Saturday, May 16, 2015

Butterick 6172 - pullover tunic with asymmetric hi-low hem

"What's that thing hanging down in back?"  
Ha!  Not exactly what I expected to hear when I modeled this for my hubby. 

Yea, the back is long and asymmetric, and yea, I do care about his opinions. But I still like the oddness of this tunic and plan on wearing it this summer. 
The pattern is Butterick 6172, view C.  The pattern is described as a loose-fitting, pullover top or tunic has narrow hem and shaped hemline variations.  
 One thing I take into consideration when purchasing patterns is how simple it will be for me to do an FBA (full bust adjustment).  This pattern showed darts in the illustration so I knew it'd be easy to adjust.
Except, that top layer does not have a dart. 
Soooo,  do I debated if I should add one or if there would be enough ease with out the dart. I choose to alter the pattern and add a dart.  Rather than alter both sides I traced one half of the top, did my FBA and traced a new complete pattern piece using the altered piece as a guide.
I used an large scarf (the blue print) and a polka dot rayon challis from my stash. I wasn't positive if I would like this or not so I didn't want to invest too much into the fabric. 

There are three layers in the front each graduating in length.  The back is one solid piece. 

Each layer is hemmed separately and sewn into the side seam with the exception of the top layer which is not sewn into the side seam on the right side only.

This is how I did my narrow hems.  First I stitched single layer close to the raw edge. Next I turned the fabric to the wrong side and stitched again. Finally I turned the fabric one more time and stitched the hem in place. The fabric is lightweight and I found changing to a straight stitch throat plate kept the fabric from getting pulled down.

I eliminated the combination neck/armhole facing and finished those edges with bias binding instead. 
I know this is supposed to be loose-fitting, which it is, but I think it's a bit too large. I'll still wear it but the next version I'll go down in size, especially in the neck/shoulder area.  I'll probably bring that back up a bit too as I plan on wearing this with flats, not heels. The armholes are also a bit low and my bra peeks out a bit (which isn't too noticeable here as I'm wearing a blue one).  
I'd recommend the pattern. It's a pretty quick sew, and the style is similar to what I've seen in local boutiques lately. 


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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Vogue 7971 Skirt - Playing with Stripes

 Last May, when I attended the Pattern Review Weekend in Austin, TX, this striped fabric was one of my purchases.
There are bias stripes sewn to the navy cotton background.  Honestly, I wasn't completely sure what I wanted to sew with the fabric, but purchased some not knowing if I'd be able to find something similar at home.

The fabric hung in my closet waiting for inspiration for these past 11 months.  Unlike Lisette (who I met at PR weekend! She is absolutely lovely inside and out) who purchased the same fabric and used it within weeks to sew her darling Simplicity 2413 skirt.

I think I got stuck on what to sew as the prints had a bit of a "Little House on the Prairie" feel to me. Whatever I choose,  I didn't want it to look "80s" or "crafty".

Eventually I decided on Vogue 7971, a skirt design released in 2004. I came across it as I was making a donation pile for the local thrift store. I actually pulled it back out of the pile thinking this striped fabric could work well for View C (which happens to be illustrated in a pinstripe).
I especially like the front asymmetrical overlay on the skirt.  Plus the angles of the skirt definitely take away any "Little House in the Prairie" vibe I was getting.

I barely had enough fabric to cut out all of the pieces so I wasn't able to match every stripe/seam but on some parts it's  pretty darn close.  Here is a side front view of the overlay.

I added an invisible zipper and the chevrons, while not perfect, work fine.

I'm pleased with how the skirt turned out and expect it will receive a fair amount of wear this summer.

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Saturday, April 04, 2015

McCall's 7093 - Woven Top with Hi-Low Hem

Lately I've been shopping at what I call "fast-fashion" boutiques. You may know the ones I'm talking about. The fashions are current, trendy, fairly economical, limited sizes and quick turnover. And I've noticed many current patterns than mimic much of what I see in these boutiques.

For example, McCall's 7093 is a style I've seen (but just can't bring myself to pay the $50+ price tag).  So I pulled out some rayon challis from the stash and sewed this pattern up to test the fit.  I did made a few minor  alterations to the pattern, but more about that later.

Here's the front:
Here's the back:

As I mentioned, the fabric is a rayon challis. I purchased a remnant from the "designer fancies" table at a local fabric store that closed about a year ago.  It was a border print with a different pattern along each selvage edge.  (This pic is two separate photos showing each side of the fabric).
I had to think about how I wanted the pattern placement on the top and choose to have the pattern the same on the front and back.   I used the smaller medallion for the pockets. My pocket pattern placement was a happy accident as the design on the pocket flows nicely with the medallion on the front. 

