Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Have you met Sophie?

Would you like to see my latest project? Here is it:

Sophie cardigan is the newest family member of Muse Patterns. It has raglan sleeves and it comes with several options - three necklines, two types of pockets and two different closures to choose from. It means you can make this cardi gazillion* times and nobody will know you used same pattern ;)

*I might have exaggerated  a bit here

Sophie was an easy make. Instructions are detailed and they include drawings. I chose V-neck zip up version with patch pockets. The pattern is designed for those lucky tall ladies and I am only 160 cm so I had to take some length off. I took 5 cm intentionally and then another few accidentally ;) I shortened sleeves by 7 cm which means they are now too short - when will I learn to measure twice and cut once???

According to my measurements I should have made size 42 but my high-bust measurement suggested going down two sizes.
I made size 38 with 5 cm partial FBA with no added length...
That created a dart...
That dart took some length off the side seam...

Can you see where I am going with it?  I completely forgot that it will make the side shorter therefore I should have added that length or adjust the back piece. I ended up with a cardi that is shorter than intended. There is an old saying in Polish that covers it perfectly - 'A Pole is wise after the event!'

I used some mysterious but very very pretty fabric I got during The Fabric Warehouse sale last year. It is textures and a bit stretchy but quite stable. That watercolour floral print is absolutely amazing and I regret not buying more. The only reason it's been sitting in  my stash for almost a year is that I couldn't decide what to make with it! I wanted a dress, then a jacket, skirt and trousers ;)

This is not the last Sophie you will see here. It is such a versatile pattern. I especially love Jenna's version. Isn't it gorgeous? I might have to go fabric shopping - Sophie would look awesome in royal blue merino, right?

Sorry for stupid face but I realized I didn't take a photo wearing this cardi open ;)

Friday, 17 July 2015

Teal merino cardie

While the northern hemisphere is experiencing heat waves we are suffering from polar vortex. I know that 5-10 C during the day is not really that cold especially compared to polish winters when temperatures are sometimes as low as -30. On the other hand the buildings here are often very lightweight - no insulation, no double glazing, no central heating which also means that inside is not much warmer then the outside.

I wanted to be prepared for the winter so I bought two pieces of merino in May - one really nice purple-pink patterned one and then some cheaper mix of merino and nylon to make a wearable muslin. I decided to make McCall's 6844 - lovely basic pattern that comes in four variations. I made shorter peplum one.
Sewing the cardigan was really easy. No issues there other than my fabric being quite resistant to pressing! My seams look wonky and just not right no matter how long I pressed and steamed. I should have used my walking foot too. The fabric was a bad choice for one more reason - the threads are really prone to pulling.
The cardigan is also not easy to photograph well. I tool so many photos wearing it and only very few look reasonably ok. Sigh... I didn't really make any changes to the pattern but next time I will. I'm going to choose smaller size, do a FBA, shorten the sleeves and shoulder seam. And make a belt with the same fabric. I think this pattern can be really awesome once I get fitting issues sorted. I also want to make it again (in both peplum and straight short versions) in plain fabric and use my nice patterned piece for a top. It might not happen this winter though - my sewing time is limited to weekends right now and my sewing queue is huge!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Floral Simplicity

Simplicity 1880 is one of those "magic" patterns - I've seen it around on so many blogs (just check out this beautiful goldfish shirtdress by Gemma!) and there are none or very few complaints about it. It seems to fit people of all sizes and shapes. It seems to look pretty good on everyone too! So when there was a pattern sale on Pattern Postie I had to buy it! Spoiler alert: It was worth it!
There are two bodice variations - shirt dress or faux wrap bodice and three sleeve variations. In between the you can make several different dresses! There is nothing tricky in the construction of this dress and it was easy to put it all together. I cut size that corresponded with my measurements although deep down I knew I should have done full bust adjustment. I guess I was a bit lazy. Of course after trying my half-finished dress I had to add darts because there was lots of gaping in the armhole. When I make this dress again I will go down 1-2 sizes and just do a proper FBA. There is a tiny bit of gaping  along the wrap edges but not enough to make me worry about showing more than I want to. 
Surprisingly it still took me 4 weekends to finish it! But it has nothing to do with the dress but with my lack of time. With the bodice and skirt in place the only thing I had to do was to hem it and attach sleeves. I wasn't sure which sleeve variation I wanted so I asked for opinions on Instagram. People mostly voted for black cap sleeves. Next weekend my boyfriend had his birthday party and I only had 30 min to do sewing - just enough for hemming sleeves I thought... I messed up my rolled hem so I spent most of my half an hour unpicking stitches. Next chance I had to work on the dress I managed to hem my dress nicely and set one of the sleeves in with no problems. But the second sleeve was a naughty one. There was puckering everywhere! I tried all the tricks I knew and some I didn't but nothing worked. So I gave up. Finally last weekend I sewn the sleeve in and made a belt. I also took some photos even though the weather certainly wasn't suitable to be outside in this dress ;) 
The floral fabric is cotton sateen from Spotlight and it's one of the first fabrics I bought! It was clearance fabric and it didn't cost more that $5 a meter. I used black cotton sateen for back and front yokes - it was a leftover piece from a dress that sits in my one-day-I'll-finish-it pile. I think it worked well. 

Now I just need to wait for spring - it's just 2 months away! Or make some black warm cardigans so I can enjoy my dress right away ;)

PS. I forgot to mention that I used a piece of ribbon to make a label to add extra interest.