Saturday, June 29, 2013

Scrap Happy

I had some rather large scraps left over from my graduation dress and the large print reminded me that  I wanted to make Hot Pattern 1146. The  Deco Vibe Shadow Woven T-Shirt & Tunic. A pattern for a woven fabric T shirt with contrast panels on the neckline, sleeves and side bodice.

Hot Pattern 1146 Deco Vibe Shadow Woven T Shirt
  This use of paneling in garments is a favorite look and I have many pictures in my inspiration file of it used in dresses, tops and even swim suits.

 I really like the bands on the bodice sides, on the neckline, across the shoulders and down the sleeve. Using  a darker color on the bands create a slimming  look in the torso, and horizontal lines across the shoulders. All good style lines for my pear shaped body.  I wanted to test the pattern first.  I have never made a Hot Pattern.   I have purchased several, some right after the company launched many years ago. The people that rave about HP are not shaped like me and there seem to be more reviews of knit tops than woven garments, so I have never been motivated to sew one before this. I could not find any reviews or even blog posts about this top.

 The body measurements on listed on the back of the pattern.   My measurements spanned sizes 12-16; bust a size 12, waist size 16, and hip size 14. The finished garments measurement was not provided for this pattern.  The difference between finished garment measurements and my body measurements is the ease that would be in the finished top. The ease, more than anything, determines the size I make in any pattern.  So I had to cut out all the pattern pieces, pin them together and measure the front and back bodice at bust, waist and hip, remembering to subtract out the seam allowances. I also assembled the sleeve (5 pattern pieces) and measured it too.  The finished garment measurements for a size 12 had 2 – 3” ease over my body measurement so that is the size I made.  Pinning together the pattern pieces is also a good way to check the pattern drafting accuracy and matching marks, and make sure you have cut out the correct size.  Hot Patterns have sizes 6 -26 printed on the same sheet with no differentiation in size line style (dots, dashes, colors).   The size labeling is sparse, often only printed next to the line on one side of the pattern.  It was under the size line on one piece and over the line on another pattern piece. Finding my size and cutting it out was a tedious, time-consuming activity. The differences is size are infinitesimal in places make a spirograph design of lines.  The size 6 line was barely visible on my pattern and since it was the only reference on some pattern pieces  (Size 12 was the fourth line  as in 6,8,10,12), it was very difficult to determine what line to use for the size I chose. 
Where is my size line?

Inconsistent  Size labeling
 There is a video on this top on YouTube Video. While it focuses on applying the decorative zipper in the center back, there were shots of the shirt in progress which helped me understand how to piece it together.   The direction  are sparse. The pictures were easy to understand.  The text on my copy of the pattern suffered from printing quality problems and was unreadable in many places . Sewing the top went very quickly after all the measuring and prepping.

The fabrics  for the first version were a print in a light weight cotton lycra woven and black fabric which was a rayon, poly, lycra ponte  knit. I was able to pull this top over my head so I did not put a zipper in the back.
partially assembled

  This pattern seemed to be "petited" from shoulder to bust. I had to drop the bust darts 2 inches.    The arm hole height was a bit short and the sleeve cap  height was only 3 inches.  Small sleeve heights are common in T- shirt sleeve to provide mobility and reduce the need for armhole ease in the sleeve.  I suspect this last reason is why the sleeves in this top were designed this way.  No ease  facilitates matching  the bands in the sleeve (4 seam lines) with the bands in the shoulder and side bodice area. But this armhole did not fit me well and had fabric bunched under the arm.  The back width was huge, over an inch and 5/8 wider than the body measurement.  Even for a T shirt fit, that is too much back width.  I took it out across the shoulders, moving in the back armholes but I should have taken it out all the entire length of the back. The top was huge in the waist area, even after I put in back waist darts.

Version 1 front

Version 1 side

  The sculpture I am posing with is an iron work door on the campus of Radford University where son #2, my baby, is going this fall. I thought the door  was symbolic of  my son  leaving home, opening a door on a new phase of his life, but able to look back and see us on the other side of the door. Can you tell I am not looking forward to an empty nest?  We were on campus for orientation. Temps in the 90’s F, severe thunderstorms interspersed with bright sunny skies and 98% humidity. My hair is an excellent hydrometer and in those conditions, will defeat any extra hold hair product on the market.  The schedule had us parents walking to different building at opposite ends of the campus for presentations, lectures, dining hall meals.  I think they wanted us exhausted and in “info overload’ for the final talk, which was about tuition and a few additional fees.

