Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Easter Dress for my Favorite Girl

Obviously this was finished a while ago. I am finally getting around to posting. This ended up being a pretty quick project especially since it was smocked (I started pleating the fabric--the first step in this project--6 days before Easter. Needless to say I was under a bit of stress to get this one done). After I was finished I was quickly on to other things and didn't get around to sharing it with you until now.

My inspiration for my daughter's Easter dress came from the latest issue of Australian Smocking. I love to make smocked dresses for my daughter. She is getting older and I wanted a style that was smocked but more sophisticated than the usual smocked dress. The Australian Smocking issue had a black floral sheath style dress that was beautiful. I didn't want to spend $15 on the issue since I only wanted the one pattern. I didn't think that a pattern for a simple a-line sheath style dress would be hard to find. I did have a little trouble but finally found Butterick 4220.

This dress had the right shape. I was a little leery because it didn't have a real person in the dress so was hard to tell the exact fit. I was also a little concerned because this was supposed to go over the head. I wanted it to be a bit fitted and there might too much ease if it was designed to go over the head. The fit ended up being perfect. I was very happy with the results and so was my daughter.

Here is a picture of my favorite girl and my boys ready for church on Easter morning. My review follows the pictures.

A close up of the smocking.

Pattern Description: Pullover, a-line dress, above ankle or mid-knee length, has stitched hems. A, B: lined.

Pattern Sizing: 7-10 and 12-16 I made a size 7 for my daughter who wears a RTW 9 slim (she could wear a 7or 8 RTW but she need the length).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except the skirt on the picture is more full than the finished garment.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't pay too much attention to the directions. This is a very easy garment to put together. I do think that the directions for attaching the lining is not correct.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how quickly it went together. The pieces fit together quite well. I didn't like that the pictures shows a smooth set in sleeve but it is really quite gathered.

Fabric Used: Stretch cotton. I wanted the dress to have a bit of body, not as much drape. This worked well.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I cut out a section in the middle of the bodice and inserted the smocking panel. The smocking panel did not go all the way under the arm to the side seam so I added dress fabric to the sides of the panel. After adding the side panels I had one large rectangle. I laid the original dress pattern over my rectangle and cut the armhole.

I also added an invisible zipper in the back seam. I am not sure how my daughter would get this dress on without the zipper (maybe if I used the suggested drapey fabric it would have been able to be a pullover). Her measurements matched the size 7 almost perfectly and it fits her perfectly .

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes it is a nicely fitting dress and looks cute. I think next time I would cut the bodice and make a two color block dress. I would look very different.

Conclusion: This is a nice pattern. It is a good basic dress that has a lot of potential to make different many times.

As soon as I finish my daughter's Jalie shirt I will share those. Hopefully soon!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Burda 8-2008-121 Finished!

Yeah! I finished my skirt. ( Click here to see my process on this skirt) It took a lot longer than I thought it would. I think it was because I topstitched all the seams on both sides. I really like how it turned out (even though it is a little big). I finished it late last night and it fit perfectly. This morning when I put it on (now with nylons) it was a bit big. I could still wear it. I might take it in but I would have to rip out understitching, topstitching, the waist seam and side seams. I might do this later. Right now I want to move on to something else (really I should finish up some of my other UFO's) and since it is wearable I probably won't tackle it now. Here are some pictures and my review.


Pattern Description: This slim skirt is sure proof of just how elegant lurex flannel can be! Godets (cut-in-one with the skirt panels) furnish walking space and swirl nicely on this very figure flattering garment.

Pattern Sizing: 36-44 I made size 44 which fit well late at night when I finished but not in the morning with nylons. :)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were pretty easy to understand.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how feminine the bottom flippy part looks. Seriously, the pattern was so well drafted. All of the pieces fit so nicely together even after I fiddled with them a bit. I really liked how the seams were numbered. This was my first BWOF pattern. I haven't seen numbered seams like that in a very long time. It was very helpful for know which sides went together. All the pieces looked very similar so that bit of info was very helpful.

