Saturday, November 29, 2008

Butterick 5244

I finally decided to finish butterick 5244. This dress ended up being perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not sure why I had orginally chosen to do this in brown but in the end the color choice is what kept it from being a total flop. After starting this dress several weeks ago and not loving the collar I stopped and tossed it in a corner. Once I remembered it and the fact that it was brown I decided to finish it and wear it from T Day, especially since we didn't actually have any turkey. I had to crack a smile when I came out of the bedroom and DH looks at me and goes "Now I know why we aren't having turkey". I clearly wasn't happy with the outcome but and it has already been added to the 'Only wear around the house' pile of clothing. Here is my full review:

Pattern Description: Dress in two lengths with front gathers, welt pockets, self-faced yoke, collar, tabs with nonfunctioning buttons and raglan sleeves in two lengths.

Pattern Sizing: AA(6-8-10-12), EE(14-16-18-20)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes but no thanks to the instructions.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I personally did not like the directions for the yoke and collar. Which is too bad since that was the most 'exciting' part of the dress. I ended up tossing the directions away halfway through and finished it doing what I thought made sense. I felt like all the facing combined with the thickness of the material made it very bulky and thus it wouldn't lie flat. Once I added the buttons it helped some but I still ended up doing some slip stitching in the back.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The pattern itself should have been fairly easy to construct but I did not like how the collar was constructed. I'm not sure what happened but there was a large gap in the back because the collar didn't meet like it should have. The rest of the dress was very easy to sew together.

Fabric Used: a chocolate poly knit from

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I did not cover the buttons just because I refused to spend any more time on this dress.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would not sew this again just because mine turned out to be a dud. I wouldn't recommend it just because I didn't like the end result but if you do make I'm almost certain you will need to make some modifications.

Conclusion: This should have been an easy sew but I did not like the end result. This pattern orginally caught my eye because of the collar which I thought was very cute. It ended up being a pain with poor directions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rookie Mistake

I can laugh at myself this morning but last night I was so mad at myself. I was so excited when I went to the store and picked up my pattern to start working on new look 6823. The weather is getting cool and I am finally motivated to start working on some cold weather pieces (that and I have way too many clothes already for the cruise to keep working on more). So anyway the pattern uses 5 or 6 pieces so my plan was to cut everything out, pin the darts and such and then sew it together tonight. Well I go to start pinning and realize that I didn't cut the front piece on the fold but rather on the selvage! For a hot minute I started trying to think of how to save it but I ordered the EXACT amount of fabric and there was no getting around this screw up. Then I got mad at myself, threw everything in the corner, and shut the door to my sewing room on my way out. And I never do that. Like I said, it's funny now but I was way past heated last night. Oh well it happens to us all I guess. I had planned on ordering some fabric for myself for Christmas so I'll just have to order another yard of the fabric I messed up on. Not that I need an excuse to order fabric ; )

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Knit Patterns

So I’ve been looking for some good patterns to sew with knits. My weight loss is back on track and feel that whipping up some good knit patterns that will shrink with me will be a good investment. You know dresses that are easy to take in on the sides or better yet some wrap dresses. I strongly believe that no one can have too many wrap dresses. I apply that same philosophy to shoes! LOL

I’ve found a few patterns that I like and they all have gotten good reviews so I’m going to pick them up.

I had close to a yard of red knit leftover from my butterick 5243 and view C of New Look 6729 can be done with that amount of fabric.

I'm on this kick where I'm snatching up these snazzy jersey prints. I picked up a few more prints since they were such a great price.

I stumbled across this new look 6802 when browsing someone's blog and thought it was too cute. I'm going with view C but using the sleeves from view B. I paired it with this fabric because in my mind the vertical lines will flow very nicely with this pattern and the notch at the waist. We will see if it turns out that way.

Last but not least is this new look 6823. I had been looking for a simple sheath dress to rock with my knee boots and this will certainly do the trick. I had originally purchased this dark grey double knit for use with another pattern but once I saw this one, I knew they were meant for one another.

