Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time


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Work Work Work – And Fun Fun Fun

What have I been doing? Surprise! I’ve been sewing. Since the failure of Vogue 8937 – which I will insist to my dying day was the result of lousy fabric, I have finished one awesome top and started another.

Here’s the pattern I used – 

Vogue 8151

Vogue 8151

This is a Sandra Betzina Today’s Fit pattern from Vogue. I had read many great reviews on this pattern and I did try it once before. I didn’t like it. It was all my fault. I hadn’t cut the right size, didn’t lengthen the shirt and just generally messed up. But now I LOVE THIS PATTERN.

This time I did cut the right size, after tracing my pattern. I then had a decision to make about darts. Darts in a knit? Well yes it does work. I did also lengthen the shirt by two inches to a length that’s much more comfortable for me. I also fiddled with the neck band and made it smaller to give it more snap. 

Here’s the first shirt all done –

flowertop

 

For some reason the photo looks straight up and down. It is not. It fits like a dream. I only had to do a tad bit of adjusting when sewing the final seams. I took out about 1.5 inches to get the fit I wanted.

I had so much success with that one – I started another one in a really neat fabric.

secondflower

With this one I attached the neck binding before folding it in half and did the fold after it was attached. A little stitching in the ditch and I have a very neat neck band. Here’s the back –

secondflower1

 

Is this not CUTE? 

Since I have sustained my sewing spirit with two successes, I am ready to go back to Vogue 8937 and try it again. The only decision is which awesome fabric to use (and no I will not choose a nasty fabric from the stash again.)

Further on the list is a great pair of pants that FIT – 

 

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The Southwestern Top ……… Update

DSC_2399

 

I put in the sleeves and sewed the side seams up – the top looks gorgeous. I’m hoping I can get a great picture for you tomorrow. The line from the bust, where the top is fitted, to the hem, which is flared – is beautiful and gives this top great shape. I hope to be able to show this well enough in the photo tomorrow.

I’m being told by my photographer son to get as much natural light as I can so the picture will be sharper and it won’t wash out details ……… I will try.

I had a spooky few minutes with this top – learning to use my serger to sew in the sleeves and do the side seams. I am a slow adapter so actually using my serger requires me to jump unknowingly into the project! It’s so silly ——- but I feel accomplished today after getting this much done. Now I just need to finish the edges and hem it and I will use a twin needle for that – I love twin needles!


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The Southwestern Top

While I’ve been mooching around trying to talk myself into actually making something in the sewing room, I finally got the energy to cut something out and start on it. For once I had the right color thread to sew it! That seriously makes a lot of difference.

The pattern I used is a version of

V8582_large

this one by Marcy Tilton. I’ve made many tops from this pattern and I like it much better with the excess “wings” removed. With the wings on the top seemed too long and bulky in the thigh. I mirrored the side without the excess for drape, cut the pattern to match that non-draped side and then did a full bust adjustment on the top. You can see my explanation of a full bust adjustment here http://wp.me/p3i7tb-P.

Once that FBA was done, I had to “rotate the dart” because I don’t want a dart in a knit fabric that’s going to look odd. I rotated the fullness created by the FBA to the side bottom. This gives a nice shape to the top. It has a drape at the bottom creating a nice line from the bust down. It skims my stomach and hips which are definitely areas I want skimmed!

I love the fabric. I was a bit hesitant about the direction until I notice that most of the stretch is lengthwise so I had to use it in that manner. Had I tried to cut the top crosswise to have the pattern vertical, there wouldn’t have been enough stretch for the top to be comfortable.

So far I’ve done the shoulder seams to which I always add clear elastic and then fold over the seam allowance and topstitch toward the back. After that’s done I can trim the seam to neaten it up.

I cut my neckband two inches wide and sewed it into a circle. Then I did an overcast on the two edges because the fabric rolls a bit and the overcast stops it. On my Bernina this is stitch #31 and I use it a lot.

To step back a bit – the neckband needs to be shorter than the length of the neck, otherwise it won’t snap to the edge and you will get a baggy-looking neckband. Not good. On this top I first tried a band that was 75% of the length of the neck. That was too small for the style. It didn’t suite the nice flowing shirt so I cut another one 90% of the length of the neck and that’s what you see here.

The neckband of this top takes the most OMG panicky breathes while sewing. I mark the band in quarters and place pins in the marks. Then I do the same with the neck line itself. This way I distribute the stretch of the band evenly all around the neck. I have also overcast the neckline partially as a stay-stitching, but mostly because it gives a finished look inside the garment once the neckband is applied.

After stitching the neckband on, and congratulating yourself that you don’t have to take it off, all I do is press the seams down toward the shirt and “stitch in the ditch” created by the original seam. This forces the seam allowances to stay down when wearing and gives a nice finish.

I have only to put in the sleeves, sew the side seams and hem and I have a great top. This is a good three-season top because it is an ITY knit. I shudder at the thought of wearing it in 90 degree weather!

Here’s the pictures so far –

More to come ……… I’m getting new ideas ……… the more I sew, the more I want to sew ………….

I’ll show you the bottom drape once the sides are sewn up ……. you’ll be able to see the line of the top better!


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Working on a Sweater

bluesweater

 

Over the last couple of months, I have had no energy to start new projects. I’m treading water, waiting for enthusiasm to return. I don’t like being in these periods of stress, gloom and doom. But I am and there it is.

