Monday, September 11, 2017

McCalls 6794 top and some Eleonore jeans

I love a quick knit top, which is probably why my dresser is full of them, but there is just something a little classier about a top made from a woven fabric. It stops being "just a tee shirt" and, even in a casual, easy wearing style, becomes something a little nicer.
This top is McCalls 6794, which is sadly now OOP. When I bought the pattern, I was so excited about it, but something kept getting in the way of sewing it. I'm glad I finally did. It's darn cute and comfortable!
I made view C, which the model on the envelope is wearing. It features a high-low hemline, cut on, dropped sleeves and a bias faced neckline. The pattern utilizes a contrast fabric for the midriff panel and ties, but I thought there was enough going on with my print and used self fabric.
From the back, you can see the hemline a little better. The fitting in this top is all achieved by the waist tie and the front gathering. It's got a LOT of ease - I sewed 2 sizes smaller than called for by my measurements and made no alterations for my full bust. There's plenty of room for the girls in all that gathering.
My fabric is a polyester charmeuse that has been in my stash long enough that I've forgotten its origins. I likely bought it intending to use it for lining, as I rarely use poly charmeuse for garments, but it does have an excellent drape for this top, and gathers well without adding bulk. For this top, you definitely need a lightweight fabric with plenty of drape! Rayon challis, silk charmeuse or chiffon, or even a lightweight voile would work well.
So, I finished my top, so proud of myself for having used both stash fabric and pattern, and realized that I didn't have anything to wear it with. This shape doesn't really work with my flared jeans and all my skinny jeans were printed or bright colors.
So, I whipped out my trusty Jalie Eleonore pattern and some Ralph Lauren denim I got at Mood a couple of years ago and made some skinny jeans.
I won't talk more about the Eleonores - I love this pattern and I've made it several times - but I am glad this top pushed me to finally make a pair in regular denim. I mean, as regular as I ever get, you know. The denim is shot with gold threads... Because that's how I roll.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Ottobre 03/2014-16 sparkle tee!

My sassy girl recently outgrew her entire tee shirt drawer (conveniently timed for Top Month!), and there was much weeping and wailing as I "made" her get rid of many of her favorites. I told her to choose a few for me to recreate for her. One of those was a RTW Old Navy top that I had added HTV to. It was a beige shirt printed with gold stars all over it, and I really wasn't sure I would be able to recreate it. Where was I going to find the fabric?!
FabricMart came to my rescue with this grey/silver version that Myra just loves. Whew! I was afraid I was going to have to cut a zillion tiny foil stars. That would have been not so fun...
The original shirt had long sleeves and a gathered neckline. Myra requested short, puffed sleeves, since we live in the South and it's hot here. We found a perfect pattern in the 03/2014 issue of Ottobre. The original was designed for striped knits and to be cut on the bias for a diagonal stripe, but I didn't need that, so we cut it on the grain instead. Otherwise I didn't change the pattern at all. It's a really nice basic tee.
The neckline is a nice high scoop, gathered with clear elastic and bound with self fabric. Those stars gave my coverstitch binder a wee bit of trouble, but they sure look nice. The sleeves are puffed just at the cap and hemmed.
The top came in two lengths and I sewed the longer one, in the hopes that Myra will be able to wear it for more than 5 minutes. She's growing so fast these days!
At Myra's request, I replicated the decal on the original top, this time with silver glitter instead of gold. We do love to sparkle around here! I was so happy I was able to replicate a favorite top, and even to improve on it!

*************Tip for tops********************
Since it is Top Month for the stashbusters, I though I'd share a little tip for hemming in a tight spot, such as sleeves on a child's top like this one.
When I know I'm going to have limited space for pressing my hem (or and binding/bands - pretty much anything that is getting sewn in the round), I press the allowance up before sewing the piece into the garment. If it is a particularly small piece, like doll clothing, you can stitch the hem at this point as well, but I don't do that for human clothing, since it leaves a bump under the arm. Pressing the hem is at least 4000X easier on a flat piece than it is once the sleeve seam is sewn and you have a tube to deal with. Once the hem is pressed, it is much easier to fold up and stitch. As I mentioned, this also applies to binding and bands - press them in half before you sew them into a loop. It will be much quicker and easier! I hope that helps with your knit top sewing!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Stashbusting Sewalong 2017 : September is TOP MONTH!

Burda 10/05-115 knit top
If you've been following my blog for more than a minute or two, you know how much I LOVE sewing tops, so when Heather mentioned that she needed someone to head up Top Month on our Stashbusting Sewalong Facebook group, I jumped at the chance.
Vogue 8759 men's shirt
One of the things I love about this theme is that it is so flexible! Practically any style, level of complexity and fabric choice will work here. Want to make an easy tee shirt? No problem? Craving something complex? We can do that! Tops can be anything you can imagine!
Ottobre 04/2013-12 refashioned tee
You don't even have to limit yourself to people! Barbie need a tee to match? Go for it! Want to make your favorite pooch a cuddly top for winter walks? Let's make it happen!
A pair of Ottobre tees
Tops are super fun! I hope everyone in the group enjoys this month. I'll be posting a few more tops I'm working on as the month progresses, as well as some top-sewing tips that I have picked up along the way. I've also put together a Pinboard dedicated to sewing tops. It's a mix of patterns (some free!) and inspiration that I hope you will find useful. You can find the board here. Let's sew some tops!