Summer Sewing: Part 2

Part 2 of my summer sewing adventures!  This time, I’m sharing my first commission! Okay, well it was from my sister so I’m not sure it really counts. She sent me this inspiration picture and asked me to work on designing an above-the-knee robe for her.

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So I made up Vogue V8888 in some fabric from Joann’s (size 14 with no changes).

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And here it is on me! My sister is a bit smaller than I am at the bust and waist, so it actually fit her perfectly (though the only pic she sent me was a mirror selfie).

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Alterations she requested: the sleeves are slightly angled and I shortened the pattern about 4 inches.

Alterations I also made: I top stitched the self-facing down since I couldn’t figure out how they wanted it secured based on the instructions (as far as I could tell, not at all)!

Alterations I would make if I did it again: I would exclude the fusible interfacing on the collar, as it felt a bit too stiff to me! It’s a robe and no one will see if it flops a little.

Summer Sewing: Part 1

I have been sewing at a pretty frantic pace all summer… so frantic, in fact, that I completely forgot to blog about any of it. Over the next few weeks I’ll put out posts on the pieces I made this summer, hopefully catching up in order to do most of my fall work as it happens! First up is the bag I made for my boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding in San Antonio!

I found this long, green chiffon pleated dress that I LOVED but every bag I owned looked terrible with it. So I decided to make a beaded, crocheted one from scratch since I didn’t remember beading being that hard. Well it was very hard, and it took forever, but I was completely in love with the result!

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The bag is beaded using a variety of E beads on cream colored size 10 crochet thread. The back and lining of the bag are “silky solids” cream fabric from Joann, with the back reinforced with some fusible interfacing.

I really regret not thinking carefully about the closure. I chose snaps, but those don’t work well for non-overlapping bag closures because things fall out! I should have put in a zipper, and I still might one day!

Chiffon Top Tutorial

Two weeks ago, the only fabric in my stash was a gorgeous pink chiffon and an old, grass-stained sheet.

Pink Chiffon of unknown origin
Pink Chiffon of unknown origin

I wanted to make the chiffon into a delicate infinity scarf, perhaps with a crochet lace border. And then, to my infinite horror, I found these imperfections.

HORROR!
HORROR!

The infinity scarf was out of the question. I could not both avoid the imperfections and keep enough material to make the scarf. Thus, the easiest top in the world was born.

Tutorial:

1. Cut two rectangles of the chiffon that are about a foot wider than your shoulder width and long enough to reach from your shoulder to your desired length. I did this by first cutting the rectangles from the sheet, and then using them as a pattern/practice for the chiffon.

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2. Hem all of the edges. I did this by hand because the fabric was extremely delicate and I felt a little unsure of my ability to use the machine on it.

3. Sew together at the shoulders. Don’t forget to test by safety pinning and trying it on first!

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4. With the top on, pin at your waist and hip height.  Folding the fabric in half width-wise, make symmetrical markings at the waist height, but at the width of your bust (so you can get it over your head). Mark at hip width at the hip line.

Pinning on my body to desired measurements.
Pinning on my body to desired measurements.

5. Stitch between your two marks wrong sides together. There is no logical way to turn it right-side-out if you do not.

Measuring the folded pieces at the waist line!
Measuring the folded pieces at the waist line! I have a 36 inch bust, so I needed the smallest part of the seam to be at least this large to go over my head.

6. Press and enjoy 🙂

How I'm going to style it.
How I’ll style it.
The fit when finished.
The fit when finished.

So “easiest top in the world” was probably an exaggeration.  It does require a lot of hand stitching and a little time to test the placement of the shoulder tacks and side seams. However, it is very conceptually simple.

I apologize for the silly mirror photos. Those will be present for my first few posts, then I will figure out something better.