Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Sewing Block

Hey everyone! I noticed I haven't checked in since October. Shame on me. Ever since I came back from my cruise to the Bahamas in October I have hit a sewing block. Kind of like a writers block only with sewing. Get it? *crickets** Okay. Never mind.

So now you know I haven't sewn anything since my last dress. The dress pieces that I cut out from my green fabric are still sitting there on my table waiting to be sewn, but I just lack the motivation. I think its because my fabric room is a mess. Yes, I do have a room that I store most of my fabric in. I also happen to store my other crafting things in there too. I showed some really bad pictures of it in this post. Of course that room looks totally different and extremely messy. Essentially too much visual clutters equals zero productivity.

For now, I will show a picture of the book that Mister gave me for Christmas.

Yes, I received my copy of the Colette Sewing Handbook. I'm sure you must have heard of this book already. Lots of bloggers have been writing all about it. And if you know nothing about them then check out their website for more info. I've already looked through it and I can't wait to get started. I got Mister to purchase this book for me because of the chapter regarding fit. I'm a visual version and require lots of pictures to get me through anything. I was really happy to see lots of pictures when it was explaining how to do waist and small bust adjustments. My two biggest issues regarding fit. Hope this book can jump start me out of my sewing rut. Happy belated holidays and early new years!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nadinoo Fall 2011

My favorite designer Nadinoo recently gave everyone a peak at her Fall 2011 fashion line. Love the vintage styled dresses and the whimsical bird fabric she uses. I am very inspired! Check out her blog for more up to date release information.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vintage McCalls 4762 Baby Doll dress Pattern from 1976 aka the Marcia Brady Dress

Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Finally finished the baby doll dress that I think Marcia Brady would have love. As I previously mentioned I was working on this floral baby doll dress using my vintage McCalls 4762 dress pattern from 1976. I will be the first to admit that I am a fan of fashion from the 60s and 70s. I was a big fan of the 60s and 70s fashion revival that happened in the early to mid 90s. Baby doll dresses, mod styled dresses, velvet leggings, long vests, palazzo pants and bell bottoms. Okay I didn’t really wear the bell bottoms, but I did wear my dad’s Navy issued dungaree pants which were pretty retro to me. I was pretty styling during my high school years. I still have a love for that era, which is probably why I was drawn to this pattern. Very Marsha Brady. I see a whole slew of these dresses made from various fabrics for my Fall wardrobe. For now I finished my first version using Rayon Challis from Fabric Mart.

Pattern Review (The Pros): The pattern was very easy to follow and came together rather quickly. Does this mean my sewing skills are getting better? The dress would have probably been finished earlier if I hadn’t insisted on using French seams to finish the seams for most of the dress. I love how finished the dress looks from the inside.

Back View

The Cons: My only gripe about the pattern as it is for all dress patterns from the 70s is the ease they add into the design. I added ½ inch to the side seams for the bodice and sleeves because this was a size 14, but left the skirt portion alone. I found out that I really didn’t need the half inch for the bodice, but should have taken out at least ½-1 inch from the side seams for the skirt portion. The gathering was so big that it made me look pregnant. I had to sew on a sash to get a more fitted and flattering look.

Gratuitous Picture with Buni

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes, except I added a sash, which you could hardly see and lace trim around the neckline and sleeve edge.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes, because I thought that a size 14 might be too fitted for me. I added ½ inch to the side seams for both bodice pieces. Turns out I didn’t need to add it and would have fit the size 14 just fine. Also because the bodice was so loose I didn’t need to add the zipper and could easily slipped the dress over my head. Had to add a sash to give me some shape because the skirt was too gathered to look flattering on me. I will need to keep these changes in mind for the next version of the dress.

Sad attempt at getting the two kids to pose with me.

Pattern Level: Experienced beginner since you will be doing a sleeve and zipper insertion.

