Thursday, July 2, 2020

Patricia Rose Dress by Style Arc!

I have had this fabric for years. I found the silk yardage in an antique store. There were several yards, but it was quite narrow. I pulled it out last week when I saw some photos of the Patricia Rose dress by Style Arc. The dress looked perfect for summer. It was loose fitting, no zippers, no buttonholes. Although the pattern comes with three quarter sleeves, a lot of people had made it as a sleeveless dress, simply binding the sleeves.

I love StyleArc patterns but have not made many of them. I did notice that instructions were minimal. There was nothing about staystitching the neckline. Because my fabric was so thin, I staystitched back and front necklines on both the dress and the facings. I also thought it ran short, for me. I am only 5'2" and it finished at the length shown. I had to add a hem facing in order for it not to be too short. I will make the length adjustment before I sew it again.

I made a muslin first and the size 12 fit perfectly with no alterations.  Very happy with the finished product. But in this Covid year, there is no where to go!




Sunday, June 21, 2020

Off The Rails Baby Quilt

This is my second time making a baby quilt based on the Off The Rails pattern by Charlotte Jeffery Abt. This one is done with a jelly roll called Woodland Secrets by Shannon Gillman Orr for Moda Fabrics. Making it with a jelly roll cuts down substantially on the cutting and assures that the fabrics all have similar color ways. Both times I've made it with 6 squares across and 7 squares down, a nice size for putting on the floor for tummy time.

One of the hardest parts in all this for me, is not the sewing, but trying to decide on placement of the squares. I lay them down on a table and rearrange over and over again until I'm happy with the result. I find that taking pictures is very helpful and making choices from the pictures. Somehow taking that step back and looking at it in a photo helps with the perspective. 



Once assembled, I quilted it with a walking foot, doing straight lines, about 1/2 inch apart. I like the contemporary look of straight lines. I know it's not for everyone. I also like my binding to have a graphic feel to it, either dots or stripes, if possible. Fun project. I made a similar one for my grandson and it washed and dried well, many times over.  

If you are looking for guidance on quilting with a walking foot, there is a wonderful book by Jacquie Gering, called Walk, Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot. I highly recommend it.



Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Liberty Shirt - Tried and True Pattern

I have made the Liberty Shirt from Sewing Workshop at least four times and I have never been disappointed. The finished product is, I think, much nicer than one would guess from the pattern picture. It is a beautifully drafted pattern with lots of teaching moments and lots of hints (such as having card stock cut in certain widths to use when ironing up hems). The precision of the sewing is important here and adds to the look of the finished piece. But you are well guided with the instructions so that the precision is easy to nail.

An example is here, where instructions are given for an uneven miter. If you do all your pressing and measuring just right, you are rewarded, below.


 

I made this shirt/jacket in a linen cross dye from Quilted Threads in Henniker, NH. I interfaced the collar and the front and back facings. Once finished, I thought the collar and back facing buckled just a little and I wish I had used something much lighter, maybe even organza rather than the iron on that I did use. 

I haven't done buttonholes and buttons yet since, in these Covid times, I am not shopping and I will have to search on line for just the right button. But, honestly, I may go without and just use the front as a place to highlight a special pin. 


I love the asymmetry, the details, and the easy fit. I didn't grab a picture of the sleeve, but it is bracelet length and has a vented opening.



Haven't gotten tired of it yet, and I've actually had to retire a couple of my previous versions since they were made so long ago and were worn so often that they just wore out! So, this will probably be made again. I did notice that I had to tape my pattern instructions where the folds were, which is a good indicator of a much loved pattern!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Tuffets!

While I may not have been doing much garment sewing lately, I have been catching up on some promised home dec items. These tuffets are for two granddaughters and are made with patterns from The Tuffet Source. They can be done with any size strips of fabric. The top one is 32 strips and the bottom one 64 strips. You can order the pattern and kits from the Tuffet Source. The kits contain the foam cushion, the button, and the base. They can be ordered with or without feet. The kits are pricey - you can come up with a much more cost effective hassock or tuffet, but they are pretty adorable!




Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Threads From Brindle & Twig Tee


These new outfits for 3 year old and 1 year old granddaughters are from Brindle and Twig.  The T-Shirt Dress and the Baby Leggings are made from some lovely jersey purchased at Quilted Threads in Henniker, NH.  The patterns are downloadable, but you are able to choose which size to download which saves a great deal on loads of unnecessary paper!  They are well drafted and go together beautifully. One word of caution, since the dress pulls over the head, is to make sure your jersey has enough stretch to it.



All seams were done on a serger and the hems were done on a cover stitch machine, with the exception of the hem on the leggings, which was such a tiny circle, that I simply sewed it on a standard sewing machine.

