Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Sewing Update

Hello friends! It looks like my little blog has become quite the sporadic thing lately, which was not my intention! Truth is, it's been a busy summer, with no sign of slowing down. In fact, we just arrived home this evening from a long driving tour of colleges.  So glad to be home.  Let's talk about sewing, shall we?

Thank you for all the comments and input on my last post regarding the shirt muslin. It's good to have the input, and to know that other ladies have similar fit issues.  For the ladies out there in my age bracket, it's good to have your commiseration.

 I have to begin with my latest creation, a bra.  Seriously, I want to jump up and down in excitement over this bra, the 'Shelley Bra' by Beverly Johnson of Bramaker's Supply. (Michele, are you reading this?) Truly an excellent pattern. I participated in the bra sew along that Amy at Cloth Habit hosted a while back, and came out with some knowledge about bra making and a too-small (in the cup) bra muslin. I used a Danglez pattern - not one I would recommend for anyone who is a bra making virgin, as I was then. Shortly thereafter, I ordered Shelley, but just got around to making it recently. I wish the Shelly pattern had been my first bra pattern - it's got amazing directions. I'll do an actual review and post pictures later. I still will need to tweak the fit - the size I made was maybe 2 or 3 cup sizes too big, but even at that I could see that it was amazing, and really, really comfortable. When I ordered the Shelly pattern, I also purchased Beverly's bra making manuals, which will be helpful with the fit changes. More on Shelley to come, but for now here are pictures on my dressform. It really is a lovely bra.  If you've made the Shelley Bra, what are your thoughts on the pattern? I would love to hear from you about your results.

Wider band = comfort!

This summer I also made Kwik Sew 3740, view B, the sleeveless, simple knit 'tank top', in a white, knit piqué fabric. Although it is a recent purchase, for the life of me I can't remember where I got this fabric, which had lousy recovery and some defects. Apparently I did not take pictures of this top, despite numerous wearings. Review and pics forthcoming another day. Spoiler: I will make this top again, just in different better fabric.

A few weeks back, I made yet one more muslin (#5? #6? Lost count!) on the shirt from last post - B5678. I took into consideration the helpful comments on the last muslin. I'm pretty happy with the fit after bringing in the seams for a closer fit and taking out some width above the bust. I may need to take the shoulders in a tad more.  One day soon I'll make up a final, wearable version, and possibly several versions. Maybe I'll try some of Rhonda's great collar variations!

Last post, I showed the lining to Pamela's Pattern's Favorite Bias Skirt. I finished the skirt (except for hemming) complete with the draped zipper technique that I mentioned, a Petersham waistband, and tab & button closure. It was a well made, well fitting skirt, but I just wasn't feeling it. It was looooong. I'd initially planned on mid-calf length, but pinning it to that length, it was still... meh. My daughter had a strong negative response to it, and hubby complemented it when he saw me try it on. I emailed my friends Rhonda and Myra and asked for honest opinions. Sewing friends are great! Thank you both, your thoughts on the skirt were both welcomed and helpful.

After letting the skirt marinate for a bit, I picked it up one day and hacked it off at the knee. Tried it on again and decided it did not have the slimming effect I was looking for. The skirt is currently in 'time out' with it's side seams unpicked. We may, or may not, see more of this later. Win some, lose some.  Maybe I should have been suspicious of the fact that PR had only 1 review of this skirt... Regardless, sewing on the bias is a good skill to practice.  In addition to that, other skills revisited in sewing this skirt were 1) the petersham waistband with tab button closure, and 2) zipper insertion in a bias garment.  Even if this skirt never sees the light of day, I can chalk this one up to good practice sessions.

Original, unhemmed length
That might be the KS3740 top I'm wearing.

Just before we left on our driving tour of colleges, I cut and sewed the body of a red circle skirt for my daughter.  She is attending a function in character this weekend, and asked for a red circle skirt with horsehair braid at the hem.  I'll be finishing that up while attacking the mountain of post-trip laundry tomorrow, and hopefully get pictures to post.  Horsehair is something I've yet to use, so I am looking forward to seeing the result.  If you have any tips, please share!

Now that I'm about to post this, it's time for a good night's sleep in my own bed.  After I catch up on my blog reading, that is.

Thanks for stopping by; I'll try to be back sooner!