Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pattern Organization…the quest for order.

I finally understand why others have put to use a form of pattern organization that involves a system of  numerical filing and cataloguing.  It is probably because this system makes it easy to retrieve and find patterns quickly.

You may remember, last year, I attempted a digital filing system…here.  It didn’t work for me.  I still ended up searching around for patterns when working with a customer.  I didn’t have a way for them to peruse my pattern inventory. Ideas come from everywhere, as to what to make, however, finding a pattern that might work was difficult to say the least. 

IMG_0400It was like going through a rummage sale.

As new patterns come in, and old ones removed from the files..this is what would happen.  Another basket of misplaced patterns.


A thanks to those who believed in me, in the chance that I had found the system which would work for me.  Failure isn’t what I feel, just another lesson learned about myself.  I must retract my position on the numerical system of filing utilized by Victoria.

I also understand now, more than ever, the importance of taking good care of my patterns..they are priceless.  I know now, that I would be sewing much more if I had my patterns in order.  Whenever I get an idea for a garment from the web, Pinterest or Pattern Review, I would normally go looking for the related pattern.  However, to my dismay, its no where to be found, or I don’t have it…or so I thought….until I have just one too many of the same pattern.

Duplicates abound, because I didn’t know I had the pattern, and thus, went out and bought another with good intentions.  Only for me, by the time I go through all that work, I’m no longer interested, because a new work of art has presented itself.  And so the journey begins anew.

As with any organization trek, I become hyper focused, whether it be my home office, my sewing room, my kitchen, my closet or even the garage… I mean to get it done!!!  I am absolutely unproductive when my surroundings are in disarray. 

I have gone from a nice 360sq.ft. loft, to a  studio in River Oaks  to a small 11x12 bedroom in North Houston…the difference is not good. I am cramming all I can into a really small space.


Thus, pattern organization is on the top of the list…because, when I work with patterns, I want to keep up with them.

All that to say, this new system is underway..and happily I might add, really seems worth it.  I should have done this in the first place.  I like having a binder to look at all my patterns, as with a catalogue. 


Having the patterns filed away neatly in 6x9” envelopes may seem costly, but, I made sure to get these in bulk. 


I got the Brimnes dresser from Ikea, and made sure it was going to hold the envelopes sitting upright, thus, storing more per drawer. I did not like the commercial filing cabinet, and besides, it was too deep for my space.


My fabric stash will have a home in my Elfa system from The Container Store. I use these all around the house.  They are much sturdier and glide better than the Ikea brand.  They have stood the test of time for me.

Continuing on with the patterns…I’m making progress.  I will keep you posted as the verdict unfolds on my new and improved system.

Until then….


Monday, May 28, 2012

Pattern Review- Simplicity 2406 and a happy customer..

I think this may be a sign of a very happy customer.  My sis is really loving her new dress.  You see, I have not sewn for her in so long, she was just giddy as can be after getting into her dress.  She even came over already styled to the "T" ready to put in on and go have fun. 

I am always glad to ablige.  It is such a joy to sew for my sis and my Mom.  So, I think inside I was grinning just at much has she.  I used the Simplicity 2406 pattern.  Here you will see my pattern review.

Pattern Description: Misses' dress in three lengths with sleeve variations by Cynthia Rowley.
Pattern Sizing:
6-14 and up. I made a size 14 for my sister.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It really did look the same as the envelope. As for the length, my sister is 5'2", so the short length worked for her with a 1 1/4" hem, for anyone taller, beware, the dress is short.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The pattern instructions were spot on....however, a disclaimer...you MUST layout the pattern pieces for the sleeves "exactly" as shown on the instruction sheet, or you will put them in wrong. I didn't have a problem, however, for a beginner, again I repeat, layout the pieces as instructed...and make sure to clearly mark all dots and sewing points.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I did not like the use of a thread loop for the closure. I used a hook and eye. The button thing is old school to me, RTW used the hook and eye on most things like this...at least the ones I have seen.

Fabric Used:
My sister was very, very happy with the fabric selection and the color. We found this silky poly woven at Hancock, last on the bolt. So we had to save fabric by lining the "self lined" sleeves with regular lining fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I sewed the pattern as shown, minus the pockets and plus underlining because of the sheerness of the fabric. For the hem, the dress and lining were folded up as one and machine blindstitched to the lining.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will be making the same dress for myself...maybe with pockets. These sleeves are the best design detail about this dress. I love the sleeves.

My sis was extremely happy with the outcome of the dress. She participated in the construction the best she could, under my direct hand-holding instruction.. (This is the requirement when sewing for my family, is for them to help. Or else, they may very well be waiting as much as years to get there outfits.) LOL!! They know the drill.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

McCalls 6112 and A Pre-school Graduation

My granddaughter graduated today from preschool...on her way to the big "K" for Kindergarten. Wow! I'm not old, so don't go there.
 I wore my new dress, a 3 hour wonder from McCalls.  Love it, and it is so very comfortable.  I dressed it up with a belt, which was too much for my taste.  But either way, if I change the heels, it will be a night out if I want.  So, basically a success.

