Monday, August 25, 2008

Vogue Already

So as soon as loggedonto the Vogue pattern site, I came across V1059 I think this is the exact pants pattern used for my wide leg jeans, pictured below in a prior blog, from Lane Bryant. Here is the line drawing for the pattern - doesn't it look like a good replica?! I think I can justify spending the shipping to get the pattern at this price.

Oh, and look, at this one!! V1051 I believe the legs are not as wide on this pattern. That's a concern of mine on the first, because I don't want every pair of pants I make to look exactly the same - and a pant leg that wide is sure to be remembered, reguardless of fabric or emblishments that I may choose. The pattern is described as: Slightly flared legged pants A, B (semi-fitted through the hip) have below-waistline contour waistband with fly zipper closing, front and back welt pockets, back button loops. A: contrast welts and loops. A, B: contrast waistband facing. B: turn back cuffs.
I really like the turn back cuffs. To me, this is a very finished look for pants, and keep them being super casual. And while I've never done welt pockets, it's never too late to try new things. So this one is definately going in my bag too.
So, two more patterns to add to my collection...

Theraputic Sewing

So my children's projects are almost finished, but I think I'm going to take a small sewing hiatus from sewing for them, and concentrate on sewing some things for "me"! I will finish putting the elastic band in my daughter's pants today, as well as hem them to the proper length so that I can get some photo's of the finish product posted.

Another reason that I'm anxious to sew for "me" is that I picked up some more patterns the other day at Joann's! It's not my fault though. I had plans to go in, get some elastic, get out. Except my girlfriend took my 3 oldest children, which allowed me to take only the youngest and roam around for an hour or so without hearing my kids complain!!! So I happened to wander by the pattern area, and noticed that Butterick patterns were on sale for $1.99. Now how could I not even look at them? So I ended up with a couple in my basket. I was specifically looking for a pants pattern like the style jeans I bought last week. Dually noted that I did not find the pattern I was looking for (in fact Buttericks selection of pants and skirts is dismally disappointing in my opinion!) but I found these dresses instead: B5242 This is the first of the two, and my favorite. I think that the lines on this dress are going to be very figure flattering on my body shape. I'm debating on making a working muslin (aka, using a fabric I moderately like in the hopes that it turns out well and I can add it to my collection) or just cutting straight into a fabric I know I love. Decisions decisions!

My second pattern is B5130 The Muse dress. While I know the criss cross across my bust line should be flattering, I'm not so sure about the rest of the dress. Definitely something I'm going to have to go search the $1 bin at Walmart to find some knit fabric to test on. I love it with the boots though, lol, and I happen to own a pair just like them so I took it as a sign that I was meant to buy this pattern! At the worst, lol, I'm out $2 for the pattern and the couple of dollars I plan to spend at walmart on fabric. I can consider it a learning experience at the very least!
I'm really thinking that I bought a couple more patterns, but apparently they weren't in the bag that I grabbed downstairs in the dark, so I'll have to check on those later and post back. Then again, I bought quite a bit of scrapbooking stuff that day as well, so it could be I'm having a memory lapse over the number of patterns I actually bought. And I'd like to say that that's the end of my pattern shopping spree, but Vogue is having their $4.99 pattern sale today, and I'm still on the hunt for that pants pattern!! So off to shop their next....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fall Dreams

So the other day, I posted some new fall patterns that I picked up at the sale at Joann's. Yesterday I was zoning out in front of the computer, and I came across this jacket on JJill. Hmm. This jacket reminds me so much of M5060 (oop). In particular, I want the yellow jacket, view C. Except, I wouldn't be caught dead in yellow! Horrible color on me. Instead, I have a lovely dark olive fabric that I plan to use. I did do a muslin and found this pattern to be a bit snug for my bust, so I'm going to have to experiment with a FBA on a princess seem, but I'm thinking that can't be as hard as it sounds, right? The thing is, I'm tall, and I know that this is a look I will be able to wear well. I may make a few design changes - such as not lining it. I'm not a big fan of lined jackets unless they're suit style jackets. I want to be able to layer this over my fall knit tops, which tend to be light weight despite the long sleeves (we are still quite warm here all the way through the end of October, but the nights start getting chill and layering is a good thing!).

