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Friday, May 22, 2015

Completed: Oxford & Floral Cross-Back Tank

This is the redo of my first attempt at the cross back tank, this time in oxford and quilting cotton. I made several changes to the pattern, after that first go round, including reducing the back piece by 1” width wise, and reducing the front piece by about 1” as well.

This resulted in a tighter fit, which was welcome after the first version. If you remember, I had to take the front in so I just chopped and put a seam up the CF. Not my finest fix under pressure but….



The weird thing about this style in general is that there is a lot of shifting in the shoulders and the back pieces, so it doesn’t really stay put in the way you might expect it to. Or at least, as I had expected it to.


And, here it is on my actual person:




The shoulders tend to creep up my neck, so I find that I’m adjusting them frequently when wearing. Bra coverage is actually quite great; I’m wearing a longline Watson in this photo.



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Completed: Morris x2!



I have been stocking up on knit fabrics lately, and the one thing I feel the sewing world is lacking is a good set of knit patterns.

Grainline went and introduced Morris, and it’s a total show stealer. And just like those Watsons, I’ve gone ahead and made not one, but two!

Version 1 is made up of a blue floral textured double knit and a standard cotton lycra knit for the arms. This was my first time working with a double knit and it was amazing, and now I want to make everything out of double knit. This was stable and plush. It took topstitching very well.


I did not press well, unfortunately, but I was able to get the collar and shawl front to hold some shape because of the knit interfacing.

This photo is the most accurate portrayal of colors.



This is a super fast make, with a back, front sleeve, and the facings. The instructions are clear, and if you’ve been sewing for a long time, you may not even need to look at them.



I did go a little off book for the cuffs, though. I did not interface the cuff facings. Instead, I did not trim the seam allowance, folded it up towards the shoulder seam, and then folded the cuff edge down to meet in the middle with the SA. I then flipped that whole business over to the inside of the sleeve and topstitched from there. This was stable enough, and felt decidedly less fiddly than interfacing and trimming. So slapdash.





Version 2 is baaaaasically the same jacket, but in a *different* colored textured double knit!


I made this up in about 2 hours, including cutting! I also fibbed and didn’t gather the sleeves before setting them. What can I say, I’m lazy! Next time I’ll actually try setting them in flat and then serging up the side and arm seams all together.


Since the jacket is made of knit, it’s so easy to wear. I feel dressed up but I’m as comfortable as wearing pajamas.

Lastly, because it’s Mabel Month over at Colette Patterns, I uh, made a #POWERSUIT?


It looks less #POWERSUITY by itself:


Don’t judge. Mabel is a fantastic pattern, and I’ll be posting my full thoughts and other makes on it soon.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Completed: Floral Archer Popover, in a Knit!


I made Western Shirt for ManFriend and then all the sudden my head exploded about shirt making and how awesome it is.

The thing for me, though, is that I don’t tend to wear button up shirts. I own several, and they’re nice, but I don’t end up wearing them. I realize that this is partially because most of them are white, and I usually ruin anything that’s white. It's also partially because they don't fit me correctly.



I like the idea of the popover style, because you get the fanciness of a button up, but the safety of a shirt that isn’t buttons all the way down.

I got this floral cotton knit in a KnitFix shipment from GirlCharlee, and it screamed archer to me.


I used Pam Erny’s two piece sleeve placket (I’ll never use another placket again, basically) for the sleeves, and extended it to about 11” for the front placket.


(I’m trying to show you the sleeve placket!)

The first sleeve placket I didn’t interface, which I think as a mistake. I ended up using some knit fusible interfacing for the second one and it went off much better.




I made a size 0, and aside from the plackets and pop-over, didn’t make any other modifications. I know this is supposed to be a very slouchy, loose fit, but I’d like to take the shoulders in a touch. Other than that, the sleeve length is great, and the overall length is perfect, too.


I used white pearl snaps instead of buttons. Highly recommend this pattern!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Completed: Double the Watson Fun

My mom always said if you find something you like, you better buy two.

I suppose this could also be applied to sewing, too?! The Watson is so fun and easy to make, with incredibly satisfying results, so I cut two at a time and put them together one right after the other!

Version 1:


I wasn’t sure which notion color ways I should go with, my options being a purple/orchid/hot pink mashup or a more subdued faint blue.


I used a verrrrry stretchy spandex knit I bought in San Francisco, and went out on a limb and stabilized the cradle with some left over Oxford Shirting. I’d say it worked out just fine. This bra feels more or equally as stable as the others, which were stabilized with nylon tricot.





