Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mccall's summer patterns!

Hello everyone!

I was so excited to see New Look patterns yesterday, so imagine my excitement when I went to Mccall's site and saw new Mccall's summer patterns up!!!  Okay, now most of you know by now that I am a pattern peruser, and am draw to the new collections whenever they come out.  With that said, with the kind of classic style I consider myself to possess, I am more drawn to Mccall's and New Look than a lot of the other pattern companies out there.  I do see things from pattern companies other than these two that strike my fancy, but Mccalls and New Look seem to capture the essence of my style more often than not.  So, that is the reason I was so pleased to see Mccall's patterns today!

Let me start by saying I immediately noticed this pattern:

Mccall's 6354

I think it is cute, and I like the top with the border print accent, as well as the dress.  But what intrigued me even further is that this pattern is from Make by Diana Rupp.  When I read that I kept racking my brain thinking, "Where do I know that name from?"  And then it came to me!  I know that name from my favorite sewing book ever, or should I say one of the first books I ever picked up when I started sewing:

I am not sure if any of you are familiar with this book, but I still think it is one of the best sewing-related books I have ever read!  I love Diana Rupp's writing style, it is very straight to the point, and easy to follow.  So, yes, I want to see more patterns from Ms. Diana Rupp!  There was only one on the website, but I hope she has more to come.

Moving on, what would it be like to sew one dress that you could wear mutiple ways?  Yes, Butterick introduced this version, and now Mccalls has their own:

Mccall's 6353

 The concept is the same, but the design varies in that Mccall's version is a halter top.  Both versions look easy to make, and though I usually don't like wearing things with a learning curve involved, a lot of the looks are promising.
Mccall's 6351

Now I really love the M6351!  The orange dress with the close-fitting bodice and trim outline is my favorite part of the dress.  Well, wait, no, the back is also my favorite!  It has a very summer feel.  The pink dress is also nice, especially the bow detail on the back.  However, I just don't like the pouf factor.

Mccall's 6352

Now M6352 is one that I find fascinating because of all the detailing on the skirt.  It looks like it is hard to do, especially the back, but this pattern is labeled "easy."  I want to try this one just to see what I would come up with!

As far as tops go, M6356 stuck out to me:

Mccall's 6356
I am a fan of the flower accent on the blue top (of course).

Mccall's 6359
I also like the variation of tops for M6359.  I particularly like the gray/black combo, and orange one in the middle.  The far right one is cute, I am just not sure about how the wings of fabric will look on my body type.  Honestly, sometimes all I want is a simple top with some appeal that I can sew as a wardrobe staple.  This is a good one for that.

So, in all, there are a lot of good summer patterns for Mccalls.  If you are interested in taking a look at their whole collection, see here.  Or, if you want to view their lookbook online, see here.
Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Look summer patterns!

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter weekend!  I had a great weekend myself!  The hubby and I ended up watching Tyler Perry's newest movie, and it was funny.  Of course, Madea can make almost anyone laugh, so we both figured we would be doing a lot of laughing.  I do miss a lot of the heartfelt messages Tyler usually puts in his movies, though.  This one seemed to gloss over those issues, and focus more on humor.  But, in all, if you want to laugh and have a good time, this movie is a good one to watch.

Ok, now on to the good stuff.  I am on Facebook, and I "like" most all of the pattern companies.  So a few days ago I posted on the New Look wall, asking when we could expect to see the New Look summer patterns.  A day later they responded that the summer catalog had shipped.  I thought to myself "So when will I be able to check out the newest looks online?"  Well, today is the day!!

I checked out Simplicity's website, and all the new patterns were up!

Here are some of my faves:

This is such a pretty dress!  And this is also a new line in the New Look patterns.  I tried to find some information about these new "Workroom" patterns from Project Runway, but did not come up with anything.  This particular pattern has only two views, and I prefer A because it does not have a ruffle, though I do think the ruffle would look good, I'm just not a ruffle person.  I also like how View B's straps wrap around the neck.

