Friday, March 22, 2019

Deep Sea Sweatshirt TNT Win!

Well, this time I won't be doing the pattern review format because I didn't use a commercial pattern for this at all!

Needing more warm clothes for work, I chose to finally take apart a favorite sweatshirt that had outlived its use as an actual out-of-house, seen-in-public item of clothing. I mean, seriously, it looked gross even when freshly washed! The off-white fleece had turned dishwasher beige, the texture had changed, and last but not least, some type of oil (probably coconut) had spilled all over the front leaving a disgusting permanent stain. But it was so warm and cosy!

Farewell, my love...

In the picture above, it had been freshly washed. When brand new, it had actually been the same color as that pattern cutting board. Yup. What could possibly do that to a fabric?

While procrastinating about another project (so what's new?) I pulled out my seam ripper and got to work. I laid out the pieces and traced them off on my lovely Pellon Easy Pattern paper and immediately cut out a new version.

So this is essentially a rub off of a 15+ year old L.L. Bean v-neck fleece sweatshirt. Amazingly, the size tag of this one is an XS but it fits exactly as I want it to fit now even though I must be at least 15 pounds heavier than when I bought it! However, having seen how much the fabric texture/color has changed, I wouldn't be surprised if it had also  stretched out strangely.

For my replacement fabric, I choose this 59" Anti-pill plush fleece (100% polyester) in Biscay Bay from Jo-ann, that I bought in 2017 after I was drawn to this amazing Mediterranean blue color*. I stitched it together with a matching thread, Gutermann 100% natural cotton thread in Dark Turquoise #7540.

Of course,  the fit turned out just like the original. However,  instead of the basic topstitching I used a zig-zag stitch at the neckline and on the hems for a fun touch.

Another difference is it didn't have that ribbon treatment at the back neckline (see L.L. Bean label pic) because I didn't have the patience to figure it out. Perhaps, on the next one? Anyone know of a tutorial on how to do that? Update: I just found out how to do it in the instructions for the FREE Stellan Tee by French Navy patterns.

Oh, and this particular anti-pill plush fleece feels amazing and has a great weight to it. I recommend it.

That was long before I chose that same color for one of my winter coats and then ordered two stretch crepes (one pattern, one solid) in that same shade!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Totally Not The TNT Top - Simplicity 1325

Pattern: Simplicity 1325 (2014)

Pattern Description: Long-sleeve crew-neck top, flared jumper dress or tunic with plunging v-neck, pants, and long sleeve jacket with ribbon detail. Pattern by In K Designs. View A.

Pattern Sizing: R5 (14-16-18-20-22) I cut an 18.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, but only after many alterations.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, it's a very simple top. Nothing new.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I have a TNT top pattern (New Look 6838) but I was curious to try something new. I liked the extra long sleeves.

Fabric Used: 59" Sew Classics interlock (60% cotton, 40% polyester) in Ponderosa from Jo-ann Fabrics, Wright's non-shrink rayon seam binding in Navy 55 (vintage), Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Spruce #748

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Before I cut out the fabric I compared this pattern with my TNT (New Look 6838). The main difference was that the back pattern piece in NL6838 is two pieces to allow for swayback reduction, so I transferred the curved back center seamline. For some reason, this top turned out much larger than desired even though an earlier comparison of the pattern pieces didn't seem that far off. To remedy this, I recut the side seams to match those of the TNT pattern. So basically, I should have used that pattern to begin with!

I stitched on the neckband but then found the neckline too high, especially in the back. It was also too loose, so I again turned to my TNT to correct it. I altered the neckline to halfway between this pattern's crew/scoop neck and the other's boatneck. However, I did not cut and make a new neckband. Therefore, by cutting a lower neckline and making the circumference longer yet still using that smaller band I was able to cinch and tighten the neckline. I added some subtle interest by topstitching the band with a row of zigzag stitches.

I found the original length too long and cut off 1.5 inches. The sleeves were meant to be extra long to bunch at the wrist but I found them too wide for that purpose, even if they had been made in a Lycra stretch fabric. Because I had used a non-stretchy interlock the extra length didn't work so I removed most of it and then added tiny elastic to the sleeve hems. Next time, I might try a wider hem circumference for a more dramatic effect.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No, I would not. However, I bought the pattern for the dress so I hope I won't have as many problems with that. I will definitely take my own pattern measurements and compare them to the printed finished garment measurements before cutting anything out next time.

Check out my @grombre transition

Conclusion: I am happy with the final top but I really should have used my TNT pattern!