lundi 1 juin 2015

Recap: Me Made May 2015

This was my first time taking part in Me Made May, and i have to be honnest, I probably wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for instagram. It was so great to see so many hand-made items pop up throughout the day, and cyber-meet all these amazing sewist out there...

Anyways, I enjoyed the challenge. It was fun to try and come up with new ways of weraing dome of my me-made items. Big shout out to Brice, who agreed to take (and process) a picture of me everyday for a month, and apologies to my downstairs neighbours, who must have wandered what the heck was going on when we were moving frniture around at the same time everyday (cause obviously, we don't have a big empty wall like that in ou 650 square feet apartment).

so here's the recap!

 Renfrew top (2012)

 Pajama Pants (2015 - unblogged)

 batwing top (2015 - unblogged)

vendredi 29 mai 2015

Finished Project: Knit dress

This is Vogue 1315.  I found the pattern in the $1 bin at Fabrics, ect... in Vancouver. It's a loose-fitting dress with elasticated dress, with pleating and slouchy pocjet design which make it a bit more interesting than just plain knit dress. I bought it thinking it would go into my stash to be made at a later time, but when I saw this fabric on the top of my stash, I thought it would be a could match, and an easy project to complete.

The fabric is a wine-coloured cotton jersey bought at Gala Fabrics shortly before they closed down.It's a medium weight with a good balance of body and drape.
The most complicated step when making the dress was figuring out how to fold the pleat on the skirt before attaching the pocket. The instructions where pretty straight forward but I mistakenly made the pleat on the wrong side, which I only realized later on when trying to line up the sides of the dart and they didn't match up. Fortunately I was able to reverse the darts without having to undo all the pocket seams.

The top was a no brainer. The only thing I modified was the neckline. The neckline is supposed to be finished with two ovelapping bands with raw edges, which, when using the proper fabric weight/content, end up rolling down. I liked that design detail but my fabric would just not roll (it was either too heavy, or maybe 100% cotton doesn't roll the way lycra does?). Anyways, I didn't want to waste the pieces so I ended up sewing both bands together along their longer edge. Since one was narrower than the other, when folding in half lengthwise, the seam did not end up on the fold, but on the inside, which was perfect to conceal it.

I then attached the band to the neckline and finished it with a pretty stretch topstitch.

I attached the sleeves to the shoulders first, then sewed the sleeve seam and side seam in one go. Adding the elastic at the waist was easy,. The casing for the elastic is created by folding the seam allowance from the bodice down towards the skirt and top-stithing in place. I finished the hem with the same stretch topstich as the neckline.

Confession: I haven't actually finished the sleeve hem yet ( I was too eager to wear it). I don't think I will leave it raw, but because I like the look without any top-stitching, I might try to use an invisible hem.

Fitting-wise, I made the following pattern alterations:
Added 2.5 cm (1 inch)  to the bodice length
added 2.5 cm to the skirt along the cutting line, as well as 7cm at the hem (and boy am I glad I did, the original length would have been a tunic on me).
Added 2.5 cm to the sleeve length.
I also took out about 1inch at the armhole, tapering to nothing at the elbow and waist.

If I make this dress again I might try to cut the bodice in a size 8 instead of 10, or maybe remove 1.5-2cm from the center front and back, to make the necline slightly less wide and bring the shoulders closer to center.
Overall I'm quite happy, this is a very comfortable dress, easy to wear, I'm pretty sure it's going to be a regular in my clothing rotation.

samedi 2 mai 2015

Finished Project: Watson Bra and pantie set

I made a bra! I know a lot of sewists out there had the same realization after completing the watson, and like everyone else, I was pretty proud of myself!
Bra-making and fitting is a whole other ball game, and I had been itching to give it a try for a while. I had a total impulse-purchase moment when Caroline of Blackbird Fabrics posted photos of her latest Watson kits on instagram, and with that I was on the bra-making train!

I completed my Watson a while ago, but I didn't make the rest of the set until more recently.
This was a great pattern to start with. I had to do some alterations, but overall I figured out the fitting fairly easily. The bra is easy to assemble, it's mostly a lot of elastic-sewing. 
I'm pretty happy with my overall finishes.

I had plenty of lilac mesh left to make a couple of panties to make a complete set. First I made the Watson bikini. I used the size small, although I could probably have one up one size - or maybe I pulled a bit too much on the elastic when sewing it. Anyways, it's on the tight side, but not uncomfortable, so I guess it's fine.

The other one is the Cheeky Panty pattern (free) by Debi of So Sew-Easy. It's meant for lace but I decided to give it a try anyways, and add elastic to the openning as for the Watson bikini. I had to buy additional elastic for this one, and went with a similar peach contrasting color as the bra's straps. Since I added elastic, I also added seam allowances to the openings, which are normaly meant to line up with the lace border (i.e no hem).

