Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Fashion Advice Session!

As I grow older, I often question if a given style and/or color is appropriate me. I highly value the fashion guidance of my daughter, Jocasta.

So this weekend, she willingly sat in my sewing studio and reviewed/weeded both my pattern and fabric stash. She carefully matched fabrics to patterns and we discussed how these choices would gave me a more flattering and contemporary look. (Friends, some items were sent to Goodwill!)

Following the session, I asked Jocasta to give me list of fashion do's and don'ts. Taking into consideration my age, body type, style and color favorites, she offered me the following list:

Momma's (aka Regina's) Fashion Do's and Don'ts
Do's
1. Curvy skinny jeans (Perfect for your legs and hips)
2. Slim fit, Crop-cut trousers (Shows off your legs without drowning them in fabric)
3. V-necks tops (Best neckline for your frame.)
4. Form fitting knit dresses with gathering on the waist (Shows off your bust and hips. Makes you look tiny in the middle.)
5. White skirts (Every closet should have one.)
6. Pencil skirts (Shows off your curves in the right way.)
7. Empire waist skirts (Elongates your frame.)
8. Thick waist band skirts and pants.
9. Dresses with pockets (Best invention.)
10. Shawls and open sweaters (Great for layering.)
11. French jackets (Classy)
12. Wool or fleece pea-coats (A way to add color to your wardrobe.) 
13. Trench coats (Classy.)
14. Front ruffle blouses (A feminine touch.)
15. Chambray tops or dresses with leggings (Cute and comfy look.)
16. Red shorts (Nice pop of color.)

Don'ts
1. Wide-leg pants (Makes you look bottom heavy. Hides your figure.)
2. Full elastic waistbands (Mom jeans. Out-dated.)
3. Wide mouth tops (Slips off shoulders.)
4. Pleated A-line skirts (Makes you look bottom heavy. Hides your figure.)
5. Low ride waist pants (Your hips is not meant for these.)
6. Vests (You're not hipster enough.)
7. Romper shorts (Looks too childish.)

Colors
Good
Bright colors are your friends (Just bright, not neon.)
1. White
2. Warm bright colors (red, yellow, orange)
3. Purples
4. Silver/Light grey
5. Lighter blues

Bad
Avoid colors that wash out your skin. 
1. Darker brown (not khaki)
2. Dark grey
3. University of Kentucky Blue (The color, not necessarily the team.)
4. Olive greens

Following this session and with this list in hand, I feel very positive about revamping my wardrobe with projects from my upcoming sewing sessions!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Exposed Shoulders T-Shirt : Kwik Sew 3880

Project Details
I have admired knit tops that feature shoulder openings. So I decided to make one using my newly found and ever-improving serger skills. Here is my Exposed Shoulders T-Shirt.





Pattern
Kwik Sew 3880.

Fabric
Maroon, mauve and white striped cotton knit. (Hancock Fabrics)

Notions
Stay-tape, thread.

Description
Misses' tops. 

Pattern Sizing:
U.S.: XS-XL.  I cut a size XS, View A.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done?
Yes, it looked like the pull-over top with scoop neckline and dolman sleeves with shoulder openings.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions are clear and simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I happily found the pattern includes 1/4 inch seam allowances which are highly compatible for serger sewing! All notches matched.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
This pattern fits my petite frame neatly! I did not make any pattern length adjustments. I used the serger to stitch seam allowances. To stabilize the neckline for stitching I applied stay-tape on the seam-line. I chose to use a strip of white ribbed knit for the neckline binding instead of the t-shirt fabric. I used a twin-needle to top-stitch neckline and to hem shoulder openings, sleeves and lower hem.

Would you made it again?
I may make this pattern again.

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would recommend this pattern for an intermediate sewer.

Conclusion:
I will purchase more Kwik Sew patterns to use for future serger sewing projects because of included 1/4 inch seam allowances.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sweet Cinnamon Knit Top: Sew Simple 1638

Project Details
I brought a serger some months ago. I am slowly learning to work with knits on the serger. I am loving the outcome of my serged knit projects. This is my Sweet Cinnamon Knit Top.


