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Pattern Review: Vogue 1091

2017 April 16
by elizabeth_admin

Oooh!  I haven’t done an official pattern review in eons.  I think I deserve an award or something.  Hah!  So, my serger was out at the spa for the past two weeks and I had been ruminating on dresses to make for my European trip in June, when of course I decided to make a dress for Easter, but can’t because my serger was out at the spa.  Was that a run-on sentence?  Don’t answer that.

When the shop called me yesterday at 3:15pm saying the part had come in and my baby was ready to go home, I was out my door so fast that she had barely put the phone down when I entered the store.  I was cutting my fabric at 4pm and had a dress by 8pm.

So here’s my first official pattern review in ages.  Don’t get used to this kind of thing.  It’s probably a fluke.

Pattern Description: Misses Dress, loose-fitting, above knee pullover dress has elasticized front and back neckline, short sleeves and top-stitched hems.

Pattern Sizing:  B5 (8-16).  I made a straight sz 16 (groan).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Umm, yes, if by look like a muumuu, then yes.  To be fair, I just don’t think this dress scales up well from a size 8.  But yes, it looked exactly like the pattern envelope if the model was a little on the hefty side.  

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, for the most part, the instructions were quite good, especially considering how easy this dress pattern is.  The only tricky part was the sleeve facing which I had to unpick (serger unpicking is my least favorite thing to do in the world, other than major surgery) because I didn’t pay close attention to the drawing accompanying that bit of instruction.  So be forewarned!  Look at that drawing closely to know which side of the facing is facing which part of the dress.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  

LIKES: 

  • Easy, quick pattern to sew up.
  • Did I mention it was quick?  Especially when you don’t have to unpick your sleeve facing.
  • It’s not a fabric hog like some other dresses.
  • The sleeve construction and how they’re attached to the dress is pretty cool.

DISLIKES:

  • The sizing for the elastic is really off.  I shortened mine, but it still buckled a little after I completed the dress, but it didn’t bother me enough to unpick serged seams again.
  • Did I mention it looks like a muumuu in the larger sizes?

Fabric used:  I used a knit I had in the stash.  I believe I bought it from Elliott Berman, but it was so long ago, that I am no longer sure.  But it is a great quality and the colors/print are stunning so it definitely has an Elliott Berman vibe to it.

Pattern changes or design changes made:  I shortened the elastic about 3/4 of an inch on both the front and back but if I ever make this again, I would cut more, maybe about 1-1/4 inches, possible 1-1/2 inches.  A note about the elastic:  Make sure to buy elastic that isn’t too stiff.  Mine was, and it looks stiff.  Learn from me grasshoppers!  Also, I added a two-inch wide self fabric belt to cinch in the waist and eliminate (somewhat successfully) the muumuu look of the dress.

Any problems encountered while sewing this pattern?  The stupid human error of putting the  sleeve facing on wrong qualifies as a problem, right?  Other than the hour of my life I won’t get back from unpicking that seam, no other problems were encountered. 

How long did it take you to make it really?  Um, including sewing up the belt this morning before church, I think it took me about 4 hours max to sew this from cutting to wearing it.  And that included that goddamned facing.

Which sewing machine(s) did you use for construction?  Obvs, my beloved serger, just newly back from the spa and my Singer Featherweight for some basting and the neck seams.  Oh, and my coverstitch machine for the hems. 

Will you sew it again or recommend it to others?  Hmm, I don’t know.  My mom’s opinion was that it wasn’t the most flattering dress on me, but not hideous.  A confidence boosting critique to be sure.  I do love that it was super quick to sew.  It is SUPER COMFY in the way only a muumuu can be comfy.  So, that is a definite maybe.

Conclusion: I loved having a new dress to wear for Easter that was super easy and comfortable to wear.  Not sure I will make it again though.  Only the shadow knows.

I’m sorry to say I don’t have a great picture of the dress on me, but here is our family Easter picture.  It’s better than nothing and beggars can’t be choosers my mom always said.  😉

Sock Obsession

2017 April 7
by elizabeth_admin

I thought I would post sooner than this, but oh well.  I am learning to let go of expectations.  They are so disappointing when not met.  In my last post, I talked about reducing my distractions and creating more.  Let me tell you how it’s going.

It has not been easy.

There.  I said it.  I haven’t completely reduced my distractions, but they have been drastically reduced.  It’s been an evolving process.  I have, however, been fantastically productive on the creating front though.  So, my experiment is still a success.  But first, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, Facebook.  As I mentioned before, you can spend an hour on Facebook, but what do you get at the end of that hour?  Nothing.  Sure, I like to see what everyone is up to, but there is no finished project at the end of it.  Just time spent and wasted.  I had greatly reduced my Facebook addiction, but it wasn’t until this week that I deleted it from my phone.  I won’t lie.  I sometimes still go on it on my computer, but I have greatly reduced my time spent on Facebook.  I deleted most of the games from phone as well.  Except for Scrabble.  I will never give up Scrabble.  And Instagram is still my jam.  I love following all the artists I’ve found.  It’s an endless source of inspiration and a wealth of information.  I learn so much from studying their paintings, mosaics, or drawings.  It’s like having a personalized museum wherever you are, at hand.  I love it.

