Sew Red October

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Yeah I know, it is not October anymore, we have moved on to November. But I am allow to hold on a little bit to October, it is my favorite month. Except for the allergy part.

I did finish this blouse in October, but did not get to photograph it until November. The interesting part is that I started this blouse back in May 2011. I think time ran out, this was my second garment of the semester. The cool thing was when I decided to work on it again, all the tissue fitting/adjustments and cutting the pieces out were done. Tho, I do think i was supposed to do a fabric fitting. Oh well.

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So the pattern I am using is McCall’s M5661. I cut out a size 16 and did a 3/4″ FBA then I lowered the FBA dart 1.25″. I ended up moving that dart to the neck pleats. I also did a sway back and made the seam allowance 1″. Beside the fit adjustments I made this pattern without a belt and I went with snaps instead of button/holes. I used pearl snaps for the pattern and kind of aligned it with the guide. Since this was my first time installing snap, they might not be perfectly in line. I really don’t like making machine buttonholes, so hence the snaps.

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My favorite part of this top is the sleeves. I love cool sleeve treatments. Even puffy sleeves. It was fun making these sleeves. I think everyone should try a hand at fun sleeves.

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My least favorite things about this shirt are the silly front facing, the pool above my bust and that I can hulk out a little in this top.  If I bend over or flex my back, the second snap unleashes. I feel like Bruce Banner (The Hulk). So this top will be worn on an easy movement day, which actually doesn’t exist. HA.  Okay, more like not in heavy rotation unless I want to show off my upper back muscles.

Now for a little silliness. I wasn’t too much in the mood for taking picture, plus I was heading up to L.A. in a few hours so I had to be quick. So most of my pictures are side views. Did I mention I forgot to pack my shoes. I am wearing running sneakers? Yeah, I was kind of worn out.

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I have decided that I am going to try to complete an UFO in my collection each month until they are gone. This does not include stuff that I have no interest in anymore. It happens. This month, I am planning to finish my Sewaholic Minoru Jacket. Does anyone remember that. Yeah, didn’t think so. Lol

I also have some exciting new projects underway, so stay tuned.

Fabric Chat (NYC)

So as promised, I am sharing with you my New York City fabric scores. In no particular order, here goes:

Everything is silk unless otherwise noted.

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Lovely Navy lace that really wanted to come home with me

I am thinking of turning the blue lace into a self-draft pencil skirt. I have my own sloper with my measurements, which will make it easy for me to make into a pencil skirt.

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The detail is hard to photograph, but it is really nice

This is some kind of light weight cotton with interesting  a leaf details. Not really sure what I should make with this. Thought? This could be an Anna, maybe?

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More left prints

I really love this fabric. I  am pretty sure this should be a long sleeve blouse.

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Has a lovely touch

This fabric is the fabric that was going to replace the specific fabric I was looking for, so now it can be anything.

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Gifted to me

So this fabric, I did not actually get in NYC but I got it on my return back to San Diego, from my friend who I ended up Loft/Pet-sitting for the day I got back into town. It’s only a yard, so I might make it into a lining for a bag or something. What should I do with it?

Okay, now for the main event.  So a while back I saw somewhere this blouse that had this flying bird design. I searched high and low for the fabric. No luck. I even seen the shirt from RTW stores floating around the real world. In NYC, while I was in one of the stores looking for this fabric, the one girl helping had the print I wanted. She said she got it from H&M or Forever 21. I gave her mad side-eye when she was not looking (she was helping us btw, had to be polite). So yeah, this is the lovely fabric that I ended up buying.

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My special fabric

Sure this fabric is sheer, but come on. Too Yummy to care

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So sheer, you can see the lines in my hand.
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Birds birds flying everywhere

So what do I plan to make it into? Yup, Pattern Runway‘s Pussy Bow Blouse. Too cute, if I may say so.

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Pussy Bow Blouse by Pattern Runway

Now, it is time to share with you the fabric that I fell in love with at first sight.

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Wool from Italy

Isn’t it just gorgeous? Don’t you want to wrap yourself in it. I want to wrap myself in it everyday.

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Someone ask if I am making dress, but if I make it into a dress I can’t wear it everyday. So I am thinking of making a hoodie or perhaps a pullover sweater. Not sure what will be better. Hoodie or Sweater?

