Monday, May 26, 2014

Circle Tees

I've made some swingy tees.  I actually traced a rtw shirt I bought recently. Here is a photo of the original shirt below.  The brand is Sophie and Max.

 I don't do a lot of shopping anymore.  Not since I started sewing five years ago.  However, I have slipped up lately.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with not having any time to sew.  I'm trying to get back on the 'no shopping' wagon again.  Sewing these tees was a good start.

This particular tee that I copied has a great swishy shape.  I have worn it to death since I bought it, despite it not being the most flattering top in the world.  I have really been drawn to over sized, swingy tops here lately.  I think if you get the proportions right, it can work really well.  Not sure I've done that, but I still like my tees.

The top reminded me of a circle skirt.  I decided to make a copy of the top when I was making my circle skirts earlier this year.  Here is terrible picture of the front pattern piece.  Both the front and back pattern pieces are fitted in the shoulder and then fall away from the body below the armpit.  Shaped a lot like a circle skirt.  The front piece actually has more width than the back, though, so not a perfect circle.  Anyway, I used my traced pattern to make these three tees.

I made the grey tee first.  It is made from a cotton/rayon jersey.  At first, it was the length of the original top.  But the beefy jersey I used made it really stand away from the body and was crazy unflattering.  So I cropped the front several inches but kept length in the back.  It is a really exaggerated high low hem.  I almost feel like I'm wearing a cape, which is kinda cool.  I think cropping the front helped the proportions.  I've worn it multiple times already, which is why it's all rumply in this photo.  With jeans and with shorts- even with my old lady legs ;)-  It's quirky and I really like it.

I made this red poly knit version next.  Excuse the terrible indoor pics.  I made a shorter sleeve but I still cropped the front length.  The fabric is super cheap.  It hasn't held up very well in the wash, so this version will be short-lived.

I made the pink version last.  I used a super soft rayon knit with a lot of drape.  I kept the original length.  The clinginess of the rayon knit helps tame all the volume.  It took quite a bit of fabric to make these tees, as you can see.  I thought I was done making giant, swingy tees but I'm feeling the need for more.  They are so easy to wear.  Maybe a plain white one is my future!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I Want To Cry

Well, I did cry.  If truth be told.  I'm writing this post because I need someone to commiserate with me.  I have had an epic fail.  Epic.  And it hurts even more because sewing time is so precious these days.  I spent hours working on this.

I may as well have blinking red lights on my chest.  J claims is not that noticeable.  But he's being kind.  I know I can't wear it without feeling super self conscious.  Not only did I end up with red paisley nipples, but they aren't even completely symmetrical.  One is lower than the other, which is not a good look for a bust.   And I tried so hard when I cut out all my pattern pieces.  So hard.  All I could think about was avoiding the purple medallions on the bust.  I didn't account for the alternatives.

The fabric I used is really special.  I go back and forth about whether or not it's silk.  My burn test was inconclusive- how in the world do you tell from that anyway?  It burned, that's all I can say with certainty.  It sort of pressed.  And pins left pin holes.  Anyway, J has gone to China for work a few times in the last few years.  Shanghai and Guangzhou.  The last time he went, he asked me what souvenir I wanted him to bring back.  Like any good sewing enthusiast, I said fabric.  On his last day in Guangzhou, his guides took him to fabric shop for me.  They took him to some sort of fabric shopping mecca about an hour away (he was not happy with me at that point- he really has no interest in fabric shopping) where he picked out a few pieces.  He said he was overwhelmed.  The place he went was like a large shopping mall full of nothing but fabric stores.  Sounds like a dream come true to me :)  He snapped a few photos.  Here's one.

He picked out several pieces using swatch cards and then the shop owner would go and get the bolt.  I ended up with two really wild pieces.  This paisley print and another crazy feather print that I have plans for.  My first instinct was that the paisley fabric was polyester. However, since I've been working with it I'm not so sure.  I'm thinking that it probably is poly, however it is meant to replicate silk which it does very well.  It was slippery, slinky and really difficult to work with.

The only positive to come from this fail was learning how to do a rolled hem on my machine.  I did the bias trim the pattern instructed first, but it was sloppy and really homemade looking in this slippery fabric.  This is Nicola from Victory Patterns by the way.  Won in a giveaway from Sown Brooklyn almost two years ago.  I'm not done with this pattern.  I have no qualms with the pattern.  Just my unfortunate pattern placement.  But I think I have to let this version die.  I love the sleeves, especially after figuring out the rolled hem.  I luckily did not cut out the skirt pieces ahead of time.  I was going to complete the bodice first to make sure the length was right.  So I have a bit of the fabric left that I can make something with, hopefully.  But I still can't tell you how much this fail hurts.  We are going to a wedding next weekend, and now this girl has nothing to wear.  And I hate shopping under pressure.  Someone tell me it will be okay.