Bad things happen to diligent sewers. What makes this injury worse than others is that–well, other than not having any neosporin–once again, I was working on McCall’s 6318 in vain (and, no, this does not count towards the contest–whatevs).

It’s sad because I can see the potential in it.  I can tell that it’s the right pattern for my shape, but it always comes down to fit for me.  Although last time I screwed up on the sewing.  Then again, had I not, I’d probably have had a fit issue on my hands then too.

Regardless, I have successfully created an abomination.  Congratulate me!

The bust is too loose (who’d ‘ve thunk it) and the midsection is WAY too tight–laughably tight.  I do like the color though.  Unfortunately that won’t make up for the monstrosity that is the fit.

Look?  See!  Wrong.  That’s an invisible zipper, by the way.  Oh, you can see it? It’s not invisible?  Interesting.

My iron was so peeved that I involved him in this process that he repeatedly shut off automatically.  When I insisted he turn back on, he took his revenge.  I can’t blame him.

I’m going to give this pattern one last try after the contest, then I’m packing it up for The Sewing Machine Project.  You have to know when to say when.


Is that a umm . . .

Well . . . before I get to what that is, let’s preface this. Today’s subject is pattern number three, Simplicity 2451, on my Blasted Bloody List. It’s tragic that I won’t be making a wearable garment out of this pattern–you know, because of the contest and all.  But I didn’t enter the contest to win it anyway; I entered it so that I would be compelled to sew something, and, you know, mission accomplished.

Anyhoo, it was a weekday Fourth of July–no one wants to get all fireworks excited just to return home to set out work clothes for the next day.  So while others braved the crowds, I stayed home, watched the History Channel’s American Revolutionary War documentary series, and sewed.

Things were looking pretty good, no seams had to be ripped, the skirt was coming together rather quickly, and it seemed like these militia men might prove themselves useful to Daniel Morgan.  Then, the hour of reckoning arrived: it was time to try on the muslin.

I was pleased with myself and my skirt as I admired it in the mirror.  Awesome yoke, awesomer pleats, then I did my little turn on the catwalk, and–eeeeek, pleats un-awesomed!  Sitting there, right at my crotch in all of its glory, was my umm . . . well, my lady bulge.  I have a lady bulge.

Actually, this explains a lot.  You can’t live my life, kicking ass and taking names, without having a nice-sized general leading the way.  Really, it’s the modern gal’s most efficient tool.  Displaying your pink package is the easiest–nay, the only way to properly git ‘er done.

As I tuck in my goods and go about my day, behold my first uhhh . . . pattern review.  You’re welcome ahead of time.

Simplicity 2451

Okay, minus the wrinkles,
But then, what’s that
Yeaaah . . . it’s my
junk. Helloooooo, junk!

Pattern Description: Misses’ skirt sewing patterns, each in two lengths. Easy to Sew Collection.

Pattern Sizing: 12 – 20. Pretty sure I sewed the 20, which may have been tempting fate on my part.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.  I sewed view C and it looked just like the pattern envelope, minus my wrinkles and raw edge hem.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I glazed over the details. I felt some of the explanations weren’t as straightforward as they could have been, but no harm no foul.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the pleating at the front of the skirt.  I did not like how the skirt looked on me when I wasn’t standing still.  If I were a mannequin, I’d have already sewn a final draft.

Fabric Used: Cotton muslin.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made no alterations although there’s a possibility that I could have sewn a smaller size and made the back darts larger? Even now, days after the fact, I’m not sure.  

Would you sew it again? Not for myself, but this was a quick project so I might sew it for a friend.

Would you recommend it to others? Yes, even if the pattern doesn’t work out it’s a nice confidence builder.

Conclusion: This pattern was really well drafted and really easy to sew, but it definitely wasn’t a good fit for me.  I’m not sure if I sewed the wrong size or needed to make an adjustment(s).  And I didn’t love the style enough to fiddle around with it.  Maybe next lifetime.

