Friday, August 31, 2012

Pattern Review: New Look 6774 dress

This is the first time I use one of these 'design your look' patterns. I tried the combo E+J+L without the frills on the shoulder nor the pockets. I used fabrics I had in my stash: a blue lace pattern quilted cotton for the dress and poly cotton broadcloth for the straps and the waistband. I sewed a size 14 based on the bust measurements at the back of the envelope. The pattern instructions seemed straight forward enough. I read it once and didn't look at it again. It took me a while to fit the straps on properly. I guess I was too much in a hurry and made some errors. Otherwise, the dress came together without major issues.

The waistband is very tight at my ribcage and looks a bit stretched. Perhaps I have a larger than average ribcage? I don't know. I used a good weight quilting cotton so the gathers in the front also pooches out a little too much for me. I look a bit pregnant.  If I had used a lighter weight fabric with more drape may be that wouldn't be a problem. Also, there was a gape in the chest area so I improvised and added an additional tuck in the middle:

Overall, I think it was an okay pattern but I will need to tweak it to work for my body. I might wear this out once and see how comfortable it is. I have lots of other dress patterns in my stash  so I'm not going to 'play' with this pattern for a while

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The attempt in making a Wedding Dress....

I have been married for a LONG time. The first year I started to learn to sew as an adult, I made a wedding dress. I was engaged at the time and I was stupid/bold enough to try to make my own wedding dress. I went through the pattern books at the fabric store and chose this one:
I thought it looked elegant and sexy with the open back. I bought some cheap polyester white satin and made a muslin. Of course as a beginner sewer, I struggled with the cheap slippery satin and the open back was a bit wonky. I was very fit then so I managed to slip it on without it falling off. I wished I had taken some pictures then because now I don't actually know where that dress is and I'm sure I won't fit into after so many years and 2 kids. Sigh! All that beginner's effort......

But the dream of making a proper wedding dress still creeps into my head from time to time. I mentioned that to my hubby and the first thing he said was there was no way we would have another wedding again. He was scared that if I actually manage to make another wedding dress that I would demand to have another wedding ceremony! LOL!

I have been collecting wedding dress sewing patterns over the years and I'm still hoping one day I would have the time to sew a wedding dress. May be when the kids are in university? But right now they are only 3.5 years old and 16 months old! Perhaps I can use the patterns for my daughter's first prom dress (if she would let me make her prom dress)?

Grey cashmere sweater dress refashion

This is a super simple refashion! I thrifted this very long grey cashmere cable knit sweater dress for a few dollars a couple of years ago. The dress was in perfect condition. It was way too long for my short frame and the neckline was unflattering for my stumpy neck.

First a quick cut and hem at the knee. Then use the cut off material to make a circle and attach it to the neckline. Voila! A much better sweater dress for me. The cashmere is soft and warm and I can flip up the folded cowl neck for the bitter Canadian winter. I can't wait to wear it this Fall/Winter season! Let's just hope that my 2 active kids don't ruin a nice cashmere dress on the first outing.....:-)

Monday, August 27, 2012

ECing a 16 month old girl

The ECing has been on and off the last few months. Some days she would tell me in no uncertain terms that she needed to poop. Other days, she would just poop while standing up! It's worse when her brother is home because she loves following her brother around and is so distracted by him. I try to remember to keep an eye on her for about 20 min after each meal to see if she looks strained (trying to push the poop out). I also try to remember to put her on the potty right after we come home from an outing. If she had been eating/drinking a little, she would actually wait till she gets home to poop. She doesn't like sitting in her poop in the carseat.

School is starting soon so I hope that I will be able to keep her in underwear more often while her brother is at school. Hopefully that will put us back on track for the ECing. I really hope that I will get her fully trained while she is awake before next April, her 2nd birthday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Preparing for a Self-Stitched Sept 2012 challenge!

Last September I entered 'So, Zo...'s Self-stitched Sept 2011 challenge. It was the first time in a long time that I had really thought about what I was going to wear each day. Usually I just go to the stack of folded clean clothes in the corner of the bedroom and grab the things on top. It was actually fun to plan and coordinate each outfit for the week. I haven't really looked to see if another blogger is having a Self-stitched Sept 2012 challenge so I'm going to just do it myself for fun. If you would like to join me, please drop me a line!

This Fall is probably going to be a season of sweater dresses. I refashioned 5 sweater dresses when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I tried them on last night and some require some adjustment. I would like to refashion 2 more so that I would have a different one for each day of the week. I also need to make some more leggings to wear with these sweater dresses. I need to search through my fabric stash to see what stretchy fabrics I have. I am trying to not buy new materials and just use whatever is in my fabric/refashion stash to make new clothes. So I'm going to be busy with making leggings and sweater dresses for the next few weeks.

Again, if you would like to join me for a Self-stitched Sept 2012 challenge please let me know!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gold Brocade dress - New Look 6752

I have had this antique gold polyester brocade fabric for a long time. I made a trumpet skirt with it 5 years ago and wore it to death: to the office, on date night, to the theatre, etc. And then I made simple A-line dress with it using New Look 6752 which also has been in my stash for a while.

The dress is a pull-over style with no zippers. It has a few pleats in the front neckline. I made View A in size 12 with no sleeves. It is super easy and fast to make. That's the kind of perfect sewing project for a busy mom with 2 young kids! I didn't look at the instructions because the pattern pieces spoke for themselves.

I'm pleased with how it turned out. The brocade is probably stiffer than the recommended fabrics but I like that it holds its A-line shape well. It seems like a very versatile dress that can be dressed up or down. I have worn this dress out with a little black cardi and heels for a night out. It has a shape but not too fitted so one can eat a full meal plus dessert  in this dress. And best of all, because it's polyester brocade, it doesn't wrinkle and doesn't require ironing. Perfect!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blue Boucle Cardigan Refashion

The summer is almost over! :-( But Fall/Autumn is coming soon - I love sewing Fall/Autumn clothes!! :-) So it's time to look at building my Fall/Winter 2012 wardrobe.

I made this comfy single layer boucle cardi when I was pregnant with my first child (see this post). It had been well used throughout 2 pregnancies. I even received a number of compliments for this jacket while pregnant.

But now it just looks sad and shapeless on me:

Using a well fitting sweater jacket as a pattern, I cut out the excess material on the side, slimmed and shortened the sleeves and serged it all back together. 

And now it fits much better! A quick and easy refashion on a self-stitched garment. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Beige loafer shoe Refashion

I have always admired bloggers who are brave enough to dye their shoes or add all sorts of embellishments on them. Since I'm new to shoe refashioning, I thought I would just try a very simple one for now.

I thrifted these almost new beige loafers for a great price. They are very comfortable but just really boring looking:

I also thrifted these medallions from the thrift store. They are quite heavy and seemed to have been components of a bracelet but someone has taken them apart already:

I just glued them onto the loafers with 'No More Nails' adhesive. I hope they will stay because the medallions are heavy and they can be flung off if I run in these shoes.

My first shoe refashion! Yay! So, what do you think? Is the embellishment too ornate for such a casual shoe?