Monday, January 27, 2014

Floral Bomber Jacket

Today I'm sitting at home for the third day this month of NO SCHOOL due to frigid temperatures! What better time to blog about this tropical floral bomber jacket? This is the Rigel Bomber Jacket design from Papercut Patterns. I've had this multi / black floral print cotton sateen in my stash forever! Bought it b/c I loved the print and it is SO soft, but had no idea what to do with it! Should it be a dress? A skirt? A jacket? When I thought to use it for this bomber jacket, it was match made in fabric+pattern heaven :)

This was my first time working with a Papercut pattern and I am definitely sold! I love the packaging! The pattern is printed on very quality brown paper that has a slight grip on the underside so it stays put on the fabric better. I went ahead and took the time to make the instructions into the little "booklet" and it was definitely worth it! The booklet takes up just a tiny amount of space and lays flat so its easy to keep right next to you as you're sewing.

Here are the details:

Pattern: Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber Jacket

Size: XS

My Shape: Tall (6'), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso


- MAIN: Multi Color / Black Floral Print - Cotton Sateen (w/ a bit of stretch) - Joann Fabrics
- Neck/Cuff/Hem - Black Ponte Roma Knit - Joann Fabrics

Size Alterations:

- Originally graded to a M at hip (hem band) but ended up taking it in on both sides back to about an XS
- Lengthened sleeves by about 3 inches - this is just perfect!!! Wouldn't want them any shorter!

Design Changes:

- Used ponte roma knit fabric instead of ribbing - not quite as stretchy but worked great!

Construction Notes:

- Sewn with normal (universal) needle and black thread
- Facing is finished on the edge with 1/4" double fold bias tape in Canary yellow - Love this finish! (You can see a flash of the yellow on the facing in the picture above)
- Really excellent construction methods - the inside is a bit messy looking (except the facing) so I might consider a lining for next time!
- Pockets are cut from black ponte roma knit fabric - very warm and soft :)
- Had a bit of trouble with facing laying flat around the neckline- tried a few things to help it, but it still isn't quite fixed. You can see where the floral print meets the neckband it is not laying flat - Any Suggestions???

The Verdict: Love the style of this jacket - fits pretty much perfectly without any adjustments or grading (besides the sleeve length). I have already worn it several times since finishing it! I think a solid version is in my near future - would really like to try the version with the geometric sleeve detail! This floral print makes me happy every time I see it and goes with a lot of my wardrobe, actually - great for livening up solids! And paired with stripes! And with a black mini and purple tights! But I digress - make yourself a floral bomber - you won't regret it! :)

PS> Apologies for the great variations in the coloring in the photos throughout the post - it would seem taking pics indoors in front of a green wall lends itself to great confusion for my camera!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Deer&Doe Plantain (It's FREE!)

Tunic is a weird word. Maybe I've just been looking at it too long, though. Is there another word that means "long top" or "very short dress"? I much prefer the french "tunique" - it sounds prettier! This tunique was made with the newest pattern from the independent pattern company Deer and Doe. I read all about the Plantain t-shirt at the beginning of January on their blog (which is now available in English!!!) and literally jumped out of bed to print it off!

It is a pdf pattern, only 20 pages long. Easy to tape together and cut out! The instructions are available in both French and English. The sewing portion was done in short windows of time over a couple days. It was very easy to put together, especially for someone who has made a knit t-shirt pattern before. If you haven't, this is great for a beginner too! Lots of tips on working with knit fabrics throughout, although I kind of skipped over reading all those as I wanted to get this top done! :) The fit it pretty amazing right out of the envelope! Or should I say printer? Lol

Here are the details:

Pattern: Deer and Doe Plantain T-Shirt - FREE pdf!

Size: 38

My Shape: Tall (6'), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Fabric: Reversible jersey / rayon knit - Same fabric as my Ivy Tee, but in orange instead of purple
*Reverse side is used for elbow patches :)

Size Alterations:

- Graded to a 42 at waist and 46 at hip
*Originally I assumed that since the pattern sketch looked like what I usually have to do to my top patterns anyway, that I wouldn't have to grade out on this one - mistake! It was too tight around the middle and rear on my first try! Thankfully I had enough fabric to re-cut!

