Showing posts from July, 2006

Wadder-Top not for me!

Well I am disappointed. The Simplicity top did not work for me. I pin fitted the pattern and made a FBA, but it was not enough. I also added to the bicep area of the sleeve. I cut a 14 through the front shoulder and back tapering to a 12 at the upper back area to accomodate a narrow back. On the front I cut a 14 through the front shoulder, upper chest tapering to 16 underarm and through the bust. In the past with Simplicity I always use a 14 through shoulders, taper to larger bust size through hips.

This is a form fitting knit top that should not be worn by a 55 year old female with a not so slim body form. This top is really made for a younger woman, look at the pattern photo! Perhaps making a larger FBA than I did would make for a better fitting front. But the underarm was very high. Normally underarms are not high enough for me, not so with this pattern.

When I started making pattern adjustments using the FFRP techniques, I also pin fitted knit top patterns. I then read from others a…

Today's sewing

Angie, a fellow blogger and pattern reviewer on Pattern Review, made me aware of a great paint program that one can take line drawings of patterns and overlay a photo of your fabric onto the line drawing. I have seen others doing this but for the life of me could not get it to work with some of my photo type programs on my computer. She gave me some very helpful instructions and I have come up with two patterns I want to sew. They are both knit tops and should sew up quickly.

Here is the Simplicity 4076 pattern, line drawings.

I am making C. Here it is with fabric overlay.

This is a knit that has been aging in my collection for about a year, maybe two. I have adjusted the pattern for and have cut out the fabric. I hope to sew some on it this evening and of course tomorrow.

I'm So Excited

"I'm so excited"
"And I just can't hide it"
"I'm about to loose control"
"And I think I like, like it"

I've got that tune running through my head. I am getting very excited as I will be going on vacation midweek, next week and heading off to the National ASG conference. I am thinking about what I am going to pack, what I am going to wear, making a list of things I want to buy and hope that those things are there. I have had to refrain from buying fabric on line for several weeks as I am hopeful that I will find some great fabric to touch and feel while at the conference.

Some sewists from our local ASG are planning on going. I need to find out what times some of them are traveling and maybe we can have a caravan on the road. I am driving up Thursday. I hope to see some sewing friends from Florida. I lived there for nine years and developed some great sewing friendships while there. Hopefully I will meet some other fellow bloggers ther…

What's Next? Where did the time go?

In reading some other blogs this past weekend, many individuals were talking about and beginning to plan on sewing fashions for fall. Where did summer go????

Around May, I pulled out numerous fabrics from my stash, some aged more than others, and developed a sewing plan to make numerous items-knit tops, a blouse, a lightweight jacket, a coordinated outfit or two. It is now almost the end of July and I am asking myself what's next, what have I completed, and where the heck did summer go and the time I was going to sew?

I did make a Teal jacket and skirt with black and teal top from a Vogue and PMB pattern. I embroidered the jacket and skirt with design inspired by the blouse fabric. I made a knock off of a Talbots jacket and sheath. I made a purse from embellished fabric and I just completed my Duro Dress. I currently have two knit tops I want to make, which I will probably do this weekend. I have a blouse I want to make. A wrap skirt and I want to make a top to go with that. I have …

Me Wearing Duro

I tried to do this yesterday but Blogger was being stubborn and not allowing me to post photos. You asked and here they are, photos of me wearing the Duro Dress from McCalls. Trust me as you can obviously see, I am not a photographer. It is most difficult to take a photo of yourself in the mirror and hold the camera steady with one hand. These were the best of the shots I came up with using this method. My DH is never home when I get dress most mornings, and in the evening, I normally am not in the mood to put on my newly sewn clothes and model them.

So here goes!

Photos-Duro Dress- See post below this one.

Completed dress, front view.

Back view.

Gathers converted to pleats. Smoother look, I think.

I forgot to post below, that I also shortened the dress by reducing the width of the bottom skirt band. I also took 3/8 inch tucks in the front and back bodice areas in the shoulder area. Otherwise the dress would hang even further off my shoulders. I still need to add a modesty piece after raising the v-neck part by 1/2 inch, it is still rather low, lower than I normally wear items.

I will write a review at Pattern Review this week also.

Duro Dress-Done!

My dress is done!!!! I have to serge finish two areas-where the top attaches to bottom and the bottom band attaching to skirt.

Will I make this dress again? Probably not. Was it worth making this one? Yes! Will I wear this dress? The right moment or occasion.

