Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fabric Mart Fabricista Challenge: Week 1

This week we were tasked with taking a basic pattern and making it our own.

After my initial "oh crap!" moment with the pattern, I told myself to get to work!

This summer we were at a picnic and a woman had on a beautiful silk top. It was very basic in shape, had cut-on sleeves and an exposed zipper. I've been coveting a simple top with exposed zipper ever.since.!

So, besides adding a zipper, how can I make this simple tee more me.

I wanted to do a contrast yoke; decided that was too predictable.
Then I decided to do a contrast on the diagonal. Nope. That had already been done with the scout.
Then I decided to do an overlay with sheer fabric or lace. Well, the only piece of lace I had in stash had been claimed by DD.

But the "overlay" thought remained and I toyed around with ideas, sketching them out (PURE comedy!!!!) and keeping with the original lines of the pattern, I came up with a cute tee that is classic, slightly funky and totally me!

Using an inky black rayon challis and creamy ivory poly crepe from stash  (yay!), I created a tee that can easily be dressed up or down and pairs with so many things already in my wardrobe!!

You didn't think I skipped out on my exposed zipper, did you!?!? I swear to goodness, everything is getting exposed zippers from now on!! Okay...maybe not... but it's a detail that I just adore! 

This zipper is ALSO from stash. Oh yeah, I was ON IT. It was a closed zipper but I removed the other tabby part and ta-da! I really liked the pull vs a normal nylon zipper. I made sure to interface the entire zipper area so it wouldn't be all 'saggy baggy'. I stitched near the zipper and then edge stitched the zipper in place.

As you can see here, I chose to add the overlay like a facing/lining. I also drafted an oddly shaped pattern piece a facing for the back. Understitched it and voila! beautifully finished neckline

Since I no longer fear the foot, I went with a rolled hem on the overlay and narrow hems on the body of the tee and the sleeves. Oh how I love thee, well behaved challis!

I also knocked around the idea of doing long sleeves or an elbow length sleeve with elasticized cuff. I think either would have worked. But when I made up my muslin I really liked the sleeve length and decided to leave it as is.

Oh yes, you heard me correctly. I made a muslin! Sarah Liz and L; I made TWO muslins!!! LOL!

Whenever possible, I assemble my pdf patterns as individual pattern pieces. 
It just makes me happier than one giant sheet all taped together.
Because I was lining the front and had facings for the back, I ignored the neckbinding piece.

I flat patterned measured and decided that a size 10 should work. I made a quick muslin in some white cotton fabric that I got for free from the lady I bought my vintage machine from! This showed me that I needed a swayback adjustment (no problem since I was already adding a center back seam for the zipper) and a slight narrow shoulder adjustment. On muslin #2 I added the overlay to get the proportions right and also decided I needed a slightly bigger FBA. Oh, yes, I did a 3/4" FBA off the bat because I knew I would need a dart for this top lest it be 'tent city'.

**Per Request, here is my first muslin photo

3/4" swayback adjustment, 1/2" narrow shoulder adjustment and oddly shaped facing

mutilated front pattern piece :) with 1" FBA and 1/2" narrow shoulder adjustment. I tried taking a tuck at CF but it didn't work how I thought it would.

Front overlay piece with a very slight "swing" added. VERY slight. I figured a tiny bit more volume and the rolled hem should make it perform how I wanted it to. I angled it to make it sit higher at CF and swoop down to the side seams.

The Scout is a very nicely drafted pattern. I had one place where things didn't quite meet up perfectly on the markings, but the pattern lines still fit together how they were supposed to, which is what matters. Also, both of the pieces say "center back" at the fold line. Obviously the front piece is the front piece but this is a little typo. The sleeve! The sleeve set very nicely and SURPRISE! I did not need a bicep adjustment! Way to go Grainline!

Really enjoying my tee on Tuesday as we celebrate my daughter's 16th birthday!

Contest is open for voting Wednesday, 10 September and Thursday, 11 September. Go HERE to see all 8 entries and to vote! Like, for me or not...whatevs... hahahaha!

Congrats Beth (110 Creations) on the week 1 win! Week 1 Winner


  1. Voted! This is a great variation on such a simple top -- it definitely has a wow-factor!

  2. Hey, cutie! Love it on you. And with the red pants? Yeah, you are working it!

    I love an exposed zip. Very cool. I still have to try that one myself. I have a lot of RTW with exposed zips, but have not attempted to sew one.

    Your alterations look great. I found that I had diagonal lines forming from my nearly non-existent bustline, so I really felt for anyone who had more than b cups, you know? I did have to figure out how to make it work on my curvy bits, though, 'cause tunic and my bottom, so I definitely feel your pain. ;-)

    1. As my newest "lady-jam" states, "All the right junk in all the right places!" hahaha!

      I should post pics of my first muslin. Good grief. I looked at least 13 months pregnant. at least!!! :) Thanks much! Cannot wait to see the results and the week 2 challenge!!! Good luck! :-*

  3. This looks so chic on you! Love it!

  4. This is really a super terrific hack! Perfect outfit, too. Off to vote now!!!

  5. Woo! Your T is totally stylin'! The exposed zipper is a great detail. And you've paired it perfectly with those red pants. Nice work!

  6. Love how your Scout ended up and enjoyed seeing your process making it! It's a very clean and chic T.

    Also - facings are like newborns - they always look kinda weird. At least newborns cute up after a bit, though. There's really no hope for facings!

    P.S. Happy 16th to your daughter! Did she get her license?

    1. Thanks!
      Hahahaha! Ugly facings will remain as so!

      Not yet. She's dragging her feet. She now has a deadline though, and was a little more motivated after all 3 friends showed up to dinner driving themselves ;)

  7. I love your Scout! It looks fantastic with those red pants, but I'd imagine that you'd be able to pair it with a lot of different bottoms. BTW--I'd love to see a photo of your first muslin--it's always reassuring to see where things start from vs. where they end up! ;)

  8. I love the overly! Simple and clean in concept but totally adds a funky chic edge.

  9. This is super cute! I would wear this in a heartbeat. Perfect with the red pants!

  10. Love, love, love! I'd wear this in a heartbeat too! Two muslins? I did the same and I hate making muslins!

  11. Look at you makin' muslins and stuff! Mama's proud. =)

    13 months pregnant? Good Lord, please tell me that's not a thing!

    You totally took this pattern and made it your own. I love the the top paired with your red pants. Rock it!

    1. Hahahahaha!!!!! I immediately thought of you two! Like, I cannot WAIT to tell them I made two muslins! :)

      thanks L!

  12. FANTASTIC!!! Looks great on you... And so pretty with those red pants.. Happy sewing.

  13. Great job on week 1! I love the overlay, very classy but fun at the same time. Perfect color combination :D I have no doubt you will make it to week 2!! Good luck!

  14. What a great way to make up the Scout - I think the muslins really paid off here, because you have certainly made a top that works - I love the swing overlay - the top would be very plain otherwise - and the zip too. I may pinch your idea (if I have time...).

    Still chuckling at your comment about L and myself :)

    Good luck, hope you make it to next week - I'll stay tuned :)

  15. Yours is my FAVOURITE! Looks fantastic, the fit is great and the overlay really makes it special.

  16. You did an amazing job. You can definitely dress this up or down for any occasion.


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