Monday, June 29, 2009

BWOF 2-2009-107B - Pleated ivory linen skirt

I saw this skirt in the magazine and fell in love. I thought it was so unique and summery. What I wasn't thinking about was how bulky those front carriers would look on my rectangular frame. Nor how those wide set inverted pleats would make my hips look wide.

At least the inverted pleats I could do something about. I reversed them into regular pleats. I also removed the back carrier since it pooched out a bit. A thicker black belt might make this skirt more flattering by creating a thinner looking waist...

Well, at any rate, I love the back.

This is a linen print purchased at I thought a larger print necessary to display the design details of this pattern. I also wanted a drapey fabric that was somewhat thick. Linen fit the bill, although I'm sure it will require ironing after each wear.

This is the front tab buttoned onto the front inset. You can't really see these insets under the tabs but I thought them very unique.

Here's where the tab meets the side zipper and lines up perfectly with the back waistband. These pattern pieces were really well drafted, as per usual for Burda.

Inside zipper with facings. I used bias tape to cover the side seams and slipstitched the facings down.

This is the inside front pleat. I sewed the pleat together for 3 inches down from the inset. This keeps the fabric together across my hips.

At the inside bottom of each pleat I sewed a piece of twill tape. This insures the pleat won't rip out while being worn.

Here at the hem you can see the bias tape better.

So, definitely not a disaster, but not what I pictured in my mind's eye either. A wider belt will help, I think. I also think I need a pop of color somewhere. Maybe some red shoes?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yet another McCall's 3830 - Leaves print skirt

As promised, the straight skirt made to go with my new green top. This skirt pattern is a favorite because the fit is great and it's super easy to make up. I took out the back seam and put the invisible zipper on the left side.

The fabric is a stretch sateen bought from JoAnn's. I just loved the colors in it.

I sew bias tape along the facing edge and the side seams. I use sew the non zipper side seam as a french seam, but realized this would be hard to alter if I were to go up or down a size. I'm still working on loosing that 8 pounds I gained around Christmas of last year, so need to be able to take it in.

Up next is a skirt from February's Burda magazine, 107 B. I'm having a few issues with its unflattering wide pleats. Not sure why I loved this skirt in the magazine so much...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

McCalls new fall patterns

Here's the new fall lineup for McCall's. Sorry, McCall's, but I'm not too impressed. There's nothing much new for me to get excited about.

I'll be buying 5923 for the cute plaid dress on the envelope. This isn't a new design, but I've never seen it with the bias pieces along the sides and bias empire waist inset. Love that!

I also like 5936 with it's fitted shape and flowy back peplum. The short sleeve version is especially cute with that turtleneck they've paired it with.

What do you think? Did I miss any of your favorites?

I'm still waiting to take pictures in my new pencil skirt. Life has been busy lately and hubby (aka my photographer) is working some loooooong hours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Butterick 5328 - Spring green gathered front blouse

You all convinced me, and I decided to try to save it. Well what do you know? I LOVE it!

I so love this design. There are tons of little details that make it special; the wrap front with ties, gathers along the bust, gathered sleeve caps with cuffs, pretty curved neckline, and collar with stand.

I removed the front bands, cut off 1/2 inch along the curve of the front bodice, and redistributed the gathers starting 1 inch above the pattern's top gather point and ending 1.5 inches above the bottom gather point.

I put two snaps where the front bands overlap to keep them in place.

Here at the shoulder seams I used french seams. The sleeve seam was covered in white bias tape to cover the exposed seam. Green would have been preferable, but I couldn't find any. The front band was slip-stitched and I decided against the topstitching in that area.

This pattern includes a piece for inside fabric ties. But I found those too bulky on my muslin, so opted for ribbon instead. Here you can see it and the french seam down the side.

Thanks to everyone who posted incouraging remarks when I thought this was another wadder. I think the reason wadders beget more wadders is that you loose your confidence after a few loosers, and think you can't make it work when you hit problems in your current project. I'm hoping this is the end of my streak.

The matching pencil skirt will be completed tonight and I'll post it soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Okay, now I'm annoyed...

