Saturday, December 29, 2012

Now #2

Today I whipped up (uh, I'm slow, it took me most of the day) another Now Shirt.  This time I narrowed the front and made the adjustments I mentioned in my last post.  I added 3" in length and shortened the sleeves by 1"
Here I'm wearing the collar unbuttoned, which is how I will probably wear it most of the time.

I love the finished seams on this top.  Even the armhole seams are finished with French seams.  I don't know how possible this would be to do with a regular set in sleeve, but this has a really shallow sleeve cap, which does make it possible.

I also like the way the collar is completely finished on the inside (with no hand sewing!)

I think the fit on this one is much better and I really like it.    You can see in the picture below that the arms are pretty full, but not too floppy.  I am not used to such a high neckline though, so I know I will probably never button the top button.  I wear turtle necks and use scarves all the time, but for some reason, I just don't find a button up collar flattering on me unless it is unbuttoned!

A word about quilting cottons.  You do not have to avoid them like the plague.  I have found that there are certain brands that are usually of better drape and hand than others.  Two that I have used successfully are Moda and Benartex.  This one happens to be Benartex and has a super silky hand and nice drape.  It is lightweight, almost like a lawn, but not as sheer.  I really like it.  This fabric is dark red, orange and purple.  I wanted to use purple buttons, but tried 4 or 5 different colors of purple thread to make the buttonholes, and none of them looked right.  I even made a trip to the fabric store to buy there "right" purple, but then when I did the sample buttonhole, I was not happy with it.  I ended up doing the buttonholes in red, but still used the purple buttons.

Friday, December 28, 2012

TSW Now Shirt

I've always wanted to be a fan of TSW patterns, but have always shied away from them due to the boxy shapes and loose-fitted designs.  I've always felt like fitted silhouettes are more flattering.  But sometimes a girl just wants something comfortable that still looks good!!  I've noticed lately that I have a shortage of long sleeved shirts in my closet. A while ago I bought the Sewing Workshop's Now and Zen shirt pattern from someone  on PR.  I don't even remember who I  bought it from, but unfortunately, the pattern had a FBA done to it (incorrectly) and with 2" added (I only need 1.5" added in length)  This is easy enough to correct, but the worst part is that there was tape put on BOTH sides of the pattern, so it is impossible to take it off or iron over it.  I guess I learned my lesson about purchasing used patterns!  Anyway, I traced the pattern and compensated for the added length and corrected it for the amount I needed.  According to the pattern measurements on the envelope, I needed an XS in the shoulders and a S at the bustline.  I still decided to compare these pattern measurements against a shirt that fits me well, but there was no way for me to really tell since this pattern has a totally different shoulder and sleeve line.  I decided just to make a muslin.  For some reason, I could not find my regular muslin material, but found this old piece of quilting cotton that I knew I was never going to use for anything except perhaps pajamas - and there wasn't really enough for that.  Just 2 yards. I decided to use this for a muslin for the Now shirt.

First I just cut out the basic bodice front and back and basted them together.  I had guestimated where to put a dart and it landed in the right place!  Even the slope of the shoulders was right for me.  I still felt like the top was a bit baggy on me, and did some tweaking by pinning out some of the extra fullness.  I didn't want to do too much, since this is not a fitted shape and meant to be somewhat loose.  I ended up taking a vertical tuck of about 1/4" folded (total 1/2") on each side, which will take an inch off the width in the front.  I did the same in the back, so this will lessen the total circumference by 2"  I think there will still be plenty of room after this.

I also wanted to see how the sleeve would fit, so since I was doing all of this, I went ahead and just made the shirt!  Surprisingly enough, I really like it.  NOw, this is not the fabric I would make as a first choice to make this shirt, but it's actually not as bad as I thought.  Since it is winter, I will be always be wearing a jacket or cardigan with it, so that will also tone down the splash of colors!

I actually really like this pattern and will make it again.  I did buy some other cotton to make this out of that has a lot of orange and purple in it.  I would also like to make it out of flannel or corduroy, and maybe also out of linen.  I wore it tonight to the movies and it is really comfortable, but I feel better dressed that if I were just wearing a T shirt.

This is actually about 3/4" longer than the pattern.
Next time I will add a couple of inches.

Now shirt with open collar

Collar piece completely encloses seams,
 but is done with open ends.

The partner piece in this pattern is the "Zen" shirt.  I haven't checked out the collar construction yet, but the difference I see is that the Zen is about 5 inches longer and has a back pleat.  The collar on the Now shirt is interesting in its construction and I really like it.  It looks good both buttoned and unbuttoned.  I plan to cut out another of these tomorrow.
TSW Now Shirt back view

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

SWAP 2013

It's time for the SWAP over at Stitcher's Guild to begin.  Well, actually, it begins December 26, but you can have one item made ahead of time (actually 2 depending on how you bend the rules)  I'm sure I won't have anything done ahead of time, but I do think I finally have a plan.  I have the black clovers already cut out (ahem... they've been cut out for months) and the fabric for everything I need from my stash.  I also have a dress cut out that I could include, but we'll see how this plan goes.  I really want to finish my swap this year, since I haven't been too successful in completing ANY plans for the last few years.  I really like my plan this year and know I will wear all of the garments.  Well, I'm not sure about the Sassy Librarian blouse or the Silhouettes tie front blouse yet, so I'll save them for more near the end and see what I feel like when I get to that point!

The idea of the swap this year is to have 2 separate capsules with one linking piece that could be worn with either capsule.  Actually, I think all of my pieces work together, so that won't be too much of an issue for me.  The jacket is the linking piece.  The pattern is for an unlined jacket, but since the fabric is fairly light weight, I will either line or underline it.

I'm home sick today, so I spent some time finally making up my story board for this.  I wish I had more energy and could actually cut or sew something, but that's not happening today.

As for the LBD, I put the invisible zipper in the other night, but I must have pulled on the fabric because it is kind of rippling on the second side.  I'm in the process of ripping that out and doing it over.  I hate ripping out, but ripping out on black is the worst!  The wool I'm using is a little "spongy" so that makes the stitches sink in and look like part of the weave of the fabric.  I guess I need to sit outside in the daylight to do this!