Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Kelley over at Casa Crafty made these awesome yellow Echino with stripe bias trim Movies in the Park Shorts for Shorts on the Line. It's a cool sew-along featuring a number of bloggers all sewing shorts. Shorts for ladies, shorts for kids, shorts with tutorials, lace shorts, board shorts, even culottes! It's like my summertime dream come true!!
Anywho - hop on over to Casa Crafty and check out her shorts and then enter to win a copy of the pattern for yourself. And while you're over there check out all the other cool shorts made by some really talented sewists.
If 97 degree weather hasn't gotten me in the mood for summer yet, sewing shorts definitely has!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
If you read a lot of sewing blogs you've probably figured out by now that the publisher of such delightful Japanese pattern books, like the one I used to make the shirt above, like to pass out their wares for review to lots of bloggers. Sorry if you've already read a bunch of book reviews lately, you're in store for another - but there's a good part - I have a new top to show off and you can enter to win one of three sewing books!
Ok, I'll get to the meat of this review then give you the giveaway deets towards the bottom.
The Goal: I have to admit that while I had great success with my dress I made from the book Drape Drape last year, my attempt at a top from the new Drape Drape 3 was, well, a fail. That doesn't mean it won't work for others and I only tried one project from the book (House of Pinhero made an awesome dress from this book).
I was pretty bummed out about that but when I got these other two books: Feminine Wardrobe and Stylish Dress Book I decided to try again.
The Pattern: This is the first project from Feminine Wardrobe, a peasant style top. The pattern was really simple and with the raglan sleeves and elastic waist it didn't require much fitting.
I made a M (sizes range from XS to L) and with this blousy style I think could have made an S.
The Fabric: I made it using a rayon and I took a hint from the book and added cotton crochet trim on the sleeves and hem.
The Changes: I knew that if I added the elastic lower on the hips where it's shown in the book photos that either it would keep trying to slip up or it would look way too blousy for me so I put the elastic at my waist instead.
(shorter sleeves, maybe?)
The Results: As much as I want to love this shirt, I don't. It's just not my style. I think it would look better with shorter sleeves or as a dress but I doubt I'll take the time to do it. It's ok, though, my shirt already has a new home and someone who does love it so that makes me happy.
So here's a more detailed critique of all three books. First of all, Feminine Wardrobe and Stylish Dress Book are pretty similar.
(Stylish Dress Book's designs)
Each has a bunch of basic designs that are all altered for different effects - new sleeves, adding a collar, etc.
(Drape Drape 3 dress design)
In Drape Drape 3 every design is unique.
(Stylish Dress Book instructions and illustrations)
What I love about all three books is the helpful and detailed illustrations. You could make all these garments without ever reading a word, the drawings are so good. Still, the written instructions are helpful.
(Feminine Wardrobe dresses)
All the patterns are layered on top of each other on large sheets of paper - Burda magazine style. The pattern pieces are very well labeled and pretty easy to trace. While Drape Drape 3 includes seam allowances, Feminine Wardrobe did not. :(
(Another Drape Drape 3 design)
However Feminine Wardrobe and Stylish Dress Book listed measurements in both metric and imperial. Drape Drape 3 was only metric.
Like the other Drape Drape books, #3 offers an interesting approach to pattern sewing and many designs are pretty challenging and they're all definitely creative! Feminine Wardrobe and Stylish Dress Book give you great jumping off points for whipping up a cute dress over a weekend and you can put your own spin on the simple designs.
Alright, on to the good part, right? Time for a giveaway! I'll pick one winner per book. To enter just leave a comment and tell me which book you want (or first and second choices) and if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook submit another comment telling me so for a second entry!
I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, June 24 at 12pm CST. Good luck!
Friday, June 14, 2013
If you follow me on Twitter you saw my in-progress version of this skirt. I started and finished it all in less than four hours while at work in between customers.
I followed Small Things' tutorial to make my own folded mini. This skirt is so cool she's even making a full graded pattern and everything for it. It should be out in the next few months. I was impatient and couldn't wait so when I bought this mustard ponte from The Common Thread here in Austin I knew I wanted a folded mini now instead of later.
From looking at Lisa's samples I could tell that the skirt might be a little short so I added 18 cm to the length of the front and adjusted the lining and back pieces accordingly (18 cm is the distance between the folds, easy to add another row).
I think the resulting length is perfect. I added a waist band that's about 2" wide and it sits a little lower than my natural waist. I'm 5'6" so that gives you a pretty good idea of the length of the skirt. I made the waistband a little shorter than my low waist measurement so I didn't need darts in the back or anything, I just stretched the band to fit the skirt and it all held together. I might go back and top stitch the band's seam allowances. The SAs don't seem to know if they want to sit up or down. They need to be controlled, lol.
Making the folds required a bit of practice at first but then I got the hang of it. In the end my folds don't look exactly like Lisa's but I think it's ok. I stitched down the folds to the lining at about every other fold. I didn't follow Lisa's method, I kind of made it up as I went along. When I'm not wearing the skirt the folds kind of fall apart but when it's on me they stay nice and intact. My folds are a little lumpy but I think that might be due to my thick fabric. It's a double knit not a jersey like Lisa's skirts.
The skirt is nice and snug which I like. There's no ease at all in the design which worked fine for this pretty stable knit.
To sum it up I really like this skirt. I love the color, I love that it's knit and stretchy, I love that it's a solid but still interesting too look at (I have too many print skirts that make them hard to match with tops). I can already tell that this skirt is gonna get a lot of wear!
Thanks Lisa for the great tute and I can't wait to see your finished pattern!
PS: Miss Lulu, Susan and I all fell in love with this fabric and we each made a different skirt from it! How fun!