Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Vogue 8997

I LOVE this dress! It's feminine without being frilly or fussy. It's also surprisingly easy to make. This is one of those patterns that I bought because I really liked the style, but then put off actually making. I thought it would be far more complicated than it was. 




I used a linen blend fabric (washable) that I've had for a while and a solid purple lining. The only change I made to the pattern was to raise the neckline about 2". After making the muslin, I decided that that would be a more comfortable neckline for me personally. Originally, the front and back neck are (I believe) about the same depth.




This is not only a great summer dress pattern, but has enough variations (including long sleeves) that it can be made all year.



Until next time...  Happy sewing!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Quick and Easy Vogue 8750 Skirt

I recently had to attend a memorial service and I needed something to wear. Fortunately, I tried on some clothes the day before the event and realized that what I had just wouldn't do. The dress and skirt were too small. Luckily, I had a piece of black fabric in my stash and this pattern:


I decided on View A because I had just enough fabric to make it (less than a yard). I used a polyester crepe material for this.  The lines in this pattern make a simple fitted skirt much more interesting. 


The back yoke makes fitting the skirt much easier. While this pattern looks complicated, I assure you it's not. I finished this is about 4 hours. The skirt is unlined and I think that the next time, I will draft a lining pattern for it. 




I didn't add any design changes or alterations to this since I was in a time crunch. I also don't think it needs anything (except the lining). The skirt fit perfectly just making it out of the envelope.

Simple, easy, comfortable and quick are the keys to this Vogue Options pattern!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

5 Ways to Get Your Creative Mojo Back


We have ALL struggled from time to time with putting out creative content. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a blog post, sewing project, or whatever the case may be. So, here are a 5 simple ways to get yourself out of that creative slump.

         1.   Magazines. Whether its fashion, lifestyle or home decor, read whatever inspires you and gets you excited to try something new. I would suggest not limiting yourself to the current crop of magazines. Look at some vintage (or just old) magazines for ideas. You never know what might ignite that creative spark.





2.  Reading other blogs. Seeing what others have made is a great way to get inspired.

         3.   Periscope. If you haven’t gotten into Periscope, you should. There is an entire crafting and sewing community there whose member life stream daily/weekly. I find that I’m always getting ideas, learning new techniques, and finding out about patterns I want to try.

         4.    Brain dump. Whatever method you want to use, it’s always a good idea to get rid of the mental clutter.






          5.   Re-organize and clean the sewing room/creative space. Cleaning my sewing area and getting things re-organized always helps me. Just like brain dumping gets rid of the mental clutter, cleaning my sewing room helps get rid of the physical clutter. I have a hard time working in a disorganized space (visual clutter=mental clutter).

     Until next time...

      
     


      



Friday, May 20, 2016

One pj set, two patterns

I love making my own pajamas and have made several over the years. For this set I used Burda Style 6742, but then also ended up using McCall's 4320. 


Above is the BurdaStyle set as it's supposed to be. Looks good even after taking the top out of the trash...


I really like the Burda pattern and all went well until I got to the part attaching the collar to the top. I'm still not sure what went wrong, but I just did not understand the instructions. If you've never made a Burda pattern, they are known for their minimal instructions. So, I think I attached the back/neck band wrong initially, and that's what threw everything off. Anyway, I actually threw out the top at least 3 times. THREE times literally in the trash because I was so frustrated. That's where the McCall's pattern comes in.

I made the top in the second pic because I had already made the shorts and wanted a top to go with them. Whew!

I was determined to not let this pattern defeat me so I figured it out. It's still not technically correct, but it works. 
 
I do want to figure out how to make this top the right way. The shorts - no problem. The solid yellow is gauze and the rest is just a cotton quilting fabric.


The shorts have a mock fly with buttons and pockets. Contrasting fabric can be used for the waist and leg bands.

That's all for now. Hopefully my next project won't be so maddening!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Easy Spring/Summer Shirtdress...McCall's 6885

I made another dress for warm weather. This time I used M6885 which is a shirtdress with a front band/placket. This pattern is for woven material and has a variety of sleeve and style options. Frankly, I wanted to make a shirtdress and this one was much easier than some of my other patterns because it only has the four buttons in front, rather than several going down to the hem. With that being said, this is a pull-over style dress. 



I made View C, which they say to use cording as your belt. I like it unbelted, but you can certainly use what you like for the belt. 






I didn't make any changes to this pattern. The material I used is a cotton shirting so it washes well and is lightweight (great for hot, humid summer days).

Now, on to the next project (once I figure out what that will be). Happy sewing...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hot Patterns Montpellier Dress - Really is Fast and Fabulous!

This is one of those patterns that I knew I wanted the minute I saw it.


It's just one of those easy, breezy simple to wear in the summer dresses. So I made this from a linen-like fabric in navy blue. 



There were a few alterations I made in order to get to this point. I did make a muslin of the dress and basically worked in stages so that I could see the effects of each change I made.

First, I shortened it by 3". I knew it would need to be shortened just from the picture on the envelope. The muslin cut my leg off at a weird (unflattering) spot, so 3" off to start. 

Then it was VERY full so I needed to reduce the fullness, but keep the shape of the dress. So, I marked the waist on the muslin, then added a dart in the front (you really can't tell with the dark, solid fabric) that extends from the waist to the hem.





I reshaped the curve a little about 1/2" to reduce it in the back. Since the back has a seam anyway, that was easy to sew the "new" seam. The front I actually did cut on the fold and added the dart as mentioned above. 


The only thing I had actual trouble with was the in-seam pocket. I really wasn't getting the instructions, so I did it the way I knew how. I cut off the facing and reshaped the pocket to get it done.

While all of this sounds like a lot, it took a few hours to work out the adjustments. Actual construction was pretty fast (about 4 hours). This dress is perfect for a linen blend or some other breezy type of fabric. It'll be great for summer weather.


That's all for now. On to the next project...

Monday, April 4, 2016

Shorts 3 Ways with 2 Patterns...

Lately I've been working on sewing for Spring and Summer. Although the temperatures here in the mid-Atlantic haven't really warmed up consistently, I thought I'd try to get a jump on things this year. And knowing that I need some new shorts, I thought I'd give two different patterns a try.


One is Vogue 9008 and the other is BurdaStyle 6812. I must say, I REALLY like the Burda pattern best. 

I made the Vogue shorts with the flat front (see picture below). I do like these, but the flat-front (no pleats) does not have pockets (the pleated front does). I really like shorts with pockets and a flat front. 



By the way, these are all wearable muslins that I made. 

Then I made the Burda pattern as is (it has pleats but not as pronounced as the Vogue). I like that, but was determined to figure out how to get that fit with a flat front.


So, I pleated the pattern piece before cutting it out, then re-traced the piece so I had a new front.





This is basically the style I want! I will adjust the crotch length which will require shortening the zipper, but I think I've got my TNT shorts pattern. And the best part is, the BurdaStyle pattern is really easy to make! And there are variations in the pattern for pants and culottes. You could, of course, adjust the length of the shorts to your own preference. I just happen to like mine about this length.