Tag Archive | neck

Oh! That’s Gonna Leave a Welt… – Part 2

DSCN0977Continuing on from my first part of the welt pocketed jacket project, the rest of the jacket sewing went smoothly.

I used pleather for the collar as well as the pockets and it all sewed up great! Because the zipper was not inserted into the collar, there was no hand stitching and I was able to finish off the collar with some twill tape. I also remembered to press the pleather with a press cloth on both the pockets and the collar so that the iron did not damage the pleather. Before long the sewing was done and the jacket was complete.

With the jacket completed, I studied it closely and something was not right.

DSCN0981I stared at and studied the jacket until I finally figured out what that something was. The neckline on this jacket is HUGE! It is way too big around. I returned to the pattern, but as far as I could tell, I had traced and cut the pattern pieces correctly. Had I sewed something wrong or was it the pattern? I had a few options to try and fix it. I could try to fix the neckline, but for a trial jacket, I was not willing to spend the time and energy on a fix, especially to find out that the fix didn’t work or made things worse. Disappointed, I thought about not embroidering on the jacket, but then decided that some kid somewhere would be willing to wear this jacket, and he or she would need something fun embroidered on it to distract from the huge neck line.

DSCN0922Picking an embroidery design for this jacket was not an easy task. Since I did not know who the final owner of this jacket would be, I tried to make it as unisex as possible, but each embroidery design I picked swayed the jacket to the feminine or masculine side. I looked and debated over many designs until I finally realized that I was wasting all my sewing and embroidery time picking out the design. I finally went back to one of my first choices and embroidered The Lady and The Tramp design on the jacket. The jacket is definitely for a girl now but I love the design on it.

DSCN0982I am still not happy with the collar on this jacket, but I am very pleased with the welt pockets, the pleather accents and the embroidery design.

Ultimately, I am happy with the end results of this jacket and hope that there is a young girl out there willing to wear this jacket even with the oversized collar. I am super excited about learning to make welt pockets and I cannot wait to start another project with welt pockets!

Until then, sew forth and welt on!

Advertisements

Leftovers

DSCN1114“Can you use this?” asked my mother as she tossed me a small ball of brown toned bulky yarn left over from her last project. “Sure I can!” I answered as I tossed the yarn ball into my stash. Since I only crochet amigurumi’s, I can always use small bits and pieces of yarn. I just needed to wait for the right pattern that would use a small amount of brown bulky yarn to come along, and it finally did. When I saw this pattern for a bunny in a hoodie, I knew it was time to dig this ball of bulky yarn out from the stash and put it to good use.

DSCN1116Because I would be working with this bulky yarn for the hoodie of this bunny, I decided to crochet the pieces with my H hook instead of my G hook that I normally use to make amigurumi’s. I picked white as the color for the bunny, but as I reached for my white skien of Red Heart yarn, I remembered the abandoned white pieces of the bad Snoopy pattern that I had given up on. Since I was using left over yarn from Mom for the hoodie, why not see how much yarn was in the left over pieces from the abandoned Snoopy project and use it up too.

DSCN1115I was surprised at how much yarn was in the white abandoned pieces and how much of the bunny I was able to crochet using these pieces. I was able to crochet the legs, ears, hands, the bottom of the body and half the head before I had to get my skien of white yarn to finish up. I should not have been surprised how quickly I ran out of the brown bulky yarn though. After crocheting the arms and the body, I did not have enough bulky yarn left over to make the hood. I did have enough of the bulky yarn to make a collar for what would now end up being a sweater rather than a hoodie. After completing the bunny, I decided that I really like his bulky sweater and I am not unhappy at all that he does not have a hoodie.

DSCN1117I gave the bunny a small pink nose, a little smile and tiny whiskers as well as a small pom pom tail at the bottom back of his sweater. And I jokingly named him Leftovers, since he was made from left over yarn, but now the name is starting to stick so I think I will keep it.

I have only one problem. I have a tiny bit of the bulky yarn left. I would say about 6 yards. Not enough for another project but too much to throw away. I have thrown this last bit of left over yarn away a dozen times and then dug it out of the garbage a dozen times. To keep or not to keep it, that is the question. It is currently sitting on my cutting table as I debate its fate. Any suggestions on what to do with a tiny amount of left over yarn? Please let me know if you have any great ideas for it!

Until then, crochet forth and left over on!

