THIS IS SPARTA!!!

I dare you come to my home, take up my space, refuse to submit to my will, and manipulate my senses. You have the nerve to present your silken embossed face to me, carrying the seersucker’s banner of his calendared forces waving your stripes and feathers before me, while your forces are lined up six stripes and thirty-two inches deep– all the while laughing at the sheer gesture of my pleading for your submission beneath my needle.

Asymmetric white silk blouse by sewtofit

“This is my domain!! This is Sew-To-Fit, and I shall have the last laugh!!!  

Asymmetric white silk blouse by sewtofit

In this corner we have Andrea of Sew-To-Fit, using weapons of mass construction known only to fellow Spartan Sewcialites, and an arsenal of ammunition along with Newlook 6303 the Pattern of the day. Fighting with her, is a team of notions supporting her in this battle of wills and backing her every cut and stitch.

Over in the other corner, we have a seersucker impostor, a Silk embossed fabric foe which has the armor of a calendared finish giving it the appearance of a cotton picking seersucker.  The fabric could not be ironed hard…it could only be pressed ever so gently in order to avoid pressing out the nice little squares in the design of the fabric. I was aiming to win that war!

Battle and Constructions Notes:::

Alterations and design changes–

  • cut size 14
  • Lengthened the sleeves 2.5 inches.
  • 1 1/2″ FBA via Pivot & Slide method.
  • Add 3/8″ seam inside back and cut on bias to make the design lines continue from the front and disappear off the back hem.

Asymmetric white silk blouse by sewtofit

I cut only the right sleeve on the bias to get the stripe to go in the same direction as that of the front and back, making it a continuous stream.  In doing so I used most of my fabric and was not able to have both sides of the back on the bias.  I made sure to match the sleeve so the lines would meet at the notch point of the front and continue down around the sleeve to meet the lines on the back.

I tried to put the other sleeve only on white but I did not have enough room– I tried several layouts to determine the best look.  The second layout for the sleeve is to just allow the lower half or the lower 4 inches of the sleeve to have a horizontal stripe forming a band at the hem. I think I like this one better.

Asymmetric white silk blouse by sewtofit- constructions details

Blocking the pattern pieces when on the bias is important to maintain the size and shape of each section before stitching them together.  In order to keep the shapes the right size and stabilize each pattern piece, I used Design Plus Super Fine Bias fusible stay tape to support the edges after spraying Perfect Sew wash away fabric stabilizer on the fabric.  (I purchased the Design Plus from Lyla Messinger during an American Sewing Guild class.  As a Palmer/Pletsch Instructor, I get the Perfect Sew at wholesale, but you can find it on their website, here.) (Non-sponsored)

I blocked each piece against the pattern piece each time I moved it to a different position, by lightly taping and shifting the fabric back into place with the pattern as a guide, all the while making sure the edges matched up to the original pattern paper.

Cutting on the bias was more trial and error than science.

Asymmetric white silk blouse by sewtofit- constructions details

Constructions steps were changed up a little in order to allow for the side seams to be completely finished with no raw/serged edges.  (See photo.)

Asymmetric white silk blouse by sewtofit

The back right was also cut on the bias in order to have just a small section of the stripes finish off the tail of the back hem. Doing this meant I had to sacrifice the left back side and cut it straight to avoid having stripes run through that hem. I knew going into the process I would have a problem matching a bias seam to a straight seam which would cause some drag, yet I was willing to live with this problem. I’m really happy that I took the chance, because the positioning of the stripes are really nice.

Asymmetric white silk blouse by sewtofit

As it turns out, this top is really a terrific addition to my wardrobe.  At first I wasn’t feeling this design because of the extra fabric in the front–it is double over.  I would suggest you make sure to use a really lightweight fabric, or else it may be too heavy since the entire front is two layers.

Creating my own Sun and Sea with Vogue 1395, and a few Seagulls.  These seabirds have come to coexist with me in my fair land of sewing bliss.  No water here, or rocky perches on which to scout for food, but they are more than welcome to give me that since of outdoors, and ride on my back and shoulders as I move about.

voguepatterns, @sewtofit, @mccallspatterncompany,

These fair seagulls were perched atop an end bolt at Hancock fabrics, and was just what I needed to get me to my “happy place.” It had been too cold and wet outside to wear, but just warm enough to lift my spirits inside while I worked on other “stuff”.

What a lovely dress. I am happy just looking at the color and flow, that I might need to have a “Biance” fan when I wear this beauty. — I can’t believe it took me so long to make it.  As soon as I bought the pattern last summer, I set right out to make the pattern corrections and alterations:::

  • Cut Size 14
  • FBA of 1″ (The size 16 would have been too big with a finished width of 42.5″, so the 40.5″ of the size 14 suited my ease requirements better.
  • Front length increase by 1.5″ tapering back to 1.25 at side seam to meet the back.
  • Added 1.25″ to skirt back only and matched the side seam curve with that of the front.
  • Lengthened the back by 1.25″ and 
  • made similar adjustment on the back overlay, only in the “back” section of the pattern, tapering back to the tie front portion of the pattern.
  • added 1/2″ at the waist to meet the new skirt back.

