Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another Tank Dress-- McCall's 6559

I slipped in making another Tank Dress before the month ended. You may recall that I made and reviewed my first one a few weeks ago. I have to admit that I rather like this second version as well. It's made out of a cotton knit that I picked up at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. The fabric which to me is a little reptilian and ethnic looking consisted of bold vertical stripes which I felt if placed right would make for an interesting effect. I also used dark brown bias binding to finish up the neckline and armholes.
Hope to get photos in it soon to post. Can't say how great this pattern is enough!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sewing Jots and Tittles 6.28.12

"Sewing Jots & Tittles" is my weekly post where I get to ramble on and on about sewing related stuff that's been on my mind.....

Well, It's been a while so I've got lots to dump. Be careful---my mind's like quicksand---you really don't want to get stuck in it ! LOL!......

-I'm having a MAJOR addiction to raincoat fabric! My local Hancock's has a nice assortment and in lively colors. I picked up a gray nylon in Tennessee last weekend and can't wait to make a trench out of it!

 -Took a little break from sewing to have fun with pottery. Enjoyed the outing with my little one, my friend and her daughter (my goddaugther). But couldn't stay away from sewing too long---here's the spool of thread I made out of clay (pre-kiln). See the needle? The top removes so you can store stuff in it.

 -Remember this dress? I used the yellow twill in the middle. Look at all of the other cool colors!!! I want them ALL!!!
 -Came in and someone was passed out in my sewing room! I swear those little one's can sleep just about everywhere.

-Saw this dress at Belk's. Paisley in vivid colors in a simple style! Gorgeous!

-There's a man that walks around midtown dressed like an Egyptian Pharoah---all of the time. I'm serious! I've spotted him in Jo-Ann's looking a fabric. I'd love to ask him who makes his costumes.

-Remember, I went all the way to NYC in February to find this gorgeous taffeta fabric with embossed velvet design for my daughter's dress? Why did I find the exact same fabric in Wal-Mart in white? ! Nice! I have no idea where Wal-Mart gets it's fabrics from but it looks like they're stepping their "fabric game" up!!! LOL!

-I looked at the price tag on dog clothes. Can you say expensive! Shoot, I think I need to start sewing & selling them!!!! LOL!!!

-Look very closely!!! I promise I'm not lying but I was sitting in the Five Guys downtown and spotted April from Project Runway AGAIN!!! I've run into her in Jo-Ann's and I've seen her out somewhere else (can't readily recall). I felt like running out, yelling her name and waving! LOL! What???.....isn't that what you do when you feel like you know someone! LOL!!! Seriously, if I run into her again---we're definitely having a conversation:)

-I love finding old sewing books at thrift stores.....

-I could live in this outfit (longer shorts of course)! It is SO cute!!! Love the wild print blouse!

-I've developed somewhat of an interest in making bags......this seems like a VALUABLE resource!

-Suprise, suprise! I used a denim needle to alter a client's swimsuit. The synthetic and microtex needles didn't work--keep wadding the thread underneath. Guess the material needed a stronger needle. Interesting!!!

-Why did my credit card offer me a 40% coupon at Jo-Ann's for points? What in the world???? Who doesn't get those--and for free? They need to come with something bettter!!!

-I really despise ill-fitting advertised pattern catalog pics. The crotches on these capris are crazy unflattering!

-Did a cool pattern swap with a fellow sewer, Branka who lives in Slovenia! Talk about long distance!!! Here's my loot! Had a lot of fun! Would be interesting in doing a swap with others too:)


-I saw this book and have to have it! Such addictive reading. For some reason my brain retains random info like this. Heck, who doesn't want to know how to escape a crash into water. They make it look too easy in the movies!!! LOL!

-The Wee-One's first set of swim classes sure were fun!!!

-I'm sure it might be good but No thanks, I think I'll pass!

-My Wonderful Mother-In-Law, who was just in town visiting, made gluten-free mini pineapple upside down cakes. They were phenomenol. Won't tell how much I ate but I will say that I'm currently on a sugar free diet to offset the damage I've done to myself!!! LOL!!!

- Too true!!!

-An entire cookbook? Say it ain't so! Those must have been some desperate times!!!! LOL!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The "Physics Defying" Dress

The dress that actress Mena Suvari wore to a recent event is being called the "Physics defying dress". It's a dress by designer Maria Lucia Lohan and apparently created quite the stir. I have to admit that this dress peaked my interest (and I just outright drooled over the shoes). I'm not all that into what celebrities are wearing but this dress really caught my eye. It's pretty daring (I love the front but would feel so naked with my entire back out like that)!!! I have to admit, I had the same question as everyone else regarding it's "engineering".

