Friday, May 28, 2010

I have a Follower!

Lame, I know. But I have a Follower!!!!! Thanks GwenSews!


So jealous of your stash..... :)


And now a rant about my sewing machine.

A few weeks after I write a sewing machine review on Pattern Review praising my Brother NX-250 for its consistent stitches, it decided to crap out on me. Geez! I have the poorest stitch quality and tension now. I have changed needles, rethreaded my machine, cleaned it the best I could, oiled it, changed out the bobbin, etc etc. and the stitches keep changing lengths as I sew. I haven't been able to finish my Cynthia Rowley dress (2406) because of it. (Also, I am a moron and attached one side of the facing to the back with the facing right side to th
e back piece wrong side. With the horrible stitch quality, it was like picking out a satin
stitch in some areas. I didn't notice right away because the fabric right and wrong side are similar so I even understitched. I picked it out, but it's not pretty. I also just started quilting my first quilt and I can't get the stitches even. It's driving me bonkers! I don't want to spend more money on this machine so I tried to follow the tutorial that Kristine of Just Keep Sewing posted about sewing machine maintenance. My machine is newer than the example given on YouTube so I couldn't even get the machine apart. I guess I'll have to spend $80 to get it repaired.

But enough of my complaining....Here is a picture of Pearl! (because I still need to take pictures of my clothes!) She was not feeling well that day.

Hope this picture makes you giggle too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I want one of these swimsuits!

Grosgrain is having a giveaway right now for these really beautiful, retro swimsuit. I would love to wear one to Maui this year. For those of you who know me and my figure type (or those who can guess by looking at some of my blog pictures), what swimsuit would look best? I don't have any ruffly swimsuits yet. Most are very surfer girl style bikinis from Roxy, O'Neal, Billabong, etc. I have one designer suit I bought at Marshalls last year, but the designer's name is alluding me right now. I should really start paying more attention now that I will be attending fashion school. Okay so here's the link:

Shabby Apple Queensland Swimsuit Giveaway

I'm leaning toward the red ruffle suit, but I have a feeling I would look bizarre in it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Flickr, Picassa, What???

Do any of my 4 or 5 readers (hehe, I'm lame!) have any suggestions about what photo hosting site I should use? I'm internet/html challenged and I've been having a hard time getting the flickr site to work (get the right size of picture up on my screen. I also like how people can post pictures in the middle of their text like Karen does. I guess I'm just not liking how my blog is looking with regards to the whole picture thing. I think I may just beg the wonderful online sewing community bloggers to give suggestions in their comment sections. I know that in time I will figure this all out, but for now it's driving me crazy.

And now a picture of Pearl!

She blows me away....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rooibos Dress Update and other progress

STUPID EFFING ROOIBOS DRESS! ( the blue one)I think I hate Colette Patterns. I've tried two of her patterns and so far I think they are really poorly drafted. I love the styles. I think they are adorable, but I don't like the instructions (and I've found mistakes!) or the way the pieces are all on one piece of tissue sizes 0-18.

I worked on the craptastic dress last night and got the whole skirt and pocket portion put together. Guess what, the skirt doesn't fit the bodice. They both are size 4. Either I and really horrible at keeping a steady seam allowance or the pattern is crap. I'm going to blame the latter. I don't know if I will ever finish it because I am fed up with it right now.

Instead, I am going to start working on this (view B) :

Hopefully very easy to fit and sew. I need a fun project right now.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Almost a Bat Wing Top

Pearl and I on our way to the Post Office! Notice the letters in hand.

Back in the Fall I made a top using the Simplicity Project Runway 3504 pattern. I think I was sick for a day or two and stayed home from work and was able to finish it up. The fabric is a black eyelet. I think it was one of my first fabric purchases from a Vietnamese fabric shop in South Sac. It was cheap so I picked up a few yards. I used a lot of techniques that strayed from the pattern instructions like french seams throughout, using a slipstitch to hand bind the neck line, and I cut the fabric out differently. Whoa, big changes I know. I still think I need to fix the inset, I'm just too lazy. If I unpick one side and shift it over a bit, then restitch in the ditch from the right side, it should lay a little better and look less like my boobs are way too big and wrinkling the front as my co-worker put it, but in much nicer terms. The Boyfriend humored me again and we had a fun photoshoot one Sunday afternoon on the way to the Post Office to mail my mother's day cards. (It was a major fail by the way because the automated kiosk was out of stamps!!!)

Oh and about the batwings. I cut out sleeves hoping for a flowy, flutter sleeve, but the fabric was just too stiff and the sleeves looked like wings. It was really funny. I don't think I have a picture anywhere. I am really bad about taking pictures of the construction of the project.

So here is the official PR review:

Pattern Description:

Project Runway pattern. Simplicity is LAME and never gives pattern descriptions. I made a sleeveless version with the gathered front and inset.

Pattern Sizing:

4, 6, 8, 10, 12. I made a size 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yep, I guess.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

From what I recall they were.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the options of a Project Runway pattern, but I hate that they:
1) Give separate yardage for each piece, which means you end up with extra yardage you don't need.
2) They don't name the separate pieces on each pattern so its really hard to find what pieces you want to use if you are a beginner.

