Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Project 3-1: Pattern Adjustments to my Orange Sherbet Dress

This is a pretty easy, straightforward pattern, but of course, I will need to make these adjustments first when I cut out my fabric:

Bodice Shoulder

NOTE:  If you are not familiar with sewing a fitted bodice, I would suggest sewing the bodice first using a piece of muslin so you get the proper fit before cutting your good fabric. 

Like many women who've worked on computers or done other close work their whole life, I have a slight forward shoulder hunch.  If your bodices tend to gape open in the front, you probably have a shoulder hunch as well.

There are several fixes for this:

1)  Make a dart in the front on either side of the bodice that takes in the pucker.  If your fabric is a solid color you will be able to see the darts easily so make sure they are evenly matched. 

2) Take an 1/2" - 1 1/2" at a diagonal on the shoulder front (the shorter end of the diagonal should be towards your neck ) and ADD the same amount to the shoulder back--I stuck a post it note to the bodice back (the longer end of the diagonal should be against your neck).  It's incredible how this slight adjustment can make a difference in the fit!

Front bodice is on the left, back bodice is on the right
 3) I will also be discussing doing a full bust adjustment (or FBA) for women with a fuller bust.  Generally patterns are made for B cup women...and this tutorial that I will be posting shortly will give you the fullness you need in the bust, as well as add inches to the side.  Stay tuned!

Bodice and Skirt

My pattern is a size 14 but I need a 16-18 pattern.  If you look at the back of the pattern, a size 14 waist is 28" but I need a 32" waist.  So here are my calculations to make this pattern fit:

1)  I subtracted the pattern waist size (28 inches) from my waist size (32 inches) and divided by 4
(4 equals the two front side seams and two back side seams). 

       32       -         28              =          4       divided by        4         =         1 inch
 (my waist)    (pattern waist)       (answer)                   (4 seams)     (add to each seam)
I added 1" to each of the side seams.


I took off 2" from the length because I am not as tall as the pattern model.

The Fringe for the Sleeves and Hem
I pinned a bit of fringe on the bottom of the fabric to get an idea of what it will look like on the hem, and I think it will be very cute!

I think I will also add fringe to the cap sleeves--which means I need to make a slight adjustment.  The directions are to fold the sleeve in half and sew it to the bodice, thus eliminating the need for a hem. My adjustment is this:  when I cut the sleeve out, I will add a 1/2" seam allowance to the bottom of the sleeve, sew the fringe to the bottom of the sleeve and then sew the sleeve and the facing at the hem.  Voila!

By the way, I couldn't resist, I am so excited about making my dress, I found a hat to match!  Now, doesn't this remind you of maybe something that Princess Di would wear? Isn't that exciting about the new royal baby?!

Contrast Trim Organza Hat - Orange

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Project 3: Orange Sherbet Summer Dress

I'm so excited about my next project....I will use this orange polished cotton fabric with Butterick B5317, view B.  Yes, those are cap sleeves...


 I have been looking forward to using this orange fabric for a while....and it has some great features!

1)  The fabric is reversible.   I think I may use the flat background with shiny symbols side, just because flat will hide any "lumps" in my figure better. I did consider using both sides of the fabric; for instance, I could use the shiny side on the border and the bodice and the flat for the skirt part.  But, I don't feel like there's enough contrast in the fabric to do that.  Sometimes if there isn't enough contrast, it looks more like a mistake, like you didn't cut all the fabric pieces in the same direction. 

2)  This fabric has great drape, meaning it's very flowy, which will be shown off by the folds of this dress.

 3) Notice the frayed salvages--I was considering cutting a strip of salvage to go on the hem and below the bodice (I would need to trim the fray to make it even, of course)...or make an outside pocket and attach the frayed edge.  But a pocket would probably gape because of the fabric folds, so I'd need to sew a button at the top of the pocket.  I could also put the fray between the skirt and border pieces, below the bodice and then at the bottom of the cap sleeves and no pocket.

Using the fray would definitely change the feeling of the dress, and make it look more funky.  Not using the fray would give it a more polished look.  I vote for the polished look and then I will use the frayed edge somewhere else...although I may change my mind before the next post.

