Thursday, September 18, 2014
When I saw Deer & Doe's newest pattern, the Bruyere Shirt, I had to have it. In order to make shipping from France worth it, I spent some time scoping out all their offerings and noticed this dress, the Reglisse, which they released last spring. It's adorable! How was the sewing-blogosphere not all over this? I checked around and only found a handful of people that had blogged it, though all the versions I saw were cute in the extreme. It's the perfect summer dress! So, I snagged it up along with the Belladone, which I've seen a million versions of online.
I had this bicycle fabric, a peachskin from Girl Charlee, which I had originally purchased to try a woven-version of the Myrtle. When it arrived, though, I was shocked at the scale--much larger than I had imagined. I've really got to train myself to look at the dimensions better! Anyway, I felt it was far too large a pattern to work with the cowl-neck, so I set it aside. After I discovered Reglisse, I determined to use the bicycle fabric, even though it was lighter weight than what is called for.
The pattern went together perfectly, though the directions were a bit less detailed than what I've come to expect from indie pattern companies like Colette and Sewaholic. For instance, there was no suggestion to understitch the bias-tape on the collar, and since I wanted to really keep mine from rolling out since it was a contrast color (not entirely successful there), I added this step.
But, in all it was a quite simple little pattern, and I'm not sure why it would be marked intermediate unless it's because the bodice is cut on the bias.
Now, I have to admit, I paid no attention to pattern matching on the bodice. I don't know what I was thinking. I did try to match on the skirt and then just completely forgot about it on the bodice. Oops! I think the ties successfully disguise the mismatch across the front, and I don't have to look at the back, so I can't be too bothered by it.
What does bother me is the rolling collar, although it's fine to look at straight on.
What I love most about this pattern are all the sweet details on the top. It has these clever little flutter-type sleeves that don't require hemming (glory be!), and then the shoulders have kind of a yoke thing--not sure what to call it. The back and front bodice have a little rectangle shoulder piece they both join to, and the front bodice shoulder has soft little gathers. And then of course, the adorable collar and tie. Love!
Swishy circle skirt!
Leaving out the shameful failure to pattern match, otherwise the back fits nicely.
I'm grateful to my mother, who helped me level the hem. Otherwise, it would probably still be hanging (like my Tania culottes) this time next year. I ended up doing a rolled hem on the serger since I didn't have any navy bias tape on hand.
Notes: I made a straight 42, and it fits ok, but next time I plan to lengthen the bodice. It's not sitting at my natural waist. I think I need to add about an inch. The darts are also a bit high, but this fabric was something of a polyester nightmare, and sewing left holes, so although I just basted the darts to start with, I had to put them back in the same spot since the fabric was holey.
All told, I'm really happy with this dress. It came out just about as I'd envisioned. Though a pain, the lightweight fabric works really well, and it's fun and flirty. The boys love it, and I got lots of compliments at work. A definite winner! I'm excited to trace out my Bruyere shirt next.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
So my first Myrtle was pretty much a failure. I wanted to try it again, but didn't have any fabric on-hand that seemed just right. As Mrytle 1.0 made clear, appropriate fabric is definitely a must for this pattern. In fact, I had gotten distracted by other things after my initial fail--I have a half-finished Crepe in the works and then Deer & Doe released the Bruyere Shirt, and I ended up buying it AND the Reglisse Dress and the Belladone, so my last week has been spent day-dreaming about those.
But, I managed to run by the thrift store last week, and there I found a nice yardage of jersey that I thought was just about the perfect weight and drape for the Myrtle (also some shot cotton that's going to become my Bruyere, once it arrives in my hot little hands!). Yesterday I went on a mad hunt through all my various sewing-stash places and couldn't find my traced out pattern. I had finally given up and was looking for a kid's pattern when I turned it up in the binder where I keep my traced out PDF-pattern pieces. It would save me so much time if I would just follow the organizational schemes I set up--some day I'll learn.
So, after a couple of hours spent cleaning/searching for the pattern yesterday, I was able to cut this out this morning (no church due to Will having strep throat--boo!). I remembered to add 3" to the skirt since the "short" version turned out to be much too short for my liking.
