Tag Archives: sewing

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Seamwork Gabrielle princess line skater dress with tie back
Seamwork Gabrielle, I feel pretty!

My sewing has been so inconsistent lately. My sewing energy was nonexistent for a while and I'm only lately having the energy and focus to even try sewing. When I saw the Gabrielle dress, I knew I had to have one! I searched for purple ponte and found a lovely rose print from Fabric.com.  I sometimes still feel like I'm only so-so on buying fabric online and loving it, but this one was a win! It's a great weight-heavy like ponte should be-and not too pricey.

After cutting it out, it sat for a while because my serger was down and out. Actually, it's been down and out for a while, but I didn't want to face the music and deal with it. This month, in addition to finally wanting to sew again, we had the extra money, so I took it in to the shop. It would have cost almost what I originally bought it for to have it fixed, so, instead, I traded it in for a new one! It's a Husqvarna Viking machine and I love it. It was quite a bit more pricey than my first one, but hopefully that means this one will have a longer life. (My old one was only 3 years old.)

Getting my new machine set up and running didn't take very long (I even re-threaded it, with no problems!). The dress was an easy sew. I'm not sure how long I actually spend on it, because I sewed a little bit at a time on this.  Sometimes I'd only sewing a couple seams before calling it a night. Even with my slow pace, it came together fairly quickly. Since I didn't force it, I felt good the entire time, no burn out. Feels good!!

201706Gabriella-3

On a side note, I thought I'd be smart and buy less fabric than it called for, but then I ran out. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze it out by only lining the tie portion of the back tie piece instead of the whole thing. And I thought I was so smart.... oh well, live and learn and buy the right amount of fabric!

I cut out a XL (my measurements are 47.5"/41.5"/47") with approximately a 1" FBA. That makes it sound fancier than it was; I gave myself extra seam allowance at the bust and free-handed more width at the princess line bust point. Overall, it turned out a little large. I took out nearly an inch out of both sides seams and I still had to stitch down the top back tie piece to keep my bra from showing. I would definitely go down a size if I made it again, but keep the free-handed FBA.

Those familiar with the pattern may notice that this is a sleeveless version. I would like to pretend that was a thought-out and brilliant plan, but actually, I was tired and forgot them. Yep, I forgot to put in the sleeves. Instead, I hemmed the armholes. When I realized what I'd done, I figured I could go back and put them in if I want, but just wanted to be done. For now, I'm kind of liking it sleeveless.

Seamwork Gabrielle, side view

The tie detailing on the back is fun!
The tie detailing on the back is fun!

 

Pink Linen Nantucket

These shorts make me so happy! If you'd asked me if I wanted a pair of pink shorts before I laid eyes on this fabric, I would have said no. But little did I know that I needed them. Truly, needed.

The fabric claimed it was linen (bought from the late Hancock Fabrics), but it wrinkles so little, I suspect it's a linen/poly blend. It's also lightweight and slightly see-through, so I will have to be conscious of undergarment choice. Other than that, it's perfect for summer shorts!

Pink Linen Nantucket - Back

The pattern is Seamwork's (referral link) Nantucket. It was a really quick sew and only a couple minor alterations. I raised the front and back crotch slightly as well as adding overall length, starting from a 16.

I also have a personal distaste of drawstrings. So, I altered the waistband to be flat in the front and gathered in the back. This worked beautifully with one exception.

When I sewed in the elastic on the back, I wanted the sewing to look like ready-to-wear. I zigzagged over the elastic to try to get it closer to that look. However, it stretched out the elastic really bad when I did, so now the waist band is slightly too large.

In addition, I should have taken some waist width out to account for the flat front, so it's all a little too loose. I'll have to take it in soon, as it tends to fall down to underwear showing levels.

Pink Linen Nantucket - Front waistband

Pink Linen Nantucket - Back waistband

Now, I have a fun pair of cool short to wear and they please my inner child. Fun in the sun!

Pink Linen Nantucket

 

PS: I finished these shorts just in time for the last heat wave to break. Isn't that just the way? By break, of course I mean that it's now mid- to upper-80's. Still summer and all of August left to go.

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I was digging through my stash and when I came across this fabric from who knows how long ago. I thought, there's enough here to muslin the Adelaide! I liked the blue roses and it seemed like a summery dress, what could go wrong....?

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Fabric

After looking at it a bit, I realized it would be too sheer to wear as is, so I decided to line it. No big deal. Since it's sleeveless, I would need to find a way to line it that would clean finish. No big deal.

