Wednesday, November 7

tipping in...

...still around, still sewing, but I'm getting myself back on track after some 'life stuff'. This past spring (after an awakening at work) I decided to get serious about the job search. I started the hunt this summer, after the wedding thing - which I have yet to update/blog....

Butttttttttttuuuummmmmmm yea......

After many adventures over the past few months, including a bout with vertigo, teenage drama with the firstborn and finding out that I'm becoming an aunt(!!!)  I've traded in my 15-minute country commute, sweatpants & hippie dresses, and cushy office for the dirty public transportation (yay MTA), stuffy wardrobe (dress for the job you want, *eyeroll*), and raggedy cubicle with loud neighbors  (cubicle etiquette anyone?)

Silver linings? Of course! I'm finally back on my career path/focus, I get to spend more time with the hubby (lunch dates), annnnnnd I am a couple of blocks away from the famous(?)  Guss Woolens.

I've read about this store on Miss Celie's blog and was super interested, but I rarely traveled to downtown Baltimore, and figured I would never go. I had forgotten all about it, until my first day on the job and I was on my way to the bowels of hell Lexington Market for lunch and I happened to walk past the store. I was able to make it in today and I was pretty impressed and hopeful.

The store is by no means glamorous or stocked floor to ceiling with bolts upon bolts, to me it's more like a treasure trove. Like, you'll come in from time to time and rummage through the bolts and remnants for that special piece or two. I purchased two remnants of suiting 3.5 yards each for 30 bucks total. VERY reasonable! One piece was Hugo Boss according to the clerk (HB was written on the fabric in chalk, along with the price $15, lol)

enough rambling on this worthless, picture-less post. Just want to say heeeeeyyyyy!!! and let you (and me) know I'm trying to get it together and get back in the swing of things.

tipping out...

Tuesday, June 12

Done Deal!

The wedding was June 10, 2012!

I'm STILL giddy!!! I'll be back with the good the bad and the ugly in a bit. Let me catch my breath.

Monday, April 16

Kiddo's Dress Choice + DIY Maxi

Kiddo chose Simpliciy 1876 to wear to the wedding so we took a trip to Joann's to get fabric.

We found a pretty floral satin print.

With the sale at 50% off, plus and additional 20% off coupon, I spent about $22 for 4 yards of fabric. Awesomeness, right??? Now we can maybe splurge a bit on her shoes.

I found my shoes on clearance at Marshall's for $18, I wasn't even looking!!!

I JUST HAD TO make a DIY maxi skirt, inspired by AdrienneEricaB and MimiG, the sewing gurus.

Got a new hat wig too, lol! I'm having fun with it!


Friday, April 13

McCall's 6507

Finished the dress!

I added a review on PR as well...
McCall's 6507

Pattern Description:
Dress has fitted, bias front bodice with cowl neckline, single layer overlay (wrong side of fabric shows) with tucks, invisible back zipper and baby narrow hems. Designed for soft lightweight wovens.

Pattern Sizing:
6-22, I made 16

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes & no.

The pattern was well drafted, but my print had a couple of errors. The "back" bodice was labeled as "front", and there were no sizes marked for the tucks on the overlay (there were two sets of tucks, I had to figure out which set to use)

At that point, I decided not to use the instructions, especially since they told you to sew the tucks down on the overlay before you attach the bodice. I think that would have caused the tucks to get caught up in the waist seam. I made the skirt and bodice separately but I did not stitch down the tucks until I sewed the top and bottom together. (hope that made sense)

I also believe the bias finish at the waist could potentially be bulky (or messy if you used a slippery fabric). My fabric was stable enough to serge clean, but had I used a lighter fabric I would have installed a waist-stay instead.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It's a beautiful dress. I made it to wear to a bridal shower. For a semi-different look, I think the external tucks could be turned into internal pleats and the dress would still have a pretty drape for the overlay. Using a sheer fabric for the overlay would be cute too!

I also like the draping at the neckline and back out and it's not too low cut on either side. The way the sleeves fall is nice too. Sexy, but demure!

Fabric Used:
Polyester Simply Silky Print from Joann's

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I thought I wouldn't make it again, but a solid color would be a great wardobe addition. I don't see this dress as trendy, but a classic look that you could wear for a good while.
The problem area was fixed after some steam was applied. Washing it didn't make the pleats fall, I guess they were pressed in good!

side view... I will have to steam these wrinkles out before I wear it.

The back I was worried about, I have a broad back/shoulders, but the cut of the sleeves is really flattering, and the flare of the skirt balances everything out. 