I'm still working on sewing up a few pieces for the cruise...maybe 2 more. Hopefully during Thanksgiving break I will be able to knock out 2 of these. The weather has been so gorgeous here lately that I've been taking advantage and getting out for walks in the evening. I'm also holding out until after then because I've convinced DH that my serger and dress form will be on sale then and that I MUST get them on Black Friday. Hey it sounded good to me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Butterick 5243

Good Morning,

I hope you had a fantabulous weekend! I am finally posting my review for Butterick 5243. I wanted to wait until after our anniversary dinner to post in case DH decided to read my blog.

Pattern Description: Dresses A, B have loose-fitting bodice with gathers, yoke, midriff with gathered overlay, raglan-type sleeves and flared skirt. A: short sleeves. B: long sleeves with band. A, B: mid-knee length.

Pattern Sizing:BB(8-10-12-14), FF(16-18-20-22)I cut a 16 and made modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. Overall I was pleased with how the dress turned out.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very. You can glance at them and just go from there.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?The dress went together in no time at all. Cutting took less than an hour so you could easily make these dress in under 3 hours or so. It took me a bit longer since I jumped around to different projects. I will say that the long sleeves are awfully big. Huge in fact. You could have arms as big as your thighs and they would have room to spare in these things. When I was cutting I noticed they seemed a bit big but I let it go since they were going to be gathered at the end and secured with the band. They still ended up HUGE even after I took them in a bit. I also feel like the band should be stabilized with interfacing particulary if you use a slinky knit fabric. I am a huge fan of gathering at the waist since it helps to hide the bulge. I can't figure out if the pattern sizing was off or I had lost a few pounds from cutting to finish. At any rate the dress was a little more loose than I would have liked but I can remedy that in my next version.

Fabric Used: A fabulous zig zag jersey knit from I wanted a BUSY pattern to make a statement with and it certainly did the job. The fabric did border on making me look really wide with the lines but I am secure enough that I still loved it. I was excited when I was able to match up the lines in the bodice, waist, and skirt so it seemed to wrap around me.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the skirt. I also didn't have the bodice cross over as much in the front as I wanted to break up the pattern a bit by wearing a black cami underneath.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I do plan to sew this again in view A using a red jersey knit. I honestly will probably only wear this version one other time on our cruise since I made it for a special occassion.

Conclusion: A really nice pattern that was an easy sew. I recommend it with modifications because of the huge sleeves.

Here are a few pics of us enjoying dinner at the Melting Pot:

DH about to tear into the cheese fondue

Taking a break during the main entree

The restaurant was getting face lift so we didn't take a pic outside but here's the next best thing

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's Our Anniversary

Two years ago I married my Best Friend...

and I haven't stopped smiling since!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Last night as I relaxed on the chaise, dressed in my blue lounge pants, long-sleeve Carolina tee, wrapped in a blanket, I watched as Charles Gibson declared: “Barack Obama will be the 44th president of the United States”. It was surreal. While I have hoped for the past year and half that this country would in fact elect a man named Barack Obama to the highest office in the land; to hear it stated as fact left me speechless. The tears came and I beamed with pride as I listened to President-elect Barack Obama speak. I went to sleep with joy in my heart and my mind at peace. To know that this country has sent a message around the world. I now have a renewed sense of faith and confidence in the fact that anything is possible. For that I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today I am thankful for my health. While I could stand to lose a few pounds, overall I am in good health. I can run up and down a flight of stairs without getting winded. I can walk across campus and see it as a leisurely stroll and not a daunting task. I have no major health issues such as diabetes or cancer and I am thankful for that. I was speaking with a friend the other day and she was telling about one of her co-workers who survived breast cancer. She talked about how every year during the month of October she wears pink EVERYDAY and how she rolls out a pink carpet at her home, and throws a huge thank you party for everyone who helped her while she was sick.
While I am thankful to be healthy I know that others are not so fortunate. It is inspiring to see the positive outlook they have. One should be as fortunate to wake up everyday, see life as a gift, and want to share it with others.

