Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 2014 Dress - Simplicity 1686

Project Details
I have finished my August Dress!
Pattern
Amazing Fit Collection, Simplicity 1686.

Fabric
Cool Blue Linen Blend, Joann's Fabrics.

Notions
Thread, one 22” invisible zipper, hook and eye, two ¾ buttons, 1 5/8 yards lightweight fusible interfacing .

Description
Misses'/Miss Petite Dress.

Pattern Sizing:
U.S. 6,8,10,12,14.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done?
Yes. I chose to make my dress with the sleeveless bodice top of View C and knee length skirt of View B.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions are clear and simple. I love the detailed instructions offered for fitting throughout the pattern guide-sheets.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This pattern includes separate pattern pieces for bust cup sizes and slim, average and curvy fit!  The 1 inch seam allowances are offered for fitting adjustments.  I like that the finished garment measurements for bust and hips are offered on the back of the envelope!  However, I was disappointed that the finished measurement for the waist was not included.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I initially cut this dress with a B cup size 6 bodice (34 ½ inch finished) tapering to a Curvy Fit Size 12 skirt (41 inch finished.) The bodice fit was great. The left armhole was a little loose so I make an adjustment at the underarm seam. The midriff/waistline was too snug so I let out the one inch side seams for better ease. The hip area felt tight and the seams and front pleats pulled to the back. So I released the 1 inch side seams, smoothed the back of my skirt over my curvy derriere, then pin to the front, making sure that the side seams were perpendicular to the floor. I took the time to measure my finished garment and found the finished measurements were bodice-34 ½, waist-32 and hips-42. Oh, I covered my own buttons for this dress!
Would you made it again?
I may make this pattern again.

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would recommend this pattern for a seamstress whose goal is to achieve a perfect fit.

Conclusion:
This was a great project and I learned much about working with body measurements and fashion ease. I have also become a fan of the Amazing Fit Collection from Simplicity Patterns!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

August Is The Month For Sewing Dresses!

I have chosen for my first project Simplicity 1686, a mock wrap dress in two lengths with back zipper, inset waistband, lapels and sleeves
variations. This dress is from the Amazing Fit Collection designed by the American Sewing Guild. Separate pattern pieces are included for A, B, C, D cup sizes and slim, average, curvy fit. Advertised features are a front neckline designed to be "gap free", princess seams to follow the contours of the bust smoothly and a deep-front overlay for coverage.  Well we will see!

My stylist suggested I make a sleeveless View B with covered buttons to accent the inset waistband. My fabric is a pale blue rayon, polyester, linen blend that has been in my fabric stash for over 10 years!

The first fun task of this project was deciding which cup and fit size to use! That meant comparing body measurements to finished garment measurements and allowing for design and wearing ease. Now readers this is how I determined what cup and size to use:

My true body measurements + Ease = (Cutting Size)
Bust: 32 1/2 + 2 inch ease = 34 1/2 (B cup, Size 8)
Waist: 29 1/2 + 1 inch ease = 30 1/2  (Size 12)
Hips: 37 + 4 inch ease = 41 (Size 12, Curvy)

The Amazing Fit Collection does not "jam" sizes 6 through 14 on each pattern piece. However I was very joyous to find that Size 8 and Size 12 were on the same pattern pieces so it was very easy for me to adjust sizing from bust to waist.

The fabric pieces have been cut and sewing begins tomorrow!

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!