Frankly my dear…

My OOP Scarlett O’Hara green velvet dress pattern (Butterick 4051) came in the mail last week. This ‘advanced’ pattern calls for a whopping 15 3/4 yards of fabric for the dress, hat and bag. Yet, I squealed like Bobby Hill when I saw the hat is included! How fabulous would it be? I only have two costumes in my pattern collection. The second is Marilyn Monroe (OOP Simplicity 8393).

I see I’ve been a little slow with the sewing and posting. I’ve, uh, been busy.

My three skirts are all still mid construction. But, I made a jump on my Patrones Chloe skirt (pictured above). I’m not super happy with it right now. First, I do not care for working with slippery silk. Sigh. I also tried to underline the skirt to beef it up and add some modesty — but not in the smartest way.

I have a RTW silk dress that is underlined, but the hem hangs freely. So, I’m attempting the same thing with this one.

When I get home tonight, I need to let out the side seam a bit, hem the batiste/underlining and put the side seam back together. Truly, a make it work proposition. I can’t just hem it up to the underlining because then it will be too short. Bleh. Haste my friends, makes waste.

I also used a fusible knit interfacing on the waistband and it’s a gross bubbly hot mess. With God as my witness I will NEVER use Joann’s interfacing again. Which leads me to the waistband facing, I want to interface that too for strength, but I need to sort out what I’m going to interface with.

And finally, here’s how I’m spending my weekend:
It’s so disorganized in here right now I can’t think straight!

Side tracked

Just so you know, my background music today is ‘Learn Spanish in Your Car’. I’m going back to Panama in August and the Patrones have put me in a Spanish speaking state of mind!

I never cease to be amazed by the kindness and generosity of others in the online sewing community. I must give a huge thanks to Claire who saw that those were buttons, not studs on the side of the skirt. And, really, I Y Lisette and Paco who told me that the ‘presillas lado’ that I didn’t recognize or find in the dictionary were in fact button loops.

Lisette even went so far as to translate the directions for me when I emailed her to double check the waistband construction order. Huge help. It putzed around with this for HOURS yesterday trying to get it to work. Funky looking, right? Turns out I traced the pieces wrong.

Ahhh. The good thing is re-cutting gave me the idea to change the grain direction for interest and add a few cm since the first one was a tad small.

But, I’m back on track this morning. Except. I just need to add 2 cm, so smaller seam allowances on each side. So, smaller seam allowances. Why is it small? Because I thought it was more economical to buy two 5 pound bags of Gummi Peaches and Gummi Cherries last week. I have to get these out of my house.

Something to note about Patrones that is different than BWOF. First, they just give you the general pattern outline in their layout. Second, they don’t always lay out the pattern pieces in a way to show where each connects. Third, in the layout / line drawing they DO NOT NOTE seam points like A, B, C, D (or 1, 2, 3, 4 in BWOF). Which means you must me super vigilante on checking the pattern for markings because you can’t double check it against the magazine drawing to see if you missed any points. Ask me how I know.

The pink line is my grading up to 42

I also find myself laying out the entire pattern before sewing to make sense of it.
In between all this, I helped my friend Jon finish his wife’s 2007 birthday gift. You may recall he came over last September to start it.

He’s so proud of himself.

Look at this neat trick I picked up from Sherril Miller. She traces the line drawing onto her pattern. I did it for the skirt since there were so many panels. It makes it way easier to see what you’re doing. Plus, it’s really cute.

Otra falda y Ayudar

Last week I went in to south Baltimore to try out one of the taco trucks I heard about in an NPR story. I went with Anna from my office and ordered for both of us in Spanish. Seeing how she speaks four languages and I’m still working on my birth-given English, I was very proud of myself. I even understood his questions on condiments. What I was really proud of is that it turned out the guy spoke perfectly good English. But, my Survival Spanish was good enough that he didn’t bother switching over. Or, he enjoyed hearing me butcher his mother tongue.

Now, that being said, Patrones is even more of a challenge! Does anyone actually translate the whole directions? Luckily, this week Paco Peralta posted about the most extensive sewing Spanish glossary I’ve come across. It’s like he *knew* this was my Patrones weekend!

Today I’m working on the #52 Vero Moda skirt from the June 2007 Patrones. This gem of a magazine was a gift from Caroline G who I officially met at West PR Weekend (What’s that? You thought after two months I was done talking about WCPR?? Silly Sewist!!). I really love the three piece waistband.

Because this waist is more fitted than the Roberto Musso skirt I made yesterday, I’m doing a muslin — mainly for my swayback and because I am still sorting out the Patrones fit.

There is one part of the directions I don’t get though. If you speak Spanish or the language of Patrones, maybe you can help me out?

