Sunday, July 20, 2014

Library book raid and Mini-update

Hello everyone!

We are mostly through July, and I wish I could say I was mostly through sewing my first pair of jeans.  However, my kids are still on vacation for the summer, and I have been hard pressed to make the time to sew.  Idealistically, I wanted to use the couple of hours before bedtime to sew, but I have been SO TIRED, from running around with them all day.

So I am resigned to the fact that my summers will just be less productive.  As soon as school starts for them in August, I will really dive into getting things in gear.  In fact, I am using the time I have now to make plans.

I did put together a muslin of M5894.  I didn't have any "muslin" fabrc left at home (except for a half yard) so I decided to use a quilting cotton I had in my stash.

My initial impression of the fit is good, mostly good.  My main area of concern is my hips and buttocks.  That is where things get tight, and I have some wrinkling.  I chose a bootcut shape for the jeans, but am still considering tapering the legs a wee bit more in order to mimic a pair of jeans I have.

The fabric I chose is a darker wash denim with a tiny amount of stretch in it (I'll research how much and let you know in a future post).  I love the fabric, and cannot wait to see how it distresses. I will do a mock up square to make sure it looks good.  So far the fabric is washed and prepped, I am just knocking out fit issues with my muslin before attaching the waistband.

I would love to just copy my favorite pair of jeans, but, to complicate things some, I have lost a little weight, and a few inches.  So my waist is a little smaller, and want to get my waistband a bit snugger than the one on the jeans I wear often.

I say all of this to say that I am in no rush to get these done, for now.  I hope you will hang in there with me!  If I get a few days here or there to sew, I will, but I won't be pushing for anything to get moving until August 7th.

In other news....

I went to the library and checked out some more sewing books!  I love checking with my library from time to time, and seeing what new titles they have acquired.  This time I got some ones that were "new to me," and a few I had checked out before:

This is an oldie, but goodie!  I like to refer to it as I am sewing, especially if I need to look something up or need some help in the sewing process.  It is more textbook style, with not as many pictures, though.

This is new to me.  Some of the designs are really cute, and some of the designs are a bit out there for me.

This book is just great!!  The first time I checked it out I didn't pay too much attention to it, but this time I really took an in-depth look at it.  It has everything you need to know about choosing a fabric, working with that fabric, and sewing the fabric.  In essence, it will get you headed in the right direction, by making sure you start off on the right foot.

Here is another "new to me" book that I was a little disappointed with. There are a lot of cute projects in here, but nothing that appealed to me.

Now this one right here!! Yes!!  I really, really like it!!  It is vintage dressing, done with style.  I like that it explains different pieces (blouse, utility jacket, playsuit) and the period it is from.  It even includes the history of the garment, and some help on what to pair it with.  I haven't checked out the disc in the back of the book yet (yes, there is one), but I like everything about it so far.

Last, but certainly not least, THIS book!!  I forgot about this book.  I checked it out a year or two ago, and was inspired.  But so much of the technique was over my head at that time that I mostly "oohed" and "aahed" at it.  This year I plan to explore the area of patternmaking!  I mean, why not?  And a lot of the designs in this book are really cute--I would wear them in a minute!

That's all, for now.  I may post some of my wardrobe planning, or various other things, up until August 7th, depending on what I come up with.

Stay sew-filled!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's time!!

Hello everyone!!

I'm sorry for leavin' you hangin' the last couple of weeks.  I got busy at the end of June celebrating my 9 year anniversary, then my birthday.

For my birthday, my mom and nieces surprised me for a visit, and we decided to keep my nieces for the rest of the week after my mom drove back home.  So I have been bouncing around with four kids everyday instead of two (ages 4, 5, 7, and 12), and I must say that I respect all those moms and dads out there who are managing BIG families.  Just getting everyone up in the morning and to a certain location on time takes some extra planning and organizing.  Also, establishing order and organization has become a major focus for having all of these little bodies to keep up with.  It can be a bit exhausting, but I am loving every minute of it!!

However, my sewing is not loving it!  I have barely been in my sewing room.  Granted, I did have another wadder since my last post.  I planned on sewing a simple tank top, but it came out too boxy and full.  I now have two unfinished projects that I need to address...

But, moving on...

I still have a Craftsy class that I purchased and have put off for the longest time--until now.

I am venturing into the land of pants!!!!!

In fact, I have a story to go along with this.  In a conversation with my best friend, she noted, "How come you wear jeans all throughout the summer?  Don't you get hot?"  To which I replied "What?!? I don't wear jeans...well, I guess I do wear jeans all throughout summer!"  I never noticed.  But, really.  It has been a LONG time since I bought shorts.  I used to wear a lot of capri pants, but they don't fit me anymore.  So instead of buying anything new, I just wore jeans.  

I am hoping to successfully sew my first pair of jeans with this course, but beyond that, I am also hoping to have a blueprint for sewing other pairs of pants and even shorts!!  This is only the beginning!  I have already started watching some of the intro and I like Angela Wolf's teaching style.  She claims that you only need one really good jeans pattern.  ONE!  She shows you a lot of variations you can make in order to achieve the kind of jean style you want.  

So, I decided my pattern will be this one:

Mccall's 5894
The Perfect Jean
I will start here for the benefit of the class, but I would love to branch out into these patterns once I am done:

I am not saying I won't be sewing anything else this month, but I am gonna hone my focus on pants.  I am a little nervous about fitting my shape, but I hope I will get some great tips from the resources I have, as well as the Craftsy class.

I am excited!!!!!!!

I'm going to finally sew pants!!!!!!

I'll keep you posted as I progress.

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Burdastyle June/July issue faves

Hello everyone!

I am happy to say I have moved past my sewing funk.  It seems that getting into my sewing room, cleaning everything up, re-organizing past/future projects, and seeing what other inspiring bloggers have created, has helped me tremendously to move forward!  Thank you for your encouraging comments about my failed white dress.  Failures do happen, and I appreciate how supportive you all are.  It helped me to not be so hard on myself--which I can be, at times.


It has been a while since I have covered my Burda faves.  In fact, I have received the May, June, and July translated Burda issues.  There have been a lot of great clothing in each of these, but I was sidetracked with other projects.  I decided to do some catching up, because I will not be renewing my Burdastyle subscription.  It has nothing to do with the wonderful magazine or patterns, and everything to do with me.  I have not sewn a thing from any of my Burda issues since I got them.  And everytime I get a new issue, I see lots of things I want to sew, yet I have not translated that urge to real-life yet.  Until I put the magazines to more usefulness, I plan on purchasing them on an individual basis, for now.  This is just my personal choice, not anything I am suggesting to my blog readers.  But for those of you who love sewing from Burda (or just perusing), here are my faves:


This V-neck dress is a simple silhouette with a twist--at the side seams.  I love the concept, and think it will either be terrible or fabulous!  

This dress is simply gorgeous!  I love the flared panels, and bet it would add a lot of movement to the dress.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I love tunics!!  If I could, it would be all I sew, since they are this pear-shaped girl's best friend!  I really like this one, yet it is rated as "intermediate difficulty, for advanced learners."  

Here is another mini-dress featured in the magazine, with similar features of the tunic top (pin tucks):

For plus-size, in this issue:

For some reason, I am always drawn to the styles in the plus-size section.  I think it is because they look so darn good!!  This dress is no exception.  I love the heart-shaped neckline, and the figure-flattering gathering.

Is it a blouse?  Is it a jacket?  It's a blouse jacket!  This is chic, and I love the drawstring that can be used for shaping.


Now this is an easy, breezy top!  This one is rated a quick and easy sew.  If you have a stunning fabric, this would be a great pattern to display it!

This tie-neck top is my favorite of this issue!  I don't know what it would look like on my broad shoulders, but it is a fun, classy look.  Besides, I haven't sewn a top with fun details like this in a while.

Here comes another heart-shaped neckline!  I am sensing a pattern here...This is a cocktail dress that I love.  It has a bustier type top, with a little "swing" from the gathered waist.

Continuing with the heart-shaped theme, let me just say "AAAhhh!  I love this peplum top!!"  Can you believe I do not own any peplum tops?  I am open to sewing one if I can figure out how if it will flatter my body type.  This one, however, is stellar!!

And for plus size:

This is an adorable dress, with great waist definition!!

Va-va-voom!  This is beautiful!  I love the contrast of the embroidered lace and the linen.  The skirt portion is cut on the bias, so it hangs loosely from the waist to the knee.

I hope you found something you liked!  I plan on getting into my neat, clean sewing space, and starting a NEW project!!  Yay!!  

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Strike Two

 Hello everyone!

I have been moping around the last couple of days, unsure of where to go from here, with regards to sewing.  You see, I had a great plan for my white affair event that occured this past Sunday.  I was going to sew this dress:

Mccalls 6955
It is a nice, simple dress with a fitted bodice, and skirt cut on the bias.  I knew when I looked at it that I was in love!!  And to make it even better, there are only four pattern pieces.  FOUR!!  So, I started sewing last Monday, but the fabric I chose just raveled everywhere.  It was horrible to sew with.  I should have known then that I was going to have a problem.

I decided to switch to an easier to sew suiting, and all was well--until my dress did not fit.  I still can't figure out what happened.  I used Fit for Real People, sewed a size 10, and made my adjustments to the pattern pieces.  Yet when I went to line up my bodice with my skirt, it did not line up at all.  I went over everything time after time and I still haven't figured it out.

So, somewhere around last Saturday evening I decided to give up.  I knew my white dress wouldn't happen for this event, and I would have to try again for something else.  I woke up Sunday morning a little sad when my son came up to me and asked how my dress was going.  I said "Oh,'s not going to work out.  Mommy can't figure out how to make it work, so I have to wear something else."  He says, "That's ok, mommy, I know how hard you worked on your dress."  I realized as soon as he said this that I needed to hear those very words.  Another dress for another day--that is what I have been telling myself.  And hey, I didn't have to break my RTW fast, or show up at my affair in the buff, so that's a plus!!!

The event was nothing short of beautiful!!!  Most all of the decorating was done in white, and the atmosphere was so clean, pure, and lovely!  My friend and I provided all of the food for our table, and we had a lot of food!!  It was a delicious way to spend the Sunday afternoon--great food, great company, great fun.  

I ended up digging a mini dress out of my closet that was, ahem, mostly white.  It isn't what I would have chosen for a white affair, but it had to do so I wouldn't break my RTW fast.

My friend rocked a gorgeous all white peplum dress!!  She looked stunning!  Overall, all of our hard work setting up our table, combined with our busy week, was totally worth it.

In hindsight, if I had it to do all over again, I would have sewn a knit dress.  I am still having a hard time fitting my body with woven fabrics, and haven't figured out how to make darts work for my boxier shape.  Also, fitting my back has proved to be a big challenge.  I use my homemade dressform, but I may have to have my hubby double check my measurements.

All that said, I have been moping about what to do next.  This week I have been busy with vacation bible school, so I haven't thought about sewing too much; however, once I get out of this funk I will be back with a new project.  I am definitely going to finish my New Look 6210 dress.  I have seen some wonderful versions popping up in blogland, and I know I would wear it often once I finish it.  

Thank you for all your comments and suggestions on dresses for this event.  I really did take them all into consideration.  

I hope to check back in again soon...

Stay sew-filled!