Summer Strawberries - MF Summer Top

5.25.2015

The calendar might say it's still Spring, but the buckets of sweat coming off my body says it's summer. Yes my friends, most of May has been in the high 80's and I ironically married a person who thinks air conditioning is a new fangled invention for people who lack moral character.  Since I can't blow my lizard person cover by laying around on cold rocks, the other solution was to sew a lot of new summer tops. Last week's vintage Simplicity 2086 was the first pattern out of the gate. After that I decided not worry about any grading and sew a pattern currently in print.

This year I haven't been excited about most of the new pattern releases. Must be an off year for me or something.   So it was a nice change when I saw the new Maison Fleur line and feel in love with the summer top. Those little tie shoulders, so cute!  Must buy it and whip it up IMMEDIATELY! Is there anything quite like the instant gratification of downloading a PDF? I submit that there is not.
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Looking at the size chart it looked like the pattern was drafted for those of us who are...ahem... a little bottom heavy. Around these parts we like to call it "cake storage." Instead of blending two sizes, I traced a straight size twelve and made up my muslin without any changes to the pattern.  I was surprised and pleased to find that the muslin fit almost perfectly.  The only change needed was my standard shortening of the waist darts.
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I thought a fun little print would be a good combination with this pattern and reached for the strawberry cotton poplin that Vibes and Scribes* sent me last month.  It's a nice light weight poplin and being 100% cotton it's very well behaved under the sewing machine. They have lots of cute print cottons and their customer service was lovely.  Definately will be added them to my list of trusted on-line retailers.
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Between the easy fabric and easy to sew pattern this top got whipped up in no time. Now all I need to figure out is what fabric to use next. :)

Side note - Way back in January you might remember that I had a small sewing list of things to make. One of them was this red circle skirt that I'd bought fabric for back in December.  Well it finally got sewn last week when I needed something bright to pair with this top.  The skirt is based on the pinupgirl Doris skirt since it's a heavy weight cotton twill similar to the bottom weight cotton sateen they use. (One difference, they use a stretch cotton and this twill is non stretch.) The design is a simple 3/4 circle with a 2.25" slightly curved waistband and belt loops.  It closes in the back with a centered zipper and is 27" long. Gorgeous fabrics does still have this red twill in stock if you like it. But only buy it for pants/skirts/jackets, it's much to heavy and stiff for other garments.

Pattern
Maison Fleur 1301 Summer Blouse Pattern - View 1
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Fabrics used
Cotton Poplin from Vibes and Scribes (Still available in this color. Also comes in an ivory background with black polka dots that is equally tempting.)

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Dropped the waist dart 1.25".

Confessions/Advice
- Thought I should note that the seam allowance is 3/8" on this pattern. So make sure your fitting is spot on before delving into real fabric.

- The top is constructed with "all in one facings" that are sewn on before the side seams are sewn. This makes the sewing the facings on very easy.  I did double check my fitting before inserting the side seam zipper.
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Husband Comment
"I like the loopy things and the fabric is like strawberries in the stars."

My Final Thoughts
I'm currently in the mood to sew separates and this pattern coordinates well with several of the skirts in the wardrobe. It whipped up really quickly and it's very fun to wear. I'll be making a few more for certain. Current plans are trying the pattern in stretch woven and maybe turning the top into a dress.  So many possibilities!
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*The strawberry fabric for this blog post was provided for free, but the pattern was bought with my own money. I didn't spend it all on shoes this month. ;) 

MMM-15 Week 3 Round Up

5.22.2015

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood today and I'm crashing out, with frizzy hair, glasses and me-made PJ's which you'll never see a picture of. :)  Instead have a look at this weeks outfits.  


