Sunday, March 27, 2011

Simplicity 2443 Cynthia Rowley Dress---&-- Gala Gown preview

 It was love at first sight when I saw this floral jersey print at Jo-Ann's. I knew it would go perfectly with this pattern. I'm happy I paired the two. Floral dresses are really in season right now. This was such a fun dress to make and stylish to wear. You know my "M.O." is prints so the brighter and busier.... the better. Hey it's Spring and it's time to break out the bright colors and patterns! Here's my review.....

Simplicity 2443

Pattern Description:

Misses' dress sewing pattern with knit bodice and jacket or vest by Cynthia Rowley.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a size 10 for the bodice and size 12 for the skirt. I was concerned this would be too loose and it wasn't--it was all most too tight. So next time I use a jersey I'll just make a size 12.

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

 (It's a tad bit windy out today!)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Oh, Yeah!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the razor back and the overall dress design. I like the waist band and gathered skirt.
This is an easy dress to sew but be careful when sewing the facing to the back and front bodice pieces. I hand basted the curves and then serged over the hand basting. This ensured good sewing accuracy

Fabric Used:
A floral print matte jersey I found at Jo-Ann's several weeks ago. There are alot of colors in this fabric--gray, black, khaki, magenta, light pink and white. I love how they all blend together.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I don't usually make dresses with waist line seams since I'm short waisted. To make sure I wouldn't looks that way I added 1" length to the bodice. I even reduced the seam allowance to the waist band to get a least 1/2" more length.

(I LOVE these earring but they are a tad bit heavy. I knew it when I bought them but I just had to have them. It was nice to give them a couple of hours of wear!)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'd like to sew this at least one more time in a solid color fabric.

Super cute dress! I have the jacket in the works right now!

GALA Gown Progress:

As you know, I'm currently busy at work on my April 2nd Gala dress. I've cut out the muslin and made my fit decisions. I'll be cutting out the dress within the next hour. Here's the muslin pics--front and back view. I had to take them myself on my Phone and the quality isn't that good. Minus needing to make a few changes (I'll detail them in my review), the dress is looking good so far...

(Don't you love that over the shoulder picture taking technique. LOL!)
Ok, let me go on and work on this gown. I have 7 days until the big day!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 3.21.11

Ok, as you know "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. Here's what I've been thinking.

-I'm sewing the bodice and back band on Simplicity 2443 dress and I just have to hem it and I'm done! I have to admit that it turned out really pretty and I just can't wait to wear it next week. I'm trying to see if I can crank the jacket out by this weekend as well. But I have a gown to sew so I don't know.
(Just a sneak peek of the straps I finished on the dress)

-I'm in the "Crazy Sewing Frenzy" mode since it just dawned on my that the April 2nd Gala is next Saturday. I knew that but it really hit me HARD today. So I've cut out my muslin of Simplicity 2253 and will be doing a fitting on tomorrow. I hope to be cutting into the actual fabric no later than Wednesday or Thursday. And yes, I will work tirelessly through the weekend. I don't want any last minute sewing with this.

-I'm still on the hunt for accessories for my April 2nd Gala dress. While looking on Zappos I ran across this clutch. I promise you it's the clutch of my dreams and just what I imagined for my dress.

See what I mean. The only problem is that it's by Giuseppe Zanotti and is $1535. Anyone feeling REALLY generous! LOL! So needless to say that's out of the question. But I did manage to stumble across another beauty while I was at the Hilton Head outlets this weekend. You might recall that I had a list of possible clutches that I wanted HERE. Well while at a Claire's jewelry store, yeah Claire's, not a place I frequent I ran into this Clutch on clearance. Here it is against my dress fabric.

Hey the one I saw on was over $20 and this one was on clearance for $9 which was a steal. I was pretty excited th at I found a heart shaped clutch----I always wanted one--- (blowing kisses to God). Although it doesn't have that ultra dramatic effect of the aforementioned clutch will work just fine for the occasion. The only thing would be I'd have to change the strap. I need to switch out the basic chain for something fancier.

-While at the same outlets I went into the Wilson's Leather store to look around and found some great jackets.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the white jacket with the ruffles on the upper left. I promise you that one day I will make that for myself. It's in some twill like fabric. I also saw this cutie.
The peach colored leather jacket with the ruffles is too cute. BTW, aren't those leather handbags HOT!!!

-Meet my 2 best friends. It seems I have a HUGE love affair with hand sewing and I love cotton basting thread and large eye needles.  I bought the needles and thread from Atlanta Thread supply.
Claire Shaeffer and the lovely Tany are mainly responsible for my new obsession. I bought Claire's DVD (it cover alot on hand sewing (stitches, techniques, etc.) and of course for those of you who know and love Tany, you know that she is an avid handsewer and uses it to give her custom sewn coats & jackets a professional look. I love the control I'm able to have when I hand sew and it's an extra effort that's well worth the results!!!

I'm in love with Skechers. Here's the newest member to my family.
I work in a Research science lab during the day so I need shoes that are protective but I don't want to wear the classic sneakers with socks. These are a more stylish version. I have Skechers like this in tan, black, brown, etc. I even have some that are a little more dressy. But I was missing gray and was glad to scoop these up. Although I can't wear my sexy heels day in and day out, it's nice to know that I can at least have a little style with cute shoes, capris, and cute tops.

- Jo-Ann's Fabrics just emailed me a 25% off (sales & regular items) coupon on today for use this weekend. I get so many coupons that I barely even use them all. Besides, my sewing room is pretty stocked up right now. But I was looking for something I could save SIGNIFICANTLY on and it turns that Olfa Rotary cutter & supplies will be 40% off this weekend.

I need some new replacement blades for my 45" cutter and they are on sale at $19.19 (regularly $31.99). And I can take an additional 25% off of the lowest price which will bring them down to $14.40---what a steal and $17 saving off the regular price. Hey for that price I might as well buy 2 packs. So check you inbox and see if you received that coupon. You might be able to put it to good use too.

Ok, enough with my rambling. I hope everything is alright with you and yours! Gotta get back to sewing this gown.....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jan / Feb 2011: 10,000 Sewing Hours Challenge Review & March/ April: 10,000 Hr. Challenge Goals

This review of my sewing activities is SO overdue. To sum up January & February very simply, they were the bests months for Client work and the worst for personal sewing. In all I made 3 1/2 pieces when I usually do 6-8 pieces. I made this outfit, this dress and still need to finish this coat. But all in all, I'm not complaining too much. I enjoyed my client work and of course if funds materials and supplies I use in my sewing. I recently bought some great new sewing books & a DVD (courtesy of my Client work) which I'll review in a separate post.

So although I didn't do alot of sewing for myself, I did get to log a good bit of sewing hours. I've updated them on the right side of my blog. But I vowed to participate in the Jacket a Month Sew-Along and I'm so behind. I have no doubt that I will be able to catch up though.

I've already started March off well, I think. I made 2 Father/Daughter dresses. I've switched over to Spring sewing since we've had non stop temperatures in the 70's & 80's. I'm currently working on Simplicity 2443. I'm working on the dress in this fabric. It's a pretty loud print but I love the 2 shades of pink, gray, and black.

I'm a little nervous since I'm short waisted and I'm always nervous at making dresses with high waist lines. I plan to make the jacket in the next week or so in gray cotton sateen. I'm still very much on my "gray kick".

I also need to make my April 2nd Gala dress. I need to get to work on it asap. I already feel like time's a wasting. I'll be sure to start on my muslin on tomorrow.

These projects should keep me busy through March. I haven't completely decided what I wanted to sew for April so that will remain a surprise for now. I know I need to get to thinking about me and my daughter's Easter outfits in addition to some capris and some cute tops. I'll definitely keep you posted.

Gotta go finish up my dress and head out to find some silver heels, accessories, & clutch to wear with my Gala dress. You think finding silver heel would be easy but I'm going for some really glamorous one's so I'm being a bit picky. I'm looking on line and in stores. I'll stumble upon some soon, I'm sure.

Have a Great day!!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

And so I began to Wonder.......

I was cutting out a dress today and my "Wee-One" woke up from a nap and decided to join me in my sewing room. I had my back to her at the cutting table but when I turned around I saw this and had to grab my camera.

