Simplicity 1873 - Multi-colored Animal Print Frock

Over the past month or two I have been desperately seeking the perfect bodice to use as a base for many of the lovely dresses that I intend to sew for myself over this next year. I was specifically looking for a darted bodice.
Simplicity 1873

Let me tell you, when it comes to shopping for current patterns with darted bodices, the pickings are slim to none. Most bodices for patterns these days have princess seams.

I tried Simplicity 2444, Simplicity 1873, New Look 6623, and McCall's 5927.  My favorite was Simplicity 1873 and my least favorite was New Look 6623.

Although I loved the different sleeve options for McCall's 5927, I did not like the way it fit under the arm.  There was major gaping.

I made this dress to wear to an intimate dinner that my family and I shared to celebrate me and my husband's 20 year wedding anniversary.  I only use pattern pieces for the bodice to make this dress. The skirt is just two rectangle pieces of fabric cut in an a-line shape.

I don't usually gravitate towards print fabrics, but I was really, really attracted to this colorful animal print.  Sewing it was super easy and the dress was very fun to wear.  I felt good in it.

I am really looking forward to using the bodice of this pattern again very soon.

 Angie H.


New Look 6184 - Orange Sheath

New Look 6184

It's been almost a year since I posted, but I have been really, really busy!  Shortly after my last post, my work hours INCREASED due to added responsibilities.  Additionally, I also had pleasure of preparing for and attending an International Convention where I was able to meet some of my spiritual family members from several different countries.  Several were from Japan and they wore very lovely kimonos made of some of the most beautiful silk fabrics that I have ever seen.

International Convention 2014

Things have calmed  down on the work front, so I am once again able to focus attention on wardrobe building by way of thrifting and sewing.  Over the past 6 months, I have done a complete overhaul of my closet... More about that later.

In the meantime, I did manage to get a little sewing done.  I made the little orange number pictured above using New Look 6184.  See my review below:

Pattern Description: 
Misses' sleeveless dress with pleated neckline with the option op either a pencil skirt or flared skirt. I made view E with the pencil skirt.
Pattern Sizing:
I made a size 12. I am between a size 8 - 10 RTW. Generally, RTW dresses with fitted skirts are a real challenge because I am closer to an 8 on top and 10 on the bottom.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Honestly, I can't remember. It's been about 6 months since I made this....but I don't remember having any issues with the instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Not sure why, but I always get confused when cutting out New Look Patterns because there are sooooo many size options .
Fabric Used:
I used a medium weight orange stretchy cotton that I purchased from one of the fabric outlet stores in my area. 
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made this dress to wear to an international convention that was held at the Georgia Dome back in July. I added about 5 inches to the skirt because I like my knees to covered when I am sitting down. I probably should have cut a size 10 on top because it was a little big. My remedy for this was to take the bodice in at the side seams.
Would you sew it again? No I don't plan on sewing this again....I working on some other projects right now.


Project Sewn and My Signature Style

Iris Apfel for Mac
Iris - Mac Cosmetics Ad
Project Sewn 

The votes are in and a big congratulations goes to Oona from Oonaballona for her impressive "Eye of Iris" which was inspired by the unforgettable and one of a kind fashion icon Iris Apfel. Her winning entry consisted of:  a  wool sheath, an elaborately patterned coat, and a pair of fury leg warmers, my favorite part of her ensemble. All self made I might add.

In my opinion "Eye of the Iris" was this week's most unique entry and it definitely embodied the spirit of  Ms. Apfel.  Like, Ms. Apfel, Oona certainly has a very outspoken style without ever having to say a word. Her interesting mix of fabrics and accessories scream that she's gonna do her thing, her way, forget silly fashion rules!

Coming in a close second was my personal pick, Steam Train Frock, by Kathleen of Grosgrain.  Her outfit was inspired by her icon, Ulyana Sergeenko. Her ensemble was a combination of a self-drafted warm brown self drafted wool/fur 3-tiered circle skirt and a self-altered, recycled black sweater accessorized with a skinny black belt at the waist. The pictures of Kathleen in the outfit are in my opinion truly breath taking.  I'll admit that I wasn't familiar with Ulyana Sergeenko before this competition, but after checking out these images of her on the web, I totally get why Kathleen chose her. I think that Kathleen's Steam Train Frock is a great interpretation of  Ulyana's modern yet turn of the century styling. 

