Feb 15, 2015

v9022 with a dash of Alabama Chanin

This post is entirely inspired by Liza Jane of liza jane sews.  My blogging mojo has been pretty nonexistent for a bit now, even though my sewing mojo has been strong.  I do have the desire to document my lovelies, but time and initiative have been in short supply.  However, when Liza Jane posted her adorable version of Vogue 9022 the other day, I decided that I should really share mine too, not out of any sense of competition but as a way of adding to the conversation.  When I started on this dress back in December, I searched in vain for reviews of the pattern.  I really like knowing if a pattern runs true to size or if it works well in a particular type of fabric or if an alternate construction method produces better results.  I love the sewing internet world for all of these reasons.  So, here's my contribution to the Vogue 9022 pool of reviews.

Liza Jane called this a sack dress, and I agree with that descriptor.  I have nothing against a comfy sack dress, and I think this one has a better built in shape than I expected.  I used the finished garment measurements to decide on a size; I went with a small (which is a size smaller than my body measurements call for) and I shortened the dress at the waist by half an inch.  I like how it fits for what it is.

I used  a double layer of lightweight organic cotton jersey that I bought at Organic Cotton Plus.  The double layer means that those two center seams are very thick, but adding the fell stitching helps keep them mostly flat.  Obviously, I added some Alabama Chanin style embellishment to the center panel.  This is the Abbie's Flower stencil, available as a free download on the AC website.  This is the third stencil I've cut myself, and it's getting easier each time.  Labor intensive and nerve-wracking, yes, but each time I'm more accurate and precise. I used regular fabric paint in a slightly lighter color than my fabric, outlined the shaped with a backstitch, and then cut out the centers for a reverse applique.  I love the texture this process creates.

I eliminated the neckline facing in favor of the traditional AC binding.  I love the look of the delicate binding, almost like a necklace, but I do worry that it won't be strong enough to hold the weight of this dress over time.  I carried the binding out a bit at the back to create a keyhole tie at the top.

Overall, I'm very pleased with how this dress turned out.  I love wearing it, although it doesn't feel as sturdy as my other AC garments--I'm afraid to hang it in my closet, so it stays folded with my sweaters.  I'm okay with giving this one a little extra TLC though.  It's a fair exchange considering its one-of-a-kind nature.

Feb 2, 2015

January in Review--all the plaid

2015 is shaping up to be a pretty busy year so far.  As usual, I'm up to by eyeballs in real life stuff (cooking lots and lots of Whole30 compliant meals, reading stories to my kiddos, tripping over all the toys, and of course, grading essays), but I've really missed the old blog world.  It's quite overwhelming to consider documenting all of the garments I've made since, oh, SEPTEMBER, so I thought I would choose my favorites from January to get me back into the blogging swing of things.

(in no particular order...)

#1: Oliver and S Jump Rope Dress in flannel for Cara

One of the skills I feel I've been missing lately is matching prints.  Winter is the perfect season for cozy plaids, so I jumped into plaid matching with gusto.  Surprisingly, it's not really that difficult after all.  I found that cutting out my projects on a single layer of fabric helps tremendously, as does a long ruler to help keep notches lined up with the print on the fabric. 

I also found that love plaids on the bias for details like collars and plackets and pockets.  I wish the bottom of this placket was a bit more sharp and centered, but it'll do.

I really enjoy looking at the side seams on this dress, with their perfectly matching horizontal stripes.  And that pocket was a labor of love.  I finally figured out how to keep the curves smooth, and I think they turned out beautifully.

And there's my cutie pie in her warm, cozy dress.  She fits perfectly into an Oliver and S size 6 these days, although I think I may start lengthening her dresses as I make them so that they will last through an extra season.

#2: McCalls 6613 in cotton shirting for PJ

My poor, patient husband finally got a shirt that fits (and one that he will wear with minimal coaxing!).  His Negroni wasn't awful, but it was missing a lot of the details that he likes in a shirt, mainly a collar stand and separate button plackets, and I chose a size too big.  However, McCalls 6613 is a perfect fit for him.  I didn't have to make any changes to the pattern, which was a pleasant surprise. The only big detail that this shirt is missing are tower plackets at the cuffs.

I don't hate the way these sleeves are constructed.  The pattern includes a two-piece sleeve, and the seam allowance is turned and stitched to finish the opening at the cuff.  This is waaaaaay easier than a tower placket, and my husband tends to wear his sleeves rolled up year round anyway.

I did goof up the collar just a bit, and now there's no way for that top button to close.  Again, not a deal-breaker since my husband says he's not planning to wear a tie with this shirt, but it's something I want to get right on the next version.

And there's the yoke on the bias just because.

#3: Wiksten Tova top in flannel for me

This top is all over the world of sewing blogs, and now I know why.  It's easy to make and comfortable to wear, especially in this snuggly flannel.  I originally bought this fabric intending to make a shirt for Colin, but he isn't interested in wearing mama-made clothing right now.  "Isn't interested" is putting it mildly...there was a tantrum at one point, and the very last thing I want to spend my precious sewing time on is something that will not ever get worn.  I thought about another shirt for PJ, but I was about a quarter of a yard short.  Lucky me!

I went with a size small, and the fit on this top is perfect.  My shoulder movement isn't constricted, and I don't feel like I have too much volume around the hips.  The bottom seam of the inset even falls just under the bust for me.  I have some teal flannel that is begging to be another Tova.

Thanks for sticking around all the way to the end of my favorite January projects!  There are quite a few that didn't make the list here, but I've been sharing my sewing projects on Instagram quite a bit lately; I'm jessicakcooper over there if you're interested.

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