Friday, March 18, 2016

Give It A Rest, Pinterest!

Has anyone been annoyed by Pinterest in the last few days? I am dealing with an avalanche of their "Picked for you" pins.

Just overnight, I received 70 of them! Yes, 70 of them in a mass since the last pin arrived from one of the people that I actually choose to follow. That is just ridiculous and I do not like this.

I am sick and tired of  having to select repeatedly (70 times!!), I'm not into this Pin, I just don't like ads, and I'm not into Pins inspired by my recent activity just to see the content I signed up to see. Oh, and even worse, the exact same pins keep showing up!

Pinterest says the purpose of these toggles, such as It isn't relevant or interesting, is so that the algorithm can educate itself to show only pins that I would and wouldn't like but the fact that the same exact pins keep showing up after I've dejected them illustrates that it is NOT working. If this continues for much longer, I may have to quit Pinterest.

By searching the web, I have found a way around not seeing them at all (Click here for the link and java script fix provided by The Beth Project) but I think it's ridiculous that in order to enjoy Pinterest again you have to install a website hack in order to gain back the ability to choose your own inspirations and interests. The site as of now does not allow free choice in seeing only what we choose to see and that is a shame.

Anyone else having this problem?

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Let's Get Caught Up...

Sorry, I haven't been posting projects lately, I've definitely been thinking about them, I just haven't gotten off my butt and gone into my sewing room. That is, until three days ago.

I have been reading sewing blogs though, and that just might be the problem. I have been reading so many blogs and marveling at other sewist projects, yet dragging my feet on my own. I got sick a few weeks ago and ended up with 160 unread posts and am only now down to only 5. So I am going through my bloglovin' queue and shedding some blogs, mostly that don't reflect my style OR don't inspire me with their imagination or use of different techniques. For example, Shams of Communing With Fabric and I don't have style in common besides Vogue 8712, but I love what she creates for herself and have to see what she gets up to, Lara of Thornberry's use of colorful fabric and interesting shapes amazes me, and Barbara from Sewing on the Edge's flypaper thoughts have me laughing out loud. So, I have a feeling I will still have a fairly large list of blogs left, but just the ones I really enjoy. Marie Kondo, take note.

So, that is where my Sew-Jo went.

  • I just finished McCall's 6886 in a striped ponte and can't wait to show you.
  • I am this close to finishing up that vintage Simplicity 5289 that resembles Peggy Olson's dress from the last season of Mad Men. I just have hems, neckline, and decorative top-stitching to do.
  • I cut out a graphic Black & White mod-look skirt from Simplicity 1163, this will be my next project.
  • Following that, I will be attempting a pair of pants, but what type, I'm still not sure of. I have many pattern/fabric bundles already, but I just have to make up my mind. Slim-fitting knit, stretch woven jeans, legging-like with seam detail, or drapey woven with volume at the hips and tapered legs...
  • I've been reading a lot of books on my Nook: Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline, Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, and Blame by Michelle Huneven.
  • I've been watching a huge amount of comedies on Hulu: Korean series Marry Me or Not? and Britcoms No Heroics (no longer available on the site), and Lost in Austen.
  • Been watching some regular TV too: iZombie (CW), Mom (CBS), Teachers(TV Land) and last but not least,is anyone watching You, Me, and the Apocalypse? I am loving this show and developing a deeper crush on Brit Mathew Baynton (The Wrong Mans, Spy) in his dual roles of a mild-mannered banker and his psychotic cyberterrorist/kidnapper twin. You should definitely check it out, it's available on NBC and Hulu. It also stars Jenna Fischer, Rob Lowe, and Megan Mullally. It is a joint USA/Britain project ( I vote for more of these!) and I hope it gets another season/series.
  •  Also been watching a lot of movies on Hulu (Hmmm, I think I'm seeing the real time-zapper culprit now.) I've seen: In a World..., Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and Mortecai(WHY?!?, this thing stunk so bad, everyone but Paul Bettany should be ashamed. His long suffering, over-sexed thug/hard man was hilarious and such a departure that it took me longest time to even recognize him.)

