Friday, October 28, 2011

A Tale of 2 Salsa Party dresses: Part I

I'm feeling so restless right now!  Mainly because it's been an extremely busy week. There was so much going on and now that it's Friday I finally get to decompress. Secondly, I have 2 dresses to make for an upcoming birthday party in 3 weeks. I'm conspiring with friends and co-workers to throw a 40th "Salsa Themed" Birthday party for a well loved friend and co-worker. My gift to her is to make her birthday dress and to style her from head to toe. She's a lovely girl and I consider it such a privilege.  She wanted a dress that would be fun, flirty, and birthday worthy. Well I've been mulling over ideas for the last couple of weeks and after much consideration arrived at the following pattern and fabric choices.

This pattern fit the bill!!! She wanted a cute knit halter dress that would provide sex appeal and comfortable wear. She'd be able to dance the night away in this dress in style. I can testify to the comfort of this dress because I made it myself last year. I plan to make her version D which is the short red dress pictured above. This is the fabric I plan to use....

The party colors are red, black, and white and this print fabric is perfect. The fabric itself is a peachskin (it feels fabulous) with I think 20% stretch which I just purchased on sale at I have exactly 2 yards of fabric, 1/4 yard more than the pattern requires. So I really don't have any extra. If anyone out there in "web land" has this fabric from and wouldn't mind selling me some please let me know!!! Even 1 yard would help GREATLY!!! Anyway, that's all I'm going to say about this dress right now. I'll keep you posted as I progress with this dress. Next week we're doing fittings. I love working with clients:)

Earlier I mentioned that I had 2 Salsa dresses to make. Well I introduced you to the Birthday Girl's dress. Well I've got one to make for myself. A party invite automatically means I get to make myself a fancy dress. I'm pretty excited about that. I finally made it through planning for the Birthday Girl so I could finally focus on myself. I wracked my brain for a minute and ran through a bunch of ideas. I ran across this pattern and it stuck.  I decided to go with Vogue 1207.

I like this dress ALOT!!!! It's all about the print, sleeves, and plunging back neckline. I plan to modify the pattern a bit by raising the back neckline a smidge so I can wear a bra with it plus I'll nix the pockets.  I usually go the route of a fitted dress but I'm excited to go a little short and sexy---yet still look decent enough to be called "the Wee-One's" Mama! LOL! I'm curious to see how I'll look in it.

I picked this fabric that I've been holding for another dress but thought it would work wonderfully.
 The only thing is it photographs beautifully in natural light but looks blah indoors. But hopefully you can kinda see it's beauty. It's a charmeuse with hues of gold, various shades of brown, and gray. It's beautiful. I may look around for another fabric, but it would have to be phenomenal to beat out what I've already got.

So this the story on the two dresses in the pipeline. I'll keep you posted. I'm hoping the process to be fun and to have great results. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Simplicity 2246---- Denim Shirt Dress

 I finally finished this dress I started over a week ago and am pleased with the results. It's the first shirt dress I ever sewed and it certainly won't be my last. I've always loved shirt dresses! I'm happy I used a denim fabric. I know I'll get good use out of this dress and will be able to dress it up or down as needed. The fabric was a bit of a gamble since it was a much heavier weight than recommended and had alot of stretch. It's the kind of fabric that has the potential to "grow" during the course of a day. So I was sure to cut this dress a bit smaller than normal to account for that. Anywho, I wore it all day and it was perfect. This morning was pretty cold so I threw on some black tights and wedges. By the time I took these pics it was in the 70's again. It's so hard to dress for our weather sometimes. Ok, I digress, my pattern review is below........

Simplicity 2246

 Pattern Description:
Shirt dress in 3 different lengths. I made view A.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a size 8 for the bodice and graded up to a 12 for the waist and skirt.

 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 loved most everything about this pattern. The only thing I did differently is slipstitch the button placket and collar.

Fabric Used:
Mystery black denim with some stretch.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The only thing I did was lengthen it by 3 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would! I'd like to make it in a lighter cotton fabric for the Spring.

Cute shirt dress! Definitely a wardrobe staple:)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 10.20.11

"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 what's been bouncing off the wall of my mind.....

