Simplicity 1614: stripes!

Simplicity 1614

Pattern: Simplicity 1614

Fabric: Rayon Challis (ebay purchase)

Notes:

I am seeing this high/low hem tops everywhere this season.  I made one last year, which didn’t turn out so well.  I didn’t like how much longer that top was in the back – I prefer the more gentle rounded hem of this pattern.  I also think rayon challis is a much better choice, as it allows the pattern to drape naturally.

Because my torso is incredibly long, I haven’t found any hi-lo tanks in the stores that fit me.  They all cut off in the front at precisely the widest part of my hips, and I don’t find that flattering on me.  I knew I would have to lengthen this top, so I added 3 inches in cutting.  I was worried that was too much, but it turned out to be just right!

I should probably mention that you won’t find this version of the top (rounded hem in with the front all one piece) in the pattern.  This version is cut in stripes on the front, but I taped the pieces together in order to have only one seam (the bust line, which is on all versions.)

I was really excited to use my striped fabric – I’ve had it for ages, but it was too overwhelming for a dress.  Imagine my dismay when I realized that the piece was actually vertical stripes!  No matter, I cut on the cross grain.  In fact, in order to get the stripes to line up I had to cut the yoke entirely off grain.  Luckily, that doesn’t seem to have caused any issues, but I’m sure it would in a more fitted top.

I cut a straight size 8, and I did not make any sizing adjustments (except the length) but for one.  I made the view with the single back strap, but after carefully assembling the straps I realized that the strap was really wide on me – several inches too wide!  Because it was already sewn into the seams, I ended up just folding under part of the strap and securing it under the armholes.  It’s invisible in this fabric!  I took out 2.5″ inches overall.  I probably have a narrow back:

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I am exceedingly proud of the back seam matching – I can’t even see it, can you?

On the subject of the pattern – it was generally pretty good, though I had one issue.  The pattern has you staystitch the neckline, but unfortunately the front neckline has a 3/8″ seam allowance, which isn’t marked.  Be sure to keep in to a quarter inch or it will show and have to be removed!

I think the pattern wanted a hidden bias finish, but I wasn’t thrilled with that on the neck.  The armholes have visible black binding, much neater imo!

In all, a very successful top.  I’m not done with tops for the summer, but I need to pause to make dresses for a few events I have coming up… look for that soon!

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Vogue 8856

Vogue 8856

Pattern: Vogue 8856

Fabric: Bamboo jersey from fabric mart

Notes:

I always wonder how companies choose the view they will sew for the pattern envelope.  In the case of Vogue 8866, they chose the simpler version (you can see it in the link above.)  If I hadn’t clicked through to look at the illustrations I would have never known about this version, and I would never have bought it for the plain t-shirt view.

I loved the skirted version.  Yes, ok, it looks a little like a dance costume, but so what?  I love dance costumes!  In fact, this particularly reminds me of a green number I wore while doing a dance to “The Sign” by Ace of Base.  Yes, it was probably twice as dorky as you are imagining in your head.

I was worried about sewing this up because of all the sharp angles.  Usually those are a pain to sew, but not here!  I was really impressed with the drafting.  Everything fit together perfectly, which is not always the case!  If you’ve never sewn something like this before the instructions might be a little vague (I think there were places that needed to be cut to the corner that were not listed in the instructions, but I’ve made enough of these to do it automatically.)

I think the style is very flattering.  It’s long enough to wear with leggings, almost long enough to be a minidress (I did not add any length to this one!)  I’m not really an enormous fan of cut on cowl necklines because I think they make me look a little top heavy, and this is no exception, but I still really like it.  If I made it again I would turn the cowl into a boatneck, because that’s a better neckline when you (like me) have little difference in size between your bust and waist

Let’s talk fabric choice:  I actually think this would be nicer in a more stable knit.  I used a medium weight bamboo jersey because it’s what I had, and I didn’t want to buy any new knits before using some up.  Bamboo jersey is heavy and stretchy.  I stabilized the shoulder seams, but it does still stretch out (especially in the back – the skirt is heavy!)  I think a ponte would work, or an interlock.  On the right hand side you can see the waist of my leggings through the knit, which is one of my pet peeves.  I will have to think carefully on what I wear underneath.

I did not hem the skirt, which I think it best for this style. I hemmed the neckline and armholes with a baby hem, as suggested in the pattern, but I think a bound finish might help to stabilize those edges even further (clear elastic can only do so much!)

I’m on a roll with tops – I have one more to complete this week!  I’m trying to get in my summer sewing this month, because I know when classes start in June I will have less time.
vogue 8856

Simplicity 1615

Simplicity 1615
Pattern:Simplicty 1615

Fabric:: Swiss Dot lawn from Joann Fabrics

Notes:

This was one of my favorite of the new Summer Simplicity patterns, so I knew I had to make it up right away!

I’ve seen a lot of woven tops in the stores this season.  There are still plenty of knits of course (and my next top is a knit!) but the blouse seems to be having a moment.  I hardly own any blouses, as I have a very hard time finding the right length in the quality I prefer.  I have a long torso and shorter legs, plus I’m pear shaped and I prefer tops to cover past my widest part (if I’m wearing with slim pants, as I am here).  Making tops means I can add length.  I added 3 inches to this one, though I might remove and inch.  I’m undecided, as I pretty much love it the way it is, even if it is a little longer than some of my shirts!

The collar, which is invisible on the pattern cover, is the nicest bit:
Simplicity 1615

It was much simpler than I thought it would be!  I constructed the straight seams on the serger, and made my own bias tape to enclose the neckline.  The shirt has a really nice clean finish on the interior.  I like the sleeve detail:

Simplicity 1615 detail

The fabric is a lightweight cotton lawn/swiss dot that I found on the clearance table at Joann’s.  It’s slightly sheer, but not too bad.

I really love this top – it feels modern, but with the print it still feels like me!   This is not an outfit I would have ever worn 2 years ago… it’s funny how things change!

Next up: Vogue 8866 (the skirted version) in a kelly green bamboo jersey.

 Simplicity 1615

 

McCall’s 6554

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Pattern: McCall’s 6554, Fashion Star

Fabric:  Stretch sateen (main) and Kaufman Radiance (silk/cotton) for belt

Notes: 

Is it bad if I confess that I could have finished this a week ago, except I was waiting on the tube turner set I ordered to arrive in the mail?  I really don’t know how I lived without this device.  I had no idea turning tubes could be easy!

I’m pretty pleased with how this dress came out.  I admit that I made it because the fabric matches my walls, even though I was afraid of the butterflies making it a little too young for me.  And to be honest, the fabric does limit the places this dress can be worn.  It feels appropriate for an afternoon tea, but alas my life is short on such events.  I think I will wear it to a wedding later this summer – it’s good for an outdoor wedding!

I didn’t have enough fabric, so I made the sash in a contrast.  I like it better that way – it makes it less matchy.  The pattern itself was easy, but do yourself a favor – do not line it the way it says!  Use the method that avoids handsewing instead.

I trimmed 3 inches off the length because, again, I was afraid it was too young looking.  I cut a straight size 10, but I would do an 8 if making it again.  The belt helps it fit, but it’s a still a little too wide in the upper chest (the neck gapes a little in the front.)  This is one of McCall’s Fashion Star patterns, but I confess I have never seen the show.  I’m surprised at this, because it’s really such a basic pattern.  Easy enough for beginners, no problem.

So… I’m back making things again.  My personal style has changed a little, and this feels more of the old me, so I plan to examine that soon, hopefully before making something else.  I am in grad school now, but luckily all my summer classes are distance learning (I was not looking forward to commuting every day!)

Back soon with more plans…