Design Changes:

- Lengthened significantly to tunique so I can wear it with leggings and it covers the bum
- Raised the neckline ever so slightly
- Lengthened sleeves
*Originally I cut it WAY longer and it came down to my knees! This was also the version that was too tight, as mentioned above. I was able to move the bodice pieces down on the already cut out pieces and it gave me enough fabric to add the width back at the side seams and still have a longer length (but not too long ;)

Construction Notes:

- Sewn only with a sewing machine and ballpoint needle
- ElĂ©onore's instructions are wonderful, and exactly as you would expect to construct a t-shirt. The neckline is finished with a band in the round and the sleeves are set in flat.
- Save fabric by cutting the back bodice NOT on the fold, instead parallel to the front bodice - be sure to add 5/8" on each center edge for your seam
- I had no problem sewing on the elbow patches! This knit is fairly stable though. If you have a flimsier knit, consider using a woven fabric for the patches, as Anna from paunnet suggested on her post! (And that striped t-shirt - I WANT!)

The Verdict: A GREAT free sewing pattern! Cannot wait to make it up again! So many options with fabrics for the garment and patches. Would love to figure out a cute way to add patch pockets! What would you make this up in??? Have you tried this pattern? If so, please link to it in the comments so I can check it out! :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

First Make of 2014

Happy New Year! I am so excited for 2014 - looking to another fun filled year of sewing and blogging :) This is my first sewn garment of the year, and while it was intended for the Sewcialists' Green December, other things (HOLIDAYS!) just seemed to keep getting in the way - lol. Thankfully the last few days of break were all about the sewings, so I had time to whip up this little beauty! Oh, and I got bangs!

I have had these two hunter green knit remnants in my stash for a long time, just waiting for the perfect pattern to come along. The yardage was small, however (less than a yard each) so I knew I couldn't get a dress out of it (like the beautiful one below). Then I saw this adorable peplum top on pinterest and knew what I had to do! I had the Simplicity peplum top pattern in my stash, and when I imagined it with the lace as the overlay and sleeves and I knew it could be something special! Thankfully I had just enough yardage :)

Flounce Lace Peplum Tee     ::     Simplicity 1539     ::     Milly Lace Dress

Here are the details:

Pattern: Simplicity 1539

Size: 12

My Shape: Tall (6'), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Interlock Knit in Ponderosa (remnant - 2/3 yd) - Joanns
Stretch Lace (remnant - 3/4 yd) - Vogue Fabrics

Size Alterations:

- Took in back bodice piece by about 1 inch total at center seam
- Usually I grade up to the 14 for the waist, but I kept it at 12 and it is plenty big enough
- Would have added length to peplum, but did not have enough fabric :(

Design Changes:

- Omitted zipper - looks cool but not really necessary
- Cut front bodice overlay and sleeves in stretch lace, and rest of top in solid knit

Construction Notes:

- Back bodice neckline is finished with a "facing" which is actually very similar to bias tape - stays put for the most part, but I did hand stitch the center back seam to the facing at the top to keep them both from poking out
- If you are leaving out the zipper I would highly recommend waiting to stitch the back bodice pieces together until after you sew overlay to the front bodice - I didn't and it is a pain to keep the back bodice out of the way while sewing together the two front pieces - save yourself the trouble ;)
- The front neckline is finished beautifully, hidden between the overlay and the main bodice fabric. You can't see the seam on mine through the lace, due to it being a darker color, however if you were going to try this in a lighter color lace, you might want to finish the front pieces together with a facing the same way you do the back to hide the seam

The Verdict:  This top is definitely a WIN in my book! It's also pretty unique, so I'm not sure if I would make another one. Although, it did look super cute before I attached the sleeves, so maybe a sleeveless one is in my future! What do you think - would you try this style top???

P.S. - Didn't really want to debut the new hair style in a ponytail, but with it down, you couldn't see the lace bow on the top! Here are just a couple pics I got before realizing my great dilemma! :)

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have seen these pics of the hair, and a sneak peak at this top :) If you don't yet, let's be friends! Find the links in the side bar under "Let's Socialize!" :)