June 26, 2013

Simplicity 1699 and Buried Compliments

Today I wore Simplicity 1699 View A dress to work.
A woman approached me and asked if my dress was from a specific designer line our store carries. I humbly replied,  "No, I made this dress." Immediately The woman proceed to inquire more about the designer line and explain to me how much she loved a dress that she had previously purchased from the collection.
After our exchange I was perplexed. I am not sure if our exchange was a compliment to my dress or not. I am electing to take it as a compliment of the dress or at the very least of my ability to produce garments that could pass for fast fashion manufactured clothing.

Either way I enjoyed my stretch cotton dress which I made from scrap remnants of one of my beloved April Johnston fabrics. I altered my Simplicity pattern; I adjusted the raglan sleeve for broad shoulders as well as lengthened the sleeve. I found the high neckline to be bothersome at first but as the day went on I was alright with it. If I were to make it again I would indeed scoop out the neckline.
But I did also make the peplum top version with the collar. View B.
The top may prove to be a problem to wear with the high neck coupled with the collar. For the record one will only know how a garment wears when she actually gets around to wearing it and I am so guilty for sewing and never wearing. 

Also here is a random cute pic of me and my Mr. at a concert last week. 

June 22, 2013

Liebster Award; Thank You for Nominating Me!

Oh my land! The amazingly talented, Wardrobe Surgeon nominated me for The Liebster Award!
I am honored to be in such wonderful company, thank you!

The Liebster Award is a token of recognition that bloggers award to fellow bloggers who they think deserve more recognition. The terminology “Liebster” roughly translates to “Dearest” from German, and the guidelines of this award are as follows:
  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to them in your acceptance post!
  • Share 11 interesting things about yourself.  Don’t be shy, and don’t worry if they aren't relevant to the topic of your blog.  They aren't supposed to be!
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger who awarded you asked in their post.
  • Create your own set of 11 questions for the next recipients of the award.
  • Pass the award to some of your own favorite bloggers!  Each awardee should have less than 200 followers for their blog.
11 Crazy, Interesting or Like-wise Things About Me: 
  1. My name is Melody and...I am a diet soda addict. I am aware of how bad it is for me but I can not shake my vice. 
  2. I am actually gainfully employed dressing mannequins. 
  3. I currently live in the middle of nowhere; Iowa. The population of the 4 county's that surrounded my old home (Metro Detroit) was greater than the entire state of Iowa's population. 
  4. I have to wear prescription eyeglasses on a daily basis... so I amassed 18 pairs for wardrobe variety. 
  5. You may have already noticed that I have an innate ability to collect things. 
  6. My vintage pattern collection is at 834 and counting. 
  7. I have well over 100 pairs of shoes. (All this over sharing may be documentation that I might have a problem)
  8. I absolutely hate getting my hair cut. 
  9. I do not enjoy putting on or wearing make-up but I do it anyway.
  10. My favorite indie rock band is Cursvie and I have seen them live 5 times. 
  11. I love leopard print it is in almost every room of my home in some form and in myriad garments, shoes and accessories. 
11 Questions Asked and Answered:

  1. What is on the top of your bucket list? I have never traveled internationally; therefore I would love to see the amazing would beyond. My top 3: Barcelona, Paris, London.
  2. Who is your favorite blogger? I can't say I have a favorite, currently I can not get enough posts from The Cutting Class. Also I love seeing posts of modern interpretations of vintage patterns which is the fundamentals of We Sew Retro; however that is not one blogger it is a collective which only makes it better.
  3. How often do you clean your toilet? Monthly I deep clean but weekly-ish, I touch-up using Scrubbing Bubbles tools.
  4. What is the most exciting thing you've ever done? I took a weekend trip to NYC to see the McQueen exhibit at the MET, it was amazing.
  5. What is your advice for your fellow < 200 follower awards nominees? Have fun in your blogging and be proud of all your projects. 
  6. What is the best meal you ever ate? I love Thai and Vietnamese food. There are two main dishes I miss from my favorite Michigan restaurants: tofu basil Thai from Lai Thai and the cabbage salad from Dalat Restaurant. 
  7. What is your love language? Gift giving/receiving. I am not a touchy person. 
  8. What you do you find meaningful in your life? My son, watching him grow up and become a little man. 
  9. What can you cook better than anyone else? I love cake, made from scratch chocolate cake. I cannot think of one that is better than the other but any homemade cake beats box mix any day. 
  10. What gives you the energy to get out of bed in the morning? Coffee and sewing. 
  11. Do you get emotional when famous people die? Not all, it depends on the person and the meaning they had in my life. I found myself uncontrollably sobbing when I learned of McQueen’s passing.
11 Nominees:
  1. Aux Belles Choses 
  2. Sew essentially sew 
  3. Sew, I've Been Thinking ... 
  4. Sew Gorgeous 
  5. Starcross Sewing 
  6. Dressesandme 
  7. Draped in Cloudlets 
  8. Coco's Loft 
  9. Sewing the 60s 
  10. Sew Debbie 
  11. Sew Squirrel
11 Questions  Asked of My Nominees: 
  1. What is your favorite item you have ever sewn for yourself?
  2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
  3. Do you sew for others? If so what kinds of items?
  4. What is your advice for your fellow < 200 follower awards nominees?
  5. Do you have a celebrity you really fancy? Who?
  6. What/who is your favorite blog/blogger? 
  7. If you could live in any country, which would it be?
  8. Do you have a sewing stash? What is in it? 
  9. What are some things you own that have leopard print on them?
  10. What is the best meal you ever ate? 
  11. What is your favorite fabric? 

June 19, 2013

Four Bridesmaids Simplicity 2252

Just under the wire, I finished my bridal emergency sewing project!
Two of the gowns will be leaving me today and tonight will be final fitting for the last gowns. After the fitting I will have 5 hours to add the last 2 zippers, hem the gowns and secure the inner bodices.
Let me show you how I made my inner bodices.
This is what they look like:

 The pattern, Simplicity 2252, provided the patterning for the lining pieces but their direction was to use a lining fabric, lightweight interfacing and featherweight boning encased into the seam allowances. I used a stable nude colored poly crepe fabric fused with a medium weight interfacing with rigilene boning. I do not think there was anything wrong necessarily wrong with Simplicity's instructions. I elected my route to guarantee stability and structure in the strapless gowns.
Each piece (all 24 boning pieces) of rigilene was capped with a scrap of the crepe fabric during construction.
This is the most important step in the application of rigilene it from unraveling and then shifting in the garment at the cut line (begining and end of the boning). It is a simple step that works like magic. When you place your rigilene piece where it is to be sewn fold a small rectangle scrap fabric over the cut edge of the boning and stitch as you would to apply the boning.

All this bridal sewing under pressure reminded me of my days working at David's Bridal in alterations and it turns out/... I really missed it. And yet for all the wedding attire, bridal gowns, decorations and other special occasion dresses I have had the pleasure of lending my hand in, I had never made made a garter?! Until now: 
 In my spare time (ha, jokes!) I whipped these garters for my bride based on her inspiration here

June 14, 2013

Emergency Custom Sewing: Bridesmaid Dresses

It's a rare occasion when my skill set saves the day. But it just so happened that such an occasion presented itself.
 A friend, co-worker and soon to be bride was struck with an unfortunate case of wedding bad luck. Three weeks to her big day the local bridal shop where she ordered her bridesmaid dresses contacted her to inform her that they were not able to fulfill her order as the manufacture of the dresses had gone out of business. Hearing this I offered my services, well actually, I imposed.
Conquering feat of these 4 dresses within the time frame harks back to my college days of fashion shows and I love the challenge.
My bride requested her original dress style:
However my bride was unable to get her desired colors: Tiffany Blue with a Champagne contrast.
This is where custom sewing pays off, any possible color combinations  and within 48 hours I ordered materials. As for the silhouette, I felt as if I had recalled it in a big 4 pattern and after combing the web I found it: Simplicity 2252.  Envisioning some super quick pattern modifications, loose the bodice fan add the drape sash and my brides desired dress was staring back at me.
To obtain the draped sash I merely draped on my dress form.

