Friday, November 23, 2007

Simplicity 3789/3990 Rerun

Just got done hemming this and am not quite as happy with it as with my first version. The fabric stretched in a few places, and I decided to leave the side zipper out. Here are the front and side pics. Sorry for the fuzziness on the front view - not sure what's up with my camera. See that rear end that I have to work around? I'm looking at that side view now and wondering if the fact that I hemmed the front and back at two different lengths makes my butt look disproportionately bigger...

Trying to mini-SWAP

I recently tried and (in my mind) failed while trying to create a jacket from Simplicity 4789

I realize that part of the frustration stemmed from not having the right size pattern and the pattern not having multiple cup sizes. So I got the correct size pattern (I have to use a 20, not an 18) during the last Simplicity sale at Joann's but haven't worked up the gumption to re-trace. I really am trying to avoid having to do a full-bust adjustment because... well because I'm a scaredy-lazy cat and because it takes me a looong time to complete each step. I could see that the armholes would be too tight and it was too tight across the bust. I love the collar style though.
To make myself feel better, I decided to make another version of Simplicity 3789(links to my review). For some reason, it was more difficult this time. Some of the fabric stretched while I was connecting the front side sections. Anyway, this second shirt is supposed to end up being part of an outfit. Here is the almost completed shirt with some coordinating fabric:
I added a tab with a button to the sleeves. Next time I'll add some piping to the tab edges to make it stand out more.
Now, my dilemma with the coordinating navy blue fabric is that I would love to be able to get a skirt AND a jacket out of it.
The prospect is a tad daunting since I need extra fabric to lengthen a skirt and lengthen the arms on a jacket. I have 4 yards of the navy blue, and it's 50-60 inches wide (lemme check)... Okay, just measured, it's 55 inches wide. So... after flipping through the patterns I have that include jackets, I settled on an out-of print one - New Look 6159.
I've made the A-line skirt from this pattern twice. For this ensemble, I'm going to use the straight skirt and just make do with a 3/4 sleeve jacket. Am I asking for trouble making a jacket out of something that is actually meant to be a fitted top??? Should I just use the fabric for the skirt and find something similar for a jacket using a real jacket pattern? I don't know... I guess we'll see. I'll start cutting the skirt once I've hemmed the top - which I guess will be tonight.


Yes, I woke up at 7am and went to Joann's today. I acquired a few things as a result. First was the knowledge that I really shouldn't have bothered coming early to wait in a long cutting line of women buying 99c/yd flannel. Second was a bag pattern I have been wanting to get for some home decor fabric I found at Walmart for $2/yd. I also grabbed two Vogue patterns I've had on my wishlist. I don't think I am ready for Vogue patterns yet, but might as well grab them now.

Next was a few notions (not needed right away, but how often can you get 70% off notions, eh?
Then of course, I heeded the call of a cute print, and returned to my Nigerian roots for some batiks - something that existed in my wardrobe before I came to this country for college, and has been sorely lacking ever since:
All in all a good haul. I considered getting another cutting mat, but I don't really need one yet - especially since the items I'm making right now are separates.

The only bad thing about acquiring more sewing paraphernalia is that it increases the pressure to create. I was recently discouraged by a jacket attempt, and put it down for now. But that story is for another post...

Friday, November 9, 2007


Well... My serger came. I was so excited!
.. gulp
.... swallow
It's missing a part.

The stitch finger.
Bummer. It ruined my day when I found out. One of those "it was too good to be true" moments, you know? So, after moping around the rest of the day, I asked the seller if he would look around for it. He says he's looking...

I found only one site that seems to have the part, but it doesn't have a picture or a diagram, and I hate buying stuff online and having to pay shipping and handling plus a "restocking fee" when I need to make a return. So right now I'm just waiting to see if he will find it.

The blades also need to be replaced (I learned this by trying to serge with extra fabric to the right and breaking the needle in the process!). I'm torn between whether or not I should take it in for maintenance. The only sew/vac shop I know nearby will charge me about $200 for cleaning and servicing. I so don't want to go there bc then I will be kicking myself for spending enough money to buy a spanking new serger. Sigh... Maybe that's what I should have done - just gotten the 1034D from Walmart or something... The good news though, is that it really is easy to thread, and even without the missing part, it does a decent 4-thread stitch - you just have to watch that the fabric doesn't fold over on itself (ending up with a rolled hem).

Ah well. I'm moving on in the meantime, to my next project - Simplicity 4789 - the shorter jacket. I wanted to make myself a light (and simple) unlined jacket before delving into anything complicated. I don't take failure well - hence my current approach to sewing. I cut my muslin pieces out and have the bodice front and back together. I can already see that I will need to lengthen the bodice slightly (interesting because my last simplicity top had to be shortened 3 inches). We'll see how the rest of it goes. Hope to finish with alterations this weekend.