A Perfectly Imperfect Bowline Sweater


I'm generally a pretty practical person when it comes to deciding what to sew, but every once in a while I see something that I just know that I need want to make.  That's exactly how I felt when I first saw the Bowline Sweater from Papercut Patterns.  It was such a unique design, but it also seemed to be something that I would actually wear a lot.  After deciding that this pattern was next up in my queue I went on a search for the perfect jersey and ended up finding this one at Drygoods Design (with juuuust enough left on the roll to make this top).

I'd forgotten, however, how much I hate laying out jersey fabric so I ended up having to cut out some pieces more than once since I couldn't get the grain right.  Then, once I sewed up 90% of the shirt, I had a minor freak out moment thinking that I had totally screwed up the grainline when I saw that half of the stripes on the front of the shirt were running diagonal  Fortunately, I was able to look at other folk's finished products to see that this is because of the design and not because of my utter impatience when laying out jersey.

I was actually pretty pleased with how everything came together...until the very last step of sewing down the front pleat.  For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what they were telling me to do and I'm 99 percent sure that I ended up doing it wrong, but I like to tell myself that it's such an abstract top that it doesn't matter all that much.

It's perfectly imperfect.

A Whole Lotta Fabric Around My Bottom Half


We've had some beautiful weather around here lately which means that it was time to put away the long pants and break out something a little more warm-weather appropriate.  Unformately, this summer I discovered that most of my lighter and shorter cropped pants are, well, way too small on me now.  I like to think of it like a little kid who outgrew their summer wardrobe.  Except that I'm not a little kid and I'm pretty sure that I didn't outgrow my clothes through some sort of vertical growth spurt.

In any case, this was the motivation that I needed to go looking for some new patterns that might fill this new hole in my wardrobe.  I loved my Vogue 9075 jumpsuit so much that I thought that some culottes might be a great addition and I ended up deciding on making Vogue 9091 (view B).

The mustard fabric is a linen/rayon blend from Joann Fabrics and, honestly, it feels a bit scratchier than I would prefer, but I'm hoping that it will soften with up time and more washings (I've only washed the fabric once so far).  As for sizing, I cut out a size 14 since that's what I had graded the jumpsuit pattern out to and it seemed to fit well.  I'm always worried about fit when making bottoms though, so I sewed up the world's shoddiest muslin just to make sure that the culottes would fit and that the crotch wasn't too low or too high.  The muslin  turned out fine so I went ahead in making the culottes without making any alterations to the pattern.

The pattern sewed up fairly easily although I struggled moving around so much fabric since linen/rayon fabric tends to be on the heavier side.  I remember having this same issue when sewing up the jumpsuit as well.  On a happier note, I had no problems putting in the zipper this time so that was a pleasant surprise.  It was also a pleasant surprise to finish the waistband and find that the fit was right on.  It was a less pleasant surprise, though, when I put the almost finished product on, stood in front of a mirror, and said to myself, "Wow.  Those are pretty ugly."

It was just so much fabric and the length hit at some weird spot between my ankle and my calf.  In an attempt to salvage them, I cut several inches off of the bottom and that seems to have been a good fix although I'm still getting used to the massive amount of fabric involved in these culottes.  I'm hoping that I can learn to love them because they're incredibly comfortable and the color is pretty fun to wear (and like nothing else that I own).  I haven't totally given up on the idea of culottes, though, because I just bought Kelli's new Emerson cropped pants pattern which is kind of culotte-ish and I'm excited to try a pattern that has a slimmer leg.

On a totally unrelated side note, if there is some weird horizontal wrinkle in front of the dart in these pictures, it's only because I tried to be a good blogger and do a quick ironing job before taking these pictures and I think I accidentally ironed that wrinkle into the fabric.  I guess I could have re-ironed them and then re-taken the photos, but the likelihood of that actually happening was approximately 0.01 percent, so take what you can get, people.