Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Almost done!

Staying up till 2am last night due to the fact that I have a cold and am sleeping when my body asks me to turned out to be a good thing! That's because I managed to complete all but the last step on my Simplicity 3628 jacket. I'm really excited about how it's come along, and in spite of my lining glitch earlier, I'm so proud of my first lining!! Here is what it looks like on my dress form. Will post more pics when it's completely finished.

Friday, December 26, 2008

For Aminat...

In response to your question - the fabric I'm using is just plain old FLEECE. It's not the anti-pill kind, which I used on my last jacket and was fuzzier/thicker. Just black fleece I bought at JoAnn, not anything special. The photo maybe makes it look different from fleece?

Hope this helps!

My soap fetish... and jacket progress

Every Christmas I ask for some soap as gifts. A lot of the time my request is met with strange looks of disbelief. I guess people can't believe that something so simple could make me so happy. A bar of nice soap is all it takes to make my day. I've already told my husband - "If you ever get that urge to bring home flowers for your wife, bring her some nice soap instead". Anyway, so this year I scored a lot of soap!! Here's all the soap I got this Christmas. My brothers and sisters-in-law, and my Mother-in-law have gotten me enough soap to last till my birthday in June... My nose is so happy! To me, there is absolutely nothing like starting each day with a pleasant smelling bar of soap.

My rendition of Simplicity 3628 is coming along. I was able to finish the lining and have gotten as far as creating the collar. Did most of this last night and early this morning. It's so fab not having to go to work!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Argh! Ah well...

It's a beautiful morning. The hubby's still asleep and I've got my cup of coffee. The lining for my Simplicity 3628 jacket is coming together, but the edges are getting fuzzy and threatening to unravel. I decide to serge the seams that are finished so far. And then it happens. My serger takes a bite out of a portion of fabric that should have been far away from the blade.

Sigh... But hey, this is my first lining, right? I'll just have to hand sew it somehow to fix it. Good thing it's the lining not the jacket!!!

Like I mentioned before, the jacket itself is still in pieces...

Growing up, Christmas day was always the day we celebrated. Now, with me and my siblings married and part of other families, it's changed. I celebrated yesterday with my husband's extended family. Tomorrow some of my family will come over. That leaves Christmas day completely free! Well, free to um.. er.. ah... do housework and yard work

Next week we're hosting my husband's parents and my brother-in-law's family for New Year's eve into the New Year. I have to idea what to cook/buy for the occasion since we usually just have a quiet night in. Well, I've got a week to figure it out (and to do some serious house cleaning)!!

Merry Christmas!

I'm finally taking some time off from work! I also have started on my next project but construction-wise, am still working on the lining. The actual jacket pieces are only cut out and labelled (because this has more pieces than anything I've made before and I don't want to get confused!)
My blog's been awfully quiet lately because I have nothing new on the sewing front. My camera also doesn't want to turn on right now, so I can't even show you what little progress I've made. It's weird. Something similar happened to my last camera. I connected it to the computer to download all the pictures on it. We had to leave to go get my in-laws and go to the family Christmas celebration, so I left it in the process of copying the pictures from the camera to the computer. Well, not too long ago I went to the computer. It was no longer recognizing that the camera was connected. I disconnected, and the camera wouldn't turn on. I'm recharging the battery now - hoping that's the problem. Sigh... I refuse to have another camera quit on me just out of the blue.
Anyway, enough of that. There is so much other stuff going well in my life - I am truly blessed, so the camera issue is nothing in comparison. A merry Christmas to all!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanks Sherril!

Until I read Sherril's comment on my last post, I didn't see it. I guess I'm used to clothes not fitting perfectly... (tee hee). She said: "A size 20 is too large for you in the shoulders and neck. If you use this pattern again, cut the neck, shoulders, and armscye at a 16 or 18 and then cut the side seams at a 20...."
At first I wondered how she could just look at the picture and see that. But I've been looking at this picture and finally (a day later, yes it takes me a while) it clicked. I see that it's too large at the shoulders and neck. Wow. Double wow.

Well, I'm going to be making another fleece jacket, though with Simplicity 3628 this time - in a slightly thinner black fleece, and I think I'll take her advice on that one. One step at a time. Thanks again, Sherril!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Slowly getting my feet wet again.

I decided to re-enter the garment sewing arena by working on something quick and simple. Alas,
the project I picked was doomed. I now have an unfinished project due to it. The object in question is my rendition of New Look 6762. I did a quick search on Pattern Review after cutting my pieces out and realized that others had issues with the neckband. My neckband didn't turn out too bad, but the shoulder darts???? I still don't get exactly how they were supposed to work. Ah well, whatever. It's just basted together now, and I didn't feel like fighting with it. To the unfinished pile it went. It doesn't look too bad in the picture, but the shoulders are really wacked up.

Enter my next project. With the weather getting colder, and my having to be in the park and ride for my vanpool at 5:15 am, I've been feeling underdressed in my corduroy jackets and scarves. I have a larger, warmer coat, but it's not quite cold enough for that. I also have the usual issue with my other store-bought warm clothes - the arms are too short. Now that I live in a colder part of LA county, I really can't get by with cold wrists. So... for the past few weeks I have wanted to make myself a fleece jacket with arms that are long enough.

I dug through my stash looking for a pattern I could make up with one of the two pieces of fleece I got at Joanns last year and came up with two options -Simplicity 3563 and Simplicity 4032 . Both have mostly favorable reviews on PatternReview.com - which was a great sign! I finally picked 4032 to work on based on the number of pieces (tee hee!) It had fewer pieces to put together. I also was not so sure the pin tucks in the other pattern would look flattering on me, so I figured I'd try this one first.

I didn't bother making a muslin, because this is not meant to be a fitted garment. I really just wanted something with arms that are long enough and can go over my clothes. Plus, this is supposed to be my re-introduction to sewing clothing for myself, right? So no stress(aka fitting) allowed =).

I traced a size 20 pattern on Monday night and cut the pieces out on Tuesday night. With a few steps completed each day, I finally finished the jacket this evening. I'm quite pleased with it! I think it makes me look a little chunky, but again, it's not fitted, so I'm not bothered. I made some minor changes during the constuction process:
1. Lengthened the sleeves by 4 inches
2. Omitted the bow on the collar
3. Topstitched about 1 inch from center front on each side
4. Added button tab to the back of the jacket (bc it looked blah otherwise)

I can't seem to take decent pictures of the jacket on myself, so my dress form was the perfect stand-in (hey, at least I'm using her for something!).

I also had some buttons I bought a while ago just because I liked them, and I think they work with this jacket. They're metal with a gunmetal finish. I wouldn't have thought of them for a fleece jacket, but I liked the way they looked. With only 4 in my stash, I had to make a quick run to Joann's to get two more.

The one thing I did for the first time ever on this project was use the one step buttonhole feature on my sewing machine. How fabulous! It's awesome! I had to help it along sometimes since the thickness of the fleece was somewhat challenging, but I still ended up with great buttonholes. I can't imagine what a nightmare it would have been to make them using the 4-step error-prone process on my older simple machine! I no longer have a reason to fear buttonholes.

This jacket has been a real confidence builder for me! Plus, I now have something to throw on in the morning until it gets cold enough to wear my wool blend coat. Simplicity was true to it's name with this pattern.

1 pattern $1.00
2+ yards of fleece $10.00
5 buttons $6.00

A jacket that covers my wrists and isn't the usual boring shapeless fleece? PRICELESS!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The pattern search is ON!

I tried on this jacket at JCP the other day, and it fit perfectly. Bubbling with excitement, I rushed to the catalog department to place an order for one in a tall size. I was so disappointed to find out they didn't have this style in talls - especially since all I needed was the longer arms.
I've thought of purchasing the jacket and altering it with similar material, but figured this was the perfect opportunity to see if I can make it (yah, even I think that sounds a little crazy - especially for someone who has yet to take a full set of her own measurements). So... has anyone seen a pattern with similar seams?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A teeny bit more sewing

So... I still haven't gotten back to garment sewing, but I'm certainly trying to work my way back up to it.
I took some time out on Sunday to start on curtains for our new place. I managed to get just two sheers done (yes, I'm slow) for one room using some of the the crinkle voile I purchased last week.
I don't actually have plans to put real curtains in since the house has blinds in each window. However, with blinds, it's impossible to maximize the amount of light in each room without giving the neighbors a view of our living spaces.

Enter sheers - they'll let in light without inviting prying eyes. I took the lazy route and didn't prewash the fabric (yes, very lazy) since it is 100% polyester. The fabric is 108 inches wide, and I (again, too lazy) just left the selvages on the sides.
I spent about two hours trying to get a consistent rolled hem on my (otherwise useless) 925D serger. After 1 broken needle, 3 broken looper threads, and lots of wasted thread, I "cried Uncle".
At that point, I was too frustrated to be bothered trying the same thing on my good serger - the 1034D. I just switched to my sewing machine.

Using an overcast foot gave me a more attractive edge (to me) than the serger had been doing, so I'm glad I made that choice. However, as is common knowledge, the sewing machine is a SNAIL compared to the serger. I'll have to figure out the rolled hem for my next set I make.
The drapery hardware was already in place when we moved in, so I had to work with what was there, and so just created a simple pocket at the top. I did think about having ruffles at the top, but decided to conserve fabric instead.
Now, I just have to figure out how to keep the sheers from blowing too much when the windows are open... Either way, I like them!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Room with a view

I get to work from home once a week, and since I moved have been taking advantage of that privilege. Last week I stationed myself in our new family room. The window I was looking out of had a single rose I had cut the night before. It was such a joy to watch it blossom throughout the day, and I loved that view. Every time I glanced up, I was reminded of how BLESSED I am and wanted to share the view. I took three pictures during my work day, partly because I was amazed at how quickly the flower was blooming. Here they are:

I finally sewed SOMETHING!

It took me ages, but I finally got in front of the sewing machine and created something today. I stayed home today because my eyes have been watering the last few days. This morning my eyes were red, and I was convinced I had conjunctivitis, so called in sick.
30 minutes later, my eyes were no longer red, but were still watery. So I spent the morning trying to find out if I could see a doctor (times when I wish I had PPO instead of HMO) Frustrating, but I eventually got a call back with an appointment for tomorrow. In the meantime I got some antihistamine eye drops recommended by the pharmacist. I'm hoping the doctor can figure out what is wrong with my eyes tomorrow...

With the afternoon off, I baked some cookies for the hubby (I'd promised him I would), and finished up a cover for my sewing machine that I had cut out last night.

I'd gotten tired of the plastic cover especially since it doesn't cover my sewing machine completely.
As I've mentioned before, I really like piping/cording, so I took the liberty of adding some to my project. The piping was made by *moi*, although it took longer than I anticipated. I tried creating the bias strips using the method where you cut one continuous strip, but somehow messed up, and had to sew each one together. I'll try again the next time I need bias strips.

I also bound the bottom edge with the same strips I used for the piping (without the cord). To add some visual interest (and also because I'm not that good at stitching in the ditch - and it would show here), I used one of my machine's stitches for the topstitching.

Of course I now realize I should have gotten some batting and quilted the fabric so the cover would have more structure. Bah, next time! This is how I learn, no?

I also purchased some crushed voile to make sheer curtains with. Our windows currently have blinds, and I'd like to let the light in without people being able to see directly into the house. I've never sewed sheers before, so am dealing with a bout of "analysis paralysis". Hopefully I can overcome that by this weekend.

And finally, for those of you who wonder why I never show pictures of myself (aka Mimi), here is a recent picture of me - (gasp!) - with my face!! I can't promise this will happen again though - blame it on my paranoia...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Too long?

