Thursday, March 29, 2012

S2766 + Tangerine Now and Laters


I am exhausted from the New Year festivities. Within my culture we celebrate the Asiatic New Year at the spring equinox. Also, the Gods who helped the God and I move refused to take money for their aid. So we threw them a shindig this weekend as well. I am exhausted!

I did manage to finish curtains for the public rooms with the exception of the dining room. The DR is really a sun porch, but for us it’s a DR. The master bedroom and bathroom have not gotten their embellishment either. But do you know what? They will be just fine! And I got a shine on the wood floors that even the men noticed. It has gotten warm, real warm, in the “A” and I need to swap out to my warm weather clothes. So that brings me to the reason for this build…. Simplicity 2766....

I hate Simplicity patterns. I do. I have gotten to the point where I can say, I doubt I will buy any more unless the instructions are obvious. It’s not the styles that bother me but the instructions. I ALWAYS read instructions. I read them in the store when I buy new patterns. I read them while considering sewing them. I read them before I go to sleep at night. I want you to know and understand that I read the directions. Okay. So why when I follow the directions to a “T” the garment comes out muffed up? Answer me that? And…. It doesn’t happen with Vogue’s intricate hard assed patterns, or Mcalls or Butterick, or even Kwik Sew. Hell, not even with vintage patterns! Only Simplicty. I am so over them. Why did I buy it in the 1st place? IDK. It was probably recommended and/or on sale.

This garment is the foundation of my summer wardrobe. I’m calling it “The Now & Later Collection" after my favorite childhood (and adult) candy. I wanted a tangerine car coat with bracelet sleeves. I love the color, but I don’t own much tangerine/orange. I mean my Jeep is orange, but that is more of an accessory and not a garment. So I wanted a pop, and I got it with this jacket. The fabric is this luscious linen from Gail K’s. I love that store for browsing. I find her too freaking expensive. But, I hit the lottery. Not for a lot (not even enough to pay off the Jeep), but enough to afford $16/yd tangerine linen. I bought 5 yards of it. It is sooooo pretty and feels so wonderful to my skin. My pessimistic coworker saw the bag (nosy heifer). I have blogged about her before. She thinks she can sew and is an authority because she made a skirt and an apron in high school. But she does't own a machine and never has. I wasn't trying to show her the fabric. She said, "That’s pretty but I don’t see where or how you can wear that color." Whatever.

Pattern: Simplicity 2766

Description: Wardrobe: I made the F view long jacket with the short sleeves

Size: 18

Did it look like the pattern envelope when you were done sewing it? Mostly

Fabric: Tangerine Linen

Were the instructions easy to follow? Heck NO

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I hated the instructions more than you can imagine. I started the jacket last week and got so frustrated that I had to walk away from it but I came back and rigged it to something I could wear

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made?
I extended the collar and omitted the buttons. The buttons that I fell in love with were $8/button. I wanted to hold on to my money a little longer I can always add them later if I want.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
On both answers no. Will I wear the garment I made? Yes. It is the core of my summer wardrobe and I bought shoes to match.

I tried to smile this time. I have enough lined to either make some gloves or a skirt. Does anyone know if you can make gloves out of linen? I don't think I've ever seen any before.

Y'all like my shoes? I ADORE them!!!! I went to Macy's to purchase these shoes after seeing them online. In the store I saw beige and black versions but not the orange. The mean associate told me that they ONLY came in colors I saw. I told him I saw them online in orange and he called me a liar to my face! Seriously. I was about to snap six degrees of ghetto in the store. Instead I pulled up the shoes on my phone. the associate asked me if it was a Macy's website. Really? Style and Company is a Macy's brand and I reminded him of that. As he got nastier, I reached in my purse for my stun gun. i was taking him down. The manager heard the incident and saved him from electrical complications. She found the shoes in their computer, ordered them for me and gave me a SEVERE discount. Then she took the man aside. I'm not going back tot hat Macy's (and it wasn't even a Hood Macy's), but I got my shoes.


