FO2010: Simplicity 2560

I ended up having to stay home from work today for various “Perfect Storm” style reasons. Nothing bad, but it was funny how things fell into place that led to my joyous reluctant hookey day at work.  To make sure the day did not go unappreciated I did some measurements for pants, some experimental cooking, and am now blogging yet another FO from 2010. Not bad for an unplanned day off.

Pattern: Simplicity 2560

Pattern Description: Misses’ knit cardigans with 5 views

Pattern Sizing: 8-24, I made a size 20 View A

Fabric Used: Grey Ribbed Knit with lots of Lycra

Notions Used: None

Pattern Alterations: Added a hook and eye closure

The Good:

  • This one was yet another quick knit project.  I started and finished all the seams in one knit.  It was the hem that took the longest.  I contemplated leaving it unfinished but ultimately bit the bullet and finished off.  I am happy I did
  • This cardigan is a work horse.  I think I wear it at least 2-3 times a week.  As goldilocks would say…Not too hot, not too cold, juuuuust right 😀

  • I really like the hook and eye closure I added.  Super simple and not necessarily the best aesthetic addition but I like the way it doesn’t flop open and how the top portion defines my waist better.

The Bad:

  • The hem was a bear. All that tiny hem plus the rounded edge was not my favorite part.  I just trudged through and made it to the other side.

  • I originally wanted to make this long sleeve but was not able to eek it out of the fabric I had.  That will be the next version
  • It was so easy I actually volunteered to make someone else one the next time I was cutting the pattern.  This is bad because I have horrible follow through on crafting for others.  Good thing I made no time commitments.  But that does put a bit of a damper on when I actually make this pattern again :worry:

The Ugly:

  • I really love everything about the fabric I used for this cardigan as I think the Lycra has a very bouncy feel and great recovery which adds the perfect element to the drape on the front.  The problem is two fold –  One, I don’t know what type of knit I should be looking for and two,I have no idea where I got it.

FO2010: Simplicity 3503 + McCalls 6070

OMG.  I just realized that I only posted two FOs last year.  Guess the first part of 2011 may be a recap afterall…LOL!!  Maybe by mid 2011 I could actually do a retrospective.  Don’t count on it though.  Onward and Upward for 2011.

Pattern: Simplicity 3503 + McCalls 6070

Pattern Description: Knit dress with choice of bodice (surplice or V neck), backs (full coverage or halter), and skirt length.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22. I cut a size 18

Fabric Used: ITY knit maybe??  I can never tell.  It is nice and slippery so it doesn’t cling at all

Notions Used: Elastic for shoulder gathering

Pattern Alterations: Combined the two patterns ala Amanda at Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing

The Good:

  • I made both of these dresses in about 1-2 nights and that is amazing for my speed of sewing.  The black version was for a wedding and is slightly below the knee and the peacock print was a maxi dress I made the day before Thanksgiving.
  • I love how the two patterns flowed together so easily

  • I also like that the girls were sufficiently covered using the top portion from McCalls 6070

  • I actually used this pattern more than once!! There are very few patterns that get that honor
  • I used up some of my prized peacock print knit.  I had been mulling over the pattern for too long and just decided to cut.  Thank goodness I was greedy smart enough to buy about 4.5 yards because I have more to play with 🙂

The Bad:

  • For the black one I was in a such a hurry that I flipped the midriff band, but no one can tell except me 😀

  • The weight of the long skirt on the peacock maxi dress kinda pulls the dress down more than I would like.  Feels a little droopy because of the material selection.  But the feeling, if not the actual affect, goes away as I continue to wear it and I doubt anyone is really paying attention to that either except me.

The Ugly:

  • That I have missed you guys and was too lazy to blog.  Good thing we are close like that and I can disappear for a while but we pick right back up again like no time has passed 🙂 .  Hope 2011 keeps me on track.

ETAC

First off, I want to thank all of you still reading my blog and especially those who have commented lately.  I forgot how much I like sharing my experiences with you all and how much I LOVE getting comments.  So thank you.

On another note,  last Saturday I attended ETAC (Education of Textile Arts) and had the equivalent of a crafty religious experience.  I have to say that I didn’t know what to expect and when I got there I was a little underwhelmed by what I saw.  I was expecting something along the lines of Stitches West or The International Quilt Festival, but was surprised to find it in a medium sized DoubleTree Hotel (the one that serves the hella good chocolate chip cookies) with some ackwardly arranged classrooms.  However, for what it lacked in flair it made up for in actual educational content.

