Friday 29 April 2022

Classic Shirt Dress

One thing I simply cannot walk past is a double sided fabric

of course I also wouldn't walk past an accident, a lost kitten, a crying child... 

but definitely not a nice double sided fabric. It's my weakness.

I saw this one at The Fabric Store when I wasn't looking for it. I was barely in the vicinity, but that's the nature of double sided fabric. It calls to me.

It's a double gauze with a navy plaid on one side and a lighter blue stripe on the other. Immediately I knew it wanted to be a shirt dress.

This blog post is sort of part 2 in my series of copying Liesl Gibson by sewing something just like what she did.

Part 1 (some may argue I'm already up to part umpty-billionth) was my black Cinema Dress. This one is almost a double part sequel as I've copied both the Classic shirt turned dress with popover placket, and the double welt pockets with button loop

Admittedly I didn't copy those welt pockets too neatly (Just go look at the perfection of that shirt of hers). More on that soon.

I've used my tried and true size 10 Classic Shirt pattern (without moving the bust dart this time) and lengthened it using the Camp Shirt/Dress as a length and width guide - I happened to have that one out and handy as I'd just made my cropped Camp Shirt

Instead of buttoning all the way down the front I used the free popover placket tutorial from the Oliver + S blog.  

Nothing more to say. I love it.

Wednesday 27 April 2022

CDOMD - aka Copying Liesl

Ever since forever I've been wanting a plain black Cinema Dress

Truth be told it's been ever since Liesl Gibson sewed one for herself. I keep seeing photos of her in some lovely Madrid street in that black dress and I want it. Bad.

So, here it is: the Cinema Dress Of My Dreams (CDOMD)

At first I was going to use linen, but I couldn't hit on the Goldilocks weight - not too sheer, not too heavy. 

Then I found this vintage finish cotton at Fabric Deluxe. It's perfect. It's light and floaty. It's has a softer drape than a linen would but is more opaque than a lightweight linen would be too.

I've been wearing it a lot. I've not managed to get to Madrid to try and really copy Liesl in a photoshoot, but it's a dress that works for a trip into the city

or a weekend in the country...

The sizing and modifications (yes I can raise my arms!) is the same as for my bright version seen back here.

The only problem is that in vigorously pulling this one one and off without unbuttoning it, the more delicate cotton fabric has given out where a button has pulled through. I patched it with some interfacing, but it's just happened again. I think I can just stitch the back placket closed and dress more slowly and carefully.

Friday 15 April 2022

The perfect, ruined, somewhat salvaged hat

Do you ever make something really amazing and then completely ruin it with one last little step? A step that turns out to have been completely unnecessary anyway.

Well I do. Surprisingly frequently.

Here's the only in-progress photo I have of my LUCCA hat. The pattern is by Susanne Muller, here, on Ravelry. I had, I thought, just enough of the lovely tan Modofil paper raffia in my stash.

I made the larger size and it was coming along really well. The instructions for steam shaping are great, I was getting excited.....

And then I got to the point photographed above and realised I didn't have enough raffia*. I spent a few nights scouring the internet and the only place I could find it available for sale was in the states and a $25 cone of raffia was going to cost me another $40 to post. Despair.

* to be fair, the pattern does state that for the larger size you'd need more than one 100g cone of raffia.

So I sent a begging email to Cass at String Harvest and, HOORAY, she did have a cone in her own stash that was not on the shop's website. Glee! She posted it to me, it arrived and was even the same colour batch number, and I was off and crocheting again.

The brim is supported by some plastic hat wire that I got from The Millinery Hub along with some Petersham ribbon to sew a band.

It fit perfectly. Securely enough not to blow off in a wind, but comfortable enough not to stretch or distort when worn. I am so awesome. My hat is so great.

Then came that "extra bit"....

I decided it needed to be stiffer and so I carelessly started slapping hat stiffener onto it. It instantly stained a horrible dark, uneven colour. Aaarrrgh.

Nothing to do but keep going and give it enough coverage to be at least a somewhat even, horrible dark stained colour.

Now it was perfectly stiff, and thus completely inflexible and too small. Real tears.

I set it aside for a few weeks and wallowed in my self pity. 

Eventually I decided to try washing it. Theoretically the hat stiffener shouldn't wash out with water, but it kind of did. At least all the stiffness part of it did. The uneven staining remained.

It's never quite gone back to the sizing it was pre-ruining and washing and so it needs a hefty bit of steam ironing to achieve the shape in these photos.

