Thursday, April 28, 2011

Simplicity Lisette 2211 skirt done!

I love this skirt.

OK, it's kind of wrinkly because Mr. Thinks He Can took me for Mexican food and I pressured him into taking a picture before the sun went down. And I chose to tuck in the shirt I had on, which was a wee bit short to be doing that, but I love this skirt. When I started sewing I was all "dresses, Dresses! DRESSES!" But I am loving the separates. I feel like I can wear a piece I have made without looking like I am completely home made. They also go together so quickly!

This skirt, Simplicity 2211, the grey one on the enevelope will be great for just about anything. I can wear it to work with a blouse or I can wear it in the summer with a tank. It looks short, but as you can see, on my short self it came out the perfect length without alterations.

Let's check out my under things...
As you can see I went with French seams, which was a first for me. I also used some bias tape from my walkaway dress to cover my seams on the zipper side. Also, the twill tape I was a bit unsure if I was to roll it under again, but I was worried the skirt would get too short/that many layers of fabric would kill my needle. As you can see it got left exposed.

My belt loops added a lot of bulk when sewing the waistline, but I think they are adorable. I also skipped the top stitching long the seams in front. I was afraid I would mess it up!

Overall thoughts: I made a size 20 in a stretch sateen. I love the skirt, but I would up taking out about an inch on each side before applying the twill tape waist line. I think I would have without the stretch as well, but the pattern overall was easy to adjust as you go along if you baste. I just ripped out a couple of seams and marked where I needed the skirt to be taken in. I think the project took about three hours total and $6. That is pretty good if you ask me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ruffle Shirt completed!

And it is glorious. I can see me making this in every color for the hot Texas summer.  I love that it is super cool to wear, but looks dressier than a tank top.
It fits well, I made the size 20. I loved that I could cut my shirt for a C cup. I feel the chest fits very well. I probably could have taken in the waist and hips a bit, but when it is 100 plus degrees I'll probably be happy it is not clinging to me.

Here is a closer view of the front. The ruffles went on quite easily. I needed to iron that crease out, but no, I wore it out to dinner like that!

I followed Heather's advice and finished the neckline with bias tape instead of the facings. I think that worked out super well and plan on doing that in the future as I will be making this again. I may even try that on the sleeves as well. Ever since I made my Walk Away dress I have had a love for bias tape.

One thing I will change in the future though is I will cut the back on the fold and skip the button. I love extra little details like that, but it pulls over just fine. Besides my hair is pretty long and it won't be seen much.

I may try making the view with the vertical ruffles next. This is my new go to shirt for sure.

So what's next?

I am making the gray skirt on the Simplicity 2211 Lisette pattern. I am making it in khaki sateen, and it seems to be coming together very nicely, and I am attempting, wait for it..... French Seams! Oooooh I'm fancy. I will update on that soon.

I may also try to make the pink shirt the model is wearing after seeing this version at Idle Fancy. Being from Houston I can relate to needing more light shirts for the summer that aren't grungy looking T-shirts.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Administrative Assistant Week!

I am lucky enough to have the best secretary in the world. She makes my life easier by setting appointments, calling people to confirm things, translating in Spanish, planning awesome parties and making the best dips ever! She serves as a therapist for me on occasion, makes sure I get fed, bosses me around when I need it and tells me all the good office gossip. This post is to remind everyone to appreciate your secretary this week.

My secretary is young and vibrant and can walk that fine line between really trendy and horribly tacky that I so often wind up falling off the wrong side of when I try new things. Another cool fact, she and I dream of opening a cake ball truck and leaving all our worries behind someday. What does this weird love letter have to do with sewing you ask?


So my secretary has been hinting around she wants an apron and knowing her tastes, she loves loud colors, animal print and super girly stuff. Of course I had to throw in some cake truck tribute as well... It kind of has a funky Betsey Johnson vibe the more that I look at it.

I found this tutorial for a ruffle apron that I really liked. It was super easy to follow.

