Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vogue patterns were on sale yesterday at Hancocks so I picked up several. Here's what I got.

This is V8577. I love the knee length blue version. I'll probably wait until Spring because this seems like a warm weather pattern to me, but I can totally see this in a nice linen. The view with the collar and sleeves also intrigues me. I'm imagining it in a cotton print- maybe a 30's repro- with contrast collar, cuffs, waistband and pocket bands. Knee length, of course!

This one is V8613, a knit shirtdress! Once again, I love the blue knee-length version, but the short print view with the cap sleeves is really nice, too. I love the extra seam at the shoulder and the gathers at the bust instead of darts. A muslin will definitely be required.

And here we have V8511. This may be my next project. I love both views, but I'd really like to make the view with sleeves right now out of a pretty tweed. The sleeveless version would be great for summer made in linen.

The muslin of NL 6909 is almost complete. I sewed one cap sleeve on and I want to sew a long sleeve on also so I can decide which one I want to go with. That's right- I said "go with." The muslin fits, I like the look, all I have to do now is pick a sleeve and start cutting!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

BWOF 11-2009-112 Crash and Burn

BWOF 11-2009-112 is officially a wadder.
I adjusted the skirt (by removing 24" of width) and stitched it to the bodice and tried it on for a preliminary look. It was awful.
The satin really was a bad choice for the lining. The skirt was just way too bulky and made me look at least 15 pounds heavier (and dowdier) than I really am.
The thought did cross my mind to take it apart and try using two layers of the chiffon for the skirt, but that would have been a lot of work, and quite frankly, the bodice didn't look good enough to make me want to go to all that trouble.
The narrow cut of the shoulders combined with the ruffles made my shoulders look narrow, and that combined with the bulky skirt was not a good look. (Imagine a pyramid!) The bodice gaped, and even though I planned all along to wear this with a cami, the striped fabric caused a crazy optical illusion that made my boobs look saggy and unnaturally placed all at the same time.
And the color did nothing for me. With my hair color and skin tone, this fabric just did me no favors.
So all things considered, I decided to just stop work on this and move on. I felt bad for a day or two. After all, I don't like to admit defeat, I hate wadders, and I used a lot of fabric on this stupid dress. But then again, the fabric wasn't flattering and it wasn't going to look good on me no matter what I made out of it, so it's better to just have it out of here, right?
I thought about posting a pic of me in the dress just to show that it's really the right decision to quit (and so maybe someone else can learn from my sorry experience) but it's raining outside so I can't take photos at the moment. And quite frankly, I'm not up to embarrassing myself. Take my word for it- it looks bad.
The best thing to do in a situation like this is to just jump right back on the horse, so to speak, and start a new project. I'm thinking about NL 6909. With my age and body type, simple, body skimming styles seem to work the best for me. I really like the version on the model in the photo. I even have a cute pinstripe fabric in my stash waiting to become something fabulous. I'll need to make a muslin to test out the stand-up collar. I think that's the cutest part of the dress, but I don't know how flattering it will be.
I'm off to dig around for some muslin fabric.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

BWOF 11-2009-112 II

The bodice is done! (But not pressed!) Sorry about the sunlight and shadow pics, but I have to snap when I can- if I wait until I get home from work tonight I won't be able to get a decent shot. And the colors are truer in these photos anyway.

You can see my striped main fabric and my satin lining (shiny side goes against the skin). You can also see my ruffles. I didn't follow Burda's instructions. They called for using a rolled hem finish on the ruffles, which would have been pretty, but... I couldn't find my serger instructions so I couldn't set up the machine for rolled hemming, and I didn't have the right color of thread either. I would have used a dark red/maroon to pick up the red stripes in the fabric.
I didn't want to wait to make a run to the fabric store for thread, so I cut the ruffles double width, folded them along the length and gathered the raw edges. It's a little bulkier, but the fabric is so light that it doesn't really matter. I'm happy with it so far.
I got the skirt seamed yesterday and the lining and outer skirt basted together at the waist. But the skirt is HUGE. The outer skirt is cut all in one piece (with only one side seam) 103 inches wide!!! That is a LOT of skirt. I've decided to take it apart and remove some of that width. I'm not sure how much yet, but I'm thinking at least 24 inches, maybe more. As it is right now, the skirt is just too heavy (the satin, even though it's lightweight, just weighs it down). I think once I remove some of it, it will be fine. Satin may have been a strange choice to line this with, but I plan to wear this during the cold winter months so I needed something with some substance to it. Also, it gets quite windy here, so a skirt with a little weight to it is a good thing.
Stay tuned for a skirt update next time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

