Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A New Work Outfit: HotPatterns 1189 and Kwik Sew 3256

I just can't resist this work bathroom for selfies. It has a huge mirror and great lighting. Plus it's a solo room, so  no chance of being embarrassingly "caught." I finished this top on Sunday and the skirt last night and wore them both to work today.

The top is a Hot Patterns Fast & Fabulous Shirt-Tail T. It's definitely a fast sew and the first-try fit is better than the similar Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee I made earlier in the year. I like the lower scoop neck of the F&FSTT better than the boatneck KKT and the shoulder seams hit me better. The KKT tends to pull backward. The F&FSTT also has a bit more drafted-in waist shaping, which could easily be added to the KKT if one were so inclined. The F&FSTT also has a couple more styling options with the cuffed sleeves and the optional piecing and/or flounces. As for overall sizing, I agree with other reviewers that this pattern runs large. Even larger than most HPs on me. I used a straight 14. This is at least one size smaller, and maybe two depending on the style, at the hips than what I usually cut for HPs.

My fabric (an ITY) is sorta striped so I chose the pieced front. Unfortunately, the striping isn't obvious enough that the piecing is truly noticeable. Still, I do like the way the zebra stripe changes direction. I'll make this again and either use a more obvious stripe or, more likely, color/pattern block it.

The back is seamed and I chose not to perfectly match across that seam for more visual interest.This actually looks more pieced than the front. Hah.

This fabric is pretty lightweight and I felt the sleeve cuffs wouldn't stay cuffed without some help so I interfaced them with some Palmer/Pletsch Light fusible interfacing. I like the extra body it added to the cuffs.

I wish I had added some interfacing to the neckband. It's OK the way it is, but it would be a lot better if it had more heft. The neckline is also a tiny bit too wide for me. It's better out of the envelope than most HPs on me, but note that the neckline is the same size/width for all sizes so you'll definitely want to think about muslining it. I thought about it, and plunged ahead anyway. :-)

The neckband non-heft and width and having a long scrap left over inspired a necktie/scarf. I like that the tie adds visual interest (Does this print actually need more visual interest?) and takes the "T" up a notch for office wear and under cardigan.

All I did was use a 3-thread rolled hem to lettuce the edge a little bit. Easy-peasy, and now I have a scarf to wear with other things too.

Here's how I was actually dressed today. Tampa was in the 40s this morning. OMG.

I've been meaning to make a longer black ponte skirt for quite a while and finally got around to it Sunday/Monday. I pulled out this old Kwik Sew pattern. I'm sure many of you have it also, and have probably made it. The longer View A was a thing about 10 years ago. I think it's pretty much a classic and I've always had a thing for flounces. I only wish I hadn't waited so long to use this pattern since I short-changed myself some skirts over the years. I did add back waist darts by tracing them from my TNT Magic Pencil and before that I shortened the whole skirt from the top about 4 inches (since it's pretty straight down from the waist and the flounce was already attached and who wants to rip all that out?). Without shortening it, it would've been nearly a maxi on 5'5" me. Whenever I make it again, I'll also probably narrow it too since it's on the wide side and I'd like it more pegged. It's a KS Plus pattern and I'm on the edge between their Regular and Plus sizes.

I did keep the slit, although I noted many of the old reviews on PR mentioned sewing it closed. I'm not sure why since it's low on the leg, even after I chopped off the top, so it's not even remotely revealing. I like the added visual interest.

Here's a couple of totally dorkus pics in my back yard after work, with the sun doing odd shadowy things to my face.

I still have the post on Big 4 ease coming but it's more fun to post finished projects. I'm hoping to finish it during the upcoming long Thanksgiving weekend. I'm really looking forward to the time off and hope to get into the sewing room some more.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Butterick 6222 - Done

I seem to be on an every other month blogging schedule. Ergh. I really don't like that. I miss blogging. I miss you all.

But back to the post at hand. Here's a dress I finished a couple of weeks ago. In order to get some photos of me in it, I resorted to work bathroom selfies. I'm so classy that way. I should sneak in my tripod. The lighting is awesome in here.

