Monday, May 28, 2012

Copying a Favourite Top, and Variations

Last summer I had meant to write about this series of tops, but life seemed to be too busy for any blogging, so here it is almost a year later. At least this is the right season, and we’ve been getting some pretty hot days lately (last weekend it hit 30 Celsius!)

One of my favourite RTW knit sports tank tops was starting to look a little… well, rundown! Without actually pulling it apart I just traced around it. This is the first copy in a lovely, drapey pink from Darrell Thomas, made a couple of inches longer than the original:

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and the original (FILA tank, circa 2005):

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There’s a lot of puddling at the lower back of my pink top, so for the second version I just sewed a horizontal dart (wedge) across the back just under the armhole; it’s about halfway down the back, which in hindsight is not the most pleasing, so in future I’ll *try* making the alteration over in the side seam and hemline. This one, by the way, is made in a bamboo/cotton blend with a little bit of spandex, from Wazoodle a couple of years ago (I think they still carry this type of fabric). It became another absolute favourite, and now it is also looking a little over-worn!

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Then I thought, why not a dress? The thing though, was to add enough ease so it would just skim over my tummy and behind! I measured my abdomen at the fullest point (side to side) and graded only the front piece out from the bust level, then measured my behind at the widest part (side to side) and graded out only on the back piece from the back dart. This kept the side seams vertical, with no pulling. This is it, in a basic cotton knit without spandex from the remnant table at Fabricland:

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Now, I’m not wearing a slip, and I don’t think I wore one last summer either. In hindsight (pun intended!) I think a slip IS needed. The back of the dress is sitting on my backside! Ooooh, not good!

All three pieces got worn loads of times last summer. Almost everyday. They were great to have running around with the boys at parks and places. I’ll definitely make some more for this year, but perhaps I’ll shelve the dress idea? Or is it that it’s also a bit too long? Maybe hem it to or above the knee?

I’d love to get some feedback here, what are your thoughts?

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Goodies! Patterns and Dreams

Since I’ve been buying the Burda Style magazine on a monthly basis, I’ve not bothered much with patterns. That is, until now. I’d been adding more patterns to my wish list on PR, but it took their last $6.99 Vogue sale to push me over the edge! 4 patterns later (that’s a lot for me!) I thought I might as well just get the others I’d been wanting!

The Vogue haul:

New patterns, May 2012

The V8146 shift dress is currently being used in Darrell’s dress class at Darrel Thomas, and since I can never get to any class on a weekday supper time I thought I’d work on it myself (and go to see Darrell for fitting help… if needed!)

V8641 is for my Mum, whom I owe some pants (fabric sitting for over a year) and a winter coat (I made a wearable muslin in fleece last fall, unblogged as yet.)

V8646 is for me! I want a knit wrap dress. Last year I also bought Christine Jonson’s wrap dress pattern, so I’ll compare the two and see what I can make first with fabric from stash. I think it might be the Vogue.

V8747. I’ve seen it in the latest issue of threads magazine. Art Attack also made one here, I love that fabric! It looks lovely on everybody else too, so hopefully it will on me!

Oh, and then there’s the Vogue pattern 8648 that came with signing up for the The Couture Dress with Susan Khalje on Craftsy.

Now, the precious…

New patterns, May 2012

I’m sure I don’t have to explain these Colette patterns! Especially the Beignet. Everyone’s version looks fantastic. Just google it and go to the google images, it’s staggering how many have been made. I’m dying to start on one, it’s actually a physical *need*. (I wonder if I can eek out a Beignet from 1m of 150cm wide? I’ll *trrry*!) And the Rooibos just looks so classy, but this will have to wait.

New patterns, May 2012 

The Okashi bag from Paradiso Designs has been in my wish list for years. One day soon, but I’ll have to find fabric for this one. It’s not going to be easy choosing.

Did anybody else see Madalynne’s post on these undies? The pattern looks fun, and with the sewalong on Sarah’s blog it should go pretty smoothly. I hope. Finally, some classy undies!

New patterns, May 2012

These are not all going on my todo list… right away, that is. I’ve got my sewing room to de-clutter first so I can squeeze another table in there from the office, which is being moved to another room where the kids watch TV… oh, it’s a nightmare! A domino effect created by buying a new sofa! Oh man, why do I do this to myself?!

Just dream, and touch the fabric fondly!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Umm…Another One!

Well, this is how I work. It’s also how I buy clothes. When I find something that fits reasonably well, I buy all the colours that look good or fair on me! I’m pretty sure many women are like this, hell, who has time to shop, try on clothes…it’s just too damn frustrating! It’s why I sew! I only go shopping with my Mum when she reminds me it’s been a couple of months since we’ve had a mum-daughter day, so I also use it to snoop shop.

So, another Sorbetto! (The 4th is being cut out as soon as I finish writing this.) It works. I’ve had compliments on them, and another sewist has written down the details of where to get the pattern.

This is a simple cotton print from Fabricland, who never give much info on the fabric type. It’s a nice light weight type, and launders well! Not much ironing needed. The skirt is a burda style pattern from 2 years ago, blogged here, which I just fixed - the waist was way too big… by nearly 2 inches! Anyway, I love this skirt, and it’s so nice to be able to wear a top tucked in.