Am I Too Old (For This)

DSCN0389I have been totally enjoying the sewing process of making some little girls dresses and bubble tops and I decided that I wanted to make more, so I pulled some more fabric from the stash. The pieces that I picked to make the next little girls project were a green and white cotton fabric and a green with lady bugs print cotton fabric. These two pieces of fabric looked good together and I could see either a dress or a bubble top easily made from this fabric combination.

But as the fabric sat on the cutting table, I started to wonder to myself if I should make myself a shirt from this fabric instead of another little girls project. In the next moment I wondered to myself, “But am I am too old to wear a green shirt with lady bugs on it?”

“Bah! Who cares! Surely not me!” I said to myself.

Besides, I really like the fabrics and it is time to make me another collared camp shirt from my altered sloper pattern to test the fit. So could I make this shirt from this fabric combination? Yes I could! There was plenty of fabric to make it with. But would I wear this combination once I had the shirt made? Yes I would! Now how about if I put a cute picnic watermelon ant embroidery design on it? Would I still wear it then? Yes I still would! So I decided to get started on it right away!

DSCN0391I cut out the fabric using my newly altered collared camp shirt sloper pattern and got started sewing it together. It sewed together nicely and soon enough I had a fun summer shirt all ready to wear. Sewing this shirt was not the problem. Wearing this shirt was. And not because of the lady bugs or the ant.

After I completed the sewing of this shirt, I pulled it on and noticed right away that the fit was not right. The shoulder seams did not want to sit square on my shoulders and the front of the shirt kept shifting back like it wanted to choke me. I had to keep pulling the front of the shirt down. On the back of the shirt, there are pull line from the armscye to the collar.

DARN! Where had I gone wrong?

These were the same alterations to the pattern that I did for the last shirt I had made, the blue shirt with the white sleeves. And I had wore that shirt and except for the depth of the armscye it all seemed to be good. I pulled the blue and white shirt on again and wore it around the house for a little while only to learn that it too suffered from the same issues. I realized then that I had only wore this shirt to work, under my jacket, and that it was my work jacket that had been keeping the front down. So, I now had to figure out what the alteration problems were and how to fix it.

IMG_0238 - Version 2It did not take long before I figured out that the back where the collar attaches was cut too deeply. And I was depressed that I had two shirts with the same problem and had not caught the problem before making the second shirt. I don’t really know if raising the back will fix the issue but it seems that by raising the collar, and not having it drop so far down my back will help.

Ok, so I think I have figured out what the alteration problems are. Now can these two shirts be fixed? I debated about adding a yoke to the back of the shirts. This would be a way to add enough fabric to raise the collar back up. I also thought about abandoning the collar, adding a facing and make the shirts collarless. Even though the back of the shirt would still be low on my back, there would not be the weight of the collar dragging the back of the shirt down, and hopefully that would make the shirt more comfortable to wear.

DSCN0394While looking at the work that would be needed to fix the issues with these shirts, I lost all interest it trying to raise the collars. The blue and white shirt is a work shirt and is fine under my jacket. Although, the lady bug shirt was made to be a fun summer shirt, it would now be a work shirt too. Since finding the issues with the shirts and trying to solve them, I have wore the lady bug shirt to work and it wore just fine under my jacket as well.

I even received several compliments on the lady bug shirt at work. I don’t know if the compliments were sincere and my coworkers really liked the shirt or if the compliments were a rolling of the eyes that I would wear lady bugs. Really though, I don’t care either way. I really like the lady bugs.

While these two shirts will not be my favorite shirts to wear and they will see less wear than some of my other shirts, I still think they will be ok even if not perfect. But that is just the way it is sometimes. Unless I get a wild hair to alter them, they are what they are. They are not unwearable by any means. I decided that my time would be better spent making a new shirt with a raised back and letting these shirts just be off in the fit, so that is what I’m going to do.

DSCN0418P.S. Speaking of altering, I altered another one of the husband’s shirts. This was one of the last shirts I had made for him before he lost some weight so it was quite large on him. I removed the collar and took a full inch out of the shoulders, then I re-attached the collar. I also took 1 & 1/2 inches out of each side seam including the sleeves. I could have taken even more out of both the shoulders and the side seams but I stayed on the conservative side for this alteration. I can cut more off later if needed. As I learned from altering my shirts, it’s much easier to cut extra fabric off than to add fabric back on. His shirt is still a little large on him but the fit is much better than it was and I think he looks good in it.

