Monday, July 30, 2012

McCalls 2094 – Yellow/Black/White Dotted Top With Cut In Shoulders

I used McCalls 2094 as a jumping off point to make a simple top that I'd been wanting for while, but didn't have a pattern for:

This was an incredibly easy redraft.

I removed the front button opening and replaced it with a back zip opening. I also moved the side dart to the neckline. I turned the neck darts into 6 open, but functioning control pleats.

And then I focused on the armholes. I love a high neckline with cutaway shoulders, so I turned the armholes into cutaways.

I bias bound the neckline the traditional way, but I used the hidden bias method for the armholes.

When it was time to hem it, I realized that I didn't allow for the hem. ACK! I fixed it by hand stitching a very tiny rolled hem. Perfect!!! Next time, though, I'm adding an inch to the length for a regular hem.

Here's my new top!

Keep going--post 3 of 3 for today is next . . .

New Look 6130 – The Skinny on the Yellow Peplum Top!

When it rains, it pours. This is the first of three posts for today and they all have to do with my little 4 piece Summer capsule.

As I mentioned last time, I finally finished the New Look 6130 peplum top with the asymmetrical hemline. I wouldn't leave you hanging with just a pic, so here goes!

Here's the pattern:

I love a good bateau neckline, but I pictured this top with an asymmetrical neckline from the moment I first saw the pattern. The asymmetrical neckline that I had in mind would have looked odd with princess seams, so I switched out the princess seamed bodice for a darted one. I used the front bodice LINING piece from New Look 6067 because it only has waist darts:

It's piece #5 in this pic:

Basic patterns are great for using as jumping off points when you want to create your own design elements.

The first thing I did was to trace it because I needed a full bodice piece to work with. Can't cut an asymmetrical neckline on half a pattern.

I measured how deep I wanted the neckline, then marked it on the draft. I drew the new neckline freehand then tissue fit it.

On the first go-round, the neckline turned out much too low! The second time around, it wasn't much better! But the 3rd time was a charm! It was perfect!

For those who don't draft or are new to drafting, it is usually not a one try endeavor. On rare occasions, it is, but mostly, it takes more than one try to get the draft right.

Here's my finished front bodice pattern piece (I try to live green and recycle patterns that I would never use to trace my patterns):

And here's the strap (I simply used the part of the bodice that was cut off. I shaped it and added a seam allowance.):

I wanted design consistency, so I used the back bodice piece from the same pattern--darts in the front and darts in the back:

Now about the pleats on the peplum--I love the pleats, but I didn't think they'd work for my hips, so I removed them. Pleats don't work for my hips unless they're sewn down, if not all the way, then at least partially. Because of my smallish waist and hourglass hips, pleats not sewn down would definitely open and would make my stomach look like it was bulging out. When pleats open on me, it makes me look and feel pudgy and sloppy. For this version, the pleats were definitely out!

I removed the pleats by simply folding them out:

If I had wanted a narrower flare, I would have folded them out from edge to edge. I wanted the flare, so I folded and tapered.(see pic).

After having said all of that, I also have to add that I would probably have sewn it with the pleats if I had used a very drapey fabric. Drapey fabrics = flattering pleats that drape. :-)

I drafted facings for the neckine and armholes.

Front facing:

Back facing:

And finished it like this:

Front facing:

Back facing:

Sewn up sides:

So it wouldn't jar the eye, the asymmetry goes one way on the neckline and the other way on the peplum. Here's my top:

I used a soft silk that I am very happy with. Luckily, I have enough left over for a skirt--coming soon!

Stay tuned for post number 2 of 3 . . . it's up right after this one!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

McCalls 6444 - White Knit Topper

I've sewn McCalls 6444 three times:

The topper looks dorky in the pic on the patten envelope, but IRL, it's a very nice topper.

I sewed a black one, a gray and white printed one, and my 3rd was a solid white one. I sewed the white one before I started on my current plan, but it matches everything so perfectly that it's in!

What I really like about it is the collar! The collar isn't really noticeable when the front is worn open, like this (paired with my white knit top):

Both pieces are made of the same fabric--I have a twinset!

You can't miss the the collar when the front is worn tied, like this:

This is truly the perfect topper for my 6 pak!!!

It was incredibly easy to sew, and is sooo easy to wear!!!

Make this day a good one!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Drafting A Bodice Like the One From New Look 6067

I really like the dart treatment on the bodice of New Look 6067. It is a throwback to the elegant forties if I ever saw one--the darts, but not the dress, as the dress has a modern silhouette. Back in the 40s, they loved beautiful design elements like those chevron darts.

But I am a proportioned petite and shortening that bodice had nightmare written all over it.

Why? Because of the chevron darts.

If I shortened the bodice, it would throw off the spacing between the darts, it would change the length of the darts, and it would mess up the actual functioning dart itself!

After folding out enough length so it would fit me lengthwise, I'd have to go back and fix ALL of the above. I was not about to bother with any of it!

Instead, I decided to draft my own pattern. I haven't drafted anything in a while, but that didn't stop me. Ohh nooo! Not at all! I fearlessly plowed on! :-) 

The first thing I did was to gather up my supplies:

1. tissue from a pattern that I was never going to use
2. scissors for paper
3. glue stick
4. ruler
5  Sharpie
6. pencil
7. pins

I set them out on the table and then I picked a basic TNT to use as my base--that would be vintage Simplicity 3994:

Here's the bodice piece:

I traced the bodice piece already adjusted to fit me, on pattern tissue that I was never going to use--might as well put it to good use! :-)

On the traced pattern piece, I moved the side dart to the waist and combined it with the waist dart--you can actually see the side dart folded out and the waist dart opened up:

And then I turned my attention to creating the center front chevron darts. I wanted the first dart to be the functional dart. The other two were only going to be decorative darts.

At first, I did it all wrong! I marked where I wanted the center front darts to go, but when creating them, I cut them open from the center front to the other edge.

It created an unexpected pouf. That was never going to work, so I thought about it some more. I decided to cut the first dart open to the bust point, and cut the others to a point that would work design-wise. It turned out perfectly!

Here's the final--note that I glued tissue over the darts that I cut open. I also trued the slightly arcing waist line:

Here's the pin fitted sample (this is what made it apparent to me that I needed to true the waist line):

Here's a close up of the dart treatment:

It took me around 1 1/2 - 2 hours to do all of that drafting. It required concentration and focusing, and was actually fun! I actually enjoyed drafting again! It was a thousand times more interesting than simply altering a pattern. And it was quicker, too. If I had chosen to alter 6067, it would have taken me much longer than that.

I would say that my time drafting was time very well spent. I'm planning to use the pattern that I just drafted to make a nice navy blue dress--the fabric's from my stash. I'm sewing it right after I finish my Sunshiny Day 6 pak.

The next drafting project that I'm thinking about tackling is New Look 6000, the dress with the side waist radiants. That is another design that would be easier to redraft than to shorten at the waist.

Make this day a good one!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!!!

Have a safe and fun Independence Day--for those of you from countries other than America, July 4th, 1776 is the day that we adopted our Declaration of Independence!

Take a trip down to the park or waterfront and enjoy the fireworks in your town!

But before you go, take a listen to Martina McBride's Star Spangled Banner!

Make this day a good one!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Look 6080 - Beige Jacquard Bolero with Collar

I love boleros, but I haven't had one my wardrobe in a while. When I saw New Look 6080, I knew it was definitely time to make one. I originally planned for this to be part of my earlier unnamed 6 pak--the one with the aqua top.

What hooked me on this particular pattern is the collar. The surprise element about it is that it looks like a shawl collar, but it actually isn't. The collar is a separate piece.

Here's my bolero:

I sewed my usual size, which is a 6. The size 6 bolero is drafted to be 15.5 inches long. I'm a proportioned petite, and shortened it because my boleros need to be a little shorter than that. I also shortened the collar and front facing by the same amount so the pattern pieces would match.

