft continues with the next just does nothing for me.

So I will continue to enjoy the 12-13 years of magazines that I currently own and have no intentions of parting with.  I may even look for a new garment to make from one of those magazines since they were so fashion forward...but I since I'm not missing BS...I will no longer actively look for's time to move on! always, more later!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My Six Pack Wardrobe Plan

After much deliberation...okay not that much...but there was definitely some thought in this...I Have A Plan!

To recap - this is what I've decided to sew:

  • Three toppers ~ 2 jackets and a cardigan
  • Two dresses
  • Three bottoms ~ The Rachel Skirt, a straight skirt and a pair of pants
  • One top

Since I can add *LOL* I realize that I have more than six pieces listed but I pulled this fabric combo:

...and I needed a few more colors to make it work!  So it's a 6pak plus 3 wardrobe!

Here is a look at the patterns I want to use:

(pictures of me in garments made in 2008
the inspiration for the pantsuit in this collection)

Patterns from top to bottom:
Butterick 5618 -  the tank dress from the rayon batik fabric
Vogue 9358 - sleeveless, collarless dress from the white printed linen
Vogue 1247 - The Rachel Skirt in red linen
New Look 6788 - The u-neckline jacket in sand linen
Vogue 8209 - collarless jacket in red linen

The other four pieces will be made from my TNT patterns
TNT pants pattern - sand linen
TNT straight skirt pattern - honey linen
SW Mission Tank (?) - rayon batik fabric
Burda Cardigan - crinkled rose knit

All but one of the patterns I've chosen have been used before...several many times before...some only once.  Personally, I think this is what makes wardrobe sewing easy to do and complete.  If you are worried about fitting issues it seems to take some of the joy away from creating the wardrobe IMHO.

Now that my fabrics have been prewashed and ironed...and that was A-L-O-T of steam and pressing...the patterns have been chosen...I think I will be ready to start next weekend! always, more later!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Another Addition to my Sewing Library

There is a review of this book on Stitcher's Guild by Alexandra, who authors the blog, Studio Alexandra.

I have a couple of books by Judith Rasband in my sewing library so I went looking for it thinking that I had purchased it in the past...but no I hadn't so it is on its way to me now. 

You may wonder why I've purchased several sewing books lately when there is so much information now available on the internet?  Well, yes there is but I'm a woman who learned to sew when books and TV shows were the best and only ways of getting this information...unless of course you took a class...which was also pretty available when I was young girl.  So books are my preferred ways of learning and lately I've just wanted to add another dimension to my learn some more advanced techniques and to move my sewing forward.  There is always something new to learn and I don't want to stagnant in my art.

While I was searching the books in my sewing library, I happened upon this book:

It is a very treasured book to me.  So treasured that it has earned a paragraph in my will.  I found this book in a used bookstore in Montclair, NJ.  I use to live in Montclair and took my daughters to this bookstore almost every weekend to share my love of reading with them.  This establishment frequently bought books from estate sales and sometimes the sewing section would be bursting with older sewing books that were just amazing to me.  My family and I visited the bookstore so often that the manager would let me know when new sewing books had arrived...and he often teased me that if something happened to me to let them know so that he could reclaim his books!

What touched me the most today about this book is the copyright date:  1911.  I am in possession of a book that was published a century ago and it's still in marvelous condition.  It's a slim book that is very concise in it's sewing techniques but it is a wonderful part of my sewing library.  I did a google search and has some reproduced books that you can purchase or you can download a copy of the original from The Library of Congress.

I love the internet.  I love how it brings together sewists from around the world and allows us to share ideas, thoughts, inspiration and information.  However, to me books are an important part of our heritage and the ability to learn especially since historically black people in America were shut out of opportunities to read and I treasure my books and my ability to purchase and own them.

Okay...this has gotten a little deep so I'll swing it back the other way...I'm still working on the pea green linen dress...slowly...and I don't know if I will have it finished today.  I think the rush of sewing I did last weekend has satisfied my creative urge.  But the day is still young and my sewing machine may yet sing it's siren's song to me...urging me to spend some quality time with it! *smile* always, more later!

Friday, August 05, 2011

My mailbag and an alteration

I love mail!  At the end of a workday, I love walking up to my mailbox inserting the key and wondering what will come tumbling out.  Today was a particularly good mail day...