This one went together really easily having already done it once. Again, I opted to line the back bodice so I wouldn't have to fool with hemming the arm and neckholes and risk stretching them out. I also remembered to do the shoulder tabs this time, which added a significant amount of time. Anytime I use my buttonholer, I can count on it taking at least 30 minutes, it seems. It always does my sample perfectly and then ruins at least one of my real ones. Sigh.
Aside from lining the back, I followed all the directions. I really like how the bodice comes together and you end up with everything nicely contained between layers. I also like how the waistband ends up all contained. The construction isn't difficult, but it is clever.
Speaking of the back, I did not try to double-needle along the back neckline this time, and either that and/or having a suitable fabric made the back on this one nicely drapey rather than stand-off gapey like version 1.
Anyway, this one turned out MUCH better than the last one. I'm actually pretty happy with it! I was thinking it would look great with copper or rose-gold accents, so I chose a antique-gold button out of random ones I got at a garage sale this summer.
Unfortunately, I don't have jewelry in those colors, so nothing to style it with at this time. I really like it with the gold belt, though I'd like to get one that fits a bit better. This one is on the biggest setting and just barely goes around my elastic middle.
Not overly flashy, IMO.
In all, I now think this is a pretty flattering dress, and I am still pondering what woven to make it up in. It's definitely nice to have a silhouette that's different.
These were my little photobombers throughout this photo shoot. Can you tell Will is a king? Some of the adults in the house think he might look a little more hobbit-y than kingly. ;-)
Saturday, September 6, 2014
I wanted to try the Trifecta Top since Kitschy Coo released it back during the winter, but held off till she had a coupon at the time of the Comino Cap Dress release. I love PDF patterns and the possibility for instant gratification--only problem is they aren't really very instant except in terms of getting the files. I printed this off this summer, but didn't get around to the job of taping it up until the holiday weekend.
That took a couple of hours, then I cut my fabric at a different time, and then I sewed it up one day when I was home early one after this week due to sick kids. The actual sewing took less time than cutting and taping the pattern. The pattern went together really well. I believe I glanced at the "bad*ss" directions a couple of times, but having made approximately one million raglans for the boys, I didn't need any help there and just followed my usual order of construction.
This fox fabric (from Girl Charlee, left over from the boys' "What Does the Fox Say?" shirts) doesn't have much stretch to it, so I moved the front piece over about 1/4" from the fold to cut. I made no changes for the back. I think it worked ok.
I used a ribbing for all the bands, and I did find I needed to trim it down a bit. I wish I'd trimmed down the armbands, because they could definitely stand to be tighter. I got the neck just about perfect, but only after trimming it down a couple of different times (probably 1" total?). Since I had actually added 1/2" to the width of the front bodice, I will definitely plan to cut the neckband a bit shorter in the future if using rib knit.
Other than the one change above, I made up a straight 5, high-scoop (the default), cap-sleeve option, and cut it at band-length.
Obviously I could use a swayback adjustment. But, lazy. And hmm, now that I look at the back more closely, it looks pretty baggy under the arms. I wonder if I should try cutting the back bodice a bit smaller? I have wondered before if I might have a smaller back than my front size. I really need to do a good measurement taking some time!
Also, I think it would have looked better not doing the band on this, or if doing a band, not using a contrast or at least not contrast ribbing. I did have some plain black knit, but I was afraid it would fade at a different rate from my ribbing and look weird, so I just went with ribbing.
But now I have another matching shirt with my boys! Woo-hoo! More fodder for their therapy someday. :)
In sum, this Kitschy Coo pattern is another winner for me. It's nicely fitted with a clear curve for the waist, rather than being unfitted and loose. I love all the options for necklines, sleeves, and hem, and the opportunity to play with colorblocking that's built into the pattern. All of these details and the fact that it's a raglan mean you can use up those annoying knit scraps that are too big to throw away but too small to make even a shirt from. A great basic pattern, and I suspect I shall have many more of them!
Will was being a bit of a pill during my horrible photoshoot. My concession photo of him.