Tuesday, December 8, 2015

six degrees of separation - sew the show blog tour

Welcome to the next stop on the Sew The Show blog tour called "6 Degrees of Separation" - it's a loop of shows or movies connected by a common actor, director, or significant other. And the whole tour will start and end with Kevin Bacon! If you're inspired to sew to any of the shows, feel free to share them with the tags #sewtheshow and #sewsixdegrees (or the cheeky alternative #baconsewsexy) on social media.

The movie before me (with posts from Jennifer and Melissa) was Whip It.  How does that link to Ever After?  Through Drew Barrymore, of course!  Drew Barrymore has been in a ton of movies, but choosing one was easy for me because my girls LOVE Ever After!  They watch it with Grandma all the time, so I'm pretty familiar with the clothes in the show.

However, even though I love the clothes in the movie (and would honestly love to walk around dressed like this every day!) they aren't exactly 21st century friendly except as costumes.  So I needed to come up with a modern version similar to this outfit while staying somewhat true to the late 15th century.  No problem, right?!?

I love this look on Drew's face!  I'm pretty sure I've seen the same look from my kids a few times ;)

As I watched and rewatched (and rewatched again) Ever After, the things that stuck out the most were the layers and the square necklines.  There was also a fair amount of trims and braids used as embellishment.  So I tried to use those elements, while pretty much ignoring everything else, such as floor length hems and detachable sleeves, neither of which seemed like a good idea for a four year old!  Also, I wanted every piece to be versatile enough to wear separately, so I wouldn't be making an outfit that only gets worn when we're in a 15th century mood, which, just in case you were wondering, is actually quite rare.

Both the dress and the tunic underneath are patterns from two of my Japanese pattern books.  The dress is a combination of patterns C & L from this book, and the tunic is pattern 2 on pattern sheet A from this book.  The book says it is pattern A and then has an uppercase B next to the directions, so it actually took me a while to find the correct pattern for the tunic.  I guess B and 2 are interchangeable when translated from Japanese to English.  The faux leather leggings are made from the Abby's Footed Tights pattern by The Wolf and the Tree which I already blogged about here.

This outfit was quite fun to make since it is so different from what I usually make, but it was something of a pain.  First, the fabric used for the cream tunic was awful.  It was impossible to find the grain, and then once I did, I couldn't keep it from twisting all over the place.  Then it liked to slide all over the place as I sewed.  I ended up trimming the fabric a whole lot more than I normally do just to make seams line up properly.  I originally bought the fabric to make a shirt for myself, but I'm seriously rethinking that plan right now!  And then for the dress, I chose one of the easiest fabrics to work with, pima cotton broadcloth, which irons and sews like a dream.  But I screwed that up by using metallic bias tape which frays, slides all over the place, and has no stretch to speak of.  I probably won't be using that again either!

Dress - Pima cotton broadcloth, metallic bias tape
Leggings - Stretch faux leather from Joann's
Shirt - Twill weave rayon challis from Cali Fabrics
Boots - Target

Click on the graphic below to head to the next stop on the tour!!!

And then don't forget to check out the rest of the posts:

Monday, December 7, 2015

holiday debut blog tour

The Holiday Debut Blog Tour celebrates the end of their debut year for three new designers: Saskia Smith of The Wolf and the Tree, Gabriela Longfish of Chalk and Notch, and Holli Coats of Hello Holli. To help celebrate, I created an outfit using three of their patterns - the Fishtail Kimono, the Blue Ridge Dress, and Abby's Footed Tights.  Although I had made the Fishtail Kimono from Chalk and Notch before, the other two patterns and designers were new to me.  And I love them both!

Make sure you scroll down to the end of this post to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway before you go!  You can also get 20% off all the patterns featured in this post with the code HOLIDAY in any of the shops listed above.

The theme of the blog tour is simply to create any holiday outfit.  Since Mae already has a Christmas dress handed down from her big sis, I decided to create more of a winter/New Years outfit.  Honestly, we don't do anything special for New Years, so it will probably end up as more of an every day outfit.  We rarely differentiate between special and every day clothes, so pretty much anything works for us.  My kids have worn "fancy" clothes to some very odd places in the past ;)  You should see the looks I get when they go down the slide in an Easter dress!

The first pattern is the Fishtail Kimono - previously blogged about here.  This time I used a heavier quilted knit and some faux fur for the cuffs and the neck band.  The fur was a real pain to work with, but I like the wintery look, and it was almost worth it.  Almost.

The dress is the Blue Ridge pattern with a few modifications.  I used a faux leather look fabric (performance knit, similar to a stretch lamé) and wanted a clean look, so I eliminated the bias binding and lined the bodice instead.  Plus, I didn't want to make bias tape from this fabric since I couldn't even iron it!  I also changed the shape of the back bodice into a subtle racerback.

The tights are made from The Wolf and the Tree Abby's Footed Tights pattern.  I didn't think Mae was going to like the tights because of the seam along the toes, but she refused to take them off and wore them for the entire day after I took pictures, so they must be pretty comfortable.  And the fit is perfect!  I made a size four according to the size chart and they fit exactly as I expect them too.  I can see myself making many more pairs of these since Mae refuses to wear socks, and our tile floors are pretty cold in the Winter ;)

I wish I had more decent pictures, but Mae was in no mood for picture taking. She was so mad at me by the time we finished that she didn't even want the M&Ms that I bribed her with.  Of course, she came to her senses a little bit later and came to collect!

Dress - Plaid shirting flannel and black performance fabric from Joann's
Tights - Black performance fabric from Joann's
Kimono - Cream quilted knit and Grey faux fur from Joann's

Saturday, November 28, 2015

craftingcon - my mini wonder woman

I have a mini Wonder Woman in my house!  She's got the attitude for sure ;)  Head over to CraftingCon and check out my post with all the details.

Jacket - Metallic denim from Joann's
Leggings - Upcycled legging fabric
Shirt - See this post
Shoes - Target

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

gracious threads: a new look blog tour

Jess from Gracious Threads is celebrating a New Look for her blog, and I get to celebrate too (who doesn't love a good party!) by creating a new look from two of her patterns - the Raindrop Tee and the Lazy Days Lounge Pants!

If you want to pick up your own copy of any of the Gracious Threads patterns, head over to the store and enter the code "ANEWLOOK" at checkout to get 40% off!