I attended  Lorraine Henry’s “The ABC’s of Pattern Alterations” first.  What a series of epiphanies!! The class was a 3 hours hands-on workshop where you made alterations for common fit problems using half scale paper patterns.  First, she told us about the proper order of making alterations, then she exposed us to the usual alteration methods and revealed the issues associated with them.  Then, we used the seam method of pattern alterations and it just seemed to click for me. Hallelujah!! I felt like I finally understood and was not intimidated by my necessary alterations.  I felt empowered.  So empowered that I bought the quite expensive second addition of Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration (2nd Edition).

I was lucky enough to find a used copy via Amazon for much less that retail but it was still quite pricey.  Don’t get me wrong, had I not found it used I would have bought it new but I was fortunate to find a deal.

The second class was another of Lorraine’s classes, “The Pants Puzzle Solutions!”.  This was yet another class that enlightened me.  In this class she compared a McCall’s, Butterick, and Burda pants pattern and revealed quite astonishing differences  in the construction of the patterns.  She even compared them to a men’s tailored pant which showed how much less attention to detail is put into a women’s pants pattern verus a men’s.  BTW, Burda seemed to win out in her pants comparison and her body type so it makes me even more eager to try a Burda pants pattern.  She also showed us a great way of outlining our shape using a 40″ curved ruler to compare against pants patterns. Here is mine in all its irregular glory.

I kinda fudged mine as I only has a 20″ flexicurve instead of a 40″ and lord knows I needed the 40″.  But this gives you an idea of what the outcome looks like.  Seems I have a bit of a pooch and a droppy booty…LOL 🙂  Ah well, nothing like denying the obvious self discovery. The best part is that my new book has an alteration for that 😀

I had planned to add another Lorraine class on Sunday, “Fit! measure Like a Master”, but I was trapped by the endless traffic circle created by the Long Beach Marathon maze and spent 30 minutes going in a circles.  Errr….more signs Long Beach!

Anyhoo, next year I plan to get the unlimited class pass because I felt like I could have learned so much more.  The class cost was reasonable and the teachers, Lorraine in particular, were awesome.  One key point made by another of my classmates, who I think was either my age of a few years younger, was how few young people were in attendance.  My count topped out at 4 which was not much in relation to the number of attendees.  It was a shame and I hope to help remedy that next year by spreading the word early amongst my crafty peers…hint hint 😉

 

The Trench Sew Along

I am not very good with “Along” participation.  Be it sewing or knitting, I am either before or way after but very rarely “Along”.  However, since the timeline on this one is pretty lax and the commitment level isn’t nearly as militant as some alongs  I thought I would give an this one a try.

  • Trench Sew Along Schedule

    May 24 — June 24: Pick out pattern, trench coat research, fabric/notions gathering
    June 25 — August 25: Work on trench coat, commiserate, learn and don’t give up
    August 26 or whenever you finish: Wear trench coat bursting with pride and maybe a little disbelief at how awesome it is

My Trench Sew Along pick it The Tikva Trench from BurdaStyle.

I have some gorgeous medium weight stretch satin fabric that will look perfect with this.  I also want to get a fabulously colorful lining for the peekaboo effect.  Given I should probably be making a more practical trench but this one has been on my list since it first came out.  So Step 1 done.  However, since I am a procrastinator extraordinaire with a two month window to work with  don’t expect to hear much about step two for a little while to come 😀

Finished Object: Vogue 1086

This dress was another wadder that turned FO.  I started this one back in July 2009 during the great dress making fest and just petered out when it came to the hem and the need for some franken fixing in the bust area.  However, after the euphoria of finishing my white top I finally had the momentum to get this one done too. Yay Me!

Pattern: Vogue 1086

Pattern Description: Slightly flared dress, mid-knee, has princess seams, very loose-fitting bodice with yokes, forming cap sleeves, above waist midriff and left side zipper closure.

Pattern Sizing: B5(8-10-12-14-16)  Increased from a 16 to18  in hips

Fabric Used: Asian Print Stretch Cotton

Notions Used: 12″/14″ Invisible Zipper, Hooks and Eyes.