Fabric Used: I am not exactly sure what it is or where it came from. I am pretty sure that it is mainly polyester but it must have some lycra because it has some stretch to it. It might have some rayon also. It drapes very nicely.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: After reading other reviews I learned that this is a very curve hugging skirt. I really wanted to make this pattern but didn't want it to hug my rear very much. As I looked at the pieces I noticed that they all tapered in just a bit below the hip. I straightened this out on all the pieces. It wasn't very much but when I added this to all 8 pieces it gave just enough room. Now it gives a bit of shape to my rear without hugging in too much. I also topstitched on either side of my front three and back three seams. I really like the finished look of this.

I also omitted the lining since the wrong side of my fabric is silky.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely! I am not sure what fabric I would make but I certainly will make it again someday.

Conclusion: Fantastic skirt. It is so fun to wear. I love the flirty bottom.

I really enjoyed sewing my first Burda WOF pattern. I sure can see why so many of you are hooked. right after I finished I went looking on their website to see what other mags I might be interested in. I only have Aug 2008 and picked up Feb 2009 in Portland. The preview for May was up on the website. I looked through it and loved quite a few things. I immediately preordered this one from Sew Baby. It should come mid-May. I may have to seriously consider asking for a subscription for Mother's day. I should sew up something else soon to help me decide.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Burda 8-2008-121 Muslin

Well, I have not blogged in a bit but I have been sewing instead. I finished my Jalie top, have partially completed my daughters, partially finished some burp cloths for a friend, and smocked and sewed up my daughters Easter dress. Not bad for less than two weeks.

I had an evening to sew and did I head for my partially finished projects? Of course not! I decided I wanted to make a skirt. I read a blog entry by the Slapdash Sewist recently about how she was evaluating different skirt styles on her pear shaped body. I also have a pear shaped body and found it very interesting. I usually make slightly a-line skirts. I don't think I own a straight skirt (although I do have a couple of wrap skirt that are straight). I am not quite ready to try a pencil skirt I did want something a little straighter. I decided to go for something with a flared hem.

I perused through my pattern stash and landed on pattern #121 in my Aug. 2008 issue of Burda magazine (my one of only two mags). It was exactly what I wanted. I was pretty excited. This would be my first Burda pattern. I decided to look for pattern reviews on this one. I was a bit concerned about the fit. Straighter skirts can often fit tight and I want to get some insight from anyone who had already made the pattern.

I found two reviews on PatternReview. One was from Karen (here she mentions the skirt in her blog). She said that it really accentuated ones rear. This is not what I am interested in but really wanted to make this skirt.

As I was looking at the pattern pieces I noticed that each piece had a nice hip curve out and then cut in a bit just below the hip. Hmmm. I thought to my self. I wonder if I can just straighten out the line from the hip to the godets at the bottom in order to make it less form fitting.

So I gave it a try. Here are pictures of my first attempt with cheap fabric. Please excuse the bad picture and messy background. My husband wasn't home to be my photographer.

Back: I am pretty happy that it doesn't hug my rear at all and just slims my hips. It fits my lower back well without any gapping.

Front: The goopy side is just pinned. There will be a zipper in this skirt. So far I like the look.

This is a very easy skirt to put together. I am not doing the lining because the fabric that I am using has suede like right side and a slippery wrong side. It will go faster without the lining. I wanted it to be finished by tomorrow but since it is now 1 AM I must restrain myself and go to bed.

Possibly I will finish tomorrow and by some miracle, get a picture and post the finished skirt.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jalie 2682 In the Works

I have been working Jalie 2682. I am in the trial stages. I like the fit but I think I can tweak it to make it better.

I like the look of the front. It feels a little tight across the bust. Obviously the back is a little tight. The made a size V but tapered to an X at the hip. I had to make the sleeves quite a bit larger. I didn't want skin tight arms.

Deciding how to fix my problems is kind of a challenge. The bottom of the shirt seems to fit well. I think I have enough room even if I make it in fleece. I need to add to the bust and the back under the arm. I don't need the room above bust so I don't want to add width to the whole length of the bodice. I am going to test my seam alteration method with this pattern. I want to add width to the side seam under the arm without adding width to the bottom part. I might add to both the side seam of the back and also the center back. I am also going to shorten the length. I think it is more flattering on me a bit shorter. This also helps the back look a little better.

I will post about my alterations after I finished.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...