Sunday, January 29, 2012

De-peared: Sewaholic Renfrew Tops Galore

Helloooooooo! This is my first post coming to you live from New York. It's good to be back in the city, but it's been a busy few weeks!

I'm battling a cold right now, but I wanted to take the time to share 3 tops I made in December; they were all made using the brand new Renfrew pattern from Sewaholic Patterns! I was lucky enough to be selected as a pattern tester for this top and I wanted to end 2011 with a bang by sewing up all 3 versions.

Even though this pattern company caters to pear-shaped women, note that this pattern is very easy to alter for non-pear shapes, like me. As with other Sewaholic patterns, the instructions and diagrams are great. And the pattern pieces were stellar as well, it's so nice when markings match up!

Okay, so let's have a look, shall we?

This one's too tight 
First up, view A: the v-neck top with short sleeves. I made a size 4 at the bust/waist and size 0 at the hip. I'm actually one size smaller than the chart's size 0, but found that the fit was just fine because the hem band fits snuggly around the hip. The bust portion of this top felt a little snug though, so instead of looking into an FBA or other alteration I went up to a size 6 for the next two tops and found the fit comfortable. Not sure if that was the alteration to make, but it works :)

Anyway, I do love the bands at the hem and sleeves! Makes for such a great finish - nice and easy to put together, too. I used my serger to whip this top together, but it really can just as easily be made on a regular sewing machine.

I wear knit tops all the time and am excited I finally have a pattern that will fill a nice gap in my handmade wardrobe. Now I just need to have a dedicated sewing space, which is almost within reach as I just signed a lease for an apartment. Probably a few weeks out from having it all set up though...

I think I can take fabric out of the sleeve

Second is view B: the scoop neck with long sleeves. THIS IS MY FAVORITE SEWING PROJECT EVER! Oops, got stuck on all caps there. But, seriously, I wear this top all the time, making it my most practical make to date. The fabric is so comfortable. For the record, it's a size 6 bust / size 4 waist / size 0 hip.

For whatever reason, I don't like wearing long sleeve tops ever, not even in the cold of winter. I usually just wear a short sleeve top with a cardigan or hoodie over it. The fact that I have this pattern with its long sleeves gives me the chance to not always rely on an additional layer, which is a nice change! Oh sewing, you've made me all adventurous.

Stop stretching at the shoulders, Ms. Rib Knit!
Last up, view C: the cowl neck with 3/4 sleeves. I really love the cowl neck variation, so classy and perfect for the office, an evening out, or just as a casual top.

I chose a ribbed knit, which ended up stretching a bit during construction. This is a good lesson learned in my book since I haven't worked with knits that much in the past. You can see the stretch effect at the shoulder seam, which is extending way beyond my shoulder even though I used the same size 6 pattern piece as the view B top. The sleeve band is also loose around the arm.

As some other bloggers have noted, stretch percentage wasn't listed on the fabric that I bought at the store so I had to guess. They all seemed to have the same amount of stretch as the t-shirt I had on, but obviously the ribbed knit had other ideas during the sewing process.

That's about it. But, hey, it's bold font time! If you are thinking about buying this top, Tasia is holding a pre-sale for email subscribers that ends tomorrow (Monday). Don't forget to sign up to take advantage of this special offer!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thinglink'ed Oona to the Rescue!

Looky here! Thanks to oonaballoona's thinglink (new favorite word) fun fest, I was finally able to figure out a way to create a gallery of my finished projects with a clickable link on each to their respective blog posts. Can't tell you how much I tried to use the minimal code knowledge I have to get this to work earlier in the year. My (slight?) OCD is happy that each photo is the same size hehe. Thanks, oona!

There are 10 finished garments from 2011 and 2 pre-blog garments from 2010. Haven't even gotten 'round to photographing my 2009 day? I've put these mini-mes in a "Finished Projects" tab at the top of the blog, and will add as I go along. Woohoo! Hopefully all the links go to the right posts, haven't tried that yet.

**I've got to say, I'm none too pleased with the tweed Beignet in the photograph below. The hem is the pits at the center front and some of the buttons aren't lined up properly with the buttonholes so the fabric pulls. I've since fixed the hem, PHEW! The buttons still need to be done, but are an easy fix. This'll be a good project to finish before the spring.**







Special thanks to Tanit-Isis for kindly correcting me earlier in the year when I said I "frankensteined" 2 patterns for the Pleasantville dress, whoops! 2011 also saw me create the word "selvege", which isn't the correct spelling anywhere, but rather a nice marriage of the U.S. "selvage" and everywhere else's "selvedge"...hmmm, yes...

...2012 News...

  • I'm an official contributor to the Sew Weekly 2012! It'll be awhile before I can actually participate because of my move, but it'll be fun times. I'm so glad there are tons of contributors, less stressful this way for sure.

  • Today the font in the comments section of my blog became tiny, but I can now magically reply to each commenter after their comment if I wanted. Did this happen to anyone else who uses Blogger? Just a coincidence that this happened after I installed thinglink??? Pretty exciting, in any case!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

It's time to announce the giveaway winner! I'm happy to share that Regina of Wylde Hills has won these 4 patterns. I wish you the best as you get back into blogging this year, your placemat hat is too cool! I've emailed you for the details.

This giveaway was such an intimate affair that I wish I could give something to each of you, but alas, everything is packed away at this point :( But I loved reading each of your favorite NYC places, keep 'em coming! Here's a round-up:

2 votes for the top of the Empire State Building
1 for Soho
1 for Harlem
1 for the Metropolitan Museum of Art
1 for the Chrysler Building (thanks ms. modiste for contributing even if not for the giveaway!)

Good stuff, good stuff. I can't wait to feature these places just as soon as I have something sewn up for them. And as soon as I have a place to sew them in ;)


Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm Movin' Up (and GIVEAWAY!)

Happy New Year, everyone!

I've got big news -- I'm moving back to New York City in a little under a week, whoa nelly! New York and me go back generations in my family, and I'm super excited to be heading back that way. My sewing time is sadly going to be minimal, but I'm hoping to get some time in at the Sewing Studio in the Garment District while I transition. We'll see!

My grandpa hemming window shades in Manhattan, late 1940s
(I now own that Singer industrial machine, complete with lamp!)

To celebrate the move (and my upcoming 1-year blogiversary that just snuck up on me), I'm hosting my first-ever giveaway! I'll be giving away these 4 patterns: