Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My first wearable garment!

Last Friday, I wore my first me-made garment that was not a Halloween or theme-party costume! My second version of Cake’s Hummingbird top (Green version), is far from perfect, but it’s wearable!

I sewed my first version of this top in a tangerine knit from Girl Charlee Fabrics. I attempted to participate in the 30-minutes-a-day sewalong for this pattern, but guess what? It’s silly to start a sewing project right at the start of field season. Although I didn’t finish even one of the two pieces during the sewalong, I really liked the format and instructions and I’m sure I’ll try to participate in another.

I chose to start the peplum at my natural waist, and didn’t make any fit changes.  Unfortunately, but as expected, I didn’t get it right on the first try. The peplum started at an unflattering place on my waist and was a bit too short, accentuating my less than perfectly toned middle. The shoulders were also too wide. I loved the tangerine color, though, and reordered more of the fabric.

At some point in the summer which I truly don’t even remember, I made some alterations to my traced pattern and got started on version two, in a printed knit, again from Girl Charlee Fabrics. I took 1 ½” off of the inside of each shoulder and curved that line until it met with the neckline. I measured to my natural waist and graded the pattern in to the measurement of my natural waist. From there, I measured to where I wanted to try to start the peplum and graded the pattern out to the measurement at this point on my waist. I was feeling pretty good about these pattern alterations until I was brushing my teeth the morning after cutting out the pieces and realized that I forgot to make the corresponding changes to the peplum pattern piece. Oops. Oh well, not too late to fix it.

After sewing the upper part of the top together I realized it was a little bit too long, so I trimmed some length off. I then sewed the peplum on and had a really tough time lining it up. The next morning, when I was brushing my teeth (weird, right?), I realized that again, I hadn’t made the corresponding changes to the peplum. No wonder it was so hard to attach! Not technically too late to fix, but that’s a lot of stitches to unpick, so I didn’t.

After reinforcing the neck and sleeve bindings and hemming the top, I was done! I waited a few days to try the top on, worried that I would be disappointed if I tried it on right away. It could use some improvements, but overall, I like it! I LOVE the neckline…lots of collarbone and next to no cleavage…just how I like it. I think the peplum starts and ends at a good place. The peplum is admittedly a bit wonky, but not enough to stop me from wearing it. I’ll just try to do better for the next version (in the tangerine knit again!). I have a lot of wrinkling at my lower back, and sometimes the lower back seam actually gets caught on the waistband of my jeans, so that could be improved, but I’m not sure how to do it. It also doesn't help that my jeans don't fit me super well. I must say, I notice every imperfection in the photos, and every curve on myself that I wish the fabric would hide, but whenever I walked past a mirror, I was pretty happy with how I looked in this top, so all in all I’m happy with it.

Now to decide what to do next…the tangerine peplum top? Or the Hummingbird skirt? I haven't decided yet.