It is finally cooling down here, (stop laughing! 90+ is considered warm by Sierraville standards) though for a while it was rather toasty. Toasty and smoky, what with all the fires in Northern California.
Anyway, my increasing girth (Dessert? Sure, I’ll take two!) created a shortage in the shorts department.
I used my standard Jalie pattern (which I think is now out of print) to remedy the situation. Fabric is a very well aged cotton from stash. So well aged that it had fade stripes from sitting in the sunlight.
I cut the legs about 1.5 inches wider, as shorts don’t fit as close to the body as jeans do. The other change I tried was using some leftover knit as the waistband binding.
The first try had the knit stretching as I sewed, so it was ripped. The second try I used Wonder Tape to hold the bottom side in place, folded over the top, then stitched. Much better! Now it’s super soft and comfy against my skin.
I’m not sure how often I’ll use this technique, but I do like it. The inside feels much nicer than a serged edge on the waistband.
Sooo, what’s different about this?
That’s right, it HAS SLEEVES! But, just barely. Don’t look inside, those armscye seams are hanging on by a serged thread. But, it has SLEEVES.
I transmogrified my fitting adjustments to this pattern. It’s a princess seam top, with a non-banded collar.
The fabric is a cotton dobby from the local fabric outlet. Garment fabric pickings are slim here in Sierraville, so this was a rare find. I like the dottiness of the fabric, even though it made my eyes cross while sewing it.
The grid also made it very easy to align the pattern on grain, and match the seams. The back seams match almost perfectly! Now, why is it when I try ever so hard to have that happen, measuring thrice and cutting once, it rarely does? Must be one of Einsteins lesser known laws. The Law of Pattern Alignment.
I did my usual funky facing using some scraps of quilting cotton. Black with little red roses for the front facing, under collar and sleeve hem.
I had thought to add buttons. Since the fabric is a bit thick, I may just wear it as a topper over colored tanks. That will be nice when out after dark, and the temps cool down.
Not quite the same as the first.
Another rendition of the multi-tucked, FBA’d woven blouse. My very own frankenpattern, if you will.
I thought I had all the fitting kinks worked out when I cut this and took it to Sewing Camp. As you can see it is sleeveless, just like the first one.
Confession: I didn’t have all the fitting issues worked out as well as I thought I had. Hence, no sleeves.
BUT (and that is a large hopeful but) I think I have now. Will blouse #3 have sleeves? If it does, will I be able to move my arms? We shall have to wait and see.
I did my usual styling, making the under collar and collar band in a different fabric. I like doing this – the underside peeks out, and provides a little extra something-or-other. Hey, it’s my blouse, it makes me smile. That’s enough for me.
The armholes are hemmed using a baby hem. Instead of buttons I applied snaps.
The fabric is…ancient. I have no idea where I got it. It’s been in the stash for decades. Literally decades. I think it may even have moved to Cactusville with me, way back when. It is that old. A very soft cotton with a sheeting feel to it.
Ever since I’ve made this, I simply cannot get the Bob Dylan song out of my mind…”Don’t want to work on Maggie’s Farm No More”
Maybe if we all sing a few bars, that’ll get it out of my head?
Another acquisition from the Style Arc pattern sale. This one is definitely a winner. I was looking for something comfy to wear with leggings, for those days when you have to get dressed, but would really rather stay in your bath robe and ducky slippers.
Maggie fits the bill perfectly. I checked the sizing on the patterns, and let the finished width determine what size I cut. Since this is a fairly loose, flowy design, I decided to try the first one with no pattern alterations. Fit perfect right out off the paper.
One caveat. The instructions for stitching the front placket are minimal at best. I suppose this is in keeping with Style Arc’s assumption that we all know what we’re doing. Sometimes. Sometimes, not so much. Thankfully there are three images on the Etsy web site section for this pattern that shows how to fold the front placket. Mark your fold lines!
I used those as a guide, and everything turned out. The fabric is an I-don’t-know-what which I picked up several years back at the Phoenix Sew-In RuMmage table. It feels like a challis, which is what the pattern calls for.
I see more Maggie’s in my future.
The end result of the FBA Frankenpattern saga.
This was my test garment, to see how all those changes would work out.
I cut out the sleeves, intending to have this be a 3/4 sleeve blouse. As you can see, that didn’t happen. Tweak as I might I couldn’t get enough room across the back.
Rather than toss the whole thing and start over, I decided to make the blouse sleeveless. Given the fabric is a lovely cotton voile, this was probably a good decision. It will be cool and comfy during summer. No one but me (and you!) needs to know the sleevelessness (is that a word?) is the result of a Miss Fitting opportunity.
I may take the collar stand down a bit in the next version too. I haven’t worn a button-up shirt in so long that it felt odd against the back of my neck.
Another thought noodle – I may highlight the tucks radiating from the neckline with some yellow beads. I think that would make them stand out more.
If one is good, two is better, right?
Another rendition of Hot Patterns 1170, the Blouse Back T. Different colors and a couple more changes to the basic pattern.
After wearing the first one a couple of times, I decided I needed to add some width to the back. I wanted fuller gathers in the woven than what the pattern had. Basically having it look more like the picture.
The other change was to run some elastic thread through the neckline. This snugged up the band, which now prevents it from drooping open (outward?) by the end of the day.
These should be the final modifications. I like the fit, and have gotten quite a number of compliments. When strangers notice, that’s not too bad.
One of my favorite pattern companies, HotPatterns came out with a new offering earlier this summer. I was intrigued to read reviews, where folks were combining different types of fabric.
Different types as in wovens and knits in the same top. This sparked my interest.
The result is the wearable muslin at left. The front and neck band are from a knit, the back is from a lovely floaty “wonder” fabric. Wonder, as in, “I wonder why I bought this?”
Even if you’re not a fan of the high / low hemline that’s featured, I suggest you give this one a go. The sewing is simple and straight-forward, the fit is relaxed, the style unusual enough to garner comments.
After taking a few measurements, I traced a straight 12, with a forward shoulder alteration (darned computers!). Then I checked the length. Wasn’t sure about that (it felt really long in the pattern paper stage) but decided to try it anyway.
As it turned out, the length was just perfect for this type of “lighter than air” top. The back has enough width so that it doesn’t get hung up on one’s patootie, and the knit front provides shaping, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a tent. At one yard for the knit, and another yard for the woven, it’s also a great stash buster.