Saturday, May 25, 2013

Natural Fibers Contest Entry

It's been a while since I've entered one of patternreview's contest so since I've been purchasing cotton "African" prints from G Street, I thought I'd make something and enter.  I decided to make Simplicity 1607...a pattern I've been itching to make since I first saw it.

Here's my version:

This dress was tedious to make.  The straps are super complicated and the instructions are not that clear.  Luckily, the pictures are, but it takes a lot of studying.  I thought I had them down and when it came time to pin my strap facings to the straps, I realized I sewed one strap together wrong and one facing wrong.  Additionally, either the fabric cutter was way generous or the pattern tells you you need a lot more fabric than you actually do.  I have just under a yard left!  Finally, this pattern required custom fitting...which I pretty much figured beforehand, but apparently, I didn't do a good enough job guestimating.  I cut different sizes for the bodice, midriff, and yoke, knowing I'd need a bigger size in the middle.  Now that the dress is done I see I should've cut the bodice smaller at the top half and gradually cut it to a larger size closer to the midriff.  Now, I'll have to do some adjusting since the bodice is too big...maybe some extra darts might take care of the problem.  This dress requires a lot of handwork as well and I hate slipstitching!  Anyway, I'm glad it's over (aside from adjusting the bust) and can't wait to wear it.  

I tried to take some pics of myself...

one thing I noticed when I just tried this on and sat down...the girls are on display!!...yikes!  Once I put extra darts I think it might help a bit, but this is not a modest neckline at all.

... I'll update the pics when I get someone else to take pics.

UPDATE 5/30:

I fixed the bust!:

It looks ugly on the inside now, but at least the girls are inside!  :)  As suspected however, they are still on display, just not full display as before...hence my camisole under it to make it work appropriate.  Also, for some reason now the bra straps show.



Sunday, May 19, 2013

McCall's 6471

I've recently purchased a bunch of skirt patterns and now that it looks like the warm weather is here to stay, it's time to make more skirts!

First up, McCall's 6471 (view D):

I was going through my fabric stash and decided the remaining fabric from my Barrister's Ball dress last year would be perfect for this pattern.  Here it is:

My ruffle is on the wrong side because of the way I had to cut the fabric to keep the border at the bottom.  Due to the way I cut out the fabric, I almost made a very big mistake...the left front was backwards when I went to pin it together!  Luckily, I had just enough to cut another piece out.

Also, after I cut out the pieces I realized that the copyright text would show.  Since I had no more fabric to spare, I decided to make a black stripe down the side using bias tape to cover the text.  I think it works and it's not too obvious:

I had the same problem as I had the last time I made a skirt...I needed to extend the waistband.  This time, because the waistband is a yoke, it's visible, but fortunately, it's not too visible probably due to the pattern of the fabric.

Love this skirt!

UPDATE (5/20):  Wore the skirt to work today:


Monday, May 13, 2013

The skirt that almost wasn't

A few months ago I stumbled upon the Various Ankara/Kente Styles Facebook page.  I was instantly inspired by all the beautiful ensembles.  G Street is the only fabric store nearby that sells a decent selection of African prints and since last week G Street was selling $50 vouchers for $25 on Living Social, of course I had to buy one.  I put fabric on hold there two weeks ago during their coupon sale, but didn't go back for it (because they only let you use one coupon per customer per day and I already went 2 days in a row!).  Luckily, it was still on hold so I was able to get my fabric after all.  :)

Additionally, Joann had Simplicity patterns on sale for 5 for $5 and because Joann and G Street are in the same shopping center, I hit them up too (ok, even if Joann was not in the same shopping center, I still would've gone).

I made Simplicity 1690:

My version:

I used French seams and used the border to bind the edges of the zipper.  I like how it looks:
(inside out)

All in all, the skirt came out ok, but it was a pain to get it done.  First, as I was cutting out the pieces, it looked to me like the waistband was going to be way too small, but I ignored my alarm bell and sure enough, once I sewed it on, I realized it was not going to work.  There was a gap bigger than my hand!  I almost put the skirt aside right then, but then thought about how excited I was to get my fabric (it was the last piece) and how it would be such a waste.  I decided I could fix it without completely taking it apart.  I removed the stitches from the top half of the zipper and a couple of inches of the waistband and skirt.  I cut a piece of fabric about 10 inches long - yes 10 inches - which I cut in half and then added to both ends of the waistband, sewed the waistband back to the skirt and then sewed the zipper back in.  Then I tried it on to find that now it was too big!  I repeated the above process but this time to cut off about an inch from both sides.  Then I sewed it all back together again and it was still too big!  I repeated the process, but this time cutting off about 1/2 an inch from each side and it fits!  (Now that I'm thinking of it, I could've probably just added belt loops instead of taking it apart another time, but oh's done now.)  

Additionally, because I like to make things harder for myself, I didn't fuse interfacing to the waistband because in the beginning I suspected it was going to be too small and thought the interfacing would make it worse.  Once I made it too big, I realized I really needed the interfacing so I actually fused it after the last fix, meaning after I sewed everything back in place.  I don't recommend doing was not fun.

Anyway, after all my troubles I think I'm mostly happy with it though I'm not sure I like the fabric  I will still wear it though once it warms up again.

I should've purchased more than one voucher...


I wore the skirt to work today!:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Dresses finished!!....unfortunately one looks like it will be too small.

Simplicity 1804:

McCalls 6073:

I think this picture shows the actual color better:

Both were very easy to construct.  However, sewing them confirmed that I really need to take a basics course.  I had a hard time with the fabric and it may just be that I know nothing about what kind of needle you should use for different fabrics and what settings you should use.  I generally use the same settings (although this time I put both on 2 and it seemed to work better) and always just use the same needle for everything.  Something wasn't working for these dresses.  I had to sew every seam about three times (sometimes more) because the stitches kept skipping and sometimes it wouldn't catch at all till I tried 4 or 5 times!  It ended up taking me a lot longer to complete these.  Anyway, I assume if you use the right needle, etc these dresses should be very quick projects.  They're perfect for spring/summer.

...Hopefully they fit!