Oh my gosh, are you kidding me??? Another wadder?! I am so super frustrated! I'm currently working on my second top from Butterick 5328. You'll remember a few posts ago where I wrote I made it but didn't love the fabric. This time I used a cotton stretch poplin in a lovely apple green color which is the perfect match to another print fabric. I had planned a whole outfit. Unfortunately, this top has horrible wrinkles under the bust. I thought maybe a bigger busted gal could make it work so I stuffed my bra with some of hubbies socks. Nope. Still getting ugly wrinkles.

Any suggestions? I'm really bummed. I've wasted a great fabric and 3 nights sewing time. Yes, I did make a muslin (of sorts), but no, I didn't notice the under bust wrinkles until I went back today to try it on.

I'm not seeing the wrinkles on the pattern envelope!!! I once read on someone's blog that they never buy a pattern without a real live model with the actual garment on the pattern envelope. Good advice. Wish I'd followed it this time around.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A bit of this and that

I have received some blog awards lately for which I've been very tacky and not properly bestowed my thanks. Some while I was on vacation so don't hate me too much. You don't, do you?

Many thanks to BConky and Gail for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award, to Cenetta and Mz. Choize for the Blogger Buddy Award, and my lovely sister Texas Belle (not her real name) for the Butterfly Award.

Wondering what I bought at JoAnn's 60% off sale yesterday? Drumroll, please...

And... that's it. Oh my gosh, everything was so picked over! Gone were all the lovely cotton eyelets I've been ogling, the printed linens, the stretch sateens. Now I haven't been there for a good month, but usually there's one or two colors/prints left over. Nada. So I came home with only this floral charmeuse. I'm thinking maybe this BWOF blouse from the August '08 issue:

Or possibly a simple bias skirt. I have lots of tops to match those colors. I did buy some thread and interfacing. And by the way, my super JoAnn's is so popular, they give out numbers at the cutting tables. The wait has gotten so long that I take my number when I walk in the door, then do my shopping. 30 Minutes later when they finally call it, I've picked out my fabric and am ready to have it cut.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

McCall's 3830 - Red & white floral skirt

Let's clear the air from all my recent wadders, shall we? Here's my TNT (that's tried-and-true) straight skirt pattern, McCall's 3830, which I've previously used for my snow leopard skirt and several other skirts pre-blog. This is made from stretch sateen recently purchased from Shut up. Don't judge me. Yes, I am suppose to be on a fabric diet. I can't seem to help myself. Anyway, I love love stretch sateen. It's mostly cotton so irons beautifully, but has a bit of stretch for comfort. And it's a nice medium weight perfect for skirts and pants. This was a bit plain of an outfit, so I grabbed my purse for some interest. I can see this skirt nicely paired with a fitted denim top of some sort. Not that I own one.

I took out the back seam so I didn't have to cut up those large red flowers. I'm basically a square when it comes to body types, meaning there's little difference between my bust, waist, and hip measurements. Yes, I do have a waist, just not much of one. So I can put a zipper in the side seam without any fit issues.

In other news, Simplicity has put their new fall patterns on their website. They usually have pattern releases twice a season, so I'm sure this isn't it. I found two that I like.

This is 2550, and I like the red dress featured on the envelope. I seem to have tons of warm weather dresses for church, and very few for winter. I like the slight cowl neckline and flared 3/4 length sleeves.

Love, love this vest pattern, 2556, although I do have several vest patterns marinating in my stash already. I like the front of the black vest but I'm not sure about the back. It might make me look really broad shouldered. I also really like some of the other views.

My kids are currently napping - I think Justin is as well - and I'm off for a 60% off fabric sale at JoAnn's. There are a few things I've had my eye on for months now. If they're still around I'll be purchasing some yardage.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Two and a half wadders in a row...

I have been busy sewing, but nothing is working out. I'm hoping to not repeat last summer's wadderfest. First I attempted Butterick 5328 in an olive green to match an orphan skirt.

