Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Weekend of Good Sewing & Crappy Photos

First, how disgusting sad is THIS?

Next, Crappy Photo #1.

I just cannot get the colors to photograph well. Both fabrics (yes, there are two) are chocolate brown. The collar, sleeves, and pants are solid. The torso front/back are patterned.

The pants are yet another make of my TNT. The jacket is Simplicity 5352, which I made once before, 4 years ago. I went back to and re-read my review after I had made this second version. Sewing must be like labor — you forget all the really bad pain. Or so I've heard — I had 2 C-sections myself and have never been in labor! If I had re-read the review before I started, I might not have made it again. But we had a cold snap the last couple of weeks and I had been wearing the first version a lot. Obviously, I got over whatever I didn't like about it 4 years ago. The only changes I made for this one was to add cuffs to the sleeves so I can push them up. I'm right there with you on those TNTs, Carolyn, especially now that my days are not my own anymore.

Really, this outfit is not much of a leap from my PJs, but at least it's NOT my PJs. I shouldn't admit this, but the UPS and FedEx guys come here nearly every day and guess what I'm still wearing? Yep. My PJs. Working from home is really bad that way. Especially when there is no one around to see you when you take the dogs out for a walk around the yard. Oh, this is pitiful. I must resolve to get into the shower before starting work.

Crappy Photo #2 and #3:

No, the blouse is still a wadder but I hadn't taken it off Zillie yet and it matched, so it got a little use as a prop.

The browns are a little better in these pics, but they do actually match in real life so something is still off.

All fabrics and notions from stash. But I'm running low on brown serger thread now.

* * * * *

Moving on to the next project of the weekend …

I read in the Winter issue of Sewing Today about this pattern (B5300) and its separate pattern pieces for larger busts. I was curious. So, when I renewed my Club BMV membership last week when all BMV patterns were on sale for $3.29, I bought it (and, ahem, a few others).

Yes, I know how much I've dissed Connie Crawford patterns in the past. I still have gripes for 99.99% of them. But this one? Run out and buy it NOW if you're fluffy and well-endowed in the boobage department. Buy two.

Below is the tracing on me. The only alterations I made to it were:

1. Square shoulders as I traced (always for me)
2. Blend to next size at hips as I traced (unfortunately, another always for me)
3. 1/2" tuck in the upper chest (a usual for me). I'll lower the armhole the same amount and then still use the same sleeve, which I'm pretty sure will not have to be altered. IOW, the armhole is not already too low/big.

What I did NOT alter:

1. No FBA. This pattern has separate pieces for A-B-C cup and D-DD cup (that's 2 sizes, not 5). The "mound" in the photo above is the D-DD bust cup.
2. No shoulder width reduction. The shoulder seam/sleeve cap is not hanging down my arm. I may need to slice a 1/8"-1/4" off after I see it in fabric, but that's nothing. This pattern is actually cognizant of the fact that most women's shoulders do not morph to 6-7 inches wide when they gain weight.
3. Dart height. Right on the money out of the envelope. Well, after the tuck. But even without the tuck, it was pretty darn close.

I do have a couple of complaints about this pattern but it's the instruction sheets, not the pattern itself. There is no layout that shows the mini line drawings of the pattern pieces. You know how that is usually right below the different views on the first page of the instruction sheets? Nope. That is driving me CRAZY! I love studying those drawings in bed at night.

Instead of those missing drawings, there are the same boilerplate instructions for alterations that I've seen in all CC's Butterick patterns. And most of them don't even apply to this top. The boilerplate tells you how to alter princess seams for a larger bust, but nary a word on darted tops. There is also no information to help you choose the appropriate bust cup size. Personally, I didn't need this, but I'm sure many others would. That's a huge omission IMO.

Oh, wait. There is one pattern element I will gripe about. Back neck facings for the collared views. Grrrrr. Enough said.

And the last bad thing about this pattern? I HAVE NO FABRIC ON HAND TO USE FOR IT! Arghhhhh!! My stash is full of knits, bottomweights, and solids. I want a pretty light-stretch blouse print. Maybe I can find something online (with browns) and get it here by next weekend. I'm sure a drive to Joann's would be a waste of time, although I do need more muslin. And brown serger thread.

In case you missed the obvious from this post, I'm starting to get my life back a little. I have not worked the last few weekends. I've filed all the household paperwork that was piled up on my desk, made some good headway into the to-do list that has been sorely neglected, and I've sewed.

Pretty soon I'll be back in full swing. I can't wait!


  1. I can't wait either for your to come back. I need to make some lounge outfits too. It's cold in my house and I'm too cheap to turn up the heat. Thank you so much for that CC pattern review. I guess there is one more pattern I need to buy.

  2. Can't wait to see some wonderful stuff out of that sewing room. Glad to hear/see you back in the blogosphere, Debbie.

  3. Okay so I understand what it is to be "well endowed in the boobage department", but what does it mean to be "fluffy"? Thanks for the posting about this pattern.

  4. I was wondering about the CC patterns. I've seen her a couple of times, have her fitting DVD and am attending a 3 day workshop with her in April. The cost is not too bad but the one thing I don't like is that she says buy the pattern by your full bust size which on me makes the pattern too big nearly every where else! For the workshop she will be using 5300 so it is a relief that you suggest buying two which is just what I am going to do. Hurry and get some fabric so you can give a first hand review.

  5. Ooh, another pattern to keep an eye out for.
    Glad to hear you're getting some non-work life back and managing to get into the sewing room.

