Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Optical Illusion Dress?

I ran across this dress in an article here and here while browsing the web today. Seems like this Stella McCartney's dress is creating quite the stir. I have to admit that Kate Winslet looks absolutely stunning!!! And the cut on this dress is INGENIOUS. I mean it literally does make Kate look curvier. According to reviews, it's supposed to make anyone look 2 dress sizes smaller. Plus it's made out of a sturdy cotton fabric that makes it like a "stylish scuba suit and packs the meat in". But truth be told, I like Kate just as much without the "exxagerated hour glass figure" that the dress give her. She's gotten flack about her voluptous figure in the past. But I think she's always looked phenomenal whether she was a size2 or size 12 (I don't really know her size, nor do I really care.)

The dress is gorgeous and all but in my opinion I don't think it should be the newest fashion craze because it creates an hour glass shape. I just think our society is TOO caught up in body size and shape. I know most women, myself included, like to dress in a way that accentuates their figure. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. But do you think it's going too far when we go the extra mile in creating these optical illusions? Realistically we all use "tricks of the trade" to emphasize/ de-emphasize parts of our body. Just sometimes things seem to go too far. Maybe I'm just being a "Debbie Downer". As a seamstress who have made clothes for a few clients, I ALWAYS preach the importance of appreciating one's body. I think I'm cranky about this because I get tired of how society fights against that message.

I'd love to know your thoughts and opinions about this dress. Do you think this is just an innocent attempt to shape one's figure or is it much more. How do you feel society affects our views of ourselves. Are you able to fight against it? Please chime in......

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 9.15.11 & 9.24.11

I've had so many sewing related thoughts these past 2 weeks that I thought my brain was going to short circuit. Here's what's been on my mind......

Obi What?????

 (Photo courtesy of
-I was contemplating making an Obi belt for the dress I just finished. I wanted to make a white faux leather one but didn't have time to track down the fabric. Speaking of Obi belts. I googled to find a free online obi pattern and ran across a couple of designer obi belts. The prices were INSANE! Nordstrom had some for $60 and up. Diane Von Furstenberg's sales for $245. All for a belt!?! The day I can attach my name to such an item and charge that much money will be a SPECIAL day!

-Craving Home decor sewing
 So where should I start? There's a list. I need to re-upholstery a chair in my living room. Make curtains for two bathrooms. Make a kitchen valence & place mats. The list isn't too bad. The challenge is to stop sewing for myself long enough to sew for the house. I'm getting antsy so I've got to get some home projects done ASAP!

(I plan to re-cover this chair seat and back in this red fabric)
(I also want to make kitchen curtains out of this striped home decor fabric that I've had for at least 2 years!!!)

-Just for fun
I've tried to let the idea go but I can't seem to. Do you think I really need a 4th jumpsuit?  Well not really but somehow I can't let the notion of a jumpsuit with a cuffed capri pants go. I can't help it. I have a picture of one in my Style Look Book (can't seem to fine it at the moment but it's really cute!!!).

  and I ran across this one when I was at the mall the other day.
This jumpsuit is SO cute and is so fun and flirty---and it has a cropped leg!  It's made from a light polyester fabric! Do you think it's a sign? LOL!!! The only way to get rid of the idea is to make it right? Maybe the urge will pass. Hmmmm, we'll see.

-UFO's everywhere
I have sewing UFO's and I need to commit some time to finishing up these objects. One such project I'm trying to wrap up now is ......

-Need to Downsize:
I'm in the process of cleaning out my closet. I just want to unload and get rid of everything but the necessities. Basically I want to make at least HALF of the clothes in my closet disappear!!! And I'm not kidding. I love unloading from time to time. Simplicity is the name of the game. Besides, barely worn clothes take up too much space. It's more useful to give these items to Goodwill where they'll hopefully get better use. That will be my project this evening and I'm looking forward to it! Wish me luch:)

-Online fabric
I FINALLY ordered fabric online. Lord know's it's been forever. I had cardigans on the brain so I picked up these sweater knits at the last sale in navy, black, & brown. And I grabbed this cute print as a bonus.