What could I have done better? I should have trusted my gut and not added the ½ inch to the side seams although I felt that the ½ inch to the side seams of the sleeve portion made it a perfect fit for me. Also think I should have used a solid colored fabric for my sash since the busy print makes it blend into the dress.

Would you sew this pattern again? Already in the middle of making version number 2 with the changes I noted from making this dress.

Pattern: McCalls 4762 circa 1976 purchased from Retribution Vintage on Etsy.

Fabric: Rayon challis from Fabric Mart.

Techniques: Sleeve insertion, gathering, French seams and invisible zipper.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Work In Progress: Vintage McCalls 4762 Babydoll Dress from 1976

Spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon working on a babydoll dress that I am planning to wear during our vacation to the Bahamas. I present my current work in progress a babydoll dress made from McCalls 4762 from 1976 using rayon challis fabric from my favorite store Fabric Mart.

I still have to hem the dress and add lace to the sleeve ends. I am also planning on making a sash to wrap around the dress since I made the dress a little big despite it being a size 14. Currently it looks like a maternity dress, but should look wearable with a sash. The rayon challis was a dream to sew with, but I will save the details for the pattern review.

Lace detail
Already have pieces cut out for another dress just like this with a different patterned rayon challis. Hope to post more pictures soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Look 6981 Pleated Skirt

Egads! I'm using a modern pattern. A big change for me since as of recently I've been sewing using vintage patterns. I really don't have anything against modern patterns. For some reason I have had very bad experiences regarding fit when it comes to modern patterns. I follow the recommendations for sizing on the pattern and I still get a bad fit. Especially when it comes to skirts. I think its because I have a two size difference between my hips and my waist so it makes fitting really difficult. Especially when it comes to dresses and skirts that have waistbands. Of course I finished my skirt way before I saw this post on the Selfish Seamstress's blog regarding full waist adjustments. Just might try that on my next version of this skirt. Onward to the review.

Pattern Review (The Pros): The pattern was very easy and only required four pattern pieces: a waistband (front and back pieces) and a skirt (front and back pieces). This was also my first time putting in a side zipper (required for the pattern), but it was pretty easy to do. I decided to put the side zipper in using the prickstitched lapped zipper tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch's blog. A bit time consuming, but the end product looks great.

The Cons: I didn't really have any gripes about the pattern, but it lacked any instructions on fitting a waistband that was two sizes bigger than the skirt piece. *Being sarcastic* Because every person on earth conforms to the standard measurement that are used to make patterns so they don't need to add instructions like that.

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes, except I added some black pipping.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes. According to the pattern my hip measurement place me between a size 14 and 16, but the waist measurement placed me closer to a size 18. Not wanting to have a huge unflattering skirt that looked it would swallow me up. I made a size 14 skirt with a size 16 waistband. Sadly this would not fit on my waist comfortably (I blame motherhood for my waist line), but the skirt width was perfect for me. I ended up having to recut the waistband as a size 18 and readjusted the width of the pleats to fit on the new waistband. In the future I might cut a size 16 waistband and do a full waist adjustment as detailed on the Selfish Seamstress's blog.

Pattern Level: Beginner to intermediate. A beginner might have problems when it comes to hemming the skirt. Pleated skirts are notoriously hard to alter. At least for me. I suggest making sure the length is where you want it before you cut out the skirt, because its harder to make sure its even once its attached to the waistband.

What could I have done better? Other than doing a full waist adjustment on the waistband I would do a better job sewing my piping. You can see where I sewed too close to the piping. I would also choose a heavier fabric because the quilting cotton seems to lightweight and tends to puff out.

Would you sew this pattern again? Yes, I really like pleated skirts so I am determined to make this skirt pattern work for me.

Pattern: New Look 6981 purchased from Joann.

Fabric: Quilting cotton from Joann.