Fabric Used:

A cotton eyelet, that was WAAY to stiff for this pattern.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I accidently cut the pattern out wrong (I wanted to cut it on the cross-grain to get the pretty scallop at the hem. I also wanted to use the flutter sleeves, but because the fabric was too stiff even though I cut them out on the bias they stuck out like crazy bat wings. I also shortened the pattern by 3.75 inches. I did a 1/2 in. sloping shoulder adjustment and french seams throughout.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I don't think I will sew this pattern again. Maybe in a much lighter material. I guess I would recommend it to others. If I would have gotten better results than I would be more inclined to recommend. The crappy shirt was my fault, not the patterns though.

Here's the back:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bicycle! Bicycle! I want to ride my Bicycle!

This post is an Ode to Doris. I love my new bike. She is a 1971 lightweight Suburban Schwinn. I bought her at the Alameda Flea Market at the beginning of the month.

She came complete with the original owner's manual filled out by her first owner, Doris Pangkorn, a working generator light, the "Doris" plaque, old-school gears (I think she is a 10-speed), a flag hook, rear bike baskets, an odometer, a rearview mirror, and a nifty pleather case for all her tools (most of which were included). It looked like she had never been ridden, but her odometer proved otherwise. She was just well taken care of. Oh, and she has a bizarre, but oh so comfy sheep skin seat cover.

The Boyfriend and I talked the price down a bit and the seller generously threw in a Newcastle. The picture above is me on my bike for the first time, drinking and biking. We were afraid to have an open container in broad daylight so between the two of us we chugged it. If I have to drink a dark beer, I choose Newcastle.

Here is a picture of her all alone:

The view of her backside (hehe!):

The Doris plaque:

The nifty rearview mirror, gear shifter thingies (see, look how much I know about bikes), the generator light:

I went to get her tuned up and her brakes fixed. It turned out to be more of an ordeal than expected and she is back in the shop. She did just fine on the Davis Bike Loop though. I am so proud of her and myself for actually riding 12 miles. It was a first for me.

Hooray Doris!

And Pearl likes her too:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vogue 1151 Silver Knit Dress!

I have been diligently taking pictures (well having the Boyfriend take them) and posting to Burdastyle and PatternReview. I also started using Flickr to store my pictures. Here is the completed Vogue dress:

I love this Cynthia Steffe pattern. If the dress wasn't so trendy, I would make it again. It was very fun to construct, and not that difficult. I also used an amazing piece of fabric that I got for $1/yard. Although it was polyester, it sewed up wonderfully.

Pattern Description:

MISSES' DRESS: Tapered, close-fitting dress, above mid-knee has slightly raised waist, princess seams, cut-a-way armholes, two-piece bias, turned back collar and exposed back zipper.

Pattern Sizing:

AA(6-8-10-12), EE(14-16-18-20)
I made a size 10 in bust and graded to an 8. I ended up taking out a lot at the side seams so I ended up probably with an 8 in the bust and a 6 in the waist and hips. I like my knits clingy.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes! Better than I expected.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

For more pictures check out my blog!

This was my first Vogue other than a scarf pattern. They were very easy to understand.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love everything!

Fabric Used:

A silver very stable polyester knit. A dream to sew!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

As I said before, I took a lot out at the side seams and had to grade it in quite a lot at the waist and hips. I wasn't quite happy with the zipper at the bottom so I pickstitched it on the outside starting a few inches from the bottom and it laid perfectly after that.

And here's the back:

The hem:

And a closeup of the front princess seams and collar:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bumble Bee skirt!

I'm officially starting to post past projects! Last weekend I "traded" the Boyfriend taking pictures of my garments for soccer outings. I think its a pretty fair trade because I enjoy spending time with him and we both need to exercise more. Plus it's a real pain in the ass to take pictures of myself outside. So here is the first project post with hopefully many more to come:

Pattern Description:
MISSES SKIRTS AND SASH: Mid-knee length, pleated skirts have faced yoke and back zipper closure; skirt A has slash front pocket with band and contrasting lower band; skirts B and C have side seam pockets; skirt B has carriers and sash; skirt C has ribbon trim at lower edge.

I made view A without the contrast lower band.

Pattern Sizing:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, with modifications.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked everything about the pattern. I made it once before (my first skirt project) and I either cut the bottom band wrong or the pattern was drafted poorly (probably the former) because the band was waaaaay to big to even ease onto the skirt as the directions suggested.

Fabric Used:
A cotton print from Joann's apparel section, not quilting cotton. It is a bit heavier than quilting cotton.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a size 12 because I made an 8 the first time and it was just a smidge to small (a little snug at my waist). I should have made a size 10 because I ended up taking in about 1" side seams, which is weird because the 8 should have fit the first time (hehe). I guess I didn't have the most consistent seam allowances then. I also omitted the bottom sash. I did not line the skirt and serged all seams. I catch-stitched the hem (my first time!).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would probably sew this again a few years down the lane if I needed another skirt like this.

Really easy for beginners.

More pictures!

The back.

The pockets!