Friday, November 21, 2014

Colourful top - KnipMode Special Oct. 2013


This top is really cheering me up with its great, vibrant colours. Something we could all use in these, most of the time, gray and cold days. At some places the colours look faded, but that's the print.
The pattern is from a KnipMode special, which I can't find anywhere by the way. The original has a little strip of fabric that goes through a hole in the front, just beneath the drape and then you tie the ends together and by that gather the drape. Boy, does that even make sense to you? Anyway, I didn't use it. Nor did I use it in the same top I made about a year ago. And that's a colourful one as well.


With that top I made a belt (not shown in the picture, couldn't find that either :-(
I left out the belt this time and instead took in the sideseams, and now it's a more fitted top. (You got to trust me on that. I don't feel like taking a picture of me as I am down with a cold and not looking too well.)
What I like particularly is the fact that the drape in the neckline is modest but at the same time looking really great. It looks even better when I wear it.

I warned you in the previous post that it would be a simple top again. And it is.
Trust me to make it diffcult...
When I sewed the shoulderseams, after painstakingly ruching the seams and basting everything together, I realised that it was not right. Something in the back of my mind told me that the first top looked different in that area. So I checked it and yes, it was different. I should have read the instructions even though I made it before. But hey...when the sewingmojo strikes, I usually fly without wings. Well, lesson learned.
The shoulderseam of the back should be hidden between the shoulderseams of the front and facingpiece, instead of showing the raw edges. Here's what it looks like after I fixed my mistake.
















So the next job to do was unpicking the stitches and ruching and do it all over again, but now in the correct way.
It paid off. Now it's finished neatly and I love it. The instruction tells you to ruche also the shoulderseam of the facing, but I didn't bother with that. Just made two pleats and that works fine.
The facing is attached to the frontpiece at all sides, except at the bottom. It stays in place very well.

Nice.

Now I am in desperate need of a denim skirt to pair it with. Once I will feel a bit better I will pay a visit to the fabricshop. It's been too long. Too long...

Talk to you next time.
Lilian

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The facing that wanted to come out and play.

Yes. Another simple project... I almost feel the need to apologise for the fact that my sewing might seem a bit boring lately. But for me it isn't. No matter how simple it looks, there are always some problems to overcome and when I do, I am quite happy with the outcome. This top is a good example of that (first picture is a bit crappy though...)

 
 
As you can see, my top has no sleeves. Here's why.It all started with a piece of fabric I bought at a local fair for only € 3 ($ 3,80 / £ 2,30). Soon after that the idea came up to sew a trendy, oversized shirt with short sleeves. It took some time to find a matching pattern. (MUST NOT BUY FABRIC WITHOUT A PLAN - I REPEAT...MUST NOT etc.)
This pattern is from a magazine called 'Diana'. (More about that later). When that was solved too it was time to cut the fabric. It was then I discovered a big yellow stain, which eliminated 1/4 of the fabric I could use. Bummer.....
So what was I to do? Start looking for a new pattern (which would cost more time) or make do with what I had? I choose the last option and decided to eliminate the sleeves. I could still use this top to wear under jackets, cardigans etc.

With full steam ahead I started to sew. Then I saw that the shoulderseams were not matching. The back was way smaller than the front. (This probably has to do with the fact that I had to draw a new size between the patternlines of size 42/44 and 46/48). I had to recut and reshape the front neckline in the shoulder area. That meant the facing had to be reshaped  as well.
Once that was done I attached the facing to the, partly ruffled, neckline. Because of the ruffles, the facing was behaving in a bad way. It kept creeping up from behind the neckline and I didn't know what to do. Downstitching the facing meant stitching through the ruffles. That didn't appeal to me at all. I was about to throw the whole lot in the bin when I had a (ahum) briljant idea.Why not give the facing what it wanted - it's own little place in the sun?
And there you have it. The little stripe of fabric you see above the ruffles is the facing, crawling to the surface. It almost looks like a designfeature. As if it was meant this way. Yay!
The facing is stitched down all the way round. I used the 'stitch in the ditch'-technique in the front.

Pffff....problems overcome...very happy sewist!


Because I wasn't going to put in any sleeves, I had to redesign the armscyes as well, but that was a quick fix. I finished them in my favourite way. When hemming, I left the back a bit longer than the front. And from a certain size up, the pattern has bust darts. Nice!













This magazine - 'Diana' - is, I believe, a German magazine but sold in the Netherlands completely in Dutch. The pictures have a Burda-feel to it but the patterns are much nicer and wearable (in my opinion). For example:
Picture taken from sewing-magazine 'Diana'
Can you feel the Burda-vibe of a long, long time ago??

And now, probably with sweet Burda-memories filling your head, it's time for me to go. Next up will be another jersey knit top in quite thrilling colours. And yes, I'm afraid it's simple again ;-)
Better get started.

See you next time.
Lilian

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Alterations

First of all: a big, big thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post, suggesting what could be the problem I was having with my yellow blouse and possible ways to solve that. This is so much appreciated! Sometimes in life you need help and you don't know who to turn to. But ask fellow-sewers for help and they all come to your rescue. That's so kind and sweet! So again, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU GUYS!

Now. On to the alterations.
Some of you suggested that maybe I need to create more space in the upper-back. I started to take a closer look at pictures of me from the side, and I was surprised to notice that I do have a rounded upper-back. Why didn't I notice before?! Besides that, I Always feel that my tops and blouses are hanging shorter in the back than the front. That may also be a result of the fabric pulling up at the top. Wow. This does make a lot of sense.
I definitely have sloping shoulders. That could be part of the problem too. But I am curious to find out if a rounded-back adjustment could do the trick. I found a very useful instruction here by 'Surefitdesigns'.

Rounded-back-adjustment
I used the instruction mentioned above, and this is what I came up with. Yeah, there is a dart in the shoulderseam but if that's what it takes, than that's what I am gonna do. Because you want the dart to end on top of your shoulder, I had to replace the shoulderseam. In the original, the shoulderseam is about 4 cm more to the front. I simply cut of the extra of the back and taped that to the frontshoulder.

The amount of extra space is absolutely a guess. The best way to find out how much I need might be to cut up the yellow blouse and see what happens when I put it on. Obviously, that's not gonna happen...


Full-bust adjustment
I also had a little trouble with full-bust draglines. This pattern has a princess-seam so that makes it a bit difficult to do an adjustment. But I found the perfect instruction for an fba for princess-seams by 'byhandlondon'. Unfortunately my apex is located on the front part so I had to be a little creative.
You see the red arrows? When I looked at the altered pieces I was worried that that extra space as to where the red arrows are pointing, was gonna be a problem. Then I suddenly realised that I was completely thinking in the wrong way! The extra space in the frontpiece is a (mini)dart, of course (!). And therefore, the extra space in the sidepiece can be eliminated. Pffff.....what was I thinking..... ;-)

I do not want the extra space that an fba creates at the bottom, so I let the two pieces next to the vertical cutting line, meet again at the bottom.


(The third piece on the right is the back-pattern....)
Now. I can hear you think. Where is the result of all these alterations?! Sorry, don't have that yet.... (hangs head in shame....) I want to make this a wearable muslin, but I don't have the right fabric for that at the moment. As soon as I do, results will follow.

* * *
 

There were more plans to do some summer-sewing but I just waited too long I think. The weather has really taken a turn for the worse over here and I am already wearing my fleece sweater. So I guess it's time to turn the focus to fall-sewing. Which means making new plans. Yesterday, while doing the dishes, I had a thought... Why not do a mini-swap? The one I made in 2010 was so much fun and it could be fun again. It's been a long time since I heard about any swaps but hey, who cares. The more I think about it, the more fun it seems.
But there is also the need for new pj's, a new jersey top, and I want to make an apron, and sew some home-dec, and..... Well the list goes on and on. Time to set priorities!!

Talk to you soon!
Lilian


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I need some sewing-advice

First the good:
 
 
Then the bad:
I have a problem. And I need your advice. Please! I can't go on sewing blouses like this.
Everytime I sew a blouse in a non-stretch fabric, the same problem occurs, namely this:
 
 
You see the draglines in the back, pointing from the neckline to as far as under the arm?
I'm sooo tired that this happens every time. I just don't know how to make them go away.
It looks like my arm is pulling the armscye down, like it's too high for my body. At first I thought I could solve this by lowering the armscye as a whole. I once tried this on another blouse. It helped maybe a little bit, but unfortunately, if I moved my arms, the complete shoulder/neckline moved upward, like someone had put a clothes hanger in it and lifted that up. Not a good thing.
I also don't think that the armscye is too small. There's enough room to move.

So yeah, I need your help. If anyone knows a way to solve this, I would love to hear it!
Feel free to point out some body-imperfections. For the sake of getting a good fit, I don't mind.

In spite of this all, I do like this blouse enough to wear it. 
After all, just look around and you see a lot of people wearing clothes that have this exact same (or other) problem. Still, it's proof of an ill-fitting garment.
Sometimes I think we are too critical on our own work. More than once I see on other people's blogs they aren't happy with the result of their sewing, when all I can think is: Wow, that is just so lovely!
Maybe it is because we believe, or...let me rephrase that: I believe, that by making our own clothes we have the chance to attack these flaws and make sure the endresult is nothing less than perfect.
Not a very realistic thought, I know. And one that can give you a lot of headache. And quite frankly, that's not worth it. Sewing should be fun!!

KnipMode - May 2009 - 2c
I accidentally forgot to cut/sew the seamline in the waist. It would have been a nice extra accent. If I will ever make this blouse again, that will be added, but not before I have a solution for the above-mentioned problem.
I also tried to fiddle with the princess seam to eliminate some of the fullbust-lines. But there was not enough fabric to work with (1,5 cm wide seams) so I eventually stopped trying. Should have thought of this before I cut the fabric >:-(
The midcenter backseam is taken in a bit to do a swayback alteration.
 
 
 
 
At the moment I'm sewing with my stash, which is mostly built with pieces that I bought without any particular plan. I always find it hard to find a match between those pieces and a pattern. The amount of fabric is limited and I always seem to choose a pattern that requires a bit more (or much less). I think I will return to my original way of planning: choosing a pattern and than buying fabric that works for that pattern. This works best for me. But before I start buying new fabric, first I'll be doing some more stashbusting.
 
Talk to you soon.
Lilian

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No words.....

(source: 'BeeldBlog Brekend.nl')

Friday, June 27, 2014

Yes, finally!


Whooheee!! It took a lot of tweaking but it was worth e-ve-ry minute!

As you can see I decided on plan b: a band to finish the neckline. First I tried plan a: deepening the pleats, and that seemed to work. But after I stitched the neckline to secure the pleats in place, it had become widen again. Whaat?!
So plan b it was.
I pinned the pleats in the patternpaper so that I could use that as a guideline to draft the patternpieces for the band, which is 3 cm wide. And that did the trick. This fits and looks so much better on me. Now it's not gonna drop of my shoulder or show any bra-straps. Nor do the pleats end in an awkward and rather abrupt way next to my skin. Yes, I am very pleased with the outcome.

I sewed the pleats in the back as darts. That eliminated just enough of the excess fabric to create a smooth line. There is no bulkiness above the waistband any more.

When I basted the hem, I saw that the back was higher than the front. Suppose having a swayback does that for you. I lengthened the centerback hem by 2,5 cm, tapering to nothing at 10 cm past the sideseams in the front. Now, when I wear it, the hem is even all around. Good decision.

I am so happy that I can't stop staring at it. Silly me... In earlier years I wouldn't have bothered to make all these changes. Many times that meant I ended up with something I wasn't gonna wear. Now I know I will be wearing this a lot! It definitely pays off to tweak a bit here and there.




 
After the fail of the green cardigan and the simplicity of the darkblue shirts, this was just what I needed to cheer me up sewing-wise. This makes me want to start with the next project immediately.
Time to figure out what that will be.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Lilian

Thursday, June 19, 2014

KnipMode blouse - a lot of tweaking

After all that harsh blue I was in the mood for something a bit more cheery.
The fabric I'm using for my next project has been attracting my attention for a long time. It's a lovely vibrant lilac colour with embroidery. I had no idea what to do with it, until I found this pattern:

I love all the pleats, the round neckline, the short sleeves. I just love the whole silhouette of this blouse. Especially the way how the pleats are sewn down from the waist to the hem. This gives a nice fulness in the upper part of the blouse, but creates at the same time a more fitted lower part. Very much to my liking. There are however some issues. Things that need changing.







The (lower) pleats
Unfortunately, the pleats that work so well in the front, are misbehaving in the back just above the waistline.
What I will do is sew the pleats up from the waist and treat them like darts. This should take away some of the excess fabric.

The neckline
The neckline is also very wide, although the picture is not showing that very well. (The model wearing this in KnipMode is wearing a jacket over the blouse, covering almost 90% of it. Damn...is KnipMode doing a 'Burda-ish cover-up' or what??)  I could wear it like this, but I would be very conscious all the time wether it would drop off my shoulders, because there is a serious chance of that happening if I don't change it. The original instructions tell you to zigzag or serge the neckline, so no seams or binding are used to finish it. That would mean the neckline stays exactly as it is now. There are 2 things I could do to solve this:

1. Deepen the neckline-pleats.
2. Put a flat round band on it, which means drafting a new pattern-piece to place on top of the neckline.

I'm strongly leaning towards option 2, but I could try option 1 first to see if that would help.

The sleeves
I already widened the sleeves a bit by cutting the patternpiece and moving the pieces away from each other. Then I redrafted the new sleeve. I think I could have done without this alteration but it's ok as it is.

Stay tuned if you want to find out how this ends. I hope it ends gooood  ;-)

Lilian