Monday, May 2, 2016
Posted by Penelope White at 4:52 PM
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
I haven't been sewing... more on that later. But the last thing I have sewn was this.....
One of my dear friends is adopting a child. I wanted to make her a baby quilt. Baby quilts are all I have the patience for. Anything else will cause me to quit right in the middle of the job. I have a larger baby quilt on the UFO pile that I made for one of my line sisters... 2 years ago! I put her son's name on it and everything. That's what happens when quilts get too big on me. I don't enjoy the process. I plan to finish the UFO.... if I can find it... and pick the name out of it. Whoever has the next baby is going to get that quilt!
Posted by Penelope White at 11:19 AM
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
I hate winter. I'm okay with fall and spring. And I adore the summer. But I sincerely hate the winter. I hate being cold. I hear people say they can get warm if they get cold but they can't get cool after being super hot. I am the frank opposite. Once cold... I'm cold for hours. I'm not saying I don't warm up. I'm saying it takes awhile. Maybe it's because I'm severely iron deficient. And try as I might, I can't seem to come out of the anemia. I have been on IV iron and it just doesn't take.
I moved to GA for a number of reasons. But my main PERSONAL reason was because I wanted to live somewhere warm. And I WAS warm for the 1st 10 years. But my blood acclimated and I'm back to being cold again. This is the pits. Luckily GA is only truly cold about 2-3 months. Then we warm up again.
Since I hate winter; I hate winter clothes. And closed toed shoes are the worst! I like my feet to breathe! I have been struggling to find a pair of shoes. I wear a 10.5. Those are few and far between. 11 are too big, 10 too small. these feet have the unmitigated gall to be narrow! My feet are hurting right now. I will be miserable until... say.... April. So just know that.
Anywho..... I have decided on this January 5th... that I am going to begin to sew my summer clothes. I may not be able to wear them, but I can dream..... So when you see some weather inappropriate posts... don't call the looney bin on me. It's me getting ready for the season I prefer the most!
Posted by Penelope White at 3:33 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
It's my bornday y'all! And you know what that means. It means I had to send out search party for my mojo (I think it was in the witness protection program) and make me a brand new garment to celebrate!
Since I last Built with y'all, The God and I decided to get married. Getting legally married is not something that is common within the 5% Culture. Our righteous compadres have been looking at us side ways. But it's fine. They always look at us like that. We don't fit the standard mold for God and Earth. One of many reasons we got hitched is because we are striving to purchase a house! We thought we had one. But the inspection came back scary, so we passed. But we loved the house so much initially, that we started packing. I had packed up my sewing room. I had to unpack it some to make this garment.
This is not what I initially intended for my birthday suit. I wanted to make a cream corduroy skirt and a black knit top. But for some reason I couldn't find the pattern for either. (Found the top pattern after I was done making this one) So as I was going through the Air Jordan boxes that I keep my patterns in I came across S1276 and thought, why not? Now that I have a stash.... I went to see what could work.
Out of the big 4, simplicity is my least favorite. I get more wadders from Simplicity than any other pattern. If I'm using Simplicity I allow extra time just in case I need to sew something else or buy something. This is not my 1st attempt at making this particular brand of simplicity pattern. I made a capsule wardrobe for a friend using S1167. These patterns work for some folks. I don't think they really work for me. I wanted to be supportive. When I made S1167 it was a lot of confusion. The tutorial didn't help. The instructions were hazy and at some points contradicted the tutorial.... Just a bad time. I don't' know if my friend even liked her capsule. We've not discussed it. So with MUCH hesitation I went on and made S1276.
I don't hate the dress. I don't think color blocking works for me. I've tried it a few times and never like the result. Even this simple Black and white combo. I was worried about the light band across the middle. And I was right. Whatever. I don't' mind the top and the “peek-a-boo.” You can't see it. If I make this in the future (because I don't discard patterns unless they piss me off) I won't make it with a band. Just solid all the way down.
I didn't make many changes. I made it out of knit so there is no zipper, nor did I interface the neck facings. I need to be able to get it over my head. To keep the facing down I tacked it. But you can't really see the tacks unless you were looking for them. the directions were really vague about what pieces to cut out. My suggestion if you decide to make the peek-a-boo version is instead of cutting a front facing, cut a second front piece and use the entire piece as a facing.
