I’m Back!

Wow!  It has been 10 months since I visited my blog.  I have not been good at tracking what I make, learn, etc.  So, I will just ahead to the present and go forward.

I attended a “Bodice Making Workshop” sponsored by one of the ASG chapters.  I am alwddays trying to solve for my narrow upper chest and twisted sleeve issues.  We used McCalls 6927 as the fitting garment.  It offers cup sizes and according to their instructions, a D cup was my size.  But it was too big.  I did use the right size for my upper bust measurement.  With some tweaking (raise the shoulder seams, add fabric to the back center seam to compensate for the pattern being too small everywhere else), I got a pretty good fit.  Just didn’t know what to do about the too large bust cup.

P1000511 (800x600)

The workshop ended so I drove home.  I played around more with it that night and also the next day.  I was able to accomplish the goal.  In the end, I used a previous sloper that had the right bust cup size, but only a waist dart.  I moved the dart to the side, tweaked the shoulder and armhole a bit.  Two more muslins and SUCCESS!  I recopied the pattern to a new piece of paper.  I could make a sleeveless shell, or a sleeveless button front blouse/shirt and know that it would fit the way it should. The pattern piece looks odd, I know, but I guess that is the way I am shaped.

P1000512 (800x600)

My next step with this is to draft a sleeve using information from a Craftsy class.  It is called Patternmaking and Design – Creative Sleeves with Suzy Furrer.  My hope is that it ‘works’, unlike the sleeve from my sloper class taken a couple of years ago.  That sleeve was very wrong.


I have been trying out cardigan patterns.  For summer I need cardigans in my ‘best’ colors due to my tendency to be cold inside air-conditioned buildings.

First I tried a pattern mash-up.  I used the base of the Pamela’s Patterns cardigan from the Twin Set pattern (used previously for the navy glitter lace cardigan).  I traced the pattern, then traced the front “band” of McCalls 5890 (Sewing with Nancy Knits pattern) onto the edge of the Pamela’s Patterns cardi.  I use a red rayon knit.  This knit was very thin.  It was a recycle use of the fabric from a  pullover cape I made at Halloween 2013 to be Little Red Riding Hood.  I was not happy with this cardigan – I didn’t like the fabric nor the finishing of the seam at the center back.  The front band is cut-on and really needs to be doubled and sewn on so the center back seam is finished – or can be cut on the fold.


The second cardigan was made from a two-sided knit purchased from JoAnn Fabrics in 2013.  One side is a black and white horizontal stripe, and the reverse side is a black background with white polkadots.  Some people had issues with this fabric, based on posts on Stitchers Guild, but I pre-washed and had no problems.  I made the body from the two-sided fabric, and the sleeves from a black ponte knit.  I also cut a long strip from the black ponte knit and made a band going around the back neckline and down the fronts.  I cut the band at 2 1/4 inches wide, doubled it and sewed it on.  I pressed the seams to the inside, then top-sitiched along the front edge.  I also added some black ponte faux welts to the front.  The fabric seemed too light to include pockets.  I wouldn’t use them anyway. Buttons will be added to the front – pictures to follow.

I also made a t-shirt from the fabric – using the striped side out, and the polka dots as a binding around the neckline and armhole.  I used the Judy Kessinger t-shirt pattern.  I had taken her class at All Brands in June 2013 and made a fuschia ponte t-shirt with a v-neck and flounce along the neckline.  Judy suggested I raise the back neck and add some fabric across the back.  I traced her pattern, then used my sloper for the neckline and shoulder seams, along with the back armhole.  This is actually a little large, and I don’t think I needed the changes to the back neck and armholes.  I think the fuschia top fits just fine.  This is a ‘twinset’ and even though it is black and white – the white is not too bright.  I think the black could pass for a dark navy – so it will stay in the wardrobe.

Cruise wear for evening

We took a cruise in March, 2014 and I needed some new evening wear.  I was also trying to pack lightly, so decided to use a ‘navy with other colors’ theme for the cruise clothing.  For evening I made 1 skirt and 2 tops.  I had also previously made a cardigan that was added to the grouping.  Fabric used for the tops and skirt was a navy polyester crepe.  It was somewhat sheer so I lined the tops with a navy Bemberg lining.  I wore a black slip with the skirt.

Top:  Made from Burda Style 7/2013, #134.  Top has a bust dart on 1 side of the front and gathers where the bust dart would be on the other side of the front.  Traced the pattern in size 52.  Cap sleeve bottom was raised (don’t remember how much).  This top was a success – fits well, looks nice.

Skirt:  Made from Cutting Line Designs Relax a Little pattern.  Shortened the pattern by 4 inches.  Success – fits well.  next time I might shorten it by another 2 inches.

.   Burda top and RAL skirt

Cutting Line Designs RAL pattern:

RAL pattern (1024x768)

BurdaStyle book:

Burda top #134 (1024x768)

Cardigan – made from Pamela’s Patterns Twin Set patter.  Made from a poly stretch glitter lace.  I used the scalloped selvages as trim along the fronts, hem and sleeve hems.  No changes made to the cardigan.  Next time I need to shorten it by 2 inches.

Skirt and top with Cardigan

Next photo is of the back of the Burda top.  I used a rhinestone zipper in the back.

Burda top back (1024x768)

The second top was a mash-up of the Pattern Master Knits Inset Panel top and my shoulder princess seam sloper.  The embroidery pattern was from the Silhouettes patterns embroidery disk.  I used one of the embroidery patterns as is, and cropped part of that same pattern and combined it with the whole pattern during the stitching process.  I did a sample top, but did not wear it.  This top was not a success.  I underlined with the lining, but somehow it is twisted in the back.  The shoulders are too far apart and straps show.  The panel portion is too wide and gapes.  I will be taking this apart and seeing how I can salvage it.  At least salvage the embroidered portion.

Embroidered top and RAL skirt (1024x768)