French Terry Dolman Top

So, yeah. When Rachael at imagine gnats asked if I wanted to test some fabric I might have asked for some french terry to work on a project for ME as well! One of my goals this year was to start doing some “selfless sewing”; I spend so much of my time making things for my kids (and customers), that it’s time I make stuff for myself.

To keep things easy to start off with, I chose the newly released drop shoulder top from Seamingly Smitten. I’d never sewn any of her patterns myself but had recommendations from a few friends. And truthfully, it was 50% off at the release so that might have swayed my opinion just a little. Hehe.

Rachael sent me a medium weight french terry in a fun stripe print. When I opened the package I literally wrapped it around my shoulders and fell in love. The french terry is nice and warm without being super heavy. Off it went to be laundered and I began the fun task of printing and taping pattern pieces together.

The pattern was pretty straightforward and came together fairly quickly. Like so many striped fabrics, the stripes weren’t printed completely straight across the fabric, but it was much better than some I’ve worked with. To make sure it wouldn’t drive me crazy every time I looked at it I took the extra time to line the stripes up precisely at the seams. That part was honestly the most time consuming step! Sometimes my perfectionist tendencies slow me down but it was soooo worth it in the end.

Stitch To Stitch French Terry TestingThe french terry wasn’t as easy to work with as the ponte de roma I used for the ruffle pants, but still easier than some knits. The edges do curl a little. This can be challenging when attaching cuffs or other pieces when you need to stretch one piece to fit the longer length of another. To help combat this, I sprayed the pieces well with Best Press to help them keep their shape. It didn’t stop it completely but made it easier to work with.

I used my serger to construct all of the garment, and then topstitched on my sewing machine (using my walking foot and a ballpoint needle). Because the neckline is so wide I used a long, straight stitch to topstitch the neckband in place. I knew it wouldn’t be under stress to fit over my head so the need for a stretchable seam wasn’t as important. This was more about looks than functionality. I also added a cuff at the end of the long sleeves, and a bottom band instead of a traditional hem. The project took me a couple of hours with intermittent breaks.

As soon as I put it on, I couldn’t stop smiling! When making it again I would make some slight changes to the overall pattern (minimizing the dolman sleeve slightly, and adjusting the overall length of the sleeve and the top) — with this being the first time using it, I wasn’t sure how it would fit but it was good following the directions based on the size chart. And I’m short too so tops are quite often long one me. But this shirt is so incredibly comfortable and WARM. It’s going to be well worn. Especially during the colder months!

Comfy enough that I could stand outside in temps in the low 30’s today, to get some photos! Which was hard for me because I’d much rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

Stitch To Stitch French Terry Dolman 1To add some fun contrast, I flipped the fabric on the arm pieces so the stripes went a different direction! Love how it turned out.

Stitch To Stitch French Terry Dolman 2You have to love the squinty-looking-into-the-sun photos! I figured I shouldn’t have every one with my sunglasses on…

STS French Terry Dolman 3

Fabric details:

  • This is 100% cotton french terry, and weighs about 13oz/yard. It makes it a nice weight for a lighter sweatshirt without being overly heavy.
  • Shrinkage was minimal, and I was surprised. My 2 yard piece shrank about 3″ total lengthwise after washing/drying on medium high temps. For 100% cotton knit fabric this minimal shrinkage is awesome.
  • It is a 50% crosswise, 2-way stretch with about 85% recovery. This allows you to stretch it to fit over your body but it will not completely go back until it’s washed/dried again.

I’m so glad that I took the plunge to make something for myself! Can’t wait to do it more often. And you can bet I might have to make myself another one of these tops in a solid color!

Amanda at Stitch To Stitch

Saturday Pattern Sharing 10/8/11

Ruffle Fabric is a huge craze right now!  You can see it being used in a myriad of ways on Etsy — including the petti ruffle romper and the ruffle bubble romper in the Stitch To Stitch shop.

So when I find free tutorials like this Ruffle Fabric Skirt for WOMEN it makes me giddy! 

Now I just need to figure out if I can pull this look off or if I’m too wide through the waist/hips for it.  Hmmm…

Happy Sewing!

Saturday Pattern Sharing 10/1/11

With cold weather closing in on us quickly, we’re all thinking about staying warm and maintaining some style.  Our minds are also shifting to buying/making gifts for everyone on our holiday lists.  So this tutorial is the perfect project to do for OURSELVES!

Skip To My Lou shares this great tutorial for making a Ruffled Infinity Scarf in their Holiday Craft Along.

Happy Sewing!

Sewing List, For Me

I’m not sure what brought it on, (perhaps the e-mail from Fabric.com with laminated cotton on sale) but all of the sudden I’ve got the bug to make myself a hooded raincoat.  Yeah, yeah, I have a lightweight jacket that is completely water resistant.  And it has a hood.  But it looks like this.

Please ignore the fashion statement I was making with the double layer hats (it was cold AND snowing and I needed something warm that would keep snow out of my face) and the fabulous scarf (Big Girl decided she no longer wanted it and felt it would look much better on me than hanging off the backpack).

But I think it’s time for something cuter.

This pattern by Amy Butler has caught my eye:

Made in one of these fabrics:

The only thing holding me back right now is the cost.  Well, and I can’t decide which of those fabrics I like the best.  But with each laminated fabric costing $15-18/yard, the pattern calling for 3-4 yards of BOTH the laminated cotton and a lining fabric and the $16 pattern itself I’m looking at a starting point of $100.

Looks like I need to work on my marketing a bit and increase my sales for the upcoming month.  :)

4th of July Fun

This year for the holiday, I was determined to make something cute for my girls.  In the past I’ve always relied on something fairly inexpensive I could purchase from the store (t-shirts from Old Navy, etc.) but this year I wanted them to have outfits that were unique and somewhat coordinating.  At the same time I wanted to use fabrics that had red/white/blue but not stars and strips.  This would hopefully mean they’d be able to wear them after the 4th without looking like they were stuck in a time warp.

At one of my ever so frequent trips to the fabric store I stumbled upon an adorable print a couple of weeks ago that I knew would be perfect!  So last week, in between sewing to fill orders I crafted a couple of things for the girls.

I knew our day would include the parade and a BBQ with friends so I opted for pants for Big Girl instead of a skirt/dress.  Less chance of accidental underwear flashing that way.  And at almost 5 years old I’m getting a little particular about keeping her skirts/dresses down. I used Whimsy Couture’s pattern for Ruffle Capris and Pants.  It’s a super easy pattern and I love being able to customize the length.

 

Ruffle Capris using pattern by Whimsy Couture

 

 

For Baby Girl, I wanted a bubble romper.  Even though she’s not (overly) mobile –but certainly working on it– I didn’t want to hassle with making a diaper cover for a dress.   I also used another one of Whimsy Couture’s patterns in this case too, but modified the top slightly so it wasn’t all one fabric.  Since Big Girl’s pants had the solid blue ruffle I felt it would look better if Baby Girl’s incorporated the solid blue too. The top was also shirred more than in her tutorial.

 

Bubble Romper for Baby Girl

 

I love, love, love how they both turned out! Both pieces got a ton of compliments throughout the day.  Big Girl has even asked that I make her some more pants since she liked her new ones so much.