Archive for February 2017

Try Very Hard Not to be Predictable

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Squeeeee!  I am a big Potter fan.  But I was skeptical about Fantastic Beasts.  My son read the 'textbook' when he was on his HP kick last school year and it is literally that: a textbook of descriptions of fantastic beasts.  Sooooo when it was announced there was a movie -- I was kind of like, really?  Fast forward to the end of 2016 when my son and husband dragged me to the movies.  My verdict: Fantastic Beasts was ah-mazing!  The costumes were on fire.  And that is how I became obsessed with 1920s and 1930s patterns (you know -- so I could create my own fantastically inspired wardrobe).
Experiment:
McCall's M7153
Size: 8

Materials:
3+ yards of Cotton and Steel Mustang Sparkle Arrows
14" cream colored zipper
A hook and eye
Meter Navy blue thread

Procedure:
McCall's M7153 is a reissued pattern from 1933.  It has a v-neckline in the front and a plunging v-backline.  It is cut on the bias.  It has an interesting shape in which the bodice has a mirror V that ends beneath the natural waist.  I have never sewn something like this with a the little pattern pieces -- I actually had to read the directions. The pattern is more puzzle-like and less intuitive than most patterns I sew.
Because of how the dress was cut on the bias, I knew I wanted to use a stripe.  The Melody Miller designed arrow fabric for Cotton & Steel was sitting on top of the blues (I have so very many blues!) in my stash.  Superb for a little modern kick to a 1933 pattern.  I got a little sloppy and did not cut mirror images of the side panels of the skirt.  I was a little worried I would not cut them straight.  It doesn't has that dramatic effect that the dress on the pattern cover does but it works.
Besides botching the side panels, I removed about 3 inches from the skirt panels so that it would sit about an inch or so below my knee.  I think I am getting shorter because lately it feels like I am getting rid of more and more from the length to get a good fit.  There are no directions at how to alter the waist probably because the waist includes like 7 pieces coming together.  I used some Harry Potter magic to take in the waist slightly for a better fit.  I have to admit that I am a little self-conscience of the V at the waist as I feel like it points to my mom pooch (A big arrow that lets everyone know it is there).  I know its just me but I can't help thinking of that when I wear the dress.
The back of the dress plunges.  Love it!  I also made a matching belt to go with the dress but forgot it in these pictures.  The belt does help break up the V and focus the eye back on the waist.
This is my Fantastic Beasts Tina dress complete with practical shoes (my go-to Lacy sandel Hasbeens).   The title of the post is line from the Fantastic Beasts movie.  I thought it was ideal since this pattern was anything but predictable and it turned out so fantastic!

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The Proof is in the Dress

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The ATL Dirty birds are currently kicking some Patriot booty in Superbowl 51.  Woot!  Pour moi, the Superbowl is an excuse for a cocktail and watching the commercials (for those who are not in the US,  companies pay crazy amounts of money to advertise during the game so this is the one time where I want to see the commercials!).   With one margarita down, I figured now would be a wonderful time to write about my latest make.  This dress has been my longest WIP.  I think I cut it out during the summer, put the bodice together in the fall, and finished the dress on a rainy Sunday in January.
Experiment:
M6696
View A
Size 8

Materials:
3.5 yards of navy shirting
Meter #792 Navy Thread
12 nautical themed shank buttons
Homemade bias tape
Procedure:
No joke - I cannot believe this dress has taken me as long as it has.  It was a WIP that I couldn't get motivated to finish.  I am pretty sure I can attribute this to the dread I would feel making buttonholes on my Singer.  My Singer would devour buttonholes no matter how much interfacing and stabilizer I used.  The majority of this dress was finished on my Singer.  I made the buttonholes on my new Bernina -- it was worth the wait.
This dress has a sooooooooo many pattern pieces.  Attention to detail and a lot of hand sewing is involved.  I hand sewed the yoke but then my impatience kicked in.  As a result, I stitched in the ditch where I could, reducing my hand sewing.  I know so many seamstresses proclaim how much they love hand sewing but I cannot muster up the thrill.  Other adjustments include sewing the pleats 2.5 inches down.  I like how that shapes the waist and lets the volume out around my hips.   Also, I did adjust the length of the bodice slightly so it sat at my natural waist.
The pattern calls for 1/2 inch buttons.  I could not find 1/2 inch buttons that I liked.  So I adjusted and went with 3/4 inch shank buttons.  The nautical theme includes anchors and whales with sparkly bits on the button.  I love how the colors pop with the navy dress.
I can now see why so many bloggers love this pattern.  It is a solid well drafted pattern.  And look at the result!!  Swoon!  J'adore.


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