22 December 2014

Happy Holidays

The last several years during the holiday season,  I've made something red to wear to church the week of Christmas.  This year I decided to do something different and used this beautiful emerald green dupioni silk I picked up in New York last month during my birthday trip.  I paired it with black as this is a color combo I've been coveting recently.  I finished off the ensemble with my leopard print BCBG pumps. I'm very pleased with the outcome and got tons and tons of compliments literally all day.
I pray you all have a merry Christmas and a joyful good time with your families!

16 December 2014

Quick Picture Dress

Husband and I had an appointment to take pictures for our Christmas cards this past Saturday and I really wanted to sew a new dress. Between hectic life and being a bit under the weather I didn't start until Wednesday so I needed something that would sew up quickly but still deliver a lot of bang.
I thought Vogue 8615 fit the bill. I've had this pattern in my stash for a while. The fabric I purchased from Joann a couple of months ago.

Pattern review:

Pattern Description: Lined, below mid-knee or below mid-calf dresses A, B have fitted bodice, back neckline is lower than front and three-quarter or full length sleeves, flared skirt has side seam pockets and back zipper. Purchased petticoat and belt. Separate pattern pieces provided for A, B, C, D cup sizes.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut Size 12 with C cup bodice.

The guidelines in the patterns for choosing the correct cup size do not work for me. My bra size is 32D/DD. Based on my measurements, the instructions would have me to cut a B cup. Just for the sake of following instructions, I used the B cup for my muslin. It was much too tight across the bust. I didn't have time for a 2nd muslin so I went up to a C cup for my fashion fabric. The fit was okay but I think I would have probably done better to go ahead and cut the D cup. Next time...Also next time I will use the size 14 sleeves for my chubby arms LOL.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn't follow ALL of the instructions. I read to see how they handled the lining and that was it. I have my own way. Plus I skipped around a bit to accommodate my sewing schedule.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I LOVE the simple design of this dress and that the skirt is so full.

I was REALLY surprised that the pattern did not call for any interfacing or include facings. This time around I simply didn't have time. Next time, I will take the time to draft facings and interface the neckline and back. I didn't experience any drooping thankfully but I think overall it would give a more polished finish.

Fabric Used:
The fabric is a poly jacquard purchased from Joann about 3 months ago. It is no longer available. A client had picked it out for a dress and I liked it so much I bought a bit for myself too. I'm glad I did because it sold out very quickly and has not been restocked.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't line the skirt because I didn't have time.

My soul dies a little bit at the thought of having a seam down my center front. I cut the bodice front on the fold. The fabric wasn't wide enough to cut the skirt on the fold.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I definitely plan to sew this dress again and would absolutely recommend it to others.

I needed a quick dress to wear for Christmas card pics. I cut this dress out and sewed it up in 2 evenings after work. It's a basic silhouette and perfect for letting a beautiful fabric be the star. It is not bra friendly. I had to wear a strapless. I also wore a tulle skirt underneath.

28 October 2014

Sorority Clutch

I was asked to create this clutch for a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. I have orders for 2 more which will be Christmas gifts.

I have made quite a few of these little clutches. Each one unique based on the client's request.

27 October 2014

Inaugural Tulle Skirt

I've been seeing these tulle skirts on trend for well over a year now. And I've been coveting one. However I was very apprehensive about the amount of tulle it would require to make a skirt with the desired fullness. So I kept living vicariously through others.

02 October 2014

The Hell or High Water Dress

There were pictures floating around the online sewing community of Atlanta-based celebrity hair stylist Jasmine Collins wearing these GORGEOUS dresses created by local designer Joshey Casey (couldn't seem to find a website for him).

I don't know if this is her signature look but it's working for her, wouldn't you say?

30 September 2014

New Favorite Dress Pattern + Pattern Review: Burda 7178

I needed a dress for a special service at church and I really wasn't feeling like a whole lot of pomp and circumstance. I had pinned this look a while ago and decided to use this as my inspiration. Simple. Classic.


16 July 2014

So I was thinking.... A garment bag for Hubby

I go through phases with sewing for other people. Sometimes I don't mind but mostly I just like to sew for myself. But I do love giving handmade gifts. It's just more personal in my opinion. I mentioned last week that husband was consecrated a Bishop and I really wanted to MAKE him something.

I knew any of his robes/vestments was out of the question as I've not done any of that before. I thought about making a jewelry roll but he found a travel jewelry case online that he really liked so I left that alone.

Then it occurred to me that none of our garment bags would be long enough for him to carry his vestments. So I asked him how he intended to carry his robes (the service was two hours away so we had to travel). He said he was going to order a bag from Murphy's. So I went to murphy's website and looked at their bag dimensions. The bags they sell are pretty generic. I looked on Etsy because you can always find good inspiration there. I was mostly looking for the type of fabric to use. Then I visited Joann to be sure I could find the right supplies locally.

Armed with info I went to husband and said "So I was thinking...".

08 July 2014

Border Print Dress + Pattern Review

I've really been trying to sew from my stash but every once and again, you see an inspiration pic and get distracted by shiny objects. I kept seeing these amazing border print dresses and I just had to have one. So ordered two yards of this yummy print from Fabrics and Trimmings on Etsy.

07 July 2014

I'm Alive

I'm alive. And I've been sewing. Boy have I been sewing! Just haven't found much time for blogging.  Three weeks ago, my husband was consecrated a bishop. We've known about this for quite some time and were told that everyone was to wear white. One wouldn't think it would be so difficult to find a QUALITY white fabric. UGH! Boy was I wrong. I scoured the web. I ordered swatches. I was certain I would find something at the Sewing Expo in March from Vogue Fabrics. Nada. There was tons of off-white/ivory to be had. But husband was adamant that it should be pure white. Finally with a week and a half before the event I reluctantly had to commit to what I could find locally - a white duchess satin from the bridal section at Joann.

