Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fall Favorites - Big 4 2017 Edition

It's that time of year... the big 4 pattern companies have released their Fall pattern collections. Or, in the case of McCall's, their "Early Fall" collection.   Quite a number of patterns have been released but below are my personal favorites.

I define my style as a little vintage vixen, a little glam, with a splash of edgy to keep it interesting. With that in mind I can totally see me wearing these items to death!

Without further ado...

McCall's 2017 Early Fall Collection Favorites

M7631 Skirt in 4 views
This "Learn to Sew For Fun" pattern is a great wardrobe staple! View B would be my go-to for work in all seasons. Should be a super fast sew, too! I love that about pencil skirts!

Yep, that's it for McCall's Early Fall release. I was very underwhelmed by their offerings this time around.

Next up...

Butterick 2017 Fall Collection Favorites

B6497 Princess Coats in 4 views
I just LOVE a classic princess coat! Especially one with a fur collar! So classic! View C would be my go-to for days I wear skirts and dresses in the fall/winter. I can totally see this in a gorgeous tweed with a reclaimed vintage fur collar.

B6493 Lisette designed faux wrap skirt and blazer
This outfit is SUPER CUTE! Love the little layered look to the hem of the skirt front! The blazer is cute but I feel the split in the sleeves is kind of over-doing it with this skirt. I could totally see wearing it with trousers, though. I'm almost thinking this skirt needs to be done in satin for date night!

B6496 Pieced Jacket in 4 views
I really love View C in this! I can see so many potential combinations to wear with my wardrobe colors of Black, White, Gray, Cobalt, and Red.

B6476 Unlined Jacket in 2 views
I seriously adore View B. That oversized collar just screams GLAM! Done in the right fabric this simple jacket could be a stunner for transitional weather.

Not bad, Butterick! A good selection of items I want to buy this season!

Now onto...

Vogue Fall Collection Favorites

V1555 Tom and Linda Platt Designer color blocked sheath dress
 As I am very busty I don't usually go for boatneck necklines but I have found through experimentation I can do it with either a horizontal color block or, in this dress' case, visual interest that draws the eye away from the bust. This dress is a knockout! I could see wearing it for work or even out on the town with my husband. It deserves great fabric, too!

V1562 Lialia Designer classic coat
 This is such a timeless piece! Great design lines and when done in wool would be a great piece that will last for ages and never go out of style! The back detail is very nice, too. Makes it a bit more tailored to the body.

V9267 "Easy Options" Dress in 6 views
 This dress is the BEST OF FALL 2017!! Seriously, the design lines on this dress are nothing short of AWESOME! It is flattering to nearly every body shape, and it can be made for all seasons. This is a perfect example of a TNT (Tried N True) pattern right here, folks! I am especially loving View F for fall done in wool and leather. I would wear it to death!

V9276 Tafa Designer Topper/Wrap/Crop Jackets
I don't own a single thing like this but these are stunning! I especially love View A and View C. Best thing about them, besides how incredibly pretty they are, is they are reversible!! Love versatility in clothing!

And finally...

Simplicity Fall Collection Favorites

8461 Vintage Reproduction 1940s suit with blouse
 This one is an honorable mention for me. It is gorgeous! Seriously, the epitome of "lady like" as only the 1940s could do for women's fashion. I would have absolutely nowhere to wear this so I likely won't buy it, but it's worth mentioning simply because it is a gorgeous pattern!

8462 Vintage Reproduction 1940s suit with blouse
 I just love the jacket in this pattern. I can totally see pairing this with my jeans and a print top. Such a classic look!

8460 1950s Vintage Reproduction Dress and Jacket or Topper
O... M... G!!! Shut up and take my money!! This is everything I love! I'd have to shorten the hem a bit as I look best when hemlines hit just below my knee, but otherwise this is perfection! Simplicity picked a great pattern to reproduce when they chose this one!

8464 1950s Vintage Reproduction Skirt and Jacket in 2 views
This is so freaking pretty! Just a simple, classic look that can be easily glam or trendy depending on your fabric choices and accessories. Great basics. Again, I'd have to shorten the hemline, but it's a keeper!

8452 1950s Vintage Reproduction Blouse
Literally the only blouse/top I liked out of all of the Big 4 releases this season. Shapeless and horribly unflattering for my figure seems to be the trend they are following in tops right now. Ugh. Hate when that happens! With this pattern, though, it's one I have had my eye on for a number of years. It's been around on Etsy and even as a downloadable pattern on some vintage pattern sites. It is such a neat idea for the top and the end result is a flattering garment with just a few seams! As with most wrap tops I'll probably have to use my trusty safety pins, but it's worth it to have something that is this incredibly flattering for a busty figure.

