Sunday, January 27, 2013

O + S Class Picnic Dress

It pays to involve them in decision-making -- Miss Thing chose the fabric and the pattern and specified the changes.  And she has not taken it off since I finished it two days ago.  The proportions are a bit off but K. is happy that there are more princesses than pink.  

The pattern is the Class Picnic Blouse, lengthened with a ruffle on the bottom and some green ric-rac at the yoke.  The fabric is Happy Ever After ordered from Hawthorne Threads.  

I didn't keep the receipt for the fabric and I can't remember the cost but here's the breakdown of what I used:
Fabric: 18 inches princesses in pink, 30 inches pink gingham -- approx. $15
Pattern: used before $0
Trim: the package costs $0.25 for 3 yards from Dressew so pretty much nothing
Total: about $15

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sewaholic Renfrew

I went to Vancouver last week and, especially as I was kid-free and husband-free, couldn't pass up a chance to go to Dressew. That place boggles my mind! I spent about 2 hours wandering around and still ended up going back the next day -- I can't take it in all at once.

This time around, the clearance section in the basement was filled with knits. Serendipitous as the Renfrew pattern was on my list of things to pick up.  It's not sold in stores here and so I thought I would save shipping and check out Spool of Thread at the same time. (As it turns out, a friend I was meeting suggested dinner at restaurant in the same block so it really worked out!).

I bought a couple of different knits but now really wish I'd bought them all!  I'm in love with this pattern -- quick to put together, fits well and looks great for a casual top.  If you left off the cuffs and used different fabric, it could even be quite dressy.

I'm in between sizes so picked the smaller size and then decreased the seam allowance to 3/8" (partly because I was worried it would be too tight and partly because a 5/8" SA seems a bit excessive for a knit).   I also added an inch of extra length to the body and an inch to the arms.  That might have been a bit overboard but it's super cozy and it may shrink more the next time I wash it.  I may add thumb holes to the cuffs -- I think that would be awesome under a jacket and mitts -- but I'm going to wear it a couple of times first.

I used a "new" stitch for this top.  Since I was going to be away, I took my machine (a middle of the road Kenmore) to get serviced.  When I got it home, I looked at the stitch test the repairman left behind and realized that I hadn't used most of the stitches.  So I got out my manual and wouldn't you know it, one of the stitches was called a straight stretch and was billed as durable and elastic.  With the hours I spend at my machine, how did I not even notice these extra stitches???

So I tried it out and so far so good.  It goes back and forth three times so there's not the gaps or the pulling in the seams as when I've used a narrow zigzag or even my double needle. It uses a tonne of thread -- I filled my bobbin twice for this top -- but if it works, that's fine by me.  I'm really kicking myself for not looking into it more when I was on my Field Trip kick.  Oh, well.  Next time!

(my husband took the pictures.  I told him he could include my face but the first few were awful.  I asked him what to do my face and he said I don't know, smile?  so there it is, my smile)

This year I've decided that I'm going to keep track of how much things cost to make.  I find it fascinating when other bloggers do it and I've realized that I have no idea what I spend.  So here's the breakdown for this top:

Fabric: Dressew $3.00/m, bought two metres and just have scraps left $6.72 including tax
Pattern: Spool of Thread $18.98 including tax
Total Cost: $25.70 Seems like a lot but I know I will use the pattern again.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lined Wiksten Tova

This is the sixth time I've made this pattern but the first time I've lined the body.  I wanted to but chickened out when I made my mom's.  I did line the inset that time and, while Nina's post was helpful, she didn't provide any in-process photos.  So I decided to take pictures this time.  Really crappy pictures.  My sewing room is in a basement with no natural light so not so great for photography.  I tried to fix them in photoshop but I'm not sure I improved them much.  And the fabric ended up looking black and white instead of grey and white.  Anyway, here goes!

No photos of this step but I'm sure you can figure it out: place the inset and the inset lining right sides together and stitch the right side of the placket to the wrong side of the inset (as per the instructions).  Follow the instructions for completing the placket while keeping the lining free.

Repeat for the other side and then baste the inset pieces together at the placket with the left placket covering the right.

Baste the front piece lining to the front piece along where the inset will go (as you can see from the picture below, I didn't do this.  It would have been a good idea.)

Pin the inset to the front piece as per the instructions while keeping the lining free.  Stitch the inset to the front piece.

Where the plackets overlap, clip the seam allowance.  This is so that the entire seam allowance can be covered by the lining in the next step.

Fold lining over 3/8" to the wrong side and press.  From the front, pin lining so that it covers the stitching line and topstitch.  (or slipstitch or baste in place and then topstitch).

There. The inset is almost as pretty from the inside as the outside!

To finish it off, I sewed the front and back shoulder seams together including the lining.  When I sewed the side seams, I kept the lining free and finished it separately.  I cut the lining an inch shorter then the shirt so that it wouldn't show.   The only seams that are currently unfinished are around the arms and I think I will just trim and zig zag them.

And for the first time, a picture of me, including my face!  As you can tell from my lovely expression, I don't like pictures of myself but am going to try harder this year, especially when it comes to being in pictures with my kids.  I actually got out the tripod the other day, which my kids seemed to enjoy.  (my husband was home a the time but didn't take the hint!)

By the way, the fabric is a lightweight cotton from fabricland (bought for $14.  I've already made an Alma and I still have enough left for another top.  Hmm, would anyone notice if I had three different tops in the same fabric in rotation at the same time?). I lined the body in a cotton voile from Dharma Trading.