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Simply Seaglass Swap 2020

Started by Seaglass, November 11, 2019, 02:27:19 pm

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After years of watching quietly from the sidelines, I have decided to join SWAP 2020 as the rules align with my personal sewing needs and I have time to sew. That being said, I haven't sewn for myself in over 10 years, and am a little intimated by taking on such a project.  But, if I keep things simple, I feel it will be doable. Also a bit behind technology as far as taking and posting pictures.   

Currently I am not employed, so I can finally develop a wardrobe that is what I want to wear, not a uniform provided by a major tourist attraction or a limited corporate dress code.  I've spent the last few years wearing out most of my clothing and am left with assorted odds and ends.  I find I am ready to create a uniform for most of my daily needs.

My daily uniform:
Dansko clogs
jeans, knit pants, or dirndl skirt
tee shirt or tank top (as needed)
short sleeve shirt
cotton cardigan (for warmth or sun protection)
pearls (just because)

I live in the greater Phoenix area, so this uniform can work year round for me if I stick to natural fabrics. My lifestyle is simple, and I love it!

My theme is SEA GLASS.  Picture soft, gentle curves in a variety of sun-worn colors that echo nature; creations that take time to create but are timeless.  I would like to limit my palette to natural sea glass colors for tops; green, aqua, pink, blue and white, and use natural beach colors such as tan and darker blues for bottoms.

I'm calling this my Simply Seaglass Swap as this is a starting point that can be built on over the  years.  Nothing fancy at this time...just want to develop a few basic TNT patterns that fit my current needs and bring some pretty to my closet. I don't need  much variety to be content.

My sewing plan will include:

 CAMP SHIRTS:  Palmer & Pletsch McCalls 4518, Liesl & Co's new Camp Shirt and Dress pattern, and Cindy Taylor Oates The Camp Shirt Sewing Pattern Book
 OTHER TOPS: Ruby Top and Gemma Tank from Made by Rae
 SKIRTS/PANTS: Sassy Skirts from Cindy Taylor Oates or an old Stretch and Sew dirndl pattern, or Cutting Line Designs My Swing Set pants or One Seam Pants.

My "Group 2" items that will be worn with the other items will be the skirt/pant group.

There are a few techniques I want to work on.

1) Finish what I start.  I will work on a garment until it is either done or recycled.  I do plan on making muslins for the chosen patterns as I want to make sure they will fit well.
2) "Sausage" or "burrito" method of making yokes.  Totally new to me.
3) PDF patterns.  Usually I avoid these as a stack of paper is a magnet for my two dogs and two cats. Also, I have problems determining right and left, so assembling individual sheets into a pattern is something I have avoided. (Ask me about some of the interesting Ikea furniture I've created over the years!)
4) SBA.  While I appreciate that some patterns now come with cup sizing, I have not discovered any that are graded to specifically fit AA or A cup size.  An A/B cup size still has to be altered by at least an inch or removed entirely. I have had success  grading a child's pattern to fit, but this usually only works with vintage 60's styles.  I do appreciate this problem as I age.


Found the downloads I had purchased six years ago for the Ruby Top and Gemma Tank and got them printed.  Have the Ruby pattern assembled (with only 1 mistake that was easy to correct).  Rummaged through some deep stash and found a cute surfboard length of fabric and some matching lining.  It's quilting cotton, but will do for a muslin.

The pattern calls for bias binding on the neck and arm openings, but the designers website has a video of how to make a lined yoke.  I will try that option.  I cut out the fabric, including an  extra front and back yoke.....and started to watch the videos on construction.  OOPS.  I should have watched the video first as she says to add an extra quarter of an inch to the neck and sleeve s/a for this option. Not a huge deal breaker, but will redraw the pattern piece when I'm done with fitting.

Assembly on the yoke was amazingly simple!  I watched the video in one or two minute increments on my cell phone, then sewed.  She called it the "sausage yoke" and mine came out just perfect!  Lots of clipping and pressing, but it is a thing of beauty. I even topstitched the neck and arm openings as the lining is a much lighter color and I didn't want it to show.  I had forgotten how pleasant it can be to take the time to stitch for the sheer pleasure of making a more finished garment.  I will take a picture of it and try to figure out how to upload it when the muslin is complete. 

