OAL 2015 Outfit: Myrna and Vogue 8726

Today I am showing you my OAL Outfit. For those of you who do not know what the OAL was all about: It was hosted by Lladybird and Andi Satterlund and the goal was to finish a complete outfit, dress and cardigan, until end of July. The official OAL dress was McCall6887 with a sew along with LLadybird, and the cardigan Vianne with a knit along with Andi. However, you could use any pattern you liked and just submit before the deadline. Last year I was very inspired by all those beautiful outfits so that I decided to give it a try. Sewing a dress would not be too difficult, but knitting a cardigan is (still) something new to me.

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The Dress

Fabric:

The fabric is a cotton batiste, checked yellow and white. Usually, I line my summer dresses with cotton batiste, but here I tried some silk. I used “Pongé-Seide 08”. I think this is habotai, but I am not quite sure. Pongé is often used for silk painting and comes in different weights, is quite tightly woven and not too expensive. It behaved rather well while sewing and what can I say, I LOVE it as lining fabric. The feel on the skin, especially on hot days, is cool and smooth. I might change from batiste to silk for all my dresses now.

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Alterations:

For the dress I used Vogue 8726 as a pattern. It has been in my stash for a long time already. Despite marked as “easy” the dress had a bit of a difficult time. It started all very well, though. I made a small bust alteration before making my muslin. The fit was good, with some ease. I tend to overfit my dresses, so I left it as it was. As this dress was meant to be worn on hot summer days I did not want to have it too tight. The front did look a bit boring and shapeless, so I added two small darts. Happy with the muslin I started sewing.  Originally I had planned to make the version with sleeves and wear the dress on my birthday end of June. But, first, I just could not get the sleeves right, and secondly, it was way too cold on my birthday for this dress.

Unfortunately, I did not muslin the sleeves. I thought that I would not need a muslin for those short sleeves. Big mistake. I had wrinkles at the back and when I raised my arm the whole dress would raise as well. I tried a lot of alterations. I raised the bottom of the armhole as far as I could, I draped the sleeve into the armhole on my dressform, I set the sleeve in turned forward a bit, nothing worked. It was a little bit better, but as I had already cut into the seam allowances I was very limited with the alterations. Finally, during one of the hot days this summer, when I tried the dress on, I decided to make it sleeveless. I wanted to finish, and such a lightweight dress was better without sleeves anyway I told myself.

Construction:

I thread basted the seamlines to the fabric. All seams are French seams and the dress is fully lined. I did not underline the outer fabric as I did not want to add weight. In order to be able to handstitch the lining to the dress, I added facing for the neckline and armholes. As I did not found a zipper in a matching color, and did not want to use an invisible one, I made a lapped zipper for the center back. Until now, I only made a lapped zipper once, in the side seam of a skirt, and I was not sure if this would work, especially at the top, but everything worked out well.

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I used this tutorial from “Handmade by Carolyn” how to set a zipper in a Fench seam. It was a bit fiddly and I definitively need more practice.

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I had some issues with the back straps. I do not know why, but they just did not want to lay flat. Instead, the top edge was gaping a lot. In all pattern reviews I read nobody seamed to have had this issue. After inserting and unpicking and inserting again countless times I added a small ribbon at the inner top edge. The ribbon is 1 cm shorter than the edge and sewed in by hand. The straps are now a bit ripply, but I can live with that. It is not as bad as the gaping.

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The hem is just turned over twice and sewn in place.

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Conclusion:

I have worn the dress a few times and it is really comfy. I like the back view, but I am not too sure about the front view. I think, I like dresses with princess seams more.

The Cardigan

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Now for the Myrna. This was a real adventure as I had to decipher the English knitting instruction without knowing too much about knitting at all. But thanks to You Tube I learned a great deal and managed to finish this. And it actually looked like it should. Amazing.

As I wasn’t sure at all how this would turn out, I bought some wool that was on sale. It is a cotton/rayon/something blend but feels very soft. My gauge was a bit smaller than it should be, so I chose one size larger than according to my measurements. Only issue I had was with the button band. I just was not able to cast on as many stiches as the instructions told you to do. Maybe that it because I always slip the first stitch in a row instead of knitting? But I do not know. I also sewed a ribbon under to give the band some more stability. I am not too happy with the result, but that is more because I could not find any matching ribbon and the buttonholes came out quite messy.

