Saturday, May 30, 2020

Bias T Shirt Dress - Trend Patterns

I find bias cut garments intriguing and challenging.   I love the drape and flow of bias cut fabrics, but they do tend to cling to the curves/bumps of the  body wearing it.  My body shape fruit equivalent  is a pear, so an all bias dress tends to emphasize the size difference between my top and bottom.

What appealed to me about the Bias T Shirt dress was the T shirt type top with bust and waist shaping, merging into bias cut panels forming a drapey skirt with irregular hem.

The Bias T shirt dress pattern is available as a printed or PDF pattern from  Trend Patterns  I purchased the PDF pattern, which at $27.37 USD is  expensive.   Especially when I had to print and tape together 70 pages.  The few bloggers I found  that had made Trend Patterns had been gifted the patterns, and the posts were either  pablum  or posies.  There were more pictures on Instagram and they looked pretty good, so I decided to splurge.   I was saving on  gas, restaurant meals and haircuts.  Why not spend  money on  patterns.  

PDF patterns,  I don't mind putting them together, which is what seems to bother most people. What bothers me is the heavier weight of the paper used in the typical home printer. It makes the pattern pieces  difficult to pin to the  fabric without distortion,  and hard to fold and store.  Yes, I could trace the pattern onto tissue  paper. But that is another step I am not willing do,   I have bought A4 sized  tracing paper to try in a home printer, PDF printing  experiment in the future.

Some vexations,  I had with this particular PDF pattern.

Size Differentiation. The sizes were not layered in the PDF so that you can choose and print only the size(s) you need.  The pattern pieces were differentiated by pretty colors for each size with minimal labeling. I would have preferred different line styles (dots, dashes and combos of these).  I printed the pattern out in grey scale not wanting to use my precious colored ink. I had to rely on the limited size labeling and follow lines carefully through spirographic  type intersections  when cutting.

Dart markings -  except for the smallest size, there were no lines, just starting points at the seam line and a point buried in a crowd of  overlapping circles of  X's, indicating dart apex.

I chose a mini navy /turquoise check material from the deep stash. It is a rayon blend of some sort.  It was one of the few pieces of drapey fabric in my stash with the right weight, width, and length.  This pattern takes almost three yards of 54-60 inch fabric.

The pattern has large irregularly shaped pieces that must be cut in a single layer. I moved furniture and cut my fabric out on the floor.  A bit hard on the knees and my furry friends thought it was play time. Though  I just realized they have a harder time destroying the heavier printer paper patterns than they do regular  tissue paper patterns.
Pattern Layout

Assembling the pattern and cutting out the fabric took the most time.  The sewing goes quickly. There are good illustrations showing how to assemble the garment pieces. Other construction, such as sewing in the sleeves, is mentioned in a brief sentence with no illustrations.   There is one pocket in an angled skirt seam and a zipper in an angled seam in the back. I inserted the zipper but when I found I did not need to unzip it to get the dress over my head (combo of bias fabric stretch and small bust), I took it out.

The finished garment measurements are given on the pattern instructions.  I selected a size 14 with the garment measurement matching my measurements, assuming the bias would have some give.  I could have gone down a size smaller.  I took  in the top on the side seams, but decided not to take in the skirt on the bias seams because size grading allowances was different on adjoining pieces.   I also reduced the shoulder seam width about 5/8 inch.  When I tried on the unhemmed dress, the longest point of my skirt was almost to  the floor. I shorten the dress by trimming   1” off the hem edge and  using  a larger hem allowance to finish the bottom edge.  I  ruched up the sleeve ( zigzagged stitched over a piece of elastic)  to give it shape and shorten it  a bit . 

My beautiful Mother's Day bouquet was on it last legs the day I photographed the dress, so I used it as a prop to memorialize it.

Trend Patterns Bias T-Shirt Dress

Trend Patterns Bias T-Shirt Dress

I like the dress very much. It is comfortable and  the skirt is very  twirl worthy. I also wore the dress that day for the  backyard graduation ceremony we staged for  DS #2.  College was a challenge for him for many reasons, but he made it to the end,  and was so looking forward to walking in the graduation ceremony and celebrating with classmates and friends.   Covid 19 changed that. We made him wear the university cap and gown his girlfriend wore last year. He  walked around the back yard while we played the  "Pomp and Circumstance" graduation walking march on a cell phone (that music makes me tear up every time I hear it).  His Dad presented him with a diploma and we all hooped and hollered and  tossed confetti. It buoyed his spirits considerably.  As did the virtual  graduation party he had with his friends later that evening.

Ah,  the memories we will have from the spring of 2020. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

BurdaStyle May Issue Makes

The May issue of BurdaStyle arrived last week and it had so many patterns for warm weather tops.    Sleeveless or short sleeved tops can be quick to sew.  They can often be made from large remnants of fabric left over from a previous project. (Does using up remnants count as stash reduction?)   And they are great worn on their own or under a  jacket or sweater when the air conditioning is turned up.

 I loved the first top because of its trapeze shape and asymmetrical, contrasting flounce trim.

I made it in a remnant of turquoise sanded silk from this project 70s-style-updated 2007   with a navy silk/lycra crepe flounce.  The flounce is an unhemmed bias cut band.  It takes time to  carefully ease the flounce band at the seam allowance so that it lays flat at its outer edge around the curved bottom hem or when turned back around the armhole. It took me a couple of tries to get it right.  The arm hole and neckline are finished with a combination or “all in one” facing.

 The Burdastyle instructions for this top include sewing an invisible zipper in the center back seam,  in one of the earlier construction steps.  Not having an open front or back seam  requires that the “all in one” facing be completed by sewing the shoulders seams.  This is a fiddly method and there are easier ones you can use if the center back seam is sewn together last. I always need a refresher on dealing with an All in One facing. Here are the YouTube videos that I used this time.

How to sew an all in one armhole and neckline facing  shows how to finish at shoulder seam.

Install an All in One Facing - Threads Magazine   the two easier methods that can be used if there is an open center back or front seam.

I  used the easier method because I did not put in a back zipper. I did not have the correct color or length in my stash and felt it might be a bit heavy for the fabric.  After finishing the facing, I sewed up the center back seam with a small slit at the neckline. And a loop and button so I could pull the top over my head.

Side View - really low armhole, will be adding insert

BurdaStyle 5 2020 120

Top # 2 is style 115 from the same issue. It is sleeveless with a partially gathered  front neckline. The back has a cut on extension that forms the sleeves, attaching with a raglan type seam to the front.  I used a remnant of silk print left over from this project. strong-shoulders 2009   I did make a quick muslin of this pattern because I have all kinds of high back and shoulder anomalies and was not sure what alterations would be needed.  Turned out my normal addition of  5/8" to high back length worked  fine.

This top has a slightly dressy vibe because  of the high neck.  

It is perfect for looking polished in video meetings from the waist up,  worn with comfy  "work at home"  leggings.  And if I ever get to return to the office, it will look nice worn with  more professional looking pants or skirt.

BurdaStyle  5 2020 115

I hope everyone is hanging in there.  I am looking forward to the end of self isolation and getting a haircut. My son made a comment about my hair  looking like  I should be competing in the Westminster Dog show. Woof!

The  #sewyourwardrobebasics  theme for May was Tops.  Check out Stefanie's StyleArc top and other sewists' makes at  Sea of Teal