Snails on a Eucalypt

Escargot1I hesitated sharing this top as it is so simple. I would have preferred showing it at the same time as a matching bottom in order not to devote a whole post to such a basic piece, but none of the garments I haven’t blogged yet fits the bill, so here goes.

Escargot2It’s Megan Nielsen’s Eucalypt tank, a pattern I’ve made twice already, once in a woven as per the pattern, and once in a knit. I got the fabric from a swap in September (thanks again, Yanoudatoi!). My intention that day was not to come back home with anything, but I couldn’t resist such a cute print, so I allowed myself to take it but use it immediately, which I did.

Escargot3It was a very short length, so I didn’t hesitate for long: the only pattern I could think about that could fit such a tiny piece was the Eucalypt. There wasn’t enough fabric to make the bias tape, so I went in search of some pre-made at Kaléidoscope, where I knew I could find some that was light enough since they carry a lot of Liberty bias tape. Not only did I find bias tape that was light enough, but I found matching bias tape! Not matching as in the same colourway, no, matching as in the very same fabric, with just a tiny nuance in colour!

Mathematics not being my forte, I didn’t buy enough to bind the bottom hem, so I sewed a baby hem instead.

Escargot4In addition to that little involuntary one, I made two voluntary modifications to the pattern: I straightened the hem because I intended on wearing the top tucked in most of the time, and I added a fake button placket.

I don’t think I’ll be back with a new post in the next two days because CHRISTMAS!, so let me wish you a Merry Christmas already, and I’ll see you Saturday!

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A Few More Stripes

Marine1With fall around the corner, I’d better increase the pace of my blog posts if I don’t want to end up photographing my summer makes in the cold season.

So here I am already, a mere two days after my last post, and with two garments instead of one! I didn’t think either of them deserved a post on its own, and I wore them together a lot on holiday, so I decided to photograph and write about them together, too.

Marine2The shorts were sewn first, the day before a five day trip to Italy, when I suddenly realised that I didn’t own a single pair of shorts since I got rid of an old pair at the end of last summer. Even though I’m more of a dress/skirt kind of gal, there are some instances when nothing beats a pair of shorts.

Marine3I leafed through my Burdas, quickly found this pattern that seemed both easy and quick to sew and immediately went to work. I had just bought the fabric, a navy stretch cotton, at Les Coupons de Saint-Pierre a few days earlier during a trip to Paris (yes, I was lucky enough to travel a lot this summer!), so I hadn’t stored it yet, and I thought it would make for a comfortable pair of shorts.

I made a size 40, which corresponds to my hip measurement, and I didn’t bother to make a muslin, so I was pleased to see that the fit was okay. Far from perfect, but okay. They do tend to give me a wedgie during walks (and not only during walks, judging from the back picture!), though, and I guess elasticated waist shorts are never that flattering anyway… Ah, well!

Marine6The pattern was easy and fast to sew. I mean, if I can sew a pattern in a day, it has to be really easy and fast. The only thing I failed to understand was whether the side seams had to be closed or remained open. I thought they were supposed to remain open, but when I tried on the shorts and lifted my leg, the opening gave way much more than a glimpse of my buttock! So I sewed them shut afterwards, and I think it makes the shape of the shorts look nicer from the front, too.

Marine4The tank was also made from a piece of fabric I bought during my Paris trip (this time at Sacrés Coupons). And it was also a fast and easy sew. The pattern is Megan Nielsen’s Eucalypt Tank, which I had sewn previously, but in a woven. I went down a size (I graded the side seams from the smallest size) to accommodate for the stretch of the cotton jersey knit. And when I tried it on, I decided to shave off a few centimetres from the shoulder straps.

Marine5I serged the side and shoulder seams, and simply serged and turned the neckline, armholes and hem, and topstitched with a zigzag stitch.

I don’t see myself wearing the shorts outside of very casual situations, but I love the tank, and I think it can easily be dressed up, especially tucked in a high-waisted skirt.

And no, I don’t think there is such a thing as too many stripes in a wardrobe!

