Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vogue 8721

First, I'd like to preface this by saying that I'm no model and I lack photogenecy (the noun form of photogenic? Is that a word?  It is now!)  I asked Gary to coach me and he failed.  In a bunch of pictures it looks like I have a really big stomach, which I don't think I do.  I seriously think I'm going to google tips to taking better photos after I finish this post.

Anyways, presenting Vogue 8721 in View C:

It's a little windy, so the front of my jacket is blowing away a bit, it actually lays flat as in the first picture. 

I bought this really pretty brocade at Joann on clearance.  I thought it was gorgeous, but I had no idea what to do with it.  When Vogue released this pattern I thought it would be perfect for showcasing this fabric.  It also doesn't require a lot of fabric manipulation, it's pretty simple.  In this photo I'm wearing it with a vintage sweater guard I bought on etsy.  I wish I had a close up, it's really cute!  On bottom I'm wearing my pencil skirt, blogged here.  

I'm unsure about how this came out.  I think the combination of the pattern and fabric isn't ideal.  Maybe the little jacket is just too loose for me?  Maybe I need something with less ease?  I don't know.  I think I'm going to leave it to the ultimate test- see how often I wear it!

My one dislike about the pattern is that the sleeves are really tight.  I have skinny noodle arms, and they're tight on me, so I bet they'd be really tight on the average bear.  Just a thought if you decide to make this!

And a back view, I really worked hard to center the brocade patern:

And now on the cutting table, or in my case, rug:
This is Butterick 4985, in View A.  I haven't had good luck with fit on Butterick patterns.  I'm not into muslins, this fabric was cheap enough, but I did a tissue measurement.  I think it'll fit in the bust, but I added an inch and a half to the hips.  I'm also planning on adding width and length to the tie so that it'll make a nice pretty bow; the bow on the line drawing is a little weak for my taste.  I got really cute buttons, so I'm excited to see this finished! I hope it'll be a lucky interview shirt to wear with my lucky interview skirt!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thirty-one dollars

My FabricMart order came in today!  Yay!  I mentioned early that I got 23 yards for $31.  I also ordered a mystery bundle, so some of that is hit or miss, which I'll describe below.

I'm going to describe what I bought, how much, and my plans for it, starting at the top left, working down the first column, and then the top right (like reading a book!).  You can always click the photo above for a bigger picture, I know it's a bit hard to see in this small thumbnail.

1.  This is from the mystery bundle.  It feels like a cotton sateen, and it has a good amount of stretch in it.  I see this becoming a cute sheath.  I have 2 1/2 yards of this, and it looks like it's 45" wide.  I hope there's enough for a sheath... I'll have to check my patterns.
2.  Also from the mystery bundle, this is labeled as an Italian shirting.  I got 2.5 yards of this.  Not sure yet what I'll do with it.  I don't see Gary wearing it, so maybe a shirt dress for myself?  But I have a lot of shirt dresses planned, so we'll see.
3.  This fabric I actually picked out, it's 100% rayon challis. I only got 2 yards, I wish I got more. Not sure yet what I'll do with it, but I'd like to make a dress.  It's really soft, so it'll have to be something flowy.
4.  This is a sage green stretch lace that I picked out.  I want to make a long, flowy vest out of this, like Butterick 4989 in view C.
5.  This is a cotton print I picked out.  I got 2.5 yards of this.  I think this will be a cute blouse, like maybe Butterick 5284.
6.  This is the real mystery of the mystery bundle.  I don't know what this is.  It feels really crisp, the most similar thing I've felt is a poly crepe de chine.  It's kind of a taupe color with maroon designs on it.  I'm not a fan.  This will probably linger in my stash as a possible lining for a bag or something, but I may end up donating it.
7.  Up on the top right is a yard of black silk shantung I got in my mystery bundle. I have no idea what to do with this.  I hate having things dry cleaned, so I never buy silk.  What can I do with just a yard?  It's also slashed a bit along the fold, so it'd be hard to get the full yardage out of it.  Another dud like number 6.
8.  This is a vertical striped cotton. I got 3 yards of this and it's 45" wide.  I think this would be a really cute shirt dress!  I was eyeing Simplicity 2246 or a '70s vintage pattern I picked up at a thrift store for 29 cents. No picture of the pattern, but I'll put it up if/when I use it.
9.  This is a zebra print poly charmeuse. I picked it out, not knowing what I would do with it, and still not sure. I think this might be a cute blouse, or I might make a cute nightgown.
10.  This is another mystery bundle mystery.  It's a yard of a very sheer orange fabric with purple suns on it.  It's cute, I could see it as a cute little neck kercheif, but I don't know what I'm going to do with it, especially just a yard.
11.  And last is what I'm guessing is a crepe back poly satin in light pink.  I don't own a lot of light pink, so I'm happy to have it.  But again not sure what to make out of it.  I think I have 1.5 yards.

