Monday, July 9, 2007

Two more item and I'm finished with the PR contest

Yes, two more tops and I'll be done. Problem is I have no inspiration. These tops will be knit tops, one blue and one aqua, I want them to be a little bit more special than the simple basic top... but have no idea for the time being. Anyway, my count is:

2 dresses - done
3 bottoms - done + 1 extra (you'll see it in this post)
5 tops - 3 done (you'll see the third in this post). I actually have 4 tops done, but one will be an extra (the blue cross-stitched one, its neckline doesn't work with the jacket)
1 jacket - done

And now... let's get to business and show you what I've sewed this past weekend. My husband is away to Lisbon on a business trip, so I got plenty of sewing time. However, things didn't work out very well. First, I wasn't really in a sewing mood (why does this happen when I do have time to sew and I'm alone so I can mess the entire apartment with fabric and threads????), and maybe that's why I was quite slow and did some mistakes - had to rip several times and start again.

First, my top for the PR contest:

Copied from PR review

Burda WOF 05-2007-109, Pattern Description:
Fabrics and refined details turn both top and trousers/pants into fashion hits. The neck edge of the tank top is trimmed with riveted twill tape

Pattern Sizing:
34-42. I made a size 34 and it fits perfectly.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I only checked the instructions to see how the trim is sewn and they were easy to understand. You sew a 5 cm wide knit band to the top neckline, then place the trim on it, with the lower part close to the seam you've just sewn. Then sew the upper part of the trim to the knit band, fold the band and sew the lower part of the trim, catching the band too in one seam.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the trim/ribbon added to the neckline and the racer back. I liked the contrast between the embelished neckline and the "sporty" back.

Detail of racer back

Fabric Used:
Kiwi cotton lycra.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
None, except I made my own ribbon. I took a piece of double fold bias ribbon, fixed the folds on the back with steam a seam and embellished it with one of my decorative stitches and a variegated metallic thread that's been in my stash for years. The steam a seam also acted as a stabiliser. I used the same double fold tape to bind the armholes instead of sewing facings.

Back of the double fold bias trim, to see how I folded it in place and used steam a seam inside to finished it and act as a stabiliser for the decorative stitch. Also, close up of the trim and the armholes binded with the same bias ribbon, only not embellished.

I also did a wide hem, about 3.5 cm (I think you can see it in the picture of the top lying flat), I like those wide hems, they look really neat.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will sew it again, not only I like the details, but the top fits like a glove which is a first! Except my favorite Jalie wrap-over top, I have to take in quite a bit all the other knit tops patterns. Not this one!
Also, I will use this type of decorated trim again, I'm already thinking of a lilac ribbon that I could use for an indigo skirt.

Extra skirt, I've used the same bias tape for binding and for decoration (the same stitch, only in kiwi)

I placed the bias tape on the skirt using steam a seam and then sewed it using my stretch stitch (a zigzag 1mm wide and 3.5 cm long) - it looks like a hand sewn catchstitch and I like it. The photo was taken before embellishing the ribbon.

Embellished ribbon and bias binding at the hem

Skirt and top together

Copied from PR review

Butterick 4233, Pattern Description:
MISSES' SKIRT: Lined, above ankle, below mid-knee or mid-calf A-line skirt has side seam zipper. B: contrast overskirt. C, D: godet. E, F: flounce. I made view C but without the side godet.

Pattern Sizing:
6-22. I made size 6

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did only without the side godet, of course.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy to follow and this is an easy skirt anyway.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I've tried three different bias skirt patterns in the past two months and I think that this is my favorite. Why? It doesn't have darts (bias skirts made out of thin slippery fabrics fall better on the body if they don't have darts - well, this is what I've noticed). It doesn't have an elastic waist, but a "normal" waist and a zipper (I don't like elastic waists that much), it comes in two different widths, this view C that I made looks like a straight skirt and there is a wider, more flared version too - I will make that soon.

Fabric Used:
Stretch cotton batiste. Very stretchy. Self-lined.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
Using a stretch fabric, I decided to cut it on grain, and not on the bias. It worked perfectly.

I also wanted my skirt to have more "kick" therefore decided to bind the hem with assorted double fold bias tape. I've used the same bias tape (not folded) to embellish the skirt. I fixed it on the skirt, 8 cm above the hem, with steam a seam and then used my stretch stitch (zigzag 1 mm wide, 2.5 mm long) catching a fold of the ribbon and sewing on the skirt at the same time. I really like the effect, it looks like a hand sewn catchstitch. I then embellished the ribbon with one of my decorative stitches .

