Battle of the Banksia

Thursday, 29 November 2012

This top came very close to being binned and I'm still feeling a little bit ambivalent about it.  It has received a lot of blog love and I let its simple design fool me into thinking it wouldn't require much fitting.

According to my measurements I'm between a medium and a small.  I cut out a medium with the length of an extra large.  The other change I made was to alter the collar shape following this information (Megan has a long list of possibilities for the pattern that she demonstrated on the recent Banksia sew-a-long)

I really like the new shape of the collar and that it's not a fussy top, but for me the fit is all over the place.  I don't think the top fits me well through the bust - maybe the darts aren't long enough?  If I fold out the placket so the collar meets at centre front then the top fits much better through the bust. 

Everything really went to pieces when I sewed in the sleeves.  After looking in the mirror I pulled the top straight off and threw it on the floor.  There were huge fabric bulges poking up at the back of the sleeve and the back was a wrinkly mess.  

My first thought was that I must have sewn the sleeves in backwards.  I went back and checked the pattern - the front and back of the sleeve are identical so I couldn't have sewn it in backwards.   On a related note there are very few pattern matching notches and none at all on the sleeves.  I usually have a problem with shirts being too broad across the shoulders but this one was too narrow and the arm holes were uncomfortably high.  I also think my rayon fabric stretched while I was sewing and pressing the collar adding to all the awful wrinkles on the back.  A sway back adjustment might have helped too.

In the end I took Wade's advice and cut off the sleeves - this had the added benefit of lowering the arm holes to a more comfortable height and the back doesn't look as bad as it did.  If I was going to sew another sleeveless version I'd probably reshape the front armhole.

I don't think this is a bad pattern, lots of other people have made it and loved it but it's just not right for me.  I recently made the Sewaholic Alma top and the finished product ended up enormous.  These two not quite right projects have been major blows to my mojo, I need a couple of quick winners to get things cranking again.

Getting Shirty - Simplicity 2246

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I've always admired shirt dresses on others and when I saw Simplicity 2246 (a lisette pattern) I thought maybe I should give it a go and I'm really glad I did.  I really like this dress.

I've had this fabric kicking around in my stash for a couple of years.  It was labelled as a poplin but it's a bit heavier that normal, yet not quite heavy enough to be considered a bottom weight fabric, pretty much perfect for a shirt dress. 

I cut out a straight size 14 with a few adjustments due to a lack of fabric (shortened the sleeves and had to piece the button band facings).  This pattern goes together beautifully but I would say that it's long through the body - perfect for me :)  Depending on the pattern company I usually have to add anywhere between 1 and 2 inches to get the waistline to line up with my waist, but not this time.  This is also the first time I've come across a pattern where the collar and collar band are one piece and while it worked nicely, I think I prefer them separate.

Our neighbour's chickens even came out to say hello.

Hula Hoop-ing

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

This very cute Oliver + S Hula Hoop skirt was made during my weekend of bliss.  I didn't think Paige would go for it, she's really not that fussed about me making things for her, so I was pretty happy when she said she wanted one.  What's a weekend of bliss?  Well for me it was my husband and three kids going away camping for two nights leaving me home alone for the first time in my life!  I had some quality time with my sewing machine and have a few finished items to show you.

I made a size 8 using two coordinating fabrics from the Sarah Jane Out to Sea collection (chosen by Paige).  This was so easy to make and I love how neat and clean the reversible finish is.  

The skirt is not as short as it looks, Paige has hiked the waistband up because she likes short skirts, I didn't think that was supposed to start until she was a teenager!  I highly recommend this skirt - it would make a great gift too.