Completed: Gertie’s Portrait Blouse & Bonus Sorbetto

Part of my Me-Made-May challenge was to sew two garments this month.  And I did it.  🙂  Although I feel like a bit of cheat because I used the same fabric for both!

[Warning: there’s a lot of polka dots in this post!]

The first was the Portrait Blouse from Gertie’s Book.  I made a quick muslin, and was satisfied with the fit without any major changes.  So far, of the two patterns I’ve made from the book, they’ve fit really well, and I’ve avoided the dreaded muslin madness.  Thank you Gertie!

MMM 13 - May 29

Worn with the Pencil Skirt, also from Gertie’s book.

Since I’m a sucker for polka dots, I wanted a version like the one in the book.  I had some left over polka dot fabric fabric from my Licorice Dress that fit the bill.  It’s a fairly drapey rayon, and is nice and cool to wear.  Perfect for summer.
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I omitted the facings, and used bias tape instead.  I was worried the pre-made stuff would be too stiff (it always is for me) so I made my own from a scrap of Bemberg rayon lining.  I wish it was white, but the cream works okay.
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This blouse has a side zipper, which I was weary of at first.  But after wearing it all day today, it turns out it’s fine.  Wasn’t itchy or anything.  All in all, the Portrait Blouse gets two thumbs up.
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While I had my fabric spread for cutting out the Portrait Blouse, I realized I had enough to squeeze out another Sorbetto.  So, that became my second completed garment for the month.
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I didn’t want a high contrast edge on the neckline and armholes, so I made matching bias tape from the main fabric.
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Since I’ve made this top a few times before, this went together really fast. I like this version because I can wear it to work with a skirt (like I did a few days ago) or toss it on with jeans.
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I feel kinda lame that I made two polka dot tops, but hey, my Me-Made-May sewing challenge is complete!   And now I have some new separates to wear, which I really needed.  🙂

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How To: Dart Manipulation

When I made my recent blue and white Sorbetto top, I altered the pattern by converting the bust darts into neckline pleats.  I mentioned I’d do a post showing how I used dart manipulation to do it.  And look, I’ve finally gotten around to it!  🙂

Blue Sorbetto

I added two little pleats on each side of the neck line.  I also removed the center pleat.

Since it’s easier to photograph, I made a miniature version of the pattern to illustrate the steps.**

1. Start with pattern piece.
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2. Mark the bust point.  Here I marked it in red.  (It’s about 1/2 away from the tip of the dart.)  This is really important.  The trick to successful dart manipulation is to always use the bust point and not the end of the dart (or dart point) when moving darts around.
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3. Redraw dart legs, so they reach the bust point. (Redrawn in red.)
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4. Draw a line where you want the pleats to be.  Here, I drew it in green.
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5. “Cut away the old, and cut on the new.”  This is what my pattern making teacher repeated over and over in class.  Cut the old dart away first, along the red lines.  Then, cut on the new green line, but stop just shy of the bust point so you have a hinge.
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6. Close up the old dart and tape together.
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7. Even out any excess at the side.  Here I cut off that bit extending from the green line under the armhole.
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8. Now you have opened a space at the neckline for the pleats.  (This could also be made into a new dart, or even gathers.)  Here, I wanted to have two pleats, so I drew another green line.  (I also could have done this at step 4.)
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9. Cut on the second green line.
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10. Spread out the pieces, and tape in some more paper.
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11. Smooth out the line across the top, and cut off the excess paper.
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12. Mark the new pleat lines. (Marked here in purple)
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13. When your pleats are folded and sewn they will look something like this.
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Here’s a picture of what my actual pattern looked like before and after.

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Before.

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After.

Here’s a closer shot.  The pencil is pointing at the closed up bust dart.
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**Disclaimer: I really have no idea what I am doing. My experience and knowledge of pattern drafting is fairly limited. But this did work for me. Remember, whenever in doubt, make a muslin to test out any pattern changes. 🙂

Completed: Modified Sorbetto

This was my first finished project of 2013. It’s a modified version of the Colette Sorbetto.
Blue Sorbetto
I actually finished this on January 2nd, and intended to post about it before now.  At least I got to it before January ended!  (A sick dog, busy work schedule, and cloudy days do not make for good blogging. I’m hoping February lightens up, literally.)

The fabric is a light-weight 100% cotton that I purchased from the same shop where I got the fabric for my Peony. I picked it up for the pocket linings on my Thurlow trousers. (Yes, my Thurlows are still a work in progress. I haven’t given up on them, I just keep getting side tracked.) I had just enough left over to squeeze out this top.
Blue Sorbetto
I modified the pattern by eliminating the bust darts and adding four small pleats to the neckline. It was a simple change, done through dart manipulation. (I could do a separate post on exactly what I did, if anyone is interested.) I also removed the front pleat and added about 2 inches to the length. And I made the bias tape from the fabric. This takes longer than using the store bought stuff, but in my opinion, is totally worth it.
Blue Sorbetto
I’m happy with this little top. It’s comfy and was a quick and easy make!Blue Sorbetto