Sewing

Cashmerette: Upton Dress

In order:

  1. Wearable toile in quilting cotton for my aunt and uncle’s wedding anniversary party.
  2. Echino Hill fabric for my cousin’s park wedding
  3. Black wool for concert blacks
  4. Navy Jocelyn Proust grevillea for Mr. Octopus’ friend’s upmarket wedding
  5. Green Cotton + Steel cotton linen fabric, which was why I made the wearable toile
  6. Frocktails dress
  7. Grumpy tigers dress

Helen’s Closet – Blackwood cardigan

I’d been looking at the Blackwood cardigan for some time and debating whether to spend the money on it, or whether to just go with the free pattern from Peppermint. But the Blackwood is more my shape and it wasn’t that expensive, and it’s been having a bad time with pattern adjustments and need a quick win, so I bought it, stuck it together and made one in a day.

Totally worth it.

I have now made two more and have been wearing them for weeks on end.

Cashmerette Upton

Finished (somewhat modified) Cashmerette Upton dress.

Fabric is Echino Hill cotton from Pitt Trading and rayon bemberg lining from the Remnant Warehouse.

Bodice is McCall’s M6927 because apparently I have narrow shoulders (e.g. I have to take out 4″ or so from the back neck and also lots from front centre) and fitting is such a pain that I didn’t want to have to start from scratch when I’d already spent time getting that one to fit. Then I couldn’t be bothered lowering the neckline when I really liked the fabric and wanted to see more of the print.

The cotton was nice to sew and feels nice (not scratchy). I saw it on sale and loved it 🙂 This is made out of 2.5m of the main fabric, with some careful pattern placement. The stripe matching suffered from this, although I don’t really know what I could have done about the gores. The bodice stripes match up mostly (even over the back zip!!!) so I’m fine with it, tbh.

Waistband is reduced to 1″, which I’m on the fence about. The previous Upton that I made had the standard waistband and I thought maybe it looked too high, hence the decision to narrow it. Tried to get the waistband to have lots of the red birds, with mixed success (limited fabric!). Skirt is straight size 18 view B from the Upton pattern, because I found in my previous version that the gores created an appropriate amount of swish but *without* blowing up on windy days. (Big fan of this.)

Hemmed by overlocking the raw edge, folding up an inch and then machine sewing it. Hems are boring.

I really like the pockets.

The rayon bemberg was a poor choice for lining this because it’s too dark and not really stable enough to stay under. You can see in the second photo that there’s really obvious visible lining around the neck. It’s also a bit hot and clammy and was a pain to sew. I’m thinking of taking it out and replacing it with a beige cotton or something. When I do that, I’ll fix up some of the other wonky bits. (This was a bit of a rush job – finished sewing and then was out the door to the social occasion I was wearing it to.)

Photos by partner. (Tips on training partners to take better craft project photos welcomed!)

lots of shirts! – Cashmerette Concord edition

Here are several versions of Cashmerette’s Concord t-shirt, which I like overall as a pattern. Link here.

Version 1

I love this fabric — it is amazingly colourful, and it was $5/m in the random specials bin at Lincraft.

I did the curved and faced hem option in this one, which I liked, but I also had some trouble with the pattern pieces not matching up. Not sure if just me.

It’s really obvious in some of the photos how wide the neckline is on me, which is what makes this version not fantastic to wear, because bra straps are quite visible.

Additional photo of me looking like someone off the cover of an indie pattern 😀

Version 2

Another Liberty jersey from the Fabric Store. I don’t like the colour, but I really like the little animals in the print (the other colour option was red, and I preferred the yellow. I think neither option really work on me, tbh).

Some amendments made (e.g. to the neckline) but there are still a lot of fit problems, particularly around the armscye.

For some reason the high-low curved hem ended up at even heights — not sure how that happened. This style of hem didn’t work massively well with the fabric, as it was a bit too light to hang properly.

