Looking at the calendar I just realized I haven't done a blog post in a while, despite sewing a lot this month. It's been a month of doing some custom sewing, as well as some experimentation which may or may not turn into Craftsy sewing blog posts. (Probably yes - as sleeves are having a moment so plenty to write about manipulating sleeve patterns).
In the meantime I picked up two projects that I had set aside back in December because I was vaguely dissatisfied. And decided to finish both. Now, whether or not I am satisfied is still an open question.
First up is one of those items where I want to follow a fashion trend, despite the fact that I don't like extraneous bits. When I say extraneous bits I mean things like decorative ties, lacing, zippers for decoration, trailing ruffles or other parts that just get caught up when you wear them. Or at least when I wear them. But the idea of a bow neck blouse is kind of interesting and I have had this fabric for ages. Long ago I sewn a blouse for someone and less than a yard remained. At same the time I saw it on super sale from the same place so ordered a bit more, enough to make up some kind of top. And then it went into the bin with other silks never to be noticed.
But stretch silk charmeuse is the perfect fabric for many types of shirt or blouse - the lycra content is probably small, similar to stretch denim.
More pattern manipulation with my trusty shirt pattern, Simplicity 2329 but any basic shirt pattern would do. I used the front version where I have manipulated the bust dart into shoulder gathers (see this post if you want details). Then I cut the center front on the fold and also created a facing to enclose the V-neckline. That neckline is obscured a bit by the ties in that photo above.
Here you can see it a bit better. I created a really long tie piece which I attached as if it were the collar around the back neckline, and then it meets the facing edge at the dropped shoulder seam. So it can be tied up at the neck or lower as in the first picture.
I love silk charmeuse and since I wear a lot of pullover sweaters this works for that, with just a peek of this rather crazy print showing at neck and cuffs.
Speaking of cuffs, a stretch silk charmeuse is a garment where you have to pick your battles. Or at minimum use the technique that matches the fabric. On a crisp cotton shirt I would do a shirt sleeve style 2-piece placket but for this soft unstructured fabric a continuous bound placket works best. You can see also that I never make the cuffs smaller to match my wrist, just place the buttonholes way over so it fits me properly :)
So that's it for the slightly out-there print silk charmeuse shirt. It gives me a 70's fashion vibe but I am seeing 70's looks everywhere lately so... I'm going with that.
Onward to the second item that I started in the fall and set aside. This one I fully admit was intended as a test item, the fabric was a scrap from this Burda dress so it worked for this pattern, to wear it under sweaters (a theme of my wardrobe). But I kind of hate it. And I will bet that a lot of you looking at this will like it.
First thing first, I did not have enough fabric for the sleeves. But actually the solid color sleeves is a feature that I think looks sharp. OK that detail aside. there are several things that bug me about this pattern, at least this View A. It is so short! Super short! And I am not tall. (under 5'4"). Look at the difference on the same dress form comparing the silk blouse at the top, and where that hem ends - a typical shirt hem for me. Ok this is a stylized top and different than a shirt but it is weirdly short in the back particularly. Pattern is Vogue 9227.
Come on - that looks like some kind of vest or waistcoat thing, right? Picture the waist of your jeans or pants. The hem of the top lands at a really odd place, at least on me. I could tell when I was cutting it out but decided to plow ahead since it was a test version.
Here you can see the difference in length between the front and the back. I guess to create the effect of the points in the front the side had to be higher, and thus the back higher as well but all in all not my style. I will give credit to the use of the stripes - that works out well and is visually interesting.
The other thing I rarely like is buttonholes in knits, or perhaps these specifically. Since they end up being worn on a diagonal, and yet are stitched vertically on the button band (as they should be) then gravity pulls the body of the shirt downwards which distorts the buttonholes ever so slightly, and since it is a stripe I notice it. OK I notice small stuff like that but now you can see it too, right? Making a collar with a stand in knit is also not the ideal, it ends up a bit thick. so I left off the top buttonhole and put a snap there. I have seen just one or two versions of this top online and the collar was a woven which looks nice and crisp so that is probably the way to go.
As for this pattern, I like the shapes in the other views, but might just use a different knit top pattern and add the details. McCalls 7046 t-shirt (blog post here) fits perfectly in the neck and sleeves so it's easier to just use that and add the details.
If I get a move on today maybe I will pop into the backyard for some photos of these items on me and then add them to this post. We have sunshine today but more rain coming in tomorrow (Yay! for more rain - things are looking up on the drought front here but after 5 years of drought one good rainy winter is only a start).
I just finished another shirt with a super cool fabric which I just bought in the bargain area upstairs at Stone Mountain Fabrics, came home, shrunk it and cut out the same day. That doesn't happen very often! All done and a sneak peek on Instagram soon.
Happy sewing, Beth
garden photo today, first daffodils!