Techniques: Prickstitched lapped zipper, piping, pleats and bias tape.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vintage Simplicity 7500 Bonus Basic Pattern from 1967

Back in February I purchased Simplicity 7500 pattern circa 1967, which is a bonus basic pattern composed of a bodice, optional long/short sleeves and a-line/straight skirt. I was hoping to use this pattern as a sloper for myself after a few adjustments here and there. Of course in my world nothing really goes the way I want it. Of course it’s not the patterns fault. I’ve mentioned this time and time again how my choice in fabric always comes back to bite me in the arse! Fabric Mart was having a 75% Sale on their stretch rayon a few months back so I purchased several yards. The prints were lovely and for $2.50/yard I was sold! Of course when Mom took a look at them she shook her head and stated that although the fabric and print looked nice that I would still have a hard time sewing it. Of course Mom never explained why, but shook her head at me as her way of saying “you’ll see!” First, I am not a mind reader and second I love a challenge. Especially if that challenge is to prove my mom wrong and to wow her with my sewing skills. I think you may already guess where this is going. Read below to find out more.
Front View
Pattern Review (The Pros): The pattern wasn’t complicated and consisted of a bodice that zipped down the center back, skirt and optional sleeves. I liked how the pattern was designed with lots of options where you can mix and match the pieces.

Back View
The Cons: Be warned that you will be sewing darts in your sleep after your done sewing this dress because this pattern requires twelve of them. The bodice itself contains eight darts. This was a pain for me since IMHO marking darts is the second most tedious sewing task second to sewing them. Especially if you are marking darts on fabric that doesn’t take well to chalk or disappearing ink. I guess having twelve darts can be a pro too since you have many places where you can adjust the patter to fit you.

Another gripe about the pattern is that the pattern has almost no ease to it. I’ve sewed several vintage patterns from the 60s and 70s and found that size 16 patterns and some size 14 patterns had a lot of ease added to them. Since the pattern was identified as a basic pattern I assumed that it had the same design ease added to it. I’ve read before that slopers are designed to be skin tight and that you are suppose to add wearing ease and seam allowance to them to make it wearable. I wasn’t expecting to do that with a basic pattern, but perhaps I should. Another assumption gone wrong. So if you are using this pattern than I suggest making a muslin (i.e. mock up) and start by adding a ½ inch to the side seams.
Side View
Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes, with exception that my front bodice darts don’t line up exactly with my front skirt darts. I must have sewn my front darts a little bit too big, but you can’t tell with print. At least the back bodice and skirt darts match up.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes, because the pattern was tight on me I had to sew my side seams at ½ inch instead of the recommended 5/8. I shortened the skirt and ended up making it a mini skirt instead of the intended knee length skirt. After wearing it the other day I feel that the dress is a bit tight around the midsection and tad short.

Pattern Level: Beginner to intermediate. I’ve previously warned that there are lots of darts to sew so you really need to be precise. Especially when you are trying to line up your bodice and skirt darts, which might be tough for a beginner.

What could I have done better? Not use the stretch rayon fabric. Okay it’s really not the fabrics fault. I wasn’t prepared with all the fraying and shedding the rayon fabric did while I was trying to sew it. I spent two days trying to sew the fabric pieces together because it frayed, moved around and then frayed some more. I mean I pinned the fabric together-it frayed, I ironed the fabric-it frayed, I sewed the fabric together-it frayed, I looked at the fabric and it frayed. I was so frustrated that I wanted to cry. I let the dress sit there for three weeks because I dreaded sewing the hem because of all the fraying. I didn’t want to mess it up so in the end I begged my mom to hem it. Boo hoo! The experienced novice ran to her mommy crying and begged her to finish the dress! Later on I found out that you can apply this liquid called “Fray Block” to the fabric to stop it from fraying. Too little too late there!

Would you sew this pattern again? I will definitely try again with lots of adjustments because the basic pattern looks very versatile and I would love to make other pieces of clothing using the pattern. Also since I am a glutton for punishment I might use another stretch rayon fabric, but with fabric block applied to prevent fraying.

Pattern: Simplicity 7500 circa 1967 purchased from Dawns Divine Finds on Etsy.

