Posts Tagged ‘SWAP 2010’


SWAP in Review #6: The Dress

May 27, 2010

My choice entry was a jumper style dress that I really loved making and the results of which I’m quite proud. The pattern I used was Kwik Sew 3576 which was a bit of a trick for me to track down as I discovered to my dismay that my local fabric retailer does not carry Kwik Sew patterns. I really liked the dress when I saw it because of the belt on the hips. I thought it went along with the theme of my SWAP fairly well since I intended to pair it with my lace top as shown in the picture

I bought the fabric right near the end of my SWAP process when I noticed that the stripe pattern reminded me of a calico apron I wore when I worked in an historic village one summer. I am naturally drawn to things historical and Victorian so I leapt on  the fabric. It’s a stretch woven so I needed to do some extra fitting to ensure it was flattering. 

I cut the pockets diagonal to the grain because I thought it would add a bit more whimsy to the look. I also chose to do the belt in black instead of the dress fabric  because I felt like I needed something to break up the stripes.

It was the last outfit I completed for the SWAP and it’s the one I’m the happiest with.


SWAP in Review #5: Grey Gabardine Pants

May 21, 2010

My office is cold. It’s a basement in a building from the sixties with a poor air temperature control system. Since my SWAP was all about winter work clothes, wool pants seemed like a good idea.

Last year I attempted to make Vogue 1053 as an interview suit. The result was not so impressive. The blazer was a bit of a wadder. Really, it’s not the greatest style for my torso. The pseudo vest sits too low on my frame. I loved the way the pants turned out but then I went and dropped 20 lbs so they were suddenly much too big and had to be passed on to Goodwill. I  missed them so I made them again for this SWAP. They’re simple enough: fly zip closure, pockets. They have buttoned belt loops and I lined them so they’re warm and comfy.

here they are on their own:

And here they are with the vest and lacy shirt:

The only problem with them is that I’m always getting a static shock from the office doorknob.


SWAP in Review #4: Striped Wrap Blouse

May 19, 2010

With the recognition that Butterick 6768 is so OOP it’s been taken off the site, comes the realization that, I should really invest in some new patterns. I always thought I was a pattern junkie but now I’m starting to realize that I, perhaps, don’t buy enough of them. Still, I had a soft spot for wrap blouses so I knew I needed to give the pattern one more shot. This will probably be it for this one though as I find that it adds bulk to my midsection, which is a part of me that does not need any such additions.

After attempting to match the subtle pin tuck stripes on the black blouse and realizing just how difficult that was going to be, I thought that the even size and regular spacing of the stripes on this fabric would be a breeze.

As you can see, my “simple stripe” was far more complicated than I thought. This image is proof that I have plenty of bad sewing habits, not the least of which is that I will often develop my own layout for my pattern pieces in hopes of using as little fabric as possible (pattern Tetris).  This can be okay when dealing with woven solids and can even be vaguely advisable when they’re being made into low (or no) budget costumes for a play that will run for a week at most. However, I clearly have some work to do if I’m going to successfully give up my bad habits once and for all.

I did get it right eventually though.

It is worth noting that this SWAP was really my first shot at truly matching stripes. I’ve done it on pants before but always in a fairly serendipitious fashion and I’ve gotten lucky.

I’ve actually made more pairs of pants for  myself over the years than I have shirts. I find I get more mileage out of a pair of pants as they tend to wind up wardrobe staples.

I’m far more likely to buy a cute top I see somewhere than a cute pair of pants and the instant gratification factor is much higher with pants as I can generally sew them much faster and with fewer pattern alterations – and I’m much happier with they way they fit.

The blouse will do though.


SWAP Winners!

May 18, 2010

The SWAP winners have been announced! Check them out over at Stitcher’s Guild . I’m not one of them but that’s okay as I loved doing the challenge and I learned a lot. I am no longer afraid of stripes…perhaps someday buttonholes won’t terrify me either.

Congratulations to the winners!  Your work is beautiful.

I especially want to congratulate Grand Prize Winner Carolyn whose blog Diary of A Sewing Fanatic I’ve always found to be incredibly informative and inspirational. I love following her sewing endeavours.


