Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Selfish Sewing Week - Breton Stripe Lane Raglan

breton lane raglan1

Pattern: Lane Raglan by Hey June, via Indiesew
Fabric: textured double-knit from Metro Textiles

Jeans: Gap
Necklace: Madewell
Sneakers: Reebok

The timing for this round of Selfish Sewing Week, hosted by Imagine Gnats, Kollabora, and Indiesew,  is perfect - it's fall sewing time!  This past weekend, I converted my closet over to my fall wardrobe (sniff sniff, summer is over) and saw some gaps that I need to fill.  One of the most glaring holes in my closet are knit tops that are a little more substantial than the tissue-knit type of long-sleeve tees good for layering - you know, something that can be worn on its own without needing to layer a tank top underneath.  Seems so simple, but I'm in need of more of those.  Hello my old friend, Lane Raglan pattern!

breton lane raglan2

As bratty as it sounds (yup, total brat over here, I admit it), I never need an excuse to sew "selfishly" - just about everything I make is for me.  I have a firm and fast rule that I'll only sew/knit gifts or garments for those that truly appreciate the time and effort it takes to make something by hand: my mom and my sister.  They're both makers and "get" the thought and energy behind a handmade creation - and all three of us had experiences in the past with giving handmade gifts to others that don't understand what handmade is, and we got burned.  No more.

Of course, I'm sure once kids enter the picture, this will all change (like many things in life)...I'm already thinking about the adorable things I want to make my niece once she's big enough, too!

breton lane raglan3

I wish I had a picture to show the texture of this knit, it's pretty cool.  The knit itself is very stable, like a double-knit, but the navy stripes are ribbed on the right side and its smooth on the wrong side.  The drape is perfect for a mid-weight top, almost sweatshirt-like but much dressier.  It just goes to show that the fabric choice for a garment can really change the look and feel - here are two other Lane Raglans I made last year, one from a sweatshirt knit and the other from a bamboo jersey.  I also opted to not add a neckband and instead turned the neck edge under and stitched it.  The fabric is really stable, so I'm not worried about it stretching out (read: I totally botched the neckband when I sewed it on the first time and didn't want to bother with fixing it....so there).

Also - check out that matching stripe action, what what!

breton lane raglan4

The Lane Raglan is one of my few TNTs I own that I seem to turn to over and over.  Can't go wrong with a raglan anything in my book!

Oh, you know what I was saying earlier about only sewing for me?  Well, that's not going to be the case soon...I have a couple's Halloween costume that I need to whip up next month for Chris and myself.  It'll be two firsts - sewing a garment for someone else, and sewing for a dude!

Make sure to check out the other lovely ladies sharing their makes for Selfish Sewing Week:

9/28: Priscilla | Fashion & Fishing
9/29: Lucinda | Sew Wrong
9/30: Heather | Feather's Flights
10/1: Abbey | Sew Charleston
10/2: Teri | Fa Sew La
10/3: Jess | La Mercerie

Friday, September 18, 2015

Why Is Fitting a Challenge?

The trials and tribulations of fitting Vogue 1365 - on the blog, link in profile. Spoiler alert: it wasn't pretty #coatproject2015 #sewing #tailoring

The best photo of me. Ever.

Before I get into this post, I wanted to thank all of you who filled out my Reader Survey in the last week - you all ROCK and I was overwhelmed at the number of responses I received.  It was really interesting reading every individual response (believe me, I did), and seeing some almost-universal themes, the biggest one being: fitting.

Shocked? I'm not, and I bet you aren't either.

I get the why of why fitting in and of itself is a challenge.

Every body is different and has it's own unique proportions and measurements.  That's why we sew, right?  Because RTW is for a standard body size and shape and not everyone fits that shape.  Ideally, we can create clothes that fit and flatter our body and make us look and feel our best.  What was evident from reading comments from all of you, the majority of which have been sewing for over 10 years and identify as sewing at an intermediate level, is that this isn't happening on a regular basis.  Pattern fit and ease vary from brand to brand, even within one brand depending on the design intention, and it can be hard to figure out if size A will work this time or maybe we need to blend together sizes A and B to achieve a good fit.  And that's just one factor of many when it comes to getting fit right.  We spend hours adjusting and retracing pattern before we can cut into our fabric and get to the fun part - the sewing!!

What's perplexing is that there's so many resources out there that cover how to fit patterns to our bodies, yet we're still having a hard time.

