Friday, December 31, 2010

HaPpY New Year everyone. Make it a sewing good year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and your family. May the season be filled with peace, love and joy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

MJ Returns

Moon walk, moon walk, spin squeal and grab the ....... OK so these are the moves my son has perfected for his impromptu Michael Jackson imitations. My son is a total MJ fan. It came as no surprise that he would ask me to make him a jacket to complete his Michael Jackson costume for Halloween 2010 complete with the Lutterloh pattern marked with a post it.

 The pattern he chose is Lutterloh Special edition 12 Children's Clothes 69. It was my first time sewing up a children's jacket and the first time since my son was a baby to actually making him a garment. Here is my review.

Pattern Description:

A late sixties early seventies inspired jacket. Buttons at cuff and welt pockets at waist. Original design has a welt pocket at bust level also. This jacket has no color and has darts for shaping.

Pattern Sizing:
This is a Lutterloh children's pattern so chest measurement 72-80 is most suited for this. The explained at the beginning of the publication to chose a style most closely resembling your child’s age.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?<
Yes it looked like the drawing.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
No instructions. I consulted my Singer Sewing Reference Library Tailoring book and A Guide to Fashion Sewing. I also had one male friend take a look at his suit and describe to me what he saw. lol what fun that was.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the two part sleeve. Lutterloh pieces for the most part go together smoothly. For some odd reason the sleeve caps did not want to fit into the sleeve opening. Not sure if I drafted it daffy or what but my easing was not working at all.

Fabric Used:
Poly/cotton twill charcoal from

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did not line this. We also left of the breast level welt pocket. First time I've done a welt pocket in years. The first one was not the best so we only made two at waist level. We had to do a little trimming at the sleeve cap which caused the sleeve in that area to be a little tight but again I did all my fitting on his sister who is not as wide in the shoulders. Sign next time I will fit on him.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I will sew it again. My son is a huge Michael Jackson fan, and is enjoying his jacket. (Part of his Halloween costume.) I never quite know when he is going to moon walk across the floor.
This pattern is a good pattern and well constructed. Not sure why I had the troubles I did so yes I do recommend it.

Great little jacket worked great for my son's Michael Jackson costume.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Winter Coat Piece 1 Of The Winter 6 Pack

Currently I am trying to sew along with the 6 piece winter collection at Stitcher's Guild. If I get 4 pieces done by the time Pattern Reviews endless combinations contest. is in the final week I will enter. In the past I get side tracked entering contests.

I have been in need of a new winter coat for sometime. So a year ago I started playing with the idea of making one. With McCalls 4975 and some cheap polar fleece from Walmart I was ready to conquer first time coat making. It did not take very long into the project to realize the cheap fleece was cheap because it weave was not smooth in some places it was so thin you could see through it. So McCalls 4975 became a trial run that lost is fizzle and now sits hidden in a closet.

In spring I bought some new polar fleece well it was on sale at Hancock Fabrics. It wasn't the black I wanted but a lovely shade of gray. Who can work on a winter coat well it's warm out side not me. Fall is here and we have had our first snow fall. Thanks giving being a four day weekend seemed like the prefect time to try a coat again. I could not find the pattern for McCalls 4975 must be hiding up there in the closet with the coat. So out came my lutterloh and supplement 268 #275 seamed to fit what I was looking for.
This project went together so nicely. I had never sewn with polar fleece before. I was very scared to try to place any heat on it so my seams are not pressed open as nicely as I would like but I am happy with my new coat.
The Stats On It
3 yards charcoal polar fleece
3 1 inch black buttons with a shank
3  1 inch snaps.
I did not line this one.

My Review

Pattern Description:

This a wonderful princess seamed full cut winter coat that works well with the full figured and/or curvy.

Pattern Sizing:
Lutterloh is based on your bust and hip measurement. So ideally if your bust and hip are 50cm to 140cm the system should work for you.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes very much

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Lutterloh has no directions. Used A Guide to Fashion Sewing when to double check what I had planned to do.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love how easy the pieces all fit together. Although I know the coat was cut full I wish it skimmed the body a little more.

Fabric Used:
Polar Fleece. I hate the feel of wool close to my skin. :) Even with a lining I would be itching.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None really. Gosh have not said that in a long time. I did not line this one and I used snaps instead of attempting button holes on this thick fabric.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I will be my daughter pointed out she did not think it will be warm enough for our winters so I am thinking of making a lined one in faux fur.

Yes this is a great little coat. To get your winter coat making skills started.

I love my new coat and hope to get lots of wear from it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Homecoming 2010

One of the great joys of the high school experience for girls is the adventure of finding the perfect dress. One they hope no one else will have on for all those wonderful social events, dances and balls. The same experience for moms is not quiet so magical as at each store we see 100's of similar dress. 90% of them way to grown up for our little girl. Sigh the tug off war over allowing those little girls to become young women begins.

My oldest daughter learned real fast that often the dress picked up at the store was not what she expected and through her high school years to date has convinced me to make several of her dress. Over summer she laughed as she realized it was these dress that got her complements and peers wondering where her one of a kind gown came from.