- I'm very happy with everything that I personally ordered.
- I love, love, LOVE the dot fabric on the top left (labeled #1).  This is definitely the best of the mystery bundle and I can really see myself using it.
- Overall, the mystery bundle was a bit of a dud this time.  Of the 6 fabrics that came in the bundle, I only really like 1, and I could make do with maybe 2 or 3 others.

Does anybody have any suggestions about what I should make?  Thoughts on what to do with my duds?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pattern Organization

In an earlier post, I bemoaned that I lost two pattern pieces.  This particularly bothered me because I think my patterns are pretty well organized.  And to prove this, I have pictures!

First, I organize my patterns electronically.  I use Evernote, which luckily came on my new Vaio, but I think there may be a free version of the program.  I started using Evernote after reading this post by Stitchywitch.  Looking at her post again, I notice that hers looks much more user friendly than mine.  Hmm.  Anyways, here's a picture of my patterns in Evernote:

Click the image above to see it larger

As I see patterns that I like on websites, I save them in Evernote in the folder "Pattern Wishlist".  I tag the pattern with descriptors (blouse, dress, sheath) and with the company name.  This is really handy, because when patterns go on sale at Joann I can type in the company name and the patterns that I've been wanting pop up.  So last week when Butterick patterns were on sale for 99 cents, I was able to get the pattern pictured above.

After I buy patterns, I open Evernote and drag the purchased patterns from "Pattern Wishlist" to "Owned Patterns".  I love using Evernote because I can see what I have without physically going through my stash.  

So where do I actually store all these patterns?

This is a Vera Bradley Inspired fabric box I bought at Marshalls for like $12.  You can't tell in this picture, but there's also handles on either side.  I have this sitting on a chair for the picture, but I ordinarily store this box in my linen closet.  However, I chose a pretty box on the chance that it may end up sitting out and not tucked into a cabinet.  The box also zips all the way around for a neat, tidy closure. 

Pictures inside my pattern box:

It looks pretty full, but there's still a good amount of space in there. I figure that once I start needing more space, that will be my cue to start selling patterns I never use on ebay.  

I am not a very organized person, which makes me all the more proud of how well I've organized my patterns.  How do you organize yours?


Monday, July 25, 2011

The "You Should Give Me a Job" Skirt

For reasons I do not wish to discuss on the internet, I've found myself to be unemployed.  What better way to convince people to hire you than to have the perfect skirt!

It even has hanger appeal!  You just have to trust me on this one, because I finished it all of 3 minutes ago and nobody is here to take a picture of me wearing it and because I've been wearing sweats with my hair in a bun all day.

This is McCalls 5591, version A, and my 4th time making this skirt.  I lost the waist pieces, so I drafted them myself.  This is my first time "drafting" anything, and even though it was easy, I'm still proud.

This fabric is a poly poplin from that was super cheap and I therefore own it in 4 colors.  I'm glad I bought a variety of colors, because the fabric was really nice to work with.  It's pretty darn wrinkle resistant, which will be very nice for interviews.  I once had to drive 45 minutes to an interview, and it's pretty darn difficult to stay wrinkle free after a long drive like that!  I also like the color.  I don't like wearing black to job interviews, I'm a teacher and I feel like wearing black in June/July is just too severe and cold-looking for somebody who's going to be working with children.  The gray is a little softer, but just as professional. 

