Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Feeling... meh.

Well, I finished attaching the buttons/front drape on my Lekala tunic...

Yeah, not a good look:

*sad trombone*

I attached the buttons and drape according to the pattern markings, but looking at it on me, I'm realizing something that I should have noticed when I was examining the pattern pieces.

The two big problems that I see are that the buttons aren't placed close enough to the edge of the drape piece. That'll be a pain, but it's an easy enough fix to move the buttons close to the edge. In the tech drawing, they appear to be pretty close to the edge:

Lekala 4319 tech drawing

The more difficult problem to fix will be to re-distribute the ruching in a more flattering manner.

See how the ruching is concentrated through the midsection on the tech drawing? Whereas on me, it all pools at the bottom half? When I saw this, I thought that the ruching placement would be good for camouflaging lumps and bumps.
Now, let's look at the pattern piece for the underlayer:

Lekala 4319 front drape piece
See how the buttons are clustered close together at the bottom, but get further apart as you travel further up the tunic?

Now, look at the drape overlay. The buttons with the biggest "gaps" between them are the mid-section buttons. So we should see the ruching appear as it is in the line drawing, right?

Lekala 4319 drape overlay piece
What I think is happening is that my ginormous bust is taking up some of the length of the ruching, so it's looking like it's all pooling at the lower half. Given that this was a custom-drafted pattern, and my large bust was clearly accounted for in the draft of the underlayer (no riding up, properly positioned bust darts, etc), I'm a little surprised to be encountering it with the drape layer.

To rescue this top, I will clearly need to do some playing around with redistributing the ruching in a more pleasing manner when I move the buttons closer to the edge of the drape. I don't know how my final tweaked version will turn out, but at this point, I'll be happy if I have a comfortable tunic that I can wear under a cardigan or jacket. Given that this was a custom-drafted pattern, I really wasn't expecting so much difficulty with getting it to the point where I thought it was wearable!

I have to be honest, with all of the mis-steps (running out of fabric) and fussiness (the ill-placed ruching on my first attempt at attaching the buttons), I am really ready to be done with this tunic. I also feel like I really need an "easy" project as a palette cleanser, but I'm still trying to decide on my next project.

Here's a picture of my feline supervisor to break up several paragraphs of text.

So what do I think I'll tackle next?

Before this most recent frustration with the button/ruching placement, I had been considering making a blouse as part of the Pattern Review "fitted blouse" contest, starting March 1st. What I like about the format of this contest is that they're dividing it into three skill categories: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. I feel like I'm pretty squarely intermediate in my sewing/fitting skills, so it would be nice to enter a contest with people at a similar skill level. On the other hand, button-down blouses are a fitting nightmare for me, and I don't know that I'm mentally up to that at this point. On the other hand, a "great white blouse" would check off a box on my capsule wardrobe.

I'm thinking that a better choice would be do whip up one or two of my TNT t-shirts in a fun print. I could stash-bust and end up with a guaranteed-wearable top at the same time. And you can't have enough simple knit tops in fun prints, can you? I could also whip up a third Mr. HP t-shirt for my husband (I never blogged the second one, but it's in a soft merino wool jersey and he wears it All The Time), but it's more fun to sew for yourself, right?

On the more practical side of things, my 20-month-old daughter has been going through a growth spurt, and much of her 18M-sized clothing is too short or close to being too short. I really should sew a couple of size 2T outfits for her, but I can't make up my mind on what to sew. Too. Many. Possibilities.

Lastly, I really want to make up the HotPatterns tailored track pant. I have a black ponte earmarked for these, and I don't currently have a pair of casual black pants that fit. So, while not technically part of my capsule wardrobe, these would fill a wardrobe hole and should also be pretty easy to make.


  1. That is not a happy face. I had problems with a ruched top recently. I have decided that ruching and me do not go together. Hope you can sort out the draping and rescue it. The colour looks great on you. Love the cat.

  2. Feline commander demands catnip!

    Looking at the top on you, I noted 2 things about the draping.
    1- the first button on the drape starts too close to your bust. Maybe you could move the button lower?
    2- I wonder if you need as many buttons as the pattern uses? The first button gives you a boob flap so lowering it would/ should help that, but then maybe spread out the buttons more and stop placing them before the bottom so you get more of a swag at the hem? I wonder if then you'd get some nice ruching below the bust, over the midsection and a nice assymetrical hem, which is often flattering.

  3. oops, Forgot to mention that the color is great on you, and the neckline is great too.

  4. Those are really good suggestions, Linda! I hadn't thought of trying *fewer* buttons--was thinking that maybe I needed more. At the very least, I need to redistribute the ruching and move the buttons closer to the drape edge.

    I'm putting this aside for at least the weekend (my mom will be visiting) and have cut out a Plantain-ized SBCC Tonic tee as a palette cleanser.

  5. Not to complicate the decision process, but with the little one needing new things, have you considered doing the Boatneck to compete in Frances Suzanne's sew along competition? The prizes haven't been announced, but they're usually pretty good!

  6. I'll take a look at the Boatneck sewalong. :) However, what I had been planning in my brain was to finally dig into my growing stack of Ottobre magazines. (I started subscribing when I was pregnant.) While they have patterns for infants, the really cute/fun designs start around the 2T/3T sizes, which my daughter is finally starting to grow into, and there are a couple of items from the past few issues that I am *dying* to make up for her.

  7. So I got a little sewing for me mojo back by making the HP Origami Top for the PR Movie INspiration contest. I tried to bring a little Auntie Mame into my wardrobe!

    I hope you get some thrill back in your sewing. You don't seem delighted with this top. (Though I really think if you get some space from it, you'll probably be able to make this one work fine. Not that I'd ever suggest a David Soul song as the guiding force in one's sewing-- or anything else for that matter-- but I can hear that tunic sing "Don't give up on us.")