Sunday, January 27, 2013


Back in December, I was at Fabricland fondling a red/orange/purple leopard print sheer, dismissing it as indulgent and impractical for my freezing body temperature. I've sewn with sheers before, and while I love the thought of them, they aren't really practical for my daily life. THEN, Pretty Grievances announced Jungle January, I rationalized that I DID need that sheer fabric, and I would just turn the heater up and wear the shit out of it. I already had McCall's 6512 in my stash just waiting for an excuse to make it up.


PR Review: 

MISSES' BLOUSES: Loose-fitting blouses have neck/front bands, yoke and front sleeve (cut on crosswise grain of fabric), no shoulder seams, back pleats and narrow hem. A: pleated pockets with button flaps and short sleeves rolled-up (wrongside shows) with button tab. B: bias collar extends into tie ends and sleeves gathered into button cuffs with seam opening.


My usual size is a 12, but after looking at the finished measurements on the pattern, I made a muslin up in a 10. It was gynormous. Seriously, you could have fit two of me in there. So I rechecked the finished measurements, compared them to a rtw blouse of a similar shape, traced off a size 8 and did an sba. The adjustment lines they included on the pattern were helpful here, though I only used two of them to decrease the width.

1/2 inch sba:
Red(cutting line), Green (where I horizontally slid it over 1/2 inch), then I redrew the armscythe.

(hem/placket–bottom flipped up)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the unusual design elements (yoke/sleeve piece) and the construction of front placket (placed on after hemming). The amount of ease made it possible for me to not have to worry about my usual broad upper back adjustment, while the shaped side seams actually give me some waist definition even though it's a billowy style.

Fabric Used:
Polyester georgette


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a size or two smaller than my measurements suggested, and an easy sba decreasing the width of the front pieces. I would probably shorten the sleeve by about an inch if I ever made this again. They fall in a weird spot that's longer than 3/4, but not full length. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will definitely sew the short sleeve version—I don't think my wardrobe needs another tie blouse any time soon. I dress too casually in every day life.

I'm really REALLY happy that this turned out. I got nervous when my muslin was so big, but I took a chance on the sba and was pleasantly surprised. This colour combo is one of my favourites and I love how it drapes, so I'm happy to wear it as much as I can. I'm also really looking forward to making the short sleeve version in a few months when it starts to get warmer.


I found a new challenge for February here.

I've been putting off a couple of jackets, cutting into my fabric from Italy, taking the Jeanious class that I bought about 8 months ago, finally sewing a button down shirt that fits me in the upper back AND the waist, etc, etc, etc. This challenge couldn't have come at a better time. Perhaps this should be the year of fearless sewing.

There's also a stash busting challenge that Cation Designs started. My fearless sewing should take a big chunk out of my stash, since the fabric is just sitting there waiting for me to get over myself and just do it already.

Good luck in all of your challenges!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Pattern, Many Looks via CationDesigns

I was going to enter the PR contest "One Pattern, Many Looks" with my new Sewaholic Alma pattern, but then realized that I don't immediately need 4 quasi-similar blouses in my wardrobe. Apparently I DO need multiple dolman sleeve tops (pattern courtesy of Cation Designs). Unfortunately, these don't apply to the contest since I made them all last year, but I wanted to publicly thank Cindy for her really useful and easy (and free) pattern.

This stripe version was my first attempt, and I think I remember putting in the neck band 3 times to get the size right. It's still not perfect, but IS perfectly comfortable. Apparently I feel the most sassy wearing this one.

This red sweatshirt version began it's life as a thrift store purchase. Coincidentally, I had the perfect match in ribbing in my stash from a bunch of sports wear fabric my mother-in-law gave me. As you can see, I still hadn't gotten the hang of the neck band thing yet.

This rust version is probably my most successful. The fabric was purchased for one of my Lekala makes (not blogged about yet, but it's coming), and there was enough left to squeeze out this top. This knit was wonderful to work with, and it has become very useful in my day-to-day wardrobe.

This last version was made for my work Christmas party. I don't really like it. I LOVED the lace remnant when I bought it, and was looking at making a peplum top for the holidays. Unfortunately, when making my wearable muslin (still not finished and will blog about that in future), I realized that the remnant was too small for a peplum. I barely had enough for the top I did make—using the selvage for the neck binding. I still ran out. I underlined it with a really nice black knit lining I bought especially for this top and ended up using it for the bottom band.

The end result is a really heavy top that looks cheap. I should have left it unlined and worn a black tank under it. So disappointed.

A close up of the stretch lace: 

It is a really great olive-gold colour with a sparkly sheen to it. I liked it because it was shiny enough to say "holidays", but I could still wear it under a black blazer for every day.

Anywho's since I now have the Sewaholic Renfrew, I'll probably give this one a rest for a while as my TNT knit top. It a great stashbuster since it doesn't use a lot of fabric, so I'm sure I'll revisit it again.

I've been working steadily on my contribution to Jungle January and should have something soon to blog about. There's also some altering of other pieces I need to show you before I move on to the next big project on my list (a baby quilt for friends of ours that are expecting). I'm not a quilter by any stretch of the imagination, but it was my Mom's hobby-of-choice for a while. She helped me pick my fabric and I simplified a pattern I found on the internet. I even bought a rotary cutter! 

See you soon!!