Butterick 5601- Spring in Tuscany Dress

For our anniversary a couple years ago my husband and I were walking to a restaurant in Beverly Hills and I saw this in a storefront…

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May have been Prada or Oscar De La Renta but regardless my heart went a flutter and I thought want-it-need-it-gotta-have-it-get-on-my-body. I took a picture so I didn’t have to obsess over it all night, I could save that for later. I never looked up the price because if you have to ask you can’t afford it and despite my love of the look I can’t stand to wear blue.

So, I created a doppelganger and looking back at the photo I prefer my fabric. This Butterick pattern has a really lovely and slimming bodice.

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Read my pattern review below or here.

Pattern Description:

Dress with an interesting front bodice and triangle back ‘cut out’.

Pattern Sizing:
I made a size 6.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t use them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Easy to sew together. Business in the front and party in the back.

Fabric Used:
A cotton tablecloth from Cost Plus.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I might have lengthened the skirt, I usually do just in case.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes! The inspiration for this was a dress I saw in a storefront in Beverly Hills. This fabric made it even better.

Conclusion:
Easy project, the shape of the bodice front and straps are slimming.

 

 

Ginger Jean- Low Rise & Skinny

This is not my first pair of jeans. When I made my first pair I was surprised how easy they actually were. The hardest part is the top stitching, which is INFINITELY harder if you use a bright gold thread and you have a silly little home sewing machine.  Jean material gets thick.

When I made my first pair I ripped apart my favorite pairs of pants (I bought two eight years ago so I had one to spare) and used the pieces as a pattern. This is when I discovered that for girls that are little in the middle but got much back that all waist pieces should be curved. Straight waists are for high waist pencil skirts, not jeans. Or maybe twiggy people but I don’t sew for them.

I didn’t need another jean pattern but saw someone online make them and became obsessed. I didn’t need another pair of skinny jeans either but somehow is doesn’t count if you make them yourself.

My M.O. when trying out a pattern for the first time is; don’t read the instructions, glance at the measurements, cut with a fabric you will wear and there is no such thing as a bad ‘muslin’ only a bad pattern. So I cut an 8 and was off to the races. Before I attached the waist I tried them on and they fit nicely in the thighs and butt but were too large in the waist. You can see below that there is also an interesting butt wrinkle going on, no idea how that happens.

I trimmed them in about 3/4 of an inch at the back and should have taken 3/8″ on the sides but waited until the waste was done, doh. Had I taken in the sides a curvier waist piece would have been nice for the low rise. The fix below drives me nuts but I couldn’t bring myself to redo the waistband.

The length is good, the cut isn’t so narrow that I can’t get them on and I can roll them over twice and get a nice cuff for wearing with wedges in the summer.

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I think my next pair will be in black with black thread and hardware since my pair of Lucky Jeans got ruined by the first wash, or maybe I will tear those apart and build a new pair….. uh, so much to do so little time…..

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Ginger Jeans review below and here:

Pattern Description:
Low rise skinny jeans. View A with B legs.
Pattern Sizing:
I made the size 8. I don’t think it has 1″ ease, when in doubt cut large.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I liked the pocket pattern, fly instructions and curved waist which is a MUST. I didn’t need the instructions but like to compare them to the big brands and these were very good for beginners.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I think the pockets could be a little farther apart and lower.
Fabric Used:
Jean with very little stretch.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Had to take the back seam in 3/4″ and side seams in 3/8″. I have a 32″ inseams with heals so tall girls may want to cut these longer.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, probably not for jeans but for office pants. View B waist will be my next pair.
Conclusion:
If you haven’t made jeans before don’t be intimidated. I find these WAY easier than blouses which I can’t get to fit right for the life of me. Use a thread that matched your jeans (dark blue or dark grey) and make life simple for your first time.

Simplicity 1059 Jiffy Dress

So, I moved to LA. As in proper. So between the move and getting used to massive amounts of people out ALL THE TIME with nothing ever on the shelves I haven’t had much time to sew. Plus, the nearest Joann’s is about 6 miles, which is 20 miles in suburbia.

Jiffy dress, yes please! But, it was more than four pieces. In fact eleven (including the waist tie) plus a zipper. Ain’t nobody got time for that. To speed things up I cut the front as one piece with a scoop neck, back as one piece omitting the zipper and ditched the neck facing. With a serger that overlocks there is no reason to face a knit. To spruce it up I added a 2″ cuff at the end of the blouson sleeves. All that fabric in a little elastic lined cuff would be a let down.

It’s a sack but between the pleats at the neckline, cuffs on the sleeves and a belt for days you aren’t eating three Christmas dinner in a row you’re ready for a night out on the town. Or, at least to the grocery store in Santa Monica.

I tried to get some good shots of the neck pleat but this fabric is like a Magic Eye 3D puzzle, good luck finding it….

