Documenting my sewing adventures, and the ins and outs of learning to adjust patterns for a perfect fit.

Hawaiian Dreams Simplicity 1804

Hello Ladies and Gents:

I picked up Simplicity 1804 either in the Spring of Summer of last year. Of course at the time I was building a collection so I never paid it to much attention.

As the summer grows near, (or at least I hope) I began to look for dress patterns for the summer. And I pulled this pattern out in fell in love with View F,  so of course I ran to my stash grabbed the perfect fabric. Oooh no its not enough, don't you just hate that! So while at Hancock Fabrics, I found some fabric that I knew would be enough so I grabbed and came home and started cutting.

I got stuck for a while reading the instructions, so I had to ask for assistance from Nakisha of Sew Crafty Chemist. Once I understood what I was doing the dress was a quick sew. The thing that had me scratching my head was the bodice, I guess it would have helped if I realized I had the bodice piece upside down.

I cut out the 18 for the top, and a 22 for the bottom, after reading the reviews, I realize I probably could have done a 18 all around, but since you have to gather the skirt it wasn't to bad matching the pieces up. How ever now that the dress is made, its to big in the back. I'm thinking I can redo the side seams, and the elastic shirring to get it to fit better, I may have to take something off the sides all the way down.

I'm actively working out and losing weight, so I think I'm in that awkward position, where you still think you are this size when you are not. So I have decided not to make any changes to the dress, until maybe the end of next month. And with the weather one day being 75, and the next day 45 degrees, I think I can hold off on the summer clothes wearing for now. The great Midwest weather got to love it.

The twist tie in the front, I will have to tack down, but I love this little detail. Its what drew me to the dress in the first place.

This fabric is amazing, its so soft but yet stable. I have no clue what its officially called, I got off the Value table, but its a lycra/scuba knit feel.

The one thing I am unsure of with the dress is if I will shorten, I have this pet peeve, I prefer my long dresses to touch pass my ankles resting on my shoes, this dress I believe if I were to wear wedges will touch high ankle or above...
I know its crazy but its just me...
In the beginning

Front with the twist front





The back view, I had to pin it to my mannequin, so it wouldn't fall off 









Plans... What Plans...


I had my sewing plans for the month of April, all planned out. When I got a call from nieces who need alterations to their prom dresses. And thats when my April plans went out the door. But it was a learning experience to say the least.

One of the dresses, just needed to be taken in, it was to big, in the breast and back.  The other dress did not fit at all. Both ordered from China, so here is where I made the first mistake.

The second dress had to be redone, because it was no way I could save, it was suppose to be mermaid dress but she couldn't even walk it was about 6 inches to small, it did not lay flat in the front. And the mesh they used did not go well with her skin tone. So my first thought was to try to recreate the dress she thought she was getting.
That was my first mistake!
What I should have told her, was hey this dress is a no go. What we can do is figure out a dress for you, and go from there.
My Second mistake!
I decided I would try to find similar material that they had used, which was like a polyester satin! Which frayed like crazy..Good thing is I got to use my serger.

Well I had two weeks to come up with dress, for one niece and make alterations on dress for the other niece and I got it done.
Now had I had enough time I would have went with totally different material but it was a lesson learn. And I don't foresee me doing, prom dresses or alterations. Okay maybe I would but it would only be like 1-2 people and it would have to be months in advanced.
This was the to small dress



This was we working to get the front together, I ended up using a simplicity pattern for the top and a burda pattern for the bottom


But my advice for ordering from China! Dont lol

So now I'm trying to get my mojo back to sewing for myself, and getting all this thread off my sewing room floor, I have carpet! My vacuum cleaner only picks up so much. While out shopping today, a light bulb went off and I thought, lint roller!!! 



So I went to the store to get one, and of course got everything but the lint roller, so I came home and said hmmm, what else! Masking tape, worked like a charm...
It really bothers me with the little thread on the floors, especially after I so call myself cleaning up. My dream sewing room will not have carpet. But I'm happy with the results. I will get a lint roller soon.