  6. I'll add that pattern to my list. Nice to see you back. I understand how work keeps you from your "real life". Have the same problem myself. I look forward to seeing your finished blouse.

  7. Glad to see you back. Outfit looks good.....I have that CC pattern and a few others but haven't tried them yet....guess i'd better get with it.....I've lost my sewing mojo, wish I could get it back.

  8. I can't wait for the return either! I've missed your point of view! And now you know why I use TNT's so much...gotta maximize that sewing time! :)

  9. I too have the DD issue. Learning how to alter a pattern is next on my to-do list. Any good sites you can recommend?

  10. Hi Debbie,
    I'm nominating you for Kreativ Blogger. Please see my blog for details.

  11. I like your lounge outfit--it looks comfortable but it's still cute. I missed the pattern sale! Dang!

  12. You made me laugh with "well endowed in the boobage department". I work from home, too, and the UPS guy must think I just live in a purple dressing gown. Such is life. I let the dog answer the door.

  13. Yeah, I work at home too. When I haven't showered by lunch time that's bad.
    Glad to see some sewing going on!
    I can't believe that you didn't have to do an fba. Wow. You don't think that the underarm is too low?

  14. Oh yea! So glad you are getting your life back. Hope that means the job is still going well, but that the help is finally working out.

    Glad to see you sewing again. The knit pants suit looks great. I can't imagine cold in Florida. g

  15. I'm so happy to see a post from you!! You could've taken a pic of one of your dog's crap piles and I would've been elated :)

  16. Hi Debbie, I nominated for the Kreativ Blogger award.

  17. I have been reading all your back blog posts for entertainment/education and was so excited to see a new post. It is a thrill to hear about the CC pattern for full busts -maybe I can even find a tnt pattern for a blouse which I desperately need. I live in my pjs also when I am at home which I hope will be lots more in the coming months. I was thinking I need to make a set for spring (winter version in cotton). My warm weather ones are capris and short sleeves.
    When one is at home, the clothing has to work hard ,is washed a lot and does not last like an outfit worn occasionally so why not take advantage of all your hard work on the tnt patterns.They fit you wonderfully. I hope I get some to that point this year. Great to know you are doing ok. mssewcrazy

  18. Debbie, I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award - you can read and get it on my site or Sherril's who is the reason I have it! I can't believe you don't have it?! So go for it! Maybe you have been nominated by several for this, and if so please excuse the additional nomination!

  19. It's so nice to see a post.
    Your outfit looks great.

  20. vialiI had not seen the pictures this morning ( dial up) when I posted but looked at them and your review of Simplicity 5352 on daughter's dsl this afternoon. This pattern looks great on you and so comfy. I love the new version and the green one as well from your review. I think it far surpasses work at home pjs -that suit wants to be worn out and seen. Love it love it! mssewcrazy

  21. Love your blog Debbie and all your helpful tips. I have nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award.

  22. I found that oop Simplicity 5352 pattern in the stash of course unused - wouldn't happen again in a hundred years! It made me remember a lightly embroidered QVC jacket that had short sleeves and was worn with matching capris resembling this simplicity jacket pattern that I had intended to hunt a pattern for. Maybe I can get it made up before next winter if I can get it fba-d and slashed enough to fit me in the front. I buy and wear lots of rtw winter suits very similar to this one that I have to alter when I find them sold as separates- would love to have a pattern fitted up for this type suit. mssewcrazy

  23. I see Lisette beat me to it...I nominated you, too ;)

    So glad to see a 'Stiches and Seams' post in Bloglines!!!

  24. As another girl of fluff & boobage...I'm most definitely getting this one!! And I love the jacket too, wish I had this one in stash.

  25. Debbie, I'm so happy to find your blog. I got it off Lisa at Sew Random. For a while now I've had a link to your tutorials but I don't know why I hadn't happened upon Stitches and Seams. Now I'm going to have a good look.

  26. Debbie I was in the mood to make myself something that fits so I took your advice and bought CC Butterick 5300 pattern. In muslin I made the XL w/DD front. You are right that the dart is in the right place and the shoulders are almost perfect. Like you said, the problem is that there are no clear instructions on what cup size to make. I don't think it's based on your actual cup size. On me the front is about one inch longer than it needs to be on the center front. I'll going to make another muslin as I need to make some back sleeve cap changes. For the most part I'm happy with the pattern and appreciate your suggestion to buy it.

  27. Hey nice outfit! Nice to see you sewing.

    Sorry, I'm behind with my blog reading (and my emails :) ). I promise I'll reply soon. Our scorching weather plus school holidays has been killing me! Both are hopefully over now.

  28. Hey, these pics aren't bad at all! Also if the wadder shirt looks good udner your new work clothes, well, maybe it's qualified as a bona fide addition to your wardrobe? Remember the 1 meter rule. I actually didnùt notice a problem with it.

  29. You are such an inspiration, we are missing you in blogland.

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  31. So nice to have you back Debbie!
    You've been sorely missed!
    I like the combo of brown fabrics for the jacket

  32. Hi Debbie,I'm glad you are back.I had given up on Connie Crwford patterns too.If you give it a "thumbs up",I guess I'll have to give her one more chance.

  33. Hey Debbie,

    I hit the Butterick sale today, and it looks like they are going to be getting rid of most of the CC patterns. They took them out of the displayer, and put them in the drawer, and the red/pink end was up. The pattern person at my JAF is really on top of keeping the pattern drawers in order.

    Dungeon minion


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