Monday, September 28, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Imagine my surprise to find that I had been nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks to Kelly at Sewtellme for the nomination.

If you are not familiar with the rules, it is basically that if I accept this award then I must tell you seven things that you don’t know about me and then I nominate seven other blogs to receive this award. Most of the blogs that I read have already received this award but I will still tell you seven things about me.

1. I have only been sewing for 2 years but I have fond memories of watching my mother sew when I was a little girl. I think perhaps it was only a matter of time before I picked up the craft. Although my Mother hadn't sewn anything in close to 20 years, I recently bought her her own sewing machine and she is slowly getting back into it as well.

2. I am well on my way to reaching my goal of sewing at least 50% of my wardrobe. I am thankful to have such a supportive Husband who doesn't bat an eye when fabric is delivered on a regular basis.

3. I am putting together a portfolio of my work, including some of my earliest pieces. It is humbling to see how far I have come in these two years.

4. I have known my Husband for over 10 years as we attended the same high school. We dated for 7 months before getting engaged and married a year after that.

5. I have literally been the same height of 5'2 since I was 8 years old and in the 3rd grade.

6. I have a vision wall-not a board but a WALL. Nearly 1/2 of a wall in my studio is dedicated to it. One section is for maintaining things like family, marriage, health, etc. and the rest for goals.

7. I recently joined Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. and being around my Sorors has motivated me to fully pursue my passion of sewing. More details to come about that later.

I'll update this post when I find some fellow bloggers who have not been nominated for this award yet. If you know of any please let me know.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Wedding and Vogue 8574

OMG this past weekend was one of the best in a long time! It is Sunday afternoon and I am still recovering from the wedding and reception. It was great in so many ways and it was a beautiful thing to see a union of not just two people but their cultures as well. I have learned that while dancing in 4-inch heels may seem like a good idea at the time, your legs will not like you the next day. Surprisingly my feet are good though. Here is my review of vogue 8574 which is the dress I wore to the wedding. I didn't get a picture of all of my Sorors and I together but one guest dubbed us The Real Housewives of Raleigh. Yes we looked that good, lol.
Pattern Description: Slightly flared, mid-knee or evening length dress has close-fitting, lined sleeveless bodice, neck band, raised waist seam, front and back pleats, side seam pockets and back zipper.

Pattern Sizing: 6-20. I cut a 16 with no alterations and it fit like an absolute dream.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No, it was better!

Were the instructions easy to follow? I personally did not care for the instructions. I read through them and then tossed them aside. The dress was easy enough to figure out construction/assembly but it is because of the directions that I would rate this pattern easy versus very easy. There is such a thing as too much direction I think this was one of those cases in which too much could easily confuse a beginner.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I had so many likes for this pattern! Once I sat down to make this it went together fairly quickly. I absolutely LOVE the pockets on this dress!
I initially was going to omit them but I'm so glad that I decided to keep them. Not only were they a big hit once people realized they were there, but they came in handy throughout the night to hold my camera while I danced. I also had the genius idea to add a pop of color and use a contrasting light blue fabric for the pocket lining as well as for the bodice. I kept this theme going with the zipper as well.
I love the overall effect that it had. I also love the peek a boo bodice.

I honestly have some 'healthy girls' but this dress was sexy yet modest at the same time as I was not worried about them making an unscheduled appearance during the night. My Husband didn't raise his eyebrows either so it passed his test as well. I don't quite understand the need for a center seam in the front but that's just me and pretty much my only dislike.
Fabric Used: The description simply said 'Deco Brown Charmeuse' but it had a hint of stretch to it which was great. It was also thicker than most charmeuse fabrics I have used but that helped add stability to the neckline and it had wonderful drape to it. For the bodice and pocket linings I used a 'liquid satin' that I had leftover. I actually had the wrong side facing out because I didn't like the other side as much as it is shiny.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I did not make a single change to this pattern as I thought it was great as is. This pattern was very well drafted as I didn't have any trouble getting the neckline to lay flat or anything. I also normally shorten the bodice and hem but I didn't do either in this case. Once I finished the hem it hit right at the knee which was perfect so I am happy that I didn't change anything.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? It is doubtful that I will sew this again but I highly recommend it to others. I should ammend that to say I won't make it again for myself but one of my Sorors or Friends may convince me to make it for them. I wouldn't label it as very easy like the envelope says but it was easy and it went together without much hassle. It makes a great party dress too!

Conclusion: A fantastic dress that was a hit at the wedding. I'm glad I got around to making it and had such a special occasion to debut it. I highly recommend it!

Bottom Line:
Pattern: $3.99
Zipper: $1.79
Fabric: 2 yds @ $2.49/yd=$4.98
Notions: stash
Total: $10.76

Saturday, September 19, 2009


All of the fabrics for my mini-wardrobe/SWAP finally arrived and I have laid out my plan of action. I couldn't decided on what I wanted to sew first but after reading such favorable reviews Simplicity 2700 I am going to start there.
I am going to make the pants first since I can easily pair them with a white dress shirt that I already have. The vest shouldn't be too difficult either so hopefully I can finish them together and wear that outfit. The jacket will come later. It hasn't really started to cool off here so I am not in a big rush to make any jackets....although I have already cut and pinned V8480

Pic of fabric and china silk lining for the vest...