Pattern Alterations: Increased from a 16 to18  in hips. I made adjustments ala Erica B.’s suggestions – I also raised the neckline by almost 2 inches. I also raised the armscye.

The Good:


  • That I waited until someone else had done this project…LOL!! 🙂  I made quite a few adjustments based on others experience, especially Erica B’s.  Without these changes I would have been mighty disappointed. I raised the neckline, which still gives some va va va voom action and raised the armscye which was quite necessary.
  • I finally got to use this rather busy but pretty cotton print.  The material has a bit of stretch which was unnecessary for this project and actually caused me a bit of heart ache that I might have avoided had I had a non-stretch fabric

  • I love the pretty gathers.  LOVE.THEM.

The Bad:


  • My waistband fabric was not sturdy enough for this patterns so it shows the seam allowance after ironing.  I should have added some interfacing to give it some weight. However, the Catch22 of that hypothesis is the waistband fabric near the invisible zipper is pretty bulky or maybe I sewed it too close but zipping it up is quite a task.  It just seems to get hemmed up at the bottom of the band so I have to work it beyond the beginning of the band then then it keeps going just fine.  I guess it is only a matter of time before praying it doesn’t break isn’t enough and the poor thing gives way 😕
  • Originally this dress was going to be a muslin for a much more fabulous fabric, but alas I am unimpressed so this pattern will probably not be made again anytime soon.
  • After decreasing the armscye I probably should have added back fabric to under the bust as it seems to be right underneath the girls.

The Ugly:


  • After making all the alterations, my neckline still gave me trouble.  Some was due to the stretch fabric and the fact that I did not stabilize the neckline.  Ooops 😦 Ah well, it didn’t destroy it but did make it a little wonky…you live and you learn.  The other part was the pattern, in that the bust was still floating away from my body a bit as you can see in the pattern itself.  I had to do some Frankenstein fixing on the inside.  Amanda, with her amazing finishing skills, would have shuttered at the fix 🙂 but better to wear than to wear not.
  • I wish I had discovered tricot lining before finishing up this dress.  It needs some tailored details to hang better on the body due to the cotton.  Since I am going all Jguyver on this dress maybe I will do an after thought slip with some handstitching and hem tape to hide the madness.  Or do like a sane person would and make a slip 🙂

Conclusion?  It was okay, but I can’t say I love it so it won’t be made again anytime soon.

Peacock Apron & CathrineHolm Pots

Peacock Apron & Cathrine Holm Pot

My obsession with Cathrineholm has finally been satisfied to a sufficient enough level for me to refocus my obsessive nature back to decorating. However, the amazing colors have now saturated all areas of my creative mind and are popping up all over.  One direct result of this infusion of color is my new peacock apron. This apron is a combination of the McCall’s Vintage Apron 3979 and the waistband directions from the apron in In Stitches.

Peacock Apron

The fabric was one I have had in my stash for some time.  I loved it and wanted to make it into a skirt, but with just a little over a yard I knew that I was never going to fly.  So I waited for inspiration which came via my CathrineHolm pots and their combination of blue, green, and orange.  Through them I finally decided that my future fancy kitchen would need a fancy apron to don while making my culinary masterpieces.

Peacock Apron & Cathrine Holm Pot

Now I have already shown you my green and yellow pots but these are my latest and potentially the last additions to my set.

Cathrine Holm Pots - Blue Three pot set

The blue set was an ebay buy.  I was lusting after a yellow set, but that went by the wayside.  Fueled with ebay adrenaline I spotted these and bid.  I am so glad I won these even though they were not my first choice.  I love the depth of color and the fact that they are helping me to expand into other areas of color.

Cathrine Holm Fondue Pot

I found this fondue pot at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market in NY.  I bought it for 5 bucks!! There was a yellow pot there too but it was pretty beat up.  This find was the highlight of my NYC shopping trip!  It has a chip on the other side but for 5 bucks I was not going to get all indignant about it 🙂

BTW…thank you all for your wonderful suggestions for NYC! I didn’t have much time so a lot of sights went unseen but I will give you the lowdown via a future post.

Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-118

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Pattern: BWOF 07-2009-118 Dress

Pattern Description:A shirred bust section, a wide hem flounce, a halter-neck strap plaited from cotton tape – this dress of lovely printed batiste is irresistable and you will be too when you wear it!

