Skip to main content

My "Zara" shirt

The Christmas before last I got my dad a very cute Zara shirt, although - shock! it didn't fit. Suits me right for buying a size smaller. One thing led to another and in the end I didn't end up taking it back. It did not fit Mr T and by the end of August, when I knew I would be moving, decided it was time to do something with it.

You might remember me posting something about it circa September. After posting these photos, it stayed unfinished for a while longer, until I finally decided to make it up right before the craziness started.

The first few modifications were simple enough. Darts were the first thing I looked at. I toyed with the idea of taking fabric off where it was needed but in the end settled for bust darts only.

It became clear very soon that the back would need to be taken up a bit, which is what this seam does. 

I then thought carefully about making a sway back adjustment, however in the end decided against it. I also removed quite a lot from the shoulder width, although interestingly enough not that much at all from the side seams apart for what I lost when cutting the flat felled seams. For the sleeves I didn't do anything fancy, I just cut a bit from the top (similar to what I did with the shoulders).

In the end, I settled the sway back problem, as well as the bust dart, in a much mode convenient fashion - by reversing the front and the back. So I have a sort-of-button in the back (it's stitched down though!), and a nice empire waist in the front. I think the front could have been done better though, but I can live with it.

I finally took pictures of the finished product this week. I did a simple gathering job in the front, although as I said, I could have done better - I finally decided against a bust dart, but I think that might have been useful (although unclear if there was enough fabric?). The front is quite long, but I find I like it like that:

The sleeves can only really be work at 3 quarters length, because although they are long enough (barely) to be full sized, I did not rework them at all, so they are obviously too wide for me - I like the extra room in the biceps area though, so that's an area to consider for alterations in the future. This is what it looks like from the side.

At the back you can see I left a little "tail". I really like this feature but I'm now considering cutting down the small replacement buttons:

Here's a better view of the back, where you can see loads of excess fabric. I don't really mind this because it allows me freedom of movement. I think I do need a broad-back adjustment of some sort on most wovens, and plan to start working on figuring out exactly what that is soon (there are several ways to do one). You can also see the side towards the buttons is pulling slightly. I have this feeling that if I hadn't stitched it down one would see there's not enough room there.

This fact, combined with the fact that there's too much room in the front, makes me think that what would have been more successful would be to have created a side gusset (is that what you call them?). That would have allowed a bit more room in the back around the empire line - you can see where in the side picture above - it's lined up correctly at the top, towards the sleeve, and at the hem, but some type gusset would work in between.


Popular posts from this blog

How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.

Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker


1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial…

Birds dress

Just another sheath dress from me today, from my TNT pattern. This one is all about the fabric:

I got this bird fabric from Plush Addict, and it seems to have been the last fabric purchase pre-baby (Cosmo - Nihonkai - Budgies On Oxford Cloth if you are interested), so didn't cut into it for a long time. In May, after finishing my coat, I finally took the plunge.

The pattern, as I said, was my TNT sheath pattern, pretty simple. The biggest challenge with this dress was fabric placement, I didn't want any weird bird cuts at seams, nor did I want any other sort of weird placement. 
As i had 2 meters of this fabric, I thought I should be able to get all that, so I spent a lot of time moving fabric pieces around, until I got it. I'm pretty happy with myself, the seams meld as much as possible, I'm particularly proud of the center back:

Construction wise, this dress has 6 darts and 5 seams, so it is all relatively straightforward. I stabilized the neckline and armholes with…

Vogue 1350: fitting and adjustments

I had another post prepared, but I thought I'd write this up now, even without pictures - before I forget what I did. :) I recently made Vogue 1350, if you follow me on instagram (@auxetically) you will have seen construction photos. This is a Rachel Comey pattern - I really like these patterns, they all turn out very well for me! Here is the line drawing for reference:

Despite the line drawing, this pattern is supposed to have a raised waist. I was very pleasantly surprised to see petite lines on the pattern sheet (yay). Here's my finished dress on the dress form:

I made a muslin of the bodice only, in size 14 - my measurements take me between 14 and 16 on a Vogue, but I had the pattern version with the 12-14, so 14 it was. Measurement wise, this dress was spot on - I had to make extra adjustments where I would have needed the bigger pattern size.

The petite line removed 1" out of the bodice, and 1" out of the skirt. I sewed the bodice muslin with the petite marking…