Okay folks, I’ve decided to show you my three latest finished projects in one post, as an ensemble, though I feel each of these pieces would look better without the others. Or rather, if I had made three coordinating outfits to showcase each piece, that might have been more flattering. I dunno, frequently my sense of style is questionable.
First off, the top. This is Vogue 8323 and it is my favorite of the three.
Pattern description: “Knit tops with princess seams and stitched hems. A: sleeveless armholes with bias tape finish. B: cowl collar neckline with below elbow length sleeves. C: scoop neckline with bias tape finish.”
I made View A modified with full length sleeves using a stable poly knit.
This pattern was both interesting and enjoyable for me to work. The pattern instructions were very clear and easy to follow. It also used two techniques that were new to me: princess seams and doublestitching. With regards to the princess seams, I feel very silly, but I have naively assumed they were a type of seam (like a french seam), but now I understand that they are a way of shaping / fitting a garment, like darts. And as for the doublestitching, I went the extra mile and read all about this type of seam – - and I learned that doublestitching is well-suited for knits, providing both structure and the ability for the fabric to stretch naturally (but not stretch out of shape).
I am mostly pleased with the fit of this top. I cut a size 10 which fits nicely in the hips and waist, but as usual, was WAY too big in the bust. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the time to measure the pattern pieces or make a muslin so I was disappointed when I first pulled the top on and realized it was baggy around my bust. I then gave myself a mental scolding for not making a muslin and did a little slapdash fix-it wherein I seamed the fronts across to the side fronts a little higher, making for a less drapey neck but a more fitted bodice (and I am not happy with how my slapdash looks obviously slapdash).
This leads me to consider establishing a set of rules to follow when sewing garments:
- Measure pattern pieces and compare the measurements to similar garments that fit well – or – Make muslins and carefully alter them
- Pair patterns and fabrics carefully
- Read reviews of patterns and make notes about helpful tips
With regards to the inspiration to make this top, a while ago on Pinterest, I saw the below top while I was browsing the “Women’s Fashion” section, and noticed its similarity to this particular Vogue sewing pattern and LOVED this purple/wine fabric. Then, serendipitously, I found a stable poly knit fabric (as called for in this pattern) in almost the exact same color of purple/wine. I still have more of this fabric and I think I could make this pattern again that more closely resembles the below top if I did a small-bust adjustment and kept the neck lower and drapier.
As for the skirt, I’ve been wanting to make more cold weather skirts. A few months ago, I procured two yards of green wool (green being, naturally, one of my most favorite colors) from a thrift store for just a few dollars and I decided to try making a cold weather skirt. I pondered my collection of skirt patterns and decided on V8328, an out of print pattern.
Actually, this is the very first sewing pattern I ever purchased! This goes way back, possibly seven years ago when I first decided I wanted to make my own clothes (it was after I spent a week in Austin, Texas where I was confronted with an awe-inspiring DIY fashion scene). Without knowing the first thing about sewing anything, I ordered myself a sewing machine from Amazon.com and bought this pattern (at full price!) from Joann’s (as well as some quilting cotton). Unsurprisingly (having failed to set myself up for success), my first attempt at sewing didn’t go well, and I was so discouraged that I packed away my sewing machine, where it gathered dust until about 9 months ago (when I decided to learn to sew anew).
Obviously, I made View C and I think that for a cold weather skirt, it turned out okay. Though, I fear that I made it drape stiffly and unflattering by lining it in a medium weight cotton. Oops… I like the color combination a lot; I just think it makes me look super dumpy. And I don’t find my knitted tights with horizontal self-striping all that slimming either, so it could just be several visually enlarging factors coming together all at once.
… Maybe this would have been better as a pencil skirt, thereby not having so much bulky fabric at my waist and hips… hrm.
The pattern for this skirt, now that I have some very basic sewing knowledge and skill, was very easy to put together. Though, I am very interested in your thoughts on this skirt, as I’m not really sure if it’s a hit or a miss. I will definitely make this skirt pattern again, in a much lighter weight fabric because I think the shape and design have a lot of potential.
And finally, my knitted tights. As you all know, I started these back in September, thinking that hand-knit tights were the wave of the future. Now that they’re finished, I’m not so sure about that.
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock
Needles: US 3, US 2, and US 1
Pattern: Assets of Evo (pattern for short-shorts that I converted to tights)
I have previously written about these tights sufficiently and I don’t have much to add. While I mostly enjoyed knitting them, were I to knit another pair of tights, I think that toe-up would be more my cuppa tea. Although, really, this was too much plain stockinette in the round for me. Bo-ring!
But what I actually dislike about these tights, as I have stated above, is that I don’t find them to be particularly figure flattering. Furthermore, I consider myself to be fairly tolerant to scratchy wool, but I am finding the Noro Kureyon against my upper thighs to be uncomfortable.
So, I leave you with my first finished projects post of 2013 feeling kind of ho-hum. I definitely want to make the skirt and the top again, learning from the mistakes of these versions, and I think I might knit some thigh-high stockings in a pretty lace. I have worn the purple top a few times since finishing it, with a flattering pair of jeans, and that combination of not-dumpy bottom garment greatly improves my feelings about the success of the top. I have not yet worn my cold weather skirt or knitted tights (except for this photoshoot) because it is so ridiculously cold outside (this morning when I rode my bicycle to work, it was 5 degrees (F), and that called for thermal underwear and thick pants rather than a skirt and tights).
For my next sewing project, I promise to adhere to the above stated rules for sewing garments, in particular the part about making a muslin and choosing my fabric carefully.