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Also, I miscalculated something and knitted one buttonhole too much. I decided to sew on the corresponding button and just leave this unbuttoned. Honestly, I do not like it buttoned very much. I would prefer a more looser fit. For the next cardigan I would also make it longer and add long sleeves. But this would have been too much to figure out for my first try. So I am just happy as is.

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Posted in dresses, knitting, Uncategorized, Vogue | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Itch to Stitch Carey Top

I am a bit behind with blogging, and before I write about my OAL outfit, I wanted to write about my last make. Kennis from Itch to Stitch released a new pattern, the Carey Top, and I was one of the pattern testers.

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This is a great top in the “throw-on-and-feel-good” category. It is easy to make and easy to wear. I sewed this up in an afternoon.

Fabric:

I used some cotton eyelet crinkle fabric I had in my stash for a few years. I never was sure what to make with it, but for this top it is perfect. It is drapey enough and not too thick. And it goes well with my Angelia shorts.

There is a separate shoulder panel which is great for color blocking. Some other testers did this and it is really nice. I did not have any suitable fabric for colorblocking, so I stayed with my main fabric.

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Alterations:

None. As this is a loose fitting style I did not make a muslin but relied on the finished measurements that are given in the instructions. I made a size 2 and the lenght is perfect for me. However, as many testers lengthened the shirt, Kennis added a few inches to the final version. So be sure to check the lenght before sewing (there are shorten/lenghten lines included in the pattern so this is an easy fix).

Construction Notes:

As always the instructions from Kennis are clear and detailed. The most time-consuming part was sewing the drawstrings, but you can skip this and use purchased ribbon, twill tape or cording.  What I really liked is that in the instructions is a separate section how to make a narrow hem with three different methods. I used the “serger and sewing machine” method. This means I first serged the edge and then used this as a guide to double fold the hem over and stitched it in place. This worked really well.

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Conclusion:

First I was a bit unsure if I would like the shape. Usually I am for a more fitted look. But now I love it. I have also worn it tucked in with my long Emily culottes. This is a great and versatile top that I wear very often at the moment.

Posted in indie pattern, Itch to Stitch, pattern tester, Top | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

OAL Winner 2015

Hi everyone,

I am so excited, I got chosen as one of the 4 random winners of the OAL 2015 that was hosted by Lladybird and Andi Satterlund. How awesome is that! This is my outfit:

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The dress is Vogue 8726 and the cardigan is Myrna from Andi Satterlund. I will write a full blog post soon, so stay tuned!

Also, check out the other winners here and all of the entries here. There are so many lovely outfits.

 

Posted in dresses, knitting, sew-along, Vogue | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lingerie Sewing Workshop

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Three weeks ago I took a weekend class  for sewing lingerie and swimwear. I learned so much and have since then sewn three bras that fit.

I am mostly a self taught sewer, but I was reluctant to take the plunge into lingerie sewing all by myself. So I decided to get some professional help and signed up for a weekend class at the “Spitzenparadies“. It was the right decision. We learned so much and now I feel confident to continue by myself.

The class covered a lot of theory. I took 15 pages of notes in my notebook! Friday morning we started with the fabric and other material used in lingerie sewing and cut out panties. We did not have time to sew them because Friday afternoon and the whole Saturday were dedicated to bra sewing. First we learned how a bra should fit and which style is best. Despite being small-busted I should wear bras with an underbustband to avoid that the bra rides up during the day (Guess what you do not find in RTW? Yes, small sizes with an underbustband). Next and very important we all got measured and the correct underwire was chosen. Despite having some incredible small cup size which I did not even know existed, the underwire I need corresponds rather to a 75B cup.

After chosing our pattern we sewed some paper towel cups to get a feeling for the size. The underwire was also inserted. I think I needed 3 or 4 paper cups before the fit was good. Then we started with our bras. Most of us also needed the whole Sunday for finishing the bra. However, Sunday morning we all got a lesson regarding swimwear, what is different from lingerie sewing, how to sew straps and a lot more. Best of the day was that my bra fitted perfectly in the end and I drove home exhausted but happy.

As pattern I chose Merckwaerdigh BHS10, one of the fewer patterns which comes in small sizes and has an underbustband.

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The bra has foam cups. The fabric is yellow Lycra with stripes. I bought this as a kit from Spitzenparadies a few months ago already, but never dared to cut into it.

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Here are the corresponding panties that I finished at home:

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The pattern is Milano, but I like the Watson bikini slip more.

Our homework was to sew a lot of bras to memorize the techniques. I made two further bras after all. The second bra is made from a kit from Sewy that I purchased already years ago. It took me three days to finish this bra. I had to look up every step in my notes and still made every possible mistake. The only alteration I made was to make the bridge a little smaller (about 4mm) and shortening the band by 1 cm. The bra is not perfect but looks so nice:2015_07_31_lilacbra

You can see that I had a lot of problems with this slippery fabric. Also, I did not align the lace so that the valley of the scalloped edge meets the bridge. Now the foam is not as high in the middle as it should be. The back of this pattern is rather simple:2015_07_31_bra_back

The third bra was already a lot easier and it took me 5 hours. Our teacher said, with practice you can sew a bra in 2 hours…so still a long way to go. This bra looks rather boring, but I needed something in a light color and I had everything in my stash:

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All in all this workshop was a great succes, I am so happy that I am able to sew my own lingerie. Of course, there is still lots of stuff to learn, but I am quite happy with my first bras. They are a lot more comfortable to wear than all my RTW bras. Still, I have to admit that those slippery fabrics and elastics are by far not my favorites to sew. Maybe this comes with practice, but at the moment I prefer sewing with wovens.

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How about you? Do you sew your own lingerie?

Posted in lingerie | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Itch to Stitch Angelia Shorts

When Kennis from Itch to Stitch calls for pattern testers, I can not resist. This time it was a pattern for shorts, and as usual, the pattern includes different options, ranging from simple to a version with five pockets, belt loops and cuffs. I tested the last option.

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Fabric:

I used a cotton eyelet and underlined it with cotton batiste. This gave the eyelet enough stability and also added the necessary opacity. I did not try any pattern matching as the flowers are small enough. I only made sure that for the tabs the flowers were centered. The fabric edge had a small area without embroidery. I used this for the belt loops. For the buttons I found some mother-of-pearl buttons in my stash.

fabric

Alterations:

I am not very experienced with fitting of pants. So I was more than happy when my muslin already fit quite well. However, I had to change the depth of the crotch curve and also the crotch/inseam. Here is what I did:

front_pattern

back_pattern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I deepened the crotch curve at the back and made it longer. I shortend the crotch curve of the front the same amount, as the total length was fine, but I had too much fabric in the front and too little in the back. Kennis changed the crotch curve for the final version, as also most of the other testers had a bit of tightness at the back crotch. I did not have the chance to try the final version yet, but I know that the fit improved for the other testers. Anyway, you will never be able to create a pants pattern that fits everybody, so I think Kennis did a great job here.

I also straightened the hip curve a little bit (not shown in the picture). This is a usual alteration for me for every pattern wich is close-fitting in the waist/hip area. Last I took out about 1 cm in the center back due to my swayback.

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Construction:

As always, the instructions for this pattern were clear and detailed. The fly front zipper was easy to construct. With all the details and topstitching this was not a quick project, but worth the effort.

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2015-07-08-inside2015-07-08-zipperConclusion:

We had a lot of fun in the testing group and learned a great deal about pants fitting. I am quite happy with the fit of my shorts and already considered to use the pattern as a base for long pants. I might lower the front waist a bit, as these are quite high for me, and I like my pants to sit a bit lower. Also, I think there is still a bit too much fabric at the front crotch. Nevertheless, these shorts are really comfy, no gaping in the back while bending, and you look dressed up. Now, that summer finally reached this part of the world, I wear them regularly. While taking the pictures, it was still so cold, that I wore my woolen cardigan and long pants over the shorts when we went to the park.

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The pattern is currently on sale, and Kennis also released at the same time a pattern for a top to go with the pants, so check this out.

Posted in Itch to Stitch, pattern tester, sewing | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Itch to stich Emily Culottes Version 2

My sewing mojo is back and I have already done some pattern testing and started a summer dress I hope to finish soon, now that summer finally seems to visit us here.

