Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Penny Trifecta

The big day has finally arrived.  I know all 3 of my readers have been DROOLING with anticipation.

What could these two sisters have come up with????

If you've had a chance to visit my sister 's website over the years, you'll see that she sews.  A lot. 

Almost everything in beanster's wardrobe is self made. 

And sometimes, she takes the time to make herself some clothes too.  This is how I discovered kitschycoo and the marvelous pleasure that is sewing with knits.  She told me to get one of kitschycoo's patterns and try it out for myself.

And now, I'm a dangerous knit-sewing machine.  Just when I thought I had exhausted the knit options at Joann fabrics, I've managed to make a few more things.

AND, I ventured into the world of altering patterns and mashing up two patterns together to create the ideal top for myself.

So, my sister thought it would be fun to do a mashup together, with the same patterns, but with our own versions of putting two patterns together and seeing what we'd get.

 TA DA!!

We took kitschycoo's Trifecta Top and mashed it with the Penny Pinafore.  I planned to do the exact same thing my sister did, but I just didn't understand how to do what she so carefully explained.  We even put our heads together over my parents' kitchen island, and she moved the pattern pieces this way and that and showed me where things would line up but I just didn't get it.  Now that I've done both patterns, I might be able to understand the plan better, if she reexplained.

So, my mashup is the V neckline of the Trifecta Top with the tunic style of the Penny Pinafore.

I used a very lightweight, but not see through knit.  I liked the colors a lot but had no idea how staticy it would be.  The bottom picture shows  how it clings 99% of the time.

I had the best plans for this. Instead of a tunic, I wanted to make a long dress like I did here with the Lady Skater.  For that one, I had used every inch of the 3 yards I bought, so I assumed this would do the same thing.

When I found the fabric, it was the only bolt of it in the store and didn't measure 3 yards.

It's brown with all kinds of colors running through.  It's either neat or it looks like a dirty rug.  You decide.

I took it anyway and figured I'd do a tunic if I had to, but maybe I could squeeze out a dress.  It wouldn't have such a full skirt, so it might work.

Said sparkling as she fell into a trance.

I did something I've never done, and laid out the pieces as best I could imagine before I cut anything.  I had the grainline right every single time.  The stretch was marvelous.

And to my shock and amazement, I had just enough to do what I wanted, so I busied myself with figuring out how to extend the pattern to make the dress.

And then my serger bit the dust.  I'll blame the rest of the post on the dying of my serger.  And I will explain the latest with that tomorrow.

That meant that I had to go back to my regular machine, which isn't the way I like to do knits.  And even though I do a very careful 3/8 inch seam on  my machine, I think the reality is that it's even smaller than that on my serger.  So, this  might end up tighter than  my original Penny Pinafore.

The seams have nothing to do with why there is a tunic in the above pictures and not a dress.  The seams have to do with the snugness of the top.

But I came undone when the serger croaked and didn't think clearly again for the rest of the day.

Or the week.

See, when I laid it out, I must have done something different than when I laid it out for real.  So after cutting everything except the two last pieces, I discovered I didn't have enough length to do what I so desperately want to do.  I was just slightly short on fabric.

So that meant cutting the other pieces back to tunic length, because that was just the right length for my remaining fabric.  BUT, it also meant that I had to cut two back pieces because there wasn't enough to make a fold.

Thus, a back seam that isn't really meant to be in the pattern.

Honestly, if I made one pattern to its specifications just once it would be a miracle.

Because I didn't mention that one half of that back is going in the wrong direction because that was all I had left.

No one would notice, possibly not even the trained eye.

The overall effect is snuger than my Penny and Trifecta by themselves, but not so tight that I won't enjoy wearing it.

The V neck is once again not quite how it should be, but I have come to accept that I am defective in this arena and rounded Vs are my thing.
I did a lettuce edge on the hem because I didn't want it to go any shorter and this knit was light enough that a lettuce edge was totally appropriate.

And I love how the princess seams line up on this one, like I did in the Penny Pinafore.  I don't have a good butt shot, so I'll show you my boobolas instead.

Princess seams intrigue me.  Patterns always make them sound so hard because you have to ease the seams, but on of my first dresses when I had no skills involved princess seams and I managed to do them well.  The one compliment I got on my pink Penny is that someone liked the way the seams fell.

So, while I expected this to have the swing of the Penny Pinafore, it missed the mark a little because of my spontaneous seam in the back.  And possibly my 3/8 inch seams. 

If you've ever thought of putting the best of two patterns together, I totally recommend it.  If you like each part, there must be a reason, so that pleasure will make merging them together that much more pleasant!

You can link up your own mashup here!

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