I really like how this tunic flows, though I would definitely have to wear something this length with a pair of leggings underneath.  If you look at the dressform, the garment looks pretty bad, but I think it looks much better on the model!

 If you like basics for your wardrobe, this is a basic.  It's a mini dress (A) and tunic (B).  There is nothing special in the design here, but the fabric shines!

And yes, they have the NL Workroom for children also.  This one is adorable!  There are only slight variations to each view, but it is so cute!  I especially love the button detail on the front, because I am a sucker for button detailing on kid's clothing!

I thought this one was nice because you can mix and match the pattern pieces to create your own look.  I kind of do that anyway when I sew, if it's an easy adaptation such as removing the pockets or creating different sleeves, but I would be interested in buying something like this for harder-to-do variations.  Also, I like the maxi dress on here.  Since maxi dresses are starting to resurface, this looks like a good pattern to try.

When I do get back to sewing for my little one again, this is one I'd like to try!  I really like the addition of the star to the dress top and bottom for continuity, and it is just so darn cute!

This last one is a child's dress.  They always get me with the headbands!  I love cute little accessories like that!  My favorite part of this dress is the wrap bodice.  If you look at View C, you can even see a ruffle detail added.

Well, that wraps it up!  I really like New Look patterns and my overall feel for this summer collection is some hits and some misses.  You can view the rest of the collection here.  Let me know what you all think!

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quick Update

Well I finally dusted off my sewing machine last night and started sewing New Look 6034.  I worked on it for about 30 min. then decided I would put it away for another time.  It doesn't seem that complicated so far.  I'm a little nervous about the fit of the garment because it seems a little too roomy, but I will continue to adjust it as I sew.

Actually, I was going to sew all night tonight, kind of a Friday night sew-in, but my hubby surprised me and wants to go out on a date night!  YAY!  We are really trying to make those a priority.  We will be going to watch Tyler Perry's new Madea movie, but I am mostly looking forward to alone time with my honey!  Grandma will be watching the kids, and they are so excited about it, so it's a win-win situation.

In honor of Easter weekend, I would like to share a beautiful worship song with you that puts into words what this Sunday is truly about.  Please enjoy this video, and enjoy the holiday!  I will be back soon with my progress on New Look 6034.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Rock Ranch

I had every intention on sitting down to sew last week, but, well...I just didn't.

Since the weather has been warmer, I have been enjoying getting outside after being cooped up in the house.  I also enrolled in a couponing class that meets every Wednesday for the next five weeks.  I have been couponing for my family for a few months now, and I wanted to get some tips on how to increase the amount I have been saving by even more.  The first week of class was so riveting, and there was such a sense of excitement in the air because the room was packed with other ladies that wanted to "get their coupon on" as well.

I have been putting a lot of what I learned from the first class into practice, and I saved 50% at the store just this weekend!  I got 86$ worth of groceries for $43!!  I am definitely looking forward to going to class this week and learning more.

Besides couponing, the family and I went on another trip this past weekend to the Rock Ranch.  It is a ranch owned by the Truett family (from Chik Fil-A restaurants), and it was a blast!!  It was their big "Eggs-travaganza" weekend, so they had Easter egg hunts for the kids, as well as a variety of their main attractions.

Some of the things they offered:

1. Petting zoo
2. U-pick your own produce (strawberries, yum)
3. Easter bunny with storyteller (we didn't do this, though)
4. Zip line rides
5. Three playgrounds for kids
6. Hay rides
7. Concessions with food/drinks (sno cones, yum)
8. Giant jumping pillow (it was closed, boo)
9. Paddle boats
10. Sand volleyball court with pails for the kids
11. Kid's Town (with mini-sized buildings and furnishings)

There is also a locomotive train and cow train that run closer to the summer, so we will have to go back for that.  Overall, it was an amazing day!  I told my hubby this trip ranks right up there one of the best places we have ever been!!  Of course, Disneyland is THE BEST, but this trip was so much fun, it ranks a close second.  The weather was absolutely perfect the whole day so I think that added to why we all loved this excursion.

