Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blank Canvas Tee + Alabama Chanin

Blank Canvas Tee plus Alabama Chanin Tunic

Sweater: Woman Within
Tunic: Made by me, Blank Canvas Tee pattern + Alabama Chanin modifications
Jeans: Target
Shoes: Uggs

Sorry to be MIA for a couple of weeks there, things got crazy at work and I had some house guests. Blah, blah, blah. Let's just say I'm relieved to have the time to get back to sewing and blogging! I have SO MUCH on my to-sew list. 

I completed this project back in January (I think), right after I bought myself the very exciting new Alabama Chanin Studio Style book for my birthday! The birthday presents that you give yourself are always the best, aren't they? You always get just what you want!

Blank Canvas Tee plus Alabama Chanin Tunic front

 I wouldn't say the creation of this tunic was exactly intentional, but thats ok! I like how it turned out! I was trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to make a second version of the 3 Hours Past Blank Canvas Tee. I think the pattern is just drafted for someone that is much more well endowed in the boob-al region than I am and I can't for the life of me figure out how to fix it. I've downloaded the Maria Denmark Kristen Kimono Tee in hopes of further investigating this kimono tee thing. I really kimono sleeves- in theory. In actuality, they haven't treated me that well yet. 

Blank Canvas Tee plus Alabama Chanin Tunic front 2

Anyways, I had dyed up about a yard of the nine yards of white jersey fabric I bought for a steal of a deal in Dallas over Christmas vacation and was trying to make it into a tunic length Blank Canvas kimono sleeve tee. I had the reached the point of wadding up the project and leaving it on the floor for the dog to chew desperation when my Alabama Chanin book arrived! Inspiration struck! I cut the failure of a tunic down the front and used the center front seams and neckline of the Fitted Top pattern to remove a large chunk of fabric from the center front and create a much more fitted silhouette through the bust. Of course, it required a bit of grading. 


I can go into the details later if anyone is interested. I seriously think that this pattern is SO FLATTERING and have made up a tank top since and am currently working on a dress. I finished the seams on the machine, since I had already started the tunic that way (all Alabama Chanin stuff is supposed to be hand sewn), and then figured I would add some more Alabama Chanin flair in the form of some hand embroidery on the neck and sleeve bindings. 

Blank Canvas Tee plus Alabama Chanin Tunic sleeve

After much consulting with the book, I managed to do a passable job. I seriously had zero experience with embroidery, especially on a knit fabric, so if I can do it you can too! I used one of the illustrated stretch embroidery stitches on the neckline and sleeve bindings and top stitched the front and side seams with embroidery thread. Surprisingly, the top stitching added a nice bit of heft to the entire top, making it much less clingy than it would have been otherwise, considering the cheap fabric that I used. 

Blank Canvas Tee plus Alabama Chanin Tunic neckline detail

The neckline is a bit big and gapey due to the fact that I didn't approach this tunic with even the faintest idea of how it would turn out, but its fine for causal wear or with a tank top underneath for the office. 


Anybody else working on some Alabama Chanin stuff? Want to compare notes? I have to say that I am fully obsessed but am still a bit terrified of tacking the applique/ reverse applique section, not to mention the beading! Plus, nothing makes you feel better about spending all your time watching season two of Game of Thrones very intellectual TV than hand sewing using heirloom techniques. 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Finished: Grainline Studio Tiny Pocket Tank V 1.0 (and bonus V 2.0)

Tiny Pocket Tank Brown Skirt

Sweater: Anthropologie
Shirt: made by me, pattern: Grainline Studio Tiny Pocket Tank
Skirt: made by me, self drafted
Leggings: made by me, self drafted from Etsy tutorial
Boots: Vintage, Etsy
Whoa, this is a blast from the past. Don't worry, we don't have this much snow on the ground now!! I'm playing catch up here. This shirt was the second thing I made and now that I've blogged about it, I've covered the first, second, and third me-made items and the progression of things is a bit foggy after that so you can expect any sense of order to get thrown out the window!

Tiny Pocket Tank Front

Being the second thing I made, this one was fairly straightforward. Plus, I don't really remember what happened! So just enjoy the photos.....

Tiny Pocket Tank back

I had this fabric in my stash for a while. I think I bought it in the clearance bin with the intent of recovering the throw pillows on my sofa, but never did it because it was really just too lightweight for pillows. That made it perfect for this shirt! It almost has a linen like texture and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the print. Seriously. Love. 

Tiny Pocket Tank pattern detail

I cut a size 18 on this one, and like the Scout Tee pattern, it was a little small through the hips. Thats ok, I still wear it all the time anyways. Because I love the print. Obviously. Next time I think I will grade it out a little through the hips and make it a tiny bit longer. This fabric tends to wrinkle up pretty badly while I wear it, causing it to get shorter throughout the day and causing me to have to iron it before I put it on in the morning. Ironing is really NOT one of my favorite morning activities. In my list of favorite morning activities, it falls significantly behind enjoying a shower, drinking tea, and sleeping an extra 5 minutes because I don't have to iron.