With that thought my daughter watched carfully as each new Burda, Lutterloh, Vogue pattern magazine and all their friends came in the door. She often would say that dress would make a great  dress for ....... This summer was no different The July issue of Burda Style arrived and my daughter fell in love with Burda Style 07-2010-117 . This Lovely scarf dress fit both of my daughter style ideis of whimsical and ethnic. She is quiet happy with her choice for Homecoming 2010.

Pattern Description:

From Burda Style Unlimited Horizons: Strive for new fashion goals in this comfortable and striking jersey dress. A wide scarf caught in the lower left side seam is draped up over the right shoulder and across the back down to the side seam. What a stunning effect.

Pattern Sizing:
Size 34-42. I resized this up to a 44 for my daughter.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?<

Were the instructions easy to follow?
For Burda the instructions were easy enough to follow. Only problem I ran into was attaching the narrow band. My daughter said she didn't like the narrow band any way so we eliminated it from the dress.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This dress fit my daughter's three main style elements simplicity, whimsical and ethnic. When she first saw this dress she knew she wanted it for her homecoming dress.

Our only disappointment came with small pieces of her bra showing and the fact that we could not find red satin jersey to make the dress in. otherwise all smiles.

Fabric Used:
We used a very pretty shade of blue satin jersey rescued from the local Goodwill store.
Total of 3.5 yards.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Had to resize the pattern from a 42 to a 44. Took 1 inch seams. We eliminated the narrow band, and tacked the scarf down in the front. No big alterations were needed.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes this would make a great little black dress. Yes it would be a fun dress to sew again.

A funny little dress with all the wow power.

Monday, August 9, 2010

1st Blog Aniversary

One year ago on August 8 2009 I started this blog to journal the blooming I saw going on in my wardrobe.  With 23 blogs under my belt I don't think I'm doing so badly. But  I also see a few changes and fall aways did happen. I started out measuring the approximate cost of the garment I was making. this was for budget purposes as well as to answer  the question a friend asked if I felt I was really saving. The second fall away happened during a swap contest. I was content with trying not to purchase anything all year only but hit a creative road block so my mom bought me some clothes. I was unwilling to stop my spending on me or my kids, and I end up sewing less. Gosh that's not good

I re looked at what I'm doing. What I find important to blog about and if I have any current goals. First and foremost my blog is still and always will be primarily a journal about sewing, fashion, and reading. Secondly My first goal is to work toward finding styles that fit my body and my body type. So I will continue the route of creating TNT patterns. So more work and practice with fit are in this years plan. Two great sites to learn more about your body type are Inside Out Style and My Virtual Makeover.

Secondly I would again like to challenge my consumerism and make the majority of my clothes this year. So here is my plan Only unmentionable (undergarments, socks, tights spanx etc) can be bought new along with the occasional wow item and shoes. So I'm setting a budget of $15.00 per month for RTW which is allowed to carry over month to month. I am allowed to spend no more than $15.00 per month thrifting for sweaters, accessories and few hole filling items. My sewing budget I'm going to allow $40.00 per month this should cover fabric, notions and patterns. Note here it does not include renewing subscription to Burda or purchasing supplements for the Lutterloh as both of these come out of gift money. So that means my monthly clothing budget is $70.00. That's actually what it was set at last year but by the end of the year I found I had spent more than twice as much. It's funny because I seldom wear some of the budget busting pieces I had to have. Sigh time to get better focused.

Ok enough rambling on and on. Time for some sewing. I currently working on a lutterloh jacket. It is 92 in the 2009 lutterloh or 92 in supplement 270. Great little short sleeve zipper front jacket in woven. Until next time happy sewing. I'm so glad your on this journey with me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Didn't Sign Up for Jodhpurs!!!!

Muslin 1 Lutterloh 2009-91
I finally finished my first Lutterloh pants. Can I say I love how nicely the pattern pieces all fit together. I hate trying to buy pants. Being a rectangle or O body shape I usually have to buy pants for my waist and than take them home and take them in at the hip. Not the worst alteration but still work. Lately even the pants that are made per body type have not worked. Main problem is after a few hours of wear they fall off because they have stretched to fit my curves. sigh......So here is where trying to create a hand full of TNT pant patterns come in.

My first Lutterloh pant pattern is 2009 -91. It a very simple basic straight leg trouser pattern. But my muslin proved it was going to need some fitting work. So with some smooth music provided by my friend D~ I set off to fit these pants. I love them so far. They fit me well and yes they don't fall off.

muslin 2
Below is my review of them from PR you can see more pictures at my Flickr.
 Pattern Description:

Straight leg trouser that sits at or slightly below your waist. These trousers feature a side zipper, no pockets and darted front and back.  You can see the image on Lutterloh site.