Version 2 of the top was made using my sloper with the band patterns superimposed over it.  Using the larger armholes on my sloper meant drafting a sleeve that had a bit of ease in it.  I was able to do this, add the panels to the sleeves, and still match the panels on the garment.
original sleeve versus new sleeve

 The second version is made from lightweight linen in black and light turquoise.  I really like the fit in the shoulder and sleeve much better.  Somehow the back is longer than the back on the first version. I need to shorten it,  as the first time I sit down , the back will be a wrinkled mess.

I love the style and fit of the 2nd version of the shirt. I strongly recommend making a muslin or test garment of this pattern.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

School's Out!

I did continue to wear me made garments during May as incentive to clean out my closet.  Finding the time to photograph myself was difficult and I decided not to bore you with pictures of me in garments, many of which  I gave away. Gone are several matched suits. Pants and jackets of  the same color and fabric, The pants didn’t fit as well as I would like and the jackets didn’t look good worn as a separate.   Gone are pants I had worn to the point of shabbiness. But I made a note of the pattern and what I liked or disliked about it. Gone are 2 of my first  lined jackets, made in the early 1990's. Why did I keep them so long? After much thought I concluded it was  because they were made when I got my first supervisory job and I wanted to look ..supervisory, which at that time, for women as well as men, meant a jacket.  They represented the accomplishment of a significant career milestone.  I've achieved a few more milestones since then, so it was easy to let them go. 

The clean out mentality spilled over into other areas. 

1. Fabric Stash - The juvenile prints left over from my sons' childhood will not be in fashion when my grandchildren come along. Gone!

2. Linen closet - Where did all these beach towel come from? Some with names of places I have never been to. Gone!  Power Ranger Sheets  Gone!

3. Blog Reader - moved to Bloglovin, Not really lovin it,  but it showed me how many blogs were on my list. Over 400 ! Deleted were blogs devoted to doing quirky things for a year, ones with too many ads and not much content, anything related to sewing vintage patterns, style blogs with one style, and some other attributes I won't go into.  Gone !

Son #2 decided to have his Boy Scout Eagle Court of Honor in June,  the same month as his High School graduation. Lots of family came for the weekend to celebrate with us.  It was a great time, but I had to relocate my sewing stuff out of  the sewing, I mean, dining room. Yes, I am the one that bought out all the plastic containers at the the Big Lots store.  Yes, they were stashed in every closet of the house and under the deck. As soon as the  company left, I had to get started on my dress for the graduation ceremony. Which container did I put that fabric in?   I found it and  finished the dress in time.

The pattern - Vogue 8902 - Misses Dress has close-fitting bias bodice and sides, seam detail, sleeve and skirt variations and back zipper, lined bodice and lots of topstitching. Sizes 6-22 with custom fit for A,B,C,D, cups.

Vogue 8902

I didn't notice that all dress pieces were bias cut when I bought the pattern. The recommended fabric is double knit, crepe or tropical wool.  I made the dress out of a printed cotton stretch sateen with the contrast inserts of ponte knit, and lined it in tricot knit. I felt the cotton stretch fabric had about the same amount of stretch as a crepe or tropical wool on the bias. This dress is rated easy, but I would rate it medium and time consuming. It has many angular pieces that are easy to mix up (mark notches and right and wrong sides) The seams of the angular pieces are not straight, but have some shaping in them, as does the center back seam below the waist. There is lots of top stitching. Only the bodice is to be lined, but I lined the whole dress. There is no separate lining pattern. You have to use the same patterns  as the garment, with all those pie wedges pieces, etc. My fabric was a abstract floral in purple, black and white. I used black fabric for the waist insets and sleeves to break up the print.

Vogue 8902 Front

Vogue 8902 Back
Zipper Lining detail

Proud Mom June 13, 2013