I used gold rings and sliders, and I worked really hard to match up the cup prints. I think it turned out pretty good for such a wiley fabric!

One thing I will be changing on my next iteration is how the straps attach to the rest of the bra in the back.


Right now, the straps have to make a turn once they reach the top of the back band, and are sewn along the top of the back band. I’ve modified my pattern pieces and will be testing this out on the next iteration: I smoothed the back band piece to gradually size down to the triple hook and eye, and instead I’ll extend the under-arm elastic all the way to the hook and eye. The strap will come straight down and end at the back band.

It looks like a bikini, so here:



For Version 2:
I used a kit from Blackbird, and I cut the inner cups from power mesh.

You can really see the bend of the strap on this one:

It will can be come twisted and be uncomfortable. I’m really hoping my planned change will work out.


This is a teal milliskin and I really like the shine. The fabric has a stable stretch and is incredibly soft and comfortable.




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Completed: 1425, a Purple Peplum




I put this together to wear to Seder Dinner at our friend’s house. Since it's a family religious dinner, I wanted to look nice.

The fabric used was from the stash - a purple/yellow plaid shirting. I didn’t take the time to match the plaid, but they’re faint, so I think I don’t care.


I wore it with a mabel-style RTW skirt, leggings and uh, sweater boots.





Sleeve pinned on.



Like most of the other reviews I’ve read about this top, what were they thinking on the back closure?? It’s three buttons. Like nearly everyone else, I modified this and used a yellow zipper I had in the stash instead.



The peplum style is certainly trendy, but after I wore this top I found I liked it quite a bit, and it seems pretty flattering! I made a size 4, and used smaller seam allowances at the waist so I didn't need to grade. That was kind of not necessary because the top ended up being rather roomy. I also had to scoop out a LOT from the arm holes. I don't know if it turned out that way because I did something wrong or what, but they were incredibly restrictive.

I didn't get all fancy to make that change - I basically put the top on myself and used my removable marker and just drew a new line where I wanted the arm hole to drop to. Once I cut that out of one side, I used the cut piece as a template and cut it out from the other side so they matched. I also used that template piece and transferred it to my traced pattern.

I'd like to make this top again, it's pretty comfortable to wear and the cap sleeves are cute. Plus it was very easy to put together!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Completed: A Pink Western Shirt for Him

I’ve been bit by the shirt making bug!

Enter: McCalls 6044, View E. I’ve seen this made up a few times around the internet, so I got out the measuring tape and ended up tracing a Medium. The fit is spot on, though according to the size chart I should have done a Large in the chest. As a rule I always look at the finished measurements, which is a good rule of thumb when it comes to the big 4, in my opinion.


This was one of my first finished garments on my new sewing machine, and the topstitching on the pocket really transforms this from being just a handmade garment to really having that professional finish.


The pattern has you just place the front and back yokes directly onto the shirt front/back and topstitch it down. This gives a really nice clean finish.


Completed pocket with Pearl Snap. This was my first go with Pearl Snaps, and I have mixed feelings. I bought some cheap dritz brand ones, and I do not recommend them. These, from Snap Source, however, are AMAZING quality and super fast shipping. I am using the dritz tool to install them, but I think the tool is for smaller snaps, so I’m alternating between using the tool and just using some pliers. I have since used snaps on another project and accidentally cracked one using the dritz tool.


Cuff attached, waiting for snaps. Loads of topstitching, but it really makes the shirt!


Front placket while being worn. I used the standard placket that comes with the pattern, but after being assembled, it turns out that the top placket is a little on the small side. I have since made changes to that pattern piece so that it’s about 1/2” larger. I also want to experiment with extending the right front piece so that the under-placket is just folded under.


Practice Sleeve Plackets. For these I used Pam Erny’s two piece placket tutorial, and it is something amazing. I highly recommend everyone try this out. Her instructions are incredibly clear, there are tons of photos and she roots for you along the way. These are my first plackets, and I think they turned out GREAT!


Nearly finished! I also converted the two-piece sleeve into a single piece by just overlapping the sleeves at the stitch lines, and then traced it as one piece. I serged the side seams in a fun blue color (also: I was lazy and didn’t want to rethread my serger) but next time I’ll probably french-seam because he likes to wear his shirts with the sleeves rolled up.




I think that's about it? I've got three more cut out (Yikes, they've been sitting there for a MONTH!) and just completed the fourth that was cut out. I'll blog those all in one post, I think.







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