Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vogue 8789 - Again

When I first saw this fabric I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

The simple boarder print was so pretty and was begging to be made into Vogue 8789

This time I made sure I cut the bodice long enough and the whole thing went together beautifully.

The only problem I'm having is with the neckline.  I don't know if it's because my shoulders are too wide, or maybe just too square, but the straight across neckline just doesn't sit on me like the drawing.  I'm going to work on fixing that, but even with the 'funny' neck.  (and it's not nearly as bad as these pictures make it look - the dress isn't swallowing my head) I love the dress and feel very pretty wearing it.  I probably need to think about a belt just to add a little color in the center, but overall I'm super happy.  P.S.  This fabric was $2 a yard at Walmart so this dress not only is simple and cute and fun but very very cheep.  And even though I finished every single seam it only took me about 4-5 hours to put together.

I made another project this weekend that has no pattern number :D

I found this fabric is the bargain bin and took all they had (there wasn't much)

I was pretty sure I had seen it's fruity goodness made into sundresses around the internet and had coveted it then.  So I was really excited to get my hands on it.  But, I could not find the perfect pattern!

So, I took my sure fit designs top sloaper and traced MOST of that.  The traced the neckline from the Sultry Sheath from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.  Then I cut a simple A-line skirt.

Because I was making something without a pattern I did some funny things with construction.  I sewed the front bodice to the front skirt and each back bodice piece to each back skirt piece (after sewing in the darts).  To my pleasant surprise I even managed to get the darts to match.  I then sewed up the back seam, and put in the side seams (leaving an opening for the zipper).  Side zippers are my new favorite thing.  After that I bound the neckline, sleeves and hem in lime green bias tape.  And lastly, because it need a little more OOMPH I pressed open some tape and stitched it to the waist in a mock belt and sewed together a little bow.

Overall I love the results and my friends loved it too.  And it only took three hours to sew.

 If I was going to fix anything it would be tighten/shorten the bodice just a touch and bring the outside of the arm scythe in just a touch to make it a little smaller at the shoulders.

But the dress is fun and a lot of fun to wear so I'm not going to fuss over it too much. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Walk Away Dress

I've continued to participate in Me-Made-May, but so much of my stuff is repeats that I haven't bothered to blog about it.

I HAVE worn some things I haven't blogged yet so I'm going to try to catch up.

First - the Walk Away Dress.

I think is THE Dress on the blogoshere everyone knows.  it's rather infamous I believe and my experience with it left me with no question as to why.

First, let me say that part of the issue with this dress was because I really, really, really wanted it to match the main dress shown on the pattern envelope - AND I was working on this dress under a time constraint, trying to get it finished for Viva.  So, when I went to find the material the only stuff I could find in blue check was this horrible polyester.  I bought it anyway.  The fabric, was not forgiving and had/has a propensity to grow that I have never seen the likes of before.  Then there is the 'wrap around' concept of this dress.  The lack of any anchoring - plus the slippy nature of my fabric and this thing moves all over the place!  I tried to fix some of that.  I actually created a 'strap' in the back at about bra level to try to hold the front in place better and added snaps to the sides where the back crosses over the front.  Still not perfect.

And, if you look at my picture of it

You'll probably notice how low the front dips.  I adjusted this three different times in three places while constructing, but when I sewed on the bias tape it just stretched all out again.

That being said - it's a fun dress to wear, and makes an excellent sweat pant alternative.  I can wear it, not worry about anything getting on it and not look like a complete slob.  PLUS I love the buttons I used for the front - they always make me smile.

In conclusion - it's not a dress I would make again and not one I would recommend to others. The modern day version of the pattern is flawed and I hate the U shape wrap around - however changing to the V shape on my dress did not help it either.   Save yourself some time and heartache and just "Walk-Away" from this dress!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Me-May-May the 7th

Took a break from "Me-Made" at work and saved it for at home.  The weather has taken a turn for dark, gloomy and cold so it was a perfect time to pull out my thermal top.  (and my first ever knit garment).  It has some flaws - some bad ones, but I love it anyway.  Especially the color and the self drafted thermal cuffs.  (In case you didn't know, purple is my favorite color)

How did I do it?  Well, I looked at another thermal top I had and measured the length of those cuffs, took that measurement and added seam allowance.  So, if you want a 2" cuff and a 3/8" seam allowance you're now at 2 3/8".

