Bits and Bobs

It’s been one of those sorts of weeks around here. A chipping away at stuff kind of week.

Dislike

Dislike

First the bad news, I made another Day to Night T shirt and I hate it. I used the same pattern iteration as last time, so in theory it should work. But I hate it. I got this fabric to got with the lovely bundle of stuff that Crystal sent me (don’t ask for a progress report on that right now, ok), it was the best colour match in the shop, but its a horrible colour on me, what was I thinking of?

case in point

case in point

Also, its a slinky fabric that clings to every lump and bump and does nothing for me. I’m putting this photo up here to remind Future Me never to buy this kind of fabric again. I hate it. I know this. What was I thinking of?

check out that wavy collar

check out that wavy collar

Next up, in mixed news, hubby has been wearing his new waistcoat and doesn’t the colour look good with this shirt. I got lots of lovely comments about it, thank you and I know it’s not that bad, but you can see here, the trouble with the collar, which likes to roll up on itself.

gape

gape

Also, despite understitching the seam, the lining is still starting to bag out and I keep seeing flashes of it. It’s not as bad as on the last one but I’m wondering how I stop this happening in future. Do I need to topstitch this bottom hem? Or have a facing of main fabric along the bottom of the lining maybe?

scrap buster

scrap buster

Finally, on a good note, we have started a long process at home of swapping some rooms round, which will mean I get a better sewing space eventually. At the moment I’m sorting through some of my mounds of stuff and as part of that process I made a couple of “buffs” from scrap jersey. Now to find a child with a head small enough to wear them.

knickertastic

knickertastic

I also got myself some more psycadelic underwear to brighten up grey autumn mornings. This photo was taken indoors on a grey day so really doesn’t show you quite how bright they are. This pair are flowery at the back, teal at the front and have hot pink ribbing bands. I had to squeeze them out of the fabric so a bit of the margin printing shows, but I don’t care. Amazingly the flowers are still symmetrical a the back.

action shot

action shot

Finally, my new bag has been getting a lot of use and I’m particularly tickled by how it looks in the box on the front of my bike.

Draped skirt

So, after showing you my latest t shirt I was hoping to show you some new jeans next, but they are coming together very slowly as I’m quite under the weather with a nasty chesty cold thingy and jeans are just a tad too complicated for me at the moment.

However, yesterday, I decided I needed some fresh air, so took a little trip down the road to my very local fabric shop. I had a fun time chatting to all the staff, shame about the massive coughing fit on the way home that saw me going in a corner shop with tears streaming down my face to buy a drink 😦 Luckily I don’t think the shop assistant looked in my direction once whilst serving me so presumably hasn’t jumped to any conclusions about my distressed looking state.

However, as well as some more thread for my jeans, I picked up a few other things. In my defence, I only got 1/2 m of one, two more were from the remnants basket (and one of those was something I’d been eyeing up on the roll before) and the other was a little grey jersey. Just perfect for trying out Maria’s draped skirt tutorial. (I just may have worked out measurements before hand and took them with me my trip.)

Maria Denmark fan girl

spot the Maria Denmark fan girl (that’s my Day to Night T shirtDay to Night t shirt I’m wearing too)

Basically, you make a tube, twice as long as you want your skirt to be, then fold it in half (so you have a double layer), but twist one of the tops round 180 degrees. (If you’re confused, check out the tutorial, it’s very clear).

roll top

roll top

I put a yoga style folded waistband at the top made from some ribbing. It was the sort that comes in a knitted tube which was a close enough match sizewise to what I needed the waistband to be, so I managed not to have any side seams.

back view

back view – the best of some very bad photo’s!

The skirt looks like a weird jumbled mess when it’s not on and your feet have to fight their way through when putting it on as it doesn’t feel as if there’s a hole at the bottom. When I first put it on, it feels very tight around the knees (bearing in mind I tend to live in jeans and don’t have any pencil skirts), but I can walk in it just fine and it’s very comfy to wear. I won’t go cycling or tree climbing in it, but if I worked in an office I think I might run up another couple to be secret office pajamas.

long scarf

long scarf

There was a long strip of fabric left over, so I made a quick scarf.

guts

guts

As these things tend to flip out, I used a french seam to stop the seam showing, then sewed it down, faux flat felled seam style. The sides I left raw.

doubled up

doubled up

And doubled up it works as a shorter scarf and it can also function as a headband (although it’s a bit bulky that way).

All in all, a quick couple of makes to cheer me up and there was no left over fabric at all! Double win. Now, back to edging forward with the jeans…

The one I gave away

I gave away a top I made today. I took a quick photo before giving it away. Try and ignore the silly expression (I was in my friends house, with my husband taking a quick photo, being photobombed by three small twirly children whilst my friend and her sister looked on – not the ideal photo shoot). The thing is the fit.

Akward photo

Akward photo

The top is the day to night drape top by Maria Denmark (yes, I seem to have a bit of a thing about her patterns and tutorials at the mo). With Birgitte sleeves, as suggested by Maria, because I don’t wear sleeveless tops. I made it in some petrel couloured jersey from a local shop that I now realise is very similar colour to one of the photographed example top’s on her website – this was not intentional! I’m not sure of the fabric content, but it’s very slinky and drapey and feels cold to the touch. It is, as I thought, quite a good choice for a drape neck, but it’s also a little clingy on me.

But then that could be down to the size I cut. I steeled myself to do a full bust adjustment on a drape top. I was a little intimidated. But the pattern suggests using the same method I used before and I figured I just had to ignore the odd looking neckline and concentrate on the FBA. So, I measured my upper bust – 99cm, which corresponds to a large size (with bust measurement 102cm – the medium is 96cm), like I cut for my Birgitte’s. Then I measured my full bust – 103cm. Which is only 1cm above the large bust pattern size. Surely not. I measured again, and again, same answer each time. Surely a 1/2 cm FBA on my pattern piece is not worth it, especially when the pattern says a FBA is not needed for a C cup as there’s plenty of room in the bust.

There are so many things I don't like about this photo, except the two blondes

There are so many things I don’t like about this photo, except the two blondes

So I blended a large top half of the pattern out to a 2XL waist/hip (which I needed) and cut and sewed that. The result is too annoyingly too tight around my girth despite my novice attempt at blending pattern sizes. Also, I see drag lines going horizontally across my cleavage (this is practically all I can focus on when I put the top on). Surely that means I should have done a FBA? What was I thinking of? Why not add 3cm like I did on both the Birgitte’s and the Kimono t shirt – after all, they’re the same pattern designer.

So, I’ve given it away. Despite two friends telling me it looked nice. You know, I think I could live with it if I’d bought it, but it will just bug me no end every time I wore it if I kept it, knowing that I’d spent ages learning to fit t shirts for my bust and then not doing so on this one and then it not fitting properly. I’ve no idea what was going on when I measured myself. In the future, I will just do a 3cm FBA on all Maria Denmark t shirt patterns until my shape changes. End of.

Another awkward photo

Another awkward photo

Oh, and sewing the pattern. Well, that was quite straightforward. The pdf came together easily (not sure if that’s Maria’s skill, a fluke or the fact that the paper size didn’t have to be translated to A4 from letter). It’s just two pieces, but I used the Birgitte sleeve too. What I didn’t do was use fold over or invisible elastic as instructed. I didn’t have any, I wasn’t confident of getting some locally, I didn’t need it on the armholes as I was using sleeves, I couldn’t see what good it was doing inside the drape and I thought I could live without it on the back of the neck. Oh and just possibly I was feeling a little impatient to get it done and didn’t want to wait till the shops were open and possibly wait longer still as if I had to resort to ordering online.

That decision made starting difficult. I had though to make the top up and then decide if I could be bothered with finding elastic to finish it, but the instructions started with adding the elastic finish to the neck before doing anything else. A quick search later and I found this tutorial from Fehr Trade on cowl tops. Here the edges aren’t finished with elastic, horray, but the shoulder seam is stabilised with tape, which I don’t have. I used some hemming tape before on my Coco tops but I’m not sure it was quite the right product to use and I’ve since lost it.

