Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Geodesic Sweater and High Waisted Ginger Jeans

We're nearing the end of the year, and I have about fifteen things I've sewn and haven't blogged about. So there may be some doubling up moving forward! Today, I've got a scrap-busting sweatshirt and some more Ginger Jeans.

The Geodesic Sweater is a pattern from Blueprints for Sewing. I'm not familiar with this company at all, but I've seen this top floating around Instagram. I decided to grab it from IndieSew during their final days of selling patterns (sob!!). I have to say, I was impressed with the pattern itself. The directions were thorough, including detailed steps for grading out at the hips and maintaining the right shapes (which I needed). There was a page with outlines that you could print and color to plan your top. The PDF went together quickly and the directions were great. One tiny gripe is that the seam allowance was only 1/4". Not a lot of room for error with a design that requires great precision.

The pattern has two views, a long one with pockets and a cropped one. I made half of a long one and not only put the pockets on inverted but also managed to sew my rows together incorrectly. I called it a muslin and moved on! I was between sizes A/B and C/D and made an A/B. I'm particular about how my sweatshirts fit, and with a tiny bit of grading out at the hips I'm quite pleased with the size I chose.

As written, the Geodesic has a pieced back as well as front. After assembling my muslin, I traced the shape of the back onto paper so that I could skip all that if I wanted. That's what I've done here, I used a plain back instead.

The fabric is all French terry scraps from my stash. The bottom band is purchased ribbing from La Mercerie. I know that with all the colors AND the stripes, it's "a lot of look" as Tim Gunn would say, but my undying love of pink means I see no flaws.

The jeans! I'm sorry the photos are so dark, it was either blow out the sweatshirt or dark pants. These are the Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns. I previously made this pattern here. I also recently-ish made high waisted Lander Pants, so I had some idea of the direction I needed to go for high waisted jeans. I also had four yards of precious Cone Mills denim. Deep breaths, and I went for it!

My hips are 38", which puts me at a 10. My waist fluctuates and is also squishy, so I tend not to bother with a measurement there. I knew it would be around an 8. I assume I also have a swayback. I am bow-legged and 2" shorter than the 5'6" for which the pattern is drafted. Here are the changes I made to the flat pattern:

1/2" bow-legged adjustment
1" removed at L/S line
1" removed at hem
1/2" dart removed from the yoke
round pubis adjustment

Once the pants were cut, I removed a wedge at CB, another wedge from CB/edge of the yoke, a wedge from the CB of the waistband. When I sewed the side seams, I slightly offset the front and back of the pants so that a deeper SA was taken from the back than the front. Overall, I used a deeper SA than 5/8" at the side seam. I then removed a matching amount from the side of the waistband. I should note, I only cut one waistband, screwed around with basting and the changes I needed, and then cut a final waistband facing. Phew!

The bow-legged adjustment added fabric to the outseam and removed it from the inseam. In theory, I see why it should work, but for whatever reason it didn't work for me. You can see in the above photo the extra and how it just looks lumpy. I will take that back out next time.

All the other changes resulted in a fantastic fit through the hips and back. I see some excess fabric under the seat but that could be influenced by the bow-legged adjustment, so I'm not going crazy there until I know for sure. I also think they gotten slightly stretched out all over with two month's worth of washing and wearing.

Going back to the fabric, more specifically it is 9.5oz Cone Mills S-Gene denim. It's a cotton/poly/spandex blend. It. Is. Everything. This is easily the closest to RTW denim I've felt before and I want allllll the things in it. Here's my secret source: LA Finch Fabrics often has it for an amazing price and then will add a good sale on top. That's where I got my yardage. The pocket stays are leftover quilting cotton from a Badminton Dress for my oldest many years ago (it's from a collab from Moda and Oliver+S called The Ladies' Stitching Club). Topstitching was all done on my vintage Singer. I used knit interfacing in the waistband. I also added some sneaky embroidery on the guts. These pants have such a potty mouth.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ruska Knot Dress

I'm alive! It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've posted. When I looked back the dates coincided with when my littlest two started preschool. You would think that would give me more time, and it does, but the time is mostly out of my house and away from my computer. But I'm here today with a new dress, the Ruska Knot Dress.

This pattern is from the book Breaking the Pattern, which was written by the sisters who run Named Patterns. I adore Named. I don't think I've ever had a failure with one of their patterns, and they're always so cool and different. I remember when they took a season off of online pattern releases to write this book, and it felt like an eternity of waiting. I think it was worth the wait! The book is packed with patterns and with variations on those patterns. The dress that I made is also the basis of a t-shirt, a tunic, and a plain dress, so with one pattern I can make 4+ things!

I was lucky enough to check this book out from my library, but it's been on my Amazon wishlist for a while. The paper patterns are included and there are also instructions on downloading them online. I didn't feel like tracing (the patterns are printed like BurdaStyle magazine patterns, on top of each other) and so I printed the pattern. I did end up regretting that choice as there were nearly 50 pages. They went together just fine, but it was tedious.

The construction of the dress was straightforward. There is a complete dress underneath the tie portion, which is a second layer on top on the front only. The edges of the ties are folded under twice and topstitched. I found this process, with my medium weight French terry, to be annoyingly tricky! I didn't want to go too crazy with pressing since it is a bamboo/cotton blend, and bamboo can develop a shine. My ties are maybe a bit wonky, but all the raw edges are contained and that's what matters.

The model is wearing a dress with positive ease around the hips. I graded out at the hips to achieve the same look and stick with the size chart, but I ended up taking it down to negative ease for a more fitted look. Baggy hips on the model looked a lot better than they did on me! Other than that, I didn't change anything about the fit.

The size chart was a little confusing only because of how it was labeled. The book calls the sizes 1-9, but when I printed the pattern it omitted those numbers and went with their more traditional UK/US/EUR sizing numbers.

Ignoring the tie part, this silhouette is not one I typically wear. Since having kids, I shy away from overly fitted knit garments, I almost never wear a neckline this high, and a long fitted sleeve isn't my jam either. Because of the overlay with the ties, I can hide my mom tummy and get away with fitted everywhere else. I felt sort of not-myself when I wore this dress the first time, but once I took photos and looked back at them I realized: I look good! There was no reason to feel awkward. And bonus: it's snuggly, warm, soft bamboo French terry, one of the best fabrics on the planet. Secret pajamas!

You can snag some of this fabric from The Fabric Fairy. I used the navy colorway, which I used once before for my first pair of Hudson Pants. That was five (!!) years ago, and those pants are in rotation so often I have to ask myself if I'm wearing them too much. I'm thrilled to now have a dress with that fabric!

I received a credit for my purchase with The Fabric Fairy in exchange for promotion. However, I have been raving about them for years without compensation. All opinions are my own! An Amazon affiliate link has been used for the book. 

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