Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sewing Organization (Part 1)

I like patterns...I like to have a lot of patterns. Some of them I have made up and others are still patiently waiting for their turn. When I shared the pictures of my new sewing space, my patterns could been seen in neat little plastic totes. Looks good right?

Yeah weeeell..... here is the reality
....and this really isn't as bad as things usually get.

When I'm looking for a pattern or I am trying to decide which pattern to use, I make a big mess and it's never contained to my sewing space. No. I like to spread the love and spread it all over the family room coffee table. And sofa. And couch. And floor.
So,while perusing Pinterest yet again for inspiration... it occurred to me, " Why don't I have a board for my patterns?". Yeah, why don't I? Well, now I do. You can go see it here.

I couldn't find all my patterns and so I had to upload some of them myself. It is not quite finished but I am well on my way.  I would like to go back and mark each pattern pin and indicate whether or not I have made it or not. That should help me bust this pattern stash to bits! Kapooow!
 The entire project may have taken some time to do but was worth it. I can now go to this board and view all of my patterns at once. During the process, I was also able to evaluate what I had in  my collection and whether I needed it or not. I have a few that I would like to share with you. They are all uncut patterns and in great condition. I just can't see myself making them anytime soon. 

                                Newlook 6647(size8-18)                     Newlook 6023(size 6-16)

Butterick 5277 (size 14-20)                            Vogue 8491(size 6-12)

It will be first come first serve for these patterns, so if you would like to add any of these to your collection just leave me a comment with your email and choice of pattern, then I will get it off to you! No matter where in this world you sew your stuff!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bubbling Over

Well, I finally feel like sewing again! But before I get to my sewing project I'd like to talk a little thrift with you. This coat. Serious love affair with this one people. I bought it a couple of years ago and it is a classic piece in my coat collection. I can't tell you how many times I have been complimented on this one. I just love the silhouette and color. And of course its warmth!! The snow is beautiful but chilly!

Coat:Kenar(thrifted) Turtleneck:Denver Hayes Skirt:self-made Booties:Madden Girl
Necklace:Suzy Shier Sunglasses:Joe Fresh

Ok, so enough gushing over my thrift find and on to the skirt. I used Newlook 6107 view D.

My Review: 

Pattern:  Newlook 6107

Fabric used: A lovely polka dot wool! The polka dots are flocked.

Instructions: The instructions were clear and straight forward.

Changes I made: The only change I made was adding a lining to this skirt. I like a lined skirt in the makes wearing tights easier. Oh and I used an invisible per usual for me. They are my favorite. 

Repeat worthy? Yup! This skirt is basic and has a great fit for me. I can see myself making this one repeatedly!

It feels good to be sewing again... a dress and a skirt all within a week! I'm bubbling over with excitement and a wonderful sense of accomplishment! The only down side to such productivity is a VERY messy sewing room and a laundry hamper bubbling over as well! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Under Construction

Hey all! So I'm back with this dress that I made for Project Sewn's sewalong to share with you the changes that I made to the construction process. I almost always make this change to the process when I am making a sleeveless dress or top. All because I don't like to attach the shoulders last. I can never make them look neat and nice. Attaching the facings and pulling them through gives me a nicer, neater look and offers me the ability to make fitting adjustments to the side and back seams last.

This dress had a separate front shoulder that I sewed in first.

The pattern called for gathered shoulders and I opted instead for pleats. I almost always will choose pleats over gathers. I'm not really sure why.... I just like them I guess. I just made sure that I pleated them to the same width as the as the back shoulder pieces.

Now, because I didn't attach the facing to right shoulder piece before sewing it to the bodice, it won't fit of course. Using the pattern piece to trace out the bottom portion of the facing and the top of the pleated portion, I drafted out a new facing. 

This new left front facing was sewn to the right front facing in the same manner as the bodice pieces were.

Now, sew the facings together, front to back, at the shoulder seams. (yes...the interfacing is missing....I didn't have any left and leaving the house to get some was not at all appealing that day. The fabric being a taffeta, had lots of body to it so it didn't seem to make a difference...but still..bad seamstress! very bad!)

Also, do the same for the dress pieces. The basic steps always run this way, sew front to back at shoulder seams on both the main dress and the facings. Do not touch the side or back seams at all! Yet.

With right sides together, pin the facing to the dress, matching carefully at the shoulder seams. Sew around front and back neckline in one seam. Then each armhole and clip all curves. I like to clip a lot to ensure a nice flat finish when I turn it right side out.

This next step is always my favorite. Pull each back section up though the front. Because the back pieces are not attached to each other, you can easily do this. Pull each side though and press. 

At this point, here is what you are left with.... this.

Order of operation from this point for me usually goes as follows...side seams, invisible zipper, back seam below zipper, serge seam allowances and hem, then of course hand stitch the hem. 
I always like to serge my seam allowances separately so that if I have to take in or more importantly, let out side seams for a little more room ....(what!? it happens!!) , I don't have to deal with the serged edge.
Whew! That maybe sounds like a lot of work but it's really not. If I can do it....

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Project Sewn Fashion Icon Challenge

Project Sewn has their new contest underway and it is so much fun and inspiring to see what the contestants are making! This weeks theme challenge is Fashion Icons. I wanted to sew a long but the choices for fashion icons are many.. making it very difficult for me to chose. I went with my first thought...Jackie O. I have always loved her classic style and even styled my hair in a flip in highschool! 

I have had this Butterick pattern in my stash for as long as I can remember. I made a few changes to the construction which I will share in another post. The most obvious change is the shoulder bows....I omitted them all together and just for this photo shoot put a bow at the waist. (The bow will not be worn out in real life) If you look at pictures of Jackie, you will notice that she wore bows at her waist often. And pearls of course pearls. I put on every string of pearls I own...real and faux. I do have a genuine affinity for pearls especially after my dad gave a heart melting speech at my wedding comparing me to pearls...a precious gem. I could cry now just thinking about it.

Well, I don't know where that came from.....Anyways. I do love this dress and think it will be perfect for a wedding or a special date night. Now go check out Project Sewn's contestants and sewalong contestants and place your vote. I warn you though...these ladies don't make it an easy task!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Thrift Stars

Coat: Larry Levine (thrifted) Dress: Merona (thrifted)
Cardigan(not shown): J Crew (thrifted)
Booties: Maddie Girl  Scarf: self-made Sunglasses: Joe Fresh

Thrifting often results in unusual pieces being added to my wardrobe. Lots of unsual know the ones that are cast offs because on one else wants them. They are easy to come by but not always easy to wear. While those pieces make dressing fun and creative, I love to find wardrobe staples. Black dress pants, blazers, skirts, white dress the world of thrifting these are the stars. This coat is one of those thrift stars, a black Larry Levine, lambswool and cashmere coat. I purchased this coat many years ago and has served me so well. Worth every penny of the $10 I spent on it!

As for this white dress...when I found it, I was a smidge confused as to what season it belonged to. Is it winter or summer? The fabric is a heavier tweed but it is also sleeveless. The fact that it was white didn't bother me at all, I think white looks great in the winter as long as you still look cozy and warm. So I paired it with my favorite black cardigan and tights. I was comfy cozy.  I may be a hardy Canadian but bare legs and arms in this weather just don't work for me.

Due to the Jungle January challenge, I have seen many an animal print prowling about the webs. I had this print in my stash for some time now and always knew that it would be made into a simple scarf. It has the perfect weight and feel for a scarf. I don't wear animal prints very much so this is just the perfect amount for me. I really feel that it pulled this outfit together quite nicely!