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Monday, July 14, 2014

M6073

Peace.

Good people its Monday morning!!!!!

Frivolity aside… I was a-sewing this weekend. I have wanted to make several frocks and tops for months. And I have had the time, just not the inclination. That mojo thing is tricky. My mojo has been gone for so long, that I didn’t even know that the PR website had changed! But this weekend I had an event to attend and nothing to wear (also I hadn’t done laundry) so off to the sweat shop I went.

I made good on my word and went with a true plus sized pattern in M6073. I decided to be bold (also I didn’t have the time, since I stated cutting at 8am and I had an event at 3pm) and not make a muslin. I had ample fabric to remake parts if they were too small.

I have to say… I’m not mad at how everything turned out. I was able to make this dress out of the envelope with only small tweeks. I didn’t even do a fba! That was shocking.

This dress is all black. I don’t think I ever mentioned this before, but I’m a widow. When my husband died, 11 years ago, I wore black for one full year. It was one of the things that brought me back to sewing. I needed all black clothes and I couldn’t really find exactly what I was looking for. Once I came out of Black, I stopped wearing it all together. It reminded me, literally, of a dark time in my life.

Pattern Description:
Pullover dresses A, B, C, D are above mid-knee, mid-calf or ankle length with bodice and skirt gathered into front midriff with elasticized raised waist and stitched hems; dress B has midriff; dress D has contrast bodice and front midriff.

Pattern Sizing:
18W-24W. I went with the 24W according to the finished measurements

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty much. Like a lot of the reviews, the binding was stupid and if I make this dress again I won’t do it that way again.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Liked: I liked that it fit my J-cup boobs without a FBA and I don’t look scandalous. I like that it is a maxi dress.
Dislike: the binding directions, I didn’t like the midriff piece. And the directions were murky on this. The pattern said cut 2 but you only used 1? Was I supposed to interface one because I didn’t? I used them both. My rationale was it would provide a little stability (plus it was already cut). Just using 1 piece was asking a lot from my fabric. And if I was going to make it a contrasting color, it would look funny with just the midriff in the front.

Fabric Used:
This fabric was NOT cotton. I buy a lot of fabric from a mom-and-pop store. I have explained to them, how I need to only have cotton touch my skin for various reasons… They ASSURED me that this fabric was cotton. The lighting is bad in that store. And I took their word for it. (It wasn’t written on the bolt) Did a burn test. This is CLEARLY some type of polyester knit. BUT….. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Thankfully I’m just hot and not itchy yet. Hot polyester will make you smell like a fat girl….

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I shortened the long version by 2” and it is still really long. I have to wear 2” heels or the skirt drags the floor. I may shorten it even further. I want to wear it with flats but I don’t want my shoes to show. I didn’t gather the shoulders. I was going to, after the fact… but I like how it looked without. No worries about my bra showing. (I know you can see my bra in this pic… that’s because I washed clothes late last night and didn’t have a black bra that was dry. The white bra is my 1 emergency bra, otherwise I only wear dark colored bras)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely. I plan to wear maxi-dresses until I die. Seriously. It is in line with my Culture and they’re comfortable, so why not. This is a TNT maxi-dress pattern. I can see me adding sleeves to this for a cold weather version.

Conclusion:
I guess Plus sized patterns work better with my body. I can admit that. But the selection is wanting. So I will probably be making Misses sized patterns still, but the plus sized ones will be my go to’s. This dress seems slimming….. I don’t know if that’s me or the black….. Anywho, I love it!


Peace

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The frustration of V8469


Peace.

This is the dress I was alluding to yesterday in my post. This is the fabric I bought from fabric mart. I do love the print and pique is the perfect material for a summer dress.

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago… I take great care in making sure that when I go to work, I look good. I do way more planning and give way more thought to what I wear than the average person. I know I’m a big girl with restriction. I strive to never look sloppy, dowdy or old; yet I strive to stay age appropriate. And where do I go? Work and then home. I’m a slob or a nudist at home. So why do I do I make the effort? I have a bunch of clothes. So much in fact that I only do laundry once per month. And I don’t repeat. Sewing is a hobby, but I need to find a place to wear my clothes other than work. That is a mid year resolution. To get a life.

This dress in particular, I made at least 3 times when you include the muslins. My boobs rejected the pattern for this dress. So many adjustments were made… I feel some kind of way about non-plus sized dresses. I know it’s silly to have hurt feelings over a pattern, but its how I feel. I’m a bit sensitive now because I have had some mean girls enter my life during a hormone imbalance. I have yet to steady myself. Don’t worry, it’s coming.

But let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?

