Monday, September 26, 2011

Revlon Facets of Fuchsia

This is Facets of Fuchsia from Revlon:

I had just about sworn off glitter polishes because they are so darn hard to remove. But I saw this the other day at my Local Walgreen's and I had to have it. They so seldom get the new polish collections at my local store that I knew if I didn't snap it up, I'd probably never get it. (Yes, I got the blue one and the pink one too!)

Anyway, this is a sheer black with fine fuchsia glitter, as well as large fuchsia glitter suspended in it.

For this mani, I started with base coat, and then one coat of Wet and Wild Ebony Hates Chris, which is a plain, black creme. It went on easily. The formula was good, and with careful application it can be a one-coater. The only issue I had with it was the brush. It was nice and wide, but the ends were kind of scraggly with a couple of bristles sticking out oddly right at the tip. It made it hard to get a nice, neat application around my cuticles.

I applied one coat of Facets of Fuchsia over the black. It went on easily, too. I did have to really pay attention though, and work the polish on the nail a little bit to get the larger pieces of glitter evenly distributed. I finished it off with one coat of OTD top coat.

I love this look. It makes me think of a dark sky with fuchsia stars. Or maybe disco lights. It would make a great Halloween manicure, although I can definitely see myself wearing this throughout the fall and winter. I hope it lasts a few days, although I've had it on for almost 24 hours and I have already had to do a couple of touch-ups. I might add a matte top coat to it and see how it looks.

If you see it, and you like fuchsia and/or glitter, grab it! It may not be around for long.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Burda Style 05-2011-130 Finished and Wearable

I just put the finishing touches on dress #130 from the May issue of Burda Style. I'm happy to say that I'm satisfied with this version.

I used a rayon challis from stash and I think it worked perfectly for this pattern.

This time I cut a straight size 44. The only adjustments I made were to add 1" of length at the waist and I shortened the front neck slit by 1". My slip still shows if you look too close. I also eliminated the center back seam in the bodice by cutting it on the fold.

I did not make the self fabric tie for the neck, but instead used a 3/8" navy blue grosgrain ribbon. It looks okay, but I plan to switch it out for a narrower satin ribbon as soon as I find the right one.

This is an easy breezy dress to make and to wear. I plan to wear this instead of jeans when I go to the grocery store or I'm running errands. In fact, I'll be doing just that today.

I'd like to find a belt to go with this. I think it would look better with something covering the elastic at the waist. A belt would also dress it up a little for work.

I am so happy to have this done and be able to actually wear it. I hated that the first version didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. (I still have it in my closet... who knows, maybe I'll pull it out next spring and salvage it.) But now I feel like I've conquered this pattern and I can feel good about it.

And now that this dress is done, I can turn my attention back to the flap dress. I promise I'm not procrastinating. Really, I'm not!

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Burda Style!

The October issue of Burda Style arrived today. What a great surprise on a Monday! It looks like a good issue.

If I make only one thing from this issue, it will be this: Dress #138 from the plus section:

My stretch fabrics also arrived today, which means not only can I get to work on the real version of the flap dress, but I'll have two fabrics left over to choose from when I make this gorgeous little number! I'm thinking hot pink for the flap dress, so that leaves either coral or mustard for this one...

Revlon Royal Cloak

Check out this cool purple polish, Royal Cloak, from Revlon's Masquerade collection.

I love this color. It's a medium-dark purple creme with "clear" shimmer and mica-like flakes. The flakes are what make this so unique. See them suspended in the bottle?

Royal cloak applied nicely. This is two coats over base coat and with one coat of OTD quick dry top coat.

I think I wore this for three days with no chipping and no noticeable tip wear. I finally took it off just because I wanted to try another color. It was easy to remove, too. I'll be wearing this one again. I can see this becoming a "go-to" purple for me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I am still waiting for my stretch fabrics to arrive, so I am at a standstill on the flap dress. In the meantime, I decided to go ahead and work on something relatively quick and easy. I decided to pull out the pattern for Burda Style 05-2011-130: You may remember that I made this dress before but was I was not happy with the fabric and so I never hemmed it or wore it.

I have beeen thinking about this rayon challis for a while now. It's been in my stash literally for years. I'm not 100% sure, but I think I got this at my local Walmart back in the day when they had a good fabric department.

I think this is going to work perfectly for this pattern. It's lightweight and drapes beautifully. The colors are gorgeous, too, and will transition nicely into fall.

Best of all, this dress should sew up pretty quickly. There are no buttons or zipper required. I'll probably skip the self fabric tie in the neckline and instead pull a pretty ribbon out of my stash. Stay tuned for an update.

I hope to receive my fabric shipment this week. Then I'll just need to decide which of the three candidates to use for the flap dress!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Burda Style 09-2011-131 Muslin #2

I decided to go ahead and make some adjustments to the flap dress and try another muslin.
I made a 3/8" petite adjustment above the bust, folded out an additional 3/8" across the sleeve cap to reduce the excess ease, lengthened the waist by 1", and the biggest adjustment of all- changed the back to a "regular" neckline rather than the deep V of the original pattern.

I think the shoulder issue has been solved now. There are no pins holding the muslin to my bra straps.

This muslin seems a little tighter than the first, even though I made no real width adjustments. I think it's because the flannel had some "give" to it and the quilting cottons I used for this muslin have none. ( I decided to use up some of the various small pieces of cotton I had lying around the sewing room. I tried to at least use a solid for the bodice to show the seaming this time.) I plan to use a stretch woven for the final dress, so I'm not worried.

I did not raise the neckline for this muslin. It doesn't look too bad in the photo, and I could probably find a bra that wouldn't show, but the truth is I just wouldn't be comfortable wearing this as is. If I stood up all day, straight and tall, I could probably get away with it, But the moment I bend forward, or heaven forbid I sit down and someone stands next to me, they could see all the way down the front to the underbust seam.

In order to have some sort of comfort level while wearing this, the neckline has to come up. The question is, how much?

Please forgive my clumsy photo editing, but the following photos give you an idea of what I'm considering.

Option #1 Raise the neckline halfway to the widest point:

This gives some additional coverage, but still somewhat maintains the shape of the original neckline.

Option #2 Raise the neckline all the way to the widest point:

This will offer the maximum amount of coverage. Although the neckline shape is significantly different, it is still interesting.

I'm leaning toward option #2. I want to be able to wear this to work or to church and I think I need the maximum amount of coverage. But honestly, even if I kept this as strictly a "date night" dress, Mr. Frogs would be happier with option #2 as well.

I ordered three different stretch woven fabrics last night hoping one of them will be the right one for this dress. Cross your fingers for me. Hopefully I'll have a finished dress to share before too long.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Burda Style 09-2011-131 What's the Flap All About?

Sunday was muslin day. Recognize this?

Yep. I went ahead and did a quick and dirty muslin of dress #131 from the current Burda Style:

The results weren't too bad. Yes, I used flannel again, this time with Penguins. I apologize that the print makes it a little hard to see the lines.

I cut a 42 from shoulder to hip and a 44 from the hip down. I made no adjustments for the muslin. I can see that I need to make my usual tweaks- lengthen the waist, shorten above the bust, possible princess FBA, etc.

But let's just talk about the obvious, shall we? That neckline. Oh, Burda...

As you can see it is way too low. And believe it or not, the picture makes it look a little higher than it really is (I had to use my shorter photographer.) And don't let the flaps fool you, it is also scandalously wide. In the photo above, I have the shoulders pinned to my bra straps.

When I took the pins out, the shoulders immediately began to slip:

And continued to slip and collapse right off my shoulders when I so much as turned my head:

The V-neck in back doesn't help. I'm wondering if converting the back to a higher, round neck would help support the shoulders and keep them in place? I also wonder if I need to narrow the center of the dress and widen the side fronts, bringing the princess seams in toward the front and giving more coverage of the area above the bust toward the shoulders.

I like the dress, and I'd like to make it anad wear it, but I just don't know if all these tweaks would somehow ruin the style lines and turn it into something completely different.

I suppose one more muslin wouldn't hurt...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Revlon Steel-etto

When I finished my latest dress and started thinking about photos, I knew I wanted to wear just the right nail polish. I love the grey in the print and I wanted to set it off, so I immediately thought: gun metal.

So I went to my polish stash and pulled out Revlon's Steel-etto, from the Dark Pleasures collection.

I bought this years ago, when dark polish was becoming all the rage. I found a reference online the other night that indicated that this was sold in 2006. It seems like I've had it a lot longer than that. In any case, this is the first time I've worn it.

Let me just say, I love the packaging on this. I love the square bottle, the font on the front and the silver label on the back. I love the collection name, too- Dark Pleasures. Sounds naughty, doesn't it?

The color is pretty awesome, too. It's a gun metal grey with subtle silver shimmer that dries to a nice satin finish.

I was worried about the formula on this. After all, it's been sitting in a drawer for at least five years. I'm pleased to say that it was great. This is a true "one-coater." It was the perfect consistency- very liquid and workable. There is so much pigment that one thin coat was all I needed. It dried relatively fast, too. Just a couple of minutes and I was good to go.

I'm so pleased that this polish turned out to be so pretty and easy to apply. Because I have two other "untrieds" from this collection- a dark purple and a dark maroon red.

I'm thinking about wearing the red with this dress, too. It should pick up the red in the flowers quite nicely.

How about you? Do you have any polishes that have been waiting years to be tried? Why not get them out and give them a go?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Halloween Stitching Goodness

I was absolutely thrilled to find the Annual Halloween Issue of Just CrossStitch on the news stand at my local grocery store today. I have been anxiously waiting for it. There's just something about autumn and stitching that go hand in hand, and Halloween designs are some of my favorites.
I love the little Halloween ornaments. I'm thinking I might try the little purple house with the ghosts on the upper right.

Or maybe this little owl. He's not overly "Halloweeny" and could be left out on display until fall is over.

I like this one a lot, too. I have some purple linen in my stash. I love the color combo and the finishing on this one.

And probably my favorite thing in the issue is this:

I love samplers! And I like that this can be stitched up as a needleroll, too. The design uses hand dyed fibers and features cross stitch, specialty stitches, and two cute buttons. I need to go dig through my stash and see if I have the materials for this!

So you may be seeing some stitching around here soon...

And maybe if I start doing some stitching, the cooler weather won't be too far behind. I can hope, can't I?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Burda Style 07-2011-131

This dress has actually been finished for a few days, but it wasn't until today that I had an available photographer and enough daylight to take photos.
This is dress #131 from the July 2011 issue of Burda Style:

Here is the line drawing:

The dress shown in the magazine is made of crepe satin. I wanted my dress to be easy and comfortable and I didn't want to struggle too much with fitting, so I used ponte knit from Hancock Fabrics for my version.

I love the print- dusty red, pink, and grey flowers on a white background. It reminds me of a pen and ink drawing with a watercolor wash.

I cut a size 42 from shoulder to hip and a 44 from the hip down.

I did have some fitting issues, most notably the neckline, which was way too low. You can read about the muslin here. For this final version, I ended up making the following adjustments:

1. 1/4" petite adjustment above the bust

2. 1/2" princess seam FBA

3. 1" of length added at the waist

4. Raised neckline 1.5"!

5. Added approximately 1/4" to front armhole.

Since I used a knit, I left the zipper out completely.

I originally planned to use the facing pieces provided to finish the neck and armholes, but after all the adjustments I made to the bodice and neck, I was afraid they wouldn't fit correctly, and let's face it- I can be lazy sometimes. Also, I made a similar dress out of ponte knit a few months ago and I wasn't entirely pleased with the bulk of the facings and I wasn't able to get a good, crisp pressed edge.

So instead of using the facings, I just serged the raw edges, pressed the neckline seam allowances to the inside and topstitched them down

I used bias strips cut from white broadcloth to finish the armholes:

I topstitched the bias strips in place, connecting the stitching to the hem on the cap sleeves:

In the photo below you can see the extra 1/4" I added to the front armhole to help hide my armpit flab. I adjusted the side back piece as well so that the side seams would remain the same length and everything would fit together. (You can see part of my princess FBA, too.)

I am quite pleased with this dress. It looks nice, it's comfortable, and it was very easy to sew. Once I made all of the needed adjustments it was actually a very quick project. I might even make it again sometime. It would look nice in a solid...

If you like the look of a princess sheath, I highly recommend this pattern. Just make a muslin and check that neckline!

My regular photographer was busy with other things today, so I used my stand-in photographer, my 12 year old son, Bryan:

He did a really good job! It sure helps to have two photographers on call.

Stay tuned for more Burda sewing! It's a three day weekend, so I hope to get something accomplished. How about you? Any sewing plans for the long weekend?