Thursday, February 24, 2011

What I really want

Isn't it amazing that when you get what you really want, you figure out something else to want?

It's not that I am ungrateful or anything (ok, sometimes I am) but I am working on appreciating what I have.  In the midst of doing that, I discovered a great magazine that I would like to try out.  It's called My Image magazine.  It is similar to Ottobre, in that it is a sewing magazine with multiple "looks," and you get the patterns/instructions for all the looks in the magazine!  The nice thing about this magazine is that the price is very reasonable.

You can check out Sew Baby if you are interested in ordering, or click here to browse the magazine. Oh yeah, there is a kids version as well!

I noticed that Mccalls just released their spring patterns and there were a couple that looked interesting:

I really like the color blocking and exposed zipper!!

Here is a cute dress by Phoebe couture.  I have never heard of them before, but their special occasion dress is simply beautiful!  As you can see, I do like garments with back appeal, though I have yet to sew one!  Soon...

I like the top with straps, and the fact that different cup sizes are included for a more personalized fit.  


Lastly, this is such an effortless pretty dress.  I imagine one could slip it on and feel great!

The rest of the collection is here if you are interested.  

Skirt update: Sadly, I am going to have to finish my skirt next week.  My sister is getting married and I will be tied up starting this Friday until Monday.  I am still waiting for my zipper roller foot to come in the mail (hopefully today) so I can insert my invisible zipper, and then I just need to attach the lining and hem the skirt.  It does look nice so far, and I am excited to show you all when I am finished!  

I definitely appreciate all that I am learning in constructing this skirt, and I look forward to creating more pieces.

Stay sew-filled! And I'll be back soon (with pictures)!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A little shopping...

Once again, I had a good time shopping at Joanns--not that I am a big shopper by any means. I usually plan my sewing projects one at a time instead of going for the gusto and purchasing a bunch of stuff that I am not sure I will ever use.  Not that either method is better.  For me, I happen to do better if I don't overwhelm myself.  So, I went to Joanns to take advantage of their 5 for $5 Simplicity pattern sale.  Though I bought 5, I will share 3 of them with you (the other 2 will pop up in a later post).  Here they are:

First is Simplicity 2562, the Amazing Fit wide leg pants.  I already bought the Amazing Fit bootcut pants, so I thought these were a nice variation of that style.  The wide leg is perfect for my shape, and I like that the cuff is optional.

My next choice is a pattern I looked at last year (I believe).  I thought it was adorable, so easy and breezy.  And the option of making a skirt, pants, capris or shorts drew me in.  I LOVE the way the top of the pants/shorts are shaped.  The pockets and belt loop placement is my favorite.

I also love the way the same construction details are found on the skirt, which is A-line, my fave.

My last choice is a pattern from the Inspired by Project Runway series.  It is a super cute vest that has back appeal!  I hope this pattern is not disappointing because I am lacking in vests.  In fact, I am not really sure vests are even in style, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to own one!  

Besides patterns, I had to buy this:

I know, I know, why buy Simplicity's Fashion Fusion magazine when you can look at the same patterns in their catalog?  Well, I like that it gives me ideas on fabrics I hadn't thought about for the different patterns they offer.  Also, I only paid about 1.50 with my discount coupon.  AND...the back of the magazine has 6 coupons for future Joanns purchases!  So, yeah, I get suckered in every time!

Quick update on my skirt: I decided to put in an invisible zipper for the first time, and needed an invisible zipper foot.  I ended up buying a plastic one on ebay, and am waiting for that to arrive so I can then finish my skirt with style.  From what I read, invisible zippers are easier to insert than a regular zipper.  That is comforting, but I am always a little nervous when I do something new.  I hope to finish the skirt this week before my sister's wedding this weekend.

Stay sew-filled!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Simplicity Sew Along


No, I am not joining another sew along (I have a lot on my plate already), but I thought you might be interested in knowing that Simplicity is hosting a pants sew along for beginners.  They will have different tips and advice for fitting pants, and discussion for simple finishes for sewing pants.  Aaaahhhh, you gotta love Facebook!  From what I hear, pants are easy to sew, difficult to fit.  I am thinking about joining just to collect the helpful tips. At any rate, you can check it out here if you are interested.  Once you follow the link, just make sure you click on "Ask to Join" on the upper right hand corner of the page. (this is not a referral link or anything, I am just passing along something I thought was useful).  The Sew along starts this week.

