"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

MeMadeMay 2012 Round Up: Days 26-31

Day 26: Vogue 2899 dress and on my daughters - Brownie Goose Nelle dress pattern, Whimsy Couture ruffle pants in denim and Walmart tee with gathered fabric rectangle as skirt.
When we got home from church and lunch, I changed into a lace-yoke t-shirt.

Day 27: me-made pj's that I didn't photograph
Day 28: Happy Memorial Day!  I wore my Colette Clovers and enjoyed hotdogs grilled by my husband, sweet potato fries cut and cooked by my husband and an excellent Mojito made by my excellent husband. :D

Day 29:  Sis Boom Jamie Dress and my living room as it actually looks most of the time.  My girls love to play with all the pillows on the floor and I am forever placing them back on the couch.

Day 30: orange tee from Old Navy and favorite Amy Butler gathered elastic-waist skirt.

Day 31: New Sorbetto from Sorbetto Sew Along and Colette Clovers.

here are the sew-along links. 

I had a really great time this month making use of my Me Mades.  I'm still struggling with wearing the things I make on a regular basis, so this is just the kind of thing that helps to spur me on toward being more comfortable in my me-made wardrobe and shows me what I really like and dislike.
I'm already looking forward to next year's me made month!

Sorbetto Sew Along: Finito

We're done!  Well.. you might not be done, but you should be well on your way.  And if this version of the Sorbetto wasn't quite to your taste, don't be afraid to come back to it again and try something different.  Take Gillian for example.  You can see her version here and read about it here.

More focus issues with my dern camera, but you get the idea.  I thought I'd try to make things even more patriotic by adding a scarf from 1976 (celebrating the bicentennial of the USA) that I got from my grandmother's estate.

You can see that my bias tape doesn't lay flat on my neck.  I think it's probably because of the flimsy netting I used on top and because I couldn't press it.
  It bothers me, but I think it's one of those things that I need to let go of, because no one will likely notice when I wear it.  Lesson learned about working with flimsy netting.

If you aren't aware, this fabric is from the Little Lisette line by Leisl Gibson.  JoAnn's carries it.  Aren't the paper hats/boats cute?

If you want to link to a picture of yours in the comments, I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vogue 2899

...or, The "Oh My Goodness, Did I Really Just Make That?" Dress.
Thank you Guy Laroche.  I don't know if you just designed the dress, or if you helped with the actual drafting of the Vogue pattern pieces, but thank you.  You have just given me a huge boost of confidence because I was able to be successful in making a fantastic dress that I will be proud to wear at my husband's end-of-year award banquet.

This was my first time sewing with matte jersey.
This was my first time lining an entire dress.
This was my first time sewing anything with this many pattern pieces and markings.

I have nothing bad to say about this pattern.  It runs small, so beware.  To compensate for my derrière, I cut a size bigger for the two back panels than I did for everything else.
My only wish is that there had been some sort of option for a shorter torso (like I have).  Because of the intricacy of how all the pattern pieces join around the waist area, there wasn't any obvious way to shorten.  I ended up with wrinkles around my middle.  I couldn't stand them, so I took a double-ended dart (is that even what it's called?) from the top of one faux pocket to the other, taking away about 2 inches total in the middle.  What's one more seam on this dress, right?

Since I'd never sewn with matte jersey before, I didn't know what to expect at all.  This particular material came from Denver Fabrics.  I thought it would be softer, but it's kinda scratchy. :(  It'll be ok for an evening.  

All of my seams were drawing up at the bottom of the skirt and I thought for a few days that I would have to cut it off to just above my knee.  I received a lot of great advice about sewing with jersey from the ladies participating in the MeMadeMay Flickr Group, but nothing that wouldn't involve a seam ripper.  Now, probably like most seamstresses, I have a love/hate relationship with that thing, but mostly hate..... and loathing.  If I can cut it instead of rip it, I will.  If I can live with it instead of rip it, I will.  So before I went the desperate route of ripping out the skirt seams, I steamed the heck out of it.
Lo and behold, it worked!  (cue angels singing)
What a relief!

