Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The short, longer, longest skirt. A pattern review of Simplicity 2449

Simplicity 2449 three skirts in one Sharon Sews blogThree skirts in one.

As long as you don't mind a little fussing to switch from short to longer to longest.

Simplicity 2449 is the pattern used to sew this skirt. At my son's benefit one of his friends had on a skirt similar to this. I knew I wanted to make one as soon as I saw hers. I remember sewing a dress with a hemline like this back in the early 90s from a McCall's NYNY pattern so I knew how to achieve that cloud effect.

However, turns out Simplicity had released a skirt pattern with the exact hemline treatment I was looking for. So I parted ways with my 99 cents (plus tax) and brought the pattern home with me.

The ten panel skirt is simple to sew. It's nice and full too. So you'll want to hem this baby with your machine.

Simplicity 2449 skirt Sharon Sews blogIf you're one of those sewers who doesn't care much for sewing in zippers you'll be thrilled to know this skirt actually has an elastic waist. One inch wide elastic is inserted into a wide bias casing. Personally I thought it was a fitted yoke so I'm on the fence as to whether or not I like the waistline. But it sure does have comfy in its favor!

The cloud effect is achieved with ties secured to the seam allowances on the inside of the skirt. How tight or loose you tie the ties will determine how short the skirt becomes.

For instance, if you like the short look as shown here...

... you would tie the inside ties tightly, as shown here.

If you like a little longer look as shown here...

... you would tie the inside ties a little looser, as shown here.

Finally, if you like the look of a full long skirt, as shown here...

... you would tie the inside ties together making sure not to pull up the skirt fabric, as shown here. You do have to tie the ties for this look as the ties hang down below the hemline otherwise.

As you can see it's a pretty versatile skirt. I like the longer cloud effect version the best.

Even knowing my husband is thinking "It's not normal to wear a skirt like that. It looks like you got your skirt caught in something and need to pull it out." But I still love him.

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Monday, July 05, 2010

80s fashion 2010 style - Butterick 5497

Butterick 5497 front Sharon Sews blogBlack, black, black. Oh how I love wearing you. You look so good on, but you do photograph poorly...

It's really difficult to see the details here, but this top (Butterick 5497) has that 80s vibe going on with the ruched shoulders and loose fitting upper bodice combined with a closer fit through the lower torso.

And of course the cut out back detail, although modified here, it's definitely an 80s trend revisited.

Butterick 5497 back Sharon Sews blogWhich leads to my only dislike of this pattern. The back criss-cross is too low for me as evidenced by the little peek-a-boo of my undergarment.

Butterick's rating of "Easy" is right on with this top. For view B, which I sewed, there are only five pattern pieces.

My original plan was to sew view A, but I don't think I'd like to wear this top with a cami underneath and on me, that neckline would require one. Plus I only needed 1-1/4 yards of fabric for view B. I was pleasantly surprised at the neckline. Not too high and not too low. Perfect to wear as is or with a fabulous beaded necklace.

The back of the top is two separate pieces with a self facing. They overlap slightly at the lower edge and are secured in place at the back neck edge with a narrow neck binding.

butterick 5497 back neckline closeupI would suggest extending that neck binding (pattern piece 5) so it could be used to finish the front neck edge also instead of the turn under and stitch method as shown in the instructions.

I was surprised to learn that the ruching at the shoulders is created by inserting elastic into narrow casings. I guess if I would have known this had I taken time to read the description on the back side of the envelope.

butterick 5497 shoulder casing closeup insideThe bodice is gathered front and back and sewn to the lower front and back pieces. Normally I would deviate from the instructions and sew the front bodice to the lower front and the back bodice to the lower back before sewing the side seams. But for this top you'll want to follow along as written.

Why? Because another narrow casing for elastic is created at that seam. I was going to skip that part, but was pleasantly surprised at how nicely that little bit of elastic helps hold the upper bodice in place.

Here's the top inside out so you can see the elastic casings at both the shoulder and the midriff seams.

butterick 5497 inside of top
After hemming the bottom and the sleeves this baby was done. Super duper simple.

Of course the fabric was wonderful. A black knit purchased from Treadle Yard Goods (and from their remnant bin no less). It has a nice drape to it which works beautifully with this design.

I still have no plans to sew view A, but view C will be making an appearance as the weather begins to cool. Wouldn't it be great with a pair of jeans tucked into boots? Oh, and if you'd like to see what view A looks like, check out The Mahogany Stylist's yellow version.

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