Monday, August 25, 2014

Made by Me Files: Orange Rib Knit Tee (Burda 6910) and Ikat Shorts (Butterick 5044).

Before I start, I want to extend a very big thank you to everyone who left me a kind message, prayed for us, or reached out to me either by email or facebook or text.  All of your words and thoughts are very special to me, and are helping to "bind my heart," as one of the commenters wrote yesterday.  It is a slow process, healing, but one that I know will happen.  I wish I didn't have experience with heartbreak, but dealing with the awful certainly prepares you for whatever you are handed in life.  I sent the oldest two off to school this morning and part of healing will come from routine, and there certainly is nothing more routine-driven than school.  :-)  Anyhow, don't want to dwell too long on it all, but I didn't want to not show my appreciation for all of the love I have been shown over the past day and a half. 

A little while back I sewed up two summer pieces in very quick succession.  For me, this was a huge success, considering how slowly I typically sew things up.  Granted these two patterns are not especially hard to get cut out and sewn up, but considering it took me a month to sew up this skirt, I wasn't betting on actually getting these two pieces done in any timely manner.  But I got a little bee in my bonnet and managed.  ;-)

I will focus on the tee construction first and then the shorts, but I do want you to know that I am skimming over the nitty-gritty details of sewing it up and instead asking you to visit my pattern review for both items for more on the process of sewing, at this post I will focus more on the visual evidence of what was done, the styling aspect, and sizing info. 

Pattern Review for Burda 6910.
Pattern Review for Butterick 5044. 

I received the knit fabric for the top from Fabric Mart in a bundle.  I had about a yard and a quarter or so, and that was plenty for sewing up this top.  Keep in mind that the top is substantially longer when it starts out (it was probably around mid-thigh length before), so you need extra yardage for that so you can properly ruche the sides.

The shorts fabric is an ikat fabric I found as a remnant at Joann's.  I thought it was so pretty and different, and at $9, I knew I could play around with it without feeling bad if I screwed up.  In the end, I could have used a bit more fabric since I had barely enough to eek out a 3.5" inseam.  I had to do a very narrow hem on the shorts, and while it isn't awful, I know that a thicker hem would look better.

From this vantage point, both pieces look pretty decent on me.  The top is a really an interesting design, and while I can see where it is flattering, I had to really fuss with it to get it to look like this for the photo.  While wearing it in real life, I am not really noticing the fact that it fits not so well in the upper body (shoulder and neckline area), but I could immediately see the issues when I started taking the photos.  This photo is one of the only ones I took where the top looked the way it was supposed to based on the cover art of the pattern.

From the side.  The ruching is a cool effect but maybe one that is lost on my frame since I have a flatter chest and a narrow waist to start with...I think if I had more of a larger bustline, the effect would be more pronounced and flattering.  It's kind of sad (lol) that some of those ruching bits have a bigger bustline than what I have naturally.  ;-)

I like the back view best.  Since the ruching is intentional, the usual wrinkling I get from all my tees from my sway back (see this photo for proof of that) is there, but it is SUPPOSED to be there.  Yay!

The shorts look awesome from the back.  It is rare for me to like my back view in shorts.  I am going to sew this pattern up again just because I like the back view so much.  (With a few small changes implemented, though.)

Here is where you can best see how badly the tee fits me in the upper body and neckline.  I knew the tee would be a bit long and large on my body (even though I sized way down on this pattern--usually I wear a size 38 bust/40 upper hip, and in these I cut a size 36/38), but the neckline really surprised me at how large it was.  It appears that if I want to make this top work on me I have to size down to a 34, cut the neckline binding to a 30 or 32, and then make the rest of this in a size 36, with a shorter overall length.  Not so sure I am going to go there.

Having said that all, I am very proud of this tee, even if it wasn't a slam dunk in fit.  I was able to construct this top perfectly using my serger and my sewing machine, and on both the inside and outside, it looks ready to wear, which is pretty darn cool.

Inside view of the top.  Barring a tiny bit of tricot interfacing peeking through at the hemline, this tee looks a lot like ready to wear tees that I own that have the ruching on the sides (mainly maternity tees, fwiw).

To get the ruching to work, I had to sew the elastic onto the sides of the tee while stretching the elastic to fit.  My zig-zag stitch isn't perfect, but it does the job very well.

If you take any Craftsy courses, you may notice that I sewed this neckline on using Linda Lee's RTW application that she teaches in her "Sewing Fashion Knits" class, lesson 7 on edge finishes (specifically ready-to-wear bindings).  It worked like a charm, and looks like it is supposed to...on the top.  If only the neckline had been small enough to lay flat against the body.  (There is a lot of speculation that the neckline binding was drafted too larger for the neckline to properly lay flat.  If it were a bit smaller than the neckline, then it would lay flat.  I did cut this neckline one size smaller, and then added another inch on top of that just to be sure, but even all of that was not enough.  Sigh.)

My first attempt at twin needle hemlines was disastrous, so actually getting it to sew up properly was such a thrill.  Again, I used Linda Lee's awesome instructions on getting a great hem on knits from her "Sewing Fashion Knits" class.  Worked so well!

This is the inside of the lower hem of the top, the zig-zag is created when the twin needle goes up and down making the stitch on the other side.

While the shorts fit, I know that next time I need to add an extra half-inch to the pattern piece in the middle of the piece to get the shorts to fit better over my hips.  See, I had bought this pattern in the larger sizes and when I sewed up some pj shorts in the size L, they were MASSIVE on me.  So I figured I could sew up the M no problem.  Well, it turns out that my lower hips are just a touch too big for the M size, so I will just add that half inch of space to the pattern piece, and with an extra inch overall in the hip area, I will have a pair of shorts that will fit my frame well.

The pockets are fun and were very easy to add onto the shorts themselves.  Definitely make sure you mark where they belong, though...without those markings it would have been impossible to figure out where to add them. 

Okay, that's all for now.  Hopefully I will get back to sewing up my last pair of shorts for the summer soon.  Thankfully VA always has a fairly warm September/early October, so I should be able to bust those out at least a bit, even though I didn't get them sewn up earlier.