Two weeks ago my “IRL” (in real life) sewing group, the Sewing Fashionistas, kicked off another “Wardrobe Sew-To-Fit Along” with the knit top and t-shirt as the topic of this months focus.  Alongside the IRL group, I participated in another Wardrobe building challenge/Sew-To-Fit Along with my online sewing group, the Pericrafters.  I taught class for my group here in Houston, called “Fit Diagnosis: The Knit Top” as well as created a few videos to help demonstrate how I sew my tops.  This video and blog post is the first of a series of post and tutorials you will be seeing over the next couple of weeks on how I fit and sew my knit tops and t-shirts.  
In preparations for teaching the classes, I made a host of tutorials on knit tops and t-shirts, as well as all the possible pattern alterations necessary to make it easier to help the folks in my groups.  The above photo is just a couple of the tops I have made.  You will be seeing those in some of the upcoming videos or upcoming blog post.   I have demonstrated how I make alterations for myself and my daughter using a good selection of patterns.  I hope you enjoy.
For now, here is the video on how to sew-in the sleeve using the flat insertion method I use for sewing a sleeve with a high cap.  Click on the picture above if you can not see the video here.  

Thanks for following along.  

The sheath dress fit-along has come to a close.  If you are on my YouTube channel and are part of my IRL fashion sewing group, you are well aware of all the work and fun that has been had in completing this dress. I did a complete fitting tutorial and multiple instructional videos on changing the necklines, adjusting the pattern and working your way through fitting the dress.  This all began last summer (2015) with the white shirt, then the pencil skirt, then the denim jacket.  I wanted to thank all of you for continuing to follow along with this “one-woman” shop.  I have been through a few ups and downs on the road to bring you these tutorials, and have tripped up a few times.  But each time I have reached out to you via social media, you have not let me down.  My list of to-dos, and in-completes is really long, as long as my heart is big, for sharing.  My husband is probably the most patient man in the world.  He knows how passionate I am about sewing and doesn’t complain.  Am I a “Stedford” wife?  I would say not! Because if I were, you all would not see very much of me at all….here’s to my husband for his kindness, love and unwavering patience!!

Now, for the goods-  “This lovely dress!!

The fabric was provided by Sew Much Fabric in support of my idea to bring to you this Sew-To-Fit Along.”   Of course we all need a great fitting basic sheath dress. I sure needed a new one in my wardrobe, but breaking down and making one took some work from me, and of course some prodding and direction from my great Wardrobe Consultant, Roz Ghaither, the owner and operator of Sew Much Fabric.  I’m not all sappy about her y’all, I just love working with people who put customer service at the top of the list.  I’m a sucker for good customer service.  I named this post “I Am Not a Stedford Wife!!” because that is the mold I felt I was being forced into when told to “stick to the basics”.  EWWWW!!!

sew much fabric smfabric.com, fit-along, wardrobe fit-along, wendybydesign

A great deal of participation, help and support came from my fun loving loyal fans and followers over on periscope for this endeavor.  I know YOU ALL are very loyal and very supportive of every single thing I do.  However, I must admit these ladies help me with my to-do list, and are constant reminder “bells” to keep me focused and on track.  That live connection is just so gratifying for me and really motivates the creative genius that I am.  As I prepared for this photo session, I asked myself:  “Can I vamp this dress up a little.” …it just reminded me so much of my “corporate” days.  I almost felt like I should have splashed a little paint on the front.  Then I decided to do a little Peri-photoshoot and get help from my live viewers.  They encouraged the pie plate and bowl ensemble.  I loved every thing about this shoot.  Even the relation to the elusive “Stepford Wife” icon.

My granddaughter was the stylist in all this to make sure I had to right shoes and jewelry for the shoot.  You know how it is when you prepare to go somewhere…it is easy to get dressed and prepped. However, doing a photoshoot takes practice and skill.  This area is not my strong suit, so I seek help wherever I can find it, even if it means trusting my “Mini-Me.”

The apron will be reviewed more in a later post.  It has its own story to tell.  WendybyDesign was the one to host an apron Sew-Along back in December that got me to sew this one.  I love it.  Thanks Wendy.

wendybydesign apron sew-along
Sheath Dress Construction Details:
This dress has been detailed so exhaustingly in videos on my youtube channel, that it is hard for me to honestly talk about its construction any further.  Please just enjoy the pictures and know that any questions you could possibly have regarding this dress is already documented in the videos on my channel.  If there are any questions you have directly please leave a comment and let me know so I can make public any content that hasn’t been release.  Trust me, it has all been filmed or broadcast on Periscope.  I only did Tissue Fitting, which is detailed extensively in my Youtube videos.  
  1. Pattern is Vogue 9025, size 14
  2. Alterations: FBA, Broad back, waist lengthened, Armhole made smaller, hips adjusted for larger rear end.
  3. Zipper excluded because fabric stretches so well.
  4. Lined completely
  5. Lowered and reshaped the neckline- video here.
  6. many more…..