Swap in Review #3: Black Blouse

May 17, 2010

My sketch:

The black blouse came into my head years ago. I wanted to make an empire waisted shirt with really big cuffs. I am discovering that I enjoy emphasizing particular aspects of an article of clothing when I sew. This time it was the cuffs.

Once again, I used a base pattern: Vogue 7934 which I previously used for one of the Montreal shirts. The part of the pattern I needed to work with most was the bodice.

As you can see, the darts and gathers were a little off. I cut out the pattern a little large and re-positioned the gathers in the front… … and the darts in the back.

This is the resulting blouse.

Unlike with the Montreal shirt, I made the rest of the shirt simple and single layered. I also used the straight sleeves rather than the flare ones and I cut them at the elbows so I could add the cuffs I drafted.  Then I stitched on  the buttons I found and really like.

I hope you like them too.


Swap in Review #2: Grey Vest

May 13, 2010

Continuing with the discussion of tops, one of the tops I made is a vest. Now I think I’m a little behind the times with this vest. Vests were pretty popular around this time last year but I’ve seen substantially fewer of them this year. This is a sewing problem that I’m working on: sewing something trendy that I like while it’s still in style.

I based this vest on McCalls 8222 which is actually one of the first patterns I ever purchased. I used it to make an oversized vest about 15 years ago. That vest has since been sent on to a new life but the pattern is basic enough that many things can be done with it.

As you can see, I  chose to add a stand up collar to ithe vest which involved narrowing the opening a the neckline and attempting to mould it around my neck and shoulders.  I’m not completely satisfied with the way it turned out. As you may be able to see, it bunches a bit around the shoulders, but I do like the overall effect. I’ve always been partial to this type of collar and I’m happy that I had a chance to add it to my wardrobe.

I also used decorative hooks as closures to meet the unusual closures requirement.

I like them better than buttonholes anyway.


Swap in Review #1: White stretchy shirt

May 11, 2010

When I first started the now completed Timmel SWAP, my plan had been to blog about it as I go. This worked for the first two items: the red shirt and the gabardine skirt. From that point onward though my life got far too hectic to sew and blog about the sewing and still manage to finish the SWAP in time. So I’m going to travel back to my completed clothes and talk about how I did them.

First up is the two way stretch jersey shirt with lacing on the sleeves.

Here it is in actionlacey sleeve shirt.

I used Simplicity 4023 as my base pattern. It’s a simple top designed for knits that is quickly becoming my favourite go to pattern for wardrobe staples.

I often find myself in need of a simple long sleeved top to wear under other shirts, particularly storebought shirts as I have inherited my mother’s long torso. With most reegular length shirts I experience a phenomenon referred to in my family as Gaposis. This occurs when one’s shirt is too short and the slightest movement reveals the stomach and lower back.

Now this was not a problem in my teens when belly shirts were in and I was effortlessly stylish (well sort of) but I find that a too-short shirt doesn’t do much for one’s professional credibility, and so I decided I needed a new white long sleeved top to where under other shirts.

Since the theme of my SWAP was A Touch of Whimsy, I added lacing to the sleeves from halfway up the forearms to the wrist. This meant I had to add eyelets to the sleeves. While I am aware that there are some impressive tools out there to press the eyelets in place, I’m a low tech operation so far.

needle nose pliers, awl and hammer These were my tools. The little silver cylinder next to the hammer was provided with the eyelets to be hit with the hammer to create the right sized holes. Due to the layers of fabric and interfacing, I quickly gave it up in favour of the awl.
This was not my first foray into the world of eyelets. I happen to love them and think the fashion world would be so much more appealing if there was more medieval style lacing on clothing.

I have had problems with eyelest in the past. They’ve pulled out of the fabric and so this time, I also purchased these: the smallest washers known to my local hardware store. Once I punched the hole in the fabric and inserted the eyelet, I put the washer around the inside of the eyelet piece to lock it in place before I hammered the other side of the eyelet down. So far, so good.finished eyelet

A finished eyelet.