Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Little Linen Shirt!


This is Simplicity 8090. I like it. Last winter, in what I now call my creative drought, I bought fabrics for the future. One was a digitally printed viscose knit panel. I bought enough panels to make a simple skirt but since the colorway was out of my usual and because I wanted to wear this outfit in the summer I was on the search for fabric and pattern for simple sleeveless top. While reorganizing the past few days, I found this perfectly colored bit of linen. It was just enough to pull off this top. When the skirt is done I will model everything for you. In the meantime let's have a review!

Pattern:

Simplicity 8090 is six tops. Two are sleeveless longer hi-lo hem tunics with the classic tunic neckline. Two others have short sleeves, one sporting a front bottom ruffle. There are also two much shorter tops, one sleeveless  and plain and one a short tunic effect with 3/4 sleeves. I landed on View C, the simple sleeveless button front with collar. 

The pattern also has French darts which really take it away from the loving hands at home look. Even the short tops are a bit hi-lo on the hem, just enough to make me happy. I'm not a big hi-lo fan. It is an American Sewing Guild pattern. I am not quite sure what that indicates but it is on the front of the envelope.


I did a size 6 with no FBA. There is a lot of ease built into this garment at the bustline and hem which I found out from flat pattern measuring. I suggest you measure first before you decide on your usual FBA. This baby was right out of the envelope and fits quite well. I did notice on PR that others had the same thoughts regarding FBAs and ease. 

Fabric:

I used a leftover piece of handkerchief linen in a bronzey green, perfect weight for a summer top. It's been well washed to bring down the wrinkle factor. Interfacing was the only black I had on hand, a fusible tricot and it worked fine. I did not have enough fabrics for facing but the pattern specified bias bindings anyway. I found the closest I could in Wright's tapes and called it a day.


Construction:

This was pretty easy. Three things: I put the tab on the center back seam where it was indicated for the long tunic. I left it that way. I didn't pick up on that until too late in the process and wasn't going to start taking apart this lightweight linen. The other issue is the top stitching. You can see here I used the garment thread but with a triple stitch. When I do that I adjust the tension so the bobbin thread is tight and doesn't show on top. That looks great but as I had most of it top stitched around the collar and now going down the facing edges, I realized the turn of the lapel. Yikes. it looked nasty and I ripped most of that out and did the top stitching so that it was facing in the right direction once it hit the turn of the lapel. Does that make sense? Anyway. if you top stitch this, keep that in mind. Like I said, I was in a creative drought and these skills need to be brushed up a bit. I do like the look and heaviness of the triple stitch that you can see above. 



The bias binding was sewn to the armscye and then graded, trimmed and turned to the inside completely. To secure it was top stitched with the triple stitch. 

Now for the third faux pas: all my own fault. The only alteration I did here was what I do to everything right out of the envelope. I "petite" the bodice. I took out my usual half inch of length between the apex and the shoulder seam. OK, fits fine, works, what's the problem? The problem is this is a very short top to begin with. I just reduced the length by half an inch. On a five foot tall person a half inch can be critical and here it showed way too much waistline skin. Yikes! I think when I make the skirt it will have a waistband and hopefully that will take care of everything. Fingers crossed. 

I did not follow the recommendation for spacing the buttons that the pattern gave. It just seemed that there were too many. I kept it simple with no collar button and the first of only three starting just above mid-bust. 

All vertical seams were sewn, serged, pressed to the side and top stitched. 


In Conclusion:

I would definitely make this pattern again. I hope the skirt comes out as I envision and that it makes a nice casual outfit. Since I have moved, I have found that  this is not jeans and tee shirt territory and I need a bit better casual clothing, not necessarily work clothing. I am not saying people are dressed up, just that other options than leggings and jeans seem to be worn by many of all ages  and that's great, IMO. Hey, any excuse to sew more works for me. 

I would recommend this pattern but with a note to pay attention to the little details mentioned. It's a good basic and easy to fit as there is plenty of ease in the bust and waist areas. it's all about the shoulders and neck with this one and those French darts are awesome. I can see this made up in a Madras plaid, very preppy and beach worthy. 

We have another wave of house guests this weekend but next in the queue will be the skirt. Wait till you see that fabric.....................Bunny


Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Burnside Bibs


I am loving my Burnside Bibs. They are comfy and more comfy! There are lots of details in this pattern. I really like that they are a great alternative to jeans and such fun, oh my! Yes, this is a grandma wearing these "coveralls" but hey, I've earned my priveleges!


