Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

I'm pretty happy with what I've completed this year:
3 pairs of pants
1 pair of pants for the husband
3 knit tops (Bonny Knit, Pastel Renfrew, and Striped Cabarita)
3 dresses (Anna 1, Anna 2, Red Velvet)
1 blouse (see below)

Apparently I do things in 1s or 3s.

What I learned this year:

  • I learned how to do French seams, which are not that hard. I have bad spatial reasoning skills so I do have to think them through a couple times to make sure I've got it right (and I usually try a sample on some leftover fabric), but they really give a nice, beautiful, clean finish to the inside of a garment.
  • I tried to learn how to make my own bias binding, but I failed miserably. Luckily I had some store-bought in about the right color, so used that to finish the blouse where I had planned on my own bias binding. See above re: bad spatial reasoning skills. Maybe I'll try again in 2014, but I'm okay with store-bought bias binding.
  • I learned how to do a FBA, which is a big part of why I sew. Also not that hard. My plan is to learn more fitting skills in 2014. There's something weird with my shoulders that I haven't quite figured out yet.
  • I scrapped two projects - one pair of pants that was in the UFO pile (they were there because I realized I wasn't going to like them even if I finished them), and a top that if I had been reading pattern reviews I never would have started. Ick that thing was terrible.  (Thus I learned when it's time to give up, and to always look for pattern reviews before starting a project.)


I haven't gotten around to really blogging the blouse, so I'll just do it here and get it over with. I made the Colette Jasmine blouse in a cheap polyester silky (that wants to be swiss dot and charmeuse all at once). Because it's pretty see-through when held up to the light, I opted to do French Seams. I wound up not doing them on the sleeve insertions, since I chickened out of figuring out how do to that, and I had already discovered the fabric wasn't as see-through as I thought. (In fact, I thought I might have to wear a camisole underneath to make it work appropriate, but it's fine without it.)
Otherwise, the result of the french seams is that the inside of the blouse looks fantastic! It really is a beautiful, clean look. Again, because of the semi-sheer nature of the fabric I opted for bias binding to finish the neckline (see failure above), and interfaced the sleeve cuffs with a beigish organza.


And let's do talk about the sleeve cuffs. They are ridiculously small. While I made the top, generally, in a size 4, I had to go up to the size 14, yes 14!, cuffs to make them fit. Because the sleeve is gathered I didn't do any other alteration to the sleeves to accommodate that change.
I did make a muslin of this, and made some alterations in the process - a high bust/short upper torso adjustment, and made the neckline smaller - it was extremely gapey, and way too low, even with the other adjustments. In the end I went too far, so before making it again I'll need to find the happy medium. Oh, and I wound up taking some darts in the back of the muslin to make the back of the blouse not stand inches away from my body. I transferred those to my pattern before cutting, and thus had to redraft all of the collar pieces as well.
I also should have made it longer. While it covers the top of pants, it only barely does. I do have a long waist, but I'm short enough overall that I don't usually have to make too many adjustments there. I could use at least 2 more inches. And I should have done a FBA, but between Colette being drafted for a C cup (which is smaller than I wear, but hey!), and the muslin seeming okay in that respect I didn't do it.

I will probably make this again, but I will probably play around with altering the neckline more seriously. I mean, how many bow blouses does a girl need?

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