April 16, 2012

A shirt to make my sister jealous...

My first successful knit top! Tres excitant! My first one was made from a self-drafted pattern I copied from a favourite shirt: and the pattern worked out great. The problem was I didn't know yet that the stretchy part of the material needed to stretch horizontally to help when putting on the shirt, but even more importantly (as I have learned) so it doesn't sag off your shoulders.
This was a shirt I made in one day too! The Renfrew top from Sewaholic. Everything, from pattern tracing, to cutting, sewing, unpicking, and sewing again. Amazing. I even used my twin needle for the first time (that took a lot of practicing to get the stitches and tension to work out correctly).
I still find knit material challenging. I had to weigh down the fabric with anything heavy I could grab my hands on and I'm still perfecting the neck band and stretching it.
I made a few changes to the pattern, the first was shortening the 3/4 length sleeves by 1 3/4 inches and the second was not basting the neck, arm and waist bands before attaching them. I couldn't figure out how to baste them and still keep them stretchy enough to fit the main torso of the top. Oh, and I used a size 4 arms, size 6 at the top of the front, and size 2 everywhere else. I feel pretty happy with the fit.
Why does it make my sister jealous? Because it's her favourite colour! Leprechaun green (I've been told).

April 12, 2012

The best gifts are handmade...

...just like this Darling Ranges dress my sister made me for Christmas. I can't help but wear it even when it's a quiet day at home. I love the buttons; pretty ceramic ones. (It looks so great with those wool socks! Ha.)
Another project completed today. I finished the Sorbetto top for my mom.
It's made from an old button-up blouse of her's that she never wore because she says she didn't like the fit. So she saved the material and I snatched it up for this project. I inserted an invisible zipper on the side (I find my blue-plaid Sorbetto is tricky enough to put on without)...and even though it's bright pink...you can't see it! :) The back of the top has an inverted pleat (opposite from the front).

April 10, 2012

Using up old scraps.

I have boxes of scraps. Yes it's true. Some are even just big enough to SQEEEEZE a top or skirt out of too!
I was able to make this Sorbetto from a blue plaid shirting cotton (I think). It's very thin, so I doubled the bias tape (bright!) on the bottom. My muslin was too short, so I added a strip on the bottom with the plaid on the bias. That's my favourite part actually. I also lowered the bust darts, which were too high to start. I followed a tutorial on BurdaStyle for this, but only lowered them on the final version...oops...too low now. I cut out a size 4 on top and tappered down to a 0 on the bottom (!). I find it very hard to believe that that is a true size 0.
I'm going to attempt making one for my mom from an old blouse of her's.

Next scrappy project is the free paperbag skirt tutorial from Suzannah Adventures in Dressmaking. I used some smoky-green, stretchy woven 'stuff'. (I don't know a lot about materials yet...)
I had to cut down the amount of fabric at the waist because I didn't have enough. My pleats are just smaller. Though I've played with invisible zippers lots, this was my fisrt 'real' zipper. Easy-peasy. (But I've learned backwards, right?). Any ideas on how to get the pleasts to fall more naturally?
Like the socks? ;) Oh, and the skirt is not hemmed yet, but I was too excited. Mmm, tea.

Learn to stick to what I like...

I 'finished' my Pendrell top a few weeks ago. I say that in quotations because I have yet to hem it. The thing is... it's not my favourite. Why did I ever think wearing anything in a stretchy polyester would be my thing?Though sewing this top was very straight forward, there are a few things I have done wrong.

Firstly, I have made the wrong size; I'm pretty sure about this. There is too much fabric around the waist and the back, even for a tucked in top: I like things more closely fitted. I still have no idea if I should be attempting an FBA on some patterns. It seems like a lot of work.
Secondly: wrong choice of material. Even though I was trying to upcycle an old dress...the lining was a lining for a reason. It's stretchy, thick, and does not iron flat. Actually, none of seems are flat. Lesson learned. Choose cottons. I like cottons.
Third: there are too many ruffles for me. I should've listened to my sister...but the other tops I've seen look so great. Well, maybe I'll try the bell sleeve next time.
However: I am still learning. It was not an expensive project. Following a Sewalong was so helpful. Pattern was really easy to understand. On to the next project. :)