I used a solid black for the side front panel and sleeves. I originally cut the cap sleeves from the print but thought it was too busy and used the black.

A few alterations were made to the pattern.  I lengthened the entire top by 1-1/2" as I wanted it to be more of a tunic length in the back.  (Remember, if you add length you do need to add length to the pocket piece also.)   I did a forward shoulder adjustment, but the darts at the top of this cap sleeve sit funny so I may have to play with that some more on the next version.

Here's the alteration I made to the front pieces that made me burst out laughing when I realized what I had done.
 If you don't see the error, it's okay.  I'll share the line drawing with you and it'll become clear.
I meant to do a full bust adjustment.  But it's the lower side front seam.  I had cut out all the pattern pieces, glanced quickly and decided this FBA would be easy as it was a princess seam. So I did the FBA, cut out my fabric and went to bed.  The next day when I started sewing I realized my mistake very quickly.  Of course I had no extra fabric to recut so I sewed 3/8" seams and crossed my fingers.  Oh, did I forget to mention that it was late in the evening and that I had enjoyed a few glasses of wine before I did my alterations and pattern cutting. Yep...

Anyway the fit is fine. I would like bust a bit looser so I'll do a real FBA for the next one.  All in all, I'm happy with my new casual top.

By the way, here's the pattern envelope.


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Saturday, March 21, 2015

McCall's 6841 - Draped Cowlneck Knit Top

I can see that I am so much better at documenting my sewing projects via Instagram than I am on this blog. According to my Instagram feed, I finished sewing this McCall's 6841 knit top in November. 
Actually I had sewn a version out of a shiny green knit about a year earlier, but decided I didn't like the color and never wore it or mentioned it online.

This fabric - a colorful, super soft rayon knit - had been in my stash for a few years. I originally planned to sew a summer knit dress using McCall's 6519, but honestly I have soooo many summer knit dresses that I would not have worn it often in our short summer season.

Instead I sewed this drape front knit top knowing that I could wear it to work with dress pants or just for kicking around with jeans.

I thought I would get more wear out of it than I have. Since November I've only worn it half a dozen times. One of those times when I gathered with girlfriends during the holiday to make truffles (yummy!) followed by a dinner and drinks and delicious conversation.

The only alteration I made to the pattern was to lengthen the sleeves slightly.  It's cold where I live!  I still ended up wearing a cami underneath it for added warmth.  I sewed a straight small in the shoulder/neck area tapering to a medium for the balance.  At the time I sewed this I had put on about ten pounds and it fit a bit loosely but not too bad. I've been working on dropping those extra pounds and today, with a few extra pounds gone,  I find this to fit looser than I'd like. 
 I will sew this again and plan on making a black one to wear with my Sandra Betzina skirt, Vogue 1292.

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Sunday, March 08, 2015

Butterick 6101 Knit Tunic Review

Butterick 6101, a Katherine Tilton design, is a loose-fitting, pullover tunic with a fun pocket details. I sewed this last fall within weeks after returning home from our Colorado vacation. This fabulous blue/gray patterned knit was a pre-cut from Colorado Fabrics. (I sure do love that fabric store! I try and stop in every time we vacation in Colorado). The coordinating gray is a silk/rayon knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics (one of my other fave fabric stores).

This tunic was fun to construct.  As I mentioned on my Instagram account (SharonSews - are you following me on IG yet?) I was short 1/4 yard of fabric. I also had to work with a wide edge of solid gray on the fabric. However I discovered that the fabric allowance given by the pattern company must have been  generous. 

I carefully marked the pieces and followed the instructions as it wasn't intuitive to me how this would come together.  That bottom hem was constructed differently than I thought it would be - it is actually separate pieces.

My gray knit was much too soft to hold the shape of neck band and ended up looking really sloppy. I ended up folding it in half and slipstitching it to the inside.

That pocket! How fun is that! To me that makes this tunic.  Oh how I love those little details.  It drapes beautifully and you really can't tell that it actually is a pocket.

Sadly, I only wore the tunic twice - once to get these photos and once to work (on a casual Friday when jeans are allowed). 
It's too large. It felt sloppy when I wore it and I was constantly readjusting it.
However, this does end happily. My daughter has broader shoulders than I do and she is now the owner of this tunic.

I have more knit (although no more of this print) and now just need to find more time so I can sew myself one.


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