Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Simplicity 8137 - Navy Wrap Top

This is the second piece of my sewcation:

Here's the pattern:

The style is amazing, but because the smallest size is a 10, and I usually start with a 6, I had to do a gazillion alterations to get it to fit properly!  I was not happy with the hoops I had to jump through to make this top fit me and am thinking that I should have just graded it down to a 6 first.  Instead, I adjusted as I went along.  Lesson learned.

If you look at the front of the pattern envelope, you will see that the style is very low cut and has a lot of gaping going on!  I didn't want a top like that!

To raise the neckline, I redrew the front neckline, several times.

To get rid of the gaping, I pinched out around a half inch from the neckline.  But that wasn't enough, as I still had some gaping.  This could be due to the way that I sew.  Not sure.

I also wanted cut in shoulders, and did that adjustment freehand.  I had to re-sew it several times to get it to what I envisioned.  But finally . . . success!  I'm glad I didn't give up!

When I cut the front bodice pieces, I didn't follow the grain marked on the pattern.  If I had, the front neckline would have been cut on the bias.  Bias stretches.  Definitely not good for a wrap top!  What I did instead was to cut the front piece with the front neckline on the grain.  This way, the front neckline would not be stretching on me.

Maybe because of the way that I cut the front pieces, the princess seams looked off.  I had to re-sew them several times to get them to look alright when I tried the top on.  When I sew, I make adjustments along the way by trying on what I'm making after I sew each major part.  I did finally get the princess seams right.  

(Edited to add on 9-25-18 - I looked at the picture on the pattern envelope again.  This time I looked more closely and saw that the princess seam is on the side of the bust point, not over it.  The way it looks on the pattern envelope is the way it looked on my top before I fixed it.  It looks like the draft was a little off.)

I did, though, make a major mistake on this.  I sewed the tie on the wrong side, so the shorter peplum is on top when it should have been on the bottom.  My mistake looked alright to me, so I left it.

What I love about this style, and this might not be apparent to anyone looking at the top itself, or even the line drawings, but the tie is sewn in at the side and bottom edges of the bodice.  It's not just a tie floating loose.  It's a part of the bodice.  It's actually secured to the bodice, and I love it!!!  The tie also has a little horizontal pleat sewn into it, to keep the pleat from disappearing.  It's ingenious!

There's nothing left to chance with this style.  Everything is set. I don't have to carefully tie it just right to get the very flattering pleats to show because the pleats are sewn in and when I pull it to tie it, the pleats are accentuated.  If I tie the tie a hundred times, I'll still get the flattering pleats just right.  I love it!

I am happy with the top that I ended up with, but I worked out the bugs of this pattern sewing this top, so it's not as neat as it could have been on the inside.  Wrap tops are usually easy for me to sew and fit, and I usually don't bother with muslins for them.  But that was not the case with this one.  I didn't start out with this being my muslin, but with all of the changes that I had to make, midway through I started thinking of this as a muslin.  I am obsessed with quality and sewing my best, and now that I know what I have to change, I want to sew this again!

This top took 2 1/2 yards of a navy blue cotton with small silver anchors on it.  I think the print looks neat and clean, but what I really love about this fabric are the colors.  The rich navy background with shiny silver anchors neatly and orderly scattered on it.  I like navy and shiny silver, and find the colors striking.

Happy with this top, but it's not my best!

Be back with piece 3 of my sewcation shortly.


Monday, September 24, 2018

McCalls 7162 + Butterick 4547 - My Sunflower Dress

The first project of my sewcation is a dress made with fabric that reminds me of Fall.  It might look summery to you, but the green in the spaces between the flowers gives this a very Autumnal look.  Well, at least to me, anyway:

The patterns that I morphed to get this dress - McCalls 7162 for the bodice:

Butterick 4547 for the shorter flared skirt:

I made this dress because of how much I love the top that I recently made:

I sewed the bodice of the dress the same way that I sewed the top.  You can read about it HERE.

The skirt part of this dress was easy and quick to sew.  The only shortcoming of the dress is that is has no pockets.  I can't have a dress without pockets, so I added 2 side seam pockets.   I actually toyed with the idea of making a pair of huge square round front patch pockets, but then, I saw a dress with the pockets I was thinking about and it didn't look good at all.  So, in the end, the side seam pockets prevailed.
I also made a self belt for this, which was also very easy to sew.

Now, about the fabric - I used a sunflower printed woven cotton that was very easy to work with!  For the longest time, I stared at the fabric and didn't know what to make with it.  I mean, what do you make with a sunflower print like this??!!  As a flat fold, the fabric looked great, but I couldn't picture it as anything specific.  I was actually thinking of donating it, but right after I made the denim top above and tried it on, I immediately saw the sunflower fabric as a dress in that same style.  I loved it, so, of course, I had to make it!

The dress took 3.5 yards, which is a lot, I think.  But it wasn't wasted fabric.  Not by a long shot! This is my newest dress, but I don't think that's the reason that I love it so much.  I honestly love the style and the way it fits me.  It was definitely fabric well used! 

My second sewcation piece is already finished and it'll be up next on the blog.

Hope you are sewing for yourself if you are in dire need of a decent wardrobe, like I am!  


Sunday, September 23, 2018

I Am Extending My Sewcation

Due to unforeseeable circumstances, my sewcation on Thursday and Friday was a bust!

