Friday, July 31, 2015

Gingham Shirt

I made this shirt back in early spring. My wardrobe needed something fresh and I really just wanted to make a shirt. It's nice to end up with a lovely product, but when it comes to shirtmaking, I really just love the process. The original pattern is Burda 04/2010 #114, but I've used it multiple times and made several changes.

Burda 04/2010 #114

The gingham is not really the ideal weight for a classic shirt. It's more like quilting cotton - not real fine and a little spongy. It is nice quality and was pleasant to work with, but the bulk was a little frustrating at some parts of the process.

Burda 04/2010 #114

I added some bright yellow-green accents to the shirt. The color isn't accurate in any of these pictures. I had both yardage and bias tape in the exact same color. That was a surprise to me (I guess I really like that color…) but I made use of both of them.

Burda 04/2010 #114

I did consider binding the hem with the tape so that it showed on the outside of the shirt, but decided against it. The other details are more subtle and I thought the hem should be as well.

Burda 04/2010 #114

I used a two-piece sleeve placket because I wanted the overlap and underlap to be different. There was a lot of changing bobbin and needle threads in this project to make sure that the thread matched the fabric where it would show.

Burda 04/2010 #114


I made some alterations to this pattern from the last time I made it - adding some extra room and doing a full bust adjustment. I did not get the bust darts in the right place. I don't notice it as much when it's on, but it's clear in this picture that they are too low. The fabric didn't make it easy to get a nice smooth dart, either. A princess seamed shirt is probably the way to go, but I still prefer the more relaxed look of a seamless front.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sisters in Stripey Sundresses

Sewing for my kids has been pretty minimal the last few months. I told my girls I would make them each a sundress and seeing as how July is just about done, I thought I should get on it. I had these two cuts of striped knit and told them they needed to decide together who was getting each one. They settled that quickly and then I gave them two options for patterns/design. They each picked a different one.

Stripey Sundresses

My younger daughter picked the narrow stripe and wanted "a loooong dress." I used a tank top pattern (Ottobre 4/2015#26) and extended it to maxi dress length. Then I followed the same stripe placement scheme as McCall's 6559.

Ottobre 4/2015 #26

I recently purchased a binder attachment for my Baby Lock serger and thought these would be good dresses for trying it out. I got the basics down, but I have a lot more learning/playing to do. I can get it to work great for wovens, but knits were pretty awful. So, these bindings are done on my regular sewing machine with a double needle (more details here).

Ottobre 4/2015 #26

The side slits were an afterthought (and they look like it, too - no close-ups of that - yikes!) and were necessary to allow for walking in the dress. When I extended the pattern, I did add some flare, but apparently not enough.

My older daughter's dress also started out as a tank top pattern (Ottobre 3/2015 #25), but she wanted a fuller, shorter skirt. I really like the top part of the dress - the neckline is flattering and interesting.

Ottobre 3/2015 # 25

Same story here with the bindings - done on my regular sewing machine with a double needle. The navy band has a facing, so the shoulder straps are sandwiched between the layers. I added a lightweight interfacing to the band to give it some support.

Ottobre 3/2015 # 25

Due to fabric constraints I had decided to cut the skirt on grain and have the stripes going horizontally across the front of the skirt. When I sewed the skirt front and back together, I liked the chevron pattern at the seam and decided to make the seams center front and center back. It didn't really work that well.

Ottobre 3/2015 # 25

When the skirt is hanging, there is more fabric at center front than at the sides and I looks a little strange. Not bad enough for me to be motivated to rip out that overlocked seam, but still kind of bad.

Ottobre 3/2015 # 25

The back view isn't as bad because the fabric has to spread out enough to go over her bum. The back length of the bodice should have been shortened, but I thought it would look odd with the prominent stripes so I left it.

Stripey Sundresses

The girls are happy with their dresses and - Bonus! - they each have a sweater to match so these can be worn for a bit into the fall. Good news, because if I'm as quick about sewing fall clothes as I was with these, the girls are going to be chilly.