Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Look Pattern 6469 - Sew Along/Pattern Review

So I've been sitting on this pattern for quite some time now.  I must have grabbed it when it was first released as I have the sample envelope.  As soon as I saw New Look 6469, I knew I had to have it in my collection.




What first caught my eye with this pattern was the style.  I am 5' 9'' and have not only a lot of leg, but almost an equal amount of torso.  Not to mention the extras in the middle.  So I wanted something cute and sassy, plus easy to make and in looking at this pattern, this was it.  

When I first opened the package, I went right into cutting my pattern size out.  It was my intention to make this dress right away.  I had a fabric choice in mind at first glance.  Only once I went to lay the pattern on the fabric,  My fabric wasn't wide enough to accommodate the pattern.  So I folded it back up and stuffed it in the envelope and it sat on a shelf for months.  Maybe even a year.  I was disappointed in that I had to start my fabric search all over for this pattern.

In the meantime, I went fabric shopping a few times since then and had fabric just sitting up on the shelf.  I confess, I am a mini-hoarder.

Recently I came across a YouTube video created by one of my sew sisters, Brittany J Jones.  It was for this exact pattern!! After watching the video and seeing how easy she made it seem, I went searching through my stash and came up with this fabric choice.  This is a denim look-a-like that is a stretch knit.



 



So here's my review:


Pattern Sizing: Size 18 

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'm going to say yes here.  I actually did not use the pattern instructions, but did it as a Sew-A-long with Brittany.  I thought the sleeve insertion would be shake me a little, but I had no problems.  Especially since I had a video tutorial to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I actually found no fault in this pattern at all

Fabric Used: Stretch Knit.  I really love this fabric.  It's so comfy.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added a few inches to the length since I am "leggy"  only thing is.... I have no idea how many inches I added.

Would you sew it again? Definitely!!! I will definitely make a number of these in the future using various types of fabric since there is a zipper involved.

Would you recommend it to others? YES!!!

EXTRAS: Having Brittany's video really helped me as I am a visual learner.  It allowed me to stop and go as I went and have a clear understanding of what the directions were probably saying.



I made an attempt to do a mini photo shoot after church, but my grand wouldn't let me go solo.  Once she saw what I was doing, she jumped right in and refused to move.  So here she is in her first public blog post.





This dress was so easy to make.  If I can do it, You can do it too!

Happy Sewing!!!

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Girl's Night Out with McCall's 7021 and 6173

No matter where we work, my girlfriend and make it a point to get together every few months.  Being as though I'm more of a home and church girl, I didn't really have "going out" clothes.  So I decided that I would try my hand at making something other than a dress or skirt, very easy, stylish and comfortable. These two McCall pattern's were the very thing I needed.

Since I don't consider myself to be a professional seamstress yet, I tend to stay away from pants altogether.  What drew me to the leggings was that it had an elastic waistband and only 2 pieces.   Both of the fabric choices for this project were knits that I purchased from New York City fabric stores.  I had been searching for the fabric choice for the top for a few years after seeing it posted on Facebook by another seamstress. I fell so much in love with it that I dreamed about it.  While on a fabric shopping spree, I decided to take my time in the fashion and go in and out of various fabric stores to first scout what caught my eye before purchasing it.  Then I stumbled into Fabrics World USA.  Just during a random search.  All of a sudden while not looking for this particular fabric, it stuck out to me like an angel with a glowing halo.  AHHHHHHHHHHH...........  The hard part was figuring out what was I going to make out of this.  I had enough fabric for a cute skirt.  Then with the left over, I made a Peplum top using McCall's pattern 7021.






When I picked up the bolt, there was only about 3 good yards of it.  A half a yard was a little spotted on the back of the fabric.  At first I was disappointed until one of the workers said let me check in the basement. "O.k, I'll wait!"  I was in no rush to get out of there once I found my fabric.  He did take a long time to come back up though.  Thank God, he did NOT come up empty handed.  He found a full bolt of the same fabric!!!  So I grabbed 2 more yards and they threw in the and batch for free!! Woo Hoo!!  I had no clue what I was going to make out of it, but I had it and that's all that mattered.

