29 March 2012

Leibster Blog Award

What a great way to start off the morning!  In my mailbox was a kind note from Doobee of Doobee's Creations nominating me for the Leibster Award.  The award is graciously given to bloggers with under 200 followers to show love, support, and to encourage readership.  How cool is that?!  Awwww, thanks Doobee!!

The rules are simple:
  • Thank the person who nominated you with the award on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  • Copy the award badge to your blog.
  • Nominate the award to five other blogs with 200 followers or less.
  • Let the blogger know they've been nominated by leaving a comment.
I'm showing some blogger love to the following people:

Irene Bullock
Sew My Time
Knitter's Delight
Cheap and Picky
Crazed Sewer

Thanks to all who read my blog!


23 March 2012

M6279: Update + Dressing for the Weather

Thanks to all who shared their comments about dressing for the season versus the weather.  While the weather is still rather warm for this year, I am not giving up my boots, coat, or long sleeves just yet.  Having lived in Michigan most of my life, I am certain of two things:  (1) we will always get 3 out of 4 seasons, (2) those 3 seasons could span a single 24-hour period.

Oh my.  An ice cream truck just drove down my street.  It's still March.  Wow.


I'm almost finished with the trench dress. There are several mistakes on this dress that could have been avoided had I not sewed while distracted.  Lesson learned!  First while stitching the facing, I didn't follow the pattern instructions properly and missed the part where you're supposed to stop and attach the collar. Oops. 

Next, I stitched the facing all the way to the lower edge, again missing an important part of the instructions.  I was supposed to turn the facing back onto the front (right sides together) and stitch horizontally above the hem create a nice hidden edge.  Needless to say, I didn't notice that I completely botched this part until after I trimmed the lower edge and turned the facing back in.  I didn't take any pictures; trust me, it was a mess.  To fix it, I serged off almost all of the hem allowance; there was no other way to make it work.  The inside isn't neat and the hem is very short.  Oops.

Finally, I think I should have followed the pattern instructions and used the interfaced fronts on the outside.  The un-interfaced fronts are so flimsy and do not hold the front well at all.

I am determined to finish this dress.  I am even considering starting over from scratch.  That's how bad I want this to work!  I'm going to work the buttonholes this weekend and see how it looks.  If it's all good, then I'll go forward with finishing.  If not, I very well may donate this version and start over. 


17 March 2012

Do You Dress for the Season or Weather?

It's the middle of March in what is supposed to be the lower arctic north i.e., Michigan.  It is still winter for four more days, yet it is 75 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and has been above 60 for the last few days.  Already people are out in booty shorts, tank tops, and flip flops.  Um...okay.  The weather is nice, I agree.  But booty shorts?? It could still snow, ya know.  Michigan weather is like Jack Nicholson in The Shining: cray cray.  I would not be surprised if it is 78 degrees tomorrow (as forecast) and we get two feet of snow on Monday.  It's happened before.  But I digress...

So, do you dress for the season or for the weather?


11 March 2012

M6279: Adjustments & Interfacing + Other Stuff

I began working on this last weekend and so far, things are going rather smoothly.  I first cut out a muslin last summer with the intention of sewing it then.  August was a very busy month and I ended up putting the project on hold.  Since Spring is on the way, I figured this is a great time to get started.  I'm sewing view A with the epaulets, but not the belt tabs or belt; I didn't have enough fabric for everything.

Pattern Adjustments
I cut a straight 16 for the muslin and lowered the bust fullness about 2 inches.  I probably should have done a swayback adjustment too, but for some reason, I always forget to do this.  Fortunately since I will always wear this belted, the pooling shouldn't be too noticeable.

The pattern instructs you to use the interfaced centers front on the outside.  The instructions for McCall's 5847 state the exact opposite.  I actually wrestled with what directions to follow because I wasn't sure why it made a difference.  Does anyone know? Ultimately, I decided to use the un-interfaced centers front on the outside because I didn't want any bubbles to show should the interfacing become detached in future washings.

left:  M6279, right:  M5847

Here is a photo of the progress to date.  Hmm.  Looking at the picture now, maybe having the interfaced front on the outside does make a difference.  Hopefully I can finish the dress this week so that I can move on to the next one.

Other Stuff

*  Sheila:  I'm glad your blog is back up and running.  I like the new look!

*  I didn't make it to the Detroit fashion show on Saturday.  I was in a car accident a couple of weeks ago and was consumed with handling that situation.  No one was injured and my car has since been repaired.

