Simplicity 2846: Drumband Batik

necklineThis was my personal favourite of all the pieces made for Miss V over the last couple of weeks.  She brought me a sarong, which apparently all the house mothers and grandmothers wear while going about their daily chores in the village she is working/living in for the next few years.  But she cannot wear a sarong wrapped around her as her only covering as she teaches English and goes about her daily duties, and she thought it would be nice to have it made into a dress.  She would be able to wear it while working and it would also showcase the batik in a way that would be pretty and interesting for the women around her to see, especially made up “western style”.  I chose Simplicity 2846 because the design would give plenty of room for letting the batik speak for itself.  It was also a nice change from the other dresses I’d made for her with the pleated neckline and cap sleeves.

The batik is made of cotton.  It’s not waxed, so it’s not a ‘true’ batik in that sense. She gave me an orange version, which is still in it’s package. packaged I think it must be a mass-produced item.  And I cannot find anything about this particular batik anywhere online.  Miss V’s red batik has a little trademark printed as part of the design.batik If you’re more google savvy than I or know something about this, please share it in the comments! I’d love to know more about it.  Anyways, the fabric came stitched with one flat felled seam up what is supposed to be the back of the sarong, so I took it apart and used that cross grain border up the CB zipper.S2846 backIt’s about 2mm off, of all the annoying things, and I just couldn’t be bothered doing it again.  The cotton is very tightly woven and softened up a bit after washing, but I didn’t line the dress at all.  To my mind, if these get worn alone in hot sticky places on the planet, then it would hold up well as an unlined garment even in the worst of hot humid weather.  I did not hem it – just left the selvedge as the hem edge – but I did bind all the seams with narrow bias self-binding.  I forgot to take a pic of the inside, but it looks very clean and pretty.S2846I’m so in love with this dress that I intend to use the orange batik for my own version next summer.  It makes me happy just looking at it on Vintage Judy! And that’s the last of Miss V’s clothing!  I’ve muslined my LFJ and am not happy with the fit of it, and have cut another pair of (blue) jeans for myself and an interesting Marfy jacket for my DD3, who needs something other than a ski jacket to wear during the coming cold months when she’s dressed up a bit.  Lots more fun to keep me busy. 🙂  A happy sewing day to all of you!

Sewaholic Love

Cambie winI’m finishing up all my summer sewing so I can start on the fall things that I’m wanting to make.  In my stack of items was a Cambie from Sewaholic Patterns.  I bought this because it’s a Canadian company, and I will support everything Canadian made as much as I possibly can, and Tasia drafts for a large hip:waist ratio which I wanted to check out.

Well, peeps, I really like this pattern.  This is the first pattern EVER that I have not had to alter from the waist down.  It fit as a straight size.  I’m still rather in a state of disbelief.  Really?  I don’t have to alter anything?  And it fits without tweaking!!!

Cambie loveI did have to completely redraft the bodice, which was easy to do with my DT double.  Drape, slash, add gingham and transfer to paper pattern.  Why did I sew for so long without a double?

I used a lovely cotton batik with bemberg lining, both from my stash.  And the zipper was from stash, too!  Bonus!  This was a very straight forward sew.  The instructions were easy to follow and the dress went together perfectly.  The only change I made was to eliminate the pockets from the skirt front. Pockets are not a necessity in my life, and I don’t like the extra padding around my hips.  So I used the front skirt lining pattern as my skirt pattern, and it worked brilliantly.

I wasn’t 100% sure about the sweetheart neckline on this dress.  I’ve read every review and looked at probably every single Cambie in SewingBlogLand, but I just don’t see myself as a sweetheart type of girl.  This dress changed my mind!.  Nothing sickeningly sweet about this neckline at all.  It’s modest and there’s no gaping, and the shape is flattering and soft, unlike a straight neckline would be.

The proportions are good on this dress, too.  I am super pleased, and look forward to more Cambies in my closet.  And more Sewaholic patterns are in my queue. Cambie blue

Batik Exercise No. 2

I’ve so many ideas working through my mind these days that I feel quite stumped.  Where to begin?  I seem to have no discipline to sit down and work out the ideas so they become 3D wearable garments.  I am so easily distracted by reading blog posts, various household tasks, my children’s shenanigans and the sunshine outside.  It’s hard to sew singlemindedly when your sewing corner is in the basement somewhere and the sun is baking the world outside the windows….  Sigh.

anyways……  My goal this year was to work through my stash (and something about fit), and this batik was a purchase from last summer, I believe, from EmmaOneSock.  I really liked the colours, and thought it would be fun to have something in my closet made from batik.  There was only one yard and a bit, so I knew it would be a short summer sheath dress.

