Saturday, December 31, 2011

New camera, meet New Look 6071

Somehow I convinced myself that a Canon Rebel EOS T3i is essential to my consulting work in the coming year. Well, it is true that I will be photographing pretty much the entire inventory of The House of Fabrics in preparation for creating a new website for them, so I guess it wasn't an enormous stretch.

These photos are from my husband, who is a good photographer but not a good fashion photographer. The camera still makes them look pretty good. Excited!!!

New Look 6071 is part of the Fall 2011 collection. It's a criss-cross design with a slight empire effect.

Funny facial expression below. The fabric is an ITY polyester knit from FabricMart. This was part of an order from one of their recent 30% off sales. After the discount, I think the fabric must have been about $5.50 per yard. I liked the russet tone of this brown. It's a little brighter than the more common dark brown.

Here's a better view of the neckline. New Look's instructions for constructing this crossover were very clear and un-hard. The only thing that I would do differently (and did in fact pull out and do differently this time) from their instructions is to tack the center fullness after attaching the crossover pieces at the sides. If you do the center first, it's very hard to judge how much fullness to pull through the slot for the pieces to drape nicely.

A problem with New Look for me is that so many of their patterns start at size 10, and that is too big. This one started at 8, which worked out fine, but I would have preferred to have the six for the shoulder and neck area. I tapered to the 10 below the waist. Other adjustments included narrowing the sleeve by 3/4" on either side at the wrist (tapered to the original seam line at the elbow), shortening the sleeve 1", taking a 1" swayback tuck at the back waist and then adding 1" to the center back hemline (tapering to nothing at the sides). I think that's all! On my next version, I plan to remove about 1/2" on either side of the back neck seam to tighten up the neck area.

Oh, and of course this dress is far too low cut to wear sans camisole. I made a little matching one using Kwik Sew 3115. This was the first time I had used the camisole pattern from this envelope, and I was unsure about the size. I knew the circumference of the XS would be tiny, but I was worried about the width of the chest. Went with the XS. There is a shelf bra in this pattern. Ha ha ha. I had to cut that right out--it was way too tiny and tight. But the width of the chest was still actually too wide from arm pit to arm pit. Next time I will reduce that 1/2" on each side...and then add some room through the waist. And a whole lot of length (like, 3") to the bra component, if I use it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Fellowship Cloak

 There wasn't a great deal of right-up-to-the-last-minute Christmas sewing this year (though if there had been the pajama situation would be improved), but the important thing got made. That's five yards of Shetland wool fabric from Fabric Mart.

My first attempt, based on my own interpretation of how such a cloak ought to be made, was a failure. Off to the internet, which I should have consulted first. The wonderful instructions here did the trick and had me slapping my forehead at my ill-conceived original approach. The cloak is cut in a huge half-circle, with the front edges on the selvedge, and a circular hole cut out for the neck. The long pointy hood is constructed from four kite-shaped pieces.

During the sewing, I had to keep trying it on, as swirling about the room was so much fun. The amazing qualities of the bias are very much at work in this simple garment.