Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review of the Anitra Jumpsuit Pattern


First, let me say that I was honored to be asked to participate in the blog tour of the Anitra jumpsuit pattern created by Erin Shields of Style Sew Me. I recently completed the blog tour for the Keira jumpsuit created by Shari Williams of My Daily Threadz. That went over really well. S0, I thought, why not. I love supporting other's endeavors. But, I must say, this pattern did give me pause when I first saw it. I thought,"what have I gotten myself into". I never imagined myself wearing anything harem-like. What's the old adage, "Don't knock it until you try it". "Well, what the hay, let's do this", I said to self. So, me and self did it. I knew right off what fabric I wanted to use. It's a beautifully printed jersey knit that I received from one of my wonderful sew sisters, Michelle Simmons. She gifted it to me back in February when two more of my wonderful sew sisters organized a "Gift to Alethia" campaign to show their appreciation for me. Every time I think about the all the gracious acts of kindness I receive, it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy (sniff-sniff). I need to do a blog post about that. Hmmm, why haven't I already? ( Scratches head)

Okay, back to the subject at hand, the Anitra jumpsuit. This is a really cute jumpsuit. I'm still not sure how it looks on me.You be the judge. But, I will see, I have not seen any of the others on the blog tour that this jumpsuit did not look good on.
Let's review the pattern. I love that there are only 6, count them, 1-2-3-4-5-6 pieces to this pattern, and it was super easy to put together. From cut to finish, it tool me about 4 hours to put it together. I must confess, my time extended beyond the 4 hours because I realized after I had sewn and serged everything together, I misplaced my front pieces, where the side pieces were overlapping to the center on top of the pants, where they should have met at the center underneath the front piece. I don't know if that made any sense at all. Just know that I had to undo the front section and place them correctly. I started to leave  it and just make it my "different look" ( you all know that I like to do things differently). But, the look didn't quite fly, so I sucked it up, put my feelings in check, and undid ALL THAT SERGER STITCHING to get it right. It was worth it. Word to the wise, do not get caught up in watching Designated Survivor on Netflix while you are trying to sew and meet a deadline. There's bound to be a mistake somewhere.
I did make some very minor changes, just for my personal taste. I shortened the bodice back and front by 1.5". I did not want my top to be too blousy. I'm so glad I did because it had the perfect amount of blousing ( is that a word?). I, also, added a 5/8" elastic instead of the 3/4" elastic that was called for. It just seemed to thread through my casing so much better.
As for sizing, like any other pattern, there is a sizing chart. OAN, let me not forget to mention that this pattern is sized from XS to 3 XL. So, may can wear this cool and comfy jumpsuit. My sizes were all over the place, medium for the top and large for the waist and hips. I decided to make the jumpsuit in the sizes dictated rather than trying to make adjustments oustside of the ones  I mentioned earlier. I doing so, once I finished the jumpsuit I found that there was still a lot of room both top and bottom. It runs big. I think the small would actually be perfect.
As I said earlier, I never would have imagined myself in anything harem-like. But, I think it's rather cute. I think I will LOVE it with the right fit.
The Anitra jumpsuit can be dressed up or down. Check out the many versions of this from the others on this blog tour.
Thank you Erin for inviting me to join the tour! Much success on the sell of this pattern.
To the rest of the ladies of the our, you all look fabulous!!!

Until; next time, remember, you are blessed to be a blessing!

Love you to life,
Alethia

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Part 2: These are the Best Fitting Jeans I've Made Yet...!

I promised part two of my Ginger jeans review

Pattern Description: 
Ginger jeans created by Closet Case Files feature two different styles, High rise, skinny leg jeans, and the low rise stove pipe legs. Very flattering with a tummy control feature.
Pattern Sizing:
This pattern ranges from size 0 to 20. I actually used the size 14 and made the neccessary adjustments. Explained later on.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I created the skinny leg, high rise jeans and they looked very much like the picture!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy to follow. However, I had a little hiccup when it came to adding the pocket stay and lining. It may have just been me, but I got confused. I was tired that evening.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love that there was very little adjustments that had to be made. And, they look fabulous!
Fabric Used:
I used a denim I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics. It was actually greenish-gold brushed, but when I washed it there was a beautiful indigo blue, a dark blue underneath. It has very little stretch, just enough to make the jeans work. 
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did have to make a few adjustments, but they were my normal sway back, FBA ( full booty adjustment--wink), and I to shave about 1/2" from the back inseam...this helped to eliminate smile/frown lines. Normally, I would have to lengthen my pants legs by a couple of inches, In this case, I didn't have to. they would have been perfect without the extra length. I tapered the waist down to a size 12, but I still had to take about 4" out of the center back seam. I did have to increase the back crotch length only. These are a near perfect fitting pants! 










Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I definitely plan to make these jeans at least one more time. I want a pair in white. I have been eyeing white denim on Gorgeous fabrics. I have recommended this pattern. As a matter fact, several of the ladies in my Facebook group chose this as their pattern to make during our March 2017 Jean Challenge!! 

Conclusion: 
This is, so far, the best fitting jeans that I've made for myself. I love them!! I will try the low-rise as well.


It was so much fun, as part of Sew Much Talent's FB March Jean challenge, to see everybody put their own spin on their jeans, including me.
I used Ankara fabric purchased from Lee Lou Designs for my pocket lining, it's so cool!


I added the normal jean buttons and rivets like everyone else...

And,  did one last subtle thing, I added a triple topstitching to my jeans...


I LOVE these jeans! I will make the low rise jeans next!

Thanks to Tonya Martin of @IJusWannaSew (Periscope TV) for doing such an amazing job hosting this challenge! Thanks to this month's sponsors  Monique Garner of Threadz of Hope and Michelle Simmons for sponsoring March's challenge. They each sponsored Gift cards to our winners. And, let's not forget our winners for March, Myra Rentmeester and Denise Thompson. Congratulations ladies!!

Well, now I'm off to get started on my apron for the April Apron Challenge hosted by Wendy of Wendy by Designs .

Until next time, I love you to live. And remember...


You are blessed to be a blessing,

Alethia
a.k.a. Mesewlot
Sew Much Talent

Friday, April 7, 2017

These Are The Best Fitting Jeans I've Made Yet.....!

... I'm talking about the Close Case Patterns.



                                                    Ginger jeans by Closet Case Patterns

Kudos to my hubby, my personal photographer, for his great photographic skills!


Okay, so here's the thing, I know this pattern has been around for a while. And, I've had mine since 2015. I won it in a Pattern Review contest as a random winner. I won the PDF version.


Jeans Contest 2015: Official Discussion 

February 15 to March 15, 2015



Read my pattern review here of Burda 8488



Looking back on this challenge, I realize the Ginger jeans is actually my FOURTH pair of jeans, WOW! My first pair was a faux leather jean pant I made as part of a suit using the popular Jalie jeans pattern. The jacket I made was inspired by a beautiful teal green leather jacket that Andrea Davis of Sew to Fit made in 2014. Andrea's jacket can be seen HERE.


The second pair of jeans that I made were the Jess jeans created by Lena Merrin of Iconic Patterns.
I Love that these jeans have a button front fly opening. I made these out of a gold brushed denim that I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics. I actually participated in the Jess Jeans sew-along making these jeans. 
Terrible picture, I know. I don't think I've ever taken 
a picture of me wearing these jeans. SMH.

On to the third pair of jeans, which was actually the pair that I made for the Jeans contest in Pattern Review, the Burda 8488. Follow the link above to read my full review. I chose to use the sailor pant style, made out of a brushed denim twill fabric. This was not your traditional jeans, but that's me, non-traditional at times.

Check out that contrasting chevron panel. You can say, I was on a winning streak that year because I won that fabric from Mimi G. She was giving away a few extra gift  bundles that were leftover from her conference that year. And, I was one of the recipients. This fabric was actually one of the half samples that was provided by one of her sponsors, along with two pair of very nice Fiskar scissors, thread, an a couple of patterns. 
So,this brings us to the fourth pair, the Ginger jeans that I mentioned above. But, guess what, you are gonna have to come back for Part II, the full review of the making of these fabulous jeans. Until then, remember, you are blessed to be a blessing. Happy Sewing!!

Out with my family in the middle of a nature park, Phinizy Swamp.

Love you to life,
Alethia







Thursday, March 30, 2017

Who Inspires You to Create?

