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Sewing Tidbits

Sewing Tidbits is the sewing blog written since 2013 by Delphine, the co-founder of Just Patterns.

Filtering by Tag: shirtdress

What is going on with all the big shirts?

Sewing Tidbits

Dear readers,From the reactions to my last post, I gather that you are still around and ready to engage and that's pretty good news! So first I would like to thank all the commenters, I think there was a great conversations going on!One of the reasons for my lack of posting is the fact that I sewed several items I ended up disliking. In my opinion, that's the most discouraging thing that can happen to a seamstress. You have an idea, get excited, find the fabric, the pattern, spend hours making it, try it on and..... Meh. How anti climatic is that? It doesn't help that once I reach  construction stage, I don't like to interrupt myself.I finish all the seams and stop to try on items only just before hemming/adding closures. I usually can get away with it because I know what shapes work on me and I spend time adjusting patterns before cutting fabric. Except these days, I have no idea of how to fit myself because....Squareshirt SewingTidbits-1I'm growing a little human!! That's another reason the blog hiatus, I really really didn't feel like being in front of a camera and all my clothes feel weird.I used to wear fairly fitted clothes, most of the time in the smallest size available, with a defined waist. Obviously all that is gone already and I'm not sure of what's left... I don't really feel like wearing a lot of those tight jersey dresses that seem to be screaming "LOOK AT MY BELLY" but I'm also not use to see myself hidden in voluminous shapes. Tricky time! So I thought about big shirts:After seeing the version made by Paprika Patterns, I decided to try Ralph Pink's Sahara Shirt pattern. I've been tempted several times by his patterns, on the basis that they look "different" from most other Indies, but the sizing seemed too big for me and I struggled finding a pattern I really liked. It probably doesn't help that not a lot of other bloggers have made his garments (with notable exception by Inna and Oona) so I wasn't sure what to expect.https://www.instagram.com/p/BFFrqlrGrPF/I printed the pattern, found suitable cotton-silk in the stash (same as a Vogue 1247 skirt sewn in 2014), cut the smallest size (US 0), sewed and sewed and sewed. It's a relatively quick make, without many seams (although I used french seams everywhere), and they matched well enough. I would recommend checking the length of the front button plackets (I think they were too long) and the side seams but there was nothing truly catastrophic... Until I tried on the shirt. I could not picture myself going around the city is what looked like A GIGANTIC TENT!!I put it away my sewing friend from the Pattern Line came over and convinced me that all it needed was taking in the sides a little. By a little, I mean 3" on each side seams... The total reduction is 12" (!!) tapered to nothing at the underarm. I also removed some of the extra length at the back to soften the curved hem effect. But you know what? Now, I actually really like it! As you can see, I didn't lie when I previously said that blog posts would have less pretty pictures... Next time I will tell you about my iteration in white poplin (in the first picture).In the mean time, I would love to hear your thoughts on those pattern companies that seem less popular among sewing bloggers, does it stop you from trying them out?  

Late Archer appreciation: it's a shirt, it's a dress, it's a shirtdress!

Sewing Tidbits

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What, a new post??? I warned you, it's going to be crazy blogging weeks with at least a post a week... It will be probably followed by the usual hiatus. Not because I haven't been sewing (I have, 2 pencil skirts in one weekend, so proud!) but because I travel every 2 months so that usually put everything on hold. This time, I will be going back to NYC for 5 days (YAY!!! FRIENDS !!! DOUBLE YAY!!! MOOD FABRICS!!! TRIPLE YAY!!!) and then joining The Old Man) in Guatemala (3rd time now).

Now going to this dress, if you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I have a limited number but very pronounced obsessions (hum hum Miranda Kerr... hum hum). Among them you can count skinny jeans, pumps, shirts, maxi skirts, pencil skirts and SHIRTDRESSES. All these pretty much define how I dress on a daily basis.I already made one last year but since then I started thinking about a dress that would be basically a long loose shirt. And what would be more perfect than Grainline Studio's Archer pattern for that purpose ? That's right, NOTHING!Following the advice on Twitter from A Stitching Odyssey, I used size 0 for bust and waist and graded out to a 2 in the hips. In addition, to turn this shirt pattern into a dress I just added 10 inches below the hips area. I think it's important to do the lengthening below the hip level other wise you end up elongating the curve between the waist and the hip. Other than that I did 0 alterations. Yes, you read well zero.Knowing me you could have expected a debauch of 1/4" seam allowances, redrafting of the under collar, changing the button placket, etc. But, I wanted to follow the sewalong to the letter, so i did NONE of that, ET VOILA! I finished all seams with french seams, including the armholes (I recommend it, it's really really nice).The fabric is something synthetic that I found here in Port-au-Prince, I would go for something like rayon. Actually, The Old Man found it and made me buy it. He is EXTREMELY proud of it, so every time I got a compliment for the dress, he is beaming (men..). As much as I like to contradict him, I have to admit that it's nice to wear, easy to wash and to iron. I already used the remnants to make one of the pencil skirts mentioned above. But of course it will probably take me an additional 2 months to blog about those.So anyway, I did not make it on time for the Archer Appreciation month launched by Lucky Lucille and Miss Crayola Creepy back in December (part of my love/hate relationship with sewalongs) but I really love this dress. It's a great option for these days when you have nothing to wear! I have a white 23mm silk crepe in my stash that is screaming to be made into something similar to this very popular pinterest picture... I may remove 3/4" to the shoulder length though, because they are dropping a bit.Have a great day everybody, I will finish this post with a gratuitous picture of where I was last weekend, this is  Ile-a-Vache, an island in the South of Haiti.20140226-122851.jpg

White shirtdress and catching up on blogging

Sewing Tidbits

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So with the sewing machines, also arrived the tripod for the camera. This means that I can take the pictures of the projects I finished while still in NY. As with the Preen skirt and the Jadigan/Cardicket, I was already sewing with a warmer weather in mind as I new I was going to move to Haiti. This shirtdress is something I had in mind for a while, I looked everywhere online and I couldn't find what I was looking for. Of course now, shirtdresses are everywhere...CIMG2119The pattern is a combination of different things, for the top I used the basic shirt from this japanese book.I changed the undercollar to account for the technique described on Kathleen on Fashion-Incubator. I made the shirt in muslin, put it on my dress form and added a band for the waist, a tiny pocket and gathered rectangle for the skirt (but with pockets !!).Test in muslinCIMG2120For the construction I used different techniques : Pam's tutorial on Collar points (which works great but I'm not sure it should be used in combination with the smaller undercollar described on Fashion-Incubator...), and a lot of reversed engineering from my nicest Ann Taylor and J-Crew shirts (especially the plackets).CIMG2122I used french seams of the shoulders, set the sleeves in flat (stitch overlocked and then partially topstitched as per JCrew) and then closed the side seams and sleeve at once (well twice because it's a french seam again.IMG_0645Sleeve head topstitchingIMG_0644I had the buttonholes professionally made Jonathan Embroidery in NYC, such a relief to not mess everything up right at the end. The fabric is a very nice "coton piqué" from Mood and the buttons are from M&J Trimmings. The lightweight interfacing (collar, collarband, plackets and waistband) is from Guide Fabrics.IMG_0639The waist dart is doing all the shaping for the front and therefore it is quite wide. I took some picture while sewing it at the "french waist dart". I don't know a proper word because this is not a french dart, it's more of a waist dart sewn as a french seam. If anybody know how it's actually called, let me know !! I'll try to make a tutorial out of the pictures I took.CIMG2125I really love this dress, it's super comfortable (I spend a good portion of my days hopping in and out of 4x4, I realize that I need my skirts quite full to perform this task) and warm weather friendly ! The only problem is probably with the whiteness... I don't know about you but the lighter is my outfit the more I spill stuff on myself!! I am strongly considering a version out of chambray, stay tuned!