Tiny Pocket Tank neckline

I botched the neckline a bit, I think I had seen too many Sorbetto's with the visible bias binding and thought that was what I was aiming for even though the directions in pattern were very clear. The next time I used bias binding on a neckline I consulted Jen of Grainline Studio's tutorial, and it went much more smoothly (though trust me, I'm still working on this technique). Speaking of the second time I made the Tiny Pocket Tank....


Here is an awful photo of the version I made for my sister for her birthday back in November. She swears that she loves it, but I haven't seen her wear it yet. But maybe that's because she lives in Florida. 

All in all, I count this pattern as  win and I see quite a few more in my future. I don't wear a lot of things without sleeves (until it gets unbearably hot in the summer and I throw my sleeves required rule out the window), so I was skeptical about how much use this would get. As it turns out, its a FANTASTIC layering piece!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Feeding the Habit

Well, I know its VERY popular in the sewing world right now to discuss your fabric stash busting plans and how you are going to use up all that fabric that's been hiding in boxes/closets/shoved under your bed in big wads. However, always the crazy person innovator, I've decided to buck that trend. BRING ON THE STASH!!

Seriously, though, I've only been sewing for a few months, the closest fabric store is an hour away, and I just bought a lovely new piece of furniture that needs to filled to the point of busting immediately. Plus, when I want to sew, I want to sew NOW and a two hour round trip to the fabric store is out of the question.

So, I took major advantage of the McCalls/Butterick/Vogue $1.88 pattern sale last week and stocked up. As you can probably tell by reading my blog, I've mostly been sewing pattern from independent pattern companies, so I hope I'll be able to figure out how to interpret the less detailed instructions that these patterns will likely come with. I think you will see a theme here: basics, comfy, and can be made from knits!

McCall's 4261 was bought mostly for the hoodie. Must have more hoodies in my life. And yoga pants never hurt either.

McCall's 6658: Need a t-shirt pattern. I could buy the Renfew that everyone loves, but then I would have to grade it. And this pattern was less than 2 dollars, so I'm going to give it a try first. I am aware that there was a basic t-shit in M4261 above, but I was blinded by the price tag!

McCalls 6566- Whoops, more t-shirts. But they are so cute. And Susan at Moonthirty made an awesome version and I pretty much need to copy everything she does. And, surprise! The pictures on McCalls website are wrong and the back options are amazing! Thanks for the scan, Susan! This is on my to-sew-immediately (like, tonight) list.

McCalls 5974 was a no brainier. Tons of options, all look super cute, and great reviews
Jeans?!? I figured McCalls 5894 was worth buying for less than two bucks because it seems to be one of the few plus size jeans patterns around. I figure I'm going to need all the help I can get once I muster up the courage to attempt jeans, so the more patterns the better!

 I went out on a limb a bit with McCall's 6398. I love the drapey style, but there were only two reviews on pattern review so I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Plus I HATE the version the model is wearing above. Spoiler alert: I made this one over the weekend and I love it! I'm wearing it right now. Photos forthcoming.

McCalls 6553 was another risky choice. Strike that, nothing is risky for two bucks! Plus, I thought Ginger Make's version was super cute, especially when belted, and looks perfect for when it gets unbearably hot this summer.
I haven't seen any reviews for Butterick 5826, which made me a bit skeptical, but I looks like a great basic blouse/ tunic. I'm not much of a traditional blouse type of girl, but I am totally down with this style for something a little fancier than a t-shirt.
I bought Butterick 5795 simply because the model looks so damn va-va-voom in the photo. Plus, if I ever wrap my mind around making a bathing suit, this is the style I would like. I just hope the instructions are good!
I am super excited about Vogue 1234. I hope I can make it work!

Buttern 4790 has some very negative mixed reviews. That said, I couldn't pass it up. Its so damn adorable and retro!

And, finally, Butterick 5794. Another no-brainer. Several cute options and can be made in a comfy jersey. Bring it on!

After all that hard work spending money at the pattern sale, I hopped on over to my favorite Etsy shop FABULACE and bought some fabric so that I could get down to sewing as soon as both packages arrived.

 (photos from Fabulace)
The fates obliged, and last Thursday both the patterns and the fabric were delivered to my door. Although I had a very busy weekend of partying at our local ski hill, throwing a party myself, cleaning up before and after said party, and watching movies in bed while hungover, I did manage to squeeze out one garment.

Here is your preview of coming attractions:


For less than 70 bucks combined, these new patterns and fabric should keep me busy for a couple of months (or at least one month?). SO EXCITED!

So tell me, how was your weekend? And, did you buy any exciting new patterns in the big sale?? And, what should I make first?