Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Jalie mashup swim tank

It's that time of year again! School is out in a few days and my kids are looking forward to lots of swim, sun and playing outside. Logan needed new swim togs this year, and while he found some cool Minecraft trunks he liked, we came up empty for a top.
Mom to the rescue. Logan specifically wanted a tank top, not a sleeveless shirt. And I wanted it to be wicking polyester so it would dry quickly and be comfortable in the heat. Neither requirement was an easy one...
The fabric turned out to be the least challenging. After searching at my usual favorite spots and coming up empty, I just did a Google search and found an impressive line of wicking jersey at Wazoodle. They had a range of colors and weights to pick and choose from. I went with the classic Minecraft color scheme of black and green. Shipping was fast and the quality is excellent, so I'll be shopping there again.
The larger challenge was the pattern. Boys tank top patterns fizzle out after the toddler sizes and Logan isn't quite big enough for mens sizing yet. Even Ottobre failed me! Logan was very specific about wanting a tank top and not just a sleeveless shirt. So, I had to get a little creative. I decided to start with the ladies racer back tank by Jalie (3245). But since it has decidedly feminine lines, I used the Jalie Nico raglan tee to get a more masculine shape, blending the two patterns together at the underarm. And since I was hacking up a couple of patterns anyway, I decided to do some color blocking and add mesh side panels for comfort. All in a day's work.
Logan is very happy with it. He loves the way it looks and fits and says it is very comfortable. I even got a hug from my not physically demonstrative boy. I think as I look at him that the armhole could be slightly lower, but really, it's a pretty good fit.
The fit through the back is pretty good though, and it looks well proportioned overall.
On the side, I added 4 inch wide panels of athletic mesh - the sort with large holes that jerseys are made of. It gives the tank some more breathability as well as a cool sporty look. I also color blocked the front and back with green on the lower 6 inches of the tank, and used the same green jersey for the neck and armhole bindings.
I got my Cricut in on the party for some finishing touches with a creeper face and Minecraft logo. I used a silicone HTV that has a slick feel. It's a cool texture that goes with water play well. I also coverstitched all the seams, both for a touch of contrast stitching, and to be sure the insides were nice and soft. No itchy seams!
It was a little more patternwork than I have been doing lately, and it was nice to use that part of my brain. Logan loves his tank, so that's the most important thing. I had fun making it, too.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan

Hey y'all! Long time no see. I seem to have dropped off the blogosphere accidentally. To be frank, the process of taking and editing pictures, then writing a blog post was just too much for me for a while there. I really have been sewing quite a bit. If you follow me on IG (@kid_md) or Twitter (@katie_kid_md) you'll still get to see lots of sewing action. I'm not sure I'll be posting everything I make going forward, but I really wanted to show y'all this. Blogging mojo kickstarted!
So, this cardigan is what I wanted to share with y'all. Now that we live somewhere with proper seasons (it was ALWAYS hot in Texas and ALWAYS cold in Utah, no transitions), I find myself grabbing cardigans and hoodies a lot to layer on chilly mornings. I recently made the Jalie Helene cardigan, which I love and hopefully can get some pics of soon, but wanted something with a little more flair and shaping. I was just browsing on the Pattern Review shop, and came across this cardigan pattern from Itch to Stitch. I admit, I hadn't paid any attention to this company. I have a lot of patterns and these smaller Indie companies can be pretty variable in terms of pattern making and drafting quality. But I like the style so much, I decided to give it a go.
I mean seriously, this rear view?! With all that wonderful pleating! I love it. Another down side (for me) was that this was a PDF. Y'all, I hate taping those things together. And this was not the easiest one I've ever done. I fall into three different sizes, so I couldn't just print the one size. And for whatever reason, the pieces just didn't want to fit well together during assembly. I ended up cutting out each piece as I assembled it, instead of leaving it as one big sheet. Once that was done, it went together fine.
I really like that this style lends itself well to being dressed up or down. Pencil skirts aren't exactly conducive to chasing my kids, so I love that I can wear this cardi with my jeans as well. It sewed up nicely in a rayon-poly-lycra Ponte from FabricMart. I don't think it's particularly well suited to thinner knits, as you'd lose the details in the pleating.
 As far as the pattern itself goes, the drafting was good - everything fit together as it should. I found the sizing a bit on the RTW/vanity sizing side of things. My measurements put my in 3 sizes, the smallest of which was a size 2. Y'all... I haven't been a size 2 since middle school. That said, as long as you ignore the size numbers and go by your measurements, those are accurately represented. For fit, the only alteration I made was to grade out 2 sizes at the bust. Since there is plenty of ease in the hips, I didn't make any changes there. It's also worth noting that I did not lengthen the sleeves. I have quite long arms and generally do have to add some length to most sleeves, but as you can see, this one is quite long as drafted. Shortening is easier than lengthening though, so that's a feature for me.
The other major change I made was to add pockets. I must have pockets in my cardigans. They hold my phone, keys and all the bits of stuff that come with modern life. It doesn't matter how much I love a garment, if it doesn't have pockets, I won't wear it and that goes double for cardigans. I made these the full length of the lower section and deep enough for my 5.5 inch phone.
Inside, you can see the pocket bags cover up the pleats a bit, which is nice. Since the pockets reach the entire length of the panel, they are stitched into the waist seam and the hem, so no flopping about. I used a matching cotton jersey for the pockets to reduce bulk, as the waist seam gets a bit thick with all those pleats. You can also see that I added inner buttons to stabilize my large outer buttons and prevent them from pulling through the ponte. It's always good to stabilize a heavy button, especially on a knit fabric. I did add an extra button. The pattern calls for a single large button, but I really liked the look of two. And it's mine, so I do what I want.
Overall, I think this will get a lots of wear. It's a pretty distinctive style, so I'm not sure I'll make a ton of them, but maybe there's room in my closet for one more. I have some leopard print ponte...