4) This fabric won't need to be ironed much if at all, a great feature!

5) I love the color, it reminds me of orange sherbet.

6) It matches great with these shoes of mine...I can't wait to wear them with the dress!  

 7) I also have pretty flower jewelry that will go nicely, I think.  I like how the flowers stand out against the fabric, and also I like the silver.

I have this coral bracelet on gold, but I don't think there's enough of a contrast to wear this.  Not enough contrast = boring (usually).

I also have this pair of sandals--I love the beads on the front and I think it would look cute, but casual, which is fine too.

8) Last, but very important, this fabric is not sheer, so I don't need to line it, whew!

This dress will look fantastically tropical and I can make it fast, but first, I have several adjustments to make.  I'll outline them on my next post!

What bright colors do you like to wear?  Older women look great in bright colors, btw!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Getting Rid of My Pain and My Pooch

No, in this case "pooch" does not mean dog, I love dogs.  I'm talking about the mound of fat on my stomach that seems to have a mind of its own: It won't obey the fat burning laws that decree if I eat right and do enough exercise, my pooch will disappear like an annoying mosquito.

As far as pain:  my hips and lower back are really sore, I'm thinking I overdid it will the butterfly stretches.  In retrospect, I think I was forcing my legs instead of gently letting them go out as far as they could.  Note to self:  If a pose hurts, loosen it up.

So, I took Kathy's comment to heart at the bottom of this recent post, and I went to a Saturday beginning yoga class.   This yoga class was all about stretching, balancing and developing your core muscles. (jackpot!)  What are core muscles, you ask?  Well, they just control the movements in your entire body!  In fact, a sore back can indicate a weak core area.

These are great exercises for us, Ladies, because not only do they strengthen your core muscles but they trim your middle, give you more body control and improve your posture, among other things.  And your body feels so good when you stretch!  Here's some exercises from my yoga class designed to strengthen core muscles:

Yoga for Abs Sequence
Cat-Cow Stretch

Yoga for Abs Sequence
Hands and Knees Balance

Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog

My right back/hip area feels okay now, but my left side is still really sore so I'm going to relax in a hot bath.  I'm thinking if I do walking, interspersed with 1-2 weekly yoga classes going forward, I'll be fine.  What have you found works to get rid of back pain? 

In other news, check out the bucket bag purse I made a couple of years ago...I've decided my next project will be an orange dress and I think this purse will go perfect with it.

Look how cute, I sewed these fruit beads all around the top of the purse...and I remember how thrilled I was that the fruit colors were the exact hues of the flowers on the material.  I love when that happens!

I hope your Monday goes well...on to the next project: a bright orange summery dress!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Princess Di Rocked Orange Porange

I was doing a recent Internet search on a phrase I was going to use for the title of an upcoming post about an orange dress I was going to make.  I often doing searches of ideas that I think are off the wall, but am constantly amazed how at least one person has had the same wild idea.

So I was astounded to see that Orange Porange was on the Internet.  Apparently, women have been putting together this combination of orange and purple for some time (look at Princess Di here) and I didn't realize there was actually a name for it!  Of course Princess Di looked good--even if she wore a paper bag.

I could so see women our age also rocking this color combo. I'll keep this in mind when I make my orange dress.  Maybe I'll add a purple pin...I'll have to think about this!

Have any of you worn a purple/orange combination?  Do you remember Princess Di wearing this outfit?

Lovely Princess Di in 1991

We could copy her look, see these pants and blouse I found in Etsy shops as well
as additional yummies, enjoy:

convertible wrap style orange high waisted jumpsuit  silk leopard wraps high waisted wide leg womans pants
VanelDesign Shop on Etsy

Vintage Silk Shirt / Purple Blouse / Tie Dye / Women's Size Medium
Shop on Etsy

Wedding Garter set , beautiful purple, orange and hot pink Butterfly garter set
Shop on Etsy:  Wedding Garter set , beautiful purple, orange and hot pink Butterfly garter set

Hot Pink and Orange Satin Mini Top Hat
Shop on Etsy:  Hot Pink and Orange Satin Mini Top Hat

