Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chambray Dixie Woven Top

StyleArc Dixie Woven Top

January was a whirlwind, but I did manage to sew a few items.  I just didn't get photos yet........

StyleArc Dixie Woven Top

Robert Kaufman chambray

Construction Notes: 
I had to laugh, because I read the instructions after I made the top.  So, there are a few missed steps. The biggest difference being the hem finish on the side.  

I found the fitting a little tough, but I am SO happy with the results.

Changes to the pattern:
1.  I found the front neckline too wide.
2.  Changed the shoulder slope for my sloping shoulders.
3.  Added about 1 1/4" to the length of the top bodice section.  The pattern drawing looked like the joining line was at the top of the bust line, so I had to move it to match mine.  
4.  Took out a little length in the center back (in the armsceye).
5.  Added a 1/2" on the left side to account for more of me.
6.  Lowered the sleeve cap and added a slight forward rotated shoulder adjustment.

What I love:
1.  Great topstitching detail on this top.
2.  After all the fit alterations, it fits like a dream.  No pulling or tight spots and I have worn it all day. It is amazing that a well fitted top doesn't move around on your body and need adjustments during the day.  It also doesn't bind when you are moving around.  Sometimes, a top is just too big overall, not this one.  Just love it.

Side View, Dixie Woven Top

Back view

Top-stitching Detail

Alterations: Sloping shoulders, narrowed the neckline, added about 1 1/4" in length

Alterations: Sloping shoulder, reduced length in center back, added length under the armsceye.

Alterations: Reduced sleeve cap height, tilted the sleeve cap for forward rotated shoulder.
My son in Austin at YMCA Youth & Government Mock Trial, 6th Place Team
Two sons receive their Eagle Scout Awards.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My Smocked Tunic, StyleArc Michelle

Smocked Front Bodice

You know you are addicted to sewing and creating when you find a cute top and decide that, "I could make that!"  I said that a year ago about this tunic I saw in the Soft Surroundings catalog pictured below.  I bought the fabric and pleated it, using my Amanda Jane pleater.  Put it in my "to go" bag and worked on it half heartedly for the last year.  Over Christmas I got tired of the same project being in my bag and finally finished it.  Since I had just completed the StyleArc Michelle tunic, I knew it would work as a base pattern for this top.

Garment I was copying.

Double gauze from Cotton and Steel

StyleArc Michelle Tunic with redrafted and lowered neckline and notch.

Smocking Plate:
Overlapping waves with two rows left empty between wave sections.  I made up this design to mimic the original.

1.  Pleated front and back sections of double gauze.
2.  Smocked those sections very loosely with four threads of DMC floss.
3.  The width of the fabric is not wide enough to cover an adult, so there is a small panel sandwiched into the sides.  The width of that section was amended when I tried it on.  I felt the smocked fabric should fit snugly around the bodice, so I pinched out the side panels until I was happy.
4.  To get the smocked sections below the bustline, I needed to add fabric to the top.  So it resembles a girl's square yoked dress.  

Please don't try this top as your first smocked project.  It was hodge-podged together with the knowledge of how to put together girl's garments.    The smocking is done very loosely and not typical of English smocked garments.  I wanted this loose stitch look.  The original top was shirred with elastic thread.  

Back of tunic

Clear picture of the smocked rows.

Not too shabby of a copy.  The original was $80.  I spent $40 in fabric and it spent a year in my sewing bag.  I must confess, I am totally addicted to sewing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I am in Tunic Love, Style Arc "Michelle Tunic"

Michelle Tunic by StyleArc

Style Arc "Michelle Tunic"

Black floral rayon crepe challis (or something like that).  It is flowy, almost see-through, crepey, and rayony. (Those aren't words, but they describe this fabric)

I have done two photo sessions with this top and not one picture can focus on all those flowers from a distance.  Sorry!

Construction notes:
Others have noted the neckline of this dress being high and the keyhole notch not a keyhole, but a long slash placed very low.  So, I redrafted it to my liking.  I also redrafted the sleeve for my forward shoulders.  Like MAGIC, I can move my arms in this top!

This top is truly a perfect fit for me.  The sleeves have just enough room and the bodice width in the front and back are just perfect.    It is one of those sweet moments when the whole garment comes together!

Love the fit of the bodice!

Original pattern and my neckline redraft and FBA

Michelle Tunic Back view

Friday, December 18, 2015

India Hobo Bag, Swoon Patterns

Hobo Bag by 

My daughter has snuck this bag out of my sewing room for her Latin books.  
She loves it and feels she must use it for class.  

So, once again, I have lost a class sample. 

Close up of my stamps

India Hobo Bag by Swoon Patterns
Brown bag is the large size and the mint print is the small size.

Brown slightly sueded distressed twill cotton
Pellon Shape-Flex Interfacing
Wood Indian Stamps in floral circles and paisley

Mint bag fabric by Cotton and Steel with
Renaissance Ribbon

I had never fabric painted or stamped any of my projects before, so this was a test.  Wood stamps and good fabric paint make a project a winner!!!

The pattern was well written and easy to put together.

I LOVE Shape-Flex by Pellon.  It is WONDERFUL!

I plan to use this bag for a spring project for my teens to construct in my sewing school.  They all gravitate to the stamped bag.........

For those of you who follow my fitting journey, see this top from Old Navy.  Fabric bunching behind the shoulder and below the armpit.  I could remove 2" of fabric from the shoulder to bust line.  

My stamping tools.

The stamps worked like magic.