Pattern Sizing:
Lutterloh uses you bust and hip measurement. Since these are pants it only uses your hip measurement.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Close enough.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Lutterloh has no directions. You will need to create a plan. I strongly suggest having and using sewing manuals when stuck. Or any good pant pattern directions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
My likes hum…..It has a nice simple line but is very dressy so business appropriate for my jobs. Can easily dress these up or down depending on the seen
Dislike this pattern is very hippy. It was clearly designed for a pretty pear or a hourglass. But not a rectangle or an O without a lot of alterations. On me the originals looked similar to jodhpurs. lol

Fabric Used:
Muslin 1- cotton muslin fabric.
Muslin 2- This was supposed to be wearable. Poly, Rayon. And lycra from
Try number 3-Poly rayon and lycra suiting from Hancock.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
All the alterations I did are typical of me and my pants fitting.
sigh my very nice fitting Lutterloh 2009-91
Using  Fast Fit I did a big tummy skinny leg alteration to add nearly 12 inches to the waist area. I moved front and back dart 1 inch. Per  Pants for Real People I shorten the pants 4 inches. Realized after first pattern fitting need to do a flat derriere alteration of ¾inch.
Upon completion of second muslin I realized I still had add way too much room. I took ¼” of the side seems and still had wings at my hips Sigh….
The third pair I did a narrow hip adjustment per Fitting & Pattern Alteration A Multi-Method Approach . The method I used was slide and pivot and took out 1.25 inches from each side seam tapering up to the waist.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes I will be sewing these again. Yes I would recommend just make sure you take the time to fit them.

A nice pair of basic side zip pants for work or play.

Lutterloh 2009-91 paired up with Butterick 5100

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm Big, I'm Beautiful and I'm not bashful about it!

Style and Company at Macy's
Warning this is a rant blog. Please forgive me I'm sick of the whole weight issue in America.
"Fifty Years ago, the fashionable American woman was size 16 going on size 18. Today she is size 12 going on size 10. Tables of statistics have made her health conscious. Mass media have made her youth conscious. Size has become a status symbol." ~ Adele P. Margolis 1969 from How to Make Clothes that Fit and Flatter

Those same statistics, media messages and society pressures are still present toady. Some times so much I want to scream stop please and lets instead except everyone as they are. Size really does not matter but living a health lifestyle does.  It's interesting to me when media tries to get it right how quick the haters come out to continue pushing the pressure on any group of people that do not fit into what they presume to be the correct way. For large woman the number one criticism is get up off your tail and do something.  The number two criticism is well if you wear something that flatters you you'll look better.
I want to look at both of these criticism in short so if I get ranty for give me.
Me made
If you wear something that flatters you you'll look better
Who determines what the current look or trend is? The fashion industry of course. RTW has for a long time over looked the plus size market. Either down sizing or limiting styles to plus size woman. The few stores that cater to nearly half of the adult female population like every one else move up and down with the economy. But often as a plus size woman we don't understand how the fashion industry works. Recently NYT put out an article that attempts to explain the problem. See the link here.  Pattern Reviews very own Kathleen Fasanella was quoted in the article. She further explains her quotes on PR in this discussion of the article. It's funny how and industry that should be helping solve the problem also seems to be the cause.  As mentioned before I work in a shop as my second job. I see woman who have been told for years wear something baggy and it covers your bumps, lumps and other things. They don't understand or are too conscious when told that outfits that skim the body actually make you look thinner and feel better. Those who have embraced wearing the correct foundations, finding a good seamstress for alterations and only buying what really fits and flatters them are some of the most fashionable women in town no matter what size. For me and many of my fellow sewist we have found a way to limit the problems for our own unique bodies and that is to create wonderful garments for our self. Yes some times we create a wader but there are alot more winners the better we get with knowing our body. The funny thing to me is that the problem of what to wear is not just limited to the plus size market but to womens clothing in general. My youngest daughter is a size 00 an we have a hard time finding things to work for her too. So the next time you see a friend, stranger, or co-work dressed to the nine tell her you love her look she probable spent hours looking for or making that great outfit.
Get up off your tail and do something!
"I'm a size 20 who just finished dance teacher training.. six hours of dancing and yoga a day for 10 days. I wonder how many of the people posting nasty comments could keep up?" BoredNowPhillyJuly 29th, 20102:56 pm Comment from the NYT article above.
Lane Bryant top and thrifted pants 2005
Let make it clear not every plus size woman is large because they eat wrong, are lazy, don't exercise or are poor. Recently when I was watching CNN they interviewed a former Secretary of health who made it quiet clear that the current science of things can and does have extremely health people being categorized as obese and overweight. I've often told well meaning friends, relatives and students I really don't loss weight. Only twice since graduating high school have I been less than a size 14. The first time they discovered that I was a diabetic. Being put on food plans, exercise plans and medicine plans brought my weight up to higher than what it currently is. The second time was five years ago well I was on what I call the "divorce diet". Again once the stress of things was off my body the weight came back. Today I focus more on just living a healthy life style making sure my body stays on the strict food plan, walking 2 to 6 miles every day, having enough sleep and just trying my best to be active. I'm a much happier person today because of it.
 It saddens me to see woman who have been dieting and exercising for years hating them self because they cant fit into the model that is so often thrown at us. I often tell these women buy your self a new outfit and enjoy life you might just be at "your perfect" weight. I found it interesting that this study shows that overweight elderly live up to 10 years longer than their thin counterparts. I'm not and advocate for fat or for thin. I do believe we all need to live has healthy as we can.
I'm done ranting and will be back to sewing. Still working on Lutterloh pants. My friend D~ was nice enough to provide me with a playlist (music) the other day so I could do surgery on the pattern. Today I will be making a muslin.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My First Lutterloh Blouse

