April 28, 2013

Pant's Muslin #2, and I Won Something...

...it took me an entire week to get back to my pant's fitting task because the week was so very busy.   By the time I got home each evening I was so pooped that I thought it best not to sew - so didn't.  In the meantime I watched two pants fitting videos - the one that was very helpful was from the Thread's Fitting DVD series, for waist and hips) and another one (which I won't even name) wasn't so helpful.

Taking the information I gathered from the Thread's DVD,  I took the changes made to muslin #1 (from last week), transferred them to my pattern, and made up muslin #2.  I was willing to sacrifice time for this extra work because I truly believed that it would yield great results.  Here's Muslin #2, and  I'm satisfied with the results.


The muslin is comfortable sitting and standing (in fact, I'm wearing it right now).   I only had to try it on three times opposed to the usual 10 to 12 times (no kidding).  Could the muslin be better fit?  I believe that it could be tweaked further if I had the use of extra hands and another set of eyes.  But for my solitary efforts of fitting myself by myself, I think I did a good job.  I feel that I've learned a lot about pants fitting this go around, and am certain that if someone else needed help fitting pants I could be a valuable help.

There are five pair of pants in my summer wardrobe plans.  Hope I have zippers stashed in all the right colors.  Speaking of zippers - I usually pull out a special set of instructions I have for front fly zippers.  Recently I couldn't find my laminated copy and had to wing the zipper insertion.  I found that I've been using the instructions as a crutch.  Oh well, my skills are progressing...

I won something really nice recently!  I love winning!  Who doesn't, right???
I won Kelly's give-a-way - Mimi G's Mermaid Fishtail Maxi Skirt Tutorial!
Thanks Kelly and Thanks Mimi G!

April 21, 2013

PANTS FITTING ISSUES...(detailed post)

...I can't believe that I didn't make a single pair of pants during the fall/winter season.  If you'll remember, it was back in September when I became completely involved with my Carnival of Skirts - that later turned into a sew-a-long -  and I didn't stop until mid-January when I began completely involved with making over my fabulous pea coat.  Boy didn't I enjoy wearing all those skirts ALL WINTER LONG!  Now I find myself in desperate need of new pants.

Last weekend I tried a new pants pattern - didn't work, caused disgust, trashed them immediately - don't even want to talk about that pattern.   So now I'm coming to terms with my old TNT pant pattern.  Yes, it's an OLD pattern, but I've been able to come up with some pretty nice looking and fitting pants from this pattern.  I wore a pair made from it a few weeks ago and a sewing friend asked if I made them.  She said that had she not known that I make the majority of my clothes, she would have thought they were RTW.  I trust her judgment not only because I was flattered, but it did serve to help with my confidence level.

When I make this pattern I turn the front tucks into darts for a more modern appeal.

Every pair made from this pattern have not been a total success, but the majority have.  Yet, I call it a TNT.   BUT if I still have to work out kinks, wrinkles, or other fitting issues IS IT TRULY A TNT PATTERN???  So I went back to the drawing board with the same old pattern - determined that when I need a new pair of pants, I'll be able to pick this thing up and simply whip up a pair - voila, yeah just like that!

So I:
  •  re-traced the original pattern
  • cut a new muslin without any preconceived alterations- starting from scratch
  • extra tedious work - yes!  But I plan on it being well worth it  
  What does it matter that my pants are made alike?  I contend, especially when time is of the essence, that correct fit, good construction, and quality fabric is really all that matters with this particular garment. 

Here's a picture of my major pants fitting issue and what I'm doing to eliminate it:

Pockets are sagging a little, but I can fix that by stabilizing that area during pocket construction.
It's odd, but this pattern fits me perfectly in the back.  But as you can see from the front, I'm plagued with diagonal wrinkles that extend from the crouch to the side seam.  Here you can see that I've  following Peggy Sagers advice:
  • working with a muslin I've pinched out the wrinkles, pinned up the excess (right side) in a diagonal dart, and then stitched the dart in (left side). 
  • Peggy (see, now I'm acting like I really know her personally) suggests disassembling the muslin and using it as the actual pattern rather than chancing error when transferring the alteration it to the original pattern piece.

