Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Red Is One of My Favorite Colors - Vogue 8871 and Butterick 5727

Every once in awhile I inventory my closets to see what needs to be retired and what needs to be added.  I noticed that I only have only red dress in rotation.  That was kind of odd, since red is one of my favorite colors.  So I decided it was time to add a little warmth to my wardrobe.

This is the perfect time.  The holiday season is around the corner, and I may as well get a head start.  So I began with a simple princess seam red dress.  Vogue 8871 is perfect:  it's simple; it's fit and flare; and it's cute.  Mood's red stretch rayon-nylon ponte knit is a perfect match for this dress.

Initially, I made view B adding the sleeve from Vogue 1314. I tried it on several times before and after hemming it.  Something wasn't right.  So I call in my little consultant, my darling daughter.  Immediately, she said, "It's too long.  Take a few inches off."  Still I was trying to make the length work, trying on various belts.  I didn't want to cut it off after all that hemming.  Tee hee.  So finally I gave in, cutting about 3.5 inches off the dress.  Now, I'm happy.

I made a few more changes:
  • Full bust adjustment
  • Sway back adjustment by adding a center back seam, folding out the access at the waist and curving the center back seam to fit.
  • I don't like to do a narrow hem at the neckline. So I made a neck band about two inches wide and two inches less than the length of the neckline.
  • I didn't top stitch around the armhole, nor did I double stitch the seams.  I stitched once and finished the edges with the serger. 
In the end, the dress did look like view A with long sleeves. I barely looked at the instructions, as this is a very easy dress to make.  The instructions were less than a page after the layout information.

My only dislike was the narrow hem for the neckline.  I like a narrow neck band that is attached then turned in for a clean sturdy finish.

Call me crazy, but I think I will try View B in a print, like the one the model is wearing on the website.  ;-)

This is a very easy pattern that beginners can sew, and it is flattering on most body shapes.  It's worth a try.

Part II:  Adding Interest to a Simple Classic Silhouette - Butterick 5727 Fur Collar

Medium Brown Lamb Shearling, Chocolate/Black Iridescent Twill Lining, and Butterick 5727.

So sorry the medium brown lamb shearling is sold out.  I was able to grab two pieces around this time last year.  Way back then, I did not know what I'd do with it.  When I saw it, I wanted it; so I got it.  The good news is, Mood has other shearlings that may interest you.  You can see them here.   As for the Chocolate/Black Iridescent Twill Lining, they have it in stock and it is perfect with the lamb shearling fur collar.

You can easily make it without a pattern, but I had it on hand.  So why not use it. ;-)  I made size medium.  The only change made: I double the ties.  It looks much nicer then the narrow hem method.
So you never see the wrong side of the fabric.


That's all for now.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Butterick 6388 - Little Simple Dress

It's been awhile. But I was determine to post some today. As a matter of fact, I have several projects that I want to share, but I'm either lacking pictures or some details needed for the post. So today this post will be short and sweet.

About a week ago, I made Butterick 6388. I guess my hesitation for not posting sooner was because I was not completely happy with the outcome of this project. Actually, this is one of many projects that I was not thrilled about. So, over the past week it sort of grew on me. I think my dissatisfaction was with the lack of shaping about the waist. But the belt I'm wearing solved that little problem.

So, here goes..,

Butterick description of the dress is: Tops and dress have side front seams, shaped collar, and back yoke. A little vague, right? To add to that the side front seams almost form a "V". Within the front seams are in-set pockets. The pattern comes in sizes Y (XS-S-M) ZZ(L-XL-XXL). I made a medium with modifications.

  • Because of the shape of the dress I felt I could get away with making a FBA by adding a little more wideth in the bust area. 
  • Added a few inches to the length 
  • Made a swayback adjustment
  • The pockets would not stay in place, so I stitched them to the front of the dress.  I think this may be due to the softness of the fabric.
The dress does look like the dress pictured on the envelope.  The instructions are typical big four.  Nothing difficult or confusing about them though.  This dress goes together with no problem.  There is some top stitching at the pocket opening, sleeves and back yoke.  That is one of the design elements that I like.

