Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sewing FO: Simplicity 4076

You may wonder why I am making two separate posts in a row instead of just putting all of my fos together in one big post. I thought it would be easier to keep up with if I do a separate entry per fo instead of just lumping them all together as I've been doing.

Anyway, I also made Simplicity 4076 just a couple of days ago. What a great pattern this was! So easy, and I am really happy with the two tops I got out of it. That's right, two! The muslin actually turned out wearable, and that never happens for me! I think this top looks very RTW, even with my less-than-stellar finishing. I was very careful with the finishing, as I've finally grasped the "it's your hobby, what's your hurry" frame of mind, but still I am not great at it yet, so although it's improved, it's by no means perfect. But I've worn one of the tops already, and I am extremely pleased!

Here's the link to the review on PR.

Sewing FO: Simplicity 4118

I finally had an opportunity to post some pictures of my recent sewing fos. I finished Simplicity 4118, on which I've been working for quite a while.

The fabric used is a cotton Amy Butler print. I love this fabric SO MUCH! I don't know how I feel about it for this dress, though... but I hope to get more and make a fabulous bag! I had to do ALOT of work to get this dress to even look ok on me, but I still don't know if I will be getting much wear out of it. Anyway, here's the dress.

Here is the link to my review of the pattern on PR if you'd like to read more about it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Won!

I can't believe I forgot to mention that I won one of Bonnie Marie's contests! I get free yarn! And a free pattern, too! Yaaaay! And it's one I've never tried (always exciting), and in a color I love!

Tomorrow or the next day I am going to post some pattern reviews on PR and some pictures and details here, too. I am SO EXCITED about one of the things I just finished!

Marji commented on the post with the dress election, saying "I'm thinking the first pattern you put up. I love wrap dresses, but I'm really thinking that the Vogue dress is going to be v wearable as a day dress too in that fabric, and probably a little more flattering on you. I'm cutting that one out in a large print and in a white cotton in the next day or two, so you can see what they look like if you want to wait."

Thanks, everyone, for your opinions on the matter! The first pattern was the one I was leaning toward initially, but I haven't gotten mine yet! I've been waiting a couple of weeks for it. So, then for a couple of days, I thought I'd go ahead and make the wrap dress instead of waiting for the pattern, but last night I started reconsidering because I do have plenty of other projects to keep me busy while I wait for the pattern. But really, I think the first dress in this fabric would be so fun, and with a cami underneath and a cute pair of flats, I thought it would be great for daytime wear, too. Also, I can't always picture how well something will look in a particular fabric, but this I can, and I really think it's going to be great! And I think Marji definitely has a point about the first one being more flattering on me since I've yet to find a wrap dress I love in RTW, but have tried on dresses similar to the Vogue pattern and liked them except for their having no room for my bust (a problem I can fix). So I think I'm going with #1 after all! But I will make a wrap dress... I'm sure there are lots of other great fabrics out there to be found! In fact, I can think of a couple offhand. Then again, I can always find more wonderful fabrics and yarn than I have money for! I think it's a gift... or a curse?

Expect to hear a little about Rapunzel or the Butterfly dress soon!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Decisions, decisions

I've actually finished sewing 3 items in my queue, and I am very happy with one, pretty happy with one, and undecided about the third. I'll post pictures and info later.

Moving on to my next project, I want to use the embroidered cotton voile next. I just cannot decide on a pattern for it! I'm going to list some options, and I'd love opinions on them.

I have been thinking of a blouse because I'd get the most wear out of one. I have enough for a skirt, but I've just made one and have fabric and patterns for 2 or 3 more. And I don't wear skirts that often. I may have enough for a dress, but I don't wear dresses often either (although if I had any I just loved I would probably wear them more!). I love dresses in themselves, and the idea of dresses, but have a hard time finding ones I'm happy with.

So, here are some patterns I'm considering. Let's have yet another vote, please! Y'all always have such great suggestions, and often bring up points I hadn't considered! :-D

These are in no particular order of preference.

1. The blouse from Simplicity 4047. Likes: Very unique, retro, shaped nicely, love the style, several good reviews on PR. Dislikes: May not be flattering to someone more busty (like myself), looks a bit complicated to make up, is my fabric too busy for the pattern?

