Thursday, May 31, 2007


Dear readers, first, I must welcome those who have left comments! And, of course, everyone else, but especially those who actually wrote to me. Who knew I'd ever have an audience?!

My husband's parents departed last Saturday. The ride to Sky Harbor was really quiet and I was really weepy, which is no way to drive a car, lemme tell you. It was rather maudlin at the airport and truth be told, I was grateful that non-passengers aren't allowed near the gates any longer otherwise I would have had the time really work myself into a lather. Not a good look at 30 and I'm not much on drama in public spaces. The house is so empty now. And, I have to admit, my kitchen is not nearly as tidy...

I spent Sunday and Monday drowning my sorrow by remembering I had joined the SWAP over at Pattern Review and planning with a vengeance. While my in-laws were here, I took them to one of my favorite shops in Phoenix, SAS Fabric by the pound over on Indian School Rd, and picked up some wonderful pieces of inspiration. I bought five yards of a cream suiting with subtle maroon and navy pinstripes and a coordinating maroon chiffon. I'll post photos of them later...

So, with these two fabrics as my jumping off point, I planned out eleven garments for the Sewing With a Purpose challenge. I happen to love dresses, so I am going to try at least two, but we'll see how it goes. My next post will detail my progress to date. I've made a wearable muslin of my jacket of choice, McCall's 5189. I made the short-sleeved version on the upper right in a white stretch cotton poplin/denim/twill/I-can't-decide-what-it-is I bought at Joann's some months ago just because it was $1/yard and it was really, really white.

Details of the Sewing With a Purpose Challenge:
1) Sew 11 items per requirements below
2) All tops must go with all bottom
3) Jacket must go with all outfits

4) Voting will be done on the wardrobe as one entity, not on individual garments.
5) Wardrobe must be complete by July 31, 2007.

Items to be made: 6 tops 4 bottoms 1 jacket

Dress options - do one of the following instead:

1 dress, 5 tops, 4 bottoms, 1 jacket
2 dresses, 5 tops, 3 bottoms, 1 jacket <-- I am shooting for this one! but if am really ambitious then... 3 dresses, 4 tops, 3 bottoms, 1 jacket

Prizes: There will be two winners based on the votes.

First Prize: $300 gift certificate from Textile Studio Patterns and Fabrics
Second Prize: $200 gift certificate from Textile Studio Patterns and Fabric

Sixty odd days left...Care to wager on whether I will finish on time???

Friday, May 25, 2007

Burda World of Fashion comes to Phoenix, AZ

This past month, my in-laws have been visiting from Belgrade, which has been wonderful I must say. I have fallen for my husband's family head over heels. They are very much like my own parents, less the English language. In light of the pitying looks I get when I tell folks they are here, I should consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to have such a family. Tomorrow, the pity party will begin in earnest when they depart and it will be just the two of us once more . The house has been abuzz with with activity. Bless my mother-in-law for washing my windows (my husband warned me, but I didn't believe) and generally taking over without taking over, if you know what I mean. I will really, really miss them.

Incredible lady that she is, my mother in law brought me an issue of Burda World of Fashion, as it is easier to find in Europe than in the US. It was April's issue, which was fortuitous since my subscription began in May. As I said, she's awesome.

Right now, they are cruising downtown Phoenix with S (my hubby). All four blocks of it... Phoenix is the anti-city and I hate the sprawl, but they insisted when we came home. Did I mention that they applaud my arrival from work? How can you not love people who find you worthy of ovation? Who doesn't need applause for the nine - ten hours spent slaving for The Man? It's like having my own fan-base. They were chanting, Phoe-nix, Phoe-nix, Phoe-nix! How can you say no? Tomorrow will be a sad, sad day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Simplicity 3775

Pattern Description: the very pithy description from Simplicity, "A knit dress." 6 dresses made easy...I made a seventh :)

Pattern Sizing:
4-12, I cut a 12 since I've gained a bit this past year. New job = less time to work out = gradual increase of measurements

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I thought so! I wanted a sleeveless option with the ruched overlay and v-neck, but this was not pictured. My version of View D worked well.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were very easy. I had no moments of confusion at all, which was understandably great.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There was nothing I disliked in particular. I personally would have liked to lengthen the waist insert to make it a dropped waist line. Overall, the results were successful with no changes to the pattern.
Fabric Used: Mystery knit from the bargain fabrics at Joann, purchased for $0.90/yard after the sale and coupon I had. On the bolt, it looked a little cheap and very synthetic but made up, it could be RTW. Don't you just love a bargain?

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: As noted above, the one change I made would be to not sew the recommended sleeve caps for view D. Otherwise, it was sewn as directed. One word of note: when you sew this dress, baste, baste, baste, before you sew. For the surplice top, I would recommend sewing it in so that it is just a tad short, thus forcing it to stretch and lay flat against your chest. I have a bit of gap-osis when I'm not careful to keep the shoulders back, which you can kind of see in the photo above.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will definitely be sewing it again with my nice knit fabric. I would recommend it if you like the style and easy wearability of the dress. I would recommend checking the fit on any surplice top before the final sewing. Also, about the bands at the armscye: they don't want to stay put! I think I am going to have to do some hand stitching, which I was hoping to avoid, but if I want to wear it... If you have a serger, great: use it. If your are like me, well, bust out the needle and thread..

As for the hemming...Hemming is my achilles heel, folks. It undoes me nearly every time and frequently is responsible for my sewing resulting in UFOs. I hate hemming. My solution for this dress, after several sessions of frustrated pinning, only to try on and have the pins slip out, was to lay it on the floor and let it commune with my stitch witchery. I folded the bottom over the SW and then pinned and sewed. It was so much easier, let me tell you.

Conclusion: It's a great dress! My husband loved it; my co-workers were asking where I found my dress; I love it.