Saturday, September 28, 2013

Butterick 5356

I made another top! I sewed Butterick 5356, which is a nice loose-fitting top.

If you have been to the Fabricana in Richmond lately, this top might look a little familiar. My friend and I saw the same top on display and we liked it so much, that we both decided to make our own. And I loved the fabric pairings, so I went and made mine in the exact same fabrics. lol

I made View C, but with the shorter length of the other views.

  • Printed satin for main fabric
  • Bamboo rayon knit for contrast
  • Seam binding lace
  • Tread


Butterick 5356 

The pattern really was an easy one. There are only 5 pieces including the sash.

I made a size S, knowing that a size M (what I should be according to the size chart would probably be too big). Turns out, I probably could have gone down a whole other size. There is just way too much ease. I find that the top part that is supposed to be more fitted, does not sit properly.  

It was the fabric choices that ended up making this a challenging project. The printed fabric was a bit troublesome at the seams. To make the hemming easier, I copied what was done with the top on display at Fabricana. There, the sewer had used lace to bind the seam. It is machine sewed to the fabric on the right side and then turned inside the shirt and hand sewed.

The printed fabric unravels easily. So, I used faux french seams for the side seams (like I did with my Sewaholic Cambie).

The seams of knit fabric were easier to deal with. Basically, stitch and then trim neatly - this fabric doesn't unravel! 

For the first time, I tried using a twin needed at the arm hems. In the picture above, you can see the reverse of this. It worked, but as you may be able to tell, I should have adjusted my tension a bit more.

What really made sewing the knit possible for me was using a walking foot. My friend was able to sew knits on her newer sewing machine without one, but mine just does not like it. The stitches would end up differeny lengths or stitches would be skipped, etc. The walking foot made a huge difference for me. Now, I can't wait to sew more knits!

I really love this fabric! It feels so good when wearing it. Comfortable and soft all over. I just hope that the fabric pattern isn't too busy. Patterns like these were fashionable recently, but will that last? I guess time will tell.

Well, that is my new top. Unfortunately, my sewing room is a disaster zone right now. So, until I clean that up, no more sewing for a while. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wardrobe Deconstruction Part 2

A few weeks ago I posted about reviewing my wardrobe. I found out how to better mix and match pieces of my wardrobe together. But what now? Now it is the time to kick out the clothing I should get rid of.

I have been pretty good at getting rid of clothing that I hate, but my closet is full and my dresser is bursting. I know I don't wear all of it.

I decided to make a list of clothing I wear and love. I did this later on in the day, when I didn't have recent memories of what is actually in my closet and dresser.

While making the list, I had the concept of 'wardrobe capsules' in my mind. Wardrobe capsules are a set of clothing for a certain part of your life. The concept is handled in great detail on a great blog called You Look Fab.

From You Look Fab... mmm cookie

Basically, for a certain aspect of you lifestyle (eg. work, school, home) you choose around 6 tops, 3 bottoms, shoes, etc. that can all be mixed and matched together to create a versatile wardrobe.

I split my wardrobe into 'work' and 'home' and graded my clothing from hot to cold weather since the temperature changes so much over the year (eg. from shorts to capris to pants). I then tried to limit how many tops and bottoms I had in each category. At the same time, I made note of any gaps ('don't have' in red) and things that needed work ('replace' in purple).

I then went back to my wardrobe and kicked out anything that wasn't on the list. A few of the clothes I couldn't part with, but were not on the list, I wrote down. This means these clothes are on watch (to be kicked out if they don't get worn soon). Also, I made note of any item that was getting worn out by underlining it - now I know what to sew!

It worked! I was easily able to fill a garbage bag of clothes I barely wear (or shouldn't wear - some of my clothes don't look that good on me and I subconsciously know it).

Anyways, I thought I would share that with anyone who is also trying to figure out how to limit their wardrobe. This is another useful step to make sure you don't knit or sew any floaters.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interview with a Garment Worker

I'm sure many of you remember the horrible building collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 1100 garment workers.

Last week, CBC Radio's The Current interviewed a garment worker who survived the collapse so that she could tell her story. They also interviewed an activist in the anti-sweatshop movement to find out what has been done and what is left to do to improve conditions for garment workers in Bangladesh.

If you would like to listen to the broadcast, follow this link.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lush Cardigan

I've finished my Lush cardigan!


This is the second sweater I have ever made for myself (the first being the Acer cardigan).

The cardigan turned out the way I wanted it to. It is nice and fitted with 3/4 length sleeves. The sweater has a beautiful yoke design that wraps around the shoulders. 

I made a size 33, as the pattern recommends to choose a size with 2" of negative ease. It fits very well in the body, but I do find the sleeves a bit tight. I find it hard to get over other shirts with sleeves. It also causes the sweater to be pulled slightly downward off my shoulders unless I button it up. If I make it again, I'm sizing up the sleeves.


Lush Cardigan by Tin Can Knits 

The instructions were very well written and easy to follow. It was a much better experience than the Acer cardigan was (which had poorly written instructions). All of the parts of the sweater were done by picking up stitches; no piecing together afterwards.

The only problem I had was that I read CO as "cast off" and not "cast on" when I was doing the body. It was a very hot day and my brain was just not figuring that out properly. But, that was an easy fix.


  • Rowan Creative Linen (50% Linen, 50% Cotton)
The yarn is surprisingly slightly scratchy, even though it did not seem that way when it was in a skein. But, that might just be because it is still quite warm out. Wearing it and a few washes might also soften it up. It is otherwise very nice yarn in a very lovely yellow.

It can get creased and wrinkled, so big sections of stockinette stitch are not a good idea if you don't like wrinkles. Although, the wrinkles do go away after a few minutes of not being smooshed in a ball.  

 That's it! I'm off to enjoy the warmer weather while it lasts.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Friend's New Look 2886

Just a quick post about my friend's first clothing project. She made herself a dress using New Look 2886.

I helped her out, since it was her first real attempt at sewing clothing (I believe she said that she made boxer shorts back in high school and now she makes stuffed animals aka. plushies).

She made herself 'View C' (which is the dress at the top, left of the pattern envelope front). My friend is a beginner with knowledge on how to use a sewing machine and this pattern was easy for her to put together.

I can't remember exactly what fabrics we used, but the grey fabric is like a georgette and the yellow ribon and trim are like a charmeuse or sateen.


My friend added some bubbles on the dress afterwards, since this dress is part of her Derpy (from My Little Pony) cosplay.

The only alterations we had to make were taking in the bust and waist (as usual, we should have gone a size down from what the package said). My friend also used the 'View C' waistband instead of the pleated waistband that goes with 'View A'. Overall, it was a fun project and my friend had fun making it.

Once more, here we are in our costumes:

I'm Scootaloo in my Cambie dress and my friend is Derpy in her New Look 2886 dress.