Wednesday, March 14, 2018

DONE!!! New Look 6507 - One Shoulder Flounced Top

I am not going to sew the tie waist pants.  I was simply going to put it aside for now, but after thinking about, I'm pretty certain it's not a style that is flattering for me.  I'm not skinny, but I have a small waist.  When I tried to tie the tie tighter, the sides pulled up and the tie fell lower.  The look of that exaggerated V was just too much!  Weird to the nth degree and I can't unsee it!  I have come to the realization that it's just not a style for me.

Oh well!

I quickly moved on to my next sewing project and made the one shoulder flounced top from New Look 6507!

I am so glad that I did!  Here's my new top:

If you haven't made this, yet, and like the style, get the pattern and sew it.  It might be hard to think about sewing this style now if you're in deep in snow, but when warm weather pops in in your neck of the woods, you'll be glad you did! 

With this pattern, you get a lot of style without much effort.  IOW, it's a current style that is fast and oh-so-easy to sew!  I think you'll love it.

Up until now, my style, or lack thereof, has been stuck in dumpy mode.  Ok, maybe not dumpy, but definitely same old same old style.  This changed that.

I made a good decision when I chose this pattern to take the trendy leap with, as it is drafted really well.  It's not low cut and isn't baggy.  It is a pullover, but amazingly, has some side shaping - it doesn't have that dreaded boxiness!  Boxy and I just don't get along.

I don't like short tops on me so I added some length.  It was easy to do, as there is only one pattern piece for the front and back, and that pattern piece is also for the dress and top.  I cut out the dress length and folded it to the top length that I wanted.  It was super easy to do!

Following the pattern's requirements, I bought some bias tape to finish the armhole.  But I had leftover fabric and at the last minute, decided to go with a self bias instead.  It shouldn't have really mattered as the armhole is hidden by the flounce, but it mattered to me.  I wanted this to look good.

You should also know that this pattern is drafted well.  No problems fitting the pieces together.  None!  And it's drafted so well that I didn't even have to adjust the elastic length!  That's a first for me!

The flounce is also drafted well, as it is a curved piece.  The curve gives the flounce a more graceful and fuller flare without bulk at the top.  As expected, the flounce drapes beautifully.  Finishing the curved edge can be difficult, if you've never done it before.  But if you do this easy little step first, it will be a breeze to sew and will look great.  Stitch along the edge all around, like this:

That line of stitching will make it super easy to fold, pin, and sew a perfect hem on a curved edge.  Look at how nicely the hem turned out:

With that tip, this pattern is very beginner friendly.  Without it, a beginner might end up with a hot mess.

I used a black and white gingham.  It was an excellent choice.  Some ginghams are stiff, but the one I chose is a little softer than most.  It worked perfectly for this top!

I am very happy with my new top.  I was not going to sew any multiples in 2018, but I am really tempted . . . we'll see.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

DONE! Muslin - New Look 6455 - Tie Front Pants

I finished my muslin for the tie front pants from New Look 6455.  It took all of an hour and a half.

I am normally a between a size 6 and 8 in patterns, but the smallest size this pattern comes in is a size 10.  I sewed the 10 anyway as I thought the tie waist would adjust to my smaller size.  It didn't, and as expected, it was waaay too big. 

To try to get it to fit, I made the front slit longer so I could tie the tie tighter, but it still wasn't tight enough.  All I ended up with was V shaping at the front that was just too exaggerated and low.  I am not skinny, but my waist is small and the pants are actually around 4 or 5 inches too big at the tie.  Tying it tighter just made it look weird.

I know what adjustments I need to make, so I am sewing my "good" pair next.  I'm using a printed rayon for my good pair.

For my muslin, I used a cheap lightweight knit fabric that was $2.71 from Walmart.  As you can imagine, it's pretty horrible.  But it was perfect for this muslin.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Up Next - Tie Front Pants

My next sewing project is going to be a pair of the New Look 6455 tie front pants:

I'd wear it with a sleeveless bodysuit, if I had one.  Unfortunately, I don't have any - guess I need to sew one!  I will probably sew Vogue 2283:

I also really want a red mini wrap skirt and will be sewing New Look 6456.  The great thing is that it will also match the bodysuit perfectly!  YAY!

I've been wanting to switch up my wardrobe completely and sewing what I want to wear even if it doesn't match anything in my current wardrobe is the perfect way for me to do it.  It'll force me to sew the coordinating pieces. 

