FO: Simple Sewaholic Saltspring

Salt-spring-front

Hello!

Back again with a post I procrastinated over for a few months. Not that there’s anything wrong with this dress – it’s just I’m still struggling to find somewhere to take photos in my flat. The light of an English winter being what it is I’ve pushed the exposure on these pretty high to see the details and it’s less than ideal, gah. The photo situation is a work in progress but I have a couple of things still to try.

Anyways, this is of course the Sewaholic Saltspring pattern sewn in drapey jersey knit fabric. I actually completed this one before going on to the Salt-fall longsleeved variation – as you can see it’s not quite in season.

Saltspring-Back

To be honest, the other reason I was hesistant to post this one, is because there is not much to really say about it. I followed the pattern as written and from memory I didn’t make any alterations. I must say it’s a super easy dress to fit due to the elastic waist and would be ideal if you had to make something for a friend as the measurements don’t need to be so precise.

Salt-spring-Side

In the end I figured it’s always nice to be able to see patterns on different body shapes so while this isn’t anything new it’s nice to have in the archives.

Saltspring-Bodice

I promise something more exciting for next time! I had a lovely time catching up with new and old friends on Goldhawk Road yesterday so the motivation is revving up.

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Salt-Fall Dress: Adding Sleeves to the Sewaholic Saltspring Dress Pattern

Salt-Fall-TitleThis is pretty much the dress I want to wear all of the time, these days. It’s stretchy, comfortable and can be dressed up or down easily… and it has pockets.

 

The Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew + Sewaholic Saltspring

Contrary to what actually makes it to the blog, I have been sewing in the few moments I can grab around work and after my BHL Anna Dress I continued the maxi momentum with a full length knit Saltspring dress (which is languishing in the to be photographed pile). This pattern is everything lovely about Tasia’s designs – deceptively simple, beautifully cut and cleverly designed but it’s very much a summer dress with it’s drapey top and shoestring straps and damnit I wanted these same things going into Autumn so sleeves were needed.

Salt-Fall-SideEnter Sewaholic Pattern’s much loved basic the Renfrew (also made and not yet blogged).

Size + AlterationsI started with a size 16 in both patterns then overlapped the pattern pieces to see how they interacted together.

Salt-Fall-Pattern-Pieces

 

You can see that the the bodice front of the saltspring dress is longer than the bodice front lining and that it has been slashed and spread not just lengthened at the bottom edge.

Looking at the back view of the saltspring and renfrew together the hardest part was deciding where to align them. Because I was using a knit, I could eliminate the zipper and cut the back on the fold so I started by overlapping the centre back of each piece. Beyond that I just estimated where the waist would fall on each piece which happened to be between the lengthen/shorten lines on each piece so that’s what I went with.

Straight away you can see the saltspring piece is much wider so I started by tracing the renfrew neckline and armscye then merged into the saltspring for the side seam and the hem. I did have to go back and smooth the curve of the side seam but it was pretty straight forward.

Salt-Fall-New-Pattern

I had to do this for the front bodice, front lining, back bodice and back lining. The skirt pieces are from the salt spring and the sleeves are from renfrew.

Other changes – I made a 1.5 inch FBA, made the neckline 2 inches lower at the front grading to a half inch wider at the shoulders.

The Fabric: 2.5 metres of Cotton Jersey from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road @ £3.50 per meter.

Construction: Between you and me I kind of winged the construction but as best I can remember:

  • Bodice front to bodice back at the shoulders and side seams
  • Repeat with bodice front and back lining
  • With wrong sides together, basted bodice to lining at armscye and hem (allowing the bodice to bag out).
  • Sew sleeve seam
  • Sew sleeve cuff and attach as per Renfrew instructions
  • Insert the sleeve
  • Attach the neckband as per Renfrew instructions
  • Continue as per Saltspring instructions

Salt-Fall-Close-Duo

Time to Make: One afternoon for altering the pattern pieces and another for sewing.

Favourite Features: It’s not so much a favourite feature but this is definitely super comfortable which is exactly what I needed. You know those pieces that feel like pajamas but don’t necessarily look it.Salt-Fall-BackChanges for Next Time: Definitely need more length in both the bodice and the skirt. I’m 5 foot 9 and generally I don’t have to make any adjustment for my height but I definitely noticed it here. You can see at the back that the elasticated waist doesn’t have as much blousing because I keep pulling it down. Next time I would add maybe 2 inches to the bodice pieces by slashing and spreading and 3 inches at the skirt hem.

First Worn: Family hols in Avignon.

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Travelling Pants: Sewaholic Thurlows

I remember reading in one of Trinny and Susannah’s books that as a skittle (bowling pin), trousers weren’t the most flattering choice for my shape. Whilst I understand the sentiment, I am un-prepared to lead a pants-less existence so enter these shorts. I plan on making the longer version but there were quite a lot of new techniques for me so I gave it a bash first on these shorts to take on my holiday home in a couple of weeks.

thurlow-titleThe Pattern: Sewaholic 1203 Thurlow Trousers

Size + Alterations: I made a size 16 with a 1/2 inch added to each of the side and in-seams and 1 inch to the length. I left off the belt loops as I wouldn’t wear a belt with these anyway and lastly I made a mistake with the waistband (more on that later) so the pointed edge is outermost on these.

The Fabric: Mustard (the cooler khaki) Cotton Sateen from Walthamstow Market. Navy gingham for the lining.

Time to Make: Much quicker than I thought – I started cutting them out about 4pm and worked until 10pm then finished them in the morning so all up about 8 hours including cutting out.

photoNew Skills: Welt Pockets and inserting a front fly – very glad I made a muslin first as there is still a bit of practise to be done.

thurlow-detailsFavourite Features: As always Tasia’s instructions are one of the best – I know I can follow them blindly step-by-step and it’ll all come together. Other bits I like – navy gingham and mustard is one of my favourite combinations. Discovering that a blind-hem foot can be adapted for edge-stitching on the cuffs.

thurlow-duo

Ch-ch-ch-changes:  The seat still needs a little more room and I think I need to transfer a bit from the vertical part of the crotch curve to the horizontal at the front. I also, totally faffed-up the waistband/fly – NB: when the pattern piece says ‘cut 1 right side up’ it’s talking  about the pattern paper not the fabric – doh! This meant that my left and right waistbands (each has it’s own pattern piece) are reversed. I made do and put the pointed piece on the outside but I had to improvise because the length wasn’t sufficient for finishing the top edge of the fly facing.

thurlow-flyFirst Worn: Around home – it’s fricking freezing out there!

Repeatability: Definitely. I have some grey suiting ready to go for the full length version.

Sew Grateful: Tasia for making all the new techniques straightforward and un-intimidating. Lauren for her amazing sew-a-long posts and inspiration.

photo (1)

 

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sewaholic-cambieliscious-expialidocious

Sewaholic-cambie-title

The Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie View A

Size and Alterations: Size 14 at the shoulders grading to 16 at the waist and hips. 1 1/2 inch full bust adjustment which added side-seam bust darts.

The Fabric: Cotton Sateen purchased over a year ago on Goldhawk road. Oh yes, the magical meet-up fabric finally made it out of the stash!

Time to Make: This was much quicker than I anticipated despite having 20 darts to sew once I’d added the FBA. All up about 4 and a half hours excluding cutting it out. Though I must give a shout-out to Jen’s chaining tutorial at Grainline – serious game changer people!

Sewaholic-cambie-4

Favourite Features: Too many to choose from! The pockets are genius - though I would recommend reinforcing the stitching at the top and side edges, if you’re like me and always keep your hands in them. The fabric was a dream – sturdy and dependable making it easy to sew. Also, one of the things Tasia’s patterns always excel at – neat tricks for finishing the inside as nicely as the outside.

Sewaholic-cambie-inside

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: I think I could have started with a size 12 at the shoulders as they are a little big and the top of the sweet heart neckline gapes. I really like the look of Tasia’s samples and I think this would make the difference.

Sewaholic-cambie-front-alt

First worn: Quarter Brief work function

Repeatability: For sure.

Wardrobe Planning:
Inspiration, Comfort + Compromise

There has been many a meaningful discussion of late around what we sew and why. Sewaholic’s take on frosting vs. cake and Colette Patterns’ practical wardrobe posts both put into words the thoughts I’d had about Wardrobe Planning the second time around.

For the fall Palette challenge I’d gotten excited and begun collecting images that evoked the mood of melancholy chill in the air (I’d just been to the Dianne Arbus exhibition at the Tate Modern and may have been melodramatic).

Then I found images of clothing I’d like to make and own – on the surface, a dream wardrobe.

Vintage inspired clothes that made me drool – the only problem was that when I really tried to imagine myself wearing these clothes, I couldn’t. Circle skirts that feel costumey, high waisted sweaters that choke and give uni-boob, pencil skirts that cut mid cankle and hobble anyone daring to walk more than two feet – I did not want to wear these clothes.

The reality was that on a scale between comfort and figure flattery my own balancing point falls more on the comfort side than the other.

So with the stars aligning the Spring/Summer Palette Challenge and Me-Made-May I’ve decided to bring a little more reality to the table.

Like Caitlin from the Coletterie, I’m quite a homebody and when I broke down my time into a simple pie-graph it was clear that to make it through MMM I need to plug the lounge-wear shaped hole in my wardrobe.

The next gap is with the work wardrobe. I began the new job last week (thanks for all the good wishes – I’m loving it so far!) and for the first two weeks I don’t need to worry about it but after that management training starts. I’m looking for a compromise between smart/professional but still comfortable enough to move around in. I think double-knit dresses may be my saviour.

And finally a little frosting for sight-seeing with shirt-dresses, trouser-jeans and pretty prints.

