Tag Archives: Puffy Sleeves

FBA AKA Full Bust Adjustment AKA My New BFF

1 Apr

So many good things going on in my little sewing world!

I finally placed an order for a bunch of knits from Girl Charlee.  I got 8 different fabrics for a total of almost 30 yards.  And spent $5 a yard or LESS!  The order arrived on Tuesday and I whipped up two creations before the end of the day on Wednesday!

And this shipment spurred me to clean up my sewing area and oh how nicely folded piles of fabric make me smile!

Knits on the left, quilting cotton on the right, fabric earmarked for kids or others on top

I broke into the striped sweatshirt knit first and sewed it into a chevron pattern before cutting out a dolman sleeve top and a maxi skirt.

Also I’ve discovered a wonderful camera app for my iphone called Camera Awesome.  It’s by Smugmug and it includes a self timer!

On Thursday, I had enough advance notice of a 99 cent Simplicity Pattern Sale at Joann’s that I scoured Simplicity.com and Pinned the 10 Patterns that I wanted.  The day of the sale, I got to the store mere minutes after it had opened and pulled all but 1 of my desired patterns.  Then I flipped through the Spring catalog to find a suitable substitute.  Just look at all the goodness I scored for $10!!

3 Lisette patterns, 2 Cynthia Rowley, and 5 additional.  Included are 4 pairs of pants, 14 shirts, 17 dress variations and 2 jackets.

On a separate shopping trip I picked up a little McCall’s pattern that was for a simple silhouette and promised the ability to alter it with ease.

Thank you Palmer and Pletsch for McCall’s Patterns M6355 ! You’ve changed my life. With one simple pattern, I learned enough about adjusting darts, to not only attempt it on the provided and fully marked pattern, but to also use is on one of my newly acquired Lisette patterns!

Here’s what the altered Palmer and Petsch pattern looks like.

I pinned the tissue together, held it up to me and cut accordingly.  Then I ironed the tissue onto freezer paper and made my new darts. Even still I was a little nervous with the outcome so I just made a simple short sleeved shift out of Heather Bailey’s Pop Garden Chevron.

And it worked!  So then I added some embellishments to the neck and hem in the way of some fancy stitching.

I feel like a new woman.  It is truly remarkable how much better these clothes fit when the darts are properly sized for my bust!

And upon having such success, I decided to try it out on my Lisette Traveler Shirt dress. And low and behold it worked too!  I also read up on the pattern and as per another reviewers remarks on PatternReview.com, I cut a larger skirt so that it was more gathered.

Other than the FBA and full skirt, I followed the pattern to a T and it is fits beautifully! I added a little striped grosgrain ribbon for a belt and will be sporting this for Easter!

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Project Run and Play Junebug Dress Pattern Remix

5 Jan

 

Since I started on this sewing adventure, I’ve found many, many cool blogs.  Most are written by mom’s across the country and provide tutorials, patterns, how-to’s and lots of support and motivation to keep sewing and keep learning.

One of the coolest blogs that I stumbled upon was Project Run and Play.  It’s a play on Project Runway and the contestants are many of the bloggers that I now follow.  Season 3 kicked off this week and as a new twist, anyone can play along! The first week is a pattern remix.  They provided the Junebug Dress from Craftiness is Not Optional as the pattern, and to enter you have to put your own spin on it.  I decided to go for it and use it as one of the first dresses for Spring that I make for the girls.

I used a tiny floral print, and since I haven’t made too many dresses, I didn’t venture too far from the pattern. I added some ric rac to the top, and only put 2 buttons on instead of 3 per side.  I also made some pleats instead of gathers, and made the dress rather long. For a first time sew along and remix, I thought I did I nice job.

Then to enter, you upload your photos to the  Project Run and Play flickr group.  Let me tell you that my dress truly looks like amateur hour compared to some of the beauties that are included!  Alas, I’ve only been sewing for a couple months, so mine is good enough.

Isabelle got a black eye on a bunk bed this weekend, and then she applied a band aid to her neck overnight. A picture perfect model!

 

 

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Christmas Dress aka I Made Puffy Sleeves!

11 Nov

I’ve been sewing since home ec in middle school.  When I was 12 or so, I spent the weekend with my grandmother (an avid seamstress and quilter) sewing a dress for myself from a pattern.

In middle school and early high school, I would invite friends over to sew with me and we made nightgowns out of muslin.

When I moved into a house in college, I sewed myself a quilt, stripes on one side and a starry moonlit sky on the other.

After college I sewed trim to the bottom of jeans like it was going out of style, and in fact, it was going out of style.  THANK GOD!

I got my own machine for my 23rd birthday and promptly sewed myself 800 purses and jewelry pouches and the like.

Then life took over and I put the sewing machine away. I got married, I moved, I paid someone to make curtains, I had babies and I moved again. I bought curtains from Target and forgot about my sewing skills.

Pinterest came along and I got the crafting bug and I spray painted some stuff and thought about getting out my machine.  One day my mom said she’s buy my girls American Girl Dolls, and my girls became obsessed with the idea of matching clothes.  So I began scouring the internet for outfits that were nicer than the AGD ones and perhaps more affordable.  I found them  in the form of MakMay Designs, my trusty Christmas/Birthday/Halloween outfit designer.  She’s super talented and equally creative.

But then I wanted clothes for the girls and their dolls that was outside of what Becky creates and I stumbled upon a site that had tunic tops and dresses for girls and their dolls as well as Mom’s.  The catch was that it would cost $60 to dress the girls $20 for the dolls and $80 for me.  Way more money than I was willing to spend.  And then it dawned on me! I could make these tunics and dresses myself!

Thus begun my renewed interest in sewing. I went from an A-line dress, to PJ’s and then got bold and purchased the Precious Dress pattern from the Scientific Seamstress.  I even contacted her to see if she could hold my hand through the process because it seemed a little daunting.  And of course, not only did I want to make the dress, but I wanted to add my own little flair.  She kindly agreed but before I had the chance to visit her, I decided to try it on my own, button holes and puffy sleeves and all.

The pattern isn’t just a pattern, it’s also a full picture laden tutorial with detailed instructions! I started with the skirt, which is where I wanted to add the ruffled faux bustle. I cut out the pattern pieces and freehanded the bustle pieces. I constructed the whole skirt in one night and was super pleased with my efforts.  Last night I set to work on the scary part…..the top with the button holes and puffy sleeves.  I started by watching an automatic buttonholing video on Youtube, that happened to be on a machine similar to mine.  Then I followed each incredibly well written, easy to understand step and before I knew it, I had a gorgeous top. Attaching the skirt to the top was easy and the finished product is better than I had pictured in my head!  The only thing missing is a nice thick grosgrain ribbon sash!

I relate this whole long winded story because I am so glad that I found sewing again and am finding such joy in spending quiet time piecing my patterns together.  It is incredibly gratifying to know that I can do this and I am so happy to be able to give these dresses to my girls.

Without further ado…THE CHRISTMAS DRESS!

Details of the Christmas Dress

Puffy Sleeves and Buttons...yeah I did that!!

 

Christmas Dress

The front and back of the Christmas Dress with the ruffle accent