Monday, April 29, 2013

Sewing Pet-Peeves---let's make a list!!!

Please forgive my absence as of late. I never like to be away from the blogging world long but I was swamped with client work.Well I finished Butterick 5813 for my client. All last week I was sequestered in my sewing room working on it--- surrounded by my machines and such and engulfed with my thoughts. I was pinning the collar on the dress when I picked up a dull pin and realized it wasn't going to push through the cotton sateen fabric. I absolutely HATE dull pins!!! You try to make it work instinctively until you realize that the tip isn't sharp and it's not going to happen. Hopefully you haven't experienced this while working with a satin or other snag-able fabric. This got me to thinking (dangerous I know--- LOL). I wonder how many other sewing related "pet peeves" I have. You know I don't care how much you love anything there's always a down side, even it it's very small.  It goes without saying that  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SEWING and it is truly my passion---as with most of you. I always think about the pro's but I don't think I've ever inventoried the con's. I thought it would be kinda fun to do that, you know in a light hearted sort of way. 

I'll start the list but I'm counting on you to help me out. These are some of my sewing related pet peeves. Please leave yours in the comments section below. Let's see how many collective pet peeves we can amass. Remember, let's keep it lighthearted and fun!!!!

1. Dull pins that snag fabric (mentioned above)

2. When you find the perfect fabric online and excitedly order it only to get an email 3 days later that they completely ran out of it and it's non-reorderable:(

3. Fabrics with warning labels "Fabric may crock"---which is warp or distort (correct definition: fabric that rubs off). I've had a little experience with this. A combo of oil hands and excess dyes can be a nightmare!!!!

4. Fabrics with ODD widths---like 38". What am I supposed to do with that---make a hankerchief!!!

5. How some pattern companies make special patterns in petit and don't offer them in the rest of the sizes!!!! Darn you burda for having such cute Petit patterns!!!! LOL!!!!! Since I'm shortwaisted I still buy them anyway though (wink).

6. A pattern sale at Jo-Ann's when there aren't enough patterns for the newest seasonal campaign. Seriously-- some of the Big 4 will only send like 3 patterns for each new look.

7. Fabric so badly off grain that no manner of straightening or blocking can fix!!!

8. Improperly rated patterns. It says "Very Easy" but it actually turned out to be ADVANCED! LOL!

9. Badly drafted patterns. One peplum blouse I made had a crazy, oddly drafted upper back that was disproportionate from the rest of the pattern. Almost had me pulling out my hair!!!

10. Fabric you buy that have a permanent fold from being stored on the bolt and is nearly impossible to remove. There's a olive green rayon knit I want at Jo-Ann's but can never buy it due to those darn fold impressions!!!

11. When I need a 9" zipper and all I may have on hand is a 21"!  Man, it feels like such a waste!

12. A sewing machine breakdown in the middle of a huge project!!!

13. When the guide sheet's suggested pattern placement on fabric creates unecessary waste.

14. Ordered fabric looks NOTHING like the online description or photo.

15. Accidentally making an elastic casing too small which causes elastic to curl:(

16. A badly drafted sleeve pattern that has WAY too much cap length and causes puckers not originally intended for the design.

17. Sewing with slippery fabrics without the aid of fabric stiffeners. Can you say NIGHTMARE!!!

18. Fabrics with designs that was away even when the care instructions say they're washable.

Ok, I've got lots more and will probably add more in the comments section below as I think of them. But I'm most interested in what you've got to say. What are some of your sewing related pet peeves. Please list them in the comments section! This should be fun!!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

McCall's 6700- Maxi Dress & Butterick 5496- Flowy top

Happy Sunday!!!! I'm enjoying a restful one and am really trying to cram in some sewing.  I've been doing a good bit of sewing this past week so here's a couple of quick reviews......

McCalls 6700

Time to Sew:
About 3 hours!!!

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
2---Very easy!

Pattern Description:
I call it a maxi dress but on the envelope it's described as a pullover dress with a mock wrap bodice, shoulder ties, elasticized shoulders and raised waist.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 8 for the bodice and graded to a 10 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?

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

Fabric Used:
A poly/rayon blend knit with a mix of animal prints. I really thought this fabric was graphically kind of cool!!!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. I didn't hem it since my knit doesn't ravel and I wanted it as long as possible.
2. I used my coverstitch machine to finish the neckline.
3. I have my own way of inserting elastic waistband so I didn't follow the directions on that.

What would you do differently next time?:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I'm definitely planning to. I'd love it in a solid color.

Wardrobe Versatility:
It can be worn solo or worn under a cute sweater or stylish jacket.

 Cute dress for Spring/Summer!!!

Butterick 5496 (This was the top I made for Faye's Sewalong)

Time to Sew:
Like an hour and a half.

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
A 1---it's super easy!

Pattern Description:
Flowy top with belt.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut out a size 12 I think.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the fullness of the top!

Fabric Used:
A gorgeous poly silky fabric with gorgeous colors (sage background, red, white, teal, tan and chartreuse flowers) and horizontal stripes!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. I left out the waist elastic and instead made a belt.
2. I nixed the bias binding for the neckline and just serged, folded over, and sewed it down.

What would you do differently next time?:
Maybe make it a size smaller or take out a bit more circumference in the waist and bust. Also a obi belt would be a nice touch too. But I'm obsessed with Obi's so what can I say.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Wardrobe Versatility:
This can be worn with pants, tights, or even a skirt.

Cute top!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On the cutting table.....

Whoa the last week and a half has been B-U-S-Y!!! How have you guys been holding up? Isn't it crazy that it's almost May!!!!???. I promise you we'll all blink and it will be Christmas again! LOL!

Well I've been a bit preoccupied with client work ( I've got a couple of "fancy dresses to make in the very near future) so I've been a bit all over the place. But I have 2 projects I plan to knock out this weekend. Here they are.....

I've got the dress already cut and ready to sew and just have to cut out the peplum top. This will be my 3rd peplum and it will be the 2nd time I've used this Vogue 8816 pattern. Is there  a limit to the amount of peplum's one can have???? I sure hope not because I can see by the end of Summer I may be in some big trouble! LOL!!!

I'm really excited that true Spring weather has kicked in effect! We kinda had a late start this year. I look forward to adding interchangeable, bright, and fun pieces to my wardrobe.

Well that's what's been up with me. How are things going for you? You have any exciting weekend sewing plans???

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sewing Jots and Tittles 4.12.13

Wow, it's been some kind of a week. I've been sewing but I've also had the strongest urge to clean and organize. I started with my sewing room. Then I headed to the garage. Now I'm cleaning and straightening out all of the closets in my house. Spring cleaning is in effect I suppose!!!!! It's so liberating to purge and organize. With that being said I think it's only right that I clean & sweep out the nooks and crannies of my brain as well. This post is a result......

Sewing, Fashion, and Such

And you thought I was joking when I said I take my draping book with me everywhere!!!! Now that's what I call relaxation---getting a pedi and reading a good sewing book!!!

 This is a UFO that I put to the side because I really didn't like the results but LOVED the fabric (a shiny silver/gray/black poly called Ostrich feathers).....

....So I figured out a way to style it so it would be cute. I've gotta finish this and review it!!!

A pile of old ties from Hubby. Will definitely use the interfacing for sewing in jacket sleeves!

Bought these shoes today! They're a bit unusual and I love the wooden heel---gives them a danish feel;)

I was captivated by Mrs. Lincoln's dress in the moving Lincoln! Great movie btw!!!

Silhouette Patterns is running a promotion HERE to celebrate their 16 year Anniversary. You can get one pattern + 1 DVD for $16. That's a steal considering both would cost almost 3X as much. I own majority of her DVD's but am thinking about the new Silhouette man video. I recently bought the Darts & Leather DVD! Both are superb and I need to still review them!!! BTW, Peggy's also doing a webcast on Monday on Pants Fitting (her 3rd one). I'm definitely planning to check this one out to see if I can learn something new!!!


This is just to gross some of you true Southerner's out! Yes, I eat jelly with my yellow corn grits for breakfast!!! GASP--I know you're appalled and disgusted!!! LOL! If it makes you feel better I do make shrimp and grits and obviously forgo the jelly.

Easter meant getting a great deal on cornish hens. You can't beat that price for 4 of them at Sam's.

 I've been in love with my Wee-One's toes since I saw them during our ultrasound. There's just something too cute about kids feet.