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-42.  Increased to a 46 and again in hips to a 50.

Fabric Used: Lightweight cotton and silk from Downtown LA

Notions Used: 1/2″ Bias Tape

Pattern Alterations: Increased to a 46 and again in hips to a 50. Eliminated the bottom hem flounce.  Added 7 more rows of shirring from 9 to 16.  Used elastic thread instead of zigzagging over elastic.

The Good:

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  • Loved the Fabric.  I found this fabric in Downtown LA at one of the shops I frequent (name escapes me).  I had seen this fabric last season and wanted it then, but resisted.  When I went earlier this season I had seen a woman buying it and decided that I had waiting long enough.  Luckily for me he have a little over 2.5 yards left.  PHEW!!  This is definitely one of those fabrics I would have regretted NOT buying.  It is lightweight and so soft…I wish we had feel-o-vision as I would love for all of you to touch it.  It also have a lovely sheen that makes all the vibrant colors pop just that much more.

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  • Easy to make.  I had never done shirring before with elastic in the bobbin but it was quite easy.  I even wound my bobbin using the machine…shhhh don’t tell.  Actually the key was to skip the tensioning disc and instead go from the spool, through the first step as if to thread the machine and then to the bobbin.  This will give just the slightest tension and the machine will do the rest.  This is hard to explain but I will show a picture if anyone needs it.   The hardest part was braiding the straps, which was not that hard,  but did make my OCD flare up.  I have not braided in years, even then I only braided hair, and now we know just one more reason why I wear my hair o’ natural…LOL!

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  • Strapless bra again.  I mentioned with my last dress the strapless bra phenomenon at Chez Chic.  This dress was actually my first foray outside sans bra straps.  It was totally fine but I would have never worn this style without the backup safety plan of the halter straps.  The shirring was tight enough, but not for my liking.  Given my liking would have probably produce suffocation so halter straps prevented such a fashion faux pas 🙂

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  • Shirring.  Once again, easy and quick with great results.  I have some other garments in mind in with shirring involved.  Especially because I bought two spools of elastic and barely scratched the surface on the first spool.

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  • Straps.  Despite the fact that this drove me a little batty and finally required me to have a “good enough” attitude, I love the straps.  They are made out of folded 1/2″ single fold bias tape that you then make into 1/4″ by folding.  At first I was kinda mad as I was thinking “why didn’t Burda just say buy 1/4″ double fold bias tape?  But then I thought about the uneven folding of the tape and recanted…a little.  If you are not as OCD maybe trying the 1/4” double fold bias tape would not be so bad.  After braiding I gave it a good steam to flatten them a little.  They turned out very nice and sturdy

The Bad:

  • Not having a size A bra cup required the addition of shirring lines.  The pattern only called for 9 lines but that barely made it to the middle of my bust.  In the end I ended up with 16 lines of shirring but could have probably gotten away with 12-14 lines.  Either way, make sure to compare the front AND back lengths of the shirring to make sure it fits your bust.  Mine was a little too long in the back with the shirring that is why I say 12-14 would have been optimal.

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  • One of the main reasons I liked this pattern was for the front panel detail.  It is a little panel of the unshirred fabric with a piece of the braided strapping tacked down at the top and bottom.  Afterwards I realized a few things… The inside of the flat panel edges are unfinished and the braid piece likes to shift.  To solve this dilemma I tacked down the strap to the fabric panel and then did a loose slip stitch to tack the flat panel to the shirred bodice.  I think Burda should have told you this, but then again they don’t tell you to finish your edges either so I guess they thought we would figure it out.

The Ugly:

  • I had originally intended for this dress to be a maxi dress as well.  However, while cutting I didn’t quite measure the length right.  Given I made the pattern exactly the same length as the 116 without flounce but it would have been nice to have yet another maxi.  I love this fabric so much that I saved the cut off portion and will be using it to line a little purse I plan to make.  Waste not Want not.

Sorry for the mispellings, grammatical errors, or rushed thoughts as I am babysitting today.  To anyone who knows me is looking incredulously at the screen right now and wondering if I have gone insane, however, I am still and auntie of 10 neices and nephews so I can babysit when in a pinch.  However, my family knows they need to mark their calendars as this is a truly rare and special day…LOL  🙂