Thursday, July 11, 2019

Rayon Crepe "Zamy" (Zadie + Amy) Wrap jumpsuit

It's wedding season! Of course, nothing in my closet would do.  

The fabric is a rayon crepe that I picked up at Emmaonesock earlier this spring. I don't know whether to call this a border print or a panel, but I was immediately drawn to the layout and colors of the print. When I received it, the hand was even more luscious that I could have imagined... it has the most beautifully drapey, textured matte surface.

The basic pattern is the Zadie jumpsuit (Paper Theory), but highly modified. I've made one Zadie that I have yet to blog, since the fit is quite far from right. The crotch is miles too long, and possibly poorly shaped for my body. But I love the idea of a wrap jumpsuit, and I thought a wrap would be perfect for this print.

Also, to make the best use of this spectacular print, a waist seam was not desirable, and considerable swishy-ness on the legs certainly is desirable. 

Soooo.... I laid the Zadie on top of my beloved Amy jumpsuit pattern (Closet Case Patterns), and proceeded to trace out a hybrid. My love of the Amy jumpsuit is well documented! Let's just call this a Zamy, shall we? 

The hybridization went smashingly... I made a muslin and it was nearly spot on. It is difficult to say exactly where Zadie ends and Amy begins, but I took the wrap shape and pleats from the Zadie and the crotch curves and length mostly from the Amy, and retained all of the volume of the wide legs from the Amy. 

No waist seam. Pleats were retained, sewn to be open on both ends. I drafted facings, rather than use bias on the neckline, for a more elegant finish. Side seam pockets. Frenched seams. The sleeves are finished with self-fabric bias binding that is invisibly hand sewn down.

I also decided to add button closures (tabs sewn into the side seams) so that it can be worn with or without a belt, a technique borrowed from the Highland Wrap Dress (Allie Olson).

I made the belt twice as wide as the original Zadie ties, sewed the two ties together, and interfaced it so that it would lay flat (another thing I didn't like about my first Zadie is how the waist ties wrinkle up) and left it completely unattached. 

The wedding was lovely, the bride and the groom very sweetly exchanged handwritten vows on a perfect summer day. It is always such a beautiful thing to see two young people starting out together in their lives. As for my position as the recent wife of the father of the groom-- let's just say everyone has history. However, if one has to stand around smiling graciously, making small talk and feeling generally awkward, one might as well do so looking glamorous!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Amy Jumpsuit Cross Back Hack

I love my Amy jumpsuits (you can see them here (bw print), here (black linen), and here (navy sequin)) but they all share one problem... the straps just won't stay on my shoulders. 

So on my latest Amy, I made the straps cross in the back.

This was a bit of a trick, I went through several bodice muslins trying different solutions to get the straps to cross with a minimum of gaping in the back. But in the end, I decided the best solution was the simplest. I made the straps longer, and attached them so that they followed he angle of the back bodice coming from the armpit. I also removed about 1 inch from the top of the bodice at the center back, grading to nothing, and adding that inch back in at the side seams (1/2 inch on each side). I did this all on the pattern, so that when I cut the center back stripe would be on-grain. 

I also added the side zip. Since the straps are pretty secure, it is still a bit of a wiggle to get on and off... but not much worse than my other Amys. Next time I'll probably make the back just a bit deeper, or allow the front to sit a touch lower, so that the opening on top is just a bit wider to get on and off. 

I love it! Having bare shoulders without the straps sliding down all the time is wonderful. 

The fabric is yet another linen from Joanne Fabric! This one seems a bit lighter than the other two I've sewn with, but still lovely for summer.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Closet Case Charlie Caftan in Striped Linen from Joanne Fabric

Several days before our recent beach trip, I decided I just had to have a Charlie Caftan!

This is another linen from Joanne Fabrics. Not the finest linen ever, but actually quite perfect for a lightweight beach dress/cover up, and the slight rough texture is charming in this context.

I sewed View A, short with the diagonal pleat detail and the wide sleeves. I also covet a floor length, dramatic caftan, but I thought I'd start with the more practical version!

I just LOOOOVE the diagonal darts. So fun to sew, and a lovely design detail.

Following my measurements, I graded out at the hips, and otherwise sewed it entirely to spec. I was not so careful cutting, so I did lose a bit on the center front seam trying to get the stripes to meet in an an elegant fashion.

Overall the fit is quite good, body skimming but not too sloppy. The bottom of the skirt is the tiniest bit constricting... I'm not very good at maintaining lady-like postures, so I might add some side vents next time. 

Also, as other sewers have noted, the front V is quite deep, and the wide arms are very wide! This is all fine in a beach dress... desireable in fact! But if I was making one to be a bit more of an everyday dress, I'd raise the front V another inch and use the less-wide sleeve option. I might even like it enough to make another later this summer to wear in the fall to work, I think it would be a nice option.

I love all of the little details on this pattern... the stitched down facing, the angled sleeve cuffs, the front inset, the pockets. Of course, the diagonal pleats... but I've already gone on about those.

The inside seams are all frenched, except for the inset, which I finished with bias binding. I was a little surprised that there didn't seem to be any instructions for finishing the edges of the inset... or perhaps I missed them.

This caftan saw daily wear on the beach this last week-- it was the perfect garment to throw on over a swimsuit or to hang out on the deck in. LOVE!!!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Rainbow Striped Linen Closet Case Kalle Shirt Dress

Long time no blog! Quite honestly it's been a challenge just getting to sewing, never mind taking pictures of my makes. However, I just photographed my recent burst of productivity, so here comes the first in a short series of posts. 

I just can't get enough of the Kalle Shirt Dress. This is my 5th one, I think, not including the shirt and tunic length Kalles. Several of these are long sleeved for winter, some others are here and here. They are just the most easy, comfortable dresses to throw on, and I think the collar and buttons make them look classy. My favorite secret pajamas!

Early in the season, I was searching desperately for the perfect striped linen to make a great summer Kalle. When Sara from The Sara Project posted hers, that was EXACTLY what I wanted to make. I immediately ordered the same fabric from Joanne Fabrics and made my own. It was even in stock at my local store. I'm sorry to be a copy cat, but it really was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Sara, I would NEVER have thought I would have found the perfect fabric at Joanne Fabrics! 

The Joanne linen was a great price with coupons, and washed up beautifully. It is soft and has a nice linen-y drape. The weight is just right for a summer dress. 

I'm happy with the stripe placement down the front. I wasn't too scientific about cutting this out... matching the stripes on a hidden placket was making my head hurt, so I just cut it out and hoped for the best. With a little finagling, it turned out just fine!

I played a bit with the hem on this one, cutting it almost flat in the front with a bit of an exaggerated tail. It's also significantly longer than the original Kalle pattern, since I wanted it to be appropriate for a broader range of venues, without wearing leggings. 

I cut the collar on the bias, and the back yoke and sleeve cuffs on the cross grain. 

These shots have a bit more movement in them thanks to help from my 7-year old photographer in training! 

And, did you note the shoes? These are my first Hasbeen Sweedish sandal/clogs. When I saw that these gorgeous yellow ones were on sale on the Hasbeen site, I had to see what all the hype was in the sewing community over these shoes. While I wouldn't want to walk miles in these, I have to say they broke in really fast and are great for long periods of standing and short walks. 

And they look great with all of my me-made dresses and jumpsuits!