Why is it the one day in the month that I want to sit down and write a good, long post (well, two actually), Blogger has other plans? Happy Friday the 13th!
Anyway, I originally was making tops to enter in the Spring Top Sewalong over at Made By Rae. I finished one in time, but I wasn't happy enough with it to enter it. I did end up completing three tops though! I made two of one pattern and one of another. Both patterns were from Weekend Sewing. Unfortunately, I wasn't very happy with the number of mistakes that are in the patterns and instructions. It's a bummer because I really like the designs, and was looking forward to several of them, but I'm not sure now whether I'd take on another garment from this book. I think I'm a pretty experienced sewist (hush, I just like that word), but when the error is in the pattern itself, you don't know until you get into the sewing, and when something is cut too narrow, that's harder to fix. I'd have to make muslins of everything first, and then it's not really Weekend Sewing anymore, is it? *cheeky grin*
First up is the Summer Blouse. After reading the finished measurements of this top, I ended up shaving a good two inches off both the bottom and the sleeves. However, once I got it cut and put together, I wish I had those two inches back on the bottom. I found that a lot of pattern pieces in this book measure what the finished piece should measure. So you have to add on in order to have enough for a hem. Good to know AFTER I've cut. Luckily I could remedy that easily enough by attaching some of the contrast fabric to the bottom that I had used for the placket and binding. I ended up doing some simple machine embroidery too. First time I'd ever used any of the fancy stitches on a sewing machine. I also left the sleeve and bottom edges unhemmed. After washing, I'm really happy with the way it looks. Oh yea, one more thing about this top... I didn't have enough fabric to lay it out the way it should have been done. So... I cheated. Instead of cutting the back piece on the fold, I cut two pieces with an added seam allowance, and seamed it down the center back. Shhh....
The second Summer Blouse I made from a thrifted bed sheet. I added the length back to the bottom this time, and used a linen remnant for the placket. However... I got the placket all completely sewn on before I realized I had put it on the outside of the shirt. Well you know what? I sort of like it that way! I did french seams throughout this one, just to reacquaint myself with them since it's been a while, and just folded up the bottom edges for quick hems. Once I got it finished and tried it on, THEN I realized that the front has some stains on it. Nice pattern placement there. Figures. Hopefully I can get them out.
This is my least favorite of the three. It's the Trapeze Dress. I cut it short and did a deep hem to make it shorter to wear as a top. I also used a thrifted sheet for this one, with a contrasting pillowcase for the bodice and straps, but learned a very important lesson. Do not use bottom sheets to make clothing. Do. Not. Even though I used just the edges of the fabric, you can still see in that last photo how unevenly worn the fabric is. This will be an 'around-the-house' top for sure. The major problem with this pattern was that there wasn't enough allowance for the box pleats. There were supposed to be three on the front, but only one was marked, so I ended up having to make three tiny pleats. In retrospect, I should have just done the one that was on the pattern. Instead, these tiny little glimpses of pleats look like afterthoughts, or a correction to make the bottom fit in the bodice.
Sorry for the gloomy images today. They match the weather outside, and I'm so much against flash that I'm just going to make you look at gloomy photos. So there.
However many bumps along the way; these three tops were a good re-intro back into sewing clothing for me. They assured me that I can still do it, that I am ready to take on something with substance, and make a few quality pieces for myself. And THEN, oh the line-up I have of things to make for my boys!! Oh I can hardly wait! I have to not think about it so that I'll finish up my selfish sewing first. Otherwise, I know what will happen; it will be next summer and I'll still have nothing new for myself but the boys will be swimming in handmades!!
BTW, I am sooo in love with my Bernina. Best purchase I've ever made (aside from my Kindle which doesn't count since my husband bought it). I can't wait to really test it out!