Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Pattern Notebook: McCalls 7094 - the top of giganticness

Despite the fact that I use the handle 'Ms. McCall' as my online sewing persona, I have almost stopped sewing McCall's patterns. It's been so long, I couldn't even remember what size I take in them, but I LOVED Aleah's version of this top, and was freshly inspired by Nakisha (though who can keep up with her!!).  Then Aleah actually gave me the pattern so I had to make it up!

Pattern Notebook

View / Size used: View A

Most people reading this will know to basically ignore the body measurements on the envelope because of the amazing amounts of ease built in to the patterns.  This pattern comes in the rogue S-M-L sizing with each size spanning 2 of the numbered sizes so there's the potential for the ease monster to be truly out of control. My waist and hips measure between the 14 and 16 on the envelope. The 14 is a M and the 16 is an L.  Let's not even get in to the whole full/high bust thing, because that would likely be a 16-18.  I should have looked at the finished garment measurements, but I took an even lazier route to choose a size, I just looked at what Aleah made and reasoned I'd be fine with the same size so I cut a straight size S (8-10).  Oh yes, the ease monster is alive and well.

Fabric Used: 
Most of the top is made from a rayon challis. It's fairly deep stash, I didn't even remember it was there until went looking for something to use for this top. I'm pretty sure it's from Fabric Planet.  I used a lace in the yoke, which is probably poly or rayon or something. I think it's from the Michael Levine Loft, and I don't have much of it, so it's nice to be able to use it on a small pattern piece like here.



Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
None really.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Can you believe it, I did more or less follow them for the collar / front placket, and it basically sort of worked out.  There's likely a better order of construction, but I couldn't figure it out.  In the places I didn't follow instructions it was because I made a mistake or I was confused. I wouldn't say that they're particularly good or clear instructions but they got me to the finish line more or less.



What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Once you go down a bunch of sizes, I like it quite a bit.  I did find the front placket scandalously low on me.  I had to sew it up 2 or 3 inches. Before I had done that you could see quite a lot of my bra!  The armholes are pretty high, but not uncomfortable. This is a nice surprise because a lot of times patterns that have sleeves have lower armholes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
It's still got a LOT of ease, but in the hot weather we're having, I don't mind it at all.  I could probably take in the side seams 3" each side and not even notice the difference it's so loose. I seem to have cut the view D hem on the front, so I have very long shirt tails right now. I'm considering giving the top a bit of a chop at the hem.

Yes, this is the size small.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I probably will! Although there's always some other shiny object to catch my attention, but this is a top that I would 100% buy RTW.


Construction notes: 
In order to accommodate the lace yoke, I made the bias strips for the armhole finishing long enough to go all the way around. In my case this added 17cm to the strips. I was a little worried how resiliant the lace would be, but it's been through the wash once with no problems so far.  I just serged the yoke to the front and back.  I did catch the seam allowances so they would face back on to the back, but they don't seem to want to stay that way.



I did a machine rolled hem at the bottom, so that means it's longer than intended.  I do find rayon pretty well behaved in a rolled hem, so if I shorten the top, I'll probably do the same again.

These pics are not great I know, but just a few minutes later the heavens opened up and we had a rare California rain shower, so this is all I could get.  I'll happily take the rain though!


Other things I've made, seen here are the Grainline Moss skirt, and Burda 3/2014 jeans, co-incidentally in the same red denim from Premium Denim Outlet.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Pattern Notebook: Tessuti Ruby

Here's a super quick post about a pretty quick top.  I've wanted to make this since I saw this lovely one by Rachel from Boo Dog and Me, and that was more than a year and a half ago! I've always been wary though because super high neck combined with these melons  - I wasn't sure it would be that flattering. Then after all my complicated bra sewing I decided that there's more to life than worrying about 'flattering' and I thought I'd try it out.


Pattern Notebook

View / Size used: 
This is the view at the top length, straight size 10.  My measurements were a little between 8 and 10, so I went with 10.



Fabric / Notions Used: 
The fabric requirements on the pattern say 1.45 meters for the size 10 top.  I used a cotton remanent from The Fabric Store, their remanents do tend to be generous, often over a yard, I think the main thing that hogs the fabric is the bias strips, so you could save on fabric if you did those from pre-made bias or contrasts. I don't really know what this type of weave is called, it's maybe a little too stiff for this pattern, but I loved the color so I went ahead anyway.