I also got to use my 60% off coupon to get me a Olfa self healing rotary mat, been eyeing it for over a  year! Originally all my starting sewing supplies was gifted by my husband. I was unaware of his budget so I got a smaller one because the other ones were a little expensive. As well as this was before we were introduced to coupons! So it was time for an upgrade. This Mat is normally 199.99, I got it for 89.00! Happy Mothers Day to me!

It is longer than my cutting surface, but its three pieces, so I connected two pieces and slides the third one under, so now my whole cutting surface is covered. I believe this will work well for me!

Well I think that is enough blabbering for me...Its time to find some things to sew...

McCall 7121, Well that went down hill fast

Well this project will be pushed to the side until June-Never

So I started off very simple, well sorta I bought some fabric which I thought was CREAM, and it came and its GREEN, so after getting passed the disappointment I had to figure out how to make it work.
The fabric has a border print, so i had to figure out how to cut out the pattern and use the border print since that was the focal point of the fabric. This meant I had to cut out all 4 pieces one by one, a pain.
So I finally got it cut out, and if you recall I said about a week ago, I wasn't going to cut out any more patterns while watching basketball. Ooops

I'm smaller on the top and bigger on the bottom, but I'm still a plus size so for this pattern I cut out the 16 top, which I probably should have done 18, and I cut out the 22 for the bottom. No problem I tell myself I would just gather the skirt to to match up the top.

Well that didn't go so well so after gathering the skirt and trying to attach it and not being happy. I figured I would just end up making this until a 2 piece garment!
I did try to attach the elastic directly to the skirt, well that didn't go to well. I bust the stitches, apparently with that option you should use stretchy thread.
I will figure it one day, because I have to figure out how to do the casing for the skirt, and figure out how to finish the top. I will save this project just not any time soon.

Okay I will set a deadline by the first day of Summer I will figure out how to save this project but for now on to the next project,

The pattern itself instructions was not bad at all, however my front pieces didn't seem to align perfectly with my back pieces. I did measure the cut pieces against the pattern and it measured up, not sure what happen there.

The Journey of an incomplete project

Matching up the patterns

I thought I did good

The back

It Shimmers!! New Look 6150

I had my fabric all set out for this pattern, and even with my most creative maneuvers, I could not get all the pattern pieces on the yard of fabric I had (and yes the envelope does call for like 1 yard and 1/4 or so I still thought I could squeeze on a yard), so I had to go digging for some fabric and came come with the gem.

It's a remnant piece from I'm assuming Hancock fabric, and it was enough to get this project done.
I do plan on making some pants for this shirt but I'm still deciding if I want a wide leg pants or skinny leg.

I plan on making the other views I made view E, once I find that perfect length of fabric in my stash. I matched up the stripes pretty good. Although my arms were not matched to the bodice, but the front and back sleeve stripes is lined up.

I used my serger on this project, and I thought I would be very optimistic and decided to do the facing on the serger, well I put the facing on the wrong side, so I had to rip out all those stitches. What a pain!!!
So lesson learned..I will stick to sewing the seam on the sewing machine for now, until I can watch tv and pin a garment correctly..

I did use the stay tape on this project on the hem and the shoulders and neckline

                                          



It wouldn't fit! I wanted this shirt bad lol

So went to Plan B 


Finished Garment


New Look 6150 View E


New Look 6150 View E
New Look 6150 View E

Fabulous Find Friday's

Would you believe that I didn't go into Joann's or Hancock today? Well it wasnt by choice!

My part time job informed me that my contract had ended because they loss the account. Which means I have no extra money to play with for now. I was upset when I heard the news but the more I thought about I felt bad for all the people who worked for the company full time, because now they are with any income.
It was an independent contract position which I didn't mind because it wasn't my primary job in regards to benefits. But just think of all the people who had been working on this particular account for 5+ years (I had been there going on 1 year), and with one call their unemployed and not eligible for unemployment. So I guess this would be one of the downsides of being 1099 contract employee.