I used ponte knit. I love this stuff! I have finally been convicted after 30+ years of sewing that the good fabric, sews better. No pulling, no getting stuck in the machine, stitches stay in and it's just a pleasure to work with. I've heard that before, but I finally believe it. I never wanted to PAY for the good fabric. But you get what you pay for. I realized at the end of construction that I wasn't even using the correct needle. But even still, everything went smoothly.
From the completed pics of other folks work, I noticed that the waist was elongated. So with my breasts, I didn't think I needed to add the 3 inches that I normally would. I guessed correctly. This white band hits at my waist. I'm not sure I like that. No. I don't like it at all. But it is what it is.
I added 2” to the skirt. I really need for my clothes to pass my knees. If I take that big band out then the skirt will be too short. I might replace the band with just a black one. But I don't' really want to putz with the dress.
I'm still mourning. But 6 months will be officially over on 11/12. I'll transition into wearing brighter colors. Hopefully, if I feel up to it, I can be festive around the holidays. It will be my first holiday EVER without my brother. My brother always called me at 12:01 on my birthday to be the 1st to wish me a good day. I hate to say this.... because last time I said this I ended up needing it for that purpose... but this dress will serve as a winter mourning dress. I hope I don't have to use it.
Posted by Penelope White at 11:18 AM
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
This pattern is from the 1993. Clearly it's out of print. (I refuse to use the acronym for out of print... because I'm an AKA) That means it's vintage!!!!! I can't. Nope. I ain't ready! According to the interwebs... anything over 20 years is vintage. Damn.
I got this pattern in a mystery bag. This now defunct mom-pop shop used to sell like 10 patterns and odd notions in a mystery bag for a $1. Every time I'd buy some fabric from them (And I went like once/week) I'd buy a mystery bag or 2. Why not? I was always more curious than anything what was in the bag. There were a lot of baby clothes, doll clothes, bags and stuff that I don't wear. The sizes were super small too. But it was a dollar mystery bag. What do you expect? Some of the patterns I gave away to people who CLAIM they want to learn to sew but really just like the idea of sewing rather than the practice. But occasionally they had something in the bag for me. Usually 2 of the 10 patterns I could use. That's worth a dollar, right?
I sooooo remember the young woman I was in the 90's. I turned 21 on a Sunday in college in SC. LOL! Was super mad I couldn't buy alcohol on my birthday. My friends all came through with bottles for me to drink legally from. I had a drink from every bottle that came in the door that day and even went to an underground speakeasy. I was so hungover that Monday. I graduated college (92) ready to take on the world. I attended dental school until 96 graduation. Got married in 98. A cool wild ride of a decade. First (legal) drink to 1st car to doctorate to wife!
I remember how I looked too... It used to scandalize my mother. I did “Black-Girl-Grunge.” Grunge was a 90's thing but you know Black people do style their own way.... I had Janet Jackson/Patra Poetic Justice braids. Actually. I wore my hair braided/cornrowed all while in dental school. Black hair takes a lot of time. I needed that time to sleep, eat, study and party. I wore the dark lipstick and also that green stuff that changes color... the baby doll dresses.... the Dr. Martens.... My mother used to tell me that I didn't look like a woman.
My favorite go-to go-out outfit was a thrift store man's suit that fit my bottom and closed in the front. (I've always had large breasts. And that is ALWAYS a big concern for me) I cut the pants into shorts took them in in the waist and put a professional looking cuff on them. I rolled up the sleeves of the jacket and actually tailor tacked them down so they would stay like that but not look altered. I wore this suit to every party! Either in pieces or all together. I changed out the top, hose and shoes. I had a kente cloth sleeveless tank with a pussy bow... I had that peasant white top with the big lapel that makes you look like a painter... Some times I wore the blazer with no top at all. I used to rock tall boots with platforms... another with stiletto heels. (my mother used to rock tall boots in the 70's and she used to keep them in her closet. She couldn't war them anymore, but wouldn't let me have them. So I'd steal the boots and leave the boxes)When I wore the suit with my DMs, I'd get that thick granny hosiery and tear big holes in it. My mother would have a hissy fit watching me get dressed. But she'd laugh it off. I promise you I had more fun than was allowed. That's why I'm not a 40-some woman not lamenting my lost youth. I just wish I had the energy to party all night and still be able to work or go to class then next morning. Now I gotta got to sleep before 10 or I'm no good for work the next day. I did what young people are supposed to do.
