Friday, August 22, 2014

Crochet Crop Top

Crochet tops, especially cropped ones, are in right now.  I love myself a good crop top and I know how to crochet, so I've decided to embrace the trend.

For this top I used the left over yarn from my Crochet Scalloped Top.  It's Knit Picks Comfy worsted weight yarn in Rosehip.

Total Cost: $11.96

I knew I had to crochet a second top out of this yarn because I bought a coral bandeau to match my Scalloped Top and it seemed like it would be a more sound investment if I had two articles of clothing to wear with it.

I modified this pattern which is available for free on the Red Heart yarn website:

The construction details and whatnot are on my Ravelry Project Page.

Sox was particularly helpful with this project:

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Rick Rack Romper + Fashion Show Photos

I am the worst blogger ever.  I finished this romper in April for the student fashion show at school (which I also neglected to post about), didn't take photos until mid-July, and didn't write the blog post until August.  The photos of my garments from the fashion show at the bottom of this post.

This is a self-drafted pattern.  I drafted the pattern and sewed this up in like 4 days in order to have it done by the fashion show.  That's wicked fast for me because I am literally the slowest sewer on the planet.  My mother says I could never be on Project Runway.

The fabric is a mint Symphony Broadcloth, a polyester/cotton blend quilting fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  The polyester prevents the fabric from wrinkling the way that most quilting cottons do, which is why I chose it.  The lining is a rayon challis I ordered online from Hancock Fabrics (the same fabric I used to line my Colorblocked Shift Dress) and there's an invisible zipper in the side seam.

Total Cost: $11.48

  • Fabric: $2.99
  • Lining: $5.99
  • Rick Rack: $1
  • Zipper: $1.50

This romper looks a little tight around the bust, but I didn't notice it until I looked at this pictures.  It also looks a like it's pulling a bit at the seam lines, but it looks better in real life.  I feel like I say that in every blog post, but it's true.

To draft the bodice I took measurements of one of my RTW rompers as a basic starting point and made changes to the fit and style lines from there.  I also used McCall's #6439 as a reference, which is the pattern I used for my Turquoise Striped Dress.  The fit was way off so the pattern wasn't really all that helpful, but I liked having a commercial pattern to look at to make sure my pattern wasn't doing something crazy.

I used the pattern from my self-drafted Black High-Waisted Shorts as a block for the romper shorts.  Since the black shorts were made from a stretch denim and the fabric I used for this romper doesn't have any stretch, I added 1/2" to the side seam and inseam.  I dropped the crotch 1/2" as directed in my patternmaking book.  I raised the waistline 1 1/2" to compensate for the waistband.

The waistband on this romper is attached at the side seam with the zipper.  I used the same method to attach the rick rack to the waistband and hem as I used for my Turquoise Polka Dot TopI used WashAway Wonder Tape to hold the rick rack in place and then I topstitched it on.
I sandwiched the rick rack across the top of the bodice between the mint fabric and lining.

And here is a photo of me wearing the romper in the fashion show.  I had to model this myself - which was terrifying - and I am not a very good model.

There are some fabulous pictures of my lovely Jo-Ann Fabrics co-worker, Lily, modeling my Design Wars/Project Pink Competition Dress:

And my classmate modeling my Colorblocked Shift Dress:

And my other classmate modeling my Floral Skater Dress:

And here is a sneak peek of my Blue Wrap Competition dress, which I haven't blogged about yet.  I made it for a Project Runway type unconventional materials competition at school.  We had to make a garment out of the surgical blue wrap they use in hospitals.  My dress won most wearable, which was very exciting.  But then I had to model it in the show, which was the worst.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fizz Test Knit

Those of you who read lots of sewing blogs have no doubt heard of Andi Satterlund and her knitting patterns. I have knitted two of her patterns myself. (Mint Aiken SweaterNavy Agatha Cardigan) They were both delightful to knit and Fizz was no exception.

This top is knit bottom-up in the round.  There is elastic under the bust, and then you knit the bottom band casing.  The button placket and halter straps are picked up along the bodice edges, so there is no seaming.  The pattern itself is pretty cool; you enter your measurements and a pattern is generated for you.

This is a great pattern for using up stashed yarn, since it doesn't require very much yardage.  It was also quick to knit; not including the bottom band and i-cord edging, the bodice took me about 3 hours to knit up.

I used Knit Picks Comfy sport weight yarn in Flamingo and White.  (The same yarn I used for my Crocheted Curlicue Top.)  The bow buttons are from Deramores and the back neck button is from Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Total Cost: $13.36
  • Pink Yarn: $2.99
  • White Yarn: $2.99
  • Bow Buttons: $5.50 (including shipping)
  • Neck Button: $0.52
  • Elastic: $1.36

All my construction and fit notes are on my Ravelry Project Page.

