Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Vogue 9253: A Bold Floral Maxi Dress with a Really Deep V!

First things first.  Why did I wait so long to sew this dress?!?
Floral Maxi Dress sewn using Vogue 9253 on Sharon Sews blog

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I must be the only one in the sewing world who had not sewn this pattern! Vogue 9253 was an almost immediate hit when it was released last year, with dozens of beautiful versions filling my blog feed.
Vogue 9253 Pattern Cover on Sharon Sews blog
I shied away from sewing it because of that REALLY deep V!  Having been quite - ahem - blessed since my teen years, I don't always like to draw attention to that part of my body. And let's be honest. I KNEW it would require a full bust adjustment (FBA) and I wasn't sure I knew how to alter this bodice correctly. 

So I continued to admire every version I saw, telling myself over and over that my large chest combined with all the weight I've gained would make this a very unflattering look on me.

I finally stopped telling myself how horrible it would look on me, and gave myself permission to sew and wear something OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE that would make me HAPPY!  So I did :-)
Vogue 9253 floral maxi dress on dress form on Sharon Sews sewing blog
I was able to add more room in the bust by doing an FBA. It may or may not be "correct" but it worked.
Vogue 9253 Bodice FBA by Sharon Sews
The fabric I used is a polyester print purchased at SR Harris. I was looking for solid colored silks (for another project), but fell in love with the colors and floral print on this fabric.
Construction was so simple! I think trying to figure out how to do the FBA was the most time-consuming part of sewing this dress.  With my serger in for repair work I finished all of the seams by wrapping them with Seams Great and stitching it in place.

I missed the step of sewing the tie ends to the center back before inserting the zipper. Instead I created thread loops at the side of the dress to help keep the tie in place.
 Look at the seam matching for the invisible zipper.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself!
Vogue 9253 Invisible Zipper Seam Matching Sharon Sews sewing blog
The pattern pieces are so large that I went to the floor to cut this dress out. Fabric and patterns, especially on the floor, are a new experience for my sewing buddy Tandy. She made my task a bit challenging as she really enjoyed flipping the fabric around. I cut her some slack as she's only eight months old.  She's our latest rescue. We adopted her in February, a few months after we had to put my beloved Sophia down. 
I've worn my maxi a few times already, and each time received compliments such as "I love your dress! Where did you get it?"  I smile sweetly and say "Thanks! I made it!"

Oh, did I mention that the V on this dress is REALLY DEEP!!!  I could just carry Tandy with me every time I wear this dress...
Sharon Sews Holds Tandy While She Wears Vogue 9253 Maxi Dress
On second thought, I think I'll just wear a cami instead.
Pattern Review for Vogue 9253 Maxi Dress on Sharon Sews sewing blog
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Monday, August 06, 2018

BurdaStyle Off-The-Shoulder Blouse 05/2018 #110 in a Floral Rayon Print

I showed you the Burda Off-The-Shoulder Blouse, 05/2018 #110 while I was in the process of sewing it up, and here is the final version!

I used a tropical print rayon challis that I found locally at SR Harris. I went back to purchase more fabric as I wanted to make matching pants to wear with this top (for a faux jumpsuit look). However there was less than two yards left on the bolt so I scrapped that idea!

Per my usual pattern alterations, I did a full bust adjustment (FBA) to this pattern before cutting it out. I also went up one size due to the close-fit of the blouse.

This is a wrap blouse that closes with snaps.  I was hesitant about that, but decided to follow the pattern as designed. 

You'll see that even with me going up one size and adding the FBA, the snaps pull.  I'm going to replace the snaps with buttons and see if that helps, as right now I'm afraid a snap will unsnap when I'm wearing the blouse.
I think if I would have used a woven with some lycra, or made a larger FBA, this wouldn't be an issue.  Here's the photo of the model wearing the top and you don't see the pulling.

Other than that, I think this is a great top! 

When I agreed to be a Burda Influencer, I decided to use the opportunity to push myself to sew garments out of my comfort zone.  After all, I already subscribe to the monthly BurdaStyle magazine.  The magazine includes all of the patterns that are available as PDF downloads on the BurdaStyle website.

