Tuesday, January 27, 2015

LBD...I'll Have Mine Ruffled

Nothing is more versatile and classic than a little black dress. Even though I have my fair share of them gracing my wardrobe, who couldn't use another? 

I have made this pattern in a red and white stripe and you can really see how the same pattern (Newlook 6095) in a different fabric can result in an entirely different dress... you can see the full post here

I bought this ruffled fabric as a remnant...There was just enough for a basic dress and I knew that a textured fabric like this one needed simple design lines. I made the lining in a ponte knit according to the pattern with bust darts and back darts but omitted the back seam.  Before sewing the lining front to the back, I used them to make the pattern pieces for the ruffled knit so that I could completely omit all darts in the ruffled texture. To my pleasant surprise, it worked! The ruffled knit has enough stretch to compensate for the lack of darts. 

One of my favorite features of this pattern is the neckline. It is the perfect mix of scoop and boat neck. The dress is a bit big on me but I like the gathered look the chiffon belt gives it.

So...how do you feel about the classic LBD? Is it a staple for you or is it too boring? What are you drawn to when you shop fabrics....basic black or bold print?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Added Warmth in McCalls 6656

Winter has arrived.... yeah so happy about that one... but my new jacket lessened the blow of its arrival!

I made this coat using McCalls 6656. I knew that this coat wouldn't be warm enough without a lining so I added one using a burgundy Kasha lining that added a perfect amount of body and warmth.

My Review: 

Pattern: McCalls 6656

Fabric used: A wool blend in a black and grey stripe, black faux fur and Kasha lining. Kasha is a flannel backed satin winter coat lining. It adds warmth and the flannel sided sticks nicely to the inside of jacket, keeping it from shifting around.

Instructions:  I kinda didn't follow them due to adding a lining. The only time I referred to them was at the point where I had to attach the shoulders and neckline. Even then it was a little bit unclear but in the end it came together.

Changes I made: I lined it in Kasha and added buttons. I also removed the center back seam. I put it in at first but really didn't like how it looked despite the perfect pattern matching. I also interfaced the front bodice pieces for added structure and I am so glad I did.
Repeat worthy? It is but I probably won't make it again... just because I'll want to try something new.

This was my first attempt at sewing with fur (faux) and I didn't find it too challenging to work with. Cutting it out was a bit time consuming because you have to snip your way through just the backing so as not to cut away all the pile of fur. Then when sewing it, the fur has to be brushed and pushed in away from the edge.  

A picture reveals the truth doesn't it? The longer I had my coat on, the more I can see in the picture on the right that I need to add an inside button to keep the inside from falling below the hemline. An easy fix and it will make the coat feel more secure as well.

What the heck is going on with my hair here..?

I enjoyed making this coat and am super pleased with the result which felt so good after last January's coat fail.... I really didn't want to waste another nice piece of coating. I have a couple more pieces in my stash and who knows, I may have to make another....it's a long winter here. I might as well have a closet of nice coats!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

I have never written a New Year post...the closest I have come was this post in May after MMM... but this year I feel inspired by Gillian's Hit and Misses series to reflect on the past year and share with you my thoughts on the year ahead. Gillian said that there are no rules...thank you Gillian!... so I'm going to hit this with just one post.


As I looked back on my blog posts this year I realized that I only made 23 garments.... well 23 that I blogged about that is. 

The first one of the year was this coat...oh how I loathed both the coat and the wasted time I spent making it! I couldn't bring myself to post about it.  I looked like a figure skater in it and not in a good way....the only good thing about this coat was the bound button holes...they turned out pretty nice...if I do say so myself.

Next up is my First Renfrew. This is only on the list because it is too short for me and my long torso so I never wear it. Now that I look at the pictures though, I can see it worn tucked onto a high waisted skirt. There may be hope for it yet!

Sooo.... My next one is a pattern placement disaster. I was so disappointed with myself on this one but hopefully I learned my lesson and will not make this mistake again. 

My Charlie Jumpsuit is one that I liked in the beginning but never wore again... not even once... so that deems it a miss in my book. It was a good exercise in pattern hacking but I won't be wearing this anytime soon.

I'm including my beachy dress as a "half miss" only because after wearing it I found that it stretches in the length. I will have to get around to hemming it shorter before the warmer weather hits.

Now that the misses are behind me...lets move on to my favorite...


My white moto jacket! I love this thing... that says it all.

Are you guys tired of seeing me twirling about in these skirts yet?! Well too bad... because I just can't stop! 

I wore this dress so much over the summer that I had to be careful not to over wear it. The print, color and pattern were all well suited to each other!

My running jacket may very well be my personal favorite make of the entire year! It is so practical in my wardrobe and was satisfying to make. I wear it many times a week...a sure sign of a hit.

My last hit just happens to be my last make of the year. I surprised myself by how often I wore this seasonal sweater. I am even looking forward to wearing it next year!


I realize that I don't share much about my non-sewing life here so I am still reluctant to do so now. An oxymoron for a blogger to want to be private... I fully realize this. Sewing related though...my best moment of the year was when Gillian emailed me to let me know that I was featured on McCall's Pattern Company's office fan board. I was elated!!


1. Sewing Spaces
This year has been the year of new sewing rooms...hopefully I won't be moving again this coming year as it can really wreak havoc on the sewing mojo. Although, I do feel that my current studio is well laid out and works nicely for me.

2. My Style
As I look back I can see that I really did wear a lot of what I made which is a good indicator that I am on track and making garments that suit my lifestyle. I also still wear garments from previous years as well. I know that I like what I make because I'm so disappointed when it mysteriously disappears (like this dress) or gets worn out. I don't like sewing staples but I do like sewing things that I will actually wear.

3. Time..
Life this past year didn't leave me with a lot of time or desire to sew... hence the measly 23 blogged makes. 

4. Mysteriously Missing
I didn't make any pants this year! What the heck is that all about?!! I know I like dresses but com' on! Not one pair?!

5. Bad Blogger 
My frequency of blogging was half that of the previous year. Huh? I posted only 40 times in 2014 as compared to 87 in 2013. Pathetic.


As for goals for 2015...let me get the first two out of the way.....

Umm.... Duh! 

2. More posts
...another Duh!

3. Stash Bust 
Use up some of my stash. I know that I have talked about this last year and my husband doesn't feel the same way about it as I do ( to refresh your memory)  but I do think that a "stash bust" is over due.

4. Expand My Skills
I would like to learn how to make jeans and more tailored clothes like coats or blazers..heavens knows I have a pattern for them! 

5. Sew More Knits
I have a coverstitch machine that is sooooo under-utilized in my studio and I would really like to conquer the mystery of knits especially the more slinky, tricky ones.

So there you have it...my first (of many..hopefully) post of 2015! A new year on the calender always feels like a fresh new start.