Next I'll:
  • mark all basted seam allowances that I've altered to make a better fit, 
  • then remove all the basting stitches, completely dissembling the muslin, and
  • use the muslin pieces as my pattern. 
I won't make a second muslin because I think my diagonal wrinkle problem will be solved.  I have three pairs of pants planned as my next sewing projects, one pair being (believe it or not) floral. 

Maybe by mid week I'll have a new pair of wrinkle free pants...

April 18, 2013


...Who didn't love Lilly Pulitzer?  I know I did/and do.  As you know Lilly Pulitizer passed away recently.  I've always loved her colorful designs although I've never owned anything from her line.  I am just drawn to the signature pink and green, and all the other girly colors used in her clothing - and the daydream of that laid back Palm Beach life style of the rich and famous.  I do have this book:

I've had it for years and just really love looking at the sketches it contains. 
I should have bought the second book when I saw it years ago.  Now it's selling for close to $150 even on Ebay.  Guess this one will be on the wishlist for quite a long time.

I use to make me a "Lilly" skirt each summer


- think I''ll make a "Lilly" dress this time around.  It'll be easy pezy since it really isn't a close fit (will just have to play around with the fit through the shoulder, neck and arms).   Well, might not be all that easy pezy after all.   I might even use the new Simplicity retro  pattern.

Just thought I'd give some accolades to the late Lilly Pulitizer.  She did make a great impact on the fashion industry, and added a lot of color all along the way...

April 15, 2013

Keeping up with blog mechanics...

...Can someone, anyone tell me about Google Plus and it's circles.
  • what are it's benefits
  • have you joined it
  • can you have Google Plus and still keep your blog
  • or, is Google Plus just another way to introduce different people to your blog
Between Google Reader going down in July; to trying to learn, get use to, and transfer to Bloglovin; to learning how to upload pictures using Picasa - my brain is a little rattled.  I know it isn't necessary to have all of these things; but you know, a girl doesn't want to get left out of something good.  Right???

April 13, 2013



You know me, I'll throw a blog party at the drop of a hat!
My anniversary was actually on February 10th; but I refused to even mention it until I reached my 500th post.  It's a big mile stone - sort of like a double celebration (6 years/500 posts) and I still enjoy blogging!

I'm also celebrating you - the people.  The people who stop by to read (it's like a mini visit), the people who comment, answer my questions, make suggestions, help me over my sewing hurdles, and even challenge me.  People make blogging fun and keep it interesting.  So whether your read and comment, or just pop in to see what I have going on... my thanks to you!

This is the first scheduled post I've ever done.  Just wanted to test it to see if it works.



If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that once a good thing is started it's hard for me to turn it off.  Well, the 2013 Essential Tops Sew-a-Long is no different than other collaborative projects I've started.  It was a good and useful project in that:
  • It added colorful tops to our closets
  • It got some of us started with Spring sewing
  • It got others started sewing again after long hiatus
  • It was the first time that many ever participated in a SAL
  • It introduced us to new bloggers, and re-acquainted us with others

(Six new tops were added this morning from Towanda).    I hear that there are a few participants that almost made the SAL deadline, but didn't.  So if you were sewing tops for the sake of this SAL, please EMAIL me your pictures  (fayedoll(at)cox(dot)net) and I will gladly add them to the SAL lineup of finished tops (link to view all the finished tops above this post).
In your email please include your pattern number(s), and the name of your blog, to make easier for me to link the picture back to you. 

I've moved the SAL Badge to the right sidebar and when a new top is added it will be reflected in the total.  I will leave the Completed Tops Page up for one month so that tops can be viewed....

