Friday, May 9, 2014

Simplicity 1653 Skull and Roses mock wrap dress

This is one of my TNT knit dress patterns! This is now the third time I have made this dress and it never gets old!!  
My friend Krystal and I dressed for a lunch outing and a play.

I wanted a new dress for spring and I had the PERFECT fabric for it :) a skull and roses print on a baby blue background cotton interlock knit. I saw this fabric used on another blog for a top and fell in love!  I just HAD to have 3 yards from Girl Charlie Fabrics ( I don't see it on the website anymore so they may have sold it out. But, they have many other very cool knit prints. 
Close up of the fabric.

The pattern is one that I like very much. It fits great and easy to make changes in style as well.
This time I used View B sleeve length, the shorter length (on my previous 2 makes I used a midi length) and I widened the skirt for a fuller silhouette. 
Make # 1
Make # 2 I never did a full review, guess I was busy during the past winter holidays!! So here is a picture.  
Dress make #1 on the right in purple and dress make #2 on the left in black white and red.

For the skirt I widened the bottom hem 5 inches on the front and back at both side seams, effectively adding 20 inches to the bottom width and tapered to nothing at the waist area. I LOVE the look it gives this dress at the shorter length!!  

As far as pattern matching goes... I couldn't do any at all :( I only had just enough fabric at 3 yards to make the dress with less than quarter yard and little scraps left. Luckily, I don't think the non-pattern matching is not such a big deal with this print. It is nice since it is more of a random all over print placement. 

I think I will need to retire this pattern for a little while and try some of my new ones :) although, I love having a great TNT pattern in my pattern stash to reach for when I need a quick successful make.

I have one more finished garment to blog about. Next up on my work table is some work appropriate clothes.... Specifically moving back to pants again!

Happy Sewing!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Simplicity 3956 'sexy' top

I had to call this a 'sexy' top because for me the neckline is a daring one. It is at about the limit of low and wide that I will go!! I actually had to audition different bra's to go with this one because several of my bras had cups and bridges that just peeked out way too much. The final bra I decided upon was one that had a cut low enough to work. However, I still used some of that double sided body tape to adhere my bra to the top and at the shoulders to adhere the bra strap to the shoulder. 

I was really glad I did this for the evening event I wore this to because I didn't once worry about things slipping out of place and just gave me that little extra confidence :) I wore this top along with my Stockbridge skirt to an international professional ballroom dance competition. It was a long evening with a plated dinner starting at 6:30 followed by the competition from 8- midnight in a different ballroom and then an after party that went to almost 2 am! It was great fun to be all dressed up and those dancers were just AMAZING!!!

So let's talk specifics. The fabric is a beautiful poly charmeuse by Robert Kaufman that I purchased from Linda Z's in Arlington Heights, IL. The fabric was a dream to work with! (Normally I very much dislike poly's but this was quite nice) I lined the bodice with a light grey china silk. Yummy against my skin.

I used a single layer layout and took my time to pattern match the upper bodice portion on the front and back. The skirt peplum portion is on the bias so I did my best to match at the front so that the design looked symmetrical. I think it came out quite nice. The only part that I had the hardest time in matching was the top on grain portions to the bottom bias sections. I did my best at the front center to get someone that at least looked OK, I think it looks off a smidge left to right. But I'm also being picky with myself!!  The hems were done on the serger as a rolled hem with wooly nylon and with 2 passes for nice coverage and some added weight to hang pretty.

Pattern is Simplicity 3956 6 tops with different variations. I basically made view A with the longer length of view C as the bottom. 
I made some changes to the pattern in the bodice. After doing a quick pin fitting I needed to change the depth a little bit. I actually made 2 different variations for the new top pattern. One for evening wear and then I also drafted one for day wear with more modest coverage.

On this picture above you can see how I changed the center front height of the wrap portion. Also my marks wear I drew the fabric design on the center front line so that when I flipped it over I could match up the exact same design for the other side. Worked like a charm! Not the most economical use of fabric but for a special top I think it is worth it :)
This photo above shows the difference between what I did for the day to evening looks, added much more coverage from the shoulder on down and also redrew the shoulder slope to fit me better. The photo below shows what I did for the final changes. I still had too much fabric to ease across the chest. So I drew and cut a line from the upper third of neckline to but not through the armhole and the overlapped 3/4 of an inch. I also took off a half inch from the side seams front and back.

The pattern directions were just fine, I took a look at them before I began the project just to see if there was anything funny in them. I also eliminated the zipper. I was going to put the zipper in the side but when I had basted everything together to make any fitting adjustments I found that I didn't need one. I believe this is because the fitted portion of the bodice is just in the bust area, if it had been fitted any lower I would have needed one or possibly if I was shaped differently. 

All in all a very successful lovely evening top! I have several weddings this summer and one is themed black and white so this will fit the bill nicely. :)

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

April 2014 Wrap-Up!

Time has just been getting away from me!! It's already the 6th and as I am getting ready for another work trip it hit me that I haven't done my April wrap-up. So here is a quick post on my April makes, one of them has not been blogged about yet but since I have 2 flights today I plan on rectifying that situation!

April was a busy month! I hosted my daughters Star Wars themed baby shower at home and spent a lot of time preparing for that, I also started back to work travel all while still trying to fit in 3 physical therapy sessions a week! 

I made seven items this month and only one was a garment for me! The rest was either for my daughter, the shower or my soon to be here granddaughter. 

In no particular order of sewing

1. Crib quilt in Star Wars and nursery colors of purple and coral.
2. 25 Star Wars themed key fobs made from left over scraps from both the quilt and the crib sheets. These were Thank You gifts for baby shower guests.
3. Vintage doily runner for the under the TV table, these have all been in my stash for years. (Pinterest idea!)
4. 2 maternity dresses for my daughter, adapted from a top pattern from Megan Nielsen designs.
5. 2 Star Wars zippered pouches as prize giveaways at the baby shower.
6. 2 embroidered towels as a gift (not shown)
7. A sexy evening top for me that was worn to an event, Simpllicity 3956 (to be blogged)

So, what's up for May's agenda???

Well May is MMM Me Made May where you are supposed to pledge to wear only clothes made by you. I did not pledge, some things get to be too time consuming. However, I am fully playing along :) and have been wearing only clothes or at least one item of clothes made by me everyday. I hope to see where my wardrobe is lacking and make a plan. I already know I need to concentrate a little bit on some new work appropriate clothing. I need a new suit and some business casuals. We shall see what else pops up from this little experiment.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Star Wars Baby Shower! And Star Wars baby quilt!!

I hosted my daughters baby shower at our house 2 weekends ago! (Jeez!!!! 2 weeks already, how time flys!!)

I figured I better share all the fun stuff we did for the Star Wars themed shower. It was a challenge seeing that she is having a baby girl and Star Wars decorations are pretty much boy themed. We ended up doing a fusion of Star Wars and the nursery colors of purple and coral. 

We had a Saturday afternoon shower started at 1:30 with lots of finger foods, games, onesies decorating, and cake!

Enough talk! Time for the pictures :)

Mommy to -be in the comfy chair with Star Wars balloons!

Fun decorations!

Storm Trooper cheese head

Yodamole :)

Dagobah Swamp juice punch

The BEST cake ever made by my hubby!

Light saber chocolate covered pretzels with Star War key fobs as Thank You gifts.

Onside decorating station set up outside on the deck. So much fun! Stencils, paints and fabric markers.

Decorated onesies hanging to dry. 

Having fun playing games and guessing the size of Mel's belly!

Little Star Wars zippered pouches for prizes for the game winners.

She got a ton of great gifts! However, I am quite partial to the ones I made for her:)

A set of 4 crib sheets

Embroidered bibs

A chenille tummy time blanket.

A pair of hooded towels.

And my favorite! A crib quilt. The colors in the photo above show the true colors of purple and coral. The ones below were taken outside in the bright sun and show up as blue. Even the milky on the back is actually purple.

I love the diamond quilting pattern! The quilting is done with a varigaited coral thread and the back with a matching purple. I think it came out great! It took a long while to come up with a quilt design for a Star Wars themed quilt for a baby girl. Nursery colors of purple and coral helped a bit with the purple. 
I used a quilt pattern called a thousand pyramids. Triangles with randomly interspaced pieced triangles. It was fun to make a quilt for my soon to be here granddaughter!!! I can't wait to meet her!