I finished a second version of the Emily culottes already in April. Do you know those projects that  seem to never come to an end? After I had finished my first emily culottes I started this second version right away. For this version I lenghtened the legs and chose the waist tab option of the pattern. I had some ideas how to construct the culottes, but most of how they look now only developed during the process, one decision making other steps necessary.

I love to pair the culottes with my Style Arc Sissy Blouse. Please excuse the wrinkles, the pictures were taken after I came back from work.

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2015_06_30_EC_back_2Fabric:

The fabric is some lightweigt printed cotton denim. It has some golden highlights which give a bit of glamour.

Alterations:

Only alteration I did was the same as for my first version: I took out 1 cm at each side in the center back at the bottom of the waist band and the top of the back.

Construction Notes:

I wanted to make the culottes with longer legs, but I did not have enough fabric to cut the legs as one piece. It was also not enough fabric to try any pattern matching. So I had the idea to add a piping at the lower leg where the fabric pieces met (I had to skip this idea later on though). This led to the idea to add some piping to the welt pockets as well as to the waist band. The culottes are unlined so I opted for a clean finish in the inside with HongKong finish of the seam allowances.

For the welt pockets I had a bit to try how to add the piping. This is not too difficult, but you have to make sure that the piping is caught at the sides. This is the welt with piping laid onto the pocket:

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While sewing make sure that the piping is turned back:

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This is how it looks later after sewing the pocket on the pants:

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I did not like the mess at the inside with all the interfacing showing. Is there any way to have this look nice and neat?

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I decided to line the front upper part of the culottes:

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I did skip the piping at the legs where I pieced the fabric together because it added too much stiffness. I did not want to disturb the drape of the fabric. I got a bit paranoid about this, so I also skipped the HongKong finish for this seam. This is now the only seam that is finished with the serger. To add some interest and also to avoid a stiff hem I finished the bottom of the legs with a wide bias tape. At the inside the tape is sewn on by hand.

One button of the waist tabs is functional, and I decided to sew a tiny bound button hole. I am really proud of this, it is so cute.

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Here are some pictures of the inside. I also finished the zipper tape with bias binding.

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Conclusion:

I wear the culottes on a regular basis. They are very comfy and great for cycling.

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Posted in Itch to Stitch, Style Arc | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Marfy Jacket 1756 Part IV

I can still not believe that – finally–I finished the Marfy Jacket.

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The last post about it was in July last year. All I had to do was placing the pockets, hemming and inserting the lining. But after summer I was not motivated to work on the jacket and so it hang on my dress form and looked at me accusingly every day…

I found my motivation in this book: Thomas von Nordheim, Vintage Couture Tailoring. I had this on my wishlist forever, and finally decided to buy it. I was not disappointed. Usually, I skip the first chapters of sewing books, but this one kept my interest and I read it from cover to cover.

I did not just finish the jacket according to the instructions, I even unpicked the hem (that I had already  catchstiched in place) and the sleeves! I followed the instructions step by step. Most steps are described very clearly, and together with the pictures easy to follow.

The jacket is far from perfect, but it was a great learning experience and I am confident to use these techniques again for future jackets.

So, what did I do?

The hem:

I unpicked my already catchstiched hem and placed silk organza strips at the bottom. As the hem line is curved, I did not use a single strip, but several pieces, always from seam to seam.

The sleeves:

What was completely new to me was a technique that has you ease in the armhole to get the fabric closer to the body:

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2015-05-05-Marfy1756-armhole2You see in the picture above the difference (left side is not yet eased in). The difference is subtle.

The sleeve cap was eased in before pinning it into the armhole. When I was happy how it hang, I first basted it in, then sewed it with the machine. The sleeve head is padded with ice wool. This works really good, as you can push it into the cap. I added also thin shoulder pads.

I do not recall all the single steps for the sleeve vent, but these vents are the best I have done so far.

2015-05-24-sleeve-openPiping:

I added piping around the jacket. It is quite easy but looks so much more professional. I used fabric scraps from my Marfy blouse. The only issue I had was with that corner at the neckline. I needed half an hour figuring out how to fold the piping so that it went around this corner only to realize that it was too much on the outside. Again half an hour to realign it….