Pattern
Simplicity, Sew Simple 1638.

Fabric
Cinnamon brushed knit – Hancock Fabrics

Notions
Stay-tape, thread.

Description
Misses' pullover knit top

Pattern Sizing:
U.S. XS -XL. I cut a size XS.


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done?
Yes, it looked like the raglan sleeved pullover tunic with round, banded neckline and banded hem.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions are clear and simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I wish the given seam allowances were ¼ inch or 3/8 inch which are compatible to seam allowances for serger use. I marked the given 5/8 seam allowances for guidance when sewing under the serger.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
This pattern was length adjustable. I altered the shirt length by 2 inches in the top body and 1 inch in the lower band because I am petite.  To stabilize the neckline for stitching I applied stay-tape on the seam-line. This eliminates neckline distortion.  I used a twin-needle to hem sleeves.

Would you made it again?
Yes I plan to make this pattern again.

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would recommend this pattern. This pattern first top pattern for beginning serger users.

Conclusion:
I enjoy using my new serger!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Italian Artist Shirt: New Look 6963

Project Details
I proclaim July “The Month of the Shirt/Top!” I am busy making a variety of shirts and tops for my wardrobe from my “too large” fabric stash. This shirt is made from real Italian Cotton. A gift I received from my dearest friends Sheren and Paul. They purchased this fabric for me while on a trip to Italy last year! I gave this shirt a style that I pictured to be worn by an Italian artist in his/her studio. Do you think I achieved my goal?



Pattern
New Look 6963.

Fabric
Light Blue Italian Cotton from Italy!

Notions
Six ½ inch buttons, ¾ yd. lightweight fusible interfacing, thread.

Description
Misses, shirts.

Pattern Sizing:
Size A, U.S. 8-18. I cut a size 8, View E.


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done?
Yes, it looks like View E, a tunic-length blouse which is loose-fitting through mid section, with band collar, puffed and banded ¾ length sleeves, buttoned front, bodice darts, back yoke, back centered pleat, side slits and narrow hem.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions are clear and the sewing is straightforward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Happy to find that all the seams and notches matched.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I like that this pattern is length adjustable.  I altered the shirt length by 2 ½ inches because I am petite.

Would you made it again?
I plan to make the sleeveless shirt, View A, of this pattern.

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I recommend this pattern.  This is a great first shirt pattern for beginners.

Conclusion:
There will be more shirts to come from this pattern!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The 2014 Crocheted Yoke Dress

Project Details
The most viewed post on my blog is the Crocheted Yoke Dress.  Well, I was thinking when an item is that well liked by the public why not make another?  After all it has been 3 years since you made the first two.  Yes, I also made one for my daughter, Jocasta's Crocheted Yoke Dress. Anyway, here is the third version,The 2014 Crocheted Yoke Dress:


Project
Yoke Pattern - Nell from Berroco Yarns.

Skirt Pattern -  Simplicity 3867

Yarn – Simply Soft Light, Caron Yarns: 100% Acrylic, Light Weight Yarn 3, 330 yds/301 m, Color: White, 1 Skein (Joann's)

Fabric – 2 yards Floral Polyester Silky (Joann's)

Notions – 14” zipper. Hook and eye

Hooks – Size E/4 (3.50 mm)

Finished Size – Yoke: Bust (32”)

Notes
This is my third time posting this dress!  But here are some new notes for this version:

This time I did not line the yoke.  At my age,I find nylon lining, under acrylic crocheted fabric, to warm to wear in the heat of the summer.  I find it cooler to wear with a skin-tone strapless bra under the yoke.

I used the skirt pattern pieces from the Classic Sewstylish Dress, Simplicity 3867, to make the skirt for this dress.  Using the skirt pattern aided in achieving a more attractive fit then just simply cutting two pieces of fabric and gathering at waist and attaching it to the yoke!  

I placed a zipper at the side seam of this dress since the yoke was crocheted with side seams.  The zipper makes it easier to slide in and out of the dress.

Conclusion
I will enjoy wearing the latest version of the Crocheted Yoke Dress.