Fabric: Stretch rayon from Fabric Mart.

Techniques: Darts and invisible zipper.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quick Craft Projet: Tissue Holders

Last month I was invited to a birthday party for some friends and decided to make some tissue holders as presents. I used the tutorial that Zhing made on her wonderful blog "Little Projects in Style." The process was pretty straight forward so check out her blog for the full details and instructions.

Here is how they looked after the all the sewing is finished and before the trimming of the threads and the clipping of the corners. I had to iron on some interfacing on the first three covers since I used flimsy quilting cotton. The striped fabric is outdoor canvas that was pretty sturdy so no need for interfacing there. After all the clipping and trimming are finished. This is what they look like when you turn them right side out and place the tissue inside.

This is the back view of each of the tissue holders. All the fabric were scraps that I had so zero cost for me. Hooray for fabric hoarding!! My mom decided that she wanted Hula Girl version while I kept the striped canvas version since I have a bag made with the same fabric. The bottom two were given to the birthday girls along with some Cath Kidston Quilted purses I made, but that will be another post since that became a hellish experience. I also have a post coming for a Rayon dress I've been working on that just needs to be hemmed and photographed so I haven't been slacking on the sewing. Just been to lazy to take pictures, finish projects, start projects, do anything, etc.

The tissue holder pattern doesn't have to be used for tissues. My first version (without using the measurements in Zhings tutorial) came out too big, but became a perfect size for my Iphone. So now I have a new Iphone holder. I plan on making a lined version since I saw instructions somewhere about making it lined. Need to look for it though so I will definitely be making more. All the cutting, measuring, ironing and sewing took about 45 to an hour. I kind of lost track of time somewhere in the process, but that was because I was making four. I'm sure the time it takes to make one is much shorter. So good luck, stay tuned for more posts and check out Zhings blog since she has tons of other beginner friendly tutorials!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sewing with Cath Kidston: Quilted Purse Attempt 2 - 4

Ever since my disastrous attempt at making the "Quilted Purse" from Cath Kidston Sew book. I have decided to try again since it looked pretty easy and I know it couldn't be that difficult. Right? Anyways, this past weekend I rolled up my sleeves and tried again and ended up making three somewhat successful versions of the quilted purse with slightly different tweaks.

My first version is made using Hawaiian fabric purchased from Sweet Kapua Variety & Fabric Shoppe on Etsy and lined with some pink swiss dot fabric from Fabric Mart. If your wondering, I did follow all the instructions except for quilting the outer fabric and used some interfacing instead. I actually loved this version very much except for a few mistakes:
  • First, I sewed the white rick rack too close to the inner flap so that when I flipped  it right side out the rick rack virtually disappeared. Thankfully the pink lining peaked out just enough to give it a faux piping along the flap.
  • Second, I used interfacing that was too thin for a purse, which made my purse flopping and wrinkly despite my attempts to iron it.
  • Third, I did not notice that a small corner of my flap had a cut in it. The cut isn't too noticeable, but its in the worst possible location: the front flap. Boo.
  • Fourth, didn't really notice until the end, but if you have a design that runs one way then it will be upside down when you look at it from the back side. See the picture of the back the purses below and you will see what I mean. If you don't mind than its alright, but you have been warned.
  • Fifth, not really a mistake, but some bad planning. I didn't about what type of closure I was going to put until the end. I used a button maker and covered it with two layers of swiss dot fabric (fabric was really thin). I ended up hand sewing some super thin vintage elastic cord to the flap. This may not be the best way to do this since the cord may not stand up to constant use. Next time I would probably sew the elastic cord into the flap by sandwiching it between the two fabric layers.
  • Lastly, when I cut out the lining using the included pattern I noticed that it was the same dimensions as the outer fabric pattern. This meant that when I followed the directions and folded the top and bottom 3/8 inches and sewed it into the bag that the lining would be 1.5 inches short. I didn't really think this would affect the bag until I finished my third version. :-( Don't worry I will add my recommendations after my pattern review.
Front View

