Friday, January 27, 2012

Practical Sewing: Painting Smock

A while back I made a ceramics smock with Simplicity 2245.  I decided I wanting the same thing for painting, so I just grabbed the same pattern and made it straight out of the envelope.  Nothing fancy, but practical and useful.  The fabric is a lightweight quilting cotton that will last for a while.  I'm thinking of making the dress version of this, but who knows.  I think about a lot of things.  If I were to make it again, I would do the sleeves differently.  The way I have them now is great for protecting the short sleeves of anything I wear underneath this, but is not so flattering to me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Violet With Curved Front Yoke

Yup, I made another Violet blouse.  This time I moved the bust dart into the shoulder and made a curved yoke piece using the instructions in Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear by Winifred Aldrich.

Here's a photo that kind of illustrates what I mean.  (I'm thinking of making a tutorial.)  I will separate and reassemble the yoke piece and use gathers instead of a dart on the shirt.

Because I made another black shirt, the details don't show up to well, so here is a close-up that has been lightened. (You can click on it to make it bigger.)

Here is what the shirt looks like on me.

I am very happy with this version of the shirt.  The next one won't be black, so maybe you'll be able to see the details.  My next project will actually not be a Violet blouse though.  I need to make a smock to paint in.

From the back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Black and White Violet

Why yes, I did make another Violet top from Colette Patterns.  I really need tops and I am not questioning anything that has got me excited about sewing right now.  After suffering from repeated dry spells this year, I'm just happy to be enjoying myself again.  With this version, I kept the modified cap sleeves, and added a semi-successful collar change.

I should have gone with smaller buttons, but I like these ones and it is too late to change my mind now.  There looks like there is some weird pulling at the upper bust.  Hmm.  I did not see that on the other versions.  Not sure if I am going to care.  Probably not.  The fabric is a stretch cotton I got from Gorgeous Fabrics ages ago.  It is a little thicker than the other fabrics I have used.  It works, but may be contributing upper bust shenanigans.  You can't really see the collar changes, so I will show you with the magic of the camera.

I could never get the curved part of the collar to look just right, no matter how hard I tried, so I just straightened it out.  It mostly worked.

You can see in this picture, which is taken with the garment flat, that by adding the little square parts, where the curves used to be, that the collar points are to close together.  It is not that noticeable on, because I am round instead of flat, but I will correct it for future versions.  All in all, I am pretty happy with this.

I do have plans for two more of these, but with more drastic alterations.  I am going to add a front yoke on one version and change the bust darts into shoulder tucks for another.  Like I said, whatever keeps me enjoying sewing and providing tops is a good thing.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Violet Save

So, remember my blue violet shirt with the bust darts that were too high and the collar where the interfacing bubbled?  Well, I managed to save it.
Ta da!

I just ripped out the darts and redid them lower down.  Easy peasy.  I was going to rip out the collar too, but the top buttonhole made that too hard, so I decided to add some embroidery to the collar to distract (cover up) the bubbles.  (The color of the previous picture is more accurate.)

It took me about three hours to do the whole collar.  Now I like it even more than I did before!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Party Dress

Here is my holiday party dress.  (Since I take these pictures with a tripod, my facial expression usually leaves something to be desired, which is why I am almost always headless.)  I have three events this year that call for a nice dress (Christmas, Fake New Year's eve, and a friend's reception) and I was in no mood to mess around with a new pattern and stress about fit.  (I had to monkey with the picture a little since there is no sun in Seattle.  The tights I am wearing are purple.)

I decided to go for a 60's silhouette, so I grabbed this great cotton sateen that I ordered ages ago from  It's heavyish, but not too much for winter.  I decided the pattern I made for the drop cloth dress was perfect; the only change I made was to take in the side seams a little and raise the hem to knee length.

I have worn things that were more flattering to my body, but I have seldom had more fun in a dress.  I received tons of compliments and I am quite happy with it.  It's not perfect, there were some tension issues with my machine, but it's great for a one season dress.