Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Look 6071 -- Blue Sweater Dress

While my daughter has been sewing for spring ever since January, I still had a couple of winter things that I wanted to finish.  First up is this blue sweater dress I completed in late February/early March.
The pattern is New Look 6071, a Workroom/Project Runway pattern that just went out of print, so if you're interested in purchasing it, do it soon.  I really was not that interested in it myself until I saw Andrea of Fabric Epiphanies great series on this pattern: number 1number 2number 3number 4, and number 5!

Inspired by her flattering versions, I bought the pattern myself.  I had some blue sweater knit fabric from Joann Fabric that I thought would be a good match.  I cut a 14 at the neckline and added an inch to the side seams, tapering out from under the arms.  Tissue-fitting revealed that the sleeves were very narrow and I actually added almost an inch to the width all the way down the sleeve to the wrist.  I also added a little to the length of the sleeves and the skirt.

I liked the interest added at the bodice with the twist and the pleats.  Instructions were good on this.  The neckline is finished with a facing.  After reading some reviews and fearing gaping issues, I shortened the facing to somewhere between the size 10 and size 12.  I'm really glad I did, and if I make this again I will shorten that even more, which helps snug up the neckline.  The neckline still ended up a little lower than I am comfortable with, so I hand-tacked it together, giving me another inch of coverage.
The back fits very well.  I made no adjustments to that other than lengthening the skirt slightly.

All in all, this dress is okay.  I like the interest in the bodice, and the slightly A-line skirt is a nice change for me.  Definitely wearable.  The main thing I don't like about it is that it shows how thick I've gotten this winter while I was bundled up under my giant sweatshirts, and how much work I'm going to have to do to keep from getting thicker.  That's a little discouraging.  However, I do think I will try it again.  I think it might look nice in a stripe and as a top.

As for the photos, I didn't use the self-timer, but I set the tripod up and set the shots up myself.  Then I set my husband behind the camera and told him to just push the button.  I still don't understand how I can take more flattering shots of myself than he can take of me....... Anyway, these shots were taken outside, where I was constantly getting photo-bombed by my furry friends and my youngest son,

who was lovingly mocking me (now you can understand why it is so hard for me to look at ease).  But it's only fitting he should have his own photo (even though he's making a face), because this week he was the last of my offspring to pass from childhood into teen-age-hood.  Happy birthday - and yes, we did celebrate with ice cream cake!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Look 6035 -- A Good Top for Swinging into Spring

Finally spring is just around the corner!  In eager anticipation of this happy event my daughter began making warm weather clothes in February.  She finished this little sleeveless shell from New Look 6035 view C.  I say 'finished" because she started this top over a year ago and stalled out because she didn't know how to do the binding.  The top languished waited patiently in a little bundle until her skills and confidence caught up, and she felt ready to tackle it.  Plus, sometimes you just want to get that project that's been hanging over your head out of the way.
The top is made of a cotton fabric covered all over in tiny white flowers that I've had in my stash for well over ten years.  I don't remember what I originally thought I would make but I'm glad the fabric is finally getting to be worn:)  The cotton does wrinkle -- these photos were taken after it had been worn all day -- but wrinkles are a second consideration to comfort and coolness when you live in a hot climate.

Here you can see the tone-on-tone flowers, which add visual texture to the fabric. The neckline and armholes are bound with self-fabric bias, and the neckline also has small pleats.

Here's a view of the back:
And here is a view of the side.  The side seams are finished off with a slit, which gives the top a little more movement.  She made a straight size 10.  The underarms are a little snug, so next time we will deepen the underarm seams half an inch or so.

It's a great top for summer, but also for cooler weather because it's perfect underneath a jacket.

An all-around do-it-yourself-er, my daughter also made the swing in the photos:)  She used these plans from Lowe's, spent an afternoon or so on construction, and then hung the swing in the huge live oak tree that is in my front yard.  It's very sturdy (supposedly up to 500 lbs.!) so any of us can enjoy it, not just small kids, something that all my tall people appreciate:)