Monday, 28 September 2015

A Garment a Month: September - Sailor Top

My project this month was the Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts.

I was keen to try something that had sleeves (raglan, but still) and I had done a little bit of gathering with the Geranium top I made the month before, so I thought "Sure, I can handle that".

What I thought of the finished garment: Love it. It looks like I got it at a shop (but a really cool and individual shop ;) ). This is probably my favourite out of all of the garments I have made so far. It is really flattering and a good length for me - no riding up and exposing my belly as I am running around and hauling kids back and forth.

An aside, I finally got a new phone, so hopefully the quality of my photos should improve!

What I thought of the pattern: The pattern was easy to understand and clearly set out, yet I found the construction more complicated than I thought it would be. I found the neckline especially troublesome. I tried sewing it down by machine but I missed a lot of the edges (you sew it from the front) and it looked quite shite. So I went and unpicked it and sewed the inside down by hand. Worth it for the nice neat finish, but it meant that I couldn't wear it to work the day I wanted. Some of the seam finishing instructions are a little unclear too I thought - especially when attaching the sleeves. I misread the pattern where is said "finish seams"- I literally thought it meant finish sewing the seams. I had to go back at a later stage and do some tricky zig zagging of the edges. Also, zig zagging is not my favourite finish, give me a good french seam any day.

Other observations:

  • Sewing with lawn is trickier than sewing with quilting weight cotton. I found it hard to get it to behave, but it was worth if for a lovely floaty top;
  • Making the pattern markings with a frixion pen is a bad idea. What do they always say to do when you are sewing? Iron, iron, iron! (actually press, I know it's different). What happens to frixion pen when you do that? Poof! No more markings. No markings actually made doing the gathering and attaching the yoke quite tricky. 
  • There must be an easier way to turn a hem up by an even amount. I currently mark it with a ruler to press along. Am I missing some really obvious trick? Help me people!
  • Not related to the pattern - but relevant anyway, all this garment sewing is starting to pay off. I am finding it more straight forward to follow patterns and every time I approach a pattern or technique with some trepidation I find that it is nowhere as hard as I had imagined. 

Next Challenge: Mmm, I am still debating it. I am tossing up between the Flatter Me Frock, The Emery Dress and The Anywhere Skirt. The first two because I think that they will be a challenge and I love a frock (I am thinking in Loominous or some of this sweet jumbo gingham) and the skirt because I can't get Anna's version out of my head. Have a vote! 

This is a finish for both ALYoF and my Q3 FAL.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

A garment a month - Geranium Top

My garment for the month of August was the Geranium top (pattern by Made by Rae)


Now, I know that this isn’t a garment for me, but it is still a garment and I did learn some new things so I am still counting it as a win.


Last month we had book week here, so the girls for school had to dress up as book characters. In the past it has always been dress up as any character from a book, but this year Ms Moo had to dress as a character from the particular book they were reading in class: A House of Her Own, which is a lovely little story, but I’ll be honest – doesn’t have a lot of scope for variety in costumes. The main character is a little girl called Audrey who wears a red spotty dress, green shorts and a big hat.


In the tradition of all parents, everywhere, I started making the costume at 8pm the night before we needed it. I had been sure that I had red and white spotted material and green material in my stash. Yes, I did, but not enough to make anything...sigh. With some clever improvisation I managed to make a top with a red spotted yoke and a green skirt. My dear daughter was less impressed...Five year olds, they are so literal. But she came around to loving it by the end of the day.


So the pattern – it was easy to follow. I made the View A top with flutter sleeves and the View B skirt and it was all pretty straight forward. I managed to have the entire thing finished by 1AM from taping the pattern PDF together to sewing the last button on, which in my view is pretty quick. I did have some issues with the skirt being too big for the yoke and had to add some extra pleats, but I am pretty sure that was user error because it was pretty late by the time I got to that stage.


Making the flutter sleeves was a new experience for me. I am not sure how the edges will wear in the wash since they are just finished with a zig zag stitch, but the basting worked like a dream and I am keen to try the gathers on my Sailor top which is up next in my garment a month challenge. 


I also need to work out how to do button holes properly on my machine. They were a bit wonky. Nothing a bit of Fray Stoppa won’t fix though.


The low point of making the top was when I was zig zagging the edges of the sleeves, I was concentrating so hard on sewing around the curve that I actually sewed right through my finger. Do you know, I had always wondered how it was actually possible to do that? But it isn’t actually that hard as I found out. (STOP READING IF YOU ARE EASILY GROSSED OUT). The worst part was that the needle broke and was stuck in my finger and I had to pull it out. And making the sleeves is right at the start so I still had to push on. And I had to get a tetanus shot. On the plus side, the needle was so super sharp (titanium coated) that it pretty much resealed itself and healed up really fast. Swings and roundabouts.


Anyway, there are definitely more geranium dress / tops on my horizon for my littles. I am going to try all the ways. I have visions of Lizzy House unicorns on Christmas Frocks.


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

September ALYOF goal - Sailor Top

This month for my ALYOF goal I am going to make a Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts (is it only me who calls this the Fancy Sailor Top? That is what I was calling it in my head right until I looked it up for this post).


Anyway, I have this lovely lawn I got from Spotlight - I had planned to make this last month, but life happened, so here we are now.

I have a similar style top that I bought from Country Road a million years ago (I wore it in our engagement photos) and it is very flattering and forgiving (i.e., it still fits after two babies) so I have high hopes. Check back in next month to see if it is divine or disaster! 


Linking up to the ALYoF September Goal Setting linky.