Monday, March 12, 2012



Y’all know I have million and 6 things to do with the new place. I need to wax the floors, make curtains, and really just clean and get things together. We are having a party in 2 weeks! On Friday, I did manage to claim my space in the combination sewing/computer room. The God has been nagging at me to get it done. He has been nagging at me like his side is already clean. But I digress.

A big problem that I have always had is I don’t have going “out” clothes. I have work clothes, I have weekend clothes, I have a few workout clothes (that is all I need), I have mourning dresses and a couple of all purpose suits. And that’s it. I don’t have going out clothes. Probably because I hardly ever go out. But I needed some. Some Earths asked me to go to a spoken word slam. I likes spoken word. And it was on a Saturday evening. I may be getting old, but that sounds like going “out” to me. So V8663 to the rescue!

I have been meaning to make an LBD for a long time. I wanted to find something that reflected me. Not too old, but not too young. Middle age is a trip. I don’t want to wear the same clothes my mother wears and I don’t want anything written on my ass. I tried at Thanksgiving, but that was a failure and a massive use of fabric.

I was in Decatur to renew my license, I decided to go by my fabric place and see what they have. Since I moved going to that fabric store is a 40 minute hike. I would prefer to find something in my new neighborhood. Y’all know how that is. Folks don’t sew anymore. It’s hard to find a grocery store in my new neighborhood. You know searching for a fabric store will yield miniscule results. So I picked up 3 yards of black knit with a light dusting of glitter on 1 side. The clerk said that it was cotton knit. My iron said otherwise.

Folks call V8663 a 3 hour dress. Well I spent 4 hours on it. You know why? I made mistakes. But not crucial ones, but mistakes none the less. (1) I could not find all my sewing stuff. My white pencil, my seam ripper (And I have 4 rippers, but couldn’t find 1. One was so new I hadn’t opened the package yet) are gone. Where? IDK. But their loss will require me to go to Hancocks or Joann’s to replace them. Because every store doesn’t just carry a white pencil. (2) I cut the back of the skirt incorrectly. That didn’t cause a huge problem because I just had to keep in mind to superimpose the pieces since I cut them backwards and it worked fine. (3) Without my white pencil it was difficult to line up the pleats on the bodice. But even after all that drama, I am still really happy and relieved that I finally have a black dress that I can wear “out” and satisfies my 3/4th requirement. I predict this dress will get lots of wear.

Pattern: V8663

Description: Ladies Dress

Size: I cut a 22

Did it look like the pattern envelope when you were done sewing it? Yup

Fabric: cotton jersey, though I suspect it is polyester

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t use them. Vogue didn’t lie when they said very easy. BUT…. There should have been more direction with regard to finishing off the collar and the armscye.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It is an age appropriate dress for a 40-something year old

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made? I lengthened the bodice 2” and I made a mistake with the back of the skirt that you can’t sea

Would you sew it again? Yes I would. If I needed to. I’m keeping the pattern because I keep all my patterns that work. But I won’t make another one of these unless something happens to this dress. I can’t see having a whole wardrobe of these.

Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely
Don't I look Happy to be going out?

Alright… Back to my curtains


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cocoa and Puff


After finding an Easter dress in 1984, my mother became sincerely frustrated. The dress had to be altered so much that the alterations cost more than the dress (and the shoes) did new. She looked at me with a seriousness that made me doubt any duplicity in her words and said, “Until your body evens out, I’m not buying any more clothes for you.” And she meant it.

That is what started me on my sewing journey. I requested a sewing machine as an 8th grade graduation gift. I knew that I had to take up the slack in alterations or I would have nothing to wear. And high school was coming….

