Another Springfield

Still coming right along with Me Made May. Today’s choice is a brand new Springfield top that I sewed just this morning. Cupcake fabric, just because. Nobody will ever accuse me of being mature for my age, and I’m just fine with that.

This time I went down a size in the bust, to a 20 E/F, but graded out to the same size as last time in waist and hips and I’m pleased with the fit. It doesn’t gap under the arms anymore and covers my bra better.

It’s such a fast project – took me about two hours start to finish, with a break in the middle to drive my latest foster cat to her new forever home.

I don’t talk it about it often on here, but I’m involved with animal shelters & rescue and have been for around a decade. I’ve fostered dozens and dozens of cats, from bottle babies right up to senior kitties. I haven’t been able to do it recently because of the pandemic situation, but I’ve spent years taking photos of adoptable cats – and sometimes dogs, too. It’s difficult at times but so, so rewarding.

I wonder if I should start posting some rescue photos here. Hmm. I also wonder what I should sew next – another Webster (looks like I forgot to post the first one here) or the Holyoke I’ve been planning for months.

Me Made May, and a new top

So Me Made May is in full swing and I’m pleased to be participating this year. I’ve actually managed, thus far, to keep up with photographing my daily outfits and putting them on Instagram, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone else’s makes, too.

Most of the things I’m wearing this month have been made over the past year, but of course I’ve got to sneak in a few new ones as well. Like this Springfield that I made a few days ago. Please excuse my “selfie in the rain” face and focus on the top, which turned out cute as hell (in my opinion, of course).

As far as alterations, I had to raise the bust dart by an inch (standard for me with Cashmerette), and I graded from a 22 E/F to a 24 at the waist/hip. I’m contemplating going down to a 20 E/F for the bust – and still grading the same for waist/hip – next time, because I find it sags some under the arms. I like tops to be rather fitted in the bust. Thankfully Cashmerette has great finished measurements charts to make choosing a size easier.

And that brings me to a bit of a gripe, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before. It drives me absolutely bonkers when I cannot access finished measurements for any given pattern. It’s likely because I’m so short and round, but I find clothing with too much ease, while looking great on taller people, makes me look just… sloppy, I guess. I don’t like the way I look or feel when there’s a ton of ease. Finished measurements charts are therefore gold to me, because going by my measurements alone is often not enough.

A good example is Springfield – my measurements technically put me in a 26 waist/hip, but I find that the 24 waist/hip fits with the amount of ease that I like when I’m working with wovens that don’t have a lot of drape. I was exactly in-between the bust measurement for the 22 E/F and 20 E/F – I rounded up, but it turns out I probably should have rounded down.

And I just realised I grouched about this in my very last post. Oops.

Next time, in addition to sizing, I’m likely going to narrow the neckline a bit. I find the straps a little thin when it comes to hiding a bra, and wider straps will also make it a little more work appropriate – less of a tank top vibe.

Back to the sewing machine I go.

A Montrose, and Sewing Plans

So I may possibly have fallen down the stairs at work and sprained my hip. I spent the first few days in a blanket nest on the sofa, until restlessness took over and I figured out how to adjust my sewing workspace so I can buzz around the room in my desk-chair-on-wheels.

Late last night I sewed this quick-and-simple Montrose top. Please ignore the substandard indoor photos (stil trying to figure out what to do about those for the winter) and the it’s-5-am-and-I-don’t-want-to-be-awake face.

I’ve made a bunch of these but this is the first time I had enough fabric (I used to be a chronic underbuyer) to make the elbow length sleeves – and I love them! I feel like they look better on me than the short sleeves.

I’m always impressed by how well Cashmerette patterns are drafted. The sleeves on the Montrose are the simplest to ease in I’ve ever sewn, even using the full bicep piece instead of the standard sleeve. I’ve made two Pembrokes, and I have the pattern for the Holyoke and Upton – those are both on the list to sew soon. I meant to sew an Upon with some cute fabric I picked up, green with white snowflakes and red cardinals, but I’m likely not going to get it done before Christmas, which is when I planned to wear it. Oops.

