Thursday, May 31, 2012


This is the dress that I build about in my last post. I like it but don’t like it. The one that's not completely finished because I can't find my 2 missing boxes of hook and eye closures.

Pattern Description: B5643: Very easy jacket and dress. I made the dress.
Pattern Sizing: 14-20, of course I cut a 20. I also didn’t make a FBA. I have been doing the Knowledge to “ease” and according to that philosophy, there should be enough ease in a very loose fitting garment to accommodate Cocoa and Puff. They fit. But it’s kind of tight around the high bust. Not so tight that it interferes with my breathing or ability to move, but enough that I can feel it. Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No…. I will explain that in a minute Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t follow them because I lost them! So I had to make the dress up based on what the pattern pieces dictated, i.e facings went where facings go, pleats got put in where the pattern indicated, etc. I got confused when it was time to connect the shoulder straps, but I got it together. I mean… they are straps! What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I don’t think it is the dress for my body. In actuality I think this pattern is more of a nightgown than dress! It’s essentially a swing dress. It hits the boobs and it’s out. It makes me look pregnant. A belt didn’t help cinch the waist either. And I tried multiple belts! Fabric Used: Floral cotton from Wal-Mart. It was a really pretty fabric and floral is supposed to be “in” this season and according to the fashion experts, my body is supposed to do small print. Whatever… This fabric really should have been a blouse. I had hoped that because it was such a long dress that the fabric would weigh the dress down… It doesn’t. It’s that light. Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: After I was done, I didn’t like the length. I did a longer version than the short version on the pattern, but a shorter version than the long pattern version. I was afraid that the longer version would be too long on my 5’3” frame. It probably wouldn’t have been, but I don’t think I would have liked how it would have looked straight to the ground. Does that make sense? When I finished the 1st version… the way the pattern dictated… it was too short and the fabric is so light that it floated up easily. I had extra fabric so I started experimenting. I have 2 feet that I don’t use much (I have other feet I don’t even know what they are!); a gathering foot and a rolled hem foot. I cut the remaining fabric into 11.5” strips, joined them, and rolled the hem and then gathered them so that it looks like a ruffle addition at the bottom of the skirt. I am not unhappy with the addition and I don’t think you can tell with a just cursory look at the dress that the bottom.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No I won’t make this dress for myself again unless I want a nightgown. It is just not my style. But I did put in a lot of effort in making this dress. I will add this to my recreational wardrobe because I really don’t want to take it apart and make something else. I have a 15 hour road trip to NYC for Show and Prove coming up. Since the dress is so light, it should breathe and be very comfortable to wear in the car. Conclusion: Not a TNT, but I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. I’ll take the best part. Peace!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Peace. Blogger’s changes are pissing me off. I swear I am writing in paragraph form but blogger is not formatting it like that. Any suggestions? Did y’all have great paid holiday? I did. I danced, told more lies, ate more veggie burgers and drank more liquor than I have in a minute. The troops that gave their lives for this country would have wanted it that way… I meant to sew more than I did this weekend. I wanted to have 4 completed garments to present. 1 for each day of my weekend. But… I just have 2. Oh well. It’s better than nothing. We just bought a new foam bed. It’s really hard to get out of it. I completed M6069 and B5643. Technically, I completed B5643 last week and even more technically, it’s not fully completed. Like 99.5% I need to add in the hook and eye. Here is the thing… I can’t find where I put them. And I have already bought a replacement case (because I misplaced the previous case while moving. They must be with my eyeglasses). I’m not buying a third. So the dress will remain 99% finished until I either (a) find the missing box/es or (b) decided to discard something with a hook and eye so I can cannibalize one. Busters…. M6069 is complete and I have worn it already. Well… complete enough that I wore it out. I have made M6069 before. It’s a dress pattern that I made a blouse/top out of. Where as I still wear the top, even after 2 years, there are things about the top I never liked. This pattern has a cowl n the front and in the back. I believe the back cowl is deeper than the front one. Not a good look if you MUST wear a bra. When I wear the top from this pattern, I’m bra checking all day unless I wear a jacket over it. Under a cardigan or hoodie (yes I will wear a hoodie out, to work, etc. Don’t judge me!) I kind of look like a hunchback because the fabric noticeably bunches up so it requires a blazer to slap it into submission. So when I decided to make this pattern up again, I knew that I needed to make some adjustments. You want to read about it? Here it goes…..
I will admit this is not the best picture. The God doesn't get what I am trying to express when I ask him to take a reflection. anyway, this is me at the parliament building. Pattern Description: M6069: Misses' Dresses and Sash Pattern Sizing: 14-20. Of course I cut a 20, no FBA Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes and no. But it was on purpose. Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, up to #32. I don’t get how they meant to add the elastic. I did add it, but not the way the instructions said. The way I know how. Which I’m certain is NOT the same, but it worked so…… What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I am clear that I don’t like a cowl in the back and it was too short as is Fabric Used: Cotton knit print from Wal-Mart. Yes Wal-Mart. I’m open on them right now. I will ride that wave as long as it lasts. I can buy things that are less expensive and clearly labeled from Wal-Mart or either spend my utility money at Hancocks/Joanns or be lied too at another mom and pop fabric store about what the fabric actually is. I bought this fabric for 2 dollars a yard. I bought 4 yards and still have at least 1.5 yards! What is not to love? The only down side is the print is so playful that I don’t think it’s appropriate for work. My office is closed on Fridays, and casual Thursdays is kind of something that only I do and hasn’t been approved by the boss. But he hasn’t said anything yet. I won’t push it. Even though I think I can get away with it if I add a white cardigan and some white stilettos. Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: OK. This is where it gets interesting…. I have stated, repeatedly, that I didn’t like cowl on the back. Version C of the dress has a plain front with a cowl in the back. I suppose the design feature is the back cowl. Some feature LOL! I used the plain front as a back and used the front of A&B as a front. So I used 2 fronts and no back! Teehee. That’s funny to me! I added an extra pleat on each side of the front piece so that it would match the depth of the shoulder. I also kept the facing. I think it looks neater with one and tacked it down with tailors tacks in a matching inconspicuous location so it doesn’t flop around as facings tend to do. I also lengthened it 15 inches. I’m not sure it’s enough. Who knew? I might be taller than I think. Maxidresses tend to drag the floor. This dress is just long; a mididress. I suppose my ‘parts’ made it rise higher than I expected. I have enough fabric left to nicely lengthen it, but I haven’t decided that I want to do that yet. I do wish I had lengthened the bodice some. Maybe an inch. It’s not a big deal. Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes I would. I really like this dress. I have already worn it twice in 3 days and I am planning to take it on vacation. It is a very versatile and easy pattern. I would recommend it if it was still in print. And I can see myself making the long sleeved version when the weather shifts. It took longer than 1 hour though. I’m not sure who’s fault that was. Conclusion: My 1st TNT pattern!!!! Peace PS: here is another pic of me. Guess which one I am?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I wanna be like Carolyn when I grow up.....