Lutterloh 2009 19 or Supplement 273 19
and Burda Plus Fashion spring/summer 2008
(E 985) 405 skirt.
 This weekend I got a chance to play with my new Lutterloh System. Let me start out by saying love this system. I went into it totally knowing I would have to make all or most of my usual alterations. But since I have not made a button down blouse that fits me in years I figured it would be a good way to test a garment with the lutterloh. So in essence this is a very nice wearable test garment that will come in handy this fall. I carefully planned and prepared how I would put this garment together since Lutterloh has no directions. My copy of A Guide to Fashion Sewing by Connie Amaden-Crawford was consulted briefly. Over all I am pleased with this blouse.  There are a few fitting issues I will be playing with any suggestions are welcome.

Anyway here is the review I posted on PR. I plan to use this as a layering piece this fall.

Pattern Description:

Easy summer sleeveless blouse with self facing and no collar.

Pattern Sizing:
Lutterloh is based on your bust and hip measurement.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Lutterloh has no directions. Used A Guide to Fashion Sewing when to double check what I had planned to do.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I had been looking for an easy transitional (summer to fall or spring to summer) piece that could be layered but dress enough to wear alone. This sleeveless blouse seems to fit my lifestyle.

Don't really have a dislike yet.

Fabric Used:
This is a poly crepe or a poly-rayon crepe I saved from Goodwill $1.99 for 5 yards.
Sorry did not do a burn test so fabric suggestions based on feel test.
I used about 1.5 to 2 yards of fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made my usual list of blouse alterations. 2.5 FBA, Moved dart up 1/2 inch. (FFRP) Narrow shoulder adjustment 1/2 inch (Pattern Fitting with Confidence) Removed all back darts need the room for my thick stomach. In the end I had add to much room and had to take out 3/4 inch from each seem and lengthen dart 1 inch.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I will be making this again. Want to work a bit on the fit. Yes I would recommend this for others. Beginners need to make sure they have made a blouse before.

Great little layering piece.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Burda Style 06-2010-122

Well my daughter graciously allowed me to take a few quick preview shots of her in her new dress. I had to promise not to publish to Facebook where her friends might see. LOL I'm sure there were a few reasons but the first and foremost one was she plans to use this dress this year for senior pictures. So I ask you to please ignore the lack of beautifying she plans to do before the real picture is taken.
What you need to know is that my daughter has been greedily eyeing the June 2010 issue of Burda Style magazine.  Many of the styles in it called out to her whimsical/bohemian heart. This one came with a mom do you think an eyelet dress would look good on me. Needless to say that on one of my trips to fabric hunting (searching for a bargain) I saw this red tag eyelet at Joannes for 50% off which does not happen to often at Joanne's. After a quick call and trip home daughter took a look at it and declared this was it. The fabric was polyester but very thin and light weight so perfect for what she wanted. Thin wasn't the word sheer would have better matched it. By the time we left the start daughter realized that yes I would sew this dress but it must be lined.

My daughter has been collecting accessories to go with this dress for her pictures. Today she found a shell necklace that she plans to wear and would not let me photo. Below is my review from PR.

Pattern Description:

From Burda Style Relax on the beach in this loose-fitting dress with practical pockets and pretty lace trim.

Pattern Sizing:

38, 40, 42, 44, 46. My dd took a straight 46

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Typical of Burda magazine but yes you can follow them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

My dd had marked this dress from the beginning because it looked fun and carefree. That fits very well into her whimsical/bohemian style.

No dislikes yet. But she could not understand why pockets.

Fabric Used:

Polyester eyelet and lace hemming type from Joanne Fabrics

Polyester batiste for the lining from my stash

Both of these fabrics ravel badly.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

We left off the pockets and belt made from self fabric. I also lined the dress since the eyelet was very light and very see through.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Have a feeling this maybe made again but this copy my daughter plans to use for her senior pictures.

Yes this was a super simple and stylish summer dress.


A wonderful easy breezy summer dress.

Next up my first Lutterloh, Lutterloh 2009-19. What girl doesn't want a sleeveless shirt for under jackets and cardigans.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The story of a TNT top.

Once upon a time there was a fashionista who long to find clothes that fit. She searched high and she searched low but RTW often lacked quality and really lacked styles that she was comfortable in.

She relized very quickly that covering her spare tire and lovely twins was hard work. This or that friend offered advice or suggest this store or that. But still a huge struggle of a a possitive self image seemed to follow each shopping trip.

So as a young teen our fashionista began to learn to sew and tailor. The classes at school were good. She finally had some clothes that fit and that she loved. She dreamed of someday moving to NYC and being a famous designer. But art school did not happen insted 5 little happy peas decided to pop out of their pods and jump around like happy little hot peppers. So our fashionista traded in her fashion for motherhood and happily sewed little baby rompers and kids clothes.

