October 10, 2019

Andie Anorack

Earlier this year, Rebecca Page Patterns sent out a call for pattern testers and brand ambassadors.  I applied and was selected to be a pattern tester.  

The Andie Anorack was my first real test.  


This is a fairly simple anorack style jacket that can be made in just about any fabric.  The pattern offers you a jacket in two lengths - this 'car coat' length and a long raincoat.  Depending on the fabric you choose, you could have a proper raincoat.


This coat has a lot of firsts for me and while the fit isn't perfect - I'm pretty happy with it for a first coat.  And it's fully lined!


I can definitely see pull lines radiating from the back to toward the hip and from the bust to the hip.  But honestly, I feel like I have enough room.  


Will I make this pattern again - no.  Will I wear this coat?  Yes!  I love this fabric.  I've had it for years just waiting on the perfect pattern.  The fabric and pattern were a good match, I could have done better with the fitting.  


There are certainly things I didn't like about the pattern.  I think the hem should be deeper.  I found the directions for inserting the lining and the back neck confusing and ended up stitching those together by hand. I found some of the fitting directions very confusion.  

Finally - when will I learn to do an FBA rather than trying to grade between sizes?  


October 5, 2019

Wide Legged Pants - Take 2

In all honesty, this is more like take 4.  But at least I'm sticking with it!

Do you remember my wide legged pants?  In all honesty, they were version 2, but the first version using McCalls 7757.  Take 2 had me slimming the entire leg on that original pair and then transferring that to my pattern. 


So, this is what we're calling Take 2.  I used a completely inappropriate suiting from the fabric closet. Because, I didn't care about the fabric but wanted to see how the changes worked.  The pants are short because that's how much fabric I had, but that caused it's own set of issues as you'll see later this year.


Thanks to Carolyn's amazing picture taking, you can't really tell how much too big these pants are.  It's just at the waist - too much extra fabric.  So, I've added a dart to the center back seam - taking about 1 1/2" out at the center back tapering to nothing about 7" down.  


I will tell you - these pants didn't even make it to the closet!  The fabric was all wrong, the pants are too short - although they do have a little mod squad vibe to them, they didn't stay.  If the fabric had been nicer, I would have worn them exactly as styled - with a long sleeved henley or turtleneck and my jean jacket.  But sadly, the fabric pulled. 


They did however, serve their purpose.  They told me what I needed to do next.  Those changes have been made to the pattern and a black pair has been cut and sewn.  More changes made and I'm currently searching for a fabric to do Take 4 so I can finally, finally, cut into some floral challis for the pants of my dreams! 


Also - can I just share that sewing, alterations, sewing, alterations, rinse and repeat is sucking the joy of sewing right out of me!  I just want to make all the new things!  To keep this train moving in the right direction, I've made a bargain with myself - 1 'fun' garment for every modification and remake that I do.  Soon - I should have the 'real pants' to share with you.

September 28, 2019

Another Day, Another Dress

Another ESP Dress That Is

I have been making the Decades of Style ESP Dress for the past 4 years.  I have 5 versions currently in my closet and one when to the goodwill.  

I have altered the pattern to have a lower neck thanks to instructions from the lovely people at Decades of Style.  Here's the instructions, if you want to do the same. 

This summer - I decided at the very last minute to play along with the Sewcialists mini challenge.  The summer challenge was to work from the colors in the Sewcialists logo based on a spin telling you which color to use.  I spun coral - but honestly, my dress has most of the logo colors in it.  I cut and sewed the dress up in about 9 hours.  


 Almost all of my recent blog pictures have been taken by Carolyn and this dress is no exception.  She decided to come to Carriage Corner for a weekend at the end of August.  We took a trip to Winterthur to see the Costuming the Crown exhibit and she photographed several finished garments for me.


One of my biggest complaints about this dress is that the neckline is just too wide.  It literally falls off my shoulders, bra straps showing, the works - but they are comfortable and I love wearing them.  Well, while Carolyn was taking photographs she pointed out that both the bodice back & front were gaping a little bit and that I should alter my pattern to take 1/4" out of the center front at the very top.  Hmmm, interesting - that would also solve my wide neckline problem because it would bring the shoulders in.  Live and learn, girls, live and learn.

My to-sew list is feeling a bit out of control, but getting added to is really soon is another ESP dress with the center fronts altered.  I'm pretty sure I'll have to add the zipper back into the pattern, but that's easy.  I also feel like the bodice {now that I've taken it in just a smidge} is a bit too long, so that's another adjustment to make.


But the back waist seems to be just fine - probably because I've perfected my sway/short back adjustments for this pattern.  

One other trick that I really like to do on dresses with pockets?  Or anything with pockets for that matter - is to stitch the pockets in place on the front of the garment.  


So - look for another ESP dress soon-ish.  Which in my current world means within the year :D

Also, can I just say that I'm so happy I finally got my hair cut from the length in these pictures and got new glasses!  


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