Sierra Mist Dress

 
Remember awhile ago when I was totally geeked out about this  lemon lime fabric from Fabric Mart?  Well, I definitely remember and it has been burning in the back of my mind ever since.   Last week I finally did something about it. The lovely blogger Cindy from Cation Designs nicknamed this fabric the Sierra Mist dress and I loved that name so it stuck! So without further ado (drumroll please), I present my Summer Spark Sew-along entry, the Sierra Mist dress!!!
Baum-bah!
For this dress i used my TNT McCall’s 5974, The Perfect Knit Dress.  This is now the 4th time I have made this pattern.  Although, this time I did the scoop neck version instead of the V-neck.  I also eliminated the the sleeves and of course the zipper.  Why the designer choose to put a zipper in a knit will always boggle my mind, especially since there is a “designer tip” that says to skip using it altogether if your fabric is stretchy enough. 
In this photo you can see the pleating detail a little better.  I love the pleats under the bust!  I was concerned about them at first thinking that it may make the bust a bit to baggy, but they didn’t.  That concern was the reason I had not made the scoop neck version before now.  I was also going to put a solid black tricot as my center band but the black of this fabric was not even a close match.  Instead I decided to go with the same fabric and cut it on the opposite grain since it was a 4-way stretch fabric.  
Summary
Fabric: 2 yards of 4-way stretch from fabricmart.com.  It is now sold out.  Luckily, I still have 1 yard left to make a swimsuit.
Notions: Other than thread, none.
Hours: Roughly 2 hours from start to finish.  Final pressing may have made it take a little longer though.
Will you make this again? Abso-freaking-lutely!  This is one of my TNT patterns and now that I know how great the scoop neck version is I will definitely make another version or two.
Total cost: $3.98 for fabric.  I love the $1.99 per yard fabric section from Fabric Mart!
Final thoughts:  I really wanted a funky print dress and this is perfect!  I cannot wait to wear it on vacation because it is so lightweight.Also, if you have been living under a rock and have not made or purchased this pattern do it!  NOW!!!
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Bows and Butterflies

 Sorry it has been so quiet around here lately.  Like I mentioned last month I am super busy with work sewing and prepping for my first craft fair.  This past week I found time to whip up two very quick and easy projects.

Pattern Description:
New Look 6875:There is not one on the envelope but the pattern includes a knit top, two pants and two skirts specifically for knits.
Pattern Sizing:
Envelope includes 5 sizes, XS (6-8), S (10-12), M ( 14-16), L (18-20) and XL (22-24). I made a large.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I made only the top and yes it did, other than my embellishment.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I did a quick skim through of the instructions and did not find anything confusing at all for the top.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love love love everything about this pattern. The only dislike would be the amount of ease in the top. I did end up taking out about 1/2″ on each seam.
Fabric Used:
I used 1 yard of a creamy off white cotton/spandex jersey that I purchased from Jo-Ann’s in 2008 for $5.62. All in all I would say I made out pretty well on the cost!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Other than taking out a total of 1.5″ of ease I did add a small embellishment. I added a bow to the right side. Next time I may eliminate the center back seam to give it a cleaner look.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely! This is a great basic top that goes together pretty quickly. The embellishment possibilities are virtually endless! I have quite a few ideas for my next one.
Conclusion:
I love this top and am very pleased with the simplicity of the pattern. I cannot wait to make another.

Pattern Description:
Butterick B5330: Misses skirt and pants: Pull-on A-line skirts A, B,C have elastic waistline casing and length variations. A: gathered lower section with front slit and bow from purchased cord. B: gathered skirt and ruffle. A,B: length is lover calf. C: gathered ruffle. length 2″ below ankle. Pull-on pants D, E in two lengths have elastic waistline casing and straight legs, length is lower calf.
Pattern Sizing:
8-24
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Other than my changes, yes, it did.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t even bother looking at them. But I would hope that you wouldn’t need them based on the pattern pieces.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Let me start by saying I love the finished skirt, however, purchasing this pattern was pointless! The chances of me making the pants are pretty slim and I did not realize before purchasing it that every single pattern piece is a simple rectangle! I could have made this skirt without the pattern. But since I purchased it I figured I better use it and review it so hopefully someone else can learn from my mistake. The only redeeming thing about this pattern is that if you don’t want to take the few minutes time to measure yourself and do the math to create your own version you don’t have too.
Fabric Used:
I used 2 yards of a gorgeous butterfly print polyester knit from Jo-Ann’s that I paid about $17.00 for. I also used 2 yards of a nude spandex swimsuit lining from Jo-Ann’s that I paid $10.00 for.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made view C and eliminated the the bottom ruffle and opted just to lengthen the skirt to floor length. I also added a lining since the fabric is pretty thin. To add the lining I serged both the outer shell and lining, with seam allowances facing each other, together at the top before creating my elastic casing.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will sew this skirt again, but I will not be using this pattern. I will not recommend it to others, instead I will instruct them on how to create their own so that they can save their money for the fabric.
Conclusion:
The overall finished skirt is great, just don’t waste your money on the pattern. Even if it is on sale for $.99, do not buy it! Measure yourself and make your own!

