Wednesday, May 21

Welcome to my world. "Y'all come back now, ya hear."

Busy-ness in my studio is what I would call "all the activity" going on in my little slice of the world.  However, I have been remiss in sharing with you my daily adventures due to the style of my blog.  I don't want to flood you with rantings, so, I have taken to updating quick post via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as a means of rapid firing quick snippets of the fun that goes on behind the scenes of Sew-To-Fit.  Occasionally, I may take on an even more challenging and extended project, such a a wedding dress.  You never know.  You just have to come around to see for yourself.
A Tital-wave of a wedding dress..Now this was a challenge!!!
I actually do alterations sometimes for close friends and family and sometimes "others" if they play well, heck, I may even make a dress or two every once in a while.
OMG, is that grey hair peeking out.  I am so involved.
If someone calls me and I really am up for a challenge, I might accept a charge to remake or rescue a damsel in distress, such as with this bride who ordered, "God forbide" a dress from China!!!!  Oh, the horror.
I call this the China disaster. 
I was delighted to take on the challenge and work it out for her...only because she is a friend and co-worker of my daughter, otherwise, this would have been something she would have had to endure alone.  
Consider joining me, by checking my sidebar or visiting my inta-feeds on Instagram and Twitter @sewtofit and like my Facebook page @sewtofit.  I'm looking forward to having you join me in sharing my daily, sometimes hourly behind the scenes updates.  Then returning here once or more times each week for a more in depth explanation of what I come up with during my sewing journey. 
Just a peek into my world..
You never know you might very well enjoy my ranting so much so that you decide to make my page your homepage when you login to the worldwide web.

Until then, thank you for joining me in sharing the things I enjoy the most.


Tuesday, May 13

Mini-Me strikes again!!! Simplicity 1510 Review

Did I ever mention how much I enjoy teaching sewing to my grand-daughter?  Have I ever mentioned the amount of intense satisfaction I receive from watching her complete each step of the construction process?  I am not sure if I shared that with you all yet....so I will begin again.
I present to you my grand-daughter...better known as "Mini-Me."

 To all the ladies who met my granddaughter at PR Weekend inAustin, TX....”Mini-Me” was elated to be around so many people that sew!!!! My goodness she was so excited and just booming with excitement meeting all of you. This little girl here could have hung and chatted with every level of seamstress there...!!! She would not have missed a beat understanding "every concept and detail of construction that was discussed.

Pattern Description: Simplicity 1510-This dress is listed as special occasion in three lengths with a bolero. She chose to make dress C, w/o the bolero.

Fabric Used: She chose a cotton quilting fabric from our local Its-A-Stitch. I tried a "quilting" fabric from JoAnn’s when she was younger for a dress I made...and needless to say, "Never again." With all the work I personally put into that dress to have it fade, I decided to buy the best quilting cotton, quilters use. From now on I want the dress last through multiple childhood washings.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? This is a really nice rendition of the picture on the pattern, yet, much more casual. I like our version better.. It seems if you use a dressy fabric for her age, then it would not be a "sundress" or play dress and just might be age appropriate.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Of course the reading of the instructions were done by me, she can read some, but these instructions are for Greek majors.. Thus, I circled the easy stuff for her, and she was able to complete "ALL" the straight stitches and even used my Bernina 640 to make the buttonholes on the straps. (One touch buttonholes---"a wonderful invention") She also cut out the entire dress. I only went back and checked to make sure the cutting was "O.K." to achieve success and not deter her with being too nit-picky.

She also sewed her hem, the straight sides of the zipper (after I setup the machine and placed the needle) She was able to help mark all the pleats and learned about the importance of marking and pressing.

She was so very proud of her work and so was I. Before we have only used the "Kids Can Sew" program which I used to teach some years ago. This is why she has her own garment labels to adhere to her creations.

Pattern Sizing on envelope: The sizes are listed for children up to a size 16 (34"chest) on the pattern...and are sold in plus sizes as well up to 16 1/2 (36"chest) That is a very generous size range for one pattern, considering the big four usually only give just a few sizes. We cut a size 14. Afterwards, I realized that they are fitted the same as for adults and thus I should have gone down a size and cut the size 12, because it was just too roomy, and showed too much for it to be a sundress... I guess if it was closed up on the shoulders and sleeves then a larger roomier size would work. I had to then remove the excess from the side seam.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: My granddaughter is quite the designer, however, since this was her first time out using a "big girl" pattern, we did not make any changes.

