Thursday, October 27, 2011

Update to my fabric drama

I got an email from Fashionfabricsclub.com today apologizing for the short email and offering to credit my account. The fabric was navy and was posted wrong on their website.  So I have a few yards of actual black crepe on their way to me!  Yay!

The navy skirt will definitely not go to waste. I found some navy and red cherry-print rayon and I'm just going to cut a new bodice.  As for the other 3 yards, I'm not sure!  I guess I will just keep it in my stash until the need for navy arises.

So, fashionfabricsclub.com, we are good.  Your customer service does not, in fact, suck.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hey Fashion Fabrics Club - your customer service sucks!

A few weeks ago, I ordered from fashionfabricsclub.com for the first time.  I needed some black crepe, and I don't like synthetic fabrics, and they had a 100% rayon crepe and I thought it was my lucky day!  I ordered 4 yards, thinking I could make a new orchestra dress and knock off a couple of those Miu Miu dresses.  It came, I liked how it felt, and I set it aside for later.

Two nights ago, I finally got around to using it.  The lighting in my sewing room isn't the greatest.  My husband was like "is that blue?" and I was all, no, it's black!  I cut out a pattern for a skirt and started sewing.  After a seam or two, I was like "This IS blue!"

Look, totally blue:

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Did I order the right thing? Sure did:

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I had used less than a yard for the skirt, and I still had three left.  I sent the following email to their customer service:

Hi,

RE: Order 520551

I ordered 4 yards of item #7069 black crepe suiting. I just got around to sewing with it yesterday and after I cut out my pieces and started to sew, I noticed the fabric was NAVY! Not black. I compared it to some black and navy fabric I owned and it's definitely blue. I have three yards (and a useless, half-finished dress) left and I was wondering if I'd be able to send it back in exchange for black? It is definitely not what I was expecting to receive. Thanks! Amy

I got the following lovely one line response:

We are not able to accept fabric back that has already been cut.
Uh, that's not fair!  I am not asking for anything for free, I am not asking to exchange fabric I didn't like, I just want to get what I ordered!  I think they are being completely unreasonable and there's no excuse for them not exchanging the fabric that they sent me in error.  I just want what I paid for.
So now I am stuck with 3 yards of navy crepe.  Can I dye it?  Does anyone have a dye recommendation?  I can safely say I am definitely NOT ordering from fashionfabricsclub.com ever again.  What a waste of money.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

RunUp to the Runway

Remember how I was going to turn this:

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Into this?

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To wear to a runway show my sister was walking in? Yeah, it didn't go so well. I got the skirt done and it looked great. Then I sewed on the bodice, and it was so loose and bunchy and unflattering. So then I took off the bodice, made some more adjustments, sewed it on again, and even though it technically "fits", it still looks saggy and sad.  So I abandoned it and quickly made a skirt so that I didn't have to go naked.

I think I have skirt body dismorphia, because I cannot make a skirt fit me to save my life.  This thing is tiny.  I had to wear it under my boobs to get the dang thing zipped.  But then I put on a jacket over it and you couldn't tell anyway.

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Alisa in her model hair and makeup.  The fashion show was a mix of local designers and students.

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Sparkly shoes!

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I hope Lori doesn't kill me for posting this picture, but she was in London and bought the Alexander McQueen royal wedding Pippa bridesmaid dress. She was demonstrating how Alexander's expert cut and seaming gives her an ass worthy of royalty.

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It was a good night in fashion for Milwaukee!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Butterick 5747, or the "Princess Leia dress"

Remember this dress?

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I think I started it over a month ago, but I kept screwing it up and losing motivation. I finally finished it!  I borrowed heavily from the pattern envelope for my fabric choices, and I used a rayon crepe from Trimfabrics.com.  It was really hard to find the light brown fabric for the waistband.  I originally wanted real suede, but it was really expensive.  Ultrasuede looked super cheap to me, so this sat for a good long time until I found some plain brown rayon at Hancock fabrics.

The crepe was a little sheer, so I did French seams throughout.  I kept screwing up and sewing them backwards, but in the end it turned out really great so I'm glad I put in the extra effort.  It looks neater and more "finished".

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The back isn't perfect, but oh well. I used an invisible zipper for the first time in ages, and I had a little trouble getting it in. The back waistband doesn't match up exactly perfectly, but pretty close. The top of the zipper looks kind of bad and I will eventually have to fix it. For now, my hair covers it so I can wear it a few times until I muster up the desire to fix it.