Here are some pics:

As far as sewing goes, I do want to finish New Look 6034 so I can get on with wearing my jeggings = ), but I can't make any promises for fear of not being able to keep my word.

So...I hope it's warm and sunny and beautiful where you are, and I hope you get to enjoy all that God created!!

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mayfield dairy trip

This past weekend the family and I went to the Mayfield dairy farm in Braselton, GA.  We packed into the car and drove to Mayfield dairy to take a tour of the facility and see what production looks like behind-the-scenes.  In case you are not familiar with Mayfield's products, here is a photo of everything they offer:

They mostly offer dairy products such as milk and ice cream, but they have started to include tea as well.  To talk about some of the history, it all started when Mr. Mayfield bought a farm solely-raising  Jersey cows.  He quickly found that the milk from Jersey cows had a wonderfully creamy taste incomparable to milk from other cows.  In fact, this taste is what consumers responded to, and Mayfield milk grew to have such an increasing demand that other products followed. This brand is one that was passed from generation to generation in the Mayfield family line.

To go back to the beginning...

We started our day with the drive.  There was such a sense of excitement in the car because we all knew that we would end the tour with ice cream!

Nevertheless, it was nice when we pulled up to our final destination:

We made it early that morning around 10:25 because we thought they had tours every thirty minutes.  But, it turns out they changed the formatting a bit and now have tours every hour.  So what do you do with two kids when you have a little over half an hour of time to kill?  Why, check out the place and take pictures, of course!

This is the main area of the facility.  It is a quaint wooden building with rocking chairs set out on the front, and a window to order ice cream.  There are also picnic tables with folded umbrellas for shade.  To the left is a BIG cow (more pics to come), and to the right is a beautiful space filled with various trees, flowers and plants.

Though the Braselton location is called a "dairy farm" there are no live cows on the property (boo).  We thought there would be, but no.  Mayfield processes milk that it gets from thousands upon thousands of cows from it's contracted farmers.  So a more adequate name would be a milk processing plant.

This is Maggie the Cow.  She is a stuffed cutie that greets all the visitors!  You can kind of see the gift shop peering through the right there.  I didn't get any pictures of the gift shop, but it is FILLED with all kinds of trinkets and paraphenalia.  I ended up buying a magnet for my refrigerator.  It's a little tradition we started in our household when the hubby and I got married.  I have always noticed refrigerators filled with dozens of adorable magnets, or witty sayings.  Instead of filling our refrigerator with lots of magnets that don't mean anything to us personally, we wanted to get one magnet for every place we visit.  That way, when we look at our fridge, it stirs memories of that particular trip inside of us!  Right now, I think there are about 10 or 12 magnets on our fridge, but each one is special, and holds a special place for us!

Alas, the big cow!  Here it is in all it's glory!  My littlest one was scared of the cow, but my son thought it was amazing, and right after I pretended to milk it, he did the same thing.

After all of the picture-taking, we went inside for the tour.  There were no pictures allowed once the tour started, so here are a couple of the waiting room:

After the tour we got exactly what we were waiting for--ice cream!!  I got the lovely turtle tracks, with chocolate covered caramel-shaped turtles in vanilla ice cream, while the hubby got praline pecan.  It was absolutely delicious!!  I didn't get any pictures of the ice cream, though, because we were diggin' in!

Overall, it was a nice informative excursion for the family.  The tour didn't cost any money so that was a plus.  We only ended up spending money for gas to get there, ice cream for all, and a magnet.  However, being together on a weekend with beautiful weather was, as they say in the Mastercard commercial, priceless.

Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Planning Ahead

It felt really good to get my first garment in the Tim Gunn Sew Along completed.  Beyond that, I am elated because I am moving on from sewing skirts for a little while!!  So next on my list is the "Sweatsuit Alternative."  I think this one is great to do because I will be putting together my first outfit.  Of all the items I have sewn, I noticed that none of them go together; however, this outfit will be different.  It will be comfy, stylish, and coordinated at the same time!

Here is a feel for what I came up with:

I ordered all of the fabric from, and I am super pleased!  The striped fabric in the middle right and the red fabric seen beneath that are both jersey knits.  I had a hard time deciding on which fabric to use for the trim, but in the end, the red won out over my original thought of orange.  Being able to visualize the top more clearly with my fabric choices in place also helped me out a bit too.  My only change to this top will be to leave off the pockets.  I just want a clean, simple, easy-breezy top.

The blue fabric on the top right is a faux denim knit.  I think it will give the leggings a nice denim look without being denim--a jegging if you will.

My own experience with jeggings (or even leggings) has been very limited until last weekend when me and a couple of my girlfriends went out shopping.  We went to H&M and I ended up walking out of the store with a pair of cropped leggings.  Now, I haven't worn them just yet, but everything I tried them on with in the store was an instant love!  Also, because I like to wear a lot of tunics, I felt so comfortable and stylish at the same time.  Who knew?  I had my own reservations about leggings because I am so used to having worn them when I went to workout, but I do not once think about going to workout when I have these pair of leggings on, and I think that is a good thing!

For the jeggings, I am debating an elastic waistband.  The design above uses twill tape for a drawstring closure, but I am just not a fan of that.  I think the elastic waist is a cleaner fix, and will not add any bulges underneath the top when I wear it.  So I am not sure what I will decide about that.  It would be a little more helpful if Patternreview had any takers for this pattern, but as of yet, this pattern is not even listed.  Oh well, I will surge ahead!

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Skirt #3 Finished!

In my last post I was struggling with a mistake I made on my black, linen-blend pencil skirt.  Well, I fixed my mistake, and I am glad I did!  It took a little perseverance on my part to undo serger stitches, but it needed to be done.  I learned that I need to baste on the sewing machine first, then serge so I don't end up with a mess later (we'll see if I follow that advice for future reference).

Anyhow, here is my review for Simplicity 2868...

I immediately liked the concept of this pattern--"Easy Chic" style, if you will.  If I had to describe my sense of style, this is most closely where I would end up with.  I even adore just about every piece on the pattern envelope (I like In K designs).  So I definitely had high hopes for this pattern from the get-go, and though I like the end product, I feel a little let down.

To start with what I like: there are only two pattern pieces to work with--a front piece you place on a fold, and a back piece you cut two of.  Simple, right?  Yes, no tricks here, that part is simple.  There are two darts on the front, and two on the back, and all of that came together without a hitch.  So far, so good. 

Well, the first thing to throw me for a loop was the side zipper.  I had never done one before, but I didn't think it was a big deal.  I would do what I always did, but this time the position of the zipper would be different.  I was so excited when I got my invisible zipper in first try that I didn't notice that the ends of the skirt didn't match up too well:

I haven't decided how I am going to fix this yet.  It is a small nuisance, and right now I have been pairing this skirt with longer tops in order to cover-up this issue.  The rest of the skirt involved using a piece of twill tape to sew a waist stay (also a first for me, but not complicated at all, it is similar to sewing binding).  Of course I added my usual lining, hemmed the skirt, and slipstitched the zipper opening to finish everything off.

I know it's a little difficult to see all the details with the darker fabric, but I just wanted to give you an idea of how everything looks.

I'm not too sure if I will be making this skirt again.  If I do, I really need to find out how to adjust patterns for a big derriere!  Once I do that, I think this skirt would be more to my liking because I really would like the fit to be a tad better.  Or maybe this is the best fit I'm gonna get for a pencil skirt, and I should count my blessings!  For now, though, it will do.  And besides, it is black, and goes with a lot of clothing already in my closet!

Since I have completed this skirt, I can cross off one item from my Tim Gunn Sew Along list now!!  YAY!! Only 10 more items to go for this year!

Stay sew-filled!