The leggings were just something I wanted to try because it looked quick and easy to make.  I actually brought that fabric on my trip to NYC as well.  Thank God for proximity and rolling luggage!  McCall's pattern 6173 seemed to do the trick.  

I've used this pattern before and with the fabric choice I used, It turned out a little bigger than I wanted.  This denim like knit that I used for this outfit came out just perfectly.

Pattern Sizing: Size Large for the leggings and 18 for the Peplum.

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? Surprisingly yes. I thought the Peplum would be difficult, but not.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved the fact that it was made out of a spandex and knit fabric without zippers!

Fabric Used: Stretch Knit (leggings) and Spandex(top)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 2 inches to the bodice of the peplum as I have a long torso.  The leggings had to be cut shorter for my height. 

Would you sew it again? Definitely!!! I'm positive that I will be making at least 5 more of this pattern before years end, tweeking it up here and there. This is a quick Go-to pattern.


Would you recommend it to others? YES!!!

Put them both together and you get this...





Happy Sewing!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Quick Tip - Project Prep!

For ages the Girl Scout motto has been, "Be prepared!".  As I gotten older,  I've tried to apply this motto to my everyday life.  Sometimes it happens and sometimes..... I miss the mark.

Last year I was on a mission to create all of my garments for a Church Conference.  Since I decided at such short notice,  I had to come up with a way that would make things easier for me.  Especially since I had a feeling that my machine was going to end up on this trip as well. 

As an Event Planner I plan out upcoming  projects.  I figured the only way I would be able to pull off this project was to put on my seamstress planner hat and prep ahead. 

The first thing I did was decide what patterns I wanted to use.  I put them in a big clear Ziploc bag.  Then I was in a mission to find the right fabric for the dresses I wanted to make. Not so easy.  I purchased everything that I would need to go with each garment. Thread, zippers,  pins, etc... I put those things in the Ziploc bag with the pattern selected.



Whenever I found a few free minutes. I would  cut out the patterns then place then back in the envelope.  I did this for all 4. Then when I found more free time,  I grabbed the Ziploc,  removed the cut pattern and cut out the fabric.  Once cut,  and pins still attached,  I placed all the materials back in the Ziploc bags.  Everything was kept in one spot until I could schedule time to focus on creating the garment. 

I still do this when I buy patterns or fabrics.  It makes for easy prep and planning. Of course the universal tools that I use for every project (scissors, seam ripper, marker) don't stay in the Ziploc, but I keep them near by for easy access.

Today was just a quick tip to help get you to Project Plan.  

Leave me a comment and tell me what are some of your project prepping steps?


Happy Sewing!



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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

And the Go-To Award goes to..... McCall's 6886

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So........ I did a quick inventory of all the patterns in my stash. My patterns are out of control and need to be tamed. I've been sewing consistently for about 2 1/2 years now and I haven't touched half of them. A few in particular I loved so much I have repeated them. One of my favorites is McCall's 6886 .

This pattern only comes with 4 pieces. ONLY 4!!!!! Wait Excuse me. There are 3 pieces to cut, but 4 in total to sew to piece together the garment. The garment requires that you use a stretch knit or stretch fabric. Although I used a stretch denim for one of my creations (seen below), it's definitely better to go with the suggested fabric on the back of the envelope. Trust me. I chose this stretch denim because I fell in love with the fabric when I purchased it.


I was making it for a conference and I had to make it fast because I was due to pack up to leave. This is a great beginners pattern to start off with for a dress. There are no zippers, no pockets, and the seams are pretty straight. You do have to know how to set a sleeve which isn't too difficult at all. This is definitely a good dress pattern to learn on. I recommend that you purchase 2 of these just in case.  I purchased my patterns from Joann Fabrics during one of their pattern sales..

