Friday, September 8, 2017

Sewing for Happiness- Self drafted Skirt and Top!

Sewing for happiness!

I hosted a party the first weekend of August,  a housewarming party for myself. My divorce is final and I am all moved into my own apartment in the city. Radio silence is over and I am coming to terms with my new life!
All smiles in my new outfit and in my new home!

Prior to this I had done a little bit of sewing here and there but nothing very inspired, it felt like something that I was doing because it felt safe and comforting and I needed that. I ended up spending a lot of time setting up my sewing space and feeling out my new space. You know what it's like! A new place and everything just has to find its right home. I never imagined how sweet it would feel to have my own place and to decorate how I wanted and not have to think about anyone else! It may sound a bit bit selfish... I needed some selfish time, I needed to find me and it felt liberating, freeing and just down right good!


Anyhow... as the the craziness, of any major life change causes, started to wind down I wanted to host a party and invite my friends to come and share in my happiness and to be a part of my new beginning. As I started to plan my party, I was suddenly very inspired to sew myself a new outfit. This outfit is one from my 2nd half of 2017 sewing plans! Woohoo!! I am so very good at putting together sewing plans but not always the best at following through with those plans!
This was a sketch that was included in the 'In the Sketchbook' series.
The original intent was to use the green as the under skirt.
 However, as I was constructing the skirt I changed my mind.
I am much happier with the light pink fabric as the second fabric.

Pink is a happy color for me and I really wanted to make a pink outfit that picks up the pink accents in my new place AND i wanted to just share my happiness through my clothes!

This is the same skirt pattern that I used for the yellow and black print skirt in 2016.
A great master pattern that I developed with guidance from Sarah Veblen.
The skirt is my own self drafted flippy A-line skirt. This is my third iteration of this skirt and I really like how this fits. This time I made it as a double layer skirt with the over layer being 2 inches shorter than the under layer. The light pink shirting under layer is a shirting remnant from Fabrics and Fabrics in NYC. The dark pink overlay is a beautiful linen remnant from my fabric collection. I used a lapped zipper application from Janet Pray method and it came out beautifully. I made one big oops on this skirt... I have 2 copies of the pattern, one for stretch wovens and one for non-stretch wovens and I accidentally used the wrong one which resulted in it being too small! UGH... I had to pick out the seams on both skirts and re sew them with a smaller seam allowance. I'm worried that this may have affected the integrity if the linen and am concerned I may have weakened the fabric at the seams. I guess only time will tel!  
Top left, right and bottom right: Lapped zipper application
Bottom left hand stitched hems on both layers. 


The top is a self drafted top with a back invisible zipper. The fabric was a remnant left from my Corner dress that I made last year. I like it that I was able to get an entire new outfit from remnants!
I drafted this from my master princess line button up bodice. I went with a wide U neckline and a partial collar. Some books call this a portrait neckline, although that may be a full collar and I have a split collar.  For the bodice hem I made a shaped hem, longer in the back, higher on the sides and then back down in the front. Back is lower than the front.

The sleeves have a detail that I have had on my mind for quite a while. I wanted to use a turn back wing detail with a facing in the dark pink linen. To get this detail to show as I wanted I used a trick from Sarah Veblen and first played with this in paper! I realized that when I kept the seam straight and just folded back the corners the fold back part, or the wing, was too small. I wanted something slightly more pronounced. I started by drawing on the pattern the size of the wing that I wanted. I then taped some paper onto the edge of the pattern and folded this back over the drawing and then traced it, unfolded the paper and cut along those lines. Once I got the wing size and shape to where I wanted it I then added seam allowances. With the facing made and the wing turned back I then went to my button collection and found light pink fabric buttons, in the perfect shade!, to sew to the seam line between the wings. This carried over the 2 shades of pink to the sleeve detail.


Left: Sleeve detail, top Right: double collar
Bottom Right: serge finished seam allowances.

Once the bodice and sleeves were done I put the garment on my Dottie and went to work drafting a collar.  The collar was drafted from muslin and basted onto the bodice to determine the size and shape. I first drafted the bottom collar. Once I had that I went on to the top collar. I actually cut a single layer for each out of scraps of the fashion fabric to get a good look. I left this overnight, made some final tweaks, developed patterns for both sets of collars and voila!!

Everything went together like a dream except for the back collar at the top of the invisible zipper. Just too many layers! 6 layers of fabric, 3 layers of interfacing and the zipper. Long story short... I ended up flattening it with a hammer 😳. Still a bit bulky but of course always more noticeable to the maker than anyone else!
I really like the hem shape of the top! it is very pleasing to my eye!

I think the final outfit was quite close to the original design except for the change of the under layer of the skirt fabric. 

Happy Sewing!!
So very happy to have the support of my girls!!

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