Saturday, July 31, 2010

Simplicity 3742: Various incarnations

So I made Simplicity 3742 a few weeks back as an 8 grading to 12 and it was just too tight on top. So today I made it again in a straight 12. Muuuuch better. I could have gone for 14 to get more gathering action, but this looks ok.
Simplicity 3742 view B in size 12

I'm kind of shocked that the bow looks half way decent!

It's made from a poly/rayon linen-look blend from Hancock online. Does it look too much like a nightgown? Can I wear it to a baby shower next weekend that might be outside?

I totally forgot to do a swayback adjustment.
Simplicity 3742 view B in size 12

Simplicity 3742 view B in size 12

Simplicity 3742 view B in size 12

I thought you might like to see this pattern in its various incarnations. I took these pix while making view B.

View A is without any ties so it looks a bit sack-like:
Simplicity 3742 what view A would look like

Simplicity 3742 what view A would look like

View C has ties at the waist. In real life, you would make a casing and pull the rope through the casing. Just as a demo, I wrapped the cord around the outside of the dress to give you an idea of what it would look like.
Simplicity 3742 what view C would look like
Simplicity 3742 what view C would look like

When I saw that, I thought that I might change the direction of this dress and make C instead of B. I kind of like the slouchy vibe and slightly Obi Wan/Friar Tuck feeling of the cording, but I also like the underbust gathers of B so I continued on.

Also I thought I'd share a few lessons I learned when I made the prior attempt at view B, which I then applied to this dress. Understitch the facing and tack it on the edge to prevent the seam allowance from flipping to the front of the dress

You'll want to tack the bottom seam allowance of the facing as well, to also prevent it from flipping to the front of the dress.
Zig-zag or serge both the top and bottom edges of the facing after sewing the top edge of the facing to the dress but before sewing the bottom edge of the facing to the dress. This prevents little frayed strings from tufting out of the resulting casing for the strap like hair sprouting from an old man's ears (nice visual, right?)

Simplicity 3742 view B in size 12

I learned those lessons the hard way, and before I gave the too-small-for-me version to my friend Denise I had to hand tack the facings back because they were all flipping to the front and fraying.

There's another dress I want to sew tomorrow, but I also need to do something called chores, so I might not get to it.

The temperature was just lovely yesterday and today!! It feels vaguely like it's September, not the last day of July, but I'm not complaining!!

Also, this pattern number 3742 is the exact reverse of the last dress I made, 2473.

Good night!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Running stitches finished: Simplicity 2473 complete

Wow, thanks for your comments about the stitching. Honestly, it's not very uniform, but it passes muster. I freeformed the stitches that you saw in the previous post, but was having trouble with the stitching down the front of the dress--it looked askew and obviously not uniform. So out came my tailor's chalk (my new friend, as piping is now a dear old friend) and I used a ruler to try to line up the stitching of the bodice for where it would go for the skirt.

You can see, I even had trouble with that:
Simplicity 2473 almost done

But somehow I made it work, and now it is done--running stitches done, dress ironed, threads cut!

In this picture, I think my lips and jaw look like my maternal (crafty) grandmother:
Simplicity 2473 DONE

And in this one, I think my eyes/forehead look like my dad:
Simplicity 2473 DONE

I was toying with doing stitches down the back of the skirt too, but it's good to know when to say when, right?

Simplicity 2473 DONE

The stitching goes around the back of the neckline and the midriff, but that's all.

So it is done!

In other news: I fixed downstairs Hal (he would only circle around and not break free from a tight circle--I followed the instructions on the iRobot website--very awesome as it revealed that a part of a peanut was stuck in its wheel and was very easy to remove). However, I sadly report that upstairs Hal fell down the stairs. I'm a horrible Roomba mother. I had put a magazine at the top of the staircase. Evidence points to that Hal pushed the magazine along so its cliff censor thought there was solid ground in front of it. Eventually, there wasn't and I heard Hal tumble. I was yelling out "no, Hal, no". It was very dramatic. While he landed on his "feet" and his clean button is green, and he cleans, he makes this horrible thumping noise while running. I went back to the iRobot site, and followed another video which revealed that I have to contact their support team. Part of the diagnostic was to remove his brushes and run him without them--he still makes the thumping noise so something else is wrong. I'm sorry upstairs Hal!

Good night!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I chose Ecru: Simplicity 2473 day 2

Day 2 of Simplicity 2473. Not that I spent a whole lot of time on it. I did go to the JoAnn's in Colonia as a treat (yes, treat, because it is larger than the one near Princeton). I also thought the Simplicity $1.99 sale started today. Oops, it starts Thursday.