My goal with this dress was to have something black to wear on the weekend that wasn't super clingy. My fibroid is growing and becoming super noticeable. At first I was gonna make M6559 but that seemed more form fitting than I was wanting. I made M6559 a few years ago and I liked it.... but I just wasn't feeling it for this summer. I also wanted to have a high-low dress. Vanity, forced me to google high-low to see if it was still a thing. When you sew for yourself, you tend lose trends. That lends to looking homemade. High-low shirt is still hanging on... but by a thread. But High-low tops are trending. I decided to high-low the dress and leave the front a midi thereby making the trend current!
The fabric was a remnant that I got at Fine Fabric for $1.99. I assumed that it wasn't long and had planned to make a top out of it. Imagine my surprise when I unrolled it. It was enough to make this dress and plenty of fabric left for a headwrap that I don't need because I have a lot of black knit headwraps. FF just keeps on surprising me. I hope they never do anything to turn me off.
B4545... loose fitting tunic/dress/separates. I made the "E" version pictured in the green dress
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope?:
Sort of. I made a few changes
Were the instructions easy to follow?:
How long did it take from start to finish?:
Several days. For some reason, I just didn't finish it. IDK why. I'd sew a seam and something would catch my attention. And I'd be gone for a few days. Then I'd come back and do something else and then get distracted. I did run out of black thread. That took a few days to correct. I think the dress was TOO easy and just didn't keep my attention.
What did you like/dislike about the pattern?
I dislike that the 90's is considered vintage.....
soft Black knit so sweet I keep feeling myself
Pattern alterations or design changes made?:
I made a lot...
1. Instead of cutting the pattern pieces all separate and having a seam running up the front and back.... I just cut it in 2 pieces
2. the pattern comes with a facing... that I decided to not use
3. Since I didn't use the facing I needed to add on something around the collar and armscye
4. and I made it a high-low
Would you sew it again?:
YES! If I like a pattern, I will sew it about 3 times then retire it.
Would you recommend it to others?:
If you can find it
I'm old. I planned to wear this dress only on the weekend, but I find myself wearing it belted to work. Belting it makes it a bit high. But not belting it makes me look a bit pregnant. I wish I still had my Dr. Martens....
I have been making some other garments. If I blogged them before I don't see the reason to reblog it. Like I said earlier, 3 garments from 1 pattern is enough for me (unless it's a TNT basic). I'd planned to make 4 more black dresses for the summer. I probably won't. My eyes have turned toward the fall and when that happens I lose interest in summer clothes. That happens in the spring too. I'll be in mourning at least until Thanksgiving, probably until the end of the year. I bought some things from the thrift store. A few tops... a skirt. A bathing suit for parts. All Black. My boss asked me how long I was going to publicly mourn. I told him. He told me 2 things. (a) It was a nice and fitting tribute to my brother (He lost his sister recently) and (b) I'm really making it look good. I appreciate that....
Posted by Penelope White at 10:12 AM
Thursday, July 16, 2015
I'm not a designer. I'm good with that. I make clothes either from patterns or from something that I see. I give it up for creative people who create trends and lines and so forth. Because designers have it hard...
Collections used to be just Fall and Spring. Now you have Pre-fall and resort in addition to the fall and spring lines. That isht is cray cray. Is there no down time? Well if not, oh well... They are compensated well for their time....
It's July.... My thoughts start drifting FROM summer clothes (though it will be very warm here until October) TO the fall clothes. Here in GA I can wear my summer frocks longer than I could when I lived in NJ. But I don't really need snow clothes. I'm also a big girl and I need for folks to know and understand that big girls can be fly, fashionable and non-sloppy. I actually crack up when I'm around standard sized girls dressed busted. The look at me with shock and awe. And when they open their mouths to say something crude, I ask... “Have you EVER seen me busted?” So to be extra fine... I peruse the fashion runway shows to decide what I'm going to make. An aside: When other Earths try to qualify how I'm dressed by saying the only reason I look good is because I make my own clothes... I remind them that 14:14 says that they should be proficient in sewing just like I do.
Pre-fall is perfection for the weather we get here in GA. I suppose this post is more of a record keeper of what I plan to sew/buy for fall...
You're gonna have to click on the image to see it. I can't seem to get it small...
I like this look from DVF. DVF is one of my favorite designers because her stuff is timeless. This her standard wrap dress. I like the boots. I need new boots. I had to toss my black boots and I tossed the brown boots 2 years ago. I'm not going to feel guilty when I buy boots this year. I don't like the extra flourish at the wrist of the sleeve, though. If I was to buy this dress, I would remove the flourish
I love Donna Karan too. She makes age appropriate clothes for grown women. All the models are wearing Flatform shoes. I have a pair and kinda don't like them. I've been wearing them all summer and find them hard to walk in.
