Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Wearble Wadder


I’m suffering from repeated brain farts today. So if this seems a bit disjointed…. You know why.

Anybody on Sew Much Talent? Well… For the March challenge folks were supposed to try a pattern from a company they have never sewn before. I chose Burda 7349. I have never truly been moved by a Burda pattern before. I see other folks sewing with them. I look at them as much as the other companies. They were just never my taste; coupled with the fact that they rarely go on sale makes them unattractive to me.

I like linen. Who doesn’t? Summer is linen season. Last summer I made a tangerine jacket that I have been getting some good wear out of. But I am ashamed to take it off because of the naked raw and unraveling seams. I neither lined it nor did anything to finish it off. Looks nice outside but the inside is horrible. This year, my linen plan was to either learn how to finish it off or make things that you wouldn’t see the inside of. So that is what I attempted to do with this jacket. I used French seams to join the upper and lower parts of the jacket. The problem is… I didn’t make them well. They leak a bit. It’s not super noticeable because of the print. I’m not surprised since this is my 1st attempt. I also covered some of the exposed seam on the inside with bias tape. I am not ashamed to take this jacket off. But I should be.

I liked the pattern, (Burda 7349) actually for the skirt. But I didn’t make the skirt. I made the jacket. Now this is where I screwed up. I have read that Burda does not do seam allowances. I didn’t quite understand what that meant. I don’t perceive seam allowances so I didn’t get what this meant even after cutting the pattern. I don’t know why I didn’t do a muslin for that reason alone. But I didn’t. Instead, I cut into $12/yard linen that the 7 bought for me. SMDH…. And guess what? It didn’t fit when I got done. The sleeves were too tight and the bodice sides acted like they were mad at each other and REFUSED to come together over Cocoa and Puff. Luckily there was enough left over from my 3.25 yd purchase to make a pencil skirt that I have worn the hell out of already. I had 2 choices: (1) fix the jacket or (2) take it apart and make something else. I just couldn’t waste fabric like that. And though the linen skirt was nice, it wasn’t worth $36+tax. I decided to persevere even though I picked out a top jic….

Problem #1: There was a 6” gap in the front.
I opened the side seams and put in a 4” insert on both sides.

Problem #2: The sleeves were too tight from the shoulder through the bicep
I cut the insert to have an additional 5” triangle at the top of it. I’m certain there is a word for it, but I don’t know one.

So that’s how I got the jacket to fit. Which I knew would work. I learned to sew because I had to accommodate the girls. Because I’m short, I could always take length off a garment for fabric. That was an old trick. Plus the fabric is printed. Printed fabric hides a multitude of flaws. That’s one of the reasons I chose it.

I also ironed small strips of interfacing along the periphery of the jacket and the sleeve opening. I rolled them twice before sewing them down. I am hoping that that will keep the fraying down to a minimum. So… what do you think?

I do not know how to smile for these pics....

Pattern Description: Jacket with angled front section seams and slightly flared, pointed hemline.

Pattern Sizing: 8-20 (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? Yes. There are elbow darts. WTH is an elbow dart for? I googled it and got no clarity!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The concept of no seam allowance still makes no sense to me….

Fabric Used: printed linen

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I hade to open up the sleeves and sides

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No and no. Anybody want it? I’ll send it to you. Be mindful it’s cut

Conclusion: I don’t’ like it. But I will wear it. Does that make sense? I like this jacket enough to wear it now that it’s finished, but I could have made something similar and equally as satisfying out of other patterns I already own.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Phyllis' NL 6130.... again


I call this shirt the “Phyllis” shirt. My friend wanted a white blouse to be a judo referee in. So we went to Hancocks and got a pattern, fabric and buttons. Why did she decide that she didn’t want a white blouse anymore? She said I could keep the fabric. I did! And do you know what??? I don’t own a white blouse. I must be the only person. You would think since I work in a professional environment that I would. I’ve tried to make them before but they always turn into wadders. Since I’m top heavy, I don’t normally wear white on top; especially since I stopped ushering. I have always been told it will make Cocoa and Puff look even bigger. But they can’t be hidden.