And here's the main thing that attracted me to this pattern, the low back.  It's a bit inconvenient.  I'll have to wear a stick-on bra, but I just can't resist a dress with a low back.

You can see my *almost* invisible zipper... inserted without an invisible zipper foot, mind you.  

And that's all she wrote.   Mission complete.  I needed to finish this dress before next Friday because we are leaving for vacation and not returning until the very day of the award banquet.  I'm so glad to have it done and so glad that I'll be proud to say "I made it." if anyone should ask.

Monday, May 28, 2012

MeMadeMay 2012 Days 21-25

The first two pictures were taken at my parent's house.  I left back on the 20th to stay there and attend my Grandmother's funeral.

Day 21: One item you've already seen, my Grainline Scout Tee, this time paired with some altered Old Navy sailor jeans.

 Day 22: Baby girl has the remote and I couldn't get the camera to focus on me for ANYTHING.  I stood everywhere in the frame, even filled up the frame and waved at it, but no luck.  Here's the best shot we got.  I'm wearing shorts from Day 17 with the Target tunic from Day 9 and I'm really enjoying the shorts now that I'm not worried so much about the poof at the top that happens when I walk because the thighs are too tight.

 Day 23: Driving back from staying with my parents...Blouse made from McCalls 6510 paired with purple jeans from Bisou Bisou, altered with darts to fit at the waist.

Day 24: I tried out my zebra leggings (McCalls 6173) as workout gear.  I got compliments on them, but felt horribly sticky and hot.  There's a reason certain knits are more suitable for athletic gear, apparently.  This is not one of those knits.

Day 25: Date night!  I went to dinner and to see the Avengers with my hubby.  This doesn't actually qualify in my Me-Made pledge because it's only altered, but I'll do penance.  This top started it's life as a dress on a rack at TJ Maxx.  I cut the dress in half and now I have a top and a skirt.  You can't see it but I added a band of stretchy black fabric to the bottom of the top and I'm wearing it here with black pants.
The hand washing at the theater was the best I could do for the water challenge in the Flickr group. 

Sorbetto Sew Along: Part Five

Hemming!  The most dreaded part of the process sometimes, isn't it.  It's often not that difficult, but we're at the point where you just want to wear the dern thing, not perform a tedious task like hemming.
But let's push through and get it done so you CAN wear it!

Come back on the 30th to see my finished product. Oh, the suspense. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sorbetto Sew Along: Part Four

We're close to the finish line now!
Up next, bias tape to finish off the neck and arms.  Of course, you could add sleeves at this point and/or a collar of some sort.  I've got a lot going on with mine already and I'm particularly fond of the diagonal lines made when you turn a stripe into bias tape, so I decided to stick with the pattern for mine.
One thing I found is that it is really helpful to clip into your seam allowance all the way around before your fold the bias tape over.  It's not such a struggle for it to curve like it needs to.
Try your best not to tug on the fabric of the top as you apply the tape.  Wrinkles like to sneak in there if the fabric gets stretched.
Lastly, press it with a good, hot iron (as hot as your fabric choice can stand) to help everything lay nicely.

Monday, May 21, 2012

MeMadeMay 2012 Round Up: Days 16-20

Day 16: Anna Maria Horner Socialite Dress pattern in home decor fabric by Premier Prints.  I have two  Socialite dresses, both in home decor fabric and every time I see a home decor fabric I like, i think about making another Socialite Dress.  They've worked out really well for me with this pattern, but I really don't think I want three of the same dress in my wardrobe.  There are other patterns to conquer.

Day 17: I had a breezy little pair of shorts planned with this material I got at JoAnns and Simplicity 1833. I finally got around to making a muslin and was pleased to find that all I really needed to do was lower the front a bit and raise the back a bit and I was good to go.  Well.... hypothetically.  I guess I didn't really pay good attention when I made my muslin.  And what good is the time you take to make a muslin if you don't pay attention to how it fits!!?  No good at all!
These shorts are still higher waisted than I really wanted and they pull at my thighs when I walk.  I'm hoping to fix the problem on the next pair, when I figure out how.  Thus the pondering pose.

