Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's NOT Jess....

I'm not having much luck with my New Girl dress. After I made up the bodice I realized that I either traced the wrong size (not likely) or the ease was wrong on the envelope. It technically fit. If I didn't want to consider breathing or putting my arms down. The armpits are waaaaaaay to high and the shoulder straps are to short (and I have very narrow slim shoulders!). While the green bodice is nice, I really think it needs to be red or blue. I may just scrap the whole thing altogether. I wasn't really digging the scoop back.

What if i used McCalls 5327 for the top? Jess wore a really cute yellow dress with this style bodice before. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time coming to a solution that I like. It's a silly v-neck bodice for globs sake!

Also, I'm having a hard time getting my sewing room settled. I haven't even fit my table in here yet.... Or finished the wall.... I do know its gonna be coral!! Yipppeeeee!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Among other things

I have finally started to unpack all my treasures and necessary items (likes plates and underwear!) and it's been arduous at best. We were without a washer and dryer for about six days. Yeah, Mt. Wash-Me was awful. The only room that hasn't been painted is my sewing office. My hubbs had to build a wall between two livings rooms that were connected with a pass through. One side of the wall is done and painted but the other side in my room hasn't been finished yet. Ugh. That means that I have tons of stuff just floating around in that room and its making me nuts. I had to put up a baby play yard gate to keep the tots from "helping" me clean it up. I'm not sure what I want to paint it either. Initially I was thinking of doing the grey that's used throughout the house with an aqua strip through it but why not go crazy right? So now I'm thinking of doing coral in there with aqua curtains or the aqua from the sun room with a red curtain.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Why is it that men always seem to rip gigantic holes in the crotch of their pants? I have to talked to several girlfriends and they say their hubbies do it to. Seriously, do guys walk around doing deep lunges all day?

Anywho, I had to fix a pair for the hubbs today. I have fixed them before but they always end up ripping again so I needed a new approach. I used #37, a nifty little joining stitch (I think). It worked too! I added a piece of navy cotton bottom weight. It felt like a super thick and spongy cotton. Almost like twill but woven more loosely and its thicker. I started on an outside edge to anchor the fabric and just went in a square all the way around and working my way in to the center. Then I trimmed the little bits of extra fabric on the inside. Dave said he was super happy with the way they turned out. Now I get to finish 4 more pairs. Yea me...

Update on the Jess Dress: yeah, not going so well. The armpits are really high and the bust is too tight. There is no ease at all. There should have been 1.5" of ease. I'm going to have to measure the pieces, I think their ease measurements were off.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"It's Jess!" - Simplicity 1803

The New Girl dress is off and running; well, walking anyway. I went ahead and just picked the v neck version. Unfortunately I have to either finish it tomorrow or Thursday night because we are moving baby! That's right, we sign tomorrow and start painting Friday! I added those weird little satin stitch polka dots along the princess seams. It's flashy for sure. The pattern is coming along nicely though. The shoulders were confusing. The directions were written badly.... Although I should point out that I only used the second half of the directions on one sheet. I was rushed and trying to sew between making the kids dinner and not letting their grubby hands touch my machine. I hate sewing at the dining table.....

And we got a doggy photo bomb.... Hello Mr. Gus!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The New Girl dress

Like many people, I love the show The New Girl. Zoey D wears the most amazing outfits. I actually found a great website that shows all of her outfits and where you can either buy it or buy something similar ( I am besotted with the dress she wore in the Pepperwood episode. It also happens that the dress will be available on ModCloth for a tidy sum of $300 ( Um, yeah right. I have been wracking my brain as how to recreate this with a pattern I have on hand. The bodice looks like a take on a princess seam gone angular and the skirt is just box pleats. I have this fabric in my stash that I love. I have about 4-5 yards of it and couldn't think of how I could make a dress from it bc it is rather busy. But once I saw Zoey's dress I found my muse.

I want to do a nice grass green on top and use the little people on the bottom. I also wasn't sure I wanted to do sleeves or not. I wear dresses all year and add cardis/leggings during the winter. The little people fabric is also a bit sheer for a bottom so I have to line it or wear a slip. I'm pretty lazy so I'll just wear a slip. Of the four patterns I picked (for bodice only), I'm very interested in the Butterick. It's a halter neck but it has a back which I am more comfortable with. I need to be able to wear a bra. Strapless bras and little kids does not a winning combination make. It also has the wrap ties that the original dress had. The vintage advance also strikes my fancy. it wont need to be lined BUT i will have to grade it down at least one size. ill have to measure it to be sure. it will probably have to go down two sizes. Thats more work. So dear friends, what say you?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tie one on

Here it is! I took out the gathers too. It just wasn't feeling it. I added some random red trim to the bottom to make it stick out a bit, almost like sticking horsehair braid in the hem of a skirt. I used an awesome decorative stitch that I though mimics polka dots and added it to the waistband. The ties are some vintage poly cotton stuff I had from Mary Sue. You can also see in the corner by the ties that I ran out of grey thread. How does this happen! Argh! Thankfully I used the bobbin on top and just stuck in some white for the bobbin thread. You can't even tell on the top. On the right hand side of the apron I added a towel loop. I love towel loops, you just wipe your hands and not worry about ruining your apron, which admittedly kinda defeats the purpose of an apron but hey, who wants to muck a pretty apron.

