Saturday, May 16, 2015

Vogue 1291 Pattern Review and Me Made May 2015 Round up.

This is an oldie but a goodie! I made it back in 2013 to take to PR Weekend San Francisco. Sandra Betzina was teaching the seminar that year. I learned a lot about fitting and Sandra is such a fun teacher and person.

The highlight of that day for me was Sandra's reaction when I greeted her.  She pointed to my top and said she liked how I used a matching lace for the sleeves. She made me turn around and said that I did a great job! Her comment made my day!
Now onto the pattern itself. It's the Vogue 1291.

I used a ponte knit with a matching mesh lace I bought at Haberman Fabrics before moving to CA. I cut the size D and it fits right out of the envelope. The instructions are very clear and I sewed it up in one day. 

I did add a modesty panel to avoid wearing a tank under this top. I just cut up a triangle of the ponte fabric sewed it to the bodice starting at the base of the sleeves up to a point where my bra is not showing. 

I hemmed it on my Juki blind hemmer. I wear this all the time and wonder why I haven't made more of these.


This month, I signed up for the Me Made May 2015 challenge over at sozowhatdoyouknow's blog. Here's my pledge:

'I, Paulinakoss Bruce from, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear a me made garment each day for the duration of May 2015'.

It's my first time participating and I was excited about it! I take it as a personal incentive to try and finish some UFO's! I have a huge bin of them.

So without further ado, here's what I wore so far this month. Only a few days are missing because I didn't get the chance to take pictures. Oh well!

Unblogged dress but reviewed on Pattern Review

Jalie 3245 unblogged

Self drafted dress unblogged

McCalls 6078 unblogged

Sandra Betzina top.

Until next time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

McCalls 5621 Review: A DVF Colorblocked Top Knock off!

This is piece number 2 of my 2015 wardrobe. I am slowly but surely working toward building another summer wardrobe. This year, I am all about orange and pink and navy. 
Well, DVF set the tone with her Resort 2015 collection and I was sold! 
Those of you following me on Instagram might have seen my little sketches and all the fabrics I was able to find in my stash to create my summer color palette. 

Then, I got some more fabric during the PR weekend shopping day in the Los Angeles fashion district last month.

So, I started with the DVF knock off wrap dress and since I have some leftover fabric, I was determined to make something out of it. I went for another knock off. This time it was a colorblocked top from the same Resort 2015 DVF collection.
Out of 4 yards of matte jersey fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics, I squeezed out a wrap dress and a top. Isn't this stashbusting at its best?

I used McCalls 5621 view C with sleeves from view B which I extended. Making the entire neck band in the orange fabric would have been an overkill so my challenge was to cut the front neck band in two pieces so that only the front placket will be orange. 

The pattern instructions were okay. I did look online for front placket tutorials and found one that I used in combination with the pattern instructions. Sewing a neckband with a front placket can be tricky. My advice is to make sure you reinforce the corners of the bodice front by stay stitching or even fusing a little square of interfacing before clipping it to prevent distortion. I had to redo that part several times before getting it right. I was using a lightweight knit when the pattern actually calls for stable knits and woven fabrics. The front placket though it is interfaced is wobbly because of the type of fabric I used.

I need to add a snap so that my bra doesn't show when I'm bending. It's not too low but because of the fabric I think it tend to open up a bit when worn.
Lengthwise, the top is a little too short for my taste but since I didn't have enough fabric, I can't really complain!
The hem and sleeve bands were sewn in true DVF style, by folding under the seam allowance and stitch in the ditch between the band and the top.

Now to make some pink or navy shorts to go with it. Onward with the Summer wardrobe plans!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Vogue 1314 review: BCBG Knock Off Dress with Lace Embellished Yoke

One of my favorite brands is BCBG Max Azria. Their outfits are so edgy and feminine. When I entered the PR Best Patterns contest, I wanted to make use the Vogue 1314 dress pattern to make the BCBG Valery asymmetrical ruched dress that I pinned a while ago! I made the dress but, you know the story!!!

The BCBG dress is lovely but I didn't want to make another LBD so I decided to use a lovely pink knit fabric that's been in my stash for years. I don't recall where I got it from. As for the lace, I found a paisley lace in my stash that fit the bill.
Now, you know I love challenges when it comes to sewing. As if a homeschool mom needs more challenge in her life! Lol!
First challenge was drafting the yoke and the cut-out. It was actually easier than I thought. All I did was draw a line from the shoulder to the armhole and use the sleeve ruler to draw a little oval shaped cut-out.
Once the yoke was cut and sewed, I thought the front needed a bit more lace so I cut out some more lace using the paisley shape and hand tacked it to the front.

Second challenge was adding an exposed zipper to the back of a side ruched dress!!!! During the process I kept on telling myself, it's time to follow a pattern to the T and stop tweaking!! But who am I kidding! I just love deconstructing patterns. Since the pattern doesn't call for a zipper, I cut 2 back pieces instead of the fold and added a 1 inch seam allowance.

I fully lined it with a wine colored knit lining from the stash. It helped with enclosing the yoke. As for the sizing I cut a 12 and took in about an inch on the sides for a snug fit. I also pegged the dress at the hem with a 4" difference.
As for ruching, I find it easier and faster to baste the front and back together at the sides, which works best with light to medium weight fabrics because it's less bulky. Then I gather and serge with a 1/4" elastic cut to the desired length of your finished gathers. Clear as mud?

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen my indecision about adding sleeves or not.

I finally went with no sleeves because of the hot weather here in Cali. I do like the idea of having the contrast of one lace sleeve and one regular. Maybe another time.

Once the lining was done, I bound the neckline and armholes and coverstitched the hem.
And voila, mission accomplished!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DVF rocks! Wrap Dress Sew Along reveal at last! Kwik Sew 3408 Review

I am a huge DVF fan! Who isn't? Her wrap dresses are just timeless! I especially love the fabrics she uses. While I don't own a DVF wrap dress or the famous Vogue pattern, I have been on a quest for the "perfect" wrap dress.
The McCalls Pattern Conpany Wrap Dress Sew Along was a great incentive to try and work on replicating my latest DVF crush.

Isn't this dress gorgeous!!! The colors are so vibrant! I had to make it! Back in January, I looked online and found the perfect match at Gorgeous fabrics. The fabric is a matte jersey knit. The only thing is that it is on the light side. I have a few matte jersey fabrics and always thought they were medium weight like the one I used for my Red Burda twist dress. I guess I  was too excited to actually check the actual weight of the fabric. Anyway, it's not a deal breaker, it's just that it because it's so light, it shows all the lumps and bumps. At least it's not see-through so I didn't have to line it.

I went snoop shopping at Nordstrom to see the inside of the Gracie dress. The fabric used for DVF dress is a beefy stretch crepe fabric. As you can see the neckline is quite low. 

I set out to find a pattern that was simple enough to modify to replicate the DVF dress. Since the requirements of the Sew Along were to only use a McCalls Pattern Company pattern, I chose the Kwik Sew 3408.

It is a simple wrap dress pattern with bust darts. I cut the size medium and made a muslin to check the fit and will go with the size small next time. The pattern runs big. I had to take in 2 inches from the sides.

I made the following modifications:
-I made the dress a little wider at front by extending the top and bottom half of the pattern. 
-I raised the neckline for better coverage.   
-I removed 2 inches from the front and back bodice and 2 inches from the bottom front and back to make a finished 1.5 inch contrast band. For a neat finish, I folded the contrast band facing under the seam allowance and stitched in the ditch just like the DVF dress.
-I used stay tape on the shoulder seams and on the neck edges and the result is a very snug neckline with zero gaping.

-I omitted the sleeves, added binding to the armholes, folded it under and hand stitched it.
-I fused the skirt edge and hem and hand stitched them as well.

Dress before handstitching it. I dreaded it for days until I got the courage to finish it.

I poured over all the resources and tutorials that Meg provided during the Sew Along and they helped tremendously.

The first lady and I have a very good taste! Don't we?
Until next time!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mad about stripes!! Lady Skater dress review!

When I was looking for a name for my blog, I narrowed my choices down to 2: Sew U Think U Can and Mad about Stripes. Obviously you know which one won but sometimes I wonder if I should have picked Mad about Stripes! Because let's face it! I have a love affair with stripes!

Sooo, I present to you my latest knock off! The Bailey44 Torres dress. I saw this dress at Anthropologie a while back and vowed to make it when I find the right fabric.

I entered the PR Best Patterns contest last month and finished 2 dresses including this one but failed to write the reviews before the deadline! I got tired and thought! Oh well, next time I'll manage my time better!

I made a few changes to the original Lady Skater pattern. I changed the neckline to a boat neck, reduced the flare on the skirt, shortened the bodice top(it is way too long the way it's drafted). Minor changes but the challenge with this dress was matching the stripes!

Stripe matching isn't for the faint of heart!! But I persevered and it paid off! If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen my progress. This was my first attempt at matching the stripes on the front bodice. It didn't look like the original.
I put it away and woke up in the middle of the night with a solution! You see, I realized that the left top piece was a mirror image of the bottom piece! So I went back, took it down(Did I say I hated undoing seams!!!) and cut new bottom pieces by placing the left top piece right side together over the fabric matching the stripes. Once it's cut, you open it it up and bingo! You have a perfect chevron and all you have to do is pin the stripes, machine baste and serge. Voila!!!

I am quite proud of my stripe matching!! I think it was well worth the pain!!!

I did the same thing in the back and fully lined the dress. The fabric is quite thin so it needed to be lined. I got this ITY knit from Fabrics R'Us in San Jose. I'm glad I bought 4 yards of it because I had to recut most pieces. The original Anthropologie dress was $168. Mine cost me less than $20!

 I will be taking this dress to PR Los Angeles this week! So excited to attend PR weekend for the 2nd time! Last time was in San Francisco.