The tendency is for it to be a bit small and so it looks rounded where it sits around my head and then the top part appears like a shrunken souffle hovering above the crown.

Can you tell I'm still a bit sad? I mean I'm laughing at myself as well, and I'll definitely have another go at it one day.

But meanwhile, this one is still perfectly wearable and at least I won't be too precious about it getting dirty or stained.

And it can be scrunched up and shoved into a bag and then it (sort of) pops back into shape. At least the shape that it now chooses to be.

It's all about knowing when to stop.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Patience rewarded - Jalie 2679

Ever since he was about 5 years old, P has been asking me for a top with thumb loops. Finally I got around to it.

I have a cycling top of my own from Ground Effect and knew he'd like something like it: Windproof on the front, breathable at the back, roomy pockets and those much desired thumb loops....

I knew I'd have to make some modifications to achieve what he/we wanted and so figured I should use what I had to hand. Enter Jalie 2679 - a women's softshell jacket pattern. The pattern had pretty much everything needed except the thumb loops and a shaped cycling-style "whale tail" at the back.

I recalled that deep in my fabric stash I had a decent amount of an amazing double sided, windblock microfleece - last used back here when he started primary school! (cutey!!) I'm sure my intention was to use it all up while it matched the school colours. With only the younger child left in grade 6 I might have missed the boat on that!

There was some navy sweater fleece in the stash but it is very thick and has little to no stretch and wasn't going to work. The other find (I really do have too much fabric) was this lighter blue athletic knit. It's fleecy on the inside, very soft and a much stretchier type knit than a cotton sweater knit. At first I was disappointed that the colours didn't match but then P and I decided together that the blue on navy colour blocking was kinda cool.

The jacket usually has a longish, hemmed, single layer cuff. I wanted my thumb loop to arise from where the cuff meets the sleeve, so I redrew my cuff shape to give the curve over the back of the hand and less depth around where the thumb loop would be.

Then I cut two cuffs for each side, stitched them together around the outer edge and turned them. The thumb loop was made by cutting an oval out of the cuff and then binding the raw edge with rib knit (and yes, there was navy in the stash!)

To make up for the shorter cuff, I'd added about 2 inches of length to the sleeve. but I'd forgotten about the freakish arms of this kid. There was a big gap between sleeve and cuff! I'd already been having a bit of fun using silver, reflective bias binding in a few of the seams, so we agreed that a sleeve extender (patent pending) might be able to look deliberate with the addition of some more reflective piping. That's another full 5" of sleeve length added. Freak.

For his measurements I chose the women's size R, then added 1" body length to the front panels (above the bottom front band) and to the backside panels, curving towards and inch and a half where the back sides meets the back, then dipping further to curve across the centre back

For just the cost of the zippers and the reflective binding it turned out brilliantly and I'm so glad I finally gave him his thumb loop top.

Wednesday 6 April 2022

Enmore Halter Top

I tested one of the new Liesl + Co spring patterns earlier this year: The Enmore Halter Dress and Top

It was actually after testing the top that I started rummaging around trying to find drapey lengths of fabric in order to make the dress as well. I had no luck, but then once I'd found one particular drapey, but insufficient length of fabric I went on to make the lil' scrappy camp shirt.

This fabric is just a lightweight cotton of which I had one metre.

The pattern has an inbuilt shelf bra so there's no fear of falling out the sides of your singlet top!

As I do when testing a pattern I sew it to my measurements without any real fit adjustments (size 12 a/b cup). While this top is wearable I feel I'd need to make some changes to the shelf bra to have it really work for me. It feels safe and I'm at no risk of exposing myself, but it's not supportive in any way. I think I need to split the centre front of the shelf bra and add some darts to give it shaping.

As is always the case when I bare my shoulders the back view is rather alarming. I need to add some back width as well as maybe raise the armscye for a bit less of a freaky, triangular shape emphasis.

It's definitely a pattern I'll revisit next summer and play around with the fit. It would be the perfect launching pattern for a bias cut slinky evening dress, but equally comfy in a linen for a hot summer day.

Immediate repeat

 Back to back. The same again.

I took him with me to Spotlight and we chose these combinations of flannelette bottoms and knit tops to make two more pairs of pyjamas.

The flannelette is quite narrow and of the 2m cuts that I bought I could only add length by adding so cuffs cut on the cross grain. They're the same XS Thread Theory Eastwood pyjama pants but with about an inch and half of extra length due to the addition of cuffs.

The T-shirt is the Style Arc Hayden Tee in size 14 again.