 (It's hard to see the sweater knit but I have them in expresso, brown, and blue)

-I've Seen it All!!!
I was at Wal-mart picking up a few items when I ran across this product on an end cap. Buty Pads? Seriously?!? Here they are.....

-My favorite is the packet advertising....

Too funny!!! I prefer going to the gym for the same effect but hey to each there own:)

-September Vogue
I was SO happy to get my hands on this magazine. I was shocked when I didn't see more people posting about it. Here's some photos I've been ripping out of the magazine. There's so much inspiring stuff in it!

-Netflix Fashion DVD

I was looking through movies on DVD and ran across the movie Bill Cunnigham New York. Now by the title you wouldn't guess this is the documentary about an 80 year old man who travels by bicycle taking pictures and documenting the fashion in NYC. He publishes his photos in the Sunday New York Times. This looks pretty interesting and has received alot of awards. I'll definitely be checking it out!

-Mad Love for Ann Taylor
I'm always mesmerized by the Ann Taylor window displays. I could wear ANYTHING from that store!!! See what I mean....

(This top is TOO gorgeous!!!)

(Sorry for the glare, but I loved this coat)

-Taking my fashion in Moderation.....
I really like the store Body Shop but to be quite honest it's ALOT to take in at times. The store is packed with trendy styles that overloads my brain a bit. My style is ALOT simpler and doesn't revolve around tons of trendy sequined tops and short skirts. To be this trendy all of the time, not that I'd want to, I'd have to spend WAY too much money. It's cool for those who like this but just not my style. Nonetheless I like to do a quick browse through the store and check out their jewelry. And of course the window displays are always enticing!

Ok, this is what's been on my mind. What's been plaguing your thoughts????

Sunday, September 18, 2011

McCall's 6112--- The Geometric print dress

 This is a quick little dress I whipped up on last week. I had off on wearing it since I didn't have a belt for it and in my opinion it really needed one. It's a fun little dress and I'm happy with the results. Love the fabric and am happy I could showcase it in this way. Here's the review.
McCall's 6112
Pattern Description:
Dress has short kimono sleeves with slit and straight skirt.

Pattern Sizing:
I bought the group sizes of 14 and up so I had to scale it down to a 12 at the bodice and kept it a 14 at the hips and below.
(Back view)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very much so!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was an easy pattern I could use to show off a great knit print. I loved the sleeves too!
(love those sleeves)

(Belt close up---couldn't find the one I wanted in time so made due with this one. In the end it worked well)

Fabric Used:
A rayon poly knit in a cool geometric print.
(fabric up close)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. I nixed the pockets so I made view C for the bodice and used view B for the skirt.
2. I coverstitched the hem, lower edge of sleeves, & the neck edge.
3. I made the waist casing as I always do. I sewed the 1 1/4 seam allowance and serged the edge leaving an opening to insert the elastic.  My casing was kept free from the dress and wasn't sewn down.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I think so! It's a great, trendy dress!

Cute little dress! Great if you need a quickie project!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let's "Chat" about it.......

I added a Chat Box (upper right corner, under my photo) to my blog for those of you who want to do a little talking about sewing. I've been meaning to do this for AGES and finally got around to it. I understand everyone doesn't have a blogger login and not everyone wants to send an email--so here's some middle ground for you:) Feel free to leave your comments, questions, thoughts about sewing. I'd love to respond to them.

Looking forward to chatting with you:)

FYI: I'm also a networked Blog so if you'd like to follow me through Face Book then you can click on "Follow this Blog" in the NetworkBlogs box (located under the Members box, below on the right). Just trying to keep things easy around here. Enjoy your day:)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Burda Loot!!!

