~ Mimi's Adventures in Crafting ~

The musings and adventures of a "forty-something" wife and mother whose inner-artisan has been reignited. Enter my realm and enjoy....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mail Call…$3.99 sale at Vogue

Note: This post was created on 2/6/10 right after the online sale; I must say the past few weeks I just haven't felt like being on the computer so my lack of enthusiasm for technology has left me not wanting to go near the laptop being as I'm on the computer at work all day as well. This lack of enthusiasm probably has something to do with the winter dragging on too!!! So with a cup of coffee in hand and Martha Stewart on FLN I am finally getting the chance to get it up and posted...all be it a little late. Enjoy!

This week’s mail call comes to you courtesy of Vogue Patterns and their $3.99 sale that took place last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I normally don’t order patterns through the mail unless they are for a company I can not access locally or it’s a good buy. For me ordering three patterns online from Vogue equated to what I would have spent in gas and sales tax if I had purchased the patterns at Joann’s considering I have a 30 minute drive to the nearest Joann Fabrics store. The patterns I selected were V8146, V8615 and V1160.

First up is the V8615 which I had seen in the December ‘09/January ‘10 issue of Vogue Patterns (pg. 65) but hadn’t really given much thought to until a post made on Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing blog made me rethink my ideas about this particular pattern. What drew me to the pattern was the fact that Vogue was introducing their new Custom Fit for A, B, C, D cup size collection but I believe my dislike originated with the fabric choice for the dress that was featured in this issue as well as the artwork on the front of the pattern envelope. Black and white houndstooth is not one of my favorites so seeing it on the model was basically a big turn off for me and in essence colored my vision towards this pattern. But through following Gertie’s blog my thinking on this pattern has been reversed for she made a lovely wine-colored silk shantung dress from this pattern.

Gertie also offered some very helpful video tutorials on tissue fitting and finally finishing off the dress with a circular hem. Please check her blog out for you will be pleasantly surprised by all of the helpful information and posts you will find there.

Left: Photo courtesy of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing

Moving on to the V8146, a Very Easy Vogue, Misses Jacket and Dress; this pattern features a basic sleeveless, straight dress but it is the jacket on this pattern that I fell in love with. Made up in the right fabric it will be a great jacket to go with the V8615 dress for a night out on the town. I can’t wait to make that duo up. As for the sleeveless dress, I have future plans to utilize the basic pattern in making a knock-off of an L’Wren dress that I have just fallen for.

Last but not least is the V1160 pattern. This pattern I think is to die for because it has a very fun and flirty look to it for spring. It is a DKNY (Donna Karan New York) designer pattern for Vogue. I’m not totally into the black and white polka dot fabric but the dress itself is great and I have already purchased the chiffon fabric for it. I will approach this pattern with trepidation being as sewing on chiffon can present its’ own set of issues. Wish me luck on this one!

Well…those are my latest editions to my pattern gallery and I can’t wait to work on them once my Chanel jacket is complete.

As always….Happy Sewing!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

For the men in my life...

McCalls's 4244

Having spent a considerable amount of time on making gifts for Christmas this year I decided that the men in my life needed to be taken care of as well. So...my husband and my daughter's boyfriend were recipients of flannel pajama bottoms.

On my first trip to Joann’s I was sadly disappointed for they did not have any “man flannel” and I was then relegated to choosing something from the snuggle-flannel line. Needless to say this did not include anything really meant for a man. The closest I could come to anything a guy would wear was a “flame” flannel. I thought it was kind of cool and being my daughter's boyfriend races snow machines I thought it would go along with his need for speed.

I whipped those up in no time but they just didn’t do it for me. I wanted “man flannel” so on my next trip to Joann’s I made a bee-line to the flannel shirting section and this time they had an over abundance of it. I quickly picked out a lovely hunter green plaid for my husband and a red/white/green plaid for my daughter’s boyfriend.

It took me a little longer to complete these than the flame bottoms being as I took the time to match the plaids. I think they turned out well and I will definitely use this pattern again. I did modify the pattern’s casing for the waistband. I tried making them the way the directions suggested but it makes the pattern more difficult than need be. Instead I converted the waistband to fit 1” elastic and I added buttonholes on each side of the center front seam and ran a drawstring through it.

Here are some pics along with my review.

Didn't do too bad on the plaid matching.
Pattern Review
PR: M4244

Pattern Description: Men’s Robe, belt, tops, pants and shorts I made the pajama bottoms

Fabric Used: Flannel

Pattern Size: (Small, Medium, Large) I made both a medium and a large.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I did not care for the directions in regards to the making of the casing for the waistband. I totally scratched the pattern directions and created a simple casing to hold 1” elastic. Prior to sewing the casing down I put a buttonhole on each side of the center front seam to run a waistband drawstring through. Once the casing was sewed I ran the elastic through having left an opening in the back of the casing then stitched the elastic together and closed the casing. I then ran my purchased drawstring twill tape through the casing using the buttonholes.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened both the medium and large by 2 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes

Conclusion: These pajama bottoms went together quickly even with matching plaids. I would recommend the pattern with the waistband modification.

Happy Sewing!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Christmas Present for Lola


Who exactly is Lola?

Well...Lola is our Beagle-Lab mix that we adopted eight years ago.  I work for a local highway department and on a very cold January morning one of our drivers came across Lola's mother in a snowbank. Someone had just dropped her off and left her there in the bank to fend for herself.  Being the caring person that she is, the driver brought the dog back to the highway department to warm up and give her some food.  To make a long story short Lola's mother (Hilda) was found to be pregnant and she gave birth to a litter of ten puppies right there at the highway department.

Everyone took their turn at caring for the puppies until they got to the stage where they could be adopted out.  This is where my daughter comes in for she had fallen in love with these little balls of fur and energy; in particular she had fallen for Lola.  Slowly, each and every puppy found a loving and caring home with Lola being the last.  She had worked her way into our hearts and our home and  we are so glad she came to live with us and are thankfull all the other puppies were adopted out as well.

So...this Christmas...we wanted to give Lola a new, comfy spot to lay her head down after a day of chasing squirrels and barking at the deer wandering our woods out back.

McCall's M5410

I didn't like the fact the bed didn't have a removable liner so I used some left over denim and an upholstery zipper and whipped one up to fit inside the large dog bed.

This pattern is a "no sew" project but I modified the pattern by sewing part way around the bed prior to stuffing. On the edges that I left open I also stitched along the remainder of the bed to give a point to cut to for the ties.

Denim bed placed inside fleece.

Tying the knots around the bed.

Plaid Top
Solid Bottom
Lola enjoying her new bed!

Pattern Review

PR: M5410

Pattern Description: Pet Beds

Fabric Used: Fleece

Pattern Size: (S-M-L)  I made a large bed for Lola.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern is a no sew pattern but knowing that I would want to wash this pet bed at some point I sewed it prior to tying the knots. Also they have you directly stuffing into the fleece which I did not like either so I made an inner liner out of some left over jean fabric and stuffed that with the stuffing and then stuffed the jean liner into the fleece bed.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I sewed the bed together about three quarters the way around and left a quarter open. I placed the stuffed denim liner into the fleece; I then tied the knots closing the bed up around the denim liner.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes

Conclusion: I think this is a great project for both the sewer and non-sewer. Pretty simple and quick!

Happy Sewing!!!
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