23 April 2012

Stitch Magazine's Pin-Tuck Skirt: Complete


When I first saw the cover of Stitch Magazine's winter 2008 issue, I had to have it.  How could I not like this skirt??  It has an asymmetrical design, pleated button closure, and peeks of colour from the inner fabric - all delicious details that make for cuteness on the hips!
 
Perusing through the rest of the magazine, I saw the pin-tuck skirt below.  This skirt isn't as detailed as the one featured on the cover, but it's still different from the average a-line. Since I wasn't sure of how either skirt would fit, I opted for the simplest of the two to get started.


If you're interested in this issue of the magazine, it's no longer available in print.  You'll have to purchase a digital copy from Interweave (publisher) for $9.99.  The out-of-print copies sometimes go on sale at half off, so if you're in no big rush to acquire the magazine, wait for the sale!  Word of caution:  the patterns for this magazine aren't available for download.  I put in a request on PR for someone who had the magazine and was able to borrow her issue to copy these two patterns.

On with the review...

Fabric & Notions:
  • one yard of 100% linen from the stash
  • 7" invisible zipper
  • one yard of ambiance bemberg lining
  • petersham ribbon cut to waist measurement plus a little extra
Pattern Sizing:
I don't know what standard is used in determining the US size in parentheses, so I've listed the waist and hip measurements, respectively, for each pattern size.

XS (size 4) 26¾", 36"
S (sizes 6–8) 29¼", 38"
M (sizes 10–12) 31¾", 40½"
L (sizes 14–16) 34¾", 43½"
XL (sizes 18–20) 38¾", 47½"

There are only two pattern pieces.  Based on my hip measurements at the time, I traced a size large.  Since then, I lost several pounds and ended up sewing the equivalent of a medium.  I didn't make any alterations to the length, nor did I add any extra width to the back (like I normally do) to compensate for the junk in my trunk.

Instructions:

While the instructions are simple and easy to follow, I didn't use them.  Here's what I did instead:
  1. You're instructed to sew the darts, zipper, and side seams before making the tucks.  I suppose if you're not using a pin-tuck foot, then this order of sewing isn't that bad.  In any event, I sewed the darts, made the tucks, inserted the zipper, and then sewed the side seams.
  2. The waist is finished by folding under 0.5" twice and stitching in place.  I didn't think this would provide enough support, so I finished the waist with petersham as detailed in this post.
  3. The instructions have you finish the hem in the same manner as the waist.  I used the rolled hem stitch on my serger.
Adjusting the Pattern for Lining:

There are three tucks on the front and four on the back.  My skirt only has six tucks because I inadvertently missed one.  To ensure that the lining's waist circumference was the same as the skirt's after the tucks were sewn, I estimated the tuck uptake and divided this number by four, since there are two darts on both the front and back pattern pieces.  I widened each dart at the waist's edge, tapering to nothing at the dart point.



Conclusion:
This is a decent pattern and the tucks add a hint of visual interest.  Unlined, the garment is very quick to sew and a great wardrobe builder. While I will may or may not make this again, I will definitely try the asymmetric skirt. 

That's all for now.  Until next time, happy Monday!

L



22 April 2012

Fitting Simplicity 2473

This pattern is one of many in my dressapalooza.  Having seen versions of this dress on Kyle and Rachelle, I was excited to try it myself.  What I like most about the pattern is the front shoulder princess seams for fit and the various options to customize your own look.  I'm working on this version: 


Fitting (Round 1):
There's not much to this first round of fitting.  I cut a straight size 14 in the bodice and midriff only, and started by lowering the bust fullness 1.25 inches.  Normally I lower a full 2 inches, however when I compared the pattern piece to my dress form (or mannequin as my guy friend insists on saying), it appeared as if the bust curve was almost in the correct spot.  I made a 2" FBA and a 5/8" broad back adjustment.



To compensate for the extra width added by the FBA, I increased the width on the midriff front band as well.


(I made additional alterations to the pattern, but the necessity of these adjustments weren't revealed until after the second muslin as described below.)

Fitting (Round 2):
For the second round, I decided to cut out the skirt panels and assemble the dress in its entirety. 


The first thing I did was pin the hem at a place that I find flattering on me.  Even though it's not clearly visible in these photos, the midriff front was huge.  I pinned out a dart of about 5/8" from below the bust to half-way through the midriff front. 


Next, I noticed that there was some pulling toward the front at the skirt side seams.  At first I thought about reducing the side seam on the back and add the reduction to the front.  But, since the front and back side pieces are cut from the same single pattern piece, I'll add one-half an inch to the seam allowance and fit as I sew.


