The Fringe Dress, Cheyenne Tunic, and a frustrating project
I've gone away from my usual knit projects this month and worked entirely with wovens! This means I've spent much more time on muslins and fitting. My body is still shaped differently from my newest baby. The weight is almost all off but the extra inches are very happy where they are! I am about a size larger than before. I also don't have much nursing-friendly attire and that bothers me on Sundays. So my first project was to tackle the Fringe Dress pattern by Chalk and Notch. I began with a muslin of the blouse, pictured above. First I made just the bodice and ended up altering the placement of the darts and adding a side dart. Following a suggestion from the designer in her Facebook group, I made a larger size on top and then added the dart to shape it more. After I was happy with the result, I went ahead and finished the top because I had enough fabric and thought the result was nice enough to be wearable.
It still needs buttons, which I purchased yesterday during Black Friday sales for all of these finished items in this post.
So I then tackled View B in dress form. I transferred over all my changes (I adjusted for my height as well) and used this unique apparel flannel from Joann fabrics. I wanted this to be nursing friendly so I added an invisible zipper to the front. I had to watch a Youtube video for help with the invisible zipper, but it worked surprisingly well with the pattern and lining instructions.
I wasn't quite as happy with the fit as I thought I'd be. The weight of the skirt dragged the whole thing down. I wish I had made the back bodice an inch shorter so it met my natural waist. Also the shoulders probably should be an entire size smaller. This style is a dropped sleeve and I wasn't as confident grading and doing a FBA with this style. However, if I had tried to have it more fitted under my bust, I wouldn't be able to get it on and off because the zipper is just a short one, so it's probably good I didn't try a smaller size. Here is a little better modeled picture.
And then I tried to get a little better angle with my husband holding the camera instead of my 9yo, but that meant holding the baby and he wasn't cooperative!
The next week I worked on View A again, this time in a soft rayon challis I've had for awhile. I wanted to make this into a maxi dress but I didn't have as much yardage as I thought. Unfortunately I forgot I was going to shorten the back bodice a bit, so this has the same pulling down.
I don't have a better picture of that one. I also didn't have buttons for it, so I sewed on some snaps that I had. I know I should have sized down at the shoulders because this shifted around all day as I wore it. I'm not as excited about this result as I wanted to be, but I'm also having a hard time lately looking at myself in the mirror and liking what I see because of the extra weight and inches..
After I finished those dresses I worked on a dress shirt onesie for my son that I had been looking forward to. And oh, wow. This was the worst pattern I have made. I cannot list off all the issues I ran into. Incorrect or unclear directions, pattern pieces that did not fit the pattern, there was a little bit of everything. I found some other people complaining about this pattern in the designer's pattern group, so that reassured me that it wasn't just me. Thankfully I've made a men's dress shirt before and some women's dress shirts with yokes, so I was able to figure things out my own way when the pattern failed. By the end I was completely disregarding instructions on finishing the bottom because they made no sense. Here was one issue that cropped up that I had to fix, for instance.
And here it was after I salvaged it.
The final result is very cute though! I used snap tape instead of individual snaps because I hate installing snaps and always get at least one wrong.
And here it is on my son. (My husband couldn't find any better pants, haha).
You may notice I'm not naming the pattern. I guess being a pattern designer, I have a hard time trashing another designer's pattern. So I'm not going to name it. But, in the course of the project I got really mad and started searching for other similar patterns. I ran into this pattern by Tadah patterns, and I purchased it so that if I want to make more shirts like this for my son, I can, and I know from past experience with Tadah that their patterns are well drafted and have clear instructions. (Edited to add: I just noticed that the designer has closed up her business, so I'll name it: Ellie Inspired. I was not a big fan after using two other patterns from that company but after this baby pattern I was definitely done using them.)
My next project was a Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June Patterns. I've been putting off making this pattern for awhile because I don't really like button ups, but I wanted to try making one, and now is a great time because I'm nursing. I have some awesome fabric I've been holding onto for a couple of years with the intention of using it for this pattern. But first I started with some teal flannel I got on sale at Joanns. I started with a muslin. I made some initial changes to the paper pattern and the muslin fit perfectly everywhere but with some pulling across the back when I move. I decided the whole thing didn't have very much ease, so I made one size up with the same alterations. I was so tickled with how well it was looking that I took some progress photos.
And here is the finished result (minus buttons, which I just placed on the fabric for the floor picture).
I really like the finished result. I can't remember the last time I wore a flannel shirt! It's soft and thick and very comfortable. The fit at the shoulders is a little big because I sized up. I think I may size back down for my next one just like my original muslin, but with an alteration for broad back and a FBA. That's why I used my sale fabric! This was also really thick fabric, which made it hard to get really crisp folds and seams sometimes. But overall, I like it a lot.
Up next I need to make a Sweet Sunday Bag for my son, who is turning 8 this weekend. I also have a baby shower on Saturday. And after that I will be making some fun Christmas dresses for my girls. I have a full plate! I'm not sure when I'll be able to finish my next Cheyenne Tunic.