Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Jalie mashup swim tank

It's that time of year again! School is out in a few days and my kids are looking forward to lots of swim, sun and playing outside. Logan needed new swim togs this year, and while he found some cool Minecraft trunks he liked, we came up empty for a top.
Mom to the rescue. Logan specifically wanted a tank top, not a sleeveless shirt. And I wanted it to be wicking polyester so it would dry quickly and be comfortable in the heat. Neither requirement was an easy one...
The fabric turned out to be the least challenging. After searching at my usual favorite spots and coming up empty, I just did a Google search and found an impressive line of wicking jersey at Wazoodle. They had a range of colors and weights to pick and choose from. I went with the classic Minecraft color scheme of black and green. Shipping was fast and the quality is excellent, so I'll be shopping there again.
The larger challenge was the pattern. Boys tank top patterns fizzle out after the toddler sizes and Logan isn't quite big enough for mens sizing yet. Even Ottobre failed me! Logan was very specific about wanting a tank top and not just a sleeveless shirt. So, I had to get a little creative. I decided to start with the ladies racer back tank by Jalie (3245). But since it has decidedly feminine lines, I used the Jalie Nico raglan tee to get a more masculine shape, blending the two patterns together at the underarm. And since I was hacking up a couple of patterns anyway, I decided to do some color blocking and add mesh side panels for comfort. All in a day's work.
Logan is very happy with it. He loves the way it looks and fits and says it is very comfortable. I even got a hug from my not physically demonstrative boy. I think as I look at him that the armhole could be slightly lower, but really, it's a pretty good fit.
The fit through the back is pretty good though, and it looks well proportioned overall.
On the side, I added 4 inch wide panels of athletic mesh - the sort with large holes that jerseys are made of. It gives the tank some more breathability as well as a cool sporty look. I also color blocked the front and back with green on the lower 6 inches of the tank, and used the same green jersey for the neck and armhole bindings.
I got my Cricut in on the party for some finishing touches with a creeper face and Minecraft logo. I used a silicone HTV that has a slick feel. It's a cool texture that goes with water play well. I also coverstitched all the seams, both for a touch of contrast stitching, and to be sure the insides were nice and soft. No itchy seams!
It was a little more patternwork than I have been doing lately, and it was nice to use that part of my brain. Logan loves his tank, so that's the most important thing. I had fun making it, too.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan

Hey y'all! Long time no see. I seem to have dropped off the blogosphere accidentally. To be frank, the process of taking and editing pictures, then writing a blog post was just too much for me for a while there. I really have been sewing quite a bit. If you follow me on IG (@kid_md) or Twitter (@katie_kid_md) you'll still get to see lots of sewing action. I'm not sure I'll be posting everything I make going forward, but I really wanted to show y'all this. Blogging mojo kickstarted!
So, this cardigan is what I wanted to share with y'all. Now that we live somewhere with proper seasons (it was ALWAYS hot in Texas and ALWAYS cold in Utah, no transitions), I find myself grabbing cardigans and hoodies a lot to layer on chilly mornings. I recently made the Jalie Helene cardigan, which I love and hopefully can get some pics of soon, but wanted something with a little more flair and shaping. I was just browsing on the Pattern Review shop, and came across this cardigan pattern from Itch to Stitch. I admit, I hadn't paid any attention to this company. I have a lot of patterns and these smaller Indie companies can be pretty variable in terms of pattern making and drafting quality. But I like the style so much, I decided to give it a go.
I mean seriously, this rear view?! With all that wonderful pleating! I love it. Another down side (for me) was that this was a PDF. Y'all, I hate taping those things together. And this was not the easiest one I've ever done. I fall into three different sizes, so I couldn't just print the one size. And for whatever reason, the pieces just didn't want to fit well together during assembly. I ended up cutting out each piece as I assembled it, instead of leaving it as one big sheet. Once that was done, it went together fine.
I really like that this style lends itself well to being dressed up or down. Pencil skirts aren't exactly conducive to chasing my kids, so I love that I can wear this cardi with my jeans as well. It sewed up nicely in a rayon-poly-lycra Ponte from FabricMart. I don't think it's particularly well suited to thinner knits, as you'd lose the details in the pleating.
 As far as the pattern itself goes, the drafting was good - everything fit together as it should. I found the sizing a bit on the RTW/vanity sizing side of things. My measurements put my in 3 sizes, the smallest of which was a size 2. Y'all... I haven't been a size 2 since middle school. That said, as long as you ignore the size numbers and go by your measurements, those are accurately represented. For fit, the only alteration I made was to grade out 2 sizes at the bust. Since there is plenty of ease in the hips, I didn't make any changes there. It's also worth noting that I did not lengthen the sleeves. I have quite long arms and generally do have to add some length to most sleeves, but as you can see, this one is quite long as drafted. Shortening is easier than lengthening though, so that's a feature for me.
The other major change I made was to add pockets. I must have pockets in my cardigans. They hold my phone, keys and all the bits of stuff that come with modern life. It doesn't matter how much I love a garment, if it doesn't have pockets, I won't wear it and that goes double for cardigans. I made these the full length of the lower section and deep enough for my 5.5 inch phone.
Inside, you can see the pocket bags cover up the pleats a bit, which is nice. Since the pockets reach the entire length of the panel, they are stitched into the waist seam and the hem, so no flopping about. I used a matching cotton jersey for the pockets to reduce bulk, as the waist seam gets a bit thick with all those pleats. You can also see that I added inner buttons to stabilize my large outer buttons and prevent them from pulling through the ponte. It's always good to stabilize a heavy button, especially on a knit fabric. I did add an extra button. The pattern calls for a single large button, but I really liked the look of two. And it's mine, so I do what I want.
Overall, I think this will get a lots of wear. It's a pretty distinctive style, so I'm not sure I'll make a ton of them, but maybe there's room in my closet for one more. I have some leopard print ponte...