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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

September Issues....

Peace.

This is my thoughtful time of the year. I keep wanting to buy magazine after magazine after magazine… But I’m showing restraint. I REALLY only NEED the Vogue. I save them. I have every September Vogue since 1998. I would have had more but I lost a lot during a move where someone else packed them and decided that they were trash. We no longer speak…. I don’t subscribe to Vogue… and I suspect they aren’t putting them on the newsstands until September. By then I will see everything that is inside it from other magazines. But I will still buy it and I will still love and cherish it.

I have already begun to start planning what is getting made for the fall…. And it’s really not what you might think. I work in healthcare, but I wear my own clothes. But I’m planning on changing jobs soon and I will probably need some scrubs. If I don’t I can’t envision my need to dress at the level that I do now. I also don’t wear pants… really… so I will probably need to figure out some dress-scrub options…. But I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

I didn’t really sew a bunch of things this summer. Do you know why? I have a solid wardrobe of basics in the trunk already. I only added the things that I really wanted. I would like to have that same experience for the fall… but I can’t. I don’t have “fall basics” ready to go like that. That needs to change.

The immediate plan is to go skirt crazy in the month of September. I need green, brown, teal, cream, brown denim and wine (maybe) pencil or a-line skirts. That will be the basis for my fall wardrobe. I have the other colors (black, blue, purple, gray, etc). I want that finished by October. This is Atlanta, and the weather isn’t truly fall-ish until mid October.

Other garments I’m considering include: bomber jacket, black denim jacket with a peplum, wrap dress, ponte knit black dress with a flounce on the bottom, and a bunch of new tops. I need new tops because my body has changed. Yes… I’m getting there. My body has morphed from a glass coke bottle in my teens and young adulthood to a thicker plastic coke bottle in my thirties to now an apple. No amount of p90x, dieting and running has been able to curb the progress. My mother’s ass showed up on my last birthday. Most women would hate to turn into their mothers and I am no different. What are you gonna do?

I made M6700 over the weekend on my new sewing machine that Precise bought me a few months ago. I’ve been scared to use it, but finally got my nerve up. Of course the Brother LB 6800 is better than my 30 year old Kenmore. It’s a learning curve. It seems to take a LOT of bobbin thread. I wonder if I should be using the same stitches on it that I use on my Kenmore? The fact that I lost the direction book doesn’t help. I assumed that I might lose the direction within 5 years, just not in 3 months. It’s got to be in the house somewhere. If I can’t find it, I’ll have to learn Spanish since I still have the Spanish direction book.

I haven’t posted pics of M6700 because everyone has made it. You know what it looks like. I do need to hem it more. I had already deleted 2 inches off bottom of the pattern and it still is too long. How’s that for short? And I did a 2” FBA that I probably didn’t need. I cut a 24 and could have gotten away with a 20. It’s just not my favorite dress.

So that’s me……


Peace

Monday, August 11, 2014

M6842

Peace.

I have been doing things in my sewing room. It’s hard you know. Precise has taken up DJ-ing again and uses the same space for his hobby. Since we don’t share the same taste in music, I strive not to be down there when he is. That makes it hard since we work the same hours. But this weekend I bit the bullet and went into the room while the God was mixing and made my slice of heaven.

Behold…....

(That's the back. the front pick got lost somewhere in the cloud and I can't retrieve it. the front has the print down the center)

I have been hesitant to embrace the full skirt trend. I’m a big girl and big girls look better in pencil skirts. B.U.T….. I wanted to try it at least. I have had this print fabric for years!!!! I found it in a thrift store. It came a big piece of fabric which I was trying to wear as a skirt. And a smaller piece that I wear as a head wrap. The smaller piece gets plenty of wear because it’s my favorite head wrap. The print is navy based. But I couldn't find a piece of navy dark enough to look right. But I bought several pieces of navy fabric to contrast it and it didn’t look right. I was wearing something black and I looked better with black so…

It broke my heart to cut into my printed fabric. I love it soooo much. But I get absolutely NO wear out of it the way it is or was. This way… I get a skirt out of it and a purse. That’s more mileage than it was getting. Shall we?

M6842...


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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I’m not sure. I read the directions and thought it was a stupid approach to the construction. So I did my own thing and it turned out fine

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like that it was a full skirt. I wanted to experiment with that and color/pattern blocking. This came together FAST. From cut to completion it was less than 2 hours. And I was fooling around with Precise the whole time.

Fabric Used: cotton.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I don’t think I made any. I was gonna though. The finished measurements made it seem like I needed to add 6” within. But after I measured the actual pattern pieces I knew I wouldn’t need to.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes because it was upper easy. I went from cut to finish in less than 2 hours. Who wouldn’t want a 2 hour skirt?

Conclusion:
I do like it, but this particular skirt (a) does make me look bigger and (b)in it's current form is not really a good "work" look. That's ok. I wore it over the weekend to a cookout and then to the grocery store with bootleg converse. I'm satisfied.

I'll make it again but next time all one color.


Peace

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.