Thursday, October 29, 2009

Homecoming 2009 and SWAP update

It's been some time since my last post. My sewing has just about come to a stand still. Seems to be my curse every time I start a SWAP the sewing muse leaves me. lol Any way SWAP update I have finished BWOF 4-2009-134 and S2948. The pants and cami turned out well. Once I have one whole outfit done I will post pictures. The Butterick 4985 blouse became a wadder. I've decided for now I'll stick to knit and non-button front tops for a bit. My mom being the great mom she is decided to try to jump start my sewing again. She purchasing me some fall clothes. Thank you mom. Nothing like a few new RTW outfit to remind me why I like to sew.

Once again my oldest daughter asked for a just right dress for Homecoming. Months ago when my burnt orange satin knit arrived from my daughter asked if she could have it. I told her not a chance. Little did I know that one of the many great sewers on PR would recommend B5383 to someone for s special Officers Ball. I saw the pattern and showed it to my daughter who remembered the orange fabric. B5383 had just enough youth mixed with the classy look my daughter was hoping and looking for. My daughter does not wear a lot of color so the fact that she wanted an orange dress to begin with was daring for her. The complements she got I'm hopping encourage her to wear some more color. We have 2 or 3 more formals this year.

Pattern Description:
This is a Maggy London Dress. This is a close-fitting tapered dress with side zipper and side front gathers. It has above or below the knee options. The bodice stay is lined.
Pattern Sizing:
AA (6-8-10-12) EE (14-16-18-20) we used an 18

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes except my version you cannot see the side gathers.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes the directions where easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This dress is very versatile. It can be dolled up in many ways because of it’s a classy cut. Worked perfect for my high school but would be perfect for someone of an older and wise age as well.
The one feature that I most want to show was the side gathers. They did not show in our fabric at all. Next time I will correct that.

Fabric Used:
Burnt orange satin knit from

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
We shortened it about 3 inches, and omitted the zipper.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes already have a winter formal version rolling around in the brain. Yes I would recommend it.

This was a great dress. Great for an advanced beginner or intermediate sewer. For my daughter it turned out to be a positive way to try a new color.

Up Next:

On my cutting table is Simplicity S2948, part of the Khaliah Ali Collection. I will be making the jacket and a cami.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

August Review and New Look At SWAP 2009

August was a sad sewing month for me. It was a month of trying Several muslin and ending up with more wadders than I would like. The below composition picture are the few that are wearable only at home.
So a quick recap.
BPF 8-2009-493: This was round 2 with this top. My dd happily inherited round one. This version I did my usual FBA, shortened the shoulder length, shortened the sleeve length and shortened the body length (petite). What I like about this pattern is that it has a cozy fit. Will be great during the long winters. What I did not like is that on my rectangle (H shape) body it looked really boxy and gave me new appearance of a shape. Fabric recycle from Goodwill cost of project $2.50
Simplicity3699: This was a test garment for the SWAP on PR. I decided it would make the perfect PJ top. I did my usual FBA and shortened the top from the hem. It was nice not to have to do to many alterations. A little more tweaking and I should have a TNT knit top. What I like The fit is really close to correct for my shape. What I need to work on working with binding and neck lines that have binding. Found out I need to work on this.
Easy Sewing The Kwik Sew Way: I made the t-shirt and the knit pants from this pattern. The T- shirt surprised me. This was my 5th try at this simple garment and my last. Not sure why but I am not impressed with t-shirt pattern. I ended up starting with a M even though my measurement would indicate I need a x-large. I'm still not satisfied that the sleeves and shoulders are correct. I did my normal FBA and shortened this pattern. I'm starting to see trend that I need to shorten my patterns. The pants Went together quickly. Alterations on this one included crotch depth shortened and length shortened.
Simplicity 3699, and the two Kwik Sew pieces made a nice set of PJ's (lounge wear) for this fall. The jersey from this project came from Goodwill and the cost for all 3 pieces $5.00
Simplicity 4503: Oh my cheetah skirt. I was so excited the day this cheetah print fabric arrived from I was not so excited once I finished Simplicity 4503. The a-line skirt fit just fine but did nothing for me. Instead of make the rectangular (H shape) look like it had curves it hung straight from the waist and looked frumpy. In attempted to save the skirt I tuned it into a pencil skirt by taking it in 5 inches on each side at hem. Like that the skirt is so light weight. Dislike even with alteration skirt did not make it to the yes I can wear this to work stage. Project cost: $9.00
BWOF 1-2009-131: Practice, practice and more practice was called for on this top. I pulled out the bonded neck 4 times and still it is not correct. I love this top and will make it again to practice the binding. Since this was also a muslin I tried to use fabric scraps. It was made with the left over Cheetah Charmeuse from and some poly interlock for Hancock. Cost of project $9.00
BWOF 6-2009-137: These pants were actually a June/July project. I haven't reviewed them yet so I thought I would add them here. This pattern is another one of those patterns not good with my rectangle body. The pattern has these great in the seam cut out pockets. On fortunately on me they stick out. The good thing about this pattern for the rectangular sewist is that it has a faced waist instead of a waist band. The waist also sits nice and high so you feel covered. Project Polyester stretch twill from cost of project $9.00

