Saturday, June 29, 2013

Peachy pink coral love

I think I may have finally worked out all the kinks in the Hawthorn pattern. Initially, I rotated the waist dart and split it in two, forming bust and waist darts. I made up a muslin of the entire dress minus sleeves then decided that I didn't like the bodice.

Instead, I modified my trusty Butterick 4386 bodice to look like the Hawthorn one. I changed the collar to one piece and drafted all new facings. Worked like a charm. All the pattern pieces are on my fabric just waiting to be cut and sewn. I will post photos of all these modifications once I finish my dress, perhaps in the next week or so.

Today, I'm lounging around and lurking Pinterest. I'm currently obsessed with the colors coral and peach and all shades in between.

Here's some of my color inspiration (all photos are from Pinterest):

Left to right: 1,2,3

Left to right: 4,5,6
I've found some linen from Mood which I plan to order on payday. Not sure what pattern I will use. Perhaps the skirt (view A) from New Look 6184 with my trusty Butterick 4386 bodice (it's hard not to instantly gravitate to this bodice). I'm inspired by this dress (found via Pinterest):

from Pandora
I wish I could find a floral print that didn't border on obnoxious or cutesy. I do think it would look good in a solid coral, peachy, salmon colored linen. We'll see. Still working out all the details in my head.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Some initial thoughts on Hawthorn

Well, I've made my muslin of the Hawthorn bodice (version 1, the peplum top). The fit thus far is great. I made sure to measure the shoulders and compare the measurement to my trusty Butterick 4386 bodice. Based on that, I knew that I would use a size 16 for the shoulders and a size 14 for the rest. Measuring pattern pieces before you begin cutting will save you a headache later on.

Another usual alteration for me is to shorten the waist. I forgot to do that to my muslin but I will alter my pattern piece by about 3/8". So far, that's it except for one thing. One thing that I know others will have trouble with as well....the waist dart.

Oh, how I loathe bodices with only waist darts. They're always too big. Always too pointy. Always a pain in the ass to get right. 

Thankfully, there are a few resources out there to help with giant, pointy darts:

Megan Nielsen Design Diary - Darling Ranges Dart Manipulation: It's for the Darling Ranges dress pattern (I have a rant/review about this pattern coming Sunday), but the same techniques can be applied to any darted bodice. I really do love all of her tutorials even if her patterns give me grief.

Miss Tess Melissa - Pointy Bust Darts: A quick and easy suggestion for taming pointy darts.

Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing - Crepe Sew-Along: This focuses on reshaping the dart just in case you have some excess bagginess in addition to the pointy darts.

I plan on curving my waist darts and seeing if that doesn't take of my pointy problem. This is the only issue that I'm having with this bodice. Seriously. How often can one say that?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Finished object: Joining the gingham bandwagon

There's not much to say about this dress. I used my trusty Butterick 4386 bodice but this time I opted for a scoop neck. The skirt is Simplicity 2444. The fabric is a green cotton gingham purchased from Fashion Fabrics Club. It's light and soft with a hint of stretch.

For a bit of visual interest, I added a bias-cut faux button placket to the front with covered buttons. It's not usually my style, but it looked cute. I didn't line this one and instead drafted facings for the bodice.

Not much else to say, really. It's comfortable to wear in this hell-hot heat we have going on in Austin right now. I probably won't make anything else with gingham. One gingham dress is quite enough for my closet.

In other news, I have printed out both versions 1 and 3 of the Hawthorn dress. I'm going to work on version 1, the peplum blouse, first. We'll see how this goes.

Oh the subject of pants...

I've long avoided making pants as I have an unnatural adoration for all things dress. Also, it seems (well not seems as it is fact) that pants are harder to fit than just about anything else. I have attempted to make pants (Simplicity 1699) but I only made it to 1st muslin stage, then quit.

You see, I would like some straight, skinny-ish ankle-length pants. I've had no luck finding them in stores. I'm a tad wide in the waist area, and these pants are usually made for those with wider hips/smaller waists. If the pants fit in the hips and thigh area, I can't button them. If they fit in the waist, then my lower half is swimming in them. You get the idea.

Occasionally, I'll come across a pair of pants that fit nicely (not well, but enough for contentment). Usually these pants are a bit wide in the leg and are from the Gap. I have tried on the skinnier versions of their cargo pants, etc and just, no. I have a bit too much thigh meat for all that.

Also, to add to my pants dilemma, I have longish legs. I'm 5'8" which doesn't necessarily put me in the giraffe range as far as height goes, but I am entirely too tall for most of the women's pants (which are usually designed for around 5'5" or less). Tall sizes are too long, regular sizes are too short. Ankle-length straight leg pants? None for me. I'm officially an "inbetweenie".

So, with all that said, I saw the new Colette Hawthorn pattern and was immediately drawn to version 1: The Peplum Blouse. Not because I'm a fan of peplum blouses, but I liked the combination of the peplum blouse and the Clover pants.

Colette Patterns Hawthorn (v.1) with Clover Pants

I have no desire to make the Clover pants pattern. It is notoriously hard to fit and I just don't have the patience for all that. I have been on the lookout for a similar pattern that women of multiple sizes and shapes have used without too many major adjustments. I think I may have found it:

Butterick 5895

Butterick 5895 looks good on different body types. All the reviews have been favorable thus far with minimal fitting efforts. Since the pattern is on sale right now, I figured I could give it a go. I have three different books on fit for help. Perhaps I will luck out with a new pair of pants this weekend.

Edit: If like me, you want to recreate the Hawthorn/Clover outfit with almost the same fabrics, you're in luck. Here's some black dot/white cotton lawn and some coral/salmon twill (here's another coral twill option.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

We interrupt our regularly scheduled sewing to bring you this news bulletin...

Vogue 8723 is not the cute, flirty dress that I had hoped. I think it's largely due in part to my fabric choice. Lightweight linen is not ideal for a seriously full dirndl skirt. Also, I now know how to fully line sleeveless dresses. I should have followed my own instinct instead of following the Vogue instructions. The dress isn't a disaster, but it's far from perfect. This had me a bit down in the dumps until a new pattern from Colette popped up.

Hawthorn by Colette Patterns

Behold! Another shirt dress to add to my ever-expanding wardrobe of shirt dresses. I like this one a lot. It's not love quite yet. If it makes it past the muslin stage, then we'll call it love. A nagging voice lingers in my mind---please bodice don't give me grief like the Peony. Please, please be easy to fit.

Of course, I have several fabrics in the stash that would make a lovely shirt dress. I have 4 yards of some cotton/nylon broadcloth in a lovely clover shade of green that's begging to make into a shirt dress. In fact, it's already washed and ready to sew. Also, there's some nice white stretch broadcloth collecting dust in the stash. A white shirt dress would be lovely.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'm still in the process of printing the pattern out. I don't have the patience to wait for the mail, so I opted for the digital version. Printing out 60 sheets of paper is tedious at best, but my need for instant gratification has been satiated.

Hooray for shirt dresses! They make my whole world go 'round.

*Edit @ 9:29 pm: You know, patience is a virtue. Printing out all these sheets is a pain in the ass. I should have ordered the paper pattern.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

On the sewing table...

I am in desperate need of a sundress. Desperate as in "It's hot as ballz in Austin and I need to wear something that is both cute and heat-friendly."

I also want something incredibly easy to make.

After searching through my pattern bins, I came across this one:

Vogue 8723

Vogue 8723: Custom fit with different pattern pieces for various bust sizes. Gathered skirt. No sleeves but provides enough coverage that it can be worn to work. Perfect. And I have this fabric:

Specialty Linen - Ditzy Orange and Blue Tissue

Cotton/linen blend from Joann. Initially, this fabric was slated for another Colette Laurel. I think it would have been beautiful as a Laurel, however, I have three Laurels already (one not blogged). Three is enough for now.

I've never sewn Vogue 8723. I thought about it. I even cut out most of the pattern pieces, but for whatever reason, it just never happened. There are some cute ones out there (see here, here and here). This linen was begging to be made into something flirty and fun. I'm glad that I already cut the pattern pieces, saved me some time. I'm also making this dress sans muslin. Oh boy, quite the risk-taker, I know.

It's all cut out and ready to be sewn. I may post a pic or two on Instagram this weekend, so follow me if you don't already. I will reciprocate.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

When two patterns collide: Vogue 8363 and Butterick 4386

Back in April, I momentarily became obsessed with Vogue 8511. This lovely out-of-print and impossibly hard-to-find pattern (like Simplicity 2591) made me jump for joy. Of course, I had to have it. Of course, I could not find it. This made me sad.

A week later while cleaning out some of my favorites on etsy, I stumbled across this pattern: Vogue 8363. Six pencil skirt variations, one of which is the exact same skirt as Vogue 8511. This made me so very happy.

Vogue 8511/Vogue 8363 View F

I wasn't too concerned with the bodice being an exact match with Vogue 8511. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of princess seams. Instead, I used my trusty bodice, Butterick 4386. This bodice is officially my TNT bodice pattern.

It wasn't much work to combine the two patterns. I had to take in the waist a bit on the bodice. I moved the darts on the back skirt closer to the center back so they would line up with the bodice darts. I also lengthened the back skirt darts by 1/2". I also decided to make it a v-neck as I have so few of those in my closet.

View of back darts

For my fabric, I used some cotton stretch chambray that I picked up at Hancock Fabrics. This was another clearance/value fabric section purchase for about $4.98 a yard. I love finding nice fabric for cheap.

The dress is unlined and I finished off the neckline with self-drafted facings. Very easy.

I loved how this worked out. I have plans for another one but not sure of the fabric yet. I'm thinking linen but we'll see.
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