Thursday, March 28, 2019

Coral and Stripes Fulton Sweater Blazer

It finally feels like spring here in the Finger Lakes! When I was thinking about the predicted 60 degree weather today, the coral pink of my Fulton Sweater Blazer was irresistible. 

I made this weeks ago, as the first challenge of the Patternreview Sewing Bee. The challenge was to sew an open front cardigan that used Pantone's "Living Coral" color either literally or figuratively. This color was so jarringly outside of my usual dark-neutrals winter color scheme that I decided to go for it!

I knew right away that I wanted to sew the Alina and Co. Fulton Sweater Blazer. I've made dozens of cardigans, but the crisp collar of the Fulton is just so chic, and I thought it would elevate a simple knit cardigan.

I bought this fabric on Amazon! I've never in my life bought fabric on amazon before, but who else in the fabric world will guarantee 2-day shipping on a cut of fabric? It was just the right color, and a stable knit ponte was perfect for the pattern. It does have higher poly content than I usually would prefer, but it was a lovely weight and very soft when it arrived. FYI, I made a sweater for my daughter with the extras and it has pilled quite a bit, but kids clothes do take a beating.

Speaking of leftover fabric... I think the fabric requirements of this pattern must be generous, because I had A LOT of leftover fabric. It calls for 2.75, and of course that means you have to buy 3 at most online fabric stores. I'm pretty sure I used less than 2.

Anyhow, I did a quick muslin, and it fit beautifully, so I jumped right into cutting and sewing.

The pattern is totally straightforward if you have sewn a cardigan before... except for the collar. However, the instructions really walked you through it step-by-step, including helpful tips like marking and which side of the fabric to sew on. The illustrations were spot-on and did not involve any head scratching to figure out.

I also love the cuff detail, and I chose to highlight the roll up cuff option with a contrasting stripe knit that I had in stash. I used the stripes to do a hong-kong seam finish for a beautiful interior. I also love all of the other little details of this pattern like the neck facing, deep hem and generous pockets.

I love this cardigan! I might, however, add just 1/4-1/2 to the shoulder seams and upper arms next time to give a bit more room to layer over the slightly oversize shirts that I tend to prefer. You can see it pulling a bit in the pics. Actually when I put it on today it seemed to fit better, even over a long sleeve shirt. So go figure.

Quite honestly I have only worn this once since I made it... but today it was just the thing to highlight one of the first spring-y days of spring!

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thaw Jumpsuit-- Patternreview Lillian Dress and Closet Case Amy Mashup

It has been a crazy winter here in the Finger Lakes. Freezing cold days and whiteout snowfall mixed with periods of 50+ degree weather. All of that has led to a lot of freeze thaw cycles. On the edges of the lakes and the canals and inlets, the ice forms then breaks into intricate patterns. 

This jumpsuit was made for Round 3 of the Patternreview Sewing Bee. The challenge was to make a specific pattern, the Lillian dress, your own. 

If you've been reading the blog for awhile, you might have noticed that I haven't made any knit dresses lately, and I pretty much never make anything with a bib, other than overalls. 

So how to make this particular pattern my own? Well, I decided to convert it to a woven, and to make it into a jumpsuit. I stayed true to the pattern by using the style lines of the bib to make a sort of princess seam down the front, and I turned the neckline into a high cross front style. For the ease and shape of the leg, I used the Amy Jumpsuit pattern from Closet Case Patterns. 

Converting to a woven was relatively easy-- I sewed a size two sizes higher than my measurements. I also ended up having to cut and slash some more ease into the sleeves, since they were too restrictive when sewn in a woven. 

The wrap front worked out very well for getting in and out of the jumpsuit... no other closure is necessary. 

The fabric is hand painted, in a pattern that is inspired by the patterns ice makes when it thaws. 

My fabric was a white linen, and I painted it with very watered down speedball printmaking ink. I had this color sitting on a shelf, staring at me-- I had mixed it for a previous project, but ended up using a different color set. The color was mostly dark blue, with a little turquoise mixed in. 

The lines in the pattern are created using clear gutta resist... I had a tube in my stash that I had bought to try out several years ago. It worked beautifully! 

The speedball ink is very pigmented, so even the darker areas maintain a suppleness. I have not yet washed it, but I have high hopes that it won't fade, since getting speedball ink out of clothes where it has landed by accident is nearly impossible. 

I painted the cut pattern pieces before I sewed them, so that I could control exactly how the pattern fell on the jumpsuit, but the style lines created by the panels would still be visible. There was of course the risk of the pattern pieces stretching out of shape while they dried, but I handled them very carefully and this seemed not to be a problem. 

The front of the jumpsuit closes with a hidden zip. This was the part that took the most time... I had to figure out exactly where the facings needed to be so that my non-matching black zip wouldn't peek out. A couple of hook and eyes with thread loops keep the facings in place. 

The inside of the wrap is secured with a button, a trick I learned from the Highland Wrap Dress.

The armholes are finished with matching bias binding. 

The legs are hemmed with a machine blind hem. The insides, including pockets, are french seamed for a clean finish.

And, the finished jumpsuit! It is such a statement piece that I haven't found the right place to wear it yet. But I think soon, as we come to the big spring thaw, this jumpsuit will make its debut. 

You can read my contest entry here, and see the other entries here