Friday, April 24, 2015

Blue Steel Tee - Grainline Scout #31002

Pattern: Grainline Scout Woven Tee #31002 (2011)

Pattern Description: A t-shirt with capped sleeves and scoop neck. Fitted at the shoulders, this top falls into a loose shape below the bust.

Pattern Sizing: Size six, smaller than my usual size because I was using a knit instead of a woven.

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, very much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It is a simple idea but in a modern shape; interesting and still an easy and fast sew.

Fabric Used: One yard of navy blue and heather gray half-inch striped (50% cotton, 25% rayon, 25% poly) 7 oz. knit from Girl Charlee. (see conclusion below)

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: The only change I made was cutting out a smaller size than my woven versions.  The knit I ordered ended being much thinner than I expected. Because of that and the wish to match the stripes I cut it out in a single layer. Surprisingly, when completed the finished shirt impressed me by being tres sexy because of the fabrics drape.

Making sure the stripes will match.
I chose to cut the neck binding out perpendicular to the shirt's stripes for a fun contrast. In a nice coincidence, the left hand side of the band matched up perfectly with the stripes on that section of the shirt. The neckline does seem to bag out a bit at the front, so I may try some iron steam or another line of topstitching to put it back into place.
Self fabric neck binding.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will make this again, I am obviously a fan of this little pattern, having made it many times before in woven fabrics. This is my first Scout in a knit and now I can't wait to make more knit versions.

Conclusion: It's a design that looks very different when made in various types of prints and weights of fabric. I particularly like how the shape drapes and falls in a knit.

As it turns out, I was initially disappointed in Girl Charlee because their description of this knit as "light to medium weight" was not accurate. I was expecting a more substantial knit, however, this is more of a tissue knit weight, more accurately described as "light-weight". However, now that it is finished I really like this weight and the way that it feels and drapes. Now that I know what to expect, I will probably buy more of this 7 oz. weight knit from them.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Andes Mint Striped Tee - New Look 6838

Pattern: New Look 6838
Pattern Description: Knit tops with neckline and sleeve options and drawstring pants.

Pattern Sizing: Size A (XS-XL) I cut a small, which corresponds to size 10-12. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except I made it with shorter sleeves.

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

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the wide neckline and the curved back seam which took care of the swayback situation.

Fabric Used: One yard brown and jade striped 60" wide ponte de roma (80% poly, 15% rayon, 5% Lycra) from Mood Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: When I made this pattern the first time I had fitting issues and had to alter the paper pattern extensively. This time the fitting issues were all my fault. I mistakenly thought the ponte would be so different stretch wise from the interlock I used the first time and originally added a half inch to each side seam. Big mistake, which I didn't realize until I had stitched it together, so there was a lot of unpicking and then I re-cut the top in the original size.

Since I only had one yard, I could not have full-length sleeves. However, I chose to cut them out as long as possible and make the decision later. As it turned out, I hemmed them just below the elbow, so more than half but still not three-quarter length. A simple turn-under at the neckline, sleeves, hems, and I was done.

Check out those matching stripes!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I can not recommend the pattern as is since I had to do a major reworking of the original pattern. However, the one great thing about this pattern is that the back pattern piece included a shaped center back seam which addressed any swayback issues. I suggest looking for similar patterns in order to create the best fitted t-shirts.

Yes, there is a center seam here! Stripe matching, for the win!
Conclusion: Another great boatneck t-shirt and the first one done out of my striped tee sewing binge.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stripes Galore - T-Shirts And Comfy Tops

So, I'm sewing again. No, I did not get a new job yet but I need something to do for fun around here. So why not start acquiring those striped t-shirts I've talked about always wanting.

First four are from Girl Charlee and the last two are from Mood Fabrics.

The Fabrics:

A while ago, I bought some striped ponte de roma from Mood Fabrics(!) for a pair of t-shirts. I think I might now use one, the jade and mustard stripe, for a t-shirt dress made from New Look 6838. Since I only have two yards, it will be short-sleeved for spring similar to the examples below from Banana Republic and Zara..

After buying that amazing ponte from Mood, I found out about a sale at Girl Charlee and I decided to give the company another try. I had a disappointment with an order a year ago with a semi-sheer knit that wasn't advertised as such. Not only was the white portion of the mustard and white stripe fabric see-through but the mustard was printed instead of being woven in the fabric. I returned it and exchanged it for a superior black and white Lycra knit that I did love and used here. So one good - one bad. However, I was still leery of the accuracy of their fabric descriptions on the blog and as it turned out, I was right to be.

The haul from Girl Charlee

With the fabrics averaging a price of $4, I decided to take the chance and ordered four cotton poly blend knits described as 7 oz. lightweight to mid-weight and one 10 oz. medium weight patterned ponte. (Not pictured: a white and red stripe just like the green and white one shown)

Well, even though the four knits felt soft and had drape, they were no way near mid-weight, in fact, the ones striped with white were see-through at the white parts and specifically, the red and white one read as red with extremely pale pink stripes. I prefer my white to be opaque.

10 oz. ponte print
In addition, their black and white ponte was thinner than any ponte that I've encountered and again the white portions of the print would require a lining if I made it as a skirt, which had been the goal.

I am first trying out the two grey-striped fabrics, they have already been washed. I feel they are not as scandalous as the white striped ones, which would definitely require a camisole if worn. Because of the low prices, I don't feel bad using the others purely for muslin since I have a lot of free knit top patterns I would like to try out. The ponte might be used for a boxy top instead of the Mod-inspired skirt I originally wanted.

The Patterns:

Grainline Hemlock (1.5 yards), Simplicity 6216 (1 yard), New Look 6838 (1.5 yards), Grainline Scout tee (1.75 yards), and Let's Twist Again... from Burdastyle (2 yards).

Images: Banana Republic, Zara, Grainline Studio, Simplicity, and McCall Pattern Company.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Adolescents or Women: Patterns Today

Butterick 6168

I have just come from looking at the very first pattern of Butterick's new spring collection. It's a lovely dress by Lisette, B6168, that I would really like if the waist was lowered by about an inch.

I have noticed lately that so many of the new pattern styles, whether from Big 4 or independent companies seem to think a woman is more attractive if her waist is approaching an Empire line and therefore, two or three inches above her real waist. There is even a French independent pattern company, Deer & Doe that has specialized in this style. I disagree. In my opinion, anything designed to make me resemble a preteen is not a look meant for me.

So, I was inspired to write the above after viewing that pattern. However, any ill will toward Lisette disappeared as I viewed their second offering, B6182. I am in love with both pieces in this pattern*! Alas, as I looked at it, I realized these same pieces could also look extremely appropriate on a child and also don't really promote a "womanly" shape so I guess I should just shut up about that waist issue. ;)

It truly seems that the Lisette patterns have grown up! Their earlier designs** had a whiff of the juvenile to me which was only enhanced with the coordinating fabric designs they sold at Jo-Ann Fabrics. However, I love these new stylish entries, B6182, B6183, B6168,and B6169 especially.

That black dress (with pockets!) is to die for.

*Did you notice that this top incorporates that same center front dart that I wrote about here? It's becoming quite a popular design element, isn't it?

**By the way, I just realized that Lisette has moved from being offered by Simplicity Patterns to the McCall Pattern Company. I wonder how that all came about?