Monday, February 17, 2014

McCall’s 5929/McCall's 5523 (V. 2)



















McCall’s 5929
Pattern Description:
MISSES' SHIRTS: Fitted shirts A, B have darted front and back, front band, front ruffles and shaped hemline; shirt A has stand-up collar, below elbow length sleeves with sleeve band; shirt B has collar and collar band, full length sleeves with placket opening and cuffs; dresses A, B have sleeves gathered at cap and lower edge.
Pattern Sizing:
6-14.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I thought the instructions were pretty clear.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the overall silhouette. The fitting darts and the shaped hemline made it very figure flattering.
Fabric Used:
A lightweight synthetic fabric purchased in Philadelphia over a year ago (I can’t remember the name of the store).
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did my usual 3/8” shoulder adjustment at the back shoulder seam. The pattern was long enough that I did not have to add length to the bodice.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I plan to make it again in a solid black and I highly recommend this pattern. It’s a great wardrobe builder for someone like me who likes the versatility of mixing and matching separates.
Conclusion:

I love this blouse !!

McCall's 5523 (V. 2)
Pattern Description: Straight skirt, mid-knee length, has side zipper and faced waistline; skirt A has shaped lower back flounce; skirt B has pleated lower back; skirt C has gathered lower back with self-fabric ruffle; skirt D has two lower back flounces. For this version I made View D, with the double back flounces.

Pattern Sizing: 4-18

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it looks like the pattern photo but it's hard to see the panels of the skirt due to the print of the fabric. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? The pattern instructions were easy to follow but I did make one minor tweak. The pattern instructions have you to make a 1-1/4" hem on the flounce but I did not attempt this method. I'm not sure if anyone else has had success with making a standard hem on a curved pattern piece but I thought it was a recipe for disaster. I have found over the years and through many sewing projects that a narrow hem works much better on curves and produces more professional results.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the panel design of the skirts and the various flounce/pleat back details. I was able to make a fitting adjustment quickly with the panel design of this skirt. I removed 3/8" from the 4 seamlines in the back of the skirt to reduce the waistline by a total of 1-1/2" and then blended back to the original seamline at the hip. This adjustment was a breeze because only a tiny bit was taken from the seamlines at the waist.

Fabric Used: A moleskin solid purchased from JoAnn's Fabrics. 
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I pegged it 1" at the hemline removing a total of 4" from the hemline circumference and I removed 1-1/2" from the waistline.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, it is officially my TNT skirt pattern! I recommend it to others even beginners because it is a great wardrobe builder and quite easy to sew.

Conclusion: This is a great skirt pattern with various details and fairly quick to sew.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

McCall's 5523



Pattern Description: Straight skirt, mid-knee length, has side zipper and faced waistline; skirt A has shaped lower back flounce; skirt B has pleated lower back; skirt C has gathered lower back with self-fabric ruffle; skirt D has two lower back flounces. I made View A, with the single back flounce.

Pattern Sizing: 4-18
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it looks like the pattern photo but it's hard to see the panels of the skirt due to the print of the fabric. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? The pattern instructions were easy to follow but I did make one minor tweak. The pattern instructions have you to make a 1-1/4" hem on the flounce but I did not attempt this method. I'm not sure if anyone else has had success with making a standard hem on a curved pattern piece but I thought it was a recipe for disaster. I have found over the years and through many sewing projects that a narrow hem works much better on curves and produces more professional results.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the panel design of the skirts and the various flounce/pleat back details. I was able to make a fitting adjustment quickly with the panel design of this skirt. I removed 3/8" from the 4 seamlines in the back of the skirt to reduce the waistline by a total of 1-1/2" and then blended back to the original seamline at the hip. This adjustment was a breeze because only a tiny bit was taken from the seamlines at the waist.

Fabric Used: Animal print moleskin purchased from Fabric.com. 
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I pegged it 1" at the hemline removing a total of 4" from the hemline circumference and I removed 1-1/2" from the waistline.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, it is officially my TNT skirt pattern! I recommend it to others even beginners because it is a great wardrobe builder and quite easy to sew.

Conclusion: This is a great quick, sew skirt pattern with various details.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Vogue 7340/McCall's 6757




















Vogue 7340
Pattern Description: Wrap blouse with collar variations, front tucks and tie ends.

Pattern Sizing: 8-18

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, with modifications.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? No dislikes.

Fabric Used: A stretch satin with metallic threads throughout the fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made View C but added sleeves and wide cuffs. I added 1-1/2 inches to the length after reading other reviews. I used the tie from View A because I wanted a wider tie. I also add a few inches to the length of the tie.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I received several compliments when I wore this ensemble and I would love to sew this blouse again but this is my second version so its time to move on to other projects.

Conclusion: Although I won't make this pattern again I really love this blouse. It is OOP and available on Etsy.

Pattern Description: Misses' skirt and pants: Semi-fitted skirt and pant (slightly flared) have contour waistband, welt pockets and invisible back zipper.

Pattern Sizing: (8-10-12-14-16)

Fabric used: 
A synthetic tweed with a slightly loose weave.