I found all of the fabrics at Joann's for fairly cheap. I bought a yard of the pink, and two yards of the others. You can't see from the pictures, but I use the yellow as the backer for the apron where all the ruffles attach. Here is a close up of the fabrics.

I liked the apron tutorial so much I made reusable pattern pieces. The pattern only calls for four pieces which I traced on Swedish tracing paper for use later. (Christmas presents anyone?)


The project cost total about $8 and took about two hours to make...OK so make that four hours because of course everyone needs to have matching aprons with their favorite secretary!
Watch out other departments!!! Special Ed is looking fierce for our turn at the department sponsored breakfast next year...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New shirt project and short waist adjustment

I have finally begun a new project! I have had this in my stash for quite some time now.

I'm talking about Simplicity 2599, view D I have read great reviews on Pattern Review and seen some beautiful versions with satin and sheer materials. I thought before I go all out I would make a full mock up out of some pretty light pink shirting I got from for $1.98. I've decided I am not a muslin girl. I'd rather make something that I might possibly be able to wear or I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels.

The last few times I have made clothing I have had it come out a tad big. I did my measurements and sure enough I am shrinking. I've never mentioned but I have been doing Weight Watchers and have lost about 9 pounds which translated to an inch in the bust and an inch in the waist gone. Hooray! So this project I will be making a size 20.

Despite my weight loss success, my waist line has not miraculously moved south and created a perfect hour glass shape, so I started with a paper pattern try-on and found of course I need a waist adjustment.

 I drew on where my natural waistline is and as you can see it is about 1.5 inches above the waistline on the pattern. I folded the waistline mark to meet my mark and taped it all together.

 This made for a slight disconnect in the pattern lines, so I got out the handy-dandy French Curve and redrew my side cut marks.
No much of a difference, but I am glad I drew the line just to be sure. So remember, I took 1.5 inches out of the middle. I don't have the desire to bare my midriff, so I tacked on 1.5 inches on the bottom.
 I used Swedish tracing paper as the pattern extender and measured out 1.5 inches and connected the dashes.

So the shirt is cut out and just waiting for some attention. I hope to get it finished this week.

I also bought this pattern, Vogue 1241 on the suggestion and a sewing project form a friend.

We have sewn a dress together in the past and it is always fun, and convenient to have an extra set of hands and opinion around when doing a project. We were both refugees of the horrible closing of Sew Crafty, but continue to learn to sew on our own. The picture is a bit hard to tell how cute it is, but the line drawing is nice. I think it may make a nice Little Black Dress project for me. Be watching for it in the future.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to start sewing

I just read a good post on What I Wore addressing a question I get asked a lot as well. How do I start sewing? She is also doing a nice little giveaway for a starter sewing kit. I agree with her suggestions, and if you are in the Houston area I can go one further.

I learned at the now gone sewing lounge Sew Crafty. I miss it terribly, but I keep in touch with my very best teacher Jenny Gabriel. She has the patience of a saint and made every disaster I created a cute little mishap. She does private lessons and also does some very affordable and fun classes at the Hobby Lobby in Humble. If you are ever in Houston and want to learn anything, Jenny is the one to go to. She knows it all!

There is also Shawn Frisbee, also of Sew Crafty fame. I never took a class with her, but was around a lot when she was teaching. She was always having a good time and working on projects with very beginners. She offers classes still through Glitter and Glue Guns, her own site which is located in the Montrose area of Houston.

If you take a class with either of these ladies you will use the techniques they teach you over and over. They are amazing resources and a lot of fun. If you take a good class somewhere else, share the information!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Traveler Dress Update

OK, so I'm obviously not done all the way here, but I have made some serious progress. I made perfectly lined button holes...unfortunately I sewed on sloppy buttons. I have a few to redo.

Not a bad fit, not the best pose...

You can see I have about 4 buttons at the bottom that need to be redone. I overall like the fit and am glad I altered the paper pattern the way that I did before beginning. I am quite pleased with the sleeves. That was my first time making some like that and they went in fairly well. Actually the first one went in well, and the second I messed up, but I knew I could do it and stuck with it.

