Monday, June 24, 2013

Thank you!

I just wanted to do a quick post to thank you all for the fabulous comments on my Lovely Layers tunic. I really appreciate you all taking the time to visit and leave a comment.

I also wanted to let Barb know (I couldn't find an email address, Barb) that unfortunately, the fabric was not a recent purchase. I've really been trying hard to sew from stash for a while now, and so this one would have been purchased over a year ago. I have my fingers crossed for you that they still have some in stock.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lovely Layers Tunic

After trying on a stack of TS tunics a few weeks ago, and just about passing out at the price tag, I decided that I could probably make one for myself. I settled on the Lovely Layers Top/Tunic from Crafty Mamas. I'd seen a few around the web, and thought they looked quite lovely indeed.

Typically, I wear a size 20 in RTW, but my measurements corresponded to the XXXL, so that's the size I chose. It worked. The tunic fit well without any alterations. The only issue I had was that the width of the longer tunic in the largest size did not fit on a standard 150cm wide knit. I chose to piece the front and back, knowing that you'd never be able to tell in the crazy print I'd selected for my test tunic. And I was right!

Not the sharpest photo I've ever taken, but it'll do for now. It was a wet and dismal old day here today.

It's a breeze to wear - which is a big plus in my books. I'm thinking I'm going to have to add another layer to go outside, though. It's a bit chilly here today.

Fabric: An ITY knit from East Coast Fabric

Construction Details:

2 hours tops! And I'm not a fast seamstress. This is one easy top to make. Yay!

It was almost exclusively stitched on the overlocker. The only time I used the sewing machine was to baste on the neckband, and to baste the second shoulder seam. I find I have real trouble getting a professional finish if I apply the neckband/binding to a shirt NOT in a circle if I don't baste that last shoulder seam before I stitch it properly. It ALWAYS shifts on me and makes this really messy looking join at the neck edge where it's really noticeable.

I did a rolled edge to hem the bottom, and a simple turn-and-coverstitch for the edge of the armhole.

For Future Versions (and there will be future versions!):
  • Redraft the armhole for sleeveless versions. I just like it a bit higher and a bit narrower at the shoulder when I'm layering it over other tops.
  • Adjust the side seam so that it fits on 150cm wide fabric.
Variations I'd Like to Try:

So, I've got lots of ideas for different kinds colour-blocked variations that I'd like to try. The motivation to try this pattern came from a bit of window shopping in the TS department at my local Myer store, so I thought I'd start there. Here are some of their styles that use colour-blocking. I apologise in advance for the visual overload, but I couldn't narrow it down any further. I can see a goodly pile of these tunics in my wardrobe this year. Now, I'd tweak most of these designs a little, but aren't there some great ideas for modifying this pattern?

All photos are linked to the relevant TS garment (as at 21 June 2013)...



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finally, a finished project!

Now, this is the not the garment previously discussed in the last post...BUT I'm taking it as a win anyway. Apparently yesterday, the gods were smiling, because not only was I showered, with make-up AND decent hair, I was also wearing a new, handmade dress AND I remembered to take a photo. Truly, a blessed day. Anyway, moving on...

Last month I needed a new dress for work, so I dug around in my stash and came up with this number. I used View C from Butterick 5794 - a fairly straight forward knit dress with a cowl neck, 3/4 sleeves and a slightly hi-low hemline. I used a polyester based knit from East Coast Fabrics. I like the colours, but wouldn't have been devastated if it hadn't worked out.

Seeing as though I don't have the same figure shape as the model, I did have to do a bit of modification to get it to fit me, and to move that waist seamline, but nothing too major. It was a very quick and easy garment to sew.

And here I submit proof that I actually can, and do, sew instead of just planning... :)

  • Bust 46.75", Waist 42.5" and Hips 49" - size selected 24W
  • Added extra width through the waist area - subsequently removed. This dress runs a little large.
  • Raised waist seam (to more of an empire line) by ~ 2"
  • Narrowed sleeve towards the bottom so it would stay up when I pushed the sleeves up.
  • Used serger mostly, although gathering done on sewing machine, coverstitch used on hems
  • Used seam tape on shoulder seams and a tiny spot of Fray Check on coverstitched hems as I've been having a little trouble lately with the hems coming undone.
  • Dress was a bit big overall, but that was easily rectified.
  • Neck/collar is a bit floppy for my liking.
For Future Versions:
  • Remove waist seam
  • Check notches on sleeves, I think they're twisting in the armhole (either I missed the notches or they weren't there. Not prepared to commit at this stage.)
  • Either use lightweight knit interfacing on collar to give it some body or reshape the pattern piece.
  • Raise front neckline by 1" (for work modesty).

Sunday, June 16, 2013 return to the sewing room.

I'm still crafting away although it seems as though I've lapsed into radio silence on the blog. That's OK. I'm sure no-one expired because of it...

While I've been all about the knitting lately, I have started to inch my way back into the sewing room. I managed to finish (but not take any photos of) a pair of summer PJ shorts for my daughter which I had cut out in November of last year. I know, right? I'm crazy fast at finishing a project!

Anyway, since that extraordinarily complicated project is now gone from my sewing queue, I'm excited to start something new. I actually bought some RTW clothes the other week. I had a few gift cards that were about to expire for Myer, so I trotted on in and found myself in the TS section. I tried on quite a few garments and decided that I liked some of them enough to spend someone else's money on them! ;)

To cut a long story short, I've decided to make a few garments myself that echo that style. Surely I can do for WAY less money than the ridiculous prices they were asking for relatively simple garments.

So, I'm starting with the Crafty Mamas Lovely Layers tunic. I thought I'd go with the scoop neckline and no sleeves so I could wear it with a layering tee underneath.

I'm planning to test it out with this fabric (second from the left) for my first attempt. This will go with some black leggings and a black layering tee that I already own, so it won't even be an orphan for a millisecond. I'm liking this plan already.

I happen to have some purple dry knit fabric from Spotlight that matches the print quite well. It's leftover from my Style Arc Creative Cate top. I'm going to make another layering tee to go with the tunic.

A TNT pattern for a tee-shirt is one of the things I've been working on since my last post. I'm close with the 2/2007 Ottobre t-shirt, but I need to double check my alterations before I cut into my gorgeous black linen knit that I bought from The Fabric Store last month.