Friday, April 30, 2010

Simplicity Pattern 4273

One of my dogs had to undergo eye surgery on Wednesday for an ulcer on her cornea. Normally an outside dog, she is confined to the kitchen for two weeks. To get her used to being in the house and get the healing started, my husband and I will be taking off work for the next week to tend to her. I decided to use this opportunity to sew. Since I have several events scheduled over the summer and absolutely nothing to wear, I thought the four days that I am home would be a good time to try some of the patterns that I have accumulated over the years. I began with Simplicity pattern 4273.

Now the biggest problem that I have had sewing for myself is fitting patterns. Twenty years ago when we first moved to Texas, I was a perfect pattern size 10. All fitting required was shortening the length. A year or so ago, I was a perfect size 12 (and still am with knit patterns). Again, all I did to make clothes fit was shorten the length. Now, well I am bigger than a 12. Size 14 in Simplicity pattern 4273 fit perfectly. I have to say, I was not happy about the size change, but my measurements speak for themselves, and if I want to make wearable clothing not rag bag donations, I have to get over it and sew the size that fits. So that is what I am doing.

The second thing that I hate about sewing is trialing the pattern in muslin. For some reason, that seems like such a waste of time and fabric. I began this session by using old knit material that I have had for years. If the pattern does not work, I am not really out anything since this was fairly inexpensive material to begin with. Also, if the pattern fits, I have a sample that is useful rather than useless.

I began with the blouse option. For me, the center front needed some adjustment so the top did not look so baggy and my cleavage not so apparent. I took in 1/2", which on the subsequent dress that I made was a perfect adjustment. The dress was a lengthened version of the top, and I used a lilac single knit that I have had for years. I like to press my creations as I go, so when I am finished sewing, I could put the outfit on and walk out the door. So, by the time I was ready to hem, I know if the fit is right, and I get a feel if I would really wear the outfit or not. This one is a keeper!!

Sewing time was a couple of hours each, due to my pressing and seam finishes. In the top, I stitched the seam, then stitched again 1/4" from the first stitching and trimmed off the excess. I chose this option, though it is one a seldom use, because the fabric did not ravel or run. Since the color is a hot pink, I did not have enough thread to use the serger, and in the past I have serged the seams with gray thread, I really don't like that look in a top. With the dress, I did use the serger, because the wrong side was light, nearly white in color and white thread was already in the serger.

I have not decided if I will make the jacket or not. I have a pink linen look that would be beautiful with the lavendar dress. However, the material is very limited, and I am not sure if my pattern would fit what I have. I could leave off the pockets since I don't use jacket pockets anyway, but I am not convinced if this is the best use of my material. I will wait and think on it. No real rush at this time.

I love the tulip skirt in this pattern, but have not tried it yet. When I do, I want to make something that would go with my hot pink top.

I will add pictures later. I took some with my phone, but don't have the USB connector with me to allow me to download them. Will have to wait until Monday when I go back to work to make the transfer.

I am tempted to make another dress, but I really don't wear dresses much. I think another top would be a better use of my time and provide me with a new addition to my work assortment. I do think that I will copy the front and back pieces to interfacing that I can use as pattern pieces. This way, I have separate blouse and dress pattern pieces and don't have to keep cutting them apart then re-taping.

Well, time to get back to sewing.

The vet did call to check on Trixie this morning, and I did take her back to his office for a re-check. Unfortunately, she lost the contact lens that was placed as a protection for the surgical site and had to undergo more surgery. He reassures me that she is doing fine, and I will be picking her up after 4. I know that I probably sound crazy worrying so much about a 9-year-old dog, but she and her sister have become our kids since our own children have grown and moved on. Besides, she has been my loyal friend all these years--always happy to see me and never comments about my weight or any other topic that I am sensitive about. (She doesn't care if my pattern is a 14.) I know that these are the latter years of her life, and my husband and I are as devoted to her care now as when she was young. We can't help every dog out there, but we sure can give a good home to the ones that we do have.

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