I call the girls Cocoa and Puff. Properly measured, I am a 40J. Think I can find that size in Macy’s? Think again. My bras are NEVER pretty and ALWAYS expensive. Half the time I cannot find the right size and have to play with sizes. And half bras are a joke. A bad joke. Think of all the styles of clothing I cannot wear. And anything that requires strap less or off the shoulder is a no no. I even have dents in my shoulders from where the straps sit. And before I get a bunch of advice, it’s too late. They are in there permanently. My boobs are heavy too. I weighed one. 1 of them is 11lbs without me leaning in on the scale. I was once excommunicated from a friend’s wedding party because my girls would not go tastefully in the bridesmaid dress the bride chose. She said she had her heart set on a certain type of dress and I since I could not accommodate her dress, I was out!

For my own bridal shower, I requested to NOT receive lingerie. But my in-laws thought they were doing something good by giving it to me anyway. In the back of my mind I know it was for their brother/son/grandson/cousin. None of the, ahem… outfits… ever got worn in the 13 years that have followed.

They have been the bane of my existence as well as a treasured resource. Yes I have to get salty with men who feel completely okay at ogling me and speaking into them but conversely, they got me out of tickets and got work signed off for me as well. I won’t have them removed. They have always been there in some way. I have never been flat chested. I have had nodules ever since I was a toddler. I blame the Similac.

Dressing the girls has always been a challenge. I keep hoping for something to happen in the retail world. I can’t be the only woman with an ample bosom. Returning to my sewing machine has also made a bit of knowledge born to me that patterns also run tight for me in booby area. Can the buxom get a break? But FBA’s and newer patterns have helped me out a great deal. I used to purchase tops in larger sizes and alter them down to fit me. Since I’m short, I have always been able to alter down a dress and insert a gusset to release the chest. The funny thing is I didn’t know what a ‘gusset’ was at the time. I have had professionals to give me advice but I am really sad to report their advice was really heartless. More…. “You should have those things removed” and not true advice. And I had to pay for a lot of that bullshit.

So if your big breasted, and clueless I will share with you what has helped me thus far. Without sending a shout out to my switchblade. And be mindful, as big as you think they are… or what you see in the mirror… They are bigger.

Things that tell you where to put your boobs are off limits. Lingerie is good for doing this. If there is a clear are designated for boobs to go, don’t buy it. Since I’m speaking on lingerie, don’t buy traditional outfits. Big boobs dangle and aren’t perky. Buy whole slips that don’t tell you where to put your boobs or separates that are like t-shirt and panties. Anything else will be highly UN-sexy.

Empire waists and tent/swing outfits make you look pregnant. Yeah they do. I used to love me some baby dolls in the 90’s with Dr Martins. Good thing slovenliness was also the rage. A lot of those African outfits are swingy or straight but definitely not form fitting. I don’t know why. I got engaged on my Bornday in November. I sang in a concert shortly thereafter where I had to where on of those African outfits. Everybody thought I was pregnant and that’s why I had gotten engaged. It is a nice commentary of today’s society that the only reason 2 folks in their 20’s who have been dating for a minute have to get married is if they get pregnant…..

Belting under your boobs because it’s the smallest part of you is salacious and should be avoided. When I do that I look like a porn queen. I wear belts at my natural waist.

Separates are really the only answer. I have gotten bigger as I have aged. But when I was thinner, I could not buy a suit. I had to buy a jacket and a skirt. Or tops and bottoms. But all separate. The only dresses I wore, I made. I could make them to fit my body. Jackets are still tricky. I cannot afford to wear a poorly made jacket. I will either look sloppy or like a sausage. Jackets should close. I think this is the reason I have moved to cardigans. And I was doing this BEFORE the 1st lady. And why does she wear them anyway? The one thing she is lacking is boobies.

As hard as this is to believe, showing neck and upper chest BUT NOT CLEAVAGE takes the attention off the girls. Big earrings go a long way to camouflage the girls.

Dark tops and lighter bottoms. Yes just the opposite of what most folks. I don’t own a white blouse since I stopped being a church usher. Seriously. I own all dark dress tops and maybe a few white t-shirts. That’s it.

If I have unavoidable cleavage, I use a scarf to throw it off.

And most importantly; I hold my head and back up proudly. I am a beautiful woman that happens to have large breasts. If you have a problem with that, get some therapy.