Wednesday, March 4, 2015

More on (re) fashioned shirt....

A year or two ago I bought a nice linen-cotton white shirt at a thrift shop.  It proved to be unwearable,as the facings, even when ironed (as they were not in this photo), moved around and showed through the shirt:
Just kind of annoying, so I kept the shirt but didn't wear it.

If you've never seen the book "Fine Machine Sewing", by Carol Ahles, I recommend it.  I learned much more about sewing and my machine than just how to do fancier stitching, which is a big part of her focus. One of her common themes is taking ready-to-wear and improving on it, so an ordinary garment becomes special. And, one of her approaches is to use heirloom stitches to sew facings in place... just the ticket.

Unfortunately, my machine didn't have quite the
right stitch, which as I recall is the "Parisian".  Here's an example of a test stitch.  Carol recommends this for facings with a folded edge, but it didn't quite work.  Might also have been related to the size needle I was using at the time (too small).

I spent quite a bit of time testing stitches, and was grateful to have my little pile of linen scraps, very handy.

In the end, the finished shirt looks like this:

The stitches on the collar are original, the ones on the shirt front are new. One miscalculation was that the facings are not symmetrical when the shirt is buttoned, which to my eye looks a little off. So it's likely I'll wear it as an over blouse covering a tank, or maybe a sleeveless dress.

Happy sewing!  Kate

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Make a garment a month- A Tilton pattern for wovens

I've joined the Make a Garment a Month (henceforth called MAGAM) Facebook group!  It's a collective effort to, as you might guess, make a garment a month, sometimes with a bit of challenge or a theme thrown in.  This month the challenge is a new technique or garment type. I would say that this Butterick pattern (Katherine Tilton: Butterick 6101) meets those criteria for me, because although I've sewed many Tilton patterns, they've all been for knits, so I am uncertain about the sizing and ease for this pattern.  

To date I have cut out the pattern pieces in size large, which matches my measures, at least in bust and hip. I am using some remnant cotton shirting, a fine plaid, and mixing in a floral print to make up for not having quite enough fabric.  According to the most recent Threads Magazine, the best effect of mixing fabrics like sthis comes when you stay in the same color family.  We'll see.

Back soon with picture of the fabric and perhaps my sewing room....

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude:  I've resolved that between now and January 1st I am going to post a comment every day about something I am grateful for.  Today I want to say that I am very grateful for my family:  my husband, who is so supportive, fun, humorous, and loving; my mother, who is intelligent, loving and fun.  My brother Knut Johnson, who is an awesome cool guy, funny, generous, and kind. My brother and sister Birgir and Sonja,  who are also fun, welcoming and warm. My stepmother and friend, Aslaug, who is a wonderful, loving lady and who provides the glue that knits us all together. My Glenn and Linnell cousins, who share my great memories of childhood and the joys of extended families.  And my cute niece and nephews, all growing up too fast but turning into very cool people, to whom I send a big hug. And, multiple very important in-laws, step cousins, step-aunts, etc, the world is a better place with all of you in it. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Catch up on sewing

I've been participating in the "2013: Style the Stash" effort, and seem to be combining that with an effort to use more patterns I already have, focussing on the Tilton sister's patterns.  here are some recent examples:

This is Vogue 8813, by Marcy Tilton.  Love this green linen, which I bought last year at a  quilting store in Oregon. Elegant, cool and comfy.

This is Butterick 5881, a recent dress pattern by Katherine Tilton.  The blue linen was purchased last summer here in SLC:  I imagined myself making all kinds of linen skirts at the time... a lot of my stash seems to come from imaginary projects ;)

And this is Vogue 8876, a M Tilton dress.  Love this one, a flowered cotton that is probably 4-5 years old. I made this one before I really grasped my personal sizing issues with these patterns, so it's a bit big on top. I've been wearing it with a tee shirt, and it looks great!

A new shirt/blouse is also in the works.....

Friday, June 14, 2013

So, my first success in my stash reduction effort... sorry for the lazy approach here, but I am going to paste in my review from PR, and them embellish as needed.  here's the picture:

sorry, still new to this, the photo is in the correct orientation on my computer, not sure why I can't rotate it.... anyone know?

I'm already excited about sewing another version of this, but will probably first sew Katherine Tilton's new dress, the one with the under-dress and overlay....

Pattern Description: Loose-fitting dress has collar with casing, yokes (self-lined back, cut on crosswise grain), princess seams, side pockets, back pleat, and hem band. A and C: self-lined cap sleeves. C: stitched hem on sleeves. B and C: front zipper. Purchased drawstring for collar.

I sewed view b. It is not easy to find a separating zipper in the right length for this dress, and I find Marcy's soothing words about how easy it is to shorten a zipper to be baloney. You'd need three hands at least. I threw away a nice Riri zipper after trying and failing to pry some of the teeth off. I ended up with a sportwear zipper. But it doesn't really show. I do like the zipper look, but will probably do buttons next time.

Pattern Sizing: 6 to 24; I sewed a straight size 16. As a result, since there is a lot of ease in this pattern, I'll have to wear it as a jumper (the larger size means a armhole depth that is deep enough to expose my bra... I hate that). If I sew it again, and I think I will, I'll probably sew a 12 (top)-14 (skirt), or maybe a 10-12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, although it looks sleeker on the model, and with the floral fabric I used it's not possible to easily see the seams.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, although there are a couple of errors, which I'll mention in a moment. As others have mentioned, this is rated as "Easy", but there are so many pattern pieces, and so much fiddly sewing (they suggest hand sewing all the facing edges on the inside), that I think most beginners would be frustrated with it.

Here are what I found to be errors:
In step 6, where you start sewing the zipper, you are supposed to match the bottom stop of the zipper to the "Square" on the pattern. On my pattern, there was no square. However, if you think about the way the dress is constructed, the square would have been at the seam line, so just measure up from the base 5/8 inch, or whatever seam measurement you are using, and put the stop there.

In step 17, they tell you to press under 5/8 inch on the shoulder edges of the yoke back. It's actually the shoulder edges of the yoke back facing, not the back.

Throughout the pattern, where they tell you to trim those pressed edges of the facings to 3/8 inch, I didn't do that. I decided to leave them untrimmed until I actually got ready to sew them down, and that way if any little errors had accumulated I still had enough edge to make sure I covered the seam with the edge of the facing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

It's an interesting, modern design, and has lots of possibilities I think. The neck is great. No dislikes.

Fabric Used: The pattern calls for linen and similar fabric. I used a cotton, on the heavy side, that I bought for a dress several years ago and never made.

I didn't have quite enough fabric,so I sewed the back facings, hem facings, and the front pockets, from a different floral fabric that I had.

Most of the time it won't show, and if it does I hope it will just look like an interesting contrast.

If you don't think you have enough fabric, set aside the pockets, and all the facings, and cut them later. If you can cut the back pocket from your main fabric, and the front pocket from any thing else, the back pocket is the fabric that will show.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I started to shorten it, since I am a bit shorter than the height these patterns are drafted for (5'6" I think). Then I got nervous and added the length back at the hem seams. One thought I had is that the more you shorten it in the body of the dress the higher the bottom stop of the zipper will be. If you look at the pic of the model on the pattern you can see it's already high enough, at least for someone like me with middle aged thighs. So, just keep that in mind if you're going to shorten it a lot.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

yes, I will sew it again, and I would recommend it.


Well, I hope I conveyed that I like this pattern, am excited to wear it today, and hope you'll sew it too!