She was standing on a step stool (yes in her undies) swiping sewing books from my library. I have to admit for a moment I wanted to have the usual Mom response of telling her to get off the stool for the sake of safety. Furthermore, those are my sacred sewing books and no one, not even my precious "Wee-One" should be handling them (in the end of course she got to play with them as long as she promised to be careful).    But for some reason I was a little awe struck at the sight of her handling my sewing books.....and my mind began to wander........and I began to wonder......
I wonder if she will grow up to sew one day

I wonder if she will be as obsessed about it as I am
I wonder when I will give her her first lesson

If she sews, I wonder if she will use my sewing books which will be considered "retro" once she's grown.

I wonder if  she will sew her prom dress or will I

I wonder will she always hang out with me in my sewing room like she does now

I wonder if I'll still be sewing 10-20 years from now

I wonder how good I will be

I wonder if I'll ever use down my stash

I wonder if I will fulfill my dream of having a small shop and doing custom dressmaking for special clients

I wonder if I'll fulfill my other dream of teaching sewing

I wonder will I get over my disdain for hooks and eyes

I wonder if I'll ever learn to tailor a Man's suit

I wonder. I wonder. I wonder.

Whether my "Wee-One" sews or not or  I fulfill my personal goals, there's nothing like the present that motivates you to wonder or even dare to dream about the future. Remember, the Wright brothers could "see themselves flying" in their minds long before that actually ventured to do so.  I feel a strong sense of possibility and opportunities. You never know what can happen.  Sigh.......well let me get back to sewing, I'd like to have this dress made in time for church on Sunday. I'll keep right on sewing until my next "time of wonder" besides that's what really keeps me going after-all.......

When it comes to your the future what do you find yourself wondering about?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Simplicity 3588: Father/Daughter Banquet Dresses---Pic Heavy

I've been trying to post my 10,000 Hour review for Jan & Feb but I've been working dilligently over the last couple of weeks to churn out 2 dresses---one for my Daughter and the other for my Goddaughter for the great occasion of a Father/Daughter banquet. Well yesterday was the BIG day and I must admit that all of my hard work, planning and last minute sewing paid off! Both girls looked absolutely stunning! I was sure to get a few shots in before the event and I'm glad I did. Hubby didn't get the best quality shots given the dim lighting at the venue. But here are some pictures and the pattern review. I must admit that this dress had me really emotional. I couldn't stop staring at my Daughter and I even felt a bit misty eyed (yes I'm becoming one of those Mom's). My "Wee -One" is growing up so fast and it was fun that she had the opportunity to have such a "formal date" with Dad. The theme for the night was about being a Princeess. She definitely looked like a little princess---well an Asian princess to be exact (smile). The dresses were perfect for the occassion (both girls received tons of compliments) and a magical and fun night was had by all. Here are a few pics followed by the review.....
 (My Daughter doing a little backyard posing. Her dress is burgundy with gold and brown flowers and burgundy piping)

 (Heading out and hugging her date for the night, Daddy)

(Photo op in a carriage)

(My Goddaughter. Her dress is hard to photograph due to the shiny brocade. I loved her dress. It was bright, bright red with black flowers and piping)

(Both girls posing with my Goddaughter's Father who is also my Daughter's Godfather. My Hubby's taking the pics)

 (I loveeeeee this pic. They're growing up to be such pretty girls)

Pattern Description:

Child's dress with bodice variations. I chose to make 2 dresses of View B which had the mandarin collar and piping.

Pattern Sizing:
I made 2 dresses: 1 in size 3 the other size 4.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Super easy!!! These were pretty easy to make!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the mandarin collar, piping, and the overall dress.

Fabric Used:
Satin brocade---my Daughter's dress was maroon with gold & brown flowers while my Goddaughter's dress was bright red with black embroidered flowers.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I was really concerned about this pattern since it's printed measurements were much bigger than both my daughter & Goddaughter. So I did a muslin and discovered my daughter with a could fit into a size 4 and my Goddaughter could fit into the size 3. I was glad I double checked with the muslin.

The only real alteration I had to make was before inserting the zipper. It turns out that in both dresses the middle back seam from the waist and below was too wide and needed to be tapered. So, for example, I took my Goddaughter's dress in 5" at the bottom back seam and tapered to nothing at the waist. The dress fit perfectly. I did the similar thing to my daughter's dress.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't know, maybe a few years from now when my daughter is older. There's so many pretty dresses out there and this is one of a kind. But I DO wholeheartedly recommend this. It's a wonderful pattern.

