Friday, August 6, 2010

Butterick B5746 Fitting Shell

I have been working on the Butterick Fitting Shell for what seems like an eternity now. I have managed to get the bodice to fit around (since my local Joann's only had the pattern in a size 14), but there is soooo much still wrong with it. The darts on the flat pattern seem to be in the right places and pointing to the apex, but in fabric they are way off. The back has a decent fit, but the neckline sits too high and the darts bubble. I used the armhole line closet to the body but it still seems wide across the upper chest. I have been using FFRP, Fast Fit and Fabulous Fit to try and work out some of the issues, but I am stuck. I am heading over to Pattern Review to send out an SOS signal to see what advice I can gather from the fit experts there. 

On the plus side, my coworker sent me pictures this morning of her new baby sporting the onesie and blanket I made for them. She said it fits like a glove and the blanket is super soft. At least someone is getting a good fit out of my sewing studio.

This week I will be busily making a top for my sister, a top for my daughter and a dress for my mom in preparation for an upcoming party. If I decide to go, I guess I'll be there naked LOL since the "dress code" is all white. Until next time!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Dog Whisperer

Just after school ended this past June, the girl decided that she HAD to have a dog. While I'm not big on the idea of having to take care of yet another living thing I figured what the hay. So on June 13th we brought home 8 week old Zorro. J has been potty training, clicker training, grooming, etc. I arrive home from work on Monday to find both J and Zorro in my office/sewing room. My first thought... "Don't y'all have the entire house? Why must my WoMan Cave now be shared?" When I asked what they were doing, other than watching the Disney channel (she had the nerve to change the channel on my TV LOL), J promptly told me that Zorro was cold and NEEDED a jacket. So, they were picking fabric and taking measurements. I normally post her projects to her website, but since they invaded my space I thought I would post this one here as well.
I think she did a pretty amazing job (I think her fitting is better than mine). There are matching shoes in the works right now as well as a raincoat and rain boots. It looks like I will have no choice but to repair my Singer so that I can set that machine up too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Simplicity 3711

OK, So this is a post of my latest project. I promise I will post pictures soon of the other things I have done, but I needed to get this one in the mail so pictures were a must. A coworker and good friend just had the cutest baby boy so I whipped up two items from Simplicity 3711 for her.  I made both view B and view F. She should receive them by Thursday, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that she likes them and it fits. I have not been around any really little ones in a long time, so it just looks SMALL to me.

Pattern Description: Simplicity 3711 Babies Separates Babies Layette...Free Online Instructions for Baby Wipes Cover

Pattern Sizing: XXS to L or 0 to 18 Months

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looked exactly like the pattern envelope. I made view B with the short sleeve and view F.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were simple. I do suggest that you mark all the dots, notches, etc because you really need them throughout.

Fabric Used: I used a cotton knit for the onesie and a really fluffy fleece for the blanket.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made these as a gift for a coworker’s new baby. I made the XS (1-3 months) so I made no alterations to the onesie. I used the left over cotton knit as the binding for the blanket and embroidered they baby’s name on the hood.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I would definitely sew this again and recommend it. It sewed up quickly and I think it makes a cute little baby shower gift.

Conclusion: The onesie is by far the best job of construction I have done. The bottom snaps were a bit of a challenge for me even using the zipper foot, it may have just been the small size of it. The set in sleeves were SUPER easy to put in and went in way better than any set in sleeves I’ve done for myself. The blanket was simple enough, although I wish I had a better selection of thread colors in my stash to use for the embroidery. The entire project can easily be completed in an afternoon.

I am working on a fitting shell right now in preparation for a much needed LBD. I have all the fitting shell pieces cut out and tonight I will sew and press all the darts. I check out sewing for real people from the library on Saturday, so hopefully the process will be painless. More tomorrow!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oh Where Does The Time Go

So, I have not touch this blog in sometime and I think it is about to have me brought up on charges for neglect. I have been sewing, however only one of the items that I had traced during my self imposed "prep week". If I can get my photographer (ie. my DD) to take some photos tonight then I will start posting and reviewing the patterns. I am still fabric "fasting" but the patterned fast was short lived. I am currently finishing up a baby shower gift for a coworker and then next up on the cutting table is a muslin of the Vogue fitting shell. I am hoping to get it fine tuned so that I can use it as a starting point for the MANY projects in line behind it. I have never tried a real fitting before so I foresee a lot of time, pictures and questions on PR for help. I have quite a To Do list ready and waiting for me to get a better fit, which I will list tomorrow to keep me accountable. LOL! As for the 2010 list that I already have posted, I have pattern traced, fabric and notions for the White Shirt, The Shirt Dress, The Maxi Dress and the Bra (no notions on this one, but the piece are cut out for a quick baste fitting).
Oh in case your keeping up, the project that caused me to miss the PR Mini Wardrobe contest came in 1st Place for our state. So J got both of us bent out of shape for nothing! More tomorrow!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

