Monday, November 16, 2009

The "New" Perfect Knit Dress-McCall's 5974

Another knit dress to add to my wardrobe. I mean really, who doesn't like a good knit dress? Well this is a great one and I love it. This was one of the few McCall's patterns that caught my eye and after viewing Sharon M's review on PR, it quickly moved up in my sewing queue. I decided that this would be my birthday dress and I'm pleased to have finished it a whole month early!

Pattern Description: Misses dress with bodice variations, front pleats, neckline variations, self-faced midriff, pleated skirt front, back zipper and sleeves in three lengths. I made view D which has a wrapped bodice, v-neck, self-ties and long sleeves.

angled front view

Pattern Sizing: 8-16; 18W-24W. I cut a 16 but could have gotten away with a 14 because of the material.

front view with ties undone

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Of course silly.

Midriff and bodice with ties tied

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. This is the 3rd P/P pattern I have used and love them all. Per their usual, they offer various fitting tips on the first couple of pages as well as throughout the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Where to begin....well, like Sharon, I did not realize how far down the sides of the dress the ties actually go. They start under the arm and go down to the hips. This can be seen on the back of the pattern envelope, which I didn't pay any attention to until after the fact. Since I used a thin ITY knit this was not an issue for me, but is definitely something to consider if using a thicker knit fabric. I feel like the envelope should indicate that the zipper is optional. It says so in the instructions which you probably wouldn't see until after you have purchased notions. I am against knits with zippers anyway so I had already omitted that. I almost opted to leave the ties off since I did a lot of work on the midriff to make sure it was just right only to have it covered up by the ties. I do love all the fit options that P/P patterns offer and I really like how this one turned out.

Close up of bodice

Fabric Used: A creme and black ITY knit from denver fabrics. The weight was just right and worked particularly well when it came to do the neckline and hems. It also doesn't add bulk to the sides where the ties are attached.

View of where ties are attached

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a FBA and shorted the skirt. The FBA wasn't 100% necessary but since the bodice had pleating I didn't want to take any chances. For the neckline as well as the sleeve and skirt hems, I serged the edges, folded, pressed, then stitched down. For the ties, I serged the edges and pressed but didn't bother to stitch them down as I really didn't see the point. Also I only had 2.5 yards of fabric and not the 3 that is says is needed. Sometimes this isn't an issue but in this case it meant my ties aren't as long as they should be. They wrap all the way around but the knot looks silly so I just tuck the ends under and it works just as well.

Close up of midriff

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will sew this again in view A, most likely in a solid fabric. I do highly recommend this to others.

Other Notes: Definitely try the dress on during construction. It is very easy to make adjustments as you go if you follow their order of construction. I didn't have to take in the sides any but it would have been easy to do without a lot of work.

Close up of side

Omit the zipper. Trust me when I say it isn't necessary if your knit has any stretch.

Close up of center back seam

The midriff band helps give definition to the waist area which isn't always the case with knit dresses.

The bodice pleats do not add bulk which I was a little worried about.

The skirt pleats do not make this maternity like at all. I think that having the midriff band faced not only adds stability and definition but also helps make this dress very fashionable (and forgiving).

Close up of front pleats and midriff band

Conclusion: I really really really like how this dress turned out and is definitely the New Perfect Knit Dress-easily replacing 5752. I feel like it is more versatile than some of the others and while it is a faux wrap I still love it. I am now on the hunt for a solid fabric to make view A. Seriously if you don't have this pattern yet what are you waiting for?

Back view with ties

Bottom Line:
Fabric: 2.5yds @ 4.75/yd = $11.88
Pattern: $.99
Notions: thread from my stash
Total: $12.87

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I did it again....

...cut my hair that is!  I was letting it grow out but was just letting it do it's thing.  It got the point where I couldn't do a thing with it so I found a stylist to help me grow it out without going through such an awkward phase.  I am so thrilled with the result.  As the top grows out, it will cover up the back, making it easier to grow that part out.  The sides are a little short for my taste but I still like it.  Now I have to whip up a scarf to keep my neck warm, lol.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's Our Anniversary

Wow, I can't believe that Corey and I have been married for 3 years now. That may not seem like long to some but we are thankful we have made it this far. We take each day at a time and NEVER take one another for granted. We disagree but NEVER go to bed angry. And we NEVER go a day with out talking or saying I love you. I wake up every day with joy in my heart knowing that no matter what happens, he and I will get through it together.