I have done this shirt 4 times now. And I am still not satisfied with the fit. The 1st time I made the sleeveless version it in a black knit. The 2nd time I made it with the fuller sleeves in tweed. The 3rd time I made it again the full sleeved version in black knit and this last… and I mean last… time I made it with cap sleeves (I hate the cap sleeves) in a white cotton with absolutely no give. In my 4 attempts with this pattern I have never quite gotten it right and frankly, I have no desire to keep trying.

All of the knit versions were made right out of the package. I can usually wear NL patterns right out of the package with minor adjustments. But these tops fit funny across the waist. They don’t come in correct and they lift completely over my boobs when I raise my arm. The tweed version only fits when I wear a full body shaper. The God calls it my bathing suit. LOL! So when I made this one, I did a FBA that added 6” to the top. I figured since it fit out of the package in tweed, 6” should be fine to accommodate these 40J’s. I did a muslin too. But…. The muslin fabric had a bit of stretch to it. I look and feel like a sausage and I know it. What I don’t understand is why people keep telling me I look nice. Am I so busted in my regular life that folks feel like they have to lie to me????

Anywho…. Here is my review…..

They look like 2 hogs fighting each other....

Pattern Description:
Misses' Sportswear. Misses' peplum top with neckline and sleeve variations, slim pants, pencil skirt and tie belt.

Pattern Sizing:

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Actually I did follow instructions, because I didn’t quite understand how to make the cap sleeves.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It just isn’t the right pattern for me. I am NOT satisfied with any of my versions. Although I wear all of them, I’m not satisfied with any of them. And I don't like these cap sleeves. Not because I don't like cap sleeves. I do. I don't like THESE cap sleeves

Fabric Used:

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
A 6” FBA… and it still wasn’t enough! Maybe if I release the darts in the back it will fit better?

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
No and no. I know other folks are having more success with this pattern than I am. IDK… maybe I’ll get the Vogue 8815

I’m done with this….


Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Peace Y’all,

You know how I was all like “I’m going to do better with how I dress” and shit? Well…. I kind of blew off the 1st week. Not that I was busted. I am never truly busted. I’m entirely too vain for that. But I am not always at my best and that was what this challenge was about. To be at my best for a month. So that after that I would feel uncomfortable if I wasn’t at my best. Any who…

I’m working on another version of NL 6130. This will be my 4th. And I wanted to use black interfacing. I don’t just keep that laying around so I had to go out and get some. The 7 heard I was leaving the house in a car and asked for something from a grocery store while I was out. Hancocks is about 20 miles from the rest in a different part of the city; and it was a warm day. I just threw on an over dress, some sandals and bounced. To my defense I did shower. Had I not run 4 miles in the morning I would have been busted AND funky. I don’t really have ‘weekend clothes.’ When a work garment gets sort of disheveled, it becomes weekend wear. That used to work for me, but for some reason it isn’t anymore. I hate to have clothes with only 1 function. I have a BUNCH of denim skirts. I consider that weekend wear but for some reason I don’t’ want to wear them like that. I’m thinking my lack of tops is 1 reason.

It has been shown and proven by several of sources that when you look slack people treat you that way. Hancocks is in Buckhead; a pseudo ritzy section of Atlanta. I say pseudo because a lot of those homes got repossessed and the area still hasn’t truly recovered. Those big homes where being appraised for millions and were only worth a few 100K. There aren’t as many upscale people living there as there once was. But this is a Hancocks in a strip mall; not Neiman Marcus.

I should have taken care getting dressed and I didn’t. Not only did I have an altercation with the Hancocks cashier. (After waiting patiently on line, a manager decides that when I get to the front of the line, my cashier should go on break with no one to relieve her. And I should go to the back of the other line? Before I jumped across the counter to slap said manager the cashier told her ringing me up was the right thing to do since I had been waiting. I wonder if I had been dressed well would the manager have made the same statement.) Then I ran into one of my office’s patient’s in the grocery store while looking like a stock person. Damn. She was gracious but she did the up and down thing. Lesson learned…. Today I look much better and intentional.

