Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm Finally Back.....and ready to FIRE up the sewing machine!

It's so good to be back home from AK and to see my Babies (first my Husband and Daughter, then my sewing machines!!!) My free time was so slim while I  was away. I've desperately missed reading all of your blogs and following your progress. I've got some catching up to do. And I've also got a lot of blog posting to do of my own.

I'm so happy that I made my flannel pants. From the picture you can tell that I really needed them. When I ran outside to take this picture it was about -10F, that's right -10F. Excuse the expression on my face but my friend had a problem taken the pic and the cold was starting get to me-----Boy was it COLD!!!! But my pants, which are McCall's 5992 kept me toasty at night (indoors of course--LOL). I made 3 pairs using 3 types of fabric and here I am modeling the one with the moon and stars on it! Since I have several more trips back to AK, I'll be sure to bring them along each time.  I chose not to do a PR review of this pattern since flannel pants are pretty easy, but I have to admit the pattern wasn't drafted well (some notches didn't match up) but I could work through it considering how straight forward sewing sleep pants are.

(Here's a closer shot)

Due to this trip I lost about a week or two of serious sewing time and I'm anxious to get back to the grind. Thus in a couple of days I'll be posting my new 10,000 Hour Sewing Challenge goals for May & June and reviewing what I accomplished for March and part of April. But before I do that I just realized that next Sunday is Mother's day (I can't believe it) and I have to get moving on making my Mother's day dress. So I've already pulled my fabric and now I'm stuck between deciding on 2 patterns. Here's my fabric and potential patterns....

The fabric is a beautiful silk charmeuse with gorgeous hues of mauve, red, tan, and gold in the shapes of palm fronds on a white background. This fabric is heavenly. It's extremely beautiful and I was hoping to capture that beauty in the perfect pattern.  Hopefully by tomorrow I'll finally decide on which pattern to use! I could really use your input. Which pattern do you think is best?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Headed North, or as North as One can go in the US.........

I have a few short hours before I'm on a plane and headed to Barrow, Alaska for field research. I did indeed finish my flannel pants in time for the trip so I'm delighted they'll be accompanying me on the trip and will be keeping me really warm at night (I'll post pics later). I've hated not being able to blog, review, and read you Guy's blogs for the past week, but I'm looking forward to catching up while I'm away (in between working that is). You better believe that although I won't be able to sew, I'll use my extra time to catch up on watching a few sewing DVD's  and read through some articles on my Best of Threads DVD's vol 1&2. I hope to  post in a couple of days when I get settled. Until then please sew a few stitches for me..........

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Survival Sewing.......

Ok, so I'm throwing in the towel so to speak.  It was my desire to get some more spring wardrobe sewing in before my research trip to Alaska but it's not looking like that's going to happen. With my trip less than a week away, a pile of client alterations to get done, and on top of that trying to recover from a nasty stomach virus that's left me bedridden for 2 days--- it's time for a slight change of plans. Remember, when one plan fails, you just make a new one, right.....

So because the mere thought of being unable to sew while I'm in Alaska for a week is overwhelming, I know I've just got to squeeze some in before I leave on next Tuesday. Well since I'm headed to a place that's way colder (today was 2F with windchill) then the 85F weather I'm currently experiencing. So I thought I'd do some "justifiable" sewing. Why not make warm and cozy pajama pants!!!! Heck, it's about time I finally sew up some of that $0.99/yd Warm and Cozy Flannel fabric I collected over the years from Jo-Ann Fabrics Black Friday sales. I could definitely use the warm sleep pants for those cold nights. Here are the 3 fabrics I plan to use........... Aren't they just adorable?

So that's just what I'll do...........

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Sewing Kryptonite!

Out of all the sewing notions I've worked with over the course of my years of sewing, there is just one that very thought of having to use gets under my skin. I should be embarrassed for revealing this but hey if "kryptonite" can stop Superman dead in his tracks, it's obvious that I would have my own hindrances, even in my beloved hobby of sewing.

It's weird but I  can never seem to sew a hook and eye in correctly.  What did you expect me to say? Zippers? Bias tape? Buttons?  I bet you didn't think it would be the smallest sewing notion did you? LOL!

 Well here lies the problem. I'll either sew the hook in correctly and will be off a bit with the eye. I finally started ditching them in my garments but I really want my clothes to have a RTW feel so I know I must include them. Besides they're the best little insurance policy to prevent zipper tab slippage.

