One bad go at pants wasn’t enough. I had to try again. This time I used this simple slacks looking pattern and again, I traced the pattern out on kraft paper and graded up a few sizes. I ran into a few issues in tracing, which may have led to some of my problems with fit. Basically, the pattern was printed lighter than normal so I had to sandwich the pattern between two layers of kraft paper to make the lines visible to trace out. That meant trying to keep all the layers still, which was beyond difficult. In hindsight, I should have pinned them together first. Doh! Anyway, I finally got my pieces traced and a few measurements told me things were going to be a bit big. My waistline was measuring out at 52″, not subtracting for seam allowances so I know I’d have to take things in. I sewed them as is though and then tried them on and yup, way too big. I ended up ripping out the waistband, and taking in about 2.5″ from each outside seam, plus adding one small dart that took up about an inch into each side in the back. ThatRead the rest…

After making yesterday’s post about my old ball gown, I repaired the waistband, and spent a ridiculously long time ripping out the stitches on the two panels that hung down the sides of the bodice. You’d think ripping about about 24″ of stitching would be fast and easy, but apparently the girl-who-can’t-follow-directions not only sewed the bodice together all wrong, but she also kept changing the stitch length on different seams making some of the stitches very tight and very difficult to pick out. That’s not so bad though, right? Just slow going? Oh wait! And then it gets better. On one side of the bodice, I used pleats to make the panel fit. On the other side, I used gathering. What the hell was I thinking? Oh wait. Not only was I not reading or following the directions, I was not thinking either. I’m kind of embarrassed to have done this, even if it was years ago. I remembered as I put the gown on my dress form that when I wore it to the ball, we had to use safety pins to hold the skirt up to the bodice in the back because there was a big gapRead the rest…

About 5 years ago, little new-to-sewing me decided she was going to attend the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball for a second time, and she needed a dress. She decided to sew up a pattern she found, but apparently she had no idea how to follow directions. Today I pulled this dress out thinking “Hey! Halloween is coming up! Maybe I can sell this!” and found the waistband a mess, which I repaired. After doing so (and gathering a waist of 175 inches down to about 36 inches is a pain in the ass!) I discovered I had originally put the zipper in between the wrong two panels, that this skirt has a definite front and back. That means I will have to undo what I did, and move the zipper to the right location or else the zipper has a very odd placement when worn. I also took a good look at the pattern envelope and found I did not even come close to putting the bodice together right. I knew I never dd the pollinading (however you spell that) but apparently the two purple panels hanging over the hips are supposed to go around the entire bodice exceptRead the rest…

I’ve posted a few projects in the last few months that have had either lousy pics, or mentioned things without any pictures at all. This afternoon my new camera arrived, and I was able to get a few quick photos of some of the stuff you really did not get to see before, so here’s a quick photo dump. I’ll start with Simplicity 1612, View E, which was my prom party dress. I had posted photos from the party that the photographer took, but none of them really showcased my dress well. This dress turned out great except for some slightly wonkiness at the neckline, but that may have been caused by user error.   The back of this dress is fairly open, and ties at the neck. I had originally wanted to do the view with the twist back detail, but ended up falling in love with this one after seeing it sewn on another sewer’s blog.   One last shot. Look who needs to redo her nails! Whoops!   Here’s McCall’s 6173, View A. I’ve sewn these pants before but wanted one more pair of them because they are so freaking comfortable. I’m totally channeling my inner PegRead the rest…

Butterick 5169 View B is the long sleeved top at left. I had tried to sew this pattern once years ago and having no idea how so sew, or how to follow directions, it was a complete and total failure. I can’t remember what happened to the top in question- I probably threw it out and said good riddance. I do remember there were horribly placed button holes that ruined it completely. Anyway, in my attempt to clean up and use up some fabrics, I realized a girl can never have too many tops and started going through my shirt patterns. I came across this one and figured why not? It’s been years since I tried it and I actually kind of know how to sew now. I checked the fabric requirement, saw it was a small 2 yards, and selected a 2 yard cut of charcoal Kona cotton from the pile on my beading table. One less cut of fabric to put away, right? The top is someone fitted, with a lot of darts (6 I think it was), and buttons down the front. I have button holes, but figured there are only four so why not give itRead the rest…