I love this pattern. The fit was perfect and the front gathers and tie so cute. The fabric wasn't the best choice. It was some polyester blend that's kind of flowy. In recent years I have bought lots of this in various colors, but it never seems to iron well and doesn't take curves with any ease. Especially at the collar it wouldn't sew smoothly and since I like the pattern so much, I decided to scrap it and use a green cotton poplin already in the stash. I'm considering it a muslin and moving on.

Next up was Butterick 5327, which I instantly loved view A with the beads sewn in between the tucks. Those dumb tucks!!! You have to sew them all by hand, which involves lining them up perfectly so they are the same width. This proved to be difficult and fiddly. The directions were not forthcoming about whether to fold the fold lines in or out. I started with in and got half way around and tried it on: SUPER HUGE NECKLINE! Okay, I'm thinking the tucks must tuck out instead. So I rip all those out and begin again. Need I go on? I spent 2 evenings of sewing time trying to make it work and gave up. I can be very patient on my garments to a certain point. Then I've had it! DON"T BUY THIS PATTERN unless you want a lot of headaches and pulled out hair.

I'm counting Newlook 6802 as a half wadder. Why you wonder? Well, had I read the reviews for this at I would have found out that it looks really maternity. The skirt is straight with gathers under the bust, so with the bigger front the gathers kind of pooch out. Not my favorite look when I'm not preggers.

However, we are hoping to add to our family in the future so I'll probably get some wear out of it then. Although it is sleeveless so might not work if I'm pregnant during the winter. Oh who am I kidding, I live in Texas. Sometimes we wear shorts on Christmas! I snapped a picture of it for you. I suppose it will be completed sometime in the future.

So that's what I've been working on. I need a quick fix for my wadder blues. Maybe I'll make an easy TNT straight skirt tonight. Have a great weekend, y'all!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Vacation project - Brown & turquoise beaded skirt

I took a few projects with me during my vacation to keep me occupied during the evenings when the little boys went to bed early. I tend to get car sick so didn't plan to work on them during the long long drives. (We went from Texas to Northwest Wyoming!) However, as you may guess, I got super bored. Justin suggested I do something, so I gave it a whirl and low and behold sewing tiny beads to fabric didn't make me nauseous! Neither did knitting, but that atrocious sweater is for another post.

Anyone remember this outfit from October 2008? I decided to add a little bling and sewed small turquoise beads to the insides of the flowers. This idea came to me via a Macy's ad of a wonderful daisy skirt with large black beads in the center of the flowers.

Here's a closeup of the fabric with the beads affixed. They're pretty tiny. I didn't want to sit on large beads - sounded uncomfortable - but don't like the looks of beading in the front only.

Here I am in a matching summery sweater. I guess it's not too much of a change but I really like it. Now I'm combing through my closet looking for other garments I can sew beads to. (Not finding much.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Simplicity 3759 - Brown & turquoise print knit dress

I found this interesting print at some months ago. (It looks kind of equestrian to me.) I needed a simple design for it, so I used this Simplicity pattern that was in the stash. It turned out drop-waisted and rather unforgiving in the tummy area. I really have to watch my posture and not eat any big meals when I wear it. However, it's comfortable and twirly so I'm happy.

This was super simple to make. Just a few french seams and a tiny amount of bias tape and voila! A breezy summer dress to wear out and about.

The neckline has a few gathers in the front - not that noticeable on this busy print. I'm currently in love with the turquoise and brown color combination and have bought a ton of it lately.

I did deviate from the pattern instructions for the sleeves. I tried it their way and turned up the sleeve edge for a skinny double hem but it looked terrible and my stitches were really wonky. Plus, I don't like to topstitch one area of a garment when there's no other topstitching present. So I doubled the the sleeves and understitched at the inside edge - it's a lining for the sleeves only with the same fabric. I like this finish much better. Here you can see the sleeve insides and the bias tape I used along the arm seams for a smooth finish. I stitched a single layer of the facing to the dress and slip-stitched it down by hand on the inside.

Here's the french seams I used for the side seams and waist seam.

I might make the top from this pattern in the future but won't make the dress again. Too many patterns, too little time, KWIM?

Up next is a little green top from Butterick 5328, which doesn't have too great of reviews over at, but I'm hoping mine turns out fabulous.