I finished the armholes and put in a hem (which I put in and ripped out 3 times...) This fabric and hems don't get along very well. I tried a 1.5 inch hem, then chopped 3/4 off and hemmed with extra wide single fold bias tape, then ripped that out and folded the fabric once at about 3/8, hemmed, and folded and hemmed again. Phew! It finally doesn't look too bad. I haven't ironed it yet as I'm not done with the running stitches yet.

Thank you for your suggestions about running stitch color. I chose the DMC color "ecru" which is basically cream, as per Mary Nanna who first suggested it. Here it's showing up as if it were white.

Simplicity 2473 day 2

I still need to do the running stitch on the skirt but am running out of energy for tonight.

Simplicity 2473 day 2

My hair is definitely becoming more "Jersey". I decided to grow it out for a year and see what happens. It's been 7 months since it was last cut.

Simplicity 2473 day 2

After making the trek to Colonia I always treat myself to cupcakes and brownies from LaBon in Woodbridge. However, the location I usually hit up closed this past winter but I didn't know til I drove up and saw the sign on the door. So then I journeyed to their location in Edison which makes more sense anyhow. I was not going to be denied brownies! and cupcakes!

Cupcakes from LaBon!
Jostled in transit...

So I want to wear the dress on Tuesday, so hopefully tmw night I can finish up the stitching down the front and cut all threads and iron it.

I have a bit of touching up for some other garments: Adding bra strap holders to 2 of my New Look 6922 dresses; sewing up the Jalie scarf shirt so it's not quite so deep; finding a way to make the Antoinette labeled HOT dress cowl not so deep. The New Look cowl neck also needs some tweaking as I feel it is also too deep...and the turq/brown dress needs additional tweaking as the cross top is just too floppy when sitting down.

Good night!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Simplicity 2473 in progress

Thank you kind readers for all the super nice comments you have posted!! Here, have some flowers!

pink, red and purple zinnias
So pretty! Pink, red and purple zinnias from the Princeton Farmer's Market

I have been itching to make this dress since last year. Today (after a big nap) was the day to start Simplicity 2473. Hurrah!
Simplicity 2473 pattern
It's one of those Project Run(a)way patterns, with many (say it in Tim's voice) designer options.

I'm making the dress on the right side of the pattern. No collar, no sleeves, flared skirt.

Here it is; no armhole binding, hem, or running stitches yet!

Simplicity 2473 in progress

I'm using a black linen-look fabric from Hancock Fabrics (purchased online).

I'm shocked I didn't have to make an SBA; the princess seams were totally fine!

I made a swayback adjustment on the skirt at the waistband; I should have made it also on the skirt itself as per Trena, but it's really not so bad.

Also, I haven't inserted a zipper in ages; I did a lapped zipper and it was fine.

Simplicity 2473 in progress

Simplicity 2473 in progress

It's 12 on top graded to 14 at the hip.
I sewed the top of the waistband on with essentially a one inch seam; this brought the entire dress "up" which I initially liked but now that I'm too far past the point of no return, I'm not so sure that I like how high it is. Maybe it was fine where it was?

Regardless, I'm still excited for this dress. What color should I do the running stitches in? It looks like they used white stitching. I was thinking of maybe going with a color. Or not.

What cracks me up about the pattern is the photo on the left side shows a model in the background. She's wearing same the dress as the model in the photo on the right. But it's not the same model! So I guess they use different models with the same dress and then decide later? Interesting. If you scroll your mouse over the picture here then you can see what I'm talking about.

Tonight I ate a cantaloupe that was so good, it was like candy. YUM!

Good night!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vogue 2945: hip to be square cowl neck

Vogue 2945
It's shocking, right? A weekend without making a dress! But I made a shirt, Vogue 2945, a square cowl neck. I've made it twice before. This one definitely has a summer vibe.

Vogue 2945

Vogue 2945

Vogue 2945

It's made from aqua ribbed fabric from JoAnn's. Since I made this before, I knew that the area where the front and back neck meet is a tricky place. It just doesn't look right and I have to hand tack it to get it to look somewhat square. I didn't take any before pix but I had this problem in my two prior attempts. It's kind of wild. Also I made size D (it's one of those patterns with letters, not numbers, for sizes) and wound up taking it in 1.5 inches on each side and adding some shaping to the waist. The pattern has 1" side seams so you can adjust based on the stretchiness of your knit.