Debi's pattern was super easy to put together. There was a bit of a gap on the bum when I first tried is on, but I ended up cutting the leg holes shorter so they reached more mid-bum cheek, and that took care of it. I would probably raise the waist line a smidge on my next go, but overall i'm pretty pleased with the result, it's comfortable to wear and doesn't show underneath fitted skirts or dresses.

So with that I have a full lingerie set! I definitely won't stop there and I'm already looking into more complex bras with chaneling and padded cups.

vendredi 3 avril 2015

Finished Project: Peplum Top Knock-Off

Spring's here! (well, on paper anyway). I've been holding on to this post for a while because it felt so out of season until now. Truth is, this top has been finished since last fall, but I didn't take photos of it until a couple months ago, and I had more winter-ish projects I wanted to blog about first.

I fell in love with this Tibi top when I first saw it on the Glamourai's blog. I decided in the back of my mind that I would knock it off somehow. When I found the flowery cotton fabric at Dressew, I thought about the top right away and decided to go for it.

The original Tibi top has black trim going down the front and back, from neckline to waist. It doesn't seem to have any visible bust shaping, so I assumed the trim was covering all the shaping.

Rather than trying to rotate darts on a simple bodice block (which might have been easier, but who knows), I went on the search for a top pattern that would already have shaping at the neckline. Eventually, I landed on Burda pattern 121, from August 2012. It included darts at the waist, and pleats at the neckline, both of which could be turned into one princess-type seam. 

I did quite a bit of pattern hacking with this:

-Attached the shoulder yokes to the main bodice.
-turned the neckline pleats into darts
-rotated new neckline dart and waist dart slightly, so they would align more
-split front bodice in half lengthwise by turning darts into a princess type seam

I also made my usual set of adjustments:
-lengthenned bodice 2.5 cm
-added shoulder dart to avoid armhole gaping
-forward shoulder adjustement
-added an additional 1.5 cm to back harmole, this I think due to the style of the pattern and how far in the sleeves seemed to attach.
I didn't add any "princess" seam to the back, instead I just added the trim on top of the dart and continued it to the neckline.


After the first muslin, I noticed some gaping in the front armhole, and extra fabric accross the bust. I just pinned the excess and it seemed to work. I slashed the pattern from armhole to apex at an angle and overlapped the top and bottom about 2cm. On the center panel, I overlapped the same amount parallel to the hemline. I basically made a variation of a small bust adjustment to a princess seam, but reducing the armhole size at the same time.

That's quite a bit of pattern tweaking, but I don't remember it being that tedious, in the end I think muslin #2 was good, and I was able to go on to the fashion fabric pretty soon after.

But first I had to figure out the skirt portion. Looking closely at the original, I noticed that the peplum was pleated, with the folds lining up with the front and back trim, as well as the side seams. After a couple of tries, I finally figured that I needed a half-circle shape so it would have the right amount of volume (but not too much).
I started by measuring my waist (71cm)
From there, I determined that I wanted to add 6 pleats of 5 cm each once folded, so 10 cm unfolded, so 60cm of additional length. Total =131 cm at the waist.
I then used this fancy calculator to figure out the radius and other dimensions I needed.

I obviously didn't have any markings so putting the pleats together properly took a bit of fiddling, but in the end I managed to get what I wanted, with everything lining up nicely

The bodice and the skirt are both lined with cotton broadcloth. The lining of the skirt part was first sewed to the main fabric at the hem, then folded under and attached to the bottom of the bodice (main fabric & lining) with top stitching. the black trim around the waist covers the top stitching.


I'm really hapy with how this turned out. The fabric isn't as graphic as the original top, but it still looks pretty colorful. When I first cut the fabric, I spent some time trying to figure out how to line things up. I ended up lining the pattern somewhat in the back. In the front, I wasn't happy with the flower placement on one of the side panels, so I decided to forget about lining up the flower pattern (the trim creates a beak anyway), and recut that panel to get better flower placement.

If I'm completely honnest, this is definitely an "icing" piece. I don't wear a lot of sleeveless tops at work, because of AC and also I don't love showing my skinny shoulders and upper arm, at work anyways. So i don't know how often I'll be wearing this, but regardless, I'm glad I made it, it was a very interesting pattern-experimentation type of project, and I'm quite proud of the finished garment...I might even leave it out on display on a hanger somewhere, I'd be fine with that.

I've finished quite a few projects lately, but haven't been able to take photos. In the meantime I've been trying to switch my sewing queue from winter to spring. I bought two more issues of Burda (because I needed more to pile up :P ), and I've already set my eyes on this particular dress, and maybe the cute summer raincoat from the "easy-2015" issue.