So, in true prolificprojectstarter slapdash style I decided that my folded over seam allowance for the back neckline was my facing and I followed the Fehr Trade buritto method for the shoulder seams. It was a little confusing when pinning as they kept rearranging themselves so I wasn’t sure which was the right side, but it worked fine. Then I just folded over and sewed down my back neckline, after all that worked on my drape drape asymmetric top and no one has ever noticed. And inside the cowl? – I left a raw edge. So, sue me, it won’t show and I’m pretty sure it won’t fray either.

The sleeve attachment took a little jiggling. I cut the large Birgitte sleeves and they didn’t seem quite the right size for the armscye, but a little stretching (the joy of sewing with jersey) and it all worked out. It was also a bit wierd working out how to attatch around the cowl facing, maybe it would’ve worked better if I’d followed Maria’s instrustions, but I got round it. Then it was just hemming the bottom and sleeves, which I did with my double needle (still need to get some jersey interfacing to improve the look of that, ho hum, another thing I can’t get locally).

In conclusion, construction was fine and dandy (if a little quick and dirty) but the fit was off – due to anomolies of measuring and deciding I didn’t need a FBA and exacerbated by clingy fabric. Anyway, my friend is very pleased to have a new top, she hadn’t tried it on when I left it with her, but she has an old shop bought top of mine that I gave away as it was a little too tight in the bust and so kept riding up (some kind of princess seam going on there) and that fits her fine (she wear’s it often, which is good to see as it’s a nice top), so I think it will be fine. And as she’s slightly taller than me I know she will appreciate the long post baby tummy covering length of this top (one day shops will catch on and make them for people to buy!).

I have had enough of t shirts for a while (except possibly for a long sleeved one) and intend to focus on my new knit dress obsession (whilst still ignoring the pile of half finished stuff), but I will try this one again at some point, with a FBA, possibly emailing and asking for advice on sleeve sizing first, and quite probably not in blue (I never intended a new wardrobe full of blue t shirts, I like blue, and I was lacking blue t shirts, but I’m thinking I probably have enough now).

Drape drape 2 number 4

Back at the end of April I asked for ideas from the Stashbusting Sewalong Facebook group on what to do with my small knit stash. Sue suggested I take a look at SyleArc an Australian company I hadn’t come accross. I did and fell for a couple of their tops including the asymmetric drape Billie top. Then I discovered that they don’t do PDF’s (I even emailed them to double check) and I couldn’t really justify paying postage to have a pattern mailed around the world.

So I looked around for something similar and found the Drape Drape 2 no.4 one-piece scoop neck asymmetric top pattern (such a catchy name) scattered around the blogosphere. I decided I liked it better and as it was nearly my birthday treated myself to the book (I didn’t compare prices to having a pattern shipped, but it felt better value, as there are 14 patterns, even if I am clearly never going to wear most of them).

Well, it came and I went to trace out the pattern. It only comes in two sizes, S/M and L/XL so I was obviously going to need the larger one. At the last minute I measured myself before getting stuck in. And found that I was larger than the XL size in the book (the size chart is on p7 and can be seen using the Look Inside feature on the link above – which is a good reason for using amazon to browse books online, even if like me you choose to buy them elsewhere where possible due to their tax dodging – oh how I wish there was an independent bookseller nearby so I could shop online using Hive – but I digress). I didn’t take my measurements down at the time, but today my upper bust is 99cm (I don’t think I would have thought to measure that at the time) and my full bust is 105cm – both way outside the XL 90cm bust measurement. Gah.

I had to find a highlighter pen to help me trace the pattern out - despite being a one piece pattern it was in three pieces on the pattern sheet that had to be matched together.

I had to find a highlighter pen to help me trace the pattern out – despite being a one piece pattern it was in three pieces on the pattern sheet that had to be matched together.