*  Kyle:  I haven't tried B5559, but it is definitely on my list!

That's it for now.  Take care everyone!


04 March 2012


It's official.  Faye's dressapalooza bug bit me.  I've been pulling and coordinating dress patterns and fabric like crazy.  I can't get dresses off of my mind!

I made a couple of muslins but something just doesn't feel right.  I cut a straight 16 and added two inches to the bodice to lower the empire seam.  The front fits wonderfully, the back?  Not so much.  It gapes in a weird way and the shoulder straps keep falling off in the back.  I thought raising both the front and back necklines would solve the problem, but it didn't and I haven't been able to identify how to fix it.  So, this pattern is on hold.

I made a few muslins of this dress two years and fifteen pounds ago.  It didn't fit that well back then, but now I love it.  I will probably make this out of the red, black and white floral print as well as a solid linen.

I made muslins of this too a couple of years ago and found the back to be too tight.  I can't find the muslin, but I am hopeful that it fits much better now.  I plan to make this out of the black, yellow, and white floral print with yellow piping.

My inspiration?

When I saw this on The Sew Weekly blog, I knew I HAD to have it.  I already have the polka dot fabric, black cotton for the bodice, and the pattern.  How could I not work this into the rotation??  

I remember trying on the actual Muse dress on my snoop shopping adventure with Melody in 2010.  I already know that I need to fiddle with the neckline and shorten it a bit.


I made the pattern adjustments (to be detailed in a subsequent post) and have cut out the muslin.  I just need to put it together.  If the fit is good, I'll make this out of a red silk suiting.

This is the first dress in progress.  I'm making it out of a rust-orange linen blend and am opting not to line it.  I made a few minor adjustments (also to be shared in a dedicated post) and tested the changes in muslin.  I am satisfied with the fit and like how it looks so far.

As you can see in my picture, the dress frenzy is here to stay!  Since making that picture, I have pulled out even more patterns and fabric.  I owe all of the upcoming crazy to Faye!!  Well, maybe not all.  I have to lend credit to some other folks too:  Susan, Kyle, Kristine, Sheila (what happened to your blog??!!), Cenetta, Trinicity, Rachelle, Carolyn, and RuthieK.  I am inspired by your stylish dress creations and want to join the club!


02 March 2012

Comments on J2559 (suit jacket)

Thank you all for taking the time to comment on my post about the Jalie jacket.  I appreciate the support and encouragement. 

Serenity Love said:
I wouldn't call it a fail... per se'... I would just say that you made that for someone else.

I *love* this attitude.  From this point on, garments that are no longer meant for me will be those made for someone else. =)

Alethia said:
I know that feeling when you put so much effort into a garment only to have a fail garment. Give yourself a break, the jackets looks good, on the bright side there was a lesson learned " the fabric choice" is one of the most important aspect of sewing. I know that feeling, because I've made the same mistake.

Definitely!  This was a lesson learned in fabric choice - and not just for this pattern.  I will be much more aware of the suggested fabrics and choose wisely next time.

Faye said:
So sorry your project did not turn out as you planned! 

Thanks Faye!  It's not the first, and it most certainly won't be the last.

Mainelydad said:
I think you're being much too harsh on yourself. Don't worry about the collar points. They are never going to be perfectly sharp when using a heavier wool fabric. Just trim and clip your seams to reduce as much bulk as you feel safe doing. If the lining isn't in yet you could always re-sew the lapels and round off the corners. I went back and read your welt pocket post. How about adding a button to hold the flap down. That would keep everything concealed. At any rate please don't beat yourself up too much about this. I blame the pattern companies that lead us to believe we can make a tailored garment without having to do the actually tailoring. 

Thank you so much for your response.  I trimmed and clipped the seams so that the bulky areas would lay as flat as possible.  The lining is in, but I have yet to press or topstitch the facing area.  I was just so disappointed with the fit, I stopped working on it.  I thought about adding a button to the pocket flaps to keep them down.  This pattern can probably be made of a beefy wool, but I am not that experienced in proper tailoring to make it work.  I used a weft interfacing on the fronts, facings, and pretty much everywhere else.  In hindsight, it was just too much - especially in the seam allowances at the collar points.  It's a great lesson learned!

Again, many thanks to all!

As for now, I am working on McCall's 6279.  More on this soon!



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