Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Now for a post not related to sewing....but then kind of

So this time next week DH and I will be cruising the Caribbean and I am so excited! I ended up only making a few pieces to wear while we are gone since it turned out to be more of a relaxing/lounge by the pool/don't always get off the ship while in port kind of trip. So there wasn't a need to (over) pack a fabulous wardrobe. Now I know I just said this is supposed to be a relaxing trip so imagine my surprise when DH says to me he wants to hop on an ATV in Jamaica! Um, ok Love, let's go! But really I'm still in shock and half expecting him to change his mind between now and when we leave on Sunday. I'm packing my goggles just in case.

I was also very excited to decorate our home for Christmas this year. Decorations are sparse with a simple prelit tree with a few ornaments, some garland and red bows on the fireplace, stair banister, and front door wreath, but you best believe I will be hitting up the stores after Christmas and Gray Manor will be oh so fabulous next Decemeber!
I ended up making a wreath from items picked up at the dollar store just because I refused to pay $40 for something I could make for $4. That and I know I can buy that same wreath for $5 in just a few weeks. I wouldn't have bothered with putting up more than a few things but the family wants to eat at our house this year. I don't mind hosting, I love it actually, and thus I kick into 'Susie Homemaker Overdrive'. I don't see anything wrong with it since I love the flow of creative juices, but DH thinks I stress myself out. I simply remind him how fabulous our destination wedding turned out and how much money I saved us by being Susie Homemaker and he leaves me alone. : )

Not sure if another post will make it up before we depart but how a wonderful and safe week and I'll see you when I return!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Simplicity 3837

Pattern Description: Misses Knit Top with 6 different views

Pattern Sizing: 6-22

I cut a 14 midriff and 14/16 bodice.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes and no. I used the bodice from view C and midriff/back from view B and used the sleeves from a completely different pattern.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very, I'm not even sure I looked at them since this top was mix of different views. I've made this pattern two or three times before and found it to be very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There were no dislikes that I can recall. I like the fact that it is so easy and there are a number of different views to choose from. It is very easy to customize a top that really fits you.

Fabric Used: a lightweight floral knit from FFC

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: As noted I combined two different views to construct the top and used sleeves from another pattern. I also made an FBA. I ended up omitting the side gathering from view C just because I didn't feel it was necessary or could even be seen with the print I used.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I probably will sew this again in the future. This pattern is currently out of print but provides a so many pieces that you can make a number of different tops. I highly recommend this pattern because it is an easy sew with good directions, and very easy to customize.

Conclusion: A great pattern that I'm glad I have!

Butterick 5243 version 2

Pattern Description:
Dress with loose-fitting bodice with gathers, short sleeves, yoke, midriff with gathered overlay mid-knee length flared skirt.

Pattern Sizing:
BB(8-10-12-14), FF(16-18-20-22)

I cut a 16 for the bust and hips and a 14 waist.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? This was my second time sewing this pattern but the first time making the short sleeve version. I really didn't follow the instructions since they were pretty straight forward and easy to follow the first go round. But overall I think the instructions were well written.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This is a fantastic pattern that went together so easy. I think maybe 4 hours over a few days. The gathers do take a bit of time especially with a slinky knit like I used but other than that I had no problems.

Fabric Used: A red nylon-lycra knit purchased from fabric.com

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made a FBA although with a knit it is not always necessary. I also had the bodice crossover more in the front then the pattern called for just to be on the safe side in case I decide to wear this to work.
My dress form isn't as 'full' as I am up top so the bodice lies a little flat on her but fits me perfectly. I also shortened it just a bit and thus ended up using less than 2 yards of fabric to make this dress.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't think I will sew this again just because I have already made each view once. I may revisit it when the weather warms up just because it is such a fun dress and an easy sew.

Conclusion: I highly recommend this pattern, particularly the short sleeve version. It went together very well. A beginner may find the gathers more time consuming but even still I don't think they would have any problems sewing this dress.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Look 6823

Pattern Description: Misses Knit Dress

Pattern Sizing: 8-18. I ended up cutting a 16 in the bust and hips and a 14 waist but took it in a bit since there is quite a bit of ease.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely!
Were the instructions easy to follow? Very. The dress is pretty straight forward. I really only looked at the directions when it came time to construct the neck/bodice.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This was a very quick sew and I always like that. It could easily be done in under three hours, althought it took me a while longer due to a rookie mistake. I did not like how the instructions left the front facing section unsecured. (Maybe I missed it but I don't think it was there) I felt they should have been stitched in with the shoulder seam. I ended up slip stitching it down at the end.

Fabric Used: A grey lightweight double knit from fashion fabric club. It took forever to arrive but it was worth the wait.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the sleeves to just above the elbow and of course shortened the length. When I make this again I will lengethen the bust/bodice about an inch. Right now it doesn't hit as low as I would like. I will also either omit the back darts depending on the print or shorten them. I didn't realize how low they were but oh well.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I do plan on sewing this again as soon as I find a knit print worthy. I don't hesitate to recommend this pattern. It is simple yet very flattering.
Conclusion: I highly recommend this pattern. I think even a beginner can sew this up with no problems. The instuctions for constructing the bodice, which was the only real part that required thought, were very detailed with the exception of securing the front facing.