Friday, May 15, 2020

Gelato Top Part 2- Liberty London Cotton Lawn

Since my first top was such a success, I wanted to make an another in a different fabric type and with
some slight changes. I am LOVING this new top. It is cool and comfortable and will be a great spring and summer top.

The second top I made I used a totally different fabric, a liberty cotton lawn that I purchased at Liberty of London in person a couple years ago. The Cotton lawn is crisp and so smooth but much less forgiving than the textured cotton used in the white top.

Part of me was thinking – ‘am I crazy- using a Liberty Cotton Lawn to just see how it behaves?’ and then I thought to myself- why not???? It does not need to be perfect and if it is not perfect I am OKAY with that!! I even added a label to say so!!

From the white to the pink version I lowered and straightened out the front hemline so that it was horizontal to the floor.

I also made a small change to the back width at the armhole. I had a small amount of extra ‘crunkle’ in this area. It is always a challenge to combine fit with wearing ease plus fabric composition. In the cotton lawn I knew this would be a bit more noticeable than in the softer fabric of the white top, hence the need for the small alteration. I also wanted to make sure that I didn't over fit the upper back because of the buttons in the back.

I resisted the temptation to make any other fitting changes! My goal was to have a looser slightly less fitted top and I just needed to remind myself of that. LOL!

All in all, my experiment of applying my skills to a brand new pattern and new to me pattern company was a successful and fun challenge. Are the tops perfect? NOPE and I am okay with that!! And I was okay with that going into the project as well.

As you may see in many of my posts, I like to make sure that the clothes I make are not going to have any wardrobe malfunctions. I like to stay covered when my arms are reaching up (to put luggage in the overhead bin... whenever I can get back to travel!) and also when leaning over. Nothing worse than having to worry about unintentionally flashing people!!

Living in Chicago means I will be sporting a mask for quite some time, especially since I have an underlying condition. SO I figured I would make myself a matching mask. :)

I probably won’t make this top again anytime soon. It has some very distinctive features and having 2 versions in my closet is plenty. Yes, there are a ton of hacks that could be done with this pattern but I already have my base set of patterns that I design off of and those have a much better starting part as far as fit.

Happy Sewing!! Stay Safe!!

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Gelato Top Part 1- fun with a sewing challenge


At the beginning of this pandemic in the US, about mid-March, and prior to the mask making craze, I really wanted something to sew but was having trouble making decisions. There was soooo much up in the air about what was going on in the world and how we would be affected. My work table was overflowing with things that I was getting ready for Sew Camp Wardrobe Week and my brain was feeling overloaded.


SO a 1-2 punch combination of Sew My Style 2020 March patterns and The Sew and Tell Podcast (A Great sewing podcast!!)  #sewyourroll challenge was just on the podcast so I decided to just combine the two and not think about it or everything happening in the world and just SEW!!

It was a bit heavenly to just SEW- follow along with pre-determined guidelines and make it work. I Think it was a solid fun win.

The Sew and Tell Pod  #sewyourroll challenge is a dice game where you had to roll 3 times and then use those numbers to pick items from a list. I had no dice so I used a handy number generator online. Basically the outcome was that I needed to sew:

                A WHITE garment

                In a MUTED shade (I decided texture was the way to go)

                With a POCKET detail



I had already decided that I was going to use the Gelato Pattern for Sew My Style March 2020- the Gelato Blouse and Dress and I knew I wanted to use only fabrics from my collection. I don’t sew with white very much at all and had 3 white fabrics to choose from. This made it easy to make decisions. I also took the time to make a sketch using My Body Model croqui on my iPad. This gave me a pretty good idea of what I wanted. You will notice that the top is a little shorter in my sketch than in real life. If I made it that short the flounce ends at my widest point and I didn’t want that.





Most of my sewing is done with my own patterns and my own designs, this also gave me the opportunity to play with my ‘skills’ of taking what I know about patterns and fitting and translating that to a new purchased pattern. I also wanted to point out that this pattern uses a different seam allowance than I am used to, ½ inch. In order to keep that difference in mind I placed a piece of painter’s tape across the throat plate at ½ inch.



For full disclosure I made changes to the pattern using my base pattern and decided to jump in without making a muslin. The biggest changes I made was to the armhole- totally different. I decided to keep the same sleeve and just make adjustments to it to increase the width to what I need with a one-piece sleeve. This was a bit of a gamble because I would be lowering the cap height but I think it work it pretty good overall. I think a smidge more cap height would be better but for this testing of a one-piece sleeve it came out pretty good.