I didn't like the movement of the pockets, unstable.  The collar doesn't stand as the collar in the picture.  But I think it's because of the weight and texture of my fabric.

The fabric was purchase at JoAnn's.  It's slightly textured with some of the floral print raised.  It feels a little velvety. The stretch is about 25 percent and the recovery is good.  The colors are what drew me to it.  And the hand made it easy for me to buy it. ;-)

I don't think I will make the dress again as I have hundreds of other dresses to try.  But I do recommend it to others.  You should pay close attention to your fabric selection, and you may need to add interfacing to the collar for better results.

Parting Shot:  When my DD saw me ready for the photo shot, she remarked, "Mama you look like a "Bond Girl".  Really???  So, here's my impression of a "Bond Girl" ready for action.  Tee Hee.

Happy Sewing!


Monday, September 26, 2016

Notes on a Pattern (Design Element) - Always on Trend: Ruffles and Flounces

This started out being just a simple post: Notes on a Pattern, Vogue 8256, that I received as a gift.  I thought the skirt was something that I would consider making.  It's not difficult, it would just take some time to hem the flounces. The pattern is Sandra Betzina's three tier flounce skirt, copyright 2006. 

While pondering the thought of making the skirt, I decided to do a little research to see what designers were creating for Spring 2017.  That's when the flood gates opened.  I Googled "Ruffle and Flounce".  Thousands of images appeared in the search results.  Right then another thought occurred to me, "There is nothing new under the sun."

Every possible way to include ruffles or/and flounces appeared on screen.  I looked and looked until I couldn't look anymore.  I saved a few to show to you.   Next, I Googled "Vogue Pattern Ruffle and Flounce".  Here again hundreds of images appeared.  Many were pictures of my fellow sewing sistas/bloggers wearing the very own creations.

Needless to say, ruffles and flounces never ever go out of style.  You just need to determine how you want to incorporate them into your garment.  We don't have to be slaves to making anything exactly like the pattern calls for.  Be audacious or subtle as your personality and style dedicates.  Be creative.  Need a little inspiration, look at what the designers are doing.  See if there is something to suits you.

So, my little research project helped me decide to definitely make something with ruffles and/or flounces real soon.   For you viewing pleasure, here are a few designs that I'd like to share with you.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Transitioning to Fall In Oscar De La Renta Checkered Coat

Transitioning to Fall in Chicago can be a mixture of three seasons on any given day.  We could start with cool, crisp sunny morning.  By mid-day it's hotter than July.  Then early evening, it's cloudy and raining.  We are so lucky.  It's not every day that this happens.  Most days it is one or the other.  ;-)

The good thing is we experience every season, which gives us opportunities to wear many different styles and weights of clothing.  I'm happy to have many coats of all weights and styles.  My new  Oscar De La Renta Checkered coat is my latest addition to my collection.  This fabric is perfect for transitioning from summer to fall.  The combination of the fabric weight and style of the coat is also great for layering.

I grabbed three yards of this coating several months ago and did not have a clue as to what I'd make. As I was writing this post, the thought occurred to me that it may be all gone.  But the good news is; it's still available.  So hurry.  It won't last forever.  Checkered, plaid, and window pane prints are hot  on the runway.

Making the coat..,

I used Butterick 6244.  The coat is described as Semi-fitted unlined coat (wrong side shows) has front extending into collar, flat fell seams, narrow hem and shaped front hemline longer than back.  It's available in sizes 8 to 24W.

The drawing and the photo on the envelope did look like my coat, with the exception of the drape of the fabric.  Mine is more fluid.

The skill level is listed as average.  But I think it's really easy.  From cut to finish, it took me about 3 hours to make this coat.  The instructions were typical big four "construction" instructions.   Also, I did not flat-fell all the recommended seams.  I only did the center back of the collar and the seams attaching the collar.  The rest of the raw edges were serged.  This textile is very loosely woven.  So as soon as I finished cutting it, I serged the edges.

