Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pastel Pink with Flare (Butterick 5650)

Earlier this year I came across a compelling image in a fashion magazine. A pale pink, flared midi skirt, paired with a boxy pale pink oversized jumper.  It looked terrific - a modern take on the 50s skirt shape - but I can't for the life of me find that image now.

I made this skirt to try to copy that image, and the shape, colour and drape of the skirt fabric are exactly what I was trying for.  The length is perhaps a smidge too short, but I'll live with it. And I've now also made a pale pink jumper to go with the skirt, totally copying fashion!! I'll have to take photos soon of the jumper - it's ended up more fitted than I expected, but I'm still happy with the result. Amanda of Bimble and Pimble's November sewing questions on Instagram (look for #bpsewvember if you're curious) have got me thinking it might be interesting to show you how my inspiration translates into sewn garments? I'll have another go at finding that inspiration photo to share with you so you can judge for yourself how near or close I was to the mark :).

OK, so back to this post - back to my pale pink stretch cotton, flared midi skirt.

Earlier this year I made the same view (view A) from this pattern, Butterick 5650, in chambray with a silver stripe down the centre (you can read about it here), and I am still loving that skirt shape and length, and yearning to have more in my wardrobe.  But last time around I moved the grainline around to make the seams I was adding easier to sew. PLUS the silver stripe turned out to be not quite on the straight grain, Second time around I committed to stick to the rules.

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 front view
UpSewLate: Butterick 5650, another front view just because I love this skirt
The fabric grain obviously affect the way the skirt hangs, so this time around I followed the grainline recommendations, and I put seams exactly where I was told to.

am really glad to see that I did what I said I'd do ("Version 2 is going to be by the book"). The final result is much better, although there are still some annoying excess folds radiating from the top of CB when I wear this, which I don't believe are intended to be there. Is this to do with my being so short waisted? Is it a sway back issue? Is it just the pattern?

Answers on the back of an envelope can be addressed to PO Box 999 in your capital city, or simply comment in the box below :).

 UpSewLate: Butterick 5650, back view
My pattern was already cut out in a size 14 (thank you previous owner, and thank you for donating this pattern to the second hand shop), and I added 2cm in total at the waist, tapering out to nothing by the hemline. As with my last version, the skirt feels quite fitted at the waist - it IS a loose-fitting flared skirt as described on the pattern envelope, but of course even a loose-fitting skirt needs to be fitted at the waist or hips so as to stay up!

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 side view

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 side view with dodgy posture to make the front hem dip :)
The fabric is a medium weight stretch cotton, which I bought from Tessuti Fabrics in Surry Hills at the start of the year.  If I remember correctly it was on sale and something like $10 a metre - and I think I bought about 2 metres. 

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 - how much flare, you ask? 
The stretch cotton has proved to be an absolute delight to cut and sew... it was firm enough that it was a pleasure to sew, my overlocker loved it, and the resulting skirt is nicely fitted around my waist and hips with some give (streeeetch) in case of a big lunch.

UpSewLate: my overlocker loved this stretch cotton
I had a limited amount fabric that I was determined to make this skirt from, only just enough to cut the skirt from at the regular (view A) length, so that's the length I made it. In fact this length is not quite right for me - I'm taller than average at about 1.73 metres, and my extra length is in my legs, so this standard length of skirt ends on my calves instead of mid-way down my shins as it's supposed to. There's a lesson for me - measure the lengths, not just the widths! 

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 is fitted at the waist 
Hmm what else is there to tell you? I didn't make many pattern adjustments: 
  • let out the waist, tapering back to a size 14 at the hem
  • swapped out the regular zip for an invisible zip
  • left out the pockets as I didn't want extra bulk on my hips 
    UpSewLate: close up of invisible zip, and waistband hand stitching in Butterick 5650

    Next up I'll show you the boxy hibiscus print top I was planning to wear with this skirt - but it turns out too that a boxy waist-length top with a flared skirt is not necessarily the best look if you have a thick waist! 


    Have a great week, and see you soon

    - Gabrielle xx

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    Crazy Bunnies on the Loose: V8877

    I'm getting so behind with posting what I've been sewing that I think I'm going to need to cut back on my verbiage... hmm and also get less fussy with my photos! Let's give it a try :)

    So here's another easy top I made soon after getting back to Sydney - it's big and loose, and it's MUCH better than I expected!

    UpSewLate: disregard the floor please, it's V8877 on the loose

    Fabric
    This cool, crazy bunny fabric came from Tessuti's remnant table last year. It's got bunnies, birds and what look like possums on branches, and now I've made the top I can see the odd tank floating past at random - quite odd!  

    Initially I planned to make this fabric into an adult t-shirt, then it was going to be a child's dress (but my daughter hated the fabric), then finally after time away from the stash it was back on my adult t-shirt ideas list.  Phew. And I actually like the way it's turned out, after all that indecision.

    UpSewLate: V8877, tucked in
    Obviously these photos were taken before the floors got washed! We had just had a built-in wardrobe installed after getting the ceilings and cornices replastered, so there was plaster dust everywhere.  I was taking advantage of our having moved all the furniture out of the room - oh, and of the family being out too - but it didn't even occur to me that the dusty floor was going to feature in my photos. Priorities, priorities!  


    Pattern
    The pattern is one I muslined earlier this year in a lightweight cotton voile, Vogue 8877 (view A).  In a lightweight woven the pattern fitted me badly with tension in the bust area, and I really couldn't see how to adjust it even though the pattern is loose fitting. Anyway, I hated the muslin fabric, so no great loss, and if I make this again it will not be in a voile.

    This pattern looks so much better in a drapey knit fabric - I wish I could show you the improvement, but I hated the muslin so much I cut it up for scrap fabric.

    UpSewLate: shoulder line, seam lines on the front of V8877

    Fitting
    The pattern IS recommended for a variety of fabrics from drapey wovens (challis, crepe etc) to jersey. As I mentioned above, the pattern didn't work for me in a non-drapey woven (cotton voile), but worked really well in a knit. That's without any fitting adjustments; both versions were made in a straight size M (12-14).

    So based on my experience I'd suggest you at least verify your size by measuring the pattern pieces if you want to make it in a woven - you may need to go up a size, or figure out how to make an FBA.

    UpSewLate: and shoulder line, seam lines on the back of V8877

    I wouldn't have thought it, but this curved shoulder shape with no arm scye seems to make my mini shoulders look normal-sized.  


    Pattern Adjustments
    As you can see above, I added a centre back seam in the body pattern piece - purely because I didn't have enough fabric to cut the back piece on the fold. And otherwise, my only changes were to the details. Instead of finishing the neckline with bias binding (I'm not good at that!) I turned the fabric over to the inside, encasing some clear elastic under the fold, before stitching the neckline with a twin needle. I sewed all the seams with an overlocker and finished the hems with the twin needle straight stitch on my normal sewing machine.

    Hey, that was so quick to write!


    See you soon
    - Gabrielle xx

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