Sunday, November 21, 2010

Denim A-line skirt - McCall's 3341

I recently joined a new church, and I quickly realized that I have nothing to wear!  I used to have a whole bunch of A-line skirts made from this pattern, but since I left my careers that required me to wear business casual, I gave away everything I didn't love.  I have 2 skirts left, and they are a size too small, and a few inches too short.  Apparently I was younger a few years ago, and the short length bothers me now.  My old skirts look on me exactly how view E looks on the pattern envelope (the short black one).  And being 5'10" with really long legs, they make me look more like a giraffe than I would like.  I decided to make a new denim skirt using view C, which is the 3rd length.
McCall's 3341
 My old tracing lines indicate that I used to make the size 14.  I can still get my old skirts on in that size, but they ride higher up on my waist.  I decided to cut an 18.  To test the fit, I cut out the facing pieces first, pinned them together, and wrapped them around my waist.  I thought they were okay, so I proceeded with the 18.  I was overconfident in my size choice, and decided against checking the fit part way through.  I think I checked the facing/lining layer, but it was so drapey, it looked fine.  I should point out that the denim I used is quite heavy.  This stuff is thicker than what most of my RTW (ready to wear) jeans are.  Anyways, I should have tried on the denim layer before I put it all together.  I was sure it was going to be fine.  I sewed the waist seam, trimmed it, and topstitched it, and then I finally tried it on.  Waw waw waaaawwww...  It was like a big cardboard tent.  Oops!  It was a full size too big.  
 I had to do a pain in the arse alteration and take in my side seams a full 2".  Why, oh why was I so overconfident?  2 sizes is a big leap.  I should know that by now.  Sigh.  I fixed it up, the subsequent 16 was fine and dandy (still hung like cardboard, though, but at least it kind of fit).  I hemmed it up just above my knee, because I was afraid of making it too short like my old ones.  
 I sewed in my fancy schmancy label.  Isn't it cute?
 I finished the inside nicely by hand-stitching the lining to the zipper.  I knew this skirt was a piece of cardboard by this point, so I just used some orange thread I already had on a needle.  You can't see it anyways!
 The first day I wore it, I discovered that it was a little long.  It kept getting caught up around my knees when I tried getting in and out of vehicles.
 I used to think that making an A-line skirt would give me some much-needed shape in the hips, but it almost hangs more like a rectangle than a straight skirt does.  I consulted my mom and asked her if she thought I should try wearing a semi-circle skirt to give me some shape, but she suggested that I try a pencil skirt first.  I need a black skirt to wear for the Christmas choir in December, so I think I'll make that next.  Hopefully the shape will be more flattering.  
 The second time I wore it, I paired it with my kimono sleeve top, and I decided to hem it up 2" more.  I did this quick and dirty, but it works.  It's much more comfortable at this length, and I intend on wearing it with opaque tights most of the time.  It's still a smidge longer than my old ones, so I'm happy with it.
This is garment #3 for 2010.  It's a much-needed wardrobe staple.  I'll probably get a lot of wear out of this until such time that I make another denim skirt that doesn't hang like cardboard.  I'll take what I can get right now!

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Patterns

Okay, I think it's time I jumped on the bandwagon and throw in a post about new patterns I'm excited about.  Normally, I don't come across stuff that gets me this excited.  My first choice proves that I'm a huge dork.  One-piece pajamas!  OMG!!!  I once drafted myself a jumpsuit because I wanted one so badly.  Perhaps this year, instead of making myself a new pair of PJ pants (along with the 9 pairs I'm making for Christmas gifts), I can make myself a new jumpsuit!  *squeal!*  I can't tell you how excited I am about this!  