Who are or what are your inspirations to create? I have several... people like Valentino, Badgley Mischka, Sonya Rykiel, Betsey Johnson, Bob Mackie, Carolina Herrera, soooo many more. I am just as equally inspired by some less known individuals like Ann Cole, Willie Otey Kay, and my great-great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Martin who was a tailor here in Augusta,GA.
However, the one that really captured my attention in the earlier years was a woman named Edith Head. I was, and still am, in love with old classic movies. You know the ones with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell,etc., you get the point. If you drooled over the clothes in any of those movies, then nine times out of ten you were drooling over an Edith Head Gown. I mean, that's all I heard, Edith Head, Edith Head, Edith Head.
She is best known for her beautiful and stunning gowns and costumes in movies like, Roman Holiday, Imitation of Mink, To Catch a Thief, Sabrina, White Christmas, and The Lady Eve, just name a few of the many movies she is credited with designing costumes for.
She designed for the best of the best like, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Stanwyck, Natalie Wood, Ingrid Bergman,Bette Davis, Lana Turner, and so many more.
I cannot tell you how I could not wait to watch one of these oldie but goodies movies. The movies were great in themselves, but it was the costumes that triggered my creative button. To this day, I still flock to a good old classic. I attribute my choice to specialize in bridal and formal wear tailoring and design because of the many creations by Edith Head.
Exactly who is this fashion design phenom? Born Edith Claire Posener, she was born of a German father and an American mother. The only clue that Edith's talent could have been a family bent is that her father opened a haberdashery in San Bernandino that did not last past a year. According to records, Edith had very little drawing skills. She actually received a bachelor of arts in letters and science with honors in French, and a masters of arts in romance languages. She became a language teacher, teaching French, but she desired more money. So,she took a chance at something she had little skills for, teaching art. To improve her skills, she took night courses at a local college. Still, with very little art or drawing skills, no design, or costume design experience, she was hired on as a costume sketch artist for Paramount Pictures. It was actually quite interesting how she got the job. Check out the video below to hear her story, fascinating. Now, many would say that was insane. But, today, Steve Harvey would say she dared to JUMP. Something in her, a seed of some kind must have been calling and pulling on her very being to feel a need to do something that was dormant in her. Who knows, what her family's history is before her father. But, I dare to believe that this was in her all the time.
Needless to say, Edith went on to become one of the most and sought after designers of all times. Go figure. She was nominated for a total of 35 Academy Wards and won 8 times, receiving more Oscars than any other woman. Edith later received her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.
She will forever be one of my greatest inspirations of all times.

Edith Head

Edith Head in Action.....

 Audrey Hepburn- Tiffany's
 Audrey Hepburn- Funny Face
 Sabrina-Audrey Hepburn

White Christmas-Grace Kelly/Rosemary Clooney


I'm still in awe and inspired by Edith Head's creations. Now, your turn, what or who inspires you to create in whatever genre you create.  I can't wait to read your responses!!!
Until then, remember , you are blessed to be a blessing!

Love you to life,
Alethia
a.k.a.
Mesewlot

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Well Hello Keira !!!!

I could go on and on about the Keira Jumpsuit, from the Nina Ramel pattern collection, and I will  for a bit ( wink).
First of all, let me say a huge THANK YOU  to Shari Williams of  My Daily Threadz , the creator of this swanky little number. At least that's the way it made me  feel, LOL! So serious though, this jumpsuit is EVERYTHING! it is so fabulously easy to put together.
Let me start from the beginning. I love the idea of keying in your measurements and having a PDF pattern printed out specific to my own measurements. After reading earlier reviews of this pattern, I made adjustments to mine thinking that I would need the same adjustments. However, after stitching this garment together, which was suppose to be ( or can still be considered my "wearable muslin"), I ended up reversing the adjustments for an almost perfect fit.  I say almost, because when I reversed the adjustments, I lost the 2" that I added on to the length. But, hey, it is still wonderful. The length does not cancel out this greatness!
The fabric I chose to use  is a scuba knit that I believe I purchased from  fabric.com. I actually used the same fabric that I just used for my active wear challenge. It was only gonna be my test garment. But, whoa baby, I loved it so much I rocked it the surprise 80th birthday party my Mary Kay Senior Director gave to her husband.
I received so many compliments and was very proud to say that it was a Nina Ramel jumpsuit.



\
Photos courtesy of my husband, Devin Hudson Photography




 Recap:

Pattern : Nina Ramel Pattern Collection
               Keira Jumpsuit

Modifications: 

  • Closed the neckline a bit.
  • Eliminated the ruching at the waist.
Fabric used:
Scuba knit purchased from Fabric.com

Final thoughts: This pattern is worth every second put in it to create. The instructions were very easy to follow. I will definitely make this again, at least one more time.








Thursday, February 2, 2017

Is the Bomber Jacket Making a Comeback?

And, the answer, I believe is , YES!
I decided to make this bomber jacket for myself as a part of my make for the last week ( outerwear) of the Fabric Resolution (Stash busting) challenge. In my previous post, I shared all of my creations for the weeks prior to.
What stash busting challenge you ask? Well, every month  Sew Much Talent (GR)---Facebook group-- does some type of challenge or sew-along to keep the creative juices flowing. This year is the second year that we have started off with the destashing. At this time, we also fast buying fabric. It's tough, but the rewards are great.
Getting back to the bomber jacket, last week , week four, was Outerwear challenge. As I mentioned, I chose to do the New Look 6226 ( OOP) bomber jacket. Plus, I am in another group that just so happen to already be in a bomber jacket challenge. So, I chose to do this pattern so I could "kill two birds with one stones", as the old folks would say. Why you would want to kill two birds is beyond me. Anyway, I decided to mix this Ankara print that I had in my stash with some denim I had in my stash. It was a hit!
So, here's my review...