Very cute and comfortable on - would definitely make them again!

Friday, March 8, 2019

GRAINLINE HADLEY TOP - FIRST EXPERIENCE

After my experience with the Willow Tank and Dress, I was anxious to try the Hadley Top.  It has two variations, sleeveless and long sleeve, jewel neck or V neck. The sleeveless top has facings for the armhole, neckline, and hem. One back version has an inverted pleat design element. The bottom is curved so it is shorter in the front than in the back.

I did my first draft as a wearable muslin using some very lightweight lawn which, although I loved, has sat idle on my shelf for a couple of years.  I chose the sleeveless, V neck version.  Many people had commented that the neckline was low, so I went ahead and raised it by 3/4 inch.  Because of the pattern design, I was unsure how to raise it. I contacted Grainline, but wasn't really happy with their answer, so this is how I did it.



As you can see, there is a notch for the seam allowance, which threw me a bit. I drew a line perpendicular to the grainline. Then I cut across this horizontal line, up the grainline, and stopped just short of the shoulder, leaving the piece attached. I then took the neckline section, which was slightly detached, and pinched up the required amount (3/4  " in my case). I then moved it back in and taped it, and inserted pattern paper to fill in the 3/4 " I pinched out above.  I did this so that the shoulder would stay intact and the V would be undisturbed since it has a very nice curved shape, see below.

But, once I was finished, the neckline is really the only thing I loved. I used the interfaced armhole facings as directed. But, with such very thin fabric, a 2" interfaced facing was overkill and just made the armhole very 'bunchy'. I probably should have anticipated that. So, in the future with a fabric like this, I would use simple self made binding.

My next disappointment is that the dart seemed to fall too high which I thought was odd because it did not on the Willow Tank. I haven't yet compared patterns, but I don't know why that would be the case with the same pattern company.  Also, the front really ends up quite short, not a  look that is good on me.  So this one will be strictly a learning experience before it is tossed.

Would I make it again? Yes, I think it has some nice possibilities. I would take advantage of its structural elements by using a heavier fabric. I would add length all around so the front doesn't end so short. I would also go up to a size 12 even though the finished measurements are larger than the Willow Tank. It just looked skimpy.

By the way, if you are a V neck fan, as I am, another wonderful V neck pattern is the shell in Loes Hinse' Sweater Set. Scroll down to look at the shell. Really lovely - also center seam, like the Hadley. It does not use facings, just gets turned under. And, even though it it made for a knit, I have made it in a woven, and it works just fine.

Some days are just learning experiences. Unfortunately, I wanted another sleeveless top for my trip!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Grainline Studio Willow Dress and Shell

I had said in an earlier post that I had too much stuff! However, at the same time, I did not seem to have what I need! I am trying to be more judicious both in my pattern and fabric purchases. I also needed some things for vacation in Florida and my preference, in hot weather, is dresses and skirts. 

I have been intrigued by some of Grainline Studio's patterns. They are getting posted a lot on Pinterest and they are modern and breezy. I purchased their Willow pattern which has a Tank or Shell variation and a Dress.  It's available as a PDF download or a paper pattern and I chose the paper pattern.  This is a very roomy pattern so I cut a size I normally would not. So in addition to looking at the sizing, make sure you look at the finished measurements so you can judge just how much ease you want.  I absolutely love when pattern companies include finished measurements!

I cut a 10 on top based on my bust size and increased it to a 12 through the hips and straight through to the hem.  Normally, I would cut a much larger size through the hips. Oddly, even though I cut the appropriate bust size, I think there is a tiny wrinkle across the bust. It doesn't feel tight and there is plenty of room in the armhole, so in the future, I may just move the pattern a tiny bit away from the fold, rather than going up to a 12 which would be too big.  There are darts at the bust, and they seem to hit me in the right spot. 

 
This is a very simple pattern, front and back of the bodice and the skirt are cut on the fold. When they are attached, there is an interesting fold that is built in which, I think, adds a lot. I put four buttons across the fold. 


The neckline and armholes are finished with self made bias.  I find it a bit fiddly - I'd rather work with facings, but that's just me!
 

The fabric is by Robert Kaufman and is called Linen Malibu.  It is a cross-dye, 55% linen and 45% cotton, purchased from Portsmouth Fabric Company


After finishing the dress, I made the pattern in the tank/shell, using the same sizing and a very light weight lawn fabric.  All in all, I like the pattern. I'd like to try to get rid of the tiny wrinkle which looks, but doesn't feel like pulling.  Again, I may just try to give a bit more room in the top, without going up a whole size.


Slan