Wednesday, June 10, 2015

May/June sewing

The last month has seen quite a lot of things finished in my sewing room. Not terribly exciting stuff, but wearable and much-needed clothes for summer (if it ever gets here). 

The first Oakridge blouse could use a little tweaking. Since I have no hip curve, I don't need the shaping that this pattern has for the waist and hip area. In the second version, I eliminated that curve and cut the side seams straight. If I make another one, I will also make a petite adjustment in the armhole area, taking out 1/2" of length in the upper front and sleeve cap. This will have the effect of raising the neckline a bit, something that we shorter women need to do.
While we wouldn't be considered petite because we aren't tiny women, our height does cause problems and patterns are too long in all sorts of funny areas. I would always think of this if I was sewing for someone else, but when it comes to myself, I am just too anxious to get going on the sewing, and sometimes overlook small adjustments that make a big difference.

I think this is a great reason to sew a pattern at least twice. The first can be considered a wearable muslin and then you get it right the second time. Therefore best to save the fabric you really love for the second version.

These are two skirts from Kwik Sew 2788. The black one is a brushed cotton twill, the kind of fabric I love to live in. The beige one is made from a stretch twill that isn't soft like the black one. Not sure that I will like this one all that much, it is really stiff. Perhaps multiple washings will make it more wearable. 

I had a lot of cotton striped interlock and made one V-neck tee with black binding. Prior to that, I had spliced a pattern to colour block. Using the black on the shoulders area, and then carefully cutting the top of the sleeves so that they would all join together perfectly at the armscye. I was absolutely thrilled to see that it had worked and I got the proportion correct.

Both are Kwik Sew patterns, 2900 for the V-neck version and 2766 for the colour blocked tee.

I took the time to hand baste all seams on these tops, in order to get the stripes matching perfectly. So then how did I manage to cut the back of the second tee crooked and end up with an uneven hemline?  duh, how silly not to have counted the stripes as I lay the pattern out. Oh well, no one will notice it except for me, it only shows up at the back hem, I did manage to get the front hemline straight.

Another shot of the black/striped tee. I am really pleased with how this one turned out. 
Last night I attended our monthly sewing guild meeting. The June meeting is always a mini fashion show with members showing off their creations from the year. Rather than modeling the clothes, the members hang them up on display boards and then give a short summary of the patterns and fabrics they used. There are always some lovely garments to view.
One member Mary was wearing a gorgeous top from Vogue 8793 by Katherine Tilton. Another member had worn her version of this top at the May meeting and I am sure there will be a run on that pattern at the local fabric store.
Mary used a graphic print in lime green and yellow that had some black in it. She then made one collar (there are two in the red version above) in black and the second collar in the print. The added embellishment is a separated zipper sewn into the collar edge. Mary also made one sleeve in solid black and did the cuff in the print. Her top was smashing, as the British would say.
It certainly got me thinking of things to do with the various knits I have here. Another member had discovered the Natalie Chanin sewing world and, while on vacation in Hawaii, she had brought along some hand sewing to do. She made a skirt with some reverse applique on the hemline and then repeated the applique on her top, which she then embellished further with beading and sparkles.
For those who are intrigued by the Chanin sewn garments, but feel that a garment with allover applique is too much, this would be a good option.
Several members showed items they had sewn by hand and both talked about the enjoyment of hand sewing. There seems to be a reverting to the past in order to combat the fast pace of modern life. For those of us who find our relaxation in sewing, hand sewing provides even more of that contentment. Perhaps there will be more hand sewn appliques and beading coming in future garments of guild members. There certainly was a positive response to these items last night.
Here is a link to the guild's website.
I am sure that some photos of these garments shown last night will be up there sometime this week. Our webmaster is a very talented fellow Minh, who is a self-taught sewist. He drafts his own garments and always has something new to wear to the meetings. He does a great job with the website and brings great vitality to the guild.