Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ruffled Dilemma - B5320 vs M6024

I have wanted to make a ruffle collared dress in bright yellow since last spring; maybe longer. Kinda like this one:

Fortunately, ruffles are still in style. I have some great fabric and two patterns that would get me to a similar look but I need some guidance to choose between option 1 & 2:

Option 1:
Butterick 5320 appears to be a little more difficult to construct with a pleated neckline and full lining. PR reviews are favorable although it sounds like it takes quite some time to pull together. It looks a little more professional than option 2 below and I do intend to wear this for work but I think Option 2 is still professional looking.

McCall's 6024 was highly touted in PR reviews (see here) and I love that it has different cup sizes. I also love that Option A & B have the ruffle going all the way down. However, there were some complaints that the wrap aspect of the dress tends to malfunction at times and the facings are deemed lamed.

I don't want to spend a ton of time combining the positive features of each into one dress. Anybody have any experience with both these dresses?

What to do... what to do... Please leave a comment and let me know!
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Oh my!

I was very excited to receive an email from McCalls Patterns that my version of McCalls 5977 is being featured on their Facebook page! How fun is that?!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jacket with Bell sleeves, Simplicity 2977 - Item 6

Simplicity 2977 Wardrobe, Jacket View E

Unfortunately, this one didn't work for me. I was aiming for a jacket that I could coordinated with the brown skirts and tops but would be a little more casual than a traditional jacket style. I read a few good reviews of this jacket on various blogs and at PR so I thought this would be a good choice. But I can't stand how it looks on me. I'm not sure if it's simply too big or if I just don't like that boxy, flowy style but every time I've tried something like that, I don't like the results. I guess it's time to accept that I shouldn't keep making this style! LOL.

I used the fabric from the Ascot Top for the facing and LOVE how it looks. I also used the same buttons that I used on the skirt but in a smaller size. Too bad this one is going in the trash. :-(

Ascot Top McCalls 5977 - Item 5 in Wardrobe

I loved this pattern when I purchased it. I assumed it was for knits but was surprised to find out it was for wovens. I had purchased this fun animal print charmeuse and decided it would be perfect for this top.

McCalls 5977, View C

I LOVE how this top turned out. I forget what size I made but I ended up taking it in a bit at the waist. Because it's made from a woven, there isn't any "give" when you put the top on. If I make this again (which is likely), I think I will tailor the sides even more and add a side zipper. Animal prints can be tricky in a work environment but I think under a jacket or sweater, this top is still professional looking. I decided to use the excess fabric as the facing for the coordinating jacket (more on that in a subsequent blog post).

Skirt with Inverted Pleat (New Look 6969) - Item 3 in the Wardrobe

Another item in my mini-wardrobe.

I have no idea where this fabric came from. It's a linen-y type with embroidery and sequins. It's a fun fabric that I thought would make a cute little skirt to wear once or twice. When I started designing the mini wardrobe, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to use it and selected New Look 6969, View D. I had some turquoise buttons that I was going to use for embellishment, similar to the pattern but with all the busyness of the fabric, it didn't need them. I added a lining. The pattern went together easily although I had a little trouble with the pleat - it wouldn't hang correctly. I think I finally made it work.

All in all a cute skirt that I suspect I'll wear a few times this spring and then retire it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Perfect Fit Skirt, Vogue 8603 - Item 2 in Wardrobe

Now that I've finally accepted that I'm not quite the same size/shape that I was 5 years ago, I am making perfectly fitting clothes. LOL. I absolutely love this skirt. I know it looks boring in the photo but I am just tickled pink with it and it will be a great wardrobe basic for me.

Vogue 8603, View C
Fabric: lightweight stretch gabardine

Jalie 2921 - Item 1 in Wardrobe Capsule

Jalie 2921 Scarf Collar Knit Top, View A
Fabric: Purple mystery stretch

This was another item from my mini wardrobe. The first one completed, in fact. I love the look of this top but it is just a wee bit too snug to be deemed perfect. More motivation to get the weight off!

The construction of this top was very clever. A bit confusing at first but once the light bulb went on, I realized it was ingenious! I did end up wearing this one in Saipan. The photo on the right was taken by the elevator of my hotel. LOL.

Shrug-look Top - McCalls 6284

McCalls 6284, View C with View B sleeves.

This pattern is very similar to the Vogue top that was so popular a few years ago (Jeez, I wish I was still that thin. [sigh] Wait a minute... I just remembered WHY I was that thin. Never mind.

I like this McCall's version better. The pattern directions made more sense and it is sized better.

Turquoise t-shirt - Butterick 5493 Item 4 in the wardrobe

This is one of the items in my mini wardrobe. It can be worn with either skirt.

Ruffled-neck top in turquoise interlock; Butterick 5493, View D

I loved the ruffle around the neck of this top. I wanted to wear it to work so I added short sleeves (not crazy about sleeveless on me at the office!) I like how the ruffled neckline turned out but to be honest, the shirt itself was just ok. First of all, it had darts. Darts in a knit? How odd. The shirt also came out just a bit short for my liking. I would have preferred it be 2" longer but stupidly, I didn't think of that before cutting.

I will wear this one and I like some of the other neckline ruffles but I will not use the base shirt pattern again.

Wardrobe Update

Remember the mini-wardrobe I designed for my February trip to Saipan? Well, as expected, I only got 4 pieces done before I left but I subsequently worked on the pieces and finished 7 of the 8 pieces. I am going to do some reviews at PR and will highlight some of the individual pieces but here is a synopsis:

Completed and happy with results:
1. Scarf tie knit top in purple lycra; Jalie 2921, View A with short sleeves
2. Pencil skirt in lightweight brown stretch twill; Vogue 8603, View C
3. Bolero wrap in brown lycra; New Look 6559, View A
4. Ascot top in brown / cream leopard charmeuse; McCalls 5977, View C
8. Ruffled-neck top in turquoise interlock; Butterick 5493, View D
9. Skirt with inverted triangle pleat in brown embroidered linen; New Look 6969, View D

6. Gathered side top in purple slubby knit; Simplicity 2977, View B (Couldn't get the fit right; fabric was too flimsy.)
7. Jacket with bell sleeves in brown stretch twill, facings in leopard charmeuse; Simplicity 2977, View E (style is unflattering)

Incomplete (can't decide whether I'll do this one or not):
5. Straight skirt with pleated overlay in purple, turquoise, cream stretch sateen; New Look 6918, View E

I was happy to pull together a mini collection and although there were some failures among the successes, it was fun to develop and implement a collection, rather than just pieces along the way.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Pasta with Chicken, Broccoli, Pesto

If you start with leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, this is a very quick meal. 20 minutes including boiling the water! Spinach can be subbed for the broccoli.

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ pound fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups chopped cooked chicken (use rotisserie chicken!)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts

Steam broccoli until crisp tender.

Bring large pot with water to boil. Cook pasta until done. Drain.

Heat oil in skillet. Sauté garlic and pesto sauce in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broccoli, and chicken.

In pasta pan, toss cooked pasta with vegetable – chicken mixture. Add grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts and mix well. Serve immediately.