Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lace Angel-Sleeve Top

  Last year, I bought a few yards of a beautiful royal blue stretch lace from LA Finch Fabrics, thinking I'd sew myself something from it. Then, in March, my mother-in-law had a birthday! And of course, being in the habit of using my personal fabrics for gifts, I made her a shirt from said lovely lace.

  I used Jalie 2805, and starting with elbow-length sleeves, flared them to add some interest. I hemmed the lace on the sleeves using some tips from Sew Fearless, and they didn't turn out too badly! I used a single needle for this, as the sleeves have enough fullness that they don't need to stretch.

  I lined the whole shirt with plain white knit, and since I've never seen the recipient wear anything sleeveless, decided she might like the coverage of some cap sleeves under the lace sleeves. I wanted the lining separate from the lace at the underarm seam and side seams, so I sewed both sets of sleeves separately, then set them in the round once the body was sewn.

  I left off the neckband, but didn't raise the neckline to compensate. Since the neckline of this pattern starts out quite high and tight that didn't cause any issues, and I really think the slightly wider and lower neckline looks better with this fabric. A little top-stitching around it would have helped to keep things in place, but clearly I didn't do that!

  I hemmed the white layer just shorter than the lace with a twin needle, and used Wonder Tape and wash-away stabilizer to try to prevent the lace layer from tunneling when I twin-needled it. It worked until I soaked the stabilizer away, then tunneled, so next time I think I'll try to find some sort of sheer knit that I can leave in the seam to stabilize it. It looked a little worse in real life than in these photos, but it still looked better than a lettuce-edge or rolled hem would have.

  I did my best to line up the lace 'stripe' along the side seams.

  I have no idea if this one fit or not... I really hope it did! Isn't that lace pretty?

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Isla Dress And 7 Years Old

  All the way back in March, Booper turned 7!

  We didn't plan a party for her this year, but I did make her a dress and a cake! I'd been seeing all kinds of cute versions of the Simple Life Pattern Company (SLPCO) Isla's Infinity Tunic and Dress around, and just loved the heart in the back- but I knew Booper wouldn't be comfortable with an open back.

  However, I won a giveaway that Sweet Red Poppy hosted on Instagram for a pattern of my choice from SLPCO, and decided that a closed back wouldn't be so hard after all, and chose that pattern!

  I sewed this one size up from Booper's chest measurements, in hopes that the shoulder width would work for her, and added an inch to the straight bodice length (and wish I'd added another!) and a lot of length to the circle skirt hem. I added a third layer in the back so I could keep the clean finish around the heart while closing up the back. I used the elbow-length sleeves with a bit of extra length, and added the flutter sleeves.

  I used this beautiful cotton spandex knit, a print from Sincerely Rylee last year called Eden, to sew it- I was hoping to use a piece of Art Gallery knit that I'd bought earlier this year, but I didn't have nearly enough. The coral is from Girl Charlee, and I used it for the lining, pockets, and flutter sleeves.

  The pattern wasn't fantastic... things aren't trued, the shoulder is consistently too narrow (not just for Booper, but in quite a few of the pattern listing photos), the armscye is very long and narrow, and the shoulder seam is pushed toward the back quite a bit to make the sleeve, which is identical front-to-back, work.

  That being said, the instructions were pretty good... the method for sewing the heart cutout results in a very clean, pretty finish. I did that part differently though, to add the third layer... I sewed the heart as instructed, then turned it right side out and treated those two layers as one for the rest of the bodice construction, with a third layer acting as the actual lining. I was a little concerned that Booper's sisters would decide the bodice back was a pocket and stretch it out of shape, but that hasn't turned out to be a problem at all, although I did have to hand-stitch a portion of the heart back together after some of the stitches popped in the wash.

  Booper loves the pockets- I used the coral in an effort to save as much of the expensive print as possible, but I kind of wish I hadn't, as they are very visible!

  I hemmed the main sleeves with a twin needle, but used a lettuce-edge for the flutter sleeves and hem.

  Needless to say, Booper was delighted with her new dress, and it has become a staple in her wardrobe since I made it!

  It's kind of hard to believe she's already seven... most of the time she's very mature and people often guess her age as a couple of years more than it is, but it hardly feels possible that she's been a part of our family for so long already!

  She's a quick learner, and in addition to beginning her first real year of school last fall, has started taking piano lessons and is really enjoying them.

  She's a great reader, and goes through chapter books in just a few days. She loves to play pranks and surprise people, and comes up with as many jokes as her humorous little self can!

  Booper is very responsible, and is diligent in getting her chores and homework done each day, without complaining. She loves games of any kind, and spending time playing them with just about anyone is one of her chief joys.

  We are so happy that she is a part of our family!

  Her favorite colors right now are mint and pink- I was very happy I had some fabric that included both! I also made the cake in mint and coral!

  I bought some Russian Piping Tips from Craftsy in their Black Friday sale last year, and finally got a chance to use one of them on this cake. They definitely take some practice, and some very stiff frosting! Mine was a little too soft even after adding several extra cups of powdered sugar, so the flowers are a little droopier than I'd hoped, but I think the cake turned out lovely anyway.

  I also used a drop flower tip, a leaf tip, and a small round tip. I just did a basic white cake with basic buttercream icing, and didn't worry too much about getting the base layer of frosting perfectly smooth. I had a lot of fun making it!

Thanks for stopping by,