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2011 Recap

1 Jan

I am better at sewing than I am at blogging.  That said, I have made 42 finished garments this past year and have only written about 13 or so posts.  I’m going to try to be better at that in 2012.  My significant other was just switched to second shift at work so that means its going to be preeeetty lonely most evenings.

I am glad 2011 is over.  Overall it was a good year- I picked up sewing for myself again. It was also a hard year because my parents finally separated after many many years of being together and unfornately we were all right in the middle of it.  So that said, I’m looking forward to 2012.  I plan on making some coats this winter to replace the 6 year old ones in my closet. I am also thinking about taking part in the SWAP (Sewing with a plan) Challenge over at Stitcher’s Guild. 

Alright- Here’s the rundown:

I made

7  Woven Dresses

8 Knit Dresses

1  Jumper

10 Skirts

1 Half Slip

5 Jackets/Sweaters

3 Tops

1 Caftan/ Swimsuit Coverup

2 Gifts for others (PJs and Sweater)

4 Swimsuit Coverups to sell at work (and 3 have sold thus far!!!)


Heres to 2012 and I hope to be sharing more !



Self-Stitched-September: Day One

2 Sep

Alright here it goes:

[I promise I’m not really this fat in real life.]

Shirt: From T.J.Maxx  Skirt:  Simplicity 2258  Shoes:  Sugar

This is my first foray into the Self-Stitched or Me-Made month events.  I can’t promise I’ll do it everyday but what’s there to lose???  Taking pictures is hard enough around here.  I tried to explain [in Spanglish] that I wanted my feet at the bottom and my head at the top and a dozen pictures later. . . . nada.  So my dad took this one and this one it is!  Posing, flatterly, and red eye be damned.

I made this skirt from Simplicity 2258 back in February.  I haven’t blogged about it yet because I am lazy.  I am forever on a quest for a jean skirt.  This one is kinda meh.  I got the less than two yards of fabric from Joann’s on super clearance. I finished the seams with a hong kong finish.  I believe  I made this while watching Zoolander.   The problems are that it has an elastic waistband that is mommy-friendly but not so cool and it doesn’t have enough seams to be interesting.   The original pattern has a self fabric tie that covers up the hideous waistband but since my skirt is denim, it only made me look ‘fluffier’.   So it is worn around the house.

By the way, I’m over myself  [from the earlier post]

Ugh. In more recent developments, my son just peed himself all over his bed, stuffed animals, and into in his rainboots.  Shoot me.

Oy vey.

1 Sep

Wow.  I haven’t been on here for a while.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been sewing. Or blog-stalking. 

This is what I have been doing:

  • I took a shitty vacation to the beach with my son.  We stayed with a friend at her beach house where my friend’s son continuously beat up my two-year old.  Longest three days ever.
  • Went to Rhode Island for my last vacation as a family.  My parents are divorcing.  Awkward much?
  • Got a raise!
  • Dealt with a couple dozen full moon customers at work.  You know, the crazy kind.  One came in high and offered me drugs.  She is a 47-year old mother of three and returned everything the next day.  I lost a couple of hours of my life. Another lost 50 pounds and wondered why nothing fit right anymore. 
  • Trying to potty train my son before his diaper-free preschool starts in two weeks.  Unsuccessfully.
  • Sewed a chambray skirt.  Looking for buttons to finish a shirtdress.
  • Did I mention my parents are divorcing?  And we are currently living in the same house.

I know the  internet isn’t the best place for posting this stuff and I completely understand that I only have first-world problems.  I feel stupid for even doing this. No one is dead. We have the basics- plus internet!  But jeez- I am going to explode soon. Explode- or melt into the floorboards.


14 Jul

So, an update to the last post:

I couldn’t go to A Fabric Place because of my work hours but I DID go to G-Street Fabrics in Rockville over the weekend. The bad part was that I wasn’t able to find any decent wool crepe- in coral or royal blue- so unfortunately that dress has been put on hold until I can find the right fabric for the binding. Not an UFO- I promise! I can’t wait to be able to wear it.

I did however stock up on tons of fabric for the Fall/Winter while I was at the store since there was a great selection on the clearance table.  I can’t wait to start cutting into them.

I also just finished Simplicity 2588 [the white dress].  I had to take about 3 inches out of the gaping upper back.  Now it fits like a glove [said in my best Ace Ventura voice].  I’ll take pictures and post a review this weekend when I wear it to work.

And since I need to have a stack of projects going at all times, I’m going to cut out a new project this evening. What to cut, what to cut?

By the way, I love this:

Vogue 1225 Dress

29 Jun

I made two of these dresses for my trip to Ecuador back in April.  I really wanted some cute and comfortable dresses to withstand the heat and this pattern fit the bill.