-Shut In & Sew.....
 After a Really BUSY week and a busy one planned for next week too, all I want to do is stay in and sew this weekend. I'm looking forward to finishing up Simplicity 2246. Unfortunately I didn't get to finish it for last weekend (since I decided to take my time and slipstitch the front button plackets---I just wanted it to be super NEAT) but I just have to add the sleeves, collar and buttons and I'll be done. It's coming along quite nicely. Here's pic with sleeves pinned into place. It doesn't look like much now but with buttons and a belt I'm hoping it will be real cute:) I hope to wear this on Sunday!

 I'm looking forward to starting a couple more projects this weekend. I REALLY need to get a move on the sewing. The weather's turning cooler and I need warmer clothes to wear. 

-It's just that serious......
 I bought some of the new Buterick patterns and nearly flipped out when they didn't have this pattern. I mean it would be one of many coat patterns I have but for some reason I just LOVE this pattern. I love the short version which in my opinion would be so sassy. Well I couldn't wait for it to go on sale again and chance missing it for a second time. So I went and bought it 40% off of the full price. So much for the $0.99 sale. But I just HAD TO HAVE IT! I hate when some patterns make me that crazy. Oh well, at least I can rest easy now.

-Fabric on the Way
I mean I really haven't been buying any fabric lately. That's good since I need to really sew down my stock and would rather do that. But I do love to catch a good fabric sale every blue moon. Such was the case with my recent purchase. I was able to get some really cute clearance fabric and score free shipping, a 15% discount and apply a $10 credit. I came out of that deal with 4 different fabrics (7lbs.) and some bias tape for around $37. I can't wait to get my fabric.

-On the Blouson kick
Most of you know that the main reason I made this dress was because I wanted a casual dress that would work great for the winter months when paired with boots, scarf, and a jacket. Although I love this dress and my changes to the pattern, I wanted a dress that was a true blouson. Well I stumbled upon this pattern and love it.
The reason I wanted this pattern was because it resembled this dress I saw in the Lucky magazine. I love the styling suggestions for this type of dress.
 I have wanted it forever!!!! I did manage to buy some hunter green knit in my recent purchase. I hope it will work for this dress. Wouldn't it be cute paired with a cute vest or a scarf???

-Boots to Buy
I'm in desperate need of dressy black boots and some casual brown boots with a chunky heel. DSW sent me a coupon for $20 off a $49 purchase. Hmmmmmmm......I don't have a local store (the nearest one is 2 hours away) but I may have to check them out online! I'm not a big fan of online shoe shopping but for those savings I may make an exception. I just checked out there clearance section HERE and found some cute booties, wedges, & boots.

-So behind
I'm about 4 episodes behind on watching Project Runway on Lifetime and I haven't been able to catch the Rachel Zoe, Fashion Hunters, & Mad Fashion on Bravo. Sigh.... Fortunately Lifetime allows you to watch episodes online. So at least I'll be able to catch up on Project Runway.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Fashion Forecast/ Accessory Hop

Please bear with me, I meant to have this post done hours sooner but I'm home from work nursing a sick child. Fortunately we caught the ear infection/ sore throat early so with meds & some R& R the "Wee-One" will be back to her old self....... faster than you can even say "Karl Lagerfeld wears black leather gloves"! LOL! Just being a little silly!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm really estatic about my Fall sewing ideas. The plans just keep coming together and I look forward to executing them. Here's a few ideas of what I see my fall wardrobe shaping up to be. Also, I'm participating in Toy's "Accessory Hop" so I'll also include the accessories that I plan to incorporate in my wardrobe.

My Fall Wardrobe will include...

-My favorite staple, turtleneck or sweater and cute plaid skirts .
 (excuse the wrinkled skirt, no time to iron)

Accessories: Shoe booties, bracelet, necklace, and/or tights.

-Printed dresses with cardigans. I always love the combo because it allows you to be bold but tame it a bit with a solid colored cardigan. It's always quite the look.
(Sorry, couldn't track down the black cardigan. But you can use your imagination:)

- Sweater dresses. I LOVE these. They're warm and stylish!!!

Accessories: Tights and Scarfs.There's a pack of gray & black tights hanging from the pocket. I hope to add some colored tights in the mix as well as featured in this picture.

-Jackets. I love jackets, they're always an extra layer that can add a wow factor to any outfit. Especially when it's over a graphic tee and sequined scarf.

Accessories:  Cute scarves, earrings, necklaces, & bracelets

- Velour Jumpsuits. As you know I work a job with a very casual dress code so I need some stylish, yet cute looks to add to my wardrobe.

