Saturday, July 23, 2016

Another Raglan Shirt

Not too long ago, I had the itch to make something quick, and settled on a raglan shirt. The first two I made have been worn a lot so I thought a third couldn't hurt!

  I made this one in a lace-look rayon spandex blend knit from, of course, Girl Charlee, and sadly no longer available. It was pretty see-through, so I used white cotton spandex for the sleeves, pocket, and to line the body.

  Since the two fabrics drape differently, I didn't want to risk hemming them together, and decided to make a feature of it. I added an inch to the lining only, and lettuce-edged them separately.

  I had a rough time with the pocket... it was just so shifty!

  Something about the way these fabrics sit makes this pocket look kind of awkward too... like it's either too big or too small. I'll probably leave it off entirely if I make this shirt again.

  I raised the neckline 3/4" all around, and transferred some of the back sleeve width to the back bodice to even out the shape a little... unfortunately all the photos I took of the back are pretty blurry! This is the best one. I think it looks better this way though.

  I hemmed the sleeves with a twin needle after lengthening them 1/2". I didn't try to fix the underarm puckering yet, mostly because I don't know how and am going to have to do a lot of experimenting. ;-)

  I wasn't actually planning on posting this yet, as I have a backlog of other projects... but I don't want to post about the other ones yet for various reasons, so a shirt it is! ;-)

  And there you have it! Isn't that fabric pretty? Although it's bright enough that I feel awkward when wearing it... I much prefer to wear dark neutrals!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Mushroom Dress

  I've heard for years about how fantastic Oliver + S patterns are. For a very long time, I didn't sew any of them, because they are definitely on the pricier side and the size ranges are generally smaller. However, when they ran a sale on digital patterns a while back, I finally bought three. I had the chance to sew one of them in May, and here it is!

  This is the Family Reunion dress, in the smaller size range and the PDF version. Becker's chest measurement put her in a size 18-24 months, and a 3T for height. I decided to allow for growing room, so I sewed a size 2T and added 3" to the hem.

  I wasn't particularly impressed with the PDF... in some places the background grid wasn't where it was supposed to be, and there were an awful lot of pages to print for the size range and style! It was also assembled a bit oddly... parts of some of the pages are cut off and rotated around to connect with other pages. In spite of that space-conserving measure, there were several ways the PDF could have been laid out better to reduce the number of pages to print.

  Once I got past the printing and assembling though, the pattern was impeccable!

  Seriously, it has notches in all the right places, the pieces are all trued perfectly and fit together beautifully, and the curves are nicely shaped. And you can see that, even though it's a little loose on Beckers, the drafting is excellent.

  I liked the instructions too... they are very well written and illustrated, and some of the steps were done in new-to-me ways that produce a nice garment.

  For example, the shoulder seams are sewn in two parts so the seam edges don't peek out at the neckline. It does leave a small raw edge though, as shown below.

  I like the 5 rows of stitching at the hem too. These were supposed to be sewn all the way to the edge but I stopped at the inner edge of the placket.

  I sewed actual buttons and buttonholes too!

  After searching through all my buttons, I couldn't find anything that, 1. worked with the cam sizes for my buttonholer, 2. was a good color for this fabric, and 3. I had six of! Finally I had the idea to use some fun vinyl-printed wooden buttons, and just put the plain back facing out! I just used the ones that I didn't love the print on as much. ;-) And the buttonholes are done with a vintage Singer buttonholer.

  There are also a couple of buttons one the front... I only had a few of these carved wooden buttons. The color wasn't quite right so I colored them with a brown Sharpie and ended up really liking it. As expected, the marker has already slightly worn off the high points since I took these photos, but I think they still work.

  I'm delighted with my edge-stitching on this one! Here's the inside of the hem:

  And my favorite, the external facing edges:

  The fabric is a mushroom-print quilting cotton that I found at a yard-sale years ago, leftover from making a coin purse, and brown quilting cotton leftover from the girls' Christmas dresses.

  I'm pretty happy that I was able to sew this up without buying anything new except the pattern!

  The only thing I might change about the way this is sewn is the armscye... I think it would sit a little bit better to sew at least the underarm portion after sewing the side seams.

 Overall, aside from the PDF hassle, I enjoyed my first foray into Oliver + S patterns, and there will be more!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Eyelet Sun Hat

  After making Foof's eyelet bonnet, I had planned to make one for Beckers too. However, a petaled sun hat caught my eye instead! It turned out to be a free pattern, available here, so I decided to try it out.

  I changed the ties slightly, widening them and inserting them into one of the lining seams instead of at the edge of the brim, and angling the ends (and not getting my points turned all the way out, clearly!)

  I did my best to nest the seams at the crown:

  I used white eyelet for the outer fabric,

  and white quilting cotton for the interior.

  A little interfacing wouldn't have hurt, but it sits surprisingly well without any!

  I added a white flower button on top.

  I had to sift through most of my button stash to find one that had six petals to match the hat!

  I think it came out really cute!

  There is no sizing square on the pattern piece, so I had to just hope for the best when printing it, but it fits Beckers pretty well. =)

  I'd reduce the seam allowances down to 1/4" before cutting the pattern out next time... it's meant to be sewn with a 5/8" seam allowance and trimmed afterward, but for me it's easier to sew an accurate curve with a smaller allowance... and then there are fewer fabric shreds when my kids knock my wastebasket over! ;-)

  I still love bonnets best on little girls, but this is pretty stinking cute too!

  I've been sewing a bit less lately, because I've been spending ridiculous amounts of time learning lettering. Meanwhile, this little girl has been a handful and a half. She painted all over one of my pieces when I had to take care of the baby, lost my best paintbrush, and dumped most of a bottle of gold paint on the carpet. Good thing she's so cute! ;-)

  I did manage to get the gifts sewn and shipped for all of the June birthdays... a bit late, but I think they arrived before July started at least! ;-) I should probably get started on this month's gifts.... =)

Thanks for stopping by,