Version 3

This is a random knit from the Remnant Warehouse which I bought as a pre-cut piece, and which was scratchier and more polyester-y than I’d thought. It’s fine to wear, but it retains sweat smell after washing more than I’d like.

This version was a start from scratch version and it’s a much better fit. I was really happy with the neck and shoulders. The bust is still not right though, sigh. This time I finished it with a cuff hem, which worked quite well on this fabric, as it’s quite stable.

This was the first one I made using my overlocker. (I love my overlocker 😀 😀 :D)

This was also the first version in which I topstitched down the sleeve cuffs as well as the neck band, and this has mostly worked really well to stop the sleeve cuffs from flipping out.

Version 4

This is some sort of rayon blend from the Fabric Store, and it is amazingly soft, drapey and comfortable. It was an absolute beast to sew though, because it’s not very stable and stretches like anything when you try to sew it. I had to change the differential feed on my overlocker to one extreme (can’t remember which way at the moment) in order to get the seams to work. When I topstitched the sleeve cuffs, it stretched them out and made them very large 🙁

This is fundamentally the same as Version 3, except I made some fit adjustments to the underarm, but the fabric was so different that everything turned out differently.

It would have been better to do a rolled hem on this, I think. The fabric isn’t stable enough to do a cuff hem.

Not a fantastic fit/look, but soooooooo comfortable to wear.

Version 5

This is one of a number of 95% cotton/5% spandex blends that I got on sale from Spotlight. This one seems quite good so far, although the base fabric is white and this shows through a fair bit when you stretch the fabric.

This is pretty much the same as Version 5, in order to see whether those fit adjustments worked (they didn’t). I did however make the sleeves longer and bigger, and I really like this change. This time (because I was under some time pressure) I just folded up an inch at the hem and stitched it down with the baseball stitch, which I find works really well on knits.

Conclusion

All these photos have given me a much clearer idea of what’s wrong: it’s too wide under the arms, and then not wide enough at the bust — I think because my bust is lower than the pattern thinks it should be. There’s also some sort of sway back thing going on, which could also be because the garment is not wide enough at the high hip.

lots of shirts! – McCall’s M6963 edition

McCall’s M6963

Version 1

Not shown, because I cut it out with the grainline the wrong way, so it’s very wonky.

Version 2

This is made from mediaeval animal print rayon from the Fabric Store. It stretched out when I prewashed it, because I hung it to dry, rather than laying it flat. It feels really lovely and cool in summer though. This fabric was the best suited to this top out of the four I made (it has the best drape) but also is the least easy-care.

I bound the armscyes with woven bias binding, which turned out to be a real mistake in Version 3, but which you could kind of get away with in this version because the armscyes were bigger and the fabric stretches out more (more room).

The bust darts are too low, and I think this is partly to do with the weight of the fabric (but also because I can’t do darts properly yet).

The shoulders are also too wide, which is a standard thing for me (except I didn’t know this at the time).

Have worn this one to work lots.

Version 3

Version 3 is a Liberty jersey, also from the Fabric Store. I tried to raise the bust darts, but because the fabric is less heavy, they are too high. The cowl neck also doesn’t work on this iteration, and the ill-advisedness of using woven bias binding on a knit top is very obvious.

Have worn this to work, but it’s not the best. Am thinking of taking it apart and trying something new.

The remnants did make amazing shorts for my toddler (the people at the overlocker class I went to looked utterly appalled that I’d made toddler clothing out of Liberty print, until I explained they were leftovers…)

Version 4

This is a black ponte knit from Lincraft which really doesn’t have enough drape for the cowl neck style.

This was a complete redraft, starting from the beginning pattern, and it still doesn’t work. The darts are way too high (close up picture below) and there’s not enough room across the bust.

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Still: 100% wearable. This is the point, however, at which I realised that I honestly don’t even like the cowl neck style, so I’ve put this pattern aside for now.