Saturday, March 25, 2017

Made by a Fabricista: Spring has Sprung - Floral Romper



I loved McCalls 7577 from the very first moment I saw it in the Spring pattern release!!! So I knew I wanted to sew it up for this month's post which hit just after the start of spring.


I was drawn to this Jean Blue Floral Challis because I loved the denim look and I felt the floral print added the soft feminine touch that I love in the pattern photo. This challis is soft, light and fluid (as the denim is only a print). Thankfully it didn't unravel like crazy or shift too much while sewing which made it great to sew. Unfortunately this print is sold out but take a look at some of the other amazing challis prints and solids here. These solid or striped linen knits or floral crepes would work beautifully as well due their light weight and drape.




Although this is one of those patterns where I like every view, I knew I wanted to make one of the shorts versions first.  Initially I couldn't decide if I liked the contrast lace back of view A or the shorts of view B better. Having never worked with lace I was a tad concerned, but decided to go ahead and give it a go. So here you have the bodice of View A and the bottoms of View B. I selected this white stretch lace because the rose pattern mimicked the floral pattern on the challis. Another choice I debated was whether or not to add the lace trim detail as shown on View A. Ultimately I left it off, but now that I'm done I'm considering adding it to the sleeve and shorts hem. What do you think?



On to the actually sewing! This pattern sews up fairly simply and the instructions are clear. I don't think that the instructions included notes about top stitching. This isn't necessary (especially not for views B, C and D) but I didn't want to see the serged edge of my seam through the lace back so I pressed my seam allowance towards the main fabric at the shoulders and where the back yoke meets the back and topstitched so that it could not be seen. The armsyce didn't get this treatment, but I believe it should have. I may go back and stitch the seam allowance to the sleeve. Thankfully it turns out that I was worried for nothing when it came to the lace. I really didn't have any issues sewing with it.


My decision to go with the straight legs of View B instead of the flounce leg of View A, was mainly due to my hate of gathering. One day I will remake this with the ruffle, as I plan to make each view. I added 1" of length to the shorts because they looked quite short in the pattern envelope. However this was not necessary because and I ended up folding over a 1" hem twice to achieve the pictured length.



A small deviation I took from the pattern instructions was adding bias tape to the sleeve hems. The wrong side shows in these wide bell sleeves so I used bias tape to achieve a clean inside on the sleeve. I also added pockets, because well...pockets! They simply make (almost) every garment better. I keep a copy of a side pocket pattern piece on my cutting table for times such as this. The shorts are full enough that I knew the pocket wouldn't affect the styling. I added them to the side seam 1.5 inches down from the top of the leg pieces because there is a 1" casing allowance to attach to bottoms to the bodice. The placement works well for me!


That's it! I really love this jumper. I do wish I had sewn a size 14 instead of a 16, as I feel like the shoulders are wide. As I was photographing this romper I had to pull at the shoulders to keep them from sliding off. I plan to add a snap to keep the surplice top shut and maybe that will help!

If you like this outfit check out my other creations on my blog and follow me on Instagram @FrougieFashionista

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Made by a Fabricista: Mama and Me Jeans


Hello, all!  My name is Jess and I'm so happy to be here writing my first post.  The sweet toddler is my son, Cheeks.

"Mommy and Me" is a popular thing in the world of girl-moms, but I haven't really seen much of it around for boy-moms. This got me thinking: why shouldn't my boy and I have some matching clothing?  Mama and me for Mama and Cheeks.  YES!

When planning a project, I am almost always inspired by either a fabric or a pattern (very rarely by a design seen "in the wild"). These projects are no different.  I had an entirely opposite idea in mind at first, but this duo of pants are a definite case of fabric inspiration.

I was looking through the New Arrivals section and happened upon this pinstriped indigo and blue stretch denim.  With a stretch of 20%, it dawned on me that it would be absolutely perfect for Jalie's Eleonore Pull-On Jeans (#3461).
 

For Cheeks, I chose Patterns for Pirates Captain Comfort Jeans.  They have a couple of pocket and waistband options:  I chose the patch pockets, very comfortable knit waistband, and stitched hem (which were rolled for the photos, since I always make his clothes a bit big).  The alternate options include slat pockets, jean waistband, and rolled hem.  The waistband is made from a cotton/spandex jersey I picked up at Fabric Mart many moons ago.


When I got this stretch denim in hand, I was really impressed.  It's surprisingly soft and has great stretch and recovery.  It's firm and has a nice amount of body without being bulky.  Unfortunately, it's sold out now, but you never know what you'll find next at Fabric Mart!


 

I began by making a wearable muslin from a different stretch denim (with comparable stretch) for my Eleonores, and found that the size U grew quite a bit over wearing.  I had also proactively added 3/4" to the back rise to account for my booty, and found that the crotch felt a bit long over the course of a day.
 Had to include this one because Cheeks is so stinkin' cute.

So, when it came time to cut into this fabric, I made a size T and omitted the full seat adjustment.  Big mistake; who am I to test The Sewing Gods when my hips are 39" (which is a size U per the chart!)  It's always hard to account for the ways two different fabrics will behave, and too late I realized this fabric was a bit firmer than what I had used previously.  Even with 1/4" seams instead of 3/8", my pinstripe pull on jeans ended up...tight...  I'm pretty disappointed, especially since this is my first post here.  Le sigh.  Please be kind as you continue to ogle my drag lines...



Even though they are too small, these are still a big accomplishment for me:  they are my second pair of (semi) wearable woven pants I have ever made for myself (the first being that test pair I mentioned!).  I tried another indie pants pattern about 4 years ago and got so discouraged by the way they fit that I gave up on sewing pants entirely:  they were just too intimidating and anxiety producing.



Despite my over-fitting mistake, this pattern is a game changer, and it's no wonder:  I love Jalie.  They really understand how to fit the body.  The funniest thing about these is that I attended Pattern Review Weekend last year, which had an indie pattern theme, and about 30 ladies decided to make the Eleonore in red!  Wishing now that I had taken the plunge then: this pattern is a definite confidence booster!




As for Cheeks' pants, I opt for bigger when sewing for him:  these are a size 3T  shortened 1" (per measurements he should be in a 2T).  This is a fairly newly adopted philosophy on my part.  As we all know, children (especially toddlers) grow like weeds; I'd sometimes cut a garment for him and then wait to sew it, and he'd be almost grown out of it by the time I was done! This has happened enough that I've started cutting his clothes at least a size bigger so there's a good chance he'll actually get to wear what I'm making for more than a split second.



Overall, the pattern is good.  It seems to be drafted well, but it sorely lacks notches and markings in several spots that would make everything crystal clear instead of a bit of guesswork.  Particularly:  notches to line up the front patch pockets, the center front marked so it's clear where to stitch through the faux fly, and placement markings for back pockets.

For example, see how the pockets hang over the top edge?


And some flat shots, including the hem unrolled, the fun lining I chose for his front pockets as well as the rear pockets.




This fabric was really great to work with overall, but topstitching with this tiny of a stripe was a tad disorienting.  I think I'm just uncrossing my eyes now...


All in all, I'm fairly happy with how both of these turned out (Cheeks' more so than my own, of course...) and am very excited about our matching Mama and Me jeans!



Thanks for reading!  Until our next sewing adventure...

Jess

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Made By a Fabricista: Flow Away like a Butterfly

HI Fashionistas:

My latest make is a beautiful flowy and drapey self-drafted circle top that makes me feel like a beautiful butterfly.  The colors on this fabric are so vibrant, and the color combination on the fabric is one of my favorites:



This fabric might have been the most beautiful fabric I have ever touched. It is a silk cotton blend, feels so soft to the touch. Has more body than a pure sheer silk, and while it was slightly more stable because of the fiber content, I did have some challenges that I will talk about in this post.

Here is a view of the back and side:





So in love with these sleeves!



Here is the fabric I selected.  It is abstract, if you look at the large pic of the fabric air drying, you will see it has large butterflies. So when I ordered the fabric, I knew I had to make large flowy wing-like sleeves!



I did not know exactly how to pretreat this fabric since I typically don't work with delicate fabrics.  I wasn't sure if this needs to be pre-shrunk, or whether it should go to the cleaners. So I asked the fabulous Erica Bunker, who is a seasoned seamstress and have worked with a range of fabric types. She suggested I wash and press it. I did not have the heart to throw this fabric in the delicate wash in the machine. So I hand washed it. And that was so much fun.  I love to touch and feel fabric. Something about hand washing the fabric made the creation of this garment a lot more personal 

I let the fabric air dry overnight.



The top was freehanded, no pattern. I will show you a sketch so you know how to make your very own top: I declare this as the laziest pattern in the world if you decide to make a paper pattern. I just drew on the fabric itself.


On the neckline, I did a bias tape. It came out beautifully. Here is a closeup of the neckline/ neck finish.


I had just the right amount of bias tape sitting around. I did attempt to make bias tape from the silk itself, but it was not stable enough.

Now lets talk about hemming this top- I ran into some challenges here. I tried the rolled hem foot on my industrial, and I could just not get comfortable enough with it. If I were doing a rolled hem on a straight hem, that would not be an issue. But hemming circle hems can be challenging as is. Add in the slipperiness of a silk, and that makes the hemming more difficult.

So upon the advice of my mentor. I tried the rolled hem on my serger. His name is Sergio, and for the most part, he is good to me. But he just shred the silk to pieces. It's not his fault. My thought is that an all purpose thread was too heavy for this fabric. So I resorted to YouTube land and found out that you can add stability to silks by roll hemming 2 layers. So I tried that and it worked. I folded over the hem and rolled hem. I disengaged the knife and then trimmed really close to the hem as shown here. The hem is more "lettuce edgy" than I would like, but I can live with it .

Honestly, I meant to take this online class about sheer fabrics, but time got away from me. Now you know this is the next class I am buying.  I strudied with Sara Alm at Apparel Arts and she is brilliant. I probably would have saved a lot of time and trial error had I taken the class!



They say that rolled hem is the ideal finish for sheers, but I think I would have preferred a bias tape finish on the hem as well. I might come back at a future time and apply the bias tape to the hem.

Overall.. I love this top. It's light and fresh for spring! I paired it with white skinny jeans. I have not worn these in months and I definitely had to jump up and down to squeeze into them!

I ordered 2 yards of this fabric. What I loved about this project is that the amount of waste was very little. I used a majority of the fabric to make the top from, which is one big circle (donut) and the remaining fabric was used to create an infinity/ circle scarf.  I love an all white outfit for spring with a pop of color.

The sleeves, the neckline, and the print are my favorite parts of this butterfly top.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about this make. I am getting started on my Mommy and Me Easter make after this one.

Hope you are having a fabulous week.  See you with my next make.

XOXO
Vatsla at Fashion Behind The Seams