Anyone who loves fashion knows that if the feel of the fabric or the smell of a new garment are left dormant too long the frump frump land can appear often in young mothers. And so it did.

Fashion blood runs deep and soon our young mother found herself working at a shop. A shop that required she dress nice in current season and colors. The fit issues with the RTW started again. But not to be fooled and not to be satisfied our now single mother put on the smock of a sewist.  Armed with fitting books, sewing books and tapes,  patterns and piles of fabric stash and good sewing friends on PR and blogs she set out to find a TNT.  

A TNT she did find in McCalls 5977. The first picture of our sewist is view A. Our second picture is view A played with. Folowing the directions found in Make Your Own Dress Patterns the darts have been rotated to the neckline and the pleated bib left off. The third picture was an experiment of more pattern manipulation following some great ideas in Make Your Own Patterns. All three pieces are part of the pink lipstick collect.

The smile on her face is one of gratitude. She is "sew" happy to have found great inspiration in fellow sewist and ametur designers. To have found out the power of a TNT and pattern manipulation, and the grace of God not to let her give up.

Until next time she is busy working on Burda Style 6-2010-122 for her daughter who really wanted a eyelet dress.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thrift Store Finds and Eye Candy

Being a single mom I don't just sew because it relaxing but also it's a way for me to stretch the every tight budget. Another way for me to stretch that budget is to thrift. It's great fun when my youngest daughter can find a out fit or two for and absurdly low price of like $10.00 and look completely in fashion. But if I can find some great deals to add to the sewing room I always come home jolly.

This week was one of those weeks. The picture to the left are this weeks thrift store finds. Six plus yards of brown print charmeuse perfect for lining pants, jackets or skirts this fall. Two yards of blue print poly knit and three yards of brown & red print poly knit great for making tops for work. All ten plus yards cost me a $1.05. I couldn't be more happy to rescued them from my look thrift store even if all they become is messy copies for some upcoming project. It still was an excellent deal. The new tailors ham comes at the best time too since my current one was getting really flat.

The mail man was kind enough to bring me some eye candy as well. I've owned several pattern making systems in the past. Usually with mixed results. So when I was going through my divorce I sold them and never looked back.

 Three or four years back I started sewing again. It was a great way to relax and challenge the old brain. With the want and need to sew also came the want and need to learn to be a better seamstress.

 I had never heard of fitting back in home ec classes in high school. I do remember my teaches pushing me to learn more about tailoring by working co-op at a men's store which I refused to do. They also pushed me to take a fitting class with a company that was coming into town to sell its product again I politely reused.

Back in high school I wanted to be a designer not a seamstress. So if it wasn't going to help me get into design school I didn't want to do it. LOL if I only knew then that I wouldn't go on to design school but instead get a degree in Marketing and Fashion Merchandising and get married and start a family.  Maybe I would not have been so stubborn.

Well my mom decided to give me and early gift, and for my birthday I decided to invest in that system that 20+ years ago my home ec teachers where pushing me towards. I've studied it alot and know most people have a love hate relationship with their Lutterloh. Yet I'm sure this was a good move for me at the time. I love my BurdaStyle Magazines but I dislike the tracing, up sizing or down sizing to fit my two dd and me. With the Lutterloh I should be able to draft of a pattern closer to the size I need to start a project. So when I figured out to get started with Lutterloh I would get 280 patterns I jumped for it. I could never buy that many patterns from the big 4 or Burda for the price of Lutterloh.

I'm looking forward to starting a new adventure with the Lutterloh. Burda and my other friends will not be left behind because ever good seamstress realizes a pattern is just a tool to get started on making the fashion dream come true.

Up next still playing with McCall's 5977

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Beginning of Pink Lipstick Collection M5977

Pink blouse made by me M5977 polyester jersey (trifted)
White crops Burda Plus Fashion Spring/Summer 2009 410/411 Hybred 100% cotton denim Hancock (TNT pattern)
White skirt Burda Style 3-10-136 100% cotton denim Hancock
Pink purse Prada (thrifted most likely imitation.)
White sandals Predictions at Payless
Wood bead braclet by my daughter. Thanks baby.

I always wanted to do that. LOL. Ok introducing my lipstick collection. The main focus colors in this collection are white and the bright pink. I love this pink color and a million years ago when I was back in high school I wore a shade of lipstick or lip gloss this exact shade. When I think about it my blush used as eye shadow back than was close too. So imagine my joy when I discovered that I had several pieces of fabric sitting in my stash or waiting patiently in my cart. Our the greed in my eyes when upon entering Joann fabric I found the perfect dotted jersey with this color . Yeah, girl gots it bad. But really the orange and white theme was not working for me.

The crop pants are made up in a white 100% cotton in my favorite tnt crop pattern. I was worried since the pants have no spandex or lycra I would have a problem whit comfort. No problem here, the cotton denim stretches nicely well wearing and comes back to shape in the wash. Because this is a tnt pattern not reviewing them again on PR but you can read an older review about the pattern here. I did not make this pair any different than I did the pink pair from last summer.
The denim skirt, Burda Style 3-10-136 I spoke about in a past blog and still love it. I will be using this pattern again shortly.
Pattern Description:

Now on with the show. The pink blouse is McCalls 5977 view A. This pattern is described by McCalls as being a pullover top having neck and armhole bindings and stitched hem, Top A has to layers of pleated ruffles.