Did it look like the envelope when you were done sewing it?
Yes, pretty much except I moved the invisible zipper to the left side. 

How were the directions? 
You know, directions were pretty great until I got to the welt pockets. The instructions for the welt pockets are a little cumbersome so I followed this video for the welt pockets. 

Likes/Dislikes:
Although constructing the welt pockets were a bit challenging, I do love the final result! I love the shaped waistband.
Alterations/Modifications:
I added 3" to the pants length and 2" to the crotch seam (1" to the front and 1" to the back). The pattern is slightly more flared than like so I removed about 4" of flare from the hem. As mentioned earlier I moved the zipper to the left side and I lined the pants.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I do recommend this pattern and I plan to make another pair. I used my new pants form to achieve the perfect fit.

Conclusion:
This is a good basic pattern which I chose for its simple style because my focus was on fit.  

Custom Pants Form

Greetings divas!
I made a custom pants form with lots of help from hubby (actually he did all of the work I just stood as still as a statue for over an hour). After doing some research and reading several reviews, I decided that a pinnable, custom-made dress/pants form would be my best option. During my research, I learned about the My Twin dress form and ordered the instruction booklet from the company's website. Unfortunately, it appears the company is no longer in businessHowever, similar instructions that detail this process can be found here


 
Me, waiting for the plaster bandages to dry.




The plaster cast taped together at the sides before
 being filled with 2-part expanding foam.



The My Twin process uses plaster bandages to create a  body cast, which is cut from the body and later filled  with expanding foam and covered to create the  finished dress/pants form. I also used the My Twin  process to make my first custom dress form back in  2009, shortly after the instruction booklet arrived in the  mail. As a result of weight-training and cardiovascular  exercise 3-5 times per week my body has changed since  then so I will be making another dress form soon.


My finished pants form!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

McCall's 6650/Vogue 2029


 
Pattern Description:
Loose-fitting, pullover blouse with button placket in back. There are various sleeve and neck treatments. I wanted the bow -- but this pattern is a fabric hog and I didn't have enough! So I made View C, with long sleeves and button cuffs.
Pattern Sizing:
4-12.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very basic.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the fact that the sleevehead had minimal ease. The instructions would have you simply press open the placket and stitch it down. This seems to be a lazy way to do this -- I would recommend you do a continuous bound placket here.
Fabric Used:
I used a crepe-backed satin purchased at Hancock’s it was fairly easy to sew with. The fabric snags quite easily so I had to be very careful to avoid snags.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I changed the soft gathers at the neckline to 3 tucks which I really like.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I plan to make it again. This is a very easy to make top and would be great for beginners.
Conclusion: 
Its a nice, basic top with design elements to keep it from being too plain. I love the color of the satin and I received several compliments when I wore it to work.

Vogue 2029 (OOP)
Pattern Description:
Semi-fitted, straight wrap skirt (sits below natural waist), above mid-knee/above ankle variations or lower calf, with various closures.
Pattern Sizing:
(6-10)(12-16)(18-22)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It looks very similar to the pattern photo.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
There are 5 pages of instructions which I only glanced at briefly. I made view F so I didn't have to worry about buying additional things that were not already in my stash.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Pros: It was easy. The lines are easy. It's basically making the same thing twice (with the exception of the little tab on one side), putting right sides together, stitching them on all the edges leaving part of one side open, and turning it right side out. The pattern is designed for a self-fabric lining which I considered a huge waste of fashion fabric. A self-fabric lining was not a consideration for me due to the weight and thickness of my fabric.
Fabric Used:
I used a mid-weight boucle fabric purchased at G-Street Fabrics several years ago.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I reduce the waistline by sewing deeper darts and I used a silver belt buckle for my closure.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
The fabric is already selected for the next version.
Conclusion
I really like it and received several compliments when I wore it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Summer Sewing

Greetings divas!

I know its been a while since my last post but I have been sewing, really I have. I will attribute my absence to a very busy summer which included a wonderful vacation to Niagara Falls and training for my first ½ marathon. Now that both young people are in their respective locations and the nest is yet again empty I can focus on sewing. With summer being officially behind us I’m getting really excited about some of the fall projects I have planned. But before I get on a tangent about my fall sewing plans let me show you what I’ve worked on since my last post.






















Butterick 5601
Pattern Description: 
Close-fitting, straight, above mid-knee dresses A, B have lined yoke, bodice and back zipper. A: back self-fabric loop and button at neck. B: back straps worn twisted and buttoned on inside of yoke.  
Pattern Sizing:
(6-8-10-12)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? The bodice on both versions look like the pattern envelope but on my first version (the green print) I made modifications to the skirt
Were the instructions easy to follow? 
Yes they were. 
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
 No dislikes but the bodice does run quite large.
Fabric Used:
 Cotton sateen (green print) and a linen/synthetic blend (coral solid) both from my stash.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
On my first version (green print) the skirt was modified to an eight gore fit to flare skirt with piping and a waist inset was added. On my second version (the coral solid) only the waist inset was added which was embellished with sew-on jewels
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I do recommend it but I don't think I'll sew it again. 
Conclusion: Its a cute dress that was fun to make. I modeled the green print version at the 2013 ASG National Conference Fashion Show.





