Saturday, August 31, 2013

Early Fall Sewing #3: Archer

On to project number 3: an Archer!

After seeing all the beautiful Archers popping up on the interwebs, I decided I wanted one of my own. After making a shirt for my boyfriend, I knew I could tackle a shirt...

I cut a straight size 8. In retrospective, I should have cut a size smaller, but mostly because the style is more casual than what I had in mind. In a flowier fabric, the fit would have been quite nice, breezy and soft. But I used a crisp cotton, and it would have benefited from being a bit more close-fitting. Also, I apparently have very short arms... Note to self: measure sleeve lenght before cutting fabric. Oh well, rolled-up sleeves works well with the look of the shirt.

The pattern is beautifully drafted and everything went together smoothly. I'm quite smitten with Grainline! I think I'll put the Scout tee on my list, once I get through with my fall sewing. I hear Jen is working on a blazer? I would buy it the second it comes out. Anyways, back to the Archer. It has all the details I want in a shirt, and will work in many fabrics. I think I wand a flannel plaid one!

I used a white cotton poplin with tiny white dots. The print is very subtle, but I quite like the effect. As said, I think the fabric is a bit too stiff for the style, but it kind of works. Like I stole my boyfriend's shirt... Which is not at all a bad style. But I'll choose something else next time. While I was sewing it, I was thinking a chambray would be nice, but I'll have to find a very soft and drapey one.

Up next:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Early Fall Sewing #2: simplicity 2444

This is the second item in my early fall sewing project.

I used Simplicity 2444, a pattern I had wanted to make for a long time, but for some reason didn't. It's a theme in this current sewing plan I have, to finally make patterns I have wanted to make for a while. S2444, an Archer (coming soon!), a Cambie, a circle skirt, a proper shirtdress...I'm really liking these plans!

This is Simplicity 2444 in a straight size 10. I always choose my size according to the finished measurements that are usually printed on the pattern pieces. I couln't find the waist measurement, so I measured myself instead. I obviously wasn't very meticulous about it as the finished dress is a tiny bit small at the waist. I also adjusted the lenght of the sleeves.

I lowered the back neckline in a V-shape, just because it's so easy to do and I think it's a sweet detail. To do so, I simply folded the pattern piece, making sure not to affect the shoulder seam. I also replaced the facings with a lining, wich I prefer. A lining makes the dress looks much neater inside, and it allows to enclose both the waist and shoulder seams easily. Facings are so often floppy and annoying.

The sleeve hems are bound with a contrast bias tape for a bit of contrast. I played with the idea of binding the neckline as well, but I can't make up my mind. Well, I can always go back and add a bias binding later. I hemmed the skirt with the same bias tape as well, wich is my new favorite technique for hemming skirst that are not straight. The bias tape just eases into the curve, so no puckers! In this case, it also gives a bit of body to the skirt, as the tape is stiffer than the fabric. I prickstitched the zipper in place, after stabilizing the zipper opening with some strips of fusible interfacing. Stabilizing the zipper opening is such a game-changer. Seriously, it makes inserting a zipper so much easier, I can't believe I didn't do that before. Sunni demonstrates it in her Craftsy class (which is awesome, by the way) and I'll never look back. I don't have her nifty tape, but I cut strips of fusible interfacing and it works like a charm. I added a hook and eye at the waist seam, because it was opening up a bit. Finally, I cut the front skirt piece on the fold, as I didn't see the point in having a seam down the front of the skirt and my fabric was too narrow to not cut on the fold anyways.

The fabric is a printed polyester i bought in Paris. I love the print! Simple and graphic. The fabric drapes nicely, but has a tendency to cling. Maybe I'll go back and add a lining to the skirt as well. Or just wear a slip.

I really enjoyed this pattern. It's simple and versatile and the double slanted darts are cute. I love that the pattern includes sleeves (even if i had to fuss quite a bit with them because of the insane amount of sleevecap ease) so that the pattern can easily transition into winter. It's easy enough to modify the neckline or switch the skirt for a totally different look! It is a pattern that can be appropriated and modified endlessly.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Early fall sewing #1: Datura

  This Datura is the first garment in what I hope will become an early fall wardrobe. I sketched grand plans that involves sewing 8 garments plus 2 refashions and a shirt for E in August/September. Well, we'll see how that goes, but I like having a bit of structure in my sewing. And let's be honest here, the planning is almost as fun as the sewing! I have to hem dress #1 and I'm just finishing up an Archer so I'm on the right track so far.

It is no secret by now that I have a pattern crush on Deer and Doe's Datura. this is my third version, and I keep thinking if new ones. I like the simplicity of the design and the clever details. The contrast yoke allows for endless fabric combinations and the collar options for variation.

For this one I traced a size smaller (36) than the previous ones, and the fit is much better. I wasn't too noticeable in my first Datura because the fabric was quite drapey, but the fit across the bust was an issue in the stiffer cotton of my second version. Now, there is no gaping at the armholes and the fit around the bust and shoulders is better. I made view B with the Peter pan collar, obviously. The collar turned out very narrow and there is a gap at the center front, where the two collar pieces should meet. I'm not quite sure of what I did wrong, as I did not encounter that issue on my first Datura. It's bothering me a bit... Maybe the seam allowance on the collar is only 3/8"? Oh well, it's not going to stop me from wearing it.

I used a beige satin for the yoke and collar and a navy cotton voile for the main pieces and facings. The satin was a leftover from other projects and the cotton is a coupon from Paris. I'm glad I went with the cotton for the facing as it is nicer to have on my skin than the ployester of the satin. I've had this colout combination on my mind for a while now, so I'm pleased it's finally made it's was into a garment. I have lots of the lovely navy cotton left, as it was a 3m coupon and the Datura doesn't eat much fabric. I think I'll turn the remaining 2m into a dress with som colour contrast. Or an Archer... I'm quite liking sewing shirts!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

70s style day dress

So I made a new dress! This time from a vintage pattern. I'm guessing it's from the seventies, but that counts as vintage right? It is a swedish STIL pattern that was given to me by my boyfriend's mum, along with a pile of awful 80s patterns, but let's focus on the nice stuff.

I made view A with the collar, the one in pink above. I liked the soft gathers, the cute collar and the breeziness of the elasticated waist. I used a poly crepe fabric I bought in Paris on my recent trip. 

The pattern did not include seams allowances, so it took a lot of figuring out for the collar, but it turned all right in the end. Otherwise, it was simple to sew. Fitwise, I removed about 10 cm in the circumference at bust level. I did it after everything was done, so it is not perfect, but it is a great improvement compared to before. I'm happy with the fit now, so all good.