Monday, June 12, 2017

Vogue 8907 Cape Sleeve Pullover Top

Love. This. Top. 

Even with all its wrinkles after a day at the office.

I was browsing Chico's website a few weeks past and saw this "Chrissy Cape Pullover" in the clearance section.

I loved the look, but didn't purchase it, even at the clearance price of $24.99, as I rarely purchase clothes without trying them on first (I have the hardest time finding anything in RTW to fit me!)

That's when I remembered I had purchased a Vogue pattern with the faux cape sleeves some time ago. Sure enough, in my pattern stash was Vogue 8907 from 2013.  It's now out of print.  
I'm not sure why I waited so long to sew it, but I'm glad I did as I would have cut a small in 2013, and only four years later I need every inch of that medium. Even with the FBA. Sigh...

I dug through my fabric and discovered a black stretch silk. The fabric was narrow, but I had just enough to to cut view A. 

I cut a straight medium, did a full bust adjustment and made no other alterations.  I eliminated the facings and finished the edges with narrow bindings.  Even if I had wanted to add the facings, I couldn't as there wasn't enough fabric left.  I wanted to finish the edges with bias bindings, but due to the shortage of fabric cut the bindings on grain with the stretch.

The cape sleeve is gathered and placed at the front of the armhole and secured with the armhole binding.
The back of the cape sleeve is attached to the lower back edge.  It's pretty fun to wear as it billows out slightly when you walk.

It's a fun top. Fun to sew, fun to wear. I wish I hadn't waited four years to sew the top, but I'm glad the design is still in style.

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Saturday, June 03, 2017

The Style Arc Daphne Duo Tunic

I made this Style Arc Daphne Duo Tunic last March and wore it for the first time today.  It's perfect for running errands on the weekend.
The description of the Daphne Duo Tunic (from Style Arc's website): A tunic pattern that is simple but the interesting hem tucks gives this overtop the new cocoon shape. Oversized but flattering it is perfect with our Daphne Duo Pant. It can be worn casually or add a necklace or scarf for a great special occasion look.
The fabric suggestions are crepe, linen, and any soft woven,  I choose a lightweight cotton and I think the fabric didn't have quite enough drape for the design. The bottom tucks don't fall as nicely on mine as on the modeled garment on the Style Arc website. 
The cocoon shape is achieved with tucks on each side front and side back. It's a cool design feature, and the tucks almost looks like pockets.
I made zero alterations to the pattern before sewing as I was interested in seeing how it fit right as purchased. Typically I would do a FBA, a slight forward should adjustment, and a sway back adjustment.  It's hard to see the back as the wind was blowing against me, but I think with some slight alterations I can achieve a slightly better fit next time.
The neck, hem, and sleeves are finished with self-fabric bias binding and topstitched in place.
This pattern is a keeper!  I can see myself sewing another one just as soon as I find the right fabric!

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Monday, May 29, 2017

The Peacock Dress: Vogue 1336

This Sandra Betzina color-blocked dress design was exactly what I was looking for when I wanted to showcase a peacock panel from Emma One Sock.
On rare occasions, Emma One Sock will post a bundle of coordinated color fabrics made up of small pieces.  The bundles typically sell very quickly. However, a few months ago I managed to purchase one made up of blue fabrics. 
The pieces ranged from 11" to nearly 1 yard each, some with areas partially cut out.  I was especially thrilled to find almost one full panel of a peacock knit panel that I had sold out before I was able to make a purchase.
I knew I wanted to sew a summer dress with this fabric as the focal point, but didn't want it to be overpowering. I choose Vogue 1336 (c. 2013) and was able to find two other pieces of fabric from the bundle that worked well together.

The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to lengthen the bodice piece by 1" as I wanted to make sure the seam fell below my bust.  Next time I'll take the time to do a small FBA for an even better fit through the front.

I've found the Sandra Betzina patterns to always have good instructions and illustrations. This was no exception. I liked the very clear instructions for the finishing the v-neckline. I thought it produced a nice, clean finish.
I choose to use the peacock print for the armhole bindings also.
The dress was much longer on me than on the model pictured on the pattern envelop. Rather than add the large bottom band, I added a small 1-1/2" band. I cut the band 3-1/2" wide, folded it in half with wrong side together and stitched to the bottom of the dress using a 1/2" seam allowance.
This dress makes me smile every time I wear it! It won't see time in the office, but it will definitely be worn elsewhere through out the summer months.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram (sharonmads) to see my latest sewing creations.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Border Print and The Easy Fit and Sew Twin Tee Set by J Stern Designs

I didn't know I needed a great Twin Tee Set in my life until I was a pattern tester for the newly released "Easy Fit and Sew Twin Tee Set" by Jennifer Stern.This is one of the best fitting (right out of the envelope) items I've sewn in a long time!

When Jennifer put a call out on her blog for pattern testers, I filled out the application, and didn't give it much more thought. Until she sent a note thanking me for volunteering to test and inviting me to join a group of about 15 other sewers on a private Facebook group as we tested the pattern.

