Thursday, June 11, 2015

Seamwork Aurora...fail?

"Are you stupid or something?" --from the movie Forrest Gump

A bit harsh, but this phrase is what's going through my head as I look over these photos. I mean, I just had a baby. Three weeks ago. Why oh why am I sewing new things for me? In the BEST of situations I'll get back to my pre-baby weight, but who knows when that will be? Or what shape I'll have, regardless of weight?


But I really liked the Aurora as soon as I saw it, so try not to judge me too harshly for making it despite my drastic body changes. Here goes!


A little about this pattern in case you haven't got a subscription to Seamwork: it's a tank top with a yoke. There is a pleat in the back and gathers near the yoke. The yoke is two layers and all the other openings (neckline, underarms) are finished with a narrow hem. Then the seam allowances are tacked down to hide them.

Yep. A 3/8" narrow hem. On a knit that must drape well enough for soft gathers. Oh, and it should also make a pretty pleat.

Now that I type that out, it sounds ridiculous.

Excuse the hanging thread, it's not hemmed

This is a straight size small, which I chose after a quick muslin. I dropped the neckline an inch and it looks terrible. There just isn't enough space to work with along the neckline and I couldn't get a smooth, normal-looking curve. Then somehow my straps/yoke ended up way too small/narrow. Proportionally, this is a mess. I *think* it will look halfway decent with a cardigan over it (hey, maybe I should have tried it whilst taking photos?).


The bust area is probably too tight from my ginormous nursing boobs. There's also something cray-cray going on in the back. Swayback? A butt/hips that are pulling the fabric? Haaaaaaalp! Or should I ignore all of it until I lose some more weight?!



The body of the shirt is a poly/Lycra blend from FabricMart, and the navy yoke is a rayon knit, also from FM. The stripes are sheerish. The rayon is too thin and drapey for a yoke (even double-layered) but I forced the issue and that's probably why the straps ended up too small.


Getting back to that crazy narrow-hemming business, I decided to try something I've never done before and draft facings instead. I know, facings in a knit! The horror! But since the stripes were kind of sheer it seemed like a good idea anyway. It worked pretty well for my first time doing it, but it would have helped if I had/could have understitched to hold the facings in place. The knit was too thin for that. There was some trial and error with the facings since I wanted them to NOT gather and NOT pleat like the front and back bodice.



All in all, a lot of experimenting led me to a mostly blah top. The finishings (as-drafted) are NOT professional quality (I can't recall any other pattern, ever, that instructs you to tack down seam allowances in order to hide them). My fit issues are numerous and not limited to only this pattern. What would you do? Put a hold on self-sewing for a while? 


17 comments:

  1. It's not that bad - looks like the pleat in the back is distorted because of your (temporary?) full bust. We're our own worst critics sometimes!

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    1. You're right, I forgot to mention that I'm pretty sure I did something wrong with the pleats. That's what I get for ignoring the directions!

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  2. The back looks like there is too much fabric, I don't think it is a weight issue.
    Have you seen this pattern?
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/232545543/free-spirit-tank-sewing-pdf-pattern-by?ref=shop_home_active_4

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    1. Yes, I have seen that one and considered it! Ultimately I think I decided against it because I have my self-drafted "slouchy tank" that's similar. I think if I slash and spread and add some volume I can get the same look. Thank you for the reminder!

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  3. Oh, and I agree with the previous comment, we are our own worst critics, in fact, I think you have said that to me in the past, haha!

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  4. Don't criticize yourself too much! You just had a baby AND you sewed something: how awesome are you! Just wear it with pride and don't change anything untill you feel a little bit more 'back to normal'. Because it might not seem to bad then.

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  5. I think you did a great job...despite your struggles. I personally like the looks of yours better than the green top. it looks too pulled like the straps are too short on her. So all in all...I call these sewing adventures where you experiment with different ideas. (My preferred way of sewing) .

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    1. I couldn't put my finger on what looked "wrong" about the green one, I thought it was the high-ish neckline. But I think you're right, I think it's that the straps look like they're pulling.

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  6. I think it's really cute!!! And your boobs look GREAT, if you don't mind me saying (not creepy at all, right?). I think you're being too critical here, because this is a very cute, useful top. Thank you for the honest review, though. I want to make this, but I think I will add more ease to the center back and gather it rather than pleat it, and perhaps bind the neckline rather than hem it. I really don't like the fold down and hem method with knits, that's what made the back of my Myrtle dress look like absolute shite.

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    1. I'm nit bug in pleats either, good idea to gather the back instead. And I didn't know that the Myrtle was finished the same way. I've never had a narrow hem in a knit turn out okay, even with my coverstitch machine.

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  7. We are always our own worst critics..speaking from lots of experience! Looking at the pictures it doesn't look bad to me at all. Give it a rest and come back to it later. I always find that helps. When I come back to it later my thoughts are always, geez why am I so hard on myself, it's not that bad?!

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  8. You look really cute/nice. I know its hard to adjust to the just had a baby look and truth be told you will probably have less of a tummy in just a few more weeks but you could totally wear that shirt. You just happen to look like most of us do after we've had a baby so regardless of what you do with the shirt be kind to yourself.

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  9. I'm with everyone else - you are being too hard on the top! Dude, you sewed something less than a month after giving birth. And not just a TNT basic, but a new pattern with new to you techniques! Girl, that's impressive! And i think the tank is totally wearable - I"m pretty sceptical about Colette knit patterns though, because i do not understand the sizing and finishing techniques, but that's just me! :)

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  10. I think you are great and you style. I've many type fabric style for women.
    African kente
    African fabric

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  11. Ugh was my comment eaten?
    If so, here's what I wrote, I think:
    Don't blame your body -- it seems the pattern has issues! Narrow hemming a neckline and armholes? Ew.
    From your side pose photo, it looks to me like your body curves in at the lower back, so I think the pooling fabric is due to a swayback, not full hips/bum.
    I think it's totally fine and great to sew for the body you have now! Don't wait around -- this is your hobby and your creative outlet. Do your thing, make what you want.

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    1. Thank you for the fitting help! I'm going to go back and look at some old photos...I don't think I had that swayback issue a year ago. I know from experience that getting your old posture back after having a baby can take a while.

      And thank you for the encouragement!

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  12. You're funny. Baby Brain make us do silly things! You look fantastic for 3w PP. Enjoy the boobs!

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