I love this color--it's so beachy! I plan on making New Look 6922, the short sleeved cardigan, from the same fabric...I'll order some more!! Though I don't like how this fabric wrinkles. It's 60/40, but for this color, I'll deal.

I'm thinking about embarking on an adventure. It's called...can I find my favorite pair of brown shorts in my closet? My closet is overfilled with clothes right now. Definitely time to do some weeding. Will I find my brown shorts before it's too late (i.e. end of summer)? Will there be an avalanche of clothing? Will I escape unscathed?? Tune in next time!!

Also, I saw the Italian film "I am Love" yesterday. Has anyone else seen this film? I want to discuss it! AND I finally finished "Prep: A Novel" yesterday. Phew!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jennifer Weiner book reading!

I'm in the last row of the audience--in all black on the right--my shirt and hair match!

I almost didn't go, and I forgot to bring my camera, but I saw Jennifer Weiner at a lunchtime benefit for the Princeton Public Library today. It would have been easy to score a picture with her too (so Jay McCarroll will have to suffice for now)! I am SO GLAD that I went. I haven't read her books for a while but she has written 8 books in 8 years and just released a new book yesterday. So I've read 3 of her 8, but the last one I read was in 2006.

She told some fun stories (being on Rachael Ray's show; meeting Rosie O'Donnell; a brief analysis of the Bachelorette among them) , then read a passage from her new book, then opened the floor to questions. She's vivacious, full of energy, witty and kind, confident but not cocky--the type of person you love to know. She graduated from Princeton U so it was very cool that she has a connection to the place. I liked her discussion of her creative process. She writes from 11-4 or 12-5 every day. It takes her 6-8 months to write a novel, then a month or two of working with someone else (can't remember the name for that person), then another month with her editor.

She was twittering and facebooking before, during, and after the presentation. She had a book signing afterward but I plan on borrowing the book from the library instead, and I needed to go back to work.

The audience was entirely female. She said at the book reading the night before, there were 3 men in the audience. She promised the men they wouldn't start menstruating until after the reading.

If you like her books, you will definitely enjoy her reading--check out her book tour schedule!

And all the pix that the official PPL photographer took are here.

It was such a fun thing to go to and really put a spring in my step afterward! I think I captured some of her energy!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Look 6922 view C this time in brown/gray

Hello Bunny!
Hello Bunny!

This weekend is our big software upgrade weekend at work. My coworker was to be done with his part of the upgrade at noon, so that I could start my part. That left me with a lot of hours this morning--what to do--I know--sew!!

I really want to remake the Simplicity 3742 dress again in my size but am waiting for the fabric to be delivered. (I my big closet there isn't the right fabric for it, ha ha!) The good news is the dress fit my friend Denise perfectly without any alterations at all, and she looks really great in it.

So instead I set about making New Look 6922 view C for the third time! This time it's in a fabric that sometimes looks brown, sometimes looks gray (I used black thread outside, brown bobbin inside). Then it turned out my coworker finished his part of the upgrade ahead of schedule at 10:30, so I had to stop midway through sewing my dress. I finished it tonight after dinner.

front view New Look 6922
Another funny face

New Look 6922 view C once again! in brown/gray this time
My hair is straight-ish from wearing it pulled back in a pony tail...

back New Look 6922
I like the pink ribbon belt--it goes with brown or gray

side New Look 6922

The fabric is from Jomar during Sewing Pattern Review weekend Philly. It's a thin knit blend.

Mazzygirl made the shirt from this pattern and finished the neckline in a different way than I did on my previous versions, which is different from the pattern directions. So this time I tried it her way, which was to sew the band to the front of the dress and fold it over to the back, then stitch it down on the outside. The band is raw on the inside. This seems to be a much better technique than what I did in previous versions, which was to fold the band in half, sew it to the front, then stitch it down, except for the gathered area, where I tacked it down. The pattern directions are more cumbersome than that--you can read the pattern for those directions!
close up of finish
Mazzygirl technique: much better

To alleviate bra strap issues (the neck on the dress is a tad wide, and by finishing the neckline in this new-to-me manner, it's even wider than in my previous versions) I added bra strap corrallers this time.
Bra strap corraler
Inside the dress, the bra strap corraller waits...

All I did was cut some ribbon (it's brown with the fun pink stitching), sew it inside the armhole seam, sew on some snaps (one to the ribbon, one to the neckline of the dress), fold over the raw edge of the ribbon and sewed that down--voila! If these work out ok, I'm definitely adding them to the other two versions of this dress.

