The good news: I finished a top today. The bad news: Turns out it’s a fail project.
I almost didn’t make this shirt. When I was starting to sew it together, I noticed that there was a crease down the front where the fold had been, which looked slightly discolored. I don’t know how old this fabric is, because someone in my church donated it to my mom for the quilts she used to make for an Indian orphanage that the church supports. It wasn’t good fabric for quilts, so she passed it on to me. I didn’t notice the fold mark when I was cutting it out, and figured it would be ok for the raincoat lining, but more obvious down the front of a shirt. Then I figured maybe I was making too much of it, and plowed on anyway. I guess that was a mistake, because this really doesn’t look good!
I should have known that the waist was too big, because I’ve made this pattern before, and just forgot to alter the pattern afterwards. If it was just the waist, I’d go back and take it in some. But the odd thing is, the neck and armholes are also way too tight. I can barely squeeze this thing over my head, and it’s definitely not comfortable to wear because it cuts into my armpits. So I’m thinking it’s a combination of a bad fabric choice and having to cut it out on the floor while being “helped” by a 70-pound dog.
So I’m thinking I’ll just toss it instead of even donating it to the thrift store, because it just doesn’t look good enough to even try to salvage. But hey, at least I got some practice on making some nice Hong Kong seams. The inside looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
Mental note to self: Tweak this pattern to make the waist less loose, and try on the original Pendrell again to see if I can figure out what the heck happened to that neckline/armhole area!
Ending up with a project fail is never fun. So to cheer myself up some, I did some knitting, and came up with a game plan for the next couple of months. One way or another, whether I get a new job or the season at my retail job starts up again, I’ll be back at work (and lacking much of my daytime sewing time) in about a month and a half. So I think what I’m going to do soon is cut out a whole bunch of stuff, package it up with the notions and interfacing and everything, and just have kits ready to grab and go for when I do have time to sew. So here’s a list in mostly no particular order of the next several things I have in mind for end of winter/spring sewing:
1. Brown cord jacket, from a Burda magazine which month I can’t remember right now so I can’t find a picture. Rather than make a muslin, my plan is to cut the seam allowances and sleeve hems extra wide and baste/fit as I go. (And hopefully remember to alter the pattern accordingly!) I think I have everything traced out for this one, and I know I have the buttons. This one will be first, actually, because I won’t even have to change the thread in my sewing machine after the raincoat is done! (Which will hopefully be by early next week, since I have space to waterproof again and can therefore start sewing on it again tomorrow.)
2. This jacket, in that lightweight blue corduroy + floral lining that I picked up back in December. I need to trace out the pattern, and I’ll probably need to get buttons, because it doesn’t look like I have anything on hand. Again, I’m going to fit this one as I go.
3. This top, in a yet-to-be-determined knit from my stash. (The long-sleeved version, since I’m not a fan of those weird shoulder pad ruffles on the short-sleeved one.)
4. The Colette Beignet skirt, in a red organic cotton twill that I picked up online from Mood a couple of years ago. The intent was always to make a skirt with it, I just didn’t know which one until recently. I just hope I can squeeze it all in, because I think it calls for a liiiiiiiittle bit more yardage than I have. I already have lining fabric, but I will need buttons, because I know I don’t have red buttons. Let alone a dozen of them!
5. The Jeans. I found my test muslin from the online class I took over a year ago, finally, so I’ll have to try that on and check the fit. And make sure I altered the pattern if it’s good. And if it is good, I’m definitely ready to cut those out and hopefully end up with a well-fitting pair!
6. The blouse from the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook, in a black and white print that I picked up recently at Joann’s. (I’d been eyeing this one since early December, and it was almost gone, so I treated myself.) I need to trace this pattern out first. I’m considering changing the sleeve to some kind of shorter flutter sleeve– I’ll have to wait and see what I have after I cut the main body, since I’ll have some stripe matching to do.
7. The Sewaholic Renfrew Top. The pattern just came in today (hurrah for pre-sales!) and I’m quite excited about it. The fabric is also TBD, but I have an idea of which of my knit prints I want to devote to this project. I’m thinking the long sleeves with the cowl neck, and this one will most likely be much higher on the queue than #7.
8. The Sewaholic Lonsdale Dress, in a tropical-type print that I’ve had since somewhere in my college years, I’m pretty sure (and I’m not sure where it came from, because I don’t remember actually buying it….it might have been given to me). But I’ve had it tagged for this dress ever since I saw the pattern. I’ll just have to test the top first, but I’m hoping I can come up with a sort of wearable muslin for it. I was flipping through the links to some of the finished dresses that Tasia has on her blog recently, and came across one that has just straps instead of the whole tie-in-a-bow thing, which I think would be great since, although the bow is cute, that would be very hard to do to myself!
9. A pair of pants from the charcoal denim that I was given for Christmas. (I’m strongly considering using leftovers to add to a coordinating bag that I was also given fabric for, so I’ll need to see what I have left.) I’m thinking the trousers from either this pattern or this pattern. I’ll have to test them first, of course, but I think I’ll check it against what I ended up with for the corset-laced pants, since I’m happy with the fit at the top for those. Particularly in front.
10. A top from the silky black/white/grey print that came with the denim. To keep it simple, I’ll probably go with whichever top from whichever pants pattern I use…though I’m leaning a bit more towards the top in the first pattern for that print. (Those pants use less fabric anyway, so that might be my better bet for having leftovers!)
11. The aforementioned bag, which I’m going to be boring and make from the same pattern as the last bag I made. What can I say….out of all the purse patterns I’ve tried or made over the course of my sewing life, this style works the best for me!
12. Remember months and months ago when I asked for ideas for something to do with this long-time stash resident? I haven’t forgotten about it…. I just still haven’t quite figured out what to do with it! At the moment, I’m leaning towards either trying to figure out how to stretch that into a maxi-dress (I have some solid brown knit that would go great with it), or maybe something along the lines of this. With a belt, of course. But those sleeves are fun (and definitely kimono-esque, as several of you mentioned), and it’s a simple enough style that it wouldn’t break up the print much. It might be a tight squeeze, since it looks like the pattern calls for almost 3 yards, but that’s including a scarf from the same fabric and I can quite easily leave that off. Or maybe this? Which I think I like the cut/sleeves even better, because it looks like it has a bit more shape to it, and then I could use that coordinating brown knit to make a camisole to wear underneath…. Decisions, decisions.
So that should keep me busy for awhile, huh? Given that muslins need to be made, I’m certainly not cutting all dozen of these projects out at once, but I could easily aim for 4-6!