Saturday, February 28, 2015

Winter of Wearable Shirts: #3

How are you doing? I'm great, I just made super yummy chicken pot pie filling and I'm nibbling from it. Don't worry, if I ever cook for you its clean spoon every time I test those seasonings, but the fiance will be the only other person eating the pies so I don't care. I'm also working on writing my book, yup I'm writing a book (not about sewing) and I'm totally stuck on the 'I can't write' idea so I'll write this post instead. I know I can write this post.

I've loved the Neptune Tee by See Kate Sew since it was released, but I'm not the person who jumps on every new release. I let them stew around in my head and wait for fabric sales, sometimes for a long ass time. I waited for Hart's to have their Christmas sale and then bought this ponte to bring my total above their free shipping threshold. The pattern says that very stable knits are preferred and Hart's description seemed to satisfy that. I don't usually buy poly, but I trust Hart's implicitly even if I've never been there and only really bought from them once.

Sewing this shirt was a frickin' blast. I got all the right supplies, a stretch twin needle with the widest setting and stretch thread for the bobbin when using the twin needle. All the seams sewed so smoothly, stretch so nicely, and none feel like they are going to pop.

I'm not entirely happy with how the bindings around the neck and sleeves lay across the cutouts. I stretched the bindings to fit the edges, except at the cutouts I made sure to lay the binding completely flat. Now the bindings stick out a bit because the stretch in the neckline doesn't match how the fabric is stretch when worn. Doing it again, I would stretch out the binding ever so slightly. Not as much stretch as the rest of the neckline, just a tad.

See how that neckline is popping out a bit, that's what I'm talking about. Next time I'm making this, I'm lowering the front neckline and removing that cutout, but keeping the rest.

I love the inspiration behind this pattern. I was watching the Veronica Mars movie and and also thought, 'Damn Mac, hot dress.'

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fabric Store Review: The Fabric Store LA

I've been dying to visit The Fabric Store for a while, but keep missing the sales because my work miraculously sends me out of the country every time there's a sale there. Its like they're in cahoots to make me save money (or buy fabric online). Finally a sale email went out when I was in the grand ol' USA baby! Then I went back for the next sale and got more. I want all the fabrics.

First, I'm living in the Pasadena area so the drive is a'right, I only got lost once on the way there and like four times on the way back. There is parking on the street, but they have two parking spots in the back where you have make your way down a mildly gnarly alley, but its free so that's cool with me. When I was there, there was actually a photoshoot in the alley which made things less skeevy at first. As I walked by, the photographer actually told the model, 'Bounce more and walk towards me.' All skeevyness returned.

The store is lit well and is big enough to be airy but not cavernous. There's fabric all along the border of the room and on about four very large two-tiered tables in the middle. The fabrics are two or three rolls deep so there's a bit of digging if you want to see everything. In some areas the fabric is organized by type: merino wool, leather, etc, and some areas its organized by color. The front of the store has a little table to peruse magazines and a few patterns. Probably also a very effective partner-who-went-fabric-shopping-with-you relaxation zone.

The fabric: omg, so beautiful. This is a well curated collection, I only saw one fabric the made me go 'what the hell?' Now I wouldn't call myself a fiber snob, but I am aware of what I work with, how the fibers will wear and feel, and I do prefer natural fibers. This place is the mecca of natural fibers, silks, cottons, linen, and wool, wool, wool. Only a few fabrics seem to list their place of origin, mainly the New Zealand stuff and only a few I saw were organically grown, again a few of the merinos.

The women who work there are great, not intrusive, but very available for help. They were really nice to an adorable dog who'd gotten loose and was corralled into the store by some pedestrians outside. The little guy ran all over the store while the local shelter was called, but his owners were running around the street looking for him and I'm happy to say, Buster found his way home. People who are kind to dogs are good in my book. They also helped me figure out yardage for a skirt that I have an idea for and not a pattern. They discouraged me from buying more than I needed and once I wrapped the fabric around me I realized they were completely right.

I ended up leaving with a haul of merino wool knit, cotton eyelet, silk-cotton blend, a striped black and cream silk, and a Papercut pattern. The second time I got a ton of merinos and wool coating. As long as I live in the LA area, I'm going here every chance I get. I hope they get their online store up before I move away.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter of Wearable Shirts: #2

The Boston shirt! The pattern is the Geometry Top by Katy & Laney, two cool Boston ladies. The solid black silk is from Gorgeous Fabrics, close enough to count as Boston and bought while I lived there. And the ship fabric, oh the ship fabric, that's from Fabric Place Basement, also close enough to be called Boston. I love the tall ship print because my favorite touristy thing I ever did in Boston was tour the U.S.S. Constitution. Its amazing something so old can still float and sail, let alone be in the condition its in. Seriously, check it out, unless your British, that might be treason against the Crown. I kid, I kid we're all friends now.

I was pleasantly surprised that the Geometry Top was not paraded around blogland. This is a great pattern, good lines, trendy, but not fleeting in style. I'd been looking for something to use with my ship fabric that didn't break up the awesomeness of print and this pattern made my little sewing heart pitter-patter. The pattern is great everything fits beautifully together with good instructions. The only thing is that some of the cutting lines are a bit thick, I'd prefer a bit more precise lines over super bold ones.

I agonized over the placement of the 'stripes' and it ended up being about as perfect as perfect can be. I underlined the main fabric as its a bit sheer and then hemmed them separate from each other because I worried hemming them together would cause the shirt to bubble. I french seamed everything. For some reason that makes absolutely no sense, I like french seaming the armscye more than just sewing it in normally. I'm super weird.

I left the side and shoulder panels as a single layer cause I don't care if you can see my shoulders or my side. I sewed through paper (medical exam paper) for a lot of the shirt to keep things from puckering and it worked pretty well.

The dipped hem in the back is the perfect dip amount. Maximum flatteration.