But I finally did get started yesterday, Saturday.  I made something for my blue collection, a navy wrap top.  And then I stepped away from blue and made a green and yellow sunflower printed dress.  I wanted something Autumn-y and the sunflower print was perfect for that.

I'm not sure about how much sewing I'll be able to squeeze in today, but I am definitely going to at least cut out my next projects.

I am seriously in need of more clothes, and need more sewing time, so I'm extending my sewcation until next Sunday, 9/29.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A 4-Day Sewcation

I am taking a 4 day sewcation that will run from Thursday thru Sunday!  For those 4 days, I am not leaving home!  I am just going to sew.  I'm planning to sew as many pieces as I can for my blue collection!

I have my fabric.  I have my patterns.  I have my interfacing and other notions.

At the end of the day on Sunday, I will have a nice blue section right next to the yellow section in my closet.



Monday, September 17, 2018

Moving On to the Simplicity 8137 Wrap Top

I have decided not to try to adjust the Vogue 7876 pattern for a wrap top right now:

I might come back to it later, but right now I want to work with another wrap top pattern, Simplicity 8137:

What I like about this style is that it has a wonderful peplum with an asymmetrical edge, and the peplum doesn't look too flared or too flat.  It also closes with a chic wide tie!!!  And of course, I love that this has front princess seams!

As is, this wrap is SUPER LOW CUT.  If you look at the picture on the pattern envelope, you can see exactly how low it is on the models.  It's so low that it took me three muslins to raise the neckline to where I wanted it to be.

Tomorrow, I'm going to make a full muslin.

Be back when it's done.


Meghan Markle's Style and Pattern Possibilities

I am starting my queue for 2019.  Hahahaha!  If you sew and have a queue, you know what that "hahahaha" is all about.  :-)

I really love most of what Meghan Markle wears and posted some of her fashions in a recent post.  I am planning to sew some of her styles for myself in 2019 (can't start now because my current queue is too loooong to add anything else for 2018).

The patterns I've chosen are close in style and with a few changes will be spot on, or are a little different because the original wouldn't flatter my figure type.

Her Nonie sleeveless trench dress is such a chic and trendy, but classic look.  I can't believe chic and trendy can be classic, but I think this is:

OOP McCalls 6279, but with a few adjustments:

McCalls 7749 is currently in the pattern books, but look at how shapeless it is.  Certain figure types cannot wear styles like this because we need more shaping.  If I didn't have the OOP pattern, though, 7749 is what I would start with.  That tie belt would not add enough shaping.  I'd add major darts:

Her Brandon Maxwell dress:

OOP Butterick 4429 - I haven't sewn it, yet, but besides the fantastic simplicity of this style, the great thing about this pattern is that it has a neckline and armhole facing cut in one!  If you have never sewn with this type of facing, you don't know what you are missing!

Recently OOP McCalls 2401:

Butterick 4386:

Dress by Clover:

I couldn't find a current pattern for this, but OOP Butterick 4284 from my stash is what I'm using.  Ok, I know this is noticeably different, but Butterick's style is very similar on the design element that makes both dresses outstanding, the drape.  I am no style maven, but look at how that drape falls.  OMG!  I'm not changing it.

Tuxedo dress designed by Judith and Charles:

I couldn't find a current pattern for this style and don't have a stash pattern for this, but I think I can do some morphing and minor drafting to get a similar dress from these stash patterns:

     Sleeves from this or:



     Collar.  I will probably opt for one of the collars from this pattern:

Midi skirt made by Joseph.  Look at how fantastic this skirt is!  And again, a trendy, but classic look:

Very recently OOP McCalls 7054 slightly redesigned:

Turtleneck top - OOP Butterick 3344:

Dress by Givenchy:

McCalls 7351 in the current catalog:

Most of the patterns are really close in design to MM's expensive designer clothes.  I think that's amazing.

WOW! I can't wait to get started . . . in 2019!  :-)


Sunday, September 16, 2018

OOP Vogue 7876 - Blue Wrap Top - Uh, nope

I made a wrap top with OOP Vogue 7876, and while it is cute, it is MUCH too short to keep.  Keep in mind that I am a petite who is a little short waisted, so if a top drafted a little too short is going to fit anyone, it will likely fit me, but . . . this is TOO SHORT!!!  I feel like I'm a giant wearing a top that's too small when I put this on.

Here's the pattern.  See the illustrations?  It tells the story, but I didn't heed it, so ending up with a top too short was my error.  I should have measured first:

Also, see the white top above?  It looks like it has slightly cut in shoulders.  Well, it doesn't.

And when I sewed this, I opted to sew it with pleats instead of the round notion or covered ring.  The pleats don't fan out in a flattering way.  They just sort of sit there.  I am thinking that it was because of my re-design.
I want a wrap top with flattering gathers/pleats, like in the picture above.  I also want it around 2-3 inches longer, and I want cut in shoulders.  On my next one, I will adjust the pattern to suit my taste.  I am not giving up on this pattern . . . UNLESS I find a pattern for exactly what I want in my stash.

I used a duck cloth from Walmart.  I love the color and print, but I don't really like the fabric type.  It was great to use for a muslin.  If it had turned out perfectly, I would have worn it.  But because I don't like the fabric type, it's not a great loss that I don't want to wear this top.

I already have my fabric picked out for my next version of this top.

Be back when my next sewing project is done.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018