Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Huh?! Authentic Dutch African Wax Fabric From China?

You heard me. It was strange to me too, but it is true. You may remember that posted that I may have found a fabric goldmine  on a Chinese shopping site. I was referred there by a Pattern Review commenter who vouched for the site. I chose to buy from Swallow's Store and ordered 2, 6-yard lots of fabric and waited for delivery. I ordered during a holiday time and it took several days for the order to be processed. When it was processed it was pretty fast. The seller contacted me because one of my cuts was unavailable. She however, provided a substitution for a more expensive print at no additional cost. 
The fabric arrived sealed and with these large labels. They were a beast to remove and still it did not all come off when washed. I got 6-yards each so I am not worried about a tiny bit of fabric loss.

The arrival of my fabric coincided with the Best Patterns Contest on PR. After looking through the available patterns to choose from, I decided on Vogue 8815 with a couple of modifications.
V8815, Misses' Top
Vogue 8815
   My double peplum, bias trim top.                      

Here is my review with details of the construction.

1. Why do you think this was voted one of the Best Patterns?
This pattern is a simple way to achieve the peplum look. It sews up fast and has a few options.

2. Would you have made this pattern if it was NOT voted one of the top patterns of the year?
I think I would have. I have wanted a peplum top using African Dutch Wax fabric. I recently purchased some and this pattern fit the bill for my purposes.

3. How did you make your version of this pattern unique?
I made mine unique me by creating a double peplum with the bias tape trim.

4. What size(s) did you make? I made the 12.

5. Did you find the sizing accurate compared to the measurements listed on the pattern?
Yes, I think the sizing is accurate.

6. What fabric and trims did you use? What was the source of your fabric and trims?
I used authentic African Dutch wax fabric that I purchased online from a vendor in China (that is one of the more absurd sentences I have written in a long time). The bias tape trim is run-of-the-mill stuff from Walmart.

7. Describe how you used the pattern instructions. Did you follow the instructions literally, did you figure out how to assemble on your own, or a combination of instructions plus own experience? 
It was a combination of both. For the upper portion, I followed them. For the peplum, I figured out the construction on my own (see below). 

8. Describe any alterations you made and discuss whether alternations were for fit or for design.

I altered the pattern for design. I chose to add a second shorter peplum above the first. To do this, I simply shortened the second by one and a half inches. I used my Dritz hem gauge to maintain a consistent length on the three pieces. I then used the folded piece as my pattern for the shorter peplum.

Rather than hem them, I opted to trim them in black bias tape. I thought this would add a bit of contrast against the vibrant print. 
Hem encased in bias tape.

I hemmed them before the top was sew up and basted the two peplums together and treated them as one.

I added an invisible zipper instead of the standard one. This was done before sewing the sides and keeping the top peplum free because it is split in the back. 

9. What did you like and what did you dislike about the pattern?
I liked everything about the pattern. I have no dislikes.

10. Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would recommend this to others, but I don't think I will make it again. It is very distinctive and I think one is enough.

Wish me Luck and Happy Sewing! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Patterns! Patterns! Patterns! Me Love Patterns!

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day.  My hubby and kids were at home and I planned to get a much needed manicure and massage. These treats were given to me months ago and I was happy to finally have an opportunity use them. I was driving to the salon when I got a text from an estate sale host. She was calling about some vintage patterns she was selling. The sale is this weekend, but she was free at that moment and wanted to give me a first look! The sale was three Texas towns over and if I left then, I would beat the evening rush hour traffic. Chipped nails and tight muscles be damned, I had a new plan for my day.

I made it there in record time.The patterns were in rough shape and had been kept in a vintage suitcase for decades. There was age spots and insect damage to the pattern covers and I am not entirely certain all the pieces are there. All that being said, I did not care! These patterns are AWESOME! Take a look!

Advance 8937

Simplicity 8222

Vogue 9304

Simplicity 6685 

Simplicity 8199

Simplicity 2784
McCalls 5804

Simplicity 3400

Simplicity 3132

Simplicity 1871 Look at that bodice!

Simplicity 8448 Swoon!

Simplicity 1503 too small for my little miss, but it is so cute.

Simplicity 7954

Vogue 9378 Love the deep back on this full length version. 

Ladies Home Journal 2486

Glad to know they are on it!

Advance 5765 View 3 is totally charming.

Vogue 9018

Vogue 9114 Again, I love the bodice here.

Marian Martin 9275

Simplicity 4255 Love these tops!

Vogue 4579 I need a life where this is my daily wear.

McCalls 4812 Curious. I do not have much on my top shelf, but the ruffles may be too much. 

McCalls 4869 Shall we dance?

Vogue 6931
McCalls 9333 I love this dress! I did a quick search and this pattern is selling for $65 and up!

Simplicity 4909

Simplicity 4942

Vogue 9713 Love this wrap dress! This one is going for $35 online.

Butterick 5624

McCalls 6425
Simplicity 4469

Farm and Market Mail Order 1547

Butterick 7786

Farm and Market Mail Order 1556

Simplicity 8178 This one cost .50 back in the day. Today, it is listed for $50.

Simplicity 8129

McCalls 4799

Simplicity 2602 I think I may make that bra.

McCalls 4916  The pleats at the neckline are lovely. 

Butterick 5675 Must have halter!

Simplicity 4078. This is interesting! It can be worn front or back. This one goes for $35!

McCalls 7606

McCalls 5200. I love the full shirt on these. This one is going for $58, lucky me!

Simplicity 4973

Farm and Market Mail Order 1556 What a delightful neckline.
Whew! I am so lucky! I bought them with the plan to make them (I will not turn down fair purchase offers though). I only wish I had occasion to wear these lovely dresses. I need to have a chat with hubby :).

Happy Sewing,