Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Now Mending

It's that time of year - time to shift out-of-season clothes to a guest closet. And with that shift, I automatically evaluate the clothes I wear most and those I never wear at all. For me, it's fun to see if I can alter the ignored pieces so that I want to wear them again. It's typically some detail I add or subtract. And the details are often the most interesting part of sewing.

First up is my one and only Blouse Perfected, a terrific pattern from the Cutting Line Design. Now why haven't I made that again? It has all those wonderful details found in men's shirts. The fix in this one was easy - one of the buttons was broken. So I replaced the buttons and put the others away for another project.

I love dresses. On other people. Or so it seems. These two are based on a pattern from Indygo Junction, a dress with lovely deep side pockets. Both are linen which is wonderful to sew and to wear. First I added cap sleeves to the blue one and then I changed the angle of the side seam to curve in, just slightly. I do think the overall proportion is better on me with these two changes:

I also added sleeves to the black one, this time 3/4 length sleeves with a draw-string at the hem. As with the blue one, I reshaped the side seam, so that it angles in, rather than out. Now I'm thinking it might be fun to add a draw-string to the cowl collar edge too.

The Hadley shirt from Grainline Studios was last. I actually wear this top a fair amount but noticed that the sleeve hems end in the same horizontal line as the shirt hem. I don't need horizontal exaggeration, so I shorted those to bracelet length. This was not at all dramatic but I enjoy these sewing details. Don't you?

So now I'll never, ever throw away remnants from old projects.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cottage Shirt

The Cottage Shirt is one of the newer patterns from the Sewing Workshop. I'm such a Sewing Workshop groupie that, of course, I wanted to make it right away.

Honestly I was not that taken with it at first. It seemed so similar to their Trio vest. But once I got into the project, I fell in love. The deep hems and vents are my favorite design feature.

It is a fundamentally different cut than the Trio Vest. It has details from men's shirts but exaggerated and stylish. The yoke is a traditional double yoke installed with the burrito method. The overall silhouette is a wide rectangular shape. This creates soft side folds when worn so that the hemline is not one continuous horizontal line. The deep hems and vents add just the right detail to the overall look.

The shoulder extends into a cap sleeve and there are cuffs attached. That part reminds me of the Eureka top which I've made a number of times. The Eureka has deep enough armholes that the bra tends to show. The Cottage has smaller armholes and a different armscye curve, making it a better summer top for me.

The high for today was 92F (33C) so I'm happy to have a new summer top. I omitted the collar, keeping the collar stand. That is cooler in the summer and I like the look. But I've seen some online made with the collar and those are pretty too. I will need to make it again, I'm sure.

This light weight soft linen from Marcy Tilton was just right for this top, I think. Because of the print and the soft hand, it hardly needs ironing. I can probably wash with cold water, hang to dry, and wear it.

I have another new Sewing Workshop pattern ready to cut - the London shirt. I've traced the pattern pieces and now I have to check out deep stash to see if anything will work. I'm feeling a little uncertain about those dropped shoulders. It reminds me of the extremely popular Liberty shirt with exaggerated details. I'm not always in love with extremely dropped shoulder lines, especially if it creates a little bubble where the sleeve joins the shirt. But, then again, I was uncertain about the Cottage shirt and I love it.

So what do you think about the London shirt?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cézembre à deux

Vs 1.0 cotton chambray
I needed to make it twice and now I have. I like the first one best, but I will definitely wear the white one. I'm always reaching for a white top and hoping I haven't spilled tomato sauce on it yet.

Vs 2 in light weight cotton pique
I first spotted this pattern while reading one of my favorite blogs - Camp Runamuck. She frequently highlights tops I would have never noticed otherwise. The Cézembre blouse is my latest. And I really like it. A lot.

Why? Because it fits through the shoulders and neckline (with a few tweaks). Because it has set-in sleeves. Because it has princess seams in the front and no side seams. Because it skims the rest of my torso. Because the name just rolls off the tongue. Try it.

I've already washed and worn the first one several times. It is so soft and I feel good in it.

The first one was made from men's shirts purchased at the thrift store. The fabric is chambray and is very soft.

Like denim it creates interesting fade and resist lines that are fun to incorporate. I am pretty sure these shirts were brand new and so the fabric did not soften or fade through use. The result is still like an old work shirt, but better.

When I picked off the chest pocket, the unfaded (resist) portion was obvious. So I decided to embrace it, flipping the pattern piece to create half of the front. I used the actual pocket as a mirror for the resist portion.

By carefully unstitching the fronts of one shirt, I was able to sew them together to produce the final front piece of my fabric. The resist dyes create pretty stripes, I think.

While I love wearing the chambray one, the neckline is a bit wide for my personal taste, so I changed that on the second one. This of course is my current go-to neckline, borrowed from the Egyptian shirt (folkwear patterns).

I am especially fond of the sleeves on the Cézembre. I think they are the perfect length even for hot weather. I am vain enough to avoid showing my upper arms unless the heat absolutely demands it.

I added a pocket to the second one in the same location as the first. It just did not work and so I removed it. And used the pocket to create the back patch.

Now I'm wondering. Would inseam pockets work with these princess seams, especially if I lengthen it to tunic length? Also it makes me itch to try something new with my old TnT - the MixIt top from the Sewing workshop. Might it be possible to move the side seams to the front of that and then incorporate the bust darts into the princess seam?

The princess seams as drafted on the Cézembre does not fully replace a bust dart. That is the only down side to this pattern, as I see it.

And, oh my goodness, I see another new-to-me pattern up over at Camp Runamuck. She should get royalties from my pattern purchases. Would you just look how cute the Teddy Tunic is? I wonder if I can order it stateside. And the pictured pants remind me of the Hudson pants from the Sewing Workshop. So casual and put-together.