After a little sulking, I decided to try it anyway, after all, jersey is stretchy right? And what else was I going to do with this piece of fabric.
I was planning to use some burgandy jersey (not sure of composition, think it has some cotton in) I had bought in Bath with the intention of making my daughter leggins to wear instead of tights to school but I’d since given up on the idea, so I figured it was free fabric.

After reading about other peoples experience making this top I added a whopping 4 inches in height to the front neckline. You can see my self drafted line that I cut here, and how much deeper the original pattern line is (which is drawn on on the right).

After reading about other peoples experience making this top I added a whopping 4 inches in height to the front neckline. You can see my self drafted line that I cut here, and how much deeper the original pattern line is (which is drawn on on the right).

Boy is that pattern piece large. I needed to tape several huge pieces of paper together to trace it. And then I discovered that my fabric wasn’t quite big enough, this pattern eats fabric as it’s cut on the bias. I decided to put a side seam in (I figured no one would notice if it had two seams in, like a normal t shirt) so I could slide one side of the top and be more economical with the fabri. Still not enough fabric. So I slightly changed the angle of one side (it’s cut on the bias) to fit it in.

This shoes the difference in angle of my two pieces, cut along the new seam line (with added seam allowance) to give you an idea how off one of them was

This shoes the difference in angle of my two pieces, cut along the new seam line (with added seam allowance) to give you an idea how off one of them was (they should be parallel)

Making it up was pretty easy despite being a novice sewer with knits. I was good and used a ballpoint needle and a stretch stitch. I had an extra seam to do, making a grand total of 4 seams (2 shoulder, 2 side, plus the neck, cuffs and waist to finish. I was not so good about that, I left the side seams unfinished on the inside and I gave up on the instructions for finishing the neckline, I just folded it under once and topstitched it in place. Same for the hem. No one has ever noticed (or if they have they were too polite to say).

Amazingly the top fit. The sleeves however….

That can't be right

That can’t be right

Way too tight - I feel like the incredible hulk

Way too tight – I feel like the incredible hulk

I should point out that the sleeves are meant to be different from each other. They are not supposed to look like that though.

The technical sleeve adjusting process in action (my theory, that the diagonal would be longer hence looser than cutting it straight)

The technical sleeve adjusting process in action (my theory, that the diagonal would be longer hence looser than cutting it straight)

Yes I did just lop a bit off each sleeve to see what happened - I figured I had nothing to loose

Yes I did just lop a bit off each sleeve to see what happened – I figured I had nothing to loose

My determination to carry this through led me to chop a corner of each arm (after all, they weren’t suppose to match so why try) and amazingly it worked.

I wore the top for the first time in Me Made May – getting my husband to snap a picture before he went to work.

I am not a morning person

I am not a morning person

I wasn’t convinced at this point about the top. There’s no delicate way of putting this but I just feel that my cheast gets in the way of the drape of the top. It doesn’t lie as it’s intended. It’s certainly has less ease in that area than it does elsewhere! This made me feel very self conscious about wearing it.

However, it is a shade I love so I have worn it a lot and have forgotten/gotten used to the fit issues and had my confidence bolstered not just by the lack of negative comments, but by getting compliments when wearing it and then surprising the person paying the compliment by confessing it was made by me.

So, in honour of finally getting around to blog about this top, I decided a proper photo shoot was in order. Unfortunately, my main photographer was sulking about something else at the time, so I had to resort to using a 7 year old boy. I notice some people post amazing pics apparently taken by their kids. It is all I can do to get him to include the garment I’m interested in in the frame of the picture….

Hmm, at least my photographer managed to get the top in this shop

Hmm, at least my photographer managed to get the top in this shop

unlike this one, I have no idea what this is, but he took it in the middle of the photoshoop

unlike this one, I have no idea what this is, but he took it in the middle of the photoshoot

My catwalk turns need some work

My catwalk turns need some work

You can see the matching headband made from scraps in this one. Little sister has one too.

You can see the matching headband made from scraps in this one. Little sister has one too.

Right, that's it, I'm done

Right, that’s it, I’m done