BWOF 11-2009-112 I

I was feeling the need to start a totally new, fresh sewing project, and the November issue of Burda was at hand, so I decided to go ahead and start on dress #112.
You can't tell much from the magazine photo except that the wrap front gapes when you wallow in the grass. I'm not planning on doing much of that so I thought I'd go ahead and give the dress a try.
I chose a semi-sheer poly chiffon type fabric with thin stripes for my main fabric and a coordinating caramel colored satin for the lining. The colors are actually a little bit warmer than in the photo.
Originally, I thought all the ruffles were a bit much, but my fabric really looks kind of "blah" from a distance, so I decided to go ahead and use the ruffles (as in the tunic version) to liven the dress up. I'll have to let you know how that works out...

I made a muslin out of rayon challis. I cut a straight size 44 which seemed to work just fine. I did notice a couple of odd things about the pattern, though. First, the shoulders are cut very narrow. The shoulder seams are way up high on my shoulders and my shoulders actually stick out into the sleeves. After checking the photos and drawings in the magazine, I think it's suppossed to be that way. The "waist" seam was in a weird place, too- at least on me. It was too low to be "empire," but too high to comfortably wear a belt over it. So I added 1.5" of length to the bodice to bring it to a better place for me. I highly recommend a muslin if you are thinking about making this dress.
So far, I have the bodice assembled, the ruffles applied and one sleeve on. I'm not really following Burda's instructions- it's an easy dress to assemble and I decided to do things a little differently to save time and to ensure a nice finish on the inside. More about all that in the next post.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Most Beautiful Place on Earth

Costa Rica is definitely one of, if not the most beautiful place on Earth. I was there on business, so I didn't really get to do much, but I got to see an eyeful, and I enjoyed every minute!

Here I am with some bananas. I'd never seen them still on the tree!
This is the hotel where we stayed. You can't see the mountain in the background (trust me, there's really a mountain back there!) because it's shrouded in clouds.
The flowers and plants are just amazing!

This tree is huge and it must have at least a dozen different plants growing all over it.

Here I am in front of the tree. Check out those big green and yellow ivy leaves- they're huge!

For some reason, this is all Blogger will let me upload right now. I'll try to add more later. It was a fantastic trip, and if you ever get the opportunity to go, I wholeheartedly recommend it!
I think I'm going to go work on a sewing project for a little while. More on that later, too.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Checking In

This is just a quick blog post to check in and let y'all know I'm not dead. I've been working in Costa Rica for the last two weeks and I simply haven't had any sewing or sewing related stuff to blog about.

Costa Rica is an absolutely beautiful place. Even though it was a business trip, I had a great time, met some wonderful people, and had some incredible food. I'll share some pictures in the next post!

When I got home late last night, the November issue of BWOF was waiting for me. A couple things jumped out at me.

I'm liking this breezy dress, 112B.

I even love the fabric they chose for the model. It looks easy and comfortable, and it goes up to a size 44, so with the full skirt, I shouldn't have to grade it up. I like the tunic version, too. I'm not sure about all the ruffles, though. I think either the neck ruffles or the shoulder ruffles, but not both. I'm not quite sure about the raised hem in the front, either. But it would be easy to just cut it straight.

I'm kinda liking these pants, too. They are #126 from the Take One Make Four section. I love the seaming and the insets in the front. I like cargo pockets, too, even though they aren't always a good look for me.

Now that I'm back from my trip I need to get busy making some things for the cold weather ahead. Hopefully I'll have a project to share soon!