April 12, 2013


Just found out that I need to MODIFY the SAL Final Update

I made the BIGGEST boo boo!  Alethia of Kassmins Creations emailed to let me know that I completely missed posting her not one, but TWO completed tops!  I checked the lineup pictures THREE times and sure enough, her pictures were not there.   I made such a conscious effort not to leave anyone out, but I did.  This was not intentional.  Alethia I owe you the biggest apology!!!, and hope that you accept.

When I did the last update I found myself wishing I had time to make two more tops.  The two tops were there all the time because I do remember uploading them to my computer, and the pictures are in my Picasa SAL Album - Alethia brought us to a GRAND TOTAL OF 100 TOPS!

Alethia's tops are made from New Look 6808 that she has worked hard at fitting.  Doesn't she look stunning???  She tells the story in her blog post that featured both tops.

Thank you Alethia - believe me, you were an important part of the 2013 Essential Top Sew-A-Long.  Thank you for bringing this oversight to my attention!!!

April 11, 2013


(a monumental feat)

I tried to say THANK YOU as each top was finished, but in case I missed someone, let me send out an enormous THANK YOU right now.  It meant so much to me seeing so many people sign up for my little old sew-a-long.  It was wonderful virtually meeting new bloggers and reconnecting with others.  I really appreciate all of your support!

The criteria for the SAL was as follows:
  • No Quotas
  • No Pressure 
  • Just Good Old Sewing Motivation, and bright new tops for our closets
  • A Win, Win Situation
 As I look back I wish I had added one more thing.  That being:
  • even though the SAL has ended, please make sure you keep in touch all the rest of the year.
Of course I'll be peeking in at all your blogs, finding inspiration and stealing a few of your ideas.   I hope you'll continue peeking in here as well.

This was the first SAL for some of our participants - I so hope you enjoyed it.
Several people said the SAL motivated them to start sewing again - I'm so glad of that.

Thank you again!  Enjoy your new tops!
I'm off to make some decisions on my next project...

April 9, 2013


... and you will be too when you take a look at all the new tops that have been submitted to the sew-a-long.  Nine new entries just posted this afternoon - WOW!


(is this amazing or what?)


I did an overall sweep of all participant blogs and my email this afternoon just to make sure that I have not missed ANY completed tops.  I've  done my very best in trying to post each and every entry, but...


If I've missed your top, or have posted one and not another, please let me know.  It is very important to me that I do not leave ANYONE out!   

I don't think I've heard from the three ladies that are participating who don't have blogs:
  • Becky Mc
  • Lise, and
  • Sarah Perez
If either of you have completed tops that you'd like me to post, please feel free to email pictures to me at fayedoll (at) cox (dot) net (all lower case, no spaces), and I will gladly add them to the line up. 
I will continue to post entries that I am notified of until my bedtime tomorrow night, so until then, sew on...


April 7, 2013



...Happy Sunday Everybody!
Don't forget to take a peek at the completed tops page.  New tops are being added everyday!  I was able to finish two simple ones myself.

Several weeks ago I started craving some simple tank top additions after being inspired by another blogger's  use of Simplicity 2599.  I even rushed out to buy some brightly colored drapey fabrics that I thought would work well in making tanks. (blogged about here)  I finally got around to making two of them, but decided to switch patterns. I'd used McCall's 5977  several years ago and felt it would be a better fit for me now.
 Who can't make a simple tank - right???  Well, I certainly can; but felt there was just a little something missing in mine even though it's a really simple design.  I decided to watch Peggy Sagers webcast "All about Tops" and was able to pick up the following simple tips that made my tank top even better than before:
  •  how to adjust the shoulder seam for a better armhole fit
  •  how to adjust center front to eliminate gaping at the neckline
  •  how to insert a tiny self-binding at the neckline that is more like upscale RTW
Maybe these were things I should have already known, but I didn't.  For me sewing is all about continual learning in the quest for better fit.

This tank in the closest thing I could find to Pantone's African Violet spring color.  Not sure if you can see my tiny neck binding, but I really love the fact that it's so small.  Peggy Sagers suggests using a self binding that is no wider than 1", and if I can remember correctly, it does not need to be cut on the bias. My pattern piece for the neck binding was 1 1/2" wide.  Using the smaller width gave me the finished look that I am really pleased with.   She also suggests that the binding begin and end at the left shoulder as does it does in most RTW garments. 

This tank is Army Green, although not a Pantone spring color for this year.  But it's one of   my favorite colors (for some reason).  For this top I did adopt an element from Lula Louise, the rounded baseball style hem.  I just think it's cute.  I used a dinner plate to get my curve edge and it worked out just right.   
 I want to do some more (playing around) with this simple pattern. 
  •  adding a tiny pocket
  •  rotating the bust darts to the bottom hem
  •  adding side slits
Just a few ideas because I do like playing around with pattern design...

April 5, 2013


...I felt I needed to re-visit New Look 6150 because my first try with it  ended up a wadder even though it was a muslin.  I cut the muslin too large, and it was plagued with major gaping in the bust area.

Mmmmm,what can I say about my newly finished top - well I'm not absolutely pleased, but I do feel that it will get some wear.  I fixed the gaping problem so the fit is much, much better, but I guess the pattern is must not be for me.  The construction is good, I made sure of that - even though I knew half way through the project that the style was just not me.  It's not awfully terrible and there's no way I'm trashing this great jersey knit - at least not right away.

The fabric has a navy lace print on an off white background.  Fabric suits me, style does not.  It just seems a little matronly to me.  It might make it into work wardrobe rotation  - I'm not sure.  If not it will
certainly work for those "I've got to make a quick run to the store" trips.  Guess you can tell that I'm not feeling to chipper about it.

I do have a good morphing project coming up next so keep your fingers crossed for me...

April 4, 2013




... yes magenta.  Should go well with a white or of course a black bottom, unless I jump completely out of my fashion box and finally get around to making a pair of skinny legged floral pants.  But yes, magenta.  Not a Pantone Spring '13 color but bright none the less.  Here's my third SAL top

Nothing form fitting about it, but it is a good comfortable fit without being overly loose.  I was immediately attracted to Judith's SAL top seen here, and remembered the pattern from back in the beginning of my patternaholic addiction.  So I rumbled through the Simplicity drawer and was able to find it tucked way in the back. 
Simplicity 3790

Like Judith, I made a view D sleeveless version in a light weight jersey knit.  Just three pattern pieces that went together very easily.  I really like the top, and would like to make it in a really pretty print but my knit choices are getting a little low right now.  I've got to save a few for upcoming projects I have planned.  I need a real good jersey knit source right away...

April 3, 2013



...So many of you have thanked me for hosting the 2013 Essential Tops Sew-A-Long, and I say YOU ARE VERY WELCOME!!!  But I also need to take a moment to say the credit is not all minethank you for making the SAL possible!   The construction of 40 TOPS in 10 DAYS is no small feat; especially with many of us working, taking care of families, and not to mention Easter Holiday right smack in the middle of the whole thing.

...I know that some participants have been delayed a bit for one reason or another, but please remember the basis of the SAL:
  • No Quotas
  • No Pressure 
  • Just Good Old Sewing Motivation, and bright new tops for our closets
  • A Win, Win Situation
I completely overlooked factoring in the Holiday.   To that end please excuse me while I take Moderator's Liberty to extend the SAL three (3) additional days.  If you've already sewn as many tops as you want for the moment - that's fine, but if you want to sew more - sew on.  If you haven't sewn enough (that describes me) or haven't sewn at all, the extension will help me us out a bit. 

In the meantime, if you finish a top please email me at (fayedoll@cox.net) to let me know so it  can be added to the lineup.  Including a picture and pattern number will help.

Happy Sewing...



Paying Homage to Black Pattern Designers...

...for years February has been set aside as a special time to learn about and recognize accomplishments of African Americans and other peopl...