Simplicity 2250

DSC03221The fabric for this dress came compliments of Organic Cotton Plus. They sent me an email asking me if I’d be interested in some fabric of my choice in exchange for my review. I was very flattered, and obvoiusly said yes, because here I am reviewing it. I chose the pale aqua sateen. The color shown on their website looked sort of gray, but in reality it’s an icy Tiffany blue. It has a very subtle sheen so it can be dresssed up or down.

DSC03233They sent me 2 yards and that was way more then enough to make this dress. The fabric is 110″ wide, so it felt a bit awkward cutting it out. This fabric reminded me a lot of nice bed linens to be honest. I ended up moving to the floor because the fabric was too large for my dining room table.

DSC03229This fabric is is sort of medium bodied so I thought it would hold up the structure that this design requires. The bodice is self lined and also self underlined.  This pattern has sort of a bad reputation on sewing pattern review, the main problem mentioned by reviewers is that the bodice lining is too short. I added an inch to all of my lining/ underlining pieces and then trimmed the lining down to match the bodice length. This seemed to fix the problem.

DSC03235When you make this dress you need to make sure that you follow the directions *exactly*. The pleats and folds that make the draped look of the bodice do not go together intuitively. I went ahead of the directions and ended up having to go back and rip out stitches. If you take your time and follow the directions and diagrams, this dress is no more difficult than any other style of bodice.

DSC03234I did a machine blind hem to finish this and inserted a lapped zipper. I had to insert this zipper three times. Holy moly!?!?! This first time I didn’t refer to any resources and tried to go by memory. It looked awful! The second zipper, I used Sunni’s free zipper class on Craftsy. That zipper looked perfect. When I went to use it the first time that zipper failed. Ughhh! Then I looked in my stash and found this last zipper which was a better color match anyways. I decided to machine the zipper to the under part, and hand-pick the overlap. There was one thing I didn’t like about this fabric. It’s so tightly woven that it shows needle holes and they don’t steam out. I hand-picked to minimize damage, in case I’d  have to do it a fourth time.Note to self: I used a universal needle. In the future I’ll make sure to use a sharps needle with this fabric. That should lessen the puncture holes.

DSC03219I don’t think anyone should be afraid of this pattern. It has such cute details. This organic cotton was the perfect match for the pattern. I recommend checking out Organic Cotton Plus if ethical fabric is important to you. It really is a quality fabric. I plan on using the rest that I have to underline a pair of lace shorts.

xx, Cynthia

Silly Shorts

DSC03101 On a recent trip to Ikea the mister spotted this colorful denim (these are mos def his colors) and asked for some clamdiggers. I said no on the clamdiggers because with this fabric I thought it would look like something my grandma would wear. I did agree on shorts though obviously, and here they are.

These were made with Simplicity 1948. It’s one of the Suede Says (ughhhhh) patterns. Can we talk for a second about how fug most of the Suede designs are, especially the ones with a more “rocker” edge to them? Gross! These are no exception, The basic pattern is a jean, or you can add a bunch of unnecessary pockets and zippers if you feel like it.

DSC03103I’d never made pants for Chris before and unfortunately these came out too big. I made these while he was out on a long motorcycle ride so I didn’t have him available to try them on while I was working. I wish they were sized by waist measurements like men’s pants are. The finished garment measurements on the envelope are for the hip measurement, which isn’t very helpful. Oh well, he’s wearing a belt in these photos.

I’m going to cut down center back  and take the excess out from there. I did 4 lines of topstitching on the waistband so I have no intention of unpicking all of that. Scissors it shall be. Sizing was the only issue I had with the pattern.

DSC03105All of the pieces fit together well. I gave these an 11 inch inseam which I based off of other shorts he owns. I  took the time to cut the pockets and back yoke with the stripes matching, but switched them at the last second. I decided visually I liked being able to differentiate all of the design elements instead of having them fade together. The pattern instructions were quite good. I was even able to follow their instructions and diagrams for inserting the fly front zipper. Easy peasy mac and cheesy.

DSC03104All seams are finished by my serger and then topstitched down. The insides are very neat and tidy if I do say so myself.

I also recently finished sewing up some curtains for my sister. Although I did make her do all of the measuring and pressing (i.e. the boring parts). I think I’m do for another few month of selfish sewing :)

xx, Cynthia

Come on Spring!!!