Here is an inside view of the jacket before attaching the lining:

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The Lining:

I wanted to use the same lining as for my Marfy skirt, but it was too sheer. I found a dark green taffeta like lining fabric in my stash that matched beautifully. It is a bit thick and was difficult to handle, probably more suitable for a coat and not a jacket.

Body and sleeves of the lining were attached separately. Attaching the body was easy, but I had some difficulties with the sleeves. You really have to pay attention that you do not pull on the lining too much so that it causes wrinkles in the jacket itself.

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When everything was pinned securely in place, the fellstitching was an easy go.

2015-05-24-insideButtons:

I always find it difficult to choose the right buttons as they can change the appearance of a garment significantly. A good solution are self-fabric covered buttons. That’s what I did. I made 12 buttons, 4 four the pockets and 4 for each sleeve vent. I really love how the sleeves vents are looking!

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I have worn the jacket to work already several times, it really fills a gap in my wardrobe. I am not so sure about the quite boxy shape (I have already taken it in a bit in the back and site seams) and the front without closure (it looks a bit bare), but I feel very comfortabel in it. The blouse I am wearing with it is Vogue 8747.

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Posted in Marfy, sewing, tailoring | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Have you seen my Sewing Mojo?

Most of you probably have been there before, now I have lost my sewing mojo somehow. It does not mean that I do not sew at the moment, but it does not give me the joy it should. Mainly because I had a few failures in the last time. So I lost my confidence and with that my mojo went away. I am also behind with blogging (I finished my Marfy Jacket finally, a second version of the Emily culottes and a Watson bra).

After completing the Jaqueline Hoodie I was so eager to start sewing dresses and already chose some patterns and fabric. But I had promised my friend to sew sweat pants for him, so that came first. Sweat pants are easy, right, so this should not take too long. I somehow managed to mix up the front and back resulting in the pockets pointing in the wrong direction. I needed more time unpicking than actually sewing (black thread, black fabric, serged seams…).

Eventually they were finished and it was all dresses again. We will go to the “Phantom of the Opera” end of June for my birthday, so what better reason do you need for a new dress? And how about Marfy 3414? I had the muslin already cut out last year, so it was just basting it together. Alas, the fit was awful. A lot of gaping and too much fabric in the bust area and too small in the waist. Obviously I do not have a “Marfy compatible” body. I released the waist darts and pinned out the excess fabric along the princess seams. I also thought about shortening the straps a bit.

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All these changes had a lot of impact to the neckline and the straps were no longer sitting at the end of the shoulder. I decided that this would take a long time to get the fit right and put it aside.

So I tried a knit dress. A knit dress is easy, right? You can sew it up on a weekend and usually you do not have any fitting issues, maybe a tweak here or there. I chose Vogue 8593. As I wanted to use a knit with a flower print, I eleminated the center back seam and shortened the back darts. This should minimize the disruption of the pattern. I made up a muslin (I am so glad I did), and the back turned out great. However, the front, way too much fabric below the bust. I know I have a small bust and usually have to make a small bust alteration for woven fabrics. With knits I usually can get awaywithout. Not with this pattern. I pinned out the excess fabric, but I have no idea how to change the pattern.

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The pattern has not front darts, I guess they disappeared in the pleats. I would try to hide the extra fabric in the pleats, too. Maybe I can try to drape it on my dress form. The two sides also differ. I assume this is due to the assymetric center pleat. Do you have any tip what I should do?

Maybe I should start developing slopers and drawing my own patterns, I am so tired of all these fitting issues. They are the reason why most projects lay around week after week…

In my despair I turned to knitting. I started a Myrna cardigan and are slowly deciphering an English knitting instruction. What would I do without You Tube? A big thank you to all the people who publish these great tutorials. I bought some yarn that was on sale as I am a total beginner with knitting and I have no idea how this will turn out. At the moment it looks quite promising, though.

If you have seen my sewing mojo, please ask it to come back to me. I will give it a warm welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in knitting, Marfy, sewing, Uncategorized, Vogue | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Itch to Stitch Jacqueline Hoodie and Giveaway

Kennis from Itch to Stitch called for pattern testers for the Jacqueline Hoodie two weeks ago, and I could not resist. This hoodie has so cute details that make it special.