Peace. I know everyone reading this is a follower/worshipper/reader of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. If not, you should be. One of the things I have always wondered, but never asked is why does the author have this obsession with TNT patterns? I now know. It keeps you from making garments that you would not wear. I am in serious possession of many patterns that probably won’t look good on me. And because I primarily increase my wardrobe, these days, 80% of the time with my own made garments, chances are, I won’t know a particular look is not for me until I make up the pattern. Why not have TNTs? I work in the health care industry. So that means I NEVER have to wear suits unless I want to. Up until 8 years ago, (and my life is COMPLETELY different than it was 8 years ago) my jobs came with uniforms. My wardrobe consisted of: uniforms, church clothes, a going out outfit (I hardly ever go out like that) and recreational clothes. I chose when I started this job to NOT wear uniforms. I didn’t have to and I don’t. There are only 2 of us that don’t wear scrubs and the other person is a man. He wears a uniform of khakis and a dress shirt daily. I have had to really figure out what looks good on me and what I have the temperament to wear. Y’all have seen my shape from previous pictures. I’m a big girl with large breasts. But I have good legs (bad/fat knees), B.U.T. I’m righteous and don’t often show them off. What y’all may not realize is I’m short…. Regular clothes don’t automatically look good on me. I tend to look sloppy in my clothes if not done right. I want to do them right. My mother blessed me with her shape, for the most part; but not her ass. My behind is wide like hers but not protrusive. So I never have to make a sway back adjustment. In turn, my boobs are way bigger than hers and she is shorter than me. Luckily I can wear heels, she can’t. Artificial knees. Now I’m not telling you all my mother’s business for no reason. Mommie’s philosophy is to wear clothes as tight as you can stand them and to wear even tighter foundation garments to make you look smaller and smooth. I tried that. But I like to breathe; seems it’s not as important to her. I had Mommie watching Mad Men and she went on and on and on and on….. about how good “Joan” looked. She said that since we couldn’t hide our shapes we should display them. I don’t know how I feel about that. I still have bad memories of getting in trouble because my high school gym shorts were labeled ‘obscene’ by the administration. Mommie bought those shorts…. I’m just saying. All older people aren’t conservative like that. I am trying to figure out my figure. I used to be hour glassed, but now, not so much. I swear either my hips are receding and/or my waist is thickening. I think my waist is thickening. I don’t get that… or why. So I am drifting into a big, straight up and down with boobs. I don’t know how to dress that. More fabric on the bottom makes me look even bigger. Where are the What Not To Wear people when you need them? I have a bunch of belts to cinch my waist but it’s not doing what the claims say it should be doing. I have been following big girl fashion blogs and they are all over the place. These women are wearing short, tight, loose, all kinds of garments. Adele and Octavia Spencer come to mind. They don’t look uncomfortable like my mother would have me look (she buys me a tight suit for Christmas every year. Her suits are the only suits I own. One of the caveats of not celebrating Christmas anymore is I don’t have to accept these suits!) I have ventured out of my comfort zone and tried to make some very loose fitting caftan type garments. I don’t particularly care for the results. I favor pencil skirts, sometime a-line skirts. I like soft cardigans and Old Navy t-shirts. ***sigh*** but I’m not in my 20’s or even 30’s). I can’t keep wearing that to work. Or can I? I need some TNT’s. That is my new mission. Find some TNT patterns that work for my ever changing body and hold onto them for dear life. More to come…… Peace PS: Hey Carolyn! When are you gonna teach us how to shirr? Is that spelled right?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