Yes, I've been missing in action for a long time. I have my excuses - I moved and haven't quite got my sewing area ready yet. I have plenty to sew (as usual), including curtains for the new place. I don't know if curtain sewing is a good project to get me back into the sewing groove though. We'll see. I still feel like I have a million and one things to do since not all my stuff is unpacked. Sigh...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Styl-Plus Back and Better, and lovin' them!

Still no sewing. We're moving soon, so there won't be sewing till we're all unpacked.
In other news...
When my parents come to visit, they usually bring me some music by Nigerian artists. There is a group of young men in particular - Styl-Plus, whose music I've always liked. Now, I'm not usually one to listen to the same CD over and over (though my hubby would disagree!), but I've had this one in my car and at home for the last 3 months without getting "Styled-out" (aka, tired of it) yet. It's titled Back and Better. I especially like when their lyrics include Igbo and Yoruba. Even when I don't understand them, it feels so good to hear a language that I would usually only hear spoken back home in Nigeria.
Here are sound bytes from my favorite songs on the album.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My first real alteration

Sherril graciously volunteered to help me with the fit of my Burda top. In the meantime, I decided to start on a project I've been putting off for a while.
As you may know, I've been exercising and watching what I eat for a number of months now. This has resulted in some weight loss. It has also meant that my work pants now sit lower on my waist/hip area.

Since I wasn't sure if the alterations should be made at the side seams, back seam, or if I needed to increase dart sizes, I began to search for information online. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find many references to the book pictured here.

I decided that the alteration on page 51 - "Removing the Waistband and Taking in the Sides" - most suited what I was looking for. I did have to add an extra step, since my waistand has a back center seam. This ended up making the alteration easier in the long run because I did not have to move the closures in the front.

The steps for me were:
1. Remove the waistband from the pants, keeping the seams intact at both front closure ends.
2. Resew the side seams at the desired with, tapering to the existing side seam at hip-level.
3. Remove the same width from the waistband's center back seam.
4. Pin waistband back on and try the pants on.
5. If satisfied, cut off excess fabric and refinish seams.
6. Reconnect the waistband to the pants.

Y la voila! Pants that fit better than ever. I really like the resulting fit. The pants are closer to my waist and very comfortable.

I took some (pretty lousy -I miss my old camera!) pictures to illustrate the difference between my other pair of unaltered pants, and my newly altered pants. Here they are. First the unaltered, then the altered. I'm very happy with the results!

Front view

and Side View

Friday, July 18, 2008

Burda 8360 Muslin

I absolutely love the style of this shirt. The collar and the center front seam caught my eye. I also love that the center front seam gives you options for closures. I made a muslin of the third view (View C) without any closure, and short sleeves.
(Picture compiled from pattern pictures on burdafashion.com)

My muslin, however, leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not sure which wrinkles/lines are acceptable and which ones are not. I think that I might have sloping shoulders, and thus have to lower the shoulders, but I'm not exactly sure. I also think I need to increase the size of the armhole, shorten the sleeve cap, and make the sleeve a little wider. And maybe I need to do (I'm dreading this) a Full bust adjustment? Again, I'm not completely certain. Part of me just wants to make this as-is and live with the imperfections, but I know if I can get the fit down, I will have a FABULOUS pattern that I can use over and over. I've taken a number of pictures, anyone have suggestions please?

Why cant I do this?

So, I went for a wedding on my husband's side of the family last weekend. I didn't have anything "American" to wear, and even after hours shopping for a dress, couldn't find anything that fit properly.

Last resort, I pulled out some of the clothes my Mom brought for me on her last visit here. This one fit perfectly, so it's what I ended up wearing to the wedding.
When I inspect it, it seems like a relatively easy garment to put together (though it's fully lined). The skirt is simple - it actually has a drawstring waist, so there is some gathered fabric at my waist, but the top?! HOW IN THE WORLD can I just send my bust and waist measurements and a tailor makes something that fits my body EXACTLY from thousands of miles away?

