Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cynthia Rowley Jacket 2443

Here's the jacket I recently made using Cynthia Rowley 2443. Full review at the bottom of the photos.

Pattern Description: Misses' Dress with Knit Bodice and Jacket or Vest

Pattern Sizing: 6-14 ( I added a a bit more to the size 14 seam allowance to make it a tad roomier ).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, with the exception of no loop holes or ribbon ties, as I opted to leave it without.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I would say for the most part yes, however, when it gets to the sleeve cuff and slit/closure part, it gets pretty confusing. I thought I cut mine as the directions called for, but when I started sewing it up I noticed a much wider gap than the illustration was showing, so I had to overlap the closure slightly to top stitch it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the quarter length sleeves and the ring buckle closure detail, and the front facing. 

Fabric Used: I used a stretch denim I found a Joann's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I'm going to add additional side ring buckle enclosures on the waist because it's a little baggy around that area, and I want it a tad more fitted. I also opted out of the front loops with ribbon ties, while I think it looks cute in the photo, I think it would look sloppy on me. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might consider sewing it up again in a fun print, or bolder color. I do recommend it to anyone wanting to try sewing with denim. Just make sure to use a proper denim needle & you should be good to go. 

Conclusion: Overall I enjoyed making this jacket. It gave me pretty good practice on my top stitching. I had originally planned on topstitching it in my favorite turquoise color but I might do that if I ever make it in a white denim. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Simplicity 2380

I recently bumped into my friend at the mall when she mentioned to me that she had trouble finding a cute jumpsuit in a Hawaiian print for her daughter's school promotion to 6th grade which was going to be in a few days. Since I love to sew & always looking for an excuse to do it, I volunteered myself to just make it. I immediately remembered I had a cute Jumpsuit pattern by Simplicity at home that I had not cut into. Here's the pattern.

So when I went to the fabric store the next day I texted her a pic of these 3 Hawaiian prints I thought would be cute for this pattern.

Since she didn't respond while I was in the fabric store, I just went ahead and purchased two yards of the black one in the middle, since it was on sale for 5.99 per yard & I figured it would be popular amongst pre teens. -But It was a good thing I bought it since later that day she said she liked the black one.

Here is the finished jumpsuit. I made view B in a size 14.  This is a super easy to follow pattern that would make an excellent beginner's project. You can't really see the ruffle at the top and in hindsight, I should have used a contrasting solid color for the bodice ruffle. & I bet the pockets would also look cute in a contrasting color. I'll have to make another one.

And here are a few more pics of her wearing it & a pic with me & my little 5 year old, which btw, I realized that the outfits we wore to church on this day I had also made sometime last year.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My first, but not my last Anna Dress By Hand London

I had been wanting to make the Anna Dress, BY HAND London pattern for a while now. I've seen it made in a wide range of skirt variations,  mostly on DollyClackett blog ( that girl has a serious collection of dresses ). I was particulary attracted to the simplicity of the bodice, with the kimono style sleeves, which means there are no separate pattern pieces for the sleeves, just the front and back bodice piece. The pattern offers a long and short version of a panelled A-line skirt and both slash and V-neck options on the neckline. My original plan was to make this dress in a rayon stretch fabric, with a bit longer skirt ( not quite maxi, but just slightly below the knee ). But since I decided to test the pattern first, these pics will be from my first attempt using fabric that has been in my stash for over 5 years ( some kind of sateen ). I had made a panelled skirt from it and still had about 2 yards left over, but I barely had enough to make this dress in the mid skirt version. And even though this fabric has absolutely no stretch in it, I still decided I may as well use it up for a muslin.

The bodice has some basic pleats in the front & some darts in the back. The skirt is sewn up in 6 panels. I made this dress in the 16 pattern size, but I still had to take out a few stitches on both the pleating and the darts on the bodice since it was a tad tight around the bust line. The next one I make, I will most likely lengthen the bodice by about an inch, and use a fabric with a slight stretch in it, so I think the pleats & darts will fit better as they were designed.

 I also have to say that the skirt is way too short for my liking. I had enough fabric to lengthen it by 3 more inches ( which I originally did, but I accidentally cut one of the panels shorter than the other 5 & since I had no more fabric left, I had to just cut them all equally ). But this size is exactly how the pattern will look if you are cutting a size 16 and are making the Mid size skirt. For reference, I'm 5' 6.5" tall. I know it may not be too short in general, but it is for my own personal liking.  I may just wear it once this summer, but then I will have to pair it up with some black leggings and just wear it as a tunic. 

The backside calls for an invisible zipper, and I'll admit that I still have a few issues when I install invisible zippers. I use one of those "invisible zipper" foots which work great, but I have trouble toward the bottom & I always have to do some hand stitching. And if if you look closely at the top of the zipper....I have no idea why it won't zip all the way up. There are no stitches in the way that I can see, so I'm not sure what's happening there. Oh well, good thing my hair will cover that part up. 