Pattern Sizing:

A5(6-8-10-12-14) EE(14-16-18-20) I started with an 18

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes instructions were good. a Beginner could use them with little help.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This is a top that is in trend right now but is classic enough to add a little fun in years to come. I'll be truth worthy I want to see if I could try the little ruffle thing.

No huge dislikes.
Fabric Used:

Fabric called for lightweight fabric like crepe de dhine, challis, charmeuse, cotton blend, bastiste and double georgette.

Fabric I used to rebel is an nice Matted Jersey rescued from Goodwill.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Oh dear not a ton but I did have to change things up a bit. First I used a knit fabric. My Matted Jersey was screaming to be made into this blouse. I need to make a narrow shoulder alteration of about 1/2" add 3/8" to the bust and 1/8" to the waist as suggested in Pattern Fitting with Confidence. Upon a paper fit I realized I need to move down the dart 1/2", so out came my Fit for Real People to help get it done. In my test garment I learned that the hem and arm holes stretched. Knowing I need to stabilize the hem I used the interfacing trick found in Easy Guide to Sewing. Luckily I did not need to do a gapping armhole adjustment.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes I think this is a well fitting pattern well on its way to becoming a TNT. I can't wait to practice some dart manipulations on this pattern.

Yes this is a great wardrobe builder easy enough for a beginner.


I love this little top and have several plans for additions from this pattern. Joy of all joys my bra straps don’t show, What an add feature.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Penguin in Pink.......maybe

Well for the fun of it (read work avoidance) I took this test. I find most of these types of test funny and hold little truth to the person. Interestingly enough though this test picked picked my favorite bird as being my match. Hum some interesting stuff there. And it certainly explains why my sloppy Copy 2 of m5977 is still laying in a bright pink heep on my sewing table. Time to get serious and get working instead of reading every blog know to man (work avoidance). So my current goal finish m5977 this week get it photoed and published.
Time to get back to work. I thought you might want to read about the Penguin.
Now you see it, now you don't. Aggressive yet gentle, outgoing but shy, stable yet flighty - everyone sees the penguin in a different way. It's that black and white thing: the penguin only reveals the side that it wants to you to see. So whether you like this darling-devil or not, you have to concede that it's a fascinating and enigmatic individual.

Penguins are birds condemned to live out their days on the ground. Unable to fly, their excess energy has no outlet save their creative talents and emotional outbursts. Penguins are poetic, artistic, and intellectually gifted, and as writers penguins have no equal.

But, if unable to channel their impulses in a positive way, the resulting turmoil proves damaging to their relationships and careers.

Penguins are deceptively intelligent and are particularly animated when intellectually challenged. They excel at word games and puzzles but are modest about their abilities and are generally underestimated by others.

With their misunderstood personality, penguins find writing an ideal tool for expressing their true feelings. They have a natural aptitude for languages and penguin personalities dominate the world of publishing as writers, editors, and journalists.

With a natural aptitude for languages, penguin personalities dominate the world of publishing as writers, editors and journalists. A strong sense of drama draws them to the theater and cinema, although unlike typical bird personalities they avoid the spotlight unless they're able to hide behind the characters they play. Once on stage however, they prove to be excellent performers with their multifaceted personalities conveying the full gamut of emotions.

However, a lack of confidence affects their work. Penguins tend to give up on tasks they were otherwise capable of and are often disappointed with their performance. Still, work never dominates their life and they always put their family first.

Happy sewing!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Page From My Journal (sewing related)

A few nights ago I was reading Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing blog spot. I was very interested in the theory that if you spend 10,000 hours truly learning and working hard at anything you will become a master at it. I decide I was up for the challenge at trying this with my sewing and seeing if I improve of sit quietly at a plateau. So Victoria thank you for laying out a great plan. I hope you don't mind I'm borrowing from your idea.

Tonight I find myself doing sewing related activities not sewing. Yeah it's because I finished sloppy copy 1 of M5977. I found myself revisiting the idea that the pleated bib is not the best look for my big 40F size boobs. ( Picture posted later.) What is a girl to do because I intend to get this pattern fitting correctly maybe san the bib. So sloppy copy #2 fabric and a few other floating pieces of fabric are in the washer and dryer and I’m pouring over books relooking at the issue at hand so what can a H or slightly O shaped person wear? Too often I feel my style and choices are so simple with no edge. The books out in front of me are. Fashion for Dummies, InStyle Secrets of Style, Nothing to Wear, Easy Guide to Sewing and The Vogue Sewing Book (1975 copyright) I have also visited a great website Inside Out Style.

So what do you think? Does a large busted H (rectangular) or O have the right to wear pleating on the bust.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sewing and Books

For a long time I could not figure out how to combined my two passions. I'm in love with collecting good books just about as much as I enjoy playing with fabric and creating a new garment. I girl needs insperation. Why not take it from a book.

