Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Big guns need Full Bicep Adjustments!

I have quite literally made an exact replica of the Ebony Tee dress I made last May however this version has nice, comfortable sleeves. I loved that dress - the fabric was LOVELY, and I really loved the shaped too however the sleeves were just too tight so I never, ever wore it. I'd put it on to wear to work and then immediately take it off. Nope.

When I was at the Fabric Store last week I spotted more of this fabric and thought I'd buy 1m and take the sleeves off the old dress and replace them with new, bigger sleeves. Somehow I ended up with 2.5m "just in case" which is lucky as between the overlocking and problematic fabric I could not detach the sleeves.

The only change to this dress was to do a full bicep adjustment. I often find the sleeves on my clothes too tight so I was figuring I should bite the bullet and learn how to do one and I'm so pleased this experiment was successful. I read quite a few different posts/webpages about this adjustment and in the end settled on this one from the Curvy Sewing Collective. After measuring my bicep and the sleeve piece I needed around an extra 1" so this was the perfect method....

And ta-da! Comfortable sleeves. The adjustment has given me an extra inch at the upper arm which tapers to virtually nothing at the wrist. The original sleeve is too tight all over so I'm glad to have more room throughout.

I'm SO HAPPY with this new dress, so happy in fact that I wore it TWO days in a ROW #hearteyes! 


Pattern: Closet Case Files "Ebony Tee"
Size: 16
Modifications:  1" full bicep adjustment
Fabric Store - viscose 7.7.& /lycra 6% /polyester 17%

Changes for next time: none  

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

A (new) York Pinafore

Wow, it's been a REALLY long time between sewing project and blog posts. I have just NOT been feeling the sewing love recently and despite that I did sew two Mandy Boat Tees that had failed in a spectacular way (here and here) so that put me off sewing even more. One problem is that over the summer my arms seem to have expanded (probably due to overeating and not the humidity) so the sleeves on the Mandy Boat are too tight unless I use some crazy, super stretchy fabric. Hmmm....

However...I had kind of been feeling like perhaps I should be sewing something rather than spending all my free time binge watching Outlander and Scandal but couldn't think of what. I had seen the release of the York Pinafore pattern by Helen's Closet but dismissed as "not for me, not my style" until I heard her talking about it on her seemed like a simple sew, in my size range and I had some fabric in the stash that would be perfect for it (a long sold out Cotton/Elastane Stretch Woven Velveteen from Tessuti that I had leftover of from another project). we are!

The pattern comes with two options for different types of "patch pockets" but I decided to go sans pockets as I felt it would make the pattern more "streamlined" and also because my sewing is not that neat or straight and dodgy pockets will make the pinafore look homemade in the worst kind of way. I was also jumping right in with my "good fabric" and fitting pockets into a side seam was more than I could bear as it meant basting...ugh ugh. Turns out that was a good decision as I ended up taking in the side seams but 0.75cm each as the cocoon shape was just too much fabric at my hips. I have been thinking about going back and perhaps adding in the kangaroo pocket so watch this space.

Overall this project was a quick and satisfying sew, made even more so by leaving off the pockets. Using bias binding is always super fiddly and slow but it does give a pleasingly neat result that makes me smile smugly whenever I look at it.

I sewed the largest size there was (XXL), and also added an inch to the upper bodice straps to account for a bust size that is bigger than the pattern is drafted for. There are two neckline options and I sewed the more scooped neck version. I ended up taking in the side seams about 0.75cm as it was just too big and I would like to straighten up the seam around the hip area as there's just too much fabric there making me feel bigger than I am. I sewed the longest length available but am going to unpick the hem and take things up about an inch or so.

The VERDICT: Whilst I like the concept of this pinafore what I really hate WITH A PASSION is layering . I hate wearing multiple layers with things riding up and down and me constantly adjusting my clothes. I wore this out to a family do on the weekend and I felt so fat and frumpy. I'm willing to give this another try though once it's shorter and slimmer at the sides; and I'm even thinking of making one in denim that I think would be better to wear in warmer weather - no tights = less layering!


Size: XXL
Modifications: a
dded 1" to the upper bodice straps for a large bust. Took in side seams about 0.75cm.
Cotton/Elastane Stretch Woven Velveteen from Tessuti
Changes for next time: sew a smaller size/straighten up the hip; reduce the length. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Another Sewaholic Rae Skirt

After experimenting with a few elastics waisted skirts (here and here) I've returned to my OG pattern  - the Sewaholic Rae Skirt (my original version is here).

I like this pattern as it's made up via a number of panels that taper towards the waist so it's less bulky than the more simple method of sewing two big rectangles of fabric together. That said I didn't get the elastic length quite right, and it turns out this non-roll elastic has a lot of roll. I've really stitched the elastic in so it would be A LOT of effort and unpicking to remove it and replace it. I might replace it but I'm worried the fabric might not cope too well with that.

I have no idea why, but this version of the Rae Skirt is quite a bit longer than my first one. Why would that be - everything is exactly the same as last time?

The fabric is an Atelier Brunette rayon/viscose that I swapped some of my fabric for - one of the Sydney Spoolettes is now the owner of some Nani Iro jersey I was never going to use. I love this fabric - it feels so light and floaty to wear and was so easy to sew with. I looked at getting some more in a different colourway but with currency conversions and shipping it was a firm NO from the bank account.


PatternSewaholic Rae Skirt
Size: 16
Modifications:  none.
Atelier Brunette viscose rayon swapped with Tanya (thanks Tanya!)
Changes for next time: none - though use some better elastic!