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will definitely sew it again, probably next time I will do the more flared version. I am curious how it will drape on the body. Plus I really must try this pattern in bias too. I might have a real winner here and it could definitely be my favorite bias skirt pattern!

Pants for my husband.... Front and back view. He's in Lisbon so he couldn't model them :)

Welt pocket in the back

Front pocket

Band sewn at the hem to give weight to the pants and make them hang nicely.

Copied from PR review

Modern Sewing patterns, #6062

Pattern Description:

Man's pants.

Pattern Sizing:
Drafted to my husband's measurements apparently, but there were some problems. See below.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did, but only after altering the pattern.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions are a nightmare. Let me just give you a sample, this is how they instruct you to do welt pockets: "Make back slip pockets "in frame", with two facings. Fold facing right side out and press along the center. Pin facing (folded to different directions) on the garment right side along marking. Lay lining pocket bag on lower facing; lay fabric pocket bag on upper facing and stitch on 5 cm (2") distance along both sides of marking. Cut the fabric along the center between stitches, with small corner at stitch ends, then turn pocket bag into wrong side and make facings of 1 cm (3/8"). Topstitch facing free edges on pocket bag. Coincide both pocket bags, make them equal and stitch along the contour. Stitch facing ends on the fabric triangles on the wrong side. Tack pocket bag edges and waistline edge."

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like that it is a classic pattern, but at the same time has some distinct features: the front pockets (kind of like jean pockets, but square instead of rounded), the wider straight leg.

Fabric Used:
A mix of linen and copper (??) - at least that's what the label said, I never heard of copper but they assured me it's a natural fiber. Anyway, it's as wrinkly as a linen, but with a silkier finish and smoother. It looks very nice and it should drape quite well.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I sewed these pants previously and discovered to my horror that the waist is really too low. My husband likes lower rise pants but still... these ones showed the elastic on his boxers for at least 2 cm! I think the pattern is wrongly generated by their CAD software, because the welt pockets were also placed to high, too close to the waistband.

I therefore lengthened the upper part of the pants by 4 cm, while maintaining the same welt pocket placement. I sewed the welt pockets using Kathleen Fasanella's tutorial and paper jig - you can read it here and here. Next time I will try Debbie Cook's welt pocket tutorial (see it here). I like to experiment new techniques until I find the "perfect" one for me.

The pants were not yet pressed when I took the pictures and the fabric is very prone to wrinkling, but I think you get the idea. Given this tendency to wrinkle, I underlined the pants with cotton batiste. I stopped just below the knee, I wanted to have the knee underlined in order to prevent knee deformation during wear but not wanted to line the entire pants. After all they are summer pants! Because my husband seems to appreciate the professional, RTW-copied details and I do too, I bound the pocket bags instead of serging them, using double folded cotton bias tape.

I've sewn a special pants hem tape to the hem, to give the pants weight and keep them hanging nicely. What I do is press the hem in place, then sew the tape close to the fold, refold the hem and sew it by machine, using a blindstitch.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will definitely sew it again and yes, I do recommend it, only be careful and make a muslin first, cause you never know where the waistline is going to be


loopylulu said...

The pants for your hubbie look amazing, in fact, everything looks so well-done and wearable. You're almost there, just a few steps away from finishing another SWAP. You can do it!!!

Laura said...

Thanks, loopylulu! I know I can do it, but I'm kind of tired and dragging my feet :)
As soon as a nice idea will come to my mind, I will get my energy back

Janimé said...

I love what you did with the green top! It came out beautifully.

Tany said...

I'm amazed by your sewing creations! VERY nice job! I love your work with the bias tape and the decorative stitch! Fabulous!

dawn said...

LOVE the ribbon trim. And how perfectly the outfit fits you!

The pants are quite an accomplishment...lucky guy to have a custom tailor!

Isabelle said...

Everything looks great, what a talented seamstress you are! I have yet to dare sew pants for a man...

Laura said...

Thank you everybody for your nice comments! It is motivating, you know...
I started another knit top last night, hopefully I will have some pictures tomorrow, again with a embellished ribbon :) Am I getting boring?
Isabelle, you should dare and try some men's pants, your wedding dress is gorgeous and it shows you master all the necessary techniques!

Vicki said...

Laura, very clever with your trim. I will have to copy you someday ;) Your husbands pants are great - a lot of work there!