I lost all self control the other day and I made an order for some new fabrics. Initially I was only buying fabric for my prom dress (Have I mentioned that yet? I can’t remember.) and for Mattie’s dress shirt for prom. But then I saw some other fabulous fabrics and I had to have them. I tried really hard to not buy them, but yeah… You know how it is, right? Anyway, I have two shirts I absolutely adore and would love to have a few other versions of them. One however is a really summery shirt, and Summer is coming to an end, so I decided to skip out of making another version or two of it for now. The other shirt I love though is more suited for other weather, depending of fabrics used. My first version (link in previous sentence) was made with a very light weight shirting material and is perfect for Summer. Its so light I worry about it being ripped to shreds when the dog jumps on me, but amazingly that hasn’t happened. Maybe the fabric is tougher than I think it is. Anyway, I want to make two other versions of this shirt, but do the shorter length of it with longer sleeves (View D) and maybe do one with the sleeves tacked up and one with them down all the way. I found two fun fabrics, both novelty prints, that I think will be great for this. One is a brown color with postage stamps bearing messages of love, and the other is a lime green with colorful buttons all over it. I think they’re both going to be super cute, and very wearable with both jeans and solid colored skirts. I only drew the mock-up with the sleeves tacked up, but I’m sure you can imagine them all the way down.

3

 

I also ordered some solid color Kona cotton (I love this stuff!) to make two new ½ circle skirts. I thought I loved the full circle skirt, but after making a ½, I was pretty much over the full circle. I chose fabrics in charcoal grey and in coral (which I’m hoping is as pictured, more orange-y than pink) and I can’t wait for them to get here. Oddly enough I think I might be able to wear these versions of the shirts paired with the skirts I did mock-ups of here. That will be a win!

Now, about prom. If I haven’t mentioned it yet, my friend Joann is having a prom themed birthday party in November, and Mattie and I were invited to in the fun. It took me forever to decide on a dress pattern. I knew from the beginning I was going to be making my own dress, but choosing was hard. The dress I’m making is long, sleek, and has some rather interesting shaping and detailing front and back around the neckline. I’ll have to find a strapless bra, which will be a challenge to find one that fits, but the dress is gorgeous. I only wish I had been able to find the fabric I chose for it in a royal blue- instead all I could find was hunter green, but I think its still going to look fab. I was only able to find one person online who has made this dress, and she ran into a few issues, so hoping I can get this baby finished without any major hang-ups!

 

poppycircleI don’t have much to say about this. Its pretty and kind of flirty, a basic half circle skirt, and it took me about an hour start to finish to make. Even Mattie likes it, which is something. 🙂 I love this skirt already and I can’t wait to actually wear it for something besides pictures- I hung it back up afterwards because I might be shooting pool tonight and a short skirt isn’t very practical!

m5330This pattern McCall’s 5330 turned out pretty nicely when I made view A. I had a little trouble with buttonholes, as I always do, but it turned out well. But years ago I had tried to make view B of this skirt, with bad results.

I hadn’t been sewing long at that point, and I believe I also tried to grade the pattern up as well (I hope that’s what happened anyway) and it was just a mess. The last time I went out to my mom’s, I snagged this skirt, which also happened to be made in a rather dubious fabric possible only intended for quilting, and today I attempted to remake it into something wearable.

I wanted to stick with the original pattern, so first I ripped all the seams apart. This I actually did weeks ago while watching TV or something. This afternoon I laid the pieces out along with the pattern pieces, which were cut in my proper size now, and realized I had to cut a little bit of fabric of each piece. So far, so good, right?

I stitches everything back together, opting to leave out the horribly mangled waistband piece. I made a new waistband. I put in the zipper. I tried it on. The first thing I noticed was that it was at least 3 inches too big in the waist. Not good, but fixable. The second thing I noticed was if I had put on a trash bag, it would have fit better. The skirt was bubbled and puffed and bulgy in places I don’t have bulges. I know there was supposed to be some fullness to this skirt because of the big front pleats but this was terrible.

I ran two quick lines of stitches down the sides, bringing in the waist and hips a few inches on each side, and tried it on again. It fit now, but it was still just awful. No way I could ever wear it without wanting to hide from shame, between the bad fit and the bad fabric. I ripped out the zipper, put it back with my other zippers, and threw thee whole skirt into bag I keep for collecting scraps for my friend Donna’s quilting projects. While I was at it, I also threw some pink and white fabric I got from my grandma that had been cut into a dress. At once point I was going to construct the dress she started, but only half the pieces are there. The pieces are small enough too I can’t do much with them, so into the bag they went.

