Monday, April 9, 2012

Blue Links Tunic

I love this top.

It is exactly what I wanted. Ever since I found this fabric I have known it was destined to be a tunic. The fabric is a vintage sheet, it's soft and light and perfect for a spring top!

I used a vintage Simplicity pattern (9443) cut down from a dress to a tunic.

After sewing up a muslin I decided to remove the center front pleat and grade out the sides from waist to hip to add the necessary width to adjust for the missing pleat. In the end it also required side vents to allow for greater movement. I also added a decorative front facing in white to match the collar.

I love this top and will absolutely use this pattern again. I love the fit, and although there are some 80's design elements I would tone down in the next version, I think this top will get lots of wear this spring and summer.
Changes I would make for next time:
1. Reduce the shoulder width - this is a little bit too 80's
2. Remove some of the ease in the shoulder cap, I couldn't get this to ease nicely and it ended up a little on the "puff sleeve" side.
3. add more of the required fullness at the hip to the back piece rather than evenly to front and back.

Can't wait to try this one again as a longer tunic or a dress.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Annual Spring Top Post: Spring House Blouse

So here we go with the Annual Spring Top post.  Apparently I really need contests to get by butt in gear to post on this blog.

Here's my top.

It's what I call a House Blouse, it is a vintage cobbler's apron but made in a cute fashion fabric.  Since i pretty much live in tank tops during the summer this is a cute way to cover up, and keep kid shmutz off me, while still looking presentable enough to answer the door, or run an errand.

I found the pattern and tutorial here:

The main fabric is Coloured Dreams by Fabric Freedom (purchased on clearance at Fabricland, December 2011).  The contrast fabric was salvaged from a men's dress shirt. I cut the shirt apart and used the front panels for the ties, saving the placket and using it to create a contrast button band at the back of the blouse.  

I also made some bias binding from contrast fabric, but after pin basting the binding at neck and sleeves I decided it looked too "apron-y" and left it off in favor of a very narrow single fold hem.   I also took a small tuck at the shoulder to keep the look a little more modern.

Over all I love this blouse.  The colour is punchy, it's super comfortable and best of all it's easy to throw on and off, so I actually wear while I'm working around the house.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Made By Rae Spring Top Finalist!

Woo Hoo!  My "Blue Stripes Nursing Top" Made the cut!!  I'm one of the top 48 finalists in the Made By Rae Spring Top Sew-along and I couldn't be more proud. And to think I almost didn't finish this top because I thought it didn't look right at the half way mark.  I'm so glad I muscled through, this top is a keeper and one I'll be going back to again and again through the spring!

Welcome to everyone swinging by via Made By Rae.  I really wish there was more here for you to see, and I'm kind of kicking myself for not doing all the posts that have been rolling around in my head for the past 2 weeks.

I don't have much new to say on this top, so please scroll down and take a look at the additional pictures.

If you're interested in how I've spent the last year crafting and sewing my way through my (HUGE) fabric stash, stop by over the next few weeks as I recap all the sewing I did in 2010 and the early part of 2011.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring Tops - with better photos

Here are some much better pictures of the tops that I was able ti have hubby shoot for me last night. The colour of the blue top shows so much better in these pics. 

I got the best compliment on the Spring flowers top - hubby actually thought this one was store bought!!

More notes:
Spring flowers - love this top, super comfy and easy to construct although there are some fit issues (it's a little on the big side!)
Blue stripes - this refashion felt like it too a million years to finish, and it still has some quirks but I love it!! It works really well as a nursing top, it's comfy and I feel dressed up when I wear it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Sew-along tops - preliminary!

So here is a really really brief post on the tops I entered into Rae's Spring Top Sew-along.

1) Blue stripes nursing top by Meagan
This is a refashion of a mens dress shirt. kept the bottom hem, and the button placket.  Pattern for top half somewhat based on AMH Mariposa Tunic. I used the yoke from the shirt to make a band along the front, and created ties from thrifted knit pajama pants.

2) Spring Flowers Tunic by Meagan
Thrifted Sheet. Simplicity 3835. We'll call this a wearable muslin.  I like the colours and the shape, however due to the fact that I'm nursing I cut this a little on the large side so it doesn't have the best fit.  Also, I noticed only after I'd started sewing, the fabric has a wear line in the center where I cut on the fold!  Oh well, it was great trying  out this pattern, and I'll absolutely use it again. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Blogging Slacker Strikes Again!!

So I did actually spend this year sewing, I just didn't bother blogging any of it!  I made some felt softies for the kids, tops and aprons for myself, pants for bug and more, but it'll be a while before I manage to round up photos and post on all of it.

In the meantime I'm working on some entries for Made By Rae's Spring Top Sew-along.  Stay tuned, I'll hopefully have tops to post in the next couple of days!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Top Week Adventure

So have you heard about spring top week over at Made by Rae? I've been following Rae for well over a year now, and was really inspired by last years spring top week, so when I heard she was doing it again I thought this was the perfect opportunity to raid my stash and make something lovely!

My Top!!
This took lots more work than I thought it would, but I'm so excited to be finished!

Green cotton stretch fabric purchased to make maternity tops the last time I was pregnant (2.5 years ago).
Navy cotton stretch fabric thrifted from a pair of pajama pants

Pattern: Simplicity New Look 6615

This is a dress pattern, cut down to a tunic top - Since this pattern was intended for woven fabric it ended up posing some challenges with respect to sizing.

- Cut the lower front panel much larger to accommodate the belly!
- Adjusted to back panel to be cut on the fold (to reduce sewing)
- Added pleats to the top back to make up for the extra fabric that was added by cutting on the fold.
- Traded in the shaped bands for straight cut bands, I figured that since I was using a knit the bands didn't really need to be curved. Also, it was much easier to cut straight bands from the thrifted pants.
- Added extra long side ties that would wrap around to tie in the front (I hate having a knot in my back!)
- Added a small loop and button to the front to keep it modest but still allow for use as a nursing top.

This took way more time than I anticipated - 4 naps and 3 evening! The cutting alone took 1.5 naps (3.5 hours!)

- I usually pin baste to test then just go ahead a sew! It's not a great way to work, but it tends to work well for most projects. The problem here was that I used my very short lightning stretch stitch to put it all together then realized that I was going to have to make some changes and needed to spent almost 2 hours stitch ripping the bust and neck lines.

- The original bust pleats that looked great pin basted, looked horrible once sewn, not only were they just bad, they were also in the wrong spot!

- The lower front and the back turned out pretty well, but the front/top/bust area was quite large and needed to be taken in over and inch in both the shoulders and the sides. I should have anticipated this since I cut for my size using a woven fabric pattern!!

- Needless to say I basted the second time around to make sure that everything would fit!

- Maternity/Nursing top - I intentionally made the front long and added several pleats to the side to accommodate my belly, but I also used a slightly looser stitch in that area that will be a little easier to remove and adjust into a non-maternity top in 2 months when baby is here.

- Sleeves: I originally cut the sleeves, but hubby liked it better without, and once I'd tried a couple of times to pin them in I realized that the adjustments due to using a knit fabric were going to make the sleeves a little more difficult to put in. I'll set the sleeves aside, and if I'm still loving this top by the time fall rolls around I'll put them in then.


Whew! That was hard work. I don't think I'll use a woven pattern to make a stretch knit again in the near future!!

I'm really pleased with the overall look! I love the way it fits and I am especially happy with how the front turned out - reasonably modest with the button, while still allowing for nursing access - plus it doesn't look like one of those frumpy double layer nursing t's!

I'm also really glad I sucked it up and used some of the nicer fabric from my stash! These are my colours and I know I'll get tons of wear out of this top throughout the spring and summer, and probably well on into the fall.