Dahlia Top

Eucalypt6I sewed something – I repeat – I SEWED SOMETHING!!!

So I started this Eucalypt tank ages ago, in June to be precise, just before I sewed this dress. But my poor choice of bias tape had me think I had ruined everything and the tank was not worth finishing.

Eucalypt1I don’t know the composition of the fabric (I got it at a fabric swap), but I’m pretty sure it’s a natural fibre seeing how nicely it presses and how soft it feels against the skin. And what I’m absolutely sure of is that it’s very lightweight, so I shouldn’t have used that awful stiff store-bought bias tape to finish the armholes and neckline, what was I thinking?!

Eucalypt2The neckline especially was looking as if it was trying to escape as far away from my body as possible, ugh! I tried to arrange things as much as I could by pressing the heck out of that neckline tape, but I was not convinced by the result, so I hung the unfinished tank on a hanger and proceeded to give it the side eye every time I passed it in the next three months.

But last weekend, desperate to sew but feeling hampered by the unusual number of UFOs hanging in my sewing space, I thought I should finish this tank (it was only missing its bottom hem) and, worse comes to worst, wear it as a pyjama top.

Eucalypt3I didn’t bother finding/making lightweight bias tape for the hem (ruined for ruined…) and used the same stiff bias tape I had used for the neckline, only in a different colour because I had no more white bias tape in my stash and I didn’t feel like going out and buying some more. So the hem tape is lilac while the rest of the bias tape is white, so what?

Eucalypt5Not only is the stiff bias tape much less of a problem at the hem than at the neckline, but I also pressed the neckline again (and again!) and finally got a decent result! It’s still far from perfect of course, but it’s now inconspicuous enough that you don’t notice there’s anything wrong with the neckline unless looking for it specifically.

Eucalypt4The armholes are still gaping a little, depending on the way I’m holding my arms (see the first picture of this article), but once again, I don’t know who’s going to notice that when I’m wearing the top. So I’m definitely glad I finished it; it would have been a shame wasting that beautiful piece of fabric, even if I got it for free!

And I can see a lot of Eucalypt tanks in my future! If not for my stupid mistake, it was a very nice pattern to work with. It’s simple but not simplistic and it could look smashingly different depending on what fabric you use or what detail you add.

Striped Summer Tank

Summer1This is probably my last project before leaving for Spain for three weeks. I’m going to miss my sewing machine sooo much!

When I first started sewing,  I thrifted some clothes with the intention of salvaging their fabric. The T-shirt I used for this project was one of those. Only five years later, here’s the result!

Summer2As you can see, the T-shirt wasn’t awful, but it was too big and boxy, and of course, none of the stripes matched. I didn’t use a pattern, but I traced around a T-shirt I already owned. This didn’t go so well: as you can see, the armholes have a tendency to gape a little sometimes, depending on the way I stand. I tried to minimize that by adding gathers at the shoulder straps, which worked only partially, but I liked the gathers and they made the gaping look intentional, so I kept them anyway.

ETA: I managed to get rid of the gaping completely after all, by taking in the top of the side seams.

Summer3I used Megan Nielsen’s easy knit neckline method for the neckline and the armholes (because I didn’t have enough fabric for another method, nor did I want to buy any contrast fabric). It was easy indeed and the result looks really clean with the twin needle topstitching, but I find the fusible hemming tape I used a touch too stiff.

Summer4For the hem, I also used a twin needle, but no hemming tape. That’s the method I always use to hem knits, and it always yields a nice result. This time my hem looked horribly wavy at first, but after pressing it looks perfect.

Summer5All in all, this fabric was such a pleasure to sew! All the problems I had came from the drafting part, none came from the sewing part. It was nice being reminded that knits are easy to sew, contrary to popular belief (and what my last knit project would have had me think!).

This is not the project of the year or anything, and as I said, it does have a few flaws, but I still think it’s going to see a lot of wear. It goes really well tucked in my Beignet and Chardon and I can also picture it layered with a cardigan at the end of summer. I’ll be packing it for my holiday in Spain, that’s for sure!