V1292 – A momentum boost!

Sorry I’ve been a little absent lately!  I started working on M6163 right after I finished the Jasmine blouse.  My muslin showed I needed an FBA, as expected, and this dress doesn’t have “normal” arms (the dress front and back are not connected at the shoulder), so it’s going to take some thought and planning.  After spending a few days trying to figure out how to accomplish the adjustment I was beginning to lose my momentum and decided to shelf M6163 for now and move on to something a little easier.

V1292

I’d had V1292 sitting in my pattern stash for a while, but never found any ruffled knit I liked enough to make it up.  What really drew me to this pattern was the origami edge at the bottom.  While the suggested stripes and ruffles and the pattern layout really make this skirt unique, I felt that the origami edge on version A would be just as dramatic in a solid.  I had a nice piece of lavender wool knit in my stash leftover from a top I made last year, and decided to give it a shot.

Origami edge

The skirt turned out really, really well!  I love the edge effect, even in the solid.  The bias cut of these pieces and the way they’re stitched together give them a really nice kick when I move.  There are twelve of them in total, so they do take a bit of time to stitch together and attach, but the end result is totally worth it.

The way the panels of the skirt are cut make it hug your curves just right.  Very flattering!  The length works well with the wool knit with boots for the cooler weather.  If I made this in a lighter weight fabric, I might shorten it just a bit (I’m 5’3″ and didn’t shorten the skirt, so this is probably a little longer than intended on me as-is).

Back view

I used a lightweight cotton jersey in a light gray for the lining.  When you add the lining to the skirt, it is supposed to fall just short of the bottom of the origami edge.  You attach the two at the bottom edge, then pull the lining up and baste at the waist.  The lining is supposed to be slightly shorter than the skirt, which creates a slight “bubble” effect at the bottom.  I found that my lining was actually about the same length as the skirt, and actually peeked out a little at the bottom.  This didn’t work well since the lining was a different color.  Plus, I didn’t want to lose the bubble effect.  I pulled the lining up and cut about an inch off at the top.  This reduced the lining length by just enough to create the “bubble” effect at the bottom.

I really like the quick and easy elastic waist on this skirt as well.  The instructions have you cut a length of elastic that is 4″ shorter than your “honest waist measurement”, but the ends together over a scrap of fabric, and zigzag together.  You then mark the elastic and skirt at the quarter marks, match the marks right sides together, and zigzag the elastic to the skirt at the top, stretching as you sew.  You then turn under and zigzag to the skirt at the bottom of the elastic as well.  I thought this would be tight on my waist, but it’s actually very comfortable.

I sewed the whole thing up on my new Bernina, which sews like an absolute dream!  It was a good test run for the new addition.  I really, really love the end result, and think it has definitely had the desired result of renewing my motivation.  I’m hoping to figure out that FBA this weekend and forge ahead with M6163!

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Jasmine, and a new addition.

The beginnings of my creative process..

Didn’t I say I was going to sew up a few easy things to help me get over my frustration with Anise?  Ok, to be fair, Jasmine was actually very easy, but you can see from my notes that I had to make several modifications.  I anticipated having to do an FBA (but 3.5″?! Ugh!), but I didn’t expect to have to do much else.  As you can see, there were a couple more adjustments that needed to be made.

Based on my high bust, I cut a size 6.  I don’t know if it’s because I cut such a small size, or if it’s just the way the pattern is drafted (or maybe I just have really large upper arms…), but the sleeve bands were really tiny.  I added 3″ to the sleeve band, but realized that this would mean that if I didn’t adjust the arm as well I was going to lose the gathering effect.  I really wanted to keep the nice gathered sleeves, so I went ahead and added 3″ to the sleeve as well by just cutting the pattern piece in half right in the middle and adding in tissue to expand by 3″.  The original sleeve design has gathering stitches just at the top of the sleevehead.  Because of the amount of expansion, this would mean that I’d have an extra 3″ of gathering in the sleevehead.  This looked sloppy and bulky, so I extended the gathering stitches to run almost the entire length of the sleeve.  This resulted in a more uniform gathering and a puffier look throughout the top of the sleeve.  It’s much more along the lines of the way the sleeve should have looked prior to the adjustments I made.

 One of the things I really like about this blouse is the high back.  I have a tattoo on my upper back between my shoulder blades, and I work in an office and position where visible tattoos aren’t encouraged. Believe it or not, it can be a little difficult to find blouses other than standard collared button up shirts that don’t drop so low in the back as to expose my tattoo!  The cut of this blouse is perfect in that regard.

Overall I really like this top!  I think I may have added just a smidge too much in the FBA, so I might take that down a bit in my next version.  I’d like to make one with a contrasting collar and sleeve bands, and I’m also cooking up an idea for modifying the collar in a few different ways to achieve some different looks.  Another success for me with a Colette pattern!  I’m planning on picking up the Beignet skirt pattern and making that soon.  I’m totally sold on Colette!

In other news…..

We have a new addition to the Redd’s Threads clan!

I just brought this baby home yesterday!  A Bernina Artista 200, complete with embroidery module and a bunch of extras.  This girl has literally only 10:56 sewing time, and 7 minutes embroidery time.  She’s practically brand new, she sews like a dream, and I got her for a song!  I’ve not done any embroidery before, but I’m looking forward to playing around with it.  At the price I got her for, I’ll be happy even if I never do anything more than sew garments on her.

I played around a little with some of the decorative stitches tonight, and my verdict on this machine is that she is…

Awesome!