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So Yummy.

Dancing with Sugar Plums

Geez, Trice another post? I must be on something, right? The day has finally come. I get to share with all of you another secret project.

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Enters Lolita Patterns‘ Sugar Plum. I was one of the lucky women to be a pattern tester for their new Sugar Plum dress. I love clothing that are mixed with woven and knit fabric, so I was very much looking forward to making this dress. Early June, a request for testers were sent out and I hopped on right away to be a tester. I knew this dress would be perfect for my work wardrobe.

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Sugar Plum is a dress that looks like a shirt tucked in, how awesome is that! Plus there are ruffles. Despite the fact that I am a tomboy at heart, I love me some ruffles. However, due to time and my skill level, I decided to go with View B. I have never mixed woven and knit fabric before, or made a rolled edge hem with my serger (yay, to new skills aquired), plus I was not sure if I had enough fabric. So yeah, no front ruffles. I used fabric already in my stash for this pattern, the only thing I purchased were the buttons. Go me!

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Whistle while you work, or slip out of work

I definitely knew I was not going to get away with making this pattern without making a muslin. I would like to note that I did not do a FBA for this pattern and the only changes I made to it, was adding 5/8″ to the front and back side seams after the side notches. Next time I will definitely do a FBA using a size 10. While I am at it, I will probably throw in a forward shoulder. I am pretty happy with the fit in the back, except for one part which I will go into later.

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Did you notice? This dress comes with pockets, who does not love pockets? I walked around all day with my hands in my pockets, most of the pictures in the photo shoot has me with my hands in my pockets. I was supposed to line it with the lining fabric, but I decided that I wanted to use the contrast fabric (skirt fabric) as my pocket fabric.

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Dress in Action

So like I said earlier, most of the fabric and notions I used to make this dress I had already in my stash. Yes, I so happened to have a 22 inch zipper, yeah I don’t know how that happened. The only thing I had to buy was the buttons, which I love. They are a pearl-like button, wish works perfect for this dress (sorry for the lack of close-up). The fabric I used for the top half is the same I used for the Sorbetto Top. I think its a poly silk.  The contrast/skirt fabric is a double knit that I have tons of.

Sometimes a gal needs a break from shoes
Sometimes a gal needs a break from shoes

Despite the fact that this dress looks great on my curves, there is a little bit of an horror story that goes along with it. You see, the back is supposed to have an invisible zipper, but the zipper is not that invisible, especially in the contrast skirt. The reason being… I am actually hand-sewn into this dress. My invisible zipper foot gets so close that at times it stitches into the teeth and that’s what happened and I broke the zipper. During the day the little spot that would not zip just got worst and since I needed to take pictures of the dress, I could not hide my exposed back behind a hoodie, so I had my coworker sew me in since we could not fix the problem. I know, complete Face Palm, but doesn’t this dress look great on me?

I know I should take the zipper out and re-install a new invisible zipper. However, I am lazy and scared to remove a zipper since it is fully lined and the fabric is delicate. We shall see, it would be a shame not to wore the dress again.

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Lolita Patterns will be having a sew-a-long for the Sugar Plum dress at the end of the month, Everyone should check it out. I know I will be following along.

I want to thank Lolita Patterns for giving me the opportunity to test this lovely dress. One of the things I love about Lolita Patterns is their sizing. These L.A. Pattern Companies (Lolita Patterns and Christine Haynes) are stalking me, I am convince. 😉 The size is on point with my own measurements, give or take what I might eat on a given day. Lolita Patterns also has two size range (2-14) then (16-24) and they are not just using the same block for the larger size. This is really smart. There is a brilliant post about it here.

Now go and purchase your own Sugar Plum pattern, here. Especially since they are having at 15% sale (on physical patterns) until Oct 10 PST. Sale code is sugar15plum

Happy hour and dancing friendly
Happy hour and dancing friendly

P.S. I Love You Part 2

Oh joy, today is a pretty good day. This is my 100th post, its October which for me means my birthday month and I got my Draping: The Complete Course book in the mail.

So this post is an continuation from yesterday.

