Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sewaholic Alma Blouse

  For my mom's birthday in October, I wasn't quite sure what she would like most, so when I asked for her size, I also asked if she would prefer a shirt, skirt, or dress. She wanted a dress. But from woven fabric, not knit! And then she requested that it be made from brown floral, so I took a trip to Jo-Ann's.

  Unfortunately, the only brown florals at Jo-Ann's were either quilting cotton, or shiny. I finally found a medallion-print rayon challis that seemed like it might work, and went to buy it, but sadly there were only 1.5 yards left. I'd already had a yard of brown suiting for the contrast cut at that point, so I just bought two more yards of that, and figured I'd just do my best to make it work for the full-priced dress pattern that I'd also bought!

  Then upon request the next day, I sent a photo of the medallion print to mom, who decided she would rather have a jacket. I suggested a blouse, and she agreed, so I bought the Sewaholic Alma blouse pattern to use with it. I made view C with no sash (not enough fabric) and raised the neckline 1" in the front as well as lengthening the bodice 2 inches at the lengthen/shorten line.

  The pattern was well-made, and the instructions were good. The armscyes seem pretty low as drafted. It prints over 43 pages for all of the views, but that's including a separate front bodice for the notched neckline version, as well as under and upper collar pieces.

  The sleeves are on the long side, and the cuffs were quite loose, but otherwise this fit my mom pretty well! Better than I hoped, for sure! The sleeves have a simple continuous bound placket for the vent... I probably would have found the instructions for that part confusing if I hadn't made this type of placket before.

  I under-stitched the facing, although the pattern doesn't call for it, and added a label to the back:

  I serged all of the seams for a simple and quick finish. This was my first time using rayon challis, and it really wanted to shift around on me until I lightly starched everything, after which it behaved beautifully for both sewing and pressing.

  Next time I'll be a little more specific when I give anyone options for their gift... it'll make things simpler! ;-) But I'm glad I had a chance to sew this pattern, and I may sew it up again for myself at some point... I'm just outside the size range but the pattern has just enough ease that it'll probably work anyway. (And yes, I'll muslin it first!)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Eva Dress

  Here's another dress I made for another sister-in-love in October!

  This is the Eva dress, a free pattern from Your Style Rocks, and one that I've admired since it was first released. 

  I wanted to make this in dark pink jersey knit, but the only pink jersey I had enough of was a baby pink, and, procrastinator that I am, I didn't have enough time to order anything, so I spent some time in Jo-Ann's searching for something that would work. Of course, they don't have much in the way of nice knits, so I ended up with an overpriced cotton interlock. And honestly, I wish I'd just used the baby pink.

  I don't know if it's just the quality of Jo-Ann's interlock, or interlock in general, but it's a struggle every time I use it... it stretches completely out of shape and even with new needles my serger hates it. It also pilled up a bit when I washed it, but since I'd spent quite a bit on it even after a coupon and obviously couldn't bring it back to the store after washing, I was committed to making it work! And I think the dress turned out all right in spite of the fabric! A bit wavier in places than I'd like, even after a good steaming, but hopefully not too awful. ;-)

  A gave me her actual measurements in addition to her size, so I used those to figure out which size of the pattern to download. Unfortunately not all of the margins printed (possibly because I was using letter-sized paper instead of A4?) but I think I managed to line everything up right anyway!

  While the actual pattern pieces were pretty decent, particularly for a free pattern, the instructions had me puzzled a couple of times, and I'm usually great at working that kind of thing out! I'm still not sure if I hemmed the sleeves the right width!

  I decided to machine-sew the pleat in the back for a couple of inches instead of tacking it at the waistline by hand from the outside. My hand-stitching usually isn't secure enough for things like this. 

  These front pleats are my favorite bit of the whole dress, even if they did end up a bit wavy in this fabric:

  I used a twin needle with bulky nylon in the bobbin for all of the top-stitching again.

  I haven't heard whether or not this one fit yet. Isn't this style pretty though? I'd like to make it again in a jersey like I'd initially planned... I think the neckline draping would look a lot better in a thinner fabric.

  In addition to all of the October birthday gifts (I still have two left to post about, plus a pair from September and one from November) I've been working on a skirt for myself. I finished the construction last week and have been spending every chance I get adding some embroidery to it... I'm really enjoying the process! 
Thanks for stopping by,