Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Simplicity 3732, Take 2

I really loved the way my green drawstring peasant blouse turned out (described a couple of posts below). My one complaint was that it felt like it took me much longer to complete than I think it should have. (Of course, several of those hours of work involved me wrestling with the drawstring before giving up on the method in the instructions and deciding to just top-stitch the thing.) Coupled with the fact that I liked my first version of the top and that I've been wanting a pretty cotton eyelet top all summer (although most of the ones in stores right now seem to have tiny, non-bra-friendly straps), I knew what I wanted to do for my latest sewing project.

Again, I used Simplicity Pattern 3732:

This time, I made View B (with the flutter sleeves) instead of View A. I'm just as happy with the result from this attempt as I was with the first. The sewing went much quicker this time, too--if I'd started earlier in the day, I could have completed this top in a single afternoon (including laying out the pattern and cutting). Here's the final result for View B:

The only alteration that I made from the pattern instructions (other than the drawstring) was that I laid out the pattern so that the scalloped edge of the eyelet design formed the hem. I think it looks pretty and it saved me from having to hem the bottom of the top.

Another Summer top: Simplicty 4123

When I first decided that I was going to take a sewing class, I hit the local Yardage Town and picked up a couple of easy-looking Simplicity patterns. (My mom had told me that Simplicity was probably the easiest pattern line to start out with.) I even made sure that the patterns that I picked up were part of their "It's So Easy" line.

The very first pattern that caught my eye was Simplicity 4123, a basic summer top that could either be made as a tank top or as a top with small flutter sleeves:

On the same trip to Yardage Town, I picked up some very pretty white cotton fabric with navy blue flowers. I decided that that fabric and this top would be a perfect match. Deciding that I wanted the yoke of the top to contrast, I also picked up some navy blue cotton fabric that matched the blue flowers perfectly.

Fast forward about a month or so, and I felt like I'd learned enough in my sewing class to tackle making this top. Based on my own measurements and the "finished garment" measurements listed on the back of the pattern, I decided that I would make the top in a size 14. (I made my previous top--the green peasant blouse--in a size 16, but this pattern looked like it ran significantly larger).

Wow. I was wrong. Although I was anal about cutting out my fabric and my seam allowance, my finished garment wound up 3 inches smaller across than predicted by the pattern. I let the seam out a little bit, but there wasn't enough fabric to get quite the fit that I was going for. Additionally, the top wound up too short for my comfort level. I fixed this by adding a band of the leftover navy blue cotton to the bottom. (David actually suggested this, so I need to give him credit for the idea.) I think that the top looks adorable on a hanger, but it's not the most flattering style for my body type. I'll still wear it, but I'll chalk this one up to being a learning experience.

Here's the finished top:

Monday, July 16, 2007

My first completed sewing project

David had to work much of this past weekend, so I spent the bulk of Saturday and Sunday afternoons sewing. I'm working on a pair of drawstring pajama pants for my sewing class, but in the interest of practicing/improving, I'm working on a couple of additional projects, too. On Sunday afternoon, I completed my first ever sewing project: a drawstring peasant blouse.

Here's another angle:

It took me much longer than it probably should have, but I'm really happy with the end result. The fabric cost me less than $5 on sale at JoAnn's, and the pattern (Simplicity It's So Easy 3732) cost me $1.50 on sale at Yardage Town. Figure in the cost of the thread, binding (for the drawstring casing), and elastic, and this top easily cost me less than $10.

I'm planning to make another one in white cotton eyelet. :)