Month: November 2016

Purrfect Holiday

Making Hubby a shirt has been high on my list for quite some time. I picked up a couple patterns a while ago of two different man button downs. I just needed to find fabric that he would like and I could get down to business. With the holiday coming up what could possibly be a better reason? Plus there’s a ton of fun fabric. I had Hubby picked out a fabric. I was surprised/not surprised by his choice. If you’ve read any of my posts prior to this one, you’ll have a high probability of finding one of my furry children. With our little quirky family in mind, you too will understand his fabric choice.

I chose to go with Simplicity 8180 as my pattern. It doesn’t have separate pieces for the button placket or a yoke on the back. I didn’t want to break up the pattern more than I have to. Plus I haven’t gotten the whole “pattern matching” thing mastered. So that brings me to his fabric choice.


It’s kittens!  Rows and rows of little kittenheads in stockings. He’s such a goober. I figured if I couldn’t get their faces to match properly, I could at least get the rows of stockings to line up.

This pattern is super basic… and weird. The collar doesn’t have a stand. It’s one big collar piece. The button placket doesn’t have extra fabric to fold over. Instead it has a big extra piece (front facing) that I could see using if maybe you let the shirt hang open and there would be more kitten cuteness on the inside. Hubby isn’t Fabio so that’s not happening so I created Frankenstein pieces.


For the collar, I grabbed my B5526 pattern and crafted a better collar and collar stand. Kittens when it’s down and when it’s popped.

image.jpeg
I added another 3″ to the front piece where the buttons should go so I could fold it over twice at 1 1/2″ for the button placket. I also used one of his favorite button downs to take a few measurements from it. Hubby is a thin guy so even the small was a big tent on him. I had to take about 2″ from both the front and back pieces at the chest and grade it down to nothing at the bottom with a very slight curve in the middle.


I took 1 1/2″ from each shoulder edge otherwise the seam would have rolled down to his bicep and I really can’t stand that. With the change in the shoulder and sides, I also changed the arm scythe by dropping the bottom about 5/8″ for more movement. To keep the sleeves from being big floaty things I took out a little over an inch and graded down to nothing at the wrist. Well that didn’t work so I took off even more (3/4″) around the elbow and graded down to about 1/4″ off at the wrist.


The problem with this is not having enough space at the wrists. The pattern calls for two pleats at the cuff. Only doing one solved this problem. Thankfully!!! I also had to hack off quite a bit of the length of the shirt. It was a tunic veering towards dress on him. Hacking off 2 1/2″ did the trick. Phew!

image

I’ve adjusted all the pattern pieces so the next shirt I make him won’t require me finding him, “Try this on” and stalking off to make adjustments. The thing I want to fix on the next shirt will be a smaller neck. After all the altering and measuring I did, I completely forgot to adjust that. I think the collar can be a bit smaller in width too. It looks a bit too big.


Now he has all the holiday kittens he can handle. I asked for his best kitten pose and this is what I got. Majestic Freckles is at it again. This the happiest shirt I think I’ll ever make!

Flower Power Reimagined

I noticed lately that a lot of the clothes I made when I first started sewing aren’t getting a lot of wear. That mainly has to do with my sewing skills being at a whole other level so all my new stuff is super amaze-balls. Instead of parting ways with my old makes, why not reimagine it?

IMG_0993
I made this maxi skirt out of poly chiffon. (You’ll recognize the fabric from my Granny Chic top) I didn’t wear the skirt a lot because I had a hard time pairing it with anything. What top to put with it? When I did pick a top I would have to wrestle with it to keep it down because the fabric is so slick.

With the big shirtdress craze going on right now, I thought why not? There should be enough fabric to knock it out. I picked my fav shirt pattern, B5526. There is a tunic length version already included (version C) so if I add a few more inches, take it in a bit at the sides up top and add a bit of space for my rump, it should be completely doable. I also didn’t want full sleeves, so that saves what limited fabric I have. This should give me an a-line, 3/4 length sleeve shirtdress.

The skirt came apart quickly and easily giving me two big panels of fabric. I went for the main three pieces first (2 front panels, 1 back). This way if I run out I can modify my original thought. Sleeveless with a mandarin collar would still work. Luckily, I had enough fabric for all the pieces. Even had enough for two tabs to hold up my 3/4 sleeves.


Most of the construction went fast. The collar takes the longest because, well because it’s fussy and I have to read the instructions. I hate reading instructions. I just want to make! I also sewed a few pieces on wrong so seam ripper to the rescue! Once I got the collar on I added the sleeves and a small cuff, which you can kinda see in the pic. I waited to add the tabs until I could properly try the dress on. I ended up placing them 1″ higher than the pattern indicated.  I can button the tab or leave them loose and the tab completely hides in the sleeve.


On the hem of the dress I made bias tape. I could have serged the edge and turned it a couple times. But with this kind of fabric that tiny seam would have flared out and drove me crazy. The tape ensured the hem had a bit of weight and it would hang straight down.


After completion I felt eh. Have you ever made something, put it on and went “eh”? That’s this dress. Is it the fabric? Do I need to add some back darts to give it more shape? Am I not used to wearing this kind lose style?

image.jpeg

I did give a belt a go just to see if I felt better about the dress. It’s okay that way too. Oh well, I like it better than the maxi skirt.


So here’s my glam shot of my “eh” dress. Well maybe not glam of me but definitely glam of Freckles. Look at his majestic beauty! I was worried about button gap the whole time I was making the dress. With 10 buttons down the front, no peekaboo. So I got that going for me, which is nice.