Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rock N' Roll Half Marathon/Army Ten Miler

Greetings Divas-

As soon as the prom and graduation festivities came to a close training for 2 major running events, the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon and the Army Ten-Miler, began to consume my time. In September Hubby and I ran the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon as a relay team--I ran the first 7.9 miles and Hubby completed the remaining 5.2 miles. With a portion of the race course along the beautiful Virginia Beach boardwalk it's quite  easy to become captivated by the scenery. On the day of the race the temperatures were in the 80's and the humidity was high so maintaining mental focus was of utmost importance. The post-race festivities took place along the boardwalk and many of the runners hung out on the beach after the race. Hubby and I decided to treat ourselves to a couples massage at Massage Envy so we didn't stick around for the post-race festivities. This is a race we definitely plan to run again but next time we'll enjoy the post-race festivities before heading off for our massages. Proceeds from the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. On October 21st I ran the Army Ten-Miler and this is by far has the most motivating race I've ever participated in!! This is such a popular race it is literally sold out within hours. After missing the registration for the past 2 years (last year it sold out 17 minutes before I got online to register) this year I awoke at 4:15 a.m. to register before I got ready for work. There's much to be said for determination! I was so motivated by the Wounded Warriors who participated in the Army Ten-Miler. I'm still trying to wrap my brains around their level of perseverance. Each time a Wounded Warrior was spotted in the crowd of runners, other runners and spectators would shout out words of encouragement--motivating, truly motivating. I'm already excited about running the Army Ten Miler in 2013. Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs for Soldiers and their families benefit from the proceeds of this race. Below is the video clip as I'm about to cross the finish line, I'm on the far left in the pink shirt with both hands raised high in the air (and yes that's my loud mouth you hear) enjoy!

video

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Prom: Featuring Vogue 8360 & Simplicity 1908


Greetings Sewing Divas-
I know its been way too long since the last time I posted on my blog but I've been busy swamped! The past few weeks have been spent preparing for 2 graduations and sewing special occasion projects specifically, 2 prom dresses  and an evening dress for a banquet hubby and I attended. I will post a review of the evening dress as soon as I can rein in the photographer (hubby) for an outdoor photo shoot. The first prom dress featured is Vogue 8360, made for DD's friend L, and the second prom dress featured is Simplicity 1908 made for DD (of course).


Pattern Description:
Lined dresses A, B, C have pleated inset, shoulder strap variations, hook and eye closure, skirt with gathers and invisible zipper. C: contrast inset, bodice overlay, overskirt and gathered shoulder straps.
Pattern Sizing:
6-10; the pattern runs slightly large so I cut the dress 1 size smaller than the pattern indicated for L’s bust size.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
The finished project is almost an exact replica of View C, without the straps.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Although, I didn’t follow the instructions to the letter (I rarely do) for the most part they were fairly easy to follow. I made a muslin, which I highly recommend for anyone considering this pattern.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I had no dislikes whatsoever!! L was very pleased with the finished dress and I thought the design was very flattering on her. The dress was actually less complicated to construct than I originally thought it would be.
Fabric Used:
The champagne color polyester satin and lace overlay on the upper bodice were purchased at JoAnn’s Fabrics. The fabrics sewed rather well however, I know from past experience that JoAnn’s polyester satin tends to snag and stain (just from finger oils) a little more easily than polyester satin purchased from other fabric stores so I was very careful in handling it during construction.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
The bodice showed more cleavage than I thought was appropriate and the keyhole opening in the back sat too low on L’s body. To correct these issues I added ¾” to the bodice pieces (starting near the side seam) and tapering to the original pattern line at center front and I adjusted the keyhole opening by raising it 1”. Also, L wanted a strapless dress so I omitted the straps on View C. These minor adjustments worked well and the finished dressed looked very good on L.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I would make it again and I do recommend it to others however, its not a design that is suitable to all body types but a muslin will help you determine if this design is right for you.
Conclusion: The finished dress was gorgeous and I truly enjoyed this project!!


