Thursday, July 05, 2018

Garment sewing, again

It seems to happen a lot in the summer for some reason, but I've become interested in sewing clothing again. This time it was because I edited out all of the long skirts in my wardrobe because I lost some weight and none of the old ones fit anymore. I tend to wear skirts and dresses more in the summer and I like to have at least one long skirt because it's so comfortable to wear. I had a terrible time trying to shop for one because I'm very short, so I finally broke down and decided to sew my own.

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I pulled a piece of medium weight linen from my stash that's been around for years. I did not use a pattern for this skirt. I just measured the length I needed plus length for the elastic casing and hem, and cut one length, then divided it into two equal sized rectangles. My fabric was about 60" wide, so the two panels were a bit less than 30" wide. I also used a pattern piece from a dress that I had for the side seam pockets.

This skirt was incredibly simple to make, but I did have some issues with the elastic. I wanted a skirt that hits at the natural waist, but I did not take into account how heavy my fabric is. The weight of it drags the skirt down a lot. I had to adjust the elastic a few times to make it tighter and I'm still not 100% happy with the fit at the waist. Next time I would make the elastic significantly shorter than I think I need, maybe 2.5 to 3" shorter to help keep it up on the waist. I also did a blind hem by machine and this is the first time using that stitch where I've been happy with the results. Because the fabric was on the heavy side, I simply serged the edges for the hem rather than turning them under and creating an additional layer of bulk.

I should get a decent amount of wear out of this skirt over the summer but honestly it's too hot right now to wear it. I think this skirt is more of an 80 degree skirt rather than the 100s we've been experiencing.

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Next up is a summer tank. I used Vogue 9109, view A. It only has 2 pattern pieces and comes with different cup sizes, so I didn't have to do an SBA, which is nice. Even though it is so simple I went ahead and made a muslin. I've been watching a few fitting classes on Craftsy unlimited and I've really learned a lot from them.

I used up some old floral cotton poplin from my stash that I was never going to make into anything else (one of those "What was I thinking?" purchases) for my muslin fabric. I used the A cup front piece and added 1/4" of width to the shoulder, which I then had to remove from the armhole. I shortened the entire top by 4.5" to make it hit just below the hip. I also scooped about 1" from the back at the waist because I have a swayback. I'm really quite happy with the fit overall. I could see myself making this top again in a slightly more cropped version to wear with high-waisted pants, and lengthened/widened at the hem as an easy-fitting dress.

The only thing I did not care for was the neckline and armhole finishes. I made my own single-fold bias tape, and I find the method of attaching it a little fiddly. I think I prefer the double-fold binding that gets turned and stitched down to the inside. I will probably substitute that method next time.

Although I do still have a clothing fabric stash, I no longer like a lot of what is in it so I went to Joanns and bought this denim blue pinstripe cotton eyelet shirting for the top. it's nice and lightweight but it is quite sheer, which is annoying. I'll probably have to wear a nude tank underneath. I also purchased 2 other new fabrics so hopefully you will see them made up soon.

I am trying very hard to be more intentional with my sewing. In the past I believe I've sewn up pieces just to get fabric out of my stash without taking into account what I will actually wear. I also haven't been as thorough as I could be with fitting or taking my time with techniques. These days my time is so precious that I don't want to waste it on sewing something that doesn't really fit in my wardrobe, or that I don't wear because it doesn't fit well or there's some sloppiness that makes it look homemade. I plan to really carefully monitor how much I wear what I've sewn so that I can avoid making mistakes in the future and only sew what I love.

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