There are two waist darts in the front up to the bust point, and two darts in the back. Also notice that the back darts take in just enough fabric and then leave enough to fit around my behind. The zipper is in the back, and the sleeves are actually raglan. This makes me want to cry, because I know I can do the SEWING, I just am having problems with FIT. Why can't I make clothes that fit me like this?

Oh yah, I know, I look silly with my arm on my tummy like that, wasn't sure what to do with it while the picture was being taken.
Deep sigh...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Response to comment from hautemany

Yes, I'm laying low. I haven't finished the muslin for my Burda 8360, so I'm in hiding until I have something to show.
However, I received a question from a commenter, hautemany, that I wanted to answer before I forgot.
hautemany said "...The classes you took sound so interesting- "patternmaking by draping", etc.- where did you go- PCC or LA Trade Tech?"
I took my classes at PCC. As it turns out, the teacher I had for draping also teaches draping classes at LA Trade Tech. She wouldn't tell us which of the Fashion programs was better, however (conflict of interest and all that), but just based on the schedules, I think Trade Tech might give you more class time to perfect your skills. That's just my opinion though! I'd like to try a class at Trade Tech but work during the day, and am unwilling to give up most of my Saturday for a class, so... I'll just have to make do with what I've got. Hope that answers your question. If you need any more details, feel free to email me - sewshy - yahoo. I don't check that mail very often though...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I found it! Very much after the fact, but I finally found the part that is missing from my 925D serger. This part (or lack of the part, rather) gave me much angst when I discovered it was missing from my ebay purchase.
I was just browsing the website reviews on Patternreview.com, and came across a review for the site www.sewingstyle.com. I clicked the link without reading the review, and scrolled down the page. Then, on a whim, I decided to search the sewing parts - selecting the "loopers" category. Lo and behold - on the last page - the item that has evaded me for months - with a picture even!! The Brother guide calls it a "stitch finger". This site calls it a "stitch tongue". Doesn't matter - never have I been so happy to see a machine PART!
Okay, just wanted to say that. I'll be ordering it. Just too lazy to get up and go find my purse right now...
STOP! DON'T GO TO THAT SITE! I JUST READ THE REVIEWS, AND THEY ARE MOSTLY NEGATIVE! Hmmm, who knew my laziness would pay off? I think I'll hold off on ordering the part rather than give up my credit card info and possibly have fraud issues to deal with later. So, in spite of the fact that the reviews are negative, PatternReview has proven to be a useful source again! Whew!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Responses to comments...

I realize I've gotten a few questions in response to one of my recent posts. Here my responses:
  1. Carolyn said "I hope you do have a TNT pattern to take advantage of the wonderful haul!" -I wish I did, Carolyn, but I don't yet. I haven't made a single dress yet - and I really want to! I need to grow some cojones and put in the necessary work to get a TNT pattern done.
  2. Reethi asked "Also, BWOF, how tall are you?" - I'm 5'11'', Reethi, and most of my height is in my legs. Hmmm... that means I shouldn't have to lengthen a BWOF top/bodice by that much, huh?
  3. Cidell said "Also, BWOF isn't too hard to alter for height. I can send you a PDF of how to do so if you'd like." - Thanks for the offer, Cidell. I'm going to hold off on that for now though. I was seriously considering asking my hubby for a subscription to BWOF for my birthday, but I'm not so sure now - especially since I really should sew a little more before accumulating more patterns! So that's the condition I've given myself - no BWOF till I'm sewing more consistently. It's tough, but I've got to be tough on myself sometimes. I'm actually going to try a Burda top (actual pattern - in fact, the one sitting on my new ironing board in previous post) and see how I like the results as part of the process.
And thanks for all the congrats on my weight loss!!

June is the best month!

