Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Completed: Sewaholic Granville Shirt Sans Sleeves

I greet you all today with the news that I have secured myself a new job! My PhD funding officially came to it's conclusion today...and my summer job starts umm....tomorrow!! To tell the truth it's with the same people I have done my PhD with and I'm still working in the same department however I am now no longer a student and therefore have to pay adult bills like council tax :-(. Ahh well the run had to end sometime!!!

So before the news of the new job came about I decided the best way for a pick-me-up was to buy fabric. I bought 1 m of cotton lawn with a slightly different top in mind however at the last minute changed my mind and decided to make a Granville. But due to fabric constraints it would have to be sleeveless! Not a style that I have ever worn before however I wanted to at least give it a try - after all I managed to waste the other 1.5 m on a top which looked so dreadful that I turned it into a cover for my over locker :-\

The fabric I used was this blue lawn which I think was £8/m. It handled really well and to be honest as I was being super lazy making this up I finger pressed most of the seams. And they held! Based on my measurements and the finished measurements I cut a 10 - and I think the fit is ok! There are a few areas that I want to tweak but then this is more of a wearable muslin so these were to be expected. I do however really like the way the sewaholic patterns make up on me and given that I used this size for previous patterns I was confident that this would leave me with a shirt that was quite wearable after a first pass.

To make the shirt sleeveless I followed the directions as presented here and here. I like the fact the sewaholic blog shows pictures of how to do this as I work so much better with illustrative examples. As this was the first time I had made this shirt I really didn't have much to go on with taking length off from the shoulders and armseye so I started with an inch at the shoulder and 1 cm at the yoke like in the (sewaholic) tutorial. It seemed a legit method... When it came to adding the binding on the armholes I used 0.68 inch bias binding to the raw edge to help remove some of the excess which still existed cutting this down so that there was only about a half inch on the inside. The next time I make up this sleeveless version I will be a bit braver and cut a little more off the shoulders and armseye and add in a little at the underarm because it seems a little loose for me here.

This was my first completed shirt and I have to admit I did find the collar instructions a little confusing but I think it worked out OK - if we ignore the different coloured collar stand... When I was cutting the shirt out I didn't think this would matter too much and the stand wouldn't be too noticeable, however I'm good with a random print on print eyesore!

I did really like how the method of attaching the yoke left lots of neat internal seams! As I have only ever made the Negroni before this shirt I'm not sure if there is another alternative method which works too?

I definitely want to make up another few of these shirts with the noted fitting adjustments - maybe even a few with varying lengths of sleeves... I also need to take some of the volume of fabric out of the front - another dart maybe or even just sizing down the front pieces as the fit is quite loose here but works well on the back (save for the usual excess which I was too scared to pre-empt!). Alternatively I may use this tutorial found on the curvy sewing collective blog. All I will say on the matter of making more shirts though is before I do make any more tops I will have to start on that objective of making trousers! (Please don't judge me on the horriffic state of my ancient RTW trousers!!!)

Has anyone else made up either of the two newish sewaholic blouses? I'm really feeling the sleeveless shirt look now :-)

Take care guys and have a great easter weekend!


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Kompleted: Kim Sewalong Dress

Sorry for the title I couldn't resist.

I was sewing along with the Kim sewalong over at the BHL blog and today I would like to share my finished Kim. I actually have two copies of this pattern. I wasn't expecting the Kim dress as part of my kickstarter bundle, so when I saw it on pre-sale I snapped it up. I think something about their decision to stop printing the Georgia dress meant that they substituted Kim. No matter. Whatever happens the spare one will not go to waste!
I Totally added pockets to this dress! - A variation on the emery pockets, sewn into the waistline

The fabric for this dress was bought in the sale at John Lewis and is a Hemingway design which is 100 % cotton and cost around £5 /m I can't remember the exact price (I saw it subsequently in another fabric store for about £12/m so bargain!!). I bought 2 m of this fabric and used only about 1.5 m. I then cut the rest into lots of varying sized squares which I plan on using within a quilt. The other remnants have been set aside for another (still secret) project ;-). I love it when this happens as then it seems like the next project is free!

I made up a muslin of this dress using the wrap skirt around Christmas however was never too happy with the resultant fit. I transferred a few changes onto the pattern pieces however I think I still require more :-(. The muslin was mostly OK - from a few days wear I assessed that the back neckline needed a little more taking in and the straps were a little too long.

Take 2 has resulted in a dress which fitted pretty good until it came to my bust - I removed a wedge the first time which left a still gaping back so then returned and removed a little more. The dress was now an inch too narrow! I unpicked the zip and it now sits on the very edge of the fabric so I'll need to remember this if I make it up again. The tops of the straps were sewn with a 3/4" seam allowance which meant the outcome was a little snug around the back of my shoulder so maybe next time I'll drop the armseye a little? They are however the correct length now. So there's that. I think the sweetheart needs a little bit of a raise too - this isn't an unusual bra for me so the fact you can see the top of the bra suggests that this needs raising a touch. nothing major though.

The straps of this dress are still sitting too wide on my shoulders so thats another reason why you get a great view of my bra. What I'm thinking if I make version 3 is to take some width out of the CF side seams and then add it back in to the side seam of the SF piece. Another method I'm toying with is to try a narrow shoulder adjustment - however I'm not 100 % convinced that this will fix the issue as the base of the arms is still very wide. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

One other change that I'm toying with making is to make a small sway back adjustment. This adjustment makes sense as taking the length out of the straps has lifted the waistline so that it now sits on my natural waist however seems to dip by the time the seam hits the middle of my back and bags out a little. another slight disclaimer: I made a slight error in cutting my skirt fabric - I measured the length from my waist to my knee and cut this length. Completely omitting seam allowances and hem allowances. Ooops!! So its a Kim Mini really....

So I'm mostly happy :-D however it seems that by the time the fit is 'just so' this will no longer be the Kim dress :-p. This is still very much a wearable dress although I am a bit annoyed at the zip  - it seems to line up ok at the seams however as I always find when I buy poorer quality John Lewis zips I can never get the zip invisible. *Jennifer learn from this*!!!

Did anyone else been taking part in the Kim Sew Along?

Have a good weekend all :-) (I'm currently waiting for my parents to get up so we can go on some advnture in Glasgow somewhere!)

JCS xx

Friday, 6 March 2015

Applique Felt Owl Project

So now that I'm getting to the business end of my PhD, sewing time is definitely decreasing and each project seems to be taking longer and longer! Recently instead of starting something new I have gone back and picked out my sole remaining WIP (well the last one that I'm going to salvage!!) to help clear out my sewing space and allow a more organised move forwards.

So in light of the fact I've no real photos to share on my current WIP here's a little project that I worked on for a while last year. It had been one of these ones that was ongoing in the background while I made loads of other projects as I had a very liberal timescale for this. My friend's birthday was on November the 11th and she loves owls - so i thought that this would make a great present - plus I didn't have to send this one as I visited at the end of November. I also bought the kit around mid march so was in no hurry to get things done.

This project came as a kit with everything included including stencils and a small instruction sheet.

I found this a great starter project for applique as the felt doesn't fray and is very easy to work with. All the pieces were hand stitched together with a mid grey lightweight thread. I didn't reckon that this would see much wear and tear so didn't use an expensive thread. I also used grey for appliqueing everything and did not change colours between objects because as the owls were light anyway I didn't think it showed up much at all.

In terms of quilting, I quilted along the edges of the owls, tree, leaves, stars and along the edges of the brown border. It definitely made the owls 'pop' and I'm really happy with how the whole project turned out.

I love how the back turned out - all the images are so clear :-)

One of the more tricky aspects was keeping everything straight and not glueing everything together to keep the little pieces in the right place.

Now I have tried this technique I'm really looking forward to trying it again! Does anyone have any suggestions for some more beginnerish projects?

Take care and have a great weekend folks :-)

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