Tuesday, 18 February 2014

It makes your boobs look noticeable. But in a good way.



You really can't beat a good husband comment on homemade clothes, can you? I'm going to take a leaf out of Heather's book and start including them in all my pattern reviews.  The pattern in this case being (again) the Lady Skater, most other comments of substance are already out there in the blogosphere somewhere, anyway.

It makes my boobs look noticeable. But in a good way!

Begging the myriad questions: what do they normally look like? Not noticeable? (Given their proportions, this would amaze me). Noticeable, in a bad way?? Would that be better or worse than the not-noticeable option?

In the interests of science, here's a side-on display. OF THE DRESS. You don't have to notice my boobs (or do you?? Is that what he meant?)




So anyway, I cut two of these dresses out at once, and then took my time sewing them up whenever I had a moment - it was quite nice to have a couple of easy projects on the go, just ready to pick up here and there.  It was also an interesting process as the fabrics are very different from each other - which resulted in two very different sewing experiences, and two very different dresses. They're clearly the same pattern, but the style and the fit varies considerably between the two.




On the left, we have some fleece-backed sweatshirting, very stable with minimal 2-way stretch.  On the right is a 4-way-stretch printed viscose with a rather beautiful drape and lovely soft feel.

Now obviously, I was expecting a lot swishier dress with the viscose, and that's what I got. What I didn't expect so much - though perhaps I should have, if I'd thought about it - was how the weight of the fabrics affected the bodice fit. The viscose hangs heavier and stretches vertically too; this not only produces the apparently noticeable and definitely flattering bosom-skimming effect, but also means the waistline sits lower. The sweatshirt fabric, however, is pretty light and doesn't stretch downwards at all. And although the second dress looks fine, I actually find the waistline sits ever so slightly too high for comfort.

Which is ever so slightly annoying, because comfort was precisely the point of making a fleece-lined, throw-it-on-and-go sweatshirt dress. But I nonetheless wear it a lot, because it is 100% lifestyle perfect.




Now let's talk about the finishings on this one, because I like them, and let's face it, garment finishing details are the money shots of sewing blogs really, aren't they? (And let's see what that sentence and all this discussion of noticeable boobs does to my traffic stats).  Here's the neckline:




I had unthinkingly pressed the seam allowance up instead of down before topstitching it with a twin needle - and almost immediately regretted that I had done this on the inside, not the outside of the neckline. That thin peek of the neckband from behind the overlocked seam would look great on the other side of the dress, don't you think? In this case I definitely prefer it to the look of the plain neckband the dress ended up with. It'd need suitably coloured serger thread, but I think I'll be doing this deliberately on t-shirts sometime soon.

At the opposite end of things, here's the hem:




This was a miraculous confluence of gadgets that produced a PERFECT hem finish - and I can confirm that it pretty much always works wonderfully, as it's become my default knit hem technique.  I use a twin needle, which of course means that you have to sew on the right side of the garment and thus can't see the raw edge of your folded-up hem. So, I use a magnetic seam gauge and line up the fabric's folded edge against it so that when you sew, the left hand one of the twin needles falls very slightly over (i.e. to the left of) the hem's raw edge. On the left of the photo you can see what the finished hem will look like on the inside. All round gorgeous!

Then finally, of course, we have sleeve cuffs. I love sleeve cuffs :-)




So, there you have it: two Lady Skater dresses that are each a marvellous addition to my everyday wardrobe!  I feel like I'm having a winning run of wearable clothes at the moment - how long can it last, I wonder?? At any rate, I hope it holds until I get my Papercut hoodie done - all cut out and ready, I hope to be wearing it this weekend. And if I'm really lucky, after that perhaps I'll get a successful Archer shirt made before my streak of sewing success runs out...

What are you working on right now?  And do you have any favourite knit hem tips & techniques to share?

Happy sewing, friends!