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I have to say, of the 3 Sorbettos to date, this is my favourite. It goes so well with this skirt and jeans, it is going to be worn to death! Navy is a great basic colour, and I have 2 more pieces of navy fabric that are destined to be skirts in the very near future. They will be different patterns though!

So a few details:

  1. It also took less than a yard, but because it was only 43 inches wide after laundering I wasn’t able to include the front box pleat. Not that I mind, it looks fine without it.
  2. I pinched out a *tiny* dart at the neckline on the tissue, for the front and back pieces, and the neckline does sit better than the second version.
  3. I lowered the front hem at center by 3/8 inch, tapering to 0 at the sides. It seems to look a bit better than the second version.

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But now look at the side view! The front hem pops out a bit like a maternity top! WTF!!! This did not manifest itself on the second version since the fabric was more drapey. So, one more little tweak to make.

Then I’m going to start playing with the pattern; I can see converting the bust darts to princess seams, and using a combined neckline/armhole facing that I saw *somewhere* (where? a book? online?) There is some very lovely silk charmeuse waiting!

Friday, May 11, 2012

PR One Yard Challenge – Sorbetto #2

Why make one when you can make two? I LOVE this pattern! And here it is, the second Sorbetto.

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For this top I easily had enough to make the center front pleat, but like my first one I had to overlap the selvedge sides over the middle and cut out each piece separately where the overlap was. The pieces also were cut out going in opposite directions, luckily this print is not directional. This piece of fabric was 45 inches wide and 34 inches long, some kind of polyester, and the binding was made from some leftover rayon bemberg lining that had been made 2 inches wide for another project; it’s a lot wider than what the pattern called for, and it’s folded over about 5/8 inch. It was a bit tricky getting it to lay flat, but I just pressed and steamed it hard!

After the purple one I decided I had to make a muslin and get the fit right, there were a couple of things that needed tweaking. Many pinnings later I got down to this (pic 4 is the 2nd muslin, had a hell of a time getting a good back shot, but it looked pretty smooth):

Colette Sorbetto muslin #1 Colette Sorbetto muslin #1 Colette Sorbetto muslin #1 Colette Sorbetto muslin #2

The small darts on the neckline of muslin #1, front and back, were moved to a center dart instead, where I just trimmed off a *very* narrow wedge all the way down to the hem. The back neckline could still do with a *tiny* dart, and Darrell at Darrell Thomas Textiles told me to just pinch out the dart on the paper pattern and leave it at that. It works every time apparently, so I’m doing that on the next one which was cut out this morning! Can’t stop now!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

PR One Yard Challenge – Colette Sorbetto

I’ve been seeing a lot of very nice Colette Sorbettos, for ages, and only recently decided to hop on the band wagon. And I have to say, I’m glad I did, as it’s a great little top!

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Last month I printed out the pattern intending to make some before the warm weather hits, and then I saw that PR is doing a contest for projects using no more than one yard of fabric. That did it. I got off my arse and started cutting!

Right, so to make things reeeally difficult I decided to start with this piece of purple polyester fabric (not sure, it came from the remnant bin) that was too small for anything else. I thought I’d try to squeeze a Sorbetto out of it. No kidding, there wasn’t much, a scant 30 inches in length and 44 inches wide. Needless to say I did not incorporate the front central pleat. It. Was. Tight! Notice how I had to overlap the fabric in the center? It came out all right, but I really had to measure carefully in order to fit the lower edges.

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Because I didn’t have much fabric to begin with, I had to piece together the remains (in 4 rectangles) in order to get a 10x10 inch block to make the bias tape. There are quite a lot of seams in the tape! The Colette tutorial is great by the way, the one for continuous bias tape.

What I did right:

  1. Got the pattern!
  2. Cut a size 6 bust and graded out to a size 9 waist/hip.
  3. Left off the center pleat (well, I had no choice, but it would have been nice to have)
  4. Used self bias tape (that I was able to eek it out of the remains!)
  5. Serged the shoulder and side edges before assembling.

After stitching the front and back together, but before finishing the edges with bias tape, I tried it on and found it a little large/open at the lower edges of the armholes. So now we get to what I did wrong needs tweaking next time!

  1. I took in the shoulder seams about 5 cm. In hindsight that was too much as I hadn’t accounted for the effect of sewing on the bias tape: it really tightened up the openings.
  2. I sewed the bias tape on as binding, which as it turns out is the wrong way. Instead, it should have been sewn on as a bias facing.
  3. The shoulders are a little too wide for me (petite frame!) and slide off a bit.
  4. It keeps sliding backwards, a problem I have with MANY things, so a forward neck tilt/rounded back alteration is in order.
  5. The bust darts are a bit low, they’ll need to be raised.
  6. And lastly, I didn’t mark the ends of the darts so they ended up a little long and end right ON my bust point!

There are 3 more pieces of fabric waiting to be turned into Sorbettos. So, I’ve decided to just step back and make a real muslin to get the fit right. I might as well.

And, I’m going to fix the armholes on this top as I really like the fabric/colour and it coordinates with a lovely silk/cotton I have plans for soon. Might as well do it, it can’t take *that* long!