Pattern:

This is the  pattern Burnside Bibs from Sew House Seven Sewing Patterns. I have really been entranced by her designs and plan on trying more. This was a paper pattern  but PDF options are available. I really like her aesthetic, comfy, wearable and youthful. And her youthful seems to be wearable by all ages. The designer, Peggy, no last name that I can find, has been "designing and making patterns in the apparel industry for many years." Her experience shows. The paper pattern comes with a detailed booklet that really left nothing to chance. It was clear, well illustrated and easy to follow. I think a motivated beginner could work through it with Peggy's clear instructions. Options include making the bib in a curve or a squared shape, making cropped or full length pants, and making a more fitted design with darts and a zipper or one that pulls on and simply ties. I chose Version #1, sort of. I did the fitted pant, full length and the curved bib. If you are considering this pattern look at the different versions on the site to see what you might like. 




My one and only beef with the pattern was the serious nesting going on. You can  see above what I mean. I got around this by marking my pattern size markings with a colored sharpie, the better to see! I must admit here....I am working on a big four pattern now that the bibs are done and  that has the sizes split with 6 and 12 on one piece and 8, 10 and 14 on another pattern piece. It is all very clear. But other than the nesting issue this pattern is wonderful all around. 

Sizing is unique to Seven House Seven and runs from 00 (34 hips) to size 20 (50 hips). These are all on one paper pattern so you can see why all the nesting. For my version I used size 2, the 36 inch hips. I think you will agree it fit rather nicely. I did consider this a semi toile as I really did not care for the fabric initially. I did no fitting tweaks at all to Size 2. One thing to keep in mind is that the rise of the pant can be controlled by the straps. When I first put them on I was not happy with the length of the rear rise. It seemed too long. But, after fiddling with the straps and hiking it up, the crotch set into place much better. Version #1 has darts in the back and an invisible zip for a better, closer fit. Version #2 has a large unfitted waist and no zip.  That waist is required  to get the pants over the hips without a zip. #2 therefore has a fuller back and a more ruffled effect to the back waistline. I think I may go back and add the leather belt loops to the front so I can keep the straps in line with my natural waistline. They seem to stretch and drop, more a property of the fabric I think, certainly not the pattern. 



Fabric:

This was one of those end of summer linen bargains that I tried to take advantage of. The weight of the linen is "mid" to heavy and makes a nice pant. It has been washed several times which removes the need of future heavy ironing and makes the linen less "stiff" looking, more organic. This fabric comes out of the wash needing no ironing other than the hem edges. Linen is so comfortable to wear and such a delight to sew. There is lots of topstitching on this garment. It doesn't really show as the thread matches so closely and sinks right in, but the design needs it in many areas as in the pockets and waistband. Next time I might do a complimentary accent color for the topstitching. 

This is not a flattering color on me at all and that is why it has been in my stash a very long time. I just kept washing it and the more I washed it the more I liked it. I decided that if I were able to wear it with some white  and away from my face I might be able to get it to work. I think it wasn't to bad in the end for a color that does not work on me. 


For the rear belt loops I used a faux leather. Why? Well, by the time the loop strip was made of this heavy course linen, then folded  under, then attached to the back waist , its facing and interfacing, there were just too many layers to get through and still look good. I needed an alternative and the faux leather came to the rescue and it is washable, unlike real leather. In the end I really like the look. The pic above is a perfect rendition of the actual fabric colors, kind of an orangey brown. 

Construction:

I really followed the pattern booklet provided to the letter. I didn't make any fit changes either other than hem length. I wanted to see how it fit me with none and how it would look on my hips with all those pockets. I did cut down the front pocket about a half inch. Just my petite habit. I think the next time I make these I will cut the back pockets a bit smaller all around as well. I also think that loops on the sides of the front would make the straps work more in line with my natural waist.

For actual construction I did my usual linen routine: sew the seam, serge the seam, press to the side, topstitch . This makes a sturdy garment that will survive lots of washings.  There are lots of areas in the pattern directions that you are directed to topstitch so make some samples to get it the way you want before starting. I used regular thread. The next time I think I would use  heavier thread or triple stitch.

For the invisible zip, I used Kenneth King's method, new to me, and I liked it a lot. It involves using  a hemostat to pull the zipper pull through. It's rather quick, too, and I had no lumps at the bottom of the zip.

