Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm Back! Style Arc and Fabulous Fit

It's hard to believe it has been over a year since I have posted to my blog.  No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth, and yes, I continue to sew.  So much has happened over the past year that I have let my blog get a little rusty.

The biggest change since my last post was changing jobs.  I moved from Public Health  over to Medicaid and have no regrets.  The new position has been challenging, rewarding, but very time consuming.  My granddaughter continues to grow and gets cuter by the minute.  Currently I am making her Easter dress from a kit from Kari Mecca at Sewing with Whimsy.  I promise to post pictures in a few days.

I have acquired some great sewing tools lately -  the biggest being my new Bernina 1300MDC Serger with coverstitch hem.  There is a learning curve, but I'm getting there and really like the new machine.  I'm working on changing from overlock to cover stitch with greater speed (not the 15-20 minutes it takes now!)

The other great tool I received last weekend was the Fabulous Fit Padding System.

You can take an existing dress form and pad it to your exact measurements.  I have a "duct tape" dress form I love that was made 8 years ago.  However, I have gained weight so it wasn't much use.  I considered purchasing a new form, but realized I liked the perfect sloping shoulders, height of my body, and the slight curve in my upper back that was captured in my dress form.  The Padding System seemed to be the perfect solution, and it was!  I was able to get my exact shape and measurements after a couple of hours, and the nice cover makes it appear brand new.  If I lose weight (someday!!!), I can just remove some of the padding.  It works great and now I feel I have a new form.

Now on to Style Arc.  I had sewed some of the patterns for my daughter, but kept telling myself I would order after losing weight.  Finally, I decided life is too short and took the plunge.  In January, I took advantage of the "tops/blouses" special and ordered four patterns for the price of two.  The one pattern I was unsure of was the Dotty Blouse..

I wasn't sure how flattering it would be, until I saw it in Ann Taylor, and the same style on a very chic coworker.  I dug through my growing fabric stash and found the perfect  fabric -  sheer drapey chiffon type fabric.  (In other words, I'm not exactly sure what it is!)  I heard purchased it from Fabric Mart a year ago.  It worked out great!  Due to the sheer factor,  I wear with a cami underneath.  The back was tricky - limited (actually no) instructions.  Since it was a sheer fabric, I just turned it under at the back neck and stitched.  I used Lousie Cutting's instructions for making a nice curved shirt hem (rolled hem) for the back.  Here is the result on my "new" dress form:

  Back View:

And side view.

I found this blouse to be surprisingly flattering and slimmjing.  I wore it with some ponte pants (also Style Arc) but think it would look equally good with a pencil skirt.

That's it for now.  Next up will be Lydia's Easter dress.  Stay tunned!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Eureka Skirt

I purchased the pattern from The Sewing Workshop for the unique lines of the skirt and the endless possibilities for the top, which can be made with knits and drapey wovens.  The skirt has no side seams except for the yoke.  The lower portion is placed on the bias.  I'm not sure what impact this has on knits, but the results are wonderful.  Here are the line drawings for the pattern:

The front is identical to the front, and the centers hang beautifully.  I forgot to shorten the pattern prior to cutting it out, so I took off 1 1/2 inches at the yoke, and 2 1/2 inches at the bottom for my 5'2 inch frame.  Next time I make it, I'll take the same amount off the yoke and use the line on the pattern for shortening so it will be slightly fuller at the bottom.  My fabric was a black ponte knit.

I was pleased with the results:

I can see this in a linen/rayon for summer or pretty cotton.  There will certainly be more in a ponte knit in my future.

Credit also goes to my trusty boxer, Sammi, who stood by me all the way in making this skirt.  I'm wearing it with the e-shrug from The Sewing Workshop and fabric from Marcy Tilton.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ready for Halloween!

When I saw the candy corn smocking pattern from Creations by Michie in Sew Beautiful, I knew I had to make a new dress for Lydia.  Instead of the black in the magazine, I chose a black and white gingham.  I had to change the border colors some to make the colors standout from the gingham.  I used Pattern #132 from Michie Mooney: 

I eliminated the panel, smocking the skirt just below the yoke.  It was a fun item to smock, and the first picture smocking I have done since my daughter was small.