The first pattern I chose (yes, I did receive them for free for being part of the blog tour!) was the Raindrop tee.  The pattern (if sewn as is, which you know I never do) is a 3/4 sleeve fited tee with a scoop neck and a high-low hem.  I kept the scoop neck, the hem line, and the cute little pocket, but I made some major changes to the overall shape!  I started by going up one size from Mae's normal size 4 since I didn't want the top overly fitted.  Then I used the slash and spread method to add about 10" of width to both the front and the back pattern pieces.  I was going for a swing style, and I wanted the width added to the entire top, not just the side seams.  Finally, I added a cuff to the sleeves to make it a true long sleeve top because, you know, Michigan and cold weather, blah, blah, blah ;) I'm pretty sure you've heard it from me plenty of times before!

The second pattern is the Lazy Days Lounge Pants.  I was going for more of a cuffed skinny jogger look since the swing top already has so much volume, so I made a couple of slight changes.  I started with the size 4 this time, and I narrowed the leg from the hip down.  I also used a narrower cuff on the leg and replaced the elastic waist with a yoga waistband made from rib knit.  You'll just have to take my word for it about the waistband since black velour is quite possibly the worst fabric to photograph, so I didn't get any decent pictures of the pants by themselves.  I also omitted the pockets and the drawstring because, well, I'm lazy.  Mae doesn't care about the drawstring, and nobody can see it under the top anyway.  And, as for the pockets, I'm sure she would love them, but she doesn't realize it was even an option, so I should be safe from the wrath of the toddler ;)  Which, by the way, would have been a way better name for the Star Trek movie.  Khan couldn't hold a candle to an angry toddler!

Red knit - Ponte from Joann's
Black velour - cotton velour from Nature's Fabrics

Be sure to check out the rest of the posts from the New Look tour:

Monday, November 16, 2015

japanese sewing week - mae's star top

Welcome to the first Japanese sewing week!  Hopefully it's the first of many, because Japanese sewing patterns are probably my favorite patterns, and I really enjoy seeing what everyone makes. To get all the tour details, head over to this post on the Made by Sara blog.

I really had a hard time getting a decent picture of this top and a decent picture of Mae at the same time!  It was windy, and she wasn't too happy about having her picture taken.  Although she was enjoying taking pictures, and I'm sure there are a few interesting pictures of me on her camera right now.  Along with many, many blurry pictures of the ground and the side of the house since she took most of them while spinning in circles :)

If you scroll down to the end of this post, you can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win your own Japanese sewing books.  And even if you don't win, I highly recommend trying a Japanese sewing book.  They are where I look first to find every day (non special occasion) sewing patterns!

This top is pattern R from this book.  I've made it two times before (here and here) in the size 90, but this time I had to trace the size 110.  And I probably should have traced the size 120 sleeves, since they are barely long enough and I really want it to last throughout our long Michigan winter.  I don't normally re-use patterns, but I honestly love this one, and I'm sure I'll trace all the sizes right until Mae outgrows them!

My favorite part of the top is the placket.  The pattern calls for buttons, but my sewing machine is all wonky right now, and button holes are a no go.  So snaps it is!  Fortunately, since I used to make cloth diapers, I have quite a variety of snap colors to choose from. And since this top looks quite boyish due to being made in Mae's favorite color blue, I opted to add bright coral snaps for a little girly touch.

I like this picture of Mae even though she has a bit of a weird expression.  The truth is she sucks her two middle fingers on her left hand, which has given her a bit of an overbite.  Although I don't look forward to paying for braces some day, this is who she is today, so I can't help but love the picture!

On the other hand, these pictures aren't quite as cute ;)  I'm so glad I have a digital camera and don't have to pay to develop film!

Star print - cotton/spandex jegging materials from Megaroos Designs on Facebook
Snaps - kamsnaps.com
Pants - upcycled (will blog about later)

There is a giveaway running along with this tour thanks to the amazing sponsors! There will be three lucky winners among all of our lovely readers.

Each winner will win one of the following prizes:
 - One pack of 2 two Japanese Sewing books from Tuttle Publishing
 - One pack of 2 two Japanese Sewing books from Tuttle Publishing
 - A $40 fabric voucher from Urban Sew

 All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter bellow. The more entries you validate, the more chances they have to win! The giveaway will be open from Nov. 16th to the 25th.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

pattern testing - chalk & notch fishtail kimono

Last month, I tested a new pattern designer's debut pattern - The Chalk & Notch Fishtail Kimono.  First, I have to say that I truly enjoyed testing for Gabriela!  I rarely test patterns any more because I simply can't find enough time in my day.  But this pattern appealed to me, so I decided on a whim to apply, and I'm glad I did.  It's a simple, yet satisfying sew.

Doesn't Mae look totally thrilled to be taking these pictures :)  Her obvious lack of enthusiasm for taking pictures lately puts a real damper on the whole blogging experience!  In fact, that, along with other real life things, has resulted in very few blog posts lately, with probably even fewer going forward.  Something has to give, and I've decided that thing is the blog. Anyway, more about that later - for now, back to the pattern!

I sewed the XS (size 2/3) based on the finished garment measurements, but I used a narrower hem so the sleeves and bottom would be slightly longer.  This was sewn from the tester version, and there were some minor changes to the final pattern, including the option for a faced hem and a version with front closures.  I plan to sew another one using the final pattern, hopefully in the near future.  I think it would be adorable in a glittery sweater knit for the holidays!  Too bad it doesn't come in my size ;)

Sweatshirt knit from Joann's

Friday, October 16, 2015

craftsy class reviews - october 16, 2015

I purchased the Craftsy all access pass for the month of October, so each Friday, throughout the month, I will be reviewing various Craftsy classes.  If you have any classes you would like me to watch and review, please leave a comment on this post, and I will try to add the class to next week's review :)  I included the current class prices in the review, but the classes regularly go on sale if you feel the regular price is too high.  This week's list is pretty short because I just didn't have time to watch too many of the videos.

