Friday, September 4, 2015

2015 Fall Capsule Wardrobe: Jenna Cardi

So I went back to the fabric shop. Need I say more? It was a trip of necessity. I had to buy more of the electric blue bamboo jersey... Though Gillian suggested a genius fix, I sense that I'll need more to recut the Self-Drafted Kimono Sleeve Dress skirt, which is currently too small in the lower abdomen. I'm concerned that I just drafted the skirt too straight (and too small) for too much of the length of the side seams, to use a work around (though I'll try). With an additional 0.75 yard,  I'll have options as I tinker.

I also had to buy another yard of the teal fabric (it's a rayon sweater knit, btw) that I used to make the Jenna Cardi (modified waist-length, version A with 3/4 sleeves):

This doesn't look like much lying on the ground but it's actually quite a sweet basic.
Check out those cute vintage buttons I bought when I was on that crazy button kick:

I know there looks to be some drag between the buttons on the buttonhole band, but it's an illusion. When worn, this is not the case... I opted NOT to topstitch the waistband for a variety of boring reasons. I may yet choose to go back and do so.
In retrospect, my vintage button obsession was kind of hilarious given that I NEVER sew anything that requires buttons because that would mean, by proxy, it would require buttonholes. I had a terrible time making buttonholes using my former (entry-level Brother) electronic machine. But accomplishing them with my Husqvarna 190 is veritably a pleasure. My mechanical machine produces a lovely outcome in 4 simple steps and all I have to do is change a presser foot (at the beginning) and a couple of settings (by lever). I was freaked out about making the button band (though I refused to let it cow me) and I'm really glad I found my nerve. Do you know how much faster you can sew a cardigan vs knitting one?!

But why did I buy more of the teal, now that I'm done with this sweater? Well, I was half way through when I went to the fabric shop, and I was worried that it was going to be too snug - in which case I intended to try again with the same fabric. As it happens, though I did alter the pattern very slightly, following the completion of this version, it actualy fits pretty well - especially given that the rayon is pretty stable and I haven't been able to rely on fabric stretch.

The reason that it fits is because I made a bunch of changes to the paper pattern before I cut the fabric out:
  • Altered the sleeve to follow my T shirt sloper sleeve (spans multiple sizes)
  • Altered the armscyes to follow my T shirt sloper front and back armscye (spans multiple sizes)
  • Made the size 34 in shoulders widening to a 36 in side bust (at side seam) and waist
  • Lengthened the waist length version by 2 inches on the front body of the bodice. This, along with a bit of extra fabric at the side seam (sea above), provides my best version of an FBA.
  • Lengthened the centre back by 0.5 inches lengthening to 2 inches at the side seams (my short back waist / large boobs fix that mirrors a swayback adjustment (I think).
  • Lengthened the button bands to reflect additional length in the bodice.
  • Added a 7th button (to reflect the extra length I require to make this thing waist-length on the front body).
See, the path to a pretty good first muslin is an hour of making changes to the paper pattern, based on tried-and-true alterations. My post-muslin changes were to add another inch, to the bust, at the side seams (0.5" each side), and another half inch of length at the bodice - effectively making this a bit roomier under the arms (cuz I may want to wear a shirt underneath it). It'll also be a bit longer which I sense will work better with stable fabrics having only horizontal stretch (such as this teal rayon).

But wait, I did buy 2 other fabrics:
  • A really nice rayon/poly ponte in very dark indigo - like almost black. I got 1 yard of this because, one of the great things about my modified Jenna is that it only takes a yard of 60 inch wide fabric. I want to try it again in a different material. The ponte I bought has really great recovery but it feels soft and it doesn't seem synthetic. Nor is it shiny. This stuff was 20 bucks a yard. I might have gone for the cotton/rayon ponte, a bit heftier, but that was $45 a yard. A little too rich for me today...
  • And finally, I repurchased this grey bamboo jersey (1.5 yards). I really can't say enough about how much I love the colour and the weight / quality of the bamboo fabric that Chu-Shing stocks. It's all the same stuff, dyed different colours - all beautifully.
So yeah, I did a bit more damage but I'm in the honeymoon phase!

BTW, my goal for tomorrow is to sew another Jenna cardigan and to fix the sizing on the Self-Drafted Kimono sleeve dress.

At that point, I'll have made 4 new garments for myself (I also gave one to M.):
  • Sunny (Cocoon) Knit Top - navy French terry. To be photographed.
  • Jenna Cardigan - teal rayon sweater knit / silver buttons
  • Jenna Cardigan - indigo ponte / ? buttons
  • Self-Drafted Kimono Sleeve Dress
  • Sunny (Cocoon) Knit Top - sweatshirt grey bamboo jersey) For M...
My hope for the rest of the long weekend is to produce one other garment from my remaining 2015 Fall Capsule Collection options:
  • True Bias Hudson Pants
  • Vogue 8323 Surplice Top
  • StyleArc Danni Dolman Dress
I don't know which I'll make but I guess I've got a few hours to figure it out.

Thoughts on any of this?


  1. YOU BOUGHT MORE!!!! They have got to recognise you by now, right? I'm so impressed with all the sewing you've done in the past 2 weeks. Wow! That Jenna looks gorgeous!!!

    1. Yeah. It's vaguely problematic because all I do is think of the fabric I could purchase at that place. I'm actually exercising restraint. And yeah, they recognize me :-) One of the things I totally love about the two peeps who work there (they must be the owners, they're always in there but they're quite young, IMO) is that they know EVERYTHING about the fabric they're selling. You ask them any question and they know the fabric composition and percentages. So impressive. And useful.

  2. The teal cardi is simply lovely. Workmanship is excellent and my only wish is that you were modeling it. Very nice basic indeed!

    1. Thank you! I intend to model this one too. I just need to wait for the weather to turn (so that I can take a couple of quick shots as I walk out the door wearing my new things). It'll happen