Lydia models it well, and selected wonderful accessories for the outfit.  I think she's ready for Halloween.  Her Grandma will be in Houston to celebrate it with her.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Sure Fit Designs

I have been wanting a skirt out of eyelet for the longest time.  Add to that my fascination with orange this summer and the result is this skirt.  I purchased the fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics and just love. it.   The eyelet is out of cotton, and the orange lining is also out of cotton and has a slight sheen to it.

Because I am currently losing weight at the moment (15 pounds and counting), I'm not ever sure how to cut it out.  I'm a couple of pounds lighter than when I made my Sure Fit Designs blue print.  So I used it as a starting point, and originally drafted an a-line skirt.  I didn't like the a-line style for this skirt, so cut it back to just a straight skirt.  Because of the fabric, it needed very little ease, so I eventually took in two inches total at the sides (1/2 inch seam allowances).

If you are new to my blog, you'll find out very soon that I am a major fan of Sure Fit Designs.  It is a system that allows you to draft your own sloper, or as the system calls it, Blue Print, from which you can draft your own patterns.  I've used it for over a year with great success.  You can learn more about the system at Sure Fit Designs

I cut out the design of the eyelet on the bottom, and finished the top with a facing.  Zipper is on the side.  I wish I had placed the zipper in the back, but wasn't thinking when I cut it out.  It will be more challenging to take in as I continue to lose weight.  Oh well....

The next challenge was deciding what to wear with my new skirt.  I made the t-shirt below for it, but it was just too bland together.  So I went on the hunt for something and lucked out with this orange bolero/ cardigan at T J Max.  That was a miracle since I never find anything at T J Max.  I paid only $9.00  (Yay!)  After some trial and error, I decided the shell from the Loes Hinse sweater set was the perfect addition to the ensemble.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One More Dress for Lydia

As I wait to go to Houston to meet my new granddaughter, I have made another smocked dress.  This one is from the Children's Corner and is their Bishop's Dress, Gwen view.  A coworker gave me her pattern.  (Thanks Wendy!)  I really like this pattern and know I will use it over and over.  It is multisized, so I hope I can use it until Lydia is at least three or four years old.

This was the first Bishop's dress I have made and it wasn't as hard to pleat as I thought it would be.  I held my breath but that fabric went through my Amanda Jane Pleater like butter.  That is, until I got to the seams. I only broke two needles!  Next time, I will trim the seams more and use a zig zag stitch.  Hopefully, there will be no more broken needles.

The smocking was a lot of fun.  This was a free design in this month's Sew Beautiful Magazine.  I love that magazine and am proud that Martha Pullen is from Alabama.

Hopefully, I can get one more dress made before I leave for Houston in a week and a half.  This one will not be pleated, so I should have plenty of time to complete it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Maxi #2

I had so much fun making the maxi dress for my daughter, I decided to make one for me.  Someone on Stitcher's Guild suggested that the CJ Pleat Front dress might make a good maxi.  I had just made this pattern in a short version, sleeveless.  Unlike the previous dress, I remembered to raise the armhole 1 inch.  I also lengthened it 15 inches.

The fabric is from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I loooove this fabric!  It's a jersey knit that drapes beautifully and has some weight to it.  Last I looked, Ann had more of this fabric in three different colors.

This will be a great dress to have in Houston as I visit with my daughter, son-in-law, and my precious granddaughter, Lydia.  My daughter's due date is tomorrow, so we are all on pins and needles waiting for the new arrival.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What To Wear on Maternity Leave

My granddaughter is due any day now and I have been very busy smocking dresses and making a baby quilt.  But I must not forget Mom.  When we were shopping, Stefanie admired several maxi dresses, many of the striped and waaay over priced ($85 - $100).  I found this wonderful striped fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics and incredibly soft.  I think it is not only beautiful, but very comfortable.

I can't wait to get to Houston to see that precious granddaughter and my wonderful daughter, who I am so proud of!