Another top that I fell in love with while window surfing (is that an actual term? it should be!) is this one. I love the details on this shirt. Now in all truthfulness, I'm not sure I would ever actually wear this style. I like the high neck. I like the 'Victorian' feel. I love all the details. I'm just not sure this is actually "me". I also think this much detail would take me FOREVER to actually get sewn, and I'm concerned that I might get tired of looking at it far before it's close to being done. It's funny though, because the color is exactly what I was looking for when I was thinking about my dreams of a Fall SWAP. Except, I think this the first thing I've thought about sewing that is actually in the color pallet I chose. Hmm, what does that say about me?! Ha ha, might be better not to go there.

I did hit a big sale at Lane Bryant this past weekend. One thing I do NOT sew for myself, my family, or anyone else, is jeans. I hate all that top stitching and the rivets (that I think really need to be added to keep them from looking homemade). Also, with my body shape, I have a really hard time getting a well fitting pair to start with. I know I'm not alone in this issue, but I'm just not willing to spend the time to get a well fitting muslin for something I never want to make in the first place. I get the right fit jeans from LB and they are about as close to perfect that I could reasonably ask for (and my DH says they make my butt look amazing - what woman is going to turn down a compliment from her spouse like that?!). So my girlfriend and I were having a great shopping trip, and I came across these. Now I know very well not every woman can wear these. I get that. But see that wide yoked band? That is the most incredibly flattering waist line on "me" that I have every worn. Technically speaking, every single bottom I wear should have that style of yoke. It literally drops 20 lbs. off of me! I love the long wide legs too. Seriously, I feel so tall and slim in these jeans!! They had a darling swing denim jacket that matched...except it looked like I was wearing a tent. :( I'm not sure if it was "that" jacket. I'm hoping not because I really love the swing coat look. But I really think the M5060 coat could look great with these too. Now if I could find a pants pattern with this style, I would sew myself pants until doomsday! Hmm, guess I should really go on a pattern hunt for these...

Does this remind you of this? No, not an exact copy - which is good, because that long, clingy tunic style I'm thinking would not be terribly flattering on me. But I like the neckline, and it's one I'm seeing repeated in a lot of fashion magazine for the fall. In case you haven't guessed, I'm a definite fan of soft, feminine looking tops! I think M5780 has a lot of soft detailing that is flattering on a variety of women. I think I particularly like that it calls for fabrics like charmuse and challis. Oh so soft wovens to go with the oh so soft look!
Well, I have more to post, but I also have kids to take care of and errands to run to today, so I'm going to run for now. Hopefully today will lead to more sewing as well!!!


I'm going to have to put S3789 on hold. I told myself that I needed 1/2 a yard of fabric to do the cap sleeves on view C. Umh, I actually needed 1 yard to do the back of the shirt on the fold. No matter how hard I try, the back piece is NOT going to fit on 1/2 a yard of fabric. It's not a total waist, as I plan to use it to line a purse that I'm going to make with the left over corduroy from the Burda skirt pattern. 1/2 yard will work great for that! Plus, I can print up another 40% off coupon from Joann's and save money.
My daughter's pants to her Hannah Montana outfit just need to be hemmed and the elastic added and they're done!! My son's Wall-E jacket is cut. So much to do! It feels so good to be sewing again. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Joys of Sewing

In case you aren't aware, Joann's is having a Founder's Day sale, and Simplicity patterns are $1 each. With the addition of D cup sizing in their pattern line, I am increasingly becoming a fan of Simplicity again! I recently cleaned house on my pattern collection - I tossed any pattern that wasn't complete, patterns of the "what was I thinking" variety, baby patterns (been quite awhile since I had a baby!!!), and any that just didn't 'speak' to me anymore. They all went to my local community college which offers a free sewing class. Well, this left me with 4 EMPTY boxes for patterns (and 3 filled quite nicely, lol) that I am determined to sew with this time. So here's a quick peak at my newest additions:

Top row: 3651 - men's and boy's jacket. This is going to be my kindergartner's fall jacket, made from some Wall-e fleece he has been coveting since we passed it at Joann's a month ago. It's a surprise for him :); 3624 - bought some luscious teal fabric for this, it will be the project I start as soon as I complete the 2 I have going and make the above pattern for my son; 2883 - A Project Runway pattern...

Middle Row: 2930, another Project Runway; 2852 (hoping this will be a TNT for a winter top as I love this style); 3697 - I really love this pattern...;

Bottom Row: 3790 - not sure about this one, but I think it has potential. I really like the band on the bottom of the shirt. You'll notice the other two are repeats. Not sure why Picasa does this, it just does.

I mentioned that I am in the middle of two projects as well. The first is Simplicity 3716, a Hannah Montana design series. I don't know what color to call the velour other than lipstick pink (I just noticed this is an updated envelope than what I have, because on my envelope cover, the little girl is wearing a lavender velour suit, and this picture is only slightly brighter than the color I'm using!), because that's what it reminds me of! It's a nice dark pink. Probably more along the lines of a spring color, but my daughter loves it and I had enough (ahem, barely) to make it for her, so that's where I am. So far so good on this one. I had to go buy satin lining for the hoodie, and then yesterday I ran out of the thread color I was using (no clue how that happened, I had a big spool of it!) but I picked up some more at Joann's tonight since all their thread is 50% off. It was so nice to buy some good quality Gutterman thread again! Anyway, I expect to finish this up tomorrow while my DH is off doing a dump run. I plan to post a review on as this is really a cute set. I need to go get the larger pattern size, as we just graduated from the 7 to the 8, and I see this pattern being used a lot!

The project I originally started was Simplicity 3789. I bought that really cute fabric to do the pockets of my Burda skirt with and ended up loving the skirt so much, I wanted to make a blouse out of the remaining fabric. Great idea, but even using View C, I didn't have enough for the sleeves once I cut out the pocket lining. Oops. So 3/4 of the way through, I had to put it aside. Now I am the first person to admit that I am really bad about UFO's!! But again, this is one of those patterns that I really think I could use over and over again if the fit is good (and I'm thinking it's going to be!!!). So I made sure tonight to get enough fabric to finish the sleeves and hopefully enough to line a self-drafted purse that I plan to coordinate with this. But I can live without the coordinating fabric for purse lining if need be. :)

I can't remember the last time I sewed THIS much, and I have to say, it's wonderful!! I forgot how relaxing sewing is for me. I am really itching to finish these two projects so that I can get on to my son's jacket so that I can get back to another top for "me"!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Simplicity 4814

Yes, it's that time of year. When I start whipping out clothes for the coming winter months. This is a very challenging time for me because it's 100+ outside. The thought of putting on anything made of polar fleece is more than a little horrifying! And yet I sit here with a stack of projects to do so I won't be scrambling when winter (usually around the last week of October or the first week of November) temperatures set in.

This is Simplicity 4818. I bought this pattern...hmm, probably at least 4 years ago. It's from the Lizzie McGuire pattern collection. When I bought it, she wouldn't even fit in the smallest size, which is a 7. I made this in an 8, based on previous reviews on

One of the things noted was that this pattern is close fitting. My daughter is a skinny mini. Almost 11 and barely wearing a size 8 these days. I was really hoping for something a little more form fitting, but I'm sure by the time we put this on over some winter clothes, it won't be as baggy (as you can see from the top photo). The thing about living in the desert is that you never really know how cold it's going to get, so layering is important. I also read the arm length seemed too long, and I shortened it by 2 inches. This seemed to work great for my daughter. I stitched the side seems in place on the cuff's so they wouldn't come undone. I don't remember if that was recommended in the pattern or not.