So I would say that I have been mostly successful with blocking out my social media distractions.  It’s a process to undo years of habits.  Some days are better than most.  I have to realign my brain to other input I think.  To learn how to sit with myself and my thoughts without leaning on social media to think for me.

If you will recall, I began the year with a sock obsession.  Well, I think my sock knitting has reached it’s end for a while.  I just finally finished Will’s socks, which took forever for two reasons.  One, he has long feet.  And two, I just didn’t have the time to devote to them.  And one more reason… I got bored of knitting socks.  So I finished them off yesterday so I could be done with them and not look at them on my sewing table ever again.  Here are photos of all the socks I finished this year.  My projects page on Ravelry is here.  You can see my notes on each sock and pattern.

Socks for me using the Beginner Lightweight pattern

 

Socks for me using the Bandwagon Socks pattern from Ravelry

 

Will’s Socks using the Toe Up with A Difference Pattern

 

Sock for Alex. She is knitting its partner to learn sock knitting.

 

I might get into knitting socks again sometime this year, but not until the fall I think.  I did buy a ton more sock yarn though.  It was so cheap from KnitPicks.com.  Hard to resist.  Aren’t they pretty???

Knit Picks sock yarn

 

This past semester, I continued my art certificate degree with a drawing class.  It kind of kicked my butt.  I definitely need more classes on drawing.  I find it harder than painting.  But like anything else, it just takes practice.  Daily practice.  I was pretty good at the daily practice thing while taking the class, but now that it’s over, I’ve been slacking off.  I’m a little disappointed in myself for that, but oh well.  Here are some drawings I did with which I am pretty pleased.

 

In the next few months there might even be some sewing!  I know, I know.  You are all probably shocked and in need of a seat now.  We are planning a trip to Italy and France in June, and I desperately need a new wardrobe.  I haven’t sewn for myself since last November (one dress) and before that since last February (two dresses).  My day to day wardrobe is rather sad.  I have some wonderful fabrics in my stash, so I should be able to sew a few more dresses and maybe some linen pants or two.  I might just buy tops to round it all out.  I don’t know.  We’ll see how I do.

Also, I may be crazy, but I signed up for two classes this semester.  One is a core curriculum class on the creative process, but the other was quite serendipitous.  It’s a kind of travel sketching class.  Since I plan to travel sketch on our European trip, I just had to take this class to learn any tips I can to be more confident, quick, and effective with my sketching.  I’m pretty excited about it.

There’s so much to look forward to in the coming year.  If I can keep my distractions to a minimum, I just might keep my first New Year’s resolution ever!  Haha.

Next time, I hope to show you all some sewing!

Until then, arrivederci!!!

 

To Multi-task or not

2017 January 9
by elizabeth_admin

Don’t get too excited!  I know, I know.  I’m writing another post within one month of the last one.  It’s a Festivus Miracle in these parts.  But I’ve been thinking…  Now that I have two teenagers in the house in addition to the little boy (who’s no longer so little), I have noticed the curious habit of teenagers of listening to music and/or watching tv while doing other things, like homework or hobbies.  Now I know that this kind of multi-tasking is common place and has been for decades if not millennia, but I have never been able to do it.  Never.  Really!  Not even when I was a teenager.  If I was reading a book, or studying, or anything that required my brain, I had to have uninterrupted silence and give my complete attention to the task.  I couldn’t even talk to anyone.  To this day, I still can’t multi-task.  Now before you go all sarcastic on me… Yes, I can listen to music while cooking or cleaning.  Anyone can do that.  I just can’t listen to music or watch tv while working on a new sewing pattern, or knitting a complicated sock pattern, or while painting.  When I teach sewing, I have a strict no humming or singing policy in class.  I can’t think if someone is humming or singing.  I can’t think at all.  Sometimes if I’m working on something I’ve made many times, I can listen to an audio book or have a tv show I’ve watched many times on in the background.  Although if I get to a tricky part, I will have to pause whatever I’m listening to or watching while I get through that section.

So, I am curious to know if any other sewers out there have this same problem.  Or if I’m just a mutant.

 

In other creative news, I finished a pussy hat, one sock, and am one-third through the second sock of the pair since the new year has come.  So, I’m off to a great start with my new year’s resolution of staying off social media and creating more.  I hope I stay strong and this trend continues for the rest of the year!

Who knows?  Maybe I will even return to full-time blogging?  But let’s not get too crazy yet.

