Thursday, January 25, 2018

Some spring sewing - Two blouses from the At Every Angle pattern

Referring to the At Every Angle Cutting Line Designs pattern with two interesting tops that can be shirts or jackets, depending on the fabrics used.     I was dithering about which fabric to use for view A, so I decided to make some coordinates that would work with my neutral berry bottoms. 

First up is a soft cotton cross dye shirting with mulberry and cream threads woven to create narrow purple stripes on a gray-ish background.  It has an 11" border of more compact stripes that make it look darker.    I cut the collar, the large patch pocket and put the front sides facings on the darker border portion for contrast.   

Based on the finished measurements and how I like my shirts like this to fit, I cut the XS size.   I always compare patterns to others I wear and buy.    I did not make any alterations to this pattern.    I also cut and sewed on the large patch pocket shown in the pattern.    Once it was finished, I  decided the proportions were off, given the size I made, and removed the large pocket.    I remembered how much I liked the smaller pockets on my CLD Just My Style tops, so I cut out three of them and determined the placement.   

I then followed the instructions for stay stitching and pressing templates to ensure a professional look. 

Here is the final result with the three smaller pockets.  The one on the lower left is sewn on straight, but the angle of the photo and the drape of the soft shirting makes it look crooked, noting that Terri doesn't do "crooked".   Those are thin 5/8" pewter color metal buttons.   The wide-leg linen pants are from last spring/summer's collection by a company called Kleen.  I love the overall asymmetry of this top, the asymmetrical stand-up collar, and how the length and shape of this top works with this pant style.   

Next is the same view B shirt in a taupe silk organza with a dark berry woven stripe.   The cotton shirting stripes aren't as prominant and I wanted to play with the stripes in this fabric.  It's easy with this pattern because there are 4 individual front/back pieces that you cut fabric face up.  Everything is the same on this top except that the stripes run horizontally on the right front and back, to include the sleeve, and vertically on the left side.   I cut the collar with the stripe running down the piece.  Silk organza is a challenging fabric to cut, sew and press,  especially with a woven in stripe.   I cut, and used narrow strips of very light steam a seam from a sheet of SaS before I top-stitched the facings and hems.    Because of the crisp nature of the fabric, I decided against pockets that would make the fronts stiff.   The organza is semi sheer so this was intended to be layered over another top or dress like I show here.   As such, I eliminated the buttonholes and buttons.   

More photos in the At Every Angle album on my Flickr photo site 

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!