Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt

The Liberty Shirt from Sewing Workshop is described on the pattern envelope as a "shirt or jacket with diagonal side seams angled to the front, soft stand-up collar, and set-in sleeves with vent openings. Asymmetric front and back deep hems with mitered corners. Front topstitching detail and five-button closure." It is exactly as described. Sewing Workshop does a terrific job on the instructions. They make everything clear with good illustrations and extra details that lead to a nicely finished garment. I always fall for something a little different and asymmetry especially attracts me. The side seams and unusual collar caught my eye.

The sizes run from XS to XXL. I made the small although my measurements indicate the larger end of the medium. I did add an inch at the bust but took in the shoulders 1/4 inch to be even smaller than the small. I didn't shorten the length which would probably have been a good idea for my short height. However, though I usually shorten sleeves 2 inches on most patterns, I didn't do that here and they are the right length. So if you have normal or long arms be sure to check the sleeve length before you cut.

My friend Dorothy made this in silk noil and I got to try it on. That is how I knew I should make a small with the FBA. However, hers was more flattering on me I think because of the drapier fabric she used. I like mine but I may make another for that other look. I definitely recommend this. The fabric you use makes such a difference in a garment. My linen stands away from the body more than the silk noil but it may soften with time. It also is a dressier look. I do like my shirt and love the color.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sewing Workshop Trio Top

Sewing Workshop's new pattern includes a lot with a top, a t-shirt, and pants. I've just made the top out of a well aged stash fabric from Hong Kong. I thought it would be fun to use a stripe to highlight the back panel by turning it cross grain so I searched my stash and found this one purchased 15 years ago. It is a lovely raw silk with an annoying property of horrible smell when ironed. Hopefully I won't ever get too hot while wearing it.

Here's the envelope description: T-Shirt: Shaped t-shirt has three-quarter length raglan sleeves, narrow neck binding and double stitched hems. Top: Easy fit, sleeveless short top or jacket has inset back yoke with eased seam, small tailored collar and neck band, and eight-button front closure. Pants: Ankle length pants have long cargo pockets with top button or optional zipper closure sewn into side panel seams. Elastic waistband with flat front. I made the just the top so far.

This pattern has the usual excellent Sewing Workshop instructions. I stupidly sewed the collar stand on upside down and had to improvise the finishing as I had already trimmed it when I realized my mistake. But this was my mistake due to inattentiveness and no fault of the pattern itself. I like the stand up collar, the unusual inset in the back. One minor dislike: the bias binding on the armholes tend to flare up. This often occurs on this type of sleeve. I think if you pull on the bias slightly as you are sewing it this can minimize this. I forgot to do this.

There is plenty of ease through the bust so no need for the usual FBA. After finishing the armholes with the bias binding I decided they needed to be shorter. I turned them under and topstitched. If I were doing it again I might turn them under another half inch. I also sewed the side seam up another inch higher so I can wear this without another top underneath (when I add the buttons, that is). Without that extra inch the armhole is very open. And I changed the cutting direction on the back panel to have the stripes run vertically.

I wore this to a meeting tonight and got lots of compliments. I haven't put the buttons and buttonholes on yet as I hadn't decided just what to use there. I want to wear it with the necklace and don't want the buttons to conflict. The stripes will match up when I do the buttons.
The pants and t-shirt are not the Trio pattern. Marcy Tilton pants Vogue 8397, purchased top.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Catching up

What with trips to Jackson Hole to play with my grandsons and now spring weather at home (the garden calls), I'm having a hard time getting to my 1001 sewing projects. And keeping my blog and pattern reviews up to date! I have several projects finished (ugly coat, silk that smells SW Trio jacket), some cut out (SW Liberty shirt, baby quilt) and a pile on my cutting table. We returned Friday from winter in Wyoming to find lovely warm spring weather here and a garden that is out of control. My body aches from weed pulling. Maybe I will sew tomorrow...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Simplicity 4095 mesh top

This must be my most used pattern ever. I have made the skirt 3 times and now the top 3 times. And I rarely use a pattern more than once! This review is for the top and since I did a few things differently I decided to write a new review for Pattern Review. The pattern has a wrap over top with gathered forward shoulders and gathers where the top wraps to the side seam. There is also a 6 panel skirt and elastic waist pants and a second top pattern that does not wrap. That's a lot in one pattern.

I used a mesh which I'm guessing is probably nylon. I decided to copy some RTW mesh tops I've seen which have double layers in the bodice and no hems. Doubling the fabric is very useful with the mesh as it is on the sheer side. It was a little confusing to sew the doubled pieces together as it is very easy to loose track of which is the inside and which is the outside. I changed the order of sewing to make this work. First the neckline gets sewn and turned. So instead of binding the edge and topstitching you just stitch right sides together and turn. I did this with the serger so that I had a very narrow finished seam inside. This is nice with the sheer fabric. I then sewed the shoulders so that all seams would be hidden inside. Sew up the side seams and set in the sleeves. The sleeves are a single layer. And thats all. No hems at the bottom to stretch out.

I got this fabric out of my stash to make an alternative top to wear with the blue cotton knit Sandra Betzina skirt. However once finished I have decided that there is too much going on with the print and the busy skirt plus the color doesn't go quite as well as I originally thought. So I will wear it with jeans.