Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

"In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want."  Irish Toast

I would like to take a moment to thank you for visiting me here at SewBarbie, and to wish you the very best in the New Year.  May God bless you and your families.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, I wish you all peace, love and blessings.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Vogue 1268 W.I.P.

Like many of you, I haven't had any time for sewing, between work and party planning ( I'm hosting three parties), I can't even look at a sewing project.  My almost complete dress is sitting on the dress form and waiting for me to finish up.

 I've been searching the internet to see if anyone has completed this one, so far, no takers.  So here's a quick look just in case you are thinking of making it up yourself.  I have lots of observations about this one, most are very positive.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Guy...Laroche,that is. Vogue1268

It's the rust suede dress in the center, cute huh?

Guy and I are having an affair.  Lately, I've made several of his house's designs, am working on this one, and have another one coming up.  First of all, they fit me very well, and, I just love the designs.  This one is out of UltraSuede and presents a few challenges; marking and basting must be done carefully, needles will leave little holes in the fabric.  The pattern gives tons of ease, I personally don't want it that big.  I didn't do a FBA, just cut my regular size and you can see there's lots of breathing room.  Guess it's good I'm doing this one around the holidays... ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving!  Blessings to you and your families.

Here is the line drawing.  I prefer to use these as a guide rather than the photos on the pattern.  I'm planning on having it turn out more like this, than the pattern photo- which is huge.

You can see there's plenty of room, still keeping the designer's plan for an easy top.
Here's how I basted the pleats
I always love to see how everyone works.   I keep my tools, and especially the pattern, very close by.  I pick up the pattern and look it over quite a bit during the sewing process, it's my way of double checking the details before the needle hits the fabric.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

60'S Fashion for Fall tells us that 70's, 60's and oriental fashion is on trend for fall 2011.  These are exactly the types of fashion that I love to sew and wear.  Great fabric, clean lines, slim silhouettes and classic details make up clothes that are timeless.  I don't know about you, but when I sew, I work on pieces that I can wear for more than a season- after all; sewing is a labor of love and I want to wear the clothes for as long as I can.  I don't mind sewing up a "trendy" piece, but I won't spend for than $20 a yard on the fabric or 3 days making it.  What about you?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vogue 1143 I love Guy Laroche!

I made this last year, it was pure pleasure to sew and wonderful to wear.  Took a business trip to San Francisco and decided to bring it out.  I made the jacket and pants, they both fit very well and have a very couture feel about them.  I used a wool with lycra, it's a bit more than medium weight and drapes beautifully.  The jacket body is fully interfaced with fusible tricot and here's the good part - it took a round trip to SFO, was worn for an entire day and night, then I put it on the mannequin to photograph.  Not bad, eh?

   I sent the buckle out to be covered and unfortunately it came apart at the cleaners.  I "jimmyed" it together and will have to send it back to be redone.  If it looks a bit funky; that's the reason.

   The pattern describes it as a semi-fitted, lined jacket, partially interfaced with princess seams, flounce, raglan sleeves with gusset and full length lower sleeves, belt and snap closures.  Semi-fitted pants with mock fly closures, pockets, waist facing and slightly flared legs.

I looked all over the internet and didn't find any reviews on the jacket, I wonder why?  This is one of my favorite outfits, I feel very elegant when I have it on.  It's still in print...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Silhouette Pattern 115 Ann's Top

I've never used this pattern company before but attended a conference where they were being featured. I love that the pattern has separate fronts for B-D cup sizes.  I really love the french dart!  I know you can't see it, but it's there doing it's shaping magic.  I think french darts are the most flattering to the body and would love to use them more often, but few pattern companies put them in.  In the top, the dart really helps the shape.  The directions are straightforward although I didn't use them much...super easy.  The fabric was free!  Yes, I received it as a free bundle from FabricMart, it's much prettier in person than in the photos.  I will sew this one up again and again!

I also ordered the trench coat pattern from Silhouette, it too, has a french dart...yipee!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vogue 1220 in black, finished

Here is the completed dress.  It is described as a loose-fitting mid-knee length dress with shawl pleated collar, waistline pleats and side slant pockets.  I've worn the orange dress several times since making it and each time I get complimented.  Naturally, I want another one.  It's relatively easy to make and the instructions are very good except for the the fly button closure.  It's vague in describing how it should be attached at the hem.  I had to rip a bit, insert it, then sew it closed again.  I used a lightweight stretch cotton.  If I ever make it again, I'll use a stretch linen or crepe, I think that will give it a more elegant look.   I've made two and that's enough for now. 
***Fabric alert!  I wore the dress today and it felt just fine, however; when I put it in the closet, I noticed that the cotton was a bit heavier weight in the orange (first) version than this black.  I prefer the heavier cotton stretch because it gives the dress more body and shows off the lines a bit more...f.y.i.

