Thursday, June 21, 2018

Another Top Finished for My 12-Piece Wardrobe

I just finished a t-shirt top for my summer 12-piece wardrobe.  I used McCall’s pattern M6964 to make a short sleeve version with a rounded neckline.

I wanted the top to coordinate with my navy pants, wine pants, beige capris, and navy skirt.  I found a printed knit fabric in my stash that had colors that would work with all the bottom pieces.   I also had a piece of wine colored knit fabric.  Neither piece was large enough to make the top, so I decided to make a yoke and sleeves from the wine fabric and make the rest of the shirt from the print fabric. 
I took the front and back pattern pieces and drew a line on both where I wanted the yoke to end.  Then I used pattern paper to trace pieces for the front and back yokes and also for the lower front and lower back.  I added 5/8 inch for seam allowance to the bottom of both front and back yokes and to the top edge of the lower front and lower back pieces.  After I sewed the front yoke to the lower front and the back yoke to the lower back, I just followed the pattern directions to complete the shirt. 

A picture of the completed top is show below.

 A simple t-shirt top can be completed in a short length of time if you have a pattern you know will fit.  If you are making one for the first time, try a pattern such as McCall’s M6964 that gives directions on how to fit the pattern.  This particular pattern uses the Palmer Pletsch “Tissue Fitting Method.”  The guide sheet also gives some good tips for sewing with knits.  Make sure you check the back of the pattern envelope to determine what types of fabric are suggested for the garment.  I usually buy an inexpensive piece of fabric or even a remnant when I am using the pattern for the first time.  You can use more expensive fabric after you make any necessary fitting changes to the pattern.  That is also a good time to make changes to the design if you desire. 

If you have not sewn a garment for yourself in a few years, making a t-shirt top is a good way to get started again.  A top like this is easy to make and can be completed quickly.  I hope you will try one!


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Navy Skirt                  

I finished the navy skirt using Vogue pattern V7937.  You will notice the pictures on the front of the pattern envelope are illustrations, not photographs.  That can cause a problem.  With some patterns the illustrations are very close to the finished garment, but other patterns can have subtle differences between the illustration and what would have been evident in a photograph.   The view I made (D) showed an illustration of a slender, tall model.  The flounce on the back of the skirt was slightly longer than the front of the skirt and covered the center of the lower back of the skirt.  It really looked nice! 

When I finished sewing the skirt, the flounce was very full and a lot longer than the front.  I realized the problem was me.  I am not a tall, thin illustration.  I am a short, round real person!  So, I needed to try to make a change to the skirt that might improve its look on my body.  To help you visualize what I did and why, I am showing you pictures of the original skirt before hemming.  I purposefully had the photographer (my husband) stand as far away as possible hoping the skirt would not look quite as bad on me as it actually did!

After musing over my problem, I decided it might look better if I could shorten both the front and back of the skirt.   The back needed to be shortened even more than the front.  I knew by doing this, I would take a lot of the fullness out of the flounce and that was exactly what I wanted to do.  So, I cut off 1 ¼ inches from the front of the skirt and 2 inches from the middle of the back edge and gently curved it upward to meet the sides of the front.  The change is probably not significant, but it did make a little difference.  At least I feel better about wearing the skirt.  I don't think I will feel like quite as much of a frump as I did with the longer, flouncy version.  The finished product is shown below.

I turned up 1 ¼ inches for the hem and pressed.  I planned to use my blind hem foot for the hem, but I decided that might not work well considering the rounded edge of the back of the skirt.  I hemmed it by hand instead.  

I made two changes to the pattern.  The pattern did not have a waistband.  Instead, it used a facing to finish the waist edge.  It is a matter of preference, but I don’t like a faced waist edge.  So, I added a waistband.

I also prefer a skirt with a lining and Vogue V7937 was an unlined skirt pattern.  I made a pattern for the lining by tracing the sides and waist edge of the front section after the three individual pieces were sewn together.  Then I traced the sides and waist edge of the back section after the six individual pieces were sewn together, but before I sewed the front to the back.  I made the lining stop just about where the gores began to flare out in the back.  The lining stabilizes the back of the skirt when I sit and also acts to prevent seeing through the skirt. 

This will not be my favorite skirt, but I will wear it.  If I make another one from this pattern, it will be view C.  View C has pleats in the back and the back is the same length as the front.   I will shorten the pattern before cutting the fabric.

I enjoy trying different patterns because it is always a learning experience.  I learn more about which styles I like and which look best on me.  It is also an opportunity to learn new techniques.   I learn not only new sewing techniques, but sometimes techniques for rescuing a project from being thrown into the trash! 

How are your sewing projects going?  I hope they are successful and I also hope you are learning as you are creating them!