Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spring Ruffle Top

This top is made from the Spring Ruffle Top tutorial from made by rae. The fabric is Midnight Kisses by Heidi Grace Designs at JoAnn Fabric. I made no adjustments to the pattern. I chose to shape the sides (as rae includes as an optional step) by bringing in the side seams by about an inch on both sides. The shaping made the shirt more flattering and less maternity-like. I hemmed the shirt as is, leaving it almost tunic length. I added the optional divots to the armhole which helps with the overall fit and comfort.
The pattern was easy to follow. I did have to adjust the strap placement several times before sewing. I advise spending some time making sure the strap placement is just right (maybe even baste stitch) prior to sewing the straps to the chest band. I marked the placement in the beginning as the pattern instructs, but found that after I sewed the ruffle to the straps that I needed to adjust the placement all over again.
The shirt is cuter in person than in the photo! Again, it is nothing I would ever try on or purchase off-the-rack. I bought the necklace last year and had nothing with which to wear it. Don't you like how things come together sometimes?
Next time, I might adjust the size of the back panel piece so it doesn't require pleating. The pleating adds weird puffiness at the back...which I don't necessarily need back there! This shirt would be great for maternity wear. Another sewer on the flickr group made the pattern as a little girl's dress. I may just have to try that!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Summer Blouse

Here is my finished Summer Blouse from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I have a few works in process from the book, so it feels good to finally finish one! After reading everyone's blog posts and viewing finished blouses on the flickr group, I knew that I would need to make some adjustments to the pattern and didn't want to use the "good" fabric on the first try. I used what I had on-hand with enough yardage, which happened to be a heavyweight cotton curtain panel from the IKEA as-is section. (I guess this is where it might be helpful to have a thrifted sheet or two or some muslin onhand.) The facings were made from a paisley home-dec remnant. Unconventional fabric choices, right? Somehow, though, they worked out!

I made a few alterations to the pattern. The neckline was lowered about 1.5" and hits just at the collarbone. I brought in the sides quite a bit and added an inch or two to the length, but unfortunately, I cannot remember how much. The book calls for a button and loop closure, but with my lowered collar that feature would not make sense.

I liked applying the facing along the neckline so much, that I went crazy and used facings to finish the cuffs and hemline. It is a nice method for hemming, especially with a heavier fabric like this. I was not looking forward to turning up the hem a couple of times and then trying to stitch through all the layers! Disclaimer: the flipped-up hem in the picture is soley for demonstration purposes! I don't plan to walk around with it flipped. I think I could pull off the flipped cuffs, though!

Today I ordered some great cotton lawn to make another version of this blouse, probably with 3/4 length sleeves and a v-neckline. It will be interesting to see a more relaxed shape using the lawn, since this finished version is so structured with the heavyweight cotton.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A summer top - Simplicity 2892

Simplicity 2892
My first garment is finished! This is made from Simplicity 2892, the first commercial pattern I have used since junior high school. The fabric is off the quiliting wall at JoAnn's. I like the outcome and will definitely wear the top this summer.

Just a couple adjustments were made to the pattern. I shortened the body of the top by about an inch. (I'm 5' 3"). Determining the size was a little tough, as commercial pattern sizes are nothing like off-the-rack sizes. After measuring the pattern envelope told me I should wear a 12 or 14. After cutting the 12, I reconsidered and sized down to a 10. For comparison, I normally wear a small or medium (6 or 8) off the rack. After sewing the side seams, I decided the shirt was too wide and narrowed it a bit. To do this, I found a shirt in my closet that fits well, laid it on top and traced the shape. Initially, I planned to hem the shirt (view D), but decided to add elastic instead (view F). It seems to work better with the style and print and feels more finished this way.

The neck is quite detailed with a gathered yoke and ruffle (front and back). It took some time to gather the entire yoke and then the ruffle. Also, the yoke must be handstiched to the inside of the top. I suppose you could just topstitch the yoke to close the seam, but that would change the look with the topstitching visible on the outside. Although time consuming, I have found that I like this type of detail work that requires some handstitching and fussing.

Simplicity 2892 sewing pattern

It's funny - I would never try on this style or print at a clothing store, but I like it! I see myself making more from this pattern. This will be my first entry for made by rae's Spring Top Week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Charming Handbag Received

I received my Charming Handbag from my BTRS Swap partner...and it's perfect! My partner also made a coordinating zip pouch. You can view it here also.

I was touched that my partner considered my "likes and favorites" information she received at the beginning of the swap. In her blog she mentioned cutting the bag in a different fabric, then scrapping that idea and buying a different fabric at IKEA (which I mentioned as a favorite). The lining is orange (also mentioned as a favorite color). I've actually had my eye on the print she chose at IKEA - it is so fun and perfect for summer. A few weeks ago, I bought a navy spring jacket and was just thinking that I need to make a bag with some blue touches. Now I don't have to, because my partner made me the perfect bag :)