S2615: Don't sew while sick

Peace. Again…. I am going to complain about Simplicity patterns. It’s getting to the point that I want to purge all Simplicity patterns from my stash. But… I paid for them so that’s probably not going to happen. I’ll give them away 1st. Also I have a head cold. I will admit that that is what it is. My voice and nose are all choked up. I can hear myself laboring to breathe. My chest is fine although I have a generalized achyness that I just cannot put my finger on why it’s there and where it’s coming from. I’m warm, all my teeth hurt and my eczema seems to be popping out afresh. Maybe just sheer crappiness has caused me to dislike Simplicity. Don’t sew while sick. I have switched my diet to a more sattvic one and will just let nature take it’s course. Does anyone other than me have cutter’s remorse? It’s holding me back. Buying fabric is not the problem. It’s decided what to do with the fabric once it’s bought. I always have an idea when I buy a fabric about what I want to do with it, but then it changes. So now when I buy fabric, I always buy a little extra. I will sit with a pattern on my nightstand reading and re-reading the directions until I can quote them by number in my sleep only to change my mind when I get to the cutting table. Anyone out there do this foolishness? Anyone? Is it just me? S2615 is a wardrobe. It has 2 tops, a dress pants and shorts. The only different pattern pieces are the pants/shorts combo. I made the top. I need more tops in my wardrobe. Grown woman tops. I bought some thin cotton knit at a sale in Decatur. $2/yard indeed! I love the color… coral… but have to take their word on the type of fabric it is because it is never listed on the bolt. Coral looks good on everybody. I wish more people realized that. I knew when I only bought 2 yards of it that it was meant to be a top. I was just not sure which one. Several patterns sat on the nightstand. In the end I decided on S2615 because it was sort of a tunic. Sort of….

Posing in the kitchen after making breakfast for grown people who work from home! Slightly salty.... Pattern Description: S2615 Misses' & Plus Size Sportswear Misses or Plus Size Pullover Dress, Top and Pants & Shorts Pattern Sizing: 20W-28W 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? I guess What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Simplicity’s vague directions and I don’t like garments that tie in the back. That’s country. I figured I could finagle around it but it didn’t work with the fabric. So I have a top that ties in the back. Fabric Used: Alleged cotton knit. In the knit’s defense, I was able to iron it but it stayed really hot for a minute. Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I am 5’3”. Yes I admit that. I shortened it 3” for many reasons. (a) It would have come down like a small dress if I didn’t. And (b) I didn’t have enough fabric to make the top as is. I know I’m technically petite, but I don’t normally to shorten clothes. I blame the boobs and other body parts Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I am teaching an Earth to sew who just found out that she is expecting. I will give the pattern to her. I think it is suitable for maternity. I didn’t cut the pants since I don’t wear pants. She can fit those however she needs to. Conclusion: I like it enough to not throw it out. It has a deep slit in the front that I find kind of sexy. I like the color more than anything else. Peace