Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cat Staple Dress

This dress was a long time coming.  Months (maybe a year?) ago I came across a bunch of Staple dresses online and fell in love.  But was still hesitant to purchase the pattern.  Why?  Because it's a pretty simple pattern and I was pretty sure I could just draft something myself.  So confident in my abilities, ha.

Well maybe I could draft something, but it would not be as perfect as this pattern.  I purchased it as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel #3 bundle (great bundle!).  I can't say enough great things about the pattern.  I would recommend it to anyone thinking of making something for themselves for the first time.  It is a pretty simple sew, but creates a flattering dress with refined finishes to the neckline and sleeves.  I had absolutely no time with the seam ripper with this pattern, which most likely makes me love this dress even more.

I went with the high-low hem even though the dress is made with quilting cotton because it just looked too cool.  It doesn't flow as well as an apparel fabric would, but I LOVE this fabric.  It's by Cloud 9 (Sunnyside Gray) and available at JoAnn Fabrics.  I bought 3 yards of it a while back knowing I would make something for myself to wear even though it's quilting cotton.  The cat and floral print is so beautiful and makes me happy.  There aren't just gray cats in the print (can you spot them?) but they are what I see first when I look at the print.  Yeah, I'm a cat lady and this won't be the last cat print I wear :)

Or the last Staple dress I make....

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pneuma Tank

Recently I feel like there has been a lot of chatter about how great Papercut Patterns are.   I decided to check out their website when looking for some patterns to treat myself to for my birthday.  When I did, I came across one of their new patterns that just called to me - the Pneuma Tank. 

Ages ago I had pinned some yoga tanks just like it that I was planning to figure out how to draft myself, but why bother when the work has been done?  

The pattern is basically a sports bra with a flowy knit tank attached.  The tank nicely skims the body so that it's comfortable and great for both yoga or running.  

I love the criss-cross strap back, but I had the most difficult time finding the bra strapping that is recommended.  I saw a couple places online that I may try, but for this tank I lucked out and found 2 yards of black at my local JoAnn Fabrics (in the trim by-the-yard section).  I bet fold over elastic could even work, though the strapping is way easier to add. 

I also love the scooped hemline that allows for just enough coverage.

I can't wait to get more bra strapping to make another.  It's a pretty straight forward sew.  It's also already super hot here so this is nice and breezy to wear when fast walking jogging outside.  Hello weird tan lines!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pleated Pencil Skirt

I have a lot of new things I've been sewing to share this week, but first up is this newly released pattern from Delia Creates!  The pleated pencil skirt.

I love this skirt!!!  I've made myself a pencil skirt before by using my measurements, but it wasn't nearly as flattering as this pattern.

The skirt hugs the body from the natural waist down to just below the knee.  It's form fitting yet movable in.  There are two darts in the front, and two in the back with a kick pleat.

Who knew kick pleats were so simple?!?!  Really, I've always thought they were really complicated but it was no prob.

I was a lucky tester for this pattern and wasn't sure if the fit would be perfect for my body type the first time around so I used some strange fabric from a pile I have inherited from my husband's grandmother.  The fabric is woven with absolutely no stretch and frays like crazy when cut.  It's home decor-like weight and kinda looks like textured leather.  I wish I knew what it was cause it's pretty cool, but the tag on it was in Japanese (really) so who knows.

Did I mention the skirt is lined?  I used to think that lining skirts and dresses was annoying and a hassle but lately I've realized it really is so much better in quality when you add lining to the garment.  Plus it's sometimes easier to construct with lining than without.  I feel like I'm always learning and refining my sewing, which is great!

Anyway - go check out Delia's versions of the pattern here.  The floral one is just gorgeous!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Flannel Negroni - Just in time for...Summer?

Ever love and hate a sewing pattern at the same time?  Yeah, that's how I feel about the Negroni shirt.

Construction of this shirt started several months ago in December.  It was a Christmas gift for my husband.  Good thing it wasn't his only present, because this project was a fail.  Lets go back 6 months...

It seemed okay at first...I worked really hard matching the pattern of the flannel and cut the back and pockets on the bias for some interest.  After spending over 10 hours (probably more) constructing the pattern ever so slowly, I was sure I had made the best thing ever.

The collar was awesome, I had made perfect sleeve plackets and there were nicely sewn flat felled seams everywhere.  My machine magically sewed 9 buttonholes without jamming up.  I tried it on and wished it was in my size (maybe I'll make an Archer now?).  I was so happy about this shirt - until my husband tried it on.

Turns out I had made the shirt with two left sleeves.  Doh!  How could I have overlooked that?!?!

Another major mistake - the button holes were placed down the front over an inch too far from where they should have been.  This made the button placket turn into a giantly weird front flap.

Doesn't seem like a lot of mistakes to fix, but the shirt was finished.  Everything was nice and crisp and the pattern matched beautifully.  I didn't want to touch it.  But the shirt was unwearable.  So after 6 months of giving it the side eye as it sat near my cutting area to be redone, I decided to tackle it.

Now it sports a left and a right sleeve, and has a fixed (but not quite right) button placket.  I didn't change how far over the shirt overlapped, I just sliced off the extra flap, ironed the sides under and then topstitched it down.

Even after the fixes, it turns out the shirt is still just a wearable muslin (at least I hope it gets worn) because the sleeve length and shoulder placement is a little big.  I plan to try the pattern again in the short sleeve version once I find some shirting fabric I like.  Next time should be a breeze, right?  At least I sure learned a lot, and dipped my toes into a little more men's sewing.