Well I made it to Jo-Ann's after work on tomorrow and was all too excited to make a bee-line to the Burda pattern cabinet. None of the pattern sale signs were up and no one was at the pattern table. So frankly, if you didn't check the sales flyer you wouldn't have known about the sale. That worked in my favor!!! I came armed my list of patterns of interest that I looked up earlier at the French Burda website (thanks for the info Isidore)!!! And since no one was around I just camped out at the pattern cabinets and took my sweet time (way too much time) whittling down my list of patterns. I was SHOCKED to find that for most pattern numbers there was only one pattern available. So I ended up taking the last (and maybe the only) pattern for the 8 patterns I purchased. I'm happy I got everything I wanted but I feel sorry for the poor souls that come behind me looking for the same pattern. When they have Burda sales, Jo-Ann's should really consider stocking up those patterns!

Well here are the patterns I ended up with......

Love these dresses! They're so versatile and I think I could get multiple uses out of them. I particularly love the dress depicted in the first pattern. Here it is up close.
The dress is very simple and borderline too loose for my style but with the right fabric and the cute frills at the hem, I think it would be a winner. Plus, I have a few unusual prints that would be perfect for this type of pattern.

Also, this dress was cute too and I would LOVE to make it in a sparkling fabric for a special occasion. I also like the multiple looks for this dress. This would make for a cute & versatile little black dress.
I also liked these patterns too. Some cute tops that I could get some good use out of. I particularly like 7742 since I have a few ribbed knits that I could use to make my own turtlenecks. Those are definitely a staple for cold weather.

And of course a couple of outwear patterns. There's nothing like having stylish coats to go over other stylishly sewn outfits.  I love view C on the first pattern (left). View A is a little too costumey for me. And I love both styles on the right pattern.

Anywho, that's all I picked up from the Burda sale. I'm happy to say that I don't do impulse buys when it comes to patterns--- (well maybe every once in a while)---but definitely not like I used to. So I hope to be It was nice picking out these patterns and I definitely see these made up in my wardrobe in the future. Hopefully that will be sooner than later:) How about you, were you able to make it to the Burda pattern sale? Did you get some real goodies:)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Extra! Extra! ---Burda Patterns on SALE!

Hey Gals,

Was perusing the Jo-Ann's sales fler and discovered that Jo-Ann's is having a pattern sale. I noticed that in addition to $1.99 Simplicity patterns there will also be $2.49 Burda patterns. I almost fell out of my chair. I missed the last Burda pattern sale at Hancock's a few months back and am happy a second chance has come along.

I like Burda patterns since they're a European pattern company and drafted differently than the American Big 4 (Simplicity, McCall's, etc.). I appreciate the streamlined fit more. I rarely buy Burda's because I don't like paying full price for them. Well with a sale like this I can rack up on some.

Excuse me, got to wrap up my work so I can head there right after work. The sale is from Sept. 8-10.  Does anyone know how to access the Burda pattern catalog online? I usually like to do my shopping online before I get to the store so I don't have to wait for a catalog.  I found but I could only see the patterns that correspond to the magazine, not the in store catalog. Maybe I'm overlooking something.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 9.5.11

My weekly thoughts on sewing, sewing, and more sewing!!! Here's what's been on my mind.....

-No-Way to Burda 7682
 I really wanted to make this dress and was strongly leaning toward it until I opened the pattern sheet and saw the size of the pattern. The skirt pieces are HUGE and 2 of each are required for both the front and back skirt. YIKES!!!
 (It's almost half the size of my pattern table)

It should've dawned on me when I noticed this pattern called for more about 6 yards of fabric. Besides, sometimes full skirts can be a bit tricky. I LOVE my fabric but don't know if I really need 5 yards of fabric for the skirts. Truth be told, I want this same style dress but with a narrower skirt. So I'm going to have to pass on this one! Think I'll make the short version though---one day......

- Jegging fabric out of the wazoo
 Ok, months ago I enquired on my blog about where I could find knit materials used to make jeggings. A reader so kindly responded that they found jegging material in the clearance rack at Jo-Ann's. Well a few months later, I was able to find the exact same thing and was SO excited. So excited that I stupidly bought like 5+ yards of it. Heck, I only need about 1-1 1/2 for jeggings! Well I got excited (and I got a good price on it) and convinced myself that I can make many other garments from it. But now I'm stuck. I guess I could make a fitted top, halter dress, etc. Any suggestions? Well I'm going to have to do something. I already know I'm going to make a short and long pair of leggings.