But overall, I really do love this pattern. I will most definitely be making a few different variations. My next one I will be pairing up the Anna bodice with a different skirt pattern, a bit longer in length, pleats, side pockets, and no panels. Oh, and definitely a softer, more comfortable fabric. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Simplicity 1435...sort of

I love quick & easy patterns for my kiddo! And Simplicity 1435 seems to be my go to pattern to make a quick outfit for my 4 year old. On this particular outfit though, I did not use the ruffled skirt as suggested. Instead, I just made a simple gathered at the waist skirt to attach to the bodice. The pattern also calls for "knits" only, but I always add a zipper to the backside & it fits perfectly fine. Bias tape around the neckline & armholes & its done! 

I paired this dress with some basic burmuda style shorts, which I also sewed up using some white knit fabric, same pattern just shortened the length & made a wide hem.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Simplicity 1419

I thought I'd share another version of pattern 1419 by Simplicity, where I opted to make a straight pencil skirt bottom ( not in this particular pattern, but easy to make from another skirt pattern ). The top bodice has short sleeves and no collar, but it has a button front closure. The fabric is rayon & it was given to me by a family friend who had it stashed away for over 20 years. I like that it looks a bit vintage & is very comfortable to wear, so I will most likely be making a few more in solid colors. 

Here's a close up view of the front neckline. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Frozen's Anna Halloween Costume

My little Elsa Queen had been insisting I dress up like Anna from Frozen. Except I wasn't in the mood to wear a long dress, long cape, and winter boots, in this hot California weather.  So I decided to make a "summer version" of the Anna dress. Short length, no sleeves, and a hot pink peter pan color instead of the cape. Oh, and I opted to wear it with some black stilletos. Here's the results. 

I simply looked in my stash & found some black poly-stretch jersey fabric to make my bodice, & I made the skirt out of a soft poly-cotton blend ( almost had a suede feel to it, not exactly sure what it was ), and I used a hot pink satin for my colar. Then I just stitched a hot pink ribbon along my hem. 

I used Simplicity 1419, view B. Super easy, super comfortable to wear! I didn't even have to use a zipper since my bodice fabric had a stretch to it, although I did cut a short slit & created a loop type of opening then added a hook & eye closure.  Originally I had planned on sewing on the sleeves, but I changed my mind last minute. 

For my front bodice "Anna Art", I used Reynolds Frozen Paper  found at Walmart, to create a stencil, then cut it out using an exact blade. The frozen paper can be ironed onto fabric to hold the stencil in place, while you paint it with fabric paint. I used some tulip glittery paints from Michaels. 

I could of added a few more coats, but I guess I was a little anxious to finish. I was still happy with the results. 

Like I mentioned, I wasn't in the mood to be wearing winter boots in this hot weather, so I opted to wear my black ankle strap stilettos. 

Here we are after my tot's ABC class. We had a Frozen Fun time at her Halloween Party. 

What I loved most about making this "Anna" dress using this particular pattern, is that it's not too "costumy" in my opinion. I think I would even wear it to Disneyland on one of these days since we are annual pass holders, except I will wear it with ballet flats or even my black converse ( although some hot pink converse would be cute too ).

I will definitely be making another dress using this same pattern. Would look cute with a fitted sweater. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Simplicity 1435

I had Simplicity 1435 in my stash for a while thinking I'd use it to make some leggings for my 3 year old, but decided to make View C of the dress with some changes. 

The pattern is sized for "stretch knits only" but I used about 1 3/4 of cotton, added a zipper on the back, & made it with a pleated style skirt instead of the single or double ruffled layer the pattern called for. I was quite pleased with how it turned out!

I found the cotton print at Joann's ( in a light turquoise blue with red cherry blossoms ), very adorable. 

I get asked a lot where I bought her shoes. They are from Gymboree. Red & white polka dots with a blue face. Very darling & one of her favorite pairs. 

I made this dress in a size 3. I personally thought it was slightly big on her. But my daughter really thinks it is perfect, as she prefers long dresses. Or as she would say "super long" please!

If you have this pattern or plan to get it, you will get a lot of use out of it for sure! I will most definitely be making a few more of these, & perhaps a few shirts & leggings too. And don't be intimidated to use other blends of fabrics, even though the pattern calls for "knits only". Just make sure to add either a zipper or buttons if you're not using a knit. 

If you're a beginner you should be able to finish this within a 4 hour window, no problem. I probably took an hour and a half or so, and of course you can too once you're confident cutting and sewing. 

And the best part of sewing this up as usual is the cost! Here's the breakdown:

Fabric ( on sale ): $5.50
Pattern (on sale ) $1
Zipper ( on sale )  $1
Total: $7.50

Hope you enjoyed this review & can use this pattern yourself!