05 June 2014

Another Version of M6953 + Pattern Review

So I guess this is my favorite pattern right now. This is my second version of McCall 6953. I made View C and wore it Mother's Day. I have every intention of making the other two versions as well.

Here is a review for fellow sewers:

13 May 2014

Mother's Day Ensemble + Pattern Review: McCall's 6953

I wanted something quick and cute to wear to church with my Mom on Mother's Day. Well my choice failed in the "quick" category but it did hit the mark on "cute". I don't know what got into us but between me, my sister and my brother, not one of us managed to take a single picture that day. LOL!

I spent the greater part of Saturday working on this dress. I didn't count the cost before starting. it was a lot of pattern pieces and therefor more time than I had intended to spend on the dress. But once I got started I was committed. Anyways, here's the completed dress. And below is a pattern review for fellow sewers.

29 April 2014

MAGAM Challenge: April's Completed Garment + Pattern Review

My challenge garment for this month is the skirt made using McCall's 3830 (View C). I actually finished it a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to complete the blouse to wear with it before posting pictures. And that took a little longer.

03 April 2014

MAGAM Challenge : April Plans McCall's 3830

I've been wanting a brocade pencil skirt for a while. So this month for my challenge garment, I'm finally going to get one. I like this fabric so much, I accidentally bought it twice. So I probably have a total of 5-6 yards of this. Not sure what I'll do with the rest of it.

25 March 2014

MAGAM Challenge: March 2014 Completed Garment + Pattern Review

Here is my completed garment for March for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge. I actually finished it a couple of weeks ago but hadn't worn it until a few days ago.

11 March 2014

MAGAM Challenge : March Plans + Fabric Challenge

So I have this pile of fabric on my sewing table. It's on my table not because I'm too lazy or too busy to put it away. It's on my table because I literally have no place else to put it. My fabric shelves are filled to overflowing. SO! I need to do some major sewing so I can get this pile off my table. It's very stressful in my sewing room right now because I have stuff all over the place. I don't operate well in chaos. So this is my current challenge.

04 March 2014

MAGAM Challenge : February Completed Garment

I'm a little late posting my completed garment for February. I actually finished it a couple of weeks ago - not in time to wear it when I intended but completed nonetheless. This skirt went together fairly easy. I added about 4 inches to both the bottom and the top section. Both fabrics were pieces I had in my stash. The fuchsia was a small remnant so I just made that section long enough to use up the piece that I had. I added the rest of the length to the top portion to acquire the length I wanted. Not sure if you can tell from the pics but I went all out with the color blocking and made the waistband white.

A couple of bloopers. I managed to put the waistband on backwards so I have to wear the skirt with the zipper on the right side instead of the left so that the overlap goes in the right direction. I also got some stains on it with my wax chalk. It's not highly visible as it was a yellow chalk. I'm going to treat the stains and launder it and hope it comes out. I've never had that happen before. The markings usually come right off with a warm iron.

10 February 2014

MAGAM Challenge : February Plans

A little late with my February plans. I haven't found much time in the sewing room in the last couple of weeks. In honor of Valentine's Day I searched thru my fabric stash and looked for something that fit the occasion. I found this fuchsia poly shantung left over from a previous project. I have just under 1 yard. The powder pink is also a poly shantung. I bought this on clearance for I think $2/yard. There are several yards here. Obviously I won't use it all for this project.

At the time I took the pic, I was undecided between M6706 & B5285 but by now I've decided on the McCall's pattern - View A. I don't know if I will have time to finish it by Valentine's Day but if not, it will be a cute skirt for spring/summer.

17 January 2014

MAGAM Challenge Completed Garment + Pattern Review: McCall's 5929

Finally I'm done with my challenge garment for January. I haven't had a lot of sewing mojo the last couple of weeks so it's taken me a bit to finish it.

02 January 2014

MAGAM Challenge - January 2014 Plans

2013 has been quite an exciting year. Unlike previous years I've managed to complete quite a few garments for myself of which I am quite proud. Outside of a Sewing 101 class taken about 3 years ago, I have pretty much been self-taught and I am always challenging myself to improve my sewing skills and looking to learn new techniques.

This past year I challenged myself to do a better job of finishing the insides of my garments. And I've done pretty well in that area. I haven't mastered every technique available and I will continue to work on that. But I no longer produce garments that I'm ashamed to take to the dry cleaners.

In the past I've had some struggles with fitting and I think this year I've finally figured out why. I've had some moments when I've scratched my head and said I THOUGHT I cut out the right size. What I've discovered is that I need to learn to do some pattern alterations. Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) and Sway Back Adjustment are two that I've identified. So my challenge for 2014 will be two-fold (1) getting a better fit in my garments (2) sewing some wardrobe staples. Most of the items I've made are dresses to wear to church. Which is fine but I'm only at church once a week. I want to build a wardrobe of clothes for every day wear. So these are my challenges for myself for the upcoming year.

One of the reasons I wanted to learn to sew was because I had a hard time finding ready-to-wear clothes that fit properly. The one thing I remember always complaining about is finding shirts that are long enough to stay tucked in. I guess I have a long torso. With that in mind, McCalls 5929 was one of the very first patterns I ever bought. And I've never made it. I will be making View A.

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