Sunday, January 27, 2019

Oyster White Shell Top - New Look 6838

(This was actually made in 2018.)

Pattern: New Look 6838 (from 2008, since reissued as New Look 6402)

Pattern Description: Knit tops with neckline/sleeve options and pull-on drawstring pants. View C.

Pattern Sizing: Size A (XS-XL) I cut a M (14-16) for the 40.5" bust and 37" waist finished garment measurements.

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

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: Ponteroma knit in Winter White for $3 per yard (orig. $15) from Hancock Fabrics liquidation sale.

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. You may find that the top is drafted too long, the back pattern piece will be a full inch or so wider than the front, and the neckline is extremely wide and might need adjustment. When I use this pattern I now sew a larger seam allowance on the center back, I have added to the inner neckline on my pattern piece, and also eliminated 1.5" from the hem.

This time I made the sleeveless shell. Noting that my other versions were now tight in the chest I created a faux full-bust-adjustment by adapting a technique from a favorite Kwik Sew pattern. The front piece is curved outward at the bust (adding more length/room there) and gathered to fit the back piece. Once worn, the bust fills out that excess fabric.

A simple turn-under of fabric at the neckline and armscye completes the top.

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 has addressed any swayback issues. I suggest looking for similar patterns in order to create the best fitted t-shirt block that your particular shape needs.

Conclusion: I am happy with the custom fit I achieved on this make and there will be many other versions.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Looking at the New Year

Hiya. Happy New Year!

I hoped to have three completed pattern reviews on here before 2019 but it didn't happen. Getting photos for the blog just wasn't possible even though I had brought two of the pieces on holiday with me. I just didn't feel like begging some family member to take photographs last week. It always becomes such a hassle. It's weird but non-bloggers seem to not understand what 'take a picture of my outfit looking good' means. So much bunched and lumpy fabric, unattractive body positions, weird shadows, and so much blurriness, ugh! So, I will try again by myself while also starting on my first new projects for the New Year.

Shana floral and Ponderosa interlock from Jo-Ann

Currently in my queue are another simple knit tee and a highly anticipated knit wrap dress. The green interlock originally was to be a TNT New Look 6838; however, I've decided to try the top from Simplicity 1325. I compared the patterns and this one has a different armscye and longer sleeves. It doesn't have a back seam (for shaping) so I will change that.

New Look 6301

The wrap dress is something I've wanted for a while but since I wanted a fuller skirt I was surprised to find that most Big 4 wrap dresses are designed with straight skirts. Therefore, I bought New Look 6301 and I hope that it works out. I've read reviews of this one and others similar that day the bodice could be tricky if you're more than a B-cup.

If I have any sewing goals for the New Year it is to
complete my goals from last year:

  • Develop a fitting shell from McCall's 7279
  • Draft actual slopers
  • Learn to fit pants correctly and make lots of them
  • Work through my fabric stash (I was doing so well before buying silk for that family wedding!)
So, let's get this plan in action, everything is cut out and ready to go. Also, look out for my last two pattern reviews from 2018, hopefully soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Scuba Staple Skirt - Butterick 6464

(This was actually made in 2018.)

Pattern: Butterick 6464 (2017)

Pattern Description: Close-fitting, pull-on skirt with side panels and thin elastic channel inside a wide waistband.

Pattern Sizing: Size E5 (14-16-18-20-22), I cut a size 18 and adjusted on my body accordingly.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it?  Sorta, the actual skirt's waistband appeared more gathered than in the drawing.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Extremely easy. Great pattern for a beginner and it has more style than a basic pencil skirt.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Having made this before I knew that the fit would be excellent.

Fabric Used: Black/light gray double faced neoprene (polyester/Lycra) from Mood (a gift from Allie J. as part of a giveaway*), Stretchrite 1/2" polyester braided elastic, Gutermann 100% polyester thread in #592 Black, Dritz size #16 (100) ball point machine needle (for heavyweight knits)

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: The design ease for this skirt of 43.5" for a 42" hip is too much positive ease for a knit skirt. I decided to cut my skirt halfway between size 16 and 18.

I love the way the waistband is constructed. It consists of a wide waistband/yoke with the elastic channel hidden inside so it's not evident from the outside. The yoke sections are stitched together on the sides first, then a casing is formed at the top edge where the elastic is inserted, and once secured the entire yoke is turned inside out; essentially hiding the elastic.

The only difficulties in construction were due to the fabric choice. Cutting it out was easy with a rotary cutter but the heft of the fabric required me to trace the cut-on-the-fold pattern piece for the center front and back as complete pieces so that I could cut them out flat.

Because this was my first time using scuba I began by testing out different sewing and pressing techniques on scraps. This resulted in me choosing to use a ball point needle made for heavyweight knits and my walking foot. Stitching over multiple layers of this fabric was still difficult and I admit I had to reinforce some areas when I noticed some skipped stitches.

All of the seams were pressed first, on the wrong side and then the right with a "pressing cloth" (scrap of random lightweight fabric) which I then weighed down with whatever I had on hand until it was cool. (I just keep putting off buying a wood clapper because this still works!) This was very important for the top of the waistband, which really didn't want to behave. Even though it would have elastic inside and be gathered, I still wanted to avoid as much bulk in that area as possible. This pressing-and-resting method took over an hour to treat all of the seams and to tame the waistband.

The rest of the skirt was incredibly simple, consisting of center and side panels on both the front and back. I top stitched the panel seams and the waistband to add dimension to the scuba.

I have no idea how a folded hem will affect the look of the skirt so I'm wearing it without a hem right now. This works because scuba does not ravel.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, This is a definite TNT pattern and I will definitely make more of these. I highly recommend this skirt pattern.

Conclusion: This was a successful make, a slim skirt with an ingenious waistband treatment and visual interest provided by the topstitched side panels.

* She actually questions in the comments here what to do with the leftover yard from her own skirt project...well, she sent it to me!