While I have toyed with ideas for shirts (gave it up), vests (gave it up), more shirts (gave it up), I have at least been able to continue knitting. It doesn’t require any effort for me. As long as I’m not under pressure for a deadline and as long as the knitting is easy. Very easy.

I started knitting around my birthday last year. I had learned the basic cast on and off technique as a teen, but I never followed a pattern or knit anything other than a scarf. It was so time-consuming! Now I am happy to be time-consumed because I have so much time on my hands.

This sweater is the Boxy by Joji from that I got from Ravelry. I had been working on a pink one but made so many mistakes that I knew I wouldn’t wear it. So I started this one – with the pattern and it’s requirements fresh in my mind. I know that I have to learn to do a three-needle bind off and I am committed to doing that. Doing it any other way distorts the pattern on the sleeves and shoulder.

Boxy_01_small_best_fit

 

I like this sweater a lot and I know once I conquer the binding off and getting all the pattern elements correct without making a major error, I will wear it.

Thank God knitting is something I can do to keep my hands, and my mind busy. Once again, having time off from visiting my husband at the nursing home, I’m in the sewing room waiting for inspiration to strike! With persistence, it will.


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A Top that LOOKS Simple Can Drive You Nuts …………..

sim

I really like this top. It’s a Katherine Tilton pattern for Butterick and it’s 5891. The only problem for me is that the pattern is too small. Hmph.

I spent a good bit of time yesterday cutting out the pattern pieces and measuring things up. Things being in particular TWO things that the shirt has to close around, if you get my drift. I humphed and mumphed and scratched my head. This top has 15 pieces. There are directions on the pattern pieces that if you alter it, move all the markings. Well shoot – first I have to figure out how to alter it. I mean I really do. Some of these pieces are parallelograms and just imagine slashing and cutting a parallelogram and adding inches to it. I quiver in dread. I am stymied by lack of pattern enlarging experience. I keep looking at it and deciding to slash it here and there and finally I folded it all up and put it back in the bag.

My concentration level is sadly diminished these days. So I marveled around at it and finally decided the top is too simple looking to be that much trouble. Which means I’ve ditched plans to make it for now. I need to wait until my brain is sharp again – hoping that won’t be next spring ……….

So now what to make? Of course I’ve found a great pattern that lives in Australia at Style Arc but I won’t be able to get that for a while. So I can either figure out how to take all of these different pattern pieces and increase this top by 4″ or I can find another pattern in the stash …………

Here’s the Style Arc pattern I crave

LIZZIE-WRAP

It’s called the Lizzie Wrap. This too will look simple but I think the construction on this will truly BE simple. I have a great teal jacquard, a black raised design jacquard and a cool multi-colored on brown jacquard. It will need lining so I’d have to decide on a color and get that too. That’s the bad thing about sewing ………. you always need one more thing …………


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It’s All Done! Style Arc May Top!

This top is fantastic. I wasn’t at all sure about it until I tried it on. Even seeing it on the dress form didn’t appeal to me that much. When I put it on I felt like I’d just gone out and bought a VERY nice top.

The fit is fat-lump skimming – if you know what I mean. One day – soon – I am going to get this stuff off – but until then I need clothes that make me look good. And this top does that.

The neck line is just a teensy bit low but nothing extreme, so it’s very wearable. Also that weird, hard to do seam under the bust means that it is very flattering. It hides the old tummy and it has a flattering A-line.

I hemmed it with a double needle which always turns out looking professional. I just have to keep reading the directions on how to thread the two needles because I don’t do it often enough to keep it in my head.

Here’s the pictures!!

And on another high note – I spoke to my husband just a few minutes ago and he’s doing well. He let’s me know that he likes where he’s at – that’s so good. I’m glad he’s adapting and I know I wouldn’t do it as well.

And on the second note? I have a job interview tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!! I got the call at around noon today and I cannot. wait. I love that I will actually be able to work and my husband will be taken care of at the same time!

 


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May Top Back on the Sewing Machine!

MAY-KNIT-TOP

 

Hopefully I will get completed top pictures up tomorrow. Wow this was harder than I thought it would be. It’s that tricky little seam under the bust – you need GUMBY fingers to get that all neat and nice!

I cut the top out today out of a rayon/viscose that doesn’t roll. The neckband went on perfectly and it is nice and snug so there’s no gaping at all. Then I started on the weird wrap/seam.

First off, the seam allowance is only 1/4 inch. On the next top I’m going to add another 3/8 to the seam allowances to give me more to work with. Although I can’t add it at the weird seam thing, now can I? No.

The seam is gathered and that’s hard to do in a 1/4″ space. Then the horizontal seam which encloses the two wrapped over seams is also hard to get in to do because it’s basically just a hole in the middle of the shirt. Eeeeeek.

Anyway I have managed to get the seam done and the wrap is fine. I just don’t think I’d want to make a lot of these. Too nerve-wracking making sure I’ve not caught anything. A nice plain top with a yoke like the Laura Dress I cut shorter to make a top or another straight tee is more my speed.

I took the weird lycra/nylon out of the garbage. It dawned on me that I may be able to do it on the serger. Of course I still need to gather the under bust seam but I can do that with hand stitches. So we’ll see if that works next!