Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Simplicity 1916 "Orchid Dream"

Hello everyone!

Things have been looking up for me!  I started the week by working on the wadder I showed you in my previous post.  Well, I am happy to report that S1916 is no longer a wadder!  Now, granted, I will definitely have to adjust future versions of this top, but I am happy with the changes I made to make this top work.


This was my first wrap top.  I thought View A (top row, on the right) was a nice variation, but decided to go with a basic top (View D) after much thought.  I used a cotton jersey knit in Vibrant Violet from Fabric mart Fabrics.  Even though the description says jersey, though, this knit behaves in a clingy fashion.  It might have some lycra content, I'm not too sure.  Anyhow, it was a nice fabric to sew, and I mainly purchased the fabric for its stunning color.

I sewed a size 10, and made the following adjustments:
  • 1/4" Square shoulder
  • 1/2" Swayback 
  • 1" added length to hem 
  • Waist graded to size 14ish
At first, I was loving the way this top was coming together from the moment I started it.  The directions were nice and clear, my adjustments seemed to be working out well, and even my gathering looked nice (and I hate gathering).  However, as soon as I tried it on, I got some pulling at my shoulder seams!!!  I realized that I should have added a broad back adjustment to this top, and didn't even think about checking the shoulder seam length against my TNT pattern.

So...lesson learned.  I ended up playing with the sleeve allowances to add more room, but, in the end, decided to just keep them at 5/8".  The end result is not as bad as I anticipated while sewing and trying the top on.

The drag lines are mainly noticeable when I lift my arms for any reason.  Other than that, this top is great!  It is simple enough for a beginner, and the finishing on the neckline is soooo nice!!!  It is one of my favorite features of the whole top.  

To note, though, the sizing does seem to run small in this top.  With my Vogue knit top I did not need a broad back adjustment, but for this one I definitely do.  I would definitely remake this top and tweak that issue for a more comfortable fit.

Also, I ended up tacking down the front bodice pieces for modesty.  

The back has a center back seam, and fits pretty good.  For the hemming and neckline I used my stretch stitch without any problems.  I didn't use stabilizers because I decided to forgo the twin needle.  To be honest, I am finding that I prefer this method over everything I have tried.  It still gives a professional look, it is just a beast to remove if you make a mistake.  So, don't make a mistake! : )

Overall, I definitely like this one!  I guess it will come down to how irritated I get about the minimal shoulder room.  We shall see.  In the meantime, I may do another version next month.  For now, I must move on.

And I will be moving on to the repeatedly sewn Mccalls cardigan:

I will be diving straight into this one so I can finish it this week.  If all goes well, that will leave me a WEEK to get as far as I can (and maybe even finish) my jeans.

With regard to M6844, I realize that I get nervous when sewing a new pattern that I have not muslined or sewn before.  I really like to know what I am getting, or at least have an idea of how it will fit me when I am all finished.  That said, I am a little hesitant sewing this cardigan, even with all the wonderful reviews for it.  Maybe it's all of the sewing "issues" I have had this month.

Anyhow, I will press on, and see you soon with a finished cardigan!

Have a beautiful day, and stay sew-filled!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Simplicity 1805 again "Blue Magic"

Hello everyone!!!

I am glad to be back with a finished item!  I have had a rough time the last week and a half.  It has been wadder after wadder (more on that later).  BUT, I finally came up with a winning top.  Per my hubby's request, it is Simplicity 1805 all over again.

This time I chose a casual knit from Hancock Fabrics.  It is part cotton, part polyester, and it has a slight sheen that is gorgeous.  If you look closely, you can see that it also has a little texture, similar to what is found on a slub knit.

I don't think I will take the time to go over all the details of construction for this top, since it is my second time around.  For more info, you can see the first version I made here.  I did go the extra mile for this one and added a 1/2" swayback adjustment.  Unfortunately, I didn't really notice much of a difference in the fit.  I must need more of an adjustment than that.

Suprisingly, I have already worn this top.  I wore it yesterday evening to church, and it felt wonderful on.  My only slight disappointment was stabilizing the hem with Easy Knit tape.  I realize now that no stabilizer with a stretch stitch works much better.  I need the stretch factor for my pear shape.  I will definitely take the hem out and make this change before I wear it again.  

Also, the fabric I used is slightly see-through--enough that I have to wear a tank underneath it.  But that doesn't bother me.  It is how I wear most of my shirts.

Overall, I am glad I pulled out of my wadder slump with a little "blue magic!"  And I am glad that my hubby encouraged me to make this style again.  It turns out we got to do a little matching:

And in case you are just getting familiar with me and my blog, here is a picture of my family altogether:

We definitely have a lot of fun together!

Before I go, I want to leave you with a "sneak peek" photo of S1916.  I am trying to turn this one from wadder to winner.  I will have to see how it goes.  Most of the fit is great, except where my shoulders get in the way.  I really need more shoulder room, and I am not sure if playing with the sleeve seam allowance will fix anything:

Stay sew-filled!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

September Re-cap & October Plans

Hello everyone!

