Monday, January 26, 2009

You Give Me Joy!

I have been nominated by these wonderful,talented,women,Linda of Faye's Sewing Adventure, Liana of Sew Intriguing and Lesa of Lesalicious Style and Life for this award. I am greatly honored and I thank you. The best part of blogging, is having the opportunity to communicate with these great women and other terrific people, who willingly share their knowledge,successes and sometimes disappointments of sewing. It's a joy to read comments and know that someone likes what I'm doing.I'm enjoy many blogs and here are my nominations:

Hear are the rules for the nominees:
1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dress Confessions-Part II

Thanks to all the wonderful notes of encouragement from my blogger friends,I jumped into this dress fitting project with confidence.
I've been working on muslins for my sheath dress.This is muslin #1. It is straight from the pattern,without any adjustments. I needed to familiarize myself with the pattern's design. It's very tight. No breathing room and forget about sitting. Every roll is exposed.

Here is the back view and more expose rolls.I modeled this dress in front of DH,who didn't know it was a fitting muslin and asked him how it looked? He looked for a few minutes and then said,"It looks nice."I was shocked to know, that he would let me walk around in public looking like this.
I made adjustments to the pattern shown here,highlighted by red marker.This is the front full bust adjustment.The front needed a FBA and some belly room.The back needed adjustment for fullness in the lower back and bottom,to prevent the dress from hanging up on my hip fluff. Here is the muslin #3 with adjustments. It passed the sit-down test and it doesn't show any rolls. It still needs a bit of tweaking.

There was a 2ND muslin but I decided to spare you and only show adjustments that work. I have tried on muslins 11 times, to get to a good fit. I think, I'm ready to move on to my fashion fabric.

Friday, January 23, 2009

True Dress Confessions.

I wore a dress to church Sunday, that was a little,it was really tight.I thought I could wear it one last time and then let it go.
I was wrong.It was one I really liked and standing in the mirror it looked good but when I got into the car,I discovered that sitting in this dress was an entirely different story.I was running late and it was too late to change,so off to church I went. I was so uncomfortable,that I couldn't pay attention to the sermon.I didn't worship,unless I can count, praying that this dress would give me an inch. All I could think of was, getting out of this dress.
Once I returned home ,ripped of the dress and was again able to breath freely,I decided that I needed to make a new dress.
I been browsing through the fashion magazines and find that they are filled with sheath dresses. I usually run from this kind of dress because I think it will be unkind to my plus-size body.Can I make a sheath dress that fits and flatters? To challenge myself and answer this question,I pulled out my "Fit For Real People by Pat Palmer " book. This book is awesome and has helped me before with my fitting issues.
I've selected McCall's 5818-view B,in the black and creme print fabric shown here.

I have cut my muslin and dedicate this weekend to making this dress. I'll be posting my progress. Wish me luck and share with me any tips,that you may have.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Sew Along Sunday

I spent Sunday enjoying a "Sew Along" with my pals Linda and Ebony. Linda prepared a delicious meal and I baked a cake for desert. Our "Sew Along" also included a trip to Hancock Fabrics, where I purchased the fabric of which, my spring "swap" will be based on.(more on this later) My friends encouraged me to purchase a beautiful print in my colors. It is always good to shop with other people who sew. We sewed up a storm from about 3pm till 10pm. Time really flies when you are having fun. I was able to complete this sweater set.I morphed the jacket from my TNT, Vogue 1020, to create this long duster type sweater,by adding 15 inches to the hem and about 2 inches of hip room .The tank top underneath is from McCall 5271. I added 5 inches to the length.

The grey fabric is a ribbed knit purchased at Wal-Mart.

I plan on wearing this on Inauguration Day.I don't have to go to work,but hey...I'm dressing for the occasion anyway.

Vogue patterns were on sale this past weekend and because patterns are on some kind of sale every month,I only buy what I plan to sew in that month. This keeps my pattern stash from becoming overwhelming This is what I plan to sew.