Well, I think that's about all. I will be posting about my finished dress when I get photos and you should expect more posts in the near future. I just reached 300 followers! a week ago, so thank you so much for reading my little blog!

Friday, January 22, 2016

I Earned My Stripes in 2015!

Stripes, stripes, and more stripes!!!

I wrote a post in Feb of 2015 about how I have always wanted to wear striped shirts but couldn't afford the quality ones available in retail or find the right fabric in Hancocks or Jo-Ann Fabrics. However, 2015 was the year I made it happen. As you can see from the stack in the upper left corner below, the addition of more striped garments will continue into 2016.

Thank you Girl Charlee for your affordable knits and incredible sales (these were all $1.50 a yard!!!!)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fit For The Holiday - Burdastyle Anda #7969

Pattern: Burdastyle Anda #7969 (2009)*

Pattern Description: Pullover dress with bias neck/sleeve binding and optional encased elastic waist treatment.

Pattern Sizing: (38-50) When I made the dress before I had reduced the pattern down to approximately a size 36. This time, I enlarged the pattern closer to a 40-42.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes, though I did not include the elastic waist.

Were the instructions easy to follow? It was extremely easy, even with  binding both the neckline and sleeves. I made it more difficult for myself by then hand sewing the entire skirt hem.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? After gaining some unwanted weight and sizing out of some of my casual outfits, this forgiving shape was very desirable. Years ago, I made a wearable muslin version so I knew I liked the shape.

Fabric Used: Brown and Grey Etch Floral Peached 100% polyester from Hancock Fabrics ($6.99) and Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Smoke, #116.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Because I didn't do my due diligence I started this dress off all wrong. Despite choosing this dress because of my stressful clothing size issue I didn't think to perhaps reprint the pattern that I last used in what...2009? or even read what I wrote about it at the time. So yes, of course the pattern piece (I couldn't find the back so used the front piece twice) looked small and I decided to add some width to the pattern. See my additions above.

I decided to increase the width a tiny bit at the shoulder and tapered out more for a fuller skirt to enhance the swing of the slight a-line skirt. Of course, this also increased the hem length that I had to hand sew!

However, for some reason, the neckline was too small (see below) and I had to increase it in order for it to go over my head. Now this is the same paper pattern I used before so is it possible for your head to get bigger when you gain weight?! 

Note: I could have saved myself the trouble if I had read this 2009 mention of this dress and realized what size I had cut this pattern down to then...a 36! I should have just printed it out again and cut a size 40 or 42. You'd think I didn't know why one keeps a sewing blog!

Well, after that was all revealed and the dress still fit, I moved onto the finishing. Burdastyle suggests binding both the neck and sleeve edges. I personally love how this looks, both on my first Anda and then on all of my Grainline Studio Scout variations. It is such a clean finish and allows me to hand sew and relax in front of the TV. The addition of a little steam and press allows the stitches to blend and lay flat.

Working the neckline.

The result.

I always hand stitch my hems if I have the time. This takes a much longer session but feels like such an accomplishment when done. I first run a basting stitch along the first fold. This allows me to fold up an even hem all around and to cinch in the circular hem when needed. Finally I use steam to shrink and coax the hem flat.

A successful hem.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will probably make a lot more of these, including some in knits and maybe even some with the original elasticized waist.

Conclusion: The first time I made this dress, it was a wearable muslin out of mystery fabric. In that review I said I would make it again in rayon challis. I did, but had no idea it would take me six years! No wonder the pattern didn't fit as cut!  Luckily, this dress was a success, it fit and it looked wonderful. Even though it was the simplest of dresses, I received many compliments both on Instagram and in person at the Christmas Eve party. Therefore, a great make with which to end this year!

*At that time, the pattern was free, Burdastyle now charges $2.99 (reduced from $3.50) for the pattern.