Project Sewn has really gotten off to a great start and I am really looking forward to seeing the entries for next week's "Make it Pink" challenge. Be sure to check out the entries on next Tuesday. 

My Signature Style
In the meantime, I'm very busy working out my own signature style.  In fact, I am very excited to say that I have found a very fun and useful tool that is making that task quite easy. Once I have my style figured out,  I'll share what it is and the process and tools that I am using to sort it all out.


Basic Sewing Patterns/Project Sewn

Basic Sewing Patterns

After seeing the amazing pieces that Nikki Brooks over at beautejadore made using M5927 as a base, I have been on the hunt for a basic fitted dress pattern that has a separate bodice and skirt. She made this neoprene dress, this black leather and brocade dressthis lemon peplum top, this herringbone dress and this lantern sleeve dress.

It would seem that Nikki is not the only one who takes a base pattern and changes it up to create other great pieces, SewpetiteGa likes to use M5972 for many of her creations.  She used it to make this  Kate Spade inspired dress, this J.Crew Factory Inspired dress, this plaid peplum top,  and this  white sheath dress w/ a removable peplum.

I really think that this concept of using basic patterns as a basis for the staple pieces of my homemade wardrobe will suit my lifestyle very well. While I will on occasion sew up a few trendy pieces, my primary focus will be on whipping up "tried and true" pieces with simple classic lines. Once I get the fitting down pat, I anticipate that using basic patterns will save me construction time and produce a better final product that I will love to wear over and over again.

Here is what I'll be busy doing over the next few days:
  • Determining the clothing styles that look good on me
  • Taking inventory of my closet 
  • Purging clothes that don't fit  
  • Taking inventory of both my pattern and fabric stash
  • Purging  patterns/fabric that don't represent my style
  • Shopping for basic patterns that can be used as a base for my staple pieces

Project Sewn

As a side note, I am very excited to say that the first week of Project Sewn is underway and let me tell you, the contestants don't disappoint with their entries for the Fashion Icon Challenge.  Their choices of icons range from the legendary Katherine Hepburn to the more current Ulyana Sergeenko. Each of the ladies have put a lot of work into their entries.  Right now Oona from  Oonaballona and  Kathleen from Grosgrain are battling it out for 1st place, but they'd better watch out because Sunny from A fashionable stitch is right on their tails. I can't wait to see who wins the challenge this week. My vote is for one of the top three ...... I'll keep that to myself until the results are announced on Friday. Go over to projectsewn  to see this weeks entries and to cast your vote.


Pattern Shopping

I was so happy to find out that my local Hobby Lobby is having their $.99 sale on Simplicity patterns this week. When ever patterns are on  sale for $.99 at Hobby Lobby, I am usually the first person to walk through the door on Monday morning with my list of desired patterns in hand. I head straight for the fabric department and straight to  drawers where the patterns are kept. No looking through the pattern catalogs for me because I don't have time for that.I don't want to risk the chance of someone else walking in and snatching up my precious picks!

Of all the places that I shop for patterns on sale, I love shopping for my patterns at Hobby Lobby the best because:
  • The competition is not as steep there because all of  the "real" sewers are at Joann's or Hancock Fabrics.
  • I am always able to find the patterns that I am looking for
  • Hobby Lobby is a closer to where I live
  After careful consideration I picked up these two dress patterns:

Simplicity 1650
See  Here
Simplicity 1802
See Here

And this pencil skirt pattern:

Simplicity 1541
See Here

My main intention was to purchase a basic dress pattern with a separate bodice and straight skirt. Because I am a size smaller on the top than the bottom, I am hoping that this type of dress will be easier to fit than a sheath.  Although 1650 was not exactly what I was looking for, I think that it will suit me just fine. Currently I do not own a classic pencil skirt, so I thought that 1541 would fit the bill.  I picked up 1802 because I really like the detailing in the bodice and skirt. If I were to make it, I would omit the piping because it would be a bit too much going on for my liking.