Tuesday, August 9, 2022

taco tuesday

I bought this taco-print fabric on a whim after seeing the cutest baby romper on display in my local fabric store. After several years waiting patiently in my fabric stash, it’s realized its full potential as matching raglan tees for Mae and me!
Mae’s shirt is the Ellie & Mac kids raglan with slim fit and short sleeves. Mine is the Lane raglan with short sleeves and a modified neckline. I followed a tutorial from The Petite Sewist and watched a video from Hey June to create the v-neck.

Do you think Mae selected mint chip gelato just to match her shirt?
I also made a few more pairs of Acacia undies with leftover fabric scraps from these shirts, my Camas Blouse, Georgie Dress, Suki Robe, and Lark tee. Even though my current measurements put me in a size 2 or 4, these are a size 8 just like the last batch I made because I was too lazy to trace the pattern again. They fit fine with the stretchy cotton jersey (all Art Gallery Fabrics) and stretch lace from frogfeathers on Etsy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

taking the plunge

Here's another item I made for our vacation! This is the Take The Plunge swim suit by Patterns for Pirates. The swim fabric, lining, swim cups, and power mesh are all from Fabric Fairy. I made the low back with cross straps and non-ruched bottom in size small at the bust and hip graded to a medium at the waist (based on my measurements 34-28-37.) Next time I'd probably just grade from a small bust to medium at the hip and waist for simplicity.
I assembled the entire suit with the sewing machine on a 3mm zig-zag stitch. I heard some stitches popping the first few times I tried it on, so maybe I should try different stitch settings, try twin needle top stitching, or use the serger.

The only fit issue I have is with the torso length. I suspect a combination of two causes: 1) the power mesh is overly restricting the vertical stretch of the swim material in the bottoms, and 2) I am in denial about the length of my lower torso. Even though I'm only 5'2", my measurement from front waist between the legs to back waist was 27". The pattern is drafted for this "crotch length" measurement of around 25". I assumed that my measurement method was just off somewhere since I'm not used to being too "long" for any pattern, but I think this suit would be more comfortable with an extra 1" in length added to the front and back bottom pieces! As far as the power mesh issue, I think I would omit it next time. I'd prefer if the top was less "minimizing." Between the power mesh and the suit being too short, it flattens the bust just as much as it flattens the tummy!
This project was surprisingly fun! Sewing all these tiny pieces of slippery fabric and elastic was less frustrating than I expected. I'm already envisioning my next swim sewing project... maybe a rash guard and some swim bottoms? I've also seen a lot of cute animal print versions of this suit online. So many possibilities!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

meadow shelby dress

I have a few handmade items to share from our recent trip! First up is the dress I wore for the rehearsal dinner. This is the Shelby Dress and Romper pattern by True Bias. The pattern includes a dress or romper in mid-thigh or mid-calf; I opted for the short dress version. The pattern is described as "a serious nod to the 90s with a modern fit." I like to read other sewists' reviews of a pattern before I sew it, so i can see what kind of fit adjustments are common and get ideas for fabrics. I found a lot of dresses sewn up in true 90s fashion: ditsy florals styled with Doc Martens. (I also found one blogger who was especially excited to try this style because she wasn't alive in the 90s. We won't discuss how old this made me feel.) I didn't want to go full-on ditsy floral so I chose this more modern Meadow print rayon from Art Gallery Fabrics. (Do you recognize this fabric? I already made a Biscayne Blouse from it!)
After my experience fitting the princess-seamed bodice of the Jessica dress, I thought it would be wise to sew a muslin of this dress. I also wanted to check the length since the “mini” version looked a smidge shorter than my preference but is designed for a model about 3” taller. I made a 4 in the bust graded to a 6 in the waist and hip based on my measurements of 34"-29"-35". Fortunately the bodice and length fit well. The only issue (and it was a big issue) was that I could barely move my arms. I did anticipate this issue based on Heidi’s review of this pattern, looking at the fit on other sewists, and the fact that my upper arms are proportionally large compared with the rest of my bodice measurements.

I removed the sleeves to verify that the bodice and armscyes fit well (they did), and the only issue was the sleeve fit. I modified the sleeves to have a shallower sleeve cap using a really helpful blog post on Ikat Bag about sleeve drafting. It demonstrates different sleeve shapes by fitting paper tube "sleeves" onto a tissue box "torso." I added a bit of ease to the bicep, 1/2" of length to the sleeves, and a tiny bit of ease to the seams in the upper back bodice.
I added a pocket (using the pattern piece from the Suki Robe) and followed a pocket assembly tutorial from @birdy_sew_obsessed, featured on her Instagram stories. It resulted in a nicer finish of the inside seams and was pretty easy to execute. I also extended the waist ties so they can wrap around the front and give the effect of a belt. Lastly, I raised the v-neck 1.5” to prevent it from gaping when I inevitably bend over to pick up kids or toys.
Because this dress is short and made from a very lightweight, floaty material, I was a bit concerned about the effects of a sudden breeze on my skirt! I decided to make some navy undershorts using the free Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs pattern (size small, shorties length.) I sewed these up in just one evening using a poly/spandex knit from Joann. This pattern is a keeper; I'd definitely use it again for leggings.
The shorties actually came in super helpful while we were getting ready for the wedding the next day. Due to her growing baby bump changing the placement of her dress slit, the Maid of Honor was showing a bit more skin than desired. The shorts matched her navy dress well and prevented any wardrobe malfunctions!
Remember that family photo we took at the rehearsal dinner? We liked it a lot so we turned it into a puzzle for Batman's birthday. Here's what my dress looks like as puzzle pieces!