Until next time, sew forth and alter on!

McCalls M6274 – Puffy Sleeves

IMG_0046If you keep up with the Joann’s Fabric and Craft ads, you may have noticed several great sales on patterns over this last summer, and like any good fabric store shopper, I could not pass up a great sale on patterns. I did my research before going in. I studied the pattern web sites and made lists of my wanted patterns. I decided on the styles and sizes I needed before entering the store. I took the husband with me to Joann’s on purchase day so he could search out the patterns as I called out the wanted numbers. At the check stand, I delighted in the saving at the bottom of the receipt. I hurried home with my new patterns, and promptly poked them in the closet. But, the other day I just was not in the sewing mood to begin altering my second pattern for myself. And so I pulled out these bags of fun new patterns instead, and I decided it was time to sew some of them up. I quickly chose McCalls pattern M6274 as my next project, a size 4 girl’s shirt with puffy sleeves.

.

.

Puff PatternI started by reading the pattern directions. Since this project was to try a new pattern, I decided early on that I would be good about following the pattern guide in making this shirt, and not deviate from the instructions and improvise my way through the sewing as I usually do. So, as I traced the pattern and cut it out, I was careful to add all of the markings from the original pattern. Being the first try of this pattern, I did not want to use a favored piece of fabric for this shirt, so I checked out what I had in my scrap boxes. I picked this purple and white stripe for it, but I debated a while about using it because of the stripes. I was already trying a new pattern. Did I want the added worry of aligning stripes too? But since I’m a daredevil like that, I finally decided on the purple and white striped fabric for this shirt.

.

.

P1030582Cutting out the pattern was no problem and soon the sewing had begun. After sewing the shoulder and side seams, it was time to make and insert the puffy sleeves. Because I had decided to follow the pattern guide more closely than usual, I read the pattern guide carefully and had the markings for the gathering stitches and the tab all in place. This all worked to my advantage. The construction and insertion of the the sleeves when smoothly. Much more smoothly than I had anticipated. Even the gathering process went smoothly. Maybe I’m getting better at gathering? I was very excited. The sleeves had even worked out great with the striped fabric. I had worried that with the gathered sleeves that the stripes would look askew but they lined up fine. I did use a double needle on the hems of the sleeves. This was a little tricky with the tab, but in the end it worked out great. I did deviate from the pattern in one spot. I decided to not make buttonholes in the tab, but to just sew the button and tab to the sleeve. I saw no reason why the tab would ever be unbuttoned, so why go to the extra work of a buttonhole. I did notice right away that these sleeves were the shortest short sleeves I have ever made. It seemed like the hem was almost to the armscye. At first I thought about lengthening the sleeve but then decided not to. I was following the pattern and this was the length the pattern said to make the sleeves. Plus these are cute little puffy sleeves, and lengthening them may take away from that look.

.

P1030751After inserting the sleeves, all that was left was to finish the neck and bottom hem the shirt. It all sounded pretty simple but as I held up the shirt with the sleeves attached, I noticed the size of the neck and especially the drop in the back of the neck. The front and back of the shirt are almost at the same level. And the neckline is huge. The shoulder seams are so tiny. How is this going to fit? Will it always be falling off the shoulders? Not wanting to turn the neckline down any more than I had to, I serged and turned the neckline once and stitched it down with the double needle. This was not the cleanest look. I would have preferred to hide the serging with the another turn but I did not want to make the neckline any bigger and I wanted some shoulder seam left.

.

P1030750With the shirt finished, I decided that I could not make a judgement call on whether I liked the pattern or not until I gave the shirt to the little neighbor girl and I heard back from the mom on the wear test. Did it hang off her shoulders? Were the puffy sleeves too short and made it hard to move around in the shirt? I am going to have to ask her mom to be very honest about the fitting points, not just say oh its cute, and she likes it. I need to know how it wore so I know if I want to make another shirt from this exact pattern again. Or will I want to modify the neck line on it, or if I would even make the shirt at all again. So, after I find out the results of the wear test, I will decide if my great sale pattern was even worth its terrific price, or will it be removed from the pattern stash in the closet forever. I will report back on those decisions later.

.

Well until next time, happy sewing and crafty dreams!