I think they are kinda artsy,though I would never tuck a shirt into elastic waist pants. I like the leg treatments. I'm thinking this could be another sweatsuit alternative.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A New Outfit

I finished my outfit,Tuesday. I wanted to wait for my DD to take the photos of me actually wearing the outfit,but she's been busy with her own activities. I tried to do the department store type setup with my dress form. I'm still learning my new camera,so the color is a little off.
The shirt (McCall 5471) is made from a poplin/spandex blend. It is white with dark grey stripes.I'm not exactly sure where or when it was purchased.It has been in my stash for about 2 years.The pants (Simplicity 2700) are made from a wool blend,purchased from Hancock Fabrics.They are dark grey with light grey pinstripes. This is the inspiration picture torn from a magazine and placed in my "style file".The shirt was listed for $198, the pants $98 and the cardigan $325. My version,shirt $22,pants $20 and cardigan $0. My shirt and pants cost, include fabric and notions,all purchased on sale.My cardigan was a gift. Sewing saved me $579. I don't figure in the time I spend sewing because,I enjoy it so much.

Here is the shirt by itself,to show the curved hemline. I won't be wearing my shirt tucked in.
Here's the part that gave me a really hard time,the ruffled cuff.
It was very difficult to fit the sleeve onto sewing machine in order to sew the inside sleeve facing,while keeping the ruffle evenly distributed. There was plenty of stretching,pulling and screaming,but it was all worth it. It fits and it's just what I wanted.
What's next? I don't know,but I've got Friday off and you know what I'll be doing? That's on and sew on.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Little Preview

I didn't get to finish my blouse this weekend as I hoped. I sewed late Saturday night,while sleepy and irritated.I know this is a NO-NO,but I wanted to finish.I made some big mistakes.First I sewed the collar stand on without putting on the shirt plackets,so I had to partially remove some of the collar.Then I put the plackets on backwards! I decided to stop and go to bed and get a fresh start after work on Sunday.(I worked all weekend) Sunday's sewing was much better.I was relaxed and at home alone. I fixed the plackets and proceeded without any problems.Sewing was pleasurable,like it should be.Here's a little previewI have the day off Tuesday and I plan to get this finished.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Color and Style Project

One of my resolutions this year is to sew only colors that flatter me.Some years ago,when I thought I wanted to become a hairstylist,I was attending cosmetology school and took an additional class on color analysis. This class was built on the premise that every woman's has a certain group of colors that are perfect for her base on undertones of her skin,hair and eye color.There were four groups of colors classes by seasons-Winter,Spring,Summer and Fall.
That was back in the early 90s.
In the last few month I've been studying up on the newest version of fashion color analysis (it's much more detailed and has more than four groups).Yesterday I had my first client,my friend,Ebony. Ebony's style is bold and dramatic.After her color/style analysis, we went through her fabric stash and removed all pieces that were not her colors or current style. She was very happy to see that her stash is now full of pieces that are totally Ebony's style. She even encouraged me to offer this service as part of my sewing classes.I like that idea. I regret that I didn't think to take before and after pictures. More on that later.

Here's my current project.I want to copy this outfit.
I'm using McCall's 5471 for my shirt.
I've already finished the pants using Simplicity 2700.
I've got my shirt cut and ready to sew.I hope to finish this by Sunday.I love weekends.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!
I enjoyed the holidays,but I glad everything has calmed.Now I can update and catch up with my blog friends.
I did not totally abandon sewing,during the holidays.I went to Detroit for Thanksgiving,so that required a new jacket.I used my TNT, McCall 5485 again (see this post).This time I used fleece from Hancock Fabrics.No pattern changed or adjustment were needed and sewing it up was a breeze. It been great for the current weather conditions in Georgia.Last year,I made a few resolutions pertaining to sewing and I kept all but one,the last one. I think I have enjoyed sewing more than ever because of these small changes.It is a pleasure to pull several outfit from my closet that fit well and coordinate with several other outfits.
I learned tailoring techniques and fitting on this suit.
and this jacket.
I completed my first and only Burda pattern.

I reduced my fabric and pattern stash which made it easier to move smoothly from one project to the next and made more available space in my sewing room.

The one resolution that I did not keep, was to use a technique from every month's issue of Threads magazine.I didn't buy every issue,because there seems to be a lot of repetition in the articles.

My new 2009 sewing resolutions are:

1.Keep my sewing blog updated-no more month long absences.

2.Keep basic supplies on hand.-interfacing,variety of thread,twill tape,etc.

3.Use only colors that are the most flattering on me.

4.Work to make my sewing classes extraordinary.

5.Plan a sewing retreat.

Thank you for reading my blog and leaving encouragement,advice and laughing with me over my sewing boo-boos,thoughout 2008.