Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rompin' Around

I'm going to apologize in advance for the picture overload.  This might be the cutest thing I've ever made.  Except, of course, for the cute thing I made that's wearing it!  There was a little bit of bribery involved in taking these photos, but for the most part she cooperated.  She's got personality, this girl, that's for sure.

Pattern Description: McCalls 7376.  Girls' blouson romper and jumpsuit pattern.  There are strap and length variations and some cutesy little trim details.  I made view C with the single ruffle and elasticized, below-the-knee legs.  Is this not the sweetest little pattern?  I was buying other McCalls patterns at the latest pattern sale and saw this one from their early summer release.  It moved to the top of the queue and I made it right away.  It's just so adorable.

Pattern Sizing: Children's sizes 2-8.  I made a size 4.  Jane is three years old but she wears a 4T in rtw.  She's tall for her age, too.

Fabric Used: Rayon poplin. When I made my recent maxi dress, I also bought a yard and half of this same Cotton and Steel rayon poplin in this color way.  When I ordered it, I though the navy would be the same and I could use this one with the teal diamonds for contrast.  The navy is not the same, however.  This particular blue is much more of a denim blue.  I also figured I would have some of the original rayon left over and I could always make another garment with the two.  Well, I used every scrap to make that maxi dress and then stuck this small piece in stash.  It was perfect for this romper.  So Jane's romper is made of some pretty swanky fabric.

I do wish the camera had focused on her instead of the background.  I was lazy and took all these on an automatic setting. But this photo.  I love it.

Alterations/Deviations:  While being a super cute pattern, it was very fiddly to sew.  There was lots of trying on to measure elastic and placing straps.  The elastic guide for the casing at the chest was way, way too long.  I pulled that piece of elastic pretty tight to hold up the romper.  The waist casing didn't have an elastic guide.  I left that piece of elastic pretty loose for comfort.  The elastic in the leg casings are loose, too, which is why you see them riding up above her knee in photos.  It's cute either way.  I also had to give her some more room in the crotch after the fact.  It fit when I was done, but when she moved around it definitely rode up and looked a little uncomfortable. I unpicked the waist seam and sewed the crotch seam about 3/8" lower.  And I then I sewed the waist seam back on with a smaller seam allowance (using a smaller width of elastic) to give even more room- probably another 3/8" inch.  So I gave her more room in the crotch by lowering everything almost 3/4" inch.  Just something to pay attention to if you are sewing this pattern.  But she is tall.

Likes/Dislikes:  I mean, again- how stinkin' cute is finished product.  I can't help but love it.  But I do have to complain a little about the instructions.  They were confusing.  All the instructions for the different views are written together.  I had to use a highlighter to mark which parts were for my view.  I did follow the instructions closely since I wasn't sure about the order of construction.  And it all worked out. Except in the end, there was never a proper explanation of how to attach the front straps for view C.  The instructions and illustrations didn't take in to account the ruffle.  I worked it out but I can see that this would be frustrating for someone who was new to sewing, since this is a "Learn to Sew" pattern.  I flipped the ruffle up and sewed along the top of casing to attach the front of the straps  in case you are wondering.  I also need to tighten up that one strap a little.  It keeps slipping off her shoulder.  If I made this again, I'd just use the straps that tie.  They would be much easier to sew in and would also be adjustable after the fact.

This is when I told her to "strike a pose."  Lol.

Conclusion: I love the end result.  Jane loves it, too.  She wore it straight off the sewing machine.  She says it's comfy.  I know we'll get lots of use from it this summer.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Four *New Tops

*Only two of them are actually new makes.  The other two are previously sewn tops with a few changes.  I'm collecting them all in one blog post simply because they are the last four things to come off my sewing machine and I took pictures of them the other day.  I actually worked on all of them at the same time and then finished them all in one weekend.  Nothing makes you feel more accomplished than finishing four things in one weekend!

Anyway, the first top is my grey floral Burdastyle shirt that I recently blogged about here.  I went back to the fabric store and bought another yard of this rayon to do 3/4 length sleeves like my other version.  And I like it so much better.  I was able to wear it once on a cool day a week or so ago, but this top will go in the closet until fall. Too hot for longer sleeves already.  I painstakingly unpicked the armhole seams- stitched twice and then serged!  I'm always so thorough on seams I need to undo.  Looks better with longer sleeves, doesn't it?   I think it does. I get a more billowy, bohemian vibe instead of a granny chic vibe with the shorter sleeves.

