Thursday, September 29, 2011

I still hate invisible zippers.

Put in a brand new zipper. It did the exact same thing.

Ok, now it's time for me to learn how to do the lapped zipper application.

No more of this invisible zipper crap.

But wait, I don't want to give up on them completely. Perhaps it's just Coats brand invisible zippers that suck. Maybe I should try YKK instead?

But not for this dress. If I install a zipper for the THIRD time, it had better work.

I'm going to abandon zippers for now and hem a couple of skirts instead. Hopefully, I will post pictures sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Screw you invisible zipper.

I knew there was a reason why I was hesitant to use invisible zippers.

It's because they suck.

Anytime I have a dress that has an invisible zipper, it breaks. Never fails. I have two dresses in my closet right now that need the zipper replaced...the invisible zippers replaced.

This just happened to my almost complete Colette Parfait.

I just installed the zipper after fighting with the facing for an hour (there's a rant all about that).

I put the dress on and start pulling up the zipper. It stops midway and won't go any further.

It seems like it's caught on something, so I wiggle out of it to investigate.


I thought maybe my dress was too tight or something.

Nope. Not that either.

I try to wiggle it some more and the damn thing separated.


Now I have rip this damn zipper out and put in another one that will probably do the same thing (I have no money for any more sewing supplies this month. Not even a zipper. I have a spare invisible zipper that I can use.)

I'm so pissed. Despite a couple of instructional hiccups (which I will address on Pattern Review once the dress is finished), this dress was going well.

Argh. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


This Fall Palette Challenge is truly a challenge for me. I'm finding it almost impossible to stick with the patterns, colors and fabric that I've chosen. I come across other patterns. I get random inspirations. It's all very annoying and confusing.

I've already deviated from my list. I made the Lisette Market Skirt (Simplicity 2211 view B). I had some gray twill scraps lying around and it was just enough for the skirt. This means that I've now added gray to my color palette. Honestly, I felt like making another skirt. I'm also riding on an invisible zipper high. I bought the metal invisible zipper foot for my sewing machine instead of using the cheapy one that I bought at Joann. It broke after the first time I used it. Super glue just made it worse. Thank goodness for ebay. I also have enough black twill and wool from my half-circle skirt to make two more Market skirts. Go me.

Invisible zippers are awesome. I don't know why I avoided them for so long. My next hat trick will be the lapped zipper.

I've also fallen in love with two dresses that weren't on my current list (Peony was on list #2 but dropped from list #3): Peony and Parfait. I want to make both of these dresses, like now. Also, I have a strong desire to make the Lisette Traveler shirt dress in light blue poplin. Decisions, decisions.

My half-circle skirt is hanging in the closet. I finished the waistband and zipper, all I have left is the hem.

So far, I have almost finished three things on my list, which isn't too bad. It's hard to stay focused.

I think that instead of having a set list or plan, I'll just go on making things as I feel. Once the challenge is over, I'll take a look at what I've made and see if it fits into any kind of color palette. Yeah, that'll work.

My Parfait dreams may be realized this week. I'm going to buy the pattern today and I already have the fabric. The Peony pattern should be arriving in the mail any day now. I still haven't completely decided on fabric yet as I'm expecting some swatches soon.

I really need to make more shirts. I have a ton of dresses and skirts already.

This post was kind of random, my apologies. Saturday brain has taken over.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Busy busy busy.

Major triumph today: I installed my first invisible zipper! Yay me. I used this tutorial:

While my application wasn't flawless, it was really great for a first try. Now, I want to use invisible zippers in everything. I still have to sew the waist stay and hang the skirt for a few days before I hem it. For the hem, I plan on using horse hair braid. I want my skirt to be extra twirly.

I think I may once again change around a few things on my fall challenge list. I've become quite enamored with the Lisette patterns I have purchased over the last month (I have all but one). I have enough fabric in my stash to make everything. This is a first for me. The only fabric shopping I have left do is for next month's Clover sewlaong.

Back to work tomorrow. Boo. I like having a week off. Oh well. I have to do something to support my fabric habit.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Scratch another off the list.

I just finished New Look 6808 view B from my Fall Palette Challenge list. I used an old Gap halter dress that no longer fit me. It's navy blue with off white polka dots. The navy is so dark that it looks black. I think the fabric is rayon but the dress tag only says "100% cotton." It's not stiff but it's a bit heavier than lawn.

This smile is a result of delirium.

I'm not a fan of New Look patterns. The fit is always weird and the instructions leave much to be desired. I saw several nice versions of this shirt, so I figured I would give it a try. I also wanted to find a simple shirt that required minimal fabric since I planned to use my old dress.

This was the first time I didn't use the instructions. It's a fairly simple shirt (well view B is simple). I omitted the zipper as I could easily get the shirt on over my head. It's a bit roomy. I could probably go down a size but then I would have to use a zipper. I think having a zipper in shirt is weird. This shirt could easily be finished in a couple of hours.

Initially, I planned to line the shirt but I didn't have enough fabric. I also considered using bias tape but I didn't have any in the right color on hand and I had no desire to make my own. So, I ended up using the facing.

Facings suck.