This dress is getting a lot of attention. I first read about it on A Dress A Day Blog. Since then I have seen several dresses made up. Now Simplicity Patterns has a similar dress. I decided to give it a try, even though I know that this is a style that perhaps is not the most flattering on me nor is it something I would normally run into a shop to buy, much less sew.

It was worth making though. Mostly because I used some sewing techniques I have not used in awhile-gathering fabric and attaching to another piece. Changing gathers to pleats when not planned and doing it to solve a problem.

The dress top is gathered to the midriff section and the front skirt area is gathered to the bottom of the midriff section. After sewing the dress …

Where does the time go when you work all the time?

Wednesday we had a super employee event! It was special recognition for achieving and exceeding sales records. After work I had an appointment to get my "hoofs and paws" done. (Manicure and pedicure). It had been weeks since I gave myself this treat. While in the middle of this, we had a terrible storm and power went off! At least my feet were out of the water at that time. The manicurist was just beginning to paint my toes. The safety lights were on, though all other power was out. Of course, this place has great windows and so there was some light. But candles were lit and I have to say that I have never had my toes painted by candlelight before!

Of course, my home is near this place so I called DH on my way home to learn that our power was out also. My plan had been to have soup and sandwich and then go into my sewing room for some creativity and R&R. Our power remained out for over 5 hours. During sleep I awoke to lights coming on and of course, blessedly …

Work and Fun

This week my work is taking me away somewhat from sewing. I have not touched my dress in progress. I worked after dinner on Monday night. Yesterday was CURVES, I scheduled this in on my calendar. I have to so I will get back to a regular routine. I have not toned up for nothing! But can't maintain if I don't go. Besides through diet and exercise I lowered my cholestrol by 10 points!!! So for now I am not on cholestrol medication and that's okay by me.

Today I am MC'ing a special event for our retail employees in my division. Our "Get 'Er Done" team put together a great event and I am truly proud of them. So I need to outline my words of "wisdom????!!!!!!" and prepare for todays luncheon celebration.

Here is a photo of a "Duro" Dress that I read about on Pattern Review and went to Sharon Sews blog to read more about. I think she did a great job. She used the Simplicity Pattern.

Photos of dress progression

This is the pattern:

This is what I completed this morning, the center front pieces with facings attached to bodice with midriff pinned to the top part. The next photo is the finished front with midriff attached.

Here is the back facing attached to the front. I have only sewn the one shoulder the other was basted in.

Here is the front and back on the dress form.

More to follow, stay tuned.

Dress Progress

I am making some progress on my dress. I hope to post a few photos of this journey. I took a few this morning before DH woke. I have moved further along in the sewing process since then.

Yesterday I stitched the front contrast center piece to the front bodice. I did not follow the pattern instructions on this. I am glad as it would be too fiddly to do it that way. I sewed the center front contrast piece center seam and the center facing (same pattern piece) center seam. I then stitched the facing and front piece together at neckline. I then basted the raw edges. This combined piece was then stitched to the front bodice pieces, then serge finished those edges.

This morning I pulled the gathering stitches on the front bodice and pin fitted the midriff pieces to the front bodice/contrast pieces. I then basted midriff edges together. I then sewed the back bodice pieces together. Stitched back facing to this piece then basted front to back at shoulder seams. It is important to refer to the i…

Duro Dress

I started the Duro Dress this evening. I first saw this dress on A Dress A Day blog. Then I saw another version on Behind The Seams blog. Then Erin posted a couple more versions of the dress on her blog, adding versions made by others. Several have been reviewed on Pattern Review. McCall's had the first version of the pattern and now Simplicity has a version. I purchased McCall's pattern and this evening I started on the dress. In a previous post, I showed photos of the fabric and pattern.

In the newest issue of Lucky Magazine, they have numerous versions of this dress. Not sure this is really me or not. But it will be different.

Yeah, it's done!

The project is complete! Here are photos-the jacket, close up of the sleeve vent and topstitching and of one button.

The buttons I used I acquired from Hancock Fabrics. They look somewhat like a basket weave. I thought the color was great and in my mind palm tree leaves can be used to weave baskets, thus the buttons.

I said this before but I truly loved sewing this fabric. I am currently write a review of the pattern for Pattern Review. I should post it sometime in the next few days. Be sure to view it and if is very helpful, please rate it as such.


For a simple, very easy Vogue pattern, this outfit is taking forever to complete. It is me, not really the pattern. I think sometimes I am becoming too much of a perfectionist again when it comes to clothes I am making and when there is a small fitting thing that makes me unhappy, I start putting the project aside. I then play around with something else or don't go in the sewing room.

