Knit Sweetheart Top

Finally, another piece for the Wardrobe Architect Challenge is done. This is the Knit Sweetheart Top from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. Changes I made:

  • Short sleeves rather than 3/4 or cap (I just shortened the 3/4 pattern piece).
  • Turned under the sleeve hems rather than using bands (kind of regret this as my sewing machine is causing all kinds of puckering!).
  • Just serged the bottom hem rather than turning under (it’s shortened a bit, too). Hey, I’m planning on mostly wearing it tucked in and this way it stays stretchy (I don’t think my machine can handle a twin needle and my serger doesn’t do overlock).

sweethearttee_1I had to take in the sides at the waist quite a bit to make this fit to my body a bit better; I probably could’ve just cut a smaller size, but the knit I used (a cotton interlock) is rather heavy and I wasn’t sure if it might end up feeling too tight in the chest and hips.

sweethearttee_2I realize the shoulders are, as usual, too wide for me. But I’m too lazy to fix it in this shirt. Next one! In any case, I love the neckline; I made no adjustments and I think it turned out the perfect size (and it’s much more interesting than a plain crewneck). I can definitely see myself making more of these.

On another note, I’ve recently been bitten by the intense desire to make a long peasant-style dress out of cotton gauze (like, uh, this one). I wouldn’t need a pattern! I know where I can get inexpensive gauze! It would be lightweight and comfortable! But would I really wear it as an everyday dress, or would it be too costume-y…??? Argh.

Anyway, here’s where the queue stands (incidentally, the queue does seem to change every time I post it since I’m continually changing my mind refining my plan *cough*). I’m leaning toward doing the long petticoat skirt next. I need more long skirts once it’s warm enough to not wear tights.

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe Sewing Queue

Skirts

  1. MAKE: Knee-length Hollyburn in black cotton poplin; white lining with white eyelet ruffle (longer than overskirt); contour waistband; elastic in back of waistband
  2. MAKE: Long petticoat skirt in black voile with deep ruffle, gathered at waist with back elastic
  3. IN PROCESS: Brown midi petticoat skirt–need to shorten the skirt I have and fix waistband (add lining? add pockets?) (currently rethinking this since really it works fine as it is…)
  4. IN PROCESS: Blue denim Hollyburn–need to take in waistband (okay, this color isn’t technically in my palette, but I’m considering it a neutral denim)
  5. IN PROCESS: Black floral circle skirt with attached black eyelet petticoat–need to replace waistband

Tops

  1. MAKE: Peplum top in black interlock with Nevermore collar (Simplicity 1699 view B)
  2. DONE: Sweetheart t-shirt in white interlock (from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual)
  3. MAKE: Sweetheart t-shirt in black jersey (currently rethinking this since I do already have a plain black tee that’s perfectly wearable…)
  4. DONE: Peplum top from Lady Skater in cream jersey
  5. MAKE: Another cream or green top?
  6. HAVE: Black & white polka dot Bronte top
  7. HAVE: Gray & black horses print Bronte top
  8. IN PROCESS: Black tunic top from Weekender Dress pattern
  9. IN PROCESS: Black gauze top–need to add shirring to waist

Dresses

  1. HAVE: Gray floral Lady Skater
  2. HAVE: Black and gray Weekender Dress
  3. HAVE: Green and pink floral Lady Skater
  4. HAVE: Green knee-length dress with neck ties (purchased)

Outerwear

  1. MAKE: Long-sleeve bolero in gray (or black?) linen or laceweight sweater knit or lightweight sweatshirt fleece (Butterick 5232 [out of print, sorry!])
  2. HAVE: Olive military jacket (purchased, but need to fix closures)
  3. HAVE: Gray jersey elbow-length cardigan w/ ruffles (purchased)
  4. HAVE: Black and cream lightweight sweater knit cardigan (purchased)

Transition Stays

When last I blogged, I mentioned that I’d been somewhat sidetracked from the WA Challenge by a couple of historical costuming projects. This is the first: A “Transition Stay” Fashionable Circa 1796-1806 (#030) by Past Patterns. The booklet includes a few pages of historical notes, explanations of hand stitches, the actual instructions, and a paper doll(?!). I read over the instructions for sewing it completely by hand, had a chuckle, and sewed it mostly on my machine using the method I used for my Victorian corset (sew lining and fashion fabric separately, then join at center fronts with right sides together). All I did by hand was make the eyelets, finish the binding, and attach the breast band casing. Oh, I guess I also overcasted the center fronts because the reeds there didn’t seem to be fitting tightly enough. Plus, it kind of fakes that it’s handsewn, right?!

transitionstays_eyeletsOverall, this was a very quick make. I found fitting to be quite easy (for once). I made a straight size muslin (unusual for me, but since it laces with a gap I figured I’d try it) and ended up just taking in the top front a bit at the side seams. Since the stays end at the waist, you don’t need to worry about fitting at the hips at all.

transitionstays_backI used a heavyweight linen and lined it with a mediumweight linen. The pattern calls for “oval-oval” reed, but I couldn’t find that anywhere so I used flat-oval reed. It seems to work fine. I actually bought my pattern from Wm. Booth Draper, which also sells the metal bands that the pattern calls for.

transitionstays_metalbandBy far, the most tedious part was sewing all the boning casings, but it still didn’t take that long. You may also notice in the top photo that I crisscross laced it although the pattern calls for spiral lacing. Well, the pattern didn’t say to offset the eyelets and even though I know better I didn’t offset them, either. So if you try spiral lacing, one side ends up pulled higher than the other. Crisscross it is!

transitionstays_leftI admit, the two main reasons I decided to go with this particular pattern after having tried short stays were (1) it doesn’t have straps–for me, a bane of fitting the short stays–and (2) it laces in front (my cats are not very helpful when it comes to assisting me with dressing . . . ). I’m very pleased with how the finished stays turned out! Like I said, they were quick and easy to make (if you cheat by sewing on a machine, hahahaha), fitting was simple, and after wearing them all day today I can report that they were comfortable and held the, ahem, ladies up where they need to be for this style of dress.

Lady Skater Peplum Top

I’ve been somewhat waylaid by a historical costuming opportunity (more on that when I finish the items), but I’ve at least completed the first item for 2015’s WA Challenge: A cream-colored peplum top.

This is adapted from the Lady Skater dress pattern, following instructions here. I increased the flare using the half-inch slash-and-spread technique and I’m pretty happy with that size. The peplum is about 8.5 inches long.

skater_peplum_cream2The other obvious difference from the original dress pattern is the puff sleeves! I used this method (link goes to a PDF) to draft the puff sleeves (separating the pieces by 1/2 inch rather than 1 inch) and added a band around the bottom. The sleeve bands are a bit baggy on me, but it’s comfy this way and I don’t think it looks “wrong.” (I also liked the look of the sleeves before I added the bands–they had an angel-wing or kimono look. I still can’t decide whether I should should’ve just left them like that.)

skater_peplum_cream1Otherwise, I’d already adjusted the pattern by shortening the bodice when I made the dresses. This time, I also did a sway-back adjustment (instructions here); you can’t tell from this photo (oh well), butI swear it has actually eliminated some of the wrinkling!

skater_peplum_cream3I really love this pattern (in case you can’t tell from the fact that this is the third garment I’ve made from it). It’s easy and produces flattering and comfortable garments. I’m looking forward to making some other variations with long sleeves for the fall and winter.

By the way, since many of my makes for spring/summer call for a fairly small amount of fabric, and since I’m stocking up on solid colors in basic shades, I decided to spring for fancy-pants organic cotton. This top is made from organic cotton jersey in “natural”–it’s very soft and lovely so far. The edges curl up like crazy, unfortunately, but since I’m used to this pattern it didn’t cause me too much angst.

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe Sewing Queue

Skirts

  1. MAKE: Knee-length Hollyburn in black cotton broadcloth or poplin; white lining with white eyelet ruffle (longer than overskirt); contour waistband; elastic in back of waistband
  2. MAKE: Long petticoat skirt in black lawn or voile with deep ruffle, gathered at waist with back elastic
  3. IN PROCESS: Brown midi petticoat skirt–need to shorten the skirt I have and fix waistband (add lining? add pockets?)
  4. IN PROCESS: Blue denim Hollyburn–need to take in waistband (okay, this color isn’t technically in my palette, but I’m considering it a neutral denim)
  5. IN PROCESS: Black floral circle skirt with attached black eyelet petticoat–need to replace waistband

Tops

  1. MAKE: Peplum top in black ponte with Nevermore collar (Simplicity 1699 view B)
  2. MAKE: Sweetheart t-shirt in white jersey (from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual)
  3. MAKE: Sweetheart t-shirt in black jersey (assuming this pattern works for me)
  4. DONE: Peplum top from Lady Skater in cream
  5. MAKE: Another cream or green top?
  6. HAVE: Black & white polka dot Bronte top
  7. HAVE: Gray & black horses print Bronte top
  8. IN PROCESS: Black tunic top from Weekender Dress pattern
  9. IN PROCESS: Black gauze top–need to add rows of elastic to waist

Dresses

  1. HAVE: Gray floral Lady Skater
  2. HAVE: Black and gray Weekender Dress
  3. HAVE: Green and pink floral Lady Skater
  4. HAVE: Green knee-length dress with neck ties (purchased)

Outerwear

  1. MAKE: Long-sleeved bolero in gray (or black?) linen or laceweight sweater knit or lightweight sweatshirt fleece (Butterick 5232 [out of print, sorry!])
  2. HAVE: Olive military jacket (purchased, but need to fix closures)
  3. HAVE: Gray jersey elbow-length cardigan w/ ruffles (purchased)
  4. HAVE: Black and cream lightweight sweater knit cardigan (purchased)