Monthly Archives: June 2017

Sundresses

I wanted some more variations on the button-up sundress, so for my May project at work I went for Butterick B5761, a Connie Crawford pattern that doesn’t look like much on the envelope, but I liked the lines. 

This is my first Connie Crawford and I was quite happy with the fit; it took much less fussing and reshaping of the bust than McCall’s M7640 that I made last summer. On the other hand, on my first version (the white) I didn’t shorten the bodice (only the straps) and had to let out the hips, at least partially because the hip was sitting lower than I need it to. My hips aren’t super wide but they jut abruptly right below my waist. It was also a bit smug throughout.  

These two versions are really a study in how different fabric affects fit. The first version I made, in the white, is a poly-cotton seersucker with very little give, and the whole thing was borderline too tight. The second version, in a soft, drapy rayon, actually came out a little too large and I need to get in there and take in the back seams. 

There’s also a pattern piece not shown anywhere on the envelope—the shaped shoulder strap I used on the white version. I wish I’d thought to trim it with lace like I did the bodice, though I was using up lace scraps for that and wouldn’t’ve had enough. I’m not sure I LOVE it, but it was interesting to try. A pain to turn and press nicely, though. 

 When I got it done the whole thing was still a little plain but I got the idea to add the band of lace bead with a bit of vintage velvet ribbon and I love that detail. I do wish it was a little lower cut in the front, especially in the white version, but if you don’t love cleavage it’s a good option and the back has a really nicely scooped shape. 

The pattern is designed to be lined, which I did for the white version, but it also has some “interfacing” pattern pieces that work just fine if you want a facing, as I did for the tie-dye rayon. 

It’s quite slim through the hips (and much less of a fabric hog as a result), but I like my skirts a little fuller so for the rayon version I did increase the flare. 

And I added the button front on the rayon version, because I’m cool like that. 😉

At its bones, though, it’s a pretty good pattern. Even if these aren’t the best pics I’ve ever snapped. (No makeup, hair flat, taken in about three minutes as we were rushing out the door)

It’s Canada Day this weekend, and our 150th year as a nation, which is a big deal although it kinda totally neglects the thousands of years of people who lived here before that; I am trying to be conscious of the validity of those dual narratives, and to acknowledge, if only to myself, the checkered nature of that 150-year history, particularly with regard to the treatment of the First Nations people. I have a new Canada Day dress, too, and if I manage to get pics this weekend I’ll try and get a post up on that, but I don’t dare make promises since we’re moving later this month (and finally, after almost 20 years of renting, becoming home owners!!!) and life is going to be insane. So I’ll see you on the flip side!

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Cavity alert

If my first version of the Fancy Tiger sailor top was sweet, this one is absolutely cloying. Brush your teeth after reading this. 

Tyo is wondering why I’m making mom clothes. 😂

I am teaching a class on this pattern in August. I have to know how to make it. Also it’s cute. It is cute, right?

This version is the promo sample—it’s now hanging in Periwinkle Quilting so that people will hopefully be inspired to sign up for the class. 😉 The fabric is from there as well, and is a luscious double gauze. It’s very exciting to work with a fabric I’ve read about for so long. 

And, I got the recommended amount (2.2m) but was able to squeeze the top out of less so I actually have 90cm left over! Maybe the fabric’s a bit wider than I thought. So, I should be looking at woven cami patterns or something. 
The pattern has pretty good instructions (and I found the missing match point on my sleeve pattern so I didn’t have to unpick gathering this time!) but doesn’t call for any interfacing of the neck band. This may be fine for quilt cottons, but I’ve added some in both my versions and I’m happy about it. For this version it was just a layer of cotton lawn. The pattern also doesn’t call for understitching, which I did on both the neck band and the sleeves’ faced hems. 

I maintain that it is still somewhat sassy, despite the utter sweetness of the pattern, not at all helped by my choice of fabric or the pompom trim lace. (It was dying for the lace, c’mon!)

I may be wrong. I am in the latter half of my thirties, after all. 

Ah well. Sometimes it’s fun to make something outside my usual style. 

This is made up exactly as per the pattern, except I added about 1″ to the width of the back, which helps. I could’ve made it a bit longer. Oh, and the jeans in these photos are what’s left of my very first pair of me-made jeans, from 2010. 😳

So, maybe not my “style” exactly, but adorable and enjoyable to make. Plus, a good fit with minimal alterations. I think it will serve its purpose admirably. 

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Demure

In August I’m teaching a sewing class (!!!!) at a local quilt shop, and the pattern selected is the Fancy Tiger Crafts “Sailor top”. I need to make a sample up pretty quick, but I wanted to try it out first in something other than the Precious Quilt Shop Double Gauze I have picked out. 

It’s a cute pattern, if not particularly sailor-y in my opinion. I hadn’t run across Fancy Tiger before. Apparently there’s a whole world of indie pattern companies beyond the five or six I keep track of. 

It’s supposed to be a short sleeved top, but I decided I wanted a long-sleeved (ish) dress. Because the best way to work out a new garment pattern is to change the heck out of it, right? 

The main thing I wanted from the lengthened sleeves was a bit of gathering and a sweet little button at the cuff. I was pretty much successful, though it’s not my tidiest sewing. 

My measurements were between a small and a medium. 

Let me rephrase. My measurements SHOULD be in a small, but, um, last Christmas is still hanging around. Gotta figure something out on the diet/exercise front here, people. Body love and acceptance is great, but I am not interested in outgrowing perfectly good handmade clothes. Anyway, after looking at the helpful finished measurements, I went with the small. And it feels a little small, especially across the back, so maybe a medium would’ve been better anyway. 

I had to unpick the shoulders and redistribute where the gathering fell as when I first did it there was way too much fullness behind the shoulder. Need to double check if I missed a marking there. 

When Tyo first looked at it, she said “mom, it doesn’t look like your style.” Teenagers. It’s overall similar to one of the few lingering RTW dresses in my closet. Also, I don’t think she really grasped how freaking short this thing is on me. 

It is, um, very short. Two more inches would have been a very good idea. Alas, with a border embroidery you can’t really tweak the length after the fact. Given the little remnant of fabric I was working with, any added length might’ve had to come from the sleeve, but I’m sure I could’ve made that work. 

For future reference, I cut it 25″ from the underarm. So 27″ or even 30″ would be ok. Noted. It’s cute, but a bit scandalously short for work and not really the sort of thing I’d wear lounging around the house. I’m thinking some white lace leggings would make it a bit more, ah, demure?

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