On a sidenote,  I am 1 single little post away from the 200 post mark.  I think I may have to do something special to celebrate!  Stay tuned for that next week!!!

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Guess What I Did!

I got my very first tattoo!!  Of course it had to be a sewing related tattoo!  What else would I get?  I got it on my forearm.

Here is a close up of it..  I promise the red in the needle is supposed to be gray.  Since it is so fresh it is just a little blood there.  I love it and cannot wait to go back for more. 

**Update** Just to show what it currently looks like now that it has healed.

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McCall’s 5436

This top is my contribution for the Sew Weekly challenge of using a city to inspire a creation. The fabric I used has always made me think of the Spice Bazaar in Turkey.  It has such great rich colors in the print and then it is highlighted with shimmery spots of gold, which are hard to see in this picture.
Pattern Description:
OOP McCall’s 5436: Misses’ and Women’s tunics in two lengths and top: Low cut V-neck front tunics have sleeve variations cut in one upper section, above waist casing and elastic, machine-stitched hems: sleeveless pullover top is above hip length.
Pattern Sizing:
10-18, 20w-28w. I made a size 16.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I made view A and it did look just like the drawing.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they are very easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the easy with which this whole pattern goes together. There is nothing I dislike.
Materials Used:
I used 2 yards of a printed poly chiffon that I purchased about 3 years ago and less than 1 yard of 3/8″ elastic from my stash.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The only change I made was along the back neckline. The instructions say to use bias tape to finish the edge, I just serged and folded it back once. It works just the same.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
As I have made three versions of view A and one of view E, the tank top, all ready I definitely see making a few more in the future.
Conclusion:
I love this pattern and am sad to see that it is OOP. It is a great instant gratification sewing project. From start to finish this took about 2 hours.

 

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Butterick 5753

Pattern Description: Butterick 5753 Loose-fitting, pullover tops. A, B, C, D have front and back extending into sleeve variations, narrow hem. A: Contrast front and back. A, B:Side pleats. C: front extends into single layer tie ends (wrong side shows).
Pattern Sizing:
XS-XXL: I made an XL.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I made view A. For the most part it did other than my changes. See below.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I really only looked at the pictures and skimmed the written instructions but they were fairly straight forward. The only thing that might give beginners an issue is one of the diagrams has the pattern pieces mislabeled. It is step #2, on the picture piece #6 is actually piece #5 and vice versa.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the pattern. It is fun and a great way to take advantage of the color-blocking trend. The only issue I had with this garment is my choice of fabrics. They made the finished garment just so-so for me.
Fabric Used:
I used 1 yard navy polyester genesis (front contrast). Since genesis is so thin I double layered this section. For the rest of the garment everything I used was scraps. Since this pattern is single layer cuts for each piece I figured this would be a good opportunity to use of some of my scrap stash. The burgundy is a polyester spandex and the navy sequin (back contrast) is a polyester micro sequin. All of the fabrics I got for free from my previous job, so this top was pretty much free of cost to make.


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
As far as changes go, I eliminated the pleats at the side bottoms because I thought they looked weird. The only other thing I did differently than my original plan was to sew the navy front contrast as a solid instead of the sequin like the back. This was because I had cut the back piece out first and then discovered I did not have a big enough piece left to cut the front. If I had been paying attention before I cut it I would have made the front contrast the sequin and left the back solid. I also serged all my hems and then just folded them up once and stitched, instead of doing the narrow hem, because spandex does not press well.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will sew this again, definitely in more spring/summer colors. I really like the pattern and how quickly it went together, approximately an hour and a half, from cutting to finishing. I think this is a great beginner pattern because of how quick it goes and that there are not any major skills required.
Conclusion:
I am still so-so on this top and I think I have been from the very beginning due to fabric choices and the sequin not being in the front. I will probably wear this more in the fall and winter due to the dark colors, so maybe it will grow on me more then.