Two new issues of Stitches, the Vogue Fabrics by Mail Swatch Club listing (Transition 2011) and the fabric was waiting by the front door...two more of the trendy rayons from Fabric Mart.

I also received three new patterns from BMV.  McCalls 6329 and Vogue 9771 were purchased because I saw them made up and thought that they could look cool in my wardrobe!

Stitches Magazine:
The two magazines are special dedicated issues - the first one is on Shirts & Blouses and the other is called Stitches Annual.  I know I was complaining about this magazine when it first arrived and truth be told it's still not a really "deep" sewing magazine...but I've learned to enjoy the inspiration it provides.  And when one shows up now, I find that I am a little thrilled to receive it.

Vogue Fabrics by Mail Swatches:
I use to subscribe to this years ago and last week while cruising their site, I decided that I needed to subscribe to it again.  I'm sure that I will regret this before the year is over *LOL* because I know it will feed my fabric addiction...but I am excited to see it!

As for the alterations...

My boss brought this dress to work a couple of weeks ago to ask me if I could alter it.  Ummmm, no!  She was gifted it from someone in her building and it is a designer dress from the 60s.  She took it to her local tailor who definitely got it down from a size 10 to a size 6 but the buttons on the front were toast.

After a trip to Botani Buttons on a Friday afternoon, she picked out these buttons and asked if I would please sew the buttons on...

Here is the dress with the buttons she chose sewn on....

and at the neckline...

I can't believe it but she wore this polyester heavy as heck and made like 'a steel tank" dress in 90 degree farenheit weather...but she did look amazing in it...and it only took about an hour to sew the buttons on.

I will probably work on the pea green linen dress this is the last thing lingering before I start my 6pac sewing.  I'm still working through pattern selections but I'm sure I will pick something out and at the very least cut it out this weekend. always more later!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Signature Work Style

It's taken a minute...five years worth of a minute...but I think I've finally figured out my Signature Work Style.  The first challenge was that I was moving from a business casual office to a more professional attired office.  All the men are always in a shirt, tie, pants combination (with white shirts being the predominant choice - tho' colors are worn) and the women in suit jackets with a dress, skirt or pants combo.

I ABHOR those boxy little suit jackets with the notched collar.  I just feel like a stuffed sausage in them and PULEEZE can anyone point me to a plus size woman that really looks chic and cool in them.  And please do not suggest the chick on Drop Dead Diva...I always want to lengthen her skirts and remove the jacket because once again the stuffed sausage analogy is appropriate.

So after sewing a few jackets and having a few failures, I realize that the jackets I like the most and are the most comfortable wearing have raglan sleeves and no collars...but even then unless it's "High Meeting Days" I'm most comfortable in a dress and a cardigan and/or a twinset and a skirt.  I've had to "up the quality of fabric" used in my skirts when mixed with a cardigan but basically this look works for me.

Now I look professional.  I feel comfortable and for the heftiest woman in my office (seriously I work with some skinny minnies - no one over a size 6/8!), I appear slimmer than the notched collar/jacket silhouette provides for me....some examples:

the original Vogue 1250 dress with cardigan

Christine Jonson dress with cardigan

Connie Crawford dress with cardigan

Black linen TNT dress w/burda cardigan
(what I'm wearing today!)

So I've decided that this is my signature work style.  As I said previously professional, comfortable, works with the dress code for my office and its me.  Plan on seeing more of this look!

Next...thanks for all of your wonderful comments about my Wearable Muslin dress.  It truly is a wearable muslin because after a day of wear, there are definitely some things that I need to change before I make it again.  The most important thing is that the neckline MUST BE raised.  Quite a few men got a treat on Monday when I wore the dress because the neckline got lower as the day progressed and it didn't help that my very heavy tote bag kept dragging it to the side...where my flesh colored bra made it seemed as if I was barer up top than I actually was.

Also the fabric was a little thin for my taste.  So the next one will either be lined and/or made from a beefier knit.  My original thoughts about a ponte knit are holding true!  The dress did garner quite a few compliments at work primarily because of the colors of the print - it was just the right print for work - not too garish or loud - subtle but professional.  There's that word again! *LOL*  But since I don't exactly fit in I don't want to stand out too much!