At this point I am off and running on the dresses, my living space is cluttered in the bridal colors. 
My deadline to complete construction is Monday and then I will begin final alterations just in time for next weekends wedding. Wish me luck! 

June 11, 2013

Sleeve Love, Skirt Love, Discontent Bodice Simplicity 1872

Today I wore my blouse version (View A) of Cynthia Rowley Simplicity Pattern 1872. I made the blouse in an Ikat print crepe de chine. 
At work I wore a cardigan over the blouse and caught grief when I showed a co-worker the cute sleeves. "Why would you cover the m up?" she asked. I do not know, I love this sleeve. However I did NOT like the bodice. It is super loose and unflattering. I also opted to omit the tie belt as I did not feel I needed to add additional fabric.  
I think I need to reconstruct it prior to another venture out of the closet. And in the event I wear the blouse again I will know better than to cover the cute sleeves. 

Side note: I have made both dress versions (view B & C). I wore view B during Me-Made-May. 
To overcome the bodice issue I pinned the neckline and belted the dress, in lieu of the patterns tie belt. I loved the skirt, three lovely flounced tiers. I have yet to wear Version C dress because after it was constructed I found that I hated the sleeves on the hanger, I can not fathom making it through the day in a bad bodice coupled with bad sleeves. 
Look at the bunchy bodice. 

June 8, 2013

Disco Skater Dress McCall's 6754

Although you can not see the sparkle in my sub par pics, this fabric shines like a diamond. This is because of the silver metallic weft fibers, the weave is also creates a stripe and when the pattern pieces went together a nifty chevron effect happened.
 Its a woven fabric with metallic and Lycra threads. It is not a knit as requested by the pattern; McCall's 6754 view D. However I was able to make it work by adding a center back zip.
The down side to this fabric is the wearing wrinkles. In the end it was a super easy pattern with all serged seams, great quick project. 

I also made the peplum top view C, in a sweater knit but I think it will be best advised to wait until winter to wear it. 

June 3, 2013

Abstract Floral McCall's 6695

Me-Made-May is over (sad face) yet somehow I was still able to make a dress and actually wear it (insert pat on the back).
I completed McCall's 6695 View D. I made the dress in a abstract floral printed crepe de chine. Although the dress calls for slightly more substantial fabrics such as poplin, sateen and cotton blends, I found the loose and drapey crepe de chine to work like magic.

When I cut this pattern for some unknown reason I only cut my fashion fabric. The dress is fully lined but I did not cut lining. I have no idea what I was thinking; either I did not realize I needed the lining or I was trying to get away with not lining this dress(however that does not sound like me, but one never knows). I back tracked and cut lining and then the garment construction was fairly simple. 
I ran into a bump in the road when I got to the strange markings on the bodice front (left & right) and the bodice back (l & r). It was a slashed stitching marking that merely stated "stitching line."
bizarre pattern markings 
 I was perplexed as to how I was to stitch. As it turns out a tuck runs from the bodice front waistband continuing into top stitching at the neckline and then back into a tuck at the back neckline to the bodice back waistband. 
line drawing of the infamous tuck
This tuck is made after the fashion fabric and the lining are attached, turned and pressed at the neckline. 
I found that stitching in the ditch at the bodice (front & back) seamline was an excellent way to keep the lining and fashion fabric aligned for the tuck. 
bodice seam where stitching in the ditch occurred 
Next the the bodice is folded and pinned to stitch the tuck in place.
pinned for stitching
stitched tuck 
Lastly the bodice is opened back out and the tuck is pressed. You can just barley see how the stitching continues up around the shoulder.
finished tuck 
In the end I am very glad the dress is lined without the dress would be much to light for my linking. 

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