A funny story about this fleece. I bought it at Joann's when my daughter was in 1st grade. I made one of those cute little ottobre fleece capes for her. She fell in love with this print and colors the moment she saw it. So the following year, I made a vest from this fleece. And then it was a hat beanie and glove. Then it was a scar and a different beanie. Now this jacket. I literally had shreds of fabric left when I finally got it all cut out. It took quite some creative cutting to get the entire jacket cut out! She's terribly disappointed that she won't get yet another item from this fleece next year, but I must admit, I am very done sewing this particular fleece!

This outfit will coordinate with a Hannah Montana pattern that I'm getting ready to cut next!
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Monday, August 04, 2008

Burda 8680

After my last two sewing flops (more on that later) I've been more than a little discouraged. Thankfully, I have a ridiculous supply of fabric on hand, and decided that I need to invest some time in muslin's, rather than cutting into "the" fabric.

First, you should know that I'm a huge jean skirt girl. Wait, that doesn't sound right. I'm a huge FAN of the jean skirt! I tend to wear a well fitting one to death. So I felt that getting a well fitting pattern in my collection would be an essential to my wardrobe building.

I've had Burda 8680....hmm...probably at least 5 years, if not longer. I'm not finding it in Burda's online pattern catalog so I'm guessing it may be OOP. If you can find it though, it's definitely a great pattern to have! Anyway, I've also had this corduroy for 5-7 years. Being self taught, I get discouraged when I make things that don't fit right. Fit is my main issue in life when it comes to sewing. I SEW admire people who can work out fit issues, and I read just about everything I can get my hands on to help me overcome this hurdle. So I decided to use this caramel colored corduroy (it's photographing much lighter than it is in person) to do a muslin. I wasn't going to worry about interfacing or anything, since it was just a muslin.

So of course, 3/4 of the way into it, I realize that this is really turning out well!!! Quickly re-thinking the "I'm not going to wear this" track, I start really thinking about the details. I wish I hadn't sewn the entire thing in a thread color that matched so well, but I certainly wasn't going to do all that top stitching for a muslin!

A few changes I made: First, the pattern calls for all the pocket pieces made from the main fabric. Now I know this corduroy has a softer hand. I can't even imagine a stiff denim pocket! Looking at my favorite ready made skirt, it had all cotton pockets, so this is a change I made. Also, the largest size, a 20 (I am not a number, I am not a number...) didn't leave me much room for ease, so I reduced the side seam allowance to 1/4. I'm cutting back on the soda now, because while this fits, 5lbs. extra, and it won't! But I digress. I had to increase the waistband to accommodate my seam allowance changes. Overall, I still shorted myself a tad, but it's workable. When I add a shirt, no one else is going to know that the tab for the button doesn't extend quite as long as it should. But because the rest of the skirt fits so well, I am certainly not going to quibble about minor details that no one but myself will notice. Also, I had to re cut the waistband because I didn't have the fabric lined up correctly when I cut it the first time and it was messed up. When I re cut it the second time, I have the nap of the corduroy upside down. Again, no one but me knows this, so I've decided i can live with it. :)

I'm noticing in the photo that it appears that my center slit doesn't match up evenly on each side. When I'm wearing it, it matches perfectly, so this is just the photograph (big sigh of relief!).

I'm definitely going to be using this pattern again. I made note to mark on the pattern that I used 1/4 inch seam allowances instead of the 5/8 given. I don't have any denim in my stash at the moment (I know, go figure!) but I have some lovely dark olive green stretch twill that I think would make up beautifully. I'm seeing denim skirts embroidered. I'm picturing using my Kandi Kane to embellish other skirts. Needless to say, I see myself using this pattern a LOT. LOL, I may go down to office max and have it laminated so it doesn't get shredded with repeated use!
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