In short, I’m terribly disappointed because I wanted a new piece of clothing t hang in my close today. But really, I think even if the skirt had fit nicely, I would have tossed it anyway. The fabric I used for it was bad, and I’d never have worn it. I’m going to cut myself a new ½ circle skirt this evening out of a nice black fabric with bright orange poppies on it, and I’ll take photos tomorrow to share with you.

Yesterday I posted that I was working on Kwik Sew 3740. I had planned on showing you two versions of that top today, but by 9:30am it was stifling hot in my craft room so I only got this blue version finished. I do really like how it turned out though, save for some minor stitch in the ditch issues. I finally figured out as I was attached the last piece of binding that if I slowed my sewing way, way down, I could stay almost perfectly in the ditch.

Don’t mind my ridiculous sunglasses- I bought three pair off of eBay a week ago and these ones are not the most ridiculous of the bunch. I also got pink cat’s eye frames, ad some black frames the same as these ones.

KS3740-front

 

I also used black thread on this, which really isn’t as noticeable as I was afraid it would be, mainly due to most of the stitching being “in the ditch.” The Kelly green half circle skirt is something I made a few weeks ago to wear with this top to Tracy and David’s BBQ. I think I looked a bit like a Christmas tree but I went with it because I liked it.

 

You’ll have to excuse my wrinkles- we literally had just come home form a movie and lunch right before I took these pictures. We saw After Earth, which was decent, but I guess its being touted as a total flop. When I walked into the movies and handed the girl our tickets, she looked right at me, and I quote- “OMG! You look beautiful!” Totally unexpected but very welcome compliment. After we had lunch we ran to the store for a few things and a little girl complimented my shoes as well. 😀

greenearrings

 

This pic is silly, but I wanted to show you guys my earrings- these are some I made, and I have two pair of them available in my Etsy shop right now for $5.00 a pair. They’re made with lime green glass beads with white polka dots, and green Swarovski crystals at the tops.

Anyway, Kwik Sew 3740 View B is a super easy pattern, and if I had done it all at once, probably would have taken me about 70 minutes from pinning the pattern down to finishing sewing it. As I said up there, I had some issues staying in the ditch when doing the edge bindings, but no real issues on this one.

You ever get an idea, and even though it seems ridiculous, you just have to make it work? That’s what happened here with this half circle skirt. I was laying in bed, and all of a sudden I was like “Hey! Let’s make that next skirt reversible! That should be easy!” The next morning, after thinking about it all night it seems, I realized I would have to find an reversible zipper. My first stop was eBay to the seller I buy all my zippers from, usually in bulk. Then I tried Etsy. Then I went back to eBay. I realized at some point that if I wanted a reversible zipper, it was going to have to be a separating zipper, no problem except it would be exposed due to the nature of how separating zippers are, so I had to find one that actually matched. Do you know how hard it is to find a pink separating zipper? And to find one that is roughly the same length as your skirt? A little short would work, but longer would not unless I wanted to add another border to my skirt to increase its length to match. :getlost:

halfcirclereversefront1

I finally found my zipper, paid almost $7 for it including shipping, and waiting for it to arrive. The arrival date on my purchases page said June 3rd. I waited, impatiently. I stared at my skirt. I worried whether or not it would work or if I just bought myself a really expensive zipper for no reason. Finally, today, 4 days ahead of schedule, it arrived. :kissing:

halfcirclereverseback1

Amazingly, it not only worked, but it worked perfectly, and dude to the larger size of this zipper, it was much easier to sew in compared to an actual skirt zipper. My skirt is fully reversible, the two layers of cotton give it enough body that it kind of fakes having a crinoline, and I actually love how the zipper looks in it. Its definitely a modern twist on an old style, but I think it’s fab! :wub:

halfcirclereverseback2

The zipper is a really bright pink- more like magenta, but it works. Its also about 2 inches shorter than my skirt, so there’s a small slit at the bottom where the zipper ends. You might also recognize my shirt as this one, just partially unbuttoned and tied in a knot. I was too lazy to change my shirt, so I just changed how it looked for the photos. :sideways: The only thing I don’t like about how the skirt turned out (and you can kind of see it in this last picture) is the bottom edge was a little wonky in the border fabric alongside the zipper. Other then that, I love it!

I also made something else today, but I’ll post that later on. :silly:

zipYou ever have a brilliant idea, then think about it and realize its absolutely ridiculous? That’s what happened here. I wanted to make a reversible half circle skirt. But I didn’t want it to have an elasticized waist. I’m not a fan of elastic and with certain fabrics, it always manages to look bulky and not very slimming. Then I realized it wasn’t going to be quite so simple because I would need a reversible zipper to do this. The problem there is two-fold. The first part was finding a zipper. I was under the mistaken impression I could just hop onto eBay and find a pink, reversible, non-exasperating zipper. Boy was I wrong! What I did find (and this is all I found and it was the last one) was a pink separating zipper that measures about an inch shorter than the length of my skirt. I grabbed it in a hurry and now of course I’m waiting for it to arrive, though it was just shipped out today.

I have already cut the skirt and sewn the panels together. I decided I like this skirt so much to copy it, and I was able to use huge stretches of two fabrics I had no idea what to do with. You might recognize the lighter pink fabric as the one I made that disastrous vest out of. I had 4 yards of the lighter fabric and 2 yards of the darker one, thanks to an ordering error at Fabric.com where my order was doubled. I never made what I had intended the fabric for, but after cutting and stitching this up, I really like these two fabrics for this skirt.

pink1 pink2
I just have this pinned onto my dress form, but you can see how cute this is going to be! My estimated delivery date for the zipper is June 3rd, so hopefully then I can show you the skirt in its finished state. It is going to be a challenge putting the zipper in without it being super noticeable though as this is not a regular light-duty dress zipper. I may end up doing the exposed zip thing instead- we’ll see how it looks and what I can do with it.

I know I still owe you guys photos of the something I made the other day but as I said, you’ll get those after the weekend. I’m wearing it to a BBQ on Saturday. :sideways:

S2365-CasingI did some sewing on Simplicity 2365 today (finally!) and stitched the front, sides, and back together. I also put in the casing on the inside, which I think I managed to do correctly. I’ve so far followed the directions to a T, but who knows how long that will actually last. I never seem to stick to the directions for anything for long. The casing is some old light blue bias tape I happened to have on hand, and I’m betting its actually something from the stash of stuff I raided from my mom ages ago, so I was glad to use most of it. Tomorrow I will be hemming the bottom, and adding the front facings and collar to it, plus probably whatever follows that step directly.

The fabric (since I couldn’t remember for the life of me what it was the last time I talked about this) is a cream and pale blue plaid shirting cotton. Its going to be a great light-weight shirt for the coming summer, and I can’t wait to wear it. I’m a little worried about it though because I hate having raw edges showing anywhere, so I used French seams to contain them, which makes me seam allowances just a tiny bit wider overall. I don’t think it will be a problem, but if it is, well, I’m almost down into the next size, so it won’t be a problem for long.

I also took the time to work up some mock-ups for some of the shirt patterns I have coming now from Simplicity. I love the way they look with these fabrics, which I also ordered from Fabric.com taking advantage of a sale, and a coupon. I honestly don’t know which of these I like best, but it looks like I’m going to have to stitch up some stuff in solid colors as well to go with all of these crazy prints!

mockups

I’m thinking of using the kelly green broadcloth I recently got to make another circle skirt, but maybe only a half circle. I’ll be making use of this fantastic circle skirt calculator to do it. Its super easy to use- you just plug in your waist measurement, how long you want your skirt to be in inches, and the seam allowances/hems and it does the math for you, giving you the radius for the circle you need to cut, and how far in you need to cut the waist hole circle. I initially had a different plan for the kelly green, but its so much brighter than I expected that I don’t want to use it for my first idea any more. I think a plain green skirt would be nice though. 🙂 Someone recently posted a gorgeous vintage-styled dress in blues and greens that I loved, and now I’m wanting to try out the color combo myself.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll hopefully see you all tomorrow with progress on Simplicity 2365 and some more photos.

Way back in September of last year, I whipped up this circle skirt. Right away I loved it, and I wore it quite a bit. It was fun, flirty, and if I spun around really fast, it flared straight out and made me feel like a little girl. I adored it. But as time went on, I lost weight, about 25 pounds. And as I lost weight, the skirt got looser and looser. Eventually I could literally slip it off without unzipping it, which leads to the worry that it might casually fall off of my body at some randomly decided moment. This was a problem, as I loved this skirt and wanted to keep wearing it.

