Process or Product

Some people love the process of making things. They make sure each step is perfect before moving forward. Maybe they take good notes. I’m not that kind of sewer. I like getting to the finished product. But I’ve been working on tweaking the fit of my clothes because finished projects aren’t worth much if they are badly fitting.

Moving forward I’m going to strive to take more time on the process of sewing, but for right now I’m in alterations land. For example, here is my Appleton Dress right after I finished it.

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See those folds above the bust? Well I contacted Jenny (the pattern designer) for her feedback and she mentioned something called a concave chest alteration. It can come from poor posture or a large and lower bust. That I certainly have even in a well fitted bra.

So armed with a name for the alteration needed I hit the internet and found this fantastic guide from Sew News. Ta-da! They have something you can do to fix an already finished garment! So I altered my Appleton Dress and while the fit is not as good with an after though fix, the results look much better!

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Next I tackled the Emery Dress that gave me such grief.

See the before?

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And now the after!

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I ended up taking in the back all the way from neckline to waist by 1/2 inch and also re-did the zipper to take it in further. And the top of the zipper is still funky, but the rest of the fit is much much improved.

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Just look at how much more smoothly the fabric flows! Next I really need to make a muslin of the Emery dress so I can tune in the fit on a fabric without such a heavy pattern. And doing all these alterations reminds me how much I should make a new block. I’ve gotten comfortable with manipulating patterns and making up my own that it seem silly to so heavily alter someone else’s pattern. But on the other hand sometimes you don’t want to re-invent the wheel. So we’ll see.

Right now I am deep into making an 1899 winter dress. I need to be done by Thursday. Hopefully I make it! I know I will. All I have left to do is re-work my under garments and decorate the outer garments, but it is fussy work.

 

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Kid Clothes – Fall Round Up

I’ve been making lots of little things for my girls this fall. They are so quick to make and so satisfying. Kids just don’t have the same level of fit concern that an adult has!

So Charlie first!

She has lots of hand me downs from her big sister and she’s teeny so some of the things I made last fall still fit. So I only made a few things for her this fall. Such as this cute little cardigan she modeled on her first birthday.

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This was part of a KAL on Raverly called the Child for All Seasons. The designers put out three patterns each quarter. One that is styled for girls, one styled for boys, and one accessory. This was the Fall girl sweater knit in two skeins of very poorly matched Madelinetosh merino dk in Truly, Madly, Deeply that had been sitting in my stash waiting for the right project. This is a great littler sweater that gets worn multiple times a week!

Next is my favorite thing I’ve knit all year, a baby dress I’ve named Rainbow Brite.

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Gah! This one just kills me with the cute. I love it so very much. The pattern is the Baby Bubble Tunic and this 6-12 month size should last Charlie all winter. The yarn is something really special. Neighborhood Fiber Co. made kits called Shades of the Rainbow to celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling that same sex marriages are legal! Woot! So I snatched a kit in studio dk . Along with some leftovers I purchased from a knitting friend I have enough to make Lu something too. So more rainbows to come!

And now Halloween costumes! One of the things I just feel a deep desire to do is make homemade costumes. This year we had a baby Madeline and Frozen’s Elsa.

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Charlie’s costume is a big 4 pattern. I can’t quite remember which one. I made it with some Robert Kaufman corduroy and essex with a little red ribbon tie. Super simple and this is most likely her Christmas dress too. Lu’s costume was way more involved. I started with the Geranium Dress and re-drafted the bodice so I could sew in the cape. The whole thing is built on kona cotton to give those cheap sparkle fabrics something to hold onto. I wasn’t sure it would work, but it totally did! This costume has been worn to school, and for a birthday party, and trick or treating, and around our house and it still looks perfect. Yes! Most importantly the picky preschooler loves it.

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And now for Lu this fall I’ve been working on making her plenty of school clothes. She wears uniforms so I bought a mess of navy and red fabric have been making things as a palate cleanser between other projects.

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First up is this Music Box Jumper from Oliver + S. This is how I learned I don’t need to go so overboard on upsizing. Lu is pretty petite just like her sister so cutting a 3 with 4 length turned out kind of crazy big. But she still wears and lives this jumper.

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Next is another Oliver + S pattern, this time the Music Class skirt. It’s cute and very functional, but I will admit it is not Lu’s first choice to wear.

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Last of the uniforms is this Flashback Skinny Tee turned dress! I actually made two of these at once because I figured something this soft and easy would be a hit. It is. I will definitely be making more of these those I want to pick up some fun fold over elastic to trim the necklines.