*** This post contains affiliate links.  If you prefer not to click through affiliate links, then just search for the class name in Craftsy.  But please remember that there is fabric out there calling my name!  It doesn't cost you anything to click on the link, and it will bring me happiness, or fabric, which is pretty much the same thing ;) ***

Patternmaking for Knits: Essential Slopers with Judy Jackson - $49.99, regularly $69.99
  • Using a dress form to create knit slopers for both tops and bottoms
  • Materials Included: supply list, woven to knit adjustment guide, written instructions for creating a knit sleeve sloper, blank sleeve sloper measurement chart, adjustment for boxy tops, neckline trim guide, written instructions for creating a knit pants sloper, blank pants sloper measurement chart, written instructions for creating a leggings sloper, black leggings sloper measurement chart
  • The first lesson includes knit basics and adapting woven patterns for knits
  • The next lesson is how to create a knit sloper using a dress form.  I didn't particularly find this useful since (1) I don't have a dress form and (2) I really don't want to have to make or buy one to create a knit sloper
  • The rest of the the lesson for sleeves and top variations are based on the draped sloper created in the earlier lesson, so I didn't have much use for those either.  However, if you have already have a bodice sloper from another class, these lessons would be beneficial
  • Lesson five discusses neckline finishes which is useful for finishing any pattern.  It's fairly basic, but nice if you haven't worked with knits much in the past
  • Lesson six adapts a woven pants pattern for knits.  I'm having trouble believing that this could work well unless you have the perfect woven pattern, but, for the sake of honesty, I have to admit that I haven't actually tried it.  The lesson then continues with drafting a knit sloper from scratch which I would think would be a better alternative
  • The final lesson uses the pants sloper from the previous lesson to create a leggings sloper
  • The class is listed as advanced, but I can't fathom why.  It seems that Craftsy lists every pattern drafting class as advanced as a default.  It's actually a fairly basic pattern drafting class since it uses very few measurements and minimal calculations.  Plus knits are pretty forgiving so even if the drafting isn't perfect, the end product will most likely still fit

Pant Fitting Techniques with Sandra Betzina - $24.99, regularly $49.99
  • Modifying a pants pattern to fit various shapes
  • Materials Included: supply list, blank body measurement charts, blank pattern alteration sheet, big 4 and Burda size charts, diagrams with various pant rise illustrations
  • Includes Vogue 2948
  • Sandra Betzina is perhaps the most unorganized teacher I have ever seen.  She spends quite a bit of time finding the correct supplies (they apparently hide a lot) and trying to figure out which pattern piece she is working on. She apologizes about it a lot
  • I'm not sure if anything in this class is useful since I didn't care enough to follow along and try her techniques
  • The pattern and techniques seem geared towards fuller mom-type figures.  Much of the information and fitting techniques focus on fitting a large tummy (her word, not mine)
  • Oddly enough, when she stopped focusing on the patterns and just talked to people about a fitting issue, she sounded quite knowledgeable.  I wish she taught the entire class like that
  • I'm not going to lie.  I didn't bother to finish this class.  There are so many good classes out there that I didn't want to spend my time on a class I wasn't going to use anyway

Adjust the Bust: The complete Guide with Kathleen Cheetham - $34.99, regularly $49.99
  • Guide to making bust alterations on flat patterns.  I wouldn't call it complete since it doesn't address rotating the fullness into a different dart and does not even discuss shoulder darts, waist darts, or neck darts which are alternatives ways of accommodating a full bust
  • Materials Included: supply list, blank measurement chart, and practice worksheets for various dart manipulations
  • Includes instructions for both full and small bust adjustments for no-dart tops, side dart tops, and princess seamed tops
  • This class is listed as intermediate, but I see no reason why a beginner couldn't follow along and make the pattern modifications.  I consider this to be a nice introduction to bust adjustments.  I didn't learn anything new, but if you haven't done bust alterations in the past, I would recommend this course as a great starting point

Pant Construction Techniques: In the Details with David Page Coffin - $34.99, regularly $49.99
  • Uses professional tailoring techniques to construct a pair of men's pants
  • Materials Included: supplies and notions list, resources and suppliers, construction order diagrams, sample patterns for several types of pockets
  • Demonstrates tailoring techniques used to finish men's pants, but fully adaptable to tailored woman's or children's clothing as well
  • Includes instructions for inseam pockets, slash pockets (several variations), single welt pockets (straight and curved), zipper fly, several waistband variations, and finishing details
  • Does not address fitting; purely a class on construction - great companion class to Suzy Furrer's Pants Sloper class
  • This class is taught differently than many other classes.  It doesn't necessarily focus on process as much as technique.  He addresses each technique as he goes regardless of how it relates to the final product, which I prefer.  If I want to know how to finish a welt pocket but don't care about inserting a zipper, it's easy to find the lesson I need without a bunch of unnecessary information.
  • This class is listed as intermediate, and it's one of the few classes I've watched that actually deserves that rating.  Too many of the classes rated as intermediate are actually fairly beginner classes.  This class assumes you already knows how to sew and can construct a garment from start to finish.  It's intended to perfect techniques, not teach them.
  • I would love to find more classes like this!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

craftingcon: adventures in space guest post

I'm posting over on CraftingCon today as part of the Adventures in Space.   Fly on over there at warp speed (just a little Star Trek humor!) to see Mae's space tee.  Here's a hint: it was inspired by a recent NASA press release :)

Blue stripe - Megaroos Designs Fabric on Facebook
Charcoal knit (cuffs, hood, applique) - Joann's
Red knit (binding, applique) - Joann's

Friday, October 9, 2015

craftsy class reviews - october 9, 2015

I purchased the Craftsy all access pass for the month of October, so each Friday, throughout the month, I will be reviewing various Craftsy classes.  If you have any classes you would like me to watch and review, please leave a comment on this post, and I will try to add the class to next week's review :)  I included the current class prices in the review, but the classes regularly go on sale if you feel the regular price is too high.

*** This post contains affiliate links.  If you prefer not to click through affiliate links, then just search for the class name in Craftsy.  But please remember that there is fabric out there calling my name!  It doesn't cost you anything to click on the link, and it will bring me happiness, or fabric, which is pretty much the same thing ;) ***

Sewing Designer Jeans with Angela Wolf - $24.99 on sale, regularly $49.99
  • Very nice finishing techniques
  • Includes a fairly basic resource list for purchasing patterns and denim sewing supplies
  • Complete jeans construction including altering patterns for fit, step by step sewing instructions, and professional finishes
  • Adaptable to any jeans pattern
  • Techniques for distressing jeans, including how to test the denim before distressing 
  • Rated as an intermediate class by Craftsy, although I believe a confident beginner could follow along without a problem.  It's very thorough and loaded with tips specific to denim

Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper with Suzy Furrer - $69.99
  • This is my favorite Craftsy class - I will be purchasing it once my all access pass expires at the end of October
  • Materials included: supply list, both a blank and a sample completed measurement chart, reference charts for drafting, a sample moulage, and a sample sloper
  • Directions on how to measure a real person and draft a moulage (no ease bodice) and a basic bodice sloper for both wovens and knits.  The sloper does not include sleeves
  • Even if you don't plan to make your own patterns, personalized slopers serve a purpose.  If you use your sloper and compare it to a pattern you wish to sew, you can often make many fitting changes before sewing the first muslin
  • There is some math involved, and the drafting is somewhat complicated, so patience may be required
  • This is listed as an advanced class, and I believe that is accurate.  Having some existing knowledge of the purpose of specific pattern components such as darts would be helpful