The pattern calls for Vilene tear away stabilizer on the neck and armholes. I didn't have any so I went without it. This cotton is pretty stable so I think I got away without it. I want to make this in a light silk next and I think I'll just interface those areas. I do see that Fabric mart sells something similar, but it might be too heavy weight for my silk.


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
Nada

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were actually fantastic.  I'm not a beginner, but while I don't have any problems with sewing dozens of construction seams, my necklines and armholes are often quite messy.  The instructions for this top are very detailed about how to get a nice tidy finish on those areas, which is good because that's really most of the sewing that's involved in the pattern anyway!



What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I'm wondering if I might be better off adding a dart. I like the volume, but it's a little tight across the chest.  I just found this free top pattern that's very similar, maybe I should just adjust the pattern I have already tested though?


What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
I love the finishing! I'm not usually a french seam person, I like a nice serged seam, but this one just seemed to require the whole hog. Well, when I say the whole hog, I mean, I haven't actually added the back button yet. So maybe I went 93% of the hog.



Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I absolutely will, I already have the fabric. And YES.


Monday, 6 July 2015

I win. Merckwaerdigh CUPL16


There have been many false alarms on the road to making a bra I like and that fits me, but I FINALLY DID IT!! I fricking LOVE this bra.  I've mentioned before that I'm not super girly, and I've always looked for RTW bras that were low on frills, it makes me so happy to be able to make a bra in my size, with a shape I like out of the materials that I choose.

I don't know how much I'll have to say about the construction of it, because I can't remember much about it at all. It was sewn in snatched moments between working two jobs, and I didn't change the pattern much from my first CUPL16, so the construction itself wasn't very memorable.  Oh hang on, I never blogged the first one either.  Lets back up.

Instagram tells me that 22 weeks ago, I made a fitting band from the EFG40 view A, with the band that matched the 34F cup. I should do a whole post on making the fitting band too, but I'll get to that another time... moving swiftly along...  I put the cups of CUPL16 View A in size 34F in to the EFG40 fitting band.  It was too small, gah! On to a 34G - which did fit. Making whole bras only to find that the cup is too small was getting REALLY old so I'm really glad I have the fitting band for that reason.  On to a full bra.


Despite the fact that I tested CUPL16 cups in the EFG40 band, I was confident that the sizing is consistent enough across Merckwaerdigh patterns that I could use the matching band in the CUPL16, so that's what I did.

Pattern Notebook:  Merckwaerdigh CUPL16 version 1

View / Size used: View A, Size 34G


Fabric/Notions Used: 
Each time I make a bra, I spend a lot of time considering the materials I will use, because I often have to adjust the pattern pieces or my order of construction depending on what materials I'll be using. Once I've decided on one of the materials, like the cup fabric, I start to make a kit for myself, checking off the boxes as I go.

In this particular case, the pattern calls for scalloped edge for the side cup, but I wanted all of the cup pieces to be cut from purple tricot. The pattern says to attach the side cup by overlapping it with the other cup pieces, but that only works if the side cup has a finished edge, so I used fold over elastic on that edge and the top of the cup.


After I choose which straps I'm going to use, I pick out the rings and sliders to match, then adjust the pattern to match the strap width I've chosen.

On this pattern I didn't add the padding to the strap, and smoothed out the line going from the cup to the strap elastic.

I also choose my band and neckline elastics, then adjust the seam allowances on the pattern to suit.  You can see here that when I first traced off the pattern I added 1/2" at the top and 5/8" at the bottom hem, but the elastics I chose were 3/8" and 1/2", so I actually traced off new pattern pieces for the band pieces and added the new SA based on my elastic choices.


Normally I would also adjust the pattern to suit my chosen hook and eyes, but in this case, I had matching uncut hook and eye tape, so I did the opposite  - cut the hooks and eyes to match the pattern.  I hooked them together while cutting them so they matched perfectly.


So here's what ended up in my kit for this bra:

Cup Fabric: A Nylon tricot that I'm pretty sure came from Baron's fabric via Nhi, it had stretch in one direction 
Cup lining: Black tricot, from somewhere downtown, it also had stretch in one direction
Band fabric: Front band is the same two tricots as the cup.  The back band is double layer of stretch mesh from FIDM, I doubled it up because it was much lighter than the power mesh I normally use.
Hem elastic: 1/2" Plush back picot on a roll from downtown L.A.
Neckline elastic: 3/8" Plush back picot, I think it came from either Big Bargain Trim, or All Trim, which are side by side at about 625 E 9th Street, downtown L.A.
Cup elastic: Black fold over elastic, no idea where from.
Strap elastic: Plush back satin strapping, no idea where from.
2 x Rings, 2 x sliders: Zip Up Zipper, downtown LA
Chanelling: CH909 black satin channeling from Sew Sassy
Underwire: Rimmon Fabrics, West L.A.
Back Closure: Rimmon Fabrics too.



Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
Just changes based on my materials rather than pattern alterations

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I just can't assess them anymore, I don't really use them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked that it was a three piece cup. When I first started making bras, I didn't like when the cup extended in to the strap, but I don't mind it here.  I'm guessing if I had kept the patterns strap shape and padding, it would make for a very comfortable strap.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
Well, the two fabrics are not playing nicely together, and the upper cup is a smidge to big. A problem I am delighted to have.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would and I did and I do.


Construction notes: 
This bra was the last one I made before my delivery of the lingerie tricot from Hancock's. I was still trying to use the method of using two layers of stretch fabric but with the stretch running in opposite directions.  I used the spray adhesive that Norma from Orange Lingerie recommends to temporarily stick the two fabrics together while cutting out, and then I treated them as one fabric.  Maybe I got a dud spray can, but I didn't find the adhesive very sticky and the stickyness seemed to wear off.  I'll be looking for a better adhesive when this can runs out.  I am also going to stop trying using stretch fabric as cup lining. The two layers were totally flush and flat when the cup pieces were sewn but now but under strain, they pull against each other and wrinkle






View / Size used: View A, Size 34G

Fabric / Notions used:

Cup Fabric: Some kind of slinky knit from the Michael Levine Loft, which I fused with lightweight woven interfacing from The Fabric Store. The resulting fabric is a lovely spongy stable knit.
Cup lining: Black lingerie tricot from Hancock
Band fabric: Front band the same as the cup.  The back band power mesh from F&S Fabrics
Hem elastic: 1/2" Plush back picot on a roll from downtown L.A.
Neckline elastic: 3/8" Plush back picot, same stuff as the purple bra.
Cup elastic: none
Strap elastic: Plush back satin strapping, no idea where from.
2 x Rings, 2 x sliders: Nylon coated rings and slides from Sew Sassy
Chanelling: CH909 black satin channeling from Sew Sassy
Underwire: Rimmon Fabrics, West L.A.
Back Closure: Rimmon Fabrics too.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
I eliminated the CF seam on the front band. I didn't mean to, and in doing so, somehow ended up with a slightly narrower center band, so the channeling is slightly overlapping. I will add a little back here for the next one. 

I took a 1/2" triangular wedge out of the CF of the cups which seemed to work well to eliminate the wrinkles that I was seeing on the purple version. 

I also changed the back band. Firstly I raised the back to make it a scoop back, I used the EFG40 band as a guide. Then I split the band in two so I could cut the part under the cup in the print fabric but still use power net in the back.  I failed to consider that this made the band less stretchy overall, and it was ever so slightly too tight.  I fixed this problem in a pretty ugly way - just added another set of hooks on to the first one. I think in time the band will stretch out a little, and I can take it back off, for now, I don't see it and I don't care.


What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
The fit is better - no wrinkling. Obviously the extra set of hooks isn't ideal, but whatev's. I'm not super crazy about the Sew Sassy channeling, it looks a little navy rather than black, and since it's so flat and thin, it doesn't give the same padding as plush channeling.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes. I've already adjusted the pattern for another version with a few tweaks.

Construction notes:
This time I constructed the inner and outer center cups separately, then sewed them together at the top of the cup.  There is no elastic along the top of the cup. I was worried this might dig in a little and cause a line through my shirt, but I don't think it does.  I am really happy about the print placement. I had cut the upper cups differently at first (seen here), but luckily cup pieces are small enough that recutting them is no problem.

I sewed the side cup to it's lining so that edge would be finished. Again, I tried to use the spray adhesive to keep it flipped back, but it didn't work very well, so I had to keep it pinned until it was set in to the band.  On my previous bras with overlapping seams, I've marked the 1/4" seam allowance to get it lined up properly, but I had a hard time marking the knit fabric. Chalk wouldn't work, and it was hard to see any markings in pen. Then I realised that wonder tape is exactly 1/4", so I taped the edge of the center cups and stuck on the side cup while it was sewn.  It worked really well, I'll be using that method in the future.

It's hard to see in the print, but I topstitched that seam right at the edge of the seam allowance all the way up the strap.