Several years ago I sold most of my sewing books. In the last 12 months I started to slowly rebuilding that collection. I'm going to try to review the books I most enjoy or use one at a time. You will also see me note the books I used as a reference when I sew.

First up is the Weekend Sewer's Guide to Pants and Skirts. I love this book. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane and was packed full of time saving ideas. The garments are dated but there are a few gems to grab on to and try. The invisable tummy slimmer is one of those great ideas that a home sewist can use. Totally takes the mystery out of all the RTW secret slimmers in pants. Any way her is my review of the book.

Book Index/Chapter headings
GET READY...With a Perfect Fit for You, and Your Lifestyle
GET SET...With Some Creative Inspiration
About the designers

Paper Back or Hard Bound?
Hard Bound I have the 1998 edition
Does this book have clear illustrations or photographs?
Yes both. It’s a very nice trip down memory lane.

Would you recommend this book as a MUST HAVE?

It would depend. If you’re looking for a book with tons of update fitting and design ideas. This is not the book for you. If you’re looking for a book with ideas on how to plan your sewing, a little history about clothing, like where did blue jeans come from, and some older ideas that work today for example adding a tummy slimmer. Than this is a great book for you. Personally I read this book much like I would a novel. Had a lot of trips down memory lane and some real neat light bulb moments. Will be incorporating a few ideas into my own sewing.

Just about done with a white denim version on my TNT crop pant pattern Burda Plus Spring/Summer 2009-411. These crops are piece 3 in my intial 4 piece spring/summer collection in orange and white.

Up next might be McCall's M5977 view A in orange interlock. Will have to wait and see.

Happy sewing!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Outfit of Spring

Well here it is the first outfit of my spring sew season. I started these two peices to be part of Pattern Review Mini Wardrobe competiton. All though I did not complete the 4 pieces of the competiton I did get a good start on my spring summer wardrobe with these 2 pieces.
The first piece is Burda Plus Fashion 02-2010-410. This tunic hip length tunic can be made in a woven or in a knit. I chose to make mine in a stretch jersey knit with orange and teal dots on it from I'm loving how carefree it is but I'm not liking the fact that it makes me look pregnant which I am not. you can read my review of the pattern here on PR. I used some new idea/techniques on this top that I learned from some books in my sewing library. The titles of the two books are The Stretch and Sew Guide to Sewing Knits by Ann Parson and Easy Guide to Sewing by Lynn MacIntyre and Marcy Tilton. I will most like make this top again in a solid color because I really would like to try to create a casing that would make the drawstring go completely around you body instead of resting on your back and gathering all in the front.
The second piece is Burda Style 03-2010-136. This is a wonderful lined pencil skirt with real neat front darts that come off the side seam. Just what my belly needed. Ah! I can not tell you how comfortable this skirt is. This was the first time I lined a skirt. Let me just say every skirt I make will have a lining. Being a rectangle type of body I just want to say pencil skirts look so great on us. I believe O shapes/apples would look great in a pencill skirt too. It's all about the legs baby. I made this skirt out of some 100 % cotton white denim from Hancock Fabrics. Just can't tell you how great this denim was to sew. And did I mention the china silk polyester lining from Yeally enjoyed this project it went together so well. I did have to shorten this skirt about 4 inches and add about 2 inches to each seam to the waist make it work. Resources I used to help make this skirt; for the kick pleat I consulted Easy Guide to Sewing by Lynn MacIntyre and Marcy Tilton. For the waist I used Nancy Zieman's Pattern Fitting with Confidence. Did I mention that I put 1/4 inch elastic in the seam of the waist band so it could expand and shrink with me a little. You can read the review here on PR.
My hope is to complete the 4 pieces I had planned for the PR mini wardrobe compatition and ad two more pieces to it so it is more like a Stitcher's Guide Summer six pack (six piece summer sew-along). My theme colors are still orange and white for this collection. Next up is a pair of white denim crops from my tnt pattern, Burda Plus Fashion 02-2009-411. Happy sewing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How Do You Plan

Well mini wardrobe competition is done on PR. Like usual I ran out of time. Good thing I got two items complete and did not lose my sewing mojo. My completed items are Burda Plus Fashion spring/summer 2010- 410, which is a tunic, and Burda Style 3-10-136, a pencil skirt. I love both pieces and will photo and review them soon.

Today's temperature is not going to be above 60. I was perplexed at how hard it is to figure out what to wear for days like this. I'm sick of sweater, pants and many other RTW clothing hanging in my closet. I realized the majority of the clothes I have made are for summer and I have very few items that are for spring. So out came two of my favorite pieces (see picture). They are my favorite Khaliah Ali drawstring pants, S5074 and my favorite t-shirt B5398. Some how the two worked for my casual look of the day and I'm content and comfortable with my choice.