Every month I am choosing a pattern I would not normally wear. Such as this blouse!  With it's defined waist, deep V front, and off the shoulder neckline, I might have passed on this one as "not being practical" (those darn Midwestern values, LOL). I'm really glad I choose this blouse as I find it fun to wear and it makes me look as if I have a waistline!

This was my June Burda Influencer project, and due to some unexpected life circumstances, it's posted on my blog much later than planned.  If you follow me on Instagram (@sharonmads) you already saw the completed top.  This pattern can be purchased online here: 05/2018 #110 Off-The-Shoulder Blouse.

My July Burda Influencer project is also behind schedule due to those unexpected life circumstances.  You know what? As much as I love sewing, family always comes first. Always.  I did post muslin pics on my Instagram account if you want a sneak peek of the project (It's the 07-2017 #102 drawstring romper). I'm  making a few changes and sewing it out of a pink silk.

As a Burda Influencer I received both of these PDF patterns at no cost. 

Come back to see my finished silk jumpsuit soon!



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Friday, June 15, 2018

In Progress: Burda Off-The-Shoulder Blouse 05/2018 #110

Can it really be the middle of June already? I feel as if I've barely begun sewing the items I have planned for the summer, including the multiple designs I've marked in my BurdaStyle magazines. I've subscribed to Burda Style magazine for nearly ten years, and every month I mark the ones I want to sew, but find that I don't always take time to trace, alter, and sew the designs I've chosen. Until now. One of the 2018 goals I set for myself  is to sew at least one item from every magazine issue.

At the moment I'm working on the Off-The-Shoulder Blouse #110 from the May 2018 magazine. It's also available as a downloadable pattern on the BurdaStyle website.  I choose this beautiful floral rayon challis as my fabric.

I found the fabric at my favorite local fabric store, SR Harris. It was only $6/yard (because all fabric at SR Harris is 50% off the price marked on the bolt).
I knew I wanted a floral print for the top, but was originally envisioning a fabric with less drape than this rayon challis.  However, as I near completion of this blouse, I really like the softness of the fabric with this design.

The only negative about using this fabric is the need to iron it after laundering.  I knew that before I purchased the fabric, but the design of the Burda blouse is simple enough that I'll be able to iron it easily.  Plus I really like ironing :-)

 As I was preparing to lay out my pattern pieces, I noticed "Jams World" written on the selvage.  I didn't know if it was a designer or manufacturer, but a quick Google search provided my answer. Apparently Jams World has been making and selling clothing in Hawaii since 1964. 


The only alteration I made to the pattern was to do full bust adjustment (FBA), which is one of my usual alterations.

I like the shoulder ties as it covers my bra straps (or will once I'm done).  I ended up bringing the shoulder ties in closer to the center front and back of the top than what was marked on the pattern. If you sew this I would try the blouse on and adjust the placement of the ties before permanently stitching them in place.
Here's a pic of the *almost* finished blouse - I just need to do a little hand stitching and add the snap closures.
I'm really liking it!  In fact, if I can find more of this fabric at SR Harris, I plan on sewing a pair of wide leg pants and wear the two pieces together.

BurdaStyle Influencer
As I mentioned above, one of my 2018 goals is to sew at least one garment from my BurdaStyle magazines.  That's why when I was contacted by BurdaStyle to see if I was interested in being one of their  Influencers, I didn't hesitate to say yes!  You can read more about it, and meet the other Influencers, on this BurdaStyle blog post.   As an Influencer, I do receive one downloadable pattern per month at no cost, and this was the pattern I choose for June.

Stay tuned as I hope to finish the top, and sew matching pants yet this week!



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Thursday, May 24, 2018

An Easy-to-Sew Mermaid Maxi from Tie Dye Diva

One hour + knit fabric + Mermaid Maxi pattern = A fabulous maxi skirt!
Last weekend I found myself with an extra hour on hand. (What a blessing that was! Does anyone else find their life over scheduled at times?!?)  Of course I filled that time with sewing, and was able to cut out and sew this maxi skirt in just over an hour.