We'll see how mindful sewing works out for me.  Hopefully, sewing like this will give me a decent wardrobe.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

3-2-1 - Can't -Do It!!!

There has been major procrastination going on with my 3-2-1.  At first, I couldn't figure out why. 

But.  Finally.  Out of the blue.  At 3 am in the morning.  It came to me. 

I've been procrastinating because I want to sew things that won't fit into the 3-2-1 concept.

These are the styles that I really want in my wardrobe . . . NOW!

2 sassy and unique bottoms that don't go with everything, and a coordinating simple bodysuit:

Long pants:

Mini wrap skirt:

And a sleeveless bodysuit:

Flounced top to wear with my jeans or jeggings:

Breezy peasant hippie tops:

Mini denim shirtwaist - I have been meaning to sew this for ages now!

Just can't do the 3-2-1 right now - I definitely won't finish it by the deadline, and in reality, I might never finish it!  Wardrobe sewing is a great concept and I love it, but it's just not for me at this point in time.  Except for a few basics, my wardrobe is empty.  I am going to fill it with what I want to wear.  I don't want to wear the same styles over and over again, and that means no more basics for now.

What inspired me to eschew basics for this wardrobe rebuild is the page below from the New Look catalog.  I love seeing wardrobes where all of the pieces are different and outfits are laid out for you.  And when a piece isn't part of an outfit, you can easily picture it coordinating with other things in your wardrobe:

The really great news is that I am sewing some of these pieces and have already cut out the tie front pants.  I am really excited about adding these pieces to my wardrobe!  YAY!!!


Monday, March 5, 2018

Another 3-2-1 Plan Adjustment

My clothes were feeling a little tight, so I hopped on the scale.  Whoa mama!  I had the shock of my life!  I weigh 138 pounds!  For petite me, that's a LOT!!!  I haven't been this heavy in a while.  It's definitely time to shed the pounds . . . again!  I guess those pounds really like me because they keep coming back!

Because I will be losing a size within the next few months (generally speaking, 10 pounds = 1 size), I need clothes that I will still be able to wear as the pounds melt away.  That said, although I prefer a waistband on my bottoms, for this go round, I need elastic at the waist so I'll be able to tighten the elastic as I lose the pounds.  My tops and topper need to be loose fitting so they'll still fit me when the extra weight is gone.  That they will still fit when I lose a size is what I love about loose fitting clothes!  So often, loose fitting styles are matronly, but . . . YAY . . . not the ones that I chose!  And amazingly, all of my patterns are from the New Look catalog.  Check it out:
I chose the New Look 6328 cami because it's loose fitting.  It's the only cami pattern that I know of that is loose fitting.

I love that the shorts pattern that I chose, New Look 6350, has an elastic waist, but also has a shaped hem.  I don't know if I'll like that hemline on me, but I'm giving it a try.  I can always straighten the hem if I don't like it:

New Look 6453 looks like it's fitted and flared (a silhouette that I am absolutely mad about), but with a loose fitting fit.  I am changing the neckline and will be giving this top cut in shoulders:

I love the cut away shoulders and tie at the neckline of New Look 6450.   

For my topper, I am relying on a TNT, New Look 6735:

All of the patterns and fabric are coming from my stash.

And that's it!  My "Wait for the Weight Loss" wardrobe.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

3-2-1 Changed the Plan . . . Again!

Once again, I changed my plan.

I have come to the realization that the pieces that I put in my original plan would not be easy to wear and would not be very flattering on me, so I did what any person trying to build a better wardrobe would do.  I nixed that plan:

And replaced it with one made up of breezy empire tops and toppers that I think will be super flattering and easy to wear.  These are all throw on and go pieces - love every single style!!!

I'm very excited about this plan!  It's . . . totally . . . me!

The topper's up first.


Friday, February 23, 2018

3-2-1 Progress and Curvy Barbies in Blue

My 3-2-1 tropical wear sewing plan is coming along nicely, even if it's been cold, dreary and rainy here.  We've even had a lightning storm or two in the past few days, but as is always the case here, our beautiful and breezy sunshine days are coming back soon. 

I know what I'm sewing will be put to good use. 

No pics, yet, but here's my progress board - my primary colors are pink and white:

The topper (solid pink knit) and tops #2 (polka dots) and #3 (Hawaiian print floral) should be finished this weekend.  I'm using a white twill for the bottoms, which I'll get to right after the tops are finished.