2. New Look 6356. Likes: Simple, so won't detract from the pattern, Vneck is usually flattering on me, rated easy. Dislikes: No reviews on PR, no actual picture of this made up, it seems to have a lot of ease. Also kinda boring.

3. Burda WOF 05/07 # 111. Likes: Unique, love the drawstrings, really love the style. Dislikes: no review, has a collar (which might give me trouble), Burda's instructions suck, has long sleeves (but that may not be hard to fix), have to trace the pattern.

4. From the same issue of Burda as above, #116. Likes: Love button-downs!!, simple but flattering style. Dislikes: again, the things I am not crazy about with Burda in general - that of having to trace patterns and that Burda's instructions could be better. Also, no review and I don't know about the blouse with this particular fabric.

5. From BWOF 03/07, dress 109. Likes: Love the flounce, the shirtdressy-ness of it, and the puffed sleeves. Dislikes: I have yet to find a shirtdress that looks good on me, and usually am not too crazy about puffed sleeves on me either. Also, it's a dress.
But I still think that this would look so cute in the fabric!

6. From BWOF 05/06, this aforementioned blouse. Likes: I think this blouse is totally cute, and I think the fabric would work well for it. Dislikes: the bottom of the blouse is pretty loose, I think.

7. This dress, M5374. Likes: really like the shape and style of this. Dislikes: not sure if the fabric is heavy enough for it.

OR... I could just save it for this blouse from the June 2007 BWOF. I love this top and plan to buy this issue, but that would mean waiting! :-(

I'm hoping by tomorrow to have decided on a pattern. I decided to wait about the dress from the black, pink, and white fabric until probably next week or so... I've been working with some knit fabric, and I want to get good and used to it before I cut into that lovely stuff! But, I'm almost sure I will be making the wrap dress and waiting on the party dress, mainly due to the fact that the wrap dress pattern is here now, and I'm still waiting on the party dress pattern to come in the mail, and if it doesn't come in the next 2 days, I won't be here to get it. I still love the idea of the party dress in this fabric, so if I don't get around to the dress before I come back here, then I might reconsider.

Also, I finally got Simplicity 3797! I have really wanted this pattern, so was glad to get it on sale! I just love the dress and can't wait to find a great fabric for it. :-D

Friday, May 25, 2007

Graduate! :-D

Well, I'd hoped to have more to post about (some FO or something), but I didn't want to wait too long to post, and I am having no luck with the wips right now!

I graduated from La Tech Uni with a bachelor's in Biology on May 19, yay!

I'll have to post a picture of me in the dress later, but they are all on a disk and I'm too lazy to put them on the computer right now!

I haven't picked up a knitting needle in about 2 weeks. I have been TRYING to sew, but I seriously suck. I don't know if I just haven't done it enough or what, but even going as slowly as I can, I still can't get seams anywhere NEAR straight, which is a very bad thing when you're trying to make this skirt. Then also, the thread I used didn't have enough contrast, and the only other threads I had that would have worked colorwise aren't heavy enough, so now I have to buy a new thread. So I put it aside. And I just don't know how it's going to look on me when it's done (assuming it GETS done). ARGH!

Then I started on a muslin for this top, and that was a hellish experience. Even after asking at PR about working with chiffon, it was ridiculously difficult to cut and my pieces didn't end up the right sizes or anything. I'm very scared of cutting my good fabric now... it wasn't terribly expensive but it's so pretty and I don't want to ruin it!

Then I learned that my zig-zag foot (I think... the all purpose foot is how I think of it) is GONE. What a disaster!! I'd planned on making a few knit tops and a knit dress, which I cannot do without a zig-zag foot! So now that is delayed until I can get to the sewing machine repair shop to purchase the part.

I do have some linen to use for a skirt, but after the way things have been going, I just don't know. Sometimes I don't think I'll ever get the hang of sewing and have a finished garment that I like well enough to wear IN the house, much less out of it!