McCalls M6034 View A

I finished up the McCall's M6034 view A top over the weekend and must say I was slightly disappointed. View B for my sister is coming along nicely and I will do a full post of that later on. The plus with this pattern was that I made myself follow some better sewing steps and actually did some pattern marking on the fabric with a semi tailor tack. The pattern envelope stated "no provisions for alterations" for view A which should have made me leave this pattern alone altogether. But I had some fabric leftover from the maxi dress on my list and the pattern was just 2 pieces so I said what the heck. The pictures below show the tailors tacks as well as front, back and side views of the top. I also added a full review below.

Pattern Description: MISSES' TUNICS: Sleeveless pullover tunic A has pleated front and back and elastic at lower edge;

Pattern Sizing: Z(Large, X-Large) I cut the XL

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it looked like the picture while laying on the table, but not so much once I put it on.

Were the instructions easy to follow? For the most part the instructions were easy to follow, however the instructions for the pleats seem to be incomplete. The directions say to baste the pleats in place, but never tell you to stitch them in place. So I took the basting stitches out after the top was complete and I think that's where I went wrong. The pleats don't hold up well once the basting is removed making the fabric pool at the bottom.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the idea of the pleating when I first pick up this pattern. However the pleats are in random places but not random enough if that makes sense. The pleats line up in some places, which gives the appearance that they should line up in all spots, but they don't. Random, but not random enough.

Fabric Used: I used a green knit that was leftover from a dress I cut. Not real sure what type of knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The pattern envelope stated "No provisions for alterations." on the back of the envelope so, I did not make any alterations. The shirt is way to long for me and the pleats hit in the most unflattering places. The bust area fits nicely however.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will not be sewing this again. It is an easy enough pattern for beginners though. I would recommend this pattern only to the taller more slender sewer, my petite plus sisters should steer clear in my opinion.

Conclusion: Simple top, if you have the height to pull it off.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Prep Week

Well since the disaster that was to be pants, I have not touched the sewing machine since. I instead am using this week as a "prep" week of sorts. I am working on my least favorite part of sewing... The pattern tracing! So, in an attempt to check off some things from my goal list I have traced out McCall's M6034 views A & B. A the red one pictured will be for myself and B the blue one pictured will be for my sister. Although the top for me doesn't count toward any of the items on the list, I figured while I had that envelope out I might as well trace it off.

The next item I traced out was Simplicity 3882 view C. I plan to use this as the maxi dress so I added about 5 inches to the length. I know there are plenty of patterns out now for maxi dresses, but I am "fasting" from purchasing any patterns or fabric for the moment so that I will actually use up some of the stash I have accumulated in the 9 short months since my daughter and I took our first sewing class.
I have two more patterns on the table waiting to be ironed and traced. McCall's M5522 view D will serve as my Basic White Shirt and Simplicity 2403 view B (I think) will serve as my Shirt Dress.
J also asked for me to make her something, which is different since she usually just makes it herself. I use to like sewing for her and my sister a lot better than sewing for myself because with the exception of a FBA for my sister, I can usually sew straight from the envelope for them. Well I already had McCall's M5929 view B traced out for J in her usual size and right before I was about to start pinning the pieces to the fabric I decided to tissue fit. SURPRISE, it did not fit so it looks like we will be taking some new measurements before she can get this top.
Depending on how quickly I can get through tracing the 2 patterns I have out right now will let me know if I stop there and start alterations or if I keep going and trace off some other patterns. My thoughts right now are Simplicity 2401 view C and maybe NewLook 6354 view C (so that I can once again try to master a pant).