This dress is a self-drafted pattern which is a work in progress. It was almost complete until I realized the back of the dress pulls up at the center back so I'll have to do some deconstruction in the next few days and try to figure out what the problem is and find a solution. The fabric is an ITY knit so I'll have to wear it under a jacket or cardigan when it is complete. It also has short sleeves which I will attach once I resolve the issue with the back. 























Both of these skirts are self-drafted patterns. I'm not really sure if they can be called patterns considering they are literally two rectangles (front and back) sewn together at the side seams with an elasticized waistband  and a coverstitched hem. They are great wardrobe builders and truly instant sewing gratification.


Vogue 8451 (OOP)
Pattern Description: Misses tops.
Pattern Sizing: 6-8-10-12.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I thought the sleeves were really cute.
Fabric Used: Ponte knit.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I embellished the neckline with iron-on studs.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is my second one. I highly recommend this pattern but I have no plans to make a third version.
Conclusion: I had trouble getting the neckline facing to fit the neckline so I placed the garment against the feed dogs and the facing piece on top of the garment and let the feed dogs do their job, easy peasy it worked like a charm. Besides the neckline issue it was a fairly simple project to make. 


















Butterick 5497
Pattern Sizing:
6-8-10-12.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, very clear instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I especially love the neckline and back opening. It opens a little low in the back so I wear it with a cami underneath.
Fabric Used:
Ponte knit which is super comfortable and very soft next to the skin.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I highly recommend this pattern to others and I plan to make at least one more.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What I've been up to.....

This is my first blog post since I joined the Sew Your Own Wardrobe For a Year ChallengeAlthough I got off to a slow start with this challenge I have completed several projects ;-) I just haven't taken the time to post reviews ;-(
Without further ado here's some of the projects I've completed since joining this challenge:

New Look 6097
Pattern Description: Workroom from Project Runway, misses' belted knit dress with neckline and sleeve variations. New Look Just 4 Knits sewing pattern

Pattern Sizing: 10-22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? 
Yes, it looks exactly like the photo.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I did not follow the instructions very closely I used my own method of construction but they are fairly straight forward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I love the cross over bodice, sleeve tabs, and the pockets although I don’t put anything into the pockets but a few coins due to the light weight of the fabric.

Fabric Used: An ITY Jersey purchased at JoAnn’s several years ago.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I added 1-1/2 inches to the bodice and 3/8 inches to the back shoulder seam. Also, I lengthened the sleeves by 1-1/2 inches and the skirt by 2 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes, I plan to make a third version (view A with the collar) in a ponte knit for the winter but for now I will give this pattern a rest.

Conclusion: 
I love the shape and style of this dress and will make one more version of it before I retire this pattern. I used an ITY jersey which can be tricky to work with at times. I made the fabric more manageable by spraying it with heavy starch and allowing the starch to dry which made the fabric stiff and easier to work with. I used this method on the areas that needed top stitching.

Simplicity 1613
Pattern Description: Misses' close-fitting knit tops with three sleeve options or sleeveless and a twist detail at the neckline for views A, B, and C. View D is worn off the shoulders with ¾ length sleeves or sleeveless.

Pattern Sizing: Pattern envelope sizes 4-12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, I believe it looks exactly like view A, which is the one I made.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were good. This is one of the few times that I had to “play by the rules” and follow the pattern instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes:
I love, love, love a shaped tee, most tee shirts are shapeless and unflattering. I consider this shirt a “fancy” tee shirt because of the shaping and the twist detail at the neckline. I really do love this pattern and plan to make each view.
Dislikes:
The twist detail is a little bulky and the construction for the twist detail is a little cumbersome so on my next version I will make modifications for to the twist detail.

Fabric Used:
Ponte knit purchased at JoAnn’s a few years ago.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added 1-1/2 inches to the length and 3/8 inches to the back shoulder seam. Also, I lengthened the sleeves by 1-1/2 inches. These are my usual length adjustments to accommodate my long torso and arms. The sleeves they fall just below the elbow bend which is a little bothersome for me so on my next version I will add 3-1/2 inches to the sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely, I can't wait to make the other tops. The directions are straight forward and I love the style of all of the tops. This is an easy pattern even for a “newbie” with knits.

Conclusion:
I love this top it can be worn effortlessly with skirts, slacks, and jeans.

Simplicity 1613 is worn with Burda 8213 (made a few years ago)

Burda 8213
Pattern Description: A knee or ankle length 8 gore flared skirt.

Pattern Sizing: 10-24 (36-50).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I only glanced at the instructions briefly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the fit and flare shape of this skirt.

Fabric Used: Cotton twill which was a little too stiff for this particular pattern.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I cut a size 12 but had to remove about 1-1/2 inches from the waist. Also, I did not have enough fabric so I had to shorten the skirt (view B) by about 3 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I plan to make this pattern again but with a more suitable fabric for this design.

Conclusion: An easy pattern for instant gratification.