Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Look 6977 View A Raglan sleeve top

       After a little searching through my stash, I decided to start my back-to-school mini wardrobe with a top from my stash.  Although I haven't tried this pattern yet, I read lots of reviews on Pattern Review.  Most of them indicate they wished they had chosen a smaller size, or to go by the finished garment size... rather than the measurement guide.  With that in mind, I'm going to cut a size 8 with a bust adjustment, rather than the 10.

     Here's my mock up of the top with the fabric I have:

   Pretty sure there might have been some "shopping juice" involved in this purchase!  However, the colors match the grey and black I have for pants and a skirt... so I'm going for it anyway.  

Step one:  Laying out the pattern and doing a full-bust adjustment.  Piece 1 is the front, which is cut on the fold and does not have a dart.   So, where to start the fba?  I learned something!  It turns out on some patterns, this line is marked on the pattern.

     To find the other line, make a horizontal line 1/2 way between the arm scythe notch and the shoulder seam.  (In this case, there was no shoulder seam due to raglan sleeves.  I went ahead and split the difference between the notch and the top of the front piece.)  You can just see where I made a small mark at the 2 inch mark.  

     I then drew a horizontal line at this mark. Using the fold line to make sure it was square.
Then, I drew another horizontal line at the bust marking.

Next, I drew a vertical (grainline) line from about where my bust point would be to the hem line.  (How did I know??  I measured my bust spread from my center front, and used this to find a close approximation.)

Now I cut, kind of like with a regular FBA, but no tilting.

Notice that the piece with the neckline is still attached at the first horizontal line.  In order to allow for more bust wiggle room, I first scooted the arm scythe piece out 5/8".  I have heard not to adjust more than this.  I am a D cup but I still only adjusted 5/8".
   Once this was adjusted (and taped...)  I moved the front center piece down 1 1/2 inches.  

All these pieces were taped down. (I'm just using parchment paper here, no fancy pattern cutting paper.)  Next, I used a french curve to redraw the arm curve.

And extended the side seam from the new position to the hem.

(sorry, no pic)... I also curved the bottom from the side to the center front.
Then I used this new pattern piece to cut the front.  That extra length in the front and the new line at the arm both caused a small problem later!

MaryKay is slowly trying to dig herself out from under a mountain if fabric, one tutorial at a time.

Mini-Wardrobe Part 2: What do I have?

It's raining and it's the type of day I don't want to drive into Dallas.  So, what do I have on hand?

While figuring out, I took some measurements to help the process.
Bust 36
Band 31
Upper chest 33
waist 30 
hips 36.5

So basically, I'm a square! (See, I already made you feel better about yourself! ;-)  ) Most major pattern companies make their patterns for a B-cup measurement.  If you are larger than a B, it helps to use the upper chest measurement, instead of the bust measurement, then do (the sometimes dreaded...) FBA.  (full bust adjustment) For a long time I really never thought this applied to me (my chest is honestly not that big!) but it turns out, numbers tell the story, so if there is more than 2" difference between your band and chest measurement you might want to consider it.

I have some knits in the stash, perhaps these will work for pieces?  I also have a piece of black knit, which didn't photograph well, I'll try to get a better pic later.

You can see that third fabric I obviously had margaritas before shopping!  But I do love bright pink.  Maybe a top?  These are all 60" wide (about) and I have
  •  1 2/3 yard of the grey/blue/black
  • 1 yard of the "shopping juice" fabric (pink print)
  • 1 yard of the (darker than the photo) grey
  • 1 3/5 yard of the black knit.
So, maybe enough for two tops, a skirt, and a pants? Can I make pants with only 1 3/5 yards?  Hmmmm..... might need to cut out the patterns and do a layout.  Since they are knits, I have to have everything in the right stretchy direction (grain)... no fudging.  But then again, I have hobbit legs, so it might work.

Pulling New Look 6977  a size 10 matches my upper chest, a size 16 matches my waist (ugh!), and a size 12 most closely matches my hips.  So for the top, I might start with a 10, but curve out at the waist.  Top A (this view):

Please excuse my lame photoshopping....but you get the idea. Also note that this might be tricky with fabric placement, as illustrated on left side chest.

Also the pants, view E, take only 1 1/2 yards of fabric... so that's doable.  Also the skirt on the pattern NEW LOOK 6977 view D says 7/8 yard, so maybe that out of the grey fabric.  There's enough blue/black to make the NEW LOOK 6735 top I've been wanting to make, so that would give me FOUR pieces, without even making a run to the fabric store.  Let's DO THIS!

MaryKay is slowly trying to dig herself out from under a mountain if fabric, one tutorial at a time.

Mini Wardrobe for Back-to-School

     My house is  a wreck... no getting around it.  So what did I start my cleaning with?  Patterns! (Never a good idea to start cleaning with fabric or pattern stashes.... because you KNOW what will happen!) 

    I found a pile of patterns I think I purchased because they were highly reviewed and loved on one of my favorite sites, Pattern Review.  If you aren't familiar with it, it's where other people who all sew much better than me, tell me great ideas on things they are sewing and include problems with patterns.

  So, here's  a peek at my pile.  Mind you, this isn't really even close to everything... these are just the things that made me say "Hmmmmmm".

  Dresses - these patterns all lean toward simple lines and vintage feel.

This New Look pattern has been on my to-sew list for forever.  I bet I've read the reviews for it a jillion times.  Something about the easy lines of the skirt and, again! there's the little jacket.  I've been collecting jacket patterns....
Jackets.  I've been wanting to sew my own jacket/coat for the past 20 years.  Still never have!

Simple knit tops and pants that require no ironing.  This is obviously after I started teaching again.  Simple, but not overly casual.

Likewise, simple pants that can be worn many times.  Also, I also have a thing for knit boat neck tops.  Especially in stripes!

I personally think my super short legs tend to look better in dresses with simple lines, like a sheath.  I have TONS of sheath patterns, not that I ever make them!

See, another striped knit top?

Isn't it fun to go through your stash?  Each of these represents a specific idea I was interested in, yet they all have similarities.  Time to actually sew some of these!

Enter, the wardrobe idea.  I am a teacher at a school where we can wear jeans EVERY DAY.  This makes wardrobe planning typically just finding appropriate jeans and a nice looking top.    My wardrobe is lacking in tops (I recently lost 25 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes, which for me has equated to about 5 sizes down.) So my closet is seriously lacking right now.  First some stats, because when I read pattern reviews I always wonder "Well, you lengthened it, but how TALL are YOU?"  So, for the record...
  • I'm 5'0"
  • Between a size 4 and 6 in RTW, but leaning more toward 4 in pants and 6 in tops. I wear a Small in SML but can't always wear a 4 in sized numbers.
  • Pattern issues: D cup, short but not short waisted- so petite adjustments often don't work, short legs but regular length torso, short arms.  
  • Usually "off-the-rack" I buy Misses and shorten arms and legs.

Realizing that sort of makes me sound like a Hobbit... which might not be that far from the truth.

On to the project.  My goal is to sew up several pieces where I can mix and match them (and not have my fourth graders say "That, again?!"  )  Things comfortable enough to get on the floor, but cute enough to wear after work.  And (if at all possible) machine washable.  Tall order!

Here's what I'm thinking to start:

At least one skirt, one pants, two tops and maybe a jacket? (Or chicken out and do a sheath dress?)   What's your pattern stash look like?  Do you tend to buy the same things?  

MaryKay is slowly trying to dig herself out from under a mountain if fabric, one tutorial at a time.