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What uniform would be complete without a sweater for those chilly fall mornings? So now Lu has a Peachick Eyes Cardigan knit with Madelinetosh Dandelion in the Vintage Bandana color way. Another item she wears all the time. Sadly with the time change our mornings are much much cooler so another warmer sweater is already in progress.

Whew! So made kid things completed this fall with more to come, but also so much love put into clothing my girls.

An Apple a Day!

I’ve gone a tad bit nuts this week making new dresses for myself. The high temperature never topped 75F all week and now that the time has changed most of the time I am outside is in the early morning or after dark. I suddenly found myself wearing sundresses and cold.

Plus I got a new pattern in the mail right before the Halloween madness and I really really wanted to give it a go!

This week I worked up two versions of the Appleton Dress from Cashmerette! At first I wasn’t quite sold on the pattern, but then I read it came with 3 different bust ranges and a sway back adjustment built in! Sold!

I bought one of the kits she had for purchase, but I’m a little nervous to cut into the rayon jersey. So I turned to some Art Gallery jersey I’d bought but didn’t particularly love. It was not quite the color I’d expected so it has been sitting unloved. Then the other night I decided to go for it! Usually I don’t drink any alcohol on weeknights, but I’d really wanted a glass of wine. Bad idea. Between the wine consumption and the preschooler interrupting me with a request to shoo away a monster in her closet you could say I was distracted. And cut a straight size 14 E/F. I also cut two right sleeves and the front pieces backwards. Whoops! 

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It’s actually not near as bad as I thought it was when I first finished it! Wearable though a little tighter than I’d like. The fronts don’t cross over by that much and I’m interested to see if it becomes indecent at work. The sleeves are also tighter than I’d like. I wrote into Jenny to ask about sleeve ease and she very quickly replied that her testers found it okay. Thank you Jenny! But it was still too tight for my taste. 

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Anyways, I took a peak at my other jerseys and picked another print that had left me stumped. Its a stripe and I figure using them running vertically would be flattering. I was right. Here is version #2 a size 14 G/H top, 16 waist, and 18 hip with size 16 sleeves.

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My husband said I looked like a piece of candy. Yummy. And yes! This version looks awesome, though I probably didn’t need to go to the 18 hip. Next time I’ll just grade to the 16. And I totally love how the strips work to frame the neckline and waist. Fantastic!

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The sleeves are a lot better fit too and not hard at all to sew into the slightly smaller opening.

But, what about the bust? Did I need to go up to the G/H size?

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I probably didn’t need to, but I did have to tug a bit to get the blue dress to sit right. Jenny’s claim is a no budge neckline, but it did slip a on both versions. Anyone have any fit tips or opinions?

And I’m on a roll churning out dresses and have two more coming soon! So I’ll leave you with a Lu photo bomb. This kid is wonderfully crazy.

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Falling in Love with Corduroy!

I’ve been on a real corduroy kick lately. When I was younger I mostly bought quilting cottons because those were readily available and affordable. This was back before the boom in indie fabric production. You could by other types of fabric, but JoAnn’s mostly had polyester and it was incredibly hard to judge fabrics for purchase online. The few times I tried ordering I had very mixed results. So today I love that so many of the newer fabric companies (and many older ones too) are coming out with fabrics suited to garment sewing. Bring on the corduroy!!!

Elizabeth Olwen’s collection Floratopia from Cloud 9 is gorgeous. A lot of other lines skew too twee for me, but these are more appropriate for the whimsical adult so I purchased dress quantities in two colors ways, Go Your Own Way and Tiny Dancer.

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Then I turned to the Emery Dress pattern from Christine Haynes. I saw a sample of the Emery Dress in the window at Sew LA (which recently closed, sob!) and purchased it immediately. I love it’s classic styling with fun details. Corduroy is not a recommended fabric, but I knew from sewing with Rae Hoekstra’s Small World fabric that it is light weight and has good drape. I forged on.

It is largely a very successful dress! Emery 1

But the neckline it too big. In the front it is okay. Wearable for sure, but the back bags really terribly. You can see where the zipper is flipping out and there is just inches and inches of extra fabric.

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So this weekend I’m going to try and tackle altering the back so it fits a little more closely. I want room to move, but this is just too much. I should have made a muslin I know, but I made this for Halloween and was on a tight deadline!  Thankfully the way Christine designed the darts in the back means that it shouldn’t be too difficult to take in and hopefully I’ll be able to update you soon! Especially since I have another dress quantity of fabric to work up and the weather is actually fall-like in LA. Yay Fall!