Monday, October 7, 2013

FO: Colette Laurel

I FINALLY FINISHED THIS LAUREL.  (capslock is how I feel inside) IT'S BEEN MORE THAN TWO MONTHS IN THE MAKING!!!!1!!@!!  I'm kinda gonna wing it with this post.  Onward...

"Finally Floral Laurel"

Just the Facts:
Fabric:  purchased 1.5 yards of a linen/cotton from Joann's $15 I think (I have a half yard left though!)
Notions:  Thread from stash
Pattern:  Colette Laurel
Year:  modern ~2013
Time to Complete:  FOREVER.  Seriously.  Probably 40 hours over 2 months. :(
First Worn:  October 6, 2013
Wear Again:  yup
Total Cost:  $15.00 + $12 or so for the pattern

We were having crappy weather yesterday.  Thanks Karen!  I was able to snap a few FO pics before the rain really started coming down.  Where to start...?  Okay.  The Laurel pattern seemed like it would be super-simple.  There were so many variations shown as part of the Laurel sewalong/giveaway thing CP did for this pattern's release.  The pattern has a free download available for even more variations.  The Laurel seemed like the perfect "go-to" for woven tops and I was determined to make it work.  I mentioned many posts back about having to make a bunch of adjustments, none of which truly fixed my fit issues.  I found the shoulders, neck, and back fitting class on Craftsy and I started watching that right away.  I saw a Google ad for a $14.99 Craftsy class and I was pissed about how WRONG this project was going.  Click, buy, watch, learn not much that actually helped me...except for one thing:  choose your pattern size based on your high bust and adjust from there.  I had never heard of that before.  The instructor was all, "and how would you like to wear a smaller size?"  Psssh.  Whatever lady.  I've never been a sizeist, but I've also always been tiny.  I don't care if I have to buy an XL at the store or whatever because I know vanity sizing is a thing.  But man, let me tell you, having to cut a size 6 was HARD!  I'm tiny!  I shouldn't have to sew a size 6!  I'm 4'11"!  I weight 105 pounds soaking wet!  I am not a size 6!  I got over it obviously.  The pattern isn't made for someone with shoulders like mine and I had to make adjustments for that.  It just happens those adjustments were easier if I started with the 6. 

I started with my copy paper pattern (yay! instant downloads) and highlighted in pink where I would make my cutting lines.  I went from the 6 on top and graded straight to the 0 after the bust darts.  I kinda figured about where the waistline was and graded from there with my french curve. It seems I don't have a picture of that.  Oopsie.  I like my shirts a bit longer, so I kept the length of the size 6.  I had crazy-bad issues with the darts in the back.  There was TONS of extra fabric back there.  I'll tell you what I did to fix it towards the end of the post.

I used the sleeves from the 6.  I can stretch my arms out in front and it's comfy.  I can flex my muscles and it's comfy.  It's great having sleeves that fit.  ^ has a happy.

I'm not thrilled with this "extra" just near my underarms on the back.  I'm not sure what to do about that because I do need that fabric when I put my arms out in front as above.

I had to do a small bust adjustment, which I did by extending the dart about 3/4" towards the center.  It wasn't hitting the right point on the bust anyway.  I also made the dart a bit wider--1/4" maybe.

The back neckline gaped a bunch when I made my first draft.  I ended up putting some pretend darts up there in order to remove that from the pattern later.  I adjusted 1" total (1/2" per side) so far, but may end up adjusting another 1/2" the next time I make this top.  I have photos and will explain that adjustment further later in the post.

Fun with bias tape! I used the Colette tutorial that is available online and in the CP sewing handbook.  You start with a 10"x10" square and cut on the diagonal.  Then you sew two edges together.

Mark 1" lines on your new parallelogram.  Match your 1" markings, offsetting the first line.  Sew that seam, then cut round and round and you'll have 1" strips that you can shoot through your bias tape maker.
I don't know what was wrong with my bias tape, but it didn't turn out uniform at all when I put it through the bias tape maker.  It was all 1" so I have no idea.  I'm fairly new at sewing with bias tape, so hopefully the making and sewing is something that will improve in time.

For the back contour darts, I started with the dart for the size 6.  I should have started with the 0 since that's what size I was using there, but I didn't.  Whatever.  I had to adjust it anyway.  I pinned some amount of the dart.  First changing what the center was and grading from there.  I ended up taking out 1/4" on each side of dart on the top.  I also lengthened the top leg of the dart, but ended up bringing it back down to the 0 point.  I found out from this website that contour darts should never extend higher than the bustline.  I had originally extended my dart well above the bustline and brought it back down after making another muslin.  You can see I used that purple ink tip pen to put dots along my new dart line.  I wanted those dots to bleed through to the other side to make it easier to connect and transfer the alterations to my paper pattern later.

This is my neckline adjustment.  You are supposed to aim these adjustments toward the shoulder blade.  I don't think I quite made it there.  Oh well.  The first dart I made was wider than I wanted and not in the right place.  I thought it would be better if this adjustment happened right above the contour dart, so that's where I ultimately put it.

Once I was satisfied with all the adjustments and how the garment was fitting, I unpicked all my seams and connected all my dots on the muslin piece.

I then placed the fabric over the pattern piece with a sheet of carbon tracing paper between the layers and used a tracing wheel to mark the adjustments I needed on my paper pattern.

You can see where I had my new dart line--way too high!  I later adjusted it with a different color marker to get it back in the right place.  You can also see where I cut that pretend dart out. In order to bring the neckline back together, I had to slit the side of the pattern open.  I cut cut cut until the paper was laying flat again and put my pretend dart scrap in the hole.  Almost a perfect fit!  I removed a bit more from the neckline than I added to the side.

Blurry close up of that.

I did the math and it seemed like I wouldn't have to add anything to the front.  (Normally if you lengthen one side, you have to lengthen the other.  In my case, the pieces still lined up perfectly.) The last thing I had to do before cutting my fashion fabric was true up my grainline on the back pattern piece.

I was having a hard time marking the pattern with my traditional marking implements, so I used chalk.  It worked like a charm. This is actually the back of the fabric.  Can't see nothing on there!

Another unconventional method of marking!  I cut my dart out of the paper and traced with the same chalk.  

That's it for this project!  This one was intense.  I started feeling defeated a couple weeks ago, but I did it!  I'll be back tomorrow with another Make This Look!


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