Monday, October 7, 2013

Weed & Winterize

There have been some major shake-ups at Howard's work that are affecting his schedule. Last week, he worked night shift for the first time in at least fifteen years - and that was strange - and this week he has Sun, Mon, and Tues off and then works four long days although we think he might be called in earlier since they're short staffed. Either way, we needed to do the outside work while we had time and before it got too cold so...




... on Saturday we decided to weed and winterize the front garden. I moved some of the plants to new locations now that I've seen how they preformed and how tall they got and I split a few others - lilies - to thicken the coverage. This summer was our first garden year at this house and I think it turned out quite well. We received a lot of compliments and hopefully the changes will be pretty next spring.




I also worked on a button up shirt out of a double knit and LOVED the way it was coming together. It felt warm and cozy like a sweatshirt only better. I stitched the seams and then trimmed them to a quarter inch and pressed them open and then...




... top stitched from the right side with a twin needle. When I made a sample, it made a lovely pin tuck that I thought looked great along the seam line.




The pattern is McCall's 6035. I've sewn it numerous times before BUT... when I say before I mean BEFORE learning my latest set of alterations back when I used a 1" petite adjustment which raises the armhole. After I'd inserted the sleeves and tried it on, the armhole was uncomfortably low in an awkward, hard to reach while wearing this, position with a clunk of fabric in the armpit which is too bad because...




... I really liked this grey linen version I sewed a few years ago. At some point, I'll adjust the armhole and try again only not right now because this week I need to focus on simple and done with tops HOWEVER... the double needle pin tucks are GORGEOUS and so is the fabric so I've put the remnants in the zero waste box and have ideas for how to take the pieces forward into another garment.

What I really need to wear is a half dozen black t-shirts to go with everything in my (minimal) wardrobe. What I really need to sew is something a little more adventurous than that which is why I started with the McCall's blouse. If you think about it, getting a blouse to the collar stage doesn't take much more time than getting a t-shirt to the neck band stage. This blouse had front and back princess seams, side seams, and center front. My t-shirt pattern has front and back princess seams, side seams, and a center back seam. Add the sleeves and the only difference is how long will it take you to finish the neck edge and will you do about center front. Both need hemming. My goal with the McCall's pattern was to sew a blouse out of a knit to see if I'd wear it more often than I wear woven versions - which is rarely - so - after I alter the pattern - I'll try it again.






This week has gotten extremely busy. It's weird how some weeks are like that with the schedule choke full and other weeks it's virtually empty or more balanced. Busy is going to make it more difficult to sew the tops I'd hoped to finish which means continuing to focus on simple garments that won't take too long to finish however...

... that can be boring... which is why I can't face the idea of half a dozen black t-shirts although it'd be easy to do. I guess I want to experiment a bit although I'm not sure about the collar on this Vogue 8886 pattern. It's definitely awkward to wear jewelry with and seems quite wide like something would be perching on my shoulder. The princess seams are great for my figure and the pattern comes with cup sizes. Even if I change the neckline, I think it's worth trying. What do you think? When I checked the reviews I still couldn't decide although everyone seemed to like the pattern.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the garden is ready for winter, the double knit makes great pin tucks and won't be wasted

10 comments:

  1. I can see why you would find the style lines of the body of the dress appealing, as they make it easier to customise the fit, but if you end up not liking the collar/neckline, it seems like it would be a real challenge to change it, since it is so wide to start with. I think of changing necklines as easier if it is too small, then cutting away or reshaping is much simpler... still it might be a challenge that you would enjoy! That shape of neckline looks as though it would add emphasis to the bust, being a horizontal line somewhat in proximity. Personally I so much prefer necklines that I can wear necklaces with that I would be unlikely to wear a style like that, but you could wear some interesting and funky brooches?

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    1. I'm intrigued that both you and Lois see changing the collar shape as difficult. It's actually quite simple so I'll be sure and take pictures of that at some time in the future so you can see how. It's a matter of matching center front and the shoulder angle and working from there.

      The style lines are definitely me. My bust could use some emphasize so perhaps I should give that collar more thought. I've been debating making the top out of a knit and using a narrow rolled edge to follow the neckline shape as opposed to the more prominent collar. I'm still tracing the pattern so we'll see. Brooches would be interesting... if I had some... hmm... let's think... maybe I have one or two that would work. I'm more a necklace person so I'd need to dig in the chest and see if I kept those the last time I decided I didn't really wear them.

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    2. aha! I think I know what was stumping me, and why you think it would be easy to change the collar shape... I was imagining changing the shape *after* the dress had been made up, and I think that you are suggesting changing the shape as part of the pattern alteration before making up the dress... in that case, yes indeed it would be easy to reshape the neckline/collar zone, substitute different neckline options and so forth...

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    3. Yes, I did mean before although I took the pictures yesterday and it's not as wide as you'd think - more of a ballet type neckline. I'll post those asap.

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  2. I agree the collar looks awkward to wear. Is the rest of the dress some how different from other princess seamed dress patterns that you've already worked with? I think the point of this dress is the collar. I don't think I'd spend the time and effort to fit a new pattern if I were going to change the part that is distinctive about this pattern. However, if this dress is cut differently than the other patterns you've got and you want to try this different silhouette - then that is a whole different story.

    Lois K

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    1. What's good about this pattern is the princess seams, the higher armhole with an on the shoulder point sleeve cap, the cup sizing, the 3/4 sleeve length, the shaped waistline, and the size range of the pattern that allows me to use their style lines to cut the back wider than the front to accommodate my hips. I'm right at the edge of sizing. I find that interesting because when I'm at Pattern Review and think I'm about that woman's size and then read that they cut an X size and it's much smaller than me, I have to wonder if I'm just a little too fluffy. Of course, I could say I'm an X when really only my shoulders are so I wonder if that's what's happening some times.

      I think I'll try the silhouette because I'd like to sew it as a top and a dress if it works out.

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  3. We did yardwork too this weekend! Although there's no snow predicted for anytime soon, I need to "may hay while the sun shines". If it snowed tomorrow, the essentials are done. It's hard when your husband's work shifts around like that. Mike (my husband) has done that for years (manager at a car dealership)...and it often felt like we would just get a routine in place and then his schedule would change. Thankfully child care isn't a concern any longer!
    Love the knit shirt - hope it works out the way that you want. How did (or did you) interface the collar?

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    1. LOL - we did our yard work for the same reason.

      The knit shirt is no more. The low armhole meant I'd never wear it so there didn't seem much point in going forward. I'd do the tuck work on the fabric when I have a bit more time and evolve it into something else. I would have interfaced the collar using FusiKnit with the stretch going along the collar.

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  4. I love collars like that. They can be tricky to wear--it all depends on time of year, coats, etc.

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    1. I feel that way about cowl and shawl collars as well. It's as if everything has to be tucked under them. As I wrote that, I thought yes - I prefer to build up from the smallest layer meaning to wear a plain necked shirt - typically knit - with a cardigan, necklace, scarf, or coat with a collar as opposed to starting with the "big stuff" at the bottom. Good to confirm.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.