SSS days 9 and 10

Another item off my cutting table and into my closet (hooray!), worn for day 9 of Self-Stitched-September:

Wow, I clearly should have ironed my shorts.  Ha, that’s funny, I would never actually do that.

The top is the ubiquitous Butterick 5495, one of Pattern Review’s best of 2010. I usually do a pattern review when I make something, but this one has so many good reviews that another seems unnecessary. I’ll do a brief overview here, though.  This shirt is super slapdash, even for me. I did none of the staystitching or reinforcement stitching, didn’t trim seam allowances, and I left the armholes unfinished (after trying several times to get a narrow hem without terrible puckering and awfulness – I must remember to hem the armholes before stitching the side seams, so much easier!). I figured the shirt probably isn’t in it for the long haul, since it’s a 99 cent rayon jersey that I can already sense is just dying to pill up a storm. I intended this as a wearable muslin to see if I liked the pattern, and that’s what I got.  I originally cut the tunic length (and, boy, is this sucker long! practically a dress), but it was a little too tight in back across the butt/hips, so I cut it off to make a shirt.  I’ll probably make the tunic length at some future point, grading out a bit more from the waist.  I cut an 8 on top grading to a 10 (my usual top size) at the waist since it seemed like the kind of pattern that runs big, but it’s actually fairly snug across the back. As many people have noted, the neckline is kind of odd. The edges of the V are just folded under to create the facing, tapering down to no facing at the bottom point.  I zigzagged clear elastic along the foldline on the facing side to create a neat fold (a trick I also used on the similar neckline of Vogue 1194), but I ran into trouble at the point of the V.  I ended up sewing up from the gathered area to about 2 inches up from the marked bottom of the neckline, both to finish the neckline point and also as a sort of SBA – there was just too much fabric there and the neckline was gaping at the bottom. It worked out okay, and now that I know how the pattern works, I can make the same modification more graceful on the next version.  But this one works for now!

Here is my outfit today, SSS day 10, which I wore to bike down to the farmer’s market this morning, and then wore to work for my double show day:

The dress is McCall’s 5893, with an added ruffle. This is one of those patterns with a truly hideous illustration, but is a really fantastic, super easy, endlessly modifiable workhorse.  I’ve already made two, and can see myself making a bunch more.  My pattern review is here, and as I mention, I self lined the bodice on this version to hide the ruffle seam allowance, and I think from now on when I make this dress I’ll line the bodice – the double thickness means I can get away with no bra. The other thing about this pattern: the pockets are perfect.  Just the right size, they lay great, don’t know what makes these pockets so special but they are.

The leggings are from Target.  Could I make grey leggings? Yes. Is it easier to buy grey leggings from Target for $5? Yes.

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4 comments
  1. I love the top. The shape is excellent and really suits you? It does look complicated around the neck, but I guess when you’ve got the pattern there it’s easier! V nice!

  2. Amy said:

    Both pieces are super cute. SSS’11 has made me realize that I’ve only made one real top. Another couple of cute tops should be on my horizon. You’ve definitely peaked my interest with these.

    • aleah said:

      Yeah, my top-making plans always seem to get derailed by dress-making, even though I wear like 90% more tops than dresses in daily life… dresses just seem more fun to make somehow. My hazy fall sewing plans include more separates…

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