On the upside I have more time to sew, I will have to use my stash which is overflowing, and I'm stocked up on notions. I guess I will try to enjoy the next couple of months of not having a second gig, but I will have to replace it so that can I stop deleting emails from my favorite fabric stores.


Well in other news my stape is in, I had plan on doing the Pamela Pattern Peplum sew along that Fabric Mart was hosting, I believe it was last month, and this month. But I never ordered the pattern. But I did read all the steps and became intrigued with the stay tape demonstrated.
Video retrieved from  YouTube:

Pamela's Patterns - Stay Tape Application For Knits




As I prepare to go summer dress and attire crazy I thought it would be wise to invest in some tape to stabilize my garments.

The stay tape that Pamela talks about in her videos, is made by SewKeysE she has several different products for stabilizing fabric, but I only picked up a few. Good thing I ordered this last week. I'm excited to use them this weekend.
Pamela  does not carry all the tapes but they can be ordered directly from the maker SewKeysE

I purchased

  • Woven Stay Tape 1/2 inch use for shoulder seams/crotch/stabilize center front of cardigans etc
  • Knit Stay Tape 1/2 inch use for hems/necklines/side seams/sleeve seams in laces
  • Double Sided Fusible Stay Tape 1 inch uses for hems/zippers/kick pleats/necklines in tiny pleats/apply trims 
Each package is 25 yard roll

Detail PDF from Emma Sea Brooke site



So Im curious to know do you have a favorite stabilizer? Do you even stabilize your garments? 

McCall's 2447 Better Late than Never...Birthday present finished View D


Hey guys!

So if you recall, I had decided to make a shirt for my husband for his birthday. But after reading David Coffins shirt making book I realized I needed to wait and order some supplies. I ordered from his list of essential or picked up in the store 
glass head pins- Joann's
100% cotton embroidery thread -ordered Madeira Tanne Size 50-Sewing Supply Warehouse
rolled hem foot 1/8 in-Sewing Supply Warehouse 
straight stitch foot -Sewing Supply Warehouse

He list other essentials for shirt making in the book, I still would like to purchase
 A felling foot
Sleeve board 
Gingers 5in Tailors Point

So these items are listed along with my other sewing room wish list. Waiting of course for the perfect coupon.

I will be first to admit that David Coffin book has a lot of information to take in, and I can not just grasp everything and move right into shirtmaking, so I decided to just and improve as I go along.
So when making this shirt, because I have tried before and fail miserable, I started with the chapter on fittings, patterns, draping etc. And the first step he listed for fitting was finding a yoke that fits. 

I grabbed my Mccall 2447 and I stuck it to my husband back, and it fit. Which is amazing in itself because my husband has a wide back!! So I figured I would not be too disappointed, I took the other pattern pieces and I draped it on him and it seem to fit. I moved right along to making the shirt. 

I purchased the nook version of David book, and unfortunately I don't seem to be able to print the pages. He has several great diagrams that I needed and wanted to hang on my wall, but since I didn't feel like going back to my screen reading and going back forth, I decided to proceed with the instructions for Mccall 2447. Which I most say these instructions were not good at all. So bad that I got on the computer and prayed that someone had made this shirt and wrote about. I came across the blog Line of Selvage

Talk about a life saver, he really really helped me get through this shirt, I ended up making some of the mistakes he wrote about which I'm going to contribute to the poor instructions. The instructions also had a tremendous amount of hand sewing. I did not do any.

The only thing that didn't fit once I was finished was the very top button near the collar had to be eliminated because the neck wasnt wide enough to close. I have to figure out how to get around this because this is also an issue sometimes in his store bought shirts.

I give myself a B- on this project plenty of mistakes and things I will need to improve but its wearable and it looks nice.
I give these instructions a D-
I will talk about the constructions issue in a different post.