I also did the zipper by machine.  I usually hand-pick my zippers, not because I have any lofty ideas about hand sewing but because I am really bad at machine sewing zippers.  But I managed to do it quite okay this time.  It's not lying as flat as I would like when I put the skirt on, but not bad enough to rip it out either.  

This skirt might not be perfect, but it's pulled me out of my Wadder Depression and I'm ready to continue tackling my sewing queue! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Weekend Update

It's been a crazy week.  Bare with me as I ramble a bit here.

I woke up Monday morning, ready to tackle my skirt and clean the house.  Instead, my mom and brother called me from the hospital.  I ended up at the hospital all day.  Turns out my mom had appendicitis, which is a lot more serious than I realized as a kid.  No worries, my mom is fine, but I took care of her and today was my first real day at home.

Now on to some craft-related updates and thoughts!

I lost the waistband pieces to McCall's 5591.  Now, I'm pretty absent minded, and I misplace things a lot.  But I've been really good and careful about keeping my patterns organized, so I'm very upset that they've disappeared.  I'm guessing I put them into the wrong envelope.  But since I have 3 other skirts made from this pattern, I think I can retrace the waist band and make it work.

Fabric Mart is having an awesome sale.  They have a ton of fabric for 75% off.  I ended up getting 23 yards of fabric for only $31 including shipping and tax.  I'm so excited for it to come in the mail!  Plus I got a mystery bundle.  I got some awesome fabric in my last mystery bundle, including a Calvin Klein silk chiffon that is just gorgeous, so I'm very excited to see what I get.

And my last thought to leave you with... Project Runway is back on Thursday!!!! Yay!!!  This is the first season of Project Runway that I've had a blog, so you can be sure I'll be adding my opinions to the blogosphere.  Plus I love reading the blogs that Lifetime hosts.  It looks like this season I can look forward to catching up on Friday mornings with Peach Carr, Nick Verreos, Mychael Knight, Laura Bennet, and Jonathon Kayne.  I honestly don't remember Jonathon, I'll have to do a little refresher there.  I loved Laura's blog last season, and Peach is just a hoot, so I'm excited!

Hope you've all had a much better and more productive week than me!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tried and True

I found a solution to my little wadder depression.

That's right, I'm cutting out my FOURTH version of McCall's 5591.  Second time making Version A.  The fabric is a poly poplin from in gray.  Knock on wood, but this should be fairly straight forward.  I feel like I could follow this pattern in my sleep at this point.  The fabric is a nice medium weight, not too heavy, and not too light.  It's a nice solid, will match a lot of things, and it hardly wrinkles so it'll be nice for job interviews.  Hopefully this will go smoothly and I'll be out of the wadder dumps. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I loved that word.  Wadder.  I just found that in blog world this week.  I can't remember where I first saw it used, but I swear I've never seen it before and now I see it all over the place.  From what I can deduce, a wadder is a failed garment that you toss into the corner in a wad.  Unfortunately, the discovery of this word coincides with my own wadder.

Remember how excited I was to make this skirt?  Didn't work out so well.

I have no pictures, but trust me on this one.  It came out HUGE.  I used my body measurements, and I even went down a size in the waist because I knew I wanted it snug, and I still had to take 2 inches off the waist.  Then, as I tried to cut out 2 inches, I think my back seamline got all off and my zipper ended up crooked.  I redid the zipper like 3 times, but it was still all off.

So what are your options when you have a wadder?  This is what I'm dealing with...
1.  Let it sit in a wad in the corner until I'm calm enough to tackle it again (this is where I currently stand)
2.  Scrap it and use the fabric for something else- this fabric happens to match my bedroom decor.  If step 1 above doesn't work out, I might put it in a frame and hang it on the wall.  Or I could make a decorative pillow.

While my wadder wastes away in a corner, I'm in need of some instant gratification.  I'm not sure exactly what to sew next, nothing in my queue is super easy.  Although not quite instant, I picked up my knitting needles after a long hiatus for some distraction.

I chose a nice, simple little cardigan pattern from Lion Brand Yarn's free patterns:

This can be found on Ravelry here.

I'm using a red cotton yarn that I bought for another project.  Although knitting is always slow going (I'm still on the raglan increases after a week of working on this), I'm very happy with how nice it looks. Check out how even these stitches are!