Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Outfit Along 2014

It was dicey for a bit, but I'm really excited to tell you I've finished my outfit! I actually finished! Whoooot!!!

This outfit presented more than it's fair share of challenges along the way. From major gauge issues on the cardi to major fit issues on the dress. I will admit to feeling defeated on more than one occasion. Things hit rock bottom the other night when I attached the bodice to the skirt and tried the dress on only to find that despite doing two muslins my fit was still off and my dress fit like a sack.  I was ready to throw in the towel on sewing forever! Luckily, I was talked down off my ledge and given some good advice. It gave me the "oomph" to get out my seam ripper and get to the bottom of my fit problems and correct them.

I'll give you a tip here, if you are sewing a fitted dress over a period of time in which your measurements may have changed, don't assume it's your skills or ability that is at fault! When one of the ladies over in the Scientific Seamstress Lab group on Facebook mentioned measurements the light bulb finally went off. I grabbed my tape measure and much to my surprise my measurements had changed significantly enough that the root of the problem was suddenly very clear, and it wasn't my ability to follow a pattern. I was sewing the wrong sized dress. Empowered by that knowledge I forged ahead and took in seams, shortened the bodice and reduced the width of the skirt fabric.

Finally success! An outfit that fits!!!

Unfortunately my cardi now has a bit more ease than anticipated as well. I guess I could go back to snacking with wild abandon and gain back those few pounds I've dropped because I'm definitely not at the point that I want to rip it out and begin again for a third time.  Although that might be a bad idea because then my cardi will fit, but my dress won't. Perhaps the better option is to just decide to be ok with the extra room after all.

I only did a couple of very simple modifications to the two patterns despite all my frogging back on Myrna and the fit issues with the Jenny Dress . For Myrna, I did only two sets of waistline decreases instead of five as called for. In retrospect I could've done three sets and still not had too much negative ease, but hindsight is 20/20.  For Jenny my only mods from the pattern were to cut a narrower skirt so as not to have quite so much volume at the waistline and I added pockets. I do love pockets!!! I used the pattern piece from the Washi Dress pattern instead of drafting my own.

The final assessment of the 2014 Outfit Along? Well worth the effort! I'm really happy how my outfit turned out and I really enjoyed the process despite all the frustrations and setbacks. I'd definitely sign up again if Andi and Lauren decide to host another one!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Little Super Hero

Last Saturday was a big day in our house!  Little Man turned FIVE!!!! (I also had a birthday, but that's not nearly as exciting).  We started the day out with the traditional birthday crown (you can see his previous ones here, here, here and here !) This year's seemed pretty plain to me, but Little Man's assessment was, "It's just what I hoped for! Green Lantern's symbol with a five on it!" He'd also mentioned he hoped there'd be a five "stitched in thread" on his crown this year so I embroidered a five on either side of his crown.

Instead of doing "loot bags" this year I decided it would be much more fun (for me anyways!) to make super hero masks for each of the little party guests. I had hoped to make an assortment for the adults too, but unfortunately ran short on time. I think the kids liked them and I did have fun making them.  Little Man picked out the selection and chose specifically for each child which they should receive then presented them with their mask as they arrived.  I used an online template for the basic shape then took off from there! We had (from top right :  Batgirl, Supergirl, Dazzler, Wonder Woman, Stargirl, Spider-Man, Batman, Captain America and Wolverine - Little Man and Baby Boy used their Green Lantern and Flash masks that I made them in May)

You have no idea how hard it is to get a bunch of excited kids - who are being eaten alive by mosquitoes - to sit and look at the camera for a photo. This is the best one I got!

Little Man has been thinking about his cake for months so I knew exactly what I needed to make.  Using my usual chocolate cake recipe I quickly realized I wasn't going to have quite enough cake batter to fill a 9x13" pan as well as a 9" round pan that I would need to create the Green Lantern symbol, so I decided to make my chocolate cake and then a white cake recipe that would yield a single layer, and then marble the two as I didn't really want scads of cake left over if I did a double recipe of chocolate. It turned out really well I thought. Icing it in weather that, with the humidex, was +37C with no air conditioning was, as always, interesting shall we say. It involved a lengthy process of freezer, quick crumb coat layer, back to the freezer, second layer, back to the freezer till cake time all in order to prevent the buttercream from melting and sliding right off the cake. I was happy and Little Man was happy!

As I mentioned it was also my birthday.  For months the boys have been looking at my Australian Women's Weekly Cake book planning exactly what they wanted to make for me, which I thought incredibly sweet of them.  I was treated to a "Fairytale Cake" mostly made by the boys and (BF)G - with a wee bit of assistance from me.

All in all a pretty good birthday I'd say!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A Pretty New Pattern!

I'm taking a bit of a break from my Outfit Along outfit today. We need a bit of separation. Even if for a few minutes or hours.  I've suddenly found myself battling with fit issues with the dress and now a bit of conundrum about the cardi has cropped up as there was a significant bit of gauge errata that popped up late last week for the pattern. I'm at a crossroads with only one sleeve left to go - rip out and start over again from the beginning for a more form fitting sleeve or go with the slightly baggie sleeve and call it a day because the rest of the cardi fits perfectly to my liking.

Gauge. You are my arch nemesis!

So instead I'm obsessing thinking and talking about something else right now instead.  I just bought a new pattern this week from E-Beth Designs that I'm super excited about! I've been seeing the Lorelei Women's Dress* popping up all over the blogosphere lately and I've been absolutely taken with it!

It's everything I love! A twirly skirt (with a tulle petticoat!!!), a fitted bodice and a pattern that will fit me without a whole slew of alterations! WHOOT!!!! It's got a nice retro vibe to it too that I've always really liked.

I can't wait to get sewing this dress. But first I have to find the perfect fabric. I've been scouring the net, and I've checked Fabricland in the city (although just briefly as the boys - including N who I dragged along with me were all getting a bit antsy from being in there beyond their time limit). I hope I find my fabric soon! Did I mention I can't wait to sew this dress?

I have a fancy dress in mind, which it is truly perfect for, but then I've come across several more casual knit versions in the last few days. AHHHHHH! Pretty dress + comfort = win/win for my summer wardrobe! There's a good chance you are going to be hearing a lot about this pattern from me over the coming weeks!

I'll have to let you know how the fabric search pans out. In the meantime, I'm going to go take a look at my new pattern and see if I can't get a jump on things by starting my muslin for it!

Ready to cut out and paste my printed out pattern pieces together
and then onto cutting out and sewing a muslin!

*this post contains affiliate links - if you purchase from E-Beth Designs through the links in this post I do earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you