Sunday, January 3, 2010

For every action

There is an equal and opposite reaction. Isn't that what they say?

Well, apparently the reaction to two highly structured, interfaced and fitted jackets in a row is a knit top binge.

Two days, two tops . . . and a third top on the table on the third day. Somebody stop me!

I did give myself this weekend to start the year off right, though, and sew to my heart's content. Mario's had plenty of his own stuff to do, so we've been meeting up over dinner and for an hour or so on the couch before bedtime, but he's been puttering on the computer (being off work for the holiday is getting to him) and I've been happily sewing.

Since I ordered some new knits from, clearing off the knit shelves seemed like the obvious thing to do - and besides, I wanted instant gratification here. Which I got, except for the twisted bands on the first top. BWOF's instructions there made me a little batty.

It's based on a BWOF plus size pattern (4/2008 #128). I was thinking about using this style for a dress with one of the new knits, so I decided to give it a test drive with this remnant that I bought last year from Spandex House. The smallest size the pattern came in was 44, and I'm generally a 38 in BWOF, so I guessed/ graded it down to my size. Fairly successfully, but I don't know that my half-assed technique would work as well in a woven. Knits are much more forgiving.

I also pulled a Carolyn and decided not to reinvent the wheel and grade the back pattern piece to my size when I already had my TNT tshirt pattern (KS 3338) on the table. It's already fits, and I could guesstimate the accuracy of the front pieces by it. I also ended up using the KS sleeves, leaving them at 3/4 length because of fabric limitations and adding a wide band of the same contrast fabric I used for the twist.

One modification I made which was not entirely intentional: the gathers/drape under the twist aren't meant to be there. I'm not sure if I made the the lower panel too wide, the twist band too short, or somehow misjudged in between, but as I was pinning the lower to the upper I found this extra fabric in the middle. I debated taking the pieces apart and narrowing the lower panel, but then I thought about how the whole top would look as snug as the upper bodice is, and decided that a little extra fabric might actually be flattering. The top is seriously boobs-on-a-plate, but without obvious cleavage. Interesting.

The second top is KS 3338, straight out of the envelope. I also ended up with 3/4 sleeves here, because I had not quite a yard of this fabric. There was enough left over along the sides that I could cut 2 pieces, gather them and add flounces to the sleeves for a little something different.

Obviously I'm not going for shy and retiring on either of these tops. The second top isn't a keeper, in the long run. The fabric is a fairly cheap t-shirt knit from my local shop. I bought it because of the colors and the print reminded me of something I had when I was a kid, but the quality isn't as nice as I thought and I'm not sure how many washings it will survive.

BTW, on a completely different topic here, can I ask you all where men come from, and why their brains are so different than ours?

Mario has been obsessing about the Menswear Contest over on Patternreview. Is it done yet? Is there voting? Can I see how many votes his jacket has gotten? Yes, the contest is done. No, voting isn't over, and no, I can't see how many votes your jacket has gotten, and if it doesn't get any, or it doesn't win, is that going to invalidate the jacket completely so that you won't wear it?

Why do they judge things differently? I entered the contest so I'd have to finish the jacket; he's all about the competition. And money. Can't forget that - of all the stuff I've made this year, he thinks the craft show items were the best because I got money for those. I could get money for anything I make, if I felt like working my butt off for sweatshop wages. One of the women in my office admired my new plaid jacket the other day and asked if she gave me $40, could I make one for her sister.

Honey, that wouldn't even cover the fabric.


Kathi said...

I often get asked to make items. Sometimes I do it, it pays for me to buy more fabric. I only agree to make easier items, though!!
I like your new tops! I have been on a top binge also. Like you mentioned, there is that instant gratification with them! My life hasn't allowed for longer projects lately.

Anonymous said...

I love the first top!!! Very cool.

Sorry can't help you in the man dept. They are a different species altogether.

And you need to get yourself one of the Selfish Seamstress' mugs. I just bought one for work. I thought I would help her charitable cause and I love her haiku.

Can't wait to see more of what you got coming out of the sewing room.

marysews said...

I can't explain men to you, but I do recommend that you buy a cup from the selfish seamstress, and take said cup to work. Here's what's on the cup I got:

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

ROTFLOL at the end of your post! Oh thank you sooooo much for such a good laugh! Don't you wonder what people think your garments cost if they only want to offer you $40 for the entire thing? Don't you wonder if they even add in your time or is that the gift that keeps on giving? *sigh*

BTW, your tops are really cute. I love the brown one with the twist and seriously didn't it make the top go together just a little faster when you didn't have to figure out the back and sleeve pieces?

My goal is to wear the clothes...not just try out a pattern...

Lisette M said...

$40 for a custom made jacket? What are they thinking? People are truly clueless!
Love the two tops!

NancyDaQ said...

I'm sorry, but I would have laughed in your co-worker's face. $40, puh-lease!

Little Hunting Creek said...

$40 dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I swear, people have no respect for the amount of work it takes to make something beautiful, because of all the cheap trash that's out there. She reminds me of the lady at my work, who when seeing a baby quilt I had made for my boss, offered me $50 to make one just like it for her. I told her how much I would charge and she said, "I can buy a baby quilt at K Mart for $20!". Then go do that , I told her. I am not a sweatshop worker. And I do not shop at K Mart because those people are exploited. She never asked again.

Rose said...

I like both your tops, especially the brown one. Yep, men are a different species. Yep, people who don't sew think that you make them something that doesn't cover the cost of fabric. $40? Has your co-worker been shopping for lined, interfaced, quality jackets?

Audrey said...

Both knit tops are cute, but I really like the print of the second one for some reason. Very bright and cheerful. Too bad the fabric was't great quality. I have had to "educate" my co-workers on my sewing. It does not include making them Halloween costumes or hemming their son's jeans.

Vicki said...

Knit tops are great for quick sewing fixes. I love the brown print one.

senaSews said...

Oh, i would be pleased if somebody offers me money (and neglect it politely). In most cases they expect me to sew it for free. How annoying is that?

BTW, i love the twist top. It looks great!

Shannon said...

I love the new tops!

No one ever asks me to make anything for them - I think it might be because I'm not very nice! :)

meredithp said...

LOL at the "competition". It's true it's a guy thing, but I know women who are like that too.

Let's not even go to sewing for others. I've never had anyone offer to pay me (except the girls I embroidered some caps for a breast cancer walk for--and that was a labor of love). Except for the aforementioned caps, all projects have been disasters, at least from my perspective, since I end up doing all-nighters to finish. I think the finished products were well received...but "just say no" is my mottow. $40?! I would have given her that look that my girl cat gets and said "I scoff at your $40, peasant".

Kat said...

Karen, I LOVE this top. In fact, while catching up on blog reading, I think Mary of SewFastEmbroidery made this same top. Hers was great too. It makes me want to subscribe to Burda!