View of lining and hand sewn snap.
Version 2 of the Cath Kidston quilted purse was made using some japanese fabric from the Sweet Kapua Etsy store and a fat quarter I purchased from Joanns. This time I used mid weight fusible decor interfacing from Joanns, some vintage white jumbo rick rack trim, black ribbon and vintage sew on snaps. The results are as follows:
  • First, I like this version overall. The mid weight interfacing made quite a difference in the overall appearance of the purse. The purse looked smoother and was able to hold its shape much better.
  • Second, I also sewed the rick rack on correctly and looks nice with busy frog print.
  • Third, I sewed the flap portion closed before I realized I would need to hand sew the snap to the fabric lining only. This wasn't too bad since the fabric lining was really thin and could easily be pulled away from the outer lining fabric when you are hand sewing. Of course this might be a coincidence or dumb luck for me.
  • Lastly, I don't know what I was thinking using thin black ribbon. The little loop was just my dumb attempt at giving it a handle although I did make the ribbon too short and used a super thin handle that can snap at any time. Double boo!
I know you're probably wondering when am I going to actually make this a "quilted" purse like the instructions said on the Cath Kidston Sew book? Well look at version 3.

Version 3 with free motion quilting.

Made from quilting cotton purchased from Joanns. If the lining looks familiar than you are right because it was from the stretch cotton twill that I used to make my disastrous Fruit Salad dress. Of course I still had to make it my own by adding some brown pipping and trying to do some free motion quilting instead of making the quilted diamonds like last time.

Botched free motion quilting detail.

Despite this being my fourth attempt (aka third successful attempt) at the quilted purse I still hit a snag or two:
  • First, despite using a darning foot, lowering the feed dogs, setting the sewing speed to slow and using a quilting sewing needle on my machine. My free motion quilting results were not so good. I had a lot of long threads from pulling the fabric too fast and my swirls were not swirly. Of course, I didn't practice or anything like that since free motion quilting should be easy right?? Another classic experienced novice mess up.
  • Second, this was around the time I noticed that my lining was too short. So now I know that I should cut the lining fabric a bit longer.
  • Last, this was my mom's favorite and has promptly asked to have it despite my crappy attempt at free motion quilting. Mom claims it doesn't look as bad as I think it is, but then again I was thinking my results would like Vera Bradley and not "crappy".
Here is my full pattern review for the Cath Kidston Quilted Purse.

Three versions of Cath Kidston Quilted Purse.

Back view of the quilted purses.

Pattern Review (The Pros): This pattern review is for the "Quilted Purse" pattern that can be found in Cath Kidstons Sews book. A paper pattern is included in the book. I liked how the instructions can be followed by beginner, but you will need to read the instructions a couple times to make sure you have the sequence correct. I love how you have many options on trimming the purse and really making it your own. Also great that you can easily lengthen or shorten the pattern pieces to make it in whatever size you want. I see a bag for Ipad using this pattern! Also be warned that this pattern will try to get you to do a bunch of hand sewing so be prepared.

The Cons: The two cons I have about this pattern is the hand sewing required to achieve the quilted look. The instructions are included for marking out the one inch diamond grid, but the book doesn't include instructions on how to hand quilt the purse nor does it include instructions for machine quilting the diamonds, which would have helped me out. Another con is that pattern piece for the lining is too short once it is completely sewn in. There is an almost 1.5 inch gap between the bottom of the purse and lining. This issue can be easily amended, but someone doing this for the first time will be surprised. Lastly, not really a con, but something to keep in mind. I mentioned earlier that if you have fabric print that goes in one direction that it will the design will be upside down in the back because the outer fabric is one long rectangle folded in half. Just another surprise for the novice seamstress.

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes, despite my little "tweaks" in trim.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes, will need to lengthen the lining pattern by 2-3 inches (includes the seam allowances) to make it fit the purse. I suggest being conservative and cutting the lining fabric long, baste the seam allowance and check it for fit inside the outer fabric. Also need to be aware when using one directional patterned fabric. See my previous comments.

Pattern Level: Beginner. 

What could I have done better? How about reading all the directions first and following them the first time around before I decide to be creative. Also to double check my work instead of rushing through it.

Would you sew this pattern again? Yes, I see a potential Ipad cover in my future.
Would you recommend this pattern to a beginner? Yes, just take it slow, read through the directions a couple times, measure twice maybe three times and enjoy the process. Also don't be boxed in with what the picture shows you. I have realized that trims and closures can be just as interchangeable as fabric and can drastically change the look of the end product. Also don't be afraid to mess up. Experiment and don't forget that interfacing is your friend when it comes to making purses look really good.

Pattern: Quilted Purse pattern from Cath Kidston Sew book purchased from
Fabric: Version 1: Hawaiian Fabric Cotton print from Sweet Kapua on Etsy & Swiss Dot Cotton lining from Fabric Mart.
Version 2: Japanese Kawaii fabric from Sweet Kapua & Cotton Print (fat quarter) lining from Joanns. Version 3: Quilting cotton from Joanns and stretch cotton twill from Fabric Mart for the lining.
Trim: Vintage white rick rack, black ribbon, self made button using button maker and brown cotton pipping.
Techniques: Lining, quilting, interfacing, button making, piping and rick rack application and hand sewing metal snaps.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Look what came in the post!

I came home the other day and found two packages waiting for me. One of them was from my all time favorite online fabric store: Fabric Mart. They were having an extra 75% sale and this is what I got.
Yards of beautiful Rayon Challis fabric for $2.49 a yard. I am planning on using the painterly designed fabric on the bottom to make myself a dress for an upcoming vacation.

Beautiful Kimono/Sakura/Floral print cotton fabric, dotted cotton fabric and apple green stretch poplin.

Gray rayon jersey for $1.50, purple lining for $0.38 a yard and zebra print polyester charmeuse.

As an added bonus they were having a special where they will give you ten yards of mystery fabric for free for orders that are over $75. Here is what I got. Some striped stretch cotton shirting, a black and white fabric that is thin and clingy and some ITY in a crazy animal print. Don’t know what I’ll do with the ITY, but at least it was free.

Feeling inspired yet? That’s not all! I also received my book order from Amazon that was full of crafty goodness. Here we have the Cath Kidston’s In Print book, Craft Hope, Sew & Stow and my favorite the Everything Alice Book.
 I am in love with the Everything Alice book. It has tons of crafts for the lovers of Alice in Wonderland and those who want to have an Alice-inspired party or to add a touch of Wonderland in their home. Here are my favorite crafts from the book. White rabbit and Cheshire Cat masks made from mosaic tiles.
Invitation Pillows.
Wonderland tea party hats.
And Wonderland aprons.
The book contains all the patterns and instructions to make these items and more. They even have recipes for red velvet cupcakes, macaroons, lemonade and everything Alice. So if you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland than order yourself a copy. I got mine from Amazon. Hope you’re feeling inspired because I am.  

Summer 2011 Quilted Purse Disaster

Last night I decided to work on a birthday present for my BFF who just celebrated her birthday last week. My BFF will be traveling back to visit next month so I figured I had time to make something small for her. I recently purchased the Cath Kidston Sewing book, which had lots of cute projects. I decided to make the Quilted Purse since it looked pretty easy.
Being the “Experienced Novice”, having made several bags before and feeling confidant with my sewing skills I decided to just wing it. Briefly browsed through the directions (I’ll just use them as guidelines), decided to use some already precut scraps (it was a pain to pull out the pattern and mark it on the fabric) and eyeballed the purse dimensions. I ended up cutting both the outer fabric and lining as a single piece instead of the two pieces for the lining as instructed. I’m sure you know where this is going.
Here was my workstation when I just started making the purse as I was feeling confidant and full of myself. The pink Hawaiian fabric was the going to be the outside and black floral fabric in the back left was my lining.

