Friday, June 5, 2015

One Fabric - Two Styles

 My Meetup group is having a pattern swap next weekend. Luckily for me, I don't have many patterns to giveaway. But I can't say the same about my fabric stash. With my decluttering goals for the remainder of the year, I am back to finding easy and quick-sewing patterns. But there still remains the cycle of "more." More sewing equates to more stuff to store. Am I just moving my things around, and not reducing? How do I solve this conundrum? One way is selfless sewing...making things for other people. This is just as slow and time-consuming as sewing for myself. I have to ask myself...am I getting close to parting with some of my fabric stash? Maybe.

Now back to some sewing...

Veering off a bit from StyleArc Patterns, I dabbled in a couple of new ones. I have been holding on to this piece of cotton from Stone Mountain for a long time. The cotton is a bit sheer for work, but great for Summer layering, and warm days on the beach or park. My fabric looks like a thin cotton muslin, but wears like a lawn. It was originally planned for a peasant top...enter Butterick B4685.
I used my bias tape stash to create the casing for the elastic neckline. 
This pattern feels more like a juniors cut to me, and it is a bit skimpy on the width. I like fuller peasant tops in general. But if you are looking at saving fabric, then this one is for you. It is mostly easy to make, but the hem is curved at the sides. The pattern instruction said to use a simple doubled narrow fold hem. This is okay, except it will pucker a bit if the fabric is thin and loosely weaved like mine. A better alternative would be the eased curved-hem technique, or reshape the hem entirely, which I think is pretty easy to do.

I made the white one on the pattern, but with the shorter cap sleeve from the yellow top sample below. I did not like the way the elastic looked on the cap sleeve, and removed it in the end. It is more comfortable for my chubby arms without it.
I have not had a ton of luck with Butterick patterns. I find them inconsistent in sizing.
With the peasant top completed, I still had a bit more fabric leftover to create a second top. I thought about making a second version of the peasant, but ultimately decided that I didn't really like the pattern as-is. B-bye! Enter Simplicity 1693...

A simple high-low top supported by bias binding. I used the same bias binding on both tops. Except this one is turned inside at the neck and arm opening for support. The sheerness of the cotton allowed the peach bias tape color to show through, and added a nice touch. But I had problems with my fabric puckering from the stiff bias tape. Sigh...

Here's a close up of the fabric and neck area. (Excuse my puckers.) Both of these tops were essentially muslins, that I whipped up like Speedy Gonzales. After adding more water to my iron, the steam straightened out a lot of the puckers. 
Not so proud of my speed sewing, but here's the thing...no one seemed to notice. This Simplicity pattern looked a bit hum-drum at first, but the simple lines helps highlight fancy fabrics. Look at the many variations below. I think this pattern is a keeper. It fits straight out of the package. The only thing I would change is the back hook and eye opening. The neckline is big enough for my version that it does not need an opening at all. I wouldn't suggest skipping it with the collar version though. At least not on the first try. My version only had two pattern pieces, and the only necessary notion is bias tape (and hook and eye if needed).
I made the simple collarless moss green tank.
I've already worn both tops a couple of times already. I admit that I love the peachy color on my skin. If only it didn't remind me of bridesmaid dresses from the 80s. I have a burnt orange Swiss dot cotton in my stash that I'm thinking of turning into another variation. But it might have to wait a couple of weeks. There's a new Vogue pattern prepped and ready for fabric cutting. If all goes well, and I'm not too distracted, I hope to have the new project done by this weekend. I just started picking up Saturday half-day shifts, so there goes one quarter of my weekend. Second sigh... Happy sewing!