Day 18: Mini challenge Friday - Green
These are my discolicious pants that debuted in September and have been worn in public a total of maybe 3 times.  They are my favorite pj pants and I'm ok with them living their lives in the confines of my house.  Me enjoying what I make is what matters most, right?
That being said, look at the awesome leg shape on these!  The crotch fit is amaaaaazing and they are super comfortable, so I think they need to be made again in a more, shall we say, toned down fabric.  Chambray would be fun.

Day 19: Next up, leggings!  I bought this really cute, super-soft knit from Denver Fabrics (I don't see it there now, which stinks, because I want more!) not really knowing what I would do with it.  Wait, hold that thought!  My brain just woke up and told me that I actually bought this at JoAnn's.  Hooray!  I remember now seeing it get cut off the bolt.  That means I CAN have more.  Fantastic.
So these are leggings from McCalls 6173 which has great reviews and I'm giving it a total thumbs up too.  I was kinda crazy and cut a Medium for the top of the back and tapered down to a Small.  For the front, I cut a Small and tapered down to an X-Small.  I also cut the back about two inches higher at teh waist. Everything went together great and there is room for my ample booty without worrying about ripping an important seam. :)

Day 20:  Kinda boring.  Simplicity 2892 made in AMH voile, worn with grey shorts from Anthro while nuzzling the puppy dog. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sorbetto Sew Along: Part Three

Darts.  They are one of those things that represented an advanced pattern to me, back when I was only sewing kids clothes.  I figured they took lots of skill and were hard to do correctly.  I imagined pointy, pokey ends and wonky shapes.  I was happy sticking to gathers and belts to help with shape.

Lo and behold, darts really aren't that bad.  When I finally tried a pattern with them, I was in awe of the improvement in shaping a garment.  It was the next step for me toward garments that are me-made, but don't look so home-sewn, if you know what I mean.

So let's tackle those darts today!

Here are some resources if you need a bit more encouragement.
More from Coletterie
From Schwin and Schwin
On YouTube (watch from 1:38-3:40)

If you decide to look at all of these, you'll see that there are varying opinions and methods, just try one and as you continue on your journey, you may end up with a favorite.

After you finish the darts, move on to the shoulder seams and side seams, my favorite part.  It's starting to look like a "real" top!

And here's where you get to see my forgetfulness in adding a seam allowance to the back ruffle piece...

Friday, May 18, 2012

70's Success!

Fabric⁃ voile designed by the fabulous Anna Maria Horner
Pattern⁃ Simplicity 7341
Year⁃ 1976
Notions⁃ invisible zip
Time to complete⁃ done in so many bits and pieces, I really don't know
First worn⁃  May 13.  This was planned all along to be my Mother's Day dress
Wear again?  Do I get to?!  Oh yipee!  Yes, please!
Total price: $25 or so

I first became aware of this pattern when I saw Tilly's amazing Nani Iro double Gauze version.  Besides the amazing fabric choice, I thought the pattern itself was just as cute as cute could be.  I was disheartened at the time because I hadn't yet made any attempt at sewing from a vintage pattern and I also had no hope of every locating this obviously awesome pattern in my size.

Then, out of the blue, it happened.  One just popped up as I was browsing on Etsy.  I wasn't searching for this pattern, but recognized it immediately.  I still hadn't sewn any vintage patterns, so I wasn't sure about sizing, but I knew I had to have it.  Miracle of miracles, this dress is STRAIGHT from the pattern with no alterations WHATSOEVER.  That is absolutely amazing to me.

I would call the pattern difficulty advanced beginner.  It's definitely something I feel a beginner could attempt, but there are a couple of head-scratching parts and you do need to be careful about transferring markings.

