Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Butterick & New Look

First, kudos to the McCall Pattern Company. The Spring 2011 releases for all three brands have been amazing. The new format of the McCall's pattern book and the focus on different designers is great. Butterick's Facebook presence is really good. As a marketer by day, the efforts make me tear up ... I get excited when I see a solid strategy that is well executed.

Anyhoo, let's get to the point.  And the winners are:

B5608 - I'm intrigued by views A & B (the white and the print). Really wish this was for knits.

B5618 - wish this was in the closet now.

B5615 - I'm on the fence about this one.

B5619 - staples are good

B5609 - Remember M6078, M6287 and B5562? whoever is designing the knit tops is really bringing his/her A-game.  This one is a must-have-now pattern.

B5620 - the first Connie Crawford pattern I've ever liked. Yep, this is a must-have-now.

B5598 - wish it was already in the closet.

B5606 - maybe?

I have one contender from New Look, 6032.
6032_fbv.jpg (795×1142)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Kwik Sew

The new Kwik Sew patterns are out.  I've found a few I'd like to snap up:


I think I like 3843:


Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Burda Patterns

Is anyone else missing the old Burda English  website? Seriously. Well, at least I get to learn German via scoping out new patterns. I spied the new Spring/Summer collection late last week:

7388 - I love girly dresses
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7372 - must have
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7369 - still pondering this one
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7366 - I just want this for the pants

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7352 - infinity dress?
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7348 - Here is my I-wish-I-could-wear-this-now pick. Alas, the largest size is 18 and right now, I neither have the weight loss nor sewing skills to make it work. Boo. Carolyn is so right.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Thanks Vogue!

1/16/11 Update
Late entry. I totally missed these pants. How cute are they?


I'm really happy with Vogue's new spring collection! There are some really cute dresses for my body shape! Lucky strike extra -- they are at least a size 20. Kudos to Erica B for putting the word out first about the new patterns.

Here are my picks:




This is my favorite of the collection, but I don't think it would look right on me. I can't wait to see it on everyone else. It's absolutely fabulous!


Honorable mention to this one:


Friday, January 7, 2011

Jersey Girl

I'm still tweaking M6078. This is moving slower than expected. The culprit is the Vera Wang jersey I'm using for the muslin (best Fabric Mart Deal ever. I wish I'd bought more for muslin.) This is my first time working with a slippery, thin fabric. It's all over the place, even with my machine's integrated walking foot. It shifts even when I pin every 1/4 inch.

So, I have questions for you who know what you're doing :-)
  • How do I keep the fabric from moving so much?
Look at the pleats:

  • What stitch do I use for sewing the pleats? I'm using a tiny zig zag. Should I be using a straight stitch? If so, do I need to stretch the fabric as I sew?
  • Is my tension too high?
  • Should I switch to a fine or silk thread?
Also, my 2nd-favorite Chicagoland Hancock store is closing. All patterns, except Kwik Sew, were $.99! I didn't do too badly LOL. I stuck to my resolution and didn't buy any fabric. Although, if the matte jersey or ponteroma gets any cheaper, y'all will need to pray for my strength.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Simplicity & McCall's Patterns

It's time to start sewing for spring. Ha! I'm still working on a fall project. Anyhoo. I picked up one of the new Simplicity patterns a couple of weeks ago. Upon closer review, I need more! Here are my picks:


I have absolutely nowhere to wear the formal, but I want the pattern for future reference. The bodice is gorgeous. Now, what really got me excited was the new McCall patterns, M6287 View A to be exact. Love it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Out With The Old & In With The New - Resolutions & McCall 6078

Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to great things this year. Let's start the year off right with a review, M6078. I thought it would be cute for Watch Night service. According to Pattern Review, this is one of the easiest tops in the world! Construction was easy, but fit is a challenge. It runs very large in the shoulders, but I need all the room I can get in my hips ;-)

M6078I love the pattern and I'm going to work on it more today to tweak the fit. Funny how I started with four yards of fabric and it's still a work in progress. The fabric is a sparkle (maybe eyelash) sweater knit I scooped up at Hancock years ago. I originally purchased it for V7264. I'd kinda decided I didn't really like the fabric. In hindsight, I'd fallen out of love with the pattern. The fabric is beautiful and I want more.
Back to the pattern at hand. I started with a medium in the shoulders, but it was way too big. I scrapped that one and cut a small. The small is still giving me fits. I thought that because I traced every size from the armhole down, I would be able to just taper to the XL for the hips. I still don't fully understand why, but that doesn't work. When I cross the back pieces using the CB line for a small, I need more width on the side of the pieces that didn't have the multi sizing. I'm not above admitting 100% user error.

In the meantime, I'm going back to the medium I cut and adjust the shoulders. I'm also going to add bra strap holders via this tutorial. Does anyone know if you can buy these as sew-in kits? I searched online and I found disposable ones and gadgets that were not supposed to be sewn in. The one I have now will be great after I lose some weight! No worries. I was happy to have something remotely wearable! The new one will be even better, but not perfect. I plan to make one or two in a plain rayon knit and those will be just right right :-)

Pattern Description: Top A has front and back stitched pleats, front drape, lapped back and extended shoulder seams 

Pattern Sizing: XS-XL 

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? Easy enough for even me.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the style of View A; it's figure flattering for me. It can be dressed up or down in both fabric and accessories. I've seen versions for a night on the town and some perfect for Saturday afternoon errands. I'd like to see how it would look under a jacket. It sews up quickly too. My dislike is the sizing. This would have been perfect except for the sizing. The shoulders are huge!

Fabric Used: Black sweater eyelash knit 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I'm determined to keep tweaking the fit, so I'll start with XS at the shoulders and taper to XL at the hips. I also want to insert bra strap holders. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Because it's such a cute top, I'll have several of these before it's all over! It's a definite recommend.

Conclusion: 'Tis fabulous!

Since it is Jan 1, let me tell you about my sewing resolutions!
  • Strengthen my sewing skills. I have too much fabric and too few clothes!
    • Take a fitting class/workshop
    • Complete 12 projects
  • Become a more disciplined sewist
    • Tissue fit
    • Make muslins
    • No UFOs!
    • Be more organized (neater) as I sew
    • Stop sewing over pins (I think I've learned my lesson)
    • Be more patient
  • And the biggie: STOP HOARDING FABRIC
    • I will only buy fabric for what I'm currently making; not for what I'm planning to make.
    • I will stop choosing fabric over food ;-)
I started going through fabric withdrawal yesterday! As I get ready to head downtown, I'm talking myself in and out of a trip to Vogue. I need to go to New Rainbow Fabric, which is across the street, for a silk organza press cloth. How can I not go to Vogue when they have this?
VF096-29 Innsbruck Eyelashes - Brown Novelty Knit

I think it will be the perfect replacement for the fabric I'm using now. It's brown, but I love the eyelashes. If I work on it now, I'm not breaking my resolution and I could have a snazzy version that fits now .... Problem solved! The stores are closed anyway for the holiday.

Happy New Year!