Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NewLook 6173---The "5 Hour" One-Shoulder Gown

As mentioned in my last post I needed to make a gown to wear to the Ms Blueprint Pageant held on this past Saturdday! I had just finished a dress for one of the participants to wear to the pageant (pictures coming soon) and with a hectic week of other client sewing projects I had very little time to make me something. I picked the pattern long before the fabric. I kept hitting and missing. I wanted a formal knit which meant I could have the fit and comfort I was looking for. Late Friday on a random stop to Wal-Mart I found a gorgeous, sheer, deep burgundy knit with black a gold flower/pattern print for only $1.50yd. My prayers were answered! I bought 5 yards and headed home. In my stash I found a black mid-weight polyester link to use as the lining/underlining.The next morning I got to work and this baby sewed up in about 5 hours. Pretty easy to do since it's only 4 pattern pieces! I wore it with minimal jewelry---just a gold necklace and strappy gold/bronze heels!  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it!!!

NewLook 6173

Time to Sew:
5 hours

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
about a 3

Pattern Description:
One-shoulder dress
(Front View. Forgive the tan lines. I've been rocking alot of Peplum tops & tank tops this Summer. I forgot us black girls get them LOL! )

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the 12 for the bust and graded to the 14 for the hips. I did some further nips/tucks to get the fit just right.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
 (Closer view)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Loved the style!!!

Fabric Used:
 Sheer, deep burgundy knit with black a gold flower/pattern print
(Pic of fabric is a bit photobleached (fabric is obviously darker) but you can see the leaves & flowers etched in gold)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did my usual short-waisted back alteration 
I took in the an inch or so at the bust side seam to prevent gaping

What would you do differently next time?:

(Back View)

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

Gorgeous dress! Fancy but definitely wearable for a less fancy occasions!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Adventures of the Self Employed/ I Need a Gown in 46 Hours!!!

Wow, it's been a WHIRLWIND of a week!!! It started with me giving a BurdaStyle webinar on Monday ( which btw was EXCELLENT and there was a great turn out---thanks guys!!!) and I just spent the last 48 hours (yes, 48 hours) sewing up 4 pieces (1 Tank dress, 2 tunics and 1 peplum) for one client---of whom I'm making a 12 piece wardrobe for! 8 more pieces to go! I also helped a client order 33 yards of fabric  for her wedding of which I'll be making. I'm also completing/embellishing a pageant dress for my younger client to wear on Saturday to the Miss Blue Print Pageant (feel free to support, such a worthy cause). And in addition I need a gown for the same event!  That's just a few of my recent adventures. Needless to say I've been sewing around the clock!!! And no I haven't had a shower today and it's almost 9pm. You might not have asked for that info but I thought I'd just fill you in anyway!!! LOL!  I joked with a fellow business owner/ friend in the same situation that building a business in the early stages is like having a newborn baby. Everything you do revolves around that baby. But that's ok because it's a real cute baby and you're enjoying watching it grow;)

I'm a little pooped but am watching Project Runway while hand sewing to decompress & recharge! Well like I mentioned I need a gown. I have very limited time so IF it's gonna happen then this will likely be this one shoulder number. Pray for me. We'll see if and what I can do in such limited time. Let's see if I can make some magic happen.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I've been Featured on BurdaStyle.com!

The wonderful folks at BurdaStyle.com have featured me on their website since I'm the upcoming presenter for Monday's Pants fitting webinar entitled  Learning Backwards: Dispelling Old Practices and Perfecting the Art of Pants Fitting and Construction the Easy Way.  What an honor! Thanks Burdastyle!!!  Feel free to check out the Q&A session HERE and in addition you can get more information about registering for the class (there or in my last post)---if you feel so inclined. It will be an awesome, highly informative and fun webinar!!! I can't wait!!! Remember---if you can't attend the live webinar still go ahead and register. You can download it later to watch at your convenience:)

Monday, August 11, 2014

I'm Teaching a BurdaStyle Webinar on Pants Fitting the Easy Way!!!

Throughout the years I've been very candid about my journey in learning how to properly fit/sew pants for my figure.I hadn't always been able to fit and sew pants the way I do now. Years ago I really struggled and I shared them in posts like this one HERE.

Then one day the light bulb just went off and I got it! I can't tell you how excited I was. All the years of struggling, studying and making samples and  I figured it out. Then I was able to successfully make pants not only for myself....

( BurdaStyle Slacks (sorry can't remember pattern # right of hand) I made for myself last year)

 (Denim capris I made last year--and btw they're non stretch )

(denim capris back view)

....but I could make pants for others too......
 (Denim pants recently made for client)

(Knit jumpsuit recently made for Bride's reception)

If you're interested in learning my techniques then I encourage you to take my BurdaStyle webinar entitled "Learning Backwards: Dispelling old practices and Perfecting the art of pants fitting and construction the easy way!" To read more about the class or to register just visit HERE. As most of you know I LOVE to teach and have taught several Burda Webinars before. If you're interested in seeing my presentation which I promise will be dynamic, enlightening, entertaining, fun and most importantly you'll gain a newer perspective on fitting pants please sign up. Hope you'll join me!!! Note: If you can't attend the live class on August 18th @ 11am sign up anyway and you can download & watch it at your convenience anytime. Again you can read more/register for the class HERE.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Simplicity 1694--- The Bright Green Sleeveless Asymetrical Top

I can't believe I started this cute little asymmetrical top on last Summer. Well needless to say it's completion was overdue. I finished it in just enough time to wear it on our family vacation. We took a short trip to visit family in Columbia, SC and while there ventured off to the Riverbanks Zoo and the Edventures Children's museum. Well this top definitely wore comfortably with all of the sightseeing and moving around. The review and photos are below....

(back view, I love the asymmetrical hem---high in the front and low in the back)

Simplicity 1694

Time to Sew:
I'm approximating about 5 or so hours. Keep in mind I started it last year and can't recall the actual amount of time spent. 

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
About a 3, not too complicated.

 (Front view)

(sorta the side view)

Pattern Description:
Loose fitting top with assymetrical hem.

Pattern Sizing:
I made up the small. 

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. The collar is what had me confused last year so in a haste I moved on to another project. I checked out the directions and stared at them a bit longer and it all made sense. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the free-flowing style

Fabric Used:
A bright green gauzy type fabric. It was very lightweight and a bit sheer.
(The top a few days before finishing. Here's a better depiction of the color)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I omitted the pockets

What would you do differently next time?:Nothing. I really like it.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and Yes!
 (FUN Shots in my shirt:---- Gorillas over my shoulder)

(The Koala was actually awake and eating!!!. At every zoo I've ever visited they've always been sleep. Well they do sleep 16-20 hours a day so I guess I just came at the right time LOL!!!)

 (At the Edventures children's museum---boy that's a big kid!!!

(I'm such an obsessed sewer. Why did I check to see if the inseam stitches on the jeans were even? It's not even fabric but plastic. Sigh. I just can't help myself LOL!)

Wardrobe Versatility:
Cute with pants, short, capris and even a fitted skirt.

Nice pattern. Went together well and makes a great wardrobe addition!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Kwik Sew 3504--- Men's "Star Trek Costume Pants Replication Done!!!

You might recall this POST where I mentioned how I finished up a pair of pants for a male client/friend to where to Dragon con later this month. The pants are a replication of those worn by Kirk/Spock in the latest Star Trek movie. So here's my wonderful friend/client John modeling his new pants. He looks great and the fit is spot on. Not too worry I'll get a full pic of the pants again when he has his full costume on. I have to admit that I LOVED this pants pattern. I will definitely use it to make pants for my Hubby in the future. It is WELL drafted. I had to only make minor adjustments for John. I did a muslin of course to test and tweak the fit. Then I found the most perfect stretch dark gray denim to make them in. I think they were 9oz and sorry I forgot the stretch percentage. They were just the right weight for pants. I purchased it from Fabric.com.  Here's a few pics before I give construction details.

 Kwik Sew 3504
 (Here's John modeling his pants:)

(John's pants and my shadow- LOL)

(Better view of pants front. The fit was great and the knee patch hit at the right place. The pants are a little long since he will be wearing them with boots.)

(Here he is testing his mobility in them)

(Side profile---a little wrinkled after the mobility test. Don't know why I forgot to get picture of back of pants. You can see the welt pocket on the side.)

(I love it when things match up. Note how the knee patch matched perfectly!!! Those were added on top of the pants)

(Closer view)

(Even closer. You can see the topstitching on the knee details)

(These are the pattern pieces used to create the knee panel. I did lots of pintucks in the first piece and then connected to all the rest in that order. I was most nervous about this part of the pants but it ended up being pretty easy to draft and construct)

(Remember these were the pants I set out to create. It's not an exact replication but close. I think I did a good job!)

(And his final costume will look like one of these guys. I can't wait to see the finished look!)

These were my first pair of real men's pants. I mean I've made boxer and sleep pants but this right here was the real deal! I LEARNED a TON from this experience. These pants weren't 100% perfect but they came out extremely well.

 I have to admit as far as construction goes I nixed the directions for the pattern and completely followed what I learned from taking Gentleman Jim's Tailored Pants Construction Workshop!!! You have to take one of his workshops it will change your life and your sewing!!! As you know he's my favorite tailor and mentor and a teacher to many!!! Most of what I did can be seen on his Tailored Pants DVD which he sells on his site HERE (look on left hand side). I'll share just a few details:
- I inserted the zipper per his instructions
-I actually ditched the pockets and re-drafted them to look like the costume pants.
-I drafted my own waistband (2 piece waistband with seam at center back) and used 1 1/4 ban-roll to give the waistband stability.
The back of the pants have functional double welt pockets or what is termed as "besom pockets" in the tailoring world.

So I LOVE these pants and so does John! I love the idea of making men's pants and plan to make more in the future! Ok enough about that. I'm pretty excited, next week I'll be taking Gentleman Jim's Coat workshop. I'm planning to make Winter coats for the whole family!!!! But before I can get to that I've got lots of other sewing stuff to get through.  Enjoy your weekend and happy sewing!!!


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