Yesterday, DH and I went to Danville on our motorcycle. The morning weather was perfect, nice and cool. Afternoon warmed up but not bad. When we got back home, I could have gone to sewing room but just chilled out in front of the TV. I purchased a Burda WOF Magazine from Natalia on PR and it arrived yesterday. Spent time thumbing through this, imagining what I wanted to make from a few of the patterns that I really liked. Some of which have been reviewed on Pattern Review. After that DH and I watched a movie -Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I admit I am a HP fan of the movies. We have no children…

Close to finish!

I worked on my jacket some this evening after dinner with DH. He has to travel to Baltimore this evening, so I spent some time in my sewing room working on finishing my Vogue 8004 Pattern. I decided to let out the center back seam in the jacket, I thought it felt tight. This helped. I inserted the other sleeve without too much issue this morning and tried on this evening and I think it looks good. I serge finished the sleeve seam edges as well as the hem edges.

I then decided to play with my Babylock Embellisher, playing around with some fabric pieces and yarns to see how these fabrics are felting to each other. Some worked okay others didn't. I still need a few more lace or other fabric sheers to embellish onto the material. This is my practice piece for the Chico Jacket replica.

I then took some pictures of my finished skirt and a photo of the back of the jacket to show how the darts look compared to the pattern drawing shown on a previous post. I don't know if you

can see the …


It has been a nice easy day. I was able to turn it into a PPSD-Partial Personal Sewing Day. I say this because I really had to take sometime to clean some of the house. After getting up and drinking some coffee, I then sewed on my jacket for Vogue 8004. I had worked on it some last night as well. This morning I let out the high hip area in the center and side back seams. I then sewed the facing to the jacket front, trimmed, pressed and stitched the facing to keep it from rolling out. When DH woke, we had breakfast. DH did some more work on our muddy basement that did not get completed over the past weekend. The basement is semi-finished and only houses our washer/dryer and "stuff". It has cement floors so cleaning up dried mud is a chore.

Let me say I hate housecleaning! In my previous life in Florida I had a good friend who had a housecleaning business and I was one of her customers. She came twice a month to clean house. I loved it. Her name was Pam and now when things get …


I am so pleased with the progress I made this weekend on my jacket and skirt. I love the fabric I am sewing because of the ease of sewing it.

I had to make some fitting adjustments to the jacket. I think I need to revisit my body measurements again and adjust. Of late I am finding that the upper chest area is too full on numerous patterns. Thanks to CURVES or age????

With the jacket for this pattern I had to take up another 3/8 inch in the arm area down to curve of princess seam in the front. I also ended up taking up an additional 1/4 inch at the shoulder seam for the front jacket. I just offset the seam by the 1/4 inch and tapered to the initial seam mid way through the shoulder seam. I did a forward shoulder adjustment originially. By doing this it did pull it up in the front some and also improved the bust fitting under the arm, it was gaping there and thought it would still gap after attaching sleeves. I thought also I would have to use a thicker shoulder pad and did not…

Permission to sew

Most Saturdays I get up around 6:30 or 7, drink a cup of coffee. Then go to CURVES. Today I gave myself permission not to go! I have two sewing projects on my cutting table that I am dying to get to. Sundays, I have more time to sew off and on during the day unless we go visit family or friends in our hometown. Tomorrow, my DH and I are having lunch with a nice gentleman and his daughter. He is 90, she is 62. He is sharp as a tack and an interesting person to visit with.

I completed the skirt that I started last night while DH was surfing the TV channels. It was a very simple skirt with two pieces-front/back only. Has no zipper, elastic waist. About an hour project if not interupted during the sewing. I then interfaced all the jacket pieces needing to be interfaced and pinned darts for sewing. Progress! I will sew some this evening and a little tomorrow so my outfit should be complete by mid week, I hope.

Response to Janet

I am so inspired by all that you do, and the fact that you still find good
blocks of time to devote to sewing. So I have to ask, HOW do you do it all? I am
a full-time program mgmt consultant, with a husband and two daughters, ages 13
and 11. I gave up sewing when the girls were little. There just wasn't enough
time. Now, I'm "dipping my toes back into the pool" so to speak, because both of
them have expressed an interest in learning how to sew. But I honestly don't
know where I'll find the time. Please share any strategies or tactics you use to
make time for sewing for yourself! I'm tired just thinking about how you do it
all! : )Thanks,Janet in MN
Thanks, Janet for commenting! I have thought about my response because I don't think anyone has every asked me how I find the time to sew. I am always thinking I need to find more time to sew!!!One of the first things that came to mind was I own and have read Nancy Zieman's "10-20-30 Minutes to Sew"…


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