So, Saturday, the day I had been looking forward to for a couple of months.  Let me tell you, that day was one of the best days of my life. I got to meet the most beautiful, amazing, talented, brilliant, super down to earth women. I spent most of the day on Saturday with OonaWanettGingerHeatherSallieJenniferDevraKelli doing what we all love, Fabric shopping. Here are some photos of the lovely ladies I spent the day with.

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During the planning of my trip, I was really looking forward to meeting Ginger and Wanett in real life. They proved to be more awesome than I could imagine. Jennifer, I was just introduce to via Ginger because I was looking into a place to sew while on vacation, but things got a little crazy on my end so that did not happen. I was very happy to find out that I would meet her anyways.  I had recently started following Heather and Sallie and thought it would be super cool to make sure I was up in NYC the same time. As soon as Heather mention Korean BBQ, I knew this lady was someone I wanted to hang out with. Devra and Kelli were completely new bloggers to me and they were such sweet women and now I have new blogs to follow . Check them out, amazing work. All these women, I am so grateful to have met, seriously. This was one of the best days of my life thanks to them.

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Photo taken by Jennifer at Workroom Social

Okay, so yes, I picked up more items from some of the other shops, that wasn’t the specific fabric I desired. I think I had just about given up on finding my special fabric before going to Mood and settle on some other printed fabric.

At Mood, I mostly aimlessly walked around, touching fabric and talking to some of the ladies from the group. Then, I remembered the lovely red-headed lady from the day before. I searched around a little for her before asking another staff member where she might be located. When she came over, she immediately told me she was looking for me and that she had something for me.  Then, she showed me not the specific fabric I was looking for, but better. I was elated. (Sorry, I will share the fabrics in another post.) So now I could be done shopping, right?

WRONG!! There was another fabric that I had spotted the day Oona and I had went to Mood. The fabric was seriously weighing on my heart, until I could not take it anymore. I stormed around the store looking for it. Did not see the fabric anywhere. I saw the fabric draped on a dress form in the very back of the store taunting me. I found a staff member as fast as I could to point me in the direction of the fabric. I would have taken the yardage of the dressform, if it came down to that. She took me to some other fabric that was draped, so I almost grabbed her and dragged her over to the dress form in the back. Note: Who ever drapes the dressforms at Mood, is evil and needs a raise. The lady found my dream fabric immediate and I was happy for the rest of my time at Mood. It did hurt to buy it because it was $25 a yard, but I think of that fabric all the time now. Again not to be revealed in this post.

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Eventually, some of the group went our separate ways and long hugs and sweet goodbyes were given. I really wish I had taken more pictures, but sometimes you get distracted by the moment and that’s what happened.

Heather, Sallie, Jennifer and I  had quite the adventurous evening. Wine & Cocktails(me) before enjoying Korean BBQ.  YUM

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Then we headed over to the High Line. I was supposed to head back to Brooklyn at this point but the description of the High Line had me intrigued. Glad I went, the High Line is one of those things that causes me to fall madly in love with cities. If you are ever in NYC, please visit the High Line.

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The rest of the evening ended up being just as exciting, except my memory starts to get hazy when we got a late night bite and I really can’t recall the ride home. I do recall being internally upset about my dessert and espresso. Not that it was bad but more like, I don’t want this yet stuffing my face all the same. However, I think that the food is what saved me the next day. I was completely fine, minus slight tiredness and being grumpy because I was leaving.

I was definitely bummed going back to Philadelphia, tho I did cheer up when I saw my hotel room. Oh, how could I forget about the cookies on arrival to the hotel. The Murphy Bed was pretty sweet, along with the view.  A couple of friends came by to visit before I crashed hard for the evening.

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All in all a very good trip. Already thinking about going back next year, after Portland, Oregon. Yes, I am planning a Portland trip, and popping my head into Seattle.

Here is a link to other pictures from my vacation if you are interested.

I plan to have a couple more post this week, which includes sharing the fabric that I purchased in NYC and a secret project that I had worked on earlier this year. So stay tuned.

P.S. I Love You

City Hall - Philadelphia
City Hall – Philadelphia

First and foremost I would like to thank everyone for the kind words regarding my Emery Dress. I hope each and everyone of you have  Pre-ordered the pattern already. If not, what’s the hold up?  I tried to reply to each and everyone of you, if I did not I am so sorry. I was on vacation and was a bit overwhelmed.

