Posted in sewing


Bias is a surly beyotch.

When I first made this Patrones 252-30 skirt two years ago, It was too big and too long. When I made it this time, I sliced at the hip, and took out four inches of length (which brought a lot of the bias fullness up to my hips). I did not take two inches out of the waist thinking that would make up for any weight gain and give me room to wiggle since the first skirt still fits. But, and this is a BIG but, I stabilised the waistline with twill tape this time. I did not the first time. So, the bias waist (the first time) grew — making it too big. This time, it did not grow,  making it the original size which is apparently too small by about four inches. Which means that in order for the skirt to fit this time, the waist line sat just under my breasts.


Call Carolyn on the way to see Inception (Great movie. Didn’t understand half of it.) and she suggested cutting down the waistband by no more than one inch. Brilliant. I do it.

The FREAKING skirt was now at last eight inches too big!!! Stupid beyotch bias.

I take in and take in — six inches give or take. Finally, it fits!  But, it’s so stinking full now at the hips. Like all the width of the skirt is now at my waist / hip. And, the bias was hanging funky because of all the alterations. I put the zipper in twice because of a rookie mistake.  One side seam is longer than the other. Whatever. I’m almost done. I put on the skirt. It fits! I can breathe! Then, the zipperhead pops off. SOB!

Uncle. I give up. I’m not going to re-insert a zipper for the third time in a yellow marked, wonky drape,  skirt that makes m look like a wedding cake topper.

I love this pattern, but I’m done. It’s time for  glass of wine and to pick another project.

Posted in sewing

Pattern Review: Patrones 267-13

This is my first non-Burda Foreign Pattern Magazines for 2010. If you recall, my sewing resolution is to not purchase fabric in 2010 and make every other garment or one a month from my assortment of La Mia Boutiques, Patrones, Mrs. Stylebooks, etc. I’ll have to check, but I think this is my second completed Patrones!  (**EDIT.  This is my *fourth*. I didn’t count my beloved Roberto Musso skirt,  Vero Mondo skirt and a Chloe skirt ) My first Patrones is a shirt two years ago. I seem to be a 42 in Patrones and most definitely need a FBA!

I think I’m going to keep up with the woven dresses! I love how professional they look. Yes, I will always have a soft spot for knits. But, for the daily work life, woven dresses are it. They seem so much more tailored and put together and a better substitute for wearing a suit.  You can see above that I’m imitating the model from #267 Patrones. I even found a smiliar style belt at Forever 21. But, truthfully, the dress might look better beltless after all the alterations I made.

The fabric is a poly/wool men’s suiting from my local Gus Woolen. It’s a men’s suit fabric store in downtown Baltimore. I like them for their non-traditional suiting geared to the black male  community.  But, they keep banker’s hours. You know, 10 to 3 on days that don’t end in ‘y’.  But, great great stuff and they sell loads of skirt lengths at a discount.

There is bagging at the waist because  I suspect that I put the waistband in upside down. One of the reasons the belt is not great is because of the gathering and wrinkles it can cause. I used pre-purchased red piping to pick up the red woven stripes in the suiting. You know, red is actually my favorite color — not pink. But, I really like pink accessories.

Pattern Alterations:  My colleague brought me several bras from her trip home to Ukraine.  Why? Because they fit well and are $20 a pop. But, they have made the bust in my last two garments crazy tight. So, on the Patrones #267-13 dress, I decided to attempt my first ever FBA.  Meh. I’ll do better next time 😉 For the rest of the dress I traced a size 42 and graded out by two inches at the thighs. I now think I could have cut a straight 42 as I took the dress in about two inches from the lower waist down. I also reduced the  length of the torso by one inch and think I could have cut an inch out of the skirt under the waist.

I made my typical swayback adjustment in the skirt. But, should have taken it out of the waistband. I also have come to the realization that many things are too long for me in the lower back. I’m going to alter for that soon.

I ended up not lining the dress. I made so many alterations to the dress that I could not take fixing the already-constructed lining.  So, I made 1.5 inch long facings at the neckline.

I also pegged the skirt because it was wide and kind of straight and made me look like a block.  But, something totally wonky happened. My right side seam is off by over an inch. No idea how that happened!

Overall, I’m pleased with the dress. There was WAY TO MUCH fussing for my taste. But, I just need to learn to make FBAs.  And make the darts actually aim at my bust point! That’ll make a huge difference 😉

I was asked about my shoes in another post. They are available from Aerosoles.

** EDIT: I agree. Red shoes would be great. I’m still on the hunt for a pair that I like 😉

Posted in sewing

What I’m Working On

I’m trying to stick with my 2010 sewing resolutions. No more fabric and using my non-Burda international magazines. The first one in that vein is from Patrones #267. My friend Beery bought this back from a Spain business trip in 2008.

