Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Great Way to Start Turkey Day!!

To ease the guilt of consuming a yummy holiday meal I decided to run in the 5-Mile Alexandria Turkey Trot.  This is my first time participating in this race but I am smitten already and definitely plan to run it again.  The race course is a runners dream!!  Its a flat course that winds through the residential streets of the Del Ray section of Alexandria.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous with bright-full sun and temperatures in the low 50's.  Although the weather and the race course were unbeatable the best part of participating in the Turkey Trot was the opportunity to help others who are less fortunate.  Volunteers from  ALIVE! were there to collect money donations and canned good items from participants.  This worthwhile event is sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association.  Check out what the Del Ray Patch has to say.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Butterick 5457, View E

Butterick 5457, View E
Pattern Description:
Pattern Description: Fully-lined special occasion dresses with pleated bodice and midriff and skirt variations. All views have a fitted bodice with boning and back zipper closure, View B has a contrast midriff and View C has a contrast bodice. The gathered skirt falls about 2" above mid-knee, View D has a contrast underdress and View E has a “bubble” hem.
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Due to the design changes the finished project was not an exact replica of the illustration on the pattern envelope but, it does closely resemble the illustration.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t notice any “glitches” in the instructions.  They were straight-forward and easy to follow however, I didn’t follow the pattern instructions verbatim--I rarely do. For the zipper I used an invisible zipper not the centered/topstitched standard zipper called for in the pattern instructions and I completely assembled and attached the lining as the final step before the finishing touches (in the instructions the lining is assembled and attached in a “piecemeal” fashion). After attaching the lining there was a tiny bit of hand sewing needed to complete the dress.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: I liked the design silhouette and the skirt variations.
Dislikes: The pattern seems to run large and the sweetheart neckline on the pattern piece is not as well-defined as the pattern illustration.
Fabric Used:
The fabrics used were: “dull” satin, organdy, and lining (all 100% polyester) purchased at Hancock Fabrics. The organdy was used as an overlay for the spaghetti straps, midriff and “bubble” skirt. All of the fabrics are from the “bff” collection by Lauren Hancock and the satin was an absolute dream to sew with, it’s very soft and not too slippery. The organdy left lots of “whiskers” everywhere.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Alterations: I removed a total of 4” from the bodice at the side seams and shortened the skirt length by 1-1/2”.
Design changes: DD did not like the pleated bodice on the muslin and she wanted the sweetheart neckline and midriff piece re-shaped. I folded the pleats and taped them close and re-shaped the neckline to draft a new pattern tissue for the bodice. Also, I removed ½” from the lower edge of the bodice piece at center front (the piece is cut on the fold) and gradually blended back into the original design line using a French curve. I drafted a new pattern tissue for the midriff by raising the upper edge design line ½” at center front (the piece is cut on the fold) and blending back into the original design line on this piece as well. DD wanted spaghetti straps added with a decorative knot detail that she saw in the April/May, 2011 issue of Vogue sewing magazine.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would sew it again and I do recommend it to others with the following warning: check the fit of the bodice before permanently closing the seams because the pattern runs large.
Conclusion:  The dress is gorgeous and I liked working with special occasion fabrics for the first time in a long time.  I really loved the finished project and DD was very pleased.

The Birth of Red'sThreads

The birth of Red’sThreads
For quite some time I’ve longed to have a sewing blog just like all of the other home sewers who post entry after entry about their hand-crafted creations. After 2 years of trying to build my confidence to take on such an endeavor I’m finally ready to launch Red’sThreads. My goal is to make weekly posts about my projects and solicit input, i.e. pattern selection, fabric choice, etc. from my readers on upcoming projects. Hopefully, this blog will keep me on track with my sewing projects and motivate me to complete projects in a timely manner. Yes, I am was the UFO Queen and have had a reputation for completing projects long after they were started. Unfinished projects lingered in my sewing room for months (in some cases years) as if they were sent there as some form of cruel and unusual punishment. No project should take years to complete unless it involves heavy construction equipment such as a bulldozer! But, those days are a distant memory, now I’m completing my projects much sooner and loving the results and the compliments as well.
A tribute to my inspiration
This blog will also serve as a tribute to my grandmother and mother both of whom dabbled in sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Their creative talent served as a source of inspiration for me. During my phone conversations with my grandmother she always asks “what [sewing project] are you working on?” At the ripe young age of 94 she’s still interested in my creative endeavors. Before my mother passed she urged me to create a portfolio to showcase my sewing projects (which I never got around to doing) so in lieu of a portfolio I will showcase my sewing projects here on my sewing blog. 
What’s in a name? 
Me, being the indecisive person that I am, I solicited the help of my family members in choosing a name for my blog. DS suggested something catchy with a sewing theme. DH was so kind as to draft a list of 10 names that he thought would be suitable for a sewing blog. He then asked DS and DD to each choose their 3 favorites from that list. After considering their input I still could not decide on a name, then one day while in the shower the name Red’sThreads popped into my mind. When I shared my name choice with the family DS was super excited however, DH and DD gave a “fair to partly cloudy” response to my name choice. I believe the “fair to partly cloudy” response I received from DH and DD was due in part to my name choice not being on the list that DH so thoughtfully drafted for me. (-_-) Nevertheless, DH and DD thought it was pretty catchy and a reflection of me. To celebrate the birth of Red’sThreads I’m hosting my very first blog giveaway. The first three readers who leave a comment will receive one of the giveaway items below--The Art of Fabric Collage (book), Easy Batik Kit, or Simplicity Embroidery Card. Please provide your email address (either in your comment or send me an email) and any tips or pointers on how to improve and maintain my blog. Thanks a bunch sewing divas!!