Pattern Description: 
Misses' special occasion dress in two lengths from the Jessica McClintock pattern collection. View A has a bow detail, View B has spaghetti straps, and View C is strapless. View A and C have a sheer skirt overlay.
Pattern Sizing:
4-12
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, I made View A without any design changes and it looks very much like the photo on the pattern envelope.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, the instructions were clear and easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
DD and I especially loved the bow detail and the ruching on the bodice.
Fabric Used:
For the bodice and bow detail I used a synthetic shantung fabric with an overlay of polyester organza to get the “look” DD desired. The remainder of the dress is constructed with polyester satin and chiffon, all fabrics were purchased at Hancock’s Fabrics.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did not make any design changes or alterations, this dress was stitched right out of the envelope but I did make a muslin.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would sew it again and I do recommend it to others.
Conclusion:
DD and I were very pleased with the finished dress. She received a ton of compliments on how beautiful she looked and I received a lot of compliments on the workmanship. A score for both of us!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

McCall's 6163

Pattern Description:
Close fitting, above mid-knee length knit dress with mock wrap front, gathered at left side, collar with stand, side zipper, and raglan sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing:
Misses 8 - 16

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The pattern instructions were very easy to follow. The construction is fairly basic, making this pattern an excellent choice for beginners. The only tricky part to the construction was inserting the zipper at the left side where the dress is gathered. I should have followed the advice of other reviewers and omitted the zipper. I will omit the zipper on my next version, which is already cut and waiting to be sewn.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: I love the style and the silhouette. The construction is very straight-forward.

Dislikes: I’m not sure why the pattern included a zipper because there’s enough “wiggle” room in the design (especially being sewn in knit fabric) that slipping the dress on and off without a closure is fairly easy. Perhaps if it is sewn in a heavier knit such as ponte or doubleknit the zipper would be needed.

Fabric Used:
I used an ITY knit purchased from Fabric.com. I love this print and have enough left over to make a cute top.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made view "A" but omitted the elastic on the sleeve and I made my usual length adjustment. On version #2, I will make an “in seam” adjustment through the shoulder area and omit the zipper.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
As stated earlier, version #2 is already cut and waiting to be sewn and yes, I do recommend it to others-even beginners!!

Conclusion: 
This is a stylish and fun design that’s easy to wear. It can be sewn quickly with good results therefore a keeper for me. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back to my regularly scheduled programming~

Greetings sewing divas!! Now that the holidays have passed I can get back into my sewing room and start cranking out projects for 2012. But, before I forge ahead into the new year I must review the last two projects that I completed in 2011.
The jacket is a self-drafted pattern which required some tweaking because I decided to make a design change midstream (-_-) and the pants are New Look 6107 (OOP).
Pattern description:
Pants-Basic pants with tapered leg, front/back fitting darts, and side zipper.
Jacket-Wrap front with side tie and elasticized bell-shaped sleeves.
Pattern sizing:
Pants-6-16
Jacket-custom sized
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope one you were done sewing with it?
Pants-Yes, I did not make any design modifications.
Jacket-The only photo was the image in my head which changed a few times (-_-)
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pants-Yes, the pattern is a very basic pants pattern. The most challenging part of the pants construction was inserting the invisible zipper which took about 15-20 minutes. I constructed the pants in about 1-1/2 hrs.
Jacket-The construction of the jacket was a little more challenging and much more time consuming. Because it was a self-drafted pattern, I had no instructions to follow so I had to make up the instructions as I sewed.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Pants-I love the tapered leg of the pants and the cuff which you can't see in the photo.
Jacket-I love the wrap-front, side tie, and the bell sleeves (everything).
Fabric used:
Pants-Polyester crepe purchased at Hancock's several years ago.
Jacket-Crepe-backed satin purchased at JoAnn's several years ago.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Pants-I added 3" to the length but I did not make any design changes.
Jacket-What ended up being the lapel of the jacket was once a gathered ruffle which I did not like after I attached it to the jacket so, I pulled out the seam ripper and began the first phase of de-construction on this project. Also, I redesigned the neckline of the jacket near the lapel/collar junction with a cleverly placed dart which is completely hidden by the lapel.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Pants-Yes I would sew the pants again and I do recommend this pattern to others (if you can find it as I mentioned before its an OOP pattern).
Jacket-Yes, I plan to make the jacket again but I can't decide which fabric to use for my next version.
Conclusion: I love the whole ensemble. I wore it to hubby's Christmas party and received several compliments.