Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Activewear Contest 2015

2015 Activewear

I can't think of a better way to kick off the New Year than sewing for the Pattern Review Activewear Contest.
I decided to sew a complete outfit consisting of a hoodie, a top and pants. Boring, you say? Wait till you see the hoodie.

It's asymmetrical!

Now check out the top.
It's reversible front to back!

Take a closer look at the fabric.

How cool is that? It's the map of the Middle Earth. It is a performance knit fabric I ordered from Spoonflower.com. 

Finally the pants.
Okay it's just two pairs of pants.

I used three patterns for this activewear "wardrobe."

For the hoodie, I used EYMM (Everything Your Mama Made) Asymmetrical Hoodie pattern,
It was my first time using a pattern from this brand and I encountered some minor nuances while sewing it.

 One issue was the illustrations provided in the instructions appeared to be reversed. I double checked, even triple checked, my pattern pieces and the labels on each piece and they just didn't match with what was shown on the instructions. So I just proceeded without referring to the pictures. The only thing is the final product was a mirror image of the sample projects shown on the EYMM website. 

I used rib knit fabric for the band.
But for the sleeve cuffs, I used self-fabric and modified them to have thumb holes.

For the top, I made a variation of a Jalie knit dress pattern. 

By shortening the lower bodice and combining two neck variations, I came up with my two-fer top.

For the bottom I used Jalie 3022 as my base pattern and sewed a regular length yoga pants and a cropped one. This pattern fits like an RTW exercise pants. Even the wide two-pieced waistband is reminiscent of one. 

I'm pretty happy with my New Year new outfit! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Holiday Dress

The past year was a productive year for me as far as sewing was concerned. And for 2015, I resolve to do more and sew through my fabric stash. But before doing that, let me share my year-end project which I wore for the holidays.

This pleated sleeveless dress was  sewn using pattern no. 6917 from Burda Style. 

Main Fabric: Polyester Floral Jacquard
Interlining: Black organza
Lining: Red posh lining

When I spotted this lovely floral jacquard from Jo-Ann's there were only 2 yards left. Originally priced at $19.99/yard, it was on sale for half off and I was able to apply my 40% off coupon on top of that. It looked similar to the fabric used for our First Lady's dress which was custom made for her by Talbots. I wonder if hers was silk though. Mine was a polyester crepe and was a bit stiff.

The pattern only called for a bodice lining but I opted to interline the whole dress with black organza.
I simply cut extra pieces of the bodice, waistband and skirt from the organza and treated the latter and the main fabric as one. 

Interlining made it easy to put chalk markings for the pleats.

It also allowed me to tack the pleats down. The main fabric, being a bit slippery, refused to be folded into crisp pleats. 

 Interlining allowed me to catchstitch the seams open and achieve a smoother finish on the outside.

Notice the waistband seam below which I also catchstitched to the organza interlining. That way, I made sure the seam allowance stayed put in the right direction.

Finally interlining  made it possible for me to achieve hemline stitches that were invisible on the right side of the dress.

As mentioned, the pattern only provided for bodice lining. I decided to line the skirt by simply using the same skirt pattern pieces.

Invisible zipper was used for back closure.

Armhole edges were finished by attaching bias binding cut from main fabric.

The pattern was easy but because I chose to add interlining, I did a lot of handsewing which made the project more time-consuming. I also spent some time fitting the muslin. I had to shorten the skirt along the adjustment lines and grade up a size at the waist/hip area. I found the skirt a bit tight around the hemline making it hard to take wide strides when walking. If ever I sew another dress with this pattern again, I would probably add a bit of flare around the hemline. And I would choose a fabric that could withstand hot pressing like cotton or linen so the pleats would stay flat. And maybe a less busy print to show off the pleats and waistband better. 

More pics of the sewing process can be viewed in this album.