I practically can sew in an invisible zipper blindfolded (they're my favorite notion)  but can't properly sew in a hook and eye. Doesn't that seem a little backward--- LOL!!!! It just goes to show that no one can do everything perfectly. Seriously, I've finally decided that it's time to get over this handicap and finally take a look at how RTW and consult one of my sewing books for specific instructions that insure success. Problem solved! But to some degree they still probably will always make me cower! LOL! Out of curiosity, might I ask, "What's your sewing kryptonite"? Which notion really gets under your skin?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UPDATE: Christian Siriano special can be watched ONLINE!

Hey Guys,

This is a follow-up to my last post. I just found out that the Christian Siriano Special : Having a Moment can be viewed online here..... Just click on the picture of Christian at the bottom, and Voila' there's the special. Now I don't have to wait until Saturday to watch it and you can watch it whenever you want to! Yeah for us all!!!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Christian Siriano's Special is on Bravo tonight!!!!

The well-loved, Season 4 Project Runway winner Christian Siriano has a special entitled "Christian Siriano: Having a Moment" which debuts tonight at 10pm on Bravo. It's a look into his world of fashion design and all of the projects and things he has going on.

Check it out if you have "a moment". I'm so tired from the craziness of last week and for all the sewing I did to get my Vogue 1182 Kay Unger dress  finished (last post) that I'm going to have to skip it tonight so I can catch some extra Z's. But fortunately it will be playing throughout the week so I'll catch it on Saturday at 10:30am. You can check the program schedules at to find a time suitable for you.  If you do see it tonight or before Saturday, let me know what you think!!!!

Hopefully it will be F-I-E-R-C-E!!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vogue 1182 Kay Unger Design---Pic Heavy

I can't say how happy I was to complete this dress. As most of you know I blogged about how I came to the idea of using this pattern here . So I'm thankful that I was able to get it in time and within a week it was completed and I was able to wear it to church today.

Vogue 1182
Pattern Description:
Fitted, above mid-knee, lined, sleeveless dresses with princess seams, front pleats, large collar, back slit opening and invisible zipper closing.
Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 12 and graded up to a 14 for lower waist and hips.

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

 (the back view....)

 (and my dainty shoes)
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty much! The pattern is rated average and rightly so since it is fully lined. It only has 44 steps and is pretty straight forward! I had a few "moments of puzzlement" when it came to adding the lining to the left and right fronts but after staring at the pictures and reading the instructions out loud (it's amazing how well that works---LOL!!!) I figured it out.

(Inside the dress)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was the shawl collar and the waist pleats that attracted me to this pattern in the first place. It's so regal and sophisticated!  It's also very well drafted and came together relatively easy. There was really nothing to dislike about the pattern.

Fabric Used:
A Floral shantung
(This is what the fabric really looks like up close.)
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a muslin to evaluate the pattern's fit and as a result made the following changes:

1. I noticed the shawl collar was really wide. Maybe it's because I had narrow shoulders but I felt like I was back in my teens when I used to wear those crazy sailor tops. As a result I reduced the width of the collar (both upper and lower) an inch  and tapering down to 1/2" and then to nothing beginning from the widest curved part of the collar to the narrowest. Note: To make the reduction easier, I overlayed the upper and lower collar pattern pieces and cut off the extra on both so the changes would be identical.
(See how wide the collar is. It doesn't appear to be this wide on the pattern pic.)

2. Since I'm shortwaisted (especially in the back) I had to tuck out 6/8" (total 1.5") from the lower and side back sections and taper to nothing at the side seams. That way I got rid of the extra fabric that was pooled above my rear. My small back ( which is 14" long by 14" wide) is the exact reason why it's hard for me to find fitted RTW dresses. The back's of those dresses are always a little longer then mine.
(See the excess fabric at my lower back. The red mark shows where I needed to make my 6/8" tuck)

Outside of those 2 changes I really didn't need to do anything else.  There was one other adjustment that I had to make in my muslin and fortunately didn't need to make in my finished garment. In my muslin I noticed too much bagginess in the front panel of the dress beneath the pleats. To get rid of it I just deepened the seams of the front/front side panel about 6" or so beneath the pleats--you know like if you were doing a curved dart. That immediately got rid of the fullness in the mid section. Again, it turned out that after I made my dress I didn't need to do this. I think the weave of the shantung fabric was much tighter then the muslin.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Probably so!!!! Next time I'd love to do it in a solid---maybe a rich, deep burgundy shantung. But I'm in no real hurry. I think this pattern was perfect for the fabric I chose for my Easter dress. I strongly recommend this dress to anyone!!!

I LOVE this Dress!!!! It's definitely one of my favorites!!! It's great that it's rated to fit most figure types and is relatively easy to make with such a great end result.

Happy Easter / Resurrection Day


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