I’m a little frustrated with sewing for myself right now, to be honest, because my size has been changing. I’m hesitant to make new things but, also, all I want to do is make new things. I don’t want to use my best fabrics, though, and then end up with something that doesn’t fit in a couple of months. It’s a dilemma. What do you all do when you’re going through a period of size change and still want to sew?

Pembroke & Victory

Two new makes today!

 

First, a slightly-hacked Pembroke tunic. I shortened it a lot, then changed the neck binding to a band to match the sleeves; I added a band to the bottom, too, instead of hemming, for a more sweatshirt-y kind of vibe. The fabric is a soft, stretchy french terry from l’oiseau fabrics and it is pajama-level comfortable.

You know, stripe matching is immensely satisfying when it works, but it’s also a right pain in the arse. Especially when said stripes are watercolour-style ‘painted’ ones that vary in width and colour. I managed to match them up really well all things considered… and then I tried on the top to discover that, for some unfathomable reason, it was a bit too snug. So those nicely-coordinated seams got ripped out so I could insert a narrow strip down each side. I cut the stripes vertically on the inserts because a) design element, and b) nope, not matching those things again.

My second top of the day is a Victory tank, and I hacked it a little bit, too, though it doesn’t show. The tank as drafted is fully lined, but because I was short on fabric I cut an all-in-one facing instead. I wasn’t even sure if it was going to work, because I’d never sewn an all-in-one before let alone cut one freehand, but it worked fine and I think the burrito method is my new best friend.

I’ve already finished another one of these and cut out two more. With or without the v-straps it’s definitely going to become a wardrobe staple – it fits well and I love the swingy hem.

I’m on vacation this week – it’s a staycation, of course, but I’m absolutely all right with that. I plan to do a lot of sewing and a lot of writing, and other than that, well, I’ll just see what comes my way.

Foxy, and: Release the Kraken!

Another overcast day and I’m still doing the timer-and-scramble technique with the camera since I’m remote-less at the moment. I’m also still on a Montrose kick, as I’m the type of person who, when she finds a pattern she likes and that fits well, wants to make one in every colour and every print in existence.

Yes, the hems pull up in the front, likely because of my protruding belly. I don’t hate the look of it, on me, so I’m not yet in a hurry to make adjustments to counter it.

It doesn’t show well in the photo but the black-and-orange print has little foxes! I loved both fabrics as soon as I saw them (I’m a sucker for cute/fun prints) but there was just a metre and a half left on the fox bolt so I used a scrap of black cotton for the sleeves. I also used store-bought bias tape for the neckline, which isn’t my favourite as it tends to be stiffer than I’d like.

I’m thinking about my next projects, now, and being super-indecisive. I have no problems grading between sizes – it’s necessary for a good fit, for me – but I often find myself balking at grading up entire patterns when they don’t come in my size. Not because I can’t, but because I’d rather support pattern makers who include me in their measurements. That gets difficult, at times, because I’m often at the upper edge of even so-called plus-size sewing patterns.

Leafy Montrose Hack

The universe tried to defeat me today as far as photos go. It was cold and windy with a thick layer of grey cloud, and I had equipment issues, to boot. I misplaced the quick-release plate from my tripod, so the only real option I had was the edge of the parking lot where I could set my camera on a car; then the remote refused to work so I had to resort to setting a ten-second timer and scrambling into place after each click.

Issues aside – yay, I have a new dress! It’s a Montrose hack. I lengthened the hem and flared it some, gave it a mild high-low cut, then added elastic and a fabric tie belt to the underbust. I should have traced the edited pattern pieces before putting the dress together, but I didn’t think about it at the time, so if I decide to make another in the same style (which I likely will) I’ll have to pin the dress out and trace from there.

I swore I was not going to be that person who puts a photo of her cats in every post, but Parker’s asleep face-down on a pile of seersucker and it’s the cutest thing.