Archive for July 2013

The 'Steady As She Goes' Sorbetto Blouse

Saturday, July 27, 2013

When I renewed my interest in sewing, I found Colette's Sorbetto blouse pattern and whipped up one.  It was free, the directions were straightforward, and there were variations galore -- so what was not to like? I liked it so much that I bought some sheer black cotton lawn and black poly blend to make a Sorbetto.   I started this project at the beginning of the year.  But as a semester usually goes (I teach science at a university), I get busy and it got buried underneath new projects and fabrics.

Gearing up for the start of the school year, I wanted to complete some crucial projects to supplement my school year wardrobe.  To top that, I was nudged by the Pattern Review UFO contest.  The decision was made in an instant and it was an easy no-brainer: complete my Sorbetto.

UFO (UnFinished Object)

Since the pattern pieces were laid out and cut well before.  All I really had to do was put my own spin on the Sorbetto and sew it up. Guess what popped up on my Ipod when I started to sew? The Raconteurs' Steady as She Goes and I knew I had my inspiration.  I need a Steady As She Goes blouse to conquer the school year. I choose to add 3/4 sheer sleeves instead of short sleeves which I had intended so that I could wear it in the Louisiana winter. I also omitted the center pleat.  I made some bias tape for the neckline out of a fat quarter of quilting cotton and sewed the sucker up.

Viola!  The Steady As She Goes Sorbetto Blouse

Look at the little guy in the picture above -- he wanted his picture too!

Onward to a new semester!


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The 'Mysterious Ways' Dress

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mysterious Ways Dress:  McCall's M6741 Pattern Review

So it's true and long overdue:  U2 has a new album coming out!  I happened upon this little bit of fabulous information and it became inspiration (well, considering I have been listening to U2 for the past couple of days and I happened upon a tie-dyed green 100% cotton -- a rock inspired dress was lurking in there somewhere!).  As I began to sew, U2 was the perfect companion to rock out with while sewing a new dress!  I choose McCall's M6741 from my pattern stash. 

It was girly (which is right up my alley) but I could make it a bit edgy.  After a muslin and several hours of work, the Mysterious Ways dress was born.

Check it out:

This was the first McCall pattern I have completed.  It was just okay.  I really like the pattern but not the directions.   I changed things heavily to reflect what I envisioned.  I did not cut two panel pieces for front, instead I cut the fabric on a fold.  I also decided on a square neckline with a pleat down the middle of the dress.  I omitted the lining mainly because I was lazy and unsure how things would shake out in the end.    I also did a fancy embroidery stitch at the hemline of the skirt for contrast.

Pattern Description:
Princess seam dress - fitted at top with a flared skirt.

Pattern Sizing: 8 - 16.  I cut the pattern in a size 8 and had to modify.

Time to Complete: 5-7 hours

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? For the most part -- I did change things up a bit. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Ughh!  I was not a fan of the directions.  I used them a guide and went with my gut for most of it. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the shape.  It is very flattering and with panels you can play with texture and color combinations.  The skirt is swirly -- fantastic.

Fabric Used: 100% green cotton.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I added a long pleat down the middle, changed the neckline to a square design (not too happy with the stitching around the neck but it works).  I must have taken the dress in by 3+ inches to fit my waist.

Would you sew it again?  Most likely with many alterations.  I had to take in inches at the waist to fit.

Would you recommend it to others?  Only the adventurous ones.

Conclusion:   Not my favorite dress.  I guess time will tell how often I wear this.

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The 'Penny Lane' Dress

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Penny Lane Dress: Colette Peony meets Cynthia Rowley (Simplicity 1873)

There is something special about Colette Patterns.  The Sorbetto top was genius and free which of course got me hooked.  I bought Sarai's book and I must admit almost all of her patterns.  I am or was on a mission.  That is until I fell in love and then out of love with the Peony dress.  

Colette patterns are deceptively simple and that provides simple elegance.  I love the boat neck and the sash on the Peony -- I can envision all the variations!

I am a petite gal so I began a muslin of the dress.  But I did not make it much beyond the bodice.  The first bodice I made looked like Madonna's pointy boob outfit.  So I adjusted, and it was no better.  In fact, after 6 different bodice attempts with major adjustments including moving darts, removing darts, SBA, etc... I fell out of love with Peony. 

That is where Cynthia Rowley's Simplicity 1873 pattern stepped in (and a steady stream of The Beatles while I was sewing!).  This pattern was bought on a whim during a $0.99 Simplicity sale at my local Hancock Fabrics.  I am so glad I got this pattern.  Originally, I planned to ditch the Peony and make this new dress but after a muslin of the bodice, I had an idea. Why not combine the two?  I have heard this called a 'Pattern Hack' or 'Pattern Mash-up'.  I have to admit that I flew by the seat of my pants on this dress. Despite that, hacking together the bodice and sleeves of 1873 with the skirt and belt of the Peony worked and it turned out wonderful.

The dress was a smash!  Check it out at my brother's wedding.

I have already planned a new Peony and a new Simplicity 1873 -- separately of course!

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