Monday, October 17, 2016

City Break Molly

Last month I succumbed to the lure of Sew Over It's City Break ebook.  It was on sale when it was released and given it's a bargain at regular price I just couldn't resist it at the sale price.  The ebook has five patterns - the Alex shirt and dress, the Erin skirt, the Lola coat the Mia jeans and the Molly top and dress.  They're all pretty basic by the look of them, but with lots of potential for changing them up.  I love that each look other than the Mia jeans has an alternate version - whether it be a longer or shorter coat or skirt or the top or dress options.

The only one I'm not terribly keen on is the Erin skirt - possibly because I drafted almost the same skirt back in '86 during my first year in Fashion Tech only the buttons ran down the back instead of the front.  So I think I'm stuck on the Erin skirt screaming "1980s teenaged me" at the top of it's lungs.  Don't get me wrong.  It was an ok skirt back in the day.  Pale peach and perfect for my preppy self.  But perhaps, too, it might be that 80s teenaged me was a whole different build than 2016 mid-40s me and I would feel a bit like "mutton dressed as lamb" trying to get away with wearing a style that I wore as a teen and not sure if my ego can handle the difference quite frankly.  I don't know really...   However, watch this space because knowing me, the Erin will grow on me, I'll forgive it for being so similar to my '80s skirt, and next thing you know I'll be sewing up one of my own.  It's been known to happen before. LOL

So, that brings us to the rest of the patterns, that I absolutely adore. I decided to start off with the Molly top and I'm glad I did. I sewed it as drafted (except for adding a bit of length, because I eventually shrink everything and crop tops are definitely not my thing). The pattern suggests using a jersey with drape for the top and something a bit more structured for the dress, but I decided to go a bit on the border of both - is that possible even - with my fabric and chose a nice lightweight sweater knit. I wanted something that I'd wear, but wouldn't be totally devastated if it was a complete disaster.  The sweater knit was 70% off, so it fit my criteria perfectly.

I should have taken off some of the width in the hips (I never do on my first go around, and really almost always should), but I think it works fine with my well loved rtw skinny jeans. I will likely shave just a touch off my next version though I think so it's not quite as swingy feeling. But it's comfy, cozy and I think I'll probably live in it over the coming months. It was also incredibly quick to sew! Pretty sure it took less than an hour from start to finish! I'm on the hunt for the perfect stripey fabric for the next one I make.

I can't decide which pattern to try next from the ebook, although I think which ever one I choose might have to wait in the wings for just a bit. I'm in the midst of Halloween costume sewing, I have a few decorations I want to make for the house for Halloween this year yet, I need to be getting started on holiday gift sewing and knitting and I should actually make my Betty Dress that I have got no further than the muslin stage. (but am almost finished knitting a cardi specifically to wear with it and have already bought tights as well - not too mention the fact I spent a ridiculous amount on the fabric for it). So many projects. So little time.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Arenal Top

Kennis Wong's done it again!  She's come out with another fantastic wardrobe staple pattern and I was lucky enough to be one of the testers for it!  The Arenal Top* features two versions - one with long sleeves and a handkerchief hemline, and the one I tested, a straight hem, 3/4 length sleeve. Both versions have a front shoulder yoke that you can really play around with colour and texture to add interest to your top.  Of course, as always with Itch to Stitch patterns, it comes in sizes 00-20.  

Construction is really easy with this tee - the hardest part would be the v-neck, but I'm going to go out on a limb and promise you that Kennis has the easiest construction method ever for getting a perfect looking V.  I haven't willingly done a v-neck on a knit in about 20 years since an unfortunate mishap with a Kwik Sew pattern, that was so darn hard to do I ended up with a off centre v and scarred for the next two decades.  LOL

Arenal has changed all that.  I whipped up my second top yesterday from cutting to hemming in an hour and a half and part of that time was taken up with a serger that kept snapping the lower looper thread and a combination of my tension dial and twin needle that were pitching a fit over the fact I was using a spool and a bobbin instead of two spools of thread when I was doing the hem.  That's the first time my old workhorse Pfaff has ever given me a spot of trouble. (turned out I just needed to switch spots around for the spool and the bobbin and everything went fine.  Picky, picky machine.  Grrrr).

For my first version I used a really soft drapey jersey of unknown fibre content and a rigid lace for the contrast yoke.  I did the lace as an overlay rather than on it's own.  I was a bit worried about the fact there was no stretch in my lace - I actually hadn't even thought of it until I had already sewed it in - but there was no problem with the fit at all!  My only modification to the pattern was to add 3/4" to the length of it as I prefer my tees to hit a bit lower than the Itch to Stitch patterns usually come to on me as drafted.

For my second version, the only change I made from the first was to add just a bit more length.  I felt that my first one was still a bit on the short side for my preferences so added another 3/4" to make the pattern a total of 1 1/2" longer than drafted.  I also shaved a wee bit off the hips to make it a bit more fitted through that area.  Otherwise it's basically sewn as drafted.  My fabric was a cotton/spandex t-shirt knit and the contrast is a non-stretch crochet style lace.  ('scuze the wrinkles... probably shouldn't have worn it before taking photos!)

I highly recommend the Arenal Top pdf pattern as a great addition to your handmade wardrobe.  You can get your copy of it for 20% off right now on the Itch to Stitch website!