Thursday, April 5, 2012

Starting at The Top- 2012. A top challenge and closet clean out!

A quick update on what I have been up to. My very first challenge... I know I sound a bit geeky getting excited over a challenge but, I don't care. It's fun and inspiring!

It is a fun and easy challenge that lasts for 15 days and is all about tops.

A funny thing happened on my way to this challenge. I decided to go through my closet and see what kind of tops I really needed. This led me to taking every single thing I own out of my closet, trying each and every piece on AND Filling up 4 large black garbage bags to go to the goodwill. WOW. My closet now has maybe 1/3 of its original contents.

And now I need a challenge for every sort of clothing!! It is actually kind of liberating reducing my closet clutter like that.

My criteria were pretty simple. If it did not fit or did not look good it went out. I kept a few pieces that were one dress size smaller than I am now but only because they are nice pieces and I like them. Many of the items were just too small and my body shape has changed. The breaking of my leg two years ago is still having a rippling number of changes upon my life.

I have decided that I will re-sew my wardrobe. Unless it is something that I need emergently!

Anyway... Onto the Starting at the Top challenge.

This week I have sewn 3 tops. All from the Silhouette Pattern line and all for summer/ vacation.

The first is another version of #450 Nancy's blouse. This is in the same light weight cotton dancing print fabric as the tank top I made last week. The only change to the pattern was to change the sleeve to a wide angled bell shape and I lowered the points on the facing where so that they hit just below the collar bone. This cotton is so light weight that again I just did a nice rolled edge for the bodice and sleeves hem.

I can envision myself wearing this out for a walk on cool summer night.

The next 2 are from the same pattern, Silhouettes #195 The Sweater Set. Although I did not make a sweater set! Not yet anyway.

This is the same pattern that I used a couple weeks ago at the fitting class I took at the sewing expo. Which was great, it was the first time to use the pattern and all the guess work was gone I knew exactly what I needed to do for the perfect fit.

The first one I made I lengthened about 8 inches from the original pattern and just slightly changed the angle of the French dart. To keep the fun flows look of the vertical ruffles going I placed the bodice and sleeve hem on the selvedge. Love it when the selvedge is usable like that! I also stabilized the side and shoulder seams with some knit tape and the neckline as well. I think it was necessary to stabilize since I used this knit fabric on the crosswise grain the most stretch is now going up and down and I did not want to end up with sag.

I fell in love with this long shirt the second I put it on! The knit is very light weight and soft the ruffles are fun and move with the slightest breeze. I can see myself wearing this out with a pair of black Capri leggings, cute sandals and maybe a big black belt. Looks cute belted and unbelted.

The last shirt is just the sleeveless t-shirt part from the sweater set. This one was made to the pattern length. Again it was using this ruffle knit fabric from vogue, only in black. I did not want to run the ruffles horizontally because it would have the same effect as stripes, and on a plus size gal that is not so flattering. S instead I cut this out on the bias. This time I did not have the luxury of the selvedge for my hems! So I used a 1 1/4 in wide knit tape for the lower hem and a narrow knit tape at the neck, shoulder and armholes. The hems were a pain to do, painstakingly slow to make sure that all the ruffles were caught going in the proper direction. Very, very worth it. This fabric is very forgiving on the body and feels wonderful.

And now I am off to Portland, Oregon for the rest of the week for work.... I saw online that there is a fabulous looking button store just a couple blocks from my hotel...

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Lisle, IL

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