On another note, Joanns is having another sale, this time a President's Day sale.  Simplicity patterns are 5 for $5, so I am taking the opportunity to purchase a few patterns for the Tim Gunn Sew (see right) along I joined.  The sale starts Friday and continues thru the weekend.  

This has been a beautiful weather week for us so we have been spending a lot of time outdoors.  Oh how I have missed the sun and warm weather.  It reminds me that I really need to get going on my spring/summer sewing before warmer weather arrives and I am unprepared!  My skirt is coming along, but as I mentioned before, it will be short bursts of sewing for me until this one is finished.  Making a muslin wiped me out!  I guess next time I won't have to be as thorough about every little detail.  It helps when you have a good foundation with the sizing so that adjustments are minimal.

By the way, thank you Jenna for the link to the tutorial about skirt vents!  I think I will be able to "work it out" now that I have a great resource!  And thank you to all of you that have left kind comments about the progress with my muslin, and commented about your sewing styles!  I enjoyed reading the different outlooks on this wonderful craft.  

Stay sew-filled!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Muslin for Simplicity 2451

I finished my muslin today.  Of course I ended up doing some other things with my family today so I am just now getting around to posting pictures.  Let me just say that I didn't mind my muslin experience as much as I thought I would.  I started out thinking I would just do a simple mock-up of my skirt, leaving out details such pockets, I got going I had a little trouble editing myself.  I did at least leave out the zipper, though!

Here is the rundown:

The construction was mostly simple.  I really didn't have any hang-ups on this pattern, and I love the way the pieces fit together.  The pleat construction was easy, and I really like the way they look.  I was nervous it would be a little too much going on, and would give me a "bloated look," but not so.  The yoke sits "just right" at my waist, and the size 16 worked out perfectly (for me).

Ok, one of my favorite features of this skirt is the pocket.  It is concealed in the design by the arrangement of the pleats, and the construction is quite clever.  This is my second time doing pockets and I didn't have any issues to speak of.  I must say I don't know what I would use a pocket for in a skirt, but I guess it would be there if I needed one, right?

Here is the back of the skirt.  I left the zipper out of the muslin (of course) so my hubby pinned the fabric together for me in order to take the picture.  The first thing I must say is it is hard to get a skirt to fit well when you have a big butt!  Literally, my butt is so big the fabric sometimes sits up a little higher on the booty, and makes my hemline appear uneven!  I'm sure there is a way to fix that!  This skirt does that some, but has just enough ease for it not to be a big deal.

Do you see the back vent?  It is still closed because I did not get to that part of the instructions yet.  Since this is my first time working with a vent I will probably practice on my muslin before I move on to the real thing.  Also, I played around with the darts and moved each one a little more to the right, but I will keep them where they are on the original pattern when I sew my skirt up.  They just look a little too close to me right now.

Overall, I am interested in seeing how this skirt comes out.  At least I feel more comfortable with sewing it now that I have done the muslin already.  Here is a photo of the fabric I will be using:

It is a linen blend, and I hope it behaves nicely!  The color is very rich, and it feels soft and pretty.  I ordered it from, and when I saw it I immediately liked it.  I have yet to pre-wash it, but I will be doing that tonight.  I hope it doesn't shrink much, but I should have more than enough fabric to make it work.

This weekend has been uneventful and relaxing, just the way it should be!  I will be working in short bursts to finish this skirt, and I will check in again soon.  Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!

Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ups and downs

This past weekend was not the best in our household.  Let's just say that we ended up back in the ER again, and this time it was me who was the patient!  Long story short, I had a bad stomach virus and had to be admitted for IV fluids because I could not keep anything down.  It was cruel and unusual punishment, but I am feeling much better.  It's interesting too because I don't blog about EVERYTHING that happens in my life just for the reason that I would like this blog to be more about sewing than anything else, but I just wanted you to know how things were going with getting my muslin together for Simplicity 2451.  I promise there is not always drama in my neck of the woods.

So, due to this weekend's "event", I was feeling weak and nauseous still until yesterday evening.  I got a good start on my muslin by adjusting and cutting out all the pattern pieces.  The next step is basting them together.  I plan on doing a quick fit, and I am not taking the time to fully finish the yoke on both sides (one side will do for now).  I'll have pics up as soon as I finish, but so far I like the results.

I still don't like doing a muslin, but I can see the torture benefit of doing one.  I guess I had better get used to muslins because I will be doing more in the future!  If you haven't guessed already, I am not a sewer that takes the easy way out when it comes to making things.  I do like to check my measurements and make sure everything is just so.  But I also don't like to make a big fuss of things, either.  I don't want to sit down and do Calculus and Geometry everytime I go to sew something.  I want my alterations to be easy, and the results to be just as nice.

What's your sewing style/personality?  Are you a perfectionist, more laid back, or somewhere in between?

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, February 4, 2011

On to the next skirt

I am gearing up for sewing my next skirt.  In fact, I took out the pattern with all intentions of cutting out my size when I discovered a little snag in my plan: my size was not included in the pattern envelope!  The pattern envelope I bought only went up to size 12, and I never noticed that when I bought it.  Sigh. So now I have to adjust the pattern so its around a 14-16.

That brings me to my next order of business.  I have to make a muslin.  Especially with all the changes I will be making I HAVE to make a muslin to make sure everything will fit well.  So, this is the skirt I decided to sew next:

I will be making a muslin of View C. It is the view with the pleats on the yoke.  Yes, pleats.  I am nervous about how they will look because pleats and I have not gotten along in the past.  BUT--I am taking a chance.  And I guess it's not too much of a chance since I am doing a muslin first.  However, it doesn't help that all the reviews I have seen on Patternreview for this particular style are nice, but not many people have made View C.  So it is a mystery to me how this skirt will turn out.

BTW, I decided to join a sew-along this year!  I have always wanted to do one as a personal goal, and after reading about the Tim Gunn Sew-Along (click photo on right for link, if interested) I knew I had to give this one a shot.  Of course I have to finish sewing my last two skirts before I fully participate (since I don't want to abandon my plan), but it will be well worth it in the end when I have a fabulously workable wardrobe!  A lot of people are saying that this sew along will take them all year, but I want to finish mine sooner than that (except for the bigger projects).  I will update about this sew along accordingly, and explain all the details much later.

I hope everyone is having a great week!  

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Skirt #1 Finished!

Yes, the day has finally come!  I am finished with my New Look 6735 skirt!

This skirt is so simple it is a shame.  It is a shame that a skirt that probably takes about one-two hours could take me three weeks to complete!  Oh well, whether it took me three hours or three weeks, I have a beautiful skirt now added to my wardrobe for Spring, and that is what matters the most.

Here it is all finished up:

This skirt really didn't have that many pattern pieces to be concerned about, so what took me a little while to do was the skirt lining.  I used the book Easy Guide to Sewing Lining by Connie Long in order to help guide me through this process.  It was the only book my library had specifically for lining garments in sewing, and I wanted a book that specifically told me what to do without having to sort through miscillaneous information.

I ended up doing a quick and easy free hanging lining where the lining is attached to the waistband, but unattached from the skirt.  So, essentially, you have to hem both the skirt and the lining.  I used my serger a good deal for this project, but I was too lazy to change any of the thread color, except for the needle thread.  I used navy for that.  I mean, no one is going to see my threads so I didn't think about that too much.

Here is what the lining looks like (I wish I could remember what the fabric content was):

It is so pretty, and it feels good next to my skin.  My only gripe is that it was a little (and I mean only a little) static-filled, so next time I will look for an anti-static lining.  This was purchased at Joanns and other than that gripe, I am happy with the lining.

As far as the waistband goes, it is a simple elastic.  I thought this might bother me, since I wanted something with a little more structure, but it actually does not.  I plan on wearing this skirt with a longer shirt so I'm not concerned about the waistband so much.  Besides, the skirt just feels so darn comfy on!!  For construction here, I just serged the raw edge of my waistband (not necessary, but it made it easier to work with the fabric) stitched the elastic to the waistband, turned and stitched the elastic again.  Very simple, and great results.

Overall, this is a great starter skirt!  I am glad I chose it because it wasn't too overwhelming for my skill set.  I must add in that the fit is great, and I sewed a size 16, but ended up taking in the side seams so much I probably ended up with a size 14.  I am still working on my fitting techniques, and am thankful that knits are quite forgiving (the lining was more true to a size 16, as it did not stretch).

Will I be making this one again?  Why not!!  It really is a great pattern, and I could see it in many different colors.  Did I mention that this is my first navy skirt since having kids?  I really do love the color navy, it is so rich and pretty.  My only issue now is finding a top to wear with it!!  I didn't pay close attention to what I had in my closet so I really don't have anything appropriate for spring that goes well with this new skirt!  I guess I will be sewing a top for this one soon...

I will still be sticking with the theme of sewing skirts throughout February, but I may throw in a few tops here or there.  As far as skirt #1 is concerned, I am pleased with the results!!

Stay sew-filled!!