Saturday, August 17, 2019

Splice, now thrice

Another Splice top: As soon as the pattern was published, I knew I wanted to use this fabric with it.

It's a linen-cotton blend from Craft South. It is perhaps a bit too heavy for this pattern but it's striped. Stripes are great fun to sew, especially one like this that is perfectly symmetrical and in a neutral color. The stripe that reads gray is a shot weave in black and white. And I'm almost always drawn to a shot weave.

As described in my previous post, the Splice top is a blank canvas. It is a loose-fitting, drop-shoulder shirt with 3/4 length sleeves, side panel pieces and an uneven hem. The weave of this fabric places the stripes vertically, so I was mighty tempted to make pants, but in the end, I knew that this was not the kind of stripe that makes flattering pants. The stripe is too bold for that (on me).

This stripe was perfect for a cross-grain cut on those small splices in the sides, with the body following the usual lengthwise grain. The weave is quite stable.

before top-stitching the hem
It has facings that I like but I worried that the stripe would show through and distract from the simplicity of this top. So instead I cut a bias strip for the neckline. I finished the front neckline and then the back neckline before sewing the shoulder seams. I like this treatment for a bateau neckline as it prevents a center front gap by drawing the neckline in just slightly.

I made one additional change to the pattern. It is very loose fitting. The earlier versions were all size M, my typical for Sewing Workshop tops. But I was curious about making a size S. The finished measurements are plenty generous for my hips. I cannot actually tell any difference between the size S and size M, probably because the fabrics are so different.

In other sewing news, my latest *fix* (hack?) was to add a pocket to a pair of Picasso pants. I was short on fabric when I made this last pair and had to piece one of the side panels. Each pant leg has three panels so I figured, the additional seam was a good fit with the style, even though this one is horizontal.

As I wore them, I realized how perfect that would have been for a pocket. Inserting a pocket into the seam would have been super simple if I had thought to do so during construction. Inserting the pocket after finishing construction was a bit time-consuming but not difficult.



Inside - pocket was attached to the upper and lower seam allowances, top-stitched at the bottom.

At the same time I've been increasingly interested in a pattern hack I see on Instagram - the Clyde pants hack.

Original Clyde pants for Elizabeth Suzann
The hack starts with a pair of favorite pull-on pants. These pants are then hacked so that each pant-leg is composed of three panels, with a pocket in the side panel. That side panel becomes an easy location for almost any pocket shape.

I did all the pattern work for this hack, starting with Cutting Line Designs One-seam pants.

And then I realized. Duh. The Picasso pants are perfectly suited for interesting pockets. And they are loose fitting, a must with deep side pockets. The shape of the original Clyde pants is more narrow than the Picasso, but otherwise, just right.

So now I'm thinking about a future pair of Picasso pants with more cool pockets. Or maybe I'll make a pair of pants using the One-Seams I hacked into Clyde pants. I can always use another pair of comfy pants!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Splice Top

This is the latest top pattern from the Sewing Workshop (TSW). But I've had it and used it for a few years now. While attending Sew Kansas some years ago, I had a chance to try on their sample. Then I traced the pattern pieces and brought them home.

the sample I tried on at Sew Kansas
After that, I made it twice - once with a nubby medium weight cotton. I forgot about the uneven hems and ended up chopping off the excess in this first one - I just had pattern tissue and no instructions. I love this shirt. I even removed the white stitching and over-dyed it at one point because the black had faded so much.

Since the black one was so good, I made a second one almost right away, this time out of a remnant of China silk. This was not so successful. I did something cludgie in order to make the hems uneven. I added black piping to show off the side panels. But I haven't worn it much. I think it's too fussy for me.

Then I misplaced the pattern tissue. Each time I saw Linda Lee, I pestered sweetly asked her when they were going to publish this. It's just such a good wardrobe builder. They finally published it as a PDF a few weeks ago - hooray and thanks!

I like the loose overall shape, bateau neckline, and 3/4 length sleeves. It has one distinctive feature - the side panels that are shorter than the front and back pieces. But it's just so good.

This is the first one I've made with the instructions. The instructions are not critical, except for that uneven hem. Their directions yield a lovely finished hem and side seams. And that makes me happy!

The fabric is a Brussels washer fabric (linen and rayon) from Craft South. It is a shot weave with dark blue in one direction and turquoise in the other direction. I love the color! It is a much softer, lighter Brussels washer than I've sewn, just right for this top.

top-stitching on the 3/4 length sleeves

Initially I cut out the side panels and the facing in light green linen. I decided against this embellishment.

Yep, it is plain but I have a hunch I'll be reaching for it quite a lot.

And I have my next one planned already. This pattern is a blank canvas. There are so many opportunities for variations and fun. Maybe I need some new fabric...

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Summer Sewing

At this point in the calendar, I'm really, really ready for cool weather. But the heat goes on for a while here in the SE USA. In fact, everywhere I've been this summer has been hot. Or hot and humid. I've had an unusually busy travel summer - Belize, Paris, the Alps. It was hot even in the Alps! My next trip is to the NE USA. The high there will be 98F.

So in preparing for this last trip, I knew I wanted another summer make. I chose the Cottage shirt from the Sewing Workshop. It's a little camp shirt. I made it last summer and that piece is still a favorite. This is partially because of the pretty light weight blue linen but also because of the pattern.

There are many things to like about the Cottage shirt. There is the classic collar and stand, but I prefer to omit the collar for this weather. There are the short sleeves, really just cuffs. There is a yoke in the back to provide a little interest. There are the side slits combined with a deep hem, giving it a little swing.

This fabric is a medium weight cotton print. I fiddled with working with the grain versus working with the print and then finally gave up and cut it out. I don't think either is a noticeable issue.

I lined the yoke with cotton batiste to reduce the bulk there. I also cut the yoke on the bias. This is both lazy and fun. It calls attention to the yoke and it means no pattern matching there.

I made no changes in the pattern and I am quite pleased with result!

I also tried to fix some things. I made this cotton pique Eureka top (also TSW) a while back. I don't wear it often as it feels like scrubs and the V neck was too high.

So I reshaped the neckline and removed the cuffs. The cuffs gave me enough fabric to bind the new neckline and the armholes. And I added a little something to the back.

I also decided to work on the lining of a hat I like and need to wear. The lining was becoming quite stained though the hat is still in good shape. I removed the lining, soaked and scrubbed it a bit and let dry.  It definitely looks better, so it feels better.

Then I tried to reassemble the hat. Now why didn't I make registration marks on the hat and lining so I would be able to re-align them?!? As a result, the reassembly took way longer that it should have. And then I just happened upon a youtube video showing that the entire hat is hand-washable!

Lastly I reshaped a tee shirt. I also goofed on this seemingly small project. I used the Grainline Lark tee shirt pattern that I've had good success with in the past. But my goof was that I failed to check the stretch on the tee shirt.

So now it is a little more fitted than I like. But it's better than it was as a shapeless man's shirt.

My next project will be the new Splice top from the Sewing Workshop. I acquired a copy of it during Sew Kansas a while back. I've made it twice and really like it. Then I lost the pattern. But, just in time, they finally published it. Hooray. I have my next one cut and ready to sew!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Fabric Shopping in France

I am back! I am happy/sad to be home. I loved my week with my girls!

I'm wearing another swing tee dress (2nd from the left, of course)
While in Paris, we of course visited Sacre Coeur and the surrounding park and shops. This area is also home to a number of wonderful fabric shops! So fun. But I had to be careful with my time, as my traveling companions are not into fabric at all.

We visited Sacre Couer and even climbed to the top for fantastic views of Paris below. We also briefly visited the church nave, but a service was underway so we were quiet and quick.

Then my sweet companions visited the souvenir shops while I power shopped for fabric.

Luckily I had already decided on one shopping goal - to buy some Liberty of London cotton lawn. One particular shop in this Montmartre area (Coupon) carries a huge variety of these cottons, more than I've ever seen anywhere in the states. And the price was not quite as high as I had anticipated - 26 Euro per meter.

I purchased a Liberty of London piece a zillion years ago at a gorgeous fabric shop in Asheville NC - Waechter's. I am pretty sure it cost $39 per yard! The shop has since closed, sadly. The piece was lovely to sew and I enjoy the blouse quite a lot.

In Paris I purchased two Liberty pieces, each of the same print but different colors - one red and white, one navy and white. I had a difficult time deciding but I think I made the right choice for my palette and taste. Some of the prints are too fussy for me. I also purchased a wonderful soft piece of gray linen for 10 Euro per meter.

The week in Paris was followed by a week with husband, son and family in Chamonix, part of the French Alps. I had no expectations of fabric shopping. The last day we were there, we visited Annecy which is a beautiful old city that sits on a large mountain lake, Annecy Lak. The city is quite large, but has a distinctive old town full of canals and restaurants and parks and tourists.

As we were wandering the old town, I happened to glance up at a building and see a sign: Tissus Couture. I said to DH, I'll be right back, (yea, right) and speed-walked to the spot.

It was a smallish store after the shops in Paris, but it had some lovely fabric. Again, I had to work fast. I found a pre-cut 1.5 meter of viscose jersey that I just love.

After a day on Annecy Lak, I was a bit worn looking but happy here!
I have just finished making a summer dress with it. This is, once again, TSW's swing tee revised into a dress. I drafted short cap sleeves and had enough fabric to add one (!) inseam pocket.

In order to hem without making it too short, I used a 2" bias strip of light weight cotton shirting as a hem facing. I like the effect. The dress feels light and yet has some hem weight.

My only regret is that I had too little fabric to place the darker portions more strategically. It was the last they had of this. And I just had to have it. It makes me smile. So light, so cheerful, so French.

It seems to be hot everywhere I go this summer, even in the Alps, so I'm still into summer sewing in a big way. And I am having a big time.

I hope your summer (or winter) includes some satisfying makes.

The back looks just like the front!