5227 1960s Vintage Reproduction Accessories
I never have the need to wear a dickie, but the collar/cuffs, and the turban are super cute! I can see making them.

Overall Simplicity has knocked it out of the park this season with their vintage reproduction patterns! I'm so happy they are focusing on leaner silhouettes this season. I hope the trend continues for Spring 2018.

8451 Mimi G Designer Dress and Coat
The only modern pattern I liked from Simplicity this season. The dress is a little short for my taste, but that's an easy fix. Otherwise it's a knockout! The coat is a classic that could be worn with everything. I especially love it in that plaid. Maybe if I find a plaid wool in colors I wear I will make it.

So, those are my favorites from the Fall 2017 collections of the Big 4 pattern companies.  My overall impressions are:
-Vogue was a huge let-down. There were a LOT of really unflattering for anybody clothes offered this season. Quite a few patterns resembled tents. No thanks, I'll pass. I really expect more from Vogue. I'm sure quite a few folks are glad that a reproduction of the First Lady's blue inauguration dress is now available to sew. For myself, I hate the dress. It is very austere and a bit on the dowdy side. I'm just not a fan of the funnel neck neckline at all. It only works if you are built like a toothpick or a size Negative 2 runway model.
-McCall's was a let-down, too. Too many designs I would never wear this season.Of course McCall's is always hit or miss for me.
-Butterick was on par for what I expect from them. 
-Simplicity's modern patterns were just kind of boring to me. It felt like the same stuff redone over and over again for the most part. The cosplay style costumes are about 10 years out of date. Very disappointing. Their vintage reproductions made my jaw hit the floor, though. Very impressed with those!

What are your favorite patterns this season from the Big 4? Let's discuss.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Is this thing live?

Wow... I guess I can say since it's been over 3 years I had completely forgotten about this blog! I intend to correct that.

A lot has happened over the past 3 years. I changed jobs a couple times. I am now working in my dream job and loving it to pieces! I always thought enjoying work was a myth until now. More on that later...

We also bought our first home!!! Last summer we found our dream home, and after 20 or so years of renting finally took the plunge and became homeowners. We LOVE this house. Like, really, y'all can bury me in it. I never want to leave it! More on that later, too...

I haven't sewn in over 2 years. It's sad, I know! Life kind of got in the way. I lost my sewing space when my daughter decided she didn't want to share a room with her little sister anymore. Then we moved into our new home and I couldn't decide what room needed to be my sewing room. I now have that figured out and over the next 3 months I plan to set it up. It's going to be a complete re-do. Stripping out carpet, installing flooring, repainting, decorating, the whole shebang. I plan to post as I go along.

Family issues also arose. My mother was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. That's been a roller-coaster as it is an aggressive form. Now she is in a facility that is taking great care of her, so the situation has stabilized. She is pretty much in late stages now; so, it's just a matter of time before it's over.

Phew.. so, yeah, the blog took a back burner until it was no longer on my radar. Life got CRAZY! I have to say, now that the dust is settling, I love where I am now. I'm happy, my family is happy, and we are doing well. It's time to get creative again and share with all of you.

If you are looking forward to what I have to share post a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Just like a pill...

Well, more like a capsule... as in capsule wardrobe.

I got the job I interviewed for in January! I'll be a Community Health Nurse working in Infectious Diseases. Part of the time I'll be in the clinic or out in the community doing vaccinations. I'll need a couple sets of scrubs for that work. However, most of the time I'll be at a desk and I'll need to dress business casual. The blessing and curse of losing 50 pounds is that I have almost NOTHING to wear that is business casual. I start my new job on April 2, so I have just over 2 weeks to get a wardrobe together for work. I want to stay as true as possible to the RTW fast I'm participating in, so I figured a smaller capsule wardrobe was my best option.

I browsed Pinterest, Youtube, and blogs around the net for inspiration. I pinned the wardrobes that inspired me most here. First step seems to be picking the colors of the capsule. Here's my color plan:
My neutral will be espresso brown, a very dark brown that easily takes the place of black. My secondary color is a warm khaki/sand color. My accent colors will be olive green and paprika, a spicy orange shade.