 Alright that's it. I suppose I did have quite a lot to say! Hope someone finds all this stuff useful. I'm actually giving bra sewing a little bit of a break for now.

I'm late to the party, but here's the link I have to include on my blog to 'claim it'.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Pattern Notebook: Merckwaerdigh EFG40 bra



This bra was a fail for me.  I've moved on to CUPL16 now, but I wanted to record my notes on EFG40 before I forgot all about it.

I made my Merckwaerdigh order just a few weeks before this pattern was released so I tried to make do with BHS10 with stretch mesh and lace (I guess I never blogged my second version of this bra, seen on Instagram here).  I've worn the bras plenty, but over time the materials have started to lose their spring and therefore their support. This has also happened to my stretch fabric Marlborough to a lesser degree.  With both of these bras I've come to realise that I will just never get the support and lift I need from fabrics that stretch to that degree.  What I need is a cup that is actually large enough!  Luckily I didn't have to put in a second order with Merckwaerdigh, Pam, my neighbor let me borrow her copy of the pattern.


Pattern Notebook

View / Size used: 

I'll be honest, I was using this pattern because it had my cup size in it, and in spite of the style. I am not in to the sling thingys in view A, but I thought the plunge style had potential, so I made up the plunge style, view C, first.


I such took a long time to decide what size to trace off. The 34D BHS10 was most certainly too small, so I knew I needed a larger cup. I also wanted a smaller band.  The sizes on the pattern indicate that they are UK cup sizing, and the cups in the UK go from D to DD to E.  Going one cup size up from a 34D is a 34DD, and then keeping the larger cup, but moving down a band size would make me 32E.  In other words, there is a size between 32D and 32E. Looking at the body measurements indicated on the BHS10 and the EFG40 I actually think that Merckwaerdigh does NOT have a size between D and E, so going up a cup size and down a band size gets me to a 32F instead.  I actually used the sister size 34E, and I can't remember why now. It might have been something to do with my intention to stabilize the band more.

Fabric / Notions Used: 
I was glad to read that each cup piece is called for in both a 'stretch fabric' and also 'cup lining', so this was designed for low to no stretch fabrication. I used a cotton/acetate/lycra satin from The Fabric Store. It's got some stretch but is nice and beefy.  I also cut each of the cup pieces in the cup lining fabric that I ordered from Merckwaerdigh's now defunct ebay store. It's not for sale in her etsy store, but it actually looks and feels almost identical to the stabilized tricot swatch (#FT200) I just got from Fabric Depot.  By the way, the stuff called 'sheer stabilized tricot' (#FT151) is only stable in one direction and has quite a lot of stretch in the other, so don't think you can sub one for the other.


Since I have fabric and notions from such a hodge podge of sources, I've made myself little cards to go with each bra pattern I have, so I can make myself a little kit and check each item off and put it in a sandwich bag as I gather what I need so here's the checklist for this pattern:

Cup Fabric: Cotton mix satin from The Fabric Store
Cup lining: "Cuplining" from Merckwaerdigh
Band fabric: Same fabric and lining used for the front band as the cups, back band is power net from F&S Fabrics, in west L.A.
Hem elastic: 1/2" Plush back picot on a roll from downtown L.A.
Neckline elastic: 1/2" Plush back picot on a roll from downtown L.A.
Cup elastic: 3/8" lighter picot knicker elastic
Strap elastic: 5/8" plush back satin strapping, Trim 2000, downtown L.A.
2 x Rings, 2 x sliders: 5/8" from Zip Up Zipper, downtown L.A.
Chanelling: Bra Makers Supply
Underwire: Didn't really have any that were short enough but temporarily used some I got in Rimmon Fabrics, West L.A.
Boning Channeling: Some left over channeling from a Bravo Bella kit
Boning: Plastic boning from Richard The Thread (I think it's this stuff)
Back Closure: I honestly can't remember where that's from.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
I didn't use scalloped lace for the side piece, instead I cut the piece out of cuplining, sewed the fabric and lining wrong sides together and turned them to give a clean edge. Otherwise, it's all as drafted.


Were the instructions easy to follow?
No, not really.  I think I eventually understood what I was supposed to be doing, but it was pretty hard to follow.  This was not my first, second or third bra, so I was able to do most of the construction without too much help, but I did sew the side cup piece wrongly at first. That piece does not get sewn to the other cup pieces, it overlays them and is just caught in the seam with the band. 