September is going to be a better sewing month for me. It's the begining of PR 3 month long SWAP. I was not excited by my original SWAP plan so I created a new one. Below is the new story board. Well it's time to get sewing.

Friday, August 21, 2009


OK so in past I mentioned that on
PR there is going to to be a wardrobe SWAP contest coming up from September 1 to November 30. I'm so excited for this contest. The last SWAP I entered I didn't finish and I'm hoping this one will give me the motivation I need to do all 3 stages of the SWAP mentioned in this
My goals are to create clothing that is fun and playful, able to work at both my job, and at relaxing times with my kids. Although I know not all the pieces will be able to do everything I'm excited to see what they can do.

SWAP Goals 5 tops, 4 bottoms and a topper. All tops must go with all bottoms and topper must go with all outfits created.

Today when I started my day this is what my storyboard looked like.

Items for my tops are Easy Sewing the Kwik Sew Way long sleeve t-shirt, BWOF 01-2009-131, BWOF 06-2009-135, BPF F/W 2009 403, Simplicity 3699, McCall's 5630. Yes I have an extra top here you never no when something doesn't go as planned. The bottoms are BWOF 01-2009-132, BWOF 04-2009-134, BPF S/S 2009 411 (I'll be lengthening these to be pants) and Simplicity 4503. I've chosen two toppers at the moment because I can't decide. They are McCall's 5860 and BPF F/W 2009 424.


Today I worked on a second wearable muslin of BPF F/W 403. The first one my dd is wearing in the picture below. This one is ok at best. I'll post a review and pictures once I have a camera man. My basic problem with this top is that with my rectangular (H) body shape I can not make it look like I have any shape. I feel like I'm wearing a pillow case or some thing. Please tell me your thoughts once I write the review but for now it is off the SWAP storyboard. I hope to find a replacement.

Another current goal is to to create some TNT patterns that fit me very well. I've noticed that many of my favorite bloggers seem to have a file cabinet full of their tried and true (TNT) patterns.

Have fun sewing .......

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Burda Plus Fashon F/W 403

Today I spent all day making
BPF 8-2009-403. I had intended it to be a nice top to add to my mini wardrobe. But some things happened first of the top really needs and FBA and to be shortened to fit me correctly. I had an extremely hard time attaching the standing collar of the cowl neck to the back edge. The directions Burda wrote still perplex me. Any way I know the method I did was not correct it created these two little pleats. My dd heard me during the last fitting of the top came out looked at it and said hey mom let me see that. A few minutes she came out wearing the top. This dd does not wear alot of color at all but wow the smile one her face I knew this version was meant for her. We will be getting some black leggings so it is school appropriate. What do you think?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rainbow Jeans and thoughts on a SWAP

I finally finished
BWOF 04-2009-134. They turned out to be a great pair of trouser jeans. I love how they have waist darts to help create waist and hip shaping. They then flare gentle to the floor creating a great shape for the wearer. I wore mine to work today (retail job). It was not jean day but these looked dress enough. They wore well with all the bending. lifting, walking and what not I do at my retail job. With that being said when I'm back to my job at the school these will be my Friday jean day pants. Any way I did my topstitching on these in rainbow thread so I've nicknamed them my rainbow jeans.
The fabric I used was 10oz Denim metro blue from $3.99 per yard Used 3 yards so $11.97 plus .68 rainbow thread so a pair of pants for $12.65. These are the first pants in my mini SWAP to get ready for the bigger on that starts in September on . I'm so excited to start the big 10 piece SWAP. In that SWAP you need to make 4 bottoms, 5 tops and an overpiece. the pieces have to work with each other. Should be challenging but fun. With 90 days to sew it we'll see how many pieces I get done.
Ok, a few weeks back one of the managers I work with in the retail store asked me if I really save a lot of money sewing my own clothes. My answer at the time was I don't know. But when I think about it the two RTW tops I bought that did not make it through the summer cost about as much as all the clothes I made and have been wearing all summer. I was so inspired by her question I decided to try a year long SWAP in which I rebuild my wardrobe only by sewing the garment. This challenge is sewing the clothes I uses in a year excludes undergarments, shoes and acessories. I will post how much the item of clothes cost me and where I bought the fabric. At the end of the year I'll add up how much I spent. I will also post composit pictures.
anyway it llte until next time.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Creating a Fall/Winter SWAP

Here we go again. It's the time of year where I start to think it's time to change my wardrobe. This year I've opted to sew a SWAP. A SWAP is Sewing With A Plan. My first step was collecting and going through possible fabric, patterns and magazine pictures of items I would like to use. The next step was trying to figure out how I was going to use each of these 20 pieces of fabric. That is what you can see in my slides. I've named each piece to what it will be used for. Sorry picture 2 is a bit fuzzy. What I hope to do is create all the stages in this

great article. The article is broken down into 3 stages that in the end create 28 to 30 pieces that can be mixed together to create a basic wardrobe.

My challenges: I work two jobs. One who's dress code is best descibed as work-casual. The other job's in a retail store is more semi-professional and needs to be some what on trend. To top that all off I'm a busy single mom of 4. So yep you guessed it my wardrobe needs to fit all my roles. Next blog I hope to show you a small grouping of ideas for this SWAP.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dresses For My Girls

Ah!!! My first blog post.

Well I finally got done with my dd dresses. It been a long month of sew mainly for my girls. They were invited to a fairly formal wedding so the adventure for the perfect dress started.

My younger girl is very influenced by the styles of the 50's (Grease), the 80's (early Madonna and Cindy Lopper) and a current fashion culture in Japan called Gothic Lolita. The smart girl that she is went shopping in my fabric stash and found the perfect pieces to create her calm look for this wedding out of Burda 9576 . She had to have matching knee length leggings and a petticoat. If she could of totally had her way the petticoat would have had several , more layers of net.

My oldest dd look from

McCalls 5850 is another one of her famous bubble or balloon skirt dress. She tells me the next dress will be a long formal. All though I feel the skirt could have been a size smaller she is very happy with her dress which will also be worn to one of her many school dances.

Like always I try to use as much recycled fabric as I can. When I say recycled what I mean is the fabric was bought at a thrift or Goodwill store. So in this case white bridal satin, and the blue jersey came from a local Goodwill, the eggplant satin from Hancock fabric and the Punchy Pique Dot Azure from Both dress cost me a fraction of the cost in RTW. Really all that matters to me is that the girls are happy.

Next up is sewing for me. I've been working on a TNT T-shirt pattern. I'm also planning a fall SWAP wardrobe. SWAP = sewing with a plan. You can learn more about what that is from this
article. I'll let you know more about my plan at the next blog.