The neutral white bottoms will go with a lot of other colors, which got me to thinking that I should also make a topper and some tops in red.  I really love the color red and already have fabric that I could use in my stash! I'm thinking about using these out of print patterns:

Re Barbie - OMG!!!  I just realized that a lot of the Barbie clothes made by Mattel that fit the curvy dolls that are in my collection are blue.


Left to right:

1.  The top is from a tall Barbie - it actually was sewn to the skirt, but I cut it apart.  The Curvy Barbie with the Anne Klein head is wearing it, along with a skirt from a Barbie clothing pack.
2.  The dress and body is the Polka Dot Curvy Barbie, but the head is from the Tall Barbie that came with the top that #1 above is dressed in.  Love the blue hair!
3.  Tie dye Barbie is in a plaid dress that came in a clothing pack for the original sized Barbie. It fits because it's a knit.
4.  Spring in Tokyo's head on a Curvy Barbie body and is wearing the pinstriped dress.
5.  This is the latest Curvy Barbie that I got - dressed in Denim Curvy Barbie's dress.

I think all of the clothes look pretty good, except for the white top.  It's too short and makes Curvy Barbie look too wide at the hips!  As people who sew and who try to choose flattering styles for ourselves, we all know that tops that length are a no-no.  Guess it'll be a tuck in top next time.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

The New Curvy Barbies - Heads Switched Out

I replaced the heads of 2 curvy Barbies with heads from Barbies from the 1990s:

Curvy Barbie 75 - Purely Pinstriped - I don't care for the facial screening of this Barbie.  Her eyeliner is too dark!  In the pic below, it looks alright, but in person, it gives her a cartoony exaggerated King Tut look.  I do, though, think the dress is cute.  The "I just won a rassling match" belt is alright, but it seems really random.  It doesn't go with the dress:

Curvy Fashionista Barbie 75 - Lavender Kiss.  She has the same exaggerated and cartoony eyeliner as the doll above - too bad, as she has really cool pink and blond hair.  I don't care for her outfit - it's out the door, but the shoes are basic and will get a lot of use:

Below is the 1990's City Seasons Spring in Tokyo Barbie with the vintage face.  Spring in Tokyo is not an articulated doll, but she did have knees that could click twice for a little bending.  When Mattel puts out more Made to Move articulated dolls with a pale skin tone that matches Spring Barbie's head, she will have an articulated body.  I tried putting her head on the pink top Made to Move blonde Barbie, but the body was too dark for Spring Barbie.  I also altered this Barbie by getting rid of her exaggerated vintage bangs.  I thought the bangs made her look too old and out of style.

This is the 1990's Anne Klein Barbie with the Mackie face mold:

This doll has the same skin tone as Spring in Tokyo and also came with the the double click knees.  I will give her an articulated body when Mattel puts out more Made to Move Barbies with the pale skin tone.

Until then, these Barbies will have curvy bodies.  Spring's head is on Purely Pinstriped's body and the Anne Klein Barbie is on Lavender Lips.  The skin tone match, I think, is pretty good:

I think it's great that Mattel made a curvy Barbie, but their exaggerated facial screening leaves much to be desired.  Of the curvy Barbies that I have seen in person (and note that I haven't seen them all), one that I think has beautiful natural facial screening is the Tie Dye Curvy Fashionista 77:

She doesn't look cartoony.  I think this doll is much more elegant than the clothes she was originally dressed in, so I put her in Boho Glam Curvy Barbie's yellow dress.  Both the style and the yellow color of this dress match her perfectly.  The shoes and bag don't really match, but it's all I had:

Because of the exaggerated facial screening of most of the curvy dolls that I have seen, I am really glad that I was able to put 90s' Barbie heads on two of them.  With the vintage heads, they no longer look like they're from the play line.  They look like they belong in the collection of an adult collector.  And I am happy about that!


There are several ways to remove and re-attach Barbie's head.  One has to do with boiling water and the other uses a hand held hair dryer.  You can find instructions for this via google or on youtube.  I, myself, use the hair dryer method - it leaves Barbie's hair as is. 

If you do remove Barbie's head, you might want to clip the edge of the hooks on the knob with scissors - see below:

For me, clipping the edge of the hooks makes it easier to remove and re-attach Barbie's head.

I'm on a Barbie tangent right now. I absolutely love the 90s take of the vintage face - that would be Spring's face.  I also love the sweet close mouthed Mackie faces - the Anne Klein Barbie has this face.  I love the diversity of the new Barbies, too!