I did make sure to shorten the straps substantially for coverage.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The dress is really nice. I love it. I feel it is about time we get so many nice "girls" patterns for the in-between kids.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would recommend this wholeheartedly and without hesitation we will sew it again. Best way to learn for her is to do another one just the same.

Conclusion: I love teaching my Granddaughter to sew. I think every child should learn to sew, it helps with following instructions, math and reading a ruler...which she knows from sewing.



Friday, May 9

Completed: Burda 8488- a repeat.

Sewing for me, is extremely fun.  Patterns and patternmaking is intriguing and challenging at the same time.  I do it because I like to challenge myself, and because there is "always" something new to learn.  However, every time I think about making a pair of pants, I want instant success.  I usually avoid making pants because I don't want to redraft or go through endless pattern alterations.  Thus, as with anything else I would rather have two, or three, or even four if it means less stress.  Shucks the way I am, I may start wearing a "personal style uniform" as discussed  here (uniform dressing)

This is why I think it important to have that one pattern for every style of clothing, that you wouldn't mind using over and over again.

After loosing weight you would think that all the pattern alterations would have to begin anew if using the same pattern. Well that is not the case with these pants from burda..at least for me. I have found that we usually gain and loose weight over a basic body composition. Meaning that if I gain weight I gain it proportionately. (1" at the waist, then 1" at the hip.). The things that changes on me are always proportionate, so when I lost weight I decided to make these pants again using a smaller pattern size.






Pattern Description:
Wide leg pants that are close fitting through the hips.
Pattern Sizing:
34-44, us- 8-18. See my blog entry-- "Making the Grade" a matter of size. for the size differences with the Burda Patterns compared to the "big four" pattern companies.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

They do tend to flare out at the hem, I know it's because this time I used a stiffer linen fabric...the original was a linen blend.

Pattern Review for first pair.

I am really short in the front and the panel tends to crumple down...As it is designed it is two interfaced pieces, sewn together like a pocket and turn right side out through the bottom, then edge stitched. Afterwards, the buttonholes are sewed on before applying to the pants front by sewing only on the bottom and buttoned up the sides. The buttons and holes are still loose.


Were the instructions easy to follow?
Since I have made these before, I did not use the instructions, however, I still reiterate if you are a beginner it does take some getting used to to follow Burdas style of instruction. Just take it slow, read all before starting.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The crotch curve is absolutely magnificent! I only did a 1" rise increase in the back, I was able to leave the curve alone. Normally, I have to extend it to go under the rump roast I carry in the back. They hang wonderfully. I don't have any dislikes for this pattern. I like the fact that the lap zipper is on the side. (finally, a side zip) I like that the panel can be removed from the front and just show the buttons. There is no functioning zipper opening behind the front panel, so its really just a design detail.
  



Fabric Used:
I used a Linen. I knew it would have some wrinkling but I was ok with that....I choose not to line the pants as a result. The pattern doesn't require lining, but I know some people like to line linen to help with wrinkling.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
As I said earlier, I increased the back crotch rise by 1". I lowered the front by 1 1/2", this adjustments makes the pattern look really malformed, but it is my body. The gradual decline starts at the side seam, you can't even tell when they are on the body, the waist actually appears normal....do your adjust and ignore how the pattern "looks".



I left the hem the same from the original pattern, so that they would work better without heels. The regular length would be just fine for the average 5'5" person such as myself.
Everytime I think about making pants, I want instant success.  I don't usually make them because I don't want to redraft or go through endless pattern alterations.  Thus, as with anything else I would rather have two, or three, or even four if it means less stress.  Shucks the way I am, I may start wearing a "personal style uniform" as discussed  here (uniform dressing)


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would definitely sew these again. This pattern has a lapped zipper on the side, I will make with with an invisible zipper next time.

Conclusion: for those who have seen my ordinal post, I encourage to check it out, there is a cute video that will give you a great laugh.Original review

Monday, May 5

Completed: The Pucci dress. McCalls 6713


When I was in need of a classy dress to wear to my sister's birthday dinner. I wanted something that would still allow me to eat unhindered by waistbands, belts or stays. This dress has a waist seem with elastic inside, thereby, giving you a very comfortable forgiving fit. The front self lined bodice is cut on the bias, with gathered shoulders and a tucked left side, self-lined pleated drape, and stitched hems. (Although, for my bodice, I used a lightweight rayon knit as my lining throughout the entire dress.)
I found this gorgeous Pucci jersey at Elliot Berman fabrics during my New York trip in April 2013.