Then, I doubled that amount

Next I measured the width of the bottom of the sleeve.  And, because I didn't think about this until AFTER I had sewn them on... I measured the sleeve from center to seam. (Let's say that's 2 1/2") and added seam allowance.

Then double that amount (to go all the way around the sleeve).  If, you're smart enough to measure BEFORE you attach the sleeve, then just measure the bottom of the sleeve flat - and you're done!

Now, here's where I did things that might be a little different then some might think (in fact my RTW cuff wasn't constructed this way).

First I folded along the "Center of Cuff" line and sewed the edges  - right sides together.

Now, 'roll/fold' the tube, wrong sides together until the remaining unsewn edges meet, encasing that seam inside.

Match raw edges of the cuff to raw edge of the sleeve (right sides together) and sew it on.  Then I top stitch the seam allowances down  to the sleeve.  Ta-Da you're done!

I promise, I'll take pictures next time I do this, as this won't be my last thermal top - I love these for lounging  and sleeping in.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Me-Made-May the sixth

For the sixth day of me-made-may I wore a very simple skirt that I threw together a while back.  I had about two yards of this pretty floral cotton (that I picked up at a 1/2 off sale for about $3/yard)

and I knew I wanted something cute and simple that I could throw on and off easily and wear for hours without having to worry much.  No binding etc.

I started with the free A-line skirt pattern at Laura Marsh Designs (you can find it here).  The pattern is for a Maxi shirt, but I just made it as long as my fabric would allow.  It, of course, cut and went together super easy. But when I got to the section about inserting the elastic, I decided to do something a little different.  Instead of putting elastic in the skirt... I cut a piece of 1", navy blue, knit elastic and attached the skirt to it.

Personally I like the effect and it is so, so, so comfortable!

Nothing fancy or special - just a skirt I can wear all day and not think about it.

And so, I leave you with this...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Woo hoo!

Look what came in the mail today! Thank you etsy!

Me-Made-May - the third

The moment I saw this fabric I knew what I wanted to do with it.

I wanted to make a vintage inspired sun dress.  So, I grabbed up 5 yards of it and brought it home.

My original inspiration was this

And the V&A Golden Age of Couture website even had a free pattern to make it!  Unfortunately, I found out quickly that it was no where near my size.  (UK size 14 anyone?) so I was faced with re-drafting the pattern.  and I kept putting that off.

But then I was reminded of (by seeing it on the website) Vogue 8789

and I knew I had found my pattern!  I waited for it go on sale, and snapped that puppy up!  In less then a week of it arriving I had fabric spread over the floor as I cut!

Over all it went together easy.  The biggest stress point was making sure I got things lined up right, but even that was easy given the markings on the pattern.  My only issue... you guessed it - bodice length in the front.  When I got the bodice sewn and tried it on, sure enough it was too short in the front! But then I had the inspiration to build a waistband for the dress!  I cut a strip of fabric slightly wider then I would need, sewed it to the bottom of the bodice and then, tried on the skirt and marked where it would attach.. and whalla!  A dress.. that fit!

To give you an idea of the difference we're talking about here...

In the end I got it to work.  and it didn't look 1/2 bad.  In fact, I found I really really liked it!

I tried it on and his reaction wasn't immediate horror.  He said, "wow, that's a lot of flowers"

A little later he mentioned, "Maybe if you had a belt."  (he says that a lot) "You know, something solid colored to break up all the pattern."

And, he was right!  And, amazingly enough the dress came with a pattern for a cummerbund - hooray!

After determining I didn't have the appropriate fabric at home, it was off to the fabric store.  I had originally wanted something in blue, but the blue in the dress turned out to be impossible to match.  Yellow however...

I ended up with a really pretty yellow chiffon and a butter colored lining (from my stash) that seemed as if it was going to be perfect.

Then I looked at the pattern piece for the cummerbund and went - huh?  To prove I'm not crazy, I've included some photographic evidence here.