Well, you know how it goes. First, the clean finish method I found worked like a charm, but because of the narrow straps took me nearly an hour to get the pieces turned through. An hour. This was after several hours of adjustments and muslining (probably not a word, but you know what I mean). *sigh*

So after fiddling with fit and fabric and finally getting it all sewing, then it sat for awhile as I couldn't find all the parts to my snap installer thingy. Finally, after way to long, I got this wrapped up.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Front View

Overall, the fit of this dress is pretty good. I give it B- in fit. For quality of construction I give it A-. But for fabric selection I give it C or maybe D. I feel like I'm clothed in drapery. This didn't occur to me until the first time I tried it on, so I don't know what I would have done differently.

This pattern was the first pattern I'd done an FBA on that didn't have a waist seam. I followed the Curvy Sewing Collective instructions here and got the front piece done, no problem. Then, when i tried to true it up to the back, it was all kinds of wonky. I knew it would pull really bad from the apex to the waist and it did. I split the difference between the pieces in half and added it to the back piece to get it lined up better. There's still some pulling, but it masquerades as needing more FBA room, which I don't think is true. (You can kind of see it in the above picture.) I'll keep practicing with this and see if I can figure out more of what I did wrong.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Back view

This doesn't wear all that comfortably. The snaps need to be closer together on me, so it gapes funny. It's nice for around the house or quick errands, but it's not good for any place I'll be sitting.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Side view

 

I'm not actually sure I'll make this again. I don't love how it fits on me and and I don't feel particularly awesome in it. It's OK and it's good to have a quick make (now that I got through this round) summer dress in my arsenal, but it won't be a go-to pattern.

Construction and Fit Notes

  • Cut size 16
  • 1.5" FBA
  • Graded out at waist a smidge (technical term)
  • Shortened 3/4" at back shoulder
  • Shortened by 2"
  • Added pockets
  • Sewed side seams above pocket at 1/2"
  • Sewed the bottom seam of the waist tie at 3/8"
  • Sewed the armhole seams (for clean finish) at 3/8" to make more room for turning (I might always do this as it's just wide enough to cover my bra straps as it is.)

Things I'll Do Different

  • Add more snaps. Due to all my fit fiddling, the snap marks weren't right anymore. I evened them out, but in the future, I'll add more. I might even go as close together as 4" and then add as many as I need to get down to the bottom. It gapes weird now.
  • Raise the darts up 1.5" or so
  • Remember to sew the side seam at 1/2" BEFORE putting the pockets in.
  • I'm on the fence about the length. I shorten things by 2" by default as that's a good start. I like the length when looking at the front, but the back seems kind of short to me. Next time I may add some length back in.
  • Sew the tie all at 3/8" seam. It seemed awfully narrow compared to the pictures at 5/8". I only didn't sew the whole thing that way because I was too lazy to pick all the stitches back out. 😀
  • There's weird bunching where the bottom of the pocket meets the seam. Not sure why or if my pocket piece

Bye Bye Love Bag - Front View
Bye Bye Love Bag - Front View

This bag is the Bye Bye Love bag from Sew Sweetness. I modified the pattern a bit in order to have the two-tone color on the bag. I also switched the inset zipper to the inside of the bag instead of the outside. I'd like to say that's because of some brilliant inspiration on my part, but it's actually because I didn't read the pattern very well and I got the wrong color zipper. I probably could have gotten away with a pink zipper on the outside, but I wasn't feeling it. I just switched it to the lining instead.

I used the Soft and Stable that Sara (of Sew Sweetness) recommends in the pattern. This was my first time sewing with it and it was interesting. For those who haven't sewed with it before, it's a stiff foam that is about 1/8" thick. It gives great body and support to the bag without overwhelming it. I'll definitely use it again with a bag like this that benefits from the structure. Due to the price (it's not too bad, but can add up if you're using this for many bags), I may experiment with interfacing and headliner foam from Joann's. I'll update if I do that and do a comparison.

Bye Bye Love Bag - Inside View
Bye Bye Love Bag - Inside View

This bag was more challenging than I thought it would be. In addition to using the Soft and Stable for the first time, I used the vinyl for the accents and upholstery fabric for the green and the lining. The pink lining fabric frayed horribly and I had to use my serger and a zigzag and it was still disinigrating around the edges. Beautiful, though and worth the hassle.

Because of all these challenges, I make more mistakes on this bag than I had on some of my other more recent bags. I chalked it up to a learning experience and am pretty pleased with the results overall.

I gave this to my sister-in-law for her birthday as I thought the colors would be perfect for her. Also, she's nice enough to look past some of the construction mistakes. :)

Have you gifted things to loved ones even though they weren't perfect? Or do you keep all the mistakes for yourself?