Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Liberty of London Sorbetto Tank Top

There's not much to say about the Sorbetto pattern since it's so easy.  I've wanted to purchase a Liberty of London print for awhile and I thought this would be a good starting point since the pattern only uses 1.5 yards.  Needless to say the fabric is great!

I made another Sorbetto last year.  I lengthened this one by 1 inch since I have a long torso.  When I tried on the finished product I realized I should have done a swayback adjustment.  You can't tell in this picture but there are a few horizontal wrinkles in the lower back area. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Twice As Nice Easter Suits: Simplicity 1483

This post is out of order but I wanted to include it to chart my progress.  I made Easter suits for the twins and really liked how they turned out. 

Too bad they wouldn't cooperate and take a picture together unless they were eating chocolate.

I ordere Simplicity 1483 (from 1955) on Etsy and found it to be a really easy pattern to work with. This was the first time I've used a vintage pattern.  Actually, this is the first time I've used a commercial pattern.  I'm not skilled enough to follow instructions on a commercial pattern so I'm sticking with Colette Patterns until I improve.   

I used a gingham print Michael Miller fabric for the overalls and jackets, and a polka dot Michael Miller fabric for the shirts. 

On The Great British Sewing Bee, Sandra made a comment about sewing for her three girls.  I'm paraphrasing, but she said the first outfit is exciting to make, the second one is OK, and by the third one you're just trying to get through it.  I completely relate to that comment.  I made the first set of overalls and was really happy with the way they turned out.  Then I realized I had to make a second pair exactly like it and felt a little defeated.  Making 6 items of clothing in a month is harder than I anticipated, even if they are for kids!

I started with the overalls.  I decided to try out french seams to see what they were like.  I enjoyed making them and thought they were a smart finish.  I also decided to underline them and I used Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing as my reference. I've never really understood underlining vs. lining but it became very clear on this project that the pants were going to need some extra support. I love the tabs on the sides that fasten on the back with buttons.  I also love the two buttons on the back.  No zippers to insert! 

At first I thought I could skip the carrier that they suggested putting on the back of one of the straps, but that resulted in less-than-flattering gaping so I had to go back and put it on.   I also didn't want to spend time pulling the straps all the way through after sewing them all the way down one side.  Sewing right sides together, I left an 6-8 inch gap in the middle.  I turned it right side out easily that way, pressed the seam allowance in, and then edgestiched. I really like the high waist style of the overalls. Maybe I'll make them again in another material?

My next items were the shirts.  They were fairly straight forward.  I realized afterwards that I didn't do french seams.  I have no idea why I didn't, but I wish I would have.  The collar was very easy to put on even though I was nervous about it.  The sleeves gave me a little trouble but I feel like they turned out well. 

The final items were the jackets.  There were no collars so that was a plus, but I did have to hand-stitch the hem.  I have found that I enjoy the look of handstitching even though it takes forever. 


One thing I struggled with was time management.  Or maybe I should say project management. My initial plan was to finish each garment up to the point that the buttons were put on so that I could put them on all at once.  A week before Easter I had 6 semi-finished garments and it started to drive me crazy.  I started focusing on completing a piece before I moved on to the next one and that made me feel more productive.  I was sewing a hem on Saturday afternoon, though!

Another bonus was my new Bernina button foot.  I had to sew on 26 buttons total.  After 8, I decided to buy the button foot.  And I'm glad I did! 

Overall, I'm very happy with this project.  I also discovered with these outfits that I think it's most fun to sew when there is a deadline of some sort.  It really makes you focus.

Skills I worked on:
1. French seams
2. Buttonholes
3. Hand-sewing
4. Project maintenance!