  Here’s a few new mock-ups I’ve made. Some of these are super basic pieces, but I have so many crazy patterns and colors I need some “quiet” items. The lingerie I plan on modifying the bodice from Butterick 5350, and adding a lace skirt to it, that may be loosely modeled on the skirt pieces from the same pattern. If I do that, I plan on shortening them quite a bit. The back will close with a swimsuit hook at the top and be open the rest of the way down. At least that’s the plan. I can’t wait to see that gorgeous teal blue-green velvet in person! Simplicity 1613 View D I am hoping I have enough fabric to cut the neckline in the opposite direction. I think that will really make a difference in how this top looks. The fabric choice is not something I would normally buy, but I wanted to grab something different while I was in there. The pants are in a tan twill and a dark blue denim, both of which have a little stretch. I’ve never sewn pants before but I feel like I am ready to give it a try. AsRead the rest…

Way back in September of last year, I sewed View A of this pattern, and while it was cute, and I loved my fabric, it had a horrible saggy back which I now think the only way to fix it is to tear it down, interface the back panel, and add elastic inside of the panels. Its just not a good top for me, and I don’t think my fabric choice had much to do with it. :getlost: Our friends Tracy and David are having a BBQ next weekend and Tracy suggested attire or bad Hawaiian shirts and the like. I decided I’d go with the Hawaiian theme, but I was going to make an awesome shirt, not a horrible one. I had this absolutely beautiful red and white hibiscus flower fabric in my stash, but after washing it, there was barely 1 2/3 yards of it, so I knew that would limit what I could use it for. I actually got this fabric back in about 1994 while shopping at Joann’s with my grandmother and intended to make a dress with it. I still have that dress pattern, but there’s no way I’m going to see my 12 orRead the rest…

I went out to get Subway for dinner, so I stopped by Walmart on my way there and grabbed a zipper to dive in and finish Butterick 5350. When I got home, I stitched the zipper in, and hemmed the bottom. I was a little worried about the dress not zipping up, but there was no reason to be worried. It not only zips up, it actually fits really well. There was even an added bonus to the slightly adjustments I made to the fit of the bodice- I can literally get away without wearing a bra (no need to worry about bra straps showing) and still be supported enough unless I decide to go running, which is highly unlikely. Some of the changes I made from the original pattern are as follows. I ended up adding a small pleat to the lower edge of the bodice towards the outer side of the front. This was to take up some extra fabric that didn’t line up with the skirt. Considering I have no idea what size the skirt was originally cut as, I wasn’t surprised to see that there were some small issues with lining things up. I added aRead the rest…

About 4 years ago, I “attempted” to cut and sew this dress- Butterick 5350. I was doing View C, which has the sleeveless top with the deep v-neckline. I ended up making such a mess of the bodice pieces when I cut them, I literally could not sew it together. Nothing lined up, and not just by a little. I mean by 2+ inches. It was a disaster, and I ended up scrapping the bodice and making just the skirt, which was its own brand of messy. The waistband didn’t match up on either side of the zipper, and it was just bad. I can’t put my finger on why, but it was just ugly. Really, really ugly. If you want to know how ugly, you can do a search for this pattern in the archives and see the monstrosity that is the skirt. I blame part of its ugliness on poor fabric choices, but shoddy construction and that awful lining did not help. Yesterday I re-cut the bodice, this time choosing to do View B with the cap sleeves, and stitched the bodice save for adding the sleeves. Today I stitched together the sleeves, attached the skirt to theRead the rest…

The dogs failed at telling me that UPS was here this morning (!?! they usually come at 7pm) and had dropped my new girl off at the side door. I checked the tracking on it on Amazon, and saw the note that she had been delivered in the morning. Sure enough, there she was there in her box, waiting for me just outside the door. The new girl is much easier to adjust, and will work for a long time- her smallest measurements are about where I think I will be when I reach my goal weight, and right now with her let out almost all the way, she fits me fine. The bust needs to be a big bigger, but the waist and hips adjust perfectly. I also love the color of her! I should get plenty of use out of her just like I did the old girl. I also spent a lot of time messing with Butterick 4087, and I think I found a solution. As I said in my earlier post, I tried crossing the straps, but that caused a gape in the front, which told me the straps needed to go straight down. I endedRead the rest…