Thursday, May 22, 2014


Week #4 of Season #4 of Project Sewn is upon us, which means Signature Style Week.  Last time around I was trying to figure out my signature style.  As I sew along this season I am including all the elements they suggest for the challenge: Showcase your style, your strengths, and your personal sewing preferences.

For the style element I chose the super bold chessboard print.  Black and white are great colors for me and I love to wear them because then I can accessorize with pretty much any color under the sun.  Or I can keep to black and white for a more chic look.  The chessboard pattern can be pretty overbearing but I actually feel a boost of confidence wearing it.  The fabric is the Racing Flag Check (I prefer to say chessboard) knit from Girl Charlee.  I wouldn't normally have chosen the shirt pattern I used because it was so plain.  But I couldn't get it off my mind.  When I saw the fabric I instantly thought of the pattern because the funnel neck gives it such a mod feel.  It felt like it was meant to be.

The sewing strengths I am showcasing are invisible zippers and stripe matching for the top, as well as determination for the pants.  I can honestly say I've gotten pretty good at those things.  The top has an invisible zipper at the neckline and, obviously, more squares and lines than you would want to count.  It's fussy that way.  The pants, on the other hand, are simply glad I haven't thrown them into the "donate" pile before now.  Those pants have been problematic since the very beginning and never quite fit as well as I'd originally hoped.  They pulled in a bit too much at the waist.  I couldn't give up on the idea of the pants so I made them work.
Those are pieced raglan sleeves.  Can you find the seam down the center of my arm?
Finally, my personal sewing preferences.  I love to try new and difficult things.  I think I hate new and difficult things while I'm in the process.  As soon as I'm done, though, I always feel really good about having conquered a new skill.  The new thing for the top was using a downloadable pattern from BurdaStyle.  For the pants the new procedure was turning regular pants into maternity pants.
The end of the invisible zipper.  The white you see is fabric print , not thread or a hole.
The pattern for the top (BurdaStyle 02/2012 #127) was not difficult to construct.  I omitted the pockets, figuring they'd be more useful in the dress than in a top.  The problem was in getting the check pattern to match.  Because the design is printed rather than woven in, the checks don't necessarily match up when the grain does.  I decided to take a chance and make the fabric do weird things during layout, hoping against hope that it wouldn't end up a big waste of material.  Lucky for me, it worked out great.  Even after I gave it 24 hours to hang out I still didn't need to do anything to even up the hem.  Sweet!  What I had really wanted to do was make a perfect pattern match in the front for an uninterrupted check pattern.  The center front seam is curved to make room for a growing belly, so a pattern match on the front was not possible.  But on the shoulder seam of the raglan sleeves?  Well...that was pretty good, if I say so myself.
Shown without the ribbon tie, for days I don't want anything around my waist.  It also gives a good view of the line down the center front.
Now on to the pants.  I really wanted to love them after I made them last year.  They just weren't quite comfortable enough for me to ever wear.  I was determined to make them work.  Well, if I wanted comfy pants then there isn't anything much more comfortable than maternity pants.  The Secret Fit belly from Motherhood Maternity is my very favorite.  I have a pair of jeans with that belly that is no longer wearable. The back seam of pants tend to blow out when they are traded back and forth between two people and at least five (possibly six) pregnancies.  Now my purple pants have a navy waist on them and I couldn't be happier about it.  I love loving to wear things I've made, particularly when I spent so much time trying to get them to work in the first place.  If I only get to wear them for the next five months, then so be it.
Marking the pants for their new waistline...and apparently not wearing my wedding ring.
Using this Burda pattern has helped me get over the distaste I felt for them after the blue shorts disaster.  I will be adding ribbon gussets to the shorts to make them fit properly.  I can't give up on them yet, but I need a little break from them.  Ever have a project like that?

The shirt fit quite well, though the fact that it is a maternity top may have had something to do with it.  I'm not in love with having to print and assemble the pattern before cutting it out and then tracing the pieces to add seam allowances, but that's part of a PDF pattern.  I generally stick to paper patterns and just cut once.
And there you have this season's signature style.  It's bold, it features procedures I'm good at, and it gave me a new challenge.  I feel comfortable and confident in it, which was kind of a surprise.  The shirt was in my bag as I went to a doctor appointment today.  I was too nervous to actually wear it.  I put the shirt on to take pictures at my mom's work and then just left it on before I went to the store because I didn't feel like changing.  Before I went in the store I was nervous about the top's boldness again.  Once I was around people it only took half a second before I felt better.  Maybe better isn't a strong enough word.  I felt good enough that I started to...strut.  Just a little bit.  That means this shirt's a winner in my book.  Checkmate!

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1 comment:

  1. What a fun shirt! It looks good on you. Bold is great and I applaud you for going bold. I would love for you to link up at my linky party, which is all about sewing for ourselves.