Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rhapsody in Raglan

I think I did mention at some point that I'm way behind when it comes to blogging about my finished garments, right? There's still some garments from about 6 months ago that I haven't really blogged about. Since I tend to make multiple garments of the same pattern, I thought I might just present you the different "batches" of makes. Some are loved and much-used patterns anyway, although there are some new to me patterns among the mix.

This one is Ottobre 05/2008-14, a raglan-sleeved top that I've made three or four times before, but never really reviewed. I guess there really isn't much to review, either. It's a basic raglan-sleeved top, with four pattern pieces if you count the neckband. It comes with no seam allowances, but since I only add about 5-8mm for the overlock finish anyway, I don't really mind. The original neckline is pretty high, the classic crew neck, which I more or less immediately changed to a scoop neck.

The pattern fits me nicely in a straight size 40, no alterations needed. I've made some variations, mostly changing sleeve length or neckline. For the neckline gathers, I sliced and spread the pattern a bit. The boatneck isn't perfect yet, originally I only widened the neckline and added a wide band, but I should have eliminated the depth from my scoop neck variation and chosen a high neckline instead. I'm pretty sure there will be a next time to get it right. ;)

So, on to my different variations:
Straigt out of the package raglan top, made in February (?) with red&white striped rayon jersey from (I think) my favorite stall at the Maybachufer market. Scoop neck and long sleeves (and a fine bit of stripe matching, If I say so myself).
This has been my summer work outfit. Black trousers and one of the two white&black polka dot tops. These have cap sleeves and some gathers at the neckline. I also kinda sorta forgot to add seam allowances, so they're a tiny bit tight. Still ok, though. The jersey is cotton with a bit of spandex, from Hüco.
These two are my boatneck variations, one with short and one with three quarter length sleeves. As you can see, the boatneck doesn't sit quite right, it's a bit too high on the shoulders. I don't mind all that much, and both have been worn a lot since they were made. I think the trick to get it right is to make the neckline higher and wider... Both fabrics are from the Maybachufer market and feature blue and white stripes and I think they're both cotton with a bit of spandex, although the white feel pretty silky and might also have some rayon in there.
Last but not least, here is my most recent raglan make, with the pattern hacked off below the bust and an A-line skirt attached. I think it actually fits alright in the back, except when posing for photos (I always try to put my shoulders back a little to look less slumping...) ;) I like the dress a lot, the colour blocking and wild print make it look similar to a Desigual dress, but the blue tones it down a bit. The blue fabric also feels absolutely wonderful, very soft and silky. I have no idea about the content, since both fabrics are some more Maybachufer market finds, and I don't really trust the stall sellers to declare them correctly - and anyway, I didn't ask. *lol* I mostly buy by feel anyway. The dress, by the way, has also made the transition into my autumn wardrobe very well - with blue tights and a cardi. ;)

Oops, actually there is an even more recent raglan top that I totally forgot about, because I haven't managed to take any decent outfit photos yet.
However, my flowery dressform models it almost as well. ;) The scoop neck is a bit wider, there's neckline gathers and a three quarter length sleeve. The fabric is a cotton spandex from the Maybachufer market.

There's a funny little story about this top and a little Lola dress I haven't blogged about, yet. I bought 1.5m of the navy polka-dot fabric, not really sure yet what it was supposed to be but thinking about a long-sleeved Lola. A few days later I decided to use it for the top you see above, instead, because I wanted a long-sleeved navy top to go with my red sailor shorts. I couldn't get the polka-dot Lola out of my head, though, so I tried to get all the pieces for the Lola *and* the top out of a 1.5x1.5m piece of fabric. I'm insane, I know. It didn't work, of course. However, I could squeeze in all Lola pattern pieces except for the side pockets, and using only short sleeves a tiny narrow hem band, as well as all top pattern pieces (although the sleeves are cut on the cross grain and only 3/4 long. The Lola now has lace pockets). The thing is, the fabric cost about 5 € per meter. The market is 2 days a week. I could well have gone there and bought some more. But I'm lazy. It's 45 min by public transport. And I wanted those garments right away! (It did take me another couple of days to finish them, of course. I don't think I've ever hemmed a garment on the same day that I've cut it out... ;)

Do you make insane or totally unreasonable sewing decisions sometimes?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Thoughts about an Autumn Wardrobe

Here in Berlin the leaves are turning and the last two or three weeks have been decidedly autumny, still warm-ish during the day but with a definitive nip in the air. Paired with the fact that it's now dark by about 7:00 p.m. (compared to 10:30 around midsummer), I feel that fall has definitely arrived!

And what confuses me a bit is that I really don't quite know what to wear. For some reason, I don't like the thought of already wearing tights again (something I try to avoid in summer) so just pairing my summer dresses with tights and a cardi is right out, also helped by the fact that I find my selection of cardigans quite uninspiring at the moment. So that leaves leggings and the portion of dresses/tunics that I like wearing with them. There are a few - the ones on the shorter side, with the slimmer skirts - but I'm not quite feeling inspired yet.

So I guess that brings me to the question: what do I want to wear this fall and winter?
For one: Jumper dresses - knit, jersey or woven. This isn't really a surprise, though I will think about which patterns to use. I might even think about knitting one, in a thicker wool... Apart from the fact that I have foolishly decided to make hand-knitted Christmas gifts this year, I have a Miette cardigan planned, so maybe refashioning one from a big wool sweater will be easier. As for a woven jumper dress, I recently won a Deer&Doe Belladone pattern from Joëlle of The Handstitched Files (thanks again, Joëlle!), and I bought this blue plaid wool fabric on a whim last year, which I think might go well together. I'm also wondering if I can justify any more Lolas or Lola variations in my wardrobe... ;-)
I trawled around Pinterest a bit to get some inspiration for autumn fashion, and it looks like skinny trousers and oversized tops/sweaters are all the rage. I'm actually a bit shocked how skinny and stick-like the legs of some of those pinned models are. Yeah, obviously I don't follow fashion much and I'm easily shockable. ;)
Needless to say, while I think the look is quite cute, I'm not a big fan of skinny trousers. I also feel restricted in button-up shirts, so the sweater-over-blouse look won't be my new fall uniform, either. I kinda like the oversized-sweater-and-short-skirt look, so I should probably make a skirt or two... And I also like the long cardis.
Then I dug some more among my pins from last year and had a look around Modcloth (cause they have pretty much every cute dress you can imagine).
Stripes! And maybe I will try a peter pan collar one of these days?
Autumn always makes me want to wear plaid. And shirtdresses. I don't know why, I can't even remember ever owning a shirtdress. I've certainly never made one. But they're so pretty! Mary of Idle Fancy has even started the Autumn of 1000 shirtdresses, and Deer&Doe released this extremely cute tunic-length shirtdress, called Bruyere...
Meanwhile I'm wondering if I can get away with wearing a dress made of light teal quilting cotton with dark teal stars on it, because I bought some for a baby blanket and boy, it's pretty... It could make a cute Macaron. Or maybe even a shirtdress?

I guess I'd best start sorting through my autumn and winter weight fabric stash. I always plan better when starting with the fabric. Do you have a favorite autumn/winter garment, that you don't want to live without? Or a garment that you definitely want to sew for this colder season?