I like the style of the coat and the fact that is was unlined.  A quick sew project pleaser with style.  Who could ask for more. No real dislikes about it.  But a word of caution.  There is quite a bit of easing needed along the neckline.  The back collar is about two inches wider than the back neckline.  The good thing about this fabric, it was not difficult to ease it in.  But a tighter weave may require a little more effort.

I didn't do my usual pattern adjustments.  Surprise, surprise.  I used size 16 for the entire coat.  I didn't think it would hurt to have a little more room throughout.  My coat probably does not hang as long in the front as intended though.  I added two inches to the sleeve length and about three inches to the length of the coat.

It so easy to say I would consider making it again.  Because the coat is a quick sew.  But I have at least a hundred coat/jacket patterns to try.  I do recommend it to others. 

My new coat will definitely get lots of wear this fall season.  I can easily dress it up or down.  The coat can be worn with jeans and boots.  It's perfect for layering on those cooler days.  Or you can wear it over a sleek mini dress and stilettos.  Picture day I'm wearing it with McCall's 6752 knit top and McCall's 5818 pants.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Unity Conference Dress 2016 - Simplicity 1156

Photo taken day after event, Monday afternoon.

For the past several years, almost every Unity Conference I've made a new cream or white dress.  This year is no different.  But I must say I thought, "By now I should have enough white/cream to wear for this annual event."  I also thought, "I wish the principle color was a color instead of white/cream."   Oh well, it's been this way since I could remember.  So I concluded that next year I will repeat something already in my closet and make myself a vibrant birthday dress instead.

With that being said, here is my review  for my Unity Conference dress 2016.  The fabric used was a gift to me.   I don't know the fabric content, but I suspect it is a polyester/rayon blend.  It washes beautifully and wears well.  It has a wonderful texture.  There are three layers: top, bottom and a very light filler.  It's not quilted, but it is fused somehow to create what look like stitching from a distance.  Very nice.

For this dress I used Simplicity 1156.  It's an "Amazing Fit" pattern.  It includes separate patterns for B, C, D,and DD cups sizes.  The fabrics recommended are woven, but I used a knit.  It's what I had on hand and I thought it would be easy to make given the fabric had quite a bit on stretch in it.

The dress is described as misses' dress with individual pattern pieces for slim, average and curvy fit and B, C, D, and DD cup sizes.  I used size 14 and average, view A.  The category of pattern promises an "Amazing Fit" because of the multiple pattern pieces for the cup sizes.  It also includes inch side seam allowances to help make fitting easier.  Now this does not mean you can bypass an adjustment like the sway back adjustment.

The seaming of the dress allows you some extra points of adjustment that may not be available in dresses with fewer style lines.  For my dress, the knit fabric made it that much easier.  My choice of sizing was pretty good. for the bust area.  But for the other seams I made adjustments.  Some allowances were greater than an inch.  It worked out fine though.  Once I got the fit, I serged the edges.
Accent color fuchsia. Shown with self-made corsage.

When my dress was finished it did look like the photo on the envelope, with the exception of the length.  I added a few inches.

There was nothing difficult or confusing about the instructions.  Typical.

The reason I picked this pattern was because I wanted something very quick and easy.  This fit the bill.  The style lines gave opportunity to fit and I prayed that the cup sizes would work for me.  And it did.

Taken on Sunday, Worn with self-made corsage.
My dislike are related to the drafting of the pattern:  neckline, the shape of the skirt, and facings (neck and armhole).  I prefer a closer fit about the neck and a slightly tapered skirt.  So I made slight adjustments to both areas.   Facings are a pain.  If you stitch them down all the way around, there is a possibility that the stitching will show through to the right side.  I just stitched in the ditch at the side and shoulder seams.  I also had to make a sway back adjustment.

I probably won't sew this pattern again.  But recommend it to other.

This is a very easy dress to make.  The style lines gives more opportunities to make adjustments as you sew.  The angled side seams are pretty nice too. 

Happy Sewing!


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