Wonderful dress! I loved, loved, loved this dress. It was perfect for the occassion. I'll always love this dress!!!

A Parting shot........

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 3.6.11

 I know I've been missing from the blog front as of late but I promise that will change. I prefer frequent blogging but have been a tad busy as of late. But here's my weekly "mindless ramblings" post. Things are beginning to slow down so I look forward to posting a little more regularly.

- Father /Daughter Banquet Dress Progress
I'm making good progress on the 2 banquet dresses I'm making for my daughter and Goddaughter (see last post for details). That's mainly because I FEAR last minute sewing. I've done it TOO many times and just plain refuse to sew under pressure this week. My daughter's dress is nearly done (just needs sleeves, zipper, & hemming) and I'm about to cut out and sew up my Goddaughter's dress. I hope to finish both of them no later than Tuesday. Their banquet is not until Friday and I'll post pictures then. Plus I want to squeeze a little sewing in this week for me. I wouldn't mind having something new to wear to church on Sunday.

-2011 New Sewing books
There are  a bunch of new sewing books that will be released in a few short months. was kind enough to send me a list (that's right, I shop a ton with them). You can find them at this link

Personally I'm interested in the following:
I already have the first edition of this book and am interested in getting the new one just to upgrade. Plus if I pre-order it's only $14 so it's kind of hard to pass up at that price. Can you believe the first edition was released 10 years ago. This book is definitely a staple in any seamstresses library!

I'm curious about the 3 Peg Couch book's that are on the list. This is one of them.....
I'm wondering if they're basic info for beginners or the more advanced. Anyone familiar with Peg Couch's work? I'll probably do some research to see if I can get a sneak peak of the book contents.

There are 2 of these books by Teresa Gilewska. I'm a bit curious about them. One is Advanced Pattern Drafting and the other is The Basics. I have several pattern drafting books but I was just curious about these.

I love that there is a "Fitting" book on the list---or e-book rather (it's kinda weird that it's a Kindle book).  I love books on fitting because I've learned how to fit by watching others do so. I have a couple of books like this already and don't need it. Seems like it may be a neat read.
I can't believe that they're upgrading the Tailoring book. I bought the 2005 version in 2008 so I will not be upgrading.
From the look of the outside cover, I bet they didn't upgrade the pictures. For those who don't know, this book actually originated from the Singer Sewing library. It's just been upgraded over the years. But again, this is definitely a library staple!

-Gutterman Thread Sale
FYI: Atlanta Thread Supply is having another one of it's periodic thread sale. Gutterman thread is
$1.86 for 1100 yd spools.

-New Phone-

I recently purchase the Samsung Galaxy from T-Mobile. It's a 4G Android phone. I went from having a basic flip phone & no internet service to one of the newest phones on the market. Surprisingly getting a new phone with the bells and whistles has helped streamline my work & business helping me get back to my sewing. January & February were pretty intense & busy months with work and business which robbed me of some personal sewing time. It was then that I knew I needed to upgrade a little more on the technology side. I reluctantly upgraded but am so glad I did. I didn't realize how it would make my life easier, and make me less glued to my laptop. Now I can do business on the go if necessary. Just to think I was resisting upgrading. You know sometimes CHANGE isn't a bad thing (wink)!

- Silver Clutch needed
I haven't even sewn my Gala Dress but I'm already thinking about accessories. My dress is a deep blue color so I'd like to accessorize it with silver. I'm looking for the perfect silver shoes, clutch, earrings and chunky bracelet. I've already done some online shopping and will probably scan the mall to see what I can turn up.

Well here's some clutches I've been eye-balling on

I'm not really looking for anything with a strap. Just something hand held and preferably beaded. And of course not crazy expensive. I know I'll turn up something.

-10,000 Hour Sewing challenge-
I can't believe we're already 6 days into March. I need to review my sewing for January & February and present my goals for March & April.  I will cover this in my next post.

Any new tidbits of sewing information that you'd like to share?????


Related Posts with Thumbnails