Final Photos Below-View D

McCall 2447 View D Front


Mccall 2447 View D

McCall 2447 View D

McCalls 2447 View D

Fabulous Find Friday's! Coupon alert

So Joann's has a 60% coupon and I still had a balance on my gift card from my birthday. So I stopped in looking for a pattern for my daughter and some fabric for her sewing class. Well didn't find what she wanted probably because I already have the pattern she wants to make some palazzo pants.

Now I know it's no coincidence  that when these coupons come out everything is always on sale so you can't use it because it has to be regular price item.

So on my wish list  now currently is
A new cutting mat -it was on sale 40% not in the budget still this week
Ginger 5 in tailor points - they never have them
Sleeve board
Button hole spacer- they don't care it
Wonder clips
And some other things I can't find my list right now
I'm always waiting for a coupon so by the end of the year I should have my list checked off


After searching for something to buy I ended up with mccall patterns, and I figured this will just be it today no coupon usage for me
I'm headed to the checkout and I see wonder clips!! I frantacilly search for a sale sign don't see it
Regular price is 32.99 so I do the math 60% this will do!! I go to check out and I get my wonder clips for 12.95!! Can you say happy happy

Is it strange that little things like this makes me happy!!


Fabulous Find Fridays....And to follow a pattern or not? That is thequestion

Hello All :) 
I stopped in Hancock Fabrics on Friday to pick up some patterns, Simplicity that I had waited patiently for 2 weeks for them to go on sale. 
Although my husband had tried to convince me to just purchase them two weeks ago. And I insisted I could wait. 
So I went in Hancock with a 20.00 budget just get my patterns and leave, but that spot the bolt section caught my attention, so I ended up going over budget by 20.00 dollars.  Not bad I guess. 
I got 5 yards of this linen/poly blend material for 15.00 dollars. 




This weekend Jo Ann has its 25% total purchase coupon available for use. Since I was already over my sewing budget for the week, I knew I wouldn't be making an appearance so I asked the lady if I could use the coupon there. Now my husband decides he wants to read the coupon policy and he says well I don't think you can use it because right there it says....SIGH ....

Well the lady allowed me to use the coupon, because she said since I was apart of the Hancock reward program. Now I tell my husband later in the car, I never find a reason not to use a coupon I let them tell me I can't. But I never give them reason to not allow it...

I don't think he gets the coupon thing. 



I have also decided that I'm okay with not being able to freestyle a design, I will stick to patterns. Maybe one day I will venture into pattern making, but I need structure and lines, and not much guessing at this time. I attempted to freestyle, this pleated skirt. 
The skirt before waistband attachment


Which I guess came out okay, but the waistband and zipper placement is off. 
After waist band 



Eventually when I get a new zipper foot, or rather invisible zipper foot. I have to figure out the mystery in zippers. I have tried watching youtube, pinterest and googling, and then it dawned on me I have books. So I used A to Z Sewing which was pretty straight forward. I will replace the zipper and redo the band. But that is it for me with doing something without a pattern. 
So here are a few attempts of my trying to put the zipper in, not bad last time, to far down in the finished skirt.

First attempt




Second attempt- better 



I think the next few weeks I will spend working on spring and summer attire. Maybe a dress for Easter, I want to attend a brunch somewhere. 

So do you all, use commercial patterns/indie patterns? Make your own patterns or completely free style?

A evening of cutting, one week later AND Still no sewing

So last Sunday I was sitting and thinking and reflecting on some things, and I was thinking that this year I wouldn't get my husband anything for his birthday...due to funds!

And it dawned on me that I sew so why not make him a nice dress shirt. So I went and grabbed McCalls 2447 that I had cut out over the summer and I cut out some fabric and I figured I would knock this shirt out Sunday night and Monday and it would be done for his birthday Tuesday!

Well as of now, the pattern sits because I don't have the tools I need. I picked up David Coffins , Shirtmaking- Developing Skills Fine Sewing

I ended up getting the kindle version. Because I wanted the book right away. I also didn't know you could download a kindle reader on your PC and smart phones.