Patternmaking + Design: Creative Sleeves with Suzy Furrer - $34.99 on sale, regularly $69.99
  • This class in an extension of the bodice sloper class
  • Materials included: supply list, measurement chart (includes tips on how to measure,) sleeve diagram, blank pattern record chart, information about ease for different garments, complete written instruction for the entire class to use as a reference.  This alone is worth the price of the class
  • Includes step by step instructions for drafting a sleeve from body measurements
  • Includes basic fitting variations for tops, jackets and coats and how to adjust a bodice sloper for a sleeve
  • Requires a basic bodice sloper
  • Includes the following sleeves - basic, tailored, two-piece, sleeve with vent, short & 3/4 length, puffed, mutton leg, bell, cap, petal, sleeve with placket and cuff, sleeve linings, and knit sleeves
  • Advanced class just like the bodice sloper class

Patternmaking + Design: Creative Darts and Seam Lines with Suzy Furrer - $44.99 on sale, regularly $69.99
  • This class is also an extension of the bodice sloper class 
  • Materials included: supply list, written directions for the basics of both front and back dart manipulation
  • An entire class about dart manipulation - I don't think people give darts the credit they deserve.  A perfectly fitted dart will give a pattern a professional finish
  • Includes instructions for drafting the following darts: center front, armhole, french, diamond, y-dart, neckline gathers, horizontal waist gathers, bust gathers, curved shoulder darts, cowl neck
  • Includes the following seam lines: princess seams, empire line, babydoll line, a-line, swing line, double breasted line
  • Includes instructions for manipulating back darts as well
  • Requires a basic bodice sloper
  • Advanced class
  • With this class, you can create pretty much any bodice style you desire
  • Even if you don't plan to make a bodice sloper, this information in this class could be used for altering the darts (or adding if they don't already exist) on existing patterns for a better, personalized fit

Plus-Size Pattern Fitting and Design with Barbara Deckert - $24.99 on sale, regularly $49.99
  • Although I'm not technically plus sized, I always have to make full bicep and full bust adjustments on patterns, so I took this class anyway and found many of the tips and techniques useful for any size 
  • Materials included: blank measurement chart, ease chart, blank size adjustment charts, five different shape fashion figures, written construction tips and techniques for reference, fabric recommendations, supply list and resources, tool list, reference book list 
  • Includes a sewing pattern - Vogue 8815
  • This class is geared toward modifying the fit on an existing pattern, not drafting from scratch
  • Addresses the basics of designing such as proportion and line
  • Has instructions for a couple of options for making your own custom dress form
  • Discusses measurements, ease and choosing the appropriate pattern size
  • Addresses the changes needed for adjusting a flat pattern to fit a plus sized woman
  • Includes: adjusting for length and width, bust adjustments, and figure variations such as a rounded back, full arms, and a rounded abdomen or backside.  In other words, the figure variations that most women have!
  • Goes through basting a garment and fitting a garment on a dress form and/or person
  • Lesson 11 includes variations of the pattern included with the class (Vogue 8815) showing how once the pattern modifications are finished, the pattern can be used for several garments
  • Craftsy lists the class as intermediate which seems accurate

Sew Better, Sew Faster: Advanced Industry Techniques with Janet Pray - $29.99 on sale, regularly $59.99
  • Includes many tips for making sewing faster with professional results
  • Materials included: supply list and resources, seam allowance reference
  • Janet Pray is extremely knowledgeable and you can tell as you watch her sew throughout the class 
  • Includes a nice resource list for the items used in the class
  • Includes pattern cutting and preservation, sewing without pins, tips about interfacing, zipper insertion, waistbands, machine and bound button holes, seams, and hems
  • I love the bound buttonhole method.  I will use it from now on
  • The rest of the information was not new to me, but would be very useful to someone who is comfortable sewing but is not familiar with more advance techniques
  • Rated as intermediate by Craftsy, although the knowledge in this class would be useful to a beginner too

Fast Track Fitting with Joi Mahon - $29.99 on sale, regularly $44.99
  • Another class addressing modifying a flat pattern for fit using body measurements before making a muslin
  • Materials included: supply list, blank measurement worksheets
  • Includes fit pattern - Vogue 1004
  • Addresses vertical and horizontal adjustments for both upper and lower body
  • Also includes instructions for modifying sleeve fit
  • Labeled as a beginner class, although it doesn't really seem any different than the intermediate classes, with the exception of being less thorough
  • This class is really focused on using measurement to modify a pattern, but doesn't address fitting issues.  For example, if you make changes, but something is still off, there is not any information to help you figure out what changes need to be made next.  I don't think the beginner that this class is for would have the knowledge to get a perfect fitting pattern after taking this class

Sew Smarter: 30 Professional Techniques with Katrina Walker - $59.99
  • Materials included: supply and resource list, basic capelet pattern with instructions, 28 page fabric guide and swatch notebook
  • Love, love, love the interfaced facing technique in lesson 5! 
  • Some of the techniques seem somewhat cumbersome, especially for a beginner who is not comfortable handling various fabrics, but are great for someone who is comfortable with basic sewing and looking to improve skills and finishes.  On the flip side, the techniques are not exactly ground breaking, so this class might not be a good fit for someone who has been sewing for a while and has been exposed to more advanced sewing in the past.  I would consider it to be an intermediate class, which agrees with Craftsy's rating
  • Covers zippers, various seams, darts, gathers, sewing corners and curves, facings, ironing/pressing, choosing fabrics/patterns, topstitching, and hemming
  • Not a fan of the fact that she sews from both sides of the fabric when topstitching.  I know not every machine is like mine, but my top thread and bobbin thread look different when sewn, so I always topstitch from the right side
  • I had to watch at 1.5x speed because she talks quite slowly, but that's just personal preference

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

another capsule sudoku ... this time for me

I finally finished figuring out my fall capsule wardrobe sudoku!  When I say finally, I mean finally ... I started working on it in August, but it kept getting pushed aside for other things.  And I technically shouldn't use the word finished since I still don't know what patterns I am using for two of the tops and a couple of the others may change.  But if I wait until I'm truly finished, no one would get to see it until January ;)  And I probably wouldn't get around to sewing it until next fall!