Speaking of vacation, I went home earlier this month. It was my first time being back in over 5 years. I am a bad kid. What inspired my trip back East was a) Seeing my best friend and b) Hanging out with Ms. Oona again. If you have met her before, there is no need for an explanation why she would inspire a trip. She is a pretty awesome person.

When I went up to NYC, I got treated to an afternoon of Oona, all to myself.. I feel very special. We grabbed some tasty pizza at Lazzaras. We chatted about a bunch of stuff, most importantly (outside of sewing) Afros. Perhaps, one day this year, I will go into the story of my secret Afro, currently only my closest friends have seen it. Anyway, after lunch it was shopping time. We went to several different stores, which of course the only one I remember the name of at the moment is Mood. It took me a little bit to get into the shopping mood, I was too excited about being in NYC again and being in such great company, that fabric wasn’t holding my attention. I know, shame on me. But to be fair, I was on a “Don’t spend too much” budget and I was looking for the a very specific fabric.

I know you are thinking, HA, good luck. Well ladies, let me tell you the rest of the story about my trip. After going to several different stores, I did not find my very specific fabric. Came very close, but the colorway was just throwing it all off.  The lovely young Red-head at Mood, who I can’t recall her name, said she might have something with the same theme but in a slightly different category for me, but we had to go and so she said she would hold it for me for Saturday.

Oona and I had to part ways but before that we got some picture taking squeezed in. I just recently finished making a self drafted mini skirt that I traced from a RTW mini skirt. I hand-stitched the hem while I was staying with my best friend.  I want to point out, hand stitching a knit mini skirt, BAD Idea. I completely popped the thread while wearing it.

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Please ignore the tank top, I don’t own too many white or even black tops and NYC was going through some kind of heatwave on my arrival. But my Kicks (sneakers) are boss. I was walking around feeling super awesome wearing these sneakers.NYCstripskirt01

I don’t know what is going on in this photo but it is my favorite. This is my favorite photo for a body positive standpoint. Despite that I hover on the edge of plus sizes, not all my weight is fat. I might not go to the gym but I do walk everywhere since I am a non-driver. *gasps* I have been walking everywhere since I can remember. Yup, even in several feet of snow with the city being closed down. If you ask me what my favorite part of my body, I would say my calves, I have even claimed I could crush walnuts with them, this might be untrue. I also like my arms but not in most  photos, they look  fatty to me but they really are not. This picture you can kind of see some definition. Maybe one day I will have Angela Basset arms, she has some amazing guns. So yay for body positive photos.

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Of course there was silliness going on. I thought it was hilarious that people kept walking through the picture like they could care less. I promise no heads were injured during the taking of these pictures. I think.. I believe there was one lady that was nice enough to stop and let Oona take my picture. This guy, clearly was on a mission.

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Pretty sure I did not hit my head in this shot, but there was that time in college…

Just so you know I did buy some things. There was lace fabric that was just meant to be in my possession. Who am I to tell lovely lace they can not go home with me, when the right amount of lace is all that is left on the bolt.

Since this post is getting a little long, I am going to stop here and do another post tomorrow.

Keeping it Classy

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Sir, if you insist on taking pictures of me, I so kindly request you hand me my drink.

I seriously think I am missing a martini in my hand and a cigarette in the other for this shot.

Look at this dress, this dress looks amazing on me. So amazing I had to go fancy with the hair. The dress was giving the fro mad side-eye. It was not having it. NOPE!

So who is this lady that has wrapped herself around my curves. Her name is Emery. Everyone meet the Emery Dress by the lovely Christine Haynes. I have met Christine a couple of times in LA at Sew L.A. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met, so I was happy to jump on the chance to be a pattern tester for her.

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I signed up to be her size 16 pattern tester, which is my measurements give a 1/4 or 1/2 here or there and inch up or down in the waist given my food intake that week. Christine is the second pattern designer whose measurements are pretty much on point with mines. It’s like they know. They really want me making their patterns. 😉

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I did make a muslin for this dress, mainly to check the bust area. Despite that I am a size 16, I should always do a FBA, but I don’t so HA!! If I were to do a FBA I would have had to make a size 10 bodice. I really did not want to do that, this dress is dart city or dart party. Yes, its a dart party. So, if any serious hiccups come about, I can throw it into a dart. I was happy to find out that the extra fabric in the armhole was not out of control and could be hidden by the sleeve.