 Yes the rumors are true and I've seen it with my own eyes finally. We're getting our very own Whole Food's!!! Can't wait!!!

 Strutting in Mama's boots. That's my girl!!!

I detest gossip mags!!! There's just too many other important things out there to read about!!!

Just got my copy in the mail today! This book is SUPERB!!!! No wonder I couldn't find it for a discount price anywhere. I don't really follow the paleo way of eating but I do appreciate all of the soy/gluten/dairy free/low sugar recipes. And I love that I can finally have great dessert choices!!!

One of the best bumper stickers I've seen! LOL!!!! Oh the time I wished I had duct tape handy! LOL!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Just in the Nick of Time.....

Yay, I made the cut-off to participate in Faye's 2013 Essential Top's Sew Along!!! The lovely Faye did such a wonderful job in encouraging us to sew some gorgeous tops. I haven't had the time to check out everyone else's yet but I can't wait. Just glad I had the opportunity to quickly put this one together---Butterick 5496. I plan to wear this this weekend and will review it then. I'm off to bed now---it's way past my bedtime. Night, night!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Vogue 8663---The Coveted Hunter Green Dress.

I've been wanting a hunter green  dress for MONTHS!!! I've complained about in on facebook & fantasized about it.  I absolutely love the color and it's definitely one that's missing in my wardrobe. A few months ago I found the fabric at Jo-Ann's and then picked a good pattern for the project. I finally got around to making it and I'm overly delighted with the results. This dress is EXACTLY what I wanted! Not anything too flashy or fancy. I wanted the color to do most of the work and who doesn't like a knit dress with a lovely pleated neckline and cute OBI belt.

Time to Sew:
This is a quickie. I sewed it up last night. Only took me about 3 1/2 hours but I'm a slower sewer. Some of you quicker sewers would've churned it out sooner.

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
About a 2. Not complicated at all.

Pattern Description:
Dress with pleated neckline and flared skirt.

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? 
For the most part yes. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty much. I got a little twisted on sewing the center pleats but that was just me. I darted that middle pleat instead and called it a day.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I LOVED the neckline and the simplicity of the design. I wanted to pair this dress with an obi belt.

Fabric Used:
Hunter Green Cotton knit with a 1 way stretch instead of the recommended  2 way stretch knit. I was a little nervous I wouldn't have enough stretch for the design (since I planned to omit the zipper). But it turned out that it was just fine.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
*Added 1 1/2" to the length.
*Serged neckline, folded over and stitched.
*omitted the zipper.
*Shortened the sleeves a bit.
*I added an OBI belt using the pattern from NewLook 6184

What would you do differently next time?:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes! I actually like this style alot. It's a nice, quick pattern to have on hand. It's a great wardrobe staple.

Wardrobe Versatility:
Lots! It's a nice & simple dress that you can dress up or down. With a jacket, sweater or with sandals or heels.

Great dress for any wardrobe!!!!

Glad this dress is done!!! Now on to finishing some UFO's and completing a draping project!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When the LOVE that was gone has RETURNED!

Ok, a few weeks ago in one of my "Sewing Jots and Tittles" posts I mentioned how I was going to sell back one of my sewing books (pictured below) on Amazon and use the money to get another one I wanted.

 At that time I was really convinced that I no longer needed the book. Well as I prepared to go through the process of selling it back I started to flip through it's pages---particularly one's at the back--- and really saw some useful information. It seems I'd gotten jaded with the book because I saw mostly familiar & basic sewing information in the front of the book that I have in SO many other books in my library. Truth be told I've never really took the time to look through the whole book. I would only occasionally use it as a reference. I'm so happy I "rediscovered" my book and all of it's in-depth information.

What has really got me captivated with this book is that it's geared to the fashion designer/sewer. The instructions really help you work your way through preparing/sewing/finishing a garment. Since my aim is to learn draping (which I'm currently working on now) I really need a great resource to help me figure out construction and finishing methods since I won't have a commercial guidesheet to rely on. This book will definitely help me with that.

So I'm happy that I took another look at this book and realized how much of an asset it really is to my future designing aspirations. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever given up on something (sewing machine/book/gadget/tool) only to discover later that it was really useful? Do share!!!


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