Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Dress for the Wedding

So my only brother got married a little while ago and I, of course, had to make a dress to wear.  I chose Vogue 1174, which is a Cynthia Steffe designer pattern.

 Here is the almost finished dress.  It just needs to be hemmed (the hem is pinned in the following two pictures.)

Here is a picture of me wearing the dress:

Here is the bodice in the earlier stages of construction (interlined in silk organza).

This picture shows you the foundation with boning.
The lining is sandwiched between the foundation and the fashion fabric.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's New Pussycat?

In vintage pattern news, yesterday I finally got the vintage patterns in the mail that I ordered from Lanetz Living.  There was a delay because of the postal strike here in Canada.  I've been really interested in dresses and patterns from the 1960s due to Mad Men.  (I can't believe it's not back until January!)

And in modern sewing pattern news, Vogue just released their fall patterns.  Of course that means that there is more pattern buying in my future.  The two that I will be buying are the two dresses by Tracy Reese, 1252 and 1253.  I just love her designs.  I even have fabric that would be perfect for these dresses just waiting in the stash.

Finally, in gardening news, our yellow cherry tomatoes and starting to ripen.  Yesterday, Owen picked two of them and we each got to try them for the first time.  Delicious! (Although I am not really a tomato person, I did enjoy it!)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sewing From the Past - Simplicity 2250

I made this dress a while ago, in May of this year, but thought I would share it.
Here I am with our tomato, cat nip, and pepper plants. 
The sun was really bright and I had to shield my eyes.

Here is my review of Simplicity 2250:
Pattern Description: Misses' Dress in two lengths, jacket and tie belt. I made view B, which is the shorter version of the dress with the narrow straps. This is a Cynthia Rowley designer pattern.

Pattern Sizing:H5 (6-14) R5 (14-22)
I made size 8. My measurements indicated that I should make a size 10 but I often find that size 8 fits me better.

White invisible zipper.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy to follow. For the construction of this dress it is important to follow the order outlined in the instructions. Be sure to mark all of the darts and pleats on the bodice front carefully so that everything matches up correctly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the interesting darts, pleats and seams of the bodice. It is a very interesting way to shape the bodice and looks really good. And POCKETS!! I love dresses that have pockets.

Fabric Used:
A yellow Ralph Lauren cotton/lycra sateen from Elliott Berman Textiles. This fabric was a little too thick for this pattern as the ties don't really tie like they should. Instead of tying them I made a band that I feed the ties through to keep them together and look like they are tied. I lined it with white cotton batiste (bodice only) and for the interlining used a white 100% cotton broadcloth. Some others have wondered why the pattern has you interline the bodice front and I think that it is to give the bodice a solid structure/base.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- I finger pressed all of the darts/pleats/seams as indicated in the pattern as I was sewing them but after the front part of the bodice was completed I lightly pressed it with an iron. Beause my fabric was thicker I think it needed the iron pressing to look nice.
- I didn't interface the upper bodice pieces that create the sweatheart neckline.
- I didn't cut the straps on the bias as the pattern indicated and it worked out fine.
- When I was attatching the interlining to the bodice front, I noticed that although the side seams matched in the length, the centre of the bodice was too long and pouched out in an unattractive manner. To correct this I just took in the seam at the bottom of the bodice the necessary amount to make everything line up correctly. The pattern indicates that this seam allowance should be pressed down towards the skirt but when I did this and then sewed the skirt on there was an unattractive bulge along this seam and part of the seam disappeared into the seam allowance of the skirt/bodice seam. So I took it apart and pressed the seam upwards and resewed the skirt and it looks much better.
- Instead of the 1 1/4" hem suggested I made the hem only 1/2" because I wanted the skirt to be a little longer. I wish I could have made it as long a view A but I didn't have enough fabric.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would recommend it to others as it creates a very pretty and stylish dress. I might sew it again but make a fancier version with pink silk plaid. It would be interesting to see how the front tucks, etc. look with a plaid. If I were to make it again I would use a fabric that isn't as thick.

First Worn:
Running errands on my day off in early June 2011.

Wear Again?
Yes!! It's such a cute dress and I feel very pretty and feminine in it.

Conclusion: Great pattern that requires a little extra effort. I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner.

Weekend Sewing

This weekend I started working on Vogue 1190, the Tracy Reese ruffle dress. My cousin Lisa is getting married in August and I needed something to wear and this dress has been on my sewing list for a while. The fabric I'm using is a navy ombre stripe by Marc Jacobs from Elliott Berman Textiles. It's a cotton/lycra sateen with a subtle stripe.