Back to the question how do you plan your wardrobe, SWAP or mini wardrobe? With two jobs at what seems like opposite ends of the trend pool answering this question can be difficult for me. With a degree in fashion merchandising and many years of retail behind me I'm ashamed to admit every year I buy new books on wardrobe planning. Currently on my shelf I have Nothing to Wear, Instyles Secrets of Style and Fashion for Dummies just to name a few. But it seems some how I still lack the skills needed to build a wardrobe that is functional and comfortable all year around. So I've decide that my sewing and fabric buying needs to take a more planned approach. Instead of just plopping out individual items I will be creating mini collections of 4 to 6 pieces that all relate and work together. Instead of trying to make all the items fit both jobs I will try to center each collection on one job. A few pieces might be able to cross over and that's great. Most of all I'm not going to get mad because I have to add a few RTW pieces. I know I don't have the time to create everything. Instead of worrying if I'm in trend or on point with the outfit I'm going to work on comfort and fit. Not sure if I'll every break the addiction to new fabric but hopefully holding onto some type of plan will help.

So what is your plan? How do you decide what to sew or buy?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring is in the air and so is.....

Spring is in the air and so is PR's Mini Wardrobe Contest. This years contest runs 3-16-10 to 4-15-10. The goal is to create 4 pieces that can create 4 distinct outfits. Every year I look forward to these competitions and every year I seem to lose my sewing mojo once I enter them. This year I'm hoping to trick my mind and not enter until I have at least 3 of the 4 required pieces finished. All week I searched my Burdas and switched my fabric stash baskets from fall/winter fabric and colors to spring/summer fabric and colors. Did not have quite all I wanted so and my local Hancock have been searched for white denim and a fun colorful print. Today I spent the day playing with my Burda line drawings. It was fun playing paper dolls. I have more than 4 patterns I'm playing with so I will need to narrow it down. The goal was to create some funny and some serious looks. Below and above are a few combinations I created and laughed about. This weeks goal is to pick my 4 patterns, trace and paper fit them, and prepare my fabrics for the contest. So excited.

Friday, February 12, 2010

M5881 Has hit the .....

Well it's official I have tossed my daughters Spree dance dress. M5881. It was not a difficult project just not very motivating. Daughter didn't even take the time to try on the dress well I was working on it. Tonight, the day before the big dance, I finished it up and she tried it on. To say it was a little disappointing and didn't quite fit correctly would fit the bill. Promised Daughter we will try the dress again hopefully for prom of this year. On to the next project. Not sure what it is yet.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

B5398 Has Me Purring

Butterick 5398 has me as happy and content as a purring cat. This top is the second piece in my Persian Leopard Collection. Thinking this may become a TNT top that I will make over and over again. It not as playful as my dress in this collection is, but I'm excited about it.

Pattern Description:
Misses' jacket, top, dresses, skirt, pants and scarf. This is a knit lifestyle wardrobe.
I made view B a close fitting top.

Pattern Sizing:
XS-XXL. I made a mix of the L and XL

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes simple enough. I did not really find any fault with them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Can you say bust darts with me? I was so happy to find a top that could be used as a t-shirt or a tunic top that had the bust darts.

I have not found something I really didn't like yet with this pattern.

Fabric Used:
I used leopard printed jersey from Hancock.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
In my attempt to cheat having to make a FBA I instead used a L at the shoulders, XL at the bust and waist and back to a L at the hips. This seems to work well with my rectangle body. So no FBA on this one.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I think I may have found a TNT T-shirt top. Yes I think this is a good pattern for others.

I love this new knit top that I left at a tunic length. This will be my new TNT t-shirt top. It is also the second piece to my Persian Leopard collection.

Next up
M5881. My daughter is in need of a dress for her Spree dance coming up in Febuary.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sew It Begins

So the birth of a new collection begins. I was unable to finish my PR SWAP and instead took a short break from sewing. I am back. What you see here is the beginning of a new collection called the Persian Leopard Collection. This will be a mini wardrobe that will reflect the fun playful walk on the wild side of me.
This great dress is Butterick 5415.

Pattern Description:
Close-fitting dress with front darts and back zipper. This dress offers 3/4 sleeves variations of necklines and contrasting bands.

Pattern Sizing:
XS-XXL I used a combination or L and XL
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes with exception of changes I made.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. This is a very easy pattern great of a beginner or advanced beginner.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
What I liked is that it was a simple style that tends to look very good on the rectangular body type. The style is a classic and can be found often it RTW. What I didn't like why a zipper in a knit?
Fabric Used:
Cotton Jersey from Hancock.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made view C. Well let’s see I traced my pattern shoulders, arm holes and bust in a size L and waist and hips in a sixe XL. I ended up not needing all the room in waist area and took it in 2 inches. I decided I did not like the contrasting bands so instead add gray and black ribbon to the neckline. I also shortened the length about 5 inches.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I'm hoping to turn this into TNT. Yes I think it a great pattern.
Ok this is the beginning of my Persian Leopard Collection. My hopes are this mini wardrobe will be fun and a little bit of a walk on the wild side of me.

Next up is B5398 Top B

This week my local Goodwill had some great finds. I was able to purchase a copy of The Vogue Sewing Book Copyright 1975. Has a lot of grat info about line, color, proportion and styles that work. I was also able to score a copy of The Stretch and Sew Guide to Sewing On Knits. Book review will come soon.