Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rose Kwik Sew aka Givenchy Inspired Tunic

I was inspired by PatternReview's "Bargainista Fashionista" contest running this month -- I love the idea of making something yourself that you've seen featured in a magazine or on! However, I had a really tough time finding the right fabric for the piece that inspired me:

A silk Givenchy blouse that retails for $1331.00 Can.
(why the extra $1?)
But then I realized that it's really the floral on a dark background that I'm crushing on right now, and I love the contrast of the silky black collar, placket and cuffs. I had a pattern that was slightly similar that I've been meaning to make up for a while, Kwik Sew 4016.

It's similar, though easier as there are no closures etc. But. It was theoretically easier.

Once I found a similar-ish fabric (a beautifully soft and drapy rayon challis) in a fantastic black floral print, I decided to go for it. I cut out the slippery rayon and polyester contrast fabric, started sewing, and discovered that the pieces were not the same sizes for the medium that I'd cut. This stalled the sewing process as I got out all the paper pieces and re-measured and rechecked -- yes, I had cut the right pattern pieces, but they didn't match up. When I sewed in the front insert I saw this:

After double checking and sewing facing on anyhow

I can be spatially challenged, so I wondered if there was some reason for this that I was missing at the moment, and left it that way. Good thing, because when I pinned the collar on, it only reached to the edges of the floral front pieces. Instead of recutting a collar to the full length and trying again, I decided to stitch the inset piece and its facing together at the level of the base of the collar and turn it:

Then I sewed the collar to abut that spot. I actually love how it turned out, and it worked so well, I pored over the pattern illustrations and instructions to see if that was what I was supposed to be doing all along. Nope. But I like it.

Stop here

Done! I like it.

The rest of the top went together just fine, as it was supposed to. It was pretty quick, indeed, but I really do think that the pattern pieces should line up. I'm totally second-guessing myself now and wondering what I did wrong to encounter that issue...I feel like I should make a second one right now to check if the pattern is indeed wonky or if was just me...if anyone else has made this please let me know if you've had issues like this. I don't like criticizing a pattern (and hope it isn't misplaced) but I don't think it was me.
Done (and taking pics while freezing outside!)

In any case, I absolutely LOVE the finished product. The rayon is amazing -- soft, silky, flowy -- and I adore the print. The fit is great around the bust area; loose-fitting but not huge -- there is a great shape to it even if it is a casual fit. If I make another, I'll be bringing that neckline notch up a couple of inches, though. I find it very low. And I just might narrow the centre piece since I am a smaller person (I ended up shortening the top by 2.5 inches before cutting, perhaps taking in some width would balance it nicely)
And from the back. Love this fabric!

Whew. My first garment started and finished with my new sewing machine (thanks, Mom!) and a fun entry into the Bargainista Fashionista the way, the cost of my top ($7.50) compared to the original represents a saving of 99.4 % -- home sewing for the win ;)

Collar in action

Side by Side

Monday, January 12, 2015

First Make of the Year: Purple Zsalya!

I found this beautiful floral flannel at the store just before Christmas, and knew exactly what I wanted to make with it. I immediately knew that the Zsalya tunic would be amazingly comfortable in this soft, warm fabric.

I first made the Zsalya pattern (by Kate and Rose) at the beginning of the summer; I bought it because of Indie Pattern Month in May. I love my little black dress, and knew that the tunic version was a must-make, too, especially in a cozy winter fabric.

nice coworker snapping me at work!

While I had this all cut out and prepped during the Christmas holiday, I didn't get a chance to start sewing until this weekend. I took the weekend for myself, and stayed in the whole time, and what a treat that was! I changed the order of sewing somewhat; while I followed the instructions carefully for the yoke, and decided to choose the "quick & dirty" version of finishing it this time around, I then decided to set the sleeves in flat. This worked great, until I'd sewn up the sides and then realized I hadn't attached the cuffs while the sleeve was flat, as the pattern instructs you to. I sewed them on like a band but it was tight going and I had to carefully manipulate the fabric to make it work. So, pay attention to the instructions :)

Crossover yoke, so comfy
This is such a great pattern. I really love all the little details -- the crossover yoke, the gathered sleeve with shaped cuff, the gathers at the yoke front and back. It is super comfy and yet still dressy and pretty, at least I think so. This winter version in flannel is cozy and the bright print made me feel spring-like even in -20C weather!

Gathered sleeve & cuff with little wave

Back view with gathers

The purpley-navy tones in the fabric also got me going on a mending job I've been meaning to get to for months -- a simple cinching of the waist on a navy knit skirt I picked up on super-sale at Target in November. I wore my new Zsalya with this skirt and my navy Rose Hip tights (from Seamster Patterns) to work today, for a great new functional outfit. Hurrah for finishing my first project of 2015!