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


Monday, June 9, 2014

Though the plan was to NOT make a sleeveless summertop, I realised there wasn't enough fabric left to make anything else. So I went on with it. I drafted the pattern myself about a year ago, using a store-bought shirt as an example, and this is the third time I'm using it. So I guess it qualifies as a TNT. Anyway, here's the picture:


Like the Swedish popgroup Abba sings in 'The winner takes it all':  "It's simple and it's plain, why should I complain?"
Yes it's simple but I can use this top a lot this summer. I was able to make two pieces out of this lovely fabric. So yeah, I'm content and not complaining.


(The Blue Lady, who has been in my life for more than 20 years and has served as a model numerous times, has begun to show some signs of aging. Like most ladies start to wrinkle when they get older, she is no exception. (Poor thing!)

After three fairly simple pieces, I think it's time to make something with a little bit more interesting details. But at this point I don't have a clue what that should be. I have some lovely summerfabrics in my stash so that shouldn't be a problem. But ideas? Nope. None.

I need some input to keep this blog rolling though. Last week I had a moment where I was thinking: "Why only blog about the new things you make, when there are a LOT of things from the (recent) past that you didn't blog about. Maybe that's what I'm gonna do. Dig out some ghosts from the past and show them to you. I think that could be fun. I hope you do so too ;-)

As for my unemployment: three weeks ago I had the chance to start in a temporary job on a primary school. Due to reasons I don't want to go into on this blog, this ended for now. Maybe there is a chance that I can return at the beginning of the new schoolyear. It depends on a few things that we'll have to wait to see how they develop. (sorry for being so vague about this....) But if the circumstances haven't changed by then, they want me back and I would absolutely love to go back!!
It will be temporary so I still need to look for a more permanent job, but I'm ever so proud that I managed to get some job at all! This proves to me that all hope's not lost!

Talk to you soon!

Lilian

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Knit top finished






















This was an easy but very satisfying project. I have to say 'thumbs up' for the fit of this design. I just had to add a little bit of width at the hip and some at the sleeves (but that's a normal adjustment for me). That was all. I also narrowd the neckline because it was a bit too wide to my taste.
The ruched sleeves are not very noticeable in the front, but are still a nice feature on this - let's face it - otherwise rather plain shirt.

My favourite way to finish a neckline, with a binding:



You can't see it in the linedrawing but for the sizes 46 and up, they added length to the front-pattern at bustheight. By gathering this surplus of fabric - we're talking about approximately 2 cm (5/6") over a length of 14,5 cm  (5 2/3") for size 46, you create some extra space and shape in that area.
I wouldn't call this an FBA, but an SBBA (Slightly Bigger Bust Adjustment - Yep, I made that up).

I've never seen this technique before but I already love it! Chances are I will be adding this to all my t-shirts and knit tops in the future, unless they already have a bust-dart of course. But this is way easier than a normal FBA.  And the gathering doesn't show because a. it's only a mild gathering, and b. it's right under your arms. Unless you are doing 'the wave', noone will notice. Extra bonus: you get the extra length in the front at the bottom, but not the extra width that an FBA would create. I think that's where I went wrong with my green cardigan.
Don't know yet if this is something that could be applied to a non-stretch fabric.

Talking about fabric: this blue jersey was soooo nice to work with. It has a great stretch-recovery. I still don't know what fibers it contains, but I'm sure I will recognise it when I see feel it in a store. Ahh...fabric-love...

I said if I liked the fabric enough and if there was enough left of it, I would make a tanktop out of that. But then I realised I already have a tanktop in almost the same colour. So maybe it's best to choose another design. I wouldn't call that a punishment...

That's it for now. Talk to you soon!

Lilian

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ottobre Design - summertop - that's the plan

While it's raining cats and dogs outside, I'm thinking about summersewing. So I looked up some old magazines and found an issue of Ottobre Design (Spring/Summer 2012) that I once got as a birthdaypresent from my sister-in-law. There are some interesting designs in this issue but I never came round to sew with these patterns.
Browsing through the magazine, my eyes were immediately drawn to this shirt:


Not very difficult to make and not a lot of work. Exactly the kind of project I need after the outcome of the green cardigan. Besides that, I like the ruffled sleeves. My narrow shoulders could do with some extra room in that area.

The instruction for sewing the sleeves is rather unpractical. They tell you to sew the elastic (to ruffle the sleeve), onto one side of the (open) seam. Then close the seam while stretching the elasticated side to accommodate the other side. Wháát??
No way I'm gonna do it like that. I'll just close the seam and sew the elastic on the seam at the wrong side. Done!

I'm not familiar with Ottobre Design magazine, so I don't know what to expect size-wise. But a simple shirt like this is already a start to find out more about that.
If the neckline is as wide as the linedrawing predicts, I will be narrowing that. And I will be adding a small band to finish the neckline. I'll probably need to widen the sleeves a bit and furthermore....we'll see what comes along.

For the fabric I've chosen a piece from my stash. I don't remember where or when I bought it. It's probably enough to make a sleeveless summertop as well. If I haven't fallen out of love with this fabric after finishing the Ottobre-shirt, that might be the next project.

Right. Let's get upstairs and start this job.


Gr.
Lilian