Next step is selecting the garments for the capsule based on needs. The general rule seems to be that every outter layer goes with every other piece. As I need nearly everything, here's my list:

2 Suits - Cropped blazer, trousers, pencil skirt in espresso and khaki
1 button down blouse in khaki
1 dress in a print that has all colors
4 blouses - 1 in espresso, 1 in olive, 1 in paprika, 1 in a print of all colors
2 cardigans - 1 in espresso and 1 in paprika
Scrubs - 2 scrub tops in a print of any of the colors and 1 pair scrub pants in espresso

What I have so far:
1 pencil skirt in espresso
1 blouse in espresso
1 blouse in olive
1 cardigan in espresso

What I need to make:
2 cropped blazers in espresso and khaki
2 trousers in espresso and khaki
1 pencil skirt in khaki
1 button down blouse in khaki
1 dress in a print of all colors
2 blouses in paprika and in a print of all colors

What I need to buy:
1 cardigan in paprika

I already have LOADS of accessories that will work with this color plan. I also already have shoes that will work. My plan for the next two weeks is to at least get my espresso suit finished. The skirt I made for my interview will be part of the complete suit. I have lots more of the same fabric to make a blazer and trousers. I also have a few garments that will work to tide me over until I can get the entire capsule complete, I just need to alter them to fit as they are a bit too big now.

I'll be picking my blazer and trouser pattern tonight so I can prep for muslin making tomorrow. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

She's got legs, she knows how to use them!

I just made you think of a ZZ Top song! Ha!

Well, I finished my first garment for the 2014 Ready-To-Wear Fast and I LOVE it!

Outfit Details
Blazer: Target (Purchased 2013)
Tank: Target (Purchased 2011)
Skirt: DIY
Purse: Vintage from Reneesance (Purchased 2011)
Shoes: Chinese Laundry (Purchase 2010)
Necklace: Orion Designs (Purchased 2008)
I have a job interview tomorrow and had NOTHING to wear that didn't make me look like a little girl playing dress up in her mother's clothes. Seriously, it was a major problem. I really try to look impeccable for interviews. It's my past career life in business and my perfectionist tendencies combined. I had the tank and blazer already. The blazer is a smidgen big but it's totally appropriate. The tank is actually a spanx style tank but because I've lost weight it isn't OMG SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF ME tight anymore.

Originally I wanted to make a ponte knit wiggle dress for the interview, but the fabric I have on hand didn't go well with the blazer. The blazer was a must in my mind so I developed a Plan B. I pulled out Butterick's B5249 and started making a muslin of View A. Shockingly the muslin fit almost perfectly with no alterations! I couldn't believe it. It was meant to be! I have a variety of mid-weight stretch cottons in my stash and decided on my darkest brown stretch sateen. I figured it matched my shoes perfectly, contrasted the tan tank and cream/gold tweed blazer nicely, and I was pleased to see it perfectly matched my handbag when I shot my photos. Yeah, totally meant to be!

On to the pattern/construction details:

Pattern Used: Butterick B5249, View A (OOP, Available on ebay) - An unlined, high waist, princess seamed pencil skirt with belt, flounce, shirring and pocket options.
Size Cut: 16 for the back, 18 for the front
Alterations/Changes to Pattern: I took in front princess seams by 1/4 inch to give me 1 inch less in the front total. Also, I trimmed down the hip curve to suit my shape better as I have lower curves on my hips than the pattern was designed for. I made a 3 inch hem instead of a 2 inch one as the pattern stated because I wanted the bottom of the skirt to hit me mid-knee. I omitted the belt and carriers, but may add the carriers later. I have a leopard print belt that would look amazing with this skirt!
Instructions: Didn't use them. It's a pencil skirt with princess seams... A newbie could do it!
Fabric: Dark Brown Stretch Cotton Sateen from FabricMart (I think) purchased a few years ago. I have yards of this stuff left to make slacks and maybe even a jacket. 
Does it look like the pattern envelope? Yes, except I skipped the belt/carriers.
Will this be made again? ABSOLUTELY! This is now my TNT pattern for pencil skirts. The fit is AMAZING! I'll probably work with adding a lining and maybe a vent in future versions. This pattern is insanely versatile. It's a shame it's OOP!

Construction Details:
I SUCK at sewing zippers with a machine, so I decided to try handpicking the zipper for this skirt as my first time ever trying that technique. It's not perfect, but for a first time ever I'm seriously pleased! Next time I make this pattern I will use an invisible zip with the same technique. I'm seriously out of practice with hand sewing but I thoroughly enjoyed working on the zip while watching Downton Abbey and Sherlock (watching the episodes before Season 3 airs on the 19th).

I used a Hong Kong finish with all the seams and bound the raw edge of the facing. The facing is understitched and I hand tacked it down to the seam allowances on the skirt to keep it in place. I ran out of the darker bias tape so had to improvise by using a shade off, but I don't care, it still looks freaking awesome to me on the inside.

I did a blind hem with my machine. It turned out perfect!

I love how clean this skirt looks on the inside! It looks amazing now matter which way you see it! I did spend a good bit of time and put in a lot of work on it, but the end result is so worth it! I have a skirt that will really last. I know this will be a staple in my wardrobe for a long time! Such a classic skirt!