Gucci has some nice things too....
I already have a suede coat like this
This is cute. And should be easy to figure out. I'll be mourning until November so I have to decide what color to make this or make it in this color and and just wait to wear it.
This dress is pretty amazing...
This is old-school enough to find in a thrift store in the men's wear section. It would be cute with a cream corduroy skirt and some brown boots would it not?
This is from Halston. This is dressier than my life really demands but I think it would be nice to have on hand
I'm feeling the skirt... a lot
From Jason Wu... A black mock neck is on my list. I prefer at least short sleeves for fall. That belt is hot
Vuitton... I saw this look in the magazines. I don't wear pants but I can do this with a skirt. Imagine a dark wash denim with a gold topstitch...
WOW!!! I should be able to make this Versace with my remnants.... Teehee!
Ok... this is a good start of me dreaming about the fall.
Posted by Penelope White at 11:26 AM
Friday, May 29, 2015
This is my 2nd mourning dress.
I really thought that this was a cute dress on the pattern envelope. Really I did. But.... the envelope is drawn and not an actual picture. I know pictures can be airbrushed and reconfigured but drawn???? No. I don't trust drawn pictures. Have you looked at all them vintage patterns with them chicks with them snatched waists? No normal woman has dimensions like that. If you can't find a model/hanger to make the pattern look good, then I don't want to waste my time and resources. But.... it's so cute!
I love this fabric. It's a heavy, almost denim cotton with 2 way stretch. It has a tribal look that I was planning to rock this summer. I really love tribal and FF has a great selection of fabrics with a tribal theme. I was planning to make a bunch of African outfits for the summer. I'm really into Ankara. But my plans have changed. I put the fabric that I had originally purchased for the summer in the cabinet. Is that how y'all get a stash? I definitely have one now. I love this fabric so much... that I inadvertently bought it twice! Last time I went to FF, they had this fabric wrapped up on clearance. I bought 1.5 yards then. LOL! Its heavy enough to use when the weather turns cold to make a top. I can wait.
I did make a bobo.... I cut it wrong. Instead of cutting it with east/west stretch, I cut it north/south. I think I'll be okay because I assume this fabric will give anyway. Grieving is distracting... My late father taught me to sew in the 1980's. His mother had been a seamstress and taught all her children. He didn't even know that my mother had bought me a sewing machine. Daddy came to visit in the middle of some drama I was having in my primitive sewing room/bedroom and helped me. We were both surprised for different reasons. My brother walked in in the middle of the crises and Daddy taught him to sew too. He made a killing sewing permanent creases in everybody's pants that summer. LOL! Yes we are/were old. But he told folks I did the alteration because he didn't want folks to know he was sewing. He didn't give me a cut though.... Wasn't unusual to find him at my machine when I'd come in form outside.
Fitted dress has front and back extending into sleeves, low armholes, back zipper and hemline slit.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope?
Yeah. The fabric looks damn similar to the long version on the envelope which is the version I made
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Look through them a bit
How long did it take from cut to finish?
What did you like/dislike about the pattern?
OK.... why did the skirt have so many darts? 4 in the front and back? Really? Why does a skirt need 8 darts? Good thing you can't see them....
And the sleeve, the way it's designed, gapes. Shows your bra if you lift your arm. I'm sure I can close that off, but it takes away the fullness of the wings.
The back bodice doesn't exactly match the front in length. It's off about an inch. I worked on it a bit and it is accurately off an inch.
This is MY issue but my boobs pulled the front bodice an inch. Maybe that's what that back inch was for?
Pattern alterations or design changes made?
I added 2 inches to the bodice and not 3. Since I only needed 2" on my last dress, I thought, WTH?
Would you sew it again?
I suppose. Just not immediately. I still feel some kind of way about all them darts!
Would you recommend it to others?
Yes with a bunch of modifications
Not sure.... I'm not one to discard a garment, since I learned to sew because of alterations. I'm just not completely 100% satisfied with it. Maybe 76.2%. It looks nice on the hanger. In the future, I might separate the top from the bottom. If I did that, I'd have to add fabric to the bottom of the bodice. I'm a wear it a few times and see how I feel.
The God said the dress looked nice. Nice and not his usual I look comfortable. Reason enough to keep it
Posted by Penelope White at 11:33 AM