I bought this silk charmeuse polka dot fabric on impulse and had no idea what I was going to do with it. I then saw New Look 6831 and thought view D would be cute and nothing like Minnie Mouse (which is what this fabric reminds me of :-).

When I get around to making jackets I wanted to make simplicity 2810 in the grey pinstripe and another is this navy twill. I am thinking of making the navy with the shawl collar and the pinstripe in the pointed collar but we will see when I get to it.

I can't for anything get this picture to posted properly but is showing a picture of what I plan to line the navy jacket with. It's a light blue 'liquid satin' that I had leftover from some long ago project. The picture shows the right and wrong side as I am still debating on which I will make which.

Here is a picture of the sweater knit that I picked up from Fabric Depot while on vacation last month. I still haven't found a pattern that I like but I am thinking of using Vogue 8379 as a start. I saw a couple of reviews where people made it a top instead of a dress so I know it is do-able.
Here is the top that set this mission in motion...

I finally finished Vogue 8574 to wear to my Soror's wedding today. I will post pics and a review after I recover from what I am sure will be a wild reception.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gift for Ari

My good friend's daughter just turned 4 years old over the weekend and we went to the birthday they had for her. I don't think I have ever had so much fun in a moon bounce!

Anyway I wanted to make something for her and I found this adorable and very easy bag that could be made in various sizes.

The bag didn't take up very much yarn and I added a couple of crocheted flowers to either side.

I finished it up by adding a bright floral lining to the bag.

By the way she loved it! (And so did her Mom)

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's not for me!

I finally have proof that I can and have sewn something for someone else. One of my best friends saw this version of simplicity 3803 and asked if I would make her one.

She and I have pretty much the same measurements except she is a few inches taller than me so that is probably why I had no issues making something for her.

The only differences in the two dresses were that I added a few more inches back to the skirt length to accommodate her height and cut the bodice a little higher for modesty. I wish I had a picture of her face when she opened the bag. I seriously thought she was going to start crying.

Bottom Line
Fabric: 3 yds @ $2.49/yd = $7.46
Zipper: $1.49
Look on her face: PRICELESS!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Look 6802

Pattern Description: Misses Knit Dress. That is about as detailed a New Look gets but there are 4 different views. One sleeveless, one long sleeved, and two short-one with fitted sleeves and the other some voluminous sleeves from the 80s.

I made the dress in view D and swapped the sleeves for those in view B

Pattern Sizing:
8-18. I cut a 14 up top and graded to a 16 in the hips. From past experience, New Look patterns can be off in the sizing but this one fit very well.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes with the exception of the sleeves

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were very clear and easy to follow particularly when it came to doing the crossover knot in the front. This dress went together very quickly and is much easier than it may look on the envelope.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I did have some issues with facing the knits, as seemingly every other reviewer has as well. I was a little afraid the front gathers would look maternity but I like it. I was also concerned that the front twist design element would get lost in the print but I am very pleased with how it turned out. I will say that there seems to be some built in support in the bodice. The girls are extra perky in this dress ;-)

Fabric Used:
a knit purchased online. I can't remember which site.

I am very pleased that I managed to (inadvertently) line up the print in the back so you can barely tell there is a horizontal seam.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I changed the sleeves because I don't need any extra height/width in that area. I didn't follow the instructions for doing the sleeves just because I didn't feel like threading my sewing machine :-) Instead of their construction, I folded the band in half, pinned it to sleeve edge, drew up the gathers to fit and then serged it together. Still a neat clean finish. It did make the band thinner than usual but I think it lets the gathers shine.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would consider sewing view A in a solid knit just because this is such a comfortable and easy sew and would make a cute and simple cool weather dress. Other than that I think the design elements are too distinctive to need more than 1 but I would recommend it to others. Most of the reviewers did the sleeveless version as it is more of a summery dress but I think you could easy wear view A into the fall/winter depending on the fabric print.

Conclusion: A very cute dress that I would certainly recommend because it was an easy and quick sew.

Bottom Line
Pattern $3.44
Fabric 2 yds @ $2.74/yd=$5.48
Notions stash (thread only)
Total $8.92

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I look cute today

At least I think so. Looking good and feeling good after a 3-day weekend. I haven't posted any of my creations lately but I felt the need to post something so here I am in all my fabulous-ness.

I don't yet have the courage to attempt making such a top but McCall 5929 or Butterick 5284 would be great patterns to use if I did. I picked this top up from Dots on the clearance rack for $6. The skirt is part of a suit that is now too big. I just hiked the skirt up and cinched it with a wide black belt that I got from Ross for $3. Rounding out the outfit are my Carrie Guess Pumps. Overall I think I did a great job pulling these pieces together.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Patterns

So new patterns from McCall are out and I only saw a couple that caught my eye.

I adore the ruffled neckline on a view C. It reminds me of this top I made.

I really like the twist on the wrap dress with this one but I will never understand why they put a zipper on knit dresses. Vogue 8379 wore me out (I stopped counting after 3) but this pattern is still in the maybe column.

I kept looking at this pattern because I felt like I had seen it somewhere before. Then I realized that view B on the envelope looks just like a dress that Melanie wore on 'The Game' when she and Derwin hosted a dinner party (still looking for a pic). The color also reminds me of the dress Carrie wore in SATC when she hosted Charlotte's baby shower.