Note to self: grade seam allowances on the shoulder seams, buy topstitching thread

Also stitched French seams up the sides.  I'll make the bias binding for the arm openings tomorrow.  No need to rush (yet).

Decided to get a bit of a head start on a basic camp shirt pattern (Mc Calls).  Have some of it traced and cut out.  I'm debating on making it straight off the pattern for the first attempt, or should I try a SBA?  I do need to add a extra ease through the hips to compensate for too much ice cream this summer.  Since the pattern is unisex, I'm thinking I may just try it without a bust dart. 

Started thinking about what fabrics I want to use in my SWAP.  A lot of my fashion fabric stash consists of dark colors that I no longer wear on a regular basis.  I did find a charming Liberty lawn that reminds me of beach umbrellas.  I have two yards, so I can make a Ruby top out of it with enough left over for a  handkerchief and a few quilt squares.  (I don't want to waste any of the fabric.)  Also have some quilting cotton in soft colors that I can use for three plain shirts.


Successfully completed the Ruby Top and it looks great.  However, it might be improved with a few adjustments.

   1) lengthen by 4 inches to allow for a generous double turned hem
   2) widen yoke by 1 inch for more ease
   3) reduce front neck edge by 1/4 to 1/2 to have it lay closer to my body
   4) adjust right shoulder seam to remove gaping from back armhole

Things I like about the pattern:
   1) easy to make with great video tutorials on line
   2) it's quite comfortable
   3) every seam is finished, so it looks good inside and out

Techniques I practiced:
   1) PDF pattern (my first one!)
   2) making and applying bias tape for armhole finish
   3) fully lined yoke - sausage style
   4) french side seams

Not a waste of time or talent as it will probably fit daughter #3 who is coming over this Friday.   I do want to stitch up a "throw-away'" muslin of the changes before I cut into dedicated SWAP fabric.

I'll have the Mr. take photo's this evening...and try to figure out how to post them! 

I have finished tracing the first camp shirt pattern I want to try, so I may start with the sleeves today to see if I need to adjust the bicep fit. 

I did find an older Simplicity 8634 peasant blouse pattern that I loved and saved from the 70's that I may want to add to my SWAP.  I still have a Mexican peasant blouse that I wear in the summer that is at least 45 years old and still going strong.  Looked at the Folkwear Old Mexico dress pattern, but not sure I would actually take the time to make more than one. 

Still need to go fabric shopping for my SWAP as my stash is mainly quilting cottons. I did go to the local Jo-Anns to pick up some interfacing and fabric for two tops.  I could drive out to Mood Fabrics in Los Angeles, but it's a 9 hour drive one way.


I learned a lot from the photos the Mr. took of me in my test top.  Things I didn't even think about: brush hair before taking picture, don't take picture in a hallway where we haven't replaced the baseboards yet, don't take a picture in garding pants and shoes, maybe it's time for a haircut, put dogs in other room so they don't photobomb picture, consider getting serious about loosing weight.

More importantly, I realized I need to do a sway back adjustment.  SO much pooling of fabric! I've never noticed that before because I don't look too closely at my backside. Also, I NEVER wear a sleeveless shirt outside without a sweater or over shirt as I need extra sun protection. If I cover the fitting issue with my hair, does it really exist?  (OK , I know that it does.)

Have a question for all you experts out there.  When making a sway back adjustment, taking a tuck in the back pattern piece from the center and tapering to the side seam, do you then true up the bottom so the hem is even....or does that just add back the fabric you just took out?

Rather than sitting still and licking my wounds, I redrafted the peasant blouse pattern and cut out a sample garment.  All ready to sit down and start sewing. It will be interesting to see if the sway back issue reappears on this top.  Not to worry, I made it in daughter #2's favorite color.  Most of you call them muslins or toiles, I call them unexpected gifting opportunities.