Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bridal fabric shopping - a rant

So I went to a couple of local fabric stores to see what kind of bridal fabrics they have. Well, not much! I'm indeed surprised. I thought that they would have lots of those. However, all I found was some itchy polyester lace, heavy crepe back satin and some cheapy polyester satin. They don't even have something simple like white dupioni silk! Does it mean I have to travel an hour to the city centre just to get some bridal fabric? What's going on with the fabric stores in my area? To be honest I have met less than 5 people in my area who sew, and most of them were quilters. Where are all the garment sewists? I guess I should not be surprised at the lack of selection for apparel fabrics in my neighbourhood.

My dear friend (around my age) who lives in a suburb of Montreal has 2 fabulous fabric warehouses in her neighbourhood. When I visit her, we always go to the fabric store because I just can't believe the selection, the quality and the prices of apparel fabrics they offer there. Does it mean there are more home sewists who sew garments in her city than mine?

Anyways, I am not going to visit my friend soon and I really need to finish this wedding dress for the photo shoot. I guess I'll just base my fabric choice on how photogenic it is than my personal comfort. Sigh.....

Monday, May 26, 2014

Wedding Dress Muslin 3 - Vogue 8285

Okay this is the last of the wedding dress muslins. This one is Vogue 8285 size 14 View A.

It's a little loose so I used a wider seam allowance. I did my usual short waist adjustment also. Here are the pictures:

It looks okay to me. Not as 'regal' as Vogue 2237 but the most comfortable and the most practical for walking around. I'm really not sure which one I should use for the final dress. Right now it's really between this dress and Vogue 2237. If you have forgotten what the other dress looked like, here are the pictures again:

Any suggestions on which one I should make as my final dress?

Me Made may 2014 - May 18-26

I forgot to post about my Me made May outfits this past week. The weather was hot and cold - each day was drastically different from the last. Here are the pictures:

May 18
Dress - Me Refashioned thrifted  merino wool sweater dress
Necklace - Me Made glass and metal and painted wood necklace

May 19:
Top - Me Refashioned tshirt
Pants - Me Made cotton knit checker slim pants
Necklace - Me Made glass, semi-precious stone and metal necklace

May 20:
Pants - Me Made red skinny jeans

May 21:
Scarf - Me Made fabric remnant scarf
Pnats - Me Refashioned jeans

May 22:
Top - Me Refashioned skirt to top
Pants - Me Made slim black cotton pants (McCall  5273)
Bracelet - Me Made glass, metal and pearl braclet

May 23:
Top - Me Made cotton tunic

May 24:
Top - Me Made poly knit faux wrap top (New Look 6729)

May 25:
Top - Me Refashioned Men's XL sweater mini dress

May 26:
Dress - Me Made red floral poly knit dress

The weather is getting hotter so I should be able to wear all my summer dresses and shorts from now on. Yay!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wedding Dress Muslin 2 - Simplicity 2639

I chose Simplicity 2639 for my 2nd muslin because View B is exactly the shape of my original wedding dress (my original wedding dress has all over lace, beading and spaghetti straps).

Since I was going to have straps, I didn't do a foundation nor a lining. I just made the dress part to tweak the fit. And this is how it turned out:

The chest is too tight and the back needs narrowing. I think a proper FBA is in order for this pattern which I didn't do. It's okay, I'm not in love with it. It certainly has more coverage; I can walk easily in this without tripping too. But something seems to be missing. Perhaps with all over lace and beading plus a longer length this will look better? Somehow it doesn't seem to have the impact of the 1st muslin I did with Vogue 2237, even though the Vogue 2237 muslin was only done with a bed sheet. What do you think?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wedding Dress Muslin 1 - Vogue 2237

With only 1.5 month to pick and choose wedding dress patterns to make muslins, to muslin-ing (new verb!), to finalizing the final dress pattern, to shopping for the actual wedding dress material to the final wedding dress - it's a mad dash for sure! So the first thing I did was to go to the local Thrift store and bought 3 light coloured queen/double bed sheets for the muslins. I would have liked to buy more sheets but they only have 3 light coloured ones in queen/double size. So I guess I can make maximum 3 muslins only!

I have just finished the first very roughly done muslin for Vogue 2237. It's a Badgley Mischka Vogue American Designer evening pattern from 2001. It's rated Average so I thought I could tackle it.

I only made the dress and foundation (not the lining for the dress nor the lining for the foundation) because I just wanted to tweak the fit.  Since it's supposed to be very close fitting at the bust, I cut a size 16 for the bust and size 14 for the rest of the body. It turned out that size 14 would have been fine for my bust as well. I also did my usual short waist adjustment. The boning was quickly done and the zipper (it red because that's all I have in my stash right now) was crudely installed. Here is how it looked on me:

(A side note: The sheet is a 100% cotton white sheet with pale blue polka dots on it - I thought it would have made a lovely non-lace, non-satin type wedding dress material too!)

I think it's okay in terms of the fit. I'm not sure about that fish tail train that's dragging on the floor. I almost tripped and fell many times while taking these pictures because I stepped back onto the train. Yes I'm a hazard to myself! And too much of my already broad back was showing to make it more broad and meaty. Perhaps some straps would be good? Otherwise, I think the shape from the bust to the bottom looked fine. What do you think?

Alright, I'm going to have to choose the next sewing pattern for muslin-ing! I only have 2 more sheets left so I have to be choosy. Which one do you think I should do next?

Monday, May 19, 2014

I have to Make a Wedding Dress! Help please?

No I'm not actually getting married again. Last week, hubby just casually mentioned that since he had lost a lot of weight, we should get dressed in our wedding clothes again and get some pictures taken in a historical part of town. I thought he was joking but then he reiterated it this week. It's good that he can now fit into his wedding suit again but after 2 kids I just can't fit into my old wedding dress anymore! I was able to get my body in except for the bust area. I didn't think I gained that much on top but apparently I did. Oh well! Too bad! I guess I'll have to make another one - YES! What an opportunity to make a wedding dress for myself!

I've been looking through my stash of sewing patterns and looking online for pictures of wedding dresses that appealed to me. Since I'm top heavy with a thick and undefined waist, many classic styles do not work for me. Anything that is a bit fitted on top down to the hip and then flares out  below the thighs are more suitable for me. I am narrowing the general styles down to the following:

Vogue 2237

 Vogue 8115 

Vogue 8285

Simplicity 2639

These are just the general styles I'm thinking of. If I actually make one of them I'll be adding my own design elements to them somehow. I have about 1.5 months to get in shape, make the muslin(s) to tweak the fit and to make the actual dress (shopping for trims/lace included). So I need to decided which pattern(s) to do the muslin(s). What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Refashion: Eyelet skirt becomes Eyelet top

Just when I thought the mercury was rising enough for me to wear tank tops and shorts, the cold wind blasted me back to reality this morning. It was 5 Celsius this morning with strong wind. There is a frost warning for tonight. Seriously?

Well, it didn't dampen my mood. I was determined to make some summery garments. I thrifted this warm sunny yellow cotton eyelet skirt last year for $6.99. It was very big on me but it was about the only shade of yellow that looked semi-flattering on me.

I took off the lining (yes the same shade of yellow cotton voile lining - another top perhaps?) and the zipper and traced my self-drafted woven tank pattern on the skirt. I have previously used the pattern for this refashioned top. The yellow skirt was just a little short on the material so the top is a bit tighter than the other one. But I'm pleased that I now have a yellow eyelet top to wear this summer:

Another quick and easy refashion project! Can't wait to wear it when it's warmer!

Me Made May 2014 - May 9 to May 16

So we are into the 2nd week of Me Made May 2014.  The weather had been all over the place this past week: hot and humid, rainy, rainstorm, cold and grey, etc. I am still hoping that I can debut my newly made shorts before the end of May!

May 9:
Top - Me Made grey sweatshirt cowlneck top
Bottom - Me Made red skinny jeans
Purse (not shown) - Me Made red faux suede cross-body purse

May 10:
Top - Me Altered denim shirt (I altered the back darts)
Bottom - Me Made white slim jeans (McCall's 5273 again!)
Necklace - Me Made glass and metal necklace
Purse - Me Made red faux suede cross-body purse

May 11:
Dress - Me Made antique gold polyester brocade dress (I was hoping to go somewhere with this dress but my daughter threw up on me!)
Necklace - Me-Made jade and metal necklace

May 12:
Dress - Me Made zipped front stretch cotton denim dress
Necklace - Me-Made coral and tiger-eye stone necklace
Purse (not shown) - Me Made red faux suede cross-body purse

May 13:
Jacket - Me Made coated cotton topper jacket (Butterick 6900)
Dress - Me Refashioned XL red ponte dress
Purse (not shown) - Me Made red faux suede cross-body purse

May 14:
Top - Me Made knit floral tank top (Simplicity 3532)
Bottom - Me Made grey slim jeans (McCall 5273  again!! - I love creating different jeans pocket designs)
Purse (not shown) - Me Made red faux suede cross-body purse

May 15:
Top - Me Made poly knit faux wrap top
Bottom - Me-Made black cotton stretch twill slim pants (McCall 5273 - yes again!)
Necklace - Me Made Swarovski cross on silver chain
Purse (not shown) - Me Made red faux suede cross-body purse

May 16:
Top - Me refashioned grey sweatshirt top
Bottom - Me Altered RTW jeans
Scarf - Me Made remnant fabric scarf
Purse (not shown) - Me Made red faux suede cross-body purse

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pattern Review: Butterick 5044 and MAGAM May Project Completed!

I have completed my Made A Garment A Month May project! Yay! I made 2 pairs of quick and easy linen blend shorts for the summer with Butterick 5044. I made the black one with a drawstring waist and the green one with an elastic waist. Initially I made the black one size Medium because I usually wear a size 12 bottom with the big 5 sewing patterns. However, I found them too loose so I re-cut and resewed them into size Small. They are a little snug around the waist but the rest looked much better. I also sewed the green pair in size Small as well.

I never tuck my tops into my shorts/pants/skirts but I just want to show you how they look in its entirety:

And here is how I would actually wear them:

They look so much better with the shirts untucked, right? I figured that linen shorts in black and green should pretty much go with all the summer tops in my wardrobe. I'm now debating if I should make a pair in another solid colour or even a print fabric. I have lots of summery prints in my fabric stash!

This pattern is so easy and quick to sew (no side seams just the inseams) and the pockets are so useful. I'm pretty happy with the pattern and the resulting garments. I can't wait to wear them and I hope I'll get to wear them a lot this summer.

Me Made May 2014 begins!

May just kind of crept up on me! Yes I signed up for 'So Zo's Me Made May 2014 Challenge again. This is my 3rd year in a row I think. My pledge this year, is to wear at least 2 pieces of me-made, me-refashioned, me-altered garment and/or accessories every single day for the month of May. This is actually a very easily accomplished goal because I carry my Me-Made cross-body purse every day already and 70% of my closet consists of Me-Made clothing/accessories.

So here are some pics of my outfits for the first week. I'm only naming the me-made or me-altered garments and accessories.

May 1
Top: Me-Made black ponte knit faux wrap top
Pants: Me-Altered RTW jeans (I shortened the length)
Scarf: Me-Made fabric stash remnant scarf
Purse: Me-Made red faux suede cross-body bag
May 2:
Sweater: Me-altered Thrifted grey merino wool sweater (I narrowed the body)
Pants: Me-Made grey checkered pants
Purse (not shown): Me-Made red faux suede cross-body bag

May 3:
Shirt: Me-Made turquoise cotton button down shirt (Simplicity 5204)
Scarf: Me-Made fabric stash remnant scarf
Pant: Me-altered RTW white brocade pants
Purse (not shown): Me-Made red faux suede cross-body bag 

May 4 - I forgot to take a picture. Booo! But I was wearing the me-made grey checkered pants and I was carrying my Me-Made red faux suede purse!

May 5:
Cardigan: Me-Shrinkened teal wool/silk cardigan (purposely shrinkened)
Scarf: Me-Made fabric stash remnant scarf
Pant: Me-Made black stretch denim skinny jeans (McCall 5273) - I should have ironed those jeans!
Purse (not shown): Me-Made red faux suede cross-body bag

May 6:
Jacket: Me-Made hot pink cotton sweatshirt jacket
Pant: Me-Altered RTW jeans (I shortened the hem)
Purse (not shown): Me-Made red faux suede cross-body bag

May 7:
Cardigan: Me-Made wool blend wrap jacket
Scarf: Me-Made fabric stash remnant scarf
Pant: Me-Made black cotton stretch twill slim pants (McCall 5273)
Purse (not shown): Me-Made red faux suede cross-body bag 

May 8:
Necklace: Me-Made semi-precious stones necklace
Pant: Me-Made black stretch denim skinny jeans (McCall 5273)
Purse (not shown): Me-Made red faux suede cross-body bag 

 So far so good! I think the weather will get warmer next week so I'll have to show you my newly made, hot off the press shorts!!