The pattern is the Mermaid Maxi  and it includes a slim, straight view (the one I sewed) as well as a "Mermaid" flared view, with options of gathered pockets, flat pockets, or no pockets at all. The pattern comes in 14 sizes to fit 34" to 55" hips.
 I especially like that this skirt has front and side panels as I think it makes for a very flattering skirt. I choose to sew the straight maxi with the side front walking slit and gathered pockets.
I love this fabric!  It's a double brushed knit I purchased from Sly Fox Fabrics.  It feels wonderful, drapes beautifully, and was a dream to sew.  Unfortunately I forgot how difficult black fabric is to photograph. 

It fits nicely in the back (where I carry much of my excess weight, especially in my high hip area).
 Here's a better shot of the gathered pocket. And yes that is my puppy pictured on my iPhone peeking out of the pocket :-) 

It's important to make sure you mark all of the pattern markings on your fabric!  The first time I sewed this skirt I stitched the pockets on wrong because I hadn't been careful enough with my markings. You can be sure I double checked this time around that the pockets were sewn on correctly.
The skirt can be sewn in about an hour. Of course that will depend on your own sewing ability.  I found the instructions to be well written, and the elastic application results in a nice clean edge with no casing.

My serger is out of commission at the moment, so I stitched all of my seams on my regular machine using a very narrow zigzag stitch.  I ran out of Coats and Clark Eloflex thread or I would have used that.
The skirt can easily be worn dressed up or down depending on top, shoes and accessories.   I can see myself sewing another half dozen of these (including the "swishy" Mermaid version!) as they'll be perfect for wearing with a tee and sandals when running errands this summer.


The pattern is 20% off this week (Here: https://www.tiedyedivapatterns.com/product/mermaid-maxi-straight-and-flared-maxi-skirt-pattern-for-women).

Jen also has a giveaway on her blog this week (where you could win  $250 in prizes) (Here: https://www.tiedyedivablog.com/)

In addition, Simply By Ti is offering readers 20% off at https://simplybyti.com/ with code MERMAIDTOUR at checkout (good through May 28).

Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour as you'll see how great the skirt looks on everyone!

Monday, May 21

Tie Dye Diva Patterns - Mermaid Maxi Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Skirt Fixation - Mermaid Maxi Skirt Review
Wednesday, May 23

Sew Altered Style - Mermaid Maxi Blog Tour

sewsewilse - Mermaid Maxi Skirt Blog Tour

Chook n Duck
Thursday, May 24

Penny Sew Vintage - Mermaid Maxi Blog Tour

TipStitched - Mermaid Maxi TDD Blog Tour

Sharon Sews
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Sunday, May 06, 2018

A Floral Beauty: Vogue 9257 Off-The-Shoulder Top


Spring has arrived! Many of you may agree that it was one loooong winter. In fact, where I live we had a major snowfall just three weeks ago!  However, the warmth of the spring sun has rapidly melted the remaining signs of winter and I'm enjoying being able to finally wear something other than sweaters, jeans and boots.
I sewed this pink floral beauty the beginning of April with plans to wear it for our anniversary dinner, which is near the end of April. I was at an out-of-town work conference the date of our anniversary and had convinced my hubby to come along with me so we could have dinner together to celebrate. Lucky me, he agreed. (But only because he able to ski while I was working.) And wouldn't you know it?  The day of our anniversary it was cold and snowy in Denver! Way too cold for this off-the-shoulder top.
 When we returned home, the sun was shining so I asked hubby if he'd take a few pics for me for the blog.  With an eyeroll and groan, he agreed. (Note to self: invest in a remote control and tripod to prevent future eyerolls.)  He says he doesn't like doing it, but then he usually has me laughing so hard I can't pose for a pic, as evidenced by this outtake.

The top is Vogue 9257, an easy-to-sew off-the-shoulder ruffle top, with lovely statement sleeves.
The pattern shows the neck and sleeve ruffles sewn out of lace, but I had this fabulous semi-sheer floral print that I wanted to use for the entire top.  If you look closely you'll see it also has some texture. I purchased the fabric a few years ago at SR Harris Fabric Warehouse. At the time I intended to sew a summer dress, but am glad I decided against that as I think it worked beautifully for this top.

The statement sleeves are fun, and not overly dramatic.
I don't typically wear off-the-shoulder tops, and debated about adding straps to this, but decided to leave it as designed.  I used French Seams and hemmed the ruffles with a narrow hem.
I'm really happy with how this turned out and hope to find many occasions to wear it this summer.


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