Friday, January 23, 2015

Wardrobe Architect 2015-My core style

You would think at my age (53) I could define my style. Articulate it so clearly that there would be no misunderstandings. After struggling with some health issues that included weight gain I am just coming to terms with my new body. So there are a lot of things in a state of flux. I came across the WA project last year. I even created a note book. But that is as far as I had gotten. But I am bound and determined to get this wardrobe thing down pat. I always say I’ll start with the basics, then I’d bail. Too boring! But there are days when I regret not having a beautiful white shirt or a perfect pair of black trousers in my closet. I have a few don’ts/won’ts: trainers, puffer coats, jeans (trousers style, ok) sweat pants. And I have a few absolutes: gele(headwrap always), leopard anything, wax print anything, heels.

Inspired by Najah I'm embarking on the Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge. I’ll start with the exercises.  My style icons are/were: Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Naomi Sims, Diana Ross, DVF, Kate Beckett from Castle though I find myself drawn to Martha Rodgers' arty-eclectic style more and more. Judging from these photos, my style hasn't really changed in five years. I don't know if that is good but I think I'd like to get a little edgy. This should be an interesting journey.








Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Wearable Wadder OOP V7342

Happy New Year and all that jazz!!!
Once again Ann is hosting Jungle January. I think this is the first time in I've done an entry with time leftover to make something else.
I've had this pattern in my stash since it first came out. In 1988! I've always wanted to make it in animal print. Some sort of faux fur. But seeing it made up 27 years later leaves me feeling kind of meh. It is wearable and kinda cute; I just feel "matronly" in it. Maybe when I'm buffed and coiffed I'll feel differently. It's made from Velboa (was that around 27 years ago?)  A long time ago, I bought two yards of this print. Then in 2013 I decided I wanted to make a car coat, so I headed to Joann's with a swatch. They didn't have a perfect match, but what they had was workable. I used it in the under collar.  Maybe it's the half inch shoulder pads the pattern called for. Yes, I inserted them. I should have altered the sleeves to accommodate a smaller pad. I should have bagged the lining to save myself all of the hand stitching required. Maybe it's the seam that runs down the centre of the upper collar. The under collar is all one piece. I wanted to sew this straight out of the envelope and it took me the better part of the weekend but I was determined to complete it. Looking at the photos, I can see the collar is wonky. I assure you it's sits straight-I was in a rush to have the photos taken, but seeing her on display like this, I like they way she looks. Can't promise that I won't add to my stash this year, but I am going to keep the UFO's at bay. Complete it or toss it in 2015 that's my motto.



Friday, May 16, 2014

MMM14: McCalls 6884 & 6886

McCalls 6884 mock wrap dress. The instructions were easy to follow.
I used an ITY purchased from FM
I did a sway back adjustment and lengthened the hem by 3". The dress now ends about 1" below my knees. I used stretch lace seam binding to finish the neckline and the front edges of the skirt. The stretch lace stabilizes the neckline, so there's no gaping. The neckline passed the "bend over and face the mirror test".
McCalls 6886 is a close-fitting, pullover dresses have neckline variations, and stitched hemsAgain, the instructions were easy to follow. But I sewed this my way: with a neck binding and the sleeves sewn in flat. It was easy to construct once I figured out where I wanted to place the designs. I used an ITY I purchased from GStreet Fabrics about two years ago. You guys know about that back wall? Danger! Danger!I didn't make any alterations though I should have done a sway back adjustment. Even though the dress looks wonky on Zuki, I spent more time on design matching and placement. All of the designs are straight and flattering on the body. The neck binding is a piece I constructed to bring a bit more interest to the neck area. I sewed it first to the inside, trimmed the SA and then stitched it down to the outside. I used SAS to stabilize it as well as the sleeve and dress hems.

Yes, I am overwhelmed by wardrobe planning. I sew. A lot and yet I find I have nothing to wear. I tend to sew for the pending event. I am participating in MMM14. I haven't posted anything because I have used the past two weeks to do a closet clean out. I am wearing everything I can and deciding to toss or keep at the end of the day. The toss pile has become bigger than my closet! I need everything. Trousers, skirts, dresses! I made two pair of black trouser. One skinny leg and the other flared. Boring, I know. But need to wear something during the day. But now I'm focused on knit dresses. That seems to give me the most pleasure.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Burgundy Snakeskin Midi-B5929

Hi there. Here's one of my projects from March. I had over eight yards of this burgundy snakeskin embossed faux leather in my stash. It was given to me by my sister several years ago. I even tried to sell some of it in my Etsy store back then. No one was interested. I'm glad they weren't. Since I'm on a midi kick I decided to give Butterick 5929 a try. I did a combination of views B and C. I wanted a waistband and pockets. I glanced at the directions when it can to the pleating, but ended up setting the pleats in a manner that works for my body. Yesterday, I had a business meeting to attend. This outfit clearly expressed my style in a room full of suits.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Independent Pattern Company.

