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8 Jul


 I really want to start another project this evening but I am in limbo between other projects and I don’t want to turn my space into a sewpocalypse.

Today I finished the Simplicity 2250 jacket.  I need to take good pictures and post a review. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek, and proof that I can match stripes.


I am also in the process of making Vogue 1158. I am using a rayon challis print that I bought during my trip to Ecuador so I’m taking my time with it–because ya’ know you can’t just run to the store to buy some more.  But what really is holding me up is the bias binding.  I originally was going to use the challis print but then I thought it would look better [and more flattering] with contrast bias binding, perhaps in a royalish blue or salmony pink.  The problem is , I don’t own these said colors in a crepe [oh yeah, did  I mention I wanted spongy  crepe binding? I do.]  and I need to go hunt them down either at A Fabric Place in Baltimore or G-Street in Rockville/Seven Corners/Potomac Mills.  My mind complicates things even more because A Fabric Place is close to my work [but I’ve actually never been]  BUT G-Street is having a big sale this weekend.  All locations are far but I have connections in each city- Rockville is the closest and I lived there and we go visit all the time [ we could eat at El Patio], Seven Corners is the best one and I lived around there too during college [so I could revisit my ‘glory-days’], and my in-laws live in Potomac Mills so we could visit them [and be done with the obligatory summer visit]. YOU SEE!! I am making things too complicated!! What to do? And all for a half-yard of wool crepe.

Haha! Anyway, what do you think? Royal-ish blue or Salmon-y pink bias binding?












The last project is Simplicity 2588.  I bought the wrong zipper. TWICE. So on one these trips to a fabric store I have to pick up the correct one, sew it in, do a little topstitching, and hem. No biggie.

I love this fabric!!! It has a really neat texture, and some stretch to it so it is easy to wear.

Does this happen to you? Do you multi-task sewing projects and over-think the small details?


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.

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.

Bralterations- Cups

6 May

This week I took some orders home to work on. There were a couple of bustiers and a variety of bras that needed cups in the mix.  Sew-in cups can be used to fill up space, even things out, or just to give a garment a more rounded look.

These are three of the orders:

The one at the top is for a customer who had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. With reconstruction, no one ever fills out the apex of a bra. I can fix that with a hand dart or by sewing in cups. It is really hard to find non-underwire moulded cup bras in a 40C so we decided to make one by sewing in some DDD cups.

This kind of alteration also works for people who need a moulded bra but one is not made in their size. Or if they have nippleitis.

The black bra is for a customer who has about a size and a half difference between breasts. We fit the fuller side and built up the smaller side with a push-up pad sewn upside down.  I would say that 99% of women have a size difference between sides. Some women don’t care, and for the ones that do care, I sew a dart on the smaller side.  Darts are super common anyway because most people don’t fill up the space at the top of a bra, but thats a different subject all together. Since there was a big difference and she was self-conscious  about having the same projection on both sides, the pad was the way to go.

The bra on the right is for a customer who has had a lumpectomy and is more comfortable in a non-wire soft bra [she’s older]. I sew the pads in on the one side, and this gives her enough roundness to match her left side.  This kind of soft cup bra is kind of a pain to work with because the cup is a double layer of microfiber. It takes longer to sew the cup in because you have to be extra carefull about catching layers and the shell layer always has wrinkles after the lining layer  is sewn.  To fix this, the customer has to come in for another fitting to have the excess fabric pinched out and hand-darted.  Nobody likes coming in again and having to wait another week or so for alterations!

So, not all my posts will be like this but I wanted to share what I do for a living!!!  Everyone always asks “What do you do all day!?!?!”, “You can alter bras? Why?” And I thought that this could be an interesting forum to explain what I do and how I do it.

What I’m working on right now:

4 May

I’ve made Vogue 1225 twice now and I’ve decided to use the pattern again for a top.

I’m using the same bodice as the original pattern but with my alterations: raising the armhole 1″, lowering the waist 1″, but I’m going to come up with some other piece to attach to the bottom.  My original thought was to have it be very gathered, but fearing a pregnancy-scare look, I’ll just put this all together and then decide. 

I’ll have to post pictures of the other two dresses, but they are deep in the hand washing pile–and we’ve had lots of wet days.

The fabric is a jersey knit from G-Street Fabrics in Seven Corners, Va. I’ve had it in my stash for 4 or 5 years waiting for the right project. I got it on the clearance table [$2.97/yd]. It is so soft that I considered just wrapping myself in it every night as a blanket.  The lace is from Etsy and is a leftover from another project. 

I want to finish this for a party thats on Sunday but I have tons of sewing to do for work so we’ll see. . .

New Patterns!!!

17 Jan

So I was brave enough to go to Joanns yesterday on the first day of the sale to pick out my 99 cent Simplicity patterns. I’m glad I did because they were already low on my size. There were only two patterns that they were out of in my size, so I will check another store later this week.

Here’s what I got:

Some of these aren’t new patterns, but they are new to me!!! Last year I was too bogged down with work sewing that I couldn’t even think about sewing for myself but after some life-reorganization I can handle it for 2011.

I have beautiful fabric from G-Street Fabrics for 2250. It was on the $2.97/yd table so honestly I’m sure exactly what it is but I’m going to say maybe a black poly satin with white cotton threading running through it. I love the way it feels! I’m worried that it could shift some in the bodice of the dress, so I’m going to look into some stabilizing techniques before I start.

January has been a good month. I need to take more pictures but so far I have finished two dresses, a skirt, and I’m still working on the little jacket from Simplicity 2443. Hope that will be done by the middle of this week and I can start on a new dress!