I have black & blue velour that I can't wait to use with this Kwik sew 3678 pattern!

-Cardigan & Jeans or Corduroy pants:

I've only sewn one cardigan but plan on making a few more in basic colors so I can always have one to grab. I also have black & tan corduroy fabric for the pants. Here's the patterns I plan to use.......

Accessories: Boots, necklaces, bracelets, earrings

-Tunics/ Pullovers & Leggings. I really hope to live in this style but I've got alot of sewing to do. Here's the patterns I plan to use to achieve the look.

Accessories: Chunky boots, headbands, bracelets, belts

So those are some of the outfits I'm trying to rock for fall. I have most of my dressy clothes but need to focus on sewing more of the casual one's.

Just to recap, here's the accessory round up. Some accessories I already displayed above.....
 (Boots, bracelets, headbands, necklaces, tights, belts.....
and lots of scarves........)
I'm ALWAYS looking forward to adding some new accessories to my collection. I'm currently looking for some chunky casual boots to wear with my tunics amongst a few other things. Hope to acquire these items soon.

Hope you're having fun planning your fall wardrobe & accessories!!!! How's it looking for you?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Obsession....

..well at least at the moment is this cute little Simplicity pattern I picked up a few days ago from Jo-Ann's.  I'm really LOVING this dress. Like really LOVING it!!!! I pulled out a dark mid-weight denim from my stash and hope to have this done by the weekend. I've always wanted a cute denim dress and hope this fits the bill. We will see. Pray for me----I've got a jam packed weekend of things to do but want to make this dress happen. In the meantime I'll just keep obsessing!!!! What about you....what's your obsession at the moment?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Simplicity 2850---The Little Blue Dress

It's funny that I still haven't got around to making a LBD (Little Black dress) but I couldn't resist the urge to whip up this number on Saturday.  I wanted a dress that I could wear now and would carry into the fall when paired with tights, boots, and a scarf. I think this dress is perfect.So here's my review......

(Front view: Due to hectic day pictures were taken at night. Excuse the poor lighting)

Simplicity 2850

Pattern Description:
Knit Mini Dress. I made view A and added the belt.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 12 for the bodice and graded to a size 18 beginning at the underarm curve and ending at the dress hem.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Not really since it was alot looser due to the pattern changes I made.
(Side view)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Oh, yeah! Absolutely!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the neckline sleeves.

Fabric Used:
A deep blue navy poly-lycra knit with a crepe like texture. I loved the drape of this fabric and it's SO comfortable to wear.
(Neckline up close. You can sorta see the deep blue color of the fabric and it's texture)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. As described above I cut a size 12 for the bodice and flared the dress to a size 18. I've been really obsessed with blouson dresses so I wanted a dress that had a little more fullness.
2. Shortened the sleeve and used 3/8" elastic in the sleeves.
3. Added 5" to the length

(Back view)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I think so! It's such a quickie project (I made it on Saturday to wear Sunda) and I love the results. I recommend it 100%.

Cute dress! Just what I was looking for!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 10.6.11

-A Thousand Thanks
You guys have SUCH a wealth of information!!!! I appreciated all of your input regarding getting "the Wee-One" her own sewing machine. I appreciated all of your personal experiences and stories that you shared. I'm still processing all of the information but I think at the moment I will start her out with yarn, plastic canvas, and a plastic wide eye needle. I have a bunch of yarn (leftover from old crochet projects) and some plastic canvas in a variety of shapes. I think this will be extremely entertaining to her. When I decide to go the machine route I definitely will go with a real one instead of a toy. You guys opened my eyes. I didn't know there were so many nice machines for $40-$60.

-How Bazaar!!!
I received this month's Harper Bazaar and the cover of Lady Gaga au naturel caught my attention. I mean it's not often you see her without all of the wild makeup. So quite naturally I wanted to see her article so I flipped through a couple of pages to see if I could find the Table of Contents. Well 76 pages in guess what I stumbled on FINALLY! Seriously?!?  Come on! Nothing like being forced to flip through 75 pages of advertisement just to find a table of contents! I got nothing but frustration from that exercise!

