May 2, 2018

Channeling Mrs. Roper

 When Decades of Style posted a photo on their Instagram indicating they were working on a new Decades Everyday pattern - I commented that I'd love to test for them!  Seriously.  With the exception of the Given a Chance Dress, I have all of the Decades Everyday patterns.  I have 3 ESP dresses in my closet and I love them!  I have even made a couple of their other patterns.  

Decades of Style have been amazing to work with.  I had reached out after making my first ESP Dress and got an incredibly detailed response on lowering the neckline of that dress and given permission to share the info.  And they were fabulous this time as well.  I was given the pattern for free, but the thoughts and opinions on the pattern are my own! 

This pattern is called the TLC Caftan.  This dress has a cross over top which is sewn into the waist band, pockets and side panels.  You can chose to sew a short or long dress and I would guess that you could even interchange the side panels using either the narrow or wide side panels on either the short or maxi dress options.  I have made the dress with the narrow side panels. 

I finally found a use for this lovely, leaf printed rayon challis that has been in my stash for a long, long time.  I honestly think I bought it almost 20 years ago.  If my memory serves me, I bought it from Nancy Cornwell's sewing and fabric store in Seattle, which she closed in late 1999 or early 2000.  So . . .

But the fabric was perfect for this.  It's lightweight and cool and was very easy to use.  The pattern was fairly quick to make.  I will say that the instructions call for two different fabrics and I didn't have a complimentary contrast fabric that would work, so I only used one.  In the future, I might actually try using wide, stable elastic for the waist band and I would honestly use elastic to pull the sides in (it's inside) rather than the ties.  

Changes I made to the pattern in testing:  I made a small full bust adjustment - which I don't think I needed.  I also made a 1 1/4" sway back adjustment and added 3" in length to the skirt and side panel pieces.  I then put in a deeper hem, think I could have gone deeper still. 

I forgot to mention that I did the used the size 18 bust with a FBA and the size 26 skirt because I need more room for my hips.  

Couple of thoughts - while the instructions are clear and easy to follow.  You want to be very careful marking and sewing the arm openings on the side panels.  Also, I finished the edges of the arm panels, before stitching them to the side panels, it was easier to press and turn them when they weren't attached.  Next, I think I would use elastic on the inside rather than the twill tape or ribbon to pull the sides together.  I just think it would make it all around easier to get into.  

While I don't think this is the most flattering look on me - I will still probably wear it.  I think - for me and my current lifestyle - the most likely use will be post shower but when I still need to be presentable for guests.  I really want to try the full length version.

April 26, 2018

Just Another Bowling Shirt

I really have to come up with some way to spice up these shirts for JB.  Honestly - I'm getting bored with sewing them and I'm sure you're tired of reading about them.  Honestly, there is nothing new to say.  I'm still using McCalls 4399 and just changing up the fabrics, buttons and how I sew the hems and button bands - as in accents with the thread. 

This fabric was a quilting cotton that I purchased at the craft store probably 5 years ago.  I liked the print.  I bought 4 yards - which is honestly about 1/2 yard too much, but I like knowing I can match the print across the button bands.  Once I got fussy about matching the pattern across the button bands, I started cutting the shirt out from a single layer of fabric.  I have a full back pattern piece and only 1 front pattern, 1 sleeve and 1 collar.  Oh and the pocket pattern which I trace off several.  I did a blog post back in October about how I match the pattern - you can read it here.  So far, I haven't been too worried about matching the print up across the side seams, but I imagine that's coming next.  

In this photo - JB is showing you the barn door he installed over the panty opening in the B&B.  He did a great job.  That door gets so many comments.  

Nobody know what's he's doing here.  But he was ready for me to snap the photo so he could breathe!  Doesn't this fabric scream tropical vacation?  

In this photo, you can see I nailed the print matching!  Also - can you spot the pocket?  This shirt has one.  In fact, all of his recent shirts have a pocket - he needs someplace to keep his glasses!  The buttons were in a baggie of shirt buttons I either added from a FabricMart purchase or from Fashion Sewing Supply - I can't remember which.  They were perfect for this shirt.  I always add 7 buttons, so they are spaced a little closer than the pattern indicates.  I use my simflex for positioning the buttons evenly up the placket and start the first one at the bottom, the same distance as the side slits.  

April 20, 2018

An Oldie

So this morning when I was getting dressed, I grabbed a fun trapeze dress and some tights.  As you are aware - my personal blog has suffered a little bit with the move to B&B ownership.  I try really, really hard to blog over at the B&B every week - but lots of things that I've made don't make it to my blog these days. 

I'm getting dressed and I think - I'm sure I've blogged this.  I made it forever ago!  In fact, I made it before we moved in anticipation of making The Princess some maternity dresses.  But kids these days don't want lose flowing maternity clothes, they want to rock the bump!  Oh, and I never even offered this dress to the Princess - although she would have looked much cuter wearing this that I do - even with her baby bump.

The pattern is McCalls 7348 a learn to sew for fun pattern.  I made view A - scooped neck, short sleeves and straight hem.  I feel like the dress is a bit short for me - so I only wear it with tights - no bare legs on me with this one.  The fabric was from a FabricMart bundle and I loved it! 

If I remember correctly - this was a quick easy sew done completely on the sewing machine.  I used my duck bill scissors to trim the extra seam allowances away from the neck band and hems. 

What I'd do next time:

  • add about 3" in length
  • scoop out the neckline a bit more  
You can see from the side view here that it's a bit short for me.  Today was very, very windy and I was a bit worried about flashing people in the Lowe's parking lot - but I made it through without inflicting permanent damage on anyone.  

While this maybe isn't the best silhouette for me to wear, I don't really care.  It's a comfortable t-shirt dress that I feel confident throwing on and heading into the kitchen in the morning.  I also don't worry about cleaning bedrooms, bathrooms or doing laundry in this dress - it's that's comfortable.  And I feel put together.   
The booties are from Clarks from several years ago.  They are super comfortable and I finally found some new leather laces to replace the one broken lace so they are back in rotation again. 

Oh, and check out the arbor that JB built in front of our side of the house.  It's a huge beast of a thing - there are 4 sets of posts and three arbor tops.  There are berry bushes and climbing roses at each of the sets of posts.  I can't wait until I can send him out in the morning to pick fresh berries to serve at breakfast - that time is coming and I'm excited for it! 

So - do you have anything you know may not be the most flattering on you but you wear it anyway? 

Oh - and look how long my hair is getting!  And can you tell I'm letting the gray just come in?  I'm not sure JB is thrilled - but I don't mind it.
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