Saturday, June 4, 2011

This and That

I think I'm creating a sewing blogger sin since today I'm talking about showing cheap RTW instead of Me Made June anything. The horror! ;-)

I was in Walmart yesterday. I go there a lot. It's cheap, and I'm unemployed. I was also by myself, which doesn't happen much as Alex usually tags along. Since I had this luxury of time and no impatient teenaged glaring, I decided to look at the cheap Walmart clothes and try on some capris just to see what RTW size I am now. It's always a boost to try on even bad-fitting RTW pants when you know you've lost weight. At least for me it is. I don't even think about trying on ANYTHING when I know I've gained weight. ;-)

I'm happy to report that I've dropped two sizes. Woo! And the capris actually fit well. So I bought them. (You knew that was coming, right?) They were only $14 and if I keep losing weight as I'm planning, they won't fit in a month anyway. I definitely don't want to sew pants and not be able to wear them much. I have a closet full of those for the trip downward, some of which are now seeing the light of day again.

After the capris, I wandered around some more and found really cheap PJ sets. I need new PJs. I usually make my own because they're a fast and gratifying project and I usually have some "What Was I Thinking Fabric" for PJs in the stash. But I really don't have any stash fabric suitable for PJs and to buy new PJ-specific fabric would cost more than Walmart PJs. So I bought 3 sets, at $12-14 each. And wore one last night.

This is me this morning shortly after waking up. It's still me right now as I'm typing this as I haven't showered or dressed yet. I think they're pretty cute. They will probably only last this one summer, but that's OK. It's one thing off my sewing list and how the heck could I buy/ship the fabric, add tricot piping trim and 7 cute purple buttons for $12-14? I don't sew to save money, but sometimes my time IS money and, well, you know the rest …

I actually cleaned the mirror but it didn't help much

Last, another trip back to the fitting room after I found this dress. Does it look familiar? It's almost a complete match for the great See & Sew 5593 pattern I recently made 2 dresses from (and will be making again soon). It's also a smaller size for me and it fits, even at the underbust seam. It will need some Hollywood Fashion Tape on the crossover, but no big deal since I just stocked up at Joann's the other day.

It's not an exact replica of the pattern, but it's close and the overall look and comfort factor are very similar. There are no pleats at the skirt front and the bodice underbust is gathered to the waist seam.

As you can see above, the neckline has cut-on facings. These are just folded over and sewn into the shoulder and waist seams. They are not stitched down along the neckline. Interesting. I may copy that. The shoulder seam also has clear elastic serged into it.

Below, you can see that the back neckline is faced with a narrow bias (or not?) strip, like Sherril did with her dress. The armholes are just turned and coverstitched.

This will be a weekend/casual dress for me since it's sleeveless and a skootch shorter than I'm comfortable with for office wear — if I ever find an office job. Ahem. Getting impatient here, sorry. I'm planning to wear this today so I'll try to remember to snap a pic. I've been LIVING in my 2 makes of the S&S pattern since it's HOT and dresses are so comfortable and breezy.

On the sewing agenda today (bet you thought I'd never get to that), is a sleeveless top/shell to match the green skirt I made last week. I'm not sure what pattern I'm using yet, but I've narrowed it down to these three. I'll pull out the instructions/line drawings for review and make a decision then.

A couple of closing notes and then I'm off to the shower and sewing room.

1. That rayon knit print fabric that I just bought from Trash. Horrible. It's already boxed and ready to ship back. Ick. I hope you didn't buy any, and if you did because of me, I'm sorry.

I just bought some more knit prints from Fabric Mart instead. I'll keep you posted after they arrive.

2. Leg make-up. A few of you have commented about it in lieu of pantyhose. Help! What brand? Where do you buy it? Drugstore? And what shade would you recommend for dead fish underbelly as a starting point?


  1. Let me say congrats on your weight loss. I think mine is a neverending battle.
    I did find some very comfortable knit capris at Dollar General. I like very lightweight clothes in the summertime as it is sweltering here in LA.
    It's getting harder and harder for me to find any kind of decent tops. I have big arms, and I hate those short, short sleeves they put in everything now - even at Catherine's.
    I usually buy pantyhose at Catherine's if I have to wear them, which isn't often! :)
    I admire you for sewing for yourself. I don't have the courage. LOL I love sewing for my GD.

  2. When you're unemployed you have to be ruthlessly pragmatic. Ask me how I know...

    (And hi! First time commenter after a sewing lifetime of linking people to your FBA tutorials!)

  3. Congrats on your weight loss! One is so hard on clothes in the summer that you may as well do as my Aunt Marg would say and "get'em when the gettin's good." :)

  4. Uh oh. which print did you send back? I did just order some of the orange one that's on the top of you 4 photos. Hope it wasn't that! Well, I'll find out next Weds!

  5. Cathi, I sent them all back, they were all bad. :-(

  6. Congrats on the weight loss. Digging out the previously too tight clothes and finding they fit - priceless.

    On the top patterns....for selfish reasons, I'd love to see how the #3805 turns out. :D

  7. I'm all for a little retail therapy. Sometimes it helps to buy a few things so that your creativity can just flow!

    You are going to love the Fabric Mart knits, I know because some live with me! *LOL*

    Happy sewing!

  8. I need more knits. Ahem. Not really. I want more knits. That dress is a cute print! Sometimes it's good to just see what's out there, and I totally hear you on feeling good about losing sizes in RTW. But most of all, you made me laugh with "dead fish underbelly" as a skin tone. Usually I just ask for "Casper".

  9. Leg makeup can be found at the drugstores and dept stores. I haven't used it since high school (MANY years ago) so I'm sure it's better now. but can't help you on brands or colors. In HS, one day I was sweating and it started "dripping" down my leg. Had to get to the ladies room to wipe he rest off, otherwise, I looked like zebra legs!