-Two wrong shoes sizes makes a RIGHT price!
I so happened to walk by Shoe Carnival on my way to a restaurant last weekend and saw they were having a sidewalk sale. Well some cute snake skin embossed in black caught my eye. What can I say it was love at first sight and they were 50% off with a sale price of $12. So I went to pay for them and the sales lady noticed that the shoes I had were in 2 different sizes--- a 9.5 & 10. Well it so happens that I can wear both. The sales lady tried to find the correct matches for these shoe but couldn't. So I asked if they'd sale them for a discount. They slashed them down to $7 and I left the store with 2 differently sized shoes and a happy wallet. Don't you judge me---you know I'm down for a good bargain (wink)!

-Rekindled Love
I made this snakeskin print knit dress a few months ago and had mixed feelings about. But I tried it back on again and fell back in love with it. Maybe it was the change in styling or the fact that I've been hitting the gym and the dress just fit much better. But I LOVE this dress. Funny how things can come full circle. Also, I'm wearing the size 9.5 & 10 black sandals that are pictured above. The texture of the shoes went perfect with the dress and surprisingly well with tights.

-Blog "Sew Here We go Again"
Karin from the blog "Making the Seam" was hit with a malware virus and as a result closed her blog so she wouldn't infect anyone else. It's pretty tough to start over. Her new blog is Sew Here We go Again. I went through the malware scare on last week myself so I can understand her frustration. Please visit her new location:)

-Accessory Hop!
Be on the lookout! The lovely Toy from Life happens Be Positive is hosting an Accessory Hop all next week featuring bloggers and their accessory choices for the fall. I'm excited that I get to participate and showcase some of my accessories. We'll see what I put together.

-Fall Sewing excitement!
I've cleaned up my sewing room and put away summer fabrics and patterns. I'm surprised that I'm actually so excited about fall sewing.  I think I actually got over the urge to sew another jumpsuit. I've pulled out my Fall patterns and fabrics. I'm getting my strategy together now. More to come....
 (Some of the patterns I pulled out.....)
 (.....and fall fabrics)

-Lady Bug vs The Princess
 My family and I don't personally celebrate Halloween but we like the idea of attending Fall Festivals at our church or others where we can dress up "the Wee-One". We planned to attend our first one this year but our church isn't having it this year. I'd looked forward to making "the Wee-One a costume". Right when I was about to nix the idea I noticed a flyer while leaving the YMCA. It turns out a local church and the Y are teaming up to have a Trunk or Treat festival on October 28th. That's perfect!!!! Now we can dress "the Wee-One" up for that. There's just only one challenge now. Originally "the Wee-One" wanted to be a princess--that was all she talked about. I picked out the perfect pattern and was preparing to purchase fabric when she spotted a Lady Bug costume lying around the house that was given to us by my husband's co-worker. Now it seems she may want to be a Lady Bug. What???? Would you pass up a custom sewn costume for some cheap store brand? LOL!!! The event at the Y is only 2 hours long, maybe it's not worth the effort of making a costume. We'll let "the Wee-One" have the final decision:)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kiddie Sewing Machine Needed!

I need your help!!! A couple of weeks ago my 4 year old  (aka "The Wee-One") asked if she could have her own sewing machine so she could sew with me. I almost fell out of my seat. Well at least I would have if I weren't driving at the time. Now I'm on a mission to get her a sewing machine so she can try her hand at what I consider to be "the Greatest Craft on the Planet". I blogged about my desire for her to pick up the craft in this post.  I'll try to refrain from getting emotional and fantasizing about the two of us sewing together---side by side.  Ok, back to the request. I'm particularly excited about this because it was a request she made all on her own. I didn't coax her or anything. She loves to hang out in my sewing room ( a little too much at times) going through my books, touching my fabric, and playing with my notions. So I think it only fitting for her to have her own little machine so we can see where this goes. So my question for you is can you recommend a good sewing machine for kids? Everyone I've seen at have had so-so reviews. Here's the Hello Kitty one here.  It may be worth the shot but it's sorta hard to tell from the reviews. Anyone have any experience with this machine?

I found one here but I don't know if I want to shell out $60 and my daughter completely lose interest. If she were older that would be one thing but again she's only 4. You know they tend to like things one day and not so much the next. Plus this machine may be a little too mature for my daughter. Again I don't know, that's why I'm asking you. Know of any good sewing machines for kids? Also, do you have any kid(s) who sew with you? What's that experience like? I look forward to hearing your answers!!! Thanks in advance!


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