Surf to Summit

Melissa has released another great exercise pattern that could so easily cross over into every day wear.

I only have muslin versions to show you, but I want to blog all my makes for this year before the year ends, so I thought I would show them to you anyhow.

The pattern is for a princess-seamed tee with raglan sleeves and integrated funnel neck.  There are options a-plenty - short or long sleeves, front half-zip, pockets, curved hem, sleeve mitts.

I must admit, I was tempted to opt out of this testing round, because fitting sleeves is something I struggle with, and raglan sleeves more so than regular sleeves.  Then, stoic individual that I am, I decided to "suck it up" and get on with it.

Here is my first muslin.  You can see all the wrinkles pulling up from the underarm to the shoulder bone.  As well as this, there is some excess volume above the bust, which is standard for me. 

I went with a trial-and-error approach to fitting a new sleeve.  To do this, I slashed the sleeve along the top of the shoulder, and then perpendicular to this in several places, and pinned the slashed-open sleeve to a piece of fabric sitting underneath.  It took me quite a few goes to get a version that I was happy with.  The first modification I did on my dressform, and then I enlisted help to do it on my body.

The final version of the sleeve is the bright pink one in the photos below.  You can see that the sleeve looks much longer than the white version, even though the underarm seam is the same length, because it is not pulling up over the shoulder.  Whilst I was fitting, I took some excess fabric out of the back.  I like the curved hem at the back to eliminate that strip of sunburn between shirt and bikini when body surfing.

 This is what the pattern pieces look like with my sleeve modification.

I didn't use the high neckline with my first muslin, so I made a second muslin to test the long sleeves and the neckline.

Not all of the wrinkles have been eliminated, but it is much more comfortable.  There is a bit of pulling across the upper back.  One sleeve is cut narrower than the other, which I prefer, and I also did an elbow rotation adjustment.  This is the first time I have done one of these and it is the first time my sleeve doesn't feel twisted, so I will be doing this alteration every time I make long sleeves.  There are still wrinkles in the sleeve / shoulder, but I am not sure what to do about these, but I think I will need to do one more muslin before I am totally happy with the fit.  Which will be worthwhile, because this is a great basic pattern.


Jalie 3351 running shorts

I really liked the pockets on my Jalie running skort, but I find the skort too hot to wear with its double layer.  So when Jalie released their swim shorts with the same pocket detail, I was keen to make it up.

The main fabric is a supplex lycra. 


Green cherries on orange lingerie

The green cherry print on this lycra is so cute that I snapped it up the moment I saw it online.  This was whilst I was in transit and looking for things to sew whilst I was in a hotel.

Norma, of Orange Lingerie, released her Marlborough bra pattern that week, so the match seemed inevitable.

Of course, it was only after I cut it out that I realised that the print was directional.

I didn't have access to my stash, so all the notions and other bits are from Lincraft.  Lincraft didn't have any wire casing, so I made my own casing by folding over a non-stretch bra strapping, which seemed to work well.

I didn't have my other patterns to compare to this one, but I did have access to Norma's bra fitting book on my daughter's kindle, so I made a muslin and followed her book to adjust the fit.  It is the first bra pattern ever that I have not had to adjust the bridge.  I did have to adjust the cups to accommodate breast shape by flattening the curve of the bottom of the cup.  The second muslin showed that I was good to go.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the fit of the cherry bra.  The straps sit wide, similar to my favourite RTW bras, but I must admit that they were a little too wide for me (unusual), so on the next one, I moved the back scoop a little to be closer to the CB.

So I made up a second bra, with the only change being to move the back strap position a little.  Only, this one does not fit at all.  The elastic and stretch lace is much firmer and I can't actually do the bra up.  I added on an extender  hook and eye to try it on.  The straps were pre-made straps from Lincraft and they are a little short so the power bar pulls up too much as well.

Now that I have all my sewing supplies with me, I compared this bra to my standard pattern and can see that the band is significantly shorter.  Amy, of Cloth Habit, has a great tutorial on adjusting the bra band, but in the past I have used elastics and fabrics  of similar strength, and have not needed to do this.  I'll have to go back to this tutorial!

I found it a struggle to fit the wires in, and wondered if this was because of the Lincraft wires, but now that I compare patterns, I can see that the CF of the Marlborough bra is a little lower than my standard (self-drafted) pattern.

Here is a photo of the insides.  The cups were lined with batiste.

Similar to other reviewers, I think that the bra pattern could do with a few more notch points.  Also, I would like the pattern to show how to place the pattern on scalloped lace, as I showed in this previous post.

This was the same time that I was testing the runderwear in the Threshold shorts pattern, so the knickers are based on that pattern.  I did adjust the pattern to use wide lace elastic instead of standard lingerie elastic.

So, in summary, I will be making the Marlborough bra again, but I will be reviewing Amy's band tutorial before I cut!


Patrones skirt with side panels and horizontal darts

I love the shocking pink fabric in this skirt, and the patrones pattern is really interesting...but in my love for them both, I didn't realise that deep down I wanted a longer skirt for this fabric.  The skirt is wearable, but it is not the magnificence I was hoping for.

The patrones skirt (I will find the number and put it in here later) has side panels. There are pockets sewn into the panel seams, which is pretty cool.

The front horizontal darts are cool, but they don't really match my shape.  I think maybe I could have left off the bottom dart.  The light pink dots actually look grey in real life.

 I compared the pattern to my sloper, but I didn't make a muslin.  I ended up having to take the side panels in quite a bit, because the fabric is so stretchy, which has made my use of the reverse side of the fabric for the panels just look like a bit of a mistake. 

I chose to use a wide elastic for the skirt waist facing, which I think was the right decision, given the stretchiness of the fabric, but it doesn't look nicely finished on the inside.  There is an invisible zipper at the back. 

The colour makes this skirt fun, and I will wear it, but I am not likely to use this pattern again.


Stylearc Amber Woven Blouse

Stylearc is a pattern company that I have been wanting to love, but haven't quite.  This top is the Amber Woven Blouse, and I think it has been my most successful stylearc project so far.

I think that the success is largely due to the fabric choice.  It is a stretch silk georgette, which is not a fabric that I have used before. It drapes well and I suspect is rather forgiving when it comes to fit.   I bought it to make a dress for my daughter and then used something else for her instead.  I thought that the fabric would then languish in the stash as it wasn't really "me".  Now that I have made this top up, I totally love it.

I changed the pattern a bit to use a wide lace insert.  The external facing piece on the original pattern is round.  I got the lace from Lincraft, tea-dyed it (though maybe not enough, or maybe it didn't take the tea too well), then found it torn, so had to do some repair embroidery with solvy underneath.  This is a technique for machine embroidery that I have read about and never had need to use until now.  I also changed to a bias binding on the neck to keep the lace in check.

I only had to make minimal fit changes (I did make a muslin, and then when I went to adjust the pattern, I could not find the muslin and had to guess the changes).  I shaped the side seams a little, widened the hip area and raised the front darts. 

I will make this pattern again, probably using the colour blocking suggested on the pattern.