This is definitely my go to dress when I have to make something quick in a particular color.  What makes it so fabulous is that I can change up the sleeves, shorten it, make it long, add a flounce or ruffle.  Below are the many ways I have made this quick fix.  Most people make this dress to fit their body a little closer than what I have, but....  I move around a lot and need to be sure that I have room and comfort as I go.

Pattern Sizing: Size 16

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? Very much so.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I only wish that it had a neck facing

Fabric Used: Stretch Knit or Stretch fabric

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The only pattern changes that I had to make were adding length, becasue I am 5' 9'' and with the shoulders.  I was born in the shape of Olive Oyl. 

Would you sew it again? Definitely!!! I'm positive that I will be making at least 5 more of this pattern before years end, tweeking it up here and there.


Would you recommend it to others? YES

Here are some other pictures of me using this same pattern.


 

 


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Happy Sewing!

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

For the love of DENIM!!!

DENIM! DENIM! DENIM!!  Whoever came up with the fabric is genius!!!  Denim is one of my favorite fabrics of all times.  Maybe because I was a little tom-boyish growing up and always climbing tree, climbing fences, walking through parks and woods that the need and love for denim became life for me.


6 months before our annual Church conference, I challenged myself to make all of my outfits for that week. I actually did it the year before, but it was actually unintentional. At that time, I had been sewing consistently for 2 years at that time and when it came time to organize myself for packing I realized that all of my clothes with the exception of 1 were made by me. So I took on the challenge of making that last outfit to complete my quest.

I first spotted the inspiration dress on Facebook almost a year before making.  I loved it so that I had a screenshot of it in my phone as a future goal.  To this day, I have no idea where that original picture came from to give it props.  It was love at first site!  I had saved in the back of my mind as Project - "GOALS".  Seeing a dress like this did not seem do-able for a somewhat advanced novice such as myself.



I then saw (months later) one of my Sew Sistas, Je'Tua Amos, posted a remake of the dress and I re-fell in love and had to challenge myself to make one for myself.  I figured, if she could do it, so can I.



At first I was afraid to tackle what looked like a tough project and above level of expertise, but then I decided to step out of the box and tackle it. For the top, I used the Simplicity pattern 1420 for the top then self drafted a pleated maxi to attach as the bottom. I was concerned that after completing the top and skirt separately that they wouldn't match equally and I would have to undo and restart.  Luckily that was not the case.  The hardest part for me was actually the invisible zipper and drafting the length.  Zippers have always been a challenge for me in the past so I had to watch a few videos to get me through it and viola'!!!

Below the dress on the left is the original version that I spotted and the dress in the middle is from my beautiful Sew Sista, Je'Tua,  You can find her blog and version here Roberts Wife,  then there's me on the far right .





The only thing I think that I would change in this pattern is the sleeves.  I would have liked for them to be a bit longer.  However, I've always been taught, when you do it the first time, follow the pattern exactly, when you do it a second time, change it up according to you skill.  I loved this dress so much (and the responses)  that yes, I will make this a redo and add my little adjustments to it.

Here's Je'Tua in her completed dress.  She added lace to hers which gave it an elegant touch.


and here's me and my copycat version.




What do you think???


Denim is life!

Happy Sewing!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Window Shopping...... My trip to the Fabric Store




In the movie, The Preacher's Wife, there was a mother and daughter scene where Whitney Houston said it's o.k. to window shopping as long as you don't have any money in your pocket.  Well that was my quest for today on this below freezing Saturday.

My son has been getting on me about getting myself ready for our Holy Convocation in August. Although I am a planning at heart and by nature, when it comes to doing things for myself, I am the biggest procrastinator!!  I seem to work better when I'm playing beat the clock.

So this time I decided to take a little bit of heed in planning for August for my wardrobe.  Last year I made all my outfits and it seemed to be  huge success.  So this year, I'm going to plan a little bit more in advance.  A few weeks ago, I took the time to surf through IG (Instgram) and check out some of the fashion pages oriented towards church wears.  I put together my fashion vision board of what I would like to wear and I emailed it to my children for the Yes or No.

In going through my fabric stash, I see that I have no fabric that would be ideal for making any of these garments. Ugh!!  Now that means that I have to make a fabric run.  So the thing about this fabric run is.....  Since it's not fabric spending time, I'm only going with my pics, pen, and notebook to shop out, price out - the type of fabric I will use and the amount it will cost me.  That's it!! NO purchasing allowed.  I'm not even taking my credit card.  Just my license and my bus pass in the event that my car fails me.  Already this is hard and I haven't even left the house.  In my head I'm trying to figure out, what if I find fabric for under???????????  NOT THIS TIME!! I can do this... So with this determination, I'm off to Gaffney's in Philadelphia, PA. Wish me luck!



Ok I'm back!!!  That was a hard task, but.......... I WON!!!!!  I didn't buy a thing!  I went with an agenda and my phone and I conquered the urge to spend.

Here's what I did:

I took the pictures that I set up for my wardrobe for convocation.  I sought out which fabrics would be great in that style.  I first took the pic, labeled it in my notebook, wrote down the price.  All is left is for me to calculate how much I need and the cost.  I did a little extra for future projects as well, but I never passed the register! #proudmoment  So now I have it all mapped out in my sewing journal, so when I'm ready to buy, I'm prepared.  Besides August is far away. I may change my mind 5 more times before I sew the 1st stitch.

I really like this method of shopping.  It allows you to plan and schedule your budget.  I have it all in my head that every paycheck I have to set aside my coins to finance my new passion.  I think it will work!! (fingers and toes crossed).

So for all my Sew Sistas, try this method versus running out and buying out the fabric store and using your mortgage money to purchase your sewing addiction.

Happy Sewing!


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Just Do it!! My Nike Moment!

So I've been sewing for 2 years now.  I'm more consistent now than in the beginning.  When I first started sewing, started off with a small item such as skirts.  In between then and now, life happened and I fell off the sew wagon.  Now that I am back on the wagon, I have been sewing my Sunday attire for almost a year now. Friends and Family have often seen me post pictures on social media with the hashtag, #4mebyme.  While I was tickled by the tag, those that wanted me to sew for them threw me a loving side eye.

In August I decided to make all my clothes for our annual church convention.  I received a lot of compliments for the outfits that I made.  That was a proud moment for me.  I felt like finally I've arrived and became an official member of the sewing world.  Since then, I have been getting requests from people asking me to sew for them.  I continued professing that I sew for myself only.  Can I be honest here?  I was terrified to sew for other people.  Even though I now had an audience, I knew that I was not a professional and I had a long way to go to get there.  I was ok with how I made my clothes.  The outside looked store brought, but underneath did not have that Macy's look.  I didn't have the professional look equipment such as a serger and I didn't want a customer to return a garment or call me and say she no longer wanted the item.  People can be picky and harsh when spending their money.  I get it, but I'm a new seamstress and one thing I was not.... was ready for the world. 

A few months went by and I continued to sew for myself.  When I say myself I mean not even my children or grand baby.  When my son asked me to sew a button back on or restitch a hole, I gave him the side eye and tried to get my daughter to start sewing herself.  Requests came via text and email to make a skirt for various occasions and I continued to state my motto - #4mebyme.  I even went as far as recommending other seamstresses to a fashion stylist. I know, I know........ I wasn't ready.  The recommended seamstress did an excellent job though. Way better than I would have at that time.

With the number of people asking for my services, I began to think maybe I could start a small sewing business.  After watching Eryn's video of Style Sew Me on Starting a Business  ( https://youtu.be/_GU8lHQmMm4 ), I slowly leaned towards the yes side of things.  I'm still not at the professional level, but I am more skilled then when I first started.  Eryn made starting a sewing business seem less scary.  I watched the video a few times and then on New Years Eve, while in church, I finally said a full yes, I'll start small and just stick to one type of garment.  I got home about 4:00 am New Year Day and fell asleep with a grin on my face from all the compliments on the Regal Maxi skirt I made for myself.  (That skirt gave me grief, but I conquered it - See my blog, Regal Maxi Review).  From 4:00 AM I slept until about 10:00 AM, I logged in to Facebook and what did I have in my inbox?  A request to make a skirt!!!!  Sheesh!!!! Was God listening to my conversation with myself? 

All I could do was laugh!  I know God has a sense of humor, but He didn't give me a chance to back out on this at all.  I made contact with my new potential customer, who happened to be a former high school classmate, and shared my that I was trying to get up to par. Immediately she said, I'll send you a picture of the skirt I would like. Low and behold she sent me a picture of MIMI G'S REGAL MAXI SKIRT!!!  The very same skirt that I had just made for New Years.  I took that as a sign for 1 things. 1) God really have a sense of humor and He moves fast for a reason.  2) It was meant for me to share this new talent that God has allowed me to partake with.  I really had no reason to say no, I had just made the skirt for myself.  So I drew up the customer agreement and gained my 1st customer.

The entire time I was creating her custom skirt, I was nervous.  I even prayed while sewing that everything would turn out right.  I came across a few obstacles while making the skirt, but because I wasn't sewing for myself, I had to push through it and get it done.  The fabric choice was a delicate Satin.  It was soft, pretty, and elegant.

We encountered a major storm that gave me more time to really give more attention to the details.  At the end, I was proud of my work.  I now wanted one for myself.  Since I wasn't going to be at the event, I had to get my client to take a million photos for me.  I must say, I think she looks beautiful in it.  See for yourself!!




So I now encourage anyone who's afraid to step out of the box to be like Nike and JUST DO IT!!!

Happy Sewing!





Saturday, January 9, 2016

Regal Maxi Skirt Review - Mimi G

You will find through my blogs that I lllloooovvveee  Mimi's DIY tutorials!!  Up until recently, I dibble and dabbled with sewing over the years, but it wasn't until I became a YouTube addict and started following Mimi and DIY Meesha, that I took sewing seriously.  When I say I watched Mimi G's channel like it was Daytime TV, I'm being serious!

I've admired the Regal Maxi Skirt from afar for quite some time.  A year ago, I even tried my hand at creating a skirt for me.  Sad to say, it didn't go that well.  I wasn't use to the fabric or even the skill of gatherings, inserting pockets etc...  So I put this video on paused, did a little practicing and BAM!!!  I finally succeed at completing my skirt!!


Ok almost finished.  I started the skirt the day before New Years Eve and I needed it for NYE service.  I was sewing right up until it was time to leave for church.  I didn't have time to finish the sash and add the belt loops.  However it was completed enough for me to wear.  It was a proud moment.  Then when I arrived to church and everyone complimented me, all I could do was smile!!

The Regal Maxi DIY Tutorial can be purchased on Mimi's website ( http://mimigstyle.bigcartel.com/ ) .  The great thing about having it this way is that you can put it on repeat as many times as you like after you purchase the tutorial.  I replayed it so much that Mimi probably wanted to pop out the screen and say - JUST DO IT!!!

I created the skirt to wear with my 3 inch heels (which I wore for about 20 minutes).  The top I borrowed from my son, my jewelry came from New York and Company and the hairstyle was another YouTube creation.  Hello, my name is Shawn and I am a YouTuber!!!

 


Depending on your fabric choice, this skirt can attend all types of events.  I chose a 100% cotton fabric (from Joann fabrics) for a casual dressy look for service. Mimi created hers in a Shantung fabric that can be more on the elegant side.  In her video, she gave use a dressy casual sleek look - a.k.a. Multi-purposed.

I will definitely make a few more of these skirts now that I've gotten over the hump.  The trickiest part was the gathering.  I always thought my hands were the weakest link, but they kept popping the thread. I would follow the directions more to a tee for the waistband.  I made it slightly bigger thinking I would need it for the comfort. That was a negative!!

Anyone would feel accomplished and beautiful in this skirt!  With a little practice, you can do it too!!!




Happy Sewing!






Saturday, January 2, 2016

DIY Cape ~ MimiGstyle

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Sorry I've been delayed on postings.  The end of the year had overtaken me with all the Christmas and New Years events - BUT I've been sewing!

Today's blog is on the Mimi G - DIY Cape - https://youtu.be/RPMk5tucfto.  Let me first say EVERYONE needs to make and have one of these in there closet!  I found this YouTube DIY very easy to follow.  I thought I would have a challenge, but as I followed Mimi, I was making it at the same time (using the rewind button as needed).

I couldn't have made my Cape at a better type.  I had just created the M6686 with a Bell sleeve and I didn't want to force it into a coat and risk the wrinkles.

For the fabric, I used a wool blend that was gifted to me by a former co-worker.  When I first got back into sewing, my co-worker and her sister stayed up til 1:00 AM just to help me finish 1 skirt!!  When Sharon passed away, Pam called me up and offered me 1st dibs on what Sharon had.  Let me tell you, when I walked into that house on pick up day, I was overwhelmed at the amount of fabric that she had collected.  Boxes after boxes after boxes we went through until I got tired.  At the time, I wasn't as developed as I am now, but I promised to put it all to good use.  I kept my word.

The hardest part about making the Cape for me was the buttons. I never inserted buttons before.  On top of the STRIPES!  I made the Cape not paying attention to the stripes at all so the buttons were a little off, but no one else noticed.  I made the cape in a few hours.  That's how easy to follow it was.


The Cape is very stylish and is back in style.  So this is perfect timing.  Had I had enough time before Christmas, I would have made a few for family, but I'm trying to stay on my sewing schedule.  However I will be making more.

I forgot to take a pic with the Cape on. Sorry.  I'll post one on IG later.

Until next time.......

May you all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!!!

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Blue Horizon - Mix & Match

I am soooooooo super excited over this dress here!!  I fell in love with it at first site.  I originally saw it in yellow at a shorter length.  I posted the "Sewspiration" on FB and the ladies went crazy over it!!! They were making the dress before I could even buy my fabric.  Then I saw Nadira037 (YouTube) version of the dress and thought how perfect for our Bishop's Anniversary Banquet.

I had already seen the fabric from a previous trip to Moods (New York) and went to averaging out how much I would need and how much it would cost.  I was going to NYC for my birthday anyway, so this would be an added bonus.  I grabbed about 5 1/2 yards of fabric just to be sure I would have enough.  My height is 5'9" and I wear a size 13 in women's clothing.  It was the right amount with some left over. (Now where did I put the scraps?)

NOW LET ME SAY THIS:  I am a procrastinator when it comes to doing things for myself.  My schedule is super busy and I rarely have time to sew.  So I waited until the week before to start my dress.  I watched Nadira's video (https://youtu.be/OYNM8Esknw4) a few times to get myself acquainted, got all the required tools she mentioned and then went for a short cut modified to her instructions. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH HER INSTRUCTIONS. SHE'S A GREAT TEACHER AND SEAMSTRESS.  Love her. So here's how I put my dress together.  I used McCall's pattern 6886 for the entire dress portion and traced it on pattern paper.  I used my maxi dress (as instructed) to make sure I had my curves in the right place as well as mark where my knee would be to widen the dress.  As you can see below, I'm watching her video and sewing along. Then I cut the pattern and traced it on the fabric (Cut 2).





From there I followed the rest of the video step by step and came out with this beautiful garment.

What I love most about it was that the cape flowed as I walked. I could see it in the mirrors that filled the room.  I received so many compliments and orders for this garment that night.  This dress made me feel as though I arrived as a seamstress.  I recommend it to any one who is looking to make something simple, easy, yet elegant for an occasion.

Here's my pics.  What do you think?



Happy Sewing!!!