The pattern is Butterick 6222 by Connie Crawford. I'm into swingy dresses at the moment and I've always had a sweet spot for ruffles so this was a no-brainer buy during one of the Club BMV sales. I can leave Connie Crawford herself (I've met her) but I have to admit to the irony of actually liking a number of her Butterick patterns. Well, the styles anyway. I get irked at the actual pattern sheets since there's no layout of the pattern pieces. I love those layouts (both for studying shapes and for knowing which pieces I need to cut from the tissue) and miss them tremendously in her patterns. Butterick, I hope you're paying attention.

The pattern calls for wovens but I went rogue and used an ITY knit from either Fabric.com or Fabricmart. They both blend together at this point. Ha.

This is one of those non-numerically sized patterns. In other words, S-M-L-XL-XXL-3X-4X, etc. Another thing I'm not fond of with the CC patterns which are sized thus. Plus, the smaller range is in one envelope and the larger in another. I always opt for the smaller range in CC since I need that sizing for my upper body. For this dress, I blended from the M in the upper areas to the L/XL below. I probably could've gone just to the L below but a little more swing in the skirt wasn't going to be a bad thing so I erred on the side of more. It worked out fine, especially since I used a knit.

There's enough ease in my dress using this blended sizing to work for a woven if I ever decide to go that route. But I doubt I will. I'm a wash and wear girl. Ain't got no time for ironing before work. :-) Using a knit, though, added some weight/drag and made the neckline lower than I'm comfortable wearing in the office (or out of it) without a cami so a cami underneath will be the way I'll wear it. (I made this cami years ago from Ressy's Powerdry knit when my coverstitch machine was new. Does anyone remember that? It's still going strong. And I think I may even have more in the stash somewhere.) There are side bust darts since it's for a woven and they hit me at the exact right place. I might have to do a slight FBA in a woven, but maybe not. I'll probably never know. ;-)

I edgestitched the diagonal seams, front and back, to define them more. It shows up better in real life.

I also omitted the neckline facings and just turned and topstitched, running the stitching down the seam which joins the two front bodice pieces. Kind of a faux wrap effect. I actually was going to go with the facings but they didn't fit properly. I'm not sure yet if it was me, the fabric, or the pattern, and I haven't gone back to check, so just make a mental note for yourself to check if you make this dress.

There's a LOT of hemming on this dress between the circular skirt and the circular overskirrt/ruffle. I just sat myself in front of the TV with glass head pins and pinned about every 2 inches, eyeballing about 1/2" for the ruffle and 5/8" for the skirt. After pinning, I took the pieces to the ironing board and pressed the hems into place and then topstitched.

A little twirl action. This dress has lots of movement and it's fun to wear.

Trust  me, you're glad I cropped out my face on that one. What WAS I doing with my eyes?

And a 3/4 view, where you can see that I forgot to add a loop for my ID card. I was so mad at myself for the lapse but there was no way I was going back to unpick overlocking and topstitching. So I hook the card onto the ruffle, and it ends up sliding down by the end of the day, where it is in this photo. Maybe I'll add a loop under the ruffle. It's not attached in the side seam so this should actually be pretty easy to do. We'll see how much it bugs me without it.

Final verdict: I love my dress. It's comfortable. It's flattering. And it was an easy sew. I'd recommend the pattern. The worst part was cutting the flouncy pieces since they're so wide and I used slippery ITY, and then hemming it all. Nothing really hard, just more on the tedious side of things. Which reminds me of one thing I did hate about the pattern. The pieces for the front skirt and ruffle are actually just one piece for the skirt with a separate cutting line for the ruffle. I wish they were separate pieces because if I ever do make this again, I'll have to tape those pieces back together to cut the front skirt again. I did make alignment marks, but still.

I'd say that I'll see you in another couple of months, but I actually have a post in the works on McVoguerick pattern ease to address some conversations I've seen and/or participated in on Pattern Review. The Big 3 aren't undeserving of some criticism but sizing and ease are not one of the things they do wrong. It's Us, not Them, and I'll speak to that soon.