May 30, 2013

Little Fun Frock Simplicity 1797

Hello quirky little fun frock!
When I purchased this pattern, Simplicity 1797, I had intended to whip up view C with the darling little bow. I decided that this would be another wonderful dress for a April Johnson Project Runway fabric (I mentioned my love of the fabric collection here).
This lovely stretch cotton has a printed rattan-esk weave pattern in purple and lavender. In my scrap box I found a remnant of textured poly suiting that complimented the colors and I felt that it would break up an allover print dress and tone down the  severity of the print on my tiny torso.  Naturally I was meant to cut and construct view A opposed to view C. Yet I was sad that I had to loose the little bow, or did I?
I added a bow to the back! It is at the top of the lapped zip. I did not use the bow from the pattern as I found it too plain. I chose a bigger double bow from a 1960's pattern.

I took the liberty to add quite a few additional details of my own. First I lengthened the sleeves and added binding to their hem. I also added additional mock piping to the waistline. 

 Speaking of binding, I loved the construction process for the bound inverted pleat. Prior to attaching the skirt to the bodice but after the hem is completed, the inverted pleat gets bound. You must hem the skirt first, this worried me because altering the hem after adding the binding was NOT going to happen, so I had better get the length right.
First the skirt gets pressed along the fold line for the pleat. The binding is stitched 3/8" from the fold
Then press the binding around the fold to the back

Turn in the raw edge of the bias strip, also turn up and tuck the bias binding at the hem line. Pin, Pin, Pin. 

And finally edge stitch the binding. 

All in all the pattern went together like a dream, I would totally recommend this pattern for a beginner it was easy yet contained great details.  These fabrics are so easy to work with, a tough sturdy cotton and a bias cut suiting that did not ravel. Both great choices for beginner sewers. 

May 29, 2013

Fashion Star Dress and Top: McCall's 6698

Over the weekend I kicked out both a top and a dress from a current Fashion Star pattern, McCall's 6698.
I wore both back to back for me-made-May. First, on Monday, I wore my peplum top version:


It is funny that this was the first version of this pattern that I chose to wear because I purchased the pattern to make the dress as it was featured. However in the pattern instructions additional variations for the design are showcased. I was in mid  cut of the dress when I made the rash decision to also make a top out of scrap rayon fabrics.
I am glad I jumped into action on the top as I was pleasantly surprised that a me-made basic black top was missing from my wardrobe (Thank you Me-Made-May). 
There was one down side to the pattern I found the bodice front darts to be badly placed. 

The bodice had a looser fit, lots of ease and the darts did not shape to hug the body, just to hand and hold the  peplum and skirted tiers. I found this to be an issue in the dress variation as well. 
I wore my dress version on Tuesday. Luckily I covered the bodice so the dart issue was not as apparent. 
And the best part of the dress was that the drama was all in the skirt. 

May 25, 2013

Refashioned Geometric Print Color-block Dress Simplicity 1803


When I wore my Simplicity 1803 for Me-Made-May I was unsatisfied so I refashioned the dress.
First I removed the cap sleeves. Next I moved the upper yoke (the solid black) lower on the armseye to make the bust cutout less extreme. This adjustment worked for me because i have a high bust and a very short torso.
For the new sleeve I drafted a basic 3/4 sleeve and added a 2 1/2" turned up cuff. I flatlined my sleeve because the rest of my dress was lined. I simply serged the raw edge of my sleeve turned back my cuff allowance and stitched. When my cuff is turned to the right side it will hide my stitching line.
Lastly I shortened the hem. My original hem was enclosed with the lining. and my zip was too close to the hemline to maintain the enclosed hem. so I had to cut off 2" from the original hem and narrow hem both layers.


May 22, 2013

What a Bunch of Bull this Shirt Butterick 5890

Today has been a bunch of Bull.  Lets discuss my bull shirt. I used Butterick pattern 5890 view C and the fabric is a laundered cotton broadcloth.

The pattern was quick and easy to cut and assemble.  I changed a few things: I removed the center front seam and cut the front pattern on the fold in order to prevent dissection of my bulls, I also elected to shorten the pattern to a petite length as it was designed much longer than that of my tiny torso. 

I purchased my crazy cool bull cotton broadcloth in February from fabric.com. 

May 20, 2013

Am I mad to Make Two Project Runway Simplicity 1799

Every time I get set to cut a Project Runway pattern from Simplicity I have the hardest time choosing just one variation.
First and foremost there are so many design options; between the bodice and skirt and sleeves and even yokes. Then there are the details: trim, ruffles, ties, buttons, topstitching, and bands.
More times than not I end up cutting 2 variations from the envelope. It is amazing to see how different each look is from the other. This is what happened with Simplicity 1799.
Today I wore my flouncy version for Me-Made-May.