-Missing in Action
 I HATE ( and although it's a strong word, I do mean HATE) when I cannot find a pattern that I want to use. And I have the PERFECT paisley cotton fabric for it. Bummer!!! I cut out this pattern a while ago and can't find it. It's in my sewing room and I'm certain I'm just overlooking it.  I REALLY want this top! Sigh! May need to go and pick it up at the store. Fortunately Buttericks are regularly priced at $5.99. Although it's not the usual $0.99 it beats the envelope price. I've got to get my little grubby hands on this STAT!!!!

-On the Fence

I can't believe I'm actually admitting this, but I'm on the fence with Vogue 1250. I know everyone and their mama's made this pattern and sworn by it--and they should because I've seen alot of gorgeous versions of this dress. But I still have my reservations. I think it's the pattern envelope picture that throws me off. I can't stand how the cowl draped neckline creates ripples down through the waist of the garment . I just don't like the wrinkling effect.  But after looking at the Pattern Review pics again I can see that the dress seems to fit you all better than the model on the pattern envelope. Maybe I should give this after all.....

-Excited about Fall Sewing.....

I'm all about Spring and Summer but I find myself getting a bit excited about Fall Sewing. The fact that I've picked up some new patterns and still have some patterns from last year that I want to make as well.
I love these two new patterns.
I've already picked my fabric for the cute dress on the left. I just need to get some cute shoe booties to go along with it. And I love over-sized shirts and jeggings. What effortless style!!!

-Active Wear Needed

I've started up working out at the YMCA after a 5 year hiatus of faithfully working out at home.  I used to be such a "gym rat" and I'm excited that I've returned to my roots. The health benefits go without saying and I have SO much energy to do more things. So I'm encouraging you to also invest in your health and make sure you get enough physical exercise. Ok, I'm done with the PSA! LOL! Anyhow, I went shopping for some more work out clothes especially since it actually matters what you look like when working out versus doing so in the privacy of your own home. I was astonished at how expensive active wear is. I went to the Reebok outlet and ended up buying one $6 shirt on clearance. Everything else was a bit pricey--but keep in mind anything over $15 is pricey to me. I really wanted a cute pair of workout capri's but didn't $30 for them.
 I may have to look into sewing up some for myself. I'll get to work on hunting down active wear patterns.

-JoAnn's Dress displays

Have you seen the dress displays at Jo-Ann's that are used to promote various patterns. Someone pre-sews these garments (wouldn't you like for that to be your job? LOL) and they're put on display. Well I ran into 2 that I just loved!!!! Note the dresses and accompanying stat cards.
                                                   Dress #1

                                                    Dress #2

Well that's it for now. I think there's more but just can't think about it right now. Gotta get back to catching up on your blogs and sewing. Happy sewing to you!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vogue 8631---Pretty Paisley Dress

 OK, as you can see from my last post, I changed my mind again!!! I wanted to make something with a little more drama. After doing a little pattern & fabric digging I came up with this look. I've had this fabric in my stash for a few months and was looking for the perfect pattern. I'm happy with the results. I can't tell you how excited I was to be sewing again. I had another crazy sewing dream the night before I made this dress. It's too crazy and slightly embarrassing to share but fortunately it doesn't involve any of my fellow seamstresses (wink)!

 (Front View and BIG Hair!!! Gotta love steam rollers LOL!!!)

Vogue 8631

Pattern Description:
Wrap dresses A, B have extended shoulders, front pleats, back darts, side seam pockets, inside ties, sleeve variations, hook and eye closure and bias tape finish. A: short sleeves in one with bodice. B: three-quarter
length sleeves. Length is 2" below mid-knee at center back.

Pattern Sizing:
I read from the other reviewers that this dress ran pretty big. So I went down a size and made a muslin using cotton muslin.
 ( Back view- muslin)

 (Front view- muslin)

After looking over the muslin and taking into consideration that I would be using a moderate stretch knit (crosswise stretch only), I went down another size. I ended up making a size 8 for the bust and 10 for the skirt. Just to give you some perspective, I'm a size 8 RTW and normally make a size 12 (top) and 14 (bottom). So this pattern did run a bit big!!!!