Pattern Links (left to right starting on top row):

 Things I still need to purchase:
  • Patterns - SBCC Gibson Blouse, Simplicity 2150, Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers, Burda Blazer (I'm not 100% sure on any of these)
  • Fabric - black pinstripe, black wide wale corduroy, B&W buffalo plaid, Coral knit
  • Shoes - Ankle boots (both pairs or something similar); I hate shopping for shoes because I have odd feet and it's really hard to find stuff that fits, so I've been putting this off.

Patterns I'm still considering (or alternate patterns):
  • Floral top - StyleArc Tiffany Blouse, StyleArc Suzie's Sister Top, Burda v-neck blouse, Burda satin blouse
  • B&W buffalo plaid top - StyleArc Camilla Blouse, Sewaholic Granville, Grainline Archer, Liesl & Co Gallery Tunic (with a few modifications to the placket and back)
  • Simplicity 2150 -I'm looking at View A, but first I need to figure out if it will work with my fabric choice.  I also like McCall's 7199, so there is another option.
  • SBCC Gibson Blouse - Although I like the look of this blouse, it's not something I would normally wear, so I'm still on the fence about it.
  • Sewaholid Thurlow Trousers - I haven't looked for anything else yet because I'm not sure exactly what pants style I want.  I'll probably wait until a make a few of the other pieces
  • Burda Blazer - This is a plus sized pattern, and although a few parts of me are plus sized (specifically arms and hips) my shoulders and ribcage most definitely are not.  So I'm not sure if this pattern will work for me.  I might have better luck adding width the the appropriate parts of a different pattern.

Obviously, I still have a lot to do!  And I've barely even started sewing ... so far all I've done is cut out the Waffle Marmalade pattern and finished sewing the Closet Case Ginger jeans in denim which I shared here.  I still have to write an official review post, but I love them and wear them almost every single day.  Quite possibly because they are the only pants I own that fit and are comfortable ;)  I really need to start sewing!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mae's fall capsule sudoku (with pattern links)

While I was taking a short break from sewing for myself, I decided to spend a few minutes working on something a little more fun (i.e. requires less fitting and pattern alterations!)  Here's my sudoku for Mae's capsule wardrobe.  She honestly has enough clothes this year thanks to hand-me-downs, but I love sewing for her, so too bad, she getting more clothes ;)

Pattern Links (left to right starting on top row):
 - Ottobre 4/2013 No.20, LouBee Hosh Pants, Ottobre 4/2015 No.11
 - Puperita Dragon Vest, Made Kid Shorts, Ottobre 4/2015 No.7
 - Jennuine Designs Dressage Leggings, CTW Izzy Top, Hey June Greenpoint Cardigan
 - Cropped sweatshirt (self drafted), Sis Boom Ethan, Ottobre 4/2015 No.9

I tried to use mostly fabrics and patterns that I already own, combined with shoes that Mae already has, to keep as a low cost capsule.  The only things I need to purchase are the plaid for the Ethan shirt, the fur for the Puperita vest, and the black boots which I was planning to purchase anyway.  I have no idea when I will actually get around to sewing everything, but hopefully I will be able to get started next week.  And since Mae doesn't truly need any of it, I'm not too worried about finishing within any particular time frame.  It's nice sometimes to just be able to sew for fun!

Sudoku resources if you want to make your own:
  • Free Notion - Printable Sudoku with some info on how to fill it in (this was my inspiration for creating both my own and Mae's sudoku)
  • Sue Sews (So-So) - This was the inspiration for the Free Notion printable.  It is geared towards fashion and not sewing, but it's still helpful
  • Melly Sews - Another printable with slightly different categories.  It was developed for the Pattern Anthology Unbiased collection, but it could be modified for any patterns. As I was reading the post, I realized you have to sign up for an email list to get the free printable, so that may not appeal to everyone (i.e. me! I don't sign up for newsletters that I don't want just for a freebie)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

not quite a momiform ... just focusing on the basics

The last thing I shared in yesterday's post was a list of patterns I would like to sew for myself this fall.  The only problem with the list is that I really didn't bother to see if any of those patterns actually go together well enough to make an outfit!  So today I'm here with what I can only call a beginning beginner post on combining patterns.  Just to be clear, I don't in any way believe that the people who read this blog are beginners at combining patterns, but I absolutely know that I am ;)  I am the queen of sewing individual items without ever taking the time to determine if any of them actually go together.  And since I tend to sew with busy prints, they rarely, if ever, do ;)

A special thanks to Lauren Dahl for putting together the Momiform Makeover series :)  And before you go, make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter the fantastic giveaways!  One of them is for a Janome sewing machine!!!

For those of you who don't know me (which is pretty much everyone!) I am a mom to six kids.  I've been a stay at home mom for over 17 years, and in that time, I've had very little use for fashion.  After all, I spent many, many years pregnant and nursing, when practicality was the overwhelming factor used to choose clothing, especially for a mom who didn't need to leave the house on a regular basis.  Now that I'm done with the pregnancy thing and the kids are starting to get older (my oldest is graduating high school this year!!!) I really need to focus on myself a little more.  Unfortunately, I have a hard time reconciling my 38 year old, post babies body with my pre-baby, 20 year old self, and I seem to have lost the ability to dress myself with any style whatsoever.  The clothes in this post are an attempt to find myself I guess, for the lack of a better way to phrase it.  Honestly, I'm not entirely sure that I'm feeling up to the task, so I started small with a few basics.  And I ask that if you choose to leave a comment, please be nice :)  Honest of course, but nice.

Please ignore the poor lighting and, as a result, slightly out of focus pictures.  In true mom fashion, in order to get pictures without 729 interruptions, I hid myself in my room.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have the best lighting, especially at dusk when I took these pictures.  And just to be clear, I still had interruptions, but it was a much more manageable fifteen or so ;)

I started with perhaps the most basic outfit there is - jeans and a white shirt.  Baby steps. I'm just not a jump in to the deep end kind of person.  Actually, that's a lie.  I totally jump in the deep end when we go swimming.  Anyway ... I wanted a basic white shirt that wasn't a button down.  I actually didn't have a pattern in mind, but when I started looking at the Colette Dahlia, which I was originally going to make as a dress, I realized it would work equally well as a top.  Actually, it will probably work way better as a top since I never, and I mean never, wear a dress.  I'm mostly happy with the result, although it was not an easy process getting there!  I will do a thorough pattern review another time, but for now I will just say that this pattern was not drafted for someone built like me.  The second half of the outfit is the Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Files, which I absolutely love!  Seriously, I haven't taken them off since these pictures except to sleep.  And I'm pretty sure I could sleep in them too if I wanted.  They are that comfortable.