It's the one thing that I don't like about this shirt. I think that I will change it eventually but I'm too tired to care about it right now.

I do plan on making the other versions of this shirt. I recommend using fabrics with stretch to avoid the zipper. 

Tomorrow I will begin work on my half-circle skirt.

Anyway, that is all for now. I'm going to bed.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quite fickle indeed.

I'm back from Chicago (a trip that will go down in infamy for a multitude of unpleasant reasons), with renewed vigor. I'm ready to get down to this fall palette challenge business. I did some fabric shopping while in Chicago---at a gloriously large, multi-floored warehouse full of unorganized fabric goodness and no a/c. I left with enough fabric for two shirts (or one shirt and one dress) and two skirts. This will change my fall palette colors and patterns for a third time.

Here is my new color palette (which includes navy polka dot--not pictured):

I already finished my first project: Simplicity 2246 View A. These patterns will round out the rest of my pattern list:

  • Simplicity 4236 View C (half circle skirt) in a tan wool blend
  • Wiksten Tulip skirt (my third one!) in golden mustard trigger<---I had no idea what this was until I found it at the fabric store. It's a little stiff and doesn't wrinkle.
  • New Look 6808 View E with sleeves from View B in eggplant cotton
  • New Look 6808 View B in navy polka dot cotton
  • BurdaStyle JJ blouse in coral cotton

I do plan on joining the Clover Pants Sewalong next month which will round out my fall sewing. I have some off-white and chocolate brown poplin left over so I may make a couple more shirts to throw into the mix.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Palette part deux.

So, I had a change of heart. I was quite inspired by Shabby Apple and strong desire to have a navy with white polka dot dress.

Click to enlarge

One down. Five to go....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I'm a fan of the Make This Look website. Where has this been all my life? More often I find myself looking at dresses and thinking, "I can make that." It's refreshing. Before I felt limited. Now if I want it and don't feel like spending the money, I can make it.

I had this epiphany when I took a look at Shabby Apple.I love the dresses on this site. Unless it was an ultra-special occasion, I would never spend more than $50 on a dress. So that pretty much eliminates any future purchases from Shabby Apple. But I can sew! Even though I still feel like an advanced beginner.

For instance, I just love the Pina Colada dress from Shabby Apple. I would love to buy it and wear it all the time. It is $96. That won't be happening any time soon.

But that won't stop me, for I have found a pattern that is very similar to this dress.

So similar, it's scary.

I would use sateen or poplin for the dress and add the piping and buttons. Sure, the pattern is out-of-print, but I found it on ebay for $3. I love ebay.

My fall palette may be changing as I've become quite addicted to all things shirt dress. I've made two of them so far.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Look at what I did.

So yah, I finished my Lisette Traveler dress (view A). It hasn't been washed or ironed since I finished it, as I finished it mere moments before these photos were taken.

with belt.

without belt but with tired smile

Actually, I finished this dress Sunday morning. Then an hour ago, I tried it on and decided that it was too baggy, even with the belt. So, I added a couple of vertical (or double point) darts to the back. It's still a bit roomy but at least the back has a bit more shape.

Overall, I like this pattern (Simplicity 2246). I've also made View C but I'm far too tired to model it for photos at the moment. I only made a couple of alterations: the aforementioned back darts and I omitted the patch pockets. I have a bit too much boobage for chest pockets.

Well, that's one thing off my Fall Palette Challenge list. Five more to go...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh, Violet.

I finished my Colette Violet shirt a month ago. I meant to post pictures before, but I didn't like the buttons I used.

While I was working on my Traveler dress (View C), I realized that I could use covered buttons on my Violet shirt too. I don't know why that didn't occur to me before. The picture of the shirt on the Colette website has covered buttons. D'oh.

Anyway, I got all excited but then ran out of buttons to cover. Since I had so many other things to finish, my Violet shirt fell to the bottom of the finish pile.

But this is the first photo I took with the original buttons:

Eventually, I will finish changing the buttons and take another photo. The buttons in the photo are mother-of-pearl shell buttons. I used cotton shirting that I bought from The Common Thread.

This was my first shirt with buttons. I love how it came together. I thought the Peter Pan collar would be too precious and twee, but it looks great. The cotton shirting is nice and soft with a lovely sheen. I love this fabric so much that I bought more and made my Traveler dress (view A) out of it. I just finished that dress today.

I love Colette patterns. I really, really do. I plan on making the longer sleeve version of this shirt as soon as I find the right fabric. I think it would be beautiful in red or maybe cranberry.

Now, I need to finish Kris' messenger bag and I'll be all set for Chicago.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


So, here's my lovely little pattern board (courtesy of Microsoft Paint) for the Fall Palette Challenge:

I'm using this as my color palette:

This is all still in the planning stages. I'm going to stop by a couple fabric stores while in Chicago, so my fabric choices are subject to change. At first, I wasn't going to make the Colette Peony dress until I saw some mustard yellow gabardine at Hancock Fabrics. I fell instantly in love.

If all else fails, I do hope to have completed the Peony dress and Clover pants by the end of challenge. Those two are at the top of my list. I've already started on the Traveler dress (which I hope to finish tomorrow or Monday).

Well, that's all for now. Boardwalk Empire is on.
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