Thursday 16 April 2020

Closet Case Cielo Top in Sky Blue Cotton Crepe

This is my second Closet Case Cielo top.  I made the first last summer as a test piece with some left-over navy double gauze (from this skirt)  I chose the short sleeve version and the end result was meh. A boxy, non-descript top that I wore when I couldn't find anything else to work but a bit too boxy, the neck looked too wide and the overall look looked big rather than oversized.  I did like some of the details - the back shoulders have an interesting extra section- so I resolved to try the more dramatic long sleeve version with another fabric.   Here it is and I love it!

This is a size 3 made in cotton crepe from my stash, several years old and a good weight and drape for this top.  I did attempt the full lantern sleeve but it looked better without the low cuff sections.  I did make a change to this version, I took 1/4" off the centre front and centre back of the bodice pattern pieces.  this makes a 1" reduction to the diameter of the top and works better on my frame.  There's a boxy quality but it's slightly more fitted.  It's an adjustment I've used a few times- here on the Merchant and Mills Camber Dress, and here on my second Named Clothing Kanerva top.   The only other change was adding a high back adjustment.  The sleeve and bodice hems are overlocked and turned up by 1/2".  I used the bias binding finish on the neck.

It's a top that definitely benefits from the right fabric choice.  I do have some viscose crepe with a similar weight to this and I'm tempted to try a dress version mashing the full elbow-length sleeve top with the lower half of the Fibremood Holly dress, complete with a tie.  We'll see if that happens anytime soon!  I'm finding that my concentration is leading to mistakes with my lockdown sewing projects. 

Sunday 5 April 2020

Marilla Walker's Belmenite Dress in Chambray

When Marilla Walker released her Belemnite pattern late last year,  I was smitten.  The 70s aesthetic, statement sleeves, relaxed fit-and-flare shape, the midi length - what's not to like?  I had a long length of medium weight chambray in my stash, plus a matching zip and thread so no additional purchases needed.  As part of my social media work for ClothSpot, Alice, Judy and myself each chose three garments for #makenine2020, a new year sewing community initiative started by Rochelle of Lucy Lucille.  The Belemnite was one of mine, along with the completed McCalls M74445 wide-leg trousers and the Closet Case Cielo top pattern (pics & post of that coming soon).  

I opted for view A.  The sleeves are set-in flat with a single fabric piece for each sleeve which joins the front/back bodice sections.  It's a really interesting construction method which works well with flat fell seams (how-to notes on these are included in the instructions) for a neat method that encloses the raw edges and adds topstitch detail.  I made a size 3 grading to size 4 at the waist, matching my body measurements to the pattern.  I made a couple of changes.  Firstly I made a small, high round back alteration, just 1/4", using this method.  It stops the front neck pulling back.  I add this change to almost every bodice that I ever make!  I also reduced the bust cup size as there is very little difference between my upper and full bust measurements.  Marilla covers detailed small and full bust adjustments in the instructions and I followed these to the letter.  They worked perfectly, the V lies flat with no gaping and the dress is an excellent fit.

The belt is long enough to tie at the front or back- there's a slight change in look with each tie style. I did toy with the idea of adding pockets but left them this time as I wasn't quite sure of the skirt's fullness.  I might add them to the next Belemnite.  The skirt deserves a special mention.  I love the lantern shape, subtle and much more economical use of fabric than long a-line skirt pieces.  I like the midi-length too.  It's a very wearable dress.  I wore it to The Stitch Festival which feels like many moons ago but instead was at the end of February.  I've been wearing it at home on lockdown and its a comfortable wear which makes me feel like I'm making an effort, especially on my daily walk, and not just living in yoga pants.  I would like to try the button-down front option with shorter sleeves so I have a dress to wear indoors in warmer weather, and outdoors when that time comes...I have a long length of Liberty lawn which might just work...I have loved Marilla's instructions and her pattern drafting so I am tempted to try more of her patterns, maybe the Maya top next?

Thursday 2 April 2020

Keep Going

The embroidered words have never been truer, these are times for being kind and keeping going.  Routines have changed for us all and we're making the most of all the positives like getting out for quiet walks every day.  Although we're in an urban location, it's close to lots of green areas and a river so we get out each morning, walk Joni and enjoy spring carrying on regardless.

The tulip is from our tiny courtyard garden.  I'm always grateful for having planted bulbs back in autumn and this year, doubly so.  This variety is called 'Early Foxtrot' and each day the pink deepens slightly, very pretty.  Our daughter is home with us, returned from university a couple of weeks ago and she's been baking so we have something to enjoy with morning coffee when we get together from various home working, study and other tasks.  These oat and cinnamon vegan cookies are from Nora Cook's website, we skipped the icing, they didn't need it and the flaxseed egg replacement works really well. 

Some sewing is happening but it is erratic.  My concentration is patchy.  I am concentrating on exercising, getting my dopamine hit from Joe Wicks, plus some yoga from a friend putting her local classes online for the first time, walking, finishing work tasks and sewing when the mood takes me.  I dip in and out of 'news' and removed my radio from my bedside table- I've had a radio next to my bed for over 30 years. Instead, I downloaded the Calm app  (it has a 7-day free trial) and I listen to various non-fiction soporific narratives to send me to sleep.  If I wake up at 4am, which can be the case, I listen to another and I either return to slumber or it stops my mind racing. Otherwise, I'm keeping on, keeping on. I've sewn some clothes and quilts that I'll be sharing shortly. The embroidered hoop pattern is from Cozy Blue by the way.  Meanwhile, sending love to you all xxx