The Blasted Bloody List

It’s a shame that The Pattern Stash Contest is starting on such a sour note for me, but here we are, July 1.  So . . . I give you The Blasted, Bloody List:

1. Butterick 5354  2. McCall's 6126

3. Simplicity 2451     4.Simplicity 2614

This is an ambitious endeavor for me, a gal who can’t even consistently blog once a week, but whatevs. Shoot for the moon, right?  I’m going to start with Simplicity 2451 because I don’t feel like cutting knits right now (Butterick 5354 and McCall’s 6126 will be in jersey) and I’m not interested in doing a FBA (I’m looking at you Simplicity 2614).  Anyhoo, off to sew.


I’ve had my ice cream, so I think I’m ready to talk about this now.  I give you McCall’s 6318.  A nice, easy pattern that is extremely well drafted.  So, you ask, what is the problem?  Other than this pattern being out of print (well, that’s more of a your problem deal), the problem is me.  I’m the problem.

I was so elated by how quickly the muslin for this dress came together that I rushed the construction of the actual dress.  And the rushing lead to this:

Awesome Muslin (right front)
WTF Version (left front)

How did I go from awesome to WTF?  Easy . . . EASY.  I mismarked or ignored the pattern markings and reinforced and clipped the wrong corner.  It’s a shame that I’ve tainted such a lovely pattern with my tomfoolery.  So now the remnant fabric I was going to use is going to be the lining and the lining fabric (a similarly colored broadcloth) will be the dress.  I’m not happy about this, but it is what it is. 

What makes matters worse is that I–for the first time–successfully completed a FBA.  How did I nail the hard part but screw up the easy part?  Hubris!  I flapped my wax wings too close to the sun, friends.  That’s all I have to say about this.

I did this . . . I did it . . .

Pattern Stash 2012
I entered a sewing contest, my first sewing contest.  I’m not sure why I did it–no, I know why: so I could be a sewer . . . with the sewing people.  I just don’t know where I think I’ll find the time.  Needless to say, July’s going to be a really interesting month.

I’m going to aim for a pattern a week–four very simple patterns.  I should make a list of potential patterns.  I will . . . by Saturday night.  I will make a list and post it.  I think I’m going to go sit in a corner and cry first.  Pay all my frustration tears forward.

I Bleed It Out

If you’re having a hard time finding the time and mojo to sew, seek out the hardest pattern you can find and attempt to sew it.  Then, when you’ve kinda sewn a backasswards muslin of said pattern, pick a fabric it wasn’t meant to be sewn in to finalize your attempt.

That’s how you bleed it out, friend.

Need specifics?  Enter Burda Style’s Naomi #6015, a lovely kimono-style jacket.  Recommended fabrics: cotton, linen, or silk.

That’s why I’ll be sewing it in a remnant table material, whose fabric content is dubious at best. Wool maybe?

The unrecommended fabric Naomi
must be made in, so help me Ra!

That’s not the important part.  The important part, the part that makes this bleed it out attempt the stuff that dreams are made of, is that this remnant table material is loosely woven.  Silk, linen, and cotton, aka the recommended fabrics, are not.

So not only do I have to figure out why my left front is over my right front, which is the opposite of the pattern illustration, and why the ties are attached at the wrong seam, I also have to underline my material so it won’t stretch.  Have I underlined material before?  Yes, in that no, I have never underlined material ever in life, so . . .

I don’t know how long this will take me, but if I live to wear this jacket, I think the process of making it will be fun.  Well, it’ll be a learning experience, which is the same as fun, right?  At the very least, the resulting garment will be like a badge of honor.  No matter how crappy the badge looks, the people will know I was brave enough to try.

Naomi front, Bizarro style.
You put those ties in
the wrong place, you
risk looking pregnant.

Sporadic Sewing and the Easter Pledge

Soooooo . . . it’s been a while, yes?

I don’t know how these people–these sewing everything (every beautiful garment) they wear and still having time for a family, a job, and other hobbies people–are doing it.  And not only are they doing it, they’re blogging about it too!

Whatever.  I won’t focus on them–I can’t.  Maybe they drink coffee.  Maybe they have secretly cloned themselves and let the clones do the sewing while they nap.  No one knows.  And since they’re pretty clever heifers to have secretly cloned themselves to begin with, no one will ever know.  What we do know is that in my one house I have amassed the sewing projects of a multi-clone (at least three) household.  But, no clones live here.

Simplicity 3835 in the dining room.  Bad pattern for the busty.

Seasons pass and I’m still working on that fall jacket or that summer dress.  Patterns, fabric, and endless ideas anxiously await my fleeting attention.  Projects are constantly left partially sewn. The hope is that I’ll finish these projects before they’re out of fashion.  That’s the hope.

And the blog . . . oh, the blog.  How earnestly we set it up.  But then our perfectionist ways got the best of us and soon even writing about our half-assed sewing attempts became too much.  I’m speaking in the plural because I’m imagining my clones taking some of the responsibility for my waywardness.  Surely the clones can come up with a sleeping shift schedule that can allow for twenty-four-hour sewing.  Surely they are to blame.

So in February, I started sewing the muslin of my Naomi.  To my amazement, this pattern actually worked on my frame.  I was so elated I waited until April to begin making the jacket in a wearable material, because excitement automatically leads to procrastination in my world.

So yesterday (Easter Sunday) as I trudged through cutting out interfacing, I began thinking, For what season will this Naomi be?  Spring, or Fall?  Enter the Easter pledge.

Naomi in the living room . . . in March of 2011.

The Easter pledge is this:  I vow to dedicate at least one hour a day to sewing.  It’s a simple pledge in theory.  Only time will tell if I’ll follow through.

The hard truth is the only way I will get these projects done this lifetime is if I dedicate more time to them.  And with more sewing time, perhaps I’ll have more to blog about.  If the Easter pledge isn’t effective, I’ll look into acquiring clones.

Vintage Sewing Machines

Old sewing machines are cool.  I like to look at them but DO NOT want to know what it’s like to have to use them (I assume they don’t have push button stitch selection).

It’s funny how old sewing machines, like the ones above, which were in the window of the All Saints store in downtown Seattle over the holidays, look so cool.  However, the one below, found in my parents’ house, does not.  Give it thirty years maybe?  We’ll see.

Mute Material and Pipe Dreams

One of my most favorite fabrics is corduroy.  And of all the corduroy fabrics I own–and I own a lot of corduroy–the fabric above is the prettiest.  Also worth noting is the fact that I found this on a local remnant table, but I digress . . . The issue at hand is that I have no idea what to do with it.

I tend to believe that fabric speaks.  It tells me what to do with it, rather than the converse.  So I’m trying to figure out if this fabric is mute or if I’m deaf. Whatever the case, we’re not communicating.  I would love nothing more than to turn these yards into something, but I have no idea what. 

Here’s a closer, less unfocused look.

So what do you want to be, my lovely?  A jacket?  A skirt?  How can I display your beauty without making you gaudy or over-the-top?  “Skirt,” you say?  Sigh.

One day, one fine day, she’ll speak and I’ll listen.  Then I’ll make some masterpiece of a garment and walk out of the house wearing said work of art stunning and stupefying you all. Yeah . . . that’s exactly what I’ll do.

I bid you adieu, McCall’s 5466…

How many times have I altered tissue pattern pieces in your name?  How many muslins have I sewn?  How many hours have been wasted on you, McCall’s 5466?  I don’t even know why I included a link to you!  If you out there are reading this, DON’T FOLLOW THE LINK!  You’ll be enraptured by the neckline pleats or the slant pockets, and the next thing you know you’ll be swimming in a sea of tissue bodices.  IT’S NOT WORTH IT!  I, for one, will allow this to go no further.  McCall’s 5466, until I can figure out what to do with that neckline, thou art loosed–away with you!

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