Friday, October 26, 2012

Butterick 5783: Wrap top

I have a few issues with this pattern.
Firstly; there is no finished garment measurements printed anywhere on the pattern or in the instructions so I flat measured to pick a size. I went with L and the fit is ok so I would say this pattern runs a bit large. I do wish I added some to the arms because I found them a bit tight on me.

Secondly; there is some funkiness going on with the neckline, I think the back neck is drafted too wide which then gapes the neckline quite a bit. I had to take out 2" up at each shoulder seams to get the neckline not gaping. I'm not that keen on the fold over and sew for the neckline finish either, it looks a bit messy and it doesn't really stabilise the neckline at all.

Thirdly: The neckline is quite low, I actually sewed the wrap part closed because otherwise it shows a lot more than I am comfortable showing! It needs a FBA but I couldn't work out how to without rotating out into the neckline which was already too long and gaping (unless it was rotated back into the backwards princess seam at the front?) There are a lot of drag lines at the arms/bust.

Finally: I found the ties slightly too narrow on me so when I crossed them over one side pulls out at the bottom each time.

I do however really like the wide ties and I like the elastic waist because it makes the back sit really nicely. I can't see me wearing this top because of how I feel about the neckline but I do want to modify it into another top or adjust this pattern enough its more wearable. I wonder if it would work better if the ties weren't sewn into the backwards princess seam at the bust and were just sewn into the side seams at the waistline?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taffy Blouse: Lace version

I went to the best garage sale the other weekend where I managed to pick up about 3 metres of this pretty lace for a couple bucks! I've been wanting to make a top like this for a while but the last one I tried turned into a wadder - I used a cowl neck top pattern and the underlined lace was too thick to drape nicely so this time I picked the taffy blouse with its nice simple lines

The underlining is a jersey knit and I made my own bias binding (which has rippled, anyone know why? Is it because its too wide or did I stretch it too much/not enough?). I didn't do french seams like it tells you in the instructions because with the layers of lace and knit it would have been too thick so I've just serged all the seams.

I think it turned out quite pretty, I like the flutter sleeves and how the tie can be tied at the back or front.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Colette Patterns: 1024 Juniper Pant

Well I think everyone knows I love a wide leg pant and Colette patterns tend to fit me quite well so I ordered this pattern as soon as I saw it.

The pattern is a basic wide leg pant (drafted as a trouser not a jean). I used my pants block which was a life saver as the front crotch curve on these is almost a straight line, you can see my block underneath and the original pattern piece on top in this pic;

Otherwise the legs are pretty much a sz16/18 but I have sewn these with stretch denim when they recommend a woven fabric.

I had to take them in on the legs a bit as they are drafted quite wide and almost taper slightly to the ankle. I added in a pocket stay too as they aren't drafted with one.

I feel a little meh about these pants, its not that this is a bad pattern per say, and the instructions would be great for someone who hadn't sewn many pants before, but I'm just not finding them that exciting. Still they are a nice wide leg pant and I probably will sew them again.

On a side note, I'm still working away at the Vogue 8333 jacket I just needed a bit of a break! Plus after dealing with the serger from hell lately I have a brand new Elna 654 overlocker (early birthday present to myself) that I'm itching to use, so expect to see a few tops and more pants sewing over the next few weeks while I learn to use it! Its so exciting to have a serger that works as a 4 thread overlocker and sews consistently!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Vogue 8333: WIP front

I've been wanting to make this for a while and seeing PoppyKettle's version got it to the top of the project pile!

(Pockets and pleat)

I did a muslin and had to do a few adjustments;
1.5" FBA, 2" upper arm adjustment, 1" broad back adjustment, 3/4" forward shoulder adjustment and took some out of the front of the armscye.
I wanted it to have a fairly exaggerated waist so I took it in at the waist and widened the hips as well.
I've still got some bunching at the back of the armscye, I don't want to take too much out in case it restricts arm movement so I suppose I'll just live with it? If anyone knows how to fix it please tell me!
I'm a bit worried I should have widened the arms more too, I wanted to cut the under sleeve on the bias but ran way too short on fabric, one of the facing pieces I had to join but it shouldn't be noticeable *fingers crossed*

I'm following the version A, so the couture tailoring method and I'm using a silk tweed I got from Strangely I found horsehair canvas at Spotlight of all places and the lining is just sunsilky lining in a mauvey colour out of the stash

This is the first time I've done this type of tailoring and while its pretty slow it is very precise which is a change from my usual 'she'll be right' attitude, lol. I'm up to step 32 out of 105 so this jacket going to take me a couple of weeks!