So, basically, it has really just been sitting prepped and ready for the right fabric to fly into my life. The fabric is just a polyester georgette with a really nice feel and flow, just light enough for the wings to blow in the wind and heavy enough to keep the skirt down.

The construction of this beauty was fairly straight forward and simple.  Although, it does require you to pay close attention to the back details and adding the overlay.  These details make the dress.   Without them, it would just be a “mu-mu” with elastic waist, not something I would wear in this millennium.  (Meh, well, hold that thought, maybe I would.)

inside vogue 1395, v1395 vogue patterns

Most of the time, fabric is the voice I listen to when deciding what to make next on my sewing list.  It always amazes me how most of you can look at a pattern and just know what fabric to use.  Kudos to the wardrobe planning gurus and stylist out there.

I don’t know, but am I the only one who needs help not only planning my wardrobe, but also how to matchie-match fabric to pattern?

…should flock together, unless they come near me.  I nabbed a few for myself to have indoors.  I love birds, their sound, the freedom they represent and the beauty of their flight…~and sitting.  Actually, sitting on my fabric, that is where they are this time.

 I thoroughly enjoyed making this top.  I was in such a good mood hanging with the birds, that…

I video-taped my construction process, in triple time…time-lapse.

This is such a deceivingly simple blouse, with several surprise designer details.  Definitely, another regular for my wardrobe rotation.  

Pattern Description: it was described as….
  • Top has self-lined yokes, front pleats, shaped hemline, and very narrow hem. 
  • View A:  Front longer than back
  • mock wrap, pullover, 
  • fitted through bust, 
  • no shoulder seams, 
  • elasticized tie ends for casing, 
  • underarm inset, 
  • and armhole bands. 

Pattern Sizing:

Pattern sized 6-14 in envelope. I cut a size 14

How did it compare to the envelope pictures:

The picture was pretty clear. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?
 The instructions were basic going into the construction, but then the instructions for the placement of the buttonholes for the front overlap had you put the buttonholes in only one side/layer, but at the end, they needed to be through both layers of the front. The waist seam allowance is turn upward to create the casing for the elastic.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like everything about this pattern, especially the underarm inset and the bias banded armholes.

Fabric Used:
I used a polyester georgette/ crepe d’chine look-a-like from Hancock. It is very thin, but, being it is a dark color, I could get away with out lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  1. The Pivot and Slide method was used to get my 1.5″ FBA along with,
  2. Closing the neckline in by 1/2″ and,
  3. Taking out my “over 40inch” front neckline wedge”. (That’s what I call it now.) Just a wedge to cause the V-neckline to curve in enough to keep it from gaping on the top curve of the bust. (It is not scientifically proven. It is just what I do for me.)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I have already begun dreaming of my next project based on this pattern. This is an absolute winner for me.


Hope you enjoyed the video.

Until next time.

Well, hello all, today I come to you with two new pattern playmates.  We have the Katherine Pants, from StyleArc Patterns, sharing the spotlight with a true success!!!. a shirt from the Vogue 8747 patterns, which may very well become one of my favorite button downs.

 
I don’t know about you, but I like to eat my dessert before my dinner…just in case I get too full, at least I had the good stuff first.  Thus, it is with this post…I will give you the gist on the top first.
mardi gras colors

Vogue 8747 top view D:
I call this my Mardi Gras blouse, because a friend told me, after I showed here this fabric; “Oh, those are Mardi Gras colors!  How exciting.”  I had no clue.  I bought that fabric last year, and was just drawn to the beautiful watery movement of buildings nearly hidden in the print. I’m embarrassed to say just how much per yard I paid, so if you don’t know, then you are like I was, “Clueless”.  For those of you who do know about “Liberty of London”, can I join your club?  OOOOwee!! this stuff feels fine!!

It’s made from some of the best cotton I have ever sewn, REALLY!!  I will shout that one from the roof top.  I did not know that “Liberty of London” was so special.  I do say that stuff is expensive!!  Yes, I did use all caps, and several exclamation points…that is how I feel.    Shoutout to Josephine’s Dry Goods in Portland, OR(non-sponsored)  Because, they had a boatload of the stuff and the finery was to die for and go to sewing heaven.  

It takes time to “build” a wardrobe of lovelies, those pieces you will pick up and wear over and over again.  That is why it took so long.  This fabric was destined to become a button down the moment I lay eyes on it, but I still had to find the buttons.  Not just any button would have worked.  There again, they just floated into my life whilst shopping for a client I came upon these gems of the ocean to be added to this sea of buildings.  Feast your eyes, oooh my goodness is that not delicious or what?  That was my dessert.   YumYum, that smile is from the internal satisfaction I get wearing this shirt.

Shortening the front band from apex to neck ensures modesty at the decollate’ for the over 40″ crowd.
Construction notes for the top:  
The pattern has multiple views to choose from, a regular with the Vogue basics line of patterns, a true bargain when you are spending big bucks for the material.   The pattern represents the hem as having a shirt-tail shape, but I don’t see it.  It isn’t as pronounced as I would have liked to have in the back.  I will take care of that in the next top.  There will be another, and another, and another.  (I’ll keep going and going and …..as with “Peewee Herman”)
  • NO FBA!!!  Yeepee!  I cut a size 14 as usual, but this pattern had the A-D cup bust sizing.  I used the D cup. (Actually, I think its a little too roomy in the bust, but it may be the design of the gathers along the front placket) 
  • I Shortened the center front between apex and the neck.  You see the little wedge along the front under the neckline.  That wedge is magic for the over 40″ crowd. (Meaning over a B’cup)

  • A swayback adjustment was taken as usual. (See piece 10 above…)  
  • Also added a 1/2″ broad back adjustment. 
  • Totally straightened the center back.  Vogue seems to always add a bit of a curve to all their princess backs, which isn’t something I need.
  • I did not lengthen the top this time, but I intend to do so on the next go around.
  • Lowered the back neck by 3/8″ 
  • You won’t see in the alterations, is that I added 1.5″ to the hips graded from the waist to the hem.  (I will add those changes to the pattern before I mount it to tagboard.)

StyleArc Katherine Pants:

First off, these are indeed tailored pants.  Another wardrobe staple for me aside from the button down.

stretch woven wool.


To be honest with you, this review has been in the making for quite some time, while I tried to decide how to present all the information to you.  I don’t want to burden your blog reader with too much information at one time.  So, I need you to tell me the format in which you want me to dissect these pants.   I only found ONE (1), yes, one pattern review on these pants.  I also contacted the designer for construction assistance with the pockets.

The fabric is a fine light stretch tropical wool…which in and of itself gave me headaches when I tried to topstitch the center front crease seam.  It is a great fabric, but I think I might have a slight sensitivity to wool, because it really makes me itch when and sneeze to wear it or sew with it.  I equate this fabric to a high-end bengaline, because it has a cross grain stretch which resulted in my laying the patterns on the cross not the along the selvage.  I wanted the stretch to go “around” my body, I was thinking if I left it go up and down, then I would get saggy bottom.

topstitching on the bernina 780 using tropical wool stretch

Fitting notes:  “Balance in worklife and personal life is everything.”  But what about “Pattern Balance” in your sewing?

In order to keep them straight and balanced at the center front where the seam is on the actual crease, I had to remember to make any width adjustments on both sides of the leg, inseam and out-seam, at the center leg seam…but I forgot just near the end, when I decided to add just a smidgen more right before I cut.  (((((WRONG MOVE….))))

The legs are 20 inches at the hem, not to be confused with the “slim” 15″ leg of the barb pant I made here.  They should hang straight down from the side hip, and the crease “should” be in the center of the leg.   Because of this it’s important to keep the balance of the pattern when making adjustments. Most fitting guides tell you to increase at the sides. That’s doesn’t work.

An unbalanced worklife.

Come on my fellow pattern nerds, what have we resorted to with this fitting craze?  I have decided to wear these damn pants, no matter what the fit police say.  Posting my butt all over the internets, for the advancement of the sewing sciences, proves I love my rear end in all its round glory.

I know, I know….“Andrea, of all people, you teach fit!! “You have blah, blah, blah..training, blah, blah, duh.”  So, what are you talking about, you should have ALL the answers.”   But wait…. I say, Fitting is a moving target, YO!! and at each junction you decide what part of it you are willing to forgo for the current fashion item you choose to construct.

This is especially true if you insist on making different garments from a different pattern and different fabric with every project.  At some point, I just want to say, “enough is enough!”

Thus, for me I have decided, in my own infinite wisdom, to forgo new pant patterns and just design around my sloper ONLY.  At least for a while, ha!  Right, we will see how long that last.  To get me focused, I signed up for Kathy Ruddy’s Craftsy class ” One Pattern Many Looks” when they had their last sale.

The side front of StyleArc Katherine woven pant….notice the grain line, it would only prove why the pants tend to twist on the leg.  It seams this should be changed to line up with the body, and not be left the same after the alterations.  

Please stay tuned for the next installment of this post giving you the full blown internal guts and gores of the pattern workings, the pocket making and the fitting of Miss Katherine.   Its deep yawl.

….until then, keep studying your patterns.
Andrea