So I think that's it for the dress 6922. Three versions is enough for now. I really, really want to remake the 6922 cardigan, short sleeved in brown and aqua blue versions. I'm thinking I might make it tmw? But which color???? Stay tuned.

Anyway, as a reminder, here's the black and aqua blue versions of the dress again:

New Look 6922 in aqua blue

New Look 6922 view C-ish done
Which version is your favorite?

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Look 6922 view A: ready for senate confirmation hearing

The July 4 holiday rolls on over here into July 5 on my blog...

You know how much I love New Look 6922 view C (the dress that I've made twice now in black and aqua blue. I will make it in brown before the summer is out!). Today I finished off the cardigan view A. I actually love view B (short sleeve cardigan) but was thinking I need a long sleeve cardigan for the office.

I had a lot of trouble with the collar: I cut it out wrong; I used interfacing that is waaaay too heavy; I had to rip the collar out and put it back in a few times; I even had trouble with the hem of all things.

I tried it on and I think I look like I'm ready for my senate confirmation hearing. I thought it might look casual; rather it looks very official.
New Look 6922 view A
I'm sorry, I don't recall that...

New Look 6922 view A
I would rather not state at this time...

New Look 6922 view A
My lawyers have advised me to not answer any questions regarding that...

New Look 6922 view A
Yes, I am aware of the seriousness of the situation...

The collar is not rolling too well on the right more than on the left, but next time I will use the interfacing designed for knits. And I'll probably make it short sleeved. Heh!

I'm going to order more of the turquoise fabric from Hancock online so I can make the blue dress (Simplicity 3742) from Saturday again in the right size. I bought that fabric in Austin in March.

Parting shot: I broke up the green eyed susans into smaller bunches and then decided to take a picture outside of one of the smaller bunches.

green eyed susans

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Vogue 8379 redux and other random things

After recently watching Antoinette's "how to make your own underwear" tutorial, I had to buy some tailor's chalk. It is SO much better than the marking pencils! and I can write crude messages to myself when things aren't going well (but for you readers, it says "Hi").

So what's going on over here on July 4 you ask? I made Vogue 8379 again, this time in black. You might recall that I originally was going to make this in black, partially cut it out, and then I wound up making it in red because I thought I didn't have enough fabric. Turns out I needed to cut several inches off the bottom anyway, and I was able to squeak this dress out.
vogue 8379 in black

The fabric is black double knit. It feels and drapes like a dream. Gorgeous stuff! I think it's from Lucy's Fabrics.

vogue 8379 in black

vogue 8379 in black

vogue 8379 in black

I think I like the red one better but I'm not quite sure why. Is it just the color?
Vogue 8379 fixed

There's so much that I want to sew and there's this drive within me to keep sewing! I think this may be the longest sustained sewing period I've had for a long while (sewing every weekend for weeks on end--making at least one dress a weekend for 7 (or is it 8?) weeks now). But this afternoon I told myself I'd stop sewing at 5pm. Post-lunch, I picked up working on the New Look 6922 cardigan after seeing MushyWear's white short sleeved version of it. I had stopped working on it a few weeks back because I was having issues with the shawl collar. Somehow I cut one of the collar pieces just plain wrong! So I was able to deal with that and move on, but by 5pm I wasn't done. Will I finish it off tonight anyway? It needs hemming (sleeves and cardigan) and the belt and belt loops need to be made.

So what else? The Princeton Farmer's Market is back, this time on Thursdays and in a very convenient location in front of the library.
Farmer's Market flowers
"Green" eyed susans...

I ran Hal downstairs this morning; he found my beach mat and dragged it over to the feet of Elvis. Does Elvis want to go to the beach? I don't know but I do!!
Hal's at it again

Here's what happened:

I killed a giant bug in the sink this morning. One of those gigantic centipede type bugs with a bazillion legs. I *hate* that.

Ironically my mom and I emailed about deer eating her plants yesterday. I believe in the soap method but haven't put any soap out this year to deter them from eating my roses. Well, last night they ate my impatiens out front. Hope that was a tasty salad! When I was watering them last night I was thinking about how big and healthy they looked! Too bad I don't have a "before" shot of this.
impatiens, post-deer-fest

Also, massive quantities of TastyCakes have been consumed this weekend.
Tastycake eating in progress

It's supposed to be 100F tmw.
That is all.