June 21, 2014

Trying a New Pattern and it's not a dress!

I was keeping an eye on Beau in this pic
hence the crazy face
 I have had New Look 6098 in my pattern stash for a long, long time.  Every time I move upcoming patterns to sew around - I keep this one on the table.  And yet - until recently - I hadn't made it.  New Look patterns seem to fit me fairly well, straight out of the packet without too many alterations.  

I think one of the things I was worried about with this design, was the waist band.  Couple that with my lovely menopause belly and I was very afraid I might look pregnant in this dress, rather than just large.  A couple of weeks ago - I finally traced this pattern. When tracing - I made a few changes, notably:  short sleeves, raised the overlap, and made a 2" swayback adjustment.   

Knee is slowly improving
No more accessorizing with tape!
I grabbed a very pretty brown and white knit that I bought from Fabric Mart (Drat you Carolyn!!) but had only bought 2 yards of the fabric.  There was just enough for this top.  I posted a pic of the fabric on instagram and Sharon said it needed to be worn with hot pink to make it seasonally appropriate.  I just happened to have a pale pink skirt in the closet and an outfit was born! 

I wore this outfit on Friday - casual denim day in our office.  The one thing I noticed - the top is too big.  

The pencil skirt is from Simplicity's Amazing Fit line.  The pattern is Simplicity 2475 and is one of the first patterns released in this line.   The 'pleated' kick pleat is a change I made to the pattern, just for something different.  My kick pleat doesn't lay smoothly all the time, if I were to do this again - I would mimic Abby's instructions in her new Betsy Pencil Skirt, view C has a lovely pleated vent.

The one thing I noticed - the top is too big.  So, I've already cut out a dress from this pattern.  In version 2 I added a little bit more height to the center front and took some length out of the front angle.  I threaded up the new serger I bought strictly for coverstitching and got the bodice put together before heading out for Father's Day festivities last weekend.  I also cut the whole thing one size smaller - hopefully it works.  I'll be finishing it up today - right after I take the Abby to the vet for annual shots and check up. 

June 12, 2014

Plaid and Floral. Yea or Ney?

So how do you feel about mixing plaid and floral?  Are you a fan?  Or do you think one is enough without the other?  

When I cut out the plaid for Ava - I really, really wanted to line her with a brown floral lining.  I was positive I had brown floral lining in the stash - but I didn't - I had brown floral linen.  

In answer to the question - I like floral and plaid together.  I just don't think these two fabrics go together as well as I would like.  

The dress is BHL's Anna.  I really like this dress, I think it's flattering and very girly.  This version is fully lined and there are no photos of the guts at all.

When I put the dress on for these photos - the zipper broke!  I ripped it out and put in an exposed metal zipper.  it was cold on my back all day!!  Guess I'm gonna have to learn how to do a hand picked zipped.  I'm tired of the failures.  

June 1, 2014

Betsy and Ava

I told JB these pictures were important and he need to make me look like a super model.  Not sure he did his job - but here you go, non-the-less.

These two pieces are the Betsy pencil skirt and Ava jacket both by Blue Ginger Doll patterns. 

I will be honest and tell you that I basically begged Abby to let me test.  And she agreed as she was just expanding her pattern line into bigger sizing.  Blue Ginger Doll patterns now go to size 24. 

I will also tell you that any issues I had with the pattern were of my own causing and I stupidly didn't sign up for the blog tour.

I made view A of the pencil skirt and started with a size 24.  My waist measurement is a size 20 and my hips come in right at the 24.  My first mistake is that I muslined this puppy in true muslin.  This skirt is designed with negative ease and needs a fabric with some stretch.  The 24 muslin fit - but had wrinkles across the thighs and pulls from the hips.

So I added some more to the skirt and made muslin #2.  At this point - I had a complete meltdown - over everything.  My size and shape, my complete inability to alter a pattern.  I was ready to list my machines on craigslist and put the fabric on the curb for the first taker.  I emailed Abby - who patiently put up with me and said basically, hang in there, this will work.    On May 17th, I had a sewing day with a friend where we worked on her Mother of the Groom dress and she made some slight tweaks to my 2nd muslin - she's Abby and sewing friend were right - it wasn't too bad. 

So - I dug around in the fabric cupboards looking for something with stretch.  This brown is a stretch suiting of questionable fibers.  I took some of the extra width out of the final version  (ending up with about a size 24.5 [1/2 of the way to a 26]).  I will say - the waist is still too big. 

I then grabbed this lovely wool blend plaid from the fabric cupboard to make Ava.  I have never made a true lined jacket before.  I will again.  Based on the finished garment measurements I made a straight size 14 with no alterations.  I cut the cuffs and the lapel facing on the bias and added an extra layer of interfacing.

I think this jacket is cute and wearable.  It was easy to wear and the construction was easy to.  I did not apply the lapels following Abby's instructions - and I'm not sure why I went my own way.  I have a piece of black and white houndstooth and some faux black piping to make another and will do it properly next time.  I think I'll also cut the back to a longer length - but not much longer - I think it's pretty close to working quite well for me at the length it is.

All in all - I'm very happy with these two makes.  I really want to thank Abby for letting me test and putting up with my pity party.  I'm still not over it - but I'm doing better. 

Even though I didn't play along - please check out the others on the blog tour, they can be found here:

29th May – Tanya at MrsHughes - ( Betsy) 
1st June – Liz at Sewn by Elizabeth - ( Betsy & Ava as well as a little interview with me.)
2nd June  – T at uandmii ( Betsy)
3rd June  – Mary at YoungBroke&Fabulous
4th June – Mary at Idle Fancy
5th June – Andrea at foursquarewalls
6th June– Tanya at MrsHughes - (Ava) 

7th June - Melissa at Scavenger hunt 
8th June -  T at uandmii ( Ava)
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