Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cracking the Code of Joann's Pattern Sales

Hi friends,
This is just a quick note to make a statement:
I am never again going to miss the Vogue pattern sales at Joann's; I have done it for the last time. Once again, I missed the sale by just a couple of days (last week). And me with my list of the few Vogue patterns I wanted to—at the very leasttake a closer look at.

I don't know how I'm going to do it, I just know that I am going to do it.

Just because I have now made a second pair of pants with my Sure-Fit Designs pants blueprint (happy, happy me) and I am in the process of making a woven, short-sleeve top with my Sure-Fit Designs bodice blueprint (happy, happy me)—doesn't mean that I don't need want new patterns. They are still of interest for me: for the design details, for inspiration, for techniques.

Now, if you happen to know that someone else already has this figured out, please let me know. Because I don't need the satisfaction of putting this information together myself. I just need it! So if there's a link I could click at any day and time and see when the upcoming pattern sales are, that would most definitely work for me.

I have a feeling that there is a system to their pattern sales madness, and I am going to learn it, one way or another. And, of course, I'm going to share it here.

That is all, for now. 

Update: I went to Joann's for something else and as I passed the pattern cabinet, I saw a sign: Thursday to Saturday, July 25-27 Vogue Patterns $3.99. So now I'm looking at the current ad I received in the mail, and here's what I found:
Thursday to Saturday, July 18-20: Simplicity $1.99
Thursday to Saturday, July 25-27: Burda $2.49
{{nothing about Vogue patterns}}

Blessings and peace...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Version of a Sundress

Inspired by Rhonda, I purchased this fabric from Joann's. Rhonda shortened hers a bit and used some lovely ribbon for straps. I knew that the maxi-length wouldn't work for me; I know I would trip on a long dress, just going up the stairs. LOL Also, I wanted a little more coverage at the top, so I thought I could use the piece cut off from shortening the dress above the border to make a slightly fluttery almost-cap "sleeve." (What's that called?)
After serging the raw edges and preshrinking the fabric in the washing machine and dryer, I cut off the bottom border about 1 in. above the top of the border and set it aside. I then held the fabric up to myself and looked in the mirror, pinning it up, auditioning different lengths until I got it just about right (remembering that I would be reattaching the border). I cut about 12 or 14 in. from the new bottom.

Next, I trimmed the bottom edge, slightly curving the back up so that the center back would be about 1 in. shorter than the front—to allow for (ahem) front body contours, which take up more fabric than my (lack of) back body contours. Please note the level hemline. Thank you.

I reattached the border, using French seams to encase the raw edges, which also added a bit of desired weight to the dress bottom. I then trimmed the serged edges to straighten what would be the center back seam. I sewed this seam, again, using French seams to encase the raw edges

So then I had this nice piece of fabric to make the fluttery almost-cap sleeves. My first attempt was a failure; I don’t even remember what I was thinking. So, with not too much fabric left, I got out my Sure-Fit Designs bodice front and back blueprints. I aligned the front and back shoulder seams and from that, created a pattern piece as long and wide as I could, flaring it out at the center (the part that would go over my shoulder). I serged the outer and inner curved edges, pressed under and stitched to finish them.

Then I tried on the sundress, and by trial and error, pinned the sleeves to the bottom of the top ruffle in the front and back until I was happy with the angle and fit. It took me about 100 tries, okay maybe 50. At least 25. I then trimmed and serged the edges and stitched them, right side of the sleeve to wrong side of the sundress, stretching the elastic of the sundress at the same time. I then hand-stitched the top of the blue ruffle to the sleeves.

Sure-Fit Designs is as handy as a pocket, even when I’m not making an actual garment from it! Using the shoulder area of the blueprint helped me to see what shape I should cut to get the look I wanted.

I know we (seamstresses ~ sewers ~ sewists ~ stitchers ~ sewing artisans) like to see everything up close and personal, inside and out. Here's a closeup of the outside of the top, where the sleeve is attached to the ruffle.

And here it is from the inside. If you look really closely, you can see the stitched I used to tack the ruffle down (thread color deep blue same as ruffle).

Here's how the reattached bottom border looks. I slipped a piece of yellow paper under the seam.
Here's the center back French seam.

I am delighted with the result; I am especially pleased with the neckline. And that I kept at it, even after my first attempt at fluttery sleeves was a total fail? I attribute that to how much I like finishing projects! I wore this dress to a party and then a baseball game yesterday, and I think I will get a lot of use out of it.

Are you still making summer clothes (for this year)? Or, if you're "down under," for your upcoming summer?

Blessings and peace...