Sunday, July 24, 2016

Kwik Sew 4154 and my Vogue Fabrics disappointment.....

This dress is Kwik Sew 4154 - View B.  I haven't sewn many Kwik Sew patterns but I really liked the tie in the front of the dress so I decided to give it a go.  

 I sewed a size Small straight out of the envelope with hardly any changes.  

The dress has a long slit in the front that ends at a very modest point.  The top of the V hits right on my collar bones and I debated about lowing it 3/4 inches.  I might do that if I make another version.  

As you can see here, the tie is only on the front of the dress

The dress is not meant to be lined, but I added a lightweight cotton for my lining.

I cut the armhole about 1/2 inch deeper all around the finished it with self-made bias tape.  I made a lot of this bias tape so I'm sure it will show up in future garments. 

The invisible zipper in the back fits very nicely.  

And - a round of applause here please - this is the first time I have finished a zipper entirely on the sewing machine - no hand sewing of the lining at all.  It looks quite nice, don't cha think!

And last, but not least the lining is edged with a bit of Rick Rack, because, I just couldn't resist really.

After wearing this dress to work one day and assessing the fit, there are a few changes I would make if I make this dress again:
1.  Definitely lower the top of the V-neck  by 3/4 inch. Every time I sat down, especially when driving the car, the top of the V's would ride up just enough to hit my neck and it was a little annoying.
2.  Change the direction of the bias skirt.  There is too much fabric in the center front, which ends up gathering between your legs a little bit when you walk.  I always wear a slip underneath dresses and skirts and the fabric still kept bunching with the slip.  A skirt being cut on the bias is usually a good thing because it results in such a nice drape, however, the bias falls right across the center front and back which means the side seams are on the straight of the grain and too much fabric ends up in the center front and back.  The straight of grain on the side seams means it doesn't stretch when sewn, but, the zipper ends up on the bias which is a little annoying.  So next time, I'll make the side seams lay on the bias instead of the center front and back.

The fabric for this dress came from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago.  The DH and I made a trip to Chicago in May of this year and I was very excited about going to their store.  We were staying in downtown Chicago so it was an hour train ride to get there.  Here I am outside the store with my travel purse and backpack in tow expecting to find all kinds of wonderful fabric to stuff in my sack and be on my merry little way. 

I had high expectations for the store since I have been to the Sew Expo in Puyallup, Washington several times and have enjoyed the Vogue Fabrics booth at the show (and spent lots of money at their booth too).  I was severely disappointed in the store.  Upon entering, it looked old, tired and dirty.  Fabrics were on rolls and stacked on top of each other on big tables and it was hard to see what was buried underneath the pile.  Not to be discouraged by bad first impressions, I plowed on.  After almost tripping on the loose floor tiles and the uneven floor, it wasn't getting any better.  The staff were extremely unhelpful - I actually had a shopper stop me and ask for help because they couldn't find someone in the store to help them!

They obviously save their best fabrics for the Sew Expo show.  After about 30 minutes, the DH came back in to check on me and he could tell I was disheartened.  I had nothing in my hands yet and was struggling to find something to buy.  I didn't want to make that long of a journey and leave empty handed!  I gave another quick look and ended up finding 3 pieces - this nice dot cotton that you see above, a bamboo tie dye knit and a light blue rayon with some sort of print that reminds me of hard boiled eggs.  That was it!  My total bill was only $50.00 which is not bad, but I was really hoping to fill up my backpack with prized fabrics.  Oh well - at least I can check that store off of my list and know not to go again.

So - since this dot fabric is relatively new, I'm not including it in the stashbustin' total.  The lining however I will count.  Here are my YTD stats:

Total yardage for this dress = 2.75 yards
YTD Total = 60.375 yards

That's it for me today!  Happy sewing everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Catching Up!

As you can see - I made this skirt and top back in May as part of the Me Made May Challenge, but am just now getting around to posting it! As the label says - the blouse is Simplicity 1716 - View E and the skirt is Anna Maria Horner's Study Hall skirt.

I love the drape of the neckline on this blouse.  It's a nice cowl neck, but it doesn't fall down to your bellybutton when you bend over.  It has two pleats on each side of the front near the shoulder that help enhance the draping effect.  

The top is a little on the long side, but it gathers nicely around the waistline.

There is a center back seam too, although it's hard to see in this picture.

It has small sleeves that overlap at the bottom.  The armhole is a little on the low side, but it does still manage to cover up my bra when wearing.

The skirt is made from 3 different quilting cottons - all from my stash believe it or not!

I added a trim that is edged with rick rack on both sides to the bottom piece.

The box pleats open nicely when walking too.

This skirt and top used up another 4 yards from the stash bringing the YTD total to = 57.625 yards!  Whoop!  Whoop!

Just a quick post today.  I'm working on a really cute Kwik Sew dress and hope to finish it this weekend.  And, my July MAGAM Challenge vest is coming along nicely - but I'm on a brief hold with this project as I'm waiting for my color matched brass zipper to be delivered!

That's it for me.  Happy sewing everyone!


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Opposites Attract!

The theme for July's Make A Garment a Month Challenge is "Opposites".  A suggestion from yours truly!

Opposites can take on many different interpretations - opposite season; opposites on the color wheel; plaids and stripes, etc - you get the idea.  My opposite is going to be opposing seasons.

In my part of the world we are currently in mid-summer - the perfect time to make a quilted winter vest!  I will be using Vogue 8757 as my pattern.  This is a jacket pattern, but I'm going to turn it into a vest instead.

I think the line drawing gives you a better idea of the actual jacket/vest.

You might recognize the main fabric I'll be using for the vest.  The fabric on the far right is a leftover piece of purple quilted fabric from a Minoru Jacket I made a few years ago.  The middle fabric is a satin cut-off from a prom dress alteration and the fabric on the left is a nice piece of cotton from the Robert Talbott outlet in Carmel Valley.

You might also recognize the piece I'll be using for the lining.  This was a top I made from the remnants of the Minoru Jacket lining - New Look 6245.  I was never really thrilled with this top and it's been hanging on the alteration rack for quite awhile.  I really like the print on this satiny fabric.

So for this project - I'll have quite a few iterations of the theme "opposites" going on:

- Opposite Season - making something for Winter when my current season is Summer.
- Old versus New - turning something old into something new again by reusing the old top for the lining.
- Zipper versus Snap - I'll be changing to a zipper closure instead of a snap closure as suggested in the pattern.

If I think of any other opposite in the sewing process - I'll be sure to mention that in my final project post.

Happy Opposites Sewing everyone!


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pattern/Fabric Mismatch

June's MAGAM Challenge of "Joyful June" wasn't turning out so Joyful for me.  This is Butterick 5612 - at least the start of it....  Halfway thru sewing it together, it was reminding me of a hospital gown.

There was just so much room in the underarm and sleeve area.  And although I like the color, it was just shouting institutional wardrobe to me.

And, to top it off, the DH walked into the room when it was on the dress form and said "why are you making that - it looks frumpy".  I have to admit that I agreed with him.

Trying it on didn't get any better.....

As you can see I hadn't sewn the side seams yet, but it was still not working for me.  

I shall not despair though as there is a happy ending afterall!  It fits much better in the bin than on me!

Oh well - you win some and you lose some!

Lesson learned from this dress - I think this was a case of using completely the wrong fabric for the pattern.  A nice print of some sort that had much more drape than my fabric would work out great for this pattern.  My fabric was a cotton or silk of some sort with not enough drape.  Plus, when I tried it on, it was a bit itchy around the neckline - so even if I did finish the dress, I'd end up with a nice pink rash around the neck to match the light blue color of the dress!

I'm still counting this fabric in the stashbustin quest though.

Total for this dress = 3.5 yards
Total YTD sewn = 53.625

Until next time - Happy sewing everyone!  I hope your next garment is more successful than this one!


Friday, June 17, 2016

June MAGAM Plans - Butterick 5612

It's more than half way thru June and I have yet to post my June MAGAM Challenge Plans.  This month will be a two-fer!  Bonus!  I'll be making Butterick 5612 - the dress version.  This now Out-of-Print pattern has been on the sewing list for quite a long time!

I'll be using a light blue fabric that has been in the stash for so long, it has developed lines along some of the folded edges.  Luckily, I have about 6 yards of the fabric so I'm hoping I can work around the fade lines.  I'm not sure of the fabric content - it's either a linen or a silk - it feels more like a silk though but who knows!  The buttons are from the stash as well.  They are hand blown glass buttons in a darker blue, with light blue specs in them.  Not sure where I picked them up, but I know I've had them for quite a while too.

I mentioned above that this month would be a two-fer project.  Along with  MAGAM Challenge project, this will count towards crossing another item off of the Sew '16 Challenge as well.  My main focus for this year is to rid myself of UFO projects (which, they are coming along slooooowwllly!) - but this dress will cross off the "Sew Less Frosting" item from the list.  I do tend to get carried away with trims and buttons and various embellishments on my garments so for me, this will be a plain Jane dress.

That's it for today - gotta get started on cutting this dress out!

Happy sewing everyone!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Simplicity 1716 - Circle Top

Hi everyone.  Just a quick post today.  Below is my latest sewing project - Simplicity 1716 - View B with the sleeves from View A. This is made from a thin, polyester knit that is perfect for our hot summer months.

Here's a close-up of the neck detail.  It's not a twist at the neckline, but rather two pieces that wrap around to the wrong side of the front and pull the neckline down, creating a sort of "twist" look.

 Side view.

Back view.  There is a center back seam that is slightly shaped at the waist.

And the left side - looks just like the right side!

That's it for today.  Just a quick post as promised.  It's another stashbuster and the stats are below.  Happy sewing everyone!

Total yardage for this blouse = 1.5
Stashbustin total YTD = 50.125

Whoop!  Whoop!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow? - Vogue 9112

I'm a little late in completing my MAGAM Challenge for May this year.  But hey, with a theme like "Mad May", it required a little more time with added, self-inflicted frustration.  There is a reason the pattern envelope for Vogue 9112 says "Unsuitable for obvious diagonals" - but that didn't stop me from giving it a try.  Here's the finished product - I am super duper happy with it.

This is not my normal, fitted dress - but something roomy and flowy with a fabulous collar!  I was skeptical upon starting this dress knowing how roomy it was going to be, but, what the heck, I thought I would give it a try.

I started with my usual pencil drawing to determine a basic layout:

From there, things just started to fall into place.  I knew I wanted to incorporate bias piping into the dress somehow to accent the fabric I used for the collar.  So using some green and blue quilting cotton, combined with a cut-off from an old prom dress alteration, I cut bias strips and sewed the two pieces together off-setting them by 1/8".  When sewn into the seam allowances, it created the effect I was after:

Having sewn the dress together, I wasn't happy with how the front panel looked.  It just looked a bit plain to me.

I loved the collar though.  The pattern calls for just one collar piece to be turned and sewn along the edges.  I decided to double the collar and add some orange piping between the two.  I love how it turned out.

The side looked ok.

The back looked fabulous!

Just look at how well those plaid lines match up on the center back seam!  I'll go ahead and pat myself on the back right now for that!

I had quite a bit of the double bias trim left over so I decided to start experimenting.  And I came up with making some interchangable flowers for the front.

Aren't they cute!!  I added some ribbon to make the stems of the flowers.

 And a fun little stacked button flower for the collar.

The cool thing about the flowers - you can remove them for washing and bonus - you can move them around to rearrange your bouquet!

Here's a quick tutorial on how to make the snap-on flowers:

First - start with a piece of felt and the double bias strips already sewn together.

Turn under the starting edge and start sewing the bias strip in a circular motion.  You will start with the outside circle and work your ways towards the center:

 Keep sewing and turning until you get to the size you desire.

Turn under the ending edge and finish your circle flower.

Trim the felt from the back:

And sew on a button to the front and a snap to the back and you are finished.  Helpful hint -  I found it easier to sew on the snap first and then the button.

I'm super happy with this dress.  I had doubts to start with given it's roomy factor, but I think it turned out super cute!  And it's a stash buster as well!

For this dress I used 2.75 yards of a Robert Talbott shirting cotton purchased from his store in Carmel Valley, CA a few years ago.  I'll guesstimate another 1 yard for the bias strips and collar piece for a total of 3.75 yards for this dress.  This brings the YTD total up to 48.625 yards!

Happy sewing everyone!