Monday, January 20, 2014

In my spare, spare time

When I'm not sewing, I crochet a bit. This is the Boteh scarf made up in a fine bamboo wool blend yarn I've had in my second stash* for a while. I much prefer to crochet from charts, and I was very happy to find an image of the chart for this scarf on the Internet. It was pretty easy to do once you got in the groove of the pattern.

* I also have a third and fourth stash (beads and embroidery). I've got a lot of work to do!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Perfect T-Shirt

I didn't name it that, Pamela did.  I don't know if it's perfect but it is pretty good. It is as good as any t-shirt I've ever bought at a store. It's Pamela's Patterns Perfect T-shirt #104

I showed two shirts in my last post made with the darted front pattern. I was pretty happy with them, but remained curious to whether my dartless FBA in a knit fabric would achieve a better fit.   This is what my dartless  FBA for knits looks like:

Here are the two versions side by side:

Dart on the left, no dart on the right.

The verdict?  

I'm deadlocked on this one. I'm not crazy about the look of a dart on a t-shirt, I would never put it in a solid fabric & it doesn't do a thing to keep the front hem of the shirt from sticking out, but it does look way nicer on the side.

See the drag lines on the undarted one?

You probably didn't until I brought it to you attention, but it they're there. Every RTW t-shirt I own does this to.  
I did put the dart in the next two, so I'd say my hung jury is about 10-2 in favor of the dart!

Four different neckline treatments

The first one is a simple wide binding.  I use the technique by Sarah Veblen from Threads magazine: 

Same technique, but double layer:

  This one is a wide binding like the first one by its twisted slightly:

 The last one is a boat neck.  

This one is  actually my favorite of the lot. Pamela made  a supplemental pattern of different necklines and sleeves and this is one of the necklines. The large busted are usually averse to high necklines, but I think the boat neck is an exception to that rule. Due to fabric constraints, this one also has 3/4 length sleeves, which I prefer to long sleeves even though its hard to get other clothes on over them. 

Pattern Adjustments

I used the darted front pattern. The pattern comes with lines printed on it for shortening both above and below the bust. I shortened it in both places. I also did a slight slope shoulder adjustment, straightened the hem (the pattern has a shirttail hem), raised the bottom of the armhole & made the sleeve tighter and made the hips and the shoulders narrower. So many changes on a perfect pattern!
I cut out a size medium and used between 3/8 inch and 1 1/4 inch seam allowances depending on the fabric. Err on the side of selecting a smaller size than usual with this pattern. 
And don't sew the dart until after the shoulders are sewn and so you can see how much the knit drapes on the figure. I learned this from Shams. Thanks Shams!!

I started these shirts when it was bitterly cold here to fill a hole in my wardrobe. I have two more different long sleeve knit tops to go, but I'm done with this pattern for now. I will come back to it this summer though. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Minus 14!!

That was the temperature this morning when we had to push my daughter's dead car out of the driveway to get to my car. And there is a foot of snow on the ground. And I have had a virus the last few days and so has my computer. What does all this add up to? Staying at home sewing!

I wanted to work on my new coat, but my computer situation is too unstable to finish working on the pattern. I decided to make some long sleeve t-shirts.

I tried Pamela's Patterns #104-The Perfect T-shirt. I've had it for a while and have heard pretty favorable comments about it. I comes with cutting  lines for couple of common adjustments, and includes both a darted and undarted style. I used the darted version even though I'm not sure how I feel about darts in a knit fabric. I does fit nicely and I guess as long as it's in a print, the dart doesn't really scream out that much. Although wearing it seems to make the dart more around quite a bit.

I used a 1 inch wide binding on the neckline
then whip stitched it with embroidery floss to create
this rope like effect.

I used the same pattern for this tunic. I lenghtened it a bit and added a cowl. this one also has the dart in it. I made the same adjustments for both: shortened it 1" both above and below the bust, raised the armhole a half inch, did a half inch slope shoulder adjustment and lowered the neckline 2 inches. 

I have cut 2 more from very similar fabric, one with the dart and one with my faux FBA for knits adjustment so I can compare them side by side.

The second is Vogue 8976. I took more fabric than I had, except for this piece of thin, flawed jersey "muslin". It's too big, especially in the neckline. I think it's a bit much for me. I will try it again, only smaller and shorter.

The front is wedge shaped and the flounce wraps
around from the back to the sides.

Keep your sewing machines warm!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Commitment

My 2014 New Year's resolution for the sewing room is simply:

To focus more on detail and embellishment.

I am adding this as a reminder to the top of this blog.

2013 Accomplishments

I am by nature a goal-setting, list-making, happy crosser-offer. I had set myself a few goals for last year and folowed through with some, but not all. Lets just talk about what I did do: 

  • I did make pants and learned a tremendous amount about pants fitting. I still prefer skirts though!
  • I made some dresses. Oddly, I still prefer skirts though! 
  • I did make a real warm winter coat and have another in the works.
  • I used my homemade app to keep my pattern and fabric stash inventoried and organized. This has been amazingly helpful!!!
I was somewhat surprised to see that I actually made less things this year: 57 , down from 83 in 2011, including: 4 pants, 21 tops, 4 purses, 1 blimp2 coats, 3 dresses, 3 vests, 3 jackets, 1 robe, 2 nightgowns, 2 panties, 8 skirts, 2 shorts and 1 cape.

I also had 8 complete flops!