Pattern Description: McCalls 6112
MISSES' DRESSES IN TWO LENGTHS AND CAMISOLE: Pattern Sizing: I cut a size 14. I used the skirt from view C and the top from view A
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, the dress looked the same..however, the front is a little long on me, since I'm shorter from shoulder to bust point.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Extremely easy to follow. However, for the binding I chose to use the "Neckline Finishes for Knits," in the April/May 2003 issue of Threads (#106 to bind the back neck edge and the arms. Instead of just folding over the binding and stitching, I trimmed one side of it to 1/4" and then folded it completely to the inside of the arm and neck so it would lie flat to the inside, then edgestitched it in place.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love how it fits me. The shoulder and back is balanced.

Fabric Used:
Polyester knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

For the drape, I folded it over and sewed a 3/8" hem in it, then I attached a little 1x1" pouch with a penny inserted for weight. I used a double needle, with a .5 zigzag for the hem.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Absolutely!! I love this dress. I feel dressed up but down whilst working around the house. I do not like jeans in summer.

Conclusion: This is a great dress. With just a slight change in fabrication, you can create a host of variations for any occassion.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Ten Commandments of Hanging

Joan Crawford said, "NO WIRE HANGERS!!!!" before doing the unthinkable, and beating her daughter with one.  What made her so infuriated with the idea of wire hangers.  I would venture to say that, because of the expense of the clothes she bought, she felt that great care and work should go into the maintenance and upkeep of said clothing.

Of course there is no reason on God's good earth that a person should be beaten with a wire hanger for doing such a thing, or any other act.  However, if we consider the thought and hard work we put into our wardrobe; with the shopping, planning, researching and sewing, we should at least put just as much, if not more, into the maintenance and upkeep of said wardrobe. 

Pinned Image
Lately, I have been putting my time into organizing and purging my closet, as I do each season.  In need of a few things for said organization, I ran across The Ten Commandments of Hanging

These are good rules to follow.  If we consider the creative aspect, and the labor we put into our wardrobe, we should follow these simple commandments.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Maxi-mizing the Ruffled Top (Silhouette Patterns #519)

During a day at the park for a Mothers day photo shoot, I had to be cool and pulled together.  So along with the jeans and required white top I threw together that morning, I also brought along my new DIY maxi in turquoise blue.  The hat was a nice addition don't you think?

Mia's Top and Self Drafted Maxi
Pattern Description: Ruffled top, with options for sleeveless, and can be worn in mutiple ways: off shoulder, one shoulder, and strapless. I wore it all ways.
Pattern Sizing:
The pattern has allowances for B, C, & D cup sizing. The sizes are based on finished measurements NOT body measurements. The envelope contains sizes 1-4 Misses (up to 45.5" full bust) and also 5w-8w for Womens. This should cover anyone up to a finished size 62" full bust. You will need to measure a garment you already own in order to help you choose a good size. Peggy suggested for of determining your measured garments.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely. I was very satisfied with the placement of the ruffles as well.

Were the instructions easy to follow? These instructions are for those who need it. But, basically it was pretty simple. I did look at the directions for attaching the ruffles, only because I was in a rush to finish this before a family photo shoot, so it helped me to not make common mistakes when in a rush.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked everything about this pattern.
My grand-daughter and I had a fun time trying to knock the willow from the trees.  This blouse was very roomy and cool.

Fabric Used for the blouse: I used a cotton batiste with a striped design.

For the skirt I used a lightweight rayon jersey knit.  Very cool and breathable for our weather.  And it was really hot outside.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The blouse is pretty boxy, so all I did was curve in a little at the waist. As for the length, I added three inches.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes, I would absolutely sew this again. However, next time I will also lengthen the ruffles or maybe even add a double layer with some trim.

Conclusion: This is one of my favorite styles. It is really feminine and has so many variations.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Stash Clearance Free for All... (More to come)

Thanks to those who replied to the last post.  The fabrics have been claimed.  However, please don't be dismayed.  I would rather give away to knowing blog-friends rather than to the local Goodwill, to whom I have no clue if the fabric isn't gonna be mistaken for scraps and not for the garments it could potentially become. 

Continue to help me clean my sewing room and thin out this fabric stash.

Thanks so very much.

Stash Clearance Free for All...

I am attempting to clear out some fabric clutter.  My heart says no amount of fabric is clutter.  However, I live in a very humid region, Houston, Texas.  Thus, it makes me feel hot at the thought of wearing it, let alone sewing up a garment. 

These are all polyester...so beware.  There 3-5 yards of each. 

Anyone that wants these fabrics just let me know, and I will send it to you for just the shipping. I can stuff it all in a one-rate priority box.

First come first serve...

More to come.