Friday, May 26, 2017

May Sewing: More red and white seersucker coordinates

Is there anything better than classic cotton seersucker in the summer?   The only thing better is cotton seersucker with lycra like what I've used for these garments.  

I like wearing updated classics, so the pullover shirtdress that you've already seen was first up, then I wanted a skirt or culottes of some sort.    I decided to make another long swooshy skirt from the 4 gore Relax a Little pattern that I've used many times.   This one has Louise Cutting's signature pockets from a previous skirt pattern.  I added a neat bias treatment at the hem because I like to play around with stripes.  

Odette top from Sewing Workshop pattern
Skirt from Relax a Little pattern
by Cutting Line Designs
Knit top using the Anything But Ordinary pattern
over the RAL skirt

Detail of hems and hem finishes 

These pieces coordinate nicely with my white cotton blouses and tops plus I made another top using the Sewing Workshop Odette pattern for knits with a white cotton knit and some remnants left over from the dress and skirt.   The cotton/lycra stripe worked well in the portions of knit top I substituted it for.  I also used the bias at the sleeve hems.   I doubt I will wear the top with the skirt but it looks great with white skirts and pants.  I wore the RAL skirt with this Akris pleated top to an al fresco lunch and a business meeting this afternoon and it was great for the perfect 70's weather and the first sunny day we've had in a week!   I was too busy for photos of it on me today.  But you can see how the skirt and top fits in the Flickr album photos.

Note:  Martha asked a good question about sewing and pressing on seersucker.    I'm replying here because I tried twice to post a reply below in Google and it vaporized. 

Depending on the grain, seersucker needs a little care in terms of the top and bottom layers wanting to shift while sewing.   Seems must be pinned together carefully, and care taken for edge stitching.   I've not needed a differential feed setting when serging, and use a cotton or wool with a light steam setting on my old Rowenta iron.   I use an old linen damask table napkin as a press cloth.  Pressing didn't smash the puckers - note that seersucker is often used for classic men's summer jackets and slacks, and oh how the cleaners press them!   I didn't use a press cloth pressing seams or the hems/bias stripes that I also used manilla templates for.    I always make samples with the smaller cut pieces to see how the fabric is going to behave before I sew a garment.  The lycra in this didn't affect the pressing.  

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Capsule Wardrobe in Shades of Red

Everybody loves a capsule wardrobe.   I don't wear a lot of red, but the reds I choose are muted reds and those in the mulberry range.   I just finished this dress that is a pattern hack using two Cutting Line Design patterns, each that I've made several times.   This time I wanted the cut-on sleeve with cuff look of the Simplify Your Life top pattern and the button front of the Ebb blouse pattern.    So I made my own changes to that pattern and here is the resulting dress in a muted red with white seersucker.  I posted photos of changes and details on Flickr albums.

My garments are hung in coordinating groups so I can select and wear coordinates for a day, or pull out a capsule for a trip.   This capsule includes that dress, two sleeveless tops from the Danger Curves Ahead pattern, a muted red and white Liberty jacket in a vertically textured cotton, a white Gunex asymmetrically pleated skirt and white linen pants.   Adding more colors, there's a striped cotton Shapes Six Sense skirt in reds/orange and a stripe of purple that goes well with the two DCA tops.   I included a silk scarf in a denim blue background with colorful shoe motifs that I can wear with the Liberty jacket on its own.    I love the way this all works together!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cutting Line Designs: A Shirt and Vest using the "Just A Pinch" pattern

I'm on autoship for Cutting Line Design patterns, but my pattern must have done the round the country route to get to me here in Asheville, NC from Winter Park FL.  It finally arrived Saturday, but in anticipation, I had my fabric for my first "wearable muslin" already prepped and ready to go.    Having already seen the finished measurements, and comparing them to other similar blouses and vests with the wearing and design ease I like, I went to town.     I read the instructions twice and there are many unique techniques for both views.    I always do the prep work as a unit for all pieces, clipping, marking, template pressing, interfacing and serging the edges if called for.   Note that the hem width on the front and the back pieces is different and the collar construction is so unique that I've not seen it done anywhere else.   

For this blouse with the front tucks (hence the name "Pinch") I used a menswear pinstripe, cotton/lycra shirting made for Tom Ford that I bought from Michael's Fabrics in Baltimore.   You can never go wrong using high quality fabric, and I don't waste my time on anything else.   The quality of the finished garment is comparable with high end ready-to-wear shirts and blouses by the houses of Anne Fontaine and PLANET.   They are timeless and elegant, like this style.   I've been fortunate to buy a few Anne Fontaine (AF) blouses on sale or at consignment shops, and included some photos of one for comparison on the Flickr album.   The collar on the AF blouse I put some photos on Flickr to compare is similar in what you will achieve using Louise Cutting and Sandra Miller's detailed instructions.     

On to the vest.    I used a unique Japanese cotton.   I bought this one because of all the great colors that are not only "my colors" but go with many other things I own and have sewn.     The collars and fronts of the two garments are interchangeable, so I may use the vest collar on the next blouse/shirt I make.   I veered from the collar instructions and catch-stitched the double collar in the center to hold it, but not squash the beauty of the double collar.    The ponte knit top shown under the vest is the Odette top from The Sewing Workshop pattern.    You can see several variations of that top/pattern in my Odette Flickr album.

Not only do I enjoy the journey of creating these great pieces, I take great pride in wearing them.   Enjoy yours and the many photos of these on the "Just A Pinch" Flickr Album.