Day 17
Top - Gypsy top from Vivian of Holloway
Skirt - Emery from Christine Hayes
Shoes - Harlow from Miss L Fire
Brooch - Luxulite

Day 18
Top - Edith from Maria Denmark
Skirt - Betsy from Bluegingerdoll
Shoes - Rock Lobster from Miss L Fire
Brooch- Luxulite

Day 19
Dress - McCall's 6696
Brooch - Vintage Bee
Day 20
Top - Bardot Boat Neck from Collectif
Dress - Lea from Jolie Marie Louise (Currently unavailable)
Shoes - Cherry Pop from Miss L Fire
Brooch - Luxulite

Day 21
Top - RTW sweater from Tatyana
Skirt - Emery from Christine Hayes
Shoes - Chelsea Crew

Vintage Summer - Simplicity 2086

5.19.2015

It's not the first time I've said it but it bears repeating, the on-line sewing community is pretty amazing. It's full of encouragement, knowledge and generosity.  Last month I was lucky to be the recipient of some sewing community generosity when Lori of "Girls in the Garden"  sent me an email. "Would I be interested in some vintage patterns she's gotten from an Aunt?"  Yes Please!  Lori then proceeded to mail me not one, but three boxes of patterns to make Gollum like cackling noises over. All the preciouses!

The patterns spanned from the 40's through to the 70's and I had a good time looking at style changes and picking out my favorites. Not surprisingly most of my picks were 50's area designs and I decided to bump one of them to the top of the sewing queue.  Let me present Simplicity 2086, View 3. (You can see the original pattern illustration below in the review area.)
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The pattern comes with two classic looking halter views and then BAM, a non halter variation you weren't expecting. View 3 has straps that come out of the bodice, crossing under the neck.  The straps then continue around the back for a normal strappy top look.  So chic.
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The pattern was a one size smaller than my bust so some slash and spread grading was needed  Two grading lines were drawn on each pattern piece and I spread each area 1/4". That gave an extra 1/2" width on the quarter, for an extra 2" in increased width on my entire pattern. (See Christmas dress post for more details on this type of grading if you're interested.)
After making muslin number one I found that this pattern must run small because the entire bodice was very tight. There was also a problem with the strap shoulder seam being too far forward. The straps themselves hadn't been graded so I had to go back and add 3/8" to both the front and back straps at the shoulder seam. On the body I decided to go the easy route and add extra ease to the side seams instead of regrading. Muslin number two was much better, but I needed to tinker with the ease at the side seam a bit. Since my bust line is low I had to take some ease out at the top of the blouse and add a bit more at the bottom. (Final amounts are in the alterations area.) Even with the added task of the grading this pattern was very easy to fit.  I was especially impressed with how nicely the straps lay against the body straight out of the envelope.
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My blouse was sewn up in a vintage tropical print cotton that was bought earlier this year. The real fabric behaved a bit differently than the muslin, stretching out under the arms. This wasn't too surprising since the upper bodice is cut on the bias and only had stay stitching to tame the stretch. In hindsight I probably should have fused some extra interfacing on that edge. Instead some "on the fly" alterations were needed to take in the top of the side seam. Thankfully this wasn't hard to do since the directions instruct you sew the facings on before completing the side seams.  I only had to go back in, sew a new side seam and the top fit great. Hooray!

Pattern
Vintage Simplicity 2086. Here it is in all of it's original fashion illustration glory. "Judy" is busy calling people on her shell phone.

Fabrics used
Vintage cotton print from Etsy.

Pattern changes/alterations
(Made after grading)
1. Dropped bust dart 1.5".

2. The side seams needed to be rebalanced to fit me.  The top part of the blouse was taken in 1/2" and the bottom area was graded out 3/4" at the hem.

Confessions/Advice
- The pattern suggested using a separating zipper for the closure. I decided to go with an invisible zip instead.

- The other sewing change made was to attach the back straps by sewing them into the facing/body seam. The vintage directions said to hand stitch them into the facing.

- I catch stitched all the facings down so they wouldn't flip out. The busy print helps to hide the thread "picks" on the right hand side.

- There was a lot of interest in this pattern and since making a ton of copies isn't something that's easy for me to do, I'm going to show you the pattern pieces. I hope this will hope those of you with drafting skills come up with something similar.