Patterns - Dahlia Dress by Colette Patterns; Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files
Fabric - White shirting from Joann's; Italian Stretch Denim (affiliate link) from lowpricefabric.com

The next basic (at least for me, I know some people don't wear blazers, like ever) is the Morris Blazer from Grainline.  I stuck with charcoal and white - avoiding prints that I would normally use - so it would potentially match more tops and bottoms.  Of course, I don't really own anything that matches it, but that will come soon ;)  For now I paired it with a somewhat coordinating store bought top and the Ginger Jeans.  And I totally forgot to change my shoes between pictures, so they don't really go.  But you will find me barefoot about 98% of the time when it's not the middle of winter, so I'm lucky I remembered to put on shoes at all! Sorry, no pictures of the back of the blazer.  There just wasn't enough light to get a good pictures of dark jeans with a dark top.  You'll just have to trust me that the back is solid charcoal.

Patterns - Morris Blazer by Grainline Studio; Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files
Fabric - Ivory Ponte (affiliate link for 320 ponte - ivory is out of stock) from lowpricefabric.com, Charcoal ponte from Joann's; Italian Stretch Denim (affiliate link) from lowpricefabric.com
Blouse - purchased from Kohl's

This third top is the Tonic Tee from SBCC with the sleeves from the Tonic 2.  I modified the top slightly so the back side seams wraps around the front a little, and I added a slight high low hem.  I didn't exactly achieve the look I was going for (it's rather shapeless) but it's comfortable and will work as a hanging around the house tee.

Patterns - Tonic Tee by SBCC; Ginger Jeans by Closet Case
Fabric - Navajo jersey from Jumping June Textiles, Charcoal ponte from Joann's; Italian Stretch Denim (affiliate link) from lowpricefabric.com

I figured I would add these pictures, because who doesn't want to see a close-up of my butt ;)  Honestly, I'm thrilled with the fit of these, but I'll probably angle the pockets out slightly more the next time I make them.  And there will be a next time!  For those of you that noticed the lack of belt loops (anyone? Bueller? Bueller?) I never wear anything tucked in to my jeans, and this way I can avoid any unsightly bumps from the belt loops.

Momiform MAKEover
REMEMBER: Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the two separate Rafflecopters! 50+ winners will be selected! Get 10% off your fabric order from now through October 1 at Michael Levine/LowPriceFabric.com with code: Makeover10
Get 20% off your pattern order now through October 1 at UpCraft Club with code: MOMIFORM Are you MAKE-ing over your Momiform? Join the fun on Instagram with hashtag #momiformmakeover

Be sure to check out all the awesome series participants to get lots of momiform inspiration!

momiform major sponsors
Special thanks to these major sponsors who generously donated the following items for the giveaway:
(There will a different winner for each line item so we can spread the love around!)
Janome - One Skyline S5 Sewing Machine* Indiesew - Four $50 gift certificates (four separate winners) Michael Levine / Low Price Fabric - Four $25 gift certificates (four separate winners) and 10% discount for readers through October 1 - code: Makeover10 UpCraft Club - Two $25 gift certificates (two separate winners) and 20% discount on patterns through October 1 - code: MOMIFORM
And the following pattern designers who graciously provided patterns for the series participants and/or contributed the following items for the giveaway:
Grainline Studio - Two patterns of your choice True Bias - Hudson Pants & Southport Dress patterns Colette -Two patterns of your choice Closet Case Files -Two patterns of your choice Sew Much Ado -Two patterns of your choice Sew Straight & Gather - Three patterns of your choice Golden Rippy - Two patterns of your choice 110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook Patterns for Pirates - Two patterns of your choice Itch to Stitch - Two patterns of your choice Mouse House Creations - Two patterns of your choice Hey June Handmade -Two patterns of your choice Peekaboo Pattern Shop - Three patterns of your choice Go-to Patterns - One women's pattern of your choice GreenStyleCreations -Two patterns of your choice Puperita - One pattern of your choice Sofilantjes - Two patterns of your choice Charlotte Kan - One pattern of your choice So Sew Easy - Two patterns or one bundle of your choice OUSM Designs - Women's Thumbs-Up Tee pattern E-Beth Designs - Two patterns of your choice Muffin Head Patterns - Any pattern of your choice up to $10 GrayDay Patterns - Sandpoint Top or Athena Top pattern (your choice) Scientific Seamstress - One pattern of your choice Stitch Upon a Time - $20 gift card 5 out of 4 - Two patterns of your choice Frianki Patterns - Two patterns of your choice KZ Jo Studio - Two patterns of your choice Straight Stitch Designs - Full collection of patterns Sewing Patterns by Aivilo Charlotte - Two patterns of your choice Striped Swallow Designs - Two patterns of your choice Rose and Lee Designs - Two patterns of your choice Sewing Geek Patterns - One pattern of your choice Filles a Maman - One pattern of your choice Bella Sunshine Designs - One pattern of your choice Liola Designs - One pattern of your choice Cali Faye Collection - One pattern of your choice Tinman Patterns - Orbit Skirt pattern Felicity Sewing Patterns - Two patterns of your choice Winter Wear Designs - Two patterns of your choice Ellie Inspired - Three patterns of your choice Love Notions - One pattern of your choice a Sparkly Baby - Two patterns of your choice Terra's Treasures Designs - Two patterns of your choice

*Janome giveaway winner must be located in U.S.A. and is therefore on a separate Rafflecopter below. Machine must be picked up at a local dealer; it cannot be shipped.
This second Rafflecopter includes all the other sponsor items since they can be awarded internationally! You must enter both Rafflecopters in order to be entered to win both the sewing machine and the rest of the giveaway items. All patterns awarded will be in PDF format. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

my fall 2015 capsule wardrobe: part 3 - pattern overload

Just in case you missed the first couple of posts about my 2015 capsule wardrobe, here they are:
Part 1 - Choosing Colors

Now on to part three - patterns.  In case you haven't noticed (and you live under a rock or something) there are quite a few sewing patterns available ;)  Choosing a single pattern is no easy matter.  Big 4 or Indy?  Printed or PDF?  Answering those two questions will help you narrow down the choices a bit, but what if you really don't care, like me?  Where to start?