Pattern Description:
MISSES’ DRESS: Semi-fitted dresses have lined bodice, midriffs, back zipper closures and topstitching details. A: mid-knee length and cap sleeves with elastic casing. B: 6" above ankle length, sleeveless.

I’m short. I cut the shorter version and it made it passed my knees. I also made the sleeved version. I read somewhere that the buxom should never go sleeveless because it makes the girls look bigger. It gives pause for thought.

Pattern Sizing:
Not sure if I bought this pattern or won it as a giveaway. Either way, I cut a 20

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Not sure. I had the directions out… but I only used them when things got murky. I used them for the sleeve and placement of midband. But the midband called for it to be lined and interfaced. For the life of me I can’t think why you’d need to do that. But I did it. I still don’t get why. It offers a stability at the waist that I don’t think I need. It has ties so that will punctuate the waist. And I used the same fabric all the way through so you ca n’t truly distinguish the waist like that. I used an invisible zipper. I don’t that I like them better than the other plastic color matched zippers. I don’t know what you call them. I do know the God did not know how work the zipper. And he needs too since it’s a back zip. I realize men don’t have a lot of zippers in their lives. Hmmm….

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the dress on the envelope and the way it looked on other people. But it is truly made for the small busted. The 1st muslin made us both laugh. It cut my boobs off close to the top.

Fabric Used:
Printed cotton pique with 1 way stretch

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Are you ready? I added an overall 8” to the width of the bodice. That made me feel some type of way. I also needed to add 5” to the length of the bodice. More hurt feelings. This is my question…. I didn’t alter the neckline at all. But I have noticed when I make FBAs I always have to fumble with the shoulder because the neck is too open. Open to the point that my bra shows. Why is that? I even adjusted the back dart!

Would you sew it again?
I knew I was going to review it, so I asked myself that question as I put it back into the box….. Doubtful. I think it’s a pretty dress but I won’t make it again at least for a few years. It only has summer options and I don’t need a bunch of these.

Conclusion:
I’m 86% satisfied with the dress. I put in a lot of effort, I like it, it fits, and I refuse to let the fabric go to waste. But I think I still have to tinker with it before it becomes a favorite. I do really love the fabric. I think I will take out the interfacing and lining at the mid band, fiddle with the shoulders some more and move the zipper from the back to the side so I can zip it up unassisted. But there are ties at the side. That may interfere with zipper placement and use. We shall see. If I can get it perfect it will be great for fancy summer outings.


Peace

Monday, June 2, 2014

What do you call Non-Plus sized patterns?

Peace!

My mojo has been back for some time, but I haven’t been able to translate it to garments. I have some new stuff to report…

1. I got a new sewing machine! The God bought me a new Brother sewing/Embroidery machine. I had NO IDEA that you had to get so much stuff to even start embroidering. The software is like $150! ***sigh*** The thread… the needles… the interfacing… the adhesive… Argh!!! She will be my back up machine because she embroiders AND sews. Kiki is 30+ years old. But she purrs like a kitten…. For now…


2. I broke my cherry and finally bought fabric online. I’m not sure if I like the experience. I like to touch and feel fabric to make my decisions. But I get that not everyone has access to fabric stores and this might be the only way folks can get at stylish fabric. They did have Kelly green lace… But I didn’t really care for it. I thought the shipping and handling was excessive. I bought more than I intended so I could get free shipping. No point in paying the same money for less fabric. All the fabric came separately. I don’t know what that was about. Even a zipper came late. When I buy… I want it right then and there because I’m inspired. To have to wait, kills the inspiration for me. I only buy anything online when I can’t find it brick and mortar. Also, this kind of purchase doesn’t work for my sewing philosophy. I don’t stash fabric. When I buy it, I sew it. I stash patterns. My inspiration comes from a pattern and not the fabric. I’m not going to say I’ll never do it again, but it won’t be a regular thing. For what I bought, I know I could have found the same at Gayle K’s and paid about the same and had it with me right after purchase.

3. My last garment was V8469. It is not a plus sized pattern. I had to jump through all kinds of hoops with the pattern to get it to fit. I made 2 different muslins. And even though I’m satisfied with the garment and am wearing it right this moment as I type this…. I’m only 86% satisfied. I’m going to wear the dress because (a) I made it (b) because the fabric was too expensive for me to not wear it (c) I put a lot of effort into the dress and (d) it actually fits so…… BUT…. It’s time to explore plus sized patterns more.

I have many patterns but only a few plus sized ones. I don’t like how dowdy they look. But I probably won’t have to make the same adjustments to them that I do the non plus sized patterns. The girls are J cups… I will always have to do a FBA but I’m thinking maybe I’ll be more satisfied with the garment at the end of construction. I’m plus sized. I’m okay with that. But it’s a requirement that I be fly everyday I walk out my door. And flyness has a lot to do with how I feel in my own clothes.