Purchased belt
Tie has a seam in the center as I didn't have enough fabric to cut in one piece, hope I don't get arrested.

My favorite custom necklace from

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Paco Peralta Design

Paco Peralta is a Barcelona based designer whose clothes are crisp, feminine and classic; I'm a huge fan.  While browsing his blog, as usual, I saw this top posted and literally gasped!  I love the "V" seam in the front and the light blue/gray crepe is just perfect for the design.  As I read a bit further, I saw that he was giving the pattern away! 
 It was in my mailbox today! 
I can't wait to make it!
Thanks Paco!
Check him out, the link is on my blog list :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vogue 1220 in Black

This Donna Karen dress is so easy to wear, you can't just have one.  If you haven't made this one yet, do yourself a favor and start one.  I want it in black and the weather has been mild, so I'll be wearing this for a while yet.

It's nice to work on a pattern that's already adjusted and is ready to go, and it's just as much fun to sew the second time around.

You'll notice my tailor tacks to mark the places that require precise stitching on the right side, I like them because they can be seen from both sides.

On another note, I am in love with Vogue 1268 and am trying to decide whether I want it in wool double knit or Ultrasuede.  I'm feeling pretty excited about the faux suede but vowed not to buy any more fabric.   Hold it!... Can Ultrasuede really be called a fabric?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My First Sewing Book

Work has been so busy lately that I haven't had time to sew.  I prepped some fabric and a pattern but am still undecided about what to make next, do I want pants or a dress?  That's my dilema and I'm uninspired.

On another note, I use books as much as my sewing tools to remind me of how to complete many of my sewing tasks.  I need a book with good instructions (that don't require too much head scratching), and good illustrations.  I really don't want a "shortcuts" type book and am always willing to do the extra work to get it right.  Here's my first sewing book, The New Simplicity Sewing Book, from the '80's!  Boy did I learn a lot from this one, I actually learned how to sew by following this book step by step.   I wish I still had the jacket I made back then, it had welt pockets, set-in sleeves and a complicated collar; it came out beautifully thanks to the clear instructions in the book.  Notice the dog-eared pages, it was well-used and is still my "go to" guide when I can't figure it out any other way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Agfa Isolette V

Okay, I had to brag about it, my new baby, little Agfa Isolette V.  She is a medium format, 120 film (like the very pricey Hasselblad) pocket camera.  You see, I have another mad hobby and it is vintage stuff- Barbies, furniture, clocks and cameras.  She is minty perfect with her sweet leather case, combimeter, flash and INSTRUCTIONS!  Wow!  She's only about 60 years old and will be tested tomorrow at a photo shoot with an international makeup artist, Dick Page. 

Don't worry, this isn't going to become "SewandShootBarbie", I just had to share this one little bit of wonder.

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Inspiration/ Fall 2011

My closet is full of tailored suits, fitted jackets on one side, fitted trousers of varying widths with pencil skirts on the other...I'm getting a bit too predictable.  Don't get me wrong, I believe in those classic, great fitting styles, but I have a yearning for something new, flowing, easy and fun.  I've been seeing so many fall collections that are just too young for me, but there is a trend that I think can work for my age and body type.
This look is next on my list

I can't wait to get this one done, love the fur peplum

I have the fabric for this one

There's something about this that I just love

I have a vintage pattern that will be perfect for this

Great fabric will make this look like a million dollars

Love this

Friday, September 2, 2011

Black Lace, Taupe Lining

The wedding is tomorrow and the dress is finished.  I worked on it in brief time periods, but finally it is ready to wear.  Although the pattern is quite simple, I did give a lot of thought to working with lace  as I've never done it before.  The biggest consideration was how to construct the bodice with its seams and darts while keeping the lace edge across the upper front.  Finally worked that out by doing three layers of fabric, the lace, underlining and lining.  The skirt was done following the pattern instructions.  I thought about doing a narrow belt with a bow, but it looks nice in its simplest form.  I really love the pockets, they're in the side seams and are made of the taupe lining so they can't be seen.  I can't wait to wear it!  Dancing anyone?

I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I chose the lace at Mood in N.Y., it's rather heavy and I love the open pattern, sort of gives a black and white effect to the dress that adds an interesting texture to the look.  I don't want to look nude underneath.

Interestingly enough, the dress can look casual or dressy, I thought this would be a one event dress, but I think I'll get a bit of wear out of it.

"Who's copying who?"
Thanks for reading my blog!