  •  I don’t mean to send you on a wild goose chase.  It’s just easier at this point to direct you if you have questions, rather than go into trying to determine what might be a good topic to discuss with the dress fitting and pattern work. 

 Thanks for understanding.  Much appreciation to you all!!!!  Please enjoy the pictures!!

If I wanted to take this dress apart and knit-pic every single wrinkle, it would be ridiculous.  I could have worn a body slimmer to take care of the back rolls….yeah right!!??  Whatever, you just hold that thought.  In the mean time, lets be real, this is a ponte knit, very nice I might add.  Beefy with wonderful recovery.  The fit is wonderful, considering I did not do a muslin.   Now, I’m gonna go eat some pie. 
stepford wife

Unless you regularly read my blog, subscribe to my YouTube channel or follow me live on Pericope, you wouldn’t know that I have been consistently working on a Wardrobe Fit-Along since July of last year 2015 in collaboration with Sew Much Fabric, an online fabric store based out of Texas.  We began with the White Shirt, then the Sheath dress, then I took a holiday break and did a holiday sequin skirt tutorial.  Currently we have been working on the denim jacket.  This Wardrobe Fit-Along is an ongoing process that I have been making regular videos for in order to discuss and tackle particular fitting issues found with each particular garment type and style in relation to different body compositions.  

Vogue 9037....Wardrobe Fit-Along









As for this jacket, I was not going to make it….I complained the collar was too big for my bust, then I complained that I didn’t like the way the back hikes up, and the front draped…. I bet I am one of the most stubborn person this wardrobe consultant has probably ever provided services for.  I have given her more grief and dismay along the way, than I care to admit, over her suggestions and recommendations for what items I should make for myself.  Yet every single time, I am giddy about the make, and it looks just as nice as she had said it would.  

Vogue 9037

So, why then, do I complain so much along the way.  Well, lets see, I’m just that kind of person, and it takes a special person to work with me.  Yeah, that’s the answer and I’m sticking with that story.  I don’t particularly like the little tie belt, however, I didn’t realize it would be a problem until I wore it to my function.  So next time, I may make a regular “belt” with this fabric.  I left the snaps out for no reason except, I just couldn’t find them…and I wanted to wear the jacket NOW.  You know right?

Vogue 9037

The jacket was extremely easy to construct…I mean easy, like my granddaughter could do it minus the hong kong treatment I did to the seams.  That part wasn’t necessary with this unlined faced jacket.  I just couldn’t stand the thought of seeing a lot of bare seams meandering about inside my clothes.  I just could not have that, it just isn’t pretty right?

So, if you want to continue keeping up with my shenanigans and wardrobe building, while learning something along the way, just stay tuned and subscribe to my YouTube Channel.  I have plenty more fun, basics to fight about, fitting lessons to teach, and sewing tips and techniques to share.  Because that is what I do….I love to teach you what I learn along the way.  

As for helping you know exactly “what” looks good on your body, check-in with Roz each week, because “that is” what she does, a fantastic well educated textiles professional who is well trained in the art of wardrobe building.  Together, we are a powerful force. Now, all I need to do is find a dependable carpenter to get my sewing studio in order, and I’ll be able to sew more wardrobe staples faster.


Construstions Details:

I did a preliminary tissue fitting of the pattern to determine any major adjustment that may have been needed.  Usually, that is what I do to determine if I need to make a muslin.  I try not to always go right into an muslin fitting, because there are so many major adjustments that can be revealed by just holding the pattern up to your body or pinning it in place to check for issues.  In this case I checked the position of the tucks and whether I needed to lengthen the waist, etc.

Pattern Alterations:
This is Vogue 9037.  I cut a size 14. You can take a look at the video here for a thorough explanation of the changes I made and why. In this video I did not mention that I removed 2 inches from the bottom length of the front towards the end of construction.  I just did not like that sloppy, floppy look for my taste.  (1″FBA, Shifted the tucks for balance, sway back adj., and took out a little on the back neck, and did a wedge tuck in the lapel.)

Fabric: Linen/Cotton blend I purchased from Sew Much Fabric…this one is sold out, but her is the link for the black. http://stores.smfabric.com/linen-blend-denim-black/

Have you been following along with my Wardrobe Fit-Along for the last few months?  I would like to know if what I have been venturing on for all to see has been helping you or anyone you know.