I’m an Avocado, and your a Peach!

2840100105001For many years now I have read the fashion design books and web sites about body shape, and for all my life I have been an apple shape, round all the way around and even red after climbing a flight of stairs. Now that I have lost some weight, I am becoming more of a pear shape because of how I am losing the weight. I have lost most of the weight so far in my arms, legs, bust and neck areas. I have even lost weight in my wrists, fingers and toes.

For pete’s sake!

Now all of my watches, bracelets and rings are all too big and will have to be resized. And I guess I am not as big boned as I always thought I was after all, because I now have much thinner wrists and fingers.

Darn!

It’s not all good new though, since my weight around my middle is not departing as nicely or as quickly as I would have liked. But since I have more weight to lose all over during the next year or so, I can’t yet say what my final shape will be in the end, but for now I am calling myself an avocado. So, with that shape in mind, I pulled out my next sloper pattern, a v-neck, button up the front, no collar shirt, to be altered for my current size.

.

P1030439To start out, I took a few measurements off of my recently altered t-shirt patterns, some measurements from my current shirts that fit ok, and some new measurements of myself. The first alteration I made was take 1/2 inch out of the shoulders at the neck and tapered the shoulder seam to the armscye on both the front and the back of the shirt. This took 2 inches out of the neck in total. This in turn helped to bring the shirt back up around my neck, shortened the shoulder seams, brought the sleeve up more onto the shoulder and reduced the amount of cleavage that wanted to show. Wow, you wouldn’t think that small of a change would make so much difference, but it did. The next alteration I made was to take 1 inch off of each side seam.

After looking at the new cut line and my measurements and remembering my new avocado shape, I decided to taper the side seams and add the inch back into the hips. This gave the shirt a “A” shape. I was concerned that this was going to make the final shirt look too blousey at the bottom, but since P1030433this is just a trial shirt I decided to leave the “A” shape alone for now. Taking an inch off the sides meant that the bottom of the armscye was higher and that the armscye was now smaller so I had to take an inch off the sides of the sleeves too.

I did decide to leave the shirt the same length for now, because I figured I would be sewing a good sized hem on it because of my bust being smaller now. I did remember to do the final alteration needed and take the 1/2 inch off the shoulders of the facings just like I did with the shoulder seams so that the facing and shirt would match. With this all done, I was ready to cut out the fabric and sew it up.

.

P1030436Since this was just a trial for the newly modified pattern, I picked a fabric that wasn’t my favorite but yet was nicer than my last trial shirt and could be worn to work. After washing, drying and ironing the fabric, I got to the cutting table. Because I did not know if my new alterations were correct, I did not want to just chop up my old sloper pattern, so I made slits in the pattern and folded the old pattern to my alterations lines to make the new cuts. This way if I need to adjust something later on the pattern was still usable. Later on, I would learn that this was a very wise move on my part.

.

The sewing of the shirt went smoothly except for the interfacings. I don’t believe I will live long enough to completely master interfacing fabric. I had been using a sew in interfacing that sewed in just fine but now that it is attached to the fabric is too heavy. Maybe it will soften up with a few washings. One can hope I guess. Once again, since this is just a trial shirt, I just chalked the wrong type of interfacing up to a lesson learned. After finishing the shirt, I decided that the design and color of the fabric was just too busy for an embroidery design so I declared the shirt finished. Now it was time for the most important part, the wear test.

.

P1030369I have wore this shirt a couple of times and although there is nothing wrong with the shirt and it is very wearable, I am going to make some more alterations in my pattern for my next shirt. Whie standing the shirt is fine, but when sitting the shirt presents some problems. I need a little room put back in the bust. I am ok with this because it will get rid of the “A” shape of the shirt which did turn out to be more blousey than I wanted at the bottom in my last trial shirt. I will have to add the same amount back in to the sleeves as well so I may need to lift the armscye up a bit so that I don’t lose that alteration when I add it back to the side seams. I also need to adjust the length of the next shirt trial, especially in the slits in the sides. The slits are there to help give you some extra room in the hips when you sit down, but the slits in this shirt are not high enough to do their job properly, so some adjusting is needed there.

The shoulder seam alterations seem to be good though and I like the fit around the neck. And after a couple of washings, the interfacing has softened up a little, but I am still very unpleased with the interfacing in this shirt. But that has nothing to do with my alterations. Yet, it was another good sewing lesson learned. Practice and patience is the key to all sewing, you know.

