Friday, November 2, 2012

Review: Fit Nice Sew Slim System & Workshop

This past weekend the Ft. Lauderdale chapter of the ASG hosted a T-Shirt fitting workshop with Judy Kessinger (the self proclaimed Queen of Glue) of Fit Nice Sew Slim.
The system consists of two patterns a knit top and woven pant. The master top pattern fits Bust Sizes 32" to 42" and the finished garment size for bust and hip is printed on the pattern for ease of selecting a size. The pattern should be traced on to pattern paper and all changes to your pattern should be done on that, leaving the original intact. The workshop began with Judy measuring and tracing patterns for each of the ladies in attendance. We were then instructed to sew the shoulder seams together and put the top over our heads for her to assess the fit in the neck and shoulders before continuing. Once that was complete, we had the choice between four necklines (Mitered V-Neck, Crossover V-Neck, Scoop Neck or a Ruffled Neckline). Judy demonstrated each neckline several times and we were off once again to complete that portion.
I selected the Crossover V-Neck since that was a technique that I had never tried before. I was super simple and I can see myself using it again. Next up was the sleeves; Judy has you sew those in flat using her 3 pin bunching technique. I was amazed that my sleeves went in without puckers on the first try, defiantly will do that again on t-shirts. The only thing left at this point was sewing the side seams and the hems. The size pattern Judy selected for me was 1 inch larger than the biggest size offered. The pattern uses only ½ inch seam allowances throughout. After several rounds of tweaking the side seams I ended up using the next to last size on the pattern (I could have gone down at least one more size) from bust to hip leaving the sleeves at the larger size. This pattern will not yield a fitted tee without drag lines but it will fit and is comfortable to wear. I purchase 2 of her variations (available for instant download on her site) for jackets since this is the best fitting sleeve I have sewn to date. The variations provide lots possibilities in an easy to understand format. I would highly recommend it, especially to the beginner.

I would also like to thank the WONDERFUL ladies of the ASG for being so kind, welcoming and funny!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What is Halloween without a little Lightning

Hello Pumpkins!

First, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you on the East Coast while you deal with clean up and recovery from Hurricane Sandy. I have been delighted that several of my beloved blogger friends made it through safely.

There has been some sewing going on in Casa Awesome, but not much to show right now other than some wadders (but I may take some pictures of those for your guys). Every Halloween we have a costume contest at work and this year I decided to channel my inner crafty side to whip together a little something to participate. First the inspiration photo.
I was glued to the Olympics this year and with my fellow countryman setting records all over the place he was the perfect costume! I started out with a tutorial from This Mama MakesStuff to put together the three gold medals.
Then I used the Fit Nice Sew Slim System (review on the pattern and workshop I took to come in a separate post) to whip up a race tee complete with decals using iron on transfer (love that stuff!).
I added black shorts and sneakers for an almost complete look. To seal the deal and hopefully the grand prize I added a homemade flag so that my victory lap around the office would be complete!

And there you have it. My coworkers and I were all smiles for the cameras.
Hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Hello All,

To say I’ve been a bad blogger is a HUGE understatement. I have been sewing, just not successfully. I figured I would turn to you all to get some opinions about everyone favorite topic – Fit. I have read fitting book after book and blog after blog leading me to some small success but even more confusion. Here are my specifics hopefully you all can point me in the right direction.

Bodice fitting – Palmer/Pletsch teaches tissue fitting using your High Bust (HB) measurement and making adjustments from there. According to the charts for the Big4 I am a size 24 pattern solid. Taking my HB measurement snugly I should be using a size 16 pattern and making changes from there. That’s a big difference people! I understand that it has to do with the neck and shoulders fitting better in the smaller size, but they haven’t been better. I need to do a broad back (which I don’t need in the shoulders), I have to add all the width that I would have gotten had I used the size 24 and I have a CRAZY (and I do mean crazy) FBA. The FBA is often so big that it makes the front armhole cut way to high, which in a sleeveless is ok but not when you have a sleeve. So I tried going up to the size 18, not much different or better for that matter. The one constant thing I have noticed regardless of the pattern size I use is that there is always too much length in my upper CB (from neck to arm crease).  I tried using the size 24 and they normally fit around, but then I have to remove no less than 3 inches above the bust which again makes the armholes tight. I won’t even get started about sleeve adjustments, because I have NEVER gotten a sleeve to fit comfortably. Ok rant over.

The reason I gave you all this background is because I’m thinking of Fall sewing and even though South FLA is almost never chilly (unless you count rainy as chilly) I want some jacket like items. I picked up Simplicity 1761 a Khaliah Ali pattern and I cannot figure out where to begin fitting this. I bought the 20W-28W sizing but now I’m wondering if I should go back and get the 10-18 sizing.

Any thoughts?


Monday, June 4, 2012

They Just Showed Up At My House!

Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. What are they you ask? Not one, but two new machines. First up, the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960.

Lots of bells and whistles to play around with on this one. Next up a Singer Professional 5 Serger and Cover Stitch.

With the long Memorial Day weekend we had here in the states, I had delusions of grandeur that I would be sewing up a storm. Did that happen, no! I did spend some time cutting out several future projects and reading the manuals of both machines. I did lots of playing around with stitches, functions, etc but very little actual sewing. I did manage to whip up a little maxi dress. I took some pictures of it, but then could not find my card reader to transfer the pictures to the computer. The girl aka my daughter can just insert the card into her computer so once she does that I will post. Hopefully, you all will be seeing MUCH more posting from me in the near future!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Simplicity S2404 the Amazing Fit dress

Pattern Description: From Simplicity’s website – 2404 Misses Dresses Misses' / Miss petite dress with pattern pieces for slim, average and curvy fit & A,B,C,D. Amazing Fit collection.

Sizing: 6-24.

Fabric Used: Gray mystery fabric from Walmart & silver crepe back satin from for the lining.
I made this dress back in January, but have not gotten around to posting it until now. I was hoping to get some pictures of the inside before I posted but it didn't happen. The pattern comes with different skirt pieces for slim, average and curvy fit as well as separate bodice pieces for A, B, C & D cups. Since my main focus this year is on fitting, this seemed like a great starting place. I had what I thought was a suit weight gray fabric and silver satin in my stash so I figured I was set. I used the D cup bodice and the average skirt. I did a 5/8 inch broad back adjustment (which was about ¼ in too much) and I did a ¾ in FBA. I added to the waist and hips, but I don’t really remember how much. There is a little puffiness just under the bust, but I think that may have been due to the fabric stretching. The dress is a little plain for my taste, but it is a good basic if done in a better fabric. I did have some successes with this dress as well. I fully lined it (which the pattern doesn’t call for), I added lace to the bottom of the lining and my invisible zipper came out great. Overall the pattern has good “bones” and now that I have it fitted I can see myself going back to it again.

I have also started working on my white button down shirt using McCall’s Palmer/Pletch M5433. My hope was to start on the second item in the Wardrobe basics, the jeans, but the pattern is on back order and I needed a top to pair with my newly finished ponte pants. I have some white shirting in my stash that I bought about a year ago with hopes of a white button down, so I’m pretty excited to start sewing it up.

Until Next Time,


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yatta! - McCall's M6440 Done

If you didn’t watch the show Heroes, Yatta! Means I did it! After three years of sewing I finally made a pair of pants. With a little persuading, my “photographer” agreed to snap a few pictures for me. The photos are not wonderful (DD doesn’t really get that I’m trying to highlight the clothes LOL) but you get the idea. I am very behind, but I present to you the first item of the Basic Wardrobe SAL.

Pattern Description: From McCall’s website – MISSES' PANTS: Narrow legs, self faced contoured waistband with left side or center back invisible zipper, optional pocket in waistband with invisible zipper. A: Plain hems. B: Invisible side zipper on legs. C: Slits. D: self cuffs.
Sizing: 6-20.
Fabric Used: Black Ponte from JoAnn Fabrics

I have already mentioned this but I was not at all happy with my choice of Ponte. It was very thin and not at all like a bottom weight that I would normally wear. I do like the seam down the back leg of the pattern though. Anyone trying pants for the first time will appreciate the extra seam. I was able to get an ok fit in the back because of it. I did not make a muslin ahead of time but I did attempt to tissue fit the pattern. I’m not crazy about the fit in the front and after looking at the pictures I can see a lot of drag line that I did not see when I pin fit it. I made several changes to the pattern, which was not all necessary and no doubt added to me not being crazy about the finished pant. I added 1 inch to all pattern pieces, most of which I ended up removing. I added 2 inched to the CB tapering to nothing at the side seam and I added 1 inch in length below the knee, which were the only changes I think I'll keep for the next pair. I will make these again in a different fabric but I will not add so much to the pieces, so that I can actually get a slim leg fit next time.

I am so glad that I finally made an attempt at pants. I starting sewing in the first place to make my own jeans and it’s taken all this time to “work up the nerve” to actually just do it. One more review and more pictures tomorrow.

Until then,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I’m doing in the blogosphere

Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic posted a question on Tuesday about construction details on sewing blogs. If you don’t already follow her, go and check out her blog right away! Anyway, her question got me thinking about this blog and what I am ultimately trying to achieve with it. I would love to one day show off my fabulous construction details, write meaningful tutorials and post gorgeously stylish photos but I’m not at that place in this craft just yet. What you will find here is someone who enjoys the art of sewing, who is constantly trying to learn something new, can convince her teenager to snap a few horrible pictures from time to time, that will gladly bring you all along for the wave of ups and downs that go with the trial and error of garment sewing.

Ok, enough about! My black ponte pants for Lori & Lynne’s Wardrobe basics SAL are almost finished. I think they will end up more of a wearable muslin than a prized piece because I am not crazy about the ponte that I purchased. More details to follow.