Eeek!  Now I had to actually carve out some sewing time AND go to the fabric store for some knit fabric. 

Okay, going to the fabric store wasn't really a hardship.  I'm always up for a trip to SR Harris Fabric Outlet.

Oops! Looks like a few other bolts of fabric jumped into my cart as I was shopping for fabric for the Easy Fit and Sew Twin Tee Set! 
For the Twin Tee Set I settled on a lightweight sweater knit that is grey on both ends and taupe in the middle. It was on the remnant shelf at $4/yard.  I was able to find two remnants giving me almost enough fabric. 
The pattern I tested was a PDF.  Sigh. I really don't have the patience for PDF patterns.  Printing, trimming, lining up, taping, ripping off the tape because I taped it together wrong, re-taping.  Then after all that tracing the pattern. Personally I'd rather pay a bit more and have a printed pattern arrive in my mailbox.   And if you're like me, you're in luck as this one is also available in a print version.
The PDF pattern has layers so you can turn off the sizes you don't need (yay!) and only have lines for the sizes you want.

You're instructed to choose the pattern size by your full bust measurement.  I questioned whether I should really do that or choose using my high bust measurement and do a FBA (like I do for everything else).  Jennifer assured me she drafts with enough room in the bust that no FBA (full bust adjustment) would be needed. 

I'm going to be honest...I was VERY skeptical about no need to do a full bust adjustment. Even after Jennifer assured me it would not be needed.  I admitted my skepticism to Jennifer and went ahead and cut and sewed without any alterations.

Guess what? I should not have questioned the designer, LOL. It fits with no FBA.  I now have a new TNT Tee pattern!

The Tee can be sewn sleeveless, with short sleeves or with long sleeves. The cardi also has a shaped back hem option (the hemline curves up from the side seams to the center back, something I've seen recently in RTW). 

Because I had a limited amount of fabric, I had to add a center seam to the back of my Tee. The pattern is  not designed that way.  
 Fortunately the pattern in the fabric is busy enough that it's not too noticeable that it's not matched exactly.
Clear elastic was used to stabilize the shoulder seams.  The instructions suggest stay tape.
The neckline is finished with a narrow band, which is cut 2" shorter than the length of the neckline.  I used the gray from the border of the fabric for the neck band. 
I placed the taupe along the front edge of the cardi and the grey border along the side fronts.
The grey border was also used on the cardi sleeves. I placed the center of the sleeve along the edge where the grey and taupe met. 
The tee and cardi set was simple to sew, although I did have a bit of a challenge with the faux mitered corner on the front of the cardi.

The front edges of the cardi are finished with a 1-1/2"  strip of fabric. I used the grey portion of my fabric for the facings. Here's the view of the corner edge from the right side.

Here's the view of the same corner from the wrong side.  I had to add tiny hand stitches along the bottom to keep the faux mitered corner in place.  I'm not sure if it was my error or instructions error.  To be fair, I learn easier with video and photos than I do text and illustrations, so I'll try it again and see if it goes more smoothly next time around.
If you're not familiar with J Stern Designs, I encourage you to check out this Twin Tee pattern  on her website where she also includes many of the photos from the pattern testers so you'll be able to see a wide variety of fabric samples and body types.

I'm really pleased with the fit of the tee and cardi, and thrilled that Jennifer let me be a pattern tester. I'm now sold on her patterns and plan on trying the Easy Fit and Sew Raglan Sleeve Top next. 

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Saturday, March 04, 2017

Vogue 8670: A Basic Black Top with a Touch of Faux Leather

Basic black. Mock turtleneck. Raglan sleeves.  Sounds a bit bland doesn't it? Perhaps. But it's just what was lacking in my winter wardrobe. 
However, the added design detail of a right-side button closure and contrast faux leather cuffs kicks it up a notch. 
The textured knit was in a Fabric Mart Fabrics bundle I had received free with purchase during one of their fabric sales.

The pattern is Vogue 8670 (c. 2010).  I've sewn it a few times, and have it altered to fit thus the handwritten "Keep | FBA" note to myself.  Otherwise I'd likely toss the pattern during one of my "I have too much sewing stuff" phases!  The darts are the reason I originally choose this pattern as I find it  quicker to do an FBA when there is an existing dart on the pattern.
That button closure along the right-side?  It's functional.  But it could simply be decorative if you only wanted to sew on buttons versus creating the placket.   The top can be slipped on without undoing the buttons.
While I would have preferred long sleeves (hello? Minnesota winters!) there was only enough fabric for the 3/4 version, even with the addition of the faux leather cuffs. I discovered I didn't wear this nearly as much as I thought I would because the sleeves weren't full length.  Whenever I wore the top I ended up turning those cuffs up making them even narrower. I may remove the cuffs and just make the bottom portion of the sleeves faux leather. 
This was the third time I've used the pattern, so I guess I would consider it one of my TNT patterns.  I certainly plan on sewing more! 

P.S. the ground is not currently covered in snow. These pics were taken in November 2016, right after I sewed the top. Pin It


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