Making the belt loop of faux leather was easy. The pattern has you fold the fabric strip to the center and then fold in half, fold under the ends and then topstitch. That's a lot of  bulk with eight layers before even stitching to the pants. I cut a strip of faux leather the finished width of the belt loop. The length was double the finished size stated in the pattern. I used a rotary cutter for a nice clean edge. Then I got out a black fabric marker and ran it on all the cut edges. The strip was then folded in half with a tiny bit of double stick tape helping out. The short edges of the strip will not be folded under like denim belt loops. Your strip is the finished size with no folding under. Make sure when you place the loops that the folded edge of the strip is all matching, in other words all at the top or all at the bottom. Topstitch the long edges of the strips about an 1/8th of an inch in. Locate where you want to put your belt loops and sew the strips down, a bit over an eighth of an inch from the edge. I went back and forth three times being careful to get the needle in the same holes so I wouldn't cut the leather. Threads were drawn to the back and tied off. I did samples first with the same layers of fabric as the pants. I yanked and these loops held up fine. You can see from this ruffly picture that the stress really isn't on the belt loops. Pardon the lighting on this one. I wanted you to see the ruffle effect up close.



This is an easy to construct design. An edge stitching foot will help greatly as you do the topstitching. An enthusiastic beginner would enjoy this pattern. Can a grandma wear bibs? You be the judge for yourself. I am wearing this to a folk festival on the Cape in two weeks. This grandma's gone festival!

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New house notes:

 The pics above with me in the bibs were taken in our challenging back yard. There are tons of trees which we cannot cut down. The gnarly one next to me is my favorite. It has so much character. I am standing in the new bed I planted. It seems to be surviving. Fingers crossed as this back yard needs help. I love this pic of the tree alone.



I LOVE our black stainless fridge. If you haven't seen black stainless, it is stainless with a mirror like finish, slightly darker than regular stainless and IT DOES NOT MAKE FINGERPRINTS. I can rub my butter and floured hands across it and it just wipes right off, easy peasy. The color and finish is such that you really can't pick it up on the internet. Check it out in the stores if you are in the need for new appliances. Happy Stitching!..........................Bunny


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Vogue 9305, an asymmetrical delight!


I am really pleased with this top from Vogue 9305. It is basically four pieces with turned up hems and edges. Doesn't get much easier! It goes together quickly and is great for a bit of instant gratification.


First, let's get a bit of housekeeping out of the way. I wore this with flowing white linen pants, perfect combo, this past weekend. They are in the wash and I didn't want to hold up the review so used this white cotton twill number. This flow-y top definitely styles better with the softer, wider legged, slightly cropped white linen pants. Next, as we start anew here, you will  my find my photos have me with no makeup other than lipstick, just warning  you. I have  recently developed excema in my eyes. It is responding well to treatment but makeup, even foundation or concealer around the eyes is out Thank heavens lipstick is fine! So you may find my face not quite so dressed up. I do miss my makeup as I love that girly stuff!

I had to lighten the pics a lot to give you a better grasp of the detail and fabric.

Housekeeping  done so let's move on to this top!

Pattern:

Vogue 9305 is described by Vogue as a "fitted tunic with sleeve variations and shaped hemlines."  Vogue warns that the wrong side of the fabric will show and it does so keep that in mind when purchasing fabric for this design.

You will notice in the photos that the junction of the left and right side is at the left hipbone. I felt this wouldn't be that flattering for me and chose to make that intersection closer to my natural waist and thereby elongating the leg, that petite thing!  Aside from vanity, I also felt raising that slit would help me cut this pattern down to my petite frame. It seemed to be a better proportion for me. On the last post there was discussion about this pattern possibly not working for those of shorter stature. I disagree. With the right adjustment I think I got it to work.

Above you can see I removed 3/4 of an inch from the upper chest. I knew these sleeves would be too low, as they always are for me, so didn't hesitate to just tuck out some length strait across the upper chest and into the sleeves.  The next length reduction was from the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern near the waist. I took out 2 inches there. The last reduction was  a bit above the half way mark  for the curved right front hem. I took another two inches out there. The same amount was taken from the right front flounce piece as well as across the back in the same three places. This got the longest part of the tunic about 6 inches above the floor which felt right for my five foot frame. Removing all this length meant the side seams had to be trued before cutting and that is the white paper you see on the sides of the pattern pieces. I simply used ironed on freezer paper. You can see the 4 or so inches where the flounce connects to the right bodice with a serrated line above.

I did more altering to the pattern as well. Based on reviews I lowered the center front collar two inches and removed a half inch from the rest of the collar. I recommend this. It may enable you to make this dress without a center back seam or closure, further insuring this design to be a quickie construction. I am able to easily get it over my head now.

No FBA was done this time but I have lost a bit of weight so no need.