*I should note that there is a method behind the order in which I am posting things that I am thankful for. Yesterday I wrote about my mother. It was also the same day 39 years ago that her own mother, my grandmother, passed away. My mother was 20 months old and doesn't remember her mother so each and every day that I have with my own is a Blessing.

Monday, November 3, 2008


So much to post and my fingers can't keep up with my racing mind. Saturday DH and I participated in the JDRF walk in Raleigh. It was the first time either of us had participated in this particular walk. It was a lot of fun and of course for a great cause. We spent the remainder of the day relaxing around the house and watching movies since it had been a pretty hectic week for both of us.

Sunday of course was football but none of the games really held my attention. I ended up wandering upstairs to do some sewing. I didn’t really make much progress on anything in particular as I jumped around and did a little on a few different projects. My anniversary dress-Butterick 5243 is basically done. I haven’t hemmed it yet and I’m wondering if I even will. The fabric is so soft and fluid that I honestly don’t think it needs it. I tried it on and couldn’t tell that it hadn’t been hemmed. So yeah basically that one is done.

My biggest issue in sewing this weekend was Butterick 5244. It took me awhile to get the pockets on and while I wasn’t completely happy with them it’s not the end of the world. My problem was with the neckline. I’m just not feeling the boat like collar and buttons and all that. It looks so cute on the envelope but on me, not so much. I was having doubts so I pinned it together and tried it on. I also noticed that my collar doesn’t meet in the center back like it should. It’s actually not even close. The ends stop near my shoulder blades. I’m thinking of finishing it anyway in hopes that maybe it will grow on me. That or it was just be a dress to wander around in since it’s not awful I just don’t love it. We shall see.

I’ve also been scanning a number of blogs today and kept running across a common post. A number of bloggers are going to post daily one thing that they are thankful for. I wish I could remember where I saw it but alas my brain has long since left that behind. So I too am jumping on that bandwagon to post about things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my Family.

Today my Mother is the subject of my post. She was very young when I was born but she never fell for the stereotypes or gave into the labels others tried to put on her. She taught me to think for myself and to love other unconditionally. She is my rock just as the meaning of her name implies. She also was part of the reason that I wanted to sew. I remember as a child watching her sew and being so excited when a new outfit for my doll or a jumper for me would appear. I am still in awe of the fact that she made dresses for both her junior and senior prom. And yes I was around to see her off on both nights. She is such a talented and creative person and I have so much respect and admiration for her. I’ve told her on many occasions that if she weren’t my Mother, we would have been Sisters.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Butterick 4983

I'm still attempting to get organized and have all my reviews/pics in one central area. I came across this pic from my sister in law's ceremony in April and thought I would share. (Ignore the wrinkles as we took this pic after the ceremony.)

Pattern Description: Close-fitting, slightly flared, floor length, lined bias dress.
Pattern Sizing:AA(6-8-10-12), EE(14-16-18-20)I cut an 18 and made modifications to fit me as I went along
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. When I first started to cut out my pieces I was going to make view C. However I ended up cutting out the skirt for view A and thus had to piece together the top for view A because the zipper was now in the back instead of on the side.
Were the instructions easy to follow?When I was paying attention they were very easy. :) Yes they were very straight forward and the dress went together very well. After the first few steps I stopped referring to them at all.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I liked the pattern and it was a fairly easy sew. I found that the back gaped but that wasn't really an issue since I wore a shawl.
Fabric Used:A raspberry bridal satin fabric that was on clearance at Hancock's.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:I self lined the top and didn't line the skirt at all. Honestly I avoid lining whenever possible. I also added a butterfly broach to view A instead of the bow from view B. I will say that I found the strap to be pretty useless. It kept slipping off my shoulder. Even looking back you would have to place it at an odd angle for it to stay up.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I wouldn't sew it again since I don't have many places to go that require such a formal dress. That and I have too many other things I want to sew. But it was really simple dress to put together and would be a really good pattern for a easy prom or homecoming dress.
Very easy pattern that I would recommend if you need a simple formal gown to wear.