The sizes range from size 8-16 in one envelope, totally unusual, a plus for grading. I cut a 14 up top and a 16 down low graded to 14 at waist.

The version of the dress I made is exactly as pictured on the design. Of course if I wanted to ride my bike, I would have made the more flared version.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?You need to cut the bodice lining slightly smaller since this is a knit. I like the dress a lot, however I would suggest hanging if OVER the clothes hanger. Every since it sent it to the cleaners, and it hung from the shoulders it has grown a bit much. The weight of the side flounce panel creates a bunch of weight on such a narrow waist seam. I would recommend increasing the waist seam to 1 inch in order to allow for the elastic to run through all the multi layers of fabric at the side where the flounce hangers from.


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Because this was a two sided border print I really had to take time to arrange the pieces.
1. I cut single layers. I held the flounce for last in case I ran out of border, which I did. So since the border is self lined, I ended up actually piecing it together. (Very inconspicuous).
2. I did a 1.5" FBA
3. I raised the armhole by 1/2" for coverage. Something I usually must do on MCalls patterns. The armhole cut should not be the same for sleeveless, and sleeved garments.
4. Lowed the back hem gradually from the sides by 1.5" to allow for my rear curvature so the dress would hike up.
5. Sway back adjustment of 3/4"

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I would highly recommend with modifications to the neckline by adding support to limit stretching due to the skirt weight and to increase the waist seam to one inch.

Conclusion: this is a lovey sexy dress when cut straight. If you donot like tight dresses, then the flared version is a great everyday dress. The next time I make it will be the flared version and I will raise the neckline.

I would highly recommend this dress as a staple with modifications to the neckline by adding support to limit stretching due to the skirt weight and to increase the inner waist seam to one inch.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, May 1

Completed: Simplicity 1426: Vintage Top- Vacation sewing has commenced

IMG_1156
 Last year I took a trip to Antigua, Barbuda during their "Carnival" season.  Was I ever surprised at how much fun I would have.  I am such a prude when loud music and dancing is involved.  So, needless to say, before leaving for vacation I was all over the internet researching what to expect on this trip.  I was looking for dressing ideas, and what the meaning of "carnival" was all about.

Of course it is all fun watching the pin boards of all those cute ladies wearing those cute knit crop top that look like a second skin on them.  I wanted that too, but I wanted the fabrics to match.
I made the pants to wear during my first trip. However, the picture I had in my mind for the top never came to fruition, so I ended up just wearing a simple white tank.  When Simplicity came out with the pattern this month, I moved at breakneck speed to find this pattern. I had attempted other crop tops, but this one was the ONE!!!!
As for the fitting of the basic pattern straight out of the packet, I made View b up in a muslin size 16 to check the fit, and make sure I got a clear map of where I needed to go with the pattern alterations. All-in-all, though, I really can't complain much about this one here, as it seams to have been quite generous.  So I just went ahead and marked my changes as needed to get the fit I was working towards.

  • Initially, I had already known that I planned to widen the lower band considerably.  I knew I wanted it to hit "that level" just above my navel.  So this was my first order of business, I widened the band by 2 inches.  
  • Next, of course was to add additional "top" coverage, thus, I did the simple pivot-slide method of adjusting the pattern to give more coverage over the top of 3/4 inch and a little at the bottom.  However, next time I won't put the whole 3/4 inch on the lower half, it was not needed.  
  • I increased the coverage of the back piece by the same amount at the upper edge.  I wanted the coverage more substantial under my arms and around my back, to give it more of a crop top feel and not a "bra" feeling.  There was a slight curve in the pattern coming from the back to the front that I trimmed off in order to give the top a more gradual transition under the arms, otherwise the fabric was collapsing on itself there.  
  • In the center front, I took out a dart wedge at the lower and upper center front seams in order to cause the cups to curve in at the center.  
  • The pattern requires the center front seams be gathered to 3inches before sewing them together, yet because I was aiming for fuller coverage, I only gathered to 4 inches, considering I had already added an additional 1.5inches to the cup at the top and bottom.  
  • As for the straps, I added the length to them initially, but removed that same length when finalizing the fit.  Better to have too much than not enough, right? 

This is a really cool top!!! I have so many ideas for this here pattern.  What took simplicity so darn long to bring this one back!!!  








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