Friday, October 24, 2008

Another Dress

Well, I'm in the middle of cutting my new Vogue dress and I must say, I think it's going to look great. The solid lavender was not quite as stretchy as I would have liked, but it will work. The jersey print is fantastic. I'm debating ordering more to make a tunic top - except with it being so pastel, I'm thinking it would be more of a spring color pallet. But who says I can't stash, right?! Seriously, stashing is a major part of my life sometimes!!
So I've found another dress pattern that I want to try. It's a sickness, really. What is it with me and dresses? But I love them, so I keep making them. This time I'm looking at B5297 Not the long sleeves though. I think those are hideous and I have no idea what Butterick was thinking with that design option. But the other one, View A, I am mad about!!! I may even splurge and get really good fabric for it. I think it would make a great LBD that I've been wanting all month...except there are some gorgeous printed fabrics out right now that I would love to use this for too. Decisions decisions...!

Monday, October 13, 2008


So my goal this month was to make the perfect little black dress for winter. I had fabric. I had several patterns to choose from. I had motivation. One problem. I didn't have enough fabric. I must have cut out 3 different dress patterns, trying to fit them on what I thought was 3 yards of lovely black knit fabric. I'm thinking now that I must have asked for 2 yards, because clearly, I didn't have 3. I don't have my receipt to tell me what I bought, and admittingly, I'm too lazy to get out the tape measure to check what the actual yardage is. Suffice it to say, I now have a lovely black top for the winter. And it turned out great! But I'll get to that in another post.

So I still have this need for a new dress. I think it's because looking in my closet, there simply aren't many options for fall/winter dresses. And I am a dress type of girl. I've seen several lovely fabric choices as of late at Joann's, but at $12.99-$14.99, I haven't jumped to buy them. Seriously, if I'm going to pay that, I'm going to buy something from Gorgeous Fabrics or Emma One Sock, and get something truly special and unique. Yes, I could pay more. But a truly special piece of fabric that speaks to you is absolutely worth it.

So this morning, I got an email that Vogue fabrics was having a sale, so I decided to take a peak. There was one fabric I was moderately interested in, but nothing really spoke to me. I rarely buy fabric unless it speaks to me! My dress patterns were sitting here on my desk, taunting me. So over to I headed to see what the Deal of the Day was. Last week I got an incredible piece of corduroy there, and one never knows. But it was only some quilting fabrics today. So I sort of searched around the sight, convinced that today was not my day to find fabric. And then I saw it. A piece of fabric that spoke to me. A most unusual piece that spoke to me. A simple, lilac, solid matte jersey. Almost all of my dress patterns call for this type of fabric, so I started looking more carefully. V8471 was still calling my name. I've been wanting to make it for almost a month now, but I hadn't found the right fabric. View B particularly calls to me. And suddenly, I saw "it". My dress. Made in the lovely lilac jersey, with a printed inset and cuffs. Sure enough, just a few clicks through the site, I found the coordinating fabric. It was a perfect match. The print is much too small to make a whole dress from, but as the inset accent pieces and cuff, I think it will be absolutely perfect. And even better, the entire cost for the dress, including shipping, was under $12!! Seriously, how lucky could one girl get?!

So now I am waiting anxiously for my email stating that my lovely fabrics have shipped. Of course, with today being Columbus Day, it probably won't go out. I have to give kudos's to - if you order first thing in the morning, as I usually do, they almost always have the order out on the same day. Plus, I think I only paid $3.95 for shipping on this order. I am definitely a happy customer!

I am thinking about some small design features I think I would like to add to this. The cuff's are vented. I think I'd like to see a lovely purple button of some type at the base of the vent. I'm also noticing that the pattern calls for fusible interfacing. Can I just say, my local Joann's NEVER carries fusible interfacing?! Despite the fact that they are finally getting a small quantity of decent knit fabrics, they refuse to carry knit interfacing. There's a bigger Joann's down the hill, which I may have my husband stop in on his way home from work and check for me. Except then I'll owe him - big time. Imagine dirty, grimy, been welding all day guy, walking into a fabric store! Hmm, think I'll call ahead first to make sure they have it for him....

On the other hand, I could use this opportunity to call over to Anne at Needlenook Fabrics. I could order the new Burda issue I'm coveting and get my interfacing...hmm...yeah, hard decision...

I've actually been sewing up quite a storm this past week. I'm presently finishing up a giraff print purse with V8466, which I shall post photo's of soon. I've also made to new tops, which turned out even better than I had imagined. I need to get photos though. I'm just not fond of taking pictures on hangers. It looks so flat - I think you just miss details that way. So maybe I can convince DH to grab some photo's for me. :-) More to come!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Little Black Dress

I read recently that October is LBD month. And amongst those of us who sew, it's been taken up as a challenge to create something that fits the bill. I don't always follow along with the sew-alongs (since often I have a need for something other than what's being sewn) but this is not an official sew-along, and after checking out my closet, I find that I am indeed in need of a winter LBD. My tried and true favorite is very spring to summer-ish, with flutter sleeves and a deep V neck line.

So I'm going through my pattern preferences for the LBD. It must be a knit. In all fairness, I have a ton of dress patterns in knits right now and I also have a lovely 3 yard piece of black knit fabric. Voila.

I have four choices that I feel would best suit my fabric:

The first is Vogue 8471. I've had this pattern in my stash since early summer. I had originally wanted to do view A with the puff sleeves. For a LBD, I think version B would be a better choice. However, I have some minor concerns about how the waist line would look on me. My stomach is not the most slender, and I have a deep fear that this may end up making me look pregnant. And I'm really tired of being asked when my next child is due. And while I've been loosing weight gradually over the past few weeks, I don't want to make a LBD that's just going to end up hanging in my closet. I could go buy a pair of spanks, but I'd like to skip that too. But this is option 1.

Vogue 8379 is my second choice. This pattern has gotten rave reviews on I like it because it can be dressed up or down, definitely qualifying it for a LBD. The wrap front tends to be very figure flattering, a definite plus. It will take all 3 yards of my black fabric (I was hoping to get a winter top out of a yard or so for practical purposes). I really like the vented sleeve on the long sleeve version, which is what I would be making. I already have some nice jewelry to go with this dress, and I saw a killer pair of shoes at the mall the other day that would finish the outfit. So this is option 2.

Butterick 5242 may be the most figure flattering on my body style. The pleats in the front can be SO forgiving to my "I've had four babies via c-section" body. It also takes only 2 1/4 yards of fabric, so I'd have a little left over for my simple top. One draw back though, would be the long sleeved version. I don't like the puffy looking sleeves or the banded sleeve band. I'm wondering if I could take the vogue 8379 sleeve and use it instead. I'll need to cut the sleeves out and compare the two, and if they work, that's definitely the route I'll go. Again, I really love the short sleeved version, but since I'm looking for a winter LBD, it needs to be long sleeved.

Simplicity 2883 is option 4...and perhaps my least favorite. I don't like either of the two real photos. Instead, I bought it based on the line drawings that include another bodice and sleeve option. Again, I'm not sure that the gathered skirt attached to the bodice is going to be the most figure flattering option for me. Also, I have yet to try a Project Runway pattern, so I'm not sure how the fit differs (if any) from other Simplicity patterns. I'm also concerned that my bodice option is simply a little too casual to really work for a LBD. Those thoughts aside, I do like the overall look of the dress, so it's option 4.

So, I think I'm really leaning towards V8379, but if I can change the sleeves on B5242, that would work well too. Which option will I choose? Check back soon to find out!