October 24, 2012

(No) Fun with Stripes

I wanted to get some practice with my overlocker/cover machine, which I had intentionally bought to sew knit fabrics with. So I bought some jersey fabrics and made some t-shirts, in some sort of "mass production". I used pattern no. 112 from burdastyle magazine 2/2010.

I started with a t-shirt with stripes...

did you see the iron-on shark on it? The blurry blue color reminds me of water, and I had this iron-on motif lying around, so I applied it to the t-shirt, just for fun.

There was some fabric left, quite enough to make a sweater for little T., the baby son of a friend of mine.

Then I made another striped t-shirt, which turned out to be better than the first one (unfortunately, it came out a little bit too short, but that's not a problem, I just have to make a skirt to go with it).

Then I made a t-shirt without stripes...

(I'm not too sure about that fabric pattern and colors, but at least it is comfortable to wear at home.)

... and one more sweater for little T. (I couldn't resist buying this cute fabric with those little owls).

The next one is one of my favorites!

And one more with stripes... at this time I was already a bit bored by the pattern, and so I didn't care anymore about matching the stripes.

The last one with stripes, at least it isn't blue like all the others!

It's pretty cool to wear self-made t-shirts with stripes. But that's it. I was pulling my hair out when I did the neckline bindings. I used the cover mode of my overlocker with a chain stitch.

First, the machine used to skip stitches every few inches. Which is really bad because the chains on the back side of the seam are not properly linked, to the seam will probably open one day.

I could solve this problem by using a brand new, special cover stitch needle.
But still, I find that binding necklines is not easy at all. Sometimes the whole neckline stretched out, but there are also shirts where the neckline is slightly gathered under the binding. Even when I just added a fabric stripe to turn it in. And the overlocker seems to have problems crossing thicker parts with more than two fabric layers.

For the orange shirt, I wanted to apply some real cuff fabric, and I did, but it stood from the neckline in a really weird way, so I turned the whole thing to the inside of the shirt and now it looks better. Still, this isn't what the plan was!

The blue-pink shirt came out the best concerning the neckline.

But still, the seam is wonky and not really nice. And the stripes are not matching at all.

This was another problem I struggled with: I didn't get the stripes to match perfectly. They were all nicely pinned in place, but under the foot of the overlocker, the lower fabric layer somehow goes faster, and everything is shifting. It was the same with the differential feed turned off. And it wasn't much better when I hand basted the seams first.

Oh well, at least it's only t-shirts! I guess it will go better with more practice. But I think that for the next project, I will return to sewing nice and easy-to-handle wool fabrics!

October 15, 2012

Finally finished: the (not quite) red dress!

While being really in a big delay, I finally finished the "red dress" from the Cose Conmigo by Sonia of La pequena aprendiz. But, as I don't like to wear red colored garments, mine is not red, but purple.

I have to admit that I didn't follow Sonia's instructions very exactly. As you can see, I also made a modification of the skirt part. The original pattern, Burda 8/2012, Nr. 121, has a slim pencil skirt. But I usually don't wear these, and I felt very unsure if such a slim skirt would be flattering on me. 

So I modified the skirt pattern and turned it into an A-line skirt. Which wasn't difficult at all. In case you want to make that dress with an A-line skirt, too, I made some bad sketches to show you the steps. 

The original skirt tapers down at the hem, so the first step was to make the side seam perpendicular to the hem line. I also drew some vertical lines (only to the bigger pattern part) and cut them, starting at the hem, but stopping cutting right before the end of the line.

Then I spread the bigger skirt part, so that the upper seam line matched up with the smaller skirt part while staying flat. 

Which left me with a bump at the side of the smaller skirt part, which I just cut away. That's it!

As the pattern is for tall sizes and I'm really short (I even have to shorten patterns for petite sizes!), I also had to shorten the whole thing. And of course I made the usual adjustments which are always the same for Burda patterns, so by now I can do them even without making a muslin: forward shoulder adjustment, narrow shoulder adjustment, and swayback adjustment. Some paper-and-scotch tape work!

I didn't want the dress to become too warm, so I used a cotton fabric, which unfortunately wrinkles a lot. But it feels better on the skin than some synthetic lining fabric, so I decided to only line the skirt (so that it will not clinch my tights when worn) and leave the bodice as it is, with a facing at the neck. 
I made a machine rolled hem at the top of the lining skirt and attached it at the waist with a row of topstitching. It does not look very even inside, but nobody will see it. 

See? I used a bright pink lining fabric, which will never be seen as well, but I like it nevertheless. 

For the zipper, I could not find a matching invisible zipper the pattern instructions call for, so I made a center back lapped zipper again. I just love them so much!

Looking at the photos, I think I should also add some belt loops at the sides, as the belt tends to fall down a bit...

Thank you, Sonia, for the nice Cose Conmigo, and for inspiring me to make that dress! And, although it is not red, I call it the "vestido rojo" by myself, thinking of you and your great blog! Besitos!

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