Posts Tagged sewing with knits

Stashbusting for Summer Part 3

Another post in which I share my efforts to use up some of my ‘fabric stash beyond life expectancy’.

  A couple of years I bought two lengths of scuba fabric to make tunic tops for my daughter. One was a floral which I used but, for a reason I can’t remember, the top wasn’t successful so it’s in the scrap bin for possible use in a future project.

The other was this one featuring various tattoo designs.

Scuba Fabric Tattoo Design

I don’t think even one of you liked it and I didn’t either – it was the daughter’s choice – so it has languished in the fabric stash ever since, only narrowly avoiding being given to the charity shop/thrift store/op shop (insert whatever these places are called in your part of the world).

Recently a free pattern for a tank top using stretch fabric was brought to my attention and I thought, as the bare minimum of fabric in proportion to flesh and other clothing would be on show, this might actually work for the garish stuff.

Photo from Halfmoon Atelier

This is the Super Basic Tank Top pattern by Halfmoon Atelier which you can find  here and,  if you sign up for their newsletter, the pattern is free.

There are two methods on how to do an FBA (full bust adjustment) included in the instructions and I followed the easier method and graded between a size 6 at the bust and size 5 for the waist and hips.  However, that made the armholes too big on me so I just used the size 5 for all measurements on the actual garment.  Of course, being a pattern for knit fabrics, this could vary.  The next time I make it, if the fabric is more or less stretchy than the one I used this time, I could need to go down or up a size.  These are the little things that make life so exciting.

I love the back which is also scooped deeply but not deep enough to show your bra.

In fact, it’s difficult to tell which is front and which is back so I put a label in in case I get confused.

Scuba fabric is a little weird as it has a slightly spongy feel and it is definitely not a fabric to keep you cool in hot weather but, on the plus side, it doesn’t fray, it takes colours and prints beautifully, has a good amount of stretch and, I find at least, it’s easy to sew with.

So, out of the stash bin and onto my body.

Less is definitely more with this fabric so I think it works really well as a vest rather than, as originally envisioned, a tunic with 3/4 length sleeves.

Super Tank Top Back View

This is the nearest I’m ever going to get to having a tattoo.  My sister has a daisy chain tattooed round her ankle and said it was worse than childbirth which is my benchmark for pain and, if it had been me, I’d have stopped at just one daisy – although, funnily enough,  I didn’t stop at just one child.

So, do you like the fabric a little better now?

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A Backwards Step

I’m in the dressmaking doldrums at the moment  despite having several patterns I want to make and the fabric to make them with.  So, just to get my hand back in I thought I’d run up a quick dress on the overlocker for my daughter.   I used New Look 6125 which is a very simple dress pattern but decided to make it in a stretch knit fabric.

The front was cut out on the fold and, because I didn’t need to put in a zip, I thought I’d do the same with the back but there seemed to be quite a bit of shaping on the back piece – for those people who have a bottom, presumably – which didn’t lend itself to being cut like that so I cut it in two pieces.

It’s not often  a good idea when I decide to go maverick.

Looking quite good.

I did lower the neckline as the original seemed unflatteringly high to me.  I probably could have left the darts out though.

Nice pattern matching at the sides

Oops!

I know it will be fairly obvious to everybody else (at least those who have a modicum of knowledge about dressmaking) but how could that happen when I have the sides matching?  Why do I still keep making rookie mistakes in my dressmaking endeavours?  Perhaps I don’t take it seriously enough.

 As for my daughter –  I told her she’ll just have to walk backwards.

 

 

 

 

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Just One More Shade of Grey

I know I said that, after my two ‘shades of grey’ quilts, I would be moving on to something more colourful but I’ll just get this out of the way first.

Also, I know I said I had sworn off making dresses for a while but I went upstairs to my workroom yesterday, couldn’t remember why and, before I knew it, decided to make a dress.  As I’m sure happens to all of you from time to time.   A Lady Skater dress to be precise, several of which I have made before because it is such a good, easy pattern and because I like the style and fit on me and because I had put the radiator on in my workroom for the reason I couldn’t remember and didn’t want to waste the electricity.

