Thursday, February 12, 2009

Velour Cardigan

I have this pattern ever since Geogeous Fabrics reviewed it in PatternReview and on her blog. The velour fabric has been in my stash for about 6 years. It was bought for my daughter's renfest cape and I thought it was a pretty color so I got more at that time. When the stash contest started, I've decided to use both to make the cardigan.

The pattern is very roomy so I used the large size even though my measurements falls in the XL size.

Pattern Adjustments
I think that my shoulders are a bit rounded so I adjusted the shoulder seams 5/8 inches and adjusted the sleeves accordingly. I also shortened the sleeves about 2 inches. After completion, I find the shoulder adjustment is not really needed but since it was already sewn, I left it alone. Normally, I would make a FBA but not for this pattern. I added nearly 2 inches to the front hem and tapered it to even on the side seams. This was the "just in case hem" but it was not needed and got cut off. I serged 3/8" seam instead of the regular 5/8" seam for the side seams. Everything else was 5/8".

To get the rich color of this fabric, I cut it with the nap up. It was very easy to put together and with a serger it went together quickly. That alone makes it a pattern to use again. :) The pattern called for one big button but the fabric does not want to behave when I overlapped it so I decided to use 4 buttons; 2 large and 2 medium. They were placed in alternating size down the front as shown by this picture. The overlapped front kept bunching up so a snap was sewn on at the hem to make it lay flat.

Here are a couple of shots of the cardigan. It is very comfortable to wear and nice enough to go out. Look at these kimono sleeves! It was windy that day so I had trouble keeping my hair from flying in my face. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

From Shirt to Jacket/Shirt

I bought this shirt at a thrift store, thinking I can remake it into a new top. The tag says 2x but it seems more like a 3x because it is so big and roomy around me.

The picture on the left shows the sides held out and the right picture shows the difference when the sides are pulled back.

The Decades of Style 1092 pattern was to be used for the shirt but I changed my mind because the print on the shirt does not seem right for the pattern. I looked through my pattern stash and found Simplicity 5907, a jacket pattern. It was originally bought as a possible costume top for my daughter nearly five years ago. The largest size on the pattern is medium (14-16) but my upper bust measurement put me in the large size (18-20). So I drafted larger pieces using Nancy's technique from a Pattern Fitting with Confidence segment of her show on TV. I only saw it the one time so I hoped I did it right.

After tissue fitting, I made several adjustments to the pieces.

Narrow upper back 1".

Added 1" to front and back sides for the full stomach.

Considering that it is a loose fitting pattern, it has no bust darts. I wanted to give it more shape so I add them when doing the FBA of 1 1/4".

Slide front shoulder 3/4" to neck.

Move shoulder seam 1/2" forward.

Shorten sleeve length 4".

Seems like a lot of adjustments and I had to keep reminding myself that it is a jacket and not to get it fitted too close to my body. I did check the garment finished bust measurement against the measurement for the large size and there is 7" of ease, I think that is what it is called. I measured the pattern pieces and it added up to 7". I must not have measured correctly because after sewing the shoulder and side seams, I did a fitting and there is too much room in the bust area. I cut off 1" off the center of each front piece and repositioned the markings for the button holes. It fits better now.

There was not enough of the original shirt to make an even hem so I kept the curved hem.

These are the pieces left over. I used some of the pieces make up the rest of the sleeves.

The extra pieces were flatlocked together. I thought it would softened the look of the seams on the finished sleeves. I also flatlocked the shoulder and side seams to be consistent with the look of the sleeves.

Here is the close-up of the flatlock seams. The light from the flash seem to show the thread as dark brown but actually it is dark blue.
Yes, I added pockets in a jacket that had curved hem. I simply put the pockets in the marked places and cut off the excess where the jacket curved. There was still plenty of room in the pockets to put my hands in after that. There was not enough material left over to make the pockets so I used a black fabric from my stash that is similiar in thickness and type to the shirt. The original fabric is closely woven enough that you can't tell there is a different colored fabric behind it.

Shirt on the left is the original shirt. The shirt on the right has no collar and long sleeves.

Here is how it looks on me. I can wear it as a shirt and can also wear it as a jacket with a tank top underneath. Overall I thought it turned out well. I'm already thinking of making a tank top and pants in dark blue to go with this.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A new sewing blog!

A place to show sewing projects in progress.