Thursday, November 21, 2013

Make A Garment A Month: November Butterick

This is the second dress I chose to make for November's MGM challenge. It's Butterick 5923, a pattern that caught my eye because of the unusual cowl neckline with collar.

I loved the fabric that I used for this one, a polyester that was a bit heavy and falls nicely. Sewing this dress was actually quite easy. A number of steps but nothing difficult. I kind of got into the zone with this one, and enjoyed just working away on the many steps, one at a time, as they were all working out the way they were supposed to. Whew. But this meant that I forgot all about taking any "in progress" photos. I just kept sewing along...

This pattern has a stay, keeping the very drapey neck from resulting in any wardrobe malfunctions. I love it. I also love the collar but wish I had maybe put heavier interfacing in. It's okay but the right side needs pressing again to get it *just* right. Now I wish I'd done the stay in a contrast fabric, but... next time!

This one was straightforward to sew, measurements were pretty much right without much adjustment at all (just shortened one inch in the bodice), and steps were not complicated. The roll-up sleeves had tabs and buttons but I knew I would be wearing them permanently rolled so didn't bother making buttonholes, I simply sewed the button down on top of the tab when everything was done. Found the perfect buttons in my stash, too!
much better look at the fabric in this pic

I like the way it fits, although the pattern envelope stops at medium, so that is what this is all through. I'll add an inch to the skirt next go round as I find it just a touch too constricting when moving about actively. This fabric has absolutely zero give though, so perhaps with a more forgiving bit of stretch this would be fine. Of course, I added side seam pockets. They are strictly for keys or wee little things though, as you can see from my finished photo that having hands in pockets rather ruins the line of the dress! You can't quite tell from the photo, but it's hemmed to just above my knee. I think that is the perfect length, as I didn't want too much fabric to overwhelm me. The dress has an elastic waistband and a sash -- I think an obi style belt would look nice with it too.

I really like this one. Received a couple of compliments when I wore it today, which is always nice too. Though the fluorescent lighting in my office isn't exactly flattering, I wanted to get a quick snap to share the finished item!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MGM November KwikSew

This is my first MGM finished item for November! I finished the Kwik Sew dress, 4026, that I had chosen earlier this month. It was quite an experience though - the fabric I used made this much more difficult that I'd expected...

I used a multicoloured polyester knit because of the beautiful print. But it was quite slippery and very stretchy, so I had to pin the heck out of every. single. seam. At least 1 pin per inch on this one, sigh. It took quite a while.
And lots of pins...
Lots of pins...

I also failed to take into account how the weight of the fabric and the stretchiness would affect the waistline...after I had carefully and extensively pinned it and sewed it, I tried it on to discover that it was 2 inches below where it was supposed to be. Since I wasn't going for the dropped waist look, I turned it back inside out, pinned out 2 inches with a million pins once more, and resewed it. It worked but I was glad I had left the length in the skirt when cutting it out so I had inches to play with.
Waist seam being pinned and repinned...

At this point I was to sew some clear elastic to the inside of the waist seam -- well, here it did absolutely nothing to cinch it, as the fabric stretched as much as the elastic no matter what I tried! Grr! I considered taking in the side seams a bit to fit it more but was so sick of this recalcitrant fabric by this time that I just left it, figuring that a belt would do that for me (it did, thankfully -- I am going to make a sash out of the leftover fabric when I can face it again, LOL) I added side seam pockets, as the skirt had plenty of ease to do so. And I had added a couple of inches to the length which turned out well considering the waistline debacle.

Let's see...the sleeves fit perfectly! And I like the overall fit and look, though the sizing runs a bit large. I cut medium all through, mostly by mistake. I'd intended cutting a large for the skirt, as that's what my measurements indicated, but since I was talking to my sister on the phone while cutting I was a little distracted and cut medium, oops. But it turned out to be the right choice anyhow. I do wish I'd cut a small bodice rather than medium as it is a bit wide/saggy. Wearable, but I'd prefer a bit of a closer fit. I guess I should have thought about the "moderate stretch knit only" instruction, and considering this fabric, thought a little about negative ease.

I was considering adding a stay, as the neckline is very low and drapey and I didn't want to flash anybody -- but after working with this fabric for a while I decided a tank top underneath would be perfectly suitable instead ;) I do have tanktops in all the colours in the print so it will give me the chance to change it up, anyhow.

Something a little odd about the pattern itself was that it had you jumping back and forth from View B to View A for sewing steps. At step 5 of View B, it tells you to follow steps 7-14 of View A to finish. There are only 9 steps in all. It's pretty obvious what needs doing but still. Proofreading anyone? It was my first experience with a Kwik Sew pattern and I was generally pretty pleased with the otherwise clear instructions.

Even after all that fuss, I really like how it turned out and have worn it twice already since finishing it last week.
At home, with it sitting just right
At work, with the messy
recycled paper stack behind me!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Quick Stash Buster: Vogue 8634

This weekend I decided that I didn't have any really handy long sleeved t-shirts. I don't wear too many of such tops, and I don't make many either, but it's always nice to have one, especially as the weather gets colder. But I didn't want just a plain tee, no, I needed something a little extra in order for me to know that I'd actually wear it. In related news, I seem to be on a cowl neck kick lately...

So I went shopping in my stash, and finally matched up a pattern to a piece of knit that I've had for a few months. I only had about 1.25 metres so had to choose carefully. I decided on Vogue 8634, a pattern that has many positive reviews on PR, but which appears to be inconceivably out of print now.

With the busy print of the fabric I had, I also took the advice of another reviewer and taped the front pattern pieces together into one long piece. The topstitched seam is simply decorative, and I did not want to have to fuss to get this print lined up -- it was supposed to be a quick project!

It turned out to be a very quick project, 2 hrs all told. The knit I was working with was mercifully pliant (unlike my last project, which I'll be taking photos of and sharing here soon). Everything did what it was supposed to do, and despite my worry that it would be too snug around the middle it actually fit just fine once I actually tried it on. Thank goodness I didn't fuss with it too much. I made View B, with the long, wrist length sleeves of View C, but wore them scrunched up to 3/4 length most of the day. Works either way.

Wore it to work today and loved how comfy and warm it was. I'll definitely make this one up again; quick, comfortable and suiting my style, what more could I ask? It's nice to have an "insta-project" once in a while!

Here's a close up of the collar to get a look at how lovely the
 drape of this knit is. Very soft and pleasant to wear.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Weekend dreaming...

Aahhhh, if only.... here's something we all wish for, perhaps... ;)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

MGM Garment for November

I'm excited about joining Sarah Liz SewStyle's Make a Garment a Month sewalong... although thinking that I could get something done in 2 days in October was just a WEE bit ambitious ;)

So here is my 'official' joining post. This is what I intend to make in November for this challenge:

Butterick 5923

This is the dress I wanted to make in October, I had it cut out (mostly) but didn't get to it at all. I need to recut the collar which I messed up the first time by not paying attention to the orientation of the pattern piece, and then get this one sewn! I really love the fabric and hope it will turn out properly.

Sneak peek --

Kwik Sew 4026

This looks like a nice, simple dress with the kind of clean lines that make a really fun print stand out. I've had my eye on this fabric for a while, and then it went on sale last week -- a sign! Because my first choice is already cut out, this will be my official do-it-all-in-November selection. I'm planning on making View B, with the sleeve. Hoping to get these both done before the rush begins to finish all the Christmas sewing!