I used the bodice from Vogue 8469, did my usual FBA (actually, this is one of the rare patterns in my life where I actually cut and fit a proper muslin for the bodice and then folded, ironed and returned it to the pattern envelope for future use) and shortened the back bodice by 2 inches, tapering to nothing at the sides.  Yes, I am that ridiculously short-waisted and sway-backed.  I left the waistband the original width, hoping that I could take the length out of the bodice pieces only.  Not quite.  You can see from the side seam wrinkles in the picture below that I should have shortened the entire bodice by the usual 2 inches, but I didn’t this time for some unknown reason (sewing late at night?).

Unfortunately, it was still too long, and because I still don’t have a dress form that mimics my shape well, I asked DH to please help me with the fitting.  Well, he carefully pinned the excess out of the CB seam (I hadn’t put the zip in yet), and critiqued the resulting fit with a very accurate eye, I may say.  He suggested that the waistband was too wide – the proportion was off – so I shortened it by 5/8″ all around and took in the side bodice seams by about 1/2″, tapering to nothing at the waist.  The bottom of the waistband sits at my natural waist in the back only, by the way.  It sits above my natural waist by about 1 inch at the centre front.

I must say he was quite picky with fitting the back, and commented that “there were still wrinkles” after he’d adjusted and pinned everything out so that the front fit properly.  I honestly wasn’t too worried about it and trusted to his judgement.  Actually, truth be known, I wanted this thing done and ready to wear and really didn’t care if the fit wasn’t dead-on-perfect.  I didn’t shorten the hem, although I think it should be shorter, because I’m sure it will shrink over the multiple washings it will endure over the summer.  We’ll see…

As I didn’t have an invisible zipper, I went with a lapped zip insertion, which worked just fine.  I trimmed the seam allowances off the neckline and armscyes because I wanted to bind them in the remnants from the batik romper made earlier this week.  I just really liked the blues in that fabric and wanted to use it as a contrast for the rusty batik.  I honestly thought I’d end up with an incredibly ugly dress, but I’m kinda liking it’s oddness.

I didn’t line the bodice.  I thought, “Why bother when I’m binding the edges, anyways?” although I did line the skirt.  The skirt is the straight skirt pattern from Vogue 2864.  I can’t draft, but I can piece things together from a variety of patterns!  I decided I’d leave the side slits as originally intended, and lined the skirt to the top of them with bemberg.  It’s kind of a ridiculously short lining:  there’s barely enough length to sit on it, but I really psychologically need the extra layer of lining.  It just makes the garment feel finished in my mind, y’know?   The only other finishing touches I added were strap keepers at the shoulder seams and a thread loop for the hook closure at the CB neckline.

Batik Burda Jumpsuit

Newest summer schlepping addition for DD1’s wardrobe is a jumpsuit.   Um… I remember these things from when I was her age – only they were in terry-cloth and called rompers.  I also remember wanting one.  Did I actually ever wear one?  I honestly can’t remember, although there is a sneaking suspicion in the back of my mind that I did wear for one summer as a young teen.

Anyways, this was a much-desired piece for her summer wardrobe wear this year, and yes, the batik was the required fabric for it.  It’s not the most ideal fabric for this garment – something flimsier and drapey-er would have been much better.  Hopefully it will soften up with washings.  The batik is actually quite beautiful with every shade of blue from cobalt to dark teal to navy hovering around.  And it’s a very stable fabric, so whipping this little number together took all of a couple of hours.  Pressing it was the most fun, too.  I don’t know about you, but I really like how different fabrics have their own peculiar scent.  Silks and wools are heavenly.  It’s like a waft of perfume sometimes as I work with them.  Linen doesn’t seem to have a scent, and I’m not going to talk about polyester types.  But this batik took the award for scents.  Every time I pressed it I smelled hot wax.  :0

We used the jumper pattern from Burda’s April issue, which shows it in two lengths and is modeled in  washed silk or batiste.  Very different from the cotton batik we used.I cut a straight size 38, mostly because DD1 does not like tight fitting clothes for play, and she is horribly afraid this will shrink in the wash.  Besides, I think she’s hoping she can wear it for summers to come.   We shortened the length of the shorts by about 4 inches.  The original Burda pattern is quite long – Bermuda length or pant length with elasticized ankles.It was a super easy pattern to sew up.  The pockets are set in the side seams, and the waist and top band are elasticized.  Not much fitting required, and that means a fast job.  At least I liked the fabric on this one….  🙂