Fortunately I didn't have to go far to get the answers (I was prepared to do some heavy duty research). It turns out  that there's sheer nude panels and lots of hardware that anchors the dress to her sides. And if you look close enough you can see the sheer paneling. Actually the middle photo below is one of the few which makes it so obvious. Mystery solved!!!

I consider dresses like these works of art!!! I would love to be able to deconstruct this dress just to see what type of hardware's in there. I'm sure it's all types of metal wires and rods although it doesn't really look like it. I'm ALWAYS amazed at how much engineering goes into certain clothes to create certain effects. Bravo Maria Lucia Lohan---this dress is definitely a showstopper!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's Chat!!!

I  Had a little scare on my blog last year which made me remove my chat box. Well the problem was resolved (a long time ago) so I've added it back (down on the right side). I'd love to chat!!!! Really!!!! If you have any sewing thoughts, comments or questions please feel free to drop me a line. Lord knows this is a much quicker option to emailing. Looking forward to hearing from you:)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Love / Hate Relationship with Fabric????

This has been a fun weekend!!! I have 2 garments that I need to add binding to and they'll be done. I had to put to put a hold on them to leave for Chattanooga, TN to visit & help some family who just moved there get settled in. It was a quick and fun little weekend trip. I loved the TN mountains---especially Rock City & Lookout Mountain----just wasn't too thrilled driving up narrow, winding roads in an oversized pickup truck.  I prayed and yelled at my hubby for driving fast the entire way up!  LOL! It was soooooo scary. Next time I'll be sure to get a tranquillizer.

On  a side note, while there I was able to visit the local Joann's fabrics and did pick up some great pieces. I always love to visit fabric stores in other cities. The selection is always a bit different from my own.
(l to r: jersey knit, multicolor floral print twill, Fancy "couture Jacquard (I was told it was only sold in 10 HF stores) & Gray nylon (for trench coat).

Ok, but that's not the purpose of this post. I have a piece of fabric that I'm both intrigued and puzzled by.  I'm currently finishing up another McCall's 6559 in a cute cotton knit that I picked up at Wal-Mart. I also picked up 2 other pieces that were similar to it. They all have this ethnic tribal feel--a cool mix of earth tones and neat patterns---kinda like a tribal tye dye. I'm not explaining it right, but one of the 3 pieces I purchased I love but at the same time am kinda repulsed by it. I never though it possible to have a love/hate relationship with my fabric but it seems that's the case! Here it is.....

Again, its a cotton knit and I have around 3 yards of it.
I'm really trying hard to dissect my emotions about it here. For sure I absolutely love the colors.  The blend of brown, tan, green, lime green & teal are really pretty. I know for sure I'm not really feeling the pattern. I mean I like it but then those brown spots look a little measel-y. Does anyone else get that impression?  It seems my feeling of adoration outweigh my repulsion so I'll keep the fabric. I just realize I have to be VERY wise in the pattern I choose. I'm thinking about a cute short twist halter top dress. Simplicity 2580 fits the bill. I could even orient it where the pattern is diagonal. It could make for an interesting dress. Hmmmmm....we shall see.

Nevertheless that's my struggle!

Has anyone else experience a love/hate relationship with their fabric? Isn't it such a weird situation? Do share!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Simplicity 2222---The Marigold Dress

I've been wanting a bright yellow dress for quite some time.  Glad to mark another garment off my Sewing Plan list. If you recall from this POST I was a little nervous making this one. This dress is drafted to have a very long waistline so that it would be a bit baggy in the front. This raised a red flag especially since I'm short waisted. I was also concerned since my fabric choice of cotton twill was a bit stiff. Thanks for everyone who chimed in with advice. Well I decided to shorten the front and back bodice lengtth and I think it turned out good. It could be a little longer in skirt length but I plan to wear it with a cute pair of flat, casual sandals so I think it will work just fine. Hey, it's fun, feminine and flirty---just my style. Here's the pattern review.....

Simplicity 2222

Pattern Description:
Dress or romper. I made the dress--view B with pockets.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 12 for the bodice and increased to a 14 at the waist and skirt.
(Back view)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very much so!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the buttoned front and skirt with pockets.