You see here that this is, indeed the pattern piece for the cummerbund, pattern V8789, sizes 14-22.  And that it says, clearly, "Cut 1"

But, check out the length of the entire pattern piece!  This is an item that is supposed to go AROUND MY WAIST!

The total length is just under 28 1/2" Pattern fail Vogue!

So, that left me to draft my own.  Luckily the piece itself was fairly straight forward and I worked it out in the end. *grin*

And the final result?  Well hubby declared it A-OK.  I got a little worried when we were sitting at breakfast and he was staring at it.  But, then he said, "Wow, you did a really good job getting that little stripe of green along the edge."

That made me really happy because I worked hard to get that right!

At first I was really bummed at how the pattern met in the middle, but then I realized, the angle this was cut at, there was almost no way to match that.  I had thought maybe I could have lined up white space at the front, but I think I would have caught a pedal or leaf even then.

The skirt.. is just a basic drindle but I LOVE!  It's 4 full width panels of my 45" fabric.  I was really worried what that much fabric would do to my silhouette, but the weight of the fabric seems to keep it from over fluffing at the hips and making me look huge!

Pardon my rumpled state - had been wearing it all day.  I left most of the length because -- well, I like my fuller skirts to be long.  Maybe it's because I'm an 80's kid.

So, the theme for today in me-made world was water.  Being that I live on an island - that wasn't much of a challenge for me.  You see ---

That is San Francisco - and I live about .5 a mile from the beach I'm standing on.

I tried getting a good picture of my dress, but... 
My cummerbund road up in the car- and that looked goofie 

Then I made a goofie face
Even tried twirling - not easy to do in the sand

Finally managed something when I combined it with my favorite jean jacket.
By the way, I have to say this dress makes me happy.  I found myself smiling all day while wearing it and that's not something I can say about most of my clothes!


Took a few more pictures today to show what it looks like without a 'belt'  What do you think?  too many flowers?

Yes, this really is my best zip to date!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Me-Made-May the 2nd

Today's a work from home day - so It's much more casual.  That means I get to wear something Me-Made all day today.  I'm sporting one me-made item and that's my top.

I really haven't mentioned this top before because.. well... it's not the greatest.  Let me start at the beginning.

This is made from Butterick 5895 

and I threw it together while I was desperately trying to finish things up before heading off to Vegas for Viva.  I knew I would need some extra boob space and when I compared it to my sloper I knew I was also going to need some length so I did both those things.  But, as you can see, not enough.  The whole thing ended up being a super big challenge to put together, the instructions confused me more then helped and overall I was an unhappy camper.  The problem is, I'm such a novice sewer that I wasn't sure if the problem was with the pattern, or me.  I'll have to try it again some day and figure that out.

But -- I have worn it twice now.  Once at viva and now for me-made-may so all is not lost.  And, on the bright side, I figured out it was too small BEFORE I put on buttons and button holes so it almost looks like I did it that way on purpose...almost.

Also, since I was doing this I figured I would follow up on the challenge to wear white.

As you can see, I've met that challenge!  I think this looks better with my cuffed jeans but hey - I gave it a try right?

And now, for your viewing pleasure, I present you with my sewing companions.

This is Imbri.  She enjoys curling up on freshly laundried fabric, chasing and shredding pattern pieces and other such challenges.  She also enjoys leaving her fur around to be sucked up by any light colored fabric/clothes that are available.

This is Leeloo.  She is terrified of patterns and the crinkle crinkle noise they make.  She sees any piece laying on the floor as a huge sign yelling, "You will not pass!"  That doesn't stop her from trying to figure out how to get as close to you as possible without disturbing the pattern monster.  She also loves to leave her fur everywhere to be sucked up by any dark colored cloth nearby - or nearby any place where she once was.  She also loves to dry her chin on you while pretending to ask to be petted.

And, in case you don't fully realize the scale of the dog pictured above - I leave you with this.

Me-Made-May the First

As I mentioned before, my me-made wardrobe is pretty limited and I work in an office scenario so I have to be rather creative with my pledge.  Today I wore ready to wear to work, but as soon as I came home I switched into my knit 'yoga skirt' that I made two weeks ago and a Old Navy Tank top.  It's been HOT here  so changing into something light and comfortable was a great relief at the end of the day.