Oh well, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Think I May Have Actually Read Too Much

So, I managed to get some sewing in this weekend. I stitched up what was suppose to be a simple pair of trouser type pants. This was to be my first actual wearable pair (didn't turn out that way). To start with, I did not have enough fabric to cut all the pieces in the correct direction. That should have been the first indication to stop while I was ahead. But no, I instead said to myself "self, just continue as though it is not noticeable that one leg is cut in the wrong direction. If nothing else you will actually have a pair of pants that fit and then you can knock out several pairs from that." WOW, how optimistic I am when talking to myself... I will try and post a picture or two of the train wreak that they turned out to be. The crotch curve is still completely wrong even though the muslin seem to fit nicely. I had to end up adding a LARGE waistband to cover my plumbers crack in the back. Which lead me to chop off about 5 inches off the center front so that the pants were actually at my waist instead of up under my bust. Needless to say I will have to start from scratch another day with a pants pattern, because I just don't know where I went wrong with this one. I have a pattern on the table for a maxi dress that I am hoping will be easier to knock out, since I am in need of some instant gratification.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stepping Back to Move Ahead

I have spent the past week and a half being a sewing blog voyeur (there are some talented and funny ladies out there in blog land). When my DD told me last summer that she wanted to become a fashion designer and I signed us both up for two sewing classes my only goal was to convince her to select a different career (we all want a doctor no?). Needless to say, I have been SUCKED into the world of sewing myself. I have made several hideous looking items with the comfort of being able to say that each item was better than the last. Since it appears that I will not be packing the sewing machine away any time soon, I thought I would put together a list of goals. So here they are (in no particular order):

2010 Sewing Goals
1. A basic White Shirt
2. A Maxi Dress
3. A Sheath Dress
4. A Shirt Dress
5. A Trench Coat
6. A Floral Print
7. Jeans
8. A Bra
9. A Little Black Dress
10. A Great Fitting Tee

Now, the one thing I can promise is that I will become completely distracted from this list along the way but it's out in the universe now.

For the short term I need to finish moving all the sewing stuff from the living room to the office. My mom (her cleaning company clean my house) and my daughter are past complaining that sewing has taken over every corner of the living room. I still need a proper table for the office before I can make the transition, but if nothing else the fabric stash needs to move ASAP. I am on a quest to get "fitting and alterations" down, but from what I have read it's an ongoing process. I also want to start documenting my progress and posting it here on a regular basis (this blog thing is new to me). Hopefully I will also get around to dressing this page up a little, since it is quite dull for me. That's all for now!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I think I have the right to be mad!

So, I put the PR mini wardrobe contest on hold so that I could spend all the time necessary to help my daughter with her Spanish project. We painted, cut, glued, stenciled, you name it (I'll try to post some pictures) to get it done and hopefully take home something higher than the 3rd place she got last year. But kids are so mean!!! I hand delivered the project to the school myself and it was beautiful. Yesterday, however I received several very panicked text messages telling me that the project had be vandalized. I emailed the teacher to make sure that the grade reflected the work that was put into the assignment. Being a think ahead kind of chic, I sent my daughter to school yesterday with a bottle of rubber cement to make any on the spot fixes, so I told her to use it for the repairs and hope for the best. The next text message I received said and I quote "I don't care about this stupid project, I'm not going to win so why bother trying to fix it". WHAT!!!!! Why in the heck did I spend every weekend for three months at home helping or schlepping you to the store to spend MY mad money (better known as fabric money) working on something that you could care less about. Then she says "I don't know why you are so mad, it's my project". Be on the look out to see my face on the news for wiping this girl off the planet.

On a side note: The dress is near complete. I will put in the zipper and do the hem when I get home. The office is more of a mess now that I tried to clean it, so that is still a work in progress. I am hoping that I can get the top cut out tonight. Even though I don't see any way to finish all the pieces in time for the S.W.A.P., I think I still deserve the wardrobe.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rainy Monday

So right now I should be at work half way through being annoyed by an any number of people, but the rain was so bad this morning that my irrational fear of getting on the highway would not allow me to leave the house. So, I took this opportunity to finally take my new embroidery machine out of the box.  I'm not sure what I was waiting for to crack the box open before, but none the less it's all set up now. I have been busily fitting three of the four garments for the Pattern Review Mini Wardrobe contest and finally cut out the dress last night. My plan for the "free" day is to get most of the construction of the dress done. But, as I look at my office and the loads of laundry that are piling high in the garage I don't know if that is the best use of my day. I also need to help J finish her Spanish project, I really should wash my hair and let's not talk about making the move from my living room to the new sewing room in my office that needs to happen like yesterday. J's home this week for Spring break may be a plus or a minus depending on how helpful she plans on being. I'll let you know what gets done and what gets pushed again:).