 The neckline that I used was the one from the pattern but I used the one that was the lowest- disregarding the size. I also added back fisheye darts to keep the fit a bit more flattering and from having too much fabric pooling around back there. I purposely wanted this top to be a bit boxier and loose and cool for the summer. Plus, I wanted to play a little bit with a boxier silhouette BUT still have a shape. In order to achieve this, I used slightly smaller back fish eye darts and only one bust dart instead of my normal 2. SO the overall shaping was a little bit less and an intentional part of what I wanted to achieve. The shape was boxier but NOT revealing!!



For this white top I played with 2 different fabrics and gave it a lot of texture and not just look like a flat white wall! The main fabric is a cotton white textured fabric. It has some small technical give due to the textured weave. The Sleeve and hem flounce is a very soft cotton lawn with a large white clipped circle woven in. I will be 100% honest and I don’t remember where I got these fabrics. The cute white buttons are from my button stash. I had to adjust the spacing because I had one less button than called for.



For the pocket detail I added these as hidden pockets at the front side just under the ruffle.  To cut down on the bulk I cut the pocket as a single piece that was extended right from the bottom of the front bodice. These were then folded up and side seams of pocket sewn. When I sewed on the bodice ruffle I carefully stitched just the top of the pocket. To finish it off I added a bias loop and button to hold the pockets closed.



Along with this I shaped the front so that it was shaped and higher in front and angled lower to the back. Sort of giving it an upside down flattened ‘U’ shape. I’ll admit that I was slightly worried that I this would make it look a little bit like a maternity top! However, I think it was very successful!!

In the back of the top I wanted to make sure that I had enough room for movement. Especially with the fact that there are buttons down the back. I find that the width of my back varies much more than the width of my front with regular movement. Since this button placket is not actually needed I did toy with the idea of sewing it down and making it non-functional. However, in the end I decided against that and made full button plackets, with buttonholes and fully functional, even though I don’t need it to put the top on or off. I also added one of my last little white labels.






I am actually very delighted with my white top! I didn’t think I could pull it off :) It really makes me smile every time I put it on and smiles are precious right now!


Happy Sewing!!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Apron Time!! Crossback reversible Apron by Indygo Junction


Happy May everyone. This is going to be another very long month for us in Chicago!

I really wish that it was quite different but it is what it is and we must make the best of it and continue on!

With this corona virus lock-down continuing I decided that I really needed to make an apron. It has been on my sewing to-do list for several years. In fact, a couple years ago I made Aprons for all my family and never made one for me… I think at the time I may have burned out on sewing Aprons!!
Part of the reason I love living in downtown Chicago is that, under normal times, I could run out daily if I wanted to go pick up fresh bread or bakery items. Now, in the times of corona virus that has become difficult or near impossible. (with an underlying condition it is recommended that I have as little contact as possible) 

Being totally spoiled with such lovely fresh baked goodies local to me I decided that I needed to give it a try at home. I realized that I needed an Apron!
I had made this Indygo Junction Crossback Reversible Apron as gifts for my granddaughter’s kindergarten teachers last year and they really liked them. So , I made an awesome one for
me!! I traced mine out in size L/XL and I think it is perfect. It has nice coverage down the front, easy on and off and no worries about it loosening while wearing.  (I had made both a bigger and smaller ones before for others and had tried them on)

I had the perfect fabrics in my collection!  These fabrics really make me happy when I put on my apron!! The Klimt inspired fabric was a gift from The Couture Counsellor for my birthday several years ago and the yellow-green painterly squares are from my collection.

I made two changes to the pattern. The big one was to change up the neckline. I wanted to play with a sweetheart neckline inspired by a Pandemic time online learning Live Video Classes via Zoom with Sarah Veblen. (These are great! Checkthem out on her website!) This sweetheart neckline let me play with a new design feature and just added some fun to the pattern. The other change I made was to use pockets on both sides and I shifted them slightly forward.



I had just enough fabric leftover to make the Princess a matching Apron. 

Overall a fun and easy project that I needed!! Plus, I have been having fun wearing my new apron and baking some new things. I have made soft pretzels that I just love! Lots of low fat protein choc chip cookies and Artisan bread!



Happy Sewing!! Stay Safe!

And Princess Victoria and I want to remind you to Wash Your Hands!!