.

I was, of course, hoping that this shirt, like the t-shirt, would be a good fit after the alterations but I knew not having the stretch of the knit to help the fit that my first try with it would not be perfect. And with that in mind, instead of moving on to my next sloper pattern, I have decided to do the right thing and make the new alterations to this pattern now and make another shirt from the newly altered pattern to get it right. As much as I want to say “Ok, that’s done.” I know that this is going to be a long process and I have to do it right. So its back to the drawing board for a few more revisions until I am happy with it.

Extras

After the puffy foam trials from a few blog posts back, I noticed that I was getting quite a stack of towels with designs embroidered on them. I decided that since I had the sleepers I was working on finished and the blankets all done and ready to go for gifts, I would go ahead and make these towels into baby bibs before I got started on another project.

I really enjoy making the towel baby bibs and in no time at all I had the ribbing picked out and I was sewing away on them.

Once those were completed I noticed that I still had some white and purple floral knit fabric left over from the little girl’s shirts I had recently finished, I decided to use up those scraps to make another sleeper with. I had previously picked out a Mickey and Minnie Mouse design to stitch on one of the shirts, but then I decided to use a Snoopy designs instead. But after that I still wanted to put the cute Mickey and Minnie design on something. Since the sleeper pattern was still out, I cut one out of the purple floral knit fabric and sewed it up. It turned out so cute and I just love the Mickey and Minnie embroidery design on it. And even though I thought that would use up all of that fabric, there is still plenty left over. I have not decided what I want to make next from the leftovers yet, so it might go back into the stash, but as a much smaller piece than before.

More Leftovers

There is always good news and bad news in people’s daily lives on this planet. Mine is no different. The good news is that the husband has lost some weight, and the bad news is that his shirts that I previously made him no longer fit well. And, the terrible news at least for me anyway, is that I needed to alter his basic sloper shirt pattern to fit him better at his current weight. And as much as I didn’t want to mess with his sloper pattern, his collars and necks are looking so big and sloppy that I had to take action now.

I knew that altering his pattern would have a cascade effect. Making the neck opening smaller would change the curve of the yoke which would have to be redone, and then the tab adjusted along with it. And that would also end up making the shoulder seam longer which really needs to be shorter as it is. And then that would mess with the armscye and so on and so on.

Wow! Perhaps it would be easier to just throw away his current sloper pattern and start fresh?

After a lot of thought, a simpler answer occured to me. Luckily the neck opening is big all the way around the neck so, if I took some out of the top of the shoulders, that would make the neck opening smaller without affecting the curve of the neck so it would not end up affecting the yoke or tab. And taking some out of the shoulders would also make the shoulder seam a little smaller without affecting the armscye. This sounded like the answer.

I decided to be conservative and only take 1/2 inch out the the seam, front and back, to total 1 inch on each side. And I just folded the pattern down the 1/2 inch so in case this was the wrong path, I had not chopped up the original sloper pattern. I then cut the fabric out and sewed the shoulder seam to test my theory, and then I had the husband try it on. It looked good so far. Taking the 1/2 inch out brought the neck opening back up to where I wanted it to be.

Next I continued on with the construction of the shirt. And I had the husband try it on frequently throughout the process to make sure it was all was fitting well along the way. I did end up cutting the back curve of the neck opening down just a little, maybe 1/8 inch before I sewed the collar on and I did have to cut 1/2 inch off the top of each yoke to match what I had removed from the shoulders. When the collar was finished I had the husband try it on once again and it all looked good still.

After some other alterations to the side seams, I noticed that I had plenty of scraps left over from the cutting out the husband’s shirt. Even though this fabric is just a single knit, it was easy to sew so I decided to make some kids shirts from the scraps I had left. I was able to cut a size 1 and 2 t-shirt from the scraps. These shirts sewed up quickly and easily. Picking out and embroidering the dinosaurs on them was a lot of fun. Plus there will be no scraps returning to the stash. I ended up using all the fabric I had left over.

I don’t know yet if the alterations I made to the husband’s sloper were the correct ones yet. The shirt will need to pass the wear test to see if the fits as good as it looked when it was tried on. At this point the shirt has been washed and ironed and is hanging in the closet waiting for its turn to be worn. So, I will know soon if the changes I made will work out for now.