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. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Tunic and a Wide-leg Pant

Here is the Cutting Line Designs tunic from the Danger Curves Ahead pattern that I finished in January.   It's a very drapy rayon challis print with black handkerchief linen contrast and facings.    The challis presented more of a challenge than if I had chosen a more stable fabric.   Reminder -  measure the cuff pattern pieces for the size you intend to make.  I cut the size small for this pattern,  and, even with buttonholes and buttons on a scant 3/8" from the edge, they have little ease.  I took photos of all the details which are on my Flickr photos and the album for this pattern.  Here is the tunic worn with a pair of 4-ply silk One Seam pants.

I cropped a pair of Loes Hinse Hepburn wide-leg pants that I didn't wear much last year, and I liked them better.  So after I finished the Cutting Line Designs tunic from the Danger Curves Ahead pattern,  I sewed up a pair of the West End pants from the pattern by The Sewing Workshop.   I had the pattern but hadn't sewn either the jacket or the wide-leg pants that are included.   So, here they are in the same double spring/summer weight double sided/textured fabric I used for some coordinates in this Tan/Black Coordinates Group Flickr Album.    You need a fabric like this with lots of drape, and plenty of ease to pull off this look, plus it's important to wear some shoes or boots with a bit of a heel.  Here's a "selfie" taken in the mirror in my sewing room and the other is outside on the deck in the wind!   Those are Arche nubuck ankle boots from the Mustard Seed boutique in Bethesda MD that is owned by my step-son, Derek.  Go see them if you're in the neighborhood.  You'll come away with some fantastic finds!

Texture and colors of fabric used for West End Pant

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Three Bristol Dresses

I bought the Bristol Dress/Top pattern at The Sewing Workshop's booth when I attended the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup WA in 2015.  The TSW ladies were wearing theirs in various knits.  It's a cozy, casual and stylish dress for laying, which you have to do in Puyallup in February, and fall/winter months here in Asheville, NC.  I had inspiration overload when I returned and my sights on spring when I got home with lots of snow on the ground when I left, and more when I returned.   Here are photos of the 3 Bristol dresses I sewed up while it snowed last week, and I'm still playing!

This pattern, like the TSW Odette top pattern that I have sewn several of,  allows one to treat your fabric like a puzzle that I enjoy.  So, like the Odette top, I made several of these and will probably sew up more.   It's a fun, Anthropologie like style that is very adaptable, depending on the knit you use.    I used a novelty overprinted slinky for the body and sleeves of my first one.  I planned to use a black ponte knit for the contrast, but decided it was too much "black", instead used the beige stretch pique, picking up the color of the floral motifs.  It's the same pique I used to make this Cutting Line Designs Pure and Simple jacket.  One of my friends remarked that the black floral slinky dress has a Downton Abby vibe.  

The second one is in an emerald green/black ponte knit from Fabric Mart with black matte jersey contrast hem bands and cuffs.   It's a showstopper!  The mulberry one below is in the same puckery/lacy knit that I used for a long skirt and a Eureka top.  This time I cut the yoke on the bias and stablized the yoke/body seam with the fusible knit stabilizer tape.   It coordinates with those, and many other  Berry and Chocolate Coordinates I've sewn. 

In terms of construction,  I found that a 4 thread serged seam worked best for the body, sleeve and yoke seams.   I used fusible tricot knit stay tape for the yokes and other areas that needed it.   You can eliminate the cuff if you want to.   I cut the sleeves for the mulberry one on the interesting ruffled selvedge.  

This is a great pattern to play with and use remnants that are just too good to toss!   I've uploaded many more photos of these to my Bristol Dress Flickr album.    I'm always up to something in the sewing chamber, but am a lazy blogger.   If you want to see what I'm up to, and get some inspiration to sew your own, just check my Flickr photos.