Lady Skater Grey & White (3)

I apologise for the headless shot but there are three reasons for this

1) I meant to use a mannequin but, at the last minute (see next reason), I couldn’t and hadn’t done anything with my face or hair since getting out of bed

                                       2)  I couldn’t get the dress on the mannequin

                                       3) I don’t like having my photograph taken anyway.

Lady Skater Grey & White (1)Before I tell you why I couldn’t get the dress on the mannequin, I wanted to point out the good things like the neck laying nice and flat and the really nice fabric so that you don’t think I’m quite such a numpty when I ‘fess up.

As I said, I’ve made this dress several times before for me and for both my Madamoiselles.  I meant to make notes but didn’t.  This time I have.  I must have a shorter waist than this pattern is designed for because the seam at the waist is one or even two inches lower than mine.  No matter, I call it a ‘dropped waist’ dress and feel it makes my torso look slightly longer than it is – however, I will remember to adapt the pattern next time so I don’t have to make those excuses!  It is quite a short dress and, in order to avoid having to take up a fiddly miniscule hem next time I need to remember to add some length before cutting so as to avoid flashing too much knee on a breezy day.

However, the really stupid thing I did – and it really was stupid – was to put twill tape around the bottom of the bodice pieces instead of clear elastic.  Oops!  I hate clear elastic and so does my overlocker which is what I used to put this dress together apart from doing the top stitching which I do on my ordinary machine with a double needle.  So I used twill tape to stabilise the shoulders which is fine but they don’t need to stretch.  Whereas, having no zips, the rest of the dress does.  I have to perform wriggles and squiggles and all sorts of contortions my yoga teacher would be proud of in order to get the static waist over ‘the girls’ and down to where it should be.  None of my mannequins were able to oblige.  So, you got me.

Lady Skater Grey and White

 

…or most of me anyway.

You can find the Pattern here

The fabric was from this seller who has loads of lovely stretch and knit fabrics.

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Taking Liberties with Coco

Liberty Coco Dress

Yes, it’s another Coco dress .  Sorry to be boring but these have no buttons, no zips, many variations, are comfortable and quick and fun to make so how can it be wrong?

This time I used some Liberty of London jersey that I had bought to make a little girl’s dress but was tempted by the way it went with the black ponte roma jersey and made an executive decision.

Liberty CoCo Dress (2)

I changed the original pattern just slightly for this version by cutting the sleeves a little slimmer and the neck a little scoopier (new word) and actually traced the relevant bits of the Lady Skater Dress pattern to make those alterations.  Because I used my overlocker to sew the side seams, they were 3/8 inch instead of the  5/8 inch allowed in the pattern so, as it was a little spacious, I just overlocked the seams again,  with that clever machine just cutting off the excess as it went.

Liberty CoCo  Dress(3)

I used the twin needle to finish round the neck, the sleeves and the hem and, the only problem with colour blocking these dresses, this involved numerous changes of bobbins, two reels of thread, etc.  I did however, find it all too much of a chore to change the overlocker threads so I’m afraid, should you peek inside, you will only see dark grey.  Ask me if I care.

Liberty CoCo Dress (4)

I lengthened the hem by 3 inches as usual because the creator of this dress pattern  – Tilly and the Buttons – is about 100 years younger than me and can still reveal her knees with impunity.

This is now my 5th Coco dress.  I only count it as my 3rd however as one was made for  Mlle. Tialys the Younger and another was stolen  appropriated by the Mlle. T. the Elder.    I made this with 3/4 length sleeves as the summer – such as it was –  is drawing to a close and it might get a bit nippier soon.

I also have a Deer and Doe Reglisse dress on a hanger – just waiting for some elastic and some bias binding to finish it off but the only available shop was closed yesterday and today so I couldn’t finish it on time to post about it.

I don’t know how many more Cocos I will make – I really like the funnel neck one I did and will probably make another for this autumn/winter but I will soon run out of titles which play on the ‘Coco’ theme and that might be the time to stop or at least stop blogging about them.

Sorry for the uncharacteristic ‘photos of me’ heavy post – I was going to put the dress on a mannequin but I tried it on, saw the camera, hung it round my daughter’s neck and ‘voila’.  I was just in that sort of mood today.

LIberty Coco Dress Tialys

Even though it looks like I have my very own sword of Damocles dangling over my head it is, in fact, only a wind chime.

(must re-press that hem)

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