Thursday, October 17, 2019

Kaufman Brooklyn Plaid Flannel Kalle Shirt Dress

As soon as the weather turned chilly here, all I could think about was the cozy piece of Kaufman flannel that I knew was nestled in my stash pile. The project I had already cut out got pushed back onto the wait pile as that flannel performed a leap to the front of my sewing queue.

Out came the Kalle Dress from Closet Case Patterns and away we went!

This is an almost true to pattern Kalle. Well.. just a few mods! A small rounded back/forward shoulder adjustment, extra ease on the side seams, extra 1 inch added to the pleat in the back, long sleeve expansion pack. Removed the exaggerated shirt shaping from the hem in favor of an even front hem and a very slight shirt-tail in the back. Side seam pockets. French seams throughout. 

Can you believe I've never sewn a plaid for myself? I made a pair of plaid pj pants for my husband, but that's the extent of my plaid sewing. I don't really see myself as a plaid-type of person... but that may be changing, because I love the way this plaid looks on me.

I did not manage to take many detail shots, but I did play a bit with plaid on the bias. The front facing of the button side is on the bias, as well as the back yoke, and that little piece on the inside of the tower placket.

I spent a ton of time getting the front properly lined up while cutting, but totally forgot to match the horizontal lines of the side seams. Fortunately I was able to finagle this into submission by shifting the side seams up .25 inches and just trimming a bit off at the sleeve. Disaster diverted!

I had four yards of Kaufman Brooklyn Plaid Flannel that I had bought at the end of year sale at Imagine Gnats last year. It's only 43 inches wide, so it was very tight, but I made it work. I ended up piecing together the back yoke and the bias front facing, and I made a pocket facing so that I could use some other flannel scraps for the majority of the pocket. The flannel scraps I used for the pockets are an incredibly soft rayon flannel, so the pockets are extra cozy! The inner yoke is also scrap flannel, and the bias tape for the hem was sewn together from about 8 different pieces.

When I was sewing this, my husband referred to it as "that thing you are making with pajama fabric." Which points out one of the hesitations I had about sewing up a Kalle in this fabric... would it just look like I was going out in my nightshirt? 

I decided a leather belt would help dress it up. This is not the first time the idea of a belt has occurred to me, so I just happened to have the perfect piece of 3/4 inch belt-length leather in my stash, purchased a couple years ago from Etsy. (OMG, they still have a listing for it...) I sewed one end into a loop. I probably could have managed this on my usual sewing machine by hand cranking a leather needle, but it just so happens that I have access to an industrial machine at work that sewed through this leather like butter. Well that was after I spent 30 minutes threading it... I obviously need some practice at that.

Hmmm... the photo above is less than perfect, it seems I've twisted the belt. But you get the idea. The sueded back actually is rather nice for helping the belt stay in place.

And.... do you see that missing button? I realized that I had forgotten it when I was getting dressed in the morning, and had to do a quick safety pin closure! There are 18 buttons on this dress, that was a bit of a chore. I put the buttons on by machine, but I hand tie the ends of the threads to make a little shank on each one. I've gotten pretty quick at that, it took me 20 minutes to do all 17 buttons (not including the missing one!)

I think this is going to be a favorite on chilly mornings! I wore it in 60 degree weather today and I was sweating, so I know it will be cozy. 

I am a little worried that it will stick like glue to my leggings. Only time will tell I suppose. I have yet to buy or make a slip that actually worked for me-- I almost always line dresses if modesty or drape requires. So if one is needed that will be a new challenge, any suggestions? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Striped Jumpsuit Inspired by Ace and Jig

So this make I am totally in love with. 

Lately I've been admiring the designer team Ace and Jig, and their gorgeous textiles and easy styles. In particular, this jumpsuit got stuck in my head:

Then, Emmaonesock got in a lovely yarn dye, linen blend stripe. The yarns it is woven from vary slightly in weight, giving it a subtle texture. 

The pattern I used was a mash-up of the Kalle shirt (top) and the Amy Jumpsuit, both by Closet Case Patterns. I made a wide partial placket, cut on the cross-grain to the shoulder, then hugging the neck in the back. I added sleeves from the Kalle shirt long sleeve pattern. 

It was very tight fitting my pattern on my 3 yards. Then I had a total screw up-- I had cut the big pieces on the table at work, then took the scraps home to cut the small pieces on the weekend, and I cut up one of my front pieces thinking that it was a scrap! 

When I realized what I had done, I had to take a long step away to vent my frustration, then I got down to the business of piecing together a new front piece from my VERY meagre scraps. There are about 4 horizontal seams in one of the front pieces. Let's just call this a quirky design element. Interestingly, the stripes (which I very deliberately matched!) actually do a good job of camouflaging the mistake. 

The belt is also pieced from about 8 scraps, and the back of the belt and the facings are done with leftover burgundy linen. I also hemmed both the legs and arms with facings, also due to a lack of fabric, but actually I sort of love the smooth finish and slight structure of a hem done with a facing. 

Without a belt, it looks sort of pajama-y, so it is likely I'll mostly wear it with the belt. I sort of love how the long, wide belt lands just at the hemline, which was a total accident. 

I thought I wanted it longer, but this length is perfect with boots! 

I have a very strong desire to buy more lovely, striped yarn dye fabrics that might or might not be hand-woven. Where oh where should I look?

No More Fussing: Zadie Jumpsuit in Burgundy Linen

I really, really want to love the Zadie by Paper Theory as much as the rest of the sewing blogosphere. 

I spent far more time on this than you can probably even believe. I made a muslin, and shortened the bodice by an inch or two. I drafted a facing, since I'm pretty sure bias tape on this wrinkle prone linen would be begging for a pressing every time I washed it, and that is a route to the very back of my closet. 

Then I made it up, wore it a couple of times, but the linen relaxed after a few hours of wear and the crotch was hanging halfway down my thighs and the backside was voluminously baggy. So I chopped off another 3 inches at the waist seam, which involved rather a lot of fussiness putting the facing and ties back together again. I think the back view is significantly improved, and it is still plenty loose in the crotch.

Sadly, I still don't really love it. I'm not sure exactly why. I chose burgundy because it I was hoping it would NOT look like a pair of scrubs, but I still sort of feel like it looks like a pair of scrubs. I find the waist seam has a tendency to wiggle out of alignment with the skinny ties, with really bugs me, and I spend the whole day fussing realigning the ties. I guess belt loops would help, but I feel like I'd need about 10 of them all the way around to make a proper guide for the belt. I also end up fussing quite a bit with the belt, since if it get too loose there is the danger of exposure, and it always seems to be either too tight or too loose.

There is nothing really wrong with it. It is plenty comfortable. Coverage is actually quite acceptable for a wrap. It doesn't even look half bad in these pics.

I keep trying to think of ways to alter it that would make me love it more, but I'm not sure it's worthwhile in this case. What do you do when you make something you just don't love?