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The hoodie has princess seams, welt pockets, decorative buttons, epaulettes and an off-center zipper.

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2015-04-19-IS-hoodie-backFabric:

The fabric I used was in my stash for about ten years. I always wanted to use it for a sweater, but thought that would be too boring. It is a cotton sweater knit. I was not sure if the print would work with the pattern, but it does!

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Alterations:

I cut a size XS with the following alterations:

  • Small bust alteration: after basting everything together, the hoodie felt a bit loose on me. I took out 2cm width and 1cm length at the princess seams as described here.
  • Adding 1 cm to the shoulder: The Idyllwild Top was a bit small for me in the shoulder, this is why I added some width. Originally I wanted to add 2cm, but that had too much impact on the armhole. I think it went out ok though.
  • Adding 5cm width in total to the bottom. The instructions have “finished garment measurements” which is realy helpful. So I added the width before cutting my fabric. The instructions have you add only to the side seams in order to not destroy the design with the princess seams.

The sleeves are a bit on the long side. I did not shorten them, because I like a bit longer sleeves for this hoodie, but if you don’t or if you usually have to shorten your sleeves, this is something you definitively should check.

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Construction Notes:

Due to all the details and a lot of topstitching, this is not a quick afternoon project. And you have some bulky seams to handle. The topstitching is absolutely neccessary to tame this bulk. My sewing machine is a real workhorse and did not complain once. However, I put my serger on its limits. While attaching the zipper one seam was so thick that it nearly was to thick to get cut by the serger blade. Here is a view of the inside:

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Check out the other tester’s versions:

Monday, Apr 27: Coralie (stitch-n-smile.com)
Wednesday, Apr 29: Jordan (goddessofsewing.blogspot.com)
Thursday, Apr 30: Elsa (lacasacactus.canalblog.com – you are welcome to do it in French)
Monday, May 4: Stacey (allsewnupbystacey.blogspot.co.uk)
Tuesday, May 5: Rachel (onceuponasewingmachine.com)
Wednesday, May 6: Debbie (stitchitnow.net)

The pattern is currently on sale and in addition to that you also have the chance to win a pattern here.

Happy sewing!

 

Posted in Giveaway, Itch to Stitch, pattern tester | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Simplicity 1849 and some underwear

Do you plan your next sewing project while on work? I do, sometimes. Especially when I am standing in the rest room and looking into that big mirror. This happened a few weeks ago when I was thinking about a top that might go with my new pair of Emily Culottes. A white T-Shirt was in my mind, and as I do not own a single plain white T-Shirt I would have to sew one. But a simple T-Shirt is a bit boring, right? I wore a version of Simplicity 1849 that day and while looking in that big mirror  it occured to me that it would look great together with the culottes. I would just shorten the sleeves to make it more summer appropriate. One weekend later I had what you already saw in this picture.

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There seems to be a bit of gaping at the neckline. I do not have this with the version I made two years ago:

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Fabric:

The fabric is white cotton knit with elasthane. I got it during the sale when Elingeria closed down her business. It has a great recovery and was perfect for this top.

Alterations:

I cut a size 10 without any alterations.

Construction Notes:

This top is actually a shirt with the twist as an overlay and a front facing. I fiddled a bit with the V-neckline to get it right, but else this is an easy sew. Seams are all finished with the serger.

From the leftovers I made two more Watson Bikinis and one Butterick 6031 camisole.

For the Bikinis I tried to add lace scraps (I hate to throw away fabric scraps and are constantly searching for ways to put them into use). I like how it turned out.

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I even made some ribbons. It took me a whole Sunday morning to make these two, but aren’t they cute?

2015-04-03-bikini-detail

For the camisole I changed two things. Instad of using clear elastic to sew under the edge of the neckline lace, I used very tiny white “Dekollete” elastic. The reason is that when I iron my camisoles I always melt away a bit of the clear elastic. Secondly, I did not use small lace for the straps but usual lingerie elastic. The lace straps always come out of the washing machine quite crumpled.

2015-04-04-B6031
2015-04-04-B6031-detail

Posted in lingerie, Simplicity, Top | Tagged , , | 2 Comments