My Patterns

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Something to Wear

Finally, I made some outfit that's totally me, casual and relax.

The pants, oh, I LOVE the pants!  I drafted the pattern for a roomy fit around hips and thighs and tapered at mid-calf.  The fabric was linen from stash.  The design detail I added was the narrow, triangular button band cross from the waist dart on one side to the other.  It has front pockets.  I was really, really thrilled how well it fits.  Sewing went smoothly because I'd learned to be patient and think twice before any seaming.

To complete the outfit I made 2 tops out of some fabric recently purchased at Joann's, a wonderful, soft, woven cotton with super thin stripes.  The pattern was drafted very quickly since the overall shape was very basic.

For the first top, the design detail was the crescent shape at the front neck, and soft pleating on the back. and the curved upside down crescent hem at the front.

Since I still had enough fabric left, I made the second top using the same pattern with even roomier fit than first one, as well as slightly wider neckline. The crescent keyhole detail was modified a bit so the 2 sides are not met at the same height. The hem on both front and back are upside down crescent shape. The pleating was moved down to top of waistline on the back.

I love these 3 pieces.  Totally something I'd wear. They're my type of wardrobe, no fuss, easy to wear, relax, with little details to add interest but not overpowering.  I love the cotton fabric so much that I went and bought 2 more yards of it.  I'm ready to to make more of similar type of clothing. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dress in Lavender

The second one did not go as quickly as I thought it would.
Adding lining to it was not the problem, even with the lining skirt using darts rather instead of gathering like outer fabric.

After patting myself on the back for sewing fabric and lining to the invisible zipper successfully and beautifully, I realized the bodice was a bit loose at each side. That could've been easily solved by taking in the fabric a bit at each side if only the zipper was not sewn in already. GRRRRGH. After cussing at myself few times, I ripped back half of zipper length and the other sideseam, re-sew and tried on the dress again.

I was soooo mad at myself! I got a bit enthusiastic with taking in the sideseams and took in just a smudge too much, like, 1/4 inch too much on each side. Even a little too much was too much. It felt tighter on the bust than I'd like. I had to walk away from sewing to calm myself down.

After some thoughts, I cut a slit at the back to see how it fits. Thank goodness it fitted great. I just had to come up with a design to make the cut look intentional and I went for a curved opening. An hour into fixing the problem, I'd finally redeemed myself.

The fabric was from Mills End.  It's woven cotton in a pale lavender with subtle prints. I used matching solid cotton for the lining. For waistband and shoulder strap, I went with dark brown print from my stash.

I ended up quite happy to have a different back for this dress than the first one.
Probably I learned some lessons here somewhere, but I have a tendency of not learning from my mistakes.

Now I have 2 dresses with no occasions to wear...  It's time to sew something I'd wear more often.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I'm Having a Blast Sewing

I realized I like designing, making clothes, way more than wearing them.  Crazy, but that's me.  Continuing the trend of making things even though I knew ahead of time that I may not wear it much, I made a dress that I think is so pretty.  So pretty that it wouldn't fit into my regular my wardrobe style.  But I really wanted to make it.

Days ago, I was antsy about sewing, so I looked through my stash and found this aqua print.  I thought, why not a dress?  Well, as it turned out I had only 1 1/5 of this 45" fabric. Hmmm. all of sudden I remember I bought it to make a skirt. Oh well, it wanted to be a dress!  So I dug out some yellow thin cotton I had for contrast waistband and shoulder straps.

The drafting part went quickly enough.  I re-measured myself to ensure better fit.  I didn't want the dress to be super tight, but it's woven cotton so there is no give.  There were only 3 major pieces of paper pattern involved, the top front, top back and identical skirt front/back. I just cut the shoulder straps and waistbands with rotary cutter to the width I wanted and adjusted the length as I sew.

One trick I realized I could do when cutting pattern was to cut out the areas for darts.  I truly dislike tracing points for darts and connect them by ruler, or other methods of doing it, all too tedious for my impatient self. By cutting out the areas, I just have to draw directly onto the fabric.  The paper I have is obviously a lot stiffer than commercial pattern papers.  But I can see using tape (the transparent kind for gift wrapping) to tape over the dart lines before cutting the the triangular darts away.  I'm so pleased with this method.  Yes, I love shortcuts like that.

I put the invisible zipper at the left side seam.  After a day of working on it I couldn't decide what to do with the bodice neckline to make it slightly more interesting without too much frills. I slept on it. The next morning I woke up to the idea of little contrast peek out color.  First try was using serger to finish that part. Wrong. after coupla tries, I realized I can top stitch the fabric to the facing with contrast color sandwiched between them. It took some time for me to figure that out, but in the end it was worth it.

I went for the gathering of skirt at waist rather than darts because I a less structured look. It ended up perfect and made cutting and sewing easier too.
The fit came out great, fitting but not too tight. The pattern wasn't perfect, I did do adjustments as I went.
Even if it's a too sweet for my wardrobe style, I like making it so much that I'm already getting the fabric out to cut for the second one.