I hope this weekend finds you well!  I am actually on a camping trip with my family, but I wanted to talk about what I am up to for October.

As you know, I am a planner, but I go with the flow in executing those plans.  Because of that, I don't think I've ever done any re-caps of things I have sewn during a particular month.  Let's just face it--I'm not that productive!  So please humor me as I  remind you of my September sewing.  There are only two garments I completed (and a particular pair of jeans that remain unfinished), but I'm still gonna celebrate it!

Here they are:

Left: Vogue 8536
Right: Simplicity 1805
My Vogue 8536 top has been worn once already!  I wore it to a kid's birthday party, and I felt good in it.  I didn't get any compliments on my shirt, but I did have someone tell me I looked great, so that counts, right?

I really love Simplicity 1805, but I want a pair of dress pants to go with it.  I'll have to do some peeking into my closet to see if I can come up with a good solution.  Dress pants are on my "to sew" list, though I know if I don't finish my jeans soon, I will not get to them so my dress pants will wait a bit.

But the part I am excited about is this:

I've knocked two items off my Fall sewing list!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is sooooooo big for me!  In fact, I am cleaning my closet out so that I can create a special place for my new pieces.  The best part is, I am loving all of my newest acquisitions, and they are things I WILL wear!

That brings me to my thoughts for October.  Now, let me just tell you, I am going to put it all out there, and we'll see how it all ends up when I re-cap October sewing next month.  Here goes:

Simplicity 1805, per special hubby request.  I want to try this again with a ponte knit.

Simplicity 1916 Wrap Top.  I don't know if I even have a fabric picked for this one yet, but I want to sew at least one of these (maybe two).

Mccalls 6844 Cardigan.  I plan on sewing one for sure, with possibly adding more colors if I really like it.

AND definitely finishing Mccalls 5894 Bootcut Jeans!  They are not as hard as I am making them (I think). Though I did need a breather because I was getting overwhelmed.  Now that I have had a done so, I am ready to go forward full force.

If by chance I finish everything here, I have plenty of items I can add into the mix.  But the BIG factor for me would be pulling together an entirely ME MADE outfit.  So, that is what I am focusing on in order to finish out the month of October--after I get back from camping, that is!!

Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Simplicity 1805 "Simply beautiful"

Good evening everyone!!!

I am at home with the kids asleep in bed, unwinding from a LONG, productive day.  My unwinding usually consists of a warm cup of tea, a small plate of dessert, and soft music or just a TV on for background noise.  Now that I am relaxed and typing...

Remember Simplicity 1805 from my last post?

Well, I think I recall saying there were only two pattern pieces (there are actually three), but that I would probably find a way to mess up even this SIMPLE pattern.  I confess. I did exactly that.

 The first time I attempted this shirt I cut up my gorgeous Maggy London Ponte Knit in Cream.  Everything was coming along well until I decided to make some adjustments.  You know, my usual square shoulder here, forward shoulder there deal.  I got stuck adjusting for a forward shoulder while sewing a dolman sleeve; however,  I thought I was a genius when I realized I could just move the seamline.  So I did.

When I tried the size S shirt on, it was much too big.  I knew then I should have sized down to an XS. No problem, I just adjusted everything the necessary amounts, only I forgot about the neckline. Which lead to this:

Left: Neckline BEFORE
Right: Neckline AFTER (noticeable gaping with movement)

I re-did the neckline four times, and just could not get it to sit right.  If I stand perfectly still, it looks great.  But when I move, you could definitely see the neckline pull away.  So, I ended up letting it go...

And instead, I tried my luck with an ITY knit I've had in my stash for a couple of months now.  This one is also from Fabricmart Fabrics.  It was a little slippery to work with, but my walking foot made things easier.

Let me tell you...this top is wonderful!!!  Not only is it simple to make--it is beautiful to wear! Hence, I like to call it "simply beautiful."  Wearing this made me realize I need more pairs of dress pants to round out my wardrobe.

S1805 Info

I sewed a size XS.  If you sew this, go with a size smaller than what you usually wear.  You can always grade the waist seams, but trust me, you want to size down for this one.

For adjustments, I only did a 1/4" square shoulder, and it fits me well.  I will probably drop my forward shoulder adjustment unless I sew more fitted woven garments.  It doesn't seem necessary.

For construction, I continued my serging efforts, and finished most of my top with it. Here are some "inside" photos for this one:

I followed the neckline instructions for this pattern, but I did not interface the band.  Also, my shoulder seams are stabilized with Easy Knit Tape.  Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this for beginners, and anyone looking for an easy, gratifying sew.

I will definitely sew this top at least one more time, because it is worth it!!  When my husband saw me in it, he said "Wow! It looks designer, like a real top!" He even requested more of this one!  Now that is a request I don't mind honoring.

Stay sew-filled!