I have recently purchased some plus sized patterns. Time to see if that makes a difference because if it doesn’t the next thing to do is learn how to draft my own patterns. And I think I will investigate slopers…..


Peace!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Last night a Muslin saved my life....


Peace.

This is a difficult time for me. It is not summer, but not winter anymore. It’s really cold and then it’s really hot. It’s crazy. All this week the temps have been in the 80’s, but next week the highs will be in the 60’s. That means possibly freezing low temps.I keep saying I want a seasonless wardrobe, but that hasn’t materialized. I think that is a hard thing to accomplish if your region experiences more than 1 season.

I’m still old school with my clothes. I have summer clothes right now in the trunks and winter clothes in the closet (though sweaters are on the floor). April and October are the swap months but it will be potentially too cold for all summer clothes to be the only thing in the closet. What is a girl to do?

She makes the clothes she needs! Meet New Look 6025!


This is supposed to be an easy pattern. And it is… if it fits you right out of the bag. This one did not fit me right out of the bag. It took only 20 minutes to cut and sew up the muslin. In order to make the patter fit me, it required adjustments. Thank goodness I did a muslin! Normally I wouldn’t, but I have lost some weight recently… thank you… and wasn’t sure what size to cut. That is the only reason I did a muslin. This is a tunic. It is SUPPOSED to be loose fitting.

This pattern, right out of the package, smooshed my boobs 3 inches! How disrespectful! I was salty... and sausage looking. The way this pattern is made (Essentially 2 pieces) I was confused on how to do a FBA since it would involve the sleeve. the internet wasn't truly helpful. I liked how it was sitting on my neck and I didn’t want to change that at all. But we don’t always get what we want. The neck got bigger but not in an obscene way. It just didn’t fall exactly the way I wanted.

Pattern Description:
New Look 6025. Misses top or tunic with sleeve variations and tie belt.

Pattern Sizing:
8-18 I cut an 18…..

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t use them

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I was expecting more boob room. I like wide neck lines that stay on my shoulder and this fit the bill

Fabric Used:
A woven cotton

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a jackleg FBA with a breast dart. It came out decent but I’m not super satisfied. Had I paid a lot for this fabric I would be angry. I would appreciate some direction on how to do a proper FBA on this type of pattern

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I had plans to, but I’m not so sure. I think if I was going to use a knit then everything would be fine.

Conclusion:
I’ll wear the shirt… this year


Look at my shoes I snagged for $7! These are not wear to work shoes. I hadn’t realized that when I put them on. They are going out shoes. The heels are too high for me to be on my feet half the day. Sigh….. I remember when heel height was NEVER a deterrent for me. I’d wear stilettos to Walmart and church picnics! But those days have passed. I have transformed from stiletto girl to middle aged pump woman. It happens….

Peace

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Inspiration.....

Peace!!!

I know I have been doing crickets over here, but there is nothing to share… really. Every time I went to my closet, I was fighting to close the door or the drawers. I haven’t added anything new to my wardrobe in a minute. But that is a changing…. Spring is here!!!! And spring clothes take up less space than sweaters!

I have made plans…. But I won’t share them. I get bummed out when I don’t complete them for whatever reason. Sewing is supposed to be fun and relaxing and having to keep my word to make xyz or feel like a loser, is the antithesis of fun.

The only things I have made… and it wasn’t really making… were 2 crop tops. I didn’t really make them as I just bought 2 $4 t-shirts from Wal-mart and shortened them. It was way cheaper than buying fabric, patterns and thread and such. BUT… I did learn how to use a twin needle! And on my 30 year old machine!!! The edges of the shirts look real professional….

Every year I buy a piece of jewelry that serves as my inspiration for what I sew for the spring/summer season. Isn’t that what summer is about? Skin and pretty jewelry? For the last few years I have been wanting to do something with the theme of “…ocean…” I like the idea of water in all it’s colors. So… that is what these pieces exemplify. Most of the fabric I have purchased has watery undertones.

So….? What do you think about my inspiration?



Peace

PS: The lipstick is that new spring pinky pink. I have been trying to make it work on my skin tone. The God said it doesn’t look natural… I’m thinking he doesn’t Understand how makeup works.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

V8408

Peace.

I almost didn’t post this… Damn this pic is unflattering. I look like an old fat woman. But I’m smiling (told you I could do it) at my spoiled cat. My photographer really needs to stand when he takes my pic. It makes a big difference. And I know it’s the dress….. And that is what you are suppose to think as well.