I did find a GORGEOUS red knit at Walmart for $1 yd. It's going to be my "muslin" fabric, but dare I hope it comes out wearable? As inexpensive as it was, I'll be a little disappointed if it all goes to waste. And I found some other fabric, white, on the dollar table, but I'm not sure what it was... perhaps someone can give me some suggestions? I think it was peachskin because there was some black which was not on the dollar table that seemed pretty similar, marked as peachskin. Anyway, one side of it feels kinda sueded (I have a scrap of sueded rayon and it feels similar to that, except the rayon feels a little nicer and the other stuff isn't stretchy). It's really soft, and the other side of it feels and looks like the wrong side of a satin fabric. It has no stretch, too. I don't know if it is poly... the bolt was just marked unknown content. But it is really nice, although I have no idea what it's good for. I just got some of it because I liked it so much! I also got some embroidered cotton voile from Gorgeous Things (and boy is that a perfect name!). I don't know what to use it for. There are a couple of tops I was considering from BWOF, such as this one, but I might have just enough for a dress, or a skirt, what do you think I should do with it?

But really, sewing is going so poorly for me. I don't know how much more time and money I can afford to waste making things that never turn out, but it's not much. With knitting, at least you can reuse the yarn if it doesn't work, but with sewing, what's done is done. I don't want to give up, especially since I've wanted to sew my whole life, but it is expensive and especially so when nothing works.

In knitting news, I signed up to be a test knitter for Ysolda's Snow White pattern, but I don't think I was selected (I haven't gotten an email or anything). I figured I wouldn't, because she'd sent the email out that morning and I didn't check till the evening, and there seem to be a lot of knitters who knit my size (34"), so I figured that spot would be gone. Oh well. I really love the design, though. It's so elegant!

Also, I got a Ravelry account. If you aren't on the waiting list yet, sign up! I had to wait at least a couple of weeks for my invite, but it was SO WORTH IT. This site has everything a knitter could need! And it's only in Beta. I can only imagine how powerful a tool it will be when it's released to the public. I'm organizing my projects and my stash, finding new patterns and knitters with similar knitting interests as mine, there are discussion forums, links to awesome new knit sites (at least ones I haven't run across yet), and the list goes on. I really love it, and I'd read some skeptics who said that sites like this never last because people quit using them, but I have to disagree! Look at Pattern Review! I can easily see Ravelry becoming the knitting equivalent of PR. I just hope it stays free!

Anyway, I am going to get back to Rapunzel and the Butterfly dress and everything else soon. I just NEED to get some sewing done, I need to complete something that doesn't suck and look homemade in that really, really bad way, both for practical purposes (I need summer clothes!), for self-esteem purposes (you CAN do this, Crystal!), and so I'll know I haven't wasted a lot of time and money on fabric and patterns. :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Opinions needed

I've been packing, so I have not knit or sewn a stitch. But I've been THINKING about knitting and sewing a lot!

I got some of this fabric and want to use it for one of two dresses, but I can't decide which.

Dress 1 is more of a party dress, but I think (?) it could be causal, too. Which is needed, because I don't attend many parties. I think it would look great in this fabric.

Dress 2 is a wrap dress, aka the wear anywhere dress, and I think it would be gorgeous in this fabric, too.

But I want to use the fabric for whichever style the print will go better with. What do y'all think? I am pretty bad at imagining how things are going to look, so I'd love some opinions/advice!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Project planning

Whoops, I forgot earlier to post something I've been meaning to link to for days. I put a new set of photos up on flickr. These are pictures of fabrics I have already, with the patterns I am planning/considering using them on. I'd love to hear what you think of my choices!

For the fabrics that are posted twice, I have to choose which project to use it for. The only exception is the pink plaid, of which I have 2 cuts... it should be enough for me to do both projects.

I'll be adding to this as I get new fabrics for new projects... but that probably won't be soon. I need to get some of these out of the way!

Graduation Earrings!

Here are my special order earrings, designed by Susan of Sulu-designs. Aren't they gorgeous and just perfect for the dress?!

She ships for free, too, just in case you wander over there and see something you must have! ;-)

Edited to add: Photo taken by her, not me. She is a fantastic photographer, I'm not! haha.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Graduation Dress

You know how you see a dress you just LOVE on the hanger, and then you try it on and are disappointed?