Front pieces
The front bodice has a waist seam, a CF seam, and the front half of the strap. During construction you would sew the CF seam up to the dot and then leave the strap area to be sewn to the facing.  The facing is also the back part of the strap. It finished both the upper edge of the front and the two strap edges.
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Back Pieces
The back does not have a waist seam, it's a standard sleeveless block with a fish eye dart. It also has a facing to finish the upper edge.  There is a strap back piece that sews to the front strap at the shoulder. This piece is cut 4 times to completely finish the edges of the strap.
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Husband Comment
"I like it. Great shoulder exposure and looks good from all angles."
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My Final Thoughts
Dear Simplicity, please re-release this pattern so that all my friends can have one. I'm pretty sure you'd sell a lot of copies. The design is classy, comfortable to wear and bonus, quick to sew up.  I'd high recommend it if you can get your hands on a copy.  Thank you so much Lori for sending me one!

MMM-15 Week Two Round Up

5.15.2015

Here in Pa we started out the week with mid summer temps of high 80's and then went back to more seasonal temps of mid 70's. Oh mother nature, you so crazy.  On the plus side that meant plenty of brightly colored clothing to choose from.
Day 11
Dress - Pattern mash-up, Anna from By Hand London/Skirt Emery from Christine Hayes
Shoes - Rockefeller from Miss L Fire
Brooch - Vintage costume jewelry bee.

Day 12
Top - Comino Cap from Kitschy Coo
Skirt - Betsy from Bluegingerdoll
Shoes - Blue Birds from Miss L Fire
Brooch -  Erstwilder bird

Day 13
Top - RTW sweater from Tatyana
Skirt - Betsy from Bluegingerdoll
Shoes - Harlow from Miss L Fire
Brooch - Luxulite

Day 14
Top - Edith from Maria Denmark
Skirt - New Look 6056 -  Pattern is OOP but is only a simple circle skirt with a side zipper.
Necklace- Luxulite

Dress Up Party

5.13.2015

Have you ever tackled a pattern that you should have left well enough alone? One that you were pretty sure wouldn't work with your figure, but decided to sew anyway because it looked great on other people? Yeah we've probably all been there once or twice.
Last month I made this mistake when sewing a dress for Sara's "Dress up Party" series. It was one of those, "seems like a good idea at the time" ideas that snowballs into a project that fights you every step of the way.  Oh pretty eyelet, why did you have to be so bad? Read my entire sordid story about Colette's Hawthorn over on Sew Sweetness blog.  

MMM-15 Week One Round Up

5.08.2015

It's time for my first Me-Made-May round up for this year.  For everyone's ease I've linked all patterns to where they can be purchased  I've also linked any RTW stuff that might still be in stock. Cause maybe you need some cherry pop shoes and fruit brooches too.


Day 1
Top - Nettie Bodysuit from Closet Case Files
RTW skirt - 1940's skirt from Trashy Diva
Shoes - Cherry pop from Miss L Fire
Brooch - Luxulite

Day 4
Dress - Anna from By Hand London
Shoes - Love Birds from Miss L Fire
Hair flower - Double Hibiscus from Sophisticated Lady Hair Flowers

Day 5
Dress -  Modified Hawthorn from Colette (Unblogged but will be soon)
Brooch - Luxulite


Day 6
RTW Top - Slash Neck top from Vivian of Holloway
Skirt - Beignet from Colette

Day 7
Top - Comino Cap from Kitschy Coo
Skirt - Modified Odette from Bluegingerdoll
Brooch - Luxulite

Almost late to the MMM party

4.30.2015

All month I've been waffling over joining Me-Made-May this year.  On the one hand it's a fun way to meet more sewers and see different patterns made up. On the other hand frankly I'm tired. April has been full of health issues for my family, from garden variety colds (everyone), to teeth issues (me), to sitting up all night in the emergency room because of kidney stones (my husband). Can I order 2 weeks in a dark cave all by myself? A mini hibernation vacation might just do the trick.

Now that it's deadline time I decided to switch to caffeinated tea and join the crowd. I'm committing to 3/4 outfits a week that include some sort of me-made item.  The outfits will go up "in real time" on my instagram feed but I'll only be doing a weekly round up here.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
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