From behind this is not the most flattering fit, but it is very comfortable. I may make it a bit shorter as well, now that I'm looking at it.

The collar is a bit wonky. I have never done a collar before, so I may be to blame, but another review on Pattern Review also mentioned this collar leaves something to be desired. I am still deciding how to fix this.

Overall, when I wore this one out Mr. Thinks He Can was quite impressed. After seeing it through pictures that collar is not too bad. I think this is a definite winner with previously mentioned alterations. This pattern went together quite quickly as well. I'll update with a final copy and a new project soon. I have family flying in from The Netherlands over the next couple weeks, so sewing may get pushed aside. Yay family! Boo less sewing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cool article

I just read a great article on about DIY fashion blogs, and I had to share. I got some great inspiration and learned about some new blogs to follow.

I've been at a stand still on the Traveler Dress with a crazy schedule this week, but I hope to start making progress again tomorrow. I did get it cut out though...yay! I am thinking about buying some chalk to steal Heather's idea for marking darts!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Traveler Dress

This is the next project. The pattern is Simplicity 2246 part of their Lisette line. I heard this is designed by the same people that do the Oliver + S children's line. I was drawn to this pattern after seeing a dress by Tommy Hilfiger I could not find a picture of. It was a nivy and white shirt dress that fit very nicely except it was about 5 inches too short for my to feel comfortable. I like my garments to be appropriate for work as that is where I spend most of my day. I am doing version C, in the top left corner of the pattern all in this blue with small white polka dots. I got it again from the $1.98 clearance section on, so I never quite know what I'm going to get.  I also got 5 yards of it not knowing which pattern I would make, so expect to see it again. It is very blue, but I read an article online that I can't find that royal blue is new trend for Spring. That justifies it!

The pattern needed some adjusting right off that bat. My waistline is about 2 inches higher than most patterns think it should be. I shortened the pattern, bodice and back, but they looked so short visions of Steve Urkel drifted through my head so I added an inch and a half to the bottom and used a french curve to smooth it all out. Easier to see than explain...

Here is my back piece extended and roughed out.

 This is how my french curve and I came to an agreement on how to fix the now jagged side.

This was what I came up with. It curves in where my waist is but continues to curve back out. This will hopefully allow my skirt to not be right under my boobs.

And yes, I did test the fabric for my invisible marker and it worked appropriately. Lesson learned!

That was as far as I got today. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Look 6803 Dress done!

I am finally posting, but I've had it done for a couple days. Sorry I took so long. I love this dress, and I see me making a couple more for the summer as it is too hot to wear pants in Houston during the next few months.

This is the front, as you can see it has pockets which I love. If I had to do it again I may use the pockets from my Crepe dress because they are deeper.

Here is a closer view of the neckline. I am supposed to remove the basting stitches along those darts but my dang invisible marker never erased!!! I had to make them a little deeper than called for to make up for it. I've never had that happen before, so I got cocky and quit testing a small area. I learned my lesson! I still like how it turned out though.

This is where you can see how I fixed the fit. I chopped two inches off the hem and made some ties to sew into the side. My measurements lent themselves to a size 22, but I really could have gone down probably two sizes. It looked kind of like a sack. The funny thing is the combo of the side ties and pockets make me look a bit hippy which is kind of funny since my hips are pretty nonexistent. If you're going to make this dress I suggest you really cut down at least a size.

Overall thoughts: I liked working with seersucker. I was a bit hesitant because I thought it would be stretchy, but it was great. I need to test my invisible marker on I know why they say that. Also, I have had a few projects turn out really big. I would be wise to start making a muslin even for an easy dress like this.I will definitely make this again probably in a size 18. In RTW I am a solid 12 on bottom and a 14 on top with most of my girth being in my middle. Because I am shaped like a man sporting a beer belly perhaps that is why I should be more conscious about fitting before I make the real deal. I'll still wear this though.