Pattern stats: 
*NL 6226 (Workroom from Project Runway) , Sizes 4-16. Fully lined.
*This pattern is now OOP ( Out Of Print).
Fabric Suggestions:
Cotton and Cotton blends, Lt.weight denim, Pinwale corduroy, Twill, Sateen, Lt.weight wool, and wool blends, Silks, and silk types, Jacquards, Brocade, Satin, Velvet, Prequilted fabrics.
Did it look like the pattern: Yes.
Did I make any changes?  The only changes I made were very subtle. I omitted lining the sleeves,which are of a med. weight denim. So, I felt it was no need. Also, I made the yoke from the contrast denim fabric instead of the Ankara. Just subtle things.  I did not make any modifications.
The only fitting adjustments that I made were very subtle too. It was actually just a grading of the sizes. I cut a size 12 for the bodice and sleeves and tapered to a size 16 at the hips.
I very rarely sew a pattern straight out of the envelope. I'm known to frankenpattern one in a minute. Yet, this one, I made straight from the bag. And, I love it! I will definitely be making more of these.

Since making this one, others have looked for this pattern , but to no avail. However, there are other styles floating around in the pattern world. The next one on my list that I will make is this one by Mimi G Style (S8174). It's really cute!

To solidify the notion that bomber jackets are making a comeback,I probed the internet, did a google search and found several versions of the bomber jacket at various price ranges. Made me wonder what my jacket would cost on the market, hmmmm! The prices of the jackets I saw and really like ranged from $314 to $4600. I am so much more appreciative of my beautifully, self made, one of a kind bomber jacket. Check out these bomber jackets from the following designers....
Lafayette 148 Silk Bomber 
$313.60

Rebecca Taylor
Silk n' Sequins
$417

St. John
$895

Akris Punto
$1390


Fendi
$4600


Aren't you glad you can sew and create your own clothes, your OWN bomber jackets. I'm just saying. Anyway, I see mine just as good as any of the them. So, thanks to the above designers. I love your designs, but I love mine even more. BTW, maybe Rebecca Taylor has a version of hers in the Vogue patterns. On that note, I think I"ll exit this blog post and go see.

Until next time, I love you to life. Remember, you are blessed to be a blessing!

Sew Alethia









Monday, January 23, 2017

How Is Your Sewing Confidence?

Disclaimer: This is a follow up to the latest YouTube broadcast of the Tailor and the Dressmaker, co-hosted by Victoria Baylor and Jim McFarland, a.k.a. Gentleman Jim.




The Tailor and the Dressmaker

As I watched the show in the wee hours of the morning, I found myself captivated by the 52nd episode, "How Do You Rank Your Sewing Confidence? ".  They both make some valid points on the subject. And, your confidence is  not just relative to sewing. But, your level of confidence dictates the success of whatever it is you are trying to accomplish or will ever achieve.
Bottom line, know you. Know your skill level, and/or lack thereof, and do something to improve on it or keep growing your skill level.
You, FIRST, have to believe in yourself. If you think you can, you will. NEXT, decide where you want to go with who you are, and with what knowledge or skills you currently have. And, LAST, do something with what you have discovered about yourself.
Now, be honest with yourself. DO NOT think of yourself more highly than you ought too. Meaning, don't think ahead of yourself. You may want to be what and where you are not. There is nothing wrong with taking your time and building on your skill set before you get to where you see yourself.
Example: You may want to start a sewing/craft business, but you have just started sewing 2 weeks ago. Say with me, " I AM NOT READY FOR BUSINESS. There is so much to learn before you get to that level. At the same time, DO NOT "dumb down" yourself. A lot of us walk around with a false sense of humility. You will not say to others how good you are. Lack of confidence is not pretty on anybody. Do not mistake confidence for arrogance. Especially, if you are talking about doing business, you have to be able to sell yourself FIRST. In order to get the most for your skills, you have to be confident enough to know your worth.
With that being said, HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR SEWING CONFIDENCE? Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, 1= No confidence at all, 10= I have much confidence in my sewing skills. Leave your ratings in the comments below and let's talk!


“The education of a man is never completed until he dies.” – Robert E. Lee