I've been a follower of  Debra Martin for quite some time. And like most busy sewnistas, she tends to disappear from the blogosphere periodically. But when she returns, it's usually with gangbusters. She's come out with her own line of patterns. Kudos to you, Debra!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Colour Blocked, Patent Leather Ostrich Leopard*

Hi! I’m back, again. The past few days have been long and exhausting and yesterday was no exception.  I was determined to get some photos taken. After a 14 hour work day, I swiped on some lipstick and roped my son into taking a few snaps. They’re not the best quality, but I’m alright with them.

Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, pullover top and dresses have seam detail. Narrow hem on necklines, and slits D. Designed for medium weight moderate stretch knits. Though I think it could be sewn with a woven, if made to the original size and you installed a zip.

Pattern Sizing: 8-16, I cut 10.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. I even wore it with purple tights and shoes. The finished length is between view C & D

Were the instructions easy to follow? Absolutely! The pattern has many tips for making all sorts of alterations, sewing the corners (I used a bit of interfacing and small stitches), etc. I used the facing pieces, but you also get instructions for using a binding.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It seemed like a comfortable, easy dress but the colour-blocking dresses it up a bit. It is *very* loose fitting. I did measure the pattern pieces to help determine which size to use. I went with my usual size but could have gone a size or two smaller.

Fabric Used: Rayon poly jersey knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Sway back adjustment. I used my French curve to give shaping to the side seams (otherwise they're straight) and the centre-back seam.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Maybe as top. Yes.
Conclusion:  I really like this dress. This is my idea of relaxed.

Since Jungle January is over, it's on to Ferocious February!
Up next is Butterick 5285

Pattern Description: 
Skirts A, B, C, D have side seam pockets, back zipper and waistband. A: front and back gathers. B: front and back pleats. C, D: front and back stitched pleats. C: contrast hem band. A, B, C, D: length is mid-knee
Leopard Mix

Patented Ostrich

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, even with my modifications.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Easy to sew. Pockets!!!

Fabric Used: The leopard is actually a mid-weight denim and the black is ostrich embossed patent leather with a faux snakeskin band inserted. Heavy weight satin for the pockets.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I used view B for both skirts. I changed the large pleats into smaller ones (about 1.5-2 pleats per each large one).I increased the initial length by three inches. There’s a 1.5 inch hem on the leopard print that brings the final hem to my knees! Even though I was using a patent leather for the other skirt, I still wanted it to be elegant.  I didn’t have enough to make it the midi length I wanted so I used the band from view C and a piece of matte faux snakeskin to make the insert. I finished the hem and waistband with red bias binding and zebra grosgrain.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I might sew it again. In a moirĂ© taffeta I have in the stash. I would definitely recommend it. This is an on trend pattern. It shouldn’t be OOP.

Conclusion: Chic and feminine and trendy. What’s not to love?

And finally, since we're Stash Busting for Someone we love. Potholders are the last thing on my mind when I go shopping. My son has asked for some over and over again and since he does quite a bit of cooking, it seems fair that I finally honour his request. I quilted two layers of batting between each of the fabrics. Trimmed the double sttiched seam twice. Turned them inside out and attached the binding and loop in one pass. He loves them!

*Sorry, this is not a new species.

Friday, February 7, 2014

M5978 Purrrrfect Sweater Set

I am not a sweater set kind of girl, but with this print, I'll make an exception.

This pattern is out of print.

Misses Cardigans & Top: Cardigans have three-quarter or full length sleeves and stitched hems; cardigan A has purchased lace trim; cardigan B has jewel stones; cardigan C has pearls; cardigan D has self-fabric appliques; sleeveless top E has narrow hem finishing at neck, armhole and lower edges.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? I glanced over them. I used quarter inch Steam A Seam around the neckline and armholes of the tank after I serged them. This makes stitching the curves lay flat with curling. I also used half inch SAS  at the hems.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There is nothing to dislike. Between my machine and serger, this was a quick sew

Fabric Used: A moderately stretchy knit purchased at Joann's a while ago.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I did not do any of the lace or gem embellishment and I'm still undecided about the buttons. If you look closely at the tank top, you'll see a bust dart.

Would you sew it again? Not sure. But I do need cardigans in my wardrobe, so I might give this a thought.