Monday, September 7, 2015

A Cutting Line Ensemble (Getting Back Up on the Horse)

After the sewing fail and the conference, this is what I've been working on. It's not perfect, but wearable. I took Louise Cutting's all-day workshop at ASG in 2009 and learned a lot of techniques, but there's a lot you forget. And my experience with Cutting Line Design patterns has been largely limited to the two shells (Pure and Simple and My Heart's a Flutter) that I've made over and over again. So I'm branching out, applying some techniques, and testing some new patterns.

For this outfit, I used the camp shirt from Easy, Ageless, Cool. The upper part (neckline, shoulders, armscye) is based on a Small and the rest is a Medium. Comfortably loose, but I think I'll shorten the sleeves a touch next time, as I did for the bodice. This pattern also has instructions to add front and back darts for a closer fit, but I chose the undarted version this time because of the thickness of the fabric and the embroidery. I also left off the pocket this time, which would be totally decorative anyway.

The skirt is from In the Trenches. I traced it much, much shorter than originally drafted. I'll be tracing off a longer version later on. I used a Medium to start with. The pattern includes instructions to refine the fit to your own measurements, so it's narrower than a true Medium as drafted.

The fabric is an embroidered rayon and linen from my stash. I ironed both garments before putting on and photographing the outfit, believe it or not. Hopefully it will become more pleasantly rumpled instead of creased over time. The detail pictures below show the embroidery better. The picture above is probably closest to the true shade.

One of the things that takes some getting used to with Cutting Line Designs is the amount of detail the instructions contain. Each of the patterns I've examined have had at least 6 pages of instructions. The temptation is to skip over them (like we all do on the Big 4), but I found it helpful to actually follow them step by step and not assume...some of her techniques are different than what we're all used to but they work.

Here are some more details of the garments.  The pattern piece for the collar is one piece; that is, you only cut one layer which incorporates both upper and under collar. The front edges are on the fold. One of the things that I did this time that I will do differently is to use a thinner interfacing. I just used some fusible tricot I had on hand and it was a little too heavy--that's what happens sometimes when inspiration strikes and you can't wait!

The collar features a center back seam on the underside. Once the center back seam is sewn, the collar starts to look like what we're all used to. Louise uses the one piece collar on all of her patterns that have collars because bulk is reduced. She credits Judy Barlup for this technique, and I believe there is also an old Threads article showing how to adapt conventional collar patterns to this.

The shot below also features Louise's deep back facing. She claims it helps to balance the garment. I'm not sure about this (yet), but I have seen a lot of RTW with back facings that use this deeper style.

The shot below shows the Louise Cutting elastic waist and pocket. Keep in mind that the skirt is not as gathered on me as it is on the form. My form is a little thinner than I am. :( I had my doubts about this waistband, but it is quite comfortable. It uses a soft and stretchy 1 1/2" wide elastic that Louise has sourced.

The pocket is cut on with the back of the skirt, brought forward, and then topstitched in place. Again, the purpose is to avoid the excess bulk of additional pocket seams and two pocket bags. I don't know if I'd use this style of pocket every time, but it is an interesting solution to side seam pockets.

The back vent wasn't strictly needed for this short of a skirt, but I did like it because the edges are nicely mitered.

The SewWest Closet: Nine West Sandals, Foster Grant sunglasses from Walgreen's (I forgot to take them off because I wear sunglasses all the time outside--the sun is relentless!).


Terri K said...

Nancy, you look so stylish in your cool green ensemble ! What you did with that wonderful fabric, and those two classic patterns has inspired me.

Lyrique Threads said...

Very nice outfit that shows off the embroidery beautifully. Would love to make the same outfit with the same fabric.

Audrey said...

This is a really pretty outfit. That shade of green looks great on you and the fabric is so interesting and unique.

Diane A said...

Nancy, this is really sharp outfit. Nice job on the details. I haven't tried one of these patterns yet. Your outfit has me considering a Cutting Line Designs!