If one wanted more coverage, I think this top would look wicked cute with a crochet border picked up along the bottom band. Something like this:

I am so honored and thankful that Andi chose me as a test knitter for this project.  It makes me feel like she has faith in my taste and knitting skills to represent her project in a positive way, ya know?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Crochet Curlicue Top

My first self-drafted crochet top! I've been very into warm weather crocheting and knitting lately. I don't know why, seeing as how it's pretty much never warm in Massachusetts.

I used Knit Picks Comfy sport weight yarn in Lilac Mist and White. It's the lightweight version of the yarn I used for my Crocheted Scalloped Top.

Total Cost: $14.95
  • Purple Yarn: $11.96
  • White Yarn: $2.99
 The curlicue detail around the neckline was inspired by this patternI used a different stitch pattern, a different yarn weight, and made a different size than the original pattern, so I had to draft the pattern for this top myself. By the time my top was done the only common factor between my sweater and the original is the curlicue around the neckline, which I knitted as a 3-stitch i-cord instead of crocheted. The details are all on my Ravelry Project Page.

I finished this top except for the curlicue neckline in February but I had a hard time pinning the curlicue in a way that I liked and all of a sudden it was the end of May and I knew I just had to commit to something. The curlicues aren't perfect, but I kind of like it. Not in an "I'm too lazy to care about how this looks" kind of way, but I think it makes this top look handmade in a good way, ya know?

It was hard to get a good picture of this top. It fits well and is very comfortable and is not as boxy as it looks in the photos. The nice thing about crochet is that the stitches often drape nicely without any waist shaping.  I think the sleeve length, the way the sleeve fits into the armscye, the body length, and the back width are perfect.

Drafting the pattern for the body of this top wasn't hard because there wasn't any waist shaping to worry about. I referenced some pattern drafting books for knitting regarding shaping the armscye and the set-in sleeve. I thought the sleeve would require a bit of finesse would cause me problems, but it came out beautifully the first time. 

And of course Sox was there to help me get things blocked into shape.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Colorblocked Shift Dress

This dress was my final project in Draping class last semester.  Last spring I posted about the collection I designed for Kate Spade in my Fashion Sketching class.  This is one of the dresses from the collection.  My God, I'm terrible at drawing.  Wait until I post my drawings from the Fashion Illustration class I took this spring...

The coral fabric is a Casa Collection satin from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  (It's not as hot pink as it looks in the pictures; it's a deep coral.)  I used the wrong side because I didn't want this dress to be all satiny - I don't even like satin.  (I don't think anyone does.)  But it was the perfect color and had the body I needed for this dress.  That also makes this dress a little harder to wear.  I had originally envisioned a very casual summer dress in a cotton.  But since I used the wrong side of the satin maybe it doesn't look wicked fancy and I'm just overthinking it.

The white fabric is a Kona quilting cotton from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I read online that the best fabric to use for scallops is a tightly woven one made of natural fibers.  And the whole thing is lined with white rayon challis I ordered online from Hancock Fabrics.

Total Cost: $17.73
  • Coral Fabric: $3.99
  • White Fabric: $6
  • Lining: $5.99
  • Zipper: $1.75

I originally had a different white fabric.  It was some sort of satiny thing with a crazy name I've never even heard of.  So I had the whole dress sewn together and I had just understitched the lining and somehow I ended up with a run - like you get in pantyhose - all the way down the front of the bodice contrast.  I nearly had a nervous breakdown.  So I had to unpick everything and pull the whole dress apart and re-sew it.  It was traumatic.

It was impossible to get a good picture of this dress.  Even though I used the wrong side of the satin, it still reflected light like woah and made this dress look all wrinkly in the photos.  I tried to take a picture of the back and it looked so terrible that I can't even post it.  (There's an invisible zipper down center back.)  Also, these pictures don't do justice to the silhouette.  The best picture I could get where I feel like you can really "see" the dress is in my bedroom mirror:

So let's talk about fit issues.  This dress is a little tight across the hips.  By "a little tight" I mean the hips could probably be taken out an inch.  And the armscye feels tight, too.  Maybe it's cut too high or needs to be shaved off a bit.  But maybe it's because I am wicked sensitive to the way an armhole feels because that has always been my thing.  I am very disappointed that I ended up with these fit problems because I made a muslin and agonized over every detail for days with my Draping professor and everything was fine.  I would like the opportunity to make this again with some coral cotton I have in my stash.

Drafting the pattern for the scalloped hem was sort of complicated.  It involved math and drawing halves of scallops and tracing them onto paper.  My professor helped me and it was six months ago, so I can't remember all of the details.  But that means it will be hard to take out the hips because I will have to re-draft the scalloped situation which will not be fun.

There hasn't been a picture of Sox lately, but he was very much involved in the construction of this dress: