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Romper: Love or Hate?

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Hmmm.  As you can tell by my last few blog posts I am in LOVE with Seamwork magazine and their digital patterns.  I love getting the email each month and checking out their new patterns (2 each month for only $6).  As soon as I saw last months Layton Romper I knew I had to make one.  Rompers are all over the place now and although I had no idea if this style would actually be wearable on me I had to try it out.  The ease of a dress and the comfort of shorts=win.  Well, in theory at least!  I can’t tell if I absolutely love this on me or totally hate it.  I really can’t decide.  Part of me is proud of the confidence I feel when I have it on, the other part feels embarassed to leave the house.  This is a problem.

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There were numerous problems in the execution of this pattern as well.  I made up an XL as per my usual sizing in Seamwork patterns but lengthened the shorts by 2 inches for fear of them being too short.  I also eliminated the slits in front.  Problem is it came out HUGE.  HUGE.  As in I had to make several alterations- cutting open the shoulder seams and shortening the straps by 2 inches or so, and hacking into the side seams to narrow the bodice and the shorts by a few inches as well.  Unfortunately this wasn’t the only problem..the torso is too short on me as well.  The top is really meant to blouse over and it doesn’t.  The rise on the shorts is too long, and the torso is too short in my opinion.  ugh.  Is it wearable though- sure.  Hopefully.  Here are a few shots of the side and back for blog purposes only- I don’t think I will ever show this view to the public- not without a cardigan to cover it up!

Once I realized this wasn’t working I immediately hacked up the pattern and cut the size Large and sewed up a version in a printed fabric.  I lengthened the bodice piece by a few inches, and kept the shorts as is.  It is not going to be photographed- not a good look!  I am not sure if it is the slimmer size, or the print of the fabric but I feel like a am wearing pajamas…and not in a good way.  I am determined to make this pattern work and will lenghten the bodice a few more inches (again) and try it in a solid again and see how it works!  For now I will wear this with a cardigan and wedges and “think” I look stylish.  Maybe.

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*Kudos to my 6 year old for snapping these pics on my cell phone after school today- not too bad!

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Seamwork’s Camden Cape

IMG_5196I knew as soon as I saw the new issue of Seamwork Magazine I was going to make the Camden cape.  Not that a cape is particularly useful in my life, or that I thought it would be particularly flattering on me, but I just had to have it!  All logic aside; there is something charming and elegant about a wool cape isn’t there?  I thought maybe I could actually pull it off if I paired it with slim pants and cute boots to modernize the silhouette.   I immediately printed it out and spent the countless hours taping the pages together and getting my pattern pieces cut out.  There are so many pieces to this thing!  My honest opinion?  This is really not a 3 hour pattern.  I swear I think at least 1 hour was spent cutting out my fabric.   I may be slow, but I feel like 3 hours is impossible.  I was determined though! I had the perfect fabric already- a few yards of a deep purple wool I had picked up for less than $2 at the thrift store months back.  Score!  I lined it with another thrifted fabric- a bright berry colored cotton.  I used 5 vintage brass buttons I had in my stash…overall cost to this is around $5.  Wow.  IF I were to make this again the first thing I would change however is this lining fabric- it really needs something something like a satin or other fabric that won’t “stick” to whatever I am wearing underneath it.  I think a different lining fabric would help it drape better as well.  IMG_5179IMG_5172IMG_5203

Now, lets get to the fit.  This thing is ridiculously enormous.  I made a size 18, and I feel as though I could take off both of the side panels and it would still be roomy enough.  I almost wondered if I cut extra pieces and made a huge mistake?  Hmmm. I don’t think so, so I just think I need to size down or hack this thing up and make it smaller.  Also, please ignore that wonky last button…I think it is just the photos, or I might have sewn it on a bit high.  UGH.  I may also need to iron this thing.  I really want to make it work and may try to make it smaller, or even add another row of buttons so that I can cross it over even further and have two rows of buttons like peacoat style? Enough of my negativity…l really want to get this to fit right so that it isn’t time wasted.  And of course I now feel like my wardrobe really needs a cape!   I can’t wait to see other versions of this out there- since the pattern has just been published I was going into this blind.  Thoughts?  Is it salvageable?   IMG_5186

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Modified Moneta

I’ve been in a bit of a sewing slump lately.  Feeling frustrated with my serger that just refuses to work, fabric I have on hand in quantities less than what I need to actually make anything in my size, and patterns that just aren’t working out!  I have made a few versions of a vintage pattern I own and have been trying to get the fit right, using fabric I am really not in love with.  To get myself out of this rut I went fabric shopping!  I went to Joanns for some knit fabric because I haven’t had the best luck buying knits online and unfortunately they are the only local store that carries them.  Booo!!  Anyways, armed with my coupons and a free hour I made a quick run there, came home and washed the fabric and a few hours later ended up with this!

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This is why I love tried and true patterns…so quick and painless.  Although I love the challenge and excitement of trying new patterns, there is something so satisfying as sewing something you KNOW you are going to fit into and love.  I did modify the pattern this time though so it was a bit of a gamble.  The Moneta often makes me feel like I am all boob- know what I mean?  The bodice is so short on it, I feel like I have boobs and then a super gathered waist right below them!  I wanted to try to lengthen the bodice to avoid the look of having boobs at my waist.  So, for this version I lengthened the bodice about 2 inches, and I removed a great deal of the gathers to make do with the 2 yards of this fabric I purchased.  I actually really like how it turned out, and I love that I only needed 2 yards!  I did fully line the bodice in the same fabric and added the pockets as well.

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Not bad for under $20!  Due to my serger being on the fritz I sewed this baby up using the stretch stitch on my machine- works just as well as the serger but it takes forever in comparison.  Oh well, I must try to be more patient.  Overall I am in love with this dress, I may even prefer the less gathered skirt although this more body skimming look may take some getting used to!

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I decided to wear it to my little girl’s Kindergarten Celebration (I’ll be blogging about her dress next!).  Don’t we look smashing in our homemade frocks?

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Attempting to balance it all…and failing

I knew that once I went back to work this semester finding time for myself would be difficult.  I knew that when school started back up and fall activities began that sewing would take a backseat to everything else.  I knew that finding time to sew, take photographs and blog would be a challenge.  I did not know it would be almost 2 full months before I’d post again- wow.  I guess alot of this has to do with the constant revolving door of illness in our house…colds, fevers, sore throats back and forth between the girls since school started.  The biggest time suck?  The two weeks+ of me battling pneumonia…yep, pneumonia.  I couldn’t stand up for more than two minutes to walk to the bathroom I was so exhausted and weak and spent days and days in bed.  Horrible. Thank god for Netflix and my husband taking care of the girls!  So, I guess I need to make some allowances for myself and just hop back in to my creative self as time permits and not worry about how long it has been, or feeling guilty for not doing things for myself etc.  Because in the end all that does is make this blog one more responsiblity or one more thing I feel like I am dropping the ball on, when it is really supposed to be a creative outlet for me to express myself and relax!

So, even though things have been crazy busy I have found time to sew and knit a few things, but no blogging going on.  I haven’t been able to stay away from the trusty Moneta pattern and made this lovely dress using an incredibly soft grey knit (from Joann’s if you can believe it).  You can’t tell in photos but the knit has a bit of sparkle to it and it appears to have some sort of angora or something that resembles it…not your typical knit jersey although I can’t describe what it is!  Anyways, it is super soft and feels a bit fancy even though walking around in it is so ridiculously comfy I feel like I am wearing my pj’s.

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I also sewed up a purple flannel version of the Cecelia dress from the Magic Pattern Book, that will not be blogged. Horrible.  Me in a flannel peasant dress is not going to be published online.  Yikes.  If only I had thought that one through a bit more, I would have saved myself alot of time and fabric.  Ok, moving on.

I have purchased a few new patterns in the hopes that I will find time to sew them…including Colette’s new Dahlia dress, and Victory Pattern’s Lola. I can’t wait to get started on these!  AlsoI celebrated my big 38th birthday!  woo hoo.  The perfect present?  A new camera…I finally entered the DSLR club and got a Rebel.  I am still learning how to use some of the features – including the timer as you might be able to tell from my pics above…but I am so excited.

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Another Moneta!

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To say I am in love with this pattern would be an understatement.  What is more comfortable than a knit dress with an elasticized waistband and flowy skirt?  Anything?  No- I didn’t think so.  Being able to sew one up in less than a few hours and feel beautiful wearing it= major bonus.  Unfortunately I am on the fence about my fabric choice for this one.  On the one hand I feel like I am wearing a retro floral cocktail dress…on the other hand I feel like a 1980’s Laura Ashley comforter.  The verdict is still out on this one!  Anyways, It feels really good, was easy to make, is comfortable and fits perfectly.

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I chose to use a ponte de roma fabric for this version- it is a nice medium weight jersey with great stretch and is completely opaque so no fear of anything showing through!  I purchased my fabric from girlcharlee.com- and while I love most of what I have purchased from them this already looks a little fuzzy to me- so I am not sure how it will wear in time.  I made the unlined 3/4 sleeve version with no collar.  I think this will be worn pretty frequently with a pair of pumps or boots to work.  If I can get over the feeling of being wrapped in an old floral comforter!

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