McCall's 6251

I'm almost as excited about pattern number 2.  I love anything asymmetrical, and I love really graphic design lines.  This skirt is super awesome.  It reminds me of a top I made many moons ago that had external darts.  This one is way cooler, though.
Butterick 5566
And just for fun, I thought this dress was really cute.  Again, asymmetrical design lines.  
Butterick 5559
And last but not least, I love this vest.  I'm a big fan of vests and anything you can zip up as an extra layer.  I plan on making lots of different types of vests or zippy hoodie shirts, sweaters, and jackets.  This one is kinda dressy, but I love it.  And I don't have much shape in my hips, so the peplum effect would work on me.  I love the design lines on the back.
Vogue 1214
Now all I have to do is wait for each brand name of these patterns to go on sale.  I'm totally making the PJ jumpsuit first, though.  So excited!  I thought they would never come up with a PJ jumpsuit!  Nice to see someone at McCall's has a sense of humour.  Now I just have to keep my eyes peeled for some extremely obnoxious flannel.  Tee hee!  Merry Christmas to me!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scott's White Shirt & Halloween Costume - Oct 2010

My brother Scott was easy on me for Halloween this year.  We basically up-cycled his costume from last year.  Here's a reminder.  I made him a shirt, pants, and a jacket.
He decided to use the same outfit, but he wanted a new white shirt.  Here's a close up of his shirt from last year.
Out of the whole outfit, the shirt fit him the best.  I made the whole suit from vintage patterns.  
I got all the hard work out of the way last year when I graded this shirt pattern from a 34 chest to a 46.  It fit him perfectly; all I had to do was lower the armhole by an inch.  And of course, I added extra length to the sleeves and hem.  (He's 6'8" - perfect candidate for custom sewing) It has a really nice shape.  It's not just a rectangle, it's slightly tapered at the waist.  Those dudes back in the 70's sure knew how to dress!
I bought some nice white cotton poplin and it sewed up wonderfully.  The printed stuff from last year was quilting cotton.  The poplin was even better, but then again, it's kinda designed for shirts and stuff, isn't it?  The sewing went really well.  I felt like I was flying through everything, but it still took me 6 hours from start to finish.  I liked that I didn't have to measure anything.  It fit perfectly last time, so I didn't have to double check the fit or anything.
I hope you can see how good the fit is.  It looks even better in person.  I don't think I could have done a better job if I had drafted it from scratch.  What a lucky pattern!  I can't wait to make him more.  Except the next ones will have a slightly smaller collar.  Those wing tips go all the way to his shoulders!
Here is the Disco Vampire look he came up with.  The makeup is a little intense, but he informed me that it was exaggerated because he would be in a dark bar all night.  Oh, and I took in his suit a little more this year.  It was a bit boxy.  Now it fits him nice and snug.  Pretty spiffy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

This is the first time since college that my hubby has dressed up for Halloween.  And for myself, it's the first time I've dressed up to actually go out.  I usually just dress up for work.  It was so much fun!  Tyler found a mullet wig, an old hat that said "Tomato Festival '85", and a red plaid flannel coat.  He makes a pretty cute redneck!  And I gotta say, for how obnoxious it was, I was really digging the mullet!
I wore my gypsy costume that I made 6 years ago.  This is the first time I've worn it since that year!  I lent it to my mom a couple times, and to 2 other people.  I didn't like how the vest cuts off at the waist (not flattering on a short-waister like me), but by wearing my corset underneath, I solved that problem.  I tried it with a blonde wig this time, instead of the black one I wore before.  I don't think gypsies are supposed to be blonde, but what the heck, I still looked cute.  
Here are some of my favorite costumes from that night.
Fiona & Shrek
Roman couple
Marie Antoinette
Men's costume contest
It was a really fun night.  I can't wait to make more costumes!  I already have one in the works (started it 3 years ago!), and I really want to finish it.  I also need to make something for Tyler.   
And just for fun, here are a couple pictures I took of a house in our neighbourhood.  They always have this ghoul hanging over their door (the one on the right), but they went all out this year and filled their whole front yard with creatures and scary things.
 I was particularly tickled by this poor lady.  I thought you guys would get a kick out of her too.  
 I don't know about you, but every once in a while, I work so hard on a big project, that I feel like this when I'm done.  Let's remember her and remind ourselves to take it easy!  Sewing is supposed to be fun!
  I hope everyone had fun on Halloween!