    Hey I find capries and T's at Walmart that fit and I bring them home!

  10. Congratulations on shedding the weight. I prefer to avoid the words "weight loss" because it might be found again - happened to me recently! Gotta work on that - again!

    I like the cut-on front facings. I used to have a top with that feature, and I also plan to copy it - some day.

    I think leg makeup might be sweaty. If I'm going to sweat, I might as well sit out in the sun, sweating all the way, excreting toxins to help me feel better. - oh, and getting a tan with a little help from pure coconut oil.

  11. All my everyday stretch denim like capris are from walmart. I bought about a zillion pairs last year in chambray, khaki,white,dark denim from every walmart because for some reason they sort of fit and I didn't even have to hem or alter them which is a miracle for me. I get the JMS brand. I am really happy I bought lots of them after cotton has gone up in price so much and they really wash and wear well which they get lots of here. Advice on the sleep wear from wally world ,mostly hang dry as the gowns I got from cotton knit shrunk a lot and that was sizing up. It is wonderful that you are losing weight but we will lose great plus sized fitting alterations when you cross over to the misses sizes. No advice on the legs but all my daughters are in Florida on a beach on vacation having fun-hey you are in Florida already so go do what the tourists pay a lot to do. Me I'm staying in and having the casper legs, JMS pantyhose work just fine for me with a dress and I don't care what my legs look like with capris. Lol! mssewcrazy

  12. Congrats on the weight loss! I hope I follow suit this summer. ;)

  13. The leg makeup is fabulous and not sweaty at all. I use Sally Hansen's Airbrush makeup in the suntan color. I'm pretty white and it just makes the legs look smooth and all one color. It doesn't come off until you bath or shower. I bought mine at either CVS or Wal-greens.

  14. Good work on the weight loss, you are looking terrific these days, and love the hair. Your hair looks that good when you wake up?! At least we have the dog-on-the-bed in common. Not sure what you mean by leg makeup but I use Jergens - it's like a hand lotion in a tube and has a tint, you can choose light (you are a redhead) and it looks natural and doesn't rub off. And you can get it at Walmart.

  15. I still have a pair of WalMart winter pajamas that I bought over 3years ago. How could I possibly sew a set with piped pockets, buttons, etc... for $3.00?? Not everything needs to be sewn at home!!

  16. Nothing wrong with RTW. :) I enjoy seeing what others buy especially when I can see how the garments were made. :) I like that dress! I hope the job offers come flooding in this week. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you.

  17. Btw, rather than leg make-up I use tinted moisturiser. It takes the edge off the glow-in-dark look and it doesn't streak if I sweat. :) I would prefer a lovely tan but it's never going to happen so I try my best to embrace the "dead fish underbelly" look. LOL! Love that term.

  18. Great going with the weight loss. What are you doing? Do you exercise? You're doing terrific.

  19. Love the pjs...they look so comfy! And congrats on losing weight!!! Can't wait to see your sewing projects...they look fun!

  20. Congratulations in the downward shift! What a high to be able to buy those clothes in the smaller sizes! I am a big proponent of leg makeup. Years of working on my feet the entire day have gifted me with lots of lovely varicose veins. Add to that an intense hatred of pantyhose and you get my drift. I haven't worn panty hose in five years!

    What I recommend Is Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs. You may have to try a couple of shades before you hit the right one but once you do I think you will be very happy. The secret is to have fresh shaved legs, and moisturize. Once the moisturier is dry, put it on. It's real important that you walk around a few minutes with no clothes rubbing against it and let it dry. Then get dressed. Once dry this stuff will NOT rub off. You can swim with it and will have to scrub it off in the shower the next day.

    I used to used this stuff for work and I had to dress professionally. We were not allowed to go "hose-less" but I always did. It really helps my purple veins look a lot better.

    HTH, Bunny

    I used to wear this to work

  21. Me too, I'm a proponent of 'you don't have to make everything'. Happy to see your scales are still moving downward, such a boost for you.
    As to leg makeup, I use L'Oriel. It is not really makeup as you can't wash it off, it tints you. Be very careful putting it on and wash hands immediately and thoroughly. Happy breezes on your bare legs.

  22. I have found that WalMart is one of the better places to purchase PJ's. Purchased some great winter nighgowns before and after the holidays. I liked the winter nightgowns so well, that I Purchased a 2X just to get the same style and fabric. WM is not as tacky as one is led to believe.....Lydia - PS: You're looking good!

  23. RTW is no sin! I think there are some things that just make more sense to purchase alread made.

  24. Two sizes! Wow, that's great!

    I haven't been sewing now for a couple of years but still cannot bring myself to go into Walmart, ha. But then I cannot bring myself to go into Macy's, either, so what the heck.

    I have an olive complexion, so I'm never lilly-white, but I'm not outside watching ballgames like I used to be so do not get tanned naturally like I once did. I've tried lots of different products but have had the most success with L'Oreal Sublime Bronze self-tanning towelettes. They are like large wet wipes and come in a box with several packets. Absolutely no streaking and great color (I use the medium). I use them after a shower every 3-4 days and just sit around in a towel for an hour or so before dressing.

    Ok, that sounded like a paid advertisement! But it's worth a try.

    I hope the job hunt is successful very soon!


  25. Congrats on your weight loss. And thanks for your comment about "dead fish underbelly". That's MY shade, although I use the term "Grand Rapids Winter" to describe it.

    And good luck on the job search. I too, will be unemployed in slightly over a week. In addition to job searching (of course), I hope to uncover my wonderful sewing room and have time to read sewing blogs again.


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