Bits, bobs, and busts…

betzina-v2-1

A little catch-up on things I’ve been making, but haven’t blogged. Some are repeats and some are just the normal flow of muslins and messes!

The first one, above, is a second version of Vogue 1297, the Sandra Betzina Lagenlook knit dress (first one here). I love this. The fabric is from Girl Charlee – it’s a lightweight (7 oz) cotton/rayon/lycra blend. And it has all my favorite places to visit! The ladies at JoAnn’s were very complimentary and put my ‘business card’ on their bulletin board. I was so surprised – that really felt good.

Another repeat, this time of the StyleArc Toni Designer Dress. As with my first version, I used rayon crepe from Fabric Mart. The only change is a slight extension of the sleeve, to hide a bit more of my ancient upper arms… Great pattern.

sa-toni-v2

Turning to follow-ups on recent adventures, the Weird Science pants (Vogue 1453) really did make nice PJ bottoms, once I removed the ankle pleats. I added a topper based on the Wiksten tank. Both are in a very lightweight rayon/spandex French terry from Fabric.com – perfect for cool weather.

pj1

I continued to work on my Lagenlook cardigan, my attempt to copy McCalls 6168. Here’s my first version…

cocos-lagenlook-cardi

And I think I ruined it! I raised the center front and back a couple inches, which deepened the side detail. But I like my original much better, and plan to make another in ponte di roma (have you seen the beautiful and affordable new pontes at Cali Fabrics?).

cardi-final

Not everything is a repeat. I also tried out a new pattern, the Frankie Dress from Tessuti Fabrics. It looks so cute in their version – fresh and easy to wear. It’s also very similar to about 4 other patterns I already have, but it’s fun to sew something new. This time I knew I would get a hand-drawn pattern, because it’s my 3rd Tessuti acquisition. Yes, the clumsy line art below is a precursor of the pattern.

frankie-line-art

I used a grey and brown cotton/rayon/poly jersey from Girl Charlee, a nice weight at 7 oz. I don’t like the color combo very much, so it was a good choice for a muslin. The only change I made (kind of major, really) was redraft the entire bodice and sleeve using a pattern that fits me well. Tessuti’s armscyes are small, and the sleeves are narrow. And I don’t care for the high boat neck in the pattern. So I guess I used the skirt!

Scary pic follows. Well, it scares me. This is the ‘long’ length from the pattern.

frankie-1

Just awful. Out of curiosity I pinned the front up to the knee, and it’s much much better. But I wasn’t in love.

frankie-2

So I cut it! It was a great opportunity to further my Lagenlook-drafting skills. I have absolutely no bottoms that match this top, so black it is. I was actually a little happier than I look in this pic.

frankie-final

Parting shot: Ms. Crab Spider has been busy in the guava tree again, this time after some very strong storms that really cleaned out the trees. Her web was so pretty with the late afternoon sun shining through her home.

spiderweb

It’s almost the weekend – I hope it’s safe and peaceful for all. I’ll be finishing a quilt project, I’ve been cold in this chilly Florida weather. Such a wuss…

Bye for now! Coco

Help please! trying to ‘copy’ a pattern…

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This is my Australian Open project – and Happy Australia Day to all of you who are celebrating! I’ve been up every morning at double-O early to watch the matches. They start at 3:30 a.m in my neighborhood. But I am an early riser anyway, so it’s nice to have such good company.

This project. I’m trying to make a copy of the McCalls 6168 sharkbite hem cardigan. It’s out of print (but not so old, released in 2010), and I can only find 2 copies on the web, both in size 18-24. I would get one of these, but drafting a size 12 from a 18 is not easy.

BTW – Twotoast started this! I am smitten with all her versions of the pattern…beautiful!

m6168

 

As a starting point, I picked up Butterick 5203 in JoAnns – it has that critical hemline. All settled on the floor with tissue, tape, and pen, I opened the pattern. And the only thing in there was the instruction set. No pattern. I have never bothered to look inside a pattern envelope in the store! Shocker.

b5203

 

Back to the drawing board, more research, and I decided to start with New Look 6323, View D. Which meant I had to draft the hemline. Good thing my favorites were winning in the tennis matches.

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And here’s what I drafted for this version. I redrew the front neckline, hemline, and sides. This is the front, but the back has the same changes on the sides and hemline.

changes

I was a little worried about the neckline, because that front curve is critical. But it came out OK!

neckline
This is an awful poly jacquard knit…but it was perfect for a muslin.

My sides don’t have as much of a drop as I’d like, or the line I’m after …

s1

But not bad for my first attempt.

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Gosh, my  white top and pants don’t match. Actually, I wore this awful white-on-white combo so that the cardi would be easy to see. Here’s a better look…

p1

Back to the title – any ideas on how to improve the hemline? Does anyone have a pic of the pattern pieces from M6168 to share? Or another pattern idea? I promise to bow from the waist forever for any and all assistance.

A quick note on my ‘Choices’ post – the comments are wonderful, inspiring, and much appreciated. I haven’t replied to any of them, because the diversity of opinion and the openness of what’s being shared are awesome.

Bye for now! Coco

 

BurdaStyle 7184 waterfall cardi…

Well, there’s nothing like just jumping in and sewing a muslin with corded velvet knit!

But it was only $1.80/yard – which makes this a $2.50 project 🙂

I got the fabric from Fabric Mart two years ago, thinking of a midi-length sweater coat, something kind of boho. But I just couldn’t settle on a patten. It has just been decorating my stash ever since. Rather nicely, I must say, since it doesn’t wrinkle. It’s been rolled, tossed, pulled out and thrown back in, and not a wrinkle in sight.

Finally, I took it out and gave it a real appraisal. I was going sew it or donate it – it was kind of bugging me that I would buy fabric and not use it.

Then I realized that it would make a great waterfall cardi – it’s drapey, the color is really pretty, and it’s light enough that I’ll actually wear it in our winter months.

On to patterns. I made a cascade cardi from the Grainline Lark tee earlier this year, and it has a nice little funky vibe. But I wanted something with raglan sleeves, a higher start to the cascade, and very little else. Picky.

A search on the web turned up a gazillion variations on this style. It’s a good thing I like to research patterns…

Finally – BurdaStyle 7184. It has clean lines:

Nice sleeves and cascade:

A clean-finish neckline and front edge:

And bonus pockets for those who can’t live without them. It’s also designed for knits!

I got the PDF version from SewingPatterns.com, which meant printing it from the sometimes finicky PrintSew site. But I today I found it on BurdaStyle as pattern 08/2011 #117D. Printing from the BurdaStyle site is so easy – wish I’d seen it there first!


Some sewing notes:

  • I sewed size 12, View B, but only after some prodigious flat-measuring on the pattern. I could not find finished garment measurements anywhere, and I was torn between size 10 and size 12. Since I did all that work, I’ll share. For reference, I’m 5’7″, 36″-31″-42″, and have an 11″ upper arm.

    Finished garment measurements, in inches:                        10                       12

    Width at bustline, waist, and hip from CF to CF                35 1/4                 37 1/4
    Cascade width at bustline and waist, each side                 9 1/2                   9 1/2
    Upper arm width                                                                13 7/8                 14 3/8
    Sleeve width at hem                                                           8 1/2                    8 7/8
    Back length from top of neckline with 5/8″ hem                 32 3/4                  33
  • I used a piece of cotton calico, cut on the bias, for the back neck facing. It adds a lot more stability than a piece of the knit fabric would have done. Also, I lowered it by 3/8″ at center back, to remove a slight roll below the neckline.
  • No pockets, because my fabric is just too stretchy for them. Maybe in another version…
  • I used 5/8″ seam allowances everywhere. This is one advantage of the PDF I used – it included seam allowances. The version available on BurdaStyle does not.
  • I also used a 5/8″ hem, which matches the front edges. The cardi would be a lot shorter with the suggested 1 3/8″ hem allowance.
  • One caution: the sleeves might be short on some people. My arms a not long, and I used a scant 1″ hem. However – and this is amazing, not often seen – the sleeve has lengthen/shorten lines for both the upper/armscye area and the area below the armscye. 
My flash went off on the next pic – it’s not really this shiny or this purply color! But it’s the only back view I have. I love the way this lies in the back and across my shoulders, and I think a lot of credit goes to the two-piece sleeve. 

Great cardi, and worn with a new pair of Love Notions Sabrina Slims.
Ciao! Coco

Morris and Sabrina…

Or what to do with 5 yards of ponte de roma! I picked it up at a very good price at Fabric Mart earlier this year, thinking I would make a long cardigan for the change of seasons. But I’ve been on the fence about it. A long cardigan would be an almost zero-use item for me, wearable on maybe a few days in January or February. So it’s been sitting in my stash, while I’ve been sewing down the fabrics around it. (I’ve been on a bit of a fabric fast for most of the year – my stash was getting out of hand. I will totally break out during the Black Friday – Cyber Monday sales!)
So, I decided to go with a second Boyfriend Cardigan as a compromise. Only one pic, because I just don’t love it. I do have other plans for it – hopefully I won’t re-cut and sew it down to nothing. 

A note here about my hair: it came up blonde in this and two more pics because I took them with the settings I had been using to photograph the moon. Clearly my camera still has the upper hand. I’ve become very vain about my gray hair – I love it!

