Sunday, January 31, 2016

Vogue 1389 again - Maroon wool knit baseball top

I am continuing to enjoy using up fabric from my scrap pile and making tops. Here is my latest creation from Vogue 1389, a Donna Karan designer pattern.

I first made this pattern back in December and it has seen lots of wear during this mild winter, so I decided to make another one using up a big scrap of maroon wool knit. Four LONG years ago (before I had many gray hairs - sob!) I used this fabric for a top with a draped neckline and wore it for Christmas. It was donated a year or so later because I really hate to wear anything fussy around my neck. But the fabric was perfectly lovely and I'm glad I had a big piece of it to make something that will actually get some wear.

This time I used an exposed seam detail throughout the shirt and love the outcome. It is achieved by stitching the pieces together with the wrong sides facing it, then ironing them flat and topstitching from the outside about 1/8" on either side of the seam. Then I carefully cut away the excess fabric. It looks really cool on fabrics with a terry like texture on the inside.

This is a very fitted pattern. Where I usually size down to a 10 on knits, I cut a straight size 12. I also dropped the armholes an inch like last time, as they are drafted really high. The sleeve bands were thick and dumpy looking so I oped to hem the sleeves right above the elbow. All hems were sewn with a wide set twin needle.

The neckline stretched out a bit when I was making this top so I sprayed it with water and threw it in the dryer with a damp towel. Twenty minutes later I took it out and the neckline had shrunk to a point where it lays nice and flat against my chest.

Even though I'm an Aggie I don't really own a ton of maroon stuff. Well, now I've got a least one top to wear with this cap. Whoop! Also Gig 'em.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Vogue 9026 - Front sequin sweatshirt in gray

Scraps. We all have them – those pieces that are too big to throw away but not big enough to do much with. I keep thinking I’ll use some of mine to make something for my daughter. She’s tiny and her clothing doesn’t require much yardage. I never do, though, and they just keep piling up. However, these days it’s perfectly acceptable to use several different textiles in one garment. I had a rather sizable piece of sequin fabric left over from this skirt and I decided to make it into a sweatshirt. I ordered one yard of Mood fabric’s Cadet charcoal french terry cotton knit and the matching Cadet charcoal rib knit in the hopes that they would match the silver baby sequin fabric I’d used last month. The colors blended perfectly. I pre-washed it all, including the sequins, so I could launder this top easily.

The pattern is Vogue 9026 - now sadly OOP - only 1 year after its release. I really liked the slanted front seams and the V neckline which I've not seen on other sweatshirt patterns. I cut the small and had zero fit issues. The center front and center back seams were eliminated – not sure why they’re there anyway. I used the french terry for the body and sleeves and the rib knit for the binding at the neckline, cuffs and bottom band.

The bottom band was doubled in length, an idea I copied from Amy’s pink cowl top made last year. I also think this pattern would be cute as a short dress. Hmm..

These fabrics were such a joy to work with. Seriously, I’ve got to get more cotton knits. They behave and don’t slip around or stretch out like ITY knits do. They are also SO comfortable to wear and hide a multitude of lumps and bumps.

I used a longer stitch length and topstitched the rib knit down at every seam.

I used a bit of black tricot from my stash to line the sequin area. They’re sewn to mesh and I thought they might be see-through under the right lighting. I sewed the tricot and sequins to the terrycloth burrito style so I wouldn’t have to do any handstitching. This also contained any rough sequin edges that might irritate my skin.

I finished the sleeves and armholes with an overlocking stitch.

Dressform pictures:

This was a really fun project to sew up and it went together quickly. It also got me thinking about the fashion sweatshirt I made 2 years ago that I rarely wear. The body fabric is thick and quilted, which caused a bump at the hemline and just wasn't flattering. It made me look like a brick. So, while I still had this Vogue pattern out, I used the bottom band pattern piece and some leftover black ribbing (more scrap fabric) to band it. What do you think?

I like it much better this way, and will hopefully get more wear out of it.

I am having a ton of fun making tops lately and have another in the works that I'm almost done with. I still like the complicated designer patterns and using fancy fabrics but am really wanting to add some hand made items to my casual wardrobe.

Note: All fabrics used for the sequin sweatshirt were purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Vogue 8859 - Slim brown pants in quilted cotton

Here's a quick little post to show y'all some pants I made to match an orphan tunic in my closet. Not loving to make pants patterns - even though I keep buying them - I searched around various stores for a brown pair and had no luck. I swatched this chocolate cotton double knit from Mood fabrics and loved the ridges and texture. I also thought a cotton/poly might hold up better then a ponte knit, which in my experience tends to pill after a few washes. 

I used Vogue 8859, a Marci Tilton design which is now sadly out of print. This was the first time I’ve used one of her patterns; most of them aren’t really my style. What I liked about this design was the pleated knee treatment and back yoke. With the fabric being rather thick I decided to leave off the knee pleats on this pair, but will certainly use that design feature in the future.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fit of these pants. The crotch is drafted much more toward the front, which I think helps alleviate those pesky whiskers on the backs of the legs. I cut a straight size 12, my typical Vogue size, but had to cut the waist height down by an inch. These pants are drafted to be VERY high waisted. I have a long torso, so I shudder to think what they would be like on a shorter waisted person. When I make these again I will shorted them below the back yoke before cutting out. For these I had to cut off a good portion of the yoke to not feel like Steve Urkel.

I picked this pattern so that I could play with the ridges in the fabric. From the back of the knee down I turned the fabric horizontal. I topstitched every seam and then graded the fabric to keep the seams from being too lumpy. The hems and waistband I stitched with a wide twin needle.

The waistband is elastic, which is perfectly fine for being worn under a tunic.

This was a simple and quick project, and now I can get some wear out of my top. I am definitely making this pattern up again. With a few tweaks it will become my fitted pants TNT (tried and true).

Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

Friday, January 15, 2016

McCalls 7248 - Silver & red silk blouse

It's time for another silk blouse addition! I haven't made one since last July and I'm going through withdrawal lol.

I wanted something simple without a lot of seams for this large scale print, and chose McCalls 7248. I like both of the necklines and the high/low hemline. This fabric is a stretch silk charmeuse that's been a longtime stash resident. I think I got it online somewhere, maybe Denver fabrics? Are they even around anymore? The contrast solid gray is also silk charmeuse that was in my stash but I can't remember anything about it. It isn't a stretchy fabric like the other.

I cut a straight size 10 (am typically a 12) since my fabric had some give and the blouse was oversized as drafted. It went together quickly without any fit issues.

The sleeves have a nice amount blousy-ness - not too voluminous or too constricting.

I interfaced the top and bottom neckline binding and cuffs with knit interfacing to give it a little stability but not make it too stiff.

I found these buttons in my stash bought for some forgotten project. There were four on the card so I just went ahead and used two per cuff.

Dressform pictures:

The yoke was stitched burrito style to encase the raw edges and I used french seams on the sleeves and armholes. The side seams were finished with small double folded hems since I couldn't do a french seam with the side slits.

It's a nice addition to my collection of silk blouses. This big shirt over leggings silhouette is so great for my lifestyle. I'm tempted to make it my daily uniform!