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Laughing at FBAs

Let me tell you, this dress sews up pretty fast and there is not a lot of pattern pieces to cut out, Since this dress was easy to sew up I wanted to make it extra special, so I decided to make the collar out of lace. I used Gertie’s tutorial to make the collar. I think that the lace collar really made the dress super special.

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I can not actually tell you what kind of lace I used, but it did hold up well in the washer machine. Underneath the lace I used a bronze colored silk organza, that I was informed simmered in the light. I still loved the look even if I didn’t get to see the simmer.

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Some other features about this pattern is there is two sleeve options. I originally was going to make a 3/4 sleeve, but just cut out the shorter sleeve instead. I don’t know why but that’s what happened.

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This dress also comes with an center back invisible zipper. I had planned to do a hand picked invisible zipper but time was against me, so I ended up installing the invisible zipper with my regular zipper foot. I think it did a good job, don’t know?

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Not sure where that roundness came from, but maybe I should thank the wind.

When I went to show off this dress to my coworker, she just feel in love with the dress and shortly said to me, “Wait a minute! What no pockets?”

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My responses was “BAM!!!” Let’s be serious here, this lady needs pockets. If all dresses had pockets I would wear them a little bit more. Pockets are my friend. The directions for installing the pockets are the best I have come across. Super easy and you don’t even notice. Best inseam pocket I have installed in my sewing career.

You definitely should try out this pattern, especially if you are into vintage inspired dresses. Even, if you are not into the vintage look you should try it. This style of dress is generally not for me, but I am not blind to see how cute it looks on my curves. I would be interested to trying this pattern again and make a size 10 in the bodice and do a FBA to get a better fit in the armhole area.

Here are some additional images from the photo shoot.

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I spend most of these photo shots making faces, laughing and dorking about.

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There is a lot of spider webs behind me, hurry up and take the damn shots

There were nine photos taken of me on this rock and I was not amused about it. I am no fan of spiders and did not want one getting familiar with me.

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My favorite

This is my favorite picture from the photo shoot, you can gauge how silly I am just by that statement. No one else likes it, but it makes me laugh or just smile every time I see it.

So yeah, we took about 100+ pictures and most of them are of me being ridiculous or making scared smiling face. I kind of love it, despite disliking being in front of the lens.

I have a couple of other project on my plate and hope to reveal them soon. Until next time.

Oh and don’t forget to Pre-order your Emery Dress now.

Colette Pattern gift set

This past weekend one of my friends had a birthday, so I decided to make her some sleepwear.

So I made a Sorbetto Top with matching  Madeleine Mini Bloomers by Colette Patterns.
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I used fabric from my stash and I am thinking it is from a trip up to LA. I believe the fabric is a rayon. The fabric shifts like hell, it was such a pain. I used pre-made bias binding for the neck and armhole finish. I hate making bias binding and probably would have pulled my hair out if I had made it using the fashion fabric. I purchased white ribbon that was 1/4 bigger than required and I adjusted the buttonhole opening to accommodate the change. Because I was not paying attention my waistband stitches are slightly different. The 2nd and 4th stitching line are 1/4 apart instead of 3/8 apart. Oops! My friend (and her bf) loved them and the fit of the bloomers were great.

Sorry that the above photo is the only one I have of the set. I am supposed to get picture of it with the owner, but not sure when that will happen, since a camera was broken.

I would like to make the bloomers for myself, for a lounge wear.  I probably would have to adjust the rise for my rear end. I also might make them with either elastic in the leg or without the gather in the leg all together.

Currently on my cutting table is the Anna Dress pattern from By Hand London. I hope to finish by the time I go to NYC.  I do plan to make another one, perhaps not as fancy as the one I am working on, which is being made from lace. By Hand London is hosting a sew-a-long and you should join.

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I hope to have a bunch of stuff to share with you in September, so stay tune.

 

What do you have on your cutting/sewing table? Do you plan to make the Anna Dress?

Quick and slightly productive

It would seem like I have not been doing any sewing since May, but this is not true. I have been working on a couple secret projects that are not ready to be revealed yet. I really can’t wait to reveal them to you.

