Weekend Inspiration

October 28, 2011 at 8:00 am (regular) ()

I’ve mentioned Sew Weekly before and their Make This Look section, and I’ll probably mention in a hundred times in the future so it seems appropriate to pull inspiration from their website.  I look forward to each new Make This Look entry and I can’t wait to actually make one of them.  Also, it saves me the trouble of finding patterns to match with inspiration pieces!

This is probably my favorite right now.  No clue where I would wear it but I think it’s so pretty.  I have no experience with edging lace, overlays or working with a predetermined hem (such as border prints or scalloped lace) so I’d be able to tick off new skills if I made it.

My closet could definitely use a fun, printed blazer.  I have this pattern already and actually used a different view from it to make my Think Pink contest entry, but I don’t know if I’m interested in making the view they use here.  Although, I do like the idea of not contributing to my crazy pattern stash.  What is probably deterring me from this view is the fabric its made out of on the pattern envelope.

I love this dress.  Usually flowy skirts can look too girlie and sweet on me, so I don’t know how the combination of a flowy skirt in a flowery print would look.  It’s still one of my favorite MTLs so far.




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PR Think Pink Contest Entry – Waterfall Jacket

October 28, 2011 at 1:40 am (regular) (, , , )

Pattern Description: Misses’ faux fur, fitted & loose cut jackets sewing pattern.

Pattern Sizing:6, 8, 10, 12, 14 – I sewed View B in a 10.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes, pretty much identical except mine is pink instead of red.

Were the instructions easy to follow?I thought they were fine. For a beginner, if you follow the instructions, you’ll end up with a jacket. However, it may have just been my own error, but I wasn’t crazy about how the neckline was attached.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like that the same pattern envelope contains four completely different styles of jackets, potentially more if you vary your fabrics. The jacket also turned out exactly how I imagined it.

Like I noted earlier I wasn’t crazy about how the neckline is attached. Also, a previous reviewer noted that the jacket doesn’t drape on its own as shown on the pattern envelope. I think this will depend on the fabric you use. I used a faux microsuede and it has a tendency to lose the middle fold. I wore it for the first time today and after a while, it started to “learn” the folds I preferred.

This didn’t bother me too much but I thought it was worth noting for anyone planning on sewing this jacket in the future, and I’ve read this complaint about other Simplicity patterns. The sleeve cap has a bit of ease that isn’t easily visible from the pattern envelope. After careful inspection while writing this review, I can see it…barely. But when I bought the pattern, I didn’t and I was surprised. Again, it doesn’t bother me and I think it actually looks a kind of pretty in the pink, but I thought other sewers should know.

Fabric Used: A pink faux microsuede from Hancock’s.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No alterations.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I probably won’t sew it again because it’s distinctive and I think I’m ready to move on to trying lined jackets. I’m contemplating sewing View A. I would recommend it, though.

Conclusion: I think this is a great pattern for beginners. Especially if you’d like to add a jacket to your wardrobe but are too intimidated by other patterns.

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The Mustard Dress

October 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm (regular) (, )

Psych!  I totally had you thinking I not only finished the dress but reviewed it, didn’t I?  Also, remember when people used to say “psych!” all the time?  Yeah, let’s not bring it back.

Anyways, I titled this post The Mustard Dress because an email from Anthropologie lured me to their site where I saw this dress:

I feel validated now in making my mustard dress…which you’ll see if I ever really do finish and review it.

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Radio Silence, continued

October 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm (regular) (, , )

I still don’t have any finished projects to show, but I have made some progress.

The mustard dress, Vogue 8511, is still waiting on its hem.  Let’s not talk about it.

I stopped working on the red gabardine pencil skirt, Vogue 8363.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  The fabric shifted constantly, snagged the very first time I sewed it, unraveled like crazy and the loose fibers stuck to everything in sight.  I don’t remember how much it was, maybe $4 or 5?  Not worth it.

I knew I wanted to make multiple pencil skirts from that pattern to fill a gap in my wardrobe, so while at the fabric store picking up fabric for more versions, I decided to just start over with a new, less frustrating red fabric.  In addition to the red, I picked up an army green fabric and a grey with white pinstripes fabric.  The red skirt is so close to being done, the fit is almost spot on, however the thread and zipper I bought for the original skirt is too bright for this fabric.  I’ll have to pick up new ones tonight so I can finally finish something up.

After I realized the zipper wouldn’t work with the skirt, I put it aside and picked up the Sorbetto instead.  In my rushed tiredness, I sewed a right side to a wrong side.  At that point, I decided to call it a night.