 (Back View)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very much so!!!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the simplicity of the pattern--being only 5 pieces. There wasn't anything really to dislike! The neckline was a little lower than expected so I wore a cami with it. I actually like it better with the cami!

Fabric Used:
A polyester, moderate stretch knit in a great paisley print in yellow, blue, red, tan, etc.
(Fabric up close)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
*I lengthened it by 1.5".
*My back length is shorter than my front so I ended up taking 1" out the   base of the bodice, tapering to nothing at the side seams.
*I nixed the pockets.
*I did a baby hem.
*Stabilized the shoulder seams with clear elastic.
*I cut the back and bodice piece on the fold.

(And I got to wear my new Nine West sandals---Yayyyyy!!!)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely!!!! It's a SUPER easy dress to sew. I made it in a few hours. The bottom of the skirt is pretty and reminds me of a tulip. It's really flattering on all types of figures.

Beautiful dress! A+++++ Results! It's definitely a Winner.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back and revving up the Engines to sew.....

It's really nice to be back after 2 weeks away from work in a VERY cold place!!!! Trust me I welcomed the heat and humidity of Savannah, Ga. It took me about 16 hours of flying and I made it back from Alaska on last Tuesday. Just in time to celebrate my Anniversary with my Hubby (14 years, 9 of em' married) on the 24th and the "Wee-One's" 4th Birthday on the 26th. These are 2 VERY important people in my life and I wouldn't be able to do half of the stuff I do without their support. They are the joy of my heart!!!!

 (Milk moustaches for everyone)

Well at the end of my 2 week sewing hiatus, I went through such bad sewing withdrawal that I started dreaming about sewing. Well it was only one dream but it was pretty humorous. I dreamed that I went to Rachel's (from the wonderful blog Smoking Needles) house. We met up, hung out for a while, and somehow she ended up agreeing to make me a dress. I don't remember all of the details of the dream, but I remember sitting down to watch tv and 45 minutes later Rachel emerged with a well sewn, satin, pink princess seam dress. All I remember thinking in my sleep was man, that woman's fast!!! LOL!  I think we'd all admit 45 minutes would pretty fast to sew up most anything aside from a tank top.  I just found it pretty funny to be dreaming about sewing. Well if you weren't convince I was obsessed with the craft before well there you go! LOL!

Needless to say I'm happy to be back and I'm itching to sew. I'd planned to sew up a bday outfit for the Wee-One but we had such an informal birthday party for her that there was no need. So now I've got to figure out what I want to make myself. After a couple of days of indecision I finally had a eureeka moment.

While at they gym the other day (my first time back after a number of years of absence--sinceI had a little quality time on the treadmill and eliptical machine and was able to ready the lastest issue of People Style Watch.

 I ran across this dress and instantly fell in love with it!!!

I saw a few more pics of some dresses I liked....

and so I felt inspired to make me a cute denim dress. Actually it was a shirt dress that I saw in another magazine (not pictured) that inspired the denim dress idea. I don't own one and have always wanted to make one. So I went looking for the perfect pattern among my stash. Plus, I bought these cute Nine West camel sandals
before I left for my trip (I HEART these sandals)....
and they'd go perfect with a denim dress. But alas the week has gone by SO QUICKLY and it's already Thursday. And I still hadn't decided on a denim dress pattern so I think I will have to settle for a plan B dress......

The Simplicity 2187 dress---(I STILL so want to sew the jumpsuit). Possibly in one of these knit prints with a white tank top? Which do you like best for the dress???

Hey it's not the most ambitious project but I need something quick so I can get to sewing again. It's been WAY too long!!!!

Anywho, I'm on the task and will keep you posted. I look forward to curling up with my laptop this weekend and catching up on your blog posts as well. I've seen some cute dresses floating out there. I particularly loved Toy's Blue suit!!! Anyway, check you guys later and happy sewing to you!!!


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