With the cardigan behind me, I decided to make another Grainline Morris Blazer, but with a concession – I sewed it to the original drafting, with none of the little changes I made previously to the bottom edge. And I cut it with long sleeves, a simple change. I thought I might like it better than my two previous versions. It’s such a cute jacket, and I’ve seen so many terrific makes of the pattern – the Grainline Flickr group is a lurkers heaven…
 Actually, this one’s pretty nice. The fabric works really well, and the fit is spot on. On Emile, pending sleeves:
To keep the facings – neckline, front edges, and hem – nice and fluid, I used tricot knit lining for all my interfacing. The pattern suggests fusible tricot interfacing, but I did not want to risk ‘freezing’ the fabric, as fusibles often do. 
I hand-basted the interfacing/facing just outside the seam line and removed the basting once the facings were in place. I enjoy hand-sewing, so basting is right up my alley. I baste all the time!
I’m really happy with the result. By the way, as before, I top-stitched along the edge of the front facing. This seems to prevent the fabric drag, between the shoulder and bottom point, that haunts so many Morris blazers.

Added top-stitching, red lines

I could not believe I still had enough fabric to make one more thing. An easy choice – the Love Notions Sabrina Slims are one of my favorite pants. Absolutely like wearing PJs.

And the ponte is all used up, gone, done!
Ciao! Coco

Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan…

It’s fall, and I need a cardigan. Wait – I want to make a cardigan. I have so many and wear them all the time over sleeveless tops and dresses. And like bed jackets around the house when I don’t want a full robe. So. A new cardigan.

I settled on the Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan, after much searching on Pinterest, Kollabora, Jalie, Style Arc (not right now, thanks), BurdaStyle, and the Big 4 sites.

It’s a PDF download file, which is becoming a preference with me. I like to flat-measure, draw, and write all over the assembled pattern. Plus, the designer, Tami Meyer, use a great trim-less technique for the tape-it-together exercise. It’s easily and quickly done.

However…once I had it printed and taped, I just sat in amazement and kept pushing down the leg (mine) that was trying to kick me. Even though I read reviews and looked at several dozen versions of the cardigan, I had no idea that it has such close-fitting lines.

Beginning below the neckline and continuing to the high hip, the center back has a concave curve that is about 3/4″ off vertical at its deepest point, in the area of the waistline. The side seam has an even more pronounced curve starting below the armhole, through the waist, and out to the hip.

Suddenly I had a picture of myself wearing this thing propped on my bum. If I had paid more attention to the examples I visited, I might have caught this – lots of fantail definition going on. But maybe that’s popular – I know that not everyone wants to wear loose clothing.

So, I redrafted the main pieces.

 and my cardigan flows.

Sleeve caution flag – there’s no angle on the hem allowance. I can’t imagine how one would turn and hem this sleeve as drafted.

I like to start the angle about 3″ above the bottom edge, which is usually more than I need, but lets me fit the length without fussing at myself…

    A few more sewing notes:

    • I sewed the size Large, the best match to my measurements.
    • And did all the seams on my serger. 
    • No side vents – just not my thing.
    • I didn’t use any of the neckband options offered by the pattern. I think the hood is cute, but I didn’t have enough fabric for this version. The shawl collar – well, it’s very shallow, and I doubt it would really fold back nicely.

      So I drafted a plain neckband, 76″ long (a generous length, just in case…) and 3.5″ wide. I also cut it lengthwise on the grainline so it wouldn’t sag or flop. Finished, it’s 1 3/8″ wide, and it works great!

    Inside view of the band finishing.
    Outside view of the band and hem finishing.
    • Squeezed for fabric, I used a plain patch pocket, instead of the draped one from the pattern.
      Not remarkable – I just think the letters are fun! Cotton /poly jersey from Girl Charlee.
    • Good stuff –  the length of the cardigan and the sleeves were perfect for me. 
    • This is the top of the armscye, at the shoulder seam. It puts my teeth on edge.
    Before…

    And after a trim.
      • One last thing that had me so perplexed that I had a discussion with Tami about it. The sleeve cap is 3/8″ shorter than the armscye at each side. And she said it is intentional, that the armscye should be longer than the sleeve cap on knits.

        I have no way to respond to that – it’s her pattern. But I never imagined this would happen, and I didn’t measure the two pieces when I was drafting my tissue. Out of fabric, I had no choice but to lose some of the side seam at the armhole. 

      Sleeve and sleeve cap (top), sewn into the armscye (bottom).

      In the end, I have a nice new cardigan. But I’m officially done with exploring indie patterns for a while. Except for Grainline Studios. I’ll sew anything Jen Beeman designs and drafts.

      Ciao! Coco