21 comments:

  1. Those innards are very nice indeed.and I agree that the neckline would look super cool on the other side. This lady skater is a great dress for you and your boobs :) Can't wait to see your hoodie.

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  2. Felt faint after the money shots! ;-) Beautiful finishing … just a need to know … what space is your twin needle? Looks far nicer and wider spaced than mine. You're not the only one to suffer at the hands of a four way stretch on this pattern either … I ended up chopping out over 4 inches on the bodice length. Do you mind if I steal your idea of a cosy version in sweatshirting fabric … looks lush.

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  3. great fit! of course we need shots of the innards. we are sewing nerds after all!

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  4. thanks Kirsty! Hoping to get the hoodie done soon!

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  5. Hi! I meant to comment on your post about that - I think the bodice is quite long, as lots of people have done that. I shortened it about 2" but would add a little bit back on in less stretchy fabrics. As for the twin needle, my local shops has them in 2 sizes, 2.5mm and 4mm. The wider ones are labelled "stretch" which is actually the main reason I use them - I used to get skipped stitches and tangled bobbin thread when I tried using the narrow (non-stretch) ones. But yes, I prefer the look of the wider space too!

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  6. These are both lovely, and great finishes. I've made a couple of these too and my second version, out of a ribbed knit was the incredible growing dress: the hem, waistband, neckline,, all just kept getting longer.. *sigh*. Love the hubby comment too. When I was making a drape drape top recently my partner told me "that looks like you've made a huge mistake" . I think I'll use that as my blog post title!

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  7. LOL. Love your husband's comment! And, yes to garment finishing shots!! More! MOAR!! I'm often more proud of the inside than the outsides of my makes. Love yours too.

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  8. I really like the grey one! Would look gorgeous with a nice bright scarf or necklace too, but I am a grey girl. I too love the double needle, the other thing I do is either glue then hem down (err yes sometimes with normal kids glue stick) or use steam-a-seam which helps to prevent that little ridge forming between the two lines of stitching. But I also recently had a knit hem epiphany recently and realised if you are hemming a seam that doesn't need to stretch (like your dress hemline) you can just do 2 rows of straight stitching, which means you can stitch from the wrong side! So excited by that! :)

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  9. i'm drooling over your hem. and your leafy print. and your theorizin' on hubby's comment (though that last one is due to excessive giggling).

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  10. Good notice-ability then :) the inside finishes look fabulous. No knot tips whatsoever. A bit scared of them myself. I am making a dress. In theory. I have the fabric and have changed my mind about the pattern 4 times now. Or is it 5?

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  11. Thanks Marcy - my print hero! I aspire one day to your levels of mix&match!

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  12. oh goodness, I can just imagine the forever-stretching dress! Is it fixable?? I hope so, what a shame if not! And it's so difficult sometimes for husbands to see the true potential of makes isn't it? Even when they're finished...

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  13. Yeah exactly! And it's not like you can show people in real life who don't get it - hey look at my binding!

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  14. secret glue-stick user here too! It's handy for holding zips in place without pins, too :-)

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  15. Good luck with it! Best thing is just to jump in I reckon!

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  16. whoa! What is a magnetic seam gauge? If it's making pretty hems Imust have one, even though I don't really know what it does yet.

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  17. Such flattering dresses. That red fabric is gorgeous. And such perfect finishing too!

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  18. Love the dresses! I was referredcto your dress by Kitschy Coo's Amanda, after my inquiry if sweatshirt-fleece would work for a Lady Skater. So thanks for the tips, I'm going to try it out. And your finishing is fabulous!

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  19. Hi Nienke! It totally does work, but having had more experience wearing mine now, I'd definitely suggest checking the stretch of your fabric carefully. Mine has very little stretch and actually because of that I wish I had sized up in the bodice. But apart from that it's really comfy - and some sweatshirting is much stretchier, so it'll depend a bit. Good luck with yours! It's such a great pattern and it does make a brilliant sweatshirt dress :-)

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