Monday, May 31, 2010

Blue Dress -OR- Is Simplicity Trying To Kill Me?

***Snark Alert!***
If you do not like to read snarky comments, please do not read this...

This is the pattern envelope for Simplicity 2363:

Normally, I do not buy Simplicity patterns, and I especially do not buy Simplicity patterns that advertise themselves with a picture of someone wearing a lovely mumu-type dress clearly made out of her grandmother's old shower curtain (view E).

However, Simplicity patterns were a dollar at Jo-Anns yesterday, and I liked view B. I am always looking for cute summer dresses, and this one looked like it could be cool in the heat, and even a little retro, if different fabric were chosen.

So, I bought the pattern and decided to get started. The back of the envelope says that the finished measurement for the bust for a size 6 is 35 inches. The tissue markings confirmed it. That would have been about perfect, so I made that size. There are no other finished measurements given anywhere else - just that bust measurement, and the length.
They don't give a finished hip measurement.
They don't give a finished waist measurement.
These measurements are standard facts every sewer needs to have.
Clearly, this is a pattern for people with a gambling addiction.
Anyway, like the risk-taking fool that I am, I plunged ahead and made the dress.
The finished bust measurement was 41 inches. 41 inches and supposedly made for someone whose actual bust measurement is 31 inches. What, exactly, were they thinking? Why would any pattern company design a dress with 10 inches of ease in the bust?
This is why I do not normally buy Simplicity patterns for women. Their kids patterns are clear, easy, and the size you make is the size you get at the end. Even their kids pajama patterns, like 2738, which I made last night, have a hip measurement. Not so for their women's patterns! They do not give enough finished garment measurements, and the ones they do give are not even close to accurate. Did they draw the one finished measurement they gave for 2363 out of a hat?

Anyway, I took the top of the dress apart, shaved off 3/4 of an inch from four panels, put it all back together, and finally got the dress I was hoping for.
Here it is:
And again:

A little loose and breezy, but wearable in the Chicago heat.
So, I don't know if Simplicity Pattern Company is trying to kill me, but I plan to treat their patterns as if they were.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weekend Sewing Frenzy

This weekend, I made three things. Well, actually, you could say I made 5.8 things.
First, I began a new dress. Here is a preview:
It is Simplicity 2363. I have a lot to say about this particular pattern, and Simplicity patterns in general, but that can wait until my next post. This unfinished dress is the 0.8.

Next, I made some curtains:

I made two of them, but the photo of the other one didn't turn out as good, so you'll have to trust me that I have two. I needed some sheer curtains, and the color is almost a turquoise color. I like to look at them blowing in the breeze and imagine that I am somewhere in Greece, not in Chicago, listening to car alarms and sirens and skateboarders thunking over every flaw in the pavement. (Normally, I don't even notice all of that noise, but someone's car alarm went off for over an hour right outside my window and the fire department was called. -Not by me- Two engines were sent, and the firemen poured out holding axes and equipment. The noise just stopped and the fire trucks are gone now. Car alarms are illegal in the city. Probably because your neighbors want to shoot your car full of holes to MAKE THE NOISE STOP.) Anyway, I imagine that Greece has less incidents of things like that happening. Do they even have skateboards there? Who knows.
Back on track now!

Here is one of the three pairs of sleeping shorts I made the boys:
They have been sleeping in shorts that suddenly got very small on them, which was adorable, but they are getting to that embarrassed age, so I made some larger ones. I actually made all three pairs in the amount of time it took them to take showers. It's Simplicity 2738, and there are only two pieces, so it wasn't really that hard.

So there ! 5.8 things in 24 hours! Not too shabby.
Here's what my sewing area looked like after the frenzy:
Time to go clean...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Baby Dress

This is son # 2 helping me to get a good shot of my latest project, a baby dress for a friend of mine. It seems like a lot of people I know are having babies right now!

Here is what is inside of the little garment bag I made to hold the dress:
I had to make a little kerchief for her head because that is something her mom will LOVE, probably even more than a bonnet.
Here are the bloomers:

They seem really huge to me, but with a diaper underneath, they might be all right.
The flowered fabric is soft, 100% cotton voile, and the off white fabric is unbleached muslin.

I enjoy sewing for babies, and something about a teeny tiny garment bag just makes the dress even more special. (Plus, it's so easy.) Now I just need a big, brown bow to finish it off.

Somebody clean that windowsill!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cow Skins Transformed!

I got a little more leather, and decided to make some more wallets, this time for a craft bazaar on Saturday. I have a love/hate relationship with craft bazaars, so a friend of mine said she'd sell them for me. I want to make enough money to buy a really nice swim suit, though I don't think they sell those old-fashioned, to-the-knees ones any more... I may have to make one.
I just burn too easily!