Thursday, July 24, 2014

Knit Fabric Swap for Challenge Create

  Have you seen Challenge Create at Skirt Fixation? This is the Fabric Swap Edition, and I'm joining in! I sent fabric to Call Ajaire, while Karly from Paisley Roots sent me some.

   My daughter immediately fell in love with the button fabric, and requested a dress. I spent some time sketching to determine how best to put the striped and button fabric together. I finally decided to keep them separate, and add some solids so I'd have enough fabric... brown to go with the button fabric, and navy with the stripes.
  Once I had my designs planned, I began drafting. For Booper, I designed a flowy dress with an asymmetrical waist seam. It has a half-circle skirt with gathers on the high end, ruffles and lettuce edging everywhere, and small details of ruching, embroidery, and a button near the neckline.

   This dress truly was a challenge to make the pattern for... since I was making an asymmetrical bodice and a partially gathered half-circle skirt, I had to make a lot of changes to make the hem level for the muslin I made. When it was perfect, I cut it out of the button fabric and some coordinating brown.

   I'd ended up with one full week to sew everything, after drafting and muslins... and that is when my sewing machine broke. Unfortunately, the only repairman around here who can deal with computerized machines was on vacation. 4 days later, I found a second-hand machine, leaving me only 2 days to sew and one for photos.That is also why the photos aren't great... I didn't have time to re-take them, and had to use the ones where my camera was acting poorly.

  My serger also threw a fit, and as a result I had to use tissue paper and starch on EVERY seam. That's why, after all that perfectionistic muslining, the hem is not level. 

  The side seam on the skirt was my first, I didn't use tissue or starch, and it stretched badly... and I didn't realize it until I had the dress mostly sewn and was trying it on my daughter, at which point I didn't have time to pick it out and redo it. I tried steaming it but it only helped a little bit. 

  Machine troubles aside, it came together relatively easily. The embroidery was surprisingly quick and I love the result... as does Booper. She started begging to wear the dress when I was only halfway finished, and continued begging until I was ready to take the photos.

   Next up was a top for me. I decided on a tied collar and half-length tied sleeves. 

  I didn't have time to make muslins for those after all the machine trouble, so I just winged it and I'm really happy they turned out well. The ties on the neck could be a little bit longer, but they are long enough to tie and that's the important part. ;-)

  I'm glad I already had a decently fitting tee sloper! Unfortunately I randomly gained five pounds just before taking the photos, so it's rather tight. (Maybe it was the stress of the sewing machine issues kicking in?)

  I was prepared with the starch this time, and finished off the entire can, as well as several pages of tissue paper.

   The stripes were abysmally slow, since I pinned every stripe, but for my first time ever sewing with stripes I think I did a decent job of matching them. I should have thought about it more while cutting the sleeves, but otherwise it worked out.

  I lettuce-edged the hem of the shirt for a simple and feminine finish.

  I'm wearing it with a knit and stretch lace skirt that I also made, and my husband's belt that is about 6 inches too big for me. ;-) 

  The skirt is part of a pattern test I'm helping with, and that I love.  It's the second one I've made, and I have fabric for at least one more. I'll talk about them more when the pattern is released.

  In retrospect, using a thin, stretchy knit for me probably wasn't the best idea. It's quite clingy and highlights everything, and looks even tighter than it actually is. I'll get a lot of wear out of it once I drop those 5 pounds though!

One more thing: my computer also rebelled.... that's 4 machines acting up at the same time! Something really didn't want me to complete this challenge!

 At any rate, I would LOVE it if you would go vote! And I'm really hoping that this dress and shirt combo is top on your list. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. You look fabulous, is great! And this dress you designed for your daughter is darling. I love the mother daughter look. I can't wait to see your other Syrah's. I have fabric to make one more too.

    1. Aw, thank you so much! I love that Booper's dress turned out so well... in spite of the sketching, I really wasn't sure how it would look made up in that fabric.

  2. I love these!!! I am a terrible clothing sewer, so I'm a little in awe that you draft so many things for knits that turn out very well!

    1. Thank you! I used to be awful at it too... pre-blog, there are 3 or 4 knit garments that ended up in the garbage rather than worn, they were so bad. And I had more than one woven garment mishap as well. ;-)

  3. I am so super impressed with the matching stripes! Awesome job!!! The shirt looks beautiful on you and the skirt is so pretty, too.

    The dress is adorable and the design is impressive! I think the brown ruffle on the hem really makes the dress, too. Good job!!

    1. Thank you so much! I love this skirt... I'm really excited for the pattern to come out so I can tell everyone how awesome it is! =)

      Thank you! I had fun designing it. Want to know a secret? The brown ruffle on the hem wasn't in the original design... it was brought about by necessity, since I lacked enough button fabric to make the dress as long as I wanted. ;-)