Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Layer me up Shirt

This is the Patterns for Pirates, Layer Me Up Shirt available from their etsy store. It is offered in a large range of sizes, XXS to 3X (chest 30-54 inches) and well suited to a curvy figure.

And there is a timely maternity add-on front panel here:

The first shirt I made is with a Girl Charlee cotton/spandex print. I used a serger for all seams, with Maxi-Lock "stretch" thread on the loopers and regular white poly serger thread on the needles. I love "stretch" thread! (It's not actually stretchy, instead it is "woolly" and makes a very soft seam.)

On a hanger, the maternity shirt looks a bit pouchy and weird, but on the figure it is form fitting and very comfortable. 

My first attempt is a bit long, but fits well in the bust, belly and hips. I cut a size large at the shoulders to XL at the hips. The shoulder seams are nicely curved. The neckline is a little low but easy enough to redraft. During construction, I did not use elastic to create the gathers, instead I made basting stitches and pulled the threads. The treads were then cut off during the seam serging. I chose the band option for the bottom hem.

In the end, it is really nice to have a snug shirt that comes in under the belly. I'm not into wearing skin tight things by themselves right now, so this makes the perfect layer under my various wraps/scarves and sweaters.

Serged seams below:

My next shirt has a higher neckline and shorter length without a bottom band. It is made from a Gorgeous Fabrics textured jacquard knit, very cozy and warm for mild California winter.

My third shirt is a thinner burnout print from Joann's which I can't find online for linking. I used a stretchy black knit for the neckband and hemband. I am planning to install wristbands because the hemmed sleeves stretch out too much.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

2016 - In the closet

I started this year by putting my homemade woven dresses away in the spare closet... I hope I can retrieve them at some point in the future.

Some of my knits are still wearable (Thank goodness for the Moneta and Bluegingerdoll Violet dresses) and I've been busy making a few more (Appleton, yay!) each month.

All this is because my dimensions have rapidly changed. My waist has gained 8 inches in girth! And it's still growing! My hips are about same but my bust gained a depressingly expensive (i.e. bra-busting) 4 inches.

My dog is emotionally supportive but he's not sure what to do except chew on anything I leave laying around.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Lilac linen

Posting some old drafts!

I had a summer linen craze.

I bought this lovely lilac linen during a "blue moon sale" at my local fancy fabric store. In my hunt to find the perfect pullover linen dress pattern, I decided to try the Simplicity 1800. The front pleats are cool, and the neckline is very interesting. I really like the pockets.. Even better, the pattern is a multi-size custom fit. I chose the D cup and the curvy butt pieces.
I cut 16 on top, to 18 on the bottom.

As I intended it to be a pullover, I did not stitch the darts in the back bodice. This lets it hang better. I added three inches to the back pieces and made little box pleats instead of the longer shaping darts in the pattern. The result is a very comfortable dress. I love the pockets! I love the linen wrinkles. It's so light weight, like wearing nothing at all.

The only issue is the raglan sleeves and my bust. Even with the largest cup size, the sleeves still don't fit flat on my armscyes, but extend out from the bust. Typical. This is why I usually avoid raglan sleeves, but I thought the special sizing of this pattern would solve the problem.

The bodice is lined with a soft shear patterned voile. I ignored the instructions and just sewed up the dress. The facings in the pattern looked truly dreadful and flippy, so I used bias tape to finish the neckline from shoulder to shoulder. Interior seams are either french seams or finished with bias tape.