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ottobre 03/2011-18

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted! Life has been crazy, but good. Starting with the reason for this dress! My sister was married at the end of November, in Scotland! And we got to be there! Naturally, some new dresses needed sewn...
All my photos were taken in front of the Leith Registry House in Edinburgh, where my sister was married. It was a lovely venue!
Obviously, November in Scotland demands a certain level of cold protection. Not something this Southern girl generally has to deal with, but thanks to my Ottobre subscription, I had plenty of pattern options for Myra! Those Finns know how to deal with the cold.
We settled on Ottobre 03/2011-18, which is a simple dress with long sleeves and a turtleneck collar. Very cozy.
The skirt is lightly gathered into a high-low waistline, which has a pretty effect on. The skirt is nice and long, and kept her warm over tights.
The sleeves are long and slim, with plain hems at the wrist. The sleeve caps are gathered into a full puff, which Myra really likes.
The fabric is a cozy ribbed sweater knit. I'm not sure where I got it, but it's at least four years old, so yay for a nice deep stashbust. It really was perfect for this dress. It's a little on the unstable side, so I did stabilize the shoulder seams and waistline with clear elastic, but otherwise it sewed up without much trouble.
We've had a surprisingly cold winter here in Tennessee so far, so Myra has gotten quite a lot of wear out of this dress. I'm pleased that she likes it so much.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ottobre 03/2015-24

This sweet faced boy doesn't get much sewing time. He has a lot of handmade clothing passed down from Logan, so he really doesn't need much, and he lives in tee shirts and shorts anyway. He only has one dress shirt, and it was purchased for Logan, so it's in rough shape now. It was time for a nice new one of his own.
This is Ottobre 03/2015-24, which is a sport shirt with some nice details. The back yoke is echoed in front and there are several pocket options.
The fabric I used is a tiny stripe, so I had fun playing with directions along the yoke and pocket. I cut the main body of the shirt on grain, with the front yoke on the bias and pocket on the cross grain.
In the back, the yoke is on the cross grain. The shirt has a nice fit, with just a little shaping.
Back ease is incorporated into two pleats near the armhole area, rather than the traditional center back pleat. I like the sporty look it has. It suits Duncan's active personality.
The shirt has button bands and a one piece collar. The pattern calls for buttons, but since Duncan likes to Hulk out of his clothing, I went with snaps. I hadn't applied snaps in a while, so it took me a few tries to get them on properly, but I like the way they turned out.
I've missed sewing for my sweet boy. There never seems time enough for all the projects I'd like to do, but I definitely need to make more time for Duncan.

Monday, September 11, 2017

McCalls 6794 top and some Eleonore jeans

I love a quick knit top, which is probably why my dresser is full of them, but there is just something a little classier about a top made from a woven fabric. It stops being "just a tee shirt" and, even in a casual, easy wearing style, becomes something a little nicer.
This top is McCalls 6794, which is sadly now OOP. When I bought the pattern, I was so excited about it, but something kept getting in the way of sewing it. I'm glad I finally did. It's darn cute and comfortable!
I made view C, which the model on the envelope is wearing. It features a high-low hemline, cut on, dropped sleeves and a bias faced neckline. The pattern utilizes a contrast fabric for the midriff panel and ties, but I thought there was enough going on with my print and used self fabric.
From the back, you can see the hemline a little better. The fitting in this top is all achieved by the waist tie and the front gathering. It's got a LOT of ease - I sewed 2 sizes smaller than called for by my measurements and made no alterations for my full bust. There's plenty of room for the girls in all that gathering.
My fabric is a polyester charmeuse that has been in my stash long enough that I've forgotten its origins. I likely bought it intending to use it for lining, as I rarely use poly charmeuse for garments, but it does have an excellent drape for this top, and gathers well without adding bulk. For this top, you definitely need a lightweight fabric with plenty of drape! Rayon challis, silk charmeuse or chiffon, or even a lightweight voile would work well.
So, I finished my top, so proud of myself for having used both stash fabric and pattern, and realized that I didn't have anything to wear it with. This shape doesn't really work with my flared jeans and all my skinny jeans were printed or bright colors.
So, I whipped out my trusty Jalie Eleonore pattern and some Ralph Lauren denim I got at Mood a couple of years ago and made some skinny jeans.
I won't talk more about the Eleonores - I love this pattern and I've made it several times - but I am glad this top pushed me to finally make a pair in regular denim. I mean, as regular as I ever get, you know. The denim is shot with gold threads... Because that's how I roll.