Now that the water works have started I have to tell you a funny story about when I was making my anniversary dress. Back story: We had a destination wedding in Key West but we still managed to keep some traditional aspects including not seeing one another before the ceremony. Despite my wedding dress being in our apartment for almost 8 months, he never saw it (that I know of) until I was walking down the aisle. The past couple of years I have made a dress to wear to our anniversary dinner as well as my birthday (since that's when he proposed) and this year was no different. I came home one night and he was still on a conference call so I took the opportunity to run upstairs and work on my dress for a few minutes. I could hear him coming up the stairs so I met him at my studio door to see what was going on. He was trying his hardest to see what my dress looked like.
So each night when I finished working I literally had to hide my dress in a different spot. I can't for the life of me figure out why he couldn't wait a few more days to see the dress. At any rate I let him see it on my dress form this morning and he was very excited. In his words, "Um um uh, I can't wait to see the Silky Dress on Wife."

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Finally......McCall's 5973

I know I have been talking about this dress forever and I finally finished it! I am so happy with the way that it turned out and I can't wait to wear it to dinner on Saturday!

Oh, and I finally found some pictures of the dress that was my inspiration:

If you ever watched the show "The Game" that used to air on the CW then you know this is the character Melanie Barnett. I fell in love with this dress, right down to the fabric choice, when I saw this episode but could never find anything at the store or a pattern that would be a good foundation to start with until I found this one.

Ok moving on, here is my review:

Pattern Description: A Create it! pattern from McCall's. I made the version that is a mid-knee length dress with self-faced front neck band band, elbow length sleeves, and back zipper.

Pattern Sizing:
6-22. I cut a 16

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Mine is so much better!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy. Everything is pretty straight forward so I have no complaints. The directions were broken into sections for bodice, sleeves, waist inset, and skirt so you can find the set that corresponded to your look and go from there.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really loved this pattern and have no dislikes.

Fabric Used: A floral print charmeuse from fabric dot com

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None. For construction I machine stitched all seams and then serged the edges to prevent fraying. For the waist inset, I opted to stitch in the ditch rather than slip stitch the inside down.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may possibly sew this again in a shorter sleeve version but I doubt it. There are a ton of other dresses I want to make but I do recommend this dress to others.

Conclusion: Fabulous pattern and I am very pleased with the end result. Can't wait until the Hubby sees it!

Bottom Line:
Fabric: 3 yds @ $2.49/yd=7.47
Pattern: $.99
Zipper: $1.79
Notions: facing from stash

Total: $10.25

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Crochet Projects

Last week I mentioned how my sewing mojo was MIA, but that at least I had been crocheting some things. I figured I would post what I have been up to.

My DH tends to lose things-namely his glasses and winter hats. On a weekend retreat with my sorority, I needed to keep my hands busy on the drive up so I whipped him up some hats. That was less than two weeks ago and I currently can only find 1 of the 3 that I made him. Sign, I love that man though.

Here is the one in a burgundy yarn with a gray stripes.

Another I did was a reverse with the hat being gray and the stripes burgundy. The only difference is I made one large stripe instead of two smaller ones. The third was just like this one with the hat being black and the stripes in gray. The pattern was very easy and can be found here or here.

One of my Sorors is having a baby and as soon as she announced it I went into baby blanket mode. I started working on this super easy blanket. It's called Purely Square and it's free on Ravelry on the Lion Brand website.

Because I didn't check the dye lot on my skeins of dark blue yarn, I of course picked up two that were completely off. If you look closely in the picture below, you can see the color difference.

I decided to finish off the blanket in white. It won't look like I had originally planned but it will still be cute so it's all good.

And finally when I feel up to it, I have been working on this Two-sided afghan. It's not that difficult but it is slow going. I goofed on the very first row and was too lazy to rip it out. I like it though and if I can figure out what I did, I plan to finish off the last row in the same manner. : )

P.S. Iamthisclose to being finish with my anniversary dress. Just need to put in the zipper and finish the hem, so a review will be coming very soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Butterick 5100

Pattern Description: Pullover, sleeveless tunic in two lengths and dress have deep V-front neckline and extended shoulders, separate tie belt or purchased belt. D: cowl collar. I made view D with the cowl collar.

Pattern Sizing: XS-XL; I cut an XL but ended up taking in the sides a lot.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? Instructions? Lol, this was very easy and I didn't look at the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern was very easy to assemble and really can be done in one hour. I think it took longer to cut out than to construct.

Fabric Used: Some mystery knit that I picked up for about $1/yd.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I used stitch witchery on the armholes simply because I didn't have a matching thread. It only added about 10 minutes or so to construction time.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Although there is nothing extraordinary about this pattern, I may make the V-neck version A to pair with jeans for a more casual look.

Conclusion: Very simple pattern that went together in no time.

Bottom Line:
Fabric: Roughly two yards of mystery knit at $1/yd= $2
Notions: thread from stash
Total $2