This lovely dress is made from a rayon that was underlined, except for the side skirt flounces and sleeves. I elected to underline it to give some stability. In the end this decision worked well however it added so many steps to the construction process as well as some intense solutions to unforeseen fabric issues.
One of the amazing qualities of this light weight rayon is its drape and soft hand, perfect for flounces. Not so perfect qualities when pared with a stiffer lining that has been cut to form to the shape of the body. When I was attempting to match the side panels with out many inner seam allowances to rub against the body, the outer rayon layer would droop along the side gathering at the hip. My solution was to stitch in the ditch along the side seams holding the rayon layer to the lining. In the future I will only flatline rayon which I feel deserves structure. (Flatlining - fashion fabric and lining fabric are treated as one fabric; opposed to  constructing the garment and the lining separately and then stitching them together.)
Inner Garment View:

My second view of Simplicity 1799 was less successful. I have yet to actually wear it, I threw it on for picture comparison.
After the pic it ended up in the donation box to find a new home to love it. 
 
Technically there is nothing wrong with the dress, just that I will never wear it. Mainly because it is unlined and makes me feel exposed and in dire need of Spanx. I will say it again, "I am my own worse critic."

Have you made more than one dress at a time from on Project Runway pattern, or am I alone in this madness?
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May 16, 2013

Geometric Print Color-block Dress for Me-Made-May Goes Directly to Alterations

Today for Me-Made-May I threw on Simplicity 1803.
All should have been well; I nabbed quite a few compliments at work  but over all I was uncomfortable in the dress. Do not get me wrong, I love the dress and I have high hopes that it will become my favorite dress with some tweaks. The lovely geometric print rayon is a wonderful spring/summer fabric.
It is too cute for words:

But in order to wear it I had to cover up the cute details with a cardigan. This is due to:

  1. I am very apprehensive to show off my arms.  I know there really is no logical/ rational reasoning all I can saw is, "As women, we are our own worst critics."  
  2. There is a cute open cutout above the bust which was the entire reason I was drawn to the pattern. I found that the cutout is a little too gaping for my personal comfort level. 
  3. As darling as the little cap sleeves are I fell that I will never wear it without wanting to cover it up with such short sleeves. 

Lesson learned, I can not sew by the seat of my pants, I need sewing foresight. I am currently digging through my scrap fabric tote hoping for enough to redo the sleeves. If and when I remodel the sleeves I am also going to close up some of the bust gap. Also while I am there I am also going to shorten the hem; with longer sleeves it may become matronly with a long hem too.
Have you ever worn a Me-Made and found immediate alterations? 

May 15, 2013

Jacket Gone Wild...Me-Made-May

I am very guilty of starting sewing projects and never finishing them (UFOs).
Well mark this Crazy jacket off the list.

Last March I cut two versions of Simplicity 2056; view B in a hounds tooth and this view C. 
Immediately I constructed the bodice of view C leaving the sleeves untouched. When constructing the bodice I began to become frustrated. Either I made the project too complicated or I am just that fickle. 
How and why you ask?
The fabric I choose was a leopard print stretch cotton. Not at all outer jacket weight. To solve the problem I thought it would be a grand idea to line the jacket in a burgundy canvas. The jacket weight problem was solved but it made construction much more complicated. Like most Simplicity patterns, 2056 did NOT call for lining. It had large turned hem allowances which would have caused much too much bulk at the hem and cuffs with double canvas and cotton. Therefor before cutting my fabric I adjusted the hem allowances to 5/8 inch and then had to make continuous adjustments to the construction to create a clean inner garment.

Another challenge were those disregarded sleeves. They had a vent opening where an exposed zip was added. I stitched the lining to the outer sleeve from one side of the vent around the cuff to the other. 
I then turned and pressed 
After which I could add my zip. I was using vintage notions and my sleeve zips did not match my front zipper so I decided to add them to the inside of my sleeve in lieu of called for exposed zippers. 

Although it was a long time in the making in the end I love my wild crazy jacket. I also added some plastic jems to the collar just to send it over the top. I know I will never be caught wearing the same jacket as anyone else. 


Me-Made-May has taught me that I need more causal personally made garments. 
I have so many dresses mainly for work but on a day off I am lacking Me-Made options. 

May 12, 2013

Me-Made-May Weekend Peony Print Fabric Affair

I have concluded a 48 hour affair with two Me-Made pieces from the same April Johnston Project Runway Fabric. I purchased my fabric some time ago from the Jo Ann Fabric Stores clearance section. Jo Ann has continued the fabric line however I am not as drawn to the current offering I much prefer the original
designs:

source: True Up
I was able to snag a few of these fabrics for my stash. Most recently I used my graphic floral peony print, which is a printed polished stretch cotton. Out of the 3 yards that were purchased I was able to make a dress and a skirt.
On Saturday I wore my skirt. It is a simple short circle skirt with a side zip from the Suede Says (a fellow Project Runway alum) Simplicity pattern line 2233

Super cute simple skirt, it was so easy to construct and is easy to wear.

Sunday I wore a dress in the same fabric; the pattern was McCall's 6318 (now out of print). 
Break time selfie at work. Do you see my lovely Mom's Day corsage from the lovely folks I work with? 
Why is it by the time I get around to making a dress I actually like the pattern is OOP and I would have loved to pick up an additional copy for future use. Just my luck, I should sew faster.

For the dress I choose to merge two views my neckline is that of view C but I elected to add the color blocked bodice panels of View B. I thought the print would be overwhelming on me and I am also on a color block kick. 

I love the pattern and I love the fabric. I look forward to cooler months so I can layer the dress over a turtle neck and show off the neat back design lines (do not wear sleeveless so for now I will have to wear a cardigan).

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