Monday, November 30, 2015

SEWING FAIL - New Look 6145

This post was written months ago. I was waiting for a pic of the offending dress, but decided against that and am posting without said picture. See related post here.

Pattern: New Look 6145 (2012)

Pattern Description: View B. Loose dress with sleeve and neckline options, and back-zippered closure.

Pattern Sizing: A (8-10-12-14-16-18) I cut a 12 from the shoulders down to a 14 at the hips and 16 at the hem.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? No! Human error resulted in a dress that did not fit.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, extremely easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I have been seeking a shift dress pattern for a long time and the finished garments I've seen from this pattern seemed to fit my vision. However, I was in denial about my measurements and this dress did not have a chance.

Fabric Used: 2 yards multi-color 100% polyester print free from the VA/DC/MD blogger meet-up.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Having made an earlier muslin of this pattern I knew I needed to make some alterations. I combined elements from this pattern and one of my tried-n-true patterns, the Grainline Scout tee to alter the problems I felt I was having in the neckline and upper back area. You can see the details here.

As the fabric was extremely slippery, I thought about  using starch to tame it but ended up just adjusting the machine tension. I tried different needles (I started with the recommended 9 but ended up using a size 11), doubled the amount of pins I used, and held my fabric steady in front and back of the needle while stitching seams. A good press afterwards curbed any of the rippling seams that were originally there.

Worst fabric to sew!!
After stitching the seams, I had to pink them as this fabric would not stop raveling.

Well, the dress did not fit at all. I completely got my measurements wrong. I was aware that I gained weight but did not think to take my measurements again. Therefore, the one-inch increase in my actual bust resulted in tightness under the arms and the two-inch increase in both my waist and hips created a tight and strained hip area.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I may attempt this pattern again using my correct measurements. I still want to achieve versions of my inspiration dress (below) in the future.

J. Crew shift dress
Conclusion: What more can I say, it didn't fit (AT ALL) and it was an extreme disappointment.

Part 1: Seeking the Sublime Shift
Part 2: In Progress: To Frankenpattern a Shift Dress

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Spending My Time Wisely When Sick

Over the last few weeks I've been fuzzy-headed, coughing, and congested with a long bout of sinusitis. Not being able to concentrate most of that time, I spent my non-working hours watching a lot of TV and reading a few books. Here are the ones I enjoyed, you should check them out.


Difficult People a Hulu Original Series

Lark Rise to Candleford

Playing House (USA)

Odd Mom Out (BravoTV)

Agatha Christie's Marple - loving this one, 23 episodes!


The Civil Wars = which I listen to in large doses before the dark imagery and atmosphere gets to me and I must seek out something fun and happy.

To experience the dark side of southern love, you can also check out their Civil Wars, Barton Hollow, and The Civil Wars: Unplugged on VH1. It's amazing to believe this duo met, gained fame, and crashed in less than four years, 2009-2012.


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (also a motion picture with Charlize Theron)

In The Woods by Tana French (part of the Dublin Murder Squad series)

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (also a BBC series)

* Streamed through Hulu

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Gamine Style Of Christine And The Queens

Album From Because Music

Watching the Daily Show with Trevor Noah I was awed by the performance of his musical guest, French singer Héloïse Letissier, aka Christine and The Queens.

Image: Édouard Bride
She is a mesmerizing performer, gorgeous with a face that is a cross between Kyra Sedgwick and Elizabeth Reaser. Her clothing style is enviable, full of sleek skinny suits, slim trousers, and lots of sock-less black oxfords, and her dancing style is surprisingly reminiscent of Michael Jackson's moves.

Image: DR

Check it out below. Her moves are amaz-ing, even when both feet are flat on the floor.

Image: Jeff Hahn

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Possible Problem When Wardrobe Culling

My current situation gives me a different perspective on movements like Wardrobe Architect and an older version I once used, Wardrobe Therapy. Some of these are only about eliminating unworn, ill-fitted items from your wardrobe while others are about curating your wardrobe to reflect your life. After reading a few updates on bloggers choosing to attempt this I thought...thank god, I'm not doing that one!

In my case, a wardrobe that reflected my actual day-to-day life would have me stuck at home with only fleece lounge wear and padded slippers and my work wardrobe as black or khaki trousers, navy blue button-down shirts, and Dansko clogs.

I feel the most important part of a wardrobe life reflection-type project is that the process start before you look at your wardrobe. Begin with looking at your life. Before making your wardrobe reflect that life, make sure that life is the one you want to be living.
  • If you create a wardrobe of clothes that are uncomplicated, casual, and exist within a self-imposed  color palette, will you find yourself envying others that dress with creativity and mystery?
  • If you want to be more dressed up in your regular day, why not start wearing the clothes you want despite the random people asking you "why are you so dressed up?"
  • If you want to wear pretty frocks when everyone else goes casual, always wear the pretty frock. 
I remember attending college parties in thrift store vintage dresses similar to the type that Mod Cloth sells. So what if other girls were wearing band t-shirts, cut-off jean shorts, and Doc Martens? I felt comfortable, like myself, and I wasn't comparing myself to anyone or following anybody's lead.

So, this was all to say that even if I cannot wear what I want to wear right now I am keeping all my stuff (well, the stuff that is still well made and in good shape) because I will be living that better life again!