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I wore it to work last week!  Mike kept calling me Princess Leia.  I felt cute in it though and I think it'll become a regular work dress.

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I'm impressed with myself for the fact that I 1) made real sleeves 2) they are long enough 3) I can lift my arms. 

I just have to try to get my hair as tall as the model's!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Simplicity 8181 Revisted

My favorite part about being able to sew is looking at your closet and thinking "I have nothing to wear" and then just whipping something up!  That happened to me yesterday.  I was invited to a party that was sort of a baby shower but mostly a "let's get together one last time before the baby arrives" kind of thing.  Husbands were invited, and the only shower game consisted of guzzling wine from a sippy cup. 

I literally have no fall dresses that I'm excited about.  I started digging through my pattern stash, and came across this:

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I've made the sleeveless version twice already, but never the one with the sleeves.  I had a very similar fabric in my stash, so it looks almost exactly like the pattern envelope.  I'm not really sure how old this fabric is.  The width (37") suggests that it's very old, maybe 40's, but the print is so wild and retro, maybe it's 60's.  It's rayon and I got it at the antique store for $5.

The sleeves were SO easy.  I wonder if I can do all sleeves this way!  It had you sew them on flat before the side seam was sewn.  Does that make sense?  Then you sew the underarm seam and side seam all at once.  It was the quickest sleeve I've ever done and NO bunching!  It's amazing.  It took about 3 hours total.

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I got a new zipper foot and I am still working on machine zippers, so it's showing a little more than I would like. Otherwise, it's perfect. It was really quick and I liked it better than hand-sewing, which is what I've always done in the past.

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I didn't get the black/white/gray memo so I stand out a little, but I still love it! It's comfy, sassy, and exactly the kind of "easy" dress I love to just throw on. I could even wear it to work with tights and boots.

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I can't wait to make another! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All over the place

That pretty much sums up my sewing of late.

I started this dress nearly a month ago and got everything done but the skirt and lost steam.

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The bodice turned out great, and I even did the version with long sleeves!  I'm super impressed with the sleeves.  They turned out perfect and without puckers for the first time ever.  The fabric is a 100% rayon crepe from Trimfabrics.com and it was so wonderful to work with.  Soft and drapey and easy to iron, just the way I like it.  Um, I borrowed inspiration heavily from the pattern envelope.  I even wear my hair like that most days!

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I keep having issues with the skirt. Since the seams sort of show through the white fabric, I'm doing French seams. I keep sewing them backwards! I've ripped it out and re-sewed them three times. I've finally got it straight and attached to the bodice. I'm waiting until I hem it to show a picture because the length is looking a little sister-wife at the moment.

I also finished this dress, which was my muslin for McCalls 6511.  I was worried the fabric looked a little dated, but Mike assured me I have far more elderly prints in my wardrobe. Heh. I don't know if it's going to become a wardrobe staple, but it's bright and comfy and barely took any effort to complete it since it was almost done anyway.  I just added a basic gathered circle skirt. 

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I also started muslins for my two new 40's patterns. I'm using this ugly rayon I got at a thrift store since it's the same drape and weight as the dress fabric I'm going to be using. They don't look like much at the moment, but I'm making progress!

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I am making View 1, and it will eventually be made in this fabric.

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I bought a similar sweater on eBay, so I am hoping it looks good with the skirt and my sparkly Miu Miu boots!

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I also made a muslin for this McCalls pattern.  I wish I had a real dress form so you could see it better.  This one is super skinny and boobless!

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I'm making it in black rayon crepe, and inspired by this dress, I purchased some gold sequined appliques. I'm bummed I couldn't find lillies of the valley, but I knew that would be an impossible task.

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Lastly in the "Miu Miu Knockoff" category, I bought this 80's dress with the intention of making it more like this dress.

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So far I have removed the collar, made a seam down the front instead of it wrapping, and reworked the skirt. I detached it, turned it backwards, and used a pattern piece for a fitted skirt to make a slit. It still needs a lot of work (namely, the bodice is WAY too long), but I like the direction it's going.


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I'm having a lot of trouble focusing on one project right now and I think it's because I am not excited about fall.  It's much more fun to sew a pretty sundress.  I hope I can find my motivation and finish some of these or I'm going to have to go naked.