Recent Purchases

November 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm (regular) (, )

On Sunday, I stopped by Joann’s to take advantage of their Simplicity pattern sale and the 25% off Friends and Family coupon.  I actually had at least 10 patterns picked out but I think it was the night before that I flipped through the Burda previews and decided on subscribing.  That made me lose a lot of interest in most of the patterns.  I ended up with four patterns, and fabric for one of them.  I spent entirely too long trying to find a photo of the fabric on Joann’s website so I’ll just wait to show it when the dress is done.

I know this dress is very summery but I bought it to make the jacket now and the dress later.  I visit my parents in Florida for the holidays so if I get around to it, I actually wouldn’t mind making the dress for that trip.

I have View A with the wrap waiting to be cut out of the new fabric.  I’m making it without sleeves so I can also bring this to Florida or throw a jacket or cardigan over it for work.

I passed over this pattern multiple times until I saw it used on one of Sew Weekly’s Make This Look posts.  I think Simplicity’s photo stylings make this dress look very girly, too girly for me at least.  I had a dark purple cotton fabric in my cart that I think would help avoid that but I put it back at the last minute.  I already have a bit of a stash accumulated from my Fabric Mart purchase and I just can’t stand to have that much fabric sitting unused.  I think I must be one of the few people that sew that also can’t maintain a stash.  That might be a topic for another day.

I read through a lot of Gertie’s Lady Grey Sew Along and got inspired to make my own winter coat.  There are a lot of things I’d like to make first before I consume my time with such a project, but I bought this pattern because I like the style and to have instructions to read through.  For a dollar, I figured it couldn’t hurt…although the fact that it’s a Project Runway pattern doesn’t make it the easiest instructions to read through.


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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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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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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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October Plans

September 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm (regular) ()

I rearranged my Tim Gunn list yet again, this time to match up with the October PR contest and a Colette Pattern sew along.  Here is what I have planned for the coming month:

#3. Vogue 8685 in pink for the PR Think Pink contest.  It will also count as my day dress.

#4. Colette Patterns Clover or McCall’s 6440.  Colette Patterns is having a sew along for their Clover pattern starting October 4th.  Since this is my first time makings pants, I’d really like to participate.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to get the pattern in time so the McCall’s pattern is my backup. 

#5.  Butterick 5562 and McCall’s 6404.  The inspiration for this outfit is from a Foley + Corinna sweater:

#5. McCall’s 6436 This pattern looks almost identical to the famous Equipment Signature Blouse.  I’ve also wanted a loose, silky blouse for a while.  Though, this will be the first button down shirt I’ve ever attempted so I’ll probably use a more stable fabric and/or different pattern when the times comes.

Does anyone else make sewing plans?  If so, what are you going to be working on in October?

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The Jeans Dilemma

September 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm (regular) ()

I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I want to sew a pair of jeans.  Because I overanalyze everything, here’s what I’ve been thinking:

  1. None of the jeans patterns really jump out at me.  For pretty much every item on the Tim Gunn list I’ve found a pattern that I just have to make, and in most cases, I found multiple.
  2. I would probably never wear jeans I made myself thinking the look and quality were sub par to the jeans I have in my closet. 
  3. I already own entirely too many jeans.
  4. I have very few casual pants that aren’t jeans. 

So, the only reason I’d be making jeans would be to say I actually made jeans (and I guess to not deviate from the list?) and honestly, I have no problem leaving the jeans making to the professionals. 

I’d really much rather sew a pair of casual pants like the J.Crew Minnies.  While looking for patterns, I stumbled upon the Collette Pattern’s Clover cigarette pants.  It’s exactly what I’m looking for and conveniently, they are having a Clover Sew Along starting October 4th.  So, while jeans are actually towards the end of my “to do” list, I think I’ll bump up these pants and join in.  I’ve never made pants before and fit is incredibly important when it comes to pants like these so I think there’s no better way to take a first stab at them than during a sew along.

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Next Project

September 18, 2011 at 6:38 pm (regular) ()

I’m not quite finished with the pencil skirt but I don’t have the next couple projects picked out.  I thought I’d keep track of some of my options here. 

2. Sweatsuit Alternatives:

McCall’s 6173 Leggings

Simplicity 2016 Knit Pants

Butterick 5247 Tunic

Simplicity 2369 Knit Top and Pants

3. Any Occasion Top:

Butterick 5495 Knit Top

McCall’s 6288 Knit Top

Simplicity 2369 Knit Top

4. Day Dress:

Simplicity 2369 Knit Top

5. Basic Black Dress:

McCall’s 6319

Vogue 1250 

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New Blog

September 17, 2011 at 1:52 am (regular) (, )

I’ve been an on again off again “beginner” for too long.  After reading a lot of advice for beginning sewers, I decided to start over.  I’m going to join the PR Tim Gunn Sew Along (almost a year late) and work my way from the least challenging pieces to the most challenging.  Below is a list of pieces Tim Gunn finds essential to every woman’s wardrobe in the order I (tentatively) plan on making them.  I’ll keep it updated with the patterns I choose to make for each piece as well as a link to the finished products.  Wish me luck!

  1. Skirt – Simplicity 2343 (Pencil Skirt)
  2. Any Occasion Top – Butterick 5495 (Knit Top) 
  3. Day Dress – Vogue 8685
  4. Jeans Day Pants – Colette Patterns Clover or McCall’s 6440
  5. Sweatsuit Alternative – Butterick 5562 (Knit Top) and McCall’s 6404 (Leggings)
  6. Classic Shirt – McCall’s 6436
  7. Basic Black Dress
  8. Bonus trendy item – Burda 7536 (Jumpsuit)
  9. Dress Pants
  10. Jacket
  11. Trench Coat – McCall’s 5525

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