Here’s my first version in blue:

Here we are in Canoa, Ecuador.  El Senor on the left is my dad, who is building a house close by. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of myself wearing either dress during the trip.  I think I was too busy trying to keep my toddler from falling off of this balcony:

Looks super child-proof, right?

Anyway, here’s the review:

Pattern Description:  Loose-fitting, pullover dress, above mid-knee, has mock wrap bodice with gathered, draped front, elasticized waist and pockets, back neckline has slit and adjustable drawstring tie ends.

Pattern Sizing:  BB(8-10-12-14), F5(16-18-20-22-24). I made a straight 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes- minus the pockets.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern is perfect for a casual summer dress that is super easy and comfortable to wear.  That said, it needed a number of small adjustments to get things ‘just right’.

Fabric Used: Cotton blend knit from G-Street Fabrics in Seven Corners, Va. bought in 2006 or 2007 for $2.97/yd.  Bustin’ the stash!  I always called this my “Ugly Fabric”  but I did so endearingly. I like big ugly prints in funky color combinations.  It was a perfect fabric/pattern match for two reasons:  I had just enough yardage for the 3.5 yards that this fabrichog of a pattern calls for and secondly this knit will NOT stay unwrinkled. Ever. So it was perfect for a casual dress with lots of gathers.  I think the constant wrinkling is why I made two versions in the same print  [but different colors].

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn’t do the pockets or petticoat. I have no problems filling out this skirt!  I raised the armhole by an inch, lowered the waistline by an inch and used purchased bias tape instead of a self-fabric casing.  The bias tape had a neater finish and I usually wear this dress belted so the extra stitch line doesn’t bother me this time.  I also ended up taking an inch out of the bodice side seams and I tacked the front closed so I wouldn’t have to wear a tank under it.

As you can see- I didn’t bother with matching patterns.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I did sew it again!  I’ve made this pattern three times so I think I’m done – – atleast for now.


15 Jun

Unfortunately, a great chunk of my day was spent doing this:


Instead of this:

We have been trying to potty train our two-year old- without success. I spent a good 45 minutes perched on a step stool waiting for him to go. He didn’t.  I’ve also been working on Vogue 1170- a Rachel Comey design.  I finished the skirt about two weeks ago and now the blouse is almost done.  I need to snip threads and go out and buy some buttons.  I also need to find my buttonhole attachment. . .. so this blouse may be days from being finished instead of hours.

Le sigh.


Vogue 1250 Dress

15 Jun


I know that everyone and their mother, sister and cousin has made this dress but I glad that they did, because I ended up seeing it look so good and jumped on the bandwagon.  Honestly, I never would have made this dress without seeing it on so many blogs.  The pattern envelope is just kind of blah and it doesn’t look special enough to make.  This is my most recent project and  I wore it to work today.  All of the pictures were taken post-work.


Don’t mind my face.  I think I’m telling my husband to take the dang picture already under my breath.

Pattern Description: Close fitting Dress.

Pattern Sizing:  A5(6-8-10-12-14), EE(14-16-18-20)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it did, or at least it was pretty close.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy. At first when I was cutting I didn’t understand one of the funky curved pieces but as soon as I sewed the first pieces it all came together and made sense and was so easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? What is there not to like about this pattern? There are three pieces, it takes no time to put together, and uses little fabric.  It looked nice on even before I did my alterations and the dress is figure-flattering.  I particularly like the neckband piece and the stability it gives.

Fabric Used: Navy Jersey from G-Street Fabrics in Seven Corners, Va.  I found this when I stopped in on Mother’s Day on the way to a friend’s house  AND it was on the clearance table: only $2.97/yard! I wish I had bought the bolt. This jersey is so soft and thick and heavy and yummy l that I had a hard time choosing the right project for it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I originally made the dress in a size 16 bodice and 18 skirt according to measurements and experience. Whenever the skirt is straight or snug fitting, I always go up to an 18. It was okay and I could have gone with it as is but I looked at it some more and decided that there was too much ease.  I mean, I didn’t want a sausage casing, just a curve-hugging knit dress that didn’t read “I got this on sale at Kohls”.  I also wanted to be able to get the look I wanted sans belt.  I took maybe two inches out of  each side of the bust and waist and tackled a sway back alteration by taking at least an inch out of the back waist seam. After these alterations, I couldn’t get the seam to lay right in the hips so I simply continued the side seam all the way down and it worked!  I also used stitchwitch for the hem and plan to go back at some point and do a double needle hem.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will absolutely make this dress again.  It is so wearable and such a instant gratification project that can be done during two episodes of Criminal Minds.  I am currently scouting for fabric and will make it in as many dark jewel-toned hues that I can find.  I can wear it to work, out to dinner, or just shmying around.