14 May 2016

Complete: Jalie 3130 (shirt)


No on-the-body pics yet; I will take some soon.

In theory, I really like this pattern and the shirt.  In practice, however, there are a few major errors that will likely not make this a regularly-worn item.   

Fabric & Notions:
  • 2 yards cotton/linen chambray (stash)
  • pro crisp fusible shirt interfacing (from Pam Erny)
  • 10 shell buttons (stash)
  • regular sewing and serger thread
  • 80/12 universal needle
The issues:

Size:  Jeanne (founder of Jalie) recommends one pick the pattern size according to the full bust measurement.  Having been measured by her in the past, she suggested that I always use a size Z (B41-W35-H44).  My favorite jacket pattern (Jalie 2559) is made in size Z and fits beautifully with little to no adjustments.  (The only thing I do is narrow the shoulders by sewing a deeper seam when attaching the side front and front panels).  So I thought a size Z would work in this pattern.  Yeah, no.

The first issue is that the size Z is way too big in the waist and hips.  I had to take near inch seam allowances below the bust just to make this not look like a sack.

The second issue is that the size Z isn't quite big enough at bust level.  What I should have done was cut according to my high bust measurement and make an FBA.  

The FBA I would need isn't large, maybe 5/8" or so.  But still, it's definitely needed.  There is terrible gaping at bust level and weird pulling above the bust.  This brings me to the next problem...
 
Buttonhole spacing:  I totally screwed this up.  When I mark buttonholes, I place one at bust level first, and then space the rest accordingly.  This was a huge fail.
 
 
I don't know what happened, but the bust-level button is in the wrong place and I neglected to include a button on the collar stand.  My dress form is a little smaller than me, so it doesn't look too bad in this photo.  But on me, it's terrible.  There is unsightly gaping at bust level - the kind that definitely needs a safety pin.  Ugh!  I'll probably never wear the top buttoned.
 
Vertical & horizontal darts:  I know full well that I need to use princess seams, but I decided to give the darts a try anyway.  Big ol' nope.  This pattern definitely has promise, but it won't be realized until I convert those darts to princess seams.  I plan to make this again because it has good bones, but I will take the time to do it right.

Seam finishes:  The directions make no mention of how to finish the seams.  Definitely think about this before cutting out the pattern.  Since the sleeves are rolled up, whatever seam finish you use will be visible on the outside.


 Of course, I didn't realize this until after I started assembling the sleeves.  The seam allowance was only 3/8" so there wasn't even enough room to try french seams.  Ah well.  Next time, I'll add 1/4" to the sleeve seams (at least) so that I get a better finish on the outside.

Pockets & full bust:  I've read plenty of commentary about chest pockets and a full bust.  The resounding opinion is to avoid them at all cost.  Well, I ignored this and sewed them anyway. =)  On the dress form and on me, they don't look too bad, though I might bring them a little closer to the center front next time.

Collar stand:  I'm getting better at attaching the collar stand.  I used this tutorial which works quite well.  My topstitching on the outside, though, is a hot mess.  I'm glad the collar is big enough to hide it!


Collar points:  I'm also trying to improve my point-turning skills.  I tried Pam Erny's tutorial on making perfect collar points. 


With more practice, I think this will be my go-to method for collar points.  I still have some work to do, but this is the pointiest collar I've made so far.

***
Everything went together smoothly.  All of the notches matched and there were no issues with the pattern or instructions.  The issues were all user error!

I will get some pictures of me wearing the shirt next week.  It's really a good pattern and I can see making it a few times - once I've fixed the bust area.

Up next:  I'm working on Simplicity 1199, view D (second version modeled).

 This is a new style for me, so we'll see how it goes.  I didn't make a muslin either.  Hah!

Until next time, peace!
 
L

11 May 2016

Bedazzled Jeans & a Knit Top

This is jeans number...I have no idea.  I stopped counting a while ago.


I bedazzled my butt.  Is bedazzling still a thing?  Was it ever really?


Though there is nothing new to report in the construction, I finally swapped out the waistband for something better.  For a long time, I've hated sewing the waistband and detested how it looked afterward even more.  Behold my shame:



Sometimes I can get it to work...


...but oftentimes the waistband edge ends up like the first two pictures.  The topstitching is super tiny and uneven.  Blah.
 
Jennifer Stern once showed me how to she sews jeans waistbands, so I decided to give it a try.  I used the waistband and waistband facing from her pattern, cut to a size 14 for extra length.

Attaching the waistband this way was SOOOO much better - though I don't like the flimsiness of the waistband facing.  Next time, I'll either interface the facing or use denim instead of quilting cotton.  I like my waistbands to have a bit of heft.



Also, I can probably use a size 12 waistband with a small swayback adjustment.  The jeans are wearable, but I will always need a belt.

***

I made a knit top.  From a pattern released this year.  Without a muslin. 

Who is this woman?!

I made view A in a similarly-colored rayon jersey.  I cut a size medium and made no other alterations.  
 
I cut the neckband to a length 85% of the neckline circumference.  This was approximately 24 inches plus two 1/2-inch seam allowances.  I think this worked well, but the neckline is still rather wide.

I swear my sewing is regressing by the day.  My coverstitch skills are lacking big time.

I don't like the tight stitches and will try lengthening the stitch on my next knit top.  Otherwise, I'll have to go back to using a twin needle.

No pictures for now.  I hope to get some photos next week.

***

I finished Jalie 3130 and have A LOT to say about this, so I'll save it for the next post.

Until then, peace!
 

L

29 April 2016

Simplicity 2153 (anorak): Almost Finished

Sorry folks, I had to exorcise the demon that was that polyester fabric.  Fortunately I hadn't progressed too far with flat-lining so I didn't have much unpicking to do.  Here it sits, seething in its unfinished glory waiting to become a backpack or tote bag. 

Cotton denim is SO much more pleasant to sew.  Everything pressed and behaved beautifully.  Well - almost everything.  Read on.


While sewing this jacket didn't take forever, I made a lot of mistakes which obviously increased the completion time.

Fabric & Notions:
  • 2.5 yards 100% cotton denim (not from stash)
  • 3 yards 100% floral cotton lawn (from stash)
  • 1.5 yards Ambiance bemberg (sleeve lining; from stash)
  • 8 gold studs (Pacific Trimming)
  • 24" gold separating zipper (SIL Thread)   
  • weft fusible interfacing
  • 90/14 universal needle (for shell)
  • 70/10 microtex needle (for lining) 
  • regular sewing and serger thread
Sizing/Fit:  I cut a size 16 and did a 5/8" FBA.  I found that a 16 was rather roomy, but there was slight gaping at the center front.  The FBA solved this problem.  Since I didn't know where to rotate the dart, I just left it.
I also shortened the sleeves two inches. 
What I neglected to do was move the casing line up.  I am shortI know this.  But for some reason, I fail to adjust the placement of things like this to account for my height.

 "Unbloused," the casing line is way too low.  Meh.
About that casing:  I say that this coat is almost finished because I cannot find cord to fit my cord locksI bought the cord locks last summer in NYC giving no thought to the size of the cord needed.   Oops.


 
I could use rattail, but it's not hefty enough.  I am thinking about using twill tape, but I'm not certain it will be strong enough either. I called the store where I bought the cord locks; unfortunately, this is the largest size they have.  D'oh!  I will check a couple more places and see if they have something suitable.  If I can't find smaller cord, I'll look for beads or something else to accommodate the cord I have.
To make the casing, I used 2-inch wide self-bias tape.

  
Flat-lining:  The pattern doesn't call for a lining, but I added one anyway.  After a long search for a good way to line the coat, I settled on flat-lining using Bunny's (La Sewista) tutorialI've never flat-lined anything before and found the technique extremely easy!
Basically, the technique combines underlining and a Hong Kong seam finish in one.  The lining is cut using the same pattern pieces, but with an extra 1/2" added to the side seams.   The lining is then sewn to the shell , right sides together, with 1/4" seam allowancesFinally, the lining is turned so that the pieces are wrong sides together and the extra 1/4" is wrapped around the edge of the seam allowance of the shell.
Pretty neat, huh?
The sleeves are flat-lined as well, but I didn't follow Bunny's tutorial.  I didn't understand part of it and opted to do something different.  I cut the sleeve lining from rayon Bemberg - less the hem allowance.  Then I sewed the hem of the sleeve lining to the hem of the jacket.

Once I pressed the hem up, I serged the side seams and treated the whole thing as one unit.  The only thing I don't like about this is the hem finish.  Since the side seam is sewn after the hem is finished, the seam isn't encased in the hem.  Bleh.  I'll be okay with this for now, but it's not something I do often.

Other construction notes:  I created a back neck facing so that the collar seam would be completely enclosed.  I made a mistake somewhere in measuring the facing width because the facing doesn't lie flat at all.  The wrinkly and unruly mess isn't visible from the outside, but I know it's there. =)  I might take a series of darts in the bottom of the facing just to make it lie flat.  Maaaybe.

I also used Bunny's tutorial on the "burrito method" to sew the back yoke. 

Because I made so many mistakes sewing the coat, the neckline stretched a bit.  As a result, I had to take a slight tuck to get the collar to sit evenly.



Yeah, I know.  I really should re-position the collar so as not to need the tuck.  But that would mean unpicking topstitching, already-trimmed and graded facings, casing, and a shitload of other stitches.  Let's be honest, I am not doing all of that.  The small tuck isn't visible under the collar.  I rarely pop my collars, so I'm not worried about it.

A few irks:  I like the idea of the shoulder tab, but you can't see the button over the huge collar.  It seems kind of pointless.    

The casing on the collar is supposed to end at the edge.  I wasn't sure how this was supposed to be finished, so I made tiny buttonholes instead.



I should have interfaced the pocket facings - even though the instructions don't say to do so.  I think over time the pockets are going to sag in an unflattering way.  Eh.  It's okay for now.


Conclusion:  I'm happy with the coat.  I wanted a light-weight transition coat that I can wear in more casual settings.  I absolutely ADORE my trench coat but I don't want to wear it out.  I could...I really could.   This anorak will let the trench get some rest. =)

***

Up next:  I cut out this top...

Jalie 3130
 ...and did NOT make a muslin.  I cut a straight size Z and used the finished bust measurement of 45.75 inches to calm my fears.   Yeaaaaah, we'll see how this goes. =)

Until next time, peace!

L









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