Monday, November 25, 2013

Handel Messiah

Our choir is singing Handel Messiah for Christmas this year.  Note: I am not that great of a singer, but I enjoy being in the choir.  This production is not the WHOLE choir, just those that volunteer.  So I volunteered...not realizing how HARD these pieces are.  All I could think of was the Hallelujah Chorus, I figured this would be a great opportunity of learn how to sing it correctly.  Oooooh weee!  There are a couple of other chorus' we will be doing.  Thank God for YouTube.

Anyway, we are black formal dresses with a single strand of pearls.  Cool, easy...I have both.  Well I tried on the dress I already have last week.  I was just going to make a bolero jacket to wear with it...but after trying it on, I realized...I need to make another dress.  The one I have is not quite church appropriate, just a little tooooo low cut in the front.  Sure, if I was a "B" cup I could get away with it, BUT...NOT!

So, it's on to plan "B".  While I was looking for patterns for the jacket I saw this dress.  I plan on altering the pattern so the the back is not as low and I will not be sewing the drape onto it.

Perfect....EASY!  Just so happen JoAnn's had their Vogue patterns on sale for $3.99 Saturday.  So I was lucky enough to get the only, the last of this pattern they had in the drawer.

While I was there, I looked at fabric.  The pattern calls for fabric with a 4-way stretch.  I did not want to sequins or anything shinny so I looked at velvet.  They had a few options of crushed velvet, that was very reasonable ($5.99-$9.99) that also happened to be 40% off.  But I did not like the look of them.  They had that cheezy "renaissance fair" look to them. After about 30 minutes wandering up and down the aisle, I rand across a beautiful stretch velvet.  The bolt said $7.99 AND it was on sale.  Perfect...almost too perfect right?  Right! Got up to the cutting table with it and um yeah too perfect!  It was about a yard and a half of stretch velvet that was on the wrong bolt. :-/ The fabric that I wanted was $16.99 and that was all they had of it in black.  Well, at least I figured out what kind of fabric I wanted to make the dress out of, so it was not a complete fail.  Oh and I got my pattern.

Later in the week I went to Hancock's to see what they had.  I love the fabric at Hancock's, I always find what I'm looking for (plus a few of things I did not know I was looking for). LOL  Not only did they have the stretch velvet I wanted it was $14.99 AND 50% off!!!  I plan on lining it with tricot.

Love it when a plan comes together!  I wanted to cut out the dress that night, but did not get a chance to.  Which is probably a good thing.  In the meantime, I thoroughly read the directions and I've been reading a few articles on sewing velvet.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pattern Review - McCalls 6604

McCalls 6604 Top View A with McCalls 3830 Skirt
Pattern Description: 
Pull over top with different varations.  I cut/sewed view A

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a size 18

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I do not know, I misplaced the directions and had to pretty much wing it on my own. Was not sure how the neck facing should have been finished.  I was concerned about it stretching out. so I basted it and finished it with a zig-zag stitch (I do not have a serger yet).  Funny, the directions "showed up" when I was finished with it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
No dislikes.  It was very easy to sew.  And unlike other reviewers I did not have a problem with the drape in the front being too low (even though it looks low in the dress form).

Edited to add: I wore the top to work today, and yes the front drape is a little's more noticeable when you bend over.

Fabric Used:
Light weight poly printed fabric

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I used the sleeves from view C

Would you sew it again?
Yes.  Probably view A again but with the sleeves from view D.

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes.  It seems like there were mixed reviews on this top.  Mostly just personal preferences.  I say give it a try, it's an easy top to sew.

Another great wardrobe piece for me!  Top is shown with McCalls 3830

Friday, November 1, 2013

Serge on...

I have a new love for knits...specifically ITY knits and Ponte knits.  They are so easy to sew and I love just about everything about working with them.

I know, no one but me will see the inside, but I really want a nice, professional finish in my seams.

So know I am on the hunt for a nice, affordable serger.  This will (hopefully) be a one time purchase for me so I want to make sure I get one with all the features I need and will possibly need.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the sewing machine shop by my house to look at machines.  They demonstrated how each machine worked and let me try it out.  Ultimately, I decided on a Janome 1100D.

It's a little (well a lot) more than I expected to spend.  I put it on layaway and I am excited about me decision.  This will be my Christmas present to ME this year :-)

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