I've been wearing the heck out of this skirt already and I did an OK job of it I guess as my youngest daughter (19) kept telling me over and over on Saturday that she LOVED my skirt.  I love it (and the matching hoodie - not to meant to be worn together) so much that I bought the same fabric in another pattern to make more of both!

Now, I'm sure you're noticing the disaster on my coffee table.  What's that? you might ask?

Well that's how my living room looks most of the time.  It's were I do much of my cutting.  Why?  well because my husband wants to spend time with me in the evenings.  We watch TV together while he surfs the internet and I either do all my hand sewing, or trace patterns and/or cut out new projects.  I try to clean it up before bed, but that doesn't always happen.  Hiding in that mess is an ADORABLE if vibrant baby cord material that I'm making a mini-skirt out of.  I picked it up in a "What the heck" moment while fabric shopping and ended up getting it for free!  Hooray for being a regular!  Why a miniskirt? you might ask... well there isn't much of it and I think it's all I might be able to squeeze out of it.  I may have to start looking for tights in that brilliant aqua color to make an outfit out of it - but I'm game.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day everyone

So, it's the first of May and a new month has begun.  I didn't achieve a lot of April's goals, but I did get a lot of things done and had a blast doing it (for the most part).

For may I want to get more involved with the sewing community so I'm joining in on a few of the fun things going on this month.

The first is me-made-may'13

My pledge is

I, Shawn of That's Sew Shawn, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear one item of me-made clothing each day for the duration of May 2013
Now, that might not sound like much to most folks, but since I've only been sewing  things that weren't costumes since the first of March... it's actually going to be quite the challenge.  Now, understand that I won't be wearing 'me-made' items to work every day.  I just don't have that many 'me-made' things, but I always change clothes when I get home and if I'm NOT wearing something me-made to work, then I will be wearing it after I get home.  That seems like a fair compromise to me.  I'll be posting photos to the "Me-Made-May '13" flickr group and hopefully join in the Friday themes on Facebook.  What I also MIGHT try doing is participating in the theme photo challenges in the "We're Here!" flickr group.  It's not sewing related but because they give out daily themes they can help you get through a 'self portrait a day' photo challenge. (Most of the people in that group are doing a project that involves taking a self portrait every day for a year! (and you thought doing it for 30 days was hard!)  I've tried it and the most consecutive photos in a row I got to was just over 100 :(

Next... I just found out that there's a swimsuit sew-a-long happening this month!  Since I've been looking at swimsuit patterns and I have some awesome fabric at home just waiting to be made up into something adorable I was over the MOON to see this.

Three Dresses Project

It's going through the end of June so I have a lot of time to continue to 'think about it' before finally cutting that awesome fabric I have.

I'm also doing the Burda Style "Sew along" with the challenge to 'stash bust' your Burda Magazines and sew something out of one.  Since I'm a sewing newbie, I only have two issues, but I'm sure willing to sew something or something(s) out of each of them.

Burda sew along

I also want to participate in the Stash Busting Sew Along - the theme of which, this month, is Knit.  I'll post my BOX of knits so you can see just how much inspiration I have there.  There's a flickr group for that one too.

Stashbusting Sewalong

(P.S. - is it really a 'stash' if I've only been collecting for 2 months?  When you see how much of it there is, you might agree that it is)

This month at PatternReview the challenge is to sew with natural Fibers.  I love this idea, and it would be easy to sew int 100% Cotton, but I want to challenge myself to dig into something just a little more... risky and maybe try silk, linen, or wool.  (or course that'll mean I'll have to buy some fabric and I'm trying to NOT do that, but for this one thing I'll make the exception).

Natural Fabrics Contest 2013

There's also a Great Gatsby challenge going on, but I'm not sure I'm going to participate in that one as I don't really have the patterns or fabric for something like this and the 20's aren't really my fashion 'sweet spot'.  But, if you want to check it out, you can find it here:

Last but not least... I'm joining in on the "Spring Cleaning" challenge.  Hopefully I'll be able to turn my sewing area (our bedroom) into slightly less of a disaster!

Spring Clean Your Sewing Space

And, that should do it for now! don't you think? :D