Saturday, 21 July 2018

The Iris Dress

It's not the greatest looking photo. It's kind of a hot mess and could use a iron to get rid of those wrinkles in the front but it was photographed just as it came off the sewing machine and it was a long day and who am I kidding, I don't like ironing. I do like this dress though.

This is the Iris dress by Tina Givens.  These patterns have a Bohemian-Victorian vibe, not really a work appropriate look. But in the right fabric, I think it will work.

But when I saw this photo on the Tina Givens website I was convinced to give this pattern company a try. Once the pattern arrived I was taken by the familiarity with Lynn Mizono's Vogue 1410 sleeveless dress pattern. How do they contrast and compare. The exaggerated hip shape of the pattern is about all these two patterns have in common.

The Pattern:  

The Iris dress has sleeves and pockets.  What is doesn't have are shoulder, centre front and centre back seams. The pattern piece for the dress is placed on two folds! And the fit is lovely. I didn't have to shorten the length at all. And I'm pleased with the length. The sleeves on the photo above are shown to be 3/4 length but on me they're full length. It is missing something though, oh yes, notches.  There is a pocket pattern piece and no notches only a illustration to suggest the placement of the pocket.  My guess was off about two inches and the pocket does fall a little low for my liking. The instructions are illustrated and written on the pattern paper.

I got as far as French seam the collar on the pattern instructions and then went off on my own. I didn't like going back to the large pattern sheet to access the instructions. Besides, it really is an easy project. I did eliminated the neckline binding and French seamed the neckline as well. 

One thing that I would do differently is not to have the right sides together when I sew the collar to the neckline because of the way it folds the wrong side of the fabric shows. Next time I will sew the wrong side of the collar to the right side of the dress so that when the collar drapes over the shoulders when worn, it will be the right side of the collar that is showing.  

No pattern alterations at all and I'm happy with the length on the hem and sleeves. For a muslin, I'm actually pleased with how it turned out and don't mind wearing this one. 

The Fabric:  

To try out this pattern, I used a light-weight cotton knit from my stash. The edges curled and it was challenging to pin it down before taking this project over to the sewing machine for stitching. I interfaced the hems with Knit-N-Stable tape for some control of the edges. The most challenging part of working with this fabric was getting it laid out before I could lay out the pattern pieces. With the pattern demanding two fold lines, lengthwise for the dress front and back and crosswise for the shoulder and sleeve, I found it challenging to smooth out this fabric, contend with the edges curling and making sure the folds were straight. I don't think I will want to make this in another cotton knit even though it is very comfortable for this humid weather. It looks like another one will have to wait. 

I would like to make this in a fabric similar to the website photo and I did find a lovely sweater knit over at Emma One Sock. More appropriate for autumn wear.   

This is a Tahari wool blend double-knit that I thought would be nice but at $26.00 / yard plus international shipping this piece of fabric is destined to remain in my dreams. Maybe a ponte knit would be nice if I didn't give up man-made fibres. 

The Statistics:

Fabric:  3 metres light-weight cotton knit

Interfacing:  Knit-N-Stable tape

PatternThe Iris Dress by Tina Givens

Additional supplies & tools:  Burda tracing paper, pencil, cutting table, pins, rulers, pin cushion, scissors, tailor's chaulk, thread, thread clippers, sewing machine, walking foot, serger, tweezers, iron, ironing board and water.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 8 July 2018

McCall's 7630: Pullover Top

It's an easy sewing project for a loose-fitting pullover top. It's my second go with this pattern and I still want to make another just because it's so comfortable.  

And the pattern offers sleeve and hemline variations making this pattern a keeper. This time I made view B minus the breast pocket. I wanted a top that would go with this skirt I made three years ago. Finally, I have a top that I think goes well with it. But would you believe that I found it also goes with other items in my closet like this skirt. There is nothing like a good basic in a neutral colour.    

The fabric is my favourite, silk noir, a rare find at the fabric store now-a-days. I wouldn't let any scraps of this fabric make it to the garbage bin. It's too precious and I plan to piece it together for a future project. That's the plan.  For now, I just plan to enjoy wearing this one.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  1.3 metres

PatternMcCall's 7630
Additional Tools & Supplies:  Iron, ironing board, cutting table, scissors, pins, tailor's chalk, sewing machine, serger, threads, and a cup of coffee.  

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

In Sewing News Today...

The sewing mojo has taken a hit lately. There has been mending and alterations work going on and on and on.

This summer sandals have made it to the sewing table twice this summer.

This is a ready-to-wear (RTW) shirt that I've had for many moons. It hasn't seen the light of day or night since I gained weight and it didn't look as good as it once did. Until a recent weight loss occurred, this shirt wasn't even on my radar for alterations.  

The hem shortened, cuffs and a bit of the sleeve length cut off to earn this shirt a place in the closet. 

More hems. 

The sewing mojo might return with the arrival of this pattern, Tina Givens' Iris dress. I'm not a fan of the pattern cover photo but this photo captured my imagination. The dress shape reminds me of Lynn Mizono's Vogue 1410. I really like the Iris dress pattern for its large collar that drapes over the shoulder, the fact that it has sleeves and, wait for it, POCKETS! This will be my first Tina Givens project and it will be interesting to see how the two patterns compare.  

Will see what sewing in July turns out... 

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Vogue 1455: Revisiting a Favourite Pattern

Recently, Lynn Mizono's reversible dress pattern made it onto the cutting table this week. The biggest challenge became the decision on fabric. I chose a navy and white Japanese cotton for one side and then a white and black cotton combination for the reverse side, which was quickly nixed in favour for this colourful combination.  Moms know best.  

Top L to R (clockwise):  Green swiss dot cotton, floral print cotton, 
purple eyelet cotton and Liberty print cotton.  
And the little gal's Mom was right because happens to turn out to be one of my favourite combinations.  All of the fabrics were pre-treated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer and a good steam press prior to cutting. Do you pre-treat your fabrics? 

What I really like about this fabric combination is that the ribbons can be changed to pick up on any number of colours featured on both sides of this dress.

Let's talk about this pattern!  

This pattern, Vogue 1455, is an American designer pattern. And it mimics the adult version, Vogue 1410, of this design. The only difference is to the basic shape that has been divided to create a contrasting bubble hemline effect. This creates a hem band that allows for adjustable lengths and for growth spurts. Gotta love a flexible pattern! This is an easy very easy make and can easily be made in an afternoon including cutting time. This is the first time I made one in the largest size, size 8, and I do think it's just as adorable as the smaller sized versions. But I might be a wee bit biased in my opinion. Most important, it's a fun project.  

The Stats:

Fabric:  5 metres

Ribbon:  2.4 metres

Buttons:  4  

PatternVogue 1455

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Iron, ironing board, cutting table, scissors, pins, measuring tape, tailor's chalk, thread clippers, sewing machine, buttonhole foot, walking foot, seam ripper, serger, tweezers, threads, hand needle, and a cup of chai tea.  

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Oh yes, the sewing machine.  Our much loved tool we use in our creative lives.  But did you know that this machine hasn't always brought joy. Back-in-the-day, 1790, the first patent for the sewing machine was granted to an English cabinet maker whose machine mimicked the motions of hand stitching. Other patents followed as the design elements of the sewing machine changed. Decades later in France, a tailor patented a machine that he used in a factory that made uniforms for the French army.  Displaced tailors caused a riot which resulted in the machines being destroyed and nearly killing the inventor. Thankfully, many others followed to improve on the design of the sewing machine and new patents emerged which lead the way for the home sewing machine. Okay, I have left some key details out, but if your interested in learning more I do suggest this read.  And if you're lucky enough to spend some time with your sewing machine.  

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 11 June 2018

McCall's 7630: Just What I've Been Looking For!

I have this vintage cotton skirt that is perfect for the warm summer weather but it hardly sees the light of day because I struggle to find a suitable top to wear with it. 

Until now, McCall's 7630, a loose-fitting pullover top pattern just happens to be what I've been looking for. And there's some raw silk that was sitting in my stash that was perfect for the project.  

I'm really thankful that this weekend all of the new patterns that I tried out worked. I read review of this pattern that others wished they added length to this pattern so to caution on the safe side, I added an inch to the hemline. And then I removed the added length. The original length on me was perfect.

The only change I made was take advantage of the many options that come with this pattern.  I basically used view B with view E's back.  

The Stats:

Fabric:  1.3 metres

PatternMcCall's 7630

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Iron, ironing board, cutting table, scissors, measuring tape, pins, pin cushion, sewing machine, thread, tailor's chalk, seam ripper, serger and more thread.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Orange is my New Dress!

This is my version of the Lily Linen Dress by Tessuti Patterns.

I made it in an orange coloured linen fabric because like Frank Sinatra once famously noted, "orange is the happiest colour."

And check out the pleating details at the hemline. It was the reason I was drawn to this design. I'm really happy with how this pattern turned out because this is the first try at this pattern. I know, a toile made out of linen, crazy! Thankfully, it worked out and I ended up with a wearable toile.  

I adore everything about this pattern from how it was packaged, it's perfect drafting, and oh my goodness, the fit! This is one comfortable dress. And can I just add that it's nice to make something without an armhole that is dropping a quarter-way down my arm? It came together easily, even though I didn't closely follow the instructions. Tessuti patterns call for a half inch seam allowance. I sewed a 5/8" allowance at the shoulder and side seams but used the recommended 1/2" allowance at the armhole. It worked out fine.

I also made my bias binding into a seam binding instead of folding it in half and opted out of stabilizing the neckline before I sewed the seam binding in place. The pockets were cut but as I was sewing the dress together I left them off. I know, I can't believe I just wrote that either. I figured the patch pockets gave it a more casual vibe and I wanted this dress for work. The last change to this pattern was the length. The pattern pieces instructs an additional two inches to be added to the hemline. Also omitted considering my height. On me it looks a little longer than on the model's photograph but I'm good with it. It's a very comfortable dress. Gotta love that even if it doesn't have pockets.   

The Stats:

Fabric:  2.5 metres

PatternTessuti Fabrics Lily Linen Dress

Additional Tools, Supplies & Distractions:  Cutting table, pins, pin cushions, scissors, tailor's chalk, thread clippers, sewing machine, walking foot, regular presser foot, iron, ironing board, seam binding maker, Burda tracing paper, pencil, ruler, measuring tape, seam gauge, audio book playing in the background and occasional breaks to fit in some housework and errands.  

Happy Sewing!  

The Iris Dress

It's not the greatest looking photo. It's kind of a hot mess and could use a iron to get rid of those wrinkles in the front but...