Being born in June is the best. I'm sure most people feel the same way about their birth month, but... Anyway, one of the things I like about being born in this month (besides the mostly great weather) is that it's also when VSecret and B&Bworks have their semi-annual sales. It's my chance to stock up on the bath products I like. LOL! You thought I was going to say something more profound than that, didn't you? Sorry to disappoint. I do have to say though, I thought my birth month was ill-appointed when I was in elementary school, because I never got to have my birthday in school like some of the other kids. Go figure.

So, my birthday was on the 10th. I went to work, because I had already scheduled Friday off (doing this when my parents are staying with me to get more quality with them). Before work that morning, I decided to weigh myself, something I normally do just once a week - on Saturday. How thrilled was I that I had finally hit ONEDERLAND?! 198.8 baby! Yah, excellent birthday gift.

My brother, sis-in-law and adorable neice got me two tops and some yummy smelling body cream from said B&Bworks. I asked my parents for an ironing board to replace the dangerously unstable one I've had since I moved out here after college 9 years ago (wow, it's been THAT long?). This is what they bought me. Not only is it sturdy - my only request - but they also were considerate enough to get me something with an iron rest, so I can actually use the whole board for ironing. Yaaay! I just pressed the shirt pattern that you see there. Next step - tracing and alterations - my least favorite part. Yes, you guessed it. I'm procrastinating.

In addition to the ironing board, my parents gave me some $$ to spend, and spend it I did. I got a few cute poly-blend tops for work, and yesterday, I got these really cute shoes. I've been looking for a pair of almost-flats that I can wear either to work or with a pair of jeans. I've finally found them. I actually got these for $40, and was thinking of getting two other pairs of shoes for $20 each instead (the thrifty person in me sometimes goes for quantity rather than quality, unfortunately). Thank goodness I finally knocked some sense into my head - these are leather, the others were not - these have the heel height I was seeking, the others were a little higher - these were a little more comfortable - DUH! I almost had to smack myself for thinking irrationally. I really needed to talk myself out of settling for things I like "enough". So the shoes I "really like" finally came home with me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hot! Hot! Hot!

L.A. weather has taken a turn for the hotter, and I'm definitely feeling it. Since I spend most of my days incubated in a cool building, I'm usually oblivious to what everyone else outdoors is feeling. I was off from work today though, and took my parents to the airport, so it's been a rude awakening for me. At my last job, I would sometimes look out of the window and daydream about being a construction worker - doing my work, being outdoors, not taking work home with you (literally and mentally)... not on a day like today!!

All this to say what? Erm... I haven't sewn anything new... I bought some new clothes! But nothing sewn. With my parents here, I've just wanted to relax with them, and the thought of carting out the large table and taking up half the living room to trace and cut and whatnot, was too daunting. I finally went to Joann's and picked up a few more Simplicity patterns after I dropped them off at the airport. (Whaaat? Didn't she say no more patterns?). I'm going to look them up on PR now to see what others have done with them. Hopefully my sewing mojo will fly back in the door... like tomorrow morning... hopefully.

Oh, before I go... I once mentioned a Nigerian snack called Chin Chin that I made for my brothers at Christmas time. My parents brought me some as well, and I took a picture. When you roll out the dough and cut it, you can decide what shapes you want. In my family, we usually make twisted "8"s out of the dough. Takes a lot longer, but for some reason the shape makes it seem yummier (kinda like different pasta shapes, right?). Okay, enough talk. I give you..... CHIN CHIN! (click pic for a close up)

Oh yah, and by the way, I'm now 31! I'm hoping the batch of memory cells that seem to have turned off in my brain when I turned 30 will find a way to renew themselves? I'm having a hard time dealing with the memory loss that comes with age... aren't I too young to start forgetting things, or is it just me?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

This and that

You know how sometimes you stay up so far past your bedtime that it's difficult to get to sleep when you finally want to? That's me right now. I figured I'd just post in the hopes that I'd get sleepy.