DSC02966 Hey ya’ll!!! Did you miss me? I had to take a little bloggy break because I wasn’t feeling it, but now I’m back in the saddle. I had a case of writers block, and then I felt gross in some outfit photos. So I took a little break to gain some perspective. I’ve kept up sewing these past 2-ish months and I might get around to posting what I’ve made (but I probably won’t). If you follow me on Instagram (cynbular) you can see what I’ve sewn.

Since I last checked in, I’ve moved into a bigger apartment by the river (these photos are taken on our private dock?!?!?!). I’m so bourgeois now. Unfortunately, our rent is higher and I have much less money (AKA none) in the budget for sewing related expenses. Confession: I “donated” plasma to buy some fabric a while back. Desperate times people! I guess that makes me a sewing addict. I also reached 200 followers, which is rad. Hi, everybody!

DSC02964Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me get to the good shit. I’m desperate for Spring to start and I think that’s obvious by this not quite weather appropriate outfit. Brrr… it was chilly when I took these photos today.

The skirt is Simplicity 1690, one of the newer Leanne Marshall designs. I played with the directions of the stripes to have a little fun with the ruffle. This went together well and I’ve also made the blouse pattern for my mom. This pattern is fine by me. The only snafu I had was from not reading the directions. I ended up making this a little too tight so I fixed that by adding this little button and tab on the waistband to give me a little more room. I’m undecided on my fabric choice though. It’s a nice cotton sateen, that I was hoping would read as nautical. Looking at these photos it reads as more of a prison/ jailbird stripe.

DSC02967The t-shirt is made using the Maria Denmark Birgitte basic tee pattern. This is the size small. This pattern is a great basic pattern to make yourself some cake with.

It was hard to get this color to photograph well. It’s a *super* bright neon yellow cotton jersey. I think I’m going to go back and finish the sleeves and hems with bands because I had a hard time getting the tension with my twin needle right, and it looks tunneled.

DSC02962I also made the flower in my hair. Gosh, I love my hot glue gun. I just muslined the bodice for Cambie, and it looked awesome, so I think that will be next. I also muslined Retro Butterick 5209, hoping it could be my Sew for Victory dress. That was bad news. There was so much side boob I looked like Miley Cyrus. That was been knocked out of the sewing queue.

xx, Cynthia

Foxy: Simplicity 2154

DSC02874I’ve been working on the blouse from vintage repro Simplicity 2154 for the past week. This little blouse has been on my must make list for quite a while. Since it is Jungle January, I decided to pull out the only piece of “animal print” in my stash. This counts right? It has animals on it :)

DSC02851I generally stay away from quilting cotton, but I couldn’t resist this cute fox print when I saw it. It’s Japanese, which seems to be the homeland of all things cute!

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This top is pretty basic and I was able to squeeze it out of only one yard of fabric. The only instructions I deviated from was that I didn’t interface the bow. I didn’t see the point after I cut it on the bias. These two photos are the only ones I was able to take without my sweater on because it was so COLD. See my inability to smile… haha I hate being cold.

DSC02871The only new technique that went into making this top was I made a fabric covered button for the first time. Unfortunately, I don’t have a closeup photo of it. I centered one of the little fox faces over the center of the button.

I’m looking forward to trying this pattern out with a fabric with more drape. I’d like to see this hanging a little bit closer to my body in my next version.

xx, CynthiaDSC02856

Simplicity 1873 v 2.0

I made another version of  Simplicity 1873. This time I made version A. One thing I’ve learned from my other version is that I’m not short-waisted like I thought I was. My other version hits into my ribs. This time I added 3/4″ to the bodice and it’s more comfortable. I also made this a little bit larger and now after looking at these photos I think I might want to go back in and take it in a wee bit.

Originally I drafted a peter-pan collar that I hand-beaded (here’s a photo from Instagram). I decided after it was on that I didn’t like it. I felt that it looked a little homemade (because I couldn’t get the curve smooth) so I decided to remove it. I have two vintage beaded collars, so I can have the look when I want it or not. The bow at the waist is detachable also. I used my hot glue gun to attach it to a pin back.

The sleeves on this pattern are so cute. They feature 5 darts to create the puff shape. I fully lined this dress with some black rayon voile. I finished with an invisible zipper and a machined blind hem.

This is a great pattern if you love the classic “fit and flare” silhouette

Hawaiian Punch: Simplicity 1873

Hey guys!!! Like my new glasses? They came in the mail today and I feel like a cool girl in them. Just in time too, now that we’re in the heart of the allergy season I can’t really wear my contacts as much, so it was time to update. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about this dress. I’m in mayjuhh like with it.

