Monday, September 27, 2010

Am I crazy?

Ok let me rephrase the question.  Am I too ambitious for wanting to sew this dress?

It is Vogue 1030 and I absolutely love the style.  It has 3 reviews on PR which have produced great if not time consuming results. 

Ok let me back up...
One of my best friends is getting married next Septmeber and she is allowing her bridal party to pick, or in my case make, whatever dress they want as long as the fabric colors are roughly the same.  Each bridesmaid has already started to claim a style and when I saw this dress below I knew that was the style I wanted to wear.  My hair will be long enough by then for me to blow it out and slick it back into a bun which I think will be fitting for this style dress.  The dress is by Alfred Sung and is style D467.

When I was looking for patterns that were similar to the dress above, I first saw this one by Cynthia Rowley which has gotten rave reviews on PR.  It is definitely much closer to the Alfred Sung dress than the Vogue pattern but it is really bridesmaid material?

Going back to the vogue dress, I will be honest and say that I already know I would have to make a few changes to it.  One it will be a church wedding and I am a large cup size so the deep cut open neckline would be closed up tight and I would also shorten the back hem so the train isn't as long.  For the Cynthia Rowley version I would make the full length version but would make some modifications to the bodice so it is more fitted. 

Honestly, what do you think? 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm a little bit country.....a wadder

Simplicity 2601
I can't say I had high hopes for this pattern.  Why?  Well I went back and forth over whether to buy it in the first place but when I caught some cotton gauze on clearance I figured why not?  It took a more time than I would have liked made worse by the fact that I do not to like the end least not on me.  I'm sure someone at Goodwill will be more than glad to have it.

Pattern Description:   Simplicity didn't provide a very detailed description but this pattern is a misses blouse with 5 different views with sleeve and collar variations.  I made view A which has a ruffled collar and fitted sleeves with tie ends.
Pattern Sizing:  Available in 6-22.  I cut a 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  For the most part, the one big difference is my sleeves and that I left the tie ends off the sleeves. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes.   

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  The fit seems to be a little off on this pattern.  I didn't do any alterations yet it gapes a little at the bust and also it is very low cut so I have to wear a cami underneath.

Fabric Used:  A lightweight brown cotton gauze with a raised floral print.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:  My choice of fabirc (although suggested on the envelope) wasn't the best choice for a number of elements on this top.  The sleeve ties or button loops were definitely problematic.  After seeing how stiff the fabric became after adding facing to the midriff, I decided to leave the sleeves free flowing as I knew it was likely to be a headache if I tried otherwise.  Also when I tried to make the button loops, the fabric was just too thick for the loops so instead I used corded elastic.  And finally the cute ruffles on the bodice are super floppy because of the material.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I won't sew it again just because I didn't like how the top looked on me.  Further confirmation such a fluttery top doesn't work well with my Mother Africa Fro, lol. 

Conclusion: Has the potential to be a very cute top depending on the fabric choice.  A few minor fit issues that can be fixed with a little work.  Overall it didn't work out for me but it still good enough to donate to a local shelter.

Bottom Line:
Pattern:. 99
Fabric: $5.20
Notions: bias tape .70, corded elastic .60, thread and facing from my stash
Total: $7.49

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Knockoff Tee

When I saw Adrienne's post on this Garnet Hill Knock Off Tee I couldn't resist trying my hand at it. 

It was easy but took some time to cut all the 'flowers' out.  I use that term loosely as my shapes ended up looking more like butterflies or wilted flowers that anything else.  As you can tell it doesn't really matter once they are on the shirt.  I opted to have my pattern stay to the left of the shirt instead of coming across the bust as I don't need any more volume or attention there.  Because I had cut out so many pieces and didn't want it to be too full, I decided to keep going down the side of the shirt and have it curve back towards to the side seam. 

Loves it and have gotten a compliment on it already this morning.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Simplicity 2424 Pics

Pattern Description:  From the Threads collection:  Misses' / Miss petite jacket, dress and knit cardigan.

I made the jacket which is view B and the dress which is view A.

The completed outfit

Pattern Sizing: Available in 8-22.  I cut a 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes!  I absolutely love the end result.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Very.  The jacket was very easy to sew and went together quickly.  I honestly can't think of any one aspect of construction that gave me any hang ups. 
Close-up of sleeve gathers and band

The dress took a little longer to construct.  Because the fabric has some stretch I wanted to make sure there were no unsightly ripples or puckers especially with the curved neckline. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I was a little disappointed at how much blind stitching by hand and tacking down the instructions called for. 
The instructions call for you to take down the collar facing to the shoulder seam

I would have liked to see a more polished finish especially since the jacket was unlined.  I used my serger quite a bit to finish off edges as well as fusible web at the sides and center back seam of the jacket instead of blind stitching.  Despite that I really like the style of this pattern and how quickly it went together.

Here is the inside of the collar lapels
Inside view of the jacket
I finished the inside of the front dart but realized once I finished that it's actually covered up by the front facing

Fabric Used:  I'm not 100% sure as it was a gift.  I feels like it may be twill with a hint of stretch.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:  I shortened the pattern pieces at the waist and bottom for height but that was it.
I finished off the zipper edge with quilting square scraps
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I'm not sure.  I am really pleased with the final product but the jacket is a bit too distinctive and I recently made a tunic with a neckline  similar to the dress.  If I do make the jacket again, I will lengthen the sleeves so they are full length as well as add an inch or so to the jacket hem.  It's fine now but when I put both pieces on my dress form for pictures, I noticed that the jacket is shorter than where the zipper stops which bothers me just a little.
You can see here where the zipper isn't fully lapped and is exposed because of the jacket's short length

Conclusion:  Solid pattern with no fit issues that went together pretty quickly.  A bit on the trendy side but a great wardrobe builder nonetheless.

Bottom Line:
Fabric: $0
Notions: zipper $1.50, thread and facing from my stash

Total: $1.50!  Well if you count the cute red belt I bought to match my red shoes then the total comes to $12.50 but who's counting, lol.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pardon the Interruption

It's rare that I buy something off the rack these days.  I feel like I am finally coming into my own as a seamstress and am much more critical of the quality and construction of garments. I visited Macy's recently with a coupon in hand for 15% off sale and clearance items.  I wandered around the dress department for a while picking up some items and putting most of them back.  I was really excited when I saw a brown shirt dress with lots of potential.  That excitement quickly faded when I saw the price tag:

Yes you are reading that correctly

 I took a chance anyway and took it to the fitting room to see if I could see why it was priced at $148.  I fell in love with the fit, length, the fact that it was a shirt dress, came with a fabulous belt, and it had pockets.  As I prepared to put it back on the rack, I spotted a price scanner.  I wandered over just to see if it was marked down any.  Imagine my surprise when it scanned $32!  Waaaaaaaaaahooooooooooo!!!!  Plus I had a 15% off coupon, I literally ran to the register to check out.

Love the belt
blurry back view.  Can you see the pleats?
Once I wear it I promise to post pics.  Now back to your regularly scheduled sewing.