Saturday, January 31, 2015

knit swing tank

If we're taking summer uniforms, here's mine: a breezy tank & a stretch mini. This here is my new striped swing tank, with my beloved denim Mabel (which is in extremely high rotation, along with my unblogged V.2). Add a floppy hat and I've got the Queensland summer days sorted.

This tank is a rub-off of a RTW swing tank I've had a few years, with a few mods to fit better. Namely, extra room around the bust, although I think the back is still a touch tight. The original tank has the front hem longer than the back (a lo-hi??) to account for the bust maybe? That difference is quite exaggerated in this slightly heavier knit and I think I'll go back and even them out.

For the neckline and arms, I followed Megan Nielsens tutorial: the easiest knit neckline around. For a casual tank, it gave a great finish. I used stay-tape and definitely think it's necessary to give a non-stretched finish. No faffing around with binding = win. Double needle to finish, same as the hem.

The fabric is a winner: a rayon knit from Spotlight. They have got it so right with their new season range of rayon knits (about 6 different prints?). Finally something that isn't combed cotton (too stiff & no recovery) or 100% poly (too hot for me, although there are some great prints). This rayon knit is quite fluid and thin, but was pretty easy to sew with. My only gripe is that the stripe is parallel to the selvedge, not perpendicular, so I had to cut the tank on the cross grain to make for horizontal stripes. Not a biggie as there is some 2-way stretch, but the purist in me didn't like it :) Overall, though: THANKYOU Spotlight (if you're reading this!). I bought two other prints, destined for a McCalls wrap dress & a more fitted tank.

Over and out.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

dotty alder shirtdress

I am definitely a Grainline Studio fan girl! I actually own every one of Jen's great patterns & am slowly working my way through actually sewing them. I was lucky enough to win the (paper-version!) Alder Shirtdress pattern through the lovely (Australian) online store Stitch 56. Thanks Helene!! The shirtdress is a lovely pattern, it really is the perfect summer dress, and easy to feed the baby in... Oh yeah, my second little boy T made an arrival in early December and we couldn't be happier! 

The best-ever accessory: a baby! :)

If this make looks a bit familiar, it's because it's almost identical to the lovely one that Sew Busy Lizzy made it up here. I did wonder whether I could/should post this make, but I guess even though I used the same pattern & fabric, I still did the sewing & made my individual fitting changes. 

I already had the same polka dot rayon (from Spotlight) but was a bit unsure if the polka dots were a bit too loud for me? When I saw her version I was undecided no more - her dress looks so great on her! What do they say? Imitation is the highest form of flattery?!! I did make a few minor fitting changes to my dress, as per the following notes.

  • View A, size 12, with a pretty hefty FBA. I traced the pattern & did the FBA & cut the fabric while pregnant, knowing my sewing time would be limited when the baby came. So i (over) guess-timated the FBA and as such it's a bit more blousy than I would like. I will reduce the FBA for subsequent makes.
  • I prefer the mandarin collar, and that's a very easy change (just leave off the upper collar as outlined in Jen's sewalong)
  • I used 11 buttons, making them 2.5inches apart instead of 3.5in (again, personal preference). I omitted the button on the collar stand (too lazy?)
  • I shaved about 1.5cm from the shoulder, tapering to nothing at the side seams.
  • The mandarin collar weighs down a bit, maybe my interfacing is too heavy for the placket?  

Things I love about this make: it's effortless style, it's curved hemline & the cool-to-wear rayon (these pics were taken in the 36degree celcius Australian summer heat!! and about 1576% humidity). It really is a timeless pattern & one I will be making many more of... when the baby gives me time :)