First, building on the post from yesterday, I'm going to figure out what features I need to look for in a pattern.  I'll focus on my individual attributes and what styles accent, flatter and/or de-emphasize.  I realize that not everyone will agree with the points I make here, but I've been looking in the mirror to dress myself for many years, and these are the things that I feel look best on me and that I am most comfortable wearing. 
  • Large bust - I know some people consider this to be an attribute, but as I mentioned yesterday, I have mixed feelings.  Regardless of whether I like having a large bust or not, there are definitely necklines which flatter more than others.  For example, a narrow v-neck widens the shoulders while minimizing the bust and is my go-to neckline.  Or, on the rare occasion I choose to flaunt what I've got, a wide scoop neck with interesting details (but not a lot of volume) is quite flattering.  I tend to stay away from necklines with ruffles since they make me look top heavy, as do bodices that end just below the bust line.
  • Rectangle shape - I like to wear fitted tops such as a wrap ballet sweater that end at the waist (and by waist I mean just above my belly button) with a more flowing top underneath.  The fitted top emphasizes the narrowest part of my waist, and the flowing top adds a little volume below to give the illusion of a greater curve between waist and hip.  Although too much volume is unappealing since it just makes me look wide overall.  I also like tailored styles since they don't add any volume to the middle.
  • Fat arms - I could probably phrase that in a more politically correct way such as generous biceps, but this is my blog, and there is just no getting around it, I have fat arms ;)  I avoid sleeves that end at the fullest part of my arm and at the same level as my bust because that just make the widest part of me even wider.  I think a fuller sleeve, either elbow or 3/4 length and gathered at the bottom, looks best on me.  Although I don't personally like a gathered sleeve head (commonly called princess sleeves) since it looks like it belongs on a little girl, the extra shoulder width helps de-emphasize my fat arms and make my round shoulders appear more square, so I do begrudgingly wear them ;)
  • Flat butt (relatively speaking) - This isn't necessarily obvious when you look at me, but I generally want to avoid an a-line skirt since it makes me look even wider and flatter than I actually am.  I also like fairly big pockets on the back of my pants that sit a bit low which helps break up my wide, flat expanse of butt.
  • Thick waist (i.e. love handles) - This is similar to the rectangle shape, but it's more specific to making sure I don't get weird bumps and rolls from my clothes.  Clingy things tend to make me look lumpy, but quite often fabric choice can fix this problem.  Also, wide waistbands on pants and skirts help keep everything where it should be.
  • Short torso - Generally this requires pattern modifications, especially in the back.  Sometimes I can get away without changing the front because my large bust balances out my short torso.  I can't emphasize the importance of vertical lines nearly enough, which coincidentally also balance out the fact that I am kind of short as well.  A simple, waist length blazer with narrow lapels is a great way to add vertical lines.  As is a fitted shirt and/or skirt with vertical seaming details.  I try to avoid things that are high waisted since the waist tends to start directly below my bust making me look even shorter through my top half.
  • Overweight - I know this isn't necessarily an attribute, but it does factor in to pattern selection since not all patterns are available in my size.  And let's be honest here, some things (actually most things!) just look better on thinner people.  My weight doesn't normally stop me from purchasing a pattern, but I do try to take it into consideration when choosing which pattern to buy.

Building that list makes me feel rather unappealing.  I mean, who doesn't love being a rectangle with fat arms and a flat butt?  Luckily, I've been blessed with an abundance of confidence and my shape doesn't really bug me, but still!   There are also other aspects of my shape that I could worry about (such as my narrow back) but these are the most obvious, and I can only do so much with clothes.  If I really want to change how I look, I have a feeling a treadmill and some running shoes will have to be involved ;)

Once I determine which pattern attributes I'm aiming for (v-neck, etc.) I just have to start looking.  But where?  First, I love to go to this post on Free Notion to remind myself which Indy patterns designer design for someone like me and which ones I should avoid entirely.  For example, as much as I love the aesthetic of Named Patterns, a pattern drafted for someone who is 5'8" with a B cup requires way too many modifications even before I start sewing.  In addition to this list of Indy designers, there are the Big 4 (Vogue, Simplicity, Butterick & McCall's), the magazine format patterns (Burda, Ottobre, Knipmode and a bunch of European and Japanese magazines that aren't really available in the US), and a whole host of Indy designers (Sewaholic, Tilly and the Buttons, etc.) that are not included in the list.  I wish I had a better method of helping you search for a particular pattern, but as far as I know there isn't a comprehensive resource for sewing patterns.  And I'm pretty sure if there was, I would know about it!

Next I just start looking around, rather aimlessly at first.  I read blogs to see what patterns other people use, I read forums such as Pattern Review, Curvy Sewing Collection and GOMI (not for the faint of heart blogger.)  There are also many Facebook groups that are focused either on general sewing or specific types of patterns.  I'm not listing all the Facebook groups, but a simple search should turn up many of them.

Once I end up on a pattern designer's website, I start looking at the details of each pattern, while trying to ignore how it looks on the model and imagine how it might fit me.  I'm not opposed to making rather major modifications to a pattern to achieve a certain look, but I don't enjoy having to modify the fit so much that I have to significantly redraw every single seam.  For example, I expect to do a full bust adjustment (FBA) and a full bicep adjustment to most patterns, which is fine.  But if I also have to adjust for a narrow back, narrow shoulders, a flat butt, and the fact that I'm short, there's a good chance I'm going to get really frustrated with the pattern and never buy from the designer again.  Which is why I look for reviews from other bloggers whenever I can before I buy a pattern.

