April 13, 2012

Wrap Shirt

After tackling clothes to sleep in (low risk - very few people see them) I have moved on to sewing  clothes to wear in the light of day!

To begin, I chose a pattern from Simple Modern Sewing. This book is full of simple Japanese designs; intended to be loose fitting, perhaps a bit on the boxy side (ie, not really designed for hips or bust). I chose the wrap shirt pattern shown on the cover because it wasn't too complex (no buttons, zippers, or real sleeves), and it I felt it could be tailored to fit my curvy shape.

I also chose it because they included this outfit suggestion in the book, and the entire outfit was definitely something I'd wear (though I haven't worn distressed jeans since the 90's, and I'm much more inclined to wear boots instead of loafers, I still liked the overall look).

Only problem is that finding the wool gauze they suggested is very difficult. I finally settled on cotton gauze from Dharma Trading company. At $6.65 a yard, it's cheap and dyeable, which means I can make my shirt any color.

The hardest part of this project was actually creating the pattern pieces. Unlike the paper patterns in One-Yard Wonders, which uses different colors/line weights to differentiate the overlapped pattern pieces, this book uses the exact same line color and weight for the overlapped pieces!


It was like figuring out a puzzle to determine which lines I had to trace and I had to keep referencing back to the book to memorize the outline. I found the only way to keep my relative sanity was to outline my lines with a highlighter pen. I then used freezer paper to trace over those highlighted lines. Ultimately I made some mistakes, but luckily I caught them before it was too late.

Here it is, in all it's white glory! I still need to dye this, but since summer is coming (maybe?) I may leave it white for awhile and dye it in the fall.

I so enjoyed the accomplishment of sewing this shirt that I actually decided to do it again.
I  purchased some lightweight fabric from Bolt to create a second version. In this version I lengthened the peplum skirt a little, and added cap sleeves in place of the french sleeves. I also added a "tag" to the shirt. Not really necessary on this (it's pretty clear which is the front and which is the back) but it does seem to look a little more finished. And I like the pop of the orange against the green when it's hanging up.

The sleeves turned out to be the most tedious part, and they are a little tight (hard to lift my arms up all the way). For future plans I'd keep the rest of the pattern at the same size (XS) but use bigger sleeves.

That said, these patterns tend to run very loose (I'm not usually XS). Since I like my clothes a little more fitted, I went down in size. XS may have been a little tight, so if I choose to make a 3rd one, I'll try the S size.

I think I'm done with this pattern now - time to move on to something new.

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