I think I will also the video to help my grasp some of the concepts better.
Upon reading the first few chapters, I realized that my approach to making this shirt would be different this time, for one David recommends bleached muslin for interfacing, and I had in my failed previous attempts used fusible interfacing, I believe I will try this fusible interfacing by Sewing Supply in the future but for now, I will stick with the muslin to see how it works. He also recommends 100% cotton mercerized machine embroidery thread which none of my local stores carry so I will be ordering. And because of this shirts sits cut up and ready to be sewed once my items come in.



After going through some of my husband dress shirts, and paying attention to the cuffs, I'm noticing quite a few of his cuffs the interfacing does not hold up very well. And these dress shirts are not cheap, but craftsmanship is questionable.



For this next project with this shirt I think I will take my time with it, I really want to learn how to sew a man's dress shirt and make it look like a million bucks!


Which takes me to my next question, I know when learning to sew its easy to become overwhelm with different techniques and styles. Do you change your techniques based on what other people are doing, or do you continue what you have learned because it works well for you?

I myself am tending to lead towards develop a skill and technique and sticking to it...Is this good or bad?

Adventures of Sparkles.. My floor length cowl neck beauty


I think this weekend is my sew anniversary..Its been 1 year since I started sewing. I'm sure of it because my husbands birthday was before mine and I recall saying I wasn't getting him anything .
 He then furnished my sewing room and purchased my sewing machine. So I came home and jumped on the computer and expedited the shipping of his gift.... 

In June I purchased a serger and it has sat and sat. I was scared of it! So yesterday I forced myself to use. What is the worse that can happen I mess up my fabric... Just more reasons to buy more!

It went well for the first time. I tried to use 
the tape/elastic foot that part didn't go so well.


But I'm happy I tried  it so this post will be full of photos 


Serging 

This was me trying to stabilize my shoulder seams, yea I didnt do that right so I will have to research that






























Setting in sleeves

I watched a video on  Pattern Review, that I have skipped over the last year about setting in a sleeves, It was a video that I guess came with part of the subscription. After watching this clip I wanted to see more of the video, and I found out the video is called ( 10 Clever Techniques To Help you Sew Like a Pro- Sarah Veblem) who knew it could be so easy, and the material is suppose to be even at the top.... I just thought it was extra material when mine would overlap so I would cut the long piece off 

My pieces match up!!! YAY


Finished Sleeve..Very close to perfect!


Finished Product McCall 6612 View D with Sleeves







Hard to capture the shimmer in the fabric but I love this material! 

















Read, READ...READ....or CUT CUT OOOOPS..... MCCALL7016

Happy February 2!

When McCall 7016 came out I knew I wanted it, I had seen similar Calvin Klein dresses in the store, but I could never find my size.





So I was pretty excited when I started cutting this pattern and skimming the instructions it was pretty simple.

I have had this fabric since last February and I have seen several people make things from it, so I figured I would go ahead and use it.

My initial plans was to make the collar in faux leather and sleeves, but I didn't think the faux leather was going to lay right, nor did I have any sew in interfacing.

Cutting the pattern went smoothly, I started to pin the pieces together to start sewing, and one of the front pieces PIECE 6, was not right. So I looked at the photo and I'm thinking pattern piece face up, fabric right side down...WHY DOESN'T THIS FIT, it had the arm part facing the neck instead of back piece. So what do I do I turn the pattern piece face down and I cut it again!!

I go back and it still doesn't fit!!! So I jump on the computer to see if the instructions are just wrong no complaints from anyone, so I decide Im just going to just cut it on the right side of the fabric. Pattern piece face up and it WORKED!!

So after I completed the dress (minus hem) I call my daughter and I'm telling her read these instructions....and I pause...
The 6 has a * by it, so I open up the instructions to see what the star * indicates and as clear as day it says open fabric and cut on the right side.

So now I have two faux leather front bodices scraps!! 





It pays to read read and read!!! 
First time working with Faux leather
What I really liked in this dress was my topstitching. It  may be small achievements to some but I love it




















McCall 7016






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