So rather than a concrete plan, this time around I  have a palette of colours and a general idea of where the gaps are which seems as good a starting point as any!

The Sew Grateful Dress: Vintage Simplicity 4908

 

The gorgeous and gracious Debi, who I’m sure you all know from her blog My Happy Sewing Place and her work on the Sew Weekly, recently hosted a challenge in celebration of Thanksgiving.

The instructions were to use a piece of fabric or pattern you had won or been gifted or to use a tutorial from another blogger in the spirit of saying thanks to the collaborative community that we are all a part of. And lucky me, the day after reading Debi’s Sew Grateful challenge, I won a blogiversary giveaway of two vintage patterns from Amy of Sewing Through the Motions.

I decided to make Simplicity 4908, which according to the Vintage Patterns wiki is from the early to mid 60′s.

 

The dress has a princess seamed bodice and kimono sleeves. The front panel and the belt are all cut as one piece and it finishes at the back with a bow. Which makes me feel a little like I’ve accidentally made a bridesmaid dress…

Image via Aeva Couture

I blame Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Still, I think a 60′s vintage dress in coral sounds just lovely so I didn’t let that put me off. Nor did I get defeated by the amount of pattern alterations that were needed.

To start with, I graded it from a 36in to a 41in bust before tackling the full bust adjustment. Frustratingly because of all the angles involved in the side front panel it just wouldn’t come together so instead I created a new pattern from a hodgepodge of ones I already knew fit.

The first pieces I needed were for the shoulder princess-line bodice, so I grabbed my Sewaholic Pendrell blouse. Next the kimono sleeves, which came from the white lace tee I made a few weeks ago.  I fit the pendrell pieces under the bust (it’s usually a loose blouse) then cut the side panel at the midriff to mimic the curve on the original piece. The bottom of the side panel attached to the front piece. The kimono sleeve addition was pinned to the side panel before tracing it off again and adjusting the seam allowance.

The back piece was the only originally graded piece I used, except for the bow. The only change made was to make the neckline scooped rather than V- or bateau necked. I continued the belt from the front piece around the back tracing the outline of that piece.

The skirt I adapted from Burdastyle’s Jenny Pencil Skirt, and the pockets came from another pattern.

You can see the original pieces above and below you can see how they sort of piece together.

 

In the end, it came together pretty well despite all the improvisations. By the time I’d made all the changes, a muslin might have killed me so I just went ahead and whipped it up but next time I’l remove a little length under the bust and definitely add more ease at the hips.

Still for my first attempt at sewing a vintage pattern, I’m chuffed.

 

Sewaholic Minoru Muslin/Sweater-dress + FBA

I find myself with a bit of a problem. Whilst my brain knows that making a muslin is not a waste of fabric I seem to be physically incapable of disposing of one once it’s made.

Which goes a little way to explaining this odd sweater/dress hybrid.

I want to make an all-weather version of Sewaholic’s latest pretty and practical pattern – the Minoru Jacket. Tasia’s sew-a-long begins in earnest in January but I thought I’d get a head start on the muslin being that it usually causes much feet dragging. I had some double-knit which would work and really I just wanted to check that the full-bust adjustment would work okay on the dartless bodice.

Here’s how it went:

(click to enlarge)

ETA: On regular version add the length created at Line 3 to the front placket and zip, too.

 It worked just fine and I now know when it comes to making the real version I’ll need a 34in separating zipper not a 32in due to the additional length from the FBA.

Still I didn’t want to waste a zipper I can’t really afford on a muslin so I thought to myself… what would happen if I cut the front on a fold (adding in the width of the button placket)? Answer is… a Sweater-Dress. It’s very comfortable despite being unlined and the fact I messed the collar up royally. I didn’t notice the front placket went up to the top of the collar so I forgot to add the additional length and then I went and sewed it on backwards. Oh well, good thing it’s just a knock-around for home.

 The pattern itself is so lovely to sew, and now I have my alterations all done I can’t wait for January.

Vlog: Sewaholic Pendrell FBA (part two)

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… and here’s part two. Warning, my editing software putted out on me so this one is pretty wordy!

 

In case it’s needed here’s the picture of the adjustments to the front piece:

The first adjustment should match the gap filled at Line 3 on the side piece. The next is to add the amount added at the full bust point. Finally I added an inch to the centre front to make sure the princess line falls in the right place.

From the front

The Back

(you can see part one here)

Vlog: Sewaholic Pendrell FBA (part one)

Procrastination leads me to many crazy pursuits. In my desire to put off packing, I’ve been doing a fair bit of sewing and decided to try making a video of the full bust adjustment on Sewaholic’s Pendrell Blouse.

The result is somewhat awkward (god it’s awful watching yourself on film)  and involves a fair bit of fast motion to make it fit, but you get the idea. (Part two to follow).

Just in case, here’s the pictorial breakdown of choosing your size based on your high bust measurement: