Friday, June 17, 2022

Cielo - finally!

How many years ago did this pattern come out? At least a few. And I've owned it for a while. But this is the first time I've tackled it. 

This version is made from a mid-weight woven embroidered blend (maybe viscose and something) from stash. I had more than enough to cut the extravagant sleeves and the pockets.

I predict more.

Not that this pattern is perfect. I had to tweak it to get it to a state I was prepared to live with.

This dress has 2 bust darts but otherwise no shaping at all. The side seams are dead straight - no flare, no curve in at the waist. This makes it challenging for a person whose hips (10) are typically 2 sizes bigger than her bust (6) to pick a size. 

I did some flat pattern measuring and decided I should just cut the size indicated for my measurements. 6 for the bodice, grading out to 10 at the hips. 

Readers, it hung off me. The finished dress is more like a 6 overall and if doing it again I think I would go for 4 in the bodice and sleeves.  

Another few tweaks were needed for the sleeves. These are kind of big. I shortened the upper sleeve by a full 6 cm because they hung down to an unattractive point on my arm. I like this length a lot better on me. 

Unlike similar dresses from the 80s and 90s, this pattern doesn't call for shoulder pads to support the sleeves, but they needed support of some kind. 

A roll of soft tulle to the rescue. I cut a strip approximately 11cm by 50cm, folded it lengthwise in 3 and gathered it. Then I inserted the gathered strip in the upper sleeve. 

My sleeves went from sad to statement in a flash. 

What's the point of big puffed sleeves that don't actually puff?

Someone asked if I can feel the tulle - I can't. It's soft stuff that I acquired in stash from a wedding dress maker, if memory serves. You never know when things like that will come in handy. 

The other thing I changed while sewing this pattern is the order of construction. The instructions say to sew the dress at shoulder seams, finish the neck, then install the upper sleeves. The underarm seam is then sewn in one pass. After that, you add the lower sleeve. 

I prefer sewing anything even slightly structured in the round, setting the sleeve into the armscye. Sewing the underarm/side seam in one pass flattens the seam joining the sleeve and body under the arm. Unless you're making a T-shirt, this risks distorting the garment. 

(The same goes for the crotch seam in pants. Sew it last if humanly possible.)

I should have ignored the instructions from the start for this reason. I could have checked the fit of the dress before having to deal with the fit of the sleeves. Having attached sleeve 1 to the body before checking fit made it a lot harder to adjust things on the fly. 

So it was a bit of a pain but in the end I have a dress that's quite wearable (at least if I don't need a sweater or coat...).

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

This is not a sweater, or "that's so meta"

 Rarely do I find fabric that I Must.Sew.Right.Now! This was one such piece. 

Why? A print that looks like bulky stockinette!

The fabric is my nemesis; a soft rayon/lycra jersey. But who can resist an irresistible print? I had to have it even though it will stretch and become less lovely over time. 

I bought it on Saturday, and a few days later, it has become a completed top. I had enough fabric to cut out a tank top too, but it's still unassembled.

The pattern is one I mentioned a few posts ago - Jalie 2449, but altered to be less figure hugging. It's still plenty fitted. 

It should be useful and comfy for a trip I'm taking this month. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Still on the theme of casual clothes

 Jalie 2679 has been around for a while - since before Jalie started giving name identifiers to its patterns. (I don't know about you, but I find "Stretch Softshell Jacket" a more useful moniker than ... say ... Monika.) It was in my pattern stash for years before I got around to making it.

Why did I wait? This is such a comfortable and useful jacket!

I made it up with zero adjustments, out of some inexpensive softshell purchased at the local Fabricland. The fabric is naturally water-resistant rather than waterproof, but it is serviceable both in wet snow conditions and in rain. 

And in cold. I wore it cross-country skiing - a lot - this winter. 

Here I am after a strenuous outing at -30 something C in January. I was toasty warm!

Yes I realize that you can't really see the jacket. 

For some reason I didn't take modeled photos. 

Here's another action shot - a photo taken on a hike in March, after most of the snow was gone. Again, this jacket performed like a champ in much less frigid conditions. 

The zipped pockets are very big - the size of the entire front below the yoke and above the lower band. I used some miscellaneous mesh fabric from stash for the backing of the pockets. 

The sleeves are nice and long so the jacket is great for biking. 

The shape of the collar is perfect. I often find that stand collars jab me in the chin, but this one starts with a low enough scoop to be truly comfortable even when the jacket is zipped up to the top. 

Almost as good as a modeled photo, no?

I'm going to try to figure out a good fabric combo for a windproof/water-resistant running jacket. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

More pandemic comfy clothes - workout edition

 All my posts these last 2 years start by apologetically noticing how neglected my blog is. So I won't do that again. 

I realized though that my blog is completely useful - to me at least. I bought some fun jersey yesterday and want to make a top I've made a few times before. The pattern is Jalie 2449, which is not in the catalogue any more (but is similar to 2910). I looked at the traced pattern and the top I last made from this pattern (in 2017) and thought hmmm it looks like I adjusted it to be less fitted. Sure enough, my blog entry mentions this. Stupidly, I didn't adjust the pattern though. This time, I retraced it so I can faithfully reproduce it the next time (maybe 2028 or so) I make this versatile top. Thanks to former me for mentioning it, thanks to present me for thinking to look it up. 

And for a report on recent (ish) projects...

My garment sewing has been sadly neglected except for a few tester patterns for Jalie. Stay tuned to Jalie's web site to see what the new patterns will look like. They should be released soon. 

Sewing has not been happening much, largely because the opportunities for wearing nice clothes are still evaporated. My work wardrobe has hung in my closet for 2 years, sadly neglected. Mostly I wear jeans and sweaters (winter) and am about to graduate to jeans and knit tops for spring and maybe to loose cotton dresses for summer. 

My recent makes are comfy clothes (several pairs of pants - see above mention of Jalie testing - which I cannot show you) and a sort of a hoodie dress (ditto). I also made an Anne-Marie top out of some wonderful fabric (merino wool with some kind of high tech wicking backing) I bought in Sydney, Australia in 2018. It's hot pink and I love it. I seem to have failed utterly to take any photos. 

Then there's workout wear. Who else is doing Zoom pilates? It keeps me sane.

I made two pairs of the GreenStyle Spark tights - one pair for myself and one (fleecy winter running tights) for my son's partner. This is a great pattern for two reasons: pockets (at the side) and multiple waistband choices. I made myself the "ultra contoured" high waist because I love tights that feel secure at the actual waist, and these really do. My son's partner requested mid-rise. Reportedly they are very comfy and warm. 

At left, my ultra high waist tights are modeled with the Audrey crop top, another Jalie pattern. 

I love Jalie but Audrey is not my favourite pattern. I find it too small in the neck and a bit too cut-in at the arm in front, and cropped is not my favourite length. I tried to make this one longer but it is still a bit on the too-short side. 

It is very secure once you wriggle into it though.

I have a sports bra (Pika) that matches the tights and a coordinating tank top (Jalie Béatrice, but a racerback version that unfortunately did not make it into the final version of the pattern so I will be making this tester pattern forever). 

The detail in these patterns is great - you can confidently make perfect looking binding that is just the right length to finish off a simple top so it looks perfect. 

I've actually just cut out another, because there was just enough fabric left from my 1.something metres of jersey print that I bought yesterday at the spring fabric flea market after I cut out the latest version of Jalie 2449. I only have to piece a bit of the binding. 

I promise to post about them once done.