I’ve been thinking about what makes something “me” and makes me want to pull it out of the closet over and over again. My favorite me-make by far is my Bow Dress. The reason why it works IMO is because it’s a basic fit-and-flare shape (my favorite silhouette) paired with a fun print that I love. I bought 3 yards of this “Tales of the South Pacific” cotton batiste from Gorgeous Fabrics for super cheap ($5.80 a yard) and I still have almost a full yard left over.

This pattern was very easy to make. I made view C, but omitted the button tabs. It’s a simple 2 dart scoop neck bodice paired with a very *full* skirt. Before I started making the pleats, I had about 8 feet of skirt to shrink down to 29 inches. I really like the instructions Simplicity gives you for the construction. For instance, they have you attach the bodice and lining using this technique, I first learned from the Slapdash Sewist. It seems to be that Simplicity is figuring out that home sewists don’t want to hand sew unless absolutely necessary.

This dress was well drafted and came together quickly once I got started. I made a size 10 to eliminate ease, but had to use the dart placement for the size 12 to accomodate my girls. Speaking of my girls, did ya’ll notice the unfortunate print placement on my bust? Michael Kors would eat me alive, a circle over each bewb. Oops… I lined the bodice with some unbleached cotton muslin, and also underlined the skirt with muslin since this fabric was quite sheer. I finished the hem with a machine blind hem and inserted an invisible zipper

Simplicity 1876: Tie-Dye Surprise

I’m calling this dress Tie-dye Surprise because I’m surprised that I like it. Ha. This dress has a few quirks, and I’ll get into them in a bit, but it’s perfect for what I made it for…

Let’s start with the fabric. I found this mystery fabric (it drapes like rayon and definitely breathes, so let’s call it rayon) at the thrift store. I thought, “hey, I can use this for a muslin and maybe make it a wearable one. I *do* live on the west coast, which is, the only place where it’s still cool to wear tie-dye.” Now summer is approaching (80 degrees today?!?!? holla), and that means shows and festival season for me, and this tie-dyed fabric starting calling out to me wanting to be a hippy summer dress. When fabric talks, I listen.

I finished this last Wednesday afternoon, just in time to see SBTRKT play at the Wonder Ballroom. I danced a shit-ton in it! So if dancing is a criteria for your makes, then this pattern passes. I’m also going to wear this next week and dance and sweat some more. Therefore, this dress is a success. Let’s get into the nitty grtty now, I’ll start with the good and then get into the bad.

Things I like: I really like the gathers on the hips. As a pear shaped lady, I usually avoid accenting them. In this case, I feel it gives a va-va-va-voom Marilyn Monroe-esque silhouette. This dress is princess seamed which I haven’t done before. I am now *for* princess seams. Fact: I would vote for them for president. Princess seams are prettier than darts IMO. The instructions were very clear and thorough.

Things I don’t like: I made this dress too big. Yarghh! So, I’ve been on a huge Simplicity roll, I can’t help it. Now that I know they more or less fit me, it’s a lot easier to just try another one out than to deal with fitting. But, I’m learning that I need to anyways, and that an inch and a half of ease is actually a lot. I’m also learning that I probably need to stop being a baby and start doing FBA’s (full bust adjustment for those not in the know). This dress is a bit of a Monet (Clueless reference), good from far, but far from good.

I was fitting as I went (I thought), but it came out weirdly large and small, at the same time on my bust. Here’s how I fixed the “too big”; I made the center back seam larger (a full inch FYI) and also pinched out another inch at the sides which I sloppily tacked down with hand stitches (messy girl). Now for the “too small”; The drape doesn’t fully cover my girls. Instead of making a 12, I should have made a 10 up top with a FBA, and then tapered to a 12 for the hips. Live and learn, amirite?

There’s one more thing I effed up. I’m not sure if it was a drafting error or a Cynthia error. Hopefully, you can avoid it. When I stitched the bodice and drape to the lining, I sewed up the little hole you’re supposed to leave to allow you to knot the neck tie around the drape. To fix this I stitched a sloppy button hole, so I could slip the straps through it. This little number is a fine example of down and dirty dressmaking.

I’m moving this upcoming week so I’m not sure how long it will be until I have something new to show ya’ll. Peace.