Sunday, December 15, 2013

An unexpected gift to myself...

A new computer :-) and I love it. Even if it was not a planned purchase right now!

My laptop took a triple somersault hard drive crash earlier this week. Fortunately I managed to get it to boot and restore one time - and connect to my external backup drive. My last backup was not sooo old, but just the thought of figuring out what was missing made my brain jiggle. More.

There was no question of trying to fix my laptop. The hard drive had a bad sector and a new one would cost as much as the 2-year old bottom-of-the-line machine. It served me well. Time to ante up and get a good computer that can handle the photo editing I'm doing now and let me really enjoy available technology.

This iMac is a wowser! And I did get a great holiday-season price. I'm looking forward to getting back to posting some sewing and catching up with blog-reading!

Hope everyone is doing well. Bye for now - Coco

Monday, December 2, 2013

Liesl + co. Late Lunch Tunic - Merry muslin go-round...

 Another cute tunic caught my eye recently on Pattern Review - the Late Lunch Tunic by Liesl Gibson, designer of the much-loved oliver + s childrens' patterns. Her women's line has four garments and one handbag, under the banner liesl + co. and all are digital patterns, which I love! Instant gratification.

This little number features 3/4 length sleeves that are cut as one piece with the yoked bodice, and a skirt that is gathered at the bodice front and back and has a hi-lo hemline. Oh, and a open-collar neckline with a two-button closure. Whew.

And I just could not leave it alone. So here starts the story of my muslin, which is done in a cotton jersey knit. The knit is on purpose - I want to sew it in knit fabric, not woven. All those gathers, the skirt volume, and the tight curve under the sleeve just seem to say "try me in a knit...".

My first muslin is true to the pattern, with only a few adjustments:

I cut a size 12 (I'm 5'7", 140 lbs, and have a 37.5" bust) and added 1" to the length of all the bodice pieces. The bodice seam falls slightly below the 10 1/2" apex of a Big Four pattern- it's worth doing some measuring on the pattern before cutting, particularly if you usually do a vertical bust adjustment! I do, my bust apex dropped years ago! and is somewhere around 12" from my shoulder.

To offset the length added at the bodice, I removed 1" from the hemline of the skirt pieces.

Also in deference to the extra length in the bodice, I added a third button at the neckline.

Since the front yoke is self lined, I cut a second back yoke and used it to line the back yoke as well. This replaced a bias binding used to face the back in the pattern, and it made for a very nice finish on the inside of the bodice.

And I made one more change to slim the front silhouette of the tunic. I took 6" out of the width of the front skirt. This hugely decreased the gathers under the front bodice (I think that on my next version I will take out only 4"). 

Looks really good on Emile - but I did not like it on me! I'm really not fond of pointed, open collars on tops and blouses. I have a huge big large head, and think it's accentuated by some collar styles. To me the top just looked blah. So I added a fourth button and ran elastic through the sleeve hems, looking to pep things up.... 

Sidebar please:
Buttons - sparkly ones from JoAnn's. I used vertical buttonholes, instead of horizontal, for a couple reasons: (1) the overlap is narrow, not much room for a button of any size, and (2) on a knit, a horizontal buttonhole tends to push out at the edge because it is sewn with the stretch of the fabric.

May I mention that I love the buttonholes sewn by my Singer Quantum Stylist 9960? This area is interfaced with fusible easy-knit pellon. The buttonholes are so easy and pretty, even on a knit fabric.

My second version was not a hit - I knew I was struggling with a sea of grey fabric, but I just could not get over the collar. Everything else about the design was so nice. I did not want to give up.

So I chopped off the collar!! and converted the neckline to a v-neck. Cut 1.5" off the sleeves and re-hemmed them to a shorter length. 

And the sun came out :-)

Loving the new neckline!

Of course, by this time my poor muslin was pretty rumpled and crumpled. and the neckline did not have the advantage of being sewn before the entire tunic was assembled (a little stretched out). A good wash and dry should fix it up.

So this is my version of the Late Lunch Tunic, and I'm ready to commit to my first 'real' go. I have some cute dotted creamsicle and brown poly-rayon jersey from And even ordered brown ponte on Black Friday, so I can make Marcy Tilton skinny pants to go-with.

And the two together will be my December garments-of-the-month!

Bye for now - Coco