The two piece cup and the side cup piece
What not to do
The side piece basted to the main cup before sewing in to the band.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I think it's actually a pretty good looking bra.  I particulaly like how lines of the side cup piece looks in this fabric.  I liked that the pattern addresses the fact that it's for large cup sizes in a few ways: The cups are non-stretch, there is side boning and the band is wider than other Merckwaerdigh designs.



This particular bra was too small for me, so it's hard to know if my dislikes are more about fit, but I do find the space between the cups really wide, but I don't think just narrowing it would be the right way to fix that problem. One thing that isn't especially large-cup friendly is that it's essentially a two-piece cup, with a third overlay piece. Even though the cup was too small for me overall, there was some extra space along the seam line of the main cup, which had too sharp an angle for me to fill. I think I would like a little more coverage in the main cup pieces too.




What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
It doesn't fit!! I felt like I was falling out of this thing. Quad boob is not the look I'm going for.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Oy. I did sew other views. I just don't know if I can recommend this view as-is.  If you're cool with a super duper plungy bra with your (presumably) E cup and larger, then I suppose, sure!

 On to the next failed experiment!!


Merckwaerdigh EFG40 v2

View / Size used: 
View A, and I went up another cup size to 34F.

Fabric / Notions Used: 
Cup Fabric: A print nylon tricot with one way stretch from Angel Textiles, downtown L.A. 
Cup lining: Another tricot with the stretch going in the other direction. This is a technique that I learned from Bravo Bella, but I actually don't recommend it. I much prefer to just have a totally non-stretch lining.
Band fabric: front band is the same print nylon tricot as the outer cup, with duoplex as a lining. The  back band is power net from F&S Fabrics, in west L.A.
Hem elastic: 1/2" Plush back picot on a roll from downtown L.A.
Neckline elastic: 1/2" Plush back picot on a roll from downtown L.A.
Cup elastic: 3/8" lighter picot knicker elastic
Strap elastic: 5/8" plush back satin strapping, Trim 2000, downtown L.A.
2 x Rings, 2 x sliders: taken from an old RTW bra
Chanelling: CH909 White satin channeling from Sew Sassy
Underwire: Rimmon Fabrics, West L.A.
Boning Channeling: Omitted on this one
Boning: Omitted on this one

Back Closure: No idea.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
I put the sling things on the inside rather than the outside. There's a chance that they would work slightly better on the outside, but I really doubt it would make that much difference.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Not especially, but between the notches and my previous bra making experience, I wasn't too confused at any point.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It just doesn't have any lift. On her blog, I think the designer says she based this on a strapless bra, and it does seem to have a lot of that design still in there.  I'm just not convinced that this is the best place to start for a large cup size. Normally quite a lot of the lift comes from the way that the cup and the strap connect, but here the strap attaches to the slings, and the slings are not attached to the main cup at all.  The center is very high, basically as high as the cup at the underarm, but this doesn't seem to help the lower cup lift at all really.



What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
I liked that it technically fit, meaning it encapsulated all the flesh it was meant to encapsulate. Unfortunately it wasn't doing anything I liked with that flesh.



Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I did try it one more time.  I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. Spoiler alert: still didn't work. I had hoped that I could use the cup from this view without the slings and just attach the straps directly to the cup, but when I tried that, I still didn't like the shape that this cup was giving me.



Finally, I combined both views, and used the side piece from view C with the view A cup.  I wanted to make sure that the small amount of give in the tricot cup was the problem, so I made it up in duoplex. Still not good. So I have totally abandoned this pattern.


One good thing did come out of all of this, the non-stretch cup 34F did fit me, which meant I was within the size range of CUPL16! That's where I went next, and I hope to blog about it soon.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The bra bug is back, and that means buying stuff


 I've been trying to make bras for more than two years now and in that time I've amassed quite a lot of supplies.  Every couple of months I wonder why I have so much bra making stuff but still no self-made bra that I'm 100% happy with.  The No.1 roadblock is fit, but a pretty close second has been finding the right materials.

Recently I pulled out all the stuff I've accumulated again, and tried to assess what I needed to fill the gaps so I can use up what I have already. The trouble is; it's easy to find long lists of places to buy various bra making supplies1, it's much harder to piece together more detailed information, like what the hell some of these fabrics are exactly,  or how quality varies item to item or from store to store2.  I've decided to put a list together of my personal feelings on the supplies that I have ordered3. I'm hoping to update this post in the future if I order more materials.

Lots of words ahead. Hit the "J" key in feedly now if bra making is not your thing.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Burdastyle 9/2013-101 - Day dress extraordinaire


Hey guys! It's been a while, I know. There's no big reason really. I just went through a stage where I completely lost my grĂ¡ for blogging.  I'm still sewing something most of the time, but I was basically out of stuff to say about it.  There must be a time when most bloggers think to themselves "hasn't this all already been said?".  Anyway, when I put this dress on today, it occurred to me that I had already written the post, and there aren't that many reviews out there of it, and I happen to really love it. So after wearing this dress for months, I have finally gotten around to reviewing it.

When I was little I hated dresses. I refused to wear any kind of dress.  I'm still not really a dress person, but this is the kind of dress that would make me change my mind.  I can't fully identify with people who claim they can wear exactly what they want because they sew; I still can't reliably turn out a garment that's exactly what I want every time.  Having said that, I'm sure that if I went shopping for a dress, I'd be shopping for a long time before giving up and failing to find a dress I like as much as this one.

Pattern Notebook

Burdastyle 9/2013-101B

View / Size used: Here's how far behind the blogging is from the sewing: I made the first version this dress a year and five months ago.  Unfortunately it was the project where I realised that I was not a Burda straight size 38.



Turns out my hips are a 40.  It became obvious because the pockets on the dress were doing something funny, I had already serged off the seam allowances, so I couldn't add anything back there.  My fix of just sewing the pockets closed didn't work - the dress just was too tight on my hips. The fabric had a pretty firm stretch so that may not have helped.  

For version 2 (made back in November 2014) I kept the 38 bodice and added it to the skirt of Burda 8/2012-115 (which I had traced because it shares pattern pieces with 8/2012-113 (is it too late to make a peplum top, are they over yet?). The skirt is also a 38, but there's so much ease it doesn't matter.



Fabric Used: Mystery cotton/rayon from FIDM.  It's quite thin which I've come to realize is a good idea for this pattern because there is a whole lot of fabric in the center where the two sides meet.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
In addition to changing out the skirt, I narrowed the front ties. They are total fabric hogs, but I also think that they are too wide and short.  The pattern pieces actually get wider towards the ends of the ties.  I folded back the pattern piece on both sides until it was actually tapering inwards, and eyeballed adding about 6" more.  In order to get such long ties I pieced them just after the '7' notch.

I also swapped out the sleeve. I actually don't know where I got the sleeve from, it's a knit sleeve that I have stuck to my pinboard.  It was unlabeled apart from 'knit sleeve' but I'm pretty sure I traced it from Burda.

I didn't use any elastic in the waist, I don't think you need it with the ties. Actually I hadn't even noticed that in the instructions the first time round.



The hem is actually even if pulled down, but the way the ties are, it comes up in the middle. I didn't leave it to hang before hemming, nor did I do anything so smart as measuring the hem from the floor while it was on my dressform, I just turned it up and stitched.  Perhaps something to think about next time.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
It's all pretty straight forward until you turn the ties right side out, then it's confusing as hell. Reading them now to tell you what I did, I'm still confused. I'm pretty sure what they're saying is that between the notch '4' and '7' you have to figure out how to transition from the inside of the tie to a seam allowance neatly.  This is made more complex by the fact that the ties end up with the seam running down the middle of the back, so the neck edge starts turning in before it even gets to the tie. I just turned in the neck edge and stitched with a straight stitch.  For the lower edge the waist seam allowance gets turned in until it becomes the tie seam allowance. After that step it's straightforward again.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?



I was attracted to this dress because the picture of the 101A top in the index page is tied like a more traditional wrap, then I was so frustrated because the larger pictures in the magazine and the line drawings all look different - the crossover is much lower.  Thankfully I saw Mokosha's lovely version tied both ways, and that cleared up the mystery. (She made it again, here, I still want to steal that dress!)

Oh sorry, what did I like about the pattern, I think it's super flattering, I love wrap things, and this is a nice twist on it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
It's a great dress.  I dress pretty casually, and I think that this is on the nice end of casual without being too far outside of my normal stuff.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I'm sure I would, and yes.



Construction notes: 
I think I've covered it all above.

Machines / settings used: 
Janome 7318 for sewing.  I used a 3 mm straight stitch for sewing. I don't usually bother with stretch stitches apart from in places that will need to stretch like the waist seam.

I serged most of the seams but I couldn't figure out how to do it on the waist seam, so I just left it.  It is jersey, and hasn't raveled or done anything weird.


Hopefully I think of some more things to say soon! xx