First of all - THANKS for all the comments on my last (and other) posts. It's such a treat to know that other people find my little corner of the net interesting and/or entertaining. It's quite another treat to realize that your pattern stash of 100+ is actually considered miniscule when compared to others! Honestly, I'm not sure what I was thinking when I bought some of those. But there are a large number of them I hope to get to sometime in this lifetime (not sure if I'm going to make it at my current sewing pace). So, no more patterns for me. At least not until I've made up some of the ones I have high hopes for. I've thought of subscribing to Burda in the past (didn't I just say no more patterns for me?), but I'm not sure if I'm up to all the modifications to accommodate my height. Or maybe I'll just buy one issue (I repeat, didn't I just say no more patterns for me?). Hmmm.... I don't know. Maybe I should ask for one for my birthday in June. Technically, that means I am not getting more patterns right? They would be gifted to me.

In other news, my cousin got married at the beginning of this month. I wasn't able to go, but their wedding actually got featured in Southern Wedding Style Magazine! HERE is a link to the pictures on the magazine's blog. Lucky girl!

On another happy note - I've now dropped 14lbs. I was quite surprised when I weighed myself this morning. I have 2 more pounds to go to re-enter "onederland". For those of you who don't know what that is, it's when your weight actually starts with the digit 1. I haven't been there since hmmm... lemme think... about 5 years ago? They warned me about the college "freshman 15" - little did I know the real challenge was going to be the "marriage 40"!

My parents are here visiting from Nigeria, so I haven't had any time/space to sew anything yet. I'm hoping that I can use my Mom as a resource for getting all my measurements and personal style critiques and such. However, as I realized recently when shopping with my mom - her sense of style is quite different from mine. Obviously, I'm younger.
The one really neat thing about them coming to visit? I got my mom to bring some FABRIC! Here is what she picked out for me. I see at least two dresses in my future (uh oh, quick, do I have any dress patterns?!)
Please click on the picture to get a better view.
Now I just have to find - I mean MAKE - some time to sew...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More than 100 patterns?!!!

I decided to take photos of all my patterns and upload them to a site where I could view them all at once. I did. It turns out I have more than 100 patterns. The only ones missing are the ones I've made or have cut out. How did I get so many patterns?!! I've got to stop falling for those 99c pattern sales and start using the ones I already have. Yikes!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Knockoff JCP Jacket?

JCPenney has become one of my go-to places for RTW in the last year or so. This is because the one item of clothing I used to have the hardest time finding - pants (aka trousers) for work with long enough legs - can be bought there. Prior to finding pants there, I would have to shell out $70 per pair at a specialty tall store in Pasadena. Not fun, and you can imagine how much rotation those pricey pants got!
So, I now have 9 pairs of pants from JCPenney in sizes 16 and 18 (Yes, the 18s are a little large...). The great thing is I just need to find one pair of tall pants in the store, see if I like the fit of that style, and if it's not in a color I want, order it in colors I like online and have them delivered to the store. True, ordering online, is not as cheap as getting it in-store, but at $22 - $26 on sale online, I'm still getting three pairs of pants for the same price as the Pasadena boutique. Makes me very happy...
With my pants length issues now worked out, I have more time to concentrate on other items of clothing. I decided to try some of their jackets in tall sizes as well. I ordered three, one of which was this one on the left (picture from JCPenney site). The others were a corduroy jacket and a "suit" jacket - both with different collar styles and details - all with armhole princess seams of some form. I ordered them in an 18 tall. Turns out the arms were just long enough, but the jackets had the same issue as a few of the tops I've made - too much fabric in the side bust/underarm area. I guess they grade up their clothing with the assumption that a larger size = a larger bust. The strange thing is I ordered it based on the bust measurement of their sizing charts.
I had ordered the jackets from their outlet, and all three came to a fantabulous price of $60. They all fit the same (which is a plus), however this means they all had the same problem...
I returned them to the store, my only consolation being that I knew I had a pattern that could at least come close to the jacket shown above. Mccall 5526. The jacket I like is very similar to view C with the collar of View A!!!! Now I just have to work up the nerve to finally make a jacket. I'm scared! I'm not sure if I should try ordering one of the jackets in a 16 tall first...