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Reviving my maxi


Pattern Description:
McCall’s 6073 Misses’ and Women’s dress in three lengths: Pullover.
Pattern Sizing:
8-16 18w-24w. I made a 20w.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I made version C, the maxi dress. For the most part it did look like the version on the envelope. I made a few minor changes to my version and that is why it is not exact.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were. I originally used this pattern a couple of years ago to make version A for a friend and had to refer back to the instructions a couple of times, but they were very easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the ease and quickness that this pattern goes together. It is a great pattern to use to build your summer or vacation wardrobe in a short time.
Fabric Used:
I used 3.5yds of a spandex/tricot/4 way stretch fabric of some variety. I am not sure of the exact contents as it is one I got for free. The fabric has this great green, white and black geometric print with silver foil sequins on it.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made only a handful of minor changes. First, I eliminated the elastic in the shoulder seams. I eliminated the neck binding in favor of a narrow hem. To still get that “V” in the center back with the narrow hem, I did a .5″ dart at the center of the neck. I changed the band from the same print to a solid black tricot to break up the print and add a little more visual focus. I also used 3/8″ elastic around the waist instead of the recommended 1/4″. As a bigger girl I wanted a little more security for my elastic.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely! I am actually thinking that I may do version D, with the contrasting bodice, skirt and midriff, next for a great color blocked look.
Conclusion:
After all of the initial problems I had with this dress, through no fault of the actual pattern, I am beyond pleased with how it turned out! I even made a matching hair bow for it.  I am planning on wearing a lot of dresses this summer and this is a great way to start out that collection. I have also decided that I now need to take a vacation just so I can show off this dress, and hopefully
some more, to their full summer potential!

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The Maxi That Wasn’t

 Remember when I said I wanted to sew a maxi out of this fabric?  So, that didn’t work out so well for me.  I figured that this dress should have taken me 4 hours, 5 at most with my procrastination, to finish.  About 30 minutes in I had to call it quits.  Why?  Well both my sewing machine and serger decided they absolutely hate something that is in this fabric.  Surprisingly it is not the foil sequins!  For some reason when I serged it, all the stretch was removed and the serging was incredibly tight.  I thought this was just my tension.  No matter how I set the tension it did nothing to help, but when I serged on other knits it worked great!  Finally, I decided I could live with the serging on the shoulders and moved on to finishing the neckline.  Both my stretch stitches and regular straight stitch started skipping stitches and rippling the fabric like crazy.  Once again I tried it on another stretch fabric and it worked fine.  I even tried quite a few different needles in various sizes and what nots.  Nothing made it any better.  My final determination was that it was something in the fabric because I remembered the yellow knit jacket I tried making where the fabric had the same issues.  Unfortunately,  I don’t know what was in either fabric that I can pinpoint as being the problem.  Needless to say, I was pretty frustrated by it. This went on for about a day before I came up with what I hope will be a solution.  I spoke with my previous employer and he agreed to let me come into the shop sometime this week so I could use the industrial machines there.  I am not sure when I will get out there, probably near the end of the week though.

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Fabric Flower Brooch

As promised here is my new tutorial for a Tudor rose inspired fabric flower brooch.  I have made a few of these so far and really like them.  They will make a great accent to your everyday wardrobe as well as your faire or festival costumes.

Materials needed:
thread and needle
fabric glue
Fray check (optional)
1 – felt circle about 1.5″ in diameter
1 – button or rhinestone 7/8″
1 – pin clasp
5 – 3″x3″ fabric squares
5 – 2″x2″ fabric squares



Instructions:

1. Fold and press each fabric square in half along the diagonal.  You will end up with five triangles of each size.

2.  With a generously long piece of thread and needle, hand stitch a gathering stitch along the two open edges of one of the larger triangles.

3. Pull the thread to gather the edges.  This will create your first petal.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each of the five large triangles adding each one to the same piece of thread.

4.  Once all five petals have been gathered connect the first and last petals together with a few hand stitches near the raw edges to form your flower.

5.  Still using the same thread repeat steps 2 through 4 for each of the five smaller petals as well.  You can either align the petals so the smaller ones are directly on top of the larger ones or you can keep with the Tudor rose and offset them.  Along the center of the flower stitch a few times to secure both layers together.  Once I had both layers together I did Fray Check the centers of each circle to prevent fraying. This is optional though depending on preferences.

6.  Next stitch your button/rhinestone to center of flower.  For this one I used a metal shank button.  For the one above I used a rhinestone that had two holes in it so I could stitch it securely.  You can also use any type of button for this depending on how you want it to look.


7.  After applying the button you will want to put a dot of glue on the backside in the center gap.  This will help secure the button a little more and give the center some more stability. While that is drying apply the pin clasp to the felt circle.  Glue your felt circle on top of the center back. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  The possibilities are endless when it comes to how you can make your flower look.  The one at the beginning of this tutorial has both layers made from the same plaid with the rhinestone center.  I love the idea of adding this to a Celtic costume for the ren faire, but it would also look great on a dress for holiday parties.  The pink and green one is very spring like and I think will be cute on a trench coat or other springtime jacket.  As always I would love to see pictures of your version!  If you have any questions about this tutorial and its’ instructions please feel free to email me.

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How-to make a fascinator

 I am excited to share my new tutorial with everyone.  This is one of the headpieces I made for my friend in the Miss Ethnic World Pageant.  It was a lot of fun to design and make this piece.  I am glad to say it was pretty easy too!

Materials needed:
1 satin covered headband with fabric loop
1 9×12 felt sheet in coordinating color
4″ wide piece or scrap of organza
scrap of netting or tulle
feathers 7-12″ long
rhinestones
hot glue or fabric glue depending on preferance
scissors
toothpicks for spreading glue
spray starch (optional)
fray check (optional)

Step-by-step

1.  Cut a 2.5-3″ circle from felt. Take netting or tulle an fold it making an almost square/circle shape.  Glue this to the felt circle.

 2.  Glue onto the headband, backside of felt circle to the fabric loop of headband.  Play around with different positioning before gluing down to get the best placement for you.

 3.  Next arrange your feathers behind the fabric loop and glue into place.  Again, play around with these and try it on to make sure you like where the feathers are at before gluing/

 4.  Before I cut out my organza petals I spray starched the fabric.  This added a little extra stiffness to the organza.  This is optional depending on your preferences for your fascinator.  After the starch dried I cut out 10 petals and Fray Checked the edges of each petal to help prevent the organza from shredding apart.

5.  Once all dried arrange the petals of your flower and glue them together one at a time.  Take the organza flower and glue it to the felt circle on top of the netting/tulle.

6.  To help hid the glue in the center and give it more of a flower look, glue rhinestones on top. You can also attach the rhinestones to the flower petals.  Since my organza has sparkles and gold on it already I didn’t feel this was necessary this time.

And voile,  you have your very own facisnator but at a fraction of the cost.  Overall it cost me $15.00 to make this.  The feathers I did order on Ebay from a fantastic seller in China.  At first I was a little hesitant to purchase from a foreign country because I like to try to practice buying local and handmade when possible.  But I was unable to find feathers like I wanted anywhere here.  The seller I bought from is beautifulli528, and she has a store full of any colored feather or feather embellishment you could possible need.  I have actually bought a couple additional items as well.  She reasonable shipping too, which is nice since they are coming from China.

I wish I had done this project before the Royal Wedding.  It would have been way fun to dress up for the day. 🙂

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Burda Style 7359



Pattern Description:
Fitted Shirt
Pattern Sizing:
38-50. I made a 42.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
The design of the shirt was exactly the same. I made view B with the tabs.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
This was my first Burda Style pattern and the instructions were okay. The way they had me attach the collar (see below) was new and it took me reading it several times before I even wanted to attempt it. In the end everything went together without any major issues.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the design of this pattern. There is not a thing I dislike about it. My only issue with this version is all the ripples from topstitching. 

I think it was because of the fabric since the black did not ripple at all once topstitched.
Fabric Used:
2.5 yards of green cotton left over from a dress I made myself and 1 yard of black cotton left over from a ren faire costume.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn’t make any pattern alterations but I did change the color scheme. I did the main portion of the shirt in the green. The yoke, underside of the collar, and pocket are all in black. I also did the tabs to have one side green and one side black.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would sew this again. This is a pretty casual shirt for my husband so he is not able to wear it to work. I want to make a dressier version that he will be able to wear. I also want to make this in a solid color.
Conclusion:
I am quite surprised that I am the first review of this pattern. I really didn’t like this shirt when I started due to my husbands color choices. It started out feeling like something Charlie Sheen character would wear on Two and Half Men. But once I finished it that changed. I actually really liked it once DH put it on.

The  Collar

There are two pieces, upper collar (6)  and lower collar (7).  as you can tell they are shaped completely different.  There is also no neckband to attach the collar to the rest of the shirt. To make the collar you attach the under collar first.  Then you hem the bottom curve of the upper collar. then you sew the upper and lower collars right sides together. Fold the collar, right sides out and slip stitch it.  Then you stitch the lower edge of the upper collar to the shirt center front edge that was folded previously.  I hope that all makes sense.  I had to read it a few times first and it didn’t really make sense till I actually started going through the steps.  Personally, I am not a fan of this collar.  I think that it is what gives the shirt a casual look since it cannot be buttoned all the way up.  I may try to attach a more traditional collar next time I make this shirt. 

On a side note… 
I, Sarah C of Musings of a Seamstress, sign up as a participant of my very first Self-Stitched-Sept ’11. I endeavor to wear at least 1 self-stitched garment each day for the duration of September 2011.  I hope you will follow along and join me in this journey!

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