I have been doing my sewing thing thing. I have a bunch of still relevant fabric from last year and I have pulled all my spring summer clothes out of the trunk. I lack tops. I am ready and very motivated to sew. This weekend I made 1.5 tops. I would have finished the white NL6130 if TV wasn’t so juicy last night. So all I have to show is this one top.

I had to take my own pics this morning.

Pattern Description:
I made the top. But I’m planning to make the bottom and the jacket

Pattern Sizing: 12-18 (I cut a 18)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I know I have said I don’t like Simplicity patterns, but what I have come to learn is I don’t like their directions. Keeping that in mind, I read them over but didn’t follow them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked how easy it was. It went together start to finish in a hour or so. I was watching a movie. And I’m sure with the proper motivation; I could have gotten it out quicker. It has only 2 main pieces and 2 facings.

Fabric Used:
Cotton from Wal-Mart. The God says that I like patterns that look like they should be curtains or sofa covers. And he’s right. I like big and bold prints. And for my body type and how I styled it, I think it works.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a FBA. Even though it’s a loose fitting top, but I have learned that FBA’s aren’t optional. And I just do them now without even considering it.

Would you sew it again?
Not sure. I like it and all, but I don’t know if I need another one. It’s easier than a shell. It doesn’t need to be a knit, and I already have the FBA set in paper. Maybe. Look at this should detail...

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. Especially for newbies.

I’m over my Simplicity hate. I’ll be more specific in the future.


PS: I’m adding an extra week on to my look good challenge. Doesn’t work unless I do it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Making it up....

Peace Y’all.

Here is some pics of me… be kind… before and after.

I’m a bit of a bobble head; meaning my head is larger than other people’s head that are my height. I can tell when I buy hats. I have to wedge the hat against my forehead. And it’s not my locs either. My hair is not super thick and I had the same problem when I was permed. I just have a big head. It’s cool. That means I can carry more weight without looking disgusting….

The foundation I use is a 2 product system Bare Minerals ($27/product). Avon makes a cheaper option ($8-12/product) that makes you look a little more made up. I don’t know why it works like that. Neither one breaks me out…. yet. I use the Original powder in the dark shade. I use medium dark when I tan in the summer. I like it. I can sweat and not break out. It allows my face to breathe. And it works it way off my face by bedtime.

This is with absolutely no makeup. A clean face…

This is with just the bare minerals.

I don’t put the both of the Bare Minerals all over. I use the brown powder just on my eyes (because of circles) and nose (because it tends to be different colors and I don’t know why)

And this is me with mascara, lip liner and gloss. I tend to use lighter gloss but it didn’t’ show up in the picture. This is my day face. I strive to look like me so I don’t scare people when I don’t have anything on. Including me.

When I want more, I will line my eyes. I haven’t found a blush doesn’t break me out yet and doesn’t make me look like a corpse. I stay away from anything metallic or glittery. I am so naturally ashy that glitter makes me look ashier. The painful bumps I get when blush breaks me out is not cute. And they don’t go right away. And they have the audacity to scar. No. I can wait. I saw some hypo allergic stuff in the health food store but they look like a dead woman’s makeup. I ain’t going there.

That’s not so bad. A near natural face to keep my boss happy. I’m expecting a raise on my next review….


Monday, April 1, 2013

Start the Month Out Right


This is a quickie…

What Constitutes good grooming in Serenity’s book?

Good Bag
Good Wrap
Appropriate Makeup
Appropriate Jewelry
Polished Shoes
Nails Done: Fingers and Toes
Wrinkle-Free Clothes
Reduction in Ashiness
And all thing flattering… even if it requires shapewear

A lot of this I already do. I match my wraps to my outfits, I keep my bags in good condition and my fingernails are ALWAYS done. But the other categories is where I tend to drop the ball.

I don’t even know how to polish shoes. But I’m gonna learn this month!

Ashiness is a problem that has plagued this Knowledge seed since conception. I am never not ashy. I have made New Year’s resolutions to be less ashy. I carry all manner of lotions and potions with me. Nothing works for any length of time. Vaseline comes close. It’s not just a visual problem. My dry skin HURTS! I have tried everything including Rx products. I have given up. I just cream up the exposed parts.

I hate shape wear! You have my mother to blame for that. It’s one of the things she insisted that I wear as a teenager. I couldn’t leave the house without at least some lycra on. And why? I wasn’t fat as a teen, I didn’t have a big jiggly ass or rolls. She was like proper women wear girdles. I learned to loathe them. And they are one of things I refuse to wear. Do you know I was the only chick in PE with a long line bra? But…. Things are different now. I recognize that I could benefit from some shape wear. So I got a light version. I ain’t fooling nobody with the girdles. They know it’s there.

I don’t wear certain articles of clothing. So I can’t wear all kinds of shape wear. A waist cincher will cut down, not erase the back fat and the tummy. I have tummy because I have outside fibroids. Big ones. I have backfat because I’m cursed by white Jesus. The lower parts will smooth the hips and shape the behind. And since I don’t wear short skirts I can wear one down to my knees. I never realized how expensive they are. Look my store bought item!

My finger nails are always done. I stopped doing my toes because of running. But it makes me ashamed to wear open toe shoes. But I mostly have open toed summer shoes so I am going to have to remedy that.

I suppose my big thing is ironing my clothes. I swear I hate ironing. That coupled with my sewing room is 2 floors below my bedroom and closet means…. I ain’t ironing. And ironing a week in advance won’t work because I change my mind often. So to rectify the situation, I got a steamer. Clothes not crisp but not wrinkled either. Who says I can’t have 2 irons and ironing boards? That’s stepping in tall cotton!

This ain’t no April Fool’s joke. Happy April y’all


Simplicity 2588

Peace y’all.

I have been sewing a lot. More for others than myself. I have gotten real efficient about using my time effectively. But I took a break to make myself something for Easter.

I’m no longer a Christian. Haven’t been in some time. Technically I shouldn’t celebrate Easter. But there has never been a year I didn’t get a new outfit for the holiday and I’m not planning to stop that particular tradition. I suppose it’s a case of “Eat the chicken (new outfit), spit out the bones (religion).” Unfortunately is cold as a witch’s tit in Atlanta so I won’t be wearing it any time soon. Oh well. Tradition preserved. It’s not like I had somewhere to go on Easter. I should have made a new jogging suit since that’s what I’ll be doing!

Simplicity 2588

Apparently this is an older pattern. Everybody has it. Vogue 8867 was the pattern that I wanted but I got tired of waiting for it to go on sale. This simplicity pattern was cheaper ($.99) and had more options. I have already have plans for other versions. Shall we?

Pattern Description: Misses Dresses Misses and Miss Petite Dresses Project Runway Collection

Pattern Sizing: 12-20 (I cut a 20 in the green version)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I don’t like Simplicity pattern directions. Keeping that in mind, I read them over but didn’t follow them. Still came out fine. ALTHOUGH… the envelope called for more fabric than I needed. It’s still cool, but I like to be close to the actual amount. A remnant that big is money on the floor…..

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was the exact style of dress I wanted. Even though it was Simplicity

Fabric Used:
Cotton as per the store. But I doubt it. Didn't look like pure cotton. I scored this fabric at a local mom&pop store and I had to take the cutters word for it. I go there a lot. They know I only want natural fibers. If I start itching, I’ll know they lied. They aren’t above lying to my face.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a FBA in on a princess seam. I must freely admit, I started sewing because I’m top heavy and needed to alter my own clothes or my mother promised to stop buying clothes for me. I’m self-taught without so much as home ec. They discontinued it by the time I got to high school. So my bootleg FBA’s were pretty much just adding panels or gussets. Since finding the online sewing community I have come to learn proper FBA techniques. And I appreciate it. You should see my bootleg sway back adjustment…..

Would you sew it again?
Absolutely. I’m a do a sleeveless version with the thicker collar and fuller skirt.

Would you recommend it to others?
Seems like everyone already knew!

Should be in everyone’s stash!