That's the part that's making my head scratch.  Do a book search on Amazon, or even look at the class offerings on Craftsy - there's a lot of different sources out there that tackle how to fit our sewing projects.  I have a whole shelf on my bookcase of books devoted to fitting, and it's usually what I spend the most time with on a project.  After a lot of trial and error over the years, I have a pretty good understanding of how to fit patterns to my body (well, I admitted defeat with that above coat from earlier last year - I don't know what was going on!!  And yeah, I have the occasional wader from time-to-time, I'm not perfect), but it's evident there's a lot of sewists out there that are still having a hard time.  Don't even get me started on fitting pants.

So let's talk: are the fitting resources out there not tackling topics that are relevant to you and what you need?  Maybe there's too many books/videos/etc. to choose from out there?  Write a comment below or send me an email!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Opening Buttonholes is Easy-Peasy

You know what's great about sewing?  Being able to whip up a new garment on a Sunday night and wearing it to work on Monday morning.  I made a new Archer shirt this weekend and proudly wore it to work this week, and it's probably my best button-down shirt to date.  I owe a lot of it to my pretty, perfect-looking buttonholes that my new Bernina stitched with no problem, thanks to the automatic buttonhole feature (I'm in love!!!).

Even if you stitch the best buttonholes, they can easily be ruined it you cut them open incorrectly, or slice through your stitching with a seam ripper.  Eeeek!  Above is a quick Vine video of how I open my buttonholes using a buttonhole knife, block of wood, and a hammer.  After I slice them open, I seal the edges with a little bit of clear nail polish, just for extra insurance from fraying.

Here's how my shirt turned out!

Floral archer

Got one more cut out and ready to go for this weekend - I definitely think I'm in fall-sewing mode now.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hey! You! Tell Me About You!

HELLOReaders! (1)

Hey there, blog readers!  I made a quick, 9 question survey to learn more about you lovely peeps who read Sew Wrong - what are your sewing habits, what you like to sew, and what you find to be the most challenging part of sewing.  With your feedback, I'm planning on creating content for the blog to fit what you're looking for and make Sew Wrong even better.  It'll take no more than three minutes to fill out, I swear.

And hey, if there's more info you'd like to share that isn't covered in the survey, feel free to leave a comment below.  I love reading comments from you guys!

Here's the link to the survey: Reader Sewing Survey

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Finished Project: Simplicity 1158 Hack

silk tieback dress 1

silk tieback dress 3

Pattern: Simplicity 1158, with alterations
Fabric: silk jersey from Metro Textiles

Most people, the night before going to a friend's wedding, would already have something picked out to wear.  However, I'm not like most people, and decided at the 11th hour to make a new dress to wear to the wedding the next day...because it's not like I have a closet full of dresses, right?? [insert sarcasm here].

I planned on wearing a Georgia dress that was already in the works, but I hadn't factored in the amount of stretch in my fabric when making my muslin, and the almost-completed dress required a lot of fitting and taking in throughout.  That didn't seem like any fun at all, so I instead decided, at 9PM the night before, to pull out my patterns and fabric stash to see what I could mashup in a hurry - how about a cute jumpsuit out of some silk jersey?  Perfect.

silk tieback dress 2

Yup, this dress started as a jumpsuit, like the original pattern.  Once I had the shorts attached to the bodice and tried the jumpsuit on, something just wasn't right...maybe it was the proportions of the length of the shorts to the bodice, the fit - I'm not sure.  I loved how blouse-y the bodice was, and it reminded me of a dress I made a few years ago that had a similar bodice but with a slim fitting skirt.  After a little pattern hacking and taking it at the sides, I had a skirt pattern and got the exact look I hoped for.

silk tieback dress 4

The back is really the best part of the pattern, in my opinion.  It's a little revealing, but not too much, like Goldilocks it's juuuuust right.  I opted not to use the facing piece for the neckline (I never have luck with them staying put on knit bodices) and instead finished the edges with my serger, turned under, and stitched the edges down.  Since it's such a loose fitting bodice, I wasn't worried about the neckline stretching out of shape.

Speaking of the fit of the bodice, I went with my normal 10 and should have gone down at least one size.  I had to tack open the front of the bodice, otherwise it would have been "flash-city.  Going down a size would have made the back opening gape less as well, which wouldn't be a bad thing.

silk tieback dress 5

The finishing touch was the sash!  It ties everything together, defines the waist and keeps the bodice looking blouse-y, and is fun to shake and shimmy with on the dance floor.

silk tieback dress 6

This dress was definitely a hurry-up-fast make, and not my best stitching by any means, but the fabric definitely makes the look and I loved wearing this to my friend's wedding.  I can definitely see this being a great go-to dress next year for date nights, maybe my bachelorette weekend, and with a jacket or coverup it would take on a very different look.  As for actually making the jumpsuit from the pattern?  Maybe next year.