As far as my fabric choice... I have loved AMH voiles ever since I bought a circle scarf kit two winters ago, so it was a natural choice after seeing Tilly's double gauze version.  I'm no stranger to mixing prints, since I started my sewing journey by sewing for my little girls and mixing prints on their dresses is the most fun.  It's even easier when picking prints from the same fabric collection, so I take no special credit.

After a yummy brunch at my favorite restaurant, we walked around the corner into an open air shopping center for a photo op.

 Both girls were running around and my 4-year-old kept darting in and out of the pictures.  This one's a gem.

 This is the first time I've put a zipper in before doing the side seams.  Interesting order of directions in older patterns...

 I wore this great vintage necklace.  It may have been a brooch originally?  I'm not sure, but Etsy seller Flirt Treasures remade it into a necklace and then put it on sale and then I bought it and I love it!!!

 I also got to wear my Blush Envy ring my husband got me for Christmas and I wore Essie's Muchi Muchi on my nails to be extrra matchy matchy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sorbetto Sew Along: Part Two

Hello all!  I don't know how many of you are joining in, but even if there are only a couple of us, I'm enjoying the process. :)
Speaking of the process, it was quite a process for me to even get to where I could start sewing.  I'll share, just in case any of you think that my ideas are so awesome that you must copy.  This is probably the first time I've been really original and not just copied someone else.  I'm usually just searching for neat things to copy.  haha!
Ok, down to business.  I decided to throw caution to the wind and just butcher my pattern pieces.  Of course, the nice thing is that you can always print them out again, so I had a safety net.
I decided I did not want a pleat or a gather, so I cut off the strip that adds extra width for the pleat.  (hint: I actually used this strip as a pattern piece to cut my bias strips to sew together for bias tape.  It just happens to be the perfect width for my bias tape maker.)
I cut a gentle curve to separate the top portion of the bodice and I cut straight across the lower section of the back to make a pattern piece that will become a ruffle.
If you are going to do this, be SURE to add seam allowances.  (I forgot on one piece... as you'll see later)

 Next task after cutting all of these pieces from my fabric: make bias tape.  I used to hate the very idea of this.  It is tedious. There's no getting around that. But I have really enjoyed the look of my handmade tape every time I've used it.  There's something to be said for uniqueness.

You aren't going to find this in a package!

 The first thing we are instructed to do is to stay-stitch the neckline, both front and back.  You probably can't see it well here, but I decided to stitch from the shoulders into the middle instead of continuing from one shoulder to another.  I've seen that recommended in other patterns and I'm assuming it helps you avoid stretching out the neckline as you sew the stay stitches, the very thing you are trying to prevent, right?

 Then I had some more work ahead of me just to get some complete, workable pattern pieces.  I sewed together all my pieces so I had a complete front and complete back.  Here's how they looked by lamplight at night.  Sewing after the kids go to bed isn't the best recipe for great photos, but you do what you can.

I'll be back on the 19th with some tips for darts!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MeMadeMay 2012 Round Up: Days 11-15

 Day 11: ITY maxi blogged here.  The Friday challenge was to take a picture in an ugly place.  I took my picture in my garage.

Day 12: Apple print Thermal knit Renfrew, Shi-poo, daughter's favorite electronic toy and galoshes. :)

Day 13: A dress from a Simplicity pattern from the 70's that I made for Mother's Day and also as my contribution to the Sew Weekly.  It hasn't appeared yet on the Sew Weekly, and I can't post it until it shows up.  I'll post about it, promise.

Day 14: Amy Butler Gothic Rose fabric made into a Sorbetto, Target cardi with buttons removed and covered buttons made by me sewn on and navy sailor pants from Anthro.

Day 15: Simplicity 2892 in a rayon from Hancock Fabrics.  I LOOOOOVE this top.  I love the fabric and I love it made into this pattern.  My only complaint would be the wrinkling around the bottom (cleverly hidden in this picture) after a bit of sitting.