My latest Barbie, just got this doll this morning, is a tanned curvy Barbie with an extra outfit.  I don't know the name of this Barbie set, but it's Fashionista 84.  I don't think the striped dress is flattering and I am thinking about shortening it to top length:

Having fun playing dolls and learning about Barbie, but I'll get back to sewing soon.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Barbies in Black

I have 4 Barbies standing around on my work table right now:

From Left to Right:
1) Silkstone in Basic Black Dress articulated Barbie (all original);

2) Spring in Tokyo Barbie with vintage face that was sold in Japan (not articulated, but right now, I don't intend to put her head on an articulated body), dressed in Donna Karan Barbie's Black turtleneck body suit and tulip skirt;

3) Nice in Nautical Petite Barbie Fashionista's head on Made to Move Articulated Redhead Barbie's body - dressed in City Season's Winter in New York's black catsuit;

4) Anne Klein Barbie's head on Made to Move Articulated Redhead Barbie's body - dressed in her own black skirt, Urban Jungle Barbie's black body suit, and carrying coffee from a Barbie accessory pack.

I am limiting my collection to a total of 10 dolls, and am planning to give them a good wardrobe and some fun accessories. 

I'm getting such a kick out of these Barbies!


3-2-1 Progress

I haven't made a lot of progress on my 3-2-1, but I did finally create a style board.  All of the patterns and fabrics are already in my stash:

Simplicity 3867 - empire top, capris, and if I have time and enough fabric, a bag:

McCalls 4180 - halter top and topper:

McCalls 6968 - top:

McCalls 6930 - scalloped shorts:

BTW, when it's time to replace you washer/dryer, think very carefully before buying the washer that is also a dryer.  I'm writing this to try to save anyone who reads this from making a bad mistake.

Please read reviews before buying.  I used this type of unit twice.  I didn't want to use it a second time, but did to confirm what happened the first time.  That was enough for me!

This is supposed to be a water efficient unit, and it truly is.  It uses very little water, but not in a good way.  Your clothes are never fully immersed in water for either the washing or the rinsing.  The machine makes a puddle at the bottom and to wash, the tub goes back and forth so the clothes pass through the puddle.  But if you have a large load, some of the load might not even get to the puddle to get some detergent on it.  To rinse, it spritzes water as it spins.  At the end of the wash/dry cycle the clothes emerge with an indescribable smell that is just really stink.  If you can't smell, you'll be fine with this, but if your smelling sense works, you will not be happy.  The load I washed came out stink, but I couldn't use dryer sheets because it would leave a coat on the drying sensors, which would void the unit's warranty.  I used a towel from the load even if it was stinky and ended up with a rash under my arms.  I had to re-wash the load in a regular washer to get the smell out and to get the load clean.  It was very stupid of me to use the towel from the stinky load, as I still have the rash.  

Some reviewers said they completely stopped using the unit.  Even if they had this unit at home, they started going to the laundromat to get their clothes clean and smelling fresh again.  

Also, each load takes 4+ hours to complete.  It took me over 4 hours for a very small load.  It will take an entire day (12 hours) to do your weekly one load of towels, one load of bedding, and one load of clothes (forget about a load of whites, a load of colors, and a load of darks - that'll take too much time), because you cannot start a load until the one in the unit is finished drying.  If you have more than 3 loads, well, that'll take you into 2 days - you can do the math.  Gone will be the days of washing at the last minute.  That's what happens when you have one unit that is both a washer and a dryer.  It is very inconvenient.  

And if your fabric/clothes are wrinkled, you can no longer throw them in the dryer for a few quick minutes to get rid of the wrinkles because this unit doesn't use heat to dry.  You also can't pre-shrink anything.

The unit also has a lasting stinky smell to it.  

I tried to find some good reviews for this unit, but did not.  All I read were complaints.  The reviews mainly covered smelly clothes, clothes that were still dirty after the wash and dry, and the ridiculous amount of time it takes for each load to complete.  

My advice to you is this - when it's time to replace your washer/dryer, stick with a washer and a separate dryer.  Your sales person might try to tell you that the washer that is also a dryer is high end and high tech, but according to the reviews right now, it is not.  Maybe in the future they will get it right, but as of right now, nope!   I no longer wash with that unit and my opinion is to steer clear of it if you want clean clothes!