Well that's my Thursday update... always more later!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A Wearable Muslin

On Sunday afternoon when I went back to my sewing machine I just did not feel like working on the pea green linen dress.  I wanted something quick and easy.  I went to the fabric collection and pulled some knits and briefly pondered making another Vogue 1250 dress.  But truly I've worn that pattern out...I only want one more rendition and that should be in next...

Last month I got a bunch of patterns from Sheila at Out of the Ashes.  This one caught my eye when I headed back to my bedroom.  It has a copyright date of 1995 and the pattern description says, "Misses Jacket & Dress close-fitting, A-line, pullover dress, above mid-knee, has short sleeves and narrow hem."

...and I thought it would look amazing in a ponte knit...specifically a grey ponte knit...or a navy blue ponte knit...and even though I knew they were in the fabric closet, I didn't feel like digging for I opened the closet door and pulled the first interesting knit that I put my hands on.  Seriously, that's what I did.

This ITY knit was purchased from Fabric Mart several years ago and I didn't mind sacrificing it if the pattern didn't work out.

I started with a size 22.  After doing a quick tissue fit, I realized that I would need to add some in my middle section (natch!) I did a quick pivot and slide with the pattern on the fabric.  (I will need to go back and alter the pattern now that this dress works.)  Added one inch to the back pattern piece, which the instructions tell you to cut on the fold, but I decided to make a center back seam instead.  Of course, my sleeves had to be enlarged because of my bodacious biceps.  I also lengthened the sleeve because a cap sleeve just isn't appealing to me...and I added 3" to the hemline of the dress.

The entire dress was constructed on my serger.  I used stay tape in the shoulder seams and besides the hems, this was the only time I used my sewing machine.  The sleeves were inserted flat instead of in the round...and the hems were pressed flat then stitch witchery was pressed into the hems...finally the hems were topstitched with a twin needle.  The neckline was pressed under 1/2" and stitched down with twin needle stitching too.

I love this dress.  It has a drapey hem.  It fits closely but it's not tight.  It is unlined but future renditions may be.  It went together really quickly and I can make it again in a variety of knits that are presently residing in the collection.  The only change I will make to it is to raise the neckline about an inch.

Here it is with a cardigan:

I will definitely make more versions of this dress.  I want about five of them in various colors and fabrications.  They will be wonderful to wear during the transition from summer to expect to see more of them...especially since they go together in about three hours! always, more later!

Monday, August 01, 2011

July End of the Month Recap

July is always a good sewing month for me.  I've looked back in the little notebook where I chart my sewing progress and except for September...I always do the most sewing in July.  I guess it's because this is the height of summer sewing and things just go together much faster...or maybe it's because it's light so long that even if I go out during the day on the weekend...there still seems to be time to sew when I get home. 

I don't know if any of the reasons listed above are the reason why but historically I sew 7-8 garments during the month of July and this year I sewed 9.  Five dresses, two skirts, one jacket and one cardigan.  Four of the dresses are from new patterns...this must be a record for me because only one dress was from my TNT pattern!  Both skirts were quick and easy but added a bang to both my work and casual wardrobe.  And this month I sewed for both my work and casual wardrobe...again this must be a first!

I have two favorite garments from the month:

The Vogue 1179 dress

and my Rachel Dress

both will be made again...because I already know that I want a Rachel dress from wool crepe for fall/winter. 

We just won't talk about how much fabric I bought this much that I am calling a 30 day moratorium...that too seems to be a July problem!!! *LOL* I know that I sew alot but there is no way that I'm sewing as fast as it's arriving so I definitely need a cooling off period! 

I'm headed into August thinking 6pac sewing and maybe another Vogue 9245 dress or two.    During the week, I am pretreating fabrics so that I'm ready to make the first fabric cut this weekend...

Finally, thanks to everyone who's left a comment on the blog recently.  I've appreciated each and every one!

When I went back and looked at the posts for 2009 and 2010, I realized that I had a picture of the Little Prince as "The Parting Shot"...I've updated this post to include one of him now...walking, talking and getting into everything!  His favorite movies are the Alvin and the Chipmunk series and he can sing along to them.  He is more than a handful and will be 2.5 in September! always, more later!


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