Monday, May 18, 2015

Jolly Green Tee - Grainline Studio Hemlock

Pattern: Grainline Studio Hemlock Tee  (2013)

Pattern Description: T-shirt with a relaxed fit, slightly scooped neckline, long sleeves, and self-fabric neck binding.

Pattern Sizing: One size fits all. Finished measurements: Bust – 44.5″, Hip – 46.5″

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, extremely easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? You mean besides the fact that it was free? Well, it is an easy shape with simple construction and a quick turnaround.

Fabric Used: 2 yards Kelly green and white (50% cotton, 25% rayon, 25% poly) striped tissue knit from Girl Charlee.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made no changes except for cutting my top 5 inches shorter than designed, it ended up being exactly the same length as the sleeves when my arms are down. On me the original length was more tunic than a t-shirt. In fact, if I had added just 12 inches to the pattern it would make a perfect knee-length dress.

Otherwise, despite not having a serger, I sewed it together following the instructions with my sewing machine. Two layers of stitching, one straight while stretching the fabric slightly, and then one narrow zig-zag, as always.

The 23" measurement for the neck binding didn't work for me, I had to stretch it quite a bit to fit and unfortunately, you can tell. Hopefully, another wash will shrink it up some.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will definitely make this again and it would be a great beginner project.

Conclusion: A fabulous basic that can be made not so basic depending on your fabric type and design choices. But it looks especially cute made up in stripes, right?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Here's The Goods!

I meant to post this right when it arrived but better now than much, much later (said the expert procrastinator.)

Not only did I get the new patterns and my original vintage Vogue, but also two print images of "my dress" from the summer catalog cover. In addition, I already have fabric that would work for two of these if I want to start making them up anytime soon.

Thank you, McCall Patterns and you are welcome. ; )

Friday, May 08, 2015

Iron And Rust Top - New Look 6216

Pattern: New Look 6216 (2013)

Pattern Description: A t-shirt with wide scoop neck and cut-on sleeves with hem bands.

Pattern Sizing: Size A (8-18) I cut out view B in size 12, but should have started with a size 10 instead.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Actually, I think it looks better now, slimmer and with slightly longer sleeves.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It is a very quick and easy design perfect for a small cut of a specialty knit as it only requires a yard of fabric.

Fabric Used: One yard of auburn red and heather gray half-inch striped (50% cotton, 25% rayon, 25% poly) knit from Girl Charlee.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: The fabric I used for this was much thinner and slippery than I expected so cutting the pieces out was time consuming. I cut them all out single layer, trying hard to match the stripes at the seams. The goal then became constructing the top without stretching the fabric out of shape.

I liked the neckline (though a bit too wide and deep) and sleeves but the top turned out to be too wide at the bust line for me as I had originally cut out a size 12. After trying it on and pinning the sides I stitched the seams in an additional 1/2". I also sewed along the shoulder seam line for the size 10.

Differences between original pattern and finished top.

I ended up altering the top further by bringing in the waistline curve beyond that additional 1/2", cropped the length quite a bit, and transferred all of the changes to the paper pattern.

Neckline alteration.
The neckline turned out to be too wide so I added a 1/4" or so where the neckline met the shoulder, using scraps of pattern paper I cut from the hem.

I finished my seams in my tried-and-true way of a straight stitch on the seam line while slightly stretching the fabric and then a line of zigzag stitching 1/8" away. I then trim the seam allowance down closer to the stitching.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will definitely make this one again.

Conclusion: I love the shape and it takes so little fabric and time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Look Ma, I'm In Vogue Magazine!

The Vogue Patterns catalog, that is!

See this pattern here?
Vogue 9106

Look a little closer...

That's my line credit for having lent McCall Patterns my copy of vintage Vogue S-4305 now reissued as Vogue 9106. They thanked me with this mention and five patterns of my choosing. See this earlier post for details.

The reissued pattern was released with the recent Spring patterns. I am so excited as it's now possible for me to make this dress for myself as my copy was not in my current size. I have been in love with the pattern illustration for years now. However, seeing the versions made up, the magic is a bit diluted, the prints chosen hide the most important details; the sections of gathers under the bust and on the skirts sides. I'm also confused about the type of net crinoline they used with the dresses. I feel they went too stiff or too big when I always imagined the skirt falling a bit more organically.

I also noticed that on the models, the gathers were not properly below the bosom but directly on them and the waist was a bit high. I'll have to check and perhaps add length in the torso for my version.

Invisible above, right?

Now about those five free patterns. You will not believe how stressful it was making those choices. There were only two givens and then there were about 6-7 others jockeying for the other three spots. I ended up with two dress patterns in shapes I don't already have (Vogue 8665) or could not have drafted on my own (Vogue 1234 from Sandra Betzina.)

Then I chose two made-for-knits top patterns (loving me some knits right now!), one with interesting raw edge seam finishes, Vogue 8925...

and another that is a substitution for one that I really wanted that had the same type of seam finishes. Strangely, the current Vogue 8952 is almost identical to an earlier Vogue release from alice + olivia, Vogue 1261. The designer pattern went out of print before I could buy it. During this selection process, I happened to notice that the tops were the same shapes and styles (the cowl neck, both raglan and dolman sleeves), the only difference being the absence of raw edged seams on the designer versions. However, I plan to apply the similar finishes from Vogue 8925 to the non-designer pattern versions.

My last selection was another given, Vogue 1411, the unique Sandra Betzina knit pants pattern that I want to make immediately in multiple colors. Check out that crazy seaming!

Vogue 1411
So, now, all I have to do is wait patiently. It's already been six months so what's a few more weeks?

Just another reminder, if you have any amazing vintage Vogue, Butterick or McCall's pattern (especially from when they were just called McCall) please consider lending them so that reproductions can be made. All you have to do is email images of those patterns to the McCall Pattern Company in care of If your pattern is selected, they will then contact you about sending the paper pattern to their offices. I thank you in advance!