I won this pattern from a giveaway a few months ago. It’s OOP. But there are other patterns that are similar. I haven’t really been sewing a lot these days. I started taking classes to become a midwife. It is very distracting… And once I become a practicing midwife, my need for non-uniform clothes will go way down. So I haven’t been making a lot of clothes. Also, its winter and I hate winter clothes. I have excema and the cold, the artificial heat and the layers required to keep warm all exacerbate my condition. It’s bad every year somewhere…..

So behold my Christmas dress. To be worn to work on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas day. And no, I don’t celebrate xmas, but I will go to Mommie’s house and hang out with the peeps. This is really funny… I’m an AKA. We are taught to dislike and not wear red. I don’t wear red. This is the only red dress I own! I decided to break out of my pattern.

Shall we?

Pattern Description:
Princess Seam dress with attractive neck drape. I made it with sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a 24 but it was really very loose on me. I probably could leave it 24 on the top and grade down to a 20 everywhere else

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were. I had no problems. It was a bit murky with regard to the collar but not so bad

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the style of this dress. I have come to learn that when using a pattern with bells and whistles, use a solid color. Plain patterns can handle fancier prints.

Fabric Used:
Ponte knit! I really love this stuff. It is the knit that I will want to use over and over.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

My biggest concern was whether the pattern was long enough to cover my knees. I’m righteous and display 3/4ths. I really would have preferred that this dress be a midi. But the reviews I read said nothing about lengthening this dress for it to be at least passed the knee. One particular blogger who reviewed the pattern had said in passing that she was my height and she didn’t mention needing to lengthen the dress so I figured a little length would work. (I know I needed to do a muslin, but I had no time….) So I added an inch to the length of the pattern. I knew that my boobs and hips would cause it ride up a bit. The thing is… I lengthened the dress 2” but when it came time to hem it, I needed to cut off about an inch to make it even. SMH… I can’t win. So it comes to about my knee. And I HATE my knees.

Would you sew it again?

Would you recommend it to others? I would. Next time, I would like to use black ponte knit and I will do the sleeveless version and it will be a LOT longer. That will be my LBD

My new years sewing resolution is to follow the pattern recommendations on the back of the envelope!


Whatever holiday you celebrate make sure it’s a safe one.



Peace

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Peace!

It’s Halloween!!!! I’m excited. It is one of my favorite holidays and I treat it just like a holiday. BUT…. This year I didn’t make myself a costume. I know…. The neighborhood I live in doesn’t see any trick-or-treaters and my boss pissed me off so I decided not to dress while at work anymore…. (hopefully this is my last Halloween at this job). But the God needed a costume for his job’s celebration. So that’s where my machine worked this year.

Meet my Shaolin Monk….


Isn’t he a cutie pie? That is his tortured happy smile. Neither of us know how to smile for pictures. The costume was his idea. I wanted to do Despicable me and he be Gru and I could be a minion. But…. He is a big martial arts buff. He actually practiced some version of it because he had the pants and boots. He made me watch some movie so I could see the outfits in action. I fell asleep and he paused it until I woke up. It was something about 36 chambers of something. IDK…

Here is the inspiration...


This costume was ridiculously easy to make. Simplicity 5152. I got this at a thrift store for like a dime. It was already cut to a medium. And I had already made the 7 a tunic from this pattern before so I knew we were good.


Changes I made included opening the sleeve to make it wide at the end and adding 10” to the length. The 7 has freakishly long arms but he wanted it to be open like that. I added 22” to length of the garment but kept the side splits at 16” from the sleeve. I didn’t add the front or neck facings. I wasn’t sure I had enough fabric to do that. I just cut both pieces on the fold and added a collar an inch thick. I changed the front a bit to. It called for a deeper opening than he wanted.

I used a yellow linen looking fabric that was in my stash. I intended to make a dress from the fabric. But…. Yellow on darkskinned people is a bit off putting. I know. I’m working through that. It was easy to work with and it has some stretch to it. The red scarf is 3 yards of uncut red cotton. He was supposed to draw lines on it like were in the movie but he chickened out last minute. I’m not sure if you can see it but on his legs there are like these white cuffs? It was part of the uniform and I have no clue what they are for. A yard of fabric cut in half with about and inch folded over and a bootleg drawstring. By bootleg, I crocheted a strand and ran it through. It’s dark and no one will be able to see it. And I even strung those beads.

When making costumes…. I don’t put a lot of thought into finishing or making sure seams are secure. Especially if it’s loose. My personal requirements are that everything is neat and doesn’t explode at some odd moment. It’s going to be worn 1 day and forgotten afterward. I put a bit more effort into this garment because the people who see this may become potential clients. So…..

All in all he’s thrilled. He claims that this is going to be his costume for all his costume needs for years to come. Now I wish I had finished better. LOL. there is always next year. And I am happy that I could play a role in seeing him so happy


Peace