Sunday, June 21, 2015

Three Dresses

When last I left Me-Made-May, I wanted to sew some more dresses. There were three new-to-me patterns to try. I will start off with my favourite of the finishes, the Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio.
The fabric is Alison Glass handcrafted which I just love. This final version has navy buttons which I am happier than the first version which had pearly buttons.  While I love pearly buttons in general, every time I looked at the dress, all I saw were those buttons - too distracting! Navy buttons just let the fabric shine through.
Fit-wise I am happy with it. I made it just with a mandarin collar. If I make another one, I would lengthen this a bit.

Next up, Robe Aubepine by Deer and Doe. It is fully lined and I am just so pleased to have tackled lining for the first time and survived!  The fabric is Nani Iro Birds Eye ranman. I just had enough for short sleeves but next time I would like to make the longer sleeve and use a solid linen and do without a lining. Overall I am pleased as it fits me surprisingly well!

Last dress is one that didn't work out too well.  It's Version 3 of the Darling Ranges pattern. I had made Version 1 earlier. I had used size XL and felt it was a bit roomy in the bodice so I changed to a size L for this one. Bad move. The armholes were tight and I just managed to close at the bust. Overall though it didn't work for me.  Neither did the cut of the dress in this version.  I can vouch for the fact that quilting cotton, in this case, just did not help the cause!
Oh well. Two out of three ain't bad! 
Thanks for stopping by. Happy start of Summer!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

In Love with Hemlock Tee!

Let's see: on Sunday afternoon on a whim I had cut out a Hemlock Tee (from Grainline Studio) out of a woven plaid fabric. During Me-Made-May I had seen so many wonderful woven Hemlock tees that I was just smitten. However, I was nervous about making one since it's one size and even though it's supposed to have a lot of ease built in for a loose fit, it was still intended for a small/medium. I am usually at least a large.

So, I got out my trusty Scout Tee pattern and compared it to the bodice of the Hemlock. They were very close so I thought it could fit me as-is. The sleeves, well, I was a bit doubtful, but in the spirit of being a scientific seamstress I wanted to make the first one "as is" out of this plaid fabric and figure out any changes from there. On the first go, I basted the garment for a fitting.

My first attempt was quite hilarious because my arms went into the sleeves and were like stuffed sausages. By then it was evening and I knew better than to try and solve a problem at night. But that didn't stop me from thinking about solutions to the problem. The easiest would be to cut another sleeve but bigger of course. The cheaper route would be to try adding a slip of fabric in to widen the sleeves, thereby still saving the yardage I had left. I was wondering whether I could find enough from the scraps to match the plaid but I was in luck!

Voila - not a bad pattern match!  I first slit the sleeve in half length down the center then inserted a strip of fabric about 3 inches in width. I did topstitch the seams down. I thought it would work better in the long run to do that.
I basted the garment a second time around. The sleeves fit. The bodice fit but it was longer than I'd like. I sheared off almost 5 inches just because I wanted this more 'croppish'. The plaid can seem a bit overpowering to the eye otherwise.

Another look at the sleeve seam. 
Overall, I am just in love with this pattern and can see why so many people made so many versions of this. Thank you, Jen, for this great and free pattern!  You can get the pattern here

The fabric, in case you are wondering, is a Japanese cotton from Miss Matatabi.  I have been trying to step out of my (happy Nani Iro) box and use some new-to-me fabrics so doing the plaid was a good stretch.  The fabric is also light and cool and even with sleeves, it works with this warm summery weather we've been having.

I also want to mention seeing a version of the Hemlock that I want to try next and that's a mashup between it and the Wiksten tank. You can find it here. I had discovered Felicia's blog, The Craft Sessions, a couple of months ago and I just love her makes. I could happily wear her closet any day!

I sneaked in this bit of sewing while the sunny days called me out to do gardening. I have a bunch of things to plant/tidy up and then I want to cut out more Hemlock tees but I also need to try my first Tiny Pocket Tank. I seem to be on a roll with Jen's patterns! 

Hope June's weather is coming up roses for you!

Monday, June 8, 2015

June - a slower sewing month?

Hello! It's been a week since Me-Made-May ended. It was very strange at first. I believe I went into withdrawal! I missed seeing everyone's creations though it has felt almost like a holiday since I didn't have to think about posting something every day! Me-Made-May has given me more summer dresses and skirts to wear which was great as we seem to be having a hot summer already, even if summer has not officially started.

We did have a few cool days at the start of last week and I finally decided to try my hand at a kimono style robe pattern. It was one of those patterns from a book borrowed from the library last year when I started sewing and didn't know as much as I do now. Hence I think I made some mistakes with constructing the pattern AND following the sewing instructions.  It didn't turn out the way I'd hoped but it's functional as a summer robe for those hot days.
It looks oddly out of proportion doesn't it? The robe looks really short and it isn't. It's because the sleeves are so darn long and wide. I've since shortened the sleeves by a couple of inches and it's a lot better. The fabric was purchased on sale last year, no idea of content though "we" thought it's probably cotton. It's a pretty print and reminds me of things I've seen from Liberty of London.

I've been planning my next projects, wanting to try some new-to-me patterns. We'll see what lands in this spot next!

How about you? What's on your sewing machine?