Because I saw the word “quilted” in the title for this purse I thought I was suppose to use batting (the rectangular white stuff in my picture above) to make it look quilted. Please note that I have never quilted anything in my life, but have read about it on countless blogs and have shopped in quilting stores. So I felt fairly I was experienced enough to figure out how to quilt. I followed the book instructions to mark one inch square grids on the right side of the outer fabric, I basted the batting underneath and sewed away. I then basted some rick rack on the flap piece, pinned the lining (right sides facing), sewed up the sides (with a spot for turning) and this is what I ended up with.

The outside.
The lining side.
Despite the glaringly obvious flap that was sewn on backwards and the crappily applied white rick rack. I was just going to work with it and fold up the purse and sew up the sides. The backwards flap will just be a cute contrast I intentionally did to break up the pattern (so I told myself).

Then I realized as I folded l the purse piece in half and tried to sew up the sides that my sewing machine couldn’t sew through the double layer of fabric and batting. The layers were just too thick when doubled up. I went back and read the supply list for the quilted purse and I realized that batting or any type of backing wasn’t listed anywhere. The quilted purse was supposed to be made with two pieces of fabric and the hand sewn grid outline was the quilted design detail. The purse wasn’t supposed to really be quilted at least not quilted using batting. No wonder I couldn’t sew through the layers of fabric. So ends my embarrassing story of the “Experience Novice” thinking she can once again wing it while sewing something. Sadly I am left with something that looks like this. 

I don’t know what to do with it. Perhaps use it as a hot pad? Or maybe I can sew elastic down the middle or another piece of fabric and use it to hold my crochet hooks? Or pin it to my inspiration wall to remind myself what not to do? Your suggestions are welcome. I have not been deterred. I still have time and fabric so I will give this another go, but I will read the instructions and use the pattern this time. I’m sure I can make it. Wish me luck.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Clothing Designer Alert: Calypso St. Barth for Target

As a "novice" seamstress I have shunned buying any new dresses since I thought could always make one in a fabric, style and size that I wanted. I was also under the impression that what was supposedly "in" right now didn't really match up with what I thought was "in" or "stylish" for me. You should have seen my expression when I walked into Target this past weekend and came face to face with the Calypso St. Barth for Target collection. I don't know if it was the colors, the well made dresses (dresses are lined/embroidered), the fact that I would love to dress as if I was on a beach vacation all year long or that I could fit the size medium dresses that made me love this collection. I think it was all of the above.

I have been a great follower of the Target x Designer team ups since its inception. My favorite clothing line was the Luella collaboration. Fit has always been an issue with these designer collaborations. Even at my skinniest I seemed to always fit the bodice of the dresses, but the skirts would be humongous and sometimes vice versa. Sleeved tops have been issue too where the shirt would fit perfectly, but my upper arms would always be squeezed like sausages. As of late, I haven't been too impressed with the latest designs until now.

Here are some of my favorite Calypso St. Barth for Target pieces:

I love the Maxi Dress and Khaki Dress
I ended up purchasing several dresses from the collection and haven't looked back since. So go to Target now if you want a chance on getting your hands on these dresses. I ended having to order the maxi dress online because my size was not available in any of the stores in my area.

Here are some more pictures of the Calypso dresses. I recommend wearing a belt with the tunics if you are as shapeless and short as I am and want a more tailored look. Of course this won't be any problem if you wear it to the beach.

Tunic Dress

Khaki dress

My favorite colored tunic dress

Sorry for the lack of sewing posts. My sewing has been stalled due to the unfinished sewing room/craft room remodel. Finally got my dad to agree on coming over this weekend to help me hang the cabinets so hopefully I will have a great completed sewing room remodel post and finally have some space to start sewing again.