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Friday, December 10, 2010

Belted Bubble Dress

Another HotPattern that I couldn't put away! Love this one. It's the Classix Nouveau Uptown Downtown Knit Dress.  I am only showing two versions here, but as soon as I get photos of the others I will post them.


Likes
1) I can sew up the whole thing with just my serger, on 4-thread stitch.
2) It is very comfortable.
3) I can use light-weight or heavier-weight knit fabrics.
4) I can change the look very easily with different accessories.
5) The pattern has 3 different sleeve options included.
6) I can sew a trendy look by using a different fabric for the top and the skirt.


Dislike
I had to experiment a bit with different neckline-to-ribbing ratios, and modify the neckline as well as the hem ribbing.

The blue version is in wool jersey. No need to line it; it is very comfortable. That black belt is waaaay old. Though I still remember I paid $60 for it, 20 years ago. Maybe that's why I can't get rid of it. At least it still fits! 

The espresso version is also in wool jersey, but in a much lighter weight fabric. I cut the pattern neckline down about an inch in front for the brown version, but what the heck(?) it's still higher than I thought it would be. More neckline adjustments are to be made. I thought I was modest, but modesty does not have to be unflattering. (sshhh! Those shoes are only for standing-still photographs.)
I cut the hem ribbing way down, to a ratio of about 3/4. I like it much better this way--the silhouette is much more trim and modern. I think HotPatterns meant for you to gather the hem edge into the ribbing, but the pattern has the ribbing cut way too big. So big that there is a danger of the ribbing flaring out--oh no. But stand by for more versions--I can't wait to show you!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Teardrop Bag



06 Teardrop Bag and 07 Key Keeper Coin Purse


Likes:
Adorable style
Size and shape of bag
Only 3 pattern pieces for Teardrop bag
Only 2 pattern pieces for Key Keeper
Simple construction

Dislike:
Wimpy interfacing



Key Keeper Coin Purse
Just looking at this bag makes me happy. My everyday bag is a big black leather and silver hardware thing with lots of pockets on the outside and on the inside. I never noticed how ugly it is until I made my Teardrop bag. I won't be using my Teardrop bag every day, since it would soon be loaded and weighted down with all the odd items every mom ends up carrying. But for the quick run to the store, a nice dinner out, a swim-team parent meeting, Sunday mass, or any time I don't feel like lugging my heavy toolbox/black-leather-purse, I can throw my wallet and my cell phone into this bag and be free.  I haven't made a lot of bags, and in my garment sewing frenzy, it's hard to change to a bag-sewing mode. But think of it: a bag is something you wear! And no fitting is needed! Also, you don't really have to determine if that shock of color would look good near your face--if you like it, make it into a bag.
The only thing I would change is to try using a bit heavier interfacing, though it might make the pleat not so crisp. Maybe the solution is to iron on two layers, avoiding the pleat area, but especially around the magnet clasp. 
If you don't already have this book, I enthusiastically recommend it. The photos are absolutely luscious, and the directions are very clear and thorough. You just can't go wrong by following these directions. In fact, after making a couple of these bags, you should be able to use Amy's technique to design your own. 





Sewing is power!