Saturday, August 30, 2008

Whew! I did it!

The Mini Wardobe Contest is done! All four pieces are finished, photographed, reviewed, and the final storyboard has been entered in the contest report on Pattern Review. I have spent all afternoon posing for photos, making the final story board and getting everything reviewed and loaded up on PR so I can be in the final judging for the contest. I am pooped! So I'm just going to leave you with some photos of the finished wardobe. I'll talk about it later.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mini Wardrobe- Almost Done!

The Mini Wardrobe is almost complete. I have three out of four pieces done, and the fourth piece just needs buttons. Isn't it always the little details that get you?

I am so ready to be done with this project.

I have been really good about not starting any other projects while working on the wardobe, but I am ready to move on to other things now!

I hope to have piece #4 completed tonight so I can finish this up in time to finish the contest this weekend. Getting good photos will be my biggest challenge. Well, that and making my final montage of all four outfits. Stay tuned for the final results.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Wardrobe Update and A Look Ahead

The Wardrobe is progressing nicely, but you'll just have to take my word for it since I don't have any pictures yet. I finished S4020, the kimono top, last night, and I expect to have my linen pants hemmed and completed by the end of today. I'll be working on the cheongsom this weekend, as well as the straight skirt. I do believe I may be able to finish in time!

And as if I don't have enough on my plate right now, the Sewing for Children Contest starts on PR on September 1st! I have really been looking forward to this contest and I have really been feeling the itch to make something new for the Princess. I need a break from all this sewing for myself!

Anyway, I need to make something special for the contest and although I haven't made a final decision, I'm thinking about this:

This is Little Asian Doll, the outfit featured on the cover of Sew Beautiful issue #112 last year. I absolutely fell in love with this as soon as I saw it and I've been itching to make it ever since. It's a square yoke top with a picture smocked insert, and full wrap over skirt, and cuffed capri pants. I've been thinking over fabric and color options to make it. I have several things in my stash that might work. But now I'm thinking about making some changes to the basic pattern. After all, the contest starts September 1st, which is Fall, and I'm not sure that a sleeveless top and capris are the way to go going into Fall. I'm thinking the pants need to be full length and the top might need little sleeves, at least caps, but probably a plain short sleeve. Hmmm...

I guess I still have some time to decide and plan. Meanwhile, work on the Wardrobe goes on.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mini Wardrobe Contest Update

I really have been working on my Mini Wardrobe Contest entry. Honest!

I have S3756, the linen pants, almost completed. They need a hem, but I need to decide what shoes I'll be wearing with them before I hem them. I'm leaning toward a pair of red kitten heel Mary Janes, but I'm not sure.

I've started the cheongsam top using McCalls 4381:

I'm making view A, the blue one. The first muslin was better than I expected it to be. I cut a size 16 and I added a 1" FBA and 1" of length at the waist. The fit was alright. For the second muslin I added a 5/8" sway back adjustment and I moved the side darts up 1/2". I still need to make a forward shoulder adjustment and then I'll cut it out and sew it up this weekend. Hopefully it will fit well enough to get started on the real top. Here's a pic of the altered front pattern piece:

This was the first time I've worked with an asymmetrical front and I had to make all changes to both the right and left sides. I also had to make slight adjustments to the left shoulder piece and to the facings for both of those pieces as well. I can definitely say that this is the most challenging project I've ever done fit wise. I'm feeling good about it though, and I'm hopeful that the final top will be a success. I'll know for sure this weekend.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Loose Ends

One of the loose ends I had to tie up before the Wardrobe Contest was New Look 6799. And here it is, finished at last:

I made View C, the "plain" dress. I cut a size 16 through the bodice and an 18 from the hip down. It is very close fitting. I think that the cotton stretch twill that I used for this dress is what makes it comfortable and wearable. I had just enough of this fabric to cut this dress out. The waistband is supposed to be cut on the bias, but I cut it on the straight grain due to my fabric limitations. I figured it would be okay since the fabric has crosswise stretch and it was.

I had to do a one inch FBA which made the darts significantly bigger. I had quite a time sewing them and getting the bodice to lie flat with out unattractive points sticking out. I ended up making my darts longer and wider than the pattern. If I make this again, and I do have an idea for making it again, I might try adding a little less with my FBA to see if that makes the darts look better. Oh, I also moved the side dart up 1/4 of an inch.

When I started this dress, I had planned to pipe the neck band and the waist seams. Unfortunately, I got so wrapped up in sewing and thinking about my wardrobe plan, that I just attached the waistband and completely forgot about the piping. By the time I realized what I had done, I already had the lining attached and I just decided to keep going. I did pipe the neckband, and the dress is lined with the same turquoise broadcloth that I used to make the piping.

Once again, I forgot to add length to the skirt. To compensate, I used bias tape to finish the hem. Not only did it help with the length issue, but it actually looks very nice and clean on the inside. And it was quick and easy, and that's always a plus!

This is a great pattern. It goes together quickly an deasily, the instructions are good, and you could customize this dress easily and in many ways. I have an idea for the full skirt version that involves contrast bands and top-stitching, but I have to find the fabric I have in mind first (it's "lost" somewhere in my stash) and finish the Wardrobe Contest, of course.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mini Wardrobe Contest 2008

Yesterday was the official first day of the Mini Wardrobe Contest on Pattern Review. I have officially entered my story board, and now I need to get to work. Surely four items in 31 days is do-able!
I have already made a muslin of my pants pattern, S3756, and I just need to make a fabric choice- khaki linen or green denim- and start cutting. I figure these will be quick and easy. There's no waistband and I could leave the pockets off completely since I didn't envision pockets when I started my wardrobe plan.

I have completed a muslin for S4020, the kimono top:

It turned out pretty good, and with a couple of tweaks to the pattern tissue, I'm ready to start on the "real" top. I haven't chosen a fabric yet, but I have something in my stash I'm going to pull out and look at today.
The straight skirt should be the easiest of the four wardrobe pieces. I don't anticipate any problems.
The cheongsam top will be the most challenging piece due to the fact that it will require the most fitting. At least one muslin will be required, maybe more. I had thought to save this one for last, but I may go ahead and start on it and work on it here and there throughout the month. When it becomes frustrating, I can set it aside and decompress by working on the easier pieces.
The smart thing to do will be to pace myself. My goal will be to complete one item each week. If I can get ahead, great! But one per week will at least guarantee that I finish the contest on time.