Sunday, August 17, 2014

Glad I made a muslin

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I’m in a mood for skirts, have sewn two recently (one not blogged about yet). Last year I bought Vogue 1389 for the skirt pattern. I like the jacket too, would only sew a real lapel collar but the skirt had a special appeal to me. Learning how to draft patterns does not mean I’m not using patterns any more, some are intriguing to learn about the way they are drafted. This pattern is one of those.

It has two main pattern pieces if you don’t count the facings and there is no side seam. That seam is drafted a bit more to the back . The upper part with the darts is a combined front/upper back pattern. Difficult to trace between sizes, therefor I took the size by hip measurement. I was inclined to use my fashion fabric (a teal linen) but decided to make a muslin first. Glad I did. Barely enough room at hip height but way too much fabric in the waist. I have no idea (yet) how to solve this. I might just take my skirt draft and make something similar. I just can’t do without a vertical line somewhere. I’ll keep the muslin and take it to class when it starts again in September, see what my teacher thinks.

On a side note: the instructions are pretty difficult as they have you sew the dart till halfway, then turn and fold and stitch the remaining half to the facing, which is attached prior to sewing the darts. No way I’m using a facing in a muslin phase, I’ve sewn all the darts from beginning to end which worked fine. When you read this and want to try this pattern using Vogue’s instructions, I would advise a muslin, as there is no way to alter at the waist later.

 

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

StyleArc – Kellie top – how a summer top became one for fall

Not the best photos and not the best top I ever made. For being a relatively easy knit top I had a lot of problems with it. The journey of this top started when visiting my sewing friend Joana. She had made this top and I tried it on. Despite being a size smaller than I’ve used before for StyleArc patterns, the fit was quite good, so I used her pattern.

When it came to construction I was working on my own again. The top has an inner part that also is the facing for the neckline and armholes in the sleeveless version. It has been a long time since I used such a construction, and I was rather tired, so I thought I’d better use the order of construction as in the pattern instructions. Wrong decision, for the sleeveless version they are incorrect. If you want to do the neckline and armhole facings the side seams have to be left open till the last moment. That is what I forgot and what Joana told me when I asked how she had constructed her version.

I left the top alone for a few days and reworked the neckline (why is it that topstitching with the coverstitch always unravels easily, except when you want to get rid of it). I would advise some interfacing in the neckline as mine was gaping. I’ll leave it as is now but next timeI will possible use another neckline finish and I will make it a bit deeper at the front. About an inch I would think.

I had more fabric and decided to insert the sleeves. Easier than unpicking my serged seams So instead of a summer top this now is my first fall-top. Despite my struggles I will use the pattern again.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two garments drafted

These two garments were almost finished when I went on holiday, but there was just not enough time to finish them then. I came back with a a lot of ideas in my mind and almost started something new. But…. I promised myself to not start too many things and keep procrastinating finishing. Thus I finished these and there is nothing in the ufo pile (not counting the muslin for the jacket).
The top is drafted to my own measurements and basically a knock off from an Ottobre pattern. It’s an easy and versatile top that I now have in 4 variations and I love these on a hot day. The fabric I bought in fabric in the trip I made there with my sewing friends. After serious consideration I decided to buy it. It’s a lovely, lovely silk and feels so very soft to the skin. I said to my daughther that we should always be wearing silk. It took a bit of tweaking when cutting out as I had only 1 meter. The facing is cut in two parts and the binding for the armholes was cut off-grain, but certainly not on the bias as I would have wished.
I’m quite happy with the fit, only the bust dart looks a bit low,

The skirt was drafted after an Knip Mode skirt from the August 2013 issue.

I closed the pocket seams in the end, as they were standing off. The photos are not so clear and show a few wrinkles but it is a comfortable skirt.

Seeing the photos I like the top better with the tan color.
A few construction photos:
The under collar of the top was cut on the bias and I “favored” the seam of the upper collar. It makes for a nice edge to the collar.

For all seams I used French seams. The first pass I made with the serger and very thin Serafil thread which adds hardly any bulk. I don’t always do seams of tops like this but this fabric was worth it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back from the UK

I’m back from a wonderful holiday in the UK.

My husband I did a lot of walks in the first week, we visited Pauline and Mike in their new home, spent an afternoon with sewing friend Vivien and her husband and in the last week our children joined us. We had the most gorgeous wheather, my face and arms haven’t been as tanned in years. Home was very far away for a few weeks, as was blogging and blog reading for most of the time. It was good to take a long break.

Before I resume my blogging about sewing (a sleeveless blouse and a skirt were almost finished before I left) a few pictures of the last weeks. Pauline is holding samfire in her hands that we picked on the shores and ate that evening. I can so understand she has limited time for sewing at the moment.

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I am aware that during these weeks my country was struck by the horrors of the Malaysian airplane being shot down and so many people lost their lives, most of them Dutch. The horrible aftermath that is still happening. I have no words for this. Only wish the violence in the world would stop. So many areas of conflict and war. Horrible.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BB

Blogging Break that is. I decided there was not enough time to work on the jacket prior to our holidays. I only prepared all pattern pieces, also for facings and lining and will not start cutting and sewing till I’m back from a  holiday in the UK.

Hope you all have a lovely summer (or winter in the southern hemisphere) and enjoy it, sewing or otherwise. I’ll be back in a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jacket muslin

Remember my struggles with fitting a jacket last year? I lost count of the amount of muslins I made, the tweaks I made to patterns to get it right. These struggles with fit have led me to learning pattern drafting (better). I had some basic knowledge of it from a few lessons in the past, but never did work on it properly.

I’m convinced now it is a good approach for me. Last week I drafted a pattern for a jacket, the same idea of jacket I made  last year. I wearit but after all the work I’ve done on it I still think it could be better. It was made from a Burda pattern which I altered and altered…

The muslin of my self-drafted pattern. Could not find shoulderpads which will help with the fit in the back, but otherwise I’m pretty pleased with the result. Remember this is also not interfaced or otherwise stabilized. Just muslin fabric. Taking it to class tonight to hear what my teacher thinks.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Busy with.....

A lot of things actually, so much that blogging was put on the backburner. The usual life and work things of course, a day out with friends to an open garden scheme (so nice), but also being absorbed by pattern drafting, making (muslins of) the patterns drafted and a “new” activity: after 20 years or so I’m knitting again. Which fascinates me, as for some reason I thought I would never be taken to knitting again, but well, I am.

What have I been drafting? Two tops were on my wish list to try: a pattern from Ottobre that I have used before and like for a summer top. In the Ottobre pattern I did an FBA and still thought I could use some extra space. In my class I drafted the pattern to my measurements and it fits well. Nothing spectacular, but I’m trying to get a grip on drafting. The pictures on the dressform don’t show the fit, I’ll try to get better photo’s later.

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It still needs buttons and a good pressing.

The other top is an experiment to make Vogue 9006, one of the spring 2014 patterns. Less easy I must say and after two versions my conclusion is that it’s not for full busted women. At least my version of it, I did not use the Vogue pattern. Perhaps I should consider a sort of stay underneath, as it tends to pull sideways at bust level. Another thing I noticed is that the shoulderstraps of my bra show, cut in shoulders are not for me.

I used two different fabrics: the green emerald one (gorgeous color btw, which I love) is a polyester (?), the second one a rayon with a lot of drape. I cut the center panel on the bias. The green one pulls a bit at the seams because of all the unpicking and re-stitching I did. I think I will wear these tops, but mostly under a jacket or cardigan.

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And to give you an idea of the drafting: it’s a lot of lines! It might look intimidating, but actually it’s not that complicated, it’s a step by step process and this picture is from the end of that process.

It’s for a jacket, I’ll be making a muslin this weekend. Keeping my fingers crossed it will fit well.