The garment I want is model 13 (267-13). It’s a XX dress from the Joven edition. Does *anyone* know what size bust Patrones drafts for?

Here’s what I’ve got so far in a gray striped menswear fabric:

Despite making a muslin, this dress still needs some serious tweaking. So far I’ve made a colossally bad FBA. The darts are practically on my sternum. The fit in the waist is still pretty baggy (I may have flipped the midsection pieces). And I had to shorten the bodice by an inch since the mid-section was sitting on my hips. I made myself stop sewing at midnight. I really should have stopped at 11! The neckline is far to high and I don’t know how I feel about the fit through the skirt.

If I sew like a bat out of hell, I’ll get this done today. But, well. I have three Netflix gathering dust too.

Posted in Uncategorized

Patrones Ninos Giveaway

A coworker is back from Spain and she did her darndest to get me Patrones. And she did. One #274, Especial Fiesta and three Disfraces (#275). Disfraces was totally new to me. And that’s because they are children’s costumes!

I think that ‘PREMIOS CONCURSO’ in the pink circle on the bottom right might mean something like, ‘Hey Cidell! Thought you were getting fabulous clothes for grown women didn’t you? Well NO! This year, we’re trying something new. So you’ll have to beg someone else to get you another Patrones sister!”

There are some SUPER cute costumes in here including Strawberry Shortcake, Peter Pan, a Puss in Boots, Captain Jack, Little Bo Peep, a princess, a can of sardines and a barrel of wine with little grapes.

The directions look WAY longer than they normally are for Patrones and they seem rather elaborate costumes. Remember, Patrones is published in Spanish only.

So, I’m going to keep one just in case I want to make a kids costume for friend (snort). But, the other two, I’m happy to give away for the cost of postage. If you want to be considered for the Disfraces, please leave a comment below.

Posted in sewing

This writing thing

So, I’ve had a bit of writer’s block the past month. Not that I don’t have anything to write about, I just don’t like the way it reads (snarky, bitter, tired). Most writers seem to solve this with copious amounts of alcohol and a torrid love affair. Well, hard alcohol every night won’t help me get back down to my dating weight and a torrid affair will not sit well with the the boyfriend I currently have. Damn my early 30s and addiction to all things fried!!

Carolyn and my mom both gave me a needed kick in the arse about my sewing and blogging. So, I’m recommitting to work it like Tany and sew an hour every night.

Last night I started pre-treating fabric for a new dress. Yes, I know I need separates, but dresses are my friend. So, I’m making the BWOF Sherlock Holmes dress again from the September 2007 edition (above). This time the upper will be in solid gray and the bottom in this A-mazing red and black plaid from Carol.

Trena and I had to bargain with each other for this piece. I’m grateful that I am six inches taller and outweigh her by half. Otherwise, I’m not sure I would have been the victor. Speaking of Trena, after I left several messages on her answering machine and multiple comments on her blog, she made me the lovely tag cloud on the right —->>. I have a lot of tags.

And finally, some more UFO busting.

Here’s a secret. I don’t own a white blouse. Not a long sleeve one. Not a short sleeve one. I got nothing I can wear that even passes as a white blouse. I, in fact, don’t even own a white tee shirt. I think the last time I owned a white blouse it was still the Clinton presidency. Not that I have anything against white blouses. I just never find ones I like for less than $60 and I never had good white shirting (well, I do now). Why do I bring this up?
(the bias waistband got stretched out in the construction despite my use of interfacing. I’ll fix that over the winter so it’s picture perfect this summer)

I let this seersucker Patrones skirt languish all summer because I wasn’t going to have anything to wear with it once it was finished. In that vein, please excuse the pink wife beater. It’s the only thing I could dig up that I thought would work for photos. And I don’t normally wear pearls (30th birthday gift from my mom) with wife beaters. But, I was getting ready for work this a.m. and forgot to take them off.

If you are a long-time reader, you might remember this foray into Patrones back in May. It’s been a long time so my recollection on the details are dim. I do know that Lisette helped me out with the instructions, yay! As noted above, be careful with the bias waistband. Mine is all kinds of stretched out. But the fit in general over my swayback is pretty good. And, I will likely never wear this with something tucked in. I’m thinking a white wrap blouse or a white blazer this summer.

I left off the ribbon trim on the bottom because I thought the seersucker didn’t need any jazzing up. It’s totally too late in the season to wear this skirt. But, I might be in a hot climate next month for work and I’m happy to take this with me.

I have one more UFO that I will hopefully finish this weekend. By then, perhaps I’ll get my writing groove back too!