Monday, October 8, 2012

MakeBra #4800

I've been admiring the lovely bras being sewn in the blogosphere, especially by P'thrifty and when StephC posted about sewing them from I was really interested, the idea of making bright, pretty bras that fit is very exciting!

I wasn't sure on the sizing, originally I measured up as a 95C which didn't seem right so I remeasured in front of a mirror to check that the tape measure was parallel to the floor and I measured up as a 95G which also didn't seem right as I'm a 16E in Australian RTW. I ordered the multisize pattern for the #4800 cos I figured I'd rather get all 3 and pay one postage than have to reorder if I got the wrong size! (BTW, if anyone is a 95G or 95F I have a pattern and underwire I can post out to you, just email me  :)

Annelle recommends making a trial bra so I did that with the 95DD and it was pretty close, I did pin some out in the cup, mostly a wedge at underarm side and a bit from the centre seam. 

I am happy with the fit now and I must say its the best fitting bra I've ever had! Its definitely a full cup bra and fits similar to my sports bra. But I have to admit I really struggled with the instructions, its written as if you have sewn bras before and as a complete beginner I ended up unpicking every part of the bra at least once, sometimes a few times....I got caught out with the foam lining, I thought it would be covered on the inside and outside but its meant to be left exposed so I had to unpick the cover so the smooth side would be on the inside. The top of the band is meant to be finished when you sew the elastic to the bottom of the band as well which I couldn't find in the instructions either.

I hate the fold over elastic too! It was so hard to fit over the thick edge of the foam lining, I noticed on my RTW bra that the cup cover and lining are sewn right sides together then turned right side out, so that the cover wraps over the edge of the lining and no need for fold over elastic (similar to this) so that's what I'll be doing next time!

I nearly didn't finish this, the stitching is so dodgy and the white foam lining looks so weird in the black bra. But I wanted to be able to wear it around for awhile to check the fit before I make another one. Already I know I added length to the end of the strap instead of the middle which means the straps are way to far apart and I used a wider elastic on the bottom of the band which now wants to flip up so I'll be using the recommended size next time.

I didn't stretch the fabric tight enough over the cups too so there is some excess bunching a bit.

After I spent ages unpicking and resewing the bra I finally searched for tutorials (yeah I was a bit slow this weekend!) and found some fantastic ones here that I really wish I'd found earlier! Even though the makebra has the foam lining (which I really like), the tutorial that Sigrid has would still work really well, in fact I'm planning on printing out the pdf for next time I make one!

So, I will be making another one and I do recommend makeBra, great customer service and quite reasonable prices but read the tutorials and don't make the same mistakes I did!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Jalie 2908 frankenpattern jeans and jeans month wrap-up

Another pair of pants from the Jalie 2908/Sewaholic 1203 frankenpattern. This denim wasn't as stretchy as the last lot so these have some added width to the sides. I did want these to fit tighter though as I'm getting really sick of them stretching out so I made them right on the verge of firm fitting and it seems to have worked well.

I did top-stitching with proper top-stitching thread this time. Years ago there were jeans advertised with red top-stitching and I always wanted some so finally I have a pair! I like the look of the stitching, it makes them look like 'real' jeans! I did use silk thread the same colour for the bartacks and buttonholes though, my machine really hates top-stitching thread and just wouldn't do the bartacks.

Not much more to say about them. The denim was from Lincraft and is a bit thin and crappy so am not sure how it will wear. I'm really happy with this pattern now, I like having TNT patterns. Its easier to concentrate on the sewing and details without having to worry so much about fit.

A quick note about stay taping the waist, the best way I've found to make the waist fit properly is to try the pants on, pin the stay tape to the waist while wearing them and then sew the stay tape in (you may have to stretch the waist seam to fit the stay tape properly). When I was sewing it in without trying on and pinning it first I found they ended up too tight and without the stay tape they gradually stretched out over the day.