I’m hoping to finish up the red skirt and the Sorbetto tonight because in the meantime, I’ve been creating quite the list of “to sew” projects.  Maybe later today I’ll add a list to the side of the blog so it’s easier to access than an old blog posting like the Tim Gunn list.  For now, here is one thing I had in mind:

Burdastyle's Heidi Dress

Some of the versions I saw were really cute, but there are numerous reviews about the fit being much too big.  I think if I can nail the fit on a muslin, I’d make multiple versions of this dress as well.  I already found some fabric I’d love to use for them:

Alexander Henry Fashionista Bone Bling Fabric

Alexander Henry Fashionista Guilded Ikat Fabric

Kaffee Fassett Woven Haze Stripes Cobalt Fabric

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Radio Silence

October 20, 2011 at 2:35 am (regular)

I haven’t blogged in a while mainly because there isn’t much to blog about.  Here’s why:

  • I finished the mustard dress, Vogue 8511, except for the hem.
  • While I was letting it hang over night, I decided to start Vogue 8363.
  • I put the skirt on hold because the fabric I bought for it (red poly blend gabardine) has turned out to be one of the most frustrating fabrics to work with.
  • In order to keep from throwing my sewing machine out the window, I decided to do something super simple.  I started refashioning an old men’s button down into the Colette Sorbetto.
  • And then…I got sick.

So three projects started, zero complete.  Ugh.

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Weekend Inspiration

October 15, 2011 at 3:40 am (regular) ()

I get a ridiculous amount of emails every day from retailers advertising their newest items and in store and online sales.  This isn’t the best idea for someone who has a shopping problem so I should probably unsubscribe, but lately I’ve actually been taking away some great inspiration for sewing instead.  I’m not really to the point yet where I can alter patterns to really closely match the original items so if I do ever make anything, they’ll just be very loose interpretations.

Let’s start with something inspiration for you (because I definitely can’t do it!):  Now I have no idea how to even begin recreating this but I had to start with it because I saw it in my inbox and really want it, especially in Navy, but it’s $248 and that’s almost a car payment…  Maybe I’ll submit it to the ladies over at Sew Weekly for their Make This Look section!  Which if you haven’t visited either sites, you really should.    (If it’s hard to tell from the photo, the bottom unbuttons from the top to become a skirt with a wide waistband.)

Anthropologie Crazy Expensive Button Belted Dress

Inspiration I could actually attempt:  This dress is on sale at The Outnet this weekend but they only have a size 2 in stock.  It looks like it has sold out!  But I think if you take almost any shirt dress pattern, add a seam on either side of the buttons, shorten the sleeves and make it in a fun, larger print, you could have a pretty similar dress.

Mikael Aghal Floral Print Dress, Originally $350

Bonus inspiration for a pattern and/or fabric I already own:  This paisley skirt from J.Crew almost has me convinced that I should make a pencil skirt out of the pink paisley brocade i just bought from Fabric Mart.

J. Crew Pencil Skirt in Royal Paisley, $128!

I’m not really crazy about any of the pencil skirt patterns I have.  I just want a simple pattern with a front piece, back piece and smallish waistband (just like the J.Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt).  Right now I have Simplicity 2475 which has seams down the front and back, Butterick 5566 which doesn’t have a waistband and Simplicity 2343 which either has pleats or angled seams on the front.  Who would have thought finding a pencil skirt pattern would have been so difficult?

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October 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm (regular) (, )

For the most part, I have finished my PR Think Pink Contest entry but I’m holding off on reviewing it because I haven’t decided if I want to make a few little tweaks before I really consider it done.  I’ve put it aside though to try and work my way through the stash I just acquired on Friday.  I must be one of the few people that can’t actually maintain a stash.  It really bothers me to spend money on more fabric when I already have perfectly good fabric sitting at home.  Unfortunately, most of what I received on Friday doesn’t really pair up well with any of my Tim Gunn items.  I think you see where this is going…I’m going to continue deviating from the list.

Currently, I’m working on using the “antique brass” jersey to make the longer sleeved version of Vogue 8511:

In jersey, this dress comes together really quickly.  It’s taking me a bit longer because I’ve taken too many breaks and have more than once sewn the the wrong pieces together.  Like other PR reviewers have noted, the sleeves are big.  In jersey, they’re borderline obnoxious, especially compared to the very close fitting bodice.  Today, I plan on taking in one of the sleeves to see if that’s doable without having to alter the armscye.  If not, the sleeves might have to go altogether.  That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world since I’d actually prefer to wear this with a black or dark brown cardigan.  I’m not sure the color is the best against my skin but that’s an issue for another post.  I anticipate finishing it tonight, letting it hang overnight and then hemming it tomorrow. 

Up next, I wanted to make Butterick 5559 in the red jersey but I’m worried the jersey will be too lightweight.  Again, I’m not the most experienced sewer and my knowledge of fabrics is lacking, but I thought jerseys were lightweight.  However, Butterick 5559 states it is for “moderate stretch knits only” but then suggests “ponte knits and jersey.”  Ponte knit I understand.  Are there different types of jersey?  It’s probably time I invest in a book on fabrics.

Since I really, really love this dress, I think I’m going to hold off, use the red jersey for something else and buy some ponte knit, once I feel more comfortable buying fabric again of course.

So, I’ll probably make Vogue 8685 I paired with the blue jersey in the last post, instead.

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New Fabric

October 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm (regular) (, )

My first Fabric Mart purchase arrived on Friday.  Here is what I ordered:

Three jerseys.  The “antique brass” and red pieces are more of a t-shirt type of jersey.  The blue piece has a sheen to it.

I also ordered, from left: floral, linen look jersey; lilac poplin; white with green pinstripes twill; pink paisley brocade; black with yellow stripes rainwear

I also ordered a mystery bundle and this is what I got:

From left:  some sort of pale green lace/crochet type (woven) material; navy blue mystery material; polka dot chiffon; black mystery cotton, possibly lining; light green with white pinstripes mystery (woven) material, possibly just a cotton

I actually like all of it.  I’ll probably dye the lace material black because its currently a grandma-esque pale green and perhaps even the green striped material.  I might spend some time in the fabric store next week checking out the different types of fabric in hopes of ID-ing the mystery fabrics.

Now, I know myself better than to plan, seeing as how I started this blog to make every item on the Tim Gunn Essential Wardrobe and have modified the list or deviated from it soo many times, but I planned a few things anyways.  It helped me justify buying so much.

The blue jersey is actually more of a navy blue, as shown in this picture, and was intended for Vogue 8685.  I didn’t realize it would have any sort of sheen to it so now I’m starting to question whether I still want to pair this fabric with the pattern, but for $1.99/yd ($3 total), it wouldn’t be a total loss if I didn’t like it.

I think this dress is going to look so pretty in this lilac stretch poplin. 

I’m almost done with an entry for the PR Think Pink Contest but this was actually my original plan.  I was going to use this pattern to make shorts out of the Ralph Lauren pink paisley brocade.  I bought a pair of gold brocade shorts from Banana Republic this summer and this fabric made me instantly think of them.  I still plan on making them but since I already have an entry, I might put this off.

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New Patterns

October 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm (regular) (, )

To avoid getting burnt out, I’m taking a brief hiatus from sewing until my fabric order arrives.  In the meantime, I decided to take a look at the new Vogue and Simplicity patterns to see what to add to my ever-growing pattern wish list.  Thankfully, not a single Simplicity pattern appealed to me.  Here are the Vogue’s I like:

Vogue 8778 – I really like this one but I doubt I’ll ever make it.

Vogue 8771 – This looks so easy to make and would be great for the winter in a sweater knit.  I don’t think the drawings though do the sleeves justice. 

Vogue 8765 – I have a ton of patterns picked out to make dresses for work.  They’re all starting to look alike, but if I made this one, it’d be the pencil skirt version.  Flowy dresses and skirts tend to make me look too young.

Vogue 8766 – Views D and E would also be great for work, but again, I’m sure I either have a pattern or have one on my list that looks just like them.  Maybe I’ll make View A for fun.

I’d love to add the next three to my list but I don’t think my sewing skills are quite at this level yet.

Vogue 1265

Vogue 1268

Vogue 1270

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PR Contest

October 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm (regular) (, )

My October plans have changed a bit already. I was hoping to color block the Vogue dress for the PR Contest but the only way to get three shades of pink would be to order online.  I’m too nervous to order the fabric and have either the shades or the actual fabric not work together.  JoAnn’s and Hancock Fabrics are the only fabric stores that really are accessible to me to shop in person and neither had what I was looking for.  That’s been the case for a few projects in the past and I always end up settling on something I’m not excited about but will work for the pattern.  So, this weekend, I picked a new project for the contest, found some fabric online and ended up taking advantage of Fabric Mart’s sale fabrics (and the fact that I was already paying for shipping) to stock up for future projects.  I’ll share what I ordered and what I plan to do with each when it actually arrives because I also ordered a mystery bundle and I’d rather just post about it all at once. 

(I should probably add the caveat that when I say I can’t find fabric, I mean I can’t find the fabric I have in mind, in my price range.)

Below is a little mock up of my new PR Contest idea.  I got the idea as soon as I saw the fabric because it reminded me of a pair of gold brocade shorts I bought from Banana Republic this summer.  The pattern has a couple good reviews already and I’m excited to try out the pattern before I commit to making an entire pair of pants out of it.  I was planning on pairing it with a light pink bow blouse but again, I had trouble finding exactly what I was looking for in a fabric.  I’ll probably still make a bow blouse to go with it but it most likely won’t be in pink and therefore not another entry in the contest.

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