Friday I cut the dress out and Saturday I started sewing the back pieces together and getting the ruffles ready for hem. On Sunday I stitched all the darts and pleats on the bodice, hemmed half the ruffles and attached them to the bodice, cut and sewed on the waistband piece.

Here is a picture of where I left off:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Summer Canning Season Has Begun

Last year we, my partner Owen and I, did a lot of canning and have plans for more this year. Strawberries are ripe right now and Owen really wanted to make some strawberry jam so yesterday we went to Proulx Berry Farm to pick some strawberries. We ended up picking 6 4L baskets. Two of those went in to making delicious jam. Two will be frozen and two will be eaten fresh.

Here is Owen taking the tops off the berries for the jam.

And this is all of the jam we made: 11 half pints and 7 pints.

Later in the summer we have plans to make blueberry jam, raspberry jam, dill beans, grape juice and hot salsa.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sew Spoiled Weekender Travel Tote

I have just finished a new tote bag.

I first saw this bag on the cover of the Feb/March issue of Sew News and thought it was so cute. I bought the magazine for this pattern. However, as I was considering making it I decided to check the website of Sew News for this pattern to see if any helpful comments had been left by others who had made the bag. Link It turned out that people had had trouble with the instructions given. Apparently, measurements given for some of the pieces for the bag were incorrect and the instructions were a little unclear. However, the designer of the pattern provided a pdf with some of the pattern pieces to help sewers and provided the correct measurements. I printed out the pattern pieces but I put the project on hold because I was a little unsure of the pattern. A few months later I stumbled across the blog of the designer of the pattern, Leah Williams, Sew Spoiled and found that she had posted a 19 page pdf with the pattern and detailed instructions. It was very nice of the designer to provide this for free. It seems that with all of the troubles with the pattern in Sew News she wanted to clear everything up. I really appreciated this because the bag is so cute and I really wanted to make it.

The review below is for the pdf pattern provided by Leah Williams on her blog Sew Spoiled.

Pattern Description:
From Sew News: Hit the road with a roomy pleated tote that's perfect for a long weekend or last minute road trip. Stow your camera, cell phone, cosmetic bag and other essentials in the handy interior pocket.

Pattern Sizing:
One Size. Finished measurements: 20"w x 13.5"h x 4"d

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy to follow. I glanced at them occaisonally after reading through them once. If you have made a bag before you will only need them for creating the front panels.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Style - not just a boring rectangle tote.
Size - it is very generous, you could fit a lot of stuff in it.
It took forever to cut out all the pieces. There are sixteen pieces that need to be cut out (not including the interfacing). However, once the pieces are cut and interfaced, it sews up pretty quickly.
There is some waste when cutting the front panels to the correct shape. You have to sew three pieces of fabric together then bring the two outside pieces to the centre to form the pleat and then cut this into a trapezoid shape. There is quite a bit that you have to cut off.

Fabric Used:
100% cotton denim from Fabricland and Amy Butler cotton print from her Daisy Chain line. I interfaced the exterior, lining and pockets with heavyweight non-woven fusible interfacing from Fabricland.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I only used two fabrics instead of the five suggested.
I added a zippered pocket and more pouch pockets to the lining.
I added a swivel hook for attaching my keys to so they don't get lost in the bottom of the bag.
I used top stitching thread for all of the top stitching.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't think I will sew it again. I would recommend it to patient sewers who don't mind cutting out a lot of pieces.

Roomy tote that is easy to sew.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Warm Weather Dressing

I had a job interview today and the weather was so warm (34 degrees Celsius) and I needed a professional looking top that was cool to wear. So I made this top, McCall's 5977, today:

McCall's 5977

Pattern Description:
Pullover tops A, B, C, D have neck and armhole bindings and stitched hem; top A has two layers of pleated front ruffles; top B has three tiers of front ruffles; top C has cascading front ruffle; top D has neck ruffle and short drapey sleeves.
I made view A.

Pattern Sizing:
A5 (6-8-10-12-14), EE (14-16-18-20). I made a size 8 and graded to a 14 at the hips.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes but I didn't really need to follow them. It's a pretty simple top to make.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked that is so simple but looked stylish because of the ruffles.

Fabric Used:
100% cotton Swiss Dot with woven checks.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I only used one layer of ruffle instead of two. I bound the neckline and armholes differently than suggested in the instructions. For the neckline binding I used a cotton knit that I ironed so that it looked like double fold bias tape and just sandwiched the bodice between it. And for the armholes I used packaged bias tape and I just unfolded one side, sewed this side to the armholes, flipped it to the inside and then stitched it down. This way the binding isn't seen.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will be sewing it again but another view. I would definitely recommend it to others.

Great pattern that is simple but looks good.