Friday, May 9, 2014

And the sewing continues!

This past week I have sewn up three summer shirts, ok technically 4, but one of them is too small so I will never wear it. It seems that sewing has become my de-stress mechanism of choice.

I made a second (ok third) Ruby top in tonal navy. I got this fabric at Joann's so it's nothing to write home about. The yoke is a cotton eyelet that weirdly did not like to be ironed, must be something in the thread used to embroider the cute design.  The lining is a cotton quilting fabric and the body of the shirt is a Linen/Poly blend that has a subtle texture to it. Hard to see on the navy, but the green shirt is the same fabric just a different color.

I really like the navy Ruby top. Somehow the color makes it a little more dressy so I wouldn't feel weird wearing it out on a Mom's night or something. 

Aren't crappy i-phone photos the best?! At least my case matches my new shirt!

The Josephine  (I told you I'd buy that pattern too didn't I?) is only ok. It seemed like it should have been easier than the Ruby since I decided on View C and that is only two pattern pieces and some bias tape but it was tough. 

It started with my buying the recommended 1 3/4 yards of fabric which may have been overkill, what do you think?

Then I just sewed it up only lengthening it at the bottom. I know I usually need to lower bust darts and lengthen the arm scythe, which could easily have been done all in one movement by lengthening it above the dart, but I  just sewed it up as it was. I ended up having to cut into the shirt after I'd sewn the side seams to lengthen the arm scythe, but that didn't do anything to put the bust darts in the right place, obviously. So I guess  all that extra fabric will be put to good use making another one where I cut the pattern and lengthen it a bit before the bust darts and then lengthen it at the bottom of the pattern piece as well. I think I'll wear this one anyways and maybe after a few wearings I'll have a better idea of what all I will want to change. 

I also had trouble with the center seam. I followed the instructions to the letter and the first pleat was supposed to encase the raw edges from this center seam, but mine was nowhere close. I had to finish these seams using another one of Rae's suggested seam finishes. This is actually one of my favorite things about these independent patterns. They teach you as you sew. I've learned so much about seam finishes from Rae!

All in all the Josephine is a cute top and I will make more, but I will have to seriously tweak the pattern to get it to fit my body properly. I always knew I had a long torso, but since I began sewing clothes for myself I have learned that a lot of my extra torso length is actually in my upper bust area! Interesting! 

P.S. Rae is running a few giveaways on her blog right now.. go and enter. Maybe you'll win one of her awesome patterns!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Knitting has failed me!

I'm so surprised to say this, but knitting has abandoned me. In the past knitting has always been the thing I turn to in times of stress. It has helped me through many an emotional crisis and many a sickness. It's been crazy stressful around  here the last few days and no matter how hard I try knitting isn't helping me at all. I think maybe knitting is too second nature for me now, and doesn't use as much of my brain power as I need right now. It will keep my hands busy, but not my mind.

In its place I turned to the sewing machine this weekend. Sewing is still not second nature. It takes all brain cells to make a project work. On Saturday in a moment of supreme stress I downloaded the Ruby Top and Dress Pattern from Made by Rae. Her Washi dress is what got me sewing clothing and so I thought it would be perfect. It was.

I've had this polka dot double gauze hanging around waiting for the perfect pattern. I got it at Hart's Fabric, which I wish was right next door so I could go there every day! I knew I wanted to make a shirt with it. Turns out I need lots of shirt patterns as I tend to wear jeans or pants more often than dresses or skirts, so this one will be a great start. Maybe next May I'll have enough hand sewn items in my wardrobe to participate in Me Made May.

Anyhow, the first one I did was a straight size small and it came out great. But with the french seams I did on the side and the fully lined yoke it was just a tad short in the arm scythe area. So I redrafted the yoke pattern piece to be 1/2 inch longer and I lengthened the top by almost 3 inches. Second time is sheer perfection. It will be a great addition to my summer wardrobe.

If this stressful situation doesn't pass soon, I may have to download the Josephine Blouse next! Hmmm maybe I'll hit up Hart's for some voile!