Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bottom Line Calculation

I have received a few emails and comments on the recent 'Bottom Line' addition to the end of my posts. I decided to start doing that because I see on a lot of other blogs and message boards different discussions about whether or not sewing is less expensive than buying off the rack. In some cases it is but not always. Speaking for myself I sew because I enjoy making my own clothes. I have the patience and the ability to learn the craft and the journey is one that I am enjoying immensely.
I recall when I first started out, I knew to only buy patterns on sale and to look for coupons and sales on fabric, notions, etc. I developed a size-able stash of fabrics that I purchased just because they were on sale and had no idea what to use them for. I don't really want to think about how much money that I spent doing that.
As I have continue to get better at sewing and other crafts, I am making an effort to keep track of how much I spend on fabrics, yarn, etc. Not to justify the cost or weigh the pros and cons of sewing but just to give my readers an idea of what it cost me to make certain things. Sewing can be rewarding and gratifying but for some on a limited budget I think it is important to know that it can cost you as little or as much as you want it to.
You may also have seen my sewing plans from a few posts back. I am very much a visual learner and I found this to be very helpful as I laid out my sewing plans for the next few weeks. This has also been good as it is making me think twice before buying some fabric that catches my eye. I have been doing well with sewing from my stash but I don't want it to get as bad as it was at one point.
So to sum up a long post, my decision to add the 'Bottom Line' to my posts started out being just for me but I am glad that others are enjoying it as well.

Friday, August 21, 2009

McCall 5591 View A

Pattern Description: Mid-knee length, pleated skirts have faced yoke and back zipper closure

I made a modified version of view A. Originally view A calls for slash front pockets with band and contrasting lower band, however I omitted the contrasting lower band.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22. I cut a straight 14 but added length to the pattern piece since I was omitting the contrast.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? I honestly did not look at the instructions when it came to sewing. I glanced at them but you can pretty much look at the drawings and see what to do. Pleats can be intimidating/time consuming but this weren't all that bad. I also like how there were separate instructions for each view instead of skipping around between views like I have seen lately.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I did not have any dislikes with this pattern. It went together fairly quickly and without issues which is always great. I really like the pleats on this skirt and the overall effect they had for this very cute skirt. I also like the fact that I had no make no alterations to this skirt as far as fitting was considered. Another plus.

Fabric Used: A cotton sateen with just a hint of stretch from It was called 'Cotton Sateen Jackie Peach'

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: As previously stated I omitted the contrasting band from view A. I could have just as easily made view B but I liked the pockets from A. In retrospect I probably eliminated one of the key design elements but at the same time I wanted to keep it simple. I felt this print was fine on it's own and adding a solid contrast made it too bottom heavy and not flattering on my figure/height. I used a a medium-weight interfacing for the yoke. I mention that because somehow the yoke-facing ended up being a good 1 1/2 inches shorter after I faced it which was really odd. Because of that I ended up doing a lapped zipper in the back. It still turned out very well. The only thing is that my pleats aren't symmetrical in the back but no one should be staring at my behind anyway so they shouldn't notice. I am patting myself on the back for being able to make a design change on the fly and not get frustrated.

I also top-stitched the yoke instead of under-stitching.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may break this out again next spring when I need some instant gratification, but as for now it is being retired as a move on to my fall/winter wardrobe. I would recommend this to others because I found it to be a quick and simple project.

Conclusion: I am pleased with my result and would recommend this pattern. It definitely allows you to quickly add to your spring/summer wardrobe.

Bottom Line:
Fabric-Cotton Sateen Jackie Peach 1.5 yds at $2.49=3.74

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fall/Winter Wardrobe Plans

I have started to shift towards planning my fall/winter wardrobe. I know I am late but hey....
Anyway, I have laid out a plan to meet my goal of making 50% of my wardrobe for the upcoming seasons. Part of that it to make simple wardrobe staples likes pants and skirts and interchangeable tops. I have already planned out one set revolving around a lightweight grey suiting that I picked up recently. It will be fairly easy to change out tops for different looks. Here is what I have so far:

Most, if not all of the focal pieces, will be in the grey suiting. I already have a white dress shirt as well as some basic knit tops to add to the mix.

I have a similar plan with a medium-weight navy twill:

There are a couple of other sportswear jackets and tunics that I have my eye on but no concrete plans yet.
Currently I am beginning work on B4657 for a wedding that is in mid September. I have already cut it out in a deep burgundy georgette. There are only a couple of reviews on PR that say it is time consuming and takes a great deal of patience. I already have a fall back plan in V8574 in this print:

When I purchased the fabric I was going to make view B which is the longer version but I decided to go with the shorter version and use the remaining fabric to make a top.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fabric Depot

We just returned from our trip to the Pacific Northwest and while I enjoyed visiting the area, one of the highlights has to be my trip to Fabric Depot. My DH actually spotted the brochure when we were checking into our hotel and pointed it out to me. Because we didn't have much planned for our first day we were able to stop by. You should have seen me. I was walking around with saucer-like eyes and grinning like a cheshire cat. I vaguely recall DH saying don't go crazy in here. He was quite the tropper as he followed me around the store pushing a cart. At one point he just sat at the pattern table and took a nap. He perked up a little when he saw he wasn't the only Husband following his Wife around the fabric store. :-)

They have a HUGE selection of fabrics they are of very good quality. I controlled myself and only bought a cut of a sweater knit and some twill, as well as a couple of skeins of yarn but that was only because I wasn't sure how much I could squeeze into my luggage.
Not only was the selection huge, the quality great, on sale for 30%, but the staff was very helpful and friendly as well. I have since discovered that you can order online via their website. I will never look at Hancock and Joann's the same again.