Tonight I ripped out the waistband and added a few pleats to take up the slack. I actually ended up taking 6 inches out of the waist of it, and putting it back together. I feel like I did a somewhat sloppy job of it because I had previously used a French seam for the waistband attachment, but didn’t do that when I put it back on tonight, because each time I attach it with a French seam, I run the risk of losing a bit of fabric if I need to trim the edges up. Since I’m going to have to do this again in another 25 pounds, I’d rather save that for when I do it the final time.

No photos tonight, as you’ve already seen the skirt before. I do have a question for you. I am dying to stitch up a new dress, but I hesitate because I know I am going to be losing quite a bit more weight- about 35 pounds, and I don’t want to have to tear it apart in a few months and essentially sew it all over again. What I am pondering is sewing a knit dress, and cutting it a size smaller so I will “grow” into it. Thoughts?

As I stated on the front page of this blog, I have a dress form that I bought several years ago. When I bought it, it was hard to find one that was the right size for my body. Most of the dress forms were for much smaller bodies than mine, and the full-figured ones were much too big. When I did find one, it was expensive. Anyway, today I realized I hadn’t adjusted my dress form for a while, and went out to take it in all over. Guess what I discovered? After taking in the waist adjustment all the way, it was still too big by an inch! And the bust and hip measurements can only be taken in an inch or two more before they won’t go any further. On one hand it makes me sad because I’ll have to buy a new one if I want to continue using it, but on the other hand, its great because of how many inches I’ve lost. That opens a whole new thing though, because finding one that picks up where this one left off and goes down to a size I know I won’t shrink out of any time soon can be tough. I’ve already started looking around.

I’ve also decided I am going to make a few items of clothing, then wait until I drop another size before making more. I’m also really going to focus on separates and pieces that are more versatile rather than the crazy printed dresses I’ve always favored in the past. In the last few weeks, I’ve made McCall’s 6400, which will fit for a while, Simplicity 3797 (which was a bust for now but will look better when I’m slimmer and can take it in a bit), Butterick 5011 (which needs a little fine-tuning still that I’ll be doing shortly), the circle skirt, and right now I am working on a fully lined version of McCall’s 5330 skirt, the button down view. I have all of the fabric cut, and sewing will go quickly as there’s only a few darts and its very basic, but I’m waiting on buttons to get here so for now its pretty much on hold. After that I’m planning on two more items (thinking a jumper for one )for this Fall/Winter and calling it good until I’m down to a pattern size 18.

I’m also contemplating re-using my Labyrinth Masquerade Ball dress for Halloween. I’ll need to take it in pretty much everywhere, but that won’t be too much work. And I’ll actually do the last few touches of the dress like it was supposed to be, not how my lazy ass did it the first time. Its a beautiful dress, but it makes me sad that I only got to wear it once and that I bought a hoop skirt to also use only once.

I did the dress in a powder blue and a medium purple, and if I remember right the blue has glitter in it too. Basically when I cut the dress, I didn’t measure myself correctly and cut it much too big. I never tried it on until it was pretty much finished, and then I didn’t have time to tear it halfway apart and make the needed adjustments. I also never did the over-skirt pieces up so they have that full-bodied look; they just hang.

I have to go to my Mom’s in the next few days anyway, so will pick it up then and bring it home to adjust it. And then I can be a freaking princess for Halloween! haha

Yesterday after finishing the halter top, I decided I wanted to tackle a full circle skirt. I had about 3 yards of red fabric with white polka dots, and Butterick’s 4790 has a circle skirt as part of the dress. I cut just the skirt pieces, making them a few inches shorter as I didn’t have quite enough fabric to make them the same length as they are on the dress, and stitched the halves together.
circlefront
After that I cut a waistband, making it a few inches longer then needed, and started stitching it into place. I ended up ripping out quite a few stitches trying to decide how I wanted to finish off the waistband before deciding to make a button tab to overlap the top above the zipper.
circleback
Still the whole thing only took me about 2 hours from start to finish and I’m so pleased with it! I absolutely love it and never want to take it off! I also want to twirl and make it spin out like a little girl… lol. 😛 I did forget to add pockets though, which makes me a little sad, but I can always add them later. Its not hard to do.

circledetail

This was my first attempt at using a part of anything pattern to make something different and it was so easy! Maybe I should see what I can Frankenstein together from my other patterns!