That didn't happen with this dress!!

I didn't make my graduation dress, but I love it so much I wanted to show it off anyway! It is from Ann Taylor Loft.

Isn't it lovely?!

Decisions, decisions... which shoes to wear?

A close-up of the shoes in the running.

Which necklace to wear? I'm leaning toward the black, but I just don't know for sure. It's a choker style and I usually like necklaces to be a little longer than that. I really need to find the one I'd planned to wear... but it has unfortunately disappeared for the time being. Hopefully I'll find it by the 19th!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fused Glass

Remember the class I took last summer in fusing glass? I didn't think so. Haha. Anyway, it was such fun, and I've wanted to do it again since. I finally got my hands on a microwave kiln (sooo neat!), so now I can make more jewelry! But, I know I need other things for fused glass jewelry making... the things I am aware of needing are: glass cutters and pliers, a drill with a teeny-tiny bit, and a grinder. And, of course, the glass. Anything else I need? Anyone know how much this stuff is going to cost me? I know the drill and the grinder are going to be expensive, and I have no idea when I'll be able to get one unless you know of a great deal somewhere! :-)

By the way, if you're interested in one of these microwave kilns, I found them here.

I'm almost to the sleeve shaping on Rapunzel. A very long car trip will do that for ya.

Finals and graduation soon. Yikes! I'll probably be scarce for awhile.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

No time for creativity

I'm swamped. I have less than 2 weeks left in the quarter and lots left to do. So I haven't been knitting or sewing at all. I did a few rows on Rapunzel that will have to be ripped because I messed up the moss stitch pattern.

But I am going to have a break, and during that time I HOPE to get lots of sewing done. I am going to focus on sewing because I have hardly any summer clothes. I have a hard time finding things I like in RTW, and I hate the quality of the clothes I can afford. I went to a store in our mall called Rave, and caught a good sale - everything in the store was 40% off! I even found 5 or 6 tops I loved on me! So I got them... only to discover the most expensive one (a knit top that was my favorite purchase) was literally falling apart at the seams. I had it exchanged, and the new one is better, but I'm still going to reinforce the seams just in case. So, after that, I am even more disgusted at how much money you have to spend to buy clothing that doesn't fall apart! Not to mention the whole sweatshop thing. It's one of the reasons I've always wanted to sew.

Anyway, so I found some really great deals on fabric recently, and got some with the hopes of sewing on my break. Unfortunately, I just can't afford to do a SWAP right now (timewise or moneywise), but I have picked out some fabrics (that I just LOVE) that will go well with things I have already, along with a couple that will add some much needed color and variation.

To make my blog less boring, I'll post pics of the fabrics and the patterns I plan to use them with. And also, I'm taking a short study break so I may as well do this.

This is a polyester/lyrca blend. I love the color and the print, and figure that since I'll buy polyester RTW without a second thought, I may as well do the same for fabric. It was really, really inexpensive. I really wish I could find a picture of the pattern I'm planning to use: it's from Burda WOF 8/2006, #104. I can't bring their archive site up right now, so I'll try to post a pic later (wonder what's up with the site?). I'm going to make the top short sleeved instead of long (hopefully that won't be too hard). Edit: Burda is back up, so I was able to get a picture. Here's the top I'll be making with this and the below fabric.

This is a rayon/lyrca blend. I think it's just beautiful! I'll probably use it to make the same top as above, also with short sleeves.

This is a lightweight denim that I'll be using for this Burda WOF denim skirt. LOVE this skirt so much, I just hope it will look great on me! And omg, those shoes... where can I get them? I adore them.

This is SILK chiffon! I love silk so much. Not that I ever wear it, because I am such a klutz, but the fabric was such a great deal that I couldn't pass it up for this chiffon blouse (I will wear a camisole under mine).

This is a pink plaid cotton shirting with 3% lyrca. I already have some of this for a button shirt (haven't decided on a pattern yet), but I got some more to make the modeled view of this skirt. I hardly have any skirts, so I really wanted to make a couple to wear this summer.

I'll probably be making these in order of what looks easiest to hardest. Here's to hoping I can get back into the sewing thing!