Fabric:


You can really get a good idea of the fabric in this photo of the rear on my form. It is a rayon crepe in a navy and grayish tie dye colorway.  It prewashed beautifully with no shrinkage. Hard to believe, right? The tie dye pattern runs along the grain for the most part. The fabric is VERY flow-y which I think this design warrants. You will also see here that I didn't have enough fabric to make this tunic or at least to make it so the design ran on grain. By deciding to add a waistline seam to the back of the garment and cutting  the upper back bodice on the cross grain the amount of yardage worked . The back skirt was on the length. From the get go I did not want a back seam or  closure but unfortunately laid my new back bodice out without the benefit of clear thinking and put the fold 5/8 of an inch out, thinking it was a seam. I did not have enough fabric to recut and just moving it over did not work with the sleeve design. To solve this the back bodice gained a center back seam, which actually was a 5/8 inch tuck. This put everything into the proper place and life went on. Here is a closeup of the neckline to give you a better idea of the crepe finish to the rayon. All of the pictures have been lightened substantially so you can  better see the detail and fabric.

Construction Detail:

Easy peasy!!!

I serged all edges before construction to eliminate the raveling this fabric could provide. Hem edges were simply serged and turned. The underside of the hem is visible with the flounce but it blends in and works. For the neckline I did a French binding, aka, double fold bias binding, that I understitched and turned to the inside. I really didn't want topstitching here. There is a lot of weight hanging from the neckline edge and shoulder seams. To secure it I took some light grey DMC floss and embroidered French knots all around the neckline. Shoulder seams were stabilized with selvedges. Do you cut off all your selvedges and keep them in a jar for these moments? Comes in handy! 



The center back seam was eliminated by cutting the back skirt on the fold. The back bodice also would have been cut on the fold if I hadn't mucked up but the tuck came to the rescue. 

I suggest cutting the neckline larger as it is quite close for a summery look and probably not that comfortable or flattering. Doing that, along with cutting on the fold eliminated any need for a closure, making this quick pattern even quicker. 

In the end:

I would definitely make Vogue 9305 again and recommend it highly. It CAN work for petites with the right length alterations which are easy to do. Make sure you use a fabric that is not stiff. A well washed linen would be lovely. Stabilize those shoulder seams as they carry a lot of weight and it wouldn't be a bad idea to stabilize the neckline too with a light tricot fusible in the binding or on the neckline seam, extending a tiny bit into the bodice. I really hope to see some of you try this pattern. I think it could be quite flattering on the large, the small, the short and the tall. I can see it being made in a chiffon and going over a strapless or tank-ish jumpsuit. Highly recommend! Vogue, you hit  a home run with this one!

Next up....................the Burnside Bibs. Can this grandma carry off  Rosy the Riveter meets Mr.Greenjeans?..........Bunny



Monday, June 11, 2018

Sewing has begun!



It has been a whole year since I have put my foot on the foot pedal of my trusty Pfaff. I feel like I just got back on a bicycle. It was a very frustrating day as I just could not find things that I needed. I winged it here and there but was determined to get this top done before our weekend guests arrived and I did! By the second afternoon of sewing it was all feeling better. Here is what I am working on:

When I saw this reviewed on PR It was love at first sight. Check out this fabulous version by Ann of Sew Baby News. Isn't she gorgeous in her dip-dyed version? This top seemed to have it all, feminine, flow-y, comfy looking for the summer heat and easy peasy cut on sleeves! I'm in! 


The fabric you can see above, a VERY drapey rayon crepe. It is from our favorite chain and it sewed up really nicely, no issues with quality. I did prewash it and nothing changed. My usual alterations were done out of the envelope and I will provide modeled pics and an in depth review in the next post. I love this pattern. 

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The previous owner of our new home had a "workroom" in the basement. Lucky for me! He hung pegboard as guys do, all brown and ugly,  and his  eight foot work table was just waiting to meet my rotary cutters and mats. When we chose this home the decision was made that my husband would have ownership of the garage (large, heated and sheet rocked) and a small barn outside. I get the entire basement to do as I please. We are both happy. You can see it is open, very will lit with tons of outlets, dry as a bone and not an inkling of eau de basement. It was one of the reasons we bought this property. 


This will be the cutting and ironing side. I painted the pegboard and will paint the worktable as well, but all in good time. Those will be winter projects. For now stitching and creating have priority. The other side of the basement , to the right, will be my machine area. Fabrics will be stored between. This is not a pretty room and I doubt it ever will be. But it is spacious, well lit, and mine. Over time I will get more organized. In the meantime it feels so good to be sewing again. Ooo, did I say that already? Maybe five times? ...................................Bunny

Housekeeping!

courtesy impact branding and design There is a different look to the blog. I never could get a good contrast to the text on the la...