Don’t forget to let me know if you share my abhorrence of multi-tasking or if I’m just a mutant.  😉

Jammiepalooza 2016 and Thoughts on 2017

2017 January 4
by elizabeth_admin

Thank goodness we are seeing the backside of 2016.  What a shitty year that was.  Truly.

Obviously there were some great moments.  Like the Cubs winning the World Series of course.  And the fact that my family won the holiday card competition this year.  What?  You didn’t know there was a competition for family holiday cards?  Well, we won it.  See below…

 

See what I mean?  😉

And of course, Jammiepalooza 2016, while stressful in the making, was a huge success again this year.  A total of 14 PJ’s made (3 adult sized pants, 2 teen sized pants, 5 kid nightgowns, and 4 kid sized pants).  I don’t have pics of everybody, but I think you get the picture…

 

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, the past two years have been pretty busy what with getting married and having a much larger family to coordinate, teaching sewing classes, co-running the art program at Jack’s school, and getting a certificate degree in art.  I haven’t had much time for sewing for myself and I miss it.  I am not much of New Years Resolutions kind of a person, but this year, I might be.  I have thought about how I spend my time every day, and I’m embarrassed to admit that a lot of it is on social media.  Back in ancient times, the internet was my way into sewing.  I needed those social connections to help me learn how to sew and read blog after blog after blog every day.  I spent hours reading blogs and commenting on other blogs.  I wrote my own blog.  After I moved to San Diego and the need to reinvent myself arose, I stopped reading blogs, and pretty nearly stopped blogging myself.  I had tons of time to volunteer at Jack’s school, to sew, to research a new career.  Giving up blog reading gave me a ton of time.  But then Facebook and Instagram, and stupid game apps started taking up my time.  I want to be productive again.  I want to sew for myself again.  So my New Years Resolution this year is to reduce my distractions.  I am going to limit my social media consumption and participation to once a day for a short time, instead of checking in every time I think of it.  I want to have more time to create in-between all my other obligations as a mom, a wife, a teacher, a student, and as a volunteer.  If I can do that every day, create or make something, then I will be happier.  I will feel like I’m accomplishing something for myself.  A gift to myself.  Something meaningful to myself.  If I am happier, then I will be better at the mom job, the wife job, and so on.  I realized that I was not feeding myself, and that in fact, I was robbing myself of something very precious, Time.  I was wasting too much of my time on things that didn’t provide me with real tangible products.  When I spend my time painting, I have a painting at the end of it.  When I spend my time liking things on Facebook, what do I have?  Nothing.  Nothing but wasted time.

So 2017, I am really looking forward to you.  I can’t wait to see what what we make together!

Stopping by to say hello!

2016 November 22
by elizabeth_admin

Hi to everyone who is left!

This poor little blog is so neglected.  With sewing classes, getting a post graduate degree, running the art program at Jack’s school, and my new large family, I am just so busy these days.  Too busy to sew for myself.

I’ve been sewing up a ton of samples for my sewing classes though.  I’m on my second sewing class this year already.  The first had a Halloween theme.

img_7592

 

The current class has a stuffed animal theme.  Super cute!

img_7589

img_7590

The next class in January has a Valentine’s/Winter theme, but I haven’t sewn those samples yet.

My family and I are having our family portrait taken for our holiday pictures this coming weekend, so I had to whip something up real quick before I start my Thanksgiving meal preparations.  I wanted something red and pick up a roll end from Joann’s last week.  It was enough for a dress body, but not enough for the arms.  So I had to come up with another fabric from the stash.  I used New Look 6298 again; it has raglan sleeves making a contrast look easy.

newlook-dresses-pattern-6298-envelope-front

 

I had some tan double knit in the stash, so voilá!

img_7588

 

The only flaw of this dress is the red knit shows every bump and lump, so the back view is not all that flattering.  Also, I must confess that, because I can’t help being critical of myself, I kind of botched the neckline using the coverstitch machine to sew the seam allowance down.  I should have just used my sewing machine.  Ugh.  Oh well, at least I have long hair to cover it up.  Hopefully no one looks at it too closely, or maybe they’ll be too distracted by my lumpy body they won’t even notice the neckline!  Hah!

Next up is the Jammiepalooza 2016 sewing frenzy.  I already bought the fabrics and pre-washed them.  I just have to make two or three a week from now until Xmas.  Unfortunately, I won’t be seeing most of my family who receives the pj’s this Christmas.  Oh well.  Will have to finish theirs first so I can get them in the mail.  I do have one problem though with this year’s Jammiepalooza.  I never write down which sizes I make for everyone.  And I have to go through measurements and sizing and figuring it out every time.  What a PITA!  This year, I am going to record everything in a notebook to make sure I have it ready for next year.  It’s only taken me 5 years to figure that out.  Sheesh!

I hope to have pictures of Jammiepalooza 2016 for the next post.

Thanks for sticking with me through my blog’s neglect.  I appreciate it!

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