The construction is pretty straightforward. No pattern was used, the skirt is just a rectangle that was pleated to fit the size waistband I wanted. I made the waistband like double fold bias tape (double folded) so the decorative stitching had something to hold on to. I did narrow hems on the sides but the bottom was a little different. I didn't want to hem it then add the trim because it would have been too bulky. I finally decided on just stitching the trim right sides together with the straight edge of the trim on top of apron edge. Then I just flipped it under so the raw edge would be encased between the trim and the wrong side of the apron. Is probably only an 1/8" wide which was tricky but it worked and its a tidy finish. It turned out so cute that I almost kept it and and made a new one to give away. Maybe once I get moved into the new house (hurray for Wednesday!) I'll make a new one in my new kitchen colors. I love vintage matchy matchy!

And on a completely unrelated note, I'll be tying one on any minute. There is a huge glass of wine waiting for me while I watch this silly "snow storm" float by. Anything less than 3' in a day isn't really a storm. It's upstate NY people, snow happens!

Sewing swag

My old Brother Project Runway sewing machine died. It died a horrible grinding death. It was only a couple years old and it just couldn't take the daily sewing. I've been wanting a new one for a while but I figured you do really get what you pay for so I wanted to wait till I was in a position to buy a good one. I found the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist on Amazon at 53% off and I fell in love. It does everything I need an more. The only thing that disappointed me was that the lettering you can embroider is not changeable. Meaning, it's only one size, like half an inch tall. Its really only good for making tags or a little bit of script. It also came with no less than like 15 feet. It has a foot for everything you can think of and some I couldn't. I can't wait to try out the walking foot too!

Anyway, I'm working up a quick apron as a birthday present for a dear friend. The polka dot colors and the coral band are colors she is using to decorate her cottage so I think it will be a fun and whimsical apron to wear around. I did a sample tag I wanted to include with her name and the year. I still need to work out the spacing I think.

I also wanted to show the way I do gathers. I find doing a basting stitch and pulling the threads together is just awful. The threads snap and you have to start over, or the gathers end up being uneven. I do a wide zig zag stitch on regular tension and sew over a piece of dental floss (don't laugh, you know you have a hundred little floss containers floating around!) or in this case a piece of cheap embroidery floss. Just sew slow enough so that you don't sew over the floss (of either variety). Then you hold onto one floss end (or wrap it around a pin) and push the fabric into gathers using the other piece of floss. It's amazingly fast and always even. It's also very easy to adjust the gathers if you over gather the fabric. Nothing snaps, it's looks cleaner and you can even pull the floss out once the gathers are sewn over. I think I'm going to try out a nifty decorative stitch on the waistband in a grey thread. Might as well right?!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Finished Mail Order Marian Martin #9234

I found this dress languishing in our coat closet. I started it right before we moved and all it needed was a buttonhole, button and ties. I'm not especially happy with the inside of the dress. I only zig zagged the seams and the hem was done shamefully fast. I hate hate hate the neck facing. If I made this again I would just line the bodice. There is no place to tack the tip of the facing to and it flops around a bit. I tried under stitching it but it didnt work well enough. I used a vintage button from my stash and the fabric is from my Mary Sue inheritance. I also had planned on making the ties yellow but since that fabric is packed somewhere I had to use some blue I had on hand. It's the same blue cotton from the Xmas dress and it matches well enough. I would like to try the pattern again but I would drop the neckline by at least 2 inches and lengthen the bodice by maybe 0.75 inches. I also made pockets for the dress but I have no idea where they went to. Packed most likely. In the end, it turned out to be a wearable little 1940s wrap dress.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Let the moving commence

I haven't posted in forever. I have been sewing though. I also just bought a few new patterns from Joann's when they had their Butterick and Vogue sale. I wasn't going to but I have been wanting these for a while. Sooooo, I picked up Butterick 5708 and 5846 as well as Vogue 2787, 1220 and 8728.

We are down to the wire with moving into our new house. We close the 13th and I will finally have my own sewing room. I am so beyond excited that I can't help but plan every nook and cranny and color. Here are the colors I have so far....

Kitchen will be a light aqua color. We will have wood floors and maple cabinets with a light color Corian countertop. The sun room which will also be our dining room (it opens off the kitchen and has very large windows looking into the woods) will be a light coral, a green, or a yellow. I'm still undecided. I can do a crazier color bc it gets so much natural sunlight. The living room, our office (which is really the dining room) and the family room will all be a light grey color with accents of aqua and coral. Its an open floor plan so I don't want too many different colors on the walls.