Sunday, June 21, 2015

Monthly stitch madness

So my goal for this month was to participate in all four Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month contests. I did okay on week one, but on week 2, though my tank top was pretty successful, my skirt sure wasn't. I might try to revisit it one day, but for now, it's in the UFO (aka time out) bin, I just couldn't take it anymore!

For week three (new to me), my plan was to finally make a Gabriola. However, at the beginning of the week, I was chosen as a tester for a pattern company I hadn't heard of before, KZJO Studio. She had three patterns out for testing, but based on what's in my stash, I chose to only test one - the Charlotte Tunic. (I really wanted to try to make Charlotte and Gabriola, but life got in the way, alas. Stupid Chicago flooding...Good thing I didn't commit to more pattern testing!)

To be honest, I initially thought this was a tank top when I signed up to test. Then I thought it was a dress, albeit a short one, and wore it as such, both to a party last night and for these pictures. Now, however, I realize it's really supposed to be worn with pants or leggings! Oh well. The great thing about sewing your own patterns is that it's "supposed to be" whatever you want it to be. I've already got a maxi version cut out, and may even have a couple of stash fabrics that would be good for tank top versions.

I picked up some pretty, slinky poly fabric recently during one of my allowed stash-adding weekends, and I wanted a simple make to show off the pattern properly. This tunic turned out to be just the ticket! For my first version, I cut and sewed as instructed, going with a straight size 16. Since my fabric frayed so much, I used French seams, and since the bias binding shows through on the straps, I went with some pretty lace I had on hand. 

Once I realized this wasn't a tank top, I honestly didn't think it would be very flattering on me, at least not without a belt. It's not my typical fit-and-flare, but...I really like it! I initially had some under-arm gaping, but that's pretty common with all of my makes (I've only recently discovered that this probably means I need a full bust adjustment). Since this was already cut and mostly sewn, I just added some darts, and I think it works fine. 

Pattern notes: Overall, I think the pattern itself is really well-drafted. It's simple enough to be good for a confident beginner (the bias tape might be a little challenging for a true novice), but with enough visual interest to not get boring. The instructions are pretty well written (and are currently being revised before the release to be even better!), and the diagrams/pictures are really excellent. 

What I'd change next time: I'd add at least a few inches so I can wear this as a dress without fear of flashing everyone. :) Because of the French seams, my total seam allowance ended up being a bit more than the intended 1/2", so it was a bit tighter than I'd thought in the bust. I'd probably size up to the 18 next time. 

KZJO Studio is planning to release all three patterns on Tuesday (a racerback knit dress, and a cute summer cardigan, in addition to this tunic), and is offering 15% off until June 30th! What do you think - would you give this pattern a try?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Indie Pattern Month Commences!

Welp, Indie Pattern Month has started over at the Monthly Stitch, and for once, I'm able to participate (just in time!). 

In a departure from my usual style and my usual choice of fabric pattern, I've made the Sonja dress from Salme patterns.

In addition to having a thing for floral, I also really have a thing for lace. The only problem is, lace and I have never quite seen eye to eye. I guess I'm not super great at working with underlining just yet, but with this dress, finally, it came together!

It's hard to tell in these photos, but this is underlined in a mystery drapey green fabric (that also stretched out while sewing and gave me a few headaches, but I think I overcame them). 

Issues with the pattern:
-You might be able to tell from the picture above that there was some gaping near the armpit. I added an extra dart here, and I think it worked out fine. 

[Pretty sure this lays better when my arms are down.]

-I should've read the pattern more carefully before I started, because seam allowances aren't included. That, coupled with the fact that I didn't take proper measurements, meant that this ended up way too small at first. I added a couple of inches in the back, which is hopefully a pretty inconspicuous fix. 
-Like a lot of people who've sewn this pattern, I omitted the facings and went with bias binding instead. I think most of us agree that facings often just get in the way. 
-This is a simple dress that's pretty easy to put together without instructions. That said, I glanced over the instructions, and they didn't exactly seem clear. 

Those issues aside, I think I'll probably make this up again. There are a couple of minor adjustments I can make to fit, but I think it looks pretty good as-is, right? 

Are you participating in Indie Pattern Month? I'm loving all of the dresses I've seen over there so far!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Is anyone surprised by my next choice of print?

AKA, more florals. No, not surprised? Okay, good. I like to meet expectations, of course. 

This is my second (successful) version of Butterick 5748. My first one turned out pretty darn well, if I do say so myself. My second one (unblogged) was a couple of inches too small. Even though I used the same size. Even though I haven't gained that much weight. So for this version, because I loved this print so much and didn't want to ruin more fabric, I added quite a bit of room all over. And then, of course, had to take out all of the extra room, and then some.

This was 2 yards of some fairly slinky gray/blue floral print from Hancock Fabrics, which I probably picked up for about $1.50 per yard. (Side note - I can't imagine myself ever caring enough about type of fabric to do a burn test. Sorrynotsorry, you'll have to settle for my ridiculous descriptions. :) I really only care about the print, always and forever.)

I love the back of this dress (along with a beautiful view of my healing sunburn). However, I can't imagine the back of this will ever be seen in real life, because...

While I was putting the finishing touches on the inside (aka serging some seams)...I made a big boo-boo. I cut a HUGE hole in there, and this was my lazy effort to fix it. It probably won't last for long, I'll have to go back and find a longer-term solution. That hasn't stopped me from wearing it so far, though...and my mom even said she likes this one! Something about it being more "subtle," ha.

What's your most recent disaster? Or "make it work" moment?