Purple & Orange Pansy On Yellow-Hand Painted Wooden Pendant Necklace
Shop on Etsy: Purple & Orange Pansy On Yellow-Hand Painted Wooden Pendant Necklace

Owl Plush Keychain - Purple, Orange and Yellow Felt Owl
shop on Etsy:
Owl Plush Keychain - Purple, Orange and Yellow Felt Owl

Purple and Orange Sterling Earrings, Chalcedony and Carnelian
SurfAndSand Shop on Etsy: 
Purple and Orange Sterling Earrings, Chalcedony and Carnelian

Orange Tie Dye Purse in my Gypsy Girl Fashions Shop
Orange Tie Dye Purse in my Gypsy Girl Fashions Shop

To see the purple part, you have to see INSIDE the purse.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

You Can Be Fashionable and Menopausal

I've decided to broach that dreaded subject of  M-E-N-O-P-A-U-S-E because as far as I'm concerned it directly relates to older women and fashion.  I mean, how can you feel fashionable if you're experiencing full blown menopausal symptoms?

I began experiencing menopause symptoms about 2 years ago.  While some of my siblings barely felt a blip, I seem to have been blessed with all the symptoms:

hot flashes & night sweats and mood swings (watch out!), 

insomnia (up at 2:00 AM every morning for 1 ½ to 2 hours),

weight gain (my stomach stuck out like I was giving birth to an alien), dizziness, fatigue and decreased libido (well I had almost all the symptoms  ).

My menopause symptoms came to a head about a month ago when I was volunteering at a community garden and I tripped and landed face down in the dirt.  I felt like my chronic insomnia had something to do with my loss of balance…I wasn’t seriously hurt, but I could have been.  I decided at that point to actively do something about my menopause symptoms.

I wanted to do something natural; and only considered hormone replacement therapy as the last case scenario.  I kept coming back to this one thought, I had my own business, yet I was feeling overwhelmed because I didn’t feel well enough to continue.

And then it clicked:  All successful business owners I’d ever seen interviewed, when asked to describe their daily schedule all seemed to say the same thing:  they exercised first thing in the morning.  Well okay, good for them, right?  What in blazes has that got to do with me?

Now, I am not an early morning type of gal.  I’m no Oscar the Grouch, you understand, but I like to get my beauty sleep.  My mornings normally went like this: 

7:00 AM   Alarm clock goes off
7:15 AM   Roll out of bed
7:20 AM   Stumble into the shower
7:28 AM   Throw clothes on
7:30 AM   Drive to work

So, after spending 30 years of rushing out the door to work after squeezing in as much sleep as I possibly could because I felt exhausted all the time… I can barely believe I am saying this…but the biggest change I made is to get up early in the morning and walk 1 ½ to 2 miles…me, Ms. Rupplestiltskin.  The funny thing was, I was already waking up about 5:30 AM - 6:00 AM on my own because of my insomnia.  So, going to the gym turned out to be not as hard as I thought it was going to be.

And now that it’s become a habit for me, I don’t hate it in the least.  In fact, I love it so much because of what it’s done for me:

1) I have increased energy.  I breathe a sigh of relief as I write this.  I feel great and I go, go go with no problem!  

2) My aches and pains, especially in my back and hips have vanished.  This took about 2 weeks of stretching for me to notice the change.  To stretch my back, I touch my toes.  To stretch my hips (I think I may have the onset of arthritis in my hips, they ached so much), I do this butterfly stretch everyday.  I don’t bounce with either of these exercises; I just hold the pose for as long as possible.  And I do these stretches after I've walked so my body is warm and looser. 

3) I feel wonderful, clearer headed, and less menopausal witchy.  

4) My clothes do fit better, although I have yet to lose any weight.  

5) My insomnia is definitely more manageable.  I don’t always sleep through the night, but I fall back asleep pretty quickly.

6) My mood has improved (what, me cranky?)

            I', happy to say walking has proven to be the perfect, low cost activity that cures/lessens all my menopause problems.  So, lovely ladies, what are your successes or failures when dealing with menopause symptoms?

            By the way there’s tons of websites that talk about the benefits of walking for menopausal women.  Here’s a few: