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...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Look 6754

I finally finished New Look 6754. The original pattern looks like the picture on the left. This is view D - which I decided to make. I made a number of changes on my version. First of all, after making the muslin, I realized I really disliked the way they bound the neckline. The binding seemed skinny and awkward. Of course, that could also be attributed to my lack of experience, but I prefer my alternative. I decided to use piping/cording to embellish and finish off the neckline and the sleeves. I also did not like having the zipper in the back of the shirt. It was an awkward length and too difficult to operate, so I moved it to the side seam.

Here is the front of the blouse.
Here with arm extended so you can see the volume in the sleeve. Also, the one thing I'm having trouble with - using a sz 20 fits my shoulders, arms, waist and hips. However, it's too wide from the bottom of the armsyce to the waistline. I'm going to have to figure out how to get rid of the excess fabric on the side bust/under arm side seam. I'm not sure how though...

The sleeves didn't drape as nicely as they seem to in the line drawing.
I guess that's one of the drawbacks to using a pattern without an actual model...
I did a shoddy job finishing the inside. I completely forgot to serge the neckline and sleeve hem edges before attaching the binding. Ah well...

Another side shot demonstrating the [lack of] drape in the sleeves.
And finally, a back view. I had to lighten the picture a bit for this.
Hmmm... my hair's looking pretty frazzled in these pictures. That would be thanks to the sweat from this morning's workout plus the water I got on it in the shower. I ended up leaving it out to dry, so it's looking a hot mess.

Okay. Bedtime. I'll get around to putting a full review on PR sometime soon.

I got tagged...

... by Sherril today. Apparently, the rules are as follows:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and acknowledge who tagged you.

The nearest book is one of those Reader's Digest collections with four condensed bestsellers in it. I found a bunch of these at a Salvation Army store nearby and walked out with 12 of them! I know, that's a lot of reading material. I have a soft spot for these Reader's Digest editions because my parents had a few back home in Nigeria and what with me being a bookworm back then, I read and reread all the different stories.
Anyway, I digress. Back to the point. Page 123, sentences 5 - 7:
"I can't."
"Anyone who ever hurt you. Any loss, Dana. ..."
The story in the book that this quote comes from is called Safe Harbor by Luanne Rice.

I know I'm owing pictures of my top. I just need to hem it before I take pictures...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I'm almost done with New Look 6754. I was discouraged for a while because I couldn't get the fit right. Not quite ready to give up, I tackled it yesterday and today. It just needs a hem right now. Although it turned out a little "dressier" than I anticipated, I like it. I do feel it makes me look a tad matronly though. I don't have pictures yet, but will try to post them tomorrow after hemming. Good night.