Friday, May 29, 2009

Pattern Review Weekend

I had such a fantastic time at the PR weekend in Portland, rooming with Annika, meeting everyone, learning from Pati Palmer, and fabric shopping. I had planned to just look and not buy. After all I already have more fabric than I can use in two or three lifetimes. But how can you spend all day in fabulous fabric stores without succumbing. I mean really, wool jersey is so hard to find, 50% on beautiful silks, great jersey prints.... what could I do? It took me all week just to enter everything in my database and find places to put it away. Oh no, I didn't find places to put everything away. I'll just have to sew it up right away. Here are a few photos. See more at the link at Pattern Review

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

McCall's 5752 The Perfect Knit Dress

This very popular pattern deserves its reputation and title as "The Perfect Knit Dress", so dubbed by Pati Palmer. It lives up to the suggestion that it is flattering to everyone and easy to sew. I had hoped to finish this before attending the PR weekend so I could wear it on the Pati Palmer day. I didn't quite get it done in the hectic weeks before the event but here it is now.

My pattern was size BB which is 8 - 14. It is also available in size FF, 16- 22. I made 10 in the shoulders and neck, and 14 at the sides. This is my usual combo. I found this fit better than most without additional tweaking or FBA.
I lengthened the skirt 2 inches. In the photo I have knotted the front drape but it is constructed just as the pattern shows.

There are extensive instructions on how to alter. I did change the order of construction as suggested by Barbara V in her review on Pattern Review. I see that others have done this also.

I love the ruched waist that hides body issues, especially in the back. I love the cross over that doesn't gap or reveal. I love the soft drape in the front which also helps hide body issues. Maybe I'm dillusional but it does seem to flatter. I think this is a rayon knit, perhaps blended with cotton as it is very soft and cotton-ey feeling. I purchased this 6 years ago from for less than $10. From that I have made this dress plus a maternity top last year for my DIL. What a bargain! I would love to have more of this type fabric.

I really like this dress. It is so comfortable to wear and goes together easily. No wonder many have already made this dress and reviewed it favorably.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sewing Workshop Ikina Jacket

I forgot to blog about my Ikina Jacket.
I love Asian styling, especially enduring styles like the kimono to make garments I can wear for years.

Pattern Description: The Ikina Jacket is a below waist jacket with open sides finished with kimono-like facings, bias-cut, one-piece collar/band, three-quarter length sleeves and deep hems. The pattern also includes above ankle, pull on pants with elastic waist. I just made the jacket. I used Sewing Workshop Plaza Pants pattern for the pants I'm wearing here. The top is an older Burda pattern, 8987, that I have used before for a simple, bias tank. I lowered the vee this time and eliminated the back slit opening as it wasn't necessary for getting into the top. I find those slits on bias often poke out at the back so I try to avoid them.

I used size small although my measurements call for medium. This works best for me with a loose fitting garment as my shoulders are small and there is plenty of ease for the problem bust area. As always Sewing Workshop has excellent instructions that result in a beautiful finished product inside and out.

I'm calling this silk organza because I don't know better. It is similar in crispness to organza but has this beautiful woven in pattern and texture and is a different color on the back side. Does someone know what it is? I purchased it at StoneMountain & Daughter in Berkeley. I used the back side of the fabric for the neckband and facing. I also flipped the hem of the sleeve to the outside to show the back side of the fabric there.

I know some sewers have left off the side facings and sewn the seam traditionally thinking it would make them look wider. I considered doing this because I certainly don't want to look wider! But I basted the facing on and loved it. I certainly feel it makes the style special. Without it is okay but not extraordinary.