Monday, June 6, 2011

the Lekala drawstring top

I'm sure you've all read by now, but the Russian pattern site Lekala has their designs free for download, as long as you can use a Burda size 44. I went to the site, and fell for this dress, drawstrings and all.

So off I went, printing and taping the pages together, cutting and plotting how I was going to make a size 44 fit. I'm usually a 40 or 42. I found that the Lekala patterns whose lines are printed single, do not include seam allowances. I double-checked, and my pattern was single so voila! I would simply stitch it up on the serger, reducing the seams by about 1/4" all around. Remarkably, this worked and the top fits.

I wanted to make it up as a top in order to determine how well I'd like it as a dress? I'm still torn. It's pretty fitted and I don't know that I want to put that over my butt. Also, the back pieces are different, so there's a center seam down the back and that means there's a possibility of a crooked seam running over my butt.

I had this piece of stripe left over from a previous project, and I like it. Of course I like it, I like stripes! But I could kick myself - I cut the bottom off about two inches too short for my taste.

Anyhoo, if you haven't checked out Lekala's patterns yet, take a gander. You may have to tweak the sizing and there are no english instructions, but a free pattern is a free pattern! I translated the instructions from Russian on two different sites and still ended up winging it.

Whew, two projects snuck into my "no sewing" time. Score!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

the I love stripes and ruching top - McCall's 6356

Whew, I snuck this one in with barely anyone noticing. Shhhh! I'm not supposed to be sewing. We put our house on the market last week and it's been all I can do to make sure it remains organized and clean. Clean is an understatement, it actually appears antiseptic right now but apparently that's what buyers want.

After all the organizing, staging, decluttering and more decluttering, I snuck downstairs one evening and cut out this McCall's 6356 pattern in a lovely lightweight knit I picked up at Hancock's for $2 a yard. My husband was fiddling with one of his old cars, I knew I had a short window of time.

Have I mentioned before that I love stripes? And that I love ruching? In my mind, you could ruche every surface of my body and I'd be happy. So I thought this pattern would be the perfect marriage of figure-flattering and stripes. Because I love me some stripes.

I can tell you I will wear this top all summer long. It's lightweight like a whisper and since it's already 97 degrees here today, that's very welcome.

What I don't like about it, can you see how far down those armholes dip?! It's insane! I am shocked my bra band doesn't show, but it doesn't. Oh, and my twin needle gave me fits on this feathery fabric and rolled the neckline collar, piercing a huge hole in it. I just turned it down some more and stitched it again.

I left the hem natural after that disaster, and with all the ruching and rolling I think it looks fine.

My next project is another stripey knit top, already cut out and waiting for 30 free minutes when I don't have to fold and put away laundry. Or wipe down a bathroom surface. Or empty trash cans. Or cut the grass.. sigh.