Let’s get to the button of this – the button down shirt: Granville

Pattern

Oh, how I love the Granville. It fit great, no alteration needed.

The first one was a long sleeve version, with tons of errors around the collar stand and the cuffs. The second and forth are sleeveless, that fit the summer in Davis, (and in Israel) and I wear the, all the time. The second have mid length sleeves that end with simple cuffs. It also doesn’t have a collar, just the stand.

made the last 3 from simple and classic shirting fabric from Joann, which makes them suitable for the washer and dryer. However, it means that I should finish the seam better since it didn’t really survive. Since the pattern is so good, next time I will try a French seam. Also, it will be fun to try with floral prints. Finally, I need to practice the collar stand positioning to get it right.

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“What? You sewed it?” – My first knit shirt

Pattern

I wasn’t planning to sew with knit. I was very happy with woven fabrics. But then a friend brought me her moms’ leftovers. It included about 2 yards of viscose knit with small flowers. It was time. I got the Renfrew top and made a combination between the views, as I made it with the short sleeves and with the collar. I’m very happy of the collar, there is something comforting about it and it fits even for the summer.  It also gives it a unique look, though I plan to make this pattern as a simple T as well.

I first made it with fabric I got at the thrift shop here in Davis. Though it is a little too warm for the summer. However, the second version, from the viscose knit, is (almost) PERFECT. It is a little too big, but I’m not sure if changed after wearing and washing or was it too big to begin with. The best part: My husband is gone a lot for work. When he was home I wore the Renfrew in the morning and asked “what do you think of my new shirt”. I don’t know I did that, he usually doesn’t care much. But he was truly surprised and asked: “what? You sewed it?” It was so much easier to get it look “right” with a knit.

My never ending battle Part 1 with the Thurlow trousers. Part 1 – (part 2 is still in work)

Pattern

So after a few shirts, a jacket, and some dresses, I figured, well, why not making pants? It is after all the one thing that I REALY need to make for myself, as it is painful to go shopping for them. I’m almost never happy with what I find, and when I do, it is expensive (and then I get bleach stains on them, never mind). I

couldn’t make up my mind between the Thurlow and the Juniper. I chose with my heart and got the Sewholic pattern.

As I’m a stubborn rookie, I didn’t make a muslin, I just used super cheap fabric I found at a thrift store. But I spend too much time on the back pockets (spending some quality time with LLadybird) but the pants were far from wearable. I looked online, and the solution seemed simple – the crouch is too low. I was happy to alter the pattern and start again. But still no good. And then again. And again. 5 times I made it. The fifth pattern was so remote from the original…and almost wearable, and from such a cute fabric combination, that also matched the jacket, that I planned to wear for a conference …. but then I realized:

  • I can’t wear it to the conference, it is not good enough.
  • I should have altered those front pockets.
  • I should make muslin; no more spending time on back pockets (but I got really good at it!)
  • I should buy that book that everyone recommend ‘pants for real people’.

So I got the Pants for Real People, and before I even started, I learned the most exciting thing: I can (and should) iron the original tissue pattern! Wow. I never did that before. I usually I don’t cut my tissue patterns, but instead I copy the right size to a wax paper. This time I used parchment paper instead since I had a wider toll wider, and I can iron it (love it, ironing the pattern is so much fun).  Also, I found it refreshing that this book uses actual REAL people. I wish pattern designers will do it more often (yes, Colette, even you can improve).

Real people rock!

Real people rock!

I also thought “I should probably check the sizing table again”. And guess what, I’m an idiot.  My first 5 attempts were all with the wrong size! I cut an 8 instead of a 12. The only reason some of them were close-to-wearable is that I altered them so much. OK. I am a 12 and I can deal with it! So I copied and cut the size 12 pattern carefully. But when I tried the “tissue fitting” method, using the back, right front, waistbands and front pockets, I wasn’t so sure anymore. My beautiful copy of the pattern is all wrinkly right now, and I think I will need to add some extra fabric to the side seam, that will probably change everything else. I’m panicking! it will never happen!Here is the plan right now is:

  • Practice pants alternation with two old pairs that need some work anyway. As we Israelis say, “hard training, easy battle“ (it have no real grammar in Hebrew as well!)
  • To get a helper! This will not work if I try to fit myself on my own. (I should have taken a video of myself trying the tissue fit, alone, amusing).
  • To get some cheap fabric to make a muslin. Preferably plaid. Preferably an actual grid.
  • Make THE most perfect Thurlow trousers ever. And then duplicate at least 10 times, before I even consider another pant pattern.
  • Copy the altered and proven pattern.
  • Document the whole process (I saved 3 out of my 5 attempts for your amusement).

In the beginning, there was the Belcarra blouse

Pattern

After sewing a few pillow cases and a skirt without patterns, and after running into Sewaholic patterns on my google search a few times (in the beginning I thought ‘that is a stupid name- how can one be addicted to sewing?’ That was naïve…now I know it is a brilliant title!) and I loved it all. Didn’t read any reviews, didn’t even check the level or anything, just ordered a Belcarra Blouse. When it got here (printed), I had no idea what to do and how to transfer the pattern. First thing I cut it! Don’t worry, not on the sizing lines, but I just separated the parts(never again!). But now what? how do I keep the pattern and transfer it to the fabric? Then it came to me (I think some googling was involved)- wax paper. It is cheap, and it is transparent! I copied size 8 (or maybe even 10) and sewed it on a lovely but unsuitable fabric I got in a quilting shop (I didn’t know what I was doing, ok?) a few more darts later (it was huge and looked like a sack) I was happy! I even wore it to a presentation I was giving in front of a bunch of engineers! And no one knew it was my own work. I was proud with my little secret…

Belcarra group picture

Eight out of nine Belcarra blouse!

Now, after Nine Blecarras  (one for Mom, the only C view),  and changing to  a size 6 I still have a few issues with it, but mainly because I am getting sloppy.

Now just the doted Belcarras!

And now just the polka dot Belcarras!

The neckline is too stiff and looks weird sometimes, and I sometimes get the sleeves to clutter under my arm. But it will always be a favorite!