The armhole feels a little tight, so I will scoop out a bit if needed.

Here are the additional changes:
  • pinned out 5/8" dart on both the side front and midriff front
  • made 1" swayback adjustment above the midriff back
  • lowered front neckline 1"
  • reduced length 2 1/4"

Up Next:
I intend to use a red silk suiting for the dress and line it with either red or cream rayon ambiance.

I have a few projects that need special attention before I can dive fully into this one.  But since I have sewing ADD, I will likely work on a few things at once.  Hah.

Until next time...be well!

L

20 April 2012

McCall's 6078 Again

I managed to squeak out one top during Faye's Starting at the Top challenge.  Given how busy I've been over the last two weeks, completing one top was a major feat.  I sewed McCall's 6078 because it was quick and simple.  The pattern only has two pieces and takes at most one yard of fabric.  I wore it out last Friday night and am pleased with the fit.  On future versions, I might shorten it just a tad.  Otherwise, this is a good, quick pattern.  I've made two already this year and will probably make more when my sewjo needs a jump-start.


Now that the semester is over (hallelujah!), I can devote more time to sewing some much needed summer clothes - including items from my Faye-inspired dressapalooza.  Speaking of which, I've made considerable progress on Simplicity 2473.  I'll update with pictures of the muslin in the next two posts.

Until next time, be well!

L

04 April 2012

McCall's 6279: Complete (sort of)

I sewed on five of the twelve buttons and don't like how the dress fits.  I like the look, but there is a lot of pulling across the chest - a lot more than what I saw in the muslin.  I can't stand for my bra to show from the side and you can clearly see it in the second picture.  I am going to make a small FBA and take some of the extra width out of the side seam below the bust.


Additionally, there's some weird pooling of fabric near the lapel/collar area.  No amount of steaming, pressing, or attempting to turn cloth helped fix this issue.  I suspect the problem has something to do with the interfacing application and attaching the facing to the front.  As you can see, the problem appears on both sides.  Grr.



 I'll take the buttons off and save them for the second version.

L

01 April 2012

Progress Updates & Sew Along

Sewing has come to somewhat of a halt due to exams two weeks ago and the increase of things to do as the end of the semester nears (hallelujah). Plus, I was mildly ill after having picked up a cold from one of my students.  He was sniffly, feverish, but said he needed help on his work.  I tried to convince him to take his sick @ss home, but he wouldn't leave.  Needless to say, the transference of germs went without a hitch.  Grrr.  Anyway, on with the updates...


McCall's 6279:  trench dress
I'm almost finished with the dress.  I made the buttonholes and just need to sew on the buttons.  I still haven't decided if I'll keep this garment or not.  The front doesn't want to hang properly.  I'll sew the buttons and try it on one last time.  If I don't like it, I'll harvest the buttons and try the dress again.

Simplicity 2473:  sheath dress
I made the alterations and muslin for this dress.  So far, I'm really pleased with the fit.  Although here are a couple of areas that need a bit of tweaking, I should be able to cut this out of my fashion fabric soon.

Dressapalooza
My dress kick is still in full effect.  I have pulled out even more patterns and assembled more fabric to sew.  I will present more details on this in a future post.

SWAP 2012
Meh. 

Faye's "Starting at the Top" Sew-Along
I love me some Faye-inspired sew alongs.  From 1 Apr to 15 Apr, the goal is to sew tops.  Simple right?  In theory, yes.  In practice, not so much.  I have over 350 patterns (judge me not...lest ye be pattern free) and less than 15 days to sew (given the demands of work and other obligations).  I narrowed my choices down to four patterns (with one back up) and will commit to sewing only one top for the challenge. 

  • Simplicity 2365/2447







Both have shoulder princess seams and are patterns that I've tried before.  The front fits pretty well, but the back has too much width.  I'll need to adjust the pattern, but that won't be difficult.  The challenge will come with properly attaching the collar stand.  This could be the task that makes or breaks the garment since I SUCK at collar stands.

  • Burda World of Fashion 7-2009-129 and 7-2009-128
Both patterns use the same front and back pieces.  The instructions are super simple thus making the tops fairly quick to construct.  Unfortunately since there are no darts for bust shaping, I am uncertain of how either one of these tops will look on me.  So, I have to decide if I want to invest the time in tracing, cutting, and fitting given the time constraints of the challenge.

  • New Look 6648
If all else fails, I know I can cut and sew one of these tops in a flash.  The intended fabric is already laundered, so this should be a no-brainer.

Decisions, decisions!  Hopefully my next post will include a picture of a certain finished linen dress as well as the beginnings of a top for the challenge.  Until next time, be well!

L

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