Fabric Used:
Cotton twill in a bright marigold color!!! I LOVE the color!
(This is a better representation of the dress color. It's really a rich yellow color not a pale yellow. We really need to learn how to use our camera)

(Here's a lighter picture so you can see the dress details)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
* I reduced the front and back bodice length 2"
* I think I added 2 to 3" to the length (it still ended up being a bit short)
* I added pockets with buttons
(A pop of color. Love the electric blue earring & bracelet)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I have so many others I need to sew but I'm happy I got the bright yellow dress I've been wanting for some time:)

Great stylish little dress:)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Butterick 5638---The Rust Ruffled dress

I've been wanting to make this dress for quite some time so I'm happy I can mark it off the list. I really like the results. I was looking for a bright, solid colored dress to add to my wardrobe. The ruffle neckline provided the perfect feminine detail. The dress is a winner in my book Ok, here is the review.......

(This dress is actually rusty orange in color. It's interesting that it photographed sorta red.)

Butterick 5638

Pattern Description:
Fitted dress

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 12

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, minus the change I made to the ruffle.
(Back shot)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very much so!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the ruffled neckline!

Fabric Used:
A stretch sateen in a rust color.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't follow the ruffle instructions. I didn't want the ruffle extending to the back of the neck---I really didn't like that look. Instead I gathered them tighly and only and sewed them along the front neckline. I also lengthened the dress by about 3".
(Up close ruffle detail)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Quite possibly-- I love a cute princess seam dress with a fancy neckline.
(Picked up a cute pair of sandals from Sear's. I love the braiding detail and wedge heel. With my height I had doubts about doing a wedge but these were perfect.)

Great little dress that didn't require much fuss and yielded cute results:)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

McCall's 6559--- The Popular "Tank Dress"

I'm telling you everyone is sewing this dress!!! I've enjoyed seeing all the varieties out there. This was on my sewing plan and I'm happy I got around to it because it doesn't disappoint. Such a fun and easy pattern and just perfect for warm weather. I'm wrapping up 3 other garments right now (feels like a sweat shop over here) and I plan to make 2 more tank dresses. I love when a simple pattern yields fabulous results and let's me showcase pretty fabric.

Ok, here's my review.....

McCall's 6559

Pattern Description:
Tank dress

Pattern Sizing:
I bought a 14 and up since that's the only one they had in the store. It was easy to grade it down to a 12. After trying it on I ended up taking in the bodice at least another size or so and I took out about 1" out of the shoulder straps.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

(Back View)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, yes, and yes!!!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Nothing to dislike. Only 2 pattern pieces! Super easy!

Fabric Used:
Some poly knit. I think it has some rayon in it. It's only has a crosswise stretch and is a tad bit sheer. I think it's part of the Jo-Ann's tribal collection. Bought it a few months agao.
(the fabric)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I mentioned some above.
1. Took bodice side seams in for snugger fit.
2. Took up shoulder 1"
3. Added 2-3" for length. I'm 5"9 and usually do this. The pattern is quite long otherwise.
4. I made my own binding. Cut 2" width (didn't have to do bias since it stretches anyway) and and as long as I needed it. I made binding for both the neckline and armholes. My knit was too lightweight to not have a binding of some sort.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I've already got fabric for 2 more. Hope to knock out by the weekend:)

(Me and my "Wee-One". Her last day at Pre-K is tomorrow. She's growing up so fast (sniff, sniff)

Exceptional pattern!!! Definitely a winner for the year. Just see all of the other reviews!!!  That speaks for itself!!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oh the Places You will GO----INDEED!!!!

I received the Dr. Seuss book, "Oh The Places You Will Go", complete with personal inscriptions from co-workers and friends as a college graduation gift several years back. I smile when I think of that title because in truth you don't know where you'll end up in life and what wonderful opportunities lay ahead.

I couldn't have been more reminded of this truth on today. Just a little while ago I discovered that the wonderful Robin, over at A Little Sewing, was given the opportunity to be the new Editor for the Vogue Pattern Magazine. You've got to read her AMAZING story here. She's a fellow blogger who have been offering wonderful insights into her sewing for several years. Her faithfulness, persistence, and sheer love for sewing helped open the door to a greater opportunity. I can't express how excited I am for her!!!! I can't think of anyone more deserving. And I'm also deeply inspired!!! In life you never know who's watching. It pays to just be you and do what brings you joy. Have the courage to pursue your passion!!!! You never know where it might lead you.........


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