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.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Didn't Make It..

The first 12 in 2012 deadline that is. I had hoped to finish the Simplicity 2404 Amazing fit dress that I am working on by last night, but an impromptu visit from my sister and brother in law and then my BFF on Monday stalled my plans. Last night I was able to get the invisible zipper put in and give everything a good press before turning in for the night. Tonight my plan is to hem the dress and lining to finish it off! While the dress is rather plain, I am very happy with some of my improved construction techniques. I will do a full review over the weekend and post along with some pictures.

In other sewing news, I have my pattern for the Basic Wardrobe Sew Along black ponte pants all copied and ready for fitting. I had hoped to use the Burda pattern I spoke about in my last post (which I did copy off), but after looking at the pattern pieces it does not have the separate leg pieces that I was looking for. I did find this in my pattern stash however

It's McCall's M6440 which has a center back seam and leg variations. Exactly what I was looking for, so I copied it off as well.This will be my first time fitting a pair of pants and I am hoping the learning curve is not as long since I have “some” fitting practice under my belt.

Stay tuned!


Thursday, January 26, 2012


I picked some of my patterns for the Basic Wardrobe Sew Along! For most of you this is an easy part of the process, but as my little sister so kindly pointed out I am too much of a perfectionist to allow it to be simple. First up on Lori’s list is a pair of black ponte pants. I choose Burda Magazine 11/2010 #122. It is a straight leg with a back leg seam. I’ve read a lot about Burda pant patterns being easier to fit, so for my first attempt at pants I figured I would set myself up for success (the additional seam can’t hurt either).

Next on the list is a dark wash jean. I selected the much talked about Jalie #2908. All the reviews on PatternReview make this sound like a MUST have, so I ordered mine today. The pattern is for a stretch jean with two rise options in sizes ranging from kids to adults, so it will no doubt get plenty of use. I should have it in plenty of time to get it fitted, etc before the sewing begins. I’ve never worked with a Jalie pattern before, so this sew along is shaping up to be a “let’s try new things” sew along (which I think counts toward my Res-sew-lutions).

The third item on the list is a white button down shirt. I selected McCall’s Palmer/Pletch M5433 which features three different lengths as well as sleeve variations. I already have a great shirting fabric that I pick up last year from Cynthia’s Fine Fabric with the intentions of making a button down. I also hope that the fitting will not be as challenging since this pattern has all the alteration lines printed on it already.

I have made some progress on Simplicity 2404 Amazing Fit pattern that I am working on, so once that it off the table I can get to this great list of basics. If you haven’t already checked out Lori or Lynne’s blogs, do so now for all the details.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Decisions Decisions

Ever since I started sewing (WAY back in 2009) one of the hardest parts of the process for me has always been deciding what style/pattern/fabric combination I wanted to use. I think many of my not so successful pieces have come about because of bad style to body or fabric to pattern choices. Which leads me to today. I know that I need a basic wardrobe, with a classic style. Nothing trendy just yet, I figure I can add those on in pieces. Suzie over at Su SewsSo-So has put out a 12 in 2012 challenge to help motivate us into sewing something at least monthly. Which is exactly what I needed to get me moving. I then saw that Lori over at Girls in the Garden is hosting a Wardrobe Sew Along which is also perfect. All that to say this… I have been working on Simplicity S2404 the Amazing Fit dress to count towards the 12 in 2012, but I find myself eating through time trying to pick the right pattern to use to make the black ponte pants for the Wardrobe Sew Along. No sewing for either challenge happening, just a lot of second guessing. So tonight I think I am going to work on the dress so that I can get that finished and posted. Then I will start on the pants and hope by then I will have found the “right” pattern. I’m I the only one that is so torn by these decisions?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year, New Blog, New Me?

Welcome, Happy New Year, Happy MLK Day and anything else that I missed since the first of the year. It was my intention to get this up by the first of the year, but you already know about that road paved with good intentions. I have during the past year really reevaluated by new found hobby and wanted to capture on paper (internet, what have you) a wish list of things I would like to tackle for the New Year. While I will most certainly deviate from this list I thought it a good starting place by jotting down a few things. So here goes, in no particular order:

1.      Work on fitting and fitting alterations. – I seem to start off a pattern on the right path, then get stuck once I start making adjustments. I may be over fitting, but I’m not sure.

2.      Find a local sewing circle. – While I love reading blogs and feel as though I know these sewist personally I would love to have someone that I could ask to help me take back measurements and the like.

3.      Make an attempt at fitting and sewing pants. – I have had wearable success with tops and dresses (not love affairs, but passable) but have been way too timid about attempting pants. When I first started sewing this was my only motivation to learn and yet I have never tried it.

4.      Plan and execute at least 4 mini wardrobes. – This for me is really ambitious. The planning stage is painfully slow (like I don’t want to pick the “wrong” patterns), then I sew maybe a piece from the collection and wonder off in a different direction altogether.

5.      Nail down some TNT patterns – I know that this takes time, but some of my favorite bloggers make so much use of their TNT patterns that I want to have some of my own.

6.      Sew quality – I want to sew with fabric that is gorgeous instead of just fabric that is on sale. So if that means I can only have 1 great item per month instead of 5 ok items, then so be it.

7.      Stop rushing – I have always been an instant gratification type chic, but that has not served me well in the sewing world (back to the 1 item vs 5 items).

8.      Develop a style – I have lived most of my adult life not caring about what I put on (as long as it was clean). As I get older, I find myself wanting have a well put together look. Which seems to include layering and accessories which I have never done.

9.      Keep up with this blog – I have learned so much about so many things from reading blogs. I want this to be a place that helps someone someday.

Well I think that’s it for right now. I’m sure I will add to this list as the year progresses, but I should not be subtracting from it (unless completed that is).

Sew Long For Today,