Tuesday, April 10

Me time

Yahoooo! Time to start sewing hardcore for yours truly!!! The bridal shower is April 28th and we're pretty much prepped so I need to get hot on my dress. I pulled out my fabrics and here's what I came up with:

McCall's 6507, I really wanted Butterick 5601, but I have almost 3 yards of this pretty pretty fabric, and I really want to maximize the yardage (a "silky" poly print fabric from Joann's spring 2011.
Plus, the other hostess is wearing a cowl neck, so that can be our "uniform."

Here is the skirt so far. I am not having any problems yet because I am NOT USING THE DIRECTIONS! The directions and pattern markings have a few typos, at least in my envelope.

The back bodice is marked as "front." The sizing for the overlay pleats is missing - like, there are two sets of overlapping pleat markings and I had to figure out which one to use, *eyeroll*. I also really wanna know how I'm supposed to add length at the bottom of the rounded overlay if I needed too....anywayzzzzz...

Additionally, I'm pretty sure that if I stitched down (instead of pinning) the pleats on that skirt overlay before attaching the bodice, it would to get caught up in the bodice when I attached it. I'm going to stitch the pleats down AFTER I put the top on. Duh.

I haven't put together the bodice yet or looked at those instructions, but again, so far so good with the pattern. (optimistic, much?)

Love this print.

I am having a tiny nervous breakdown about how that blasted overlay is laying poofing on the front. Yes that is the front!! I'm hoping that once those tucks are stitched down and I wash away the pressed pleats it will fall correctly. 

I believe my fabric does have enough drape, but I would definitely use something a little more "flowy" if I were to make this again. (which I doubt)

Be back with updates...

Saturday, April 7


This weekend, I was ready to start fitting the muslin for the dress top. These are the before pics:

For the muslin I just used some more of the flimsy satin from Joann's. The pattern is old - McCall's 3584 I had in the stash from years ago.

Fitting a halter is such a challenge because the patterns are so low cut.
I closed up some of the top - about three inches - just based on the way it looked on the dressform. The other thing I had to do based on the form was pin out some gaping on each side of the halter.
Here is the lace we got from Exquisite Fabrics in DC. It was labelled French lace, I don't know much about lace, but this is really pretty and very comparable to the lace on the skirt.
My plan was to layer the lace over the satin bodice and midriff. I would also like to shape the bottom hem instead of it being straight across.
And now the after...

My sister ended up finding a RTW dress on clearance!!! LMAO!!!! She tried it on for me yesterday before I got a chance to show her the top and get the fitting worked out, so she hasn't seen this part yet.

When I saw her in the RTW dress, I was brought to tears because she looked soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo beautiful!! And I knew that it was THE dress. It is completely different from her original inspiration dress but I think the new one is better.

She really found the perfect dress and I am extremely happy for her. It does need a few adjustments so we'll work those out.

Then it hit me that I WAS FREE from the pressure of making the dress (passes out) and I shed a few more tears -- of relief.

All in all, I'm happy with what (little) I accomplished, and I'm happy that I can get back to sewing things for me to wear (not that I'm selfish or anything.)

(happy dance)

...and BTW Baltimore/DC peeps they have very nice bridal satin at G Street Fabrics in Rockville, pricey, but nice :)

Friday, April 6

Spring has sprung

At least at Joann's. Tee-hee :)

I am in LOOOOOOOOOOVE with this fabric. I mean LOOOOOOOOOOVE.

Click for a HUGE closeup of this stuff :)
I wore it pulled up and belted with a black blazer. It actually falls just below my navel. I want to find a different top for this one. Something more t-shirt like.
(Sorry about the dressing room pic. We were in Kohl's looking for an Easter dress for kiddo.)

Too bad it's been chilly again, I wanted to go bare legged with strappy sandals!
(I needed a slip, it was clinging to my tights, lol)
Pattern Used: New Look 6053
The pattern was extremely simple. My only dislikes were the front darts on the waist but that's because I dont have much any waist to hip ratio. Since the skirt is shaped but not super fitted (on me) there is a lttle bit of looseness on the front below the waist and above the knee. Hope that makes sense. it's no big deal because the skirt is cute!

It's about 2 inches over the knee with a side split and invisible zip. I'm 5'6.

I didn't use an invisible zip on this one but I still think it turned out OK.
I'll prolly wear it like this or with a black button down blouse. Or with both if this weather doesn't get right :)

This is what I saw in Kohl's that I can't get off my mind.

LC Lauren Conrad Chiffon Blazer.
This was so cute, the chiffon was just the right weight. I didn't like the color so much, I want to try and emulate this in solid black, IF I can find the right fabric.