Before I started working on my current secret project, I had started working on By Hand London’s Anna Dress. I am already in love with this dress, my dress, even though I have only made a muslin of the bodice. It’s the fabric that will in the end make this dress. Of course, I have to do research on how to use this fabric. Then, I will need to find a slip to wear under it. Who knew that full slips are hard to find and expensive?

A little while ago, I purchased a book called Fashionary. Let me tell you I love this book. I have an official place to sketch out my ideas and I don’t have to worry about drawing the human body. This is good, because I actually really need to get back into drawing and right now sketching out clothing is a great way for me to do that. I have some jackets, dresses and tops designed so far. I really wish I could share the drawings with everyone, but I have to wait until actually make up the garment. I am itching to share. I have in fact started drafting a pattern for one of the tops just before the Anna Dress appeared on my cutting table. I think I can actually make a mock-up when I get back to it.

In other news, I will be heading back to Philadelphia after 5+ years of being away, while I am on the East Coast, I will be spending half my time in NYC. So, if anyone is interested in meeting up, let me know. There are some awesome bloggers that are a must see, along with Mood. The last time I was at Mood, I did a quick walk around before I walked out. Too much fabric, my head was gonna exploded. This time I hope to go with life support. So yeah, let me know.

Hopefully, my next post will be a finished garment, until then. Ciao

 

Me-Made-May 2013: Week 3, 4 and 5 Wrap-up

Sorry, I have not been keeping up with my weekly Me-Made-May postings, but things have been a little crazy.  I hosted 2 parties in May, my photographer has been busy and on vacation, so I have been taking pictures myself or not. However, I still have been cranking out projects.

I took a break from making new items the 4th week to recover from the madness that was week 3. So what did I wear?

Week 3:

May 13

I decided after making two Sorbetto tops that I wanted to make another easy peasy top. Enters Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee. I cut out the XL and made no adjustments. The fit is overall a good fit and the fabric is a dream. The most challenging part was getting the neckline flat. Any tips?

Me-Made-May 2013: May 13

May 18

I did not wear the Shaner dress during the day but I wore it at my jobs Dinner Boat Cruise that I put together. I had plans to take pictures but that did not happen. It was a night of too much fun and not enough time.

Me-Made-May 2013: May 17th

Week 4:

May 23

Me made New Look 6510 pants. I made them a long time ago. Oddly they fit better with age. :/

Me-Made-May 2013: May 23 2013

I did not really wear any me made items the rest of the week except for a few hours I wore my first  McCall 6559 Maxi dress and the  first Colette Sorbetto top. Sorry no pictures

Week 5:

May 28

I finally finish this Sewaholic Renfrew top that I had started a while ago. The fabric was giving me such a hard time. Despite it being super comfy, it’s not really how I want it to be construction wise.
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Using View C, and my Y-FBA sloper for the pattern, I lengthen the bodice a little, opted out of the waist and sleeve bands and did a serged roll up hem. I also took my hip ruler and create the baseball jersey hem, shorter on the side seams.

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Despite me having so much problems with the shirt, I probably will still wear it a lot because it is comfy. However, I probably will no longer use the Y-FBA sloper I made for this shirt. I just would rather have a tighter fit and I just keep getting a relaxed to loose fit on these Renfrews.

May 30

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I completed my birthday dress and thought it would be great to wear it to work. The dress was mostly finished on my birthday but there was some things that needed some fixing. Mainly the facing needed to not be popping out everywhere; neckline facing and armhole facing. It was not a cute look. Nope. So I hand stitch the facings down and tada, no more flapping facing. I also changed out the button and made the loop smaller. Then finally, I shorten the skirt hem about 3 inches.

May 31

Mmm13: May 31 2013

 

I wore an extra Me-Made item on the last day of May since I only wore one during the 4th week of May. I wore one of my favorite Renfrew tops with diagonal strips.

As much fun as it is to wear clothing I made myself. I will not miss photographing myself or others taking photos of me. I much rather be on the other side of the lens. I usually want to Photoshop the crap out of my photo, due to my uneven skin. Yeah, I know

 

Here is the Re-cap:

May1to13 May17to31

 

I hope everyone had a good May and I look forward to the exciting things happening in June.