My next alteration was to this rayon challis and linen McCalls 7095 top I made last summer.  I never wore it.  Not once.  The elastic waist was too bulky.  I think there was just too much volume gathered in to the elastic waist.  So I unpicked the channel the elastic was sewn in to- again, painstakingly, because it was several rows of stitching.  And then I chopped it shorter and hemmed it.  Unfortunately, I hemmed it too short the first time around.  So I then unpicked the hem and sewed a strip of fabric on the bottom to make it longer.  Can you tell I'm missing a stripe in there?  It was definitely a dedicated remake.  But I am so glad I persevered and fixed it because I have worn this top multiple times already.  It will be a staple this summer.

The next top is a new make.  I made this as a wearable muslin.  I bought McCalls 7361 without any real intention of making it right away, but then I noticed the striped version on the pattern envelope.  I had this super cheap rayon challis in stash that I figured would be perfect.  It was not fun to cut, however. I starched the hell out of it to keep the stripe as straight as possible.  I think I did an ok job.   

Pattern Description:  McCalls 7361, a loose fitting, pullover top with neck and hemline variations.  There is some very interesting seaming in this pattern.  I made view D, the striped version, but with the v-neck.  The sleeves are cut on the bias.  

Pattern Sizing: 6-22.  I cut a 12 to try and reduce some of the width even though I normally cut a 14.

Fabric Used:  Rayon challis.

Alterations/Deviations: The finished top was so, so short.  In an attempt to save it, I added a strip of fabric to hem.  I actually kind of like the added band around the hem.  We'll just pretend it was a design feature.  So pay attention to the length if you are making this.   I also had to straighten the shoulder seam after the fact.  I should just do a square shoulder adjustment all the time now, no questions asked.  I straightened the shoulder seam from shoulder point to neckline.  I probably took a 3/4" wedge out.  Not the proper way to do it but it helped.  I'll do a proper square shoulder adjustment next time around.

Likes/Dislikes:  I like the shape.  I like all the interesting seaming with the stripe.  I do not like how low the armholes are.  You can see straight to my bra.  I'll wear a camisole under this one but maybe I'll try and raise the armholes a bit next time.  Can you do that with a cut on sleeve?  I figure I'll just redraw that underarm curve up a little higher.

Conclusion:  It's funky little top pattern.  I would like to make it again with all the changes I listed above.  I'm even kind of interested in the pleated side panels.

The last top was super quick and is probably my favorite of the bunch.

Pattern Description: Kwik Sew 3891, batwing top with curved hemline and raglan sleeves.  I think this pattern has been around for a long time.  This is the first Kwik Sew pattern I've ever sewn.  I bought a few at Hancock the other day on deep discount.  I made view A but with the scoop neckline.

Pattern Sizing: XS-XL.  I made a S with the length of a M.  I'd say generous sizing in this pattern.  Not that sizing is super important.  As long as the neckline sits where you want it to, you're good to go with this style of top.

Fabric Used:  A Nicole Miller rayon jersey from Joann's.  I bought a few yards a while back but this is the first I've sewn up.  It's nice stuff.  Nice medium-ish weight but still pretty drape-y.  I think it was perfect for this top.  I have worn this top many, many, many times since making it.  And I have to report that the print has faded.  I'm on about the 12th wash or so and it's just now fading.  It didn't fade at first so I was pretty excited about the quality.

Alterations/Deviations:  None, other than using a longer length.  I also did my own neckband length. I always cut a neckband strip and then figure out the length as I'm sewing it on.  I don't trust the length given in patterns because I think it always varies depending upon your fabric.

Likes/Dislikes:  Love everything about this top.  I love the way the raglan seams are sewn together to make the sleeves.  I like the wide scoop neckline.  The length is good.   It's so easy to wear.  I will take more care with my hem next time.  I probably should have used some fusible to stabilize first.

Conclusion:  I will definitely make this again.   I have worn this one so much already that people might wonder if it's all I own.  It's a great, super quick sew.