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Simplicity 1059 review below and here:

Pattern Description:
Jiffy brand retro style dress from the 60’s (maybe)
Pattern Sizing:
I made the size 6, since it is a tent.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, but I am digging the flowered version they have. Perhaps I will find a good knit for one with a plunging neck line, very Trina Turk.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t use them.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I assume “Jiffy” was a play on getting it done quickly. I am sure it would have gone together quickly but I didn’t have time for 11 pieces and a zipper.
Fabric Used:
Knit, of some cotton jersey variety. All I know is knit and weave so all the options in the drop down menu confuse me.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
To speed things up I cut the front as one piece with a scoop neck, back as one piece omitting the zipper and ditched the neck facing. With a serger that overlocks there is no reason to face a knit. To spruce it up I added a 2″ cuff at the end of the blouson sleeves. All that fabric in a little elastic lined cuff would be a let down.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely! If you need an easy sewing win after a disappointing and difficult jacket experiment (not that i know anything about that) then this would be a good rebound project.
Conclusion:
Sew it, belt it, love it.

McCall’s 7167 Romper

This is the second romper I have made after the first one, although cute, was given away to the thrift store for some lucky girl who likes rompers with shorts. All my girlfriends look so cute running around in their little rompers that I decided I have to have one. After trying them on at the stores I decided to make one because it is unlikely to get a great amount of use. For some reason I can only wear onesie outfits as a Halloween costumes. I just don’t find them all the comfortable and I prefer to convenience of being able to go to the bathroom without taking all my clothes off.  What would probably make this more comfortable is a light weigh knit instead of a fabric without stretch.

Good for short trips out to dinner but not running around bar hoping for extended periods of time, I really need to choose my drinking outfits more appropriately.

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See full review here.

Pattern Description:
Jumpsuit, because I like to jump on the train after it has left the station.
Pattern Sizing:
Cut the size 6.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Easier to put together than I thought it would be.
Fabric Used:
Mystery fabric from Michael Levin Loft….
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
As I sewed the sides and got ready to install the zipper I ran into issues. First of all, jumpers are not the most practical article of clothing. Getting into this getup takes some flexibility. When I tried it on before installing the zipper it was impossible. So I grabbed the longest invisible zipper I had, I am not sure how long it is but it reaches to my crotch and still just allows me squeeze in. Secondly the crotch was REALLY high. I lowered it about 3 inches and could probably take out another inch since it presses my lady parts uncomfortably when I shrug. Typically I have a very short waist so if you have a long torso beware.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
How many rompers do I need in my wardrobe? Exactly one, and this fits the bill. Every time I go to the bathroom and have to de-robe to nakedness I feel a fool.
Conclusion:
If you like rompers this is great, the legs are wide without being ridiculous and the back of the top is beyond cute. I will likely make this into separates going forward.

July 4th ‘Merica Shorts DIY

These are from a couple years ago, so I don’t have any detailed process photos. But, this was a pretty simple DIY made with fabric paint and foam brushes. I painted the stripes and stamped the stars.

Although a friend who works in denim insists that jeans are supposed to be stored in the freezer and never washed for preservation I have laundered these a couple times. After washing and drying the paint still looks the same as day one. Plus, who is likely to fit in jeans or want to wear styles from tens years ago?

Take a pair of old jeans, make these yourself and smile every time you put them on. Happy 4th!

 

 

McCalls 6954

July 4th is my favorite holiday. We used to host a yearly BBQ but people with kids, eventually everyone we knew, would leave early to go watch fireworks. So now we go to other people’s parties and then with them to watch fireworks. Which is fine because it is far less work to show up with something from Trader Joe’s. But, I do miss putting together my America happy fact conversation starters. History is usually poorly taught and widely misunderstood and so when people don’t understand the uniqueness of the American Experiment my heart weeps.

So, to cheer me up on a holiday that is mostly celebrated for time off work, BBQ and beer I decided to make a dress. This is a pattern I have made a couples times. I really liked the red, white and blue colors in a southwest type pattern. Paired with my peep toe ankle boots this will also get out on the town at some point, I am thinking a country music concert in Austin.

My full review can also be found here.

McCalls 6954

Pattern Description:
Oh so comfy muumuu.
Pattern Sizing:
Small, see alterations below.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Didn’t look at them.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
So easy, this took about an hour.
Fabric Used:
Jersey.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
This fabric was too heavy and stretchy so I had to shorten the shoulder length about two inches and take in both sides at the armpits two inches. I also had less than the recommended amount of fabric so I cut the front and back on the fold and tapered the sides down towards the hem. This is the D hem, shorter in the front and longer in the back, based on the length of fabric I had to work with. I wanted a less dramatic racer back effect and cut the middle wider so I could wear different bras, the pattern looked too narrow for the one racer back bra I own.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?!
Of course. This is going to make a great July 4th red white and blue ensemble first poolside and then to a concert in the park. ‘Merica

Conclusion:
A great staple, easy sewing, flexible for alterations- it’s a winner.

I can blog that…

Inspired by an asylum in Bath UK for teaching young females household work. The idea was to get prostitutes off the streets and give them a respectable trade. If I had know when I was young that I needed to pay attention to these things, even to just survive (in style) on my own, I may have paid more attention as a kid. So here I go on adventures in home improvement, cooking, decorating, and gardening in an insane attempt to master the lost art of housework.