Sunday, October 5, 2014

Teal jacket - no, shrug

I've been thinking about the Cake Patterns Carmine jacket since it was first announced. Why it has taken me this long to get to it I cannot say.
I found this lovely teal, ever so slightly sparkly ponte knit at Joann's and thought it would be perfect. I duly bought a yard and a half per the pattern's note that that was what I would need for a size 30. I opted to cut the 30D even though I probably should have followed the instructions to add extra to the bust. But then I realized that the next size up needed almost another full yard of a fabric, and there was no way that would work (plus, knits stretch! It would probably be fine.). In the end, the fabric was the winner.

And then I discovered that while a 30A would fit on of a yard and a half of fabric, a 30D certainly wouldn't. There are notes that you can cut this piece up, add seams, not cut on a fold, etc, but I couldn't see how that was actually going to help me. So I'm making the shrug instead. That does leave me me with about 20" of this 60" wide fabric left - I wonder what I could get out of that?

With only 4 pieces the shrug is really fast to cut. I'm trying it with "long" sleeves though.
The directions for the sleeve bands made it sound like this (above) is what was needed. People with better spatial reasoning skills would have realized that that was crazy, and avoided this spate of seam ripping. I'm not totally sure what benefit is actually gleaned from folding (and pressing) the bands first, then unfolding them and stitching them into the round, and then folding them back how they go.

Roll collar. Didn't bother to serge the edges.

My first try at gussets!
Hem around the edge of the gussett
The gussets seem way bigger than they need to be. (Maybe the jacket version needs them this big, but the shrug doesn't.) The pattern directs you to match the roll collar to the marks. With the exception of some notches for the center back, there are no other marks relevant to the collar. The images available are so vague that I have no idea if it's right. (I'm trying to figure out if pulling that piece substantially tighter so it ends at the end of the gussets, instead of the beginning, would improve the scenario.

The fit through the front, and back, for that matter, are large. I think the amount of fabric there may make sense for the jacket, but it is awkward on the shrug.
I did like the way the one side of the sleeve is longer than the other. The designer has a little description in the instructions about how this is supposed to mimic the curve that happens when you bend the arm, and I feel like that is accurate. I do like how the sleeves fit, although I would hesitate to label them as "long." 3/4 seems a more accurate description, and that's on me with my short arms.

Meh. It is fast to cut and sew. It IS comfortable. It's not very cute on though. I will probably wear it around the house, but doubt I'll wear it out.

So I did a bit of searching, to see what other sewists have made of this. There are a few instances of the jacket, but only one other example of the shrug (at least that I found). Birdandbicycle seems to have had similar issues. (She also seems to have positioned the roll collar the same way I did.)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Comic Book Shirt

Fabric: Green Lantern comic book covers, from Spoonflower. This is the basic combed cotton. Out of the package, it felt decidedly . . . crunchy. I was a little worried. I washed it first on cold (dried on regular), then ran it through the whole cycle again on hot. After having been through the wash twice, it did soften up substantially. I didn't measure to see what the shrinkage was. It seems to have shrunk some, but not drastically. How's that for scientific? When it came time time cut, despite having almost 1/2 yard more than called for in the pattern, I didn't like my pattern matching options. (The pattern repeat is about 10" wide and 20" tall.) So I lined things up to match the center fronts, and the pocket, and cut everything else however it fit (keeping the grain in mind), with the exception of the piece for the back (cut on fold), which was no-way no-how going to fit. I did some measuring and realized that if I were careful, I could get it out of one more yard, so went off to order one more yard (since they won't let you order portions of yards -- some of the seam allowances are actually in the white border around the print (but not the selvedge)). When I got the additional yard, I just washed it on hot, and it seems to have faded some compared to the other 3 yards. It's not incredibly noticeable, but if you look closely it's a little different.

Pattern: McCall's 2149. I've used this pattern before to make some Hawaiian-ish shirts for the husband. It's an older pattern, but still apparently in print. Obviously this is a style that doesn't change much, so that doesn't really matter. It's a fairly good pattern, although there is one quirk where the pattern instructions tell you to clip to the interfacing, where it really wants you to clip to the stitching line.

 The pocket is pretty well-matched, isn't it? I fixed that stitching along the left edge after this picture was taken. Doing so left some holes, but they're not something anyone not giving the pocket a close examination would notice.

I French seamed the side seams, and used bright green rayon seam binding around the armholes.

I was so focused on matching up the fronts correctly that I didn't even think about which side the buttons are supposed to go on on a man's shirt. (I sew mostly for myself - I'm selfish like that.) As I was cutting open the last buttonhole, I had this thought that I might have done them on the wrong side. I couldn't even bear to go check, however, since there was no changing it at that point. (But yeah. They're on the wrong side.) The pattern called for 4 buttons, which seemed like an insanely small number, so I used 6 instead, using the same spacing, but not leaving a big area without buttons at the bottom, per the pattern.

When looking at the prospect of hand-sewing 6 buttons, I realized that my sewing machine can sew on buttons. So I got out the manual and tweaked the settings, and voila! Amazing. I don't think my old machine had that capability.

I didn't take many pictures, but here it is all finished (a little blurry, as it was being held - and moved - at the time of the photo):