Now that I've gone over how I choose a pattern, here's a few that I can't wait to try out.  The list of patterns I want to sew is quite possibly endless, but I'll start slowly for now and then do a post with more patterns once I tackle a few of these :)
  • Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans - I've seen a ton of reviews, most of which are glowing.  I don't like skinny jeans, but I'll just modify them to be a boot cut leg.
  • StyleArc Claudia Pants - I like a good straight leg tailored pant.  And a little bit of stretch doesn't hurt either!  I will wear these solely with longer shirts/tunics due to the lack of back pockets and other details that help visually reduce the width my midsection.
  • Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers - I love menswear trousers, and this pattern is designed for a pear shape so it should work for me 
  • SBCC Gibson Blouse - SBCC Patterns are unique in that they are designed for petites.  I'm actually taller than what they design for, but that shouldn't matter for this blouse since I'm short waisted anyway.  At most, I might need to add a little length to the bottom hem.  The only thing that bothers me about the pattern is the lack of reviews.
  • BurdaStyle Wrap Blouse - Wrap styles are almost universally flattering.  I plan to omit the bow and construct the bottom band from a stretchy fabric, most likely french terry.
  • Deer and Doe Airelle - I already made one here, but I would like to make another one from this unicorn fabric (affiliate link) that I already bought ;)
  • Jalie Shawl Collar Hoodie - I also need comfy clothes for those cold Michigan winter days where I have no plans to leave the house.  This pattern should be perfect!
  • PaperCut Coppelia - I don't own a ballet style wrap top, which I need to remedy since it's one of my favorite styles.
  • Grainline Studio Morris Blazer - I've had my eye on this pattern for quite a while and have liked almost every version I've seen.
  • Waffle Patterns Marmalade Jacket - I'm actually not familiar with this designer, and there are almost no reviews, but I adore the look of the jacket, so I'm going to try it anyway.
  • Deer and Doe Sureau Dress - I honestly can't remember the last time I wore a dress, but it would be nice to own one that fits so I would have the option to wear it if I wanted.  However, this is pretty low on my list of things to sew simply because I don't find dresses as practical as other pieces.

That's about it for patterns, at least for now, but I still have plans to go over fabric choices and show you my cute little Sudoku for my capsule wardrobe some time next week!  But first, tomorrow I'll be here with my contribution to the Momiform Makeover series hosted by Lauren Dahl from Baste + Gather.  I'll be sharing a few pieces I've sewn so far for fall, two of which are made from the patterns listed above.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

my fall 2015 capsule wardrobe: part 2 - pear or banana?

On Monday, when I said I would be back tomorrow with the next post, it turns out I really meant I will be back on Thursday after I come down with a (totally annoying, sleepless nights, makes me ache from head to toe) head cold that my loving children so generously shared with me ;)  I read somewhere that as you get older it's very rare to actually get a cold since you've already been exposed to most of the common cold viruses.  Someone should tell my body that, since I seem to get more colds now than I did when I was younger.  Again, I'm going to blame it on my kids, since they seem to bring home every single virus from the cesspool that is called school.

I have to give a quick shout-out to Becca for providing a lot of information related to building a capsule wardrobe both on her blog Free Motion and in the Facebook group Capsule Wardrobe Sew Along.

Now that I'm mostly recovered from my illness, I'm ready to write about the process of choosing the correct clothing for my body type.  First I need to determine exactly what body type I have.  There are several ways of doing this including everything from calculated methods involving body measurements to the most simple method ever - looking in a mirror.  I'll start with the calculators that use measurements.

My measurements are 42 - 35 - 45.  When I plug these exact same measurements in to various calculators (there are a ton more, but these are the first few that came up in a search) I got the following results:
  • banana or rectangle (from here)
  • pear (from here)
  • rectangle (from here)
  • pear (from here
Honestly, what girl doesn't love being referred to as a banana?  Ignoring that little gem, the calculators appear to be evenly split between rectangle and pear.  While I have no problems with the rectangle result (aside from the fact that I don't really want to be a rectangle!) the pear classification truly has me stumped.  A pear if defined as a person with relatively larger hips/thighs and smaller upper body including bust that tends to gain weight in the lower half and have slimmer arms and shoulders.  So not me!  I have a large bust with an almost 5" difference between upper and full bust. Also, pretty much every pattern with sleeves requires a full bicep adjustment because I carry a lot of weight in my arms.  Even when I was a skinny little thing many moons ago, I still had large arms and a full bust for my size.  After these results, I decided to move on to a new method of determining my body type while keeping the rectangle result in mind as a starting point.

Rather than simply looking in a mirror, I went slightly more technical and got out the camera and took pictures of myself from the front, back and the side.  The results were interesting, at least to me.  I'm not sure that anyone else will read this far down into the post, so this might well remain interesting only to me ;)  From the front, I do indeed look quite a bit like a rectangle, although a fairly wide rectangle.  My shoulders and hips are approximately the same width, and my waist, although not perfectly straight, is not necessarily well defined either.  I appear to carry my weight evenly distributed from head to ankle.  Although even excess weight does nothing to improve my skinny, bony feet!  When I look at the pictures taken from the back, I can see where the pear results come from.  I have a fairly narrow back for my size, and my hips do indeed look wider that my shoulders when viewed from behind.  But the side view is what really throws me off.  From the side, I am distinctly top heavy.  As previously stated I have a large bust, and when you combine that with the fact that I have a somewhat flat butt and I don't carry a lot of weight in my stomach, I look like an inverted triangle.

So one question really stands out for me.  How exactly am I supposed to dress for my body shape if I can't truly determine what it is?  The answer: screw the body types :)  Seriously, stop focusing on overall shape, and start focusing on individual attributes.  For example, I've never been a fan of being full busted.  It was, quite frankly, the bane of my existence while running high school track!  I swear there wasn't a good sports bra (remember this was pre-internet) made for someone wearing a 32DD bra.  It's possible there might be now, but since I no longer wear that size, and I'm sure I never will again, I really haven't taken the time to look!  Although I no longer care as much about my bust size as I did then, I still out of habit tend to dress to minimize my bust, avoiding ruffles or anything else that adds volume on top.

On the flip side, I don't carry a lot of weight in my stomach.  Sure, it's not as flat as it once was pre-kids, but it's still flat enough.  As a result, I tend to wear more fitted clothes and avoid wearing empire waistlines which fall straight from my big boobs and tend to make me look pregnant.  I've done the pregnancy thing enough, thank you very much!

I just realized that this post is kind of long already, and I haven't even gotten to the kind of clothes that flatter my shape, so I'm going to mix that info in to the post with the patterns I've chosen for my capsule wardrobe.   I'm not making any promises about when I'll post, although I'm sure it will be fairly soon.  Barring a plague or anything of the sort ;)

In the mean time, if you want to read more about dressing various body types or individual attributes, here are some good websites:
  • Gala Darling - choosing appropriate pieces for each attribute organized by clothing item (i.e. choosing dresses for large calves or trousers for short legs, etc.)
  • Joy of Clothes - overview of each body type, relationships between them and clothes that flatter each
  • youolookfab - lots of articles about body type and fashion
  • Style Makeover HQ - An interesting approach to body shapes that includes vertical body shapes.  Just in case you were wondering, I am short (5'4") but with long legs and a short torso according to the site.  I agree with the short torso thing, but I'm not too sure about the long legs!
  • Shop Your Shape - Slightly different classification of body types, but good visuals for what flatters each type