If you are a proportioned petite, be sure to check the length if you sew this. A bolero isn't a bolero unless it's bolero length. Boleros that are too long look awful on those of us who are proportioned petites.

The fabric that I used is a stretch beige/sand floral jacquard.

I've sewn with stretch wovens many times, and always interfaced them. I often didn't like the way what I made turned out with interfacing. It had too much body with some types of interfacing, while it was like not having any interfacing at all with the softer types.

This time, I embarked on a grand experiment! I sewed this like I would a knit. I sewed it without any interfacing!

I always stabilize the shoulders on my knits with cotton twill tape--I did that here, too. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's shoulders that stretch!

I haven't worn my bolero yet, so I can't say if my experiment was a success or a bust! I'll come back and revise this post when I know.

Oh, one more thing! I raised the armholes on this, and raised the sleeves accordingly, but when I sewed the sleeves on, I had more sleeve than armhole. I had to make adjustments to make it work.

The mis-match might have been due to the draft of the pattern, or it could have been due to operator error--not sure. If you sew this, check the sleeve against the armhole before you cut.

After completing the bolero, I realized that it didn't really look good with the aqua and white tops that I made this to wear with. When paired with a beige top that I made a few years ago, though, it created a monochromatic look that works for me. The pairing is very versatile--it will work with jeans for a casual look, and with a skirt for a stepped up look:

Oh, and about the RTW pieces that I tossed--before actually getting them out of here, I retrieved a few that I thought I could re-work to be flattering enough for me to actually enjoy wearing. Here are 2 that apart, no longer work for me, but together, they make a very wearable casual outfit. I will definitely be wearing this with jeans during the Fall:

It's only July, but I'm already thinking ahead!

Up next is the peplum top from my Sunshiny Day 6 pak. Vogue 8815's version of the peplum top is popping up all over the place in sewing blogland--I am definitely on that bandwagon! But I'm sewing New Look 6130 first because I really like the asymmetrical hemline!

That's it for now!

Make this day a good one!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Style 2286 - White Knit Top

I love little sleeveless tops that can be layered. Because of that, Style 2286 has been one of my faves ever since I first got it.

For me, this is a TNT for both the woven high waisted skirt and the knit top. I've made both many times.

On this go round, I used it to make the only knit in my Sunshiny Day 6 Pac.

I've sewn this top in practically all of the colors in my palette, and promptly wore each one out! I love it that much! I don't have any in my wardrobe right now, so it was definitely time to make another one!


I used a white cotton/modal knit for this--it was leftover from another project.

If you like the style and ever come across this pattern, don't hesitate to get it! The pattern is drafted well--all of the pieces fit together perfectly, and the sizing was what I expected it to be. I made my usual adjustments. but I also did lengthen it a little. Check the length before you cut your fabric.

From cutting to the last stitch, it took me all of about an hour to complete! And if I hadn't finished the armholes with hand stitching, it would have taken even less time! Can't beat that!!!

It was a super quick project because I traced the pattern pieces, with all of my adjustments, after I realized how much I liked the style! Whenever I've sewn it since then, it has always been a simple cut and sew project!

Having a pattern to work with that's already cut out and adjusted is HEAVEN!

With each piece that I'm sewing, my wardrobe is getting better, and I am very happy about that!

Now, About Peplums!

I have been looking around on the net a lot during the past couple of days! Guess what I found! A lot of peplums in RTW! The new iteration of the peplum seems to be cut narrower than peplums of the past. I like the newer streamlined version! It will probably flatter most figure types!

Luckily for those of us who sew, there are several peplum patterns to choose from. The patterns are still new, but sewists have already been sewing up a storm with them. Peplum tops are popping up all over the place in that fun place called Sewing Blogland!

Here are some patterns with peplums--I posted about most of these before, but for easy reference, I'm posting them again so they'll all be in one place.

New Look 6130:

Vogue 8815:

Simplicity 2148's topper with a peplum:

New Look 6124 - a peplum dress

That's it for now!

Make this day a good one!