October 5, 2015

Where I am really picky with Plantain fit

Hello there!
Has autumn kicked in where you live? In Toulouse we are having some rainy days, and the sky is quite gloomy. I don't mind it, I've actually always loved this time of the year: it looks like everyone is getting cosier, the food is getting warmer, and a new working year has just started. Of course, if you are unemployed like me, this last part is untrue and a little sad, but that's another story. Let's focus on the good things, like my birthday that is approaching!
And let's focus on clothes, especially handmade clothes. Today I'm presenting another Tshirt, boring, I know, but right now I'm all about fundamentals.

It's a Plantain tshirt, a free pattern by Deer and Doe. I made it some months ago but never blogged. Then put it away during warmer weather, and now it looks about time to talk about it.

As you can see the fit is not perfect. I went for a size 46 (the biggest one), and added room to the waistline. It's a bit too large at the shoulders and underarms, and tight at the bust.

It has drag lines at the underarm which are visible even with the arms close to the body. The fit on the back is much better, except for too long shoulders. 

The long shoulders also cause too much length in the sleeves. I do like long and cosy sleeves, but in this case they are just a happy result of a shoulder accident. Next time I would like to make them on purpose.

The bust area is compressed. The full bust size is adequate to my measurement, but if I'm making this pattern again I'll have to make an FBA starting from one or two sizes down. I am so pleased to be able to notice these things now, with respect to the time I actually made the garment. When I made this tshirt I was so proud of myself, but I guess I was just concentrating on giving it a nice finishing with mocked double needle topstitching. I have to admit that Chéri was more accurate on the fit judgement: he doesn't know the correct sewing terms, but for sure he noticed that my ladies were not adequately represented, and complained a lot. He keeps on complaining every time he sees me with this tshirt. I guess you have to trust a guy's eye when it comes to bust fit.

The fabric is from Toto tissus in Toulouse, and it is a nice drapey cotton jersey. I think it has some viscose in it, because it is very thin but heavy, and the feel is of a very brushed and smooth fibre. The design is quite nice, too: pink florals on a plain background, with a digital pixelated appearance of the flowers. I now wish I had taken better pictures of it, more detailed and less overexposed. (Someone is in a critical mood this morning).

Well, after all these critics you may think I don't like this tshirt, or I never wear it. Truth is I adore it, because of the fabric, the finishing details and the long sleeves. I tend to wear it as much as I can, so maybe I'll have to make more tshirts, preferably with a better fit. If I'm overly critical with the fit it might be because I'm in overdose of The great British sewing bee. I had never watched it, and only recently caught up on all the episodes. They are much fun and instructive, and definitely made me want to go back to figure sketching, as I used to do several decades ago.

I leave you with the picture of the first leaf found on my balcony. Happy autumn everyone! 

October 1, 2015

Where a masterpiece is made by the little details

Hello there!
Today I'm back to present the last of my summer makes, the last episode of "what was in my summer luggage" saga. Coincidentally, it is also what completes the wedding dress I presented here.
Heavy program today: we'll talk about the jacket, the purse and the petticoat.

Let's start with the jacket, shall we? It's a Victoria blazer by By Hand London, variation B. 
BHL is surely becoming my unofficial wedding outfit sponsor. They had a massive sale on their last paper patterns (sigh, sob), and I grabbed myself this lovely jacket. 

I made it with a weird 3m. by 1 m. coupon found in the remnant bin at Toto tissus, for 3 €, score! I fell in love with the vivid colour and the floral patterns of the damask. After prewashing and ironing, I became pretty sure it was meant to be kitchen fabric, because what I thought were flowers embossed in the damask pattern are actually grapes and leaves. Well, I decided to go through with it anyway. I did right because in the end no one noticed.

I made the jacket with the specific intention to match the dress, so I made the cuffs and part of the collar with reinforced polyester from the dress. Anyway, I didn't have enough to make a lining out of it, so I bought a matching poly sateen which works well. 

I cut a size 12/16 with no adjustments, because the fit is quite forgiving so I judged no FBA was needed. In the end it is a lovely blazer to wear, even though my colour choices make it almost impossible to wear in every day life. Chéri said I look like Napoleon. Whatever, at least with this dress it will be fine.

Let's move on to the purse. It is a Red velvet clutch by Cake patterns. I chose the smallest size which is also a free pattern. I had not much fabric left and I definitely don't carry many things at weddings, so there was no point in making a bigger one. Also, I am unemployed, so a free pattern doesn't hurt, you know.

The construction of this cutie is simple and amusing, very clever pattern indeed! I removed the wrist strap and added a longer strap made of the dress fabric. The lining is made with dress fabric, too. 

I will probably make more of this for future weddings, because it looks cute and it feels nice to have a purse in assorted fabric. Ah, the joys of sewing, n'est pas?

Next up is the petticoat. I studied these two tutorials: one and two, and initially decided to make a 3-tier petticoat. Then I realized I had no time (nor patience) to sew a proper one, so basically I made a white cotton underskirt with a rigid ruffle at the bottom. A few metres of white bias to seal the hem and the seam and that's it. It is not a proper petticoat, I know, but served perfectly to my scope. The difference with or without it under the skirt is huge, and I am happy with this simple make.

So that was a long post! I hope you enjoyed all the details of this outfit, as much as I enjoyed sewing and wearing it. I received a lot of compliments and it felt comfortable and cute. I especially like the pop of colour added by the blazer and the purse, which also bring to attention the blue details of the dress.