It says I need to cut four for my ‘ presillas lados‘. They are strips that are 6cm by 3 cm. I don’t think they are the trim at the bottom since that needs three strips. I *think* this is something I’m sewing along the side of the skirt? I skimmed and found ‘lados‘ used in the following way “con las piezas lados segun senales C-D e hilvanar los pliegues segun patrones; cerrar lados falda” Which I think means sew the ‘lados’ to or along points C & D? Then baste it closed (the little pleat at the hem of the skirt. Que?

Meh. I’ll trace out the pattern and see if I can figure out how it assembles.

Black Pants

Here I am in the BWOF 5-2007-112 pants. They are made up from black on black seersucker. The lining is a pink poly/cotton batiste from Joann. They are really high waisted! Easily to my bellybutton. I did make the buttonhole in pink to try and infuse some interest in the pants.

I made a 1.5 inch full seat adjustment just to get the pant over my rear an in the vicinity of my waist. I went down to a 36 in the waist and up to a 42 through the leg. I, um, don’t think my rear is quite that pooky. I think there is some extra fabric there.

I did add 1.5 inch to the crotch point in the back. But, I think next time I will leave that off. They seem to have a little too much fabric under my bum.

I wore the outfit out tonight for my friend Sheryl’s birthday happy hour.

I have to say. These pants are so underwhelming. But, it’s fabulous to have a pair of pants that stay up at the waist and aren’t straining across my backside. I think with some tweaks these could become a good basic pattern. I really love the slope / flair.

Today, I pretty much got the first of the three skirts done. Since it’s mainly bias cut, it’s hanging now so the bias can drop. I’m planning on tackling the hem on Sunday or Monday.

Sewing Weekend Skirt Series

Reethi asked in the comments of my last post if I always dress up for work. The fact is, I’m actually usually on the underdressed side for my office. Suits are definitely the norm and I tend to err on the nice dress, heels and hose side. Which is partly why I’m obsessed with tailoring more of my garments and getting the hang of pants. Luckily, my boss is a bit of a fashion plate and summer is more casual so the dresses work out well.

I’m hoping that adding some coordinates to my closet will expand my range. A month ago, Sewing Diva Phyillis said she doesn’t buy anything if it doesn’t go with two other items in the closet. I’m taking on that mantra this year. I’m not making anything if it can’t go with two other items. Ok, I’ll start with one other item and work my way up to two because I gots no coordinates right now.
So, this weekend I want to make the following three skirts. Muslins will be made for two of the three. Still figuring out my Patrones fit. As I post the finished product, I’ll post the magazine and pattern numbers.

After the skirts, I want to make two white tops. I have the fabric, but I haven’t quite settled on which patterns yet. I’m hoping they will come to me tomorrow as I’m tracing and cutting.
The pants are done! Just need hemming and slipstitching of the zipper. They are so basic and devoid of any style details that you will be totally underwhelmed when I get around to taking a pic. But, they blessedly fit.

If you were planning on coming to the Wheaton Library on Saturday to see Trena and I, don’t. That lucky (expletive) is going back to Paris for work. Perhaps she’ll smuggle me back some French bread. We’re going to reschedule, just not sure when yet.


My friend Beery went to Spain last week and brought back not one but two Patrones magazines. She also got engaged while she was there. She was thoughtful enough to give me the magazines first and then show me her ring, lol! When I tried to pay her back and she said. “Don’t worry about it. They were on every newstand and were just a couple of Euros.” Just a couple of Euros?? On every newstand? Sigh. Clearly, I owe her a bottle of champagne.

The first is Fiesta Especial #266 which Tany specifically suggested I look for. Now, I know why. Below, are my favorites.

How pretty is this orange dress? I’m not sure what the crinkle fabric is called, but you can bet I’ll be looking for some this summer. Mama needs another formal and a cocktail dress before the year is over. You can actually see this dress on the Matilde Cano website.

Just click on her name, enter / entrar, catalgo, and alma de tango.  It’s there in the middle of the slideshow. Gorgeous.

I don’t like the keyhole of this Toypes dress, but I really love the style of the dress.

And the back is wonderful.

I love all the frothy layers of this wedding dress

She also found the Joven edition, #267. There were fewer things I was enthralled with in this edition.

But, I am 100 percent in love with this Gucci dress. But, I have nowhere to possibly wear it. But, I will lust in my heart for it. Actually, with another inch or too, it might work for a cocktail dress.

I think I owned this in 1983, but it was in terry cloth and I was eight years old.
Love the Chanel blouse, love the Prada mini skirt. I haven’t worn a mini skirt in about seven years because they are always too big in the waist. Maybe this summer will be my last mini skirt hurrah. 
This is very simple, but so elegant.

Ahh Patrones! If you want to see something truly beautiful and creative from Patrones, take a stroll over to Assorted Notions and see what Christina made with some fabric I sent her from Ghana. A-mazing.

Oh, and the directions for Patrones are no better than BWOF, and in Spanish. Which, I don’t read. Yet, the clothes can be a little more complicated.

She also picked up the April Burda in Spanish. Over the weekend, I’ll show you a comparison with the English version.