Saturday, October 25, 2014

Simplicity 1417 Dress

The fourth quarter of the year is always busy for me, so unfortunately I haven't had much time for sewing and catching up with everybody's makes. It's funny how much I really miss the sewing community when life keeps me away from the blogosphere. Anyway, I ended up using Simplicity 1417 to make my birthday dress. I've had an eye on this pattern for a while. I love, love peplum dresses. 

The pattern is very simple and the dress comes together pretty quickly. I love the neckline as well.

Back view

Until next time, Happy Sewing!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

My post this week is part of a blog tour called "Around the World Blog Hop". I was nominated by Vanessa of Sew Filled to the Brim. I discovered her blog several months ago; she's very creative and  makes stylish clothing. This year she's participating in the RTW fast, which I plan to participate in next year.

What are you working on?

 My birthday is coming up so I decided to make a birthday dress. I'm using McCall's 6503, which I purchased at the 99c sale at JoAnn's recently. It is a very simple pattern. I plan to make more versions in knit fabrics for the Fall. Here's what I've made so far:

I wanted a bright and colorful fabric in order to make a "happy" birthday dress. My husband doesn't like my fabric choice, he says it's too loud (sad face). Here's the pattern, I'm making view B (the blue one at the top):

I may skip the sleeves though; I haven't really decided. 

Besides my birthday dress, I'm also working on my Fall sewing plans. There's a lot that I need to make before the winter gets here. I really don't want to buy since I'll be participating in the RTW fast next year. I'm forcing myself to get into the habit of making everything I need. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I've really been thinking about this a lot - how my sewing differs from others. I think right now I'm more focused on filling up my wardrobe and improving my sewing skills. As time goes on, I want to start sewing vintage clothing. I really love 30's and 40's clothing.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I really enjoy sewing! Right now I only sew on the weekends, and I look forward to it all week long. It truly is a gift that keeps on giving. You can do so much with this skill. I love being able to make my own clothes - choosing everything from the style of the garment, to the color and the fabric. It's truly amazing. I wish I had gotten back into sewing sooner. As my skills get better, I also want to make more clothes for my family. 

I've found so much encouragement and inspiration from the sewing community. I had no idea there were so many people out there making their own clothes. Not only do I enjoy sewing, I also love to see what others have made, and getting tips and ideas from people who are way more experienced than I am. 

How does my creative process work?

I prefer to purchase my fabric with a pattern already in mind. It's just so much easier for me to buy fabric knowing what I want to use it for. Therefore I do not have a fabric stash! What? Yeah, I said it. I'm pretty sure some day I'll have a fabric stash; when I travel I'll definitely have to buy whatever beautiful fabric I find. Anyway, so I start by finding a pattern that I like, then buy fabric for that pattern, and then make the garment. Sometimes it goes really quickly and I end up with a garment that I love, but then sometimes I just end up with a UFO sitting in my closet for several months. I have several unfinished garments; I just need enough inspiration to get back to them. 
If the pattern is difficult for me, I'll search on the internet to see if another blogger has made it before and try to get some ideas/tips. So I always appreciate it when you share your sewing process.

After my garment is complete, I blog about it then head over to my favorite shoe blog, The Daily Shoe to fantasize about what shoe would be perfect with my garment. Right now I'm in love with this Sophia Webster:

Anyway, next on the blog hop is Dorothy of Sewing Fun Things. She makes very beautiful clothing. I've been following her blog for a while too. Her post will be on Monday, September 29.

Have a wonderful week, and as always, Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Simplicity 6209 View B Dress

My first version of this dress is no bueno anymore. The dress was a bit tight on me and the fabric was stretchy, so the seams frayed. Oh well! So I decided to quickly make another one to replace it because I really like the pattern. I used the same size 8 pattern pieces that I had used before but this time I didn't do french seams. I love how it turned out this time, and it's in my favorite color - brown. 

The instructions are very easy to follow and this time it was a very quick sew for me. I think I'm falling in love with repeating past projects. 
I used a medium-weight polyester fabric. The dress is quite warm, even without lining; it's great for Fall.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful week. Happy sewing!

Monday, September 8, 2014

McCall's 2818 Top & Burda Skirt

OMG! I could make ten of these tops, seriously. I bought this pattern at the McCall's 99c sale at JoAnn's. If you don't have this pattern in your stash, you really may want to get it. It's just too amazing! I love that it comes with four different necklines. The instructions are very easy to follow. I can't wait to make another one. The skirt pattern came from my summer Burda magazine. It's a simple skirt with darts at the back and a side zipper. Nothing fancy, but it was just perfect to go with my McCall's top. 

The top has buttons at the back. Sorry for the bad picture below; the top is actually straight. 

I hope you have a wonderful week. Happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Simplicity A1489 Tunic Top #2

I really love this pattern. I've worn my first version of this top so many times I decided to make another one. It's very comfortable and just perfect for work. The instructions are easy to follow and it comes together very quickly. I cut my usual size 10 but had to adjust it down one size.
I've been so busy lately but I'm going to start working on my Fall sewing plans soon. Hopefully I'll be able to get more sewing done now that Summer's over. 

Happy sewing!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two Sorbettos

Remember my unfinished sorbetto? I finally got it done last weekend, after making another sorbetto with leftover fabric from my second version of Simplicity A1523. I paired it with a high waisted skirt and it didn't look bad at all. This is such a great pattern for a tank top. It makes for a really quick sew. I'm definitely going to make more versions; you can never have too many tank tops in Texas.

I went to JoAnn's today and found out they've been having an amazing week-long sale on McCalls patterns - 99c each! I bought 10 of them; I'm so glad I didn't miss out.

I hope you all are enjoying the last few weeks of summer. Happy sewing!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Simplicity A1523 Top #2

I've worn my first Simplicity A1523 top so many times I decided to go ahead and make another one. It is such a simple pattern that makes for a really quick sew. I made this one last weekend; I'm probably going to make a couple more because I can wear them to work with just about anything. 
I skipped the side ruching for this version as well; I just don't like to combine it with the cowl neck. 

Happy sewing!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review │ Claire Shaeffer : Couture Sewing

Claire Shaeffer is a sewing legend; I've only ever heard good things about her. I really enjoyed this book. It only has six chapters, I really wish it were longer. Not that I'm ever going to get to the level of sewing couture, I just wanted to read this book because it was written by Claire, and I knew I could learn a lot from her. 

I was very surprised to learn how much hand sewing is done in haute couture. I always thought they use nothing by high-end sewing equipment. "The edges of many couture designs are finished by hand", Claire writes, and " the greatest advantage hand sewing offers is control. You can add a little ease anywhere with very little effort".
Not only does she talk about the importance of sewing by hand, there is an appendix at the end of the book that shows you how to do many different kinds of stitches by hand.

Each chapter provides techniques to help you achieve a professional look when making garments. Chapter one covers buttonholes, two - pockets, three - hems, four - sleeves, and five - trousers. You may have guessed it - a lot of buttonholes in couture are made by hand! I seriously feel like Claire has given me permission to start using my hands again. Last weekend I had to replace the zipper on my husband's cargo shorts because the old one was broken. I hand stitched one side entirely by hand to prevent the stitches from showing on the fly.

There are plenty of pictures throughout to show you how to do each step. This woman is brilliant!

The book comes with a DVD which offers an in-depth tailoring workshop. I think any sewist can greatly benefit from this book. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of her books.

Happy sewing!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Burda dress 138 05014-US - (Almost done)

The hem needs to be undone and straightened.

The hem is a total mess but the good thing is that it is easy to fix, so I'm going to work on it this weekend. Actually, the hem on the model's dress has the same problem, only not as bad as mine. I traced a plus-size pattern and had to adjust it from a size 44 to 36. Tracing turned out to not be as bad as I thought it would be; in fact, I really enjoyed it. While re-sizing the pattern, I somehow changed the neckline from a U to a V, which I absolutely don't mind, though. 

I used the pattern for the red, lace dress at the top of the picture below: 

Burda's instructions are certainly not the best (to me), but this is a simple pattern so I didn't have any major problems with it. I love the fabric I used for this dress; I found it on sale at JoAnn's. 

Happy sewing!

Friday, July 4, 2014

BurdaStyle Summer 2014

I finally bought myself a copy of BurdaStyle magazine. It arrived yesterday and I'm so excited to try their patterns. This issue comes with 20 of their new designs included on the pattern insert. I really like a lot of the patterns. I think the challenge for me is going to be in tracing the patterns, and sewing with limited instructions without pictures. 
I think Burda does this on purpose - the most gorgeous patterns are not included on the insert. They want you to purchase them for download online. 

I love the grey V-neck dress on the second row, and the cowl neck top at the bottom. 

All the Summer 2014 styles.

For those of you in the U.S., I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July and enjoy the long weekend. 

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vogue 1389 Top #2

I am absolutely in love with this Vogue pattern. This is my second version of the top. I wore it to work today; it is very comfortable and I love that you can dress it up or down depending on the occasion. I can't wait to make more versions of this top. JoAnn's had an amazing sale last week; I really wish I had bought more of this fabric.  

Now I have to start working on the muslin for the skirt in this pattern. 

Happy sewing!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Vogue 1389 Top

I love, love, love this pattern! I was very lucky to win it on a giveaway by one of my favorite bloggers - the lovely Nakisha of Sew Crafty Chemist. It was such a quick and easy sew; it only took me a few hours. I'm going to make as many versions of this top as I can, in all sorts of different colors. I'm already working on version #2. 

There are no side seams - the front and the back join at the back. 

I'm enjoying the soccer World Cup. Go team U.S.A!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sleeveless Butterick 5235 Dress

I was really starting to think that my sewing machine hates me. I haven't been able to get anything sewn right for a while. After that short sorbetto, I failed miserably on another project - a Vogue skirt. So I decided to make another Butterick 5235 dress since I had trouble with it on this version. This was actually suggested by Dorothy.
I absolutely love how this dress came out. Brown is my favorite color, and I fell in love with this fabric as soon as I saw it at JoAnn.

I skipped the waist darts this time, which made my zipper insertion a lot easier. The waist darts were taking away too much fabric from the center back, which is why I had such a hard time last time. 

I love this pattern a lot. With only two pieces, it really makes for a quick sew. Now I can definitely say that it's one of my TNTs. 

Happy sewing! Congrats to all those who participated in MMM this year. I'll be participating next year. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Unfinished Sorbetto

Neckline, armholes, and hem all unfinished.

After seeing Annette's lovely sorbettos, I decided to go ahead and download the free sorbetto pattern by Colette patterns. It's such a simple pattern and I knew it would be great to make lots of quick tops for the summer. After cutting and taping the pattern, I placed it against my body to see how far (lengthwise) the top would go, and it seemed to be just perfect, even after subtracting seam allowance. I was so wrong! I regret not having done a better job with checking the length. It is just too short for my long torso - it looks a bit weird when I'm wearing it. So now I'm just wondering whether I should even bother finishing it or toss it and get on with another project? But I really love the fabric though. I may just complete it and wear it at home only. 
Note to self - no more shortcuts, please. 

Happy sewing!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Butterick 5235 Dress

This dress almost ended up in the trash. It's my second version of Butterick 5235 and I thought it would be a quick project, but nope! Everything that could go wrong certainly did; I used my seam ripper so much on this project. It should have been completed last week but I just couldn't seem to able to get it done. First I had trouble inserting the zipper, then the sleeves wouldn't fit well. I'm so glad its over; I'm looking forward to a much simpler project. 

As much time as I spent on this dress, I'm going to make sure I get a lot of wear out of it. 

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Window Shopping


The Daily Shoe has been making me drool over some really gorgeous shoes lately. These folks are really experts when it comes to shoe shopping; I always look forward to seeing what shoe they'll pick next. These are just a few of my favorite shoes from their recent findings.


The Jimmy Choo below is just gorgeous!

Jimmy Choo

I love a nice, stylish black shoe. You can pretty much wear it with anything.

Daniella Michelle

I love the dropped  heel strap design below:

Alexander Wang

Love the design below too.

Liam Fahy


Walter Steiger

I love, love, love this Sergio Rossi.

Sergio Rossi

Happy sewing!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Review│ How to Show & Sell your Crafts by Torie Jayne

A recent visit to my local library ended up with me checking out a copy of "How to Show & Sell your Crafts" by Torie Jayne (published in Jan 2014). It is a very visually appealing book from cover to cover, filled with lots of attractive pictures that really grab your attention. But unlike a lot of craft books out there, there is so much more to this book than its good looks. It is packed with so much useful information, tips and creative ideas. The book has five chapters:

Chapter 1: Getting Started - goes through how to organize your craft workspace, provides ideas on storage solutions, as well as info on creative boards and why you should make one.
Chapter 2: Branding - provides lots of great info on brand building, designing an avatar, making a business plan and conducting marketing research.
Chapter 3: Selling Basics - goes through selling basics such as pricing, packaging, payment processing, etc. 
Chapter 4: Selling in Person - provides info on selling skills and promoting your crafts.
Chapter 5: Marketing - gives great tips on how to develop marketing materials and promote yourself online, etc.

Craft desk
I love the "How to Make" pages in the book, which give step by step instructions on how to make items such as the craft desk pictured above, storage boxes, rubber stamp, etc. 

Throughout the book, there are also "Meet the Crafters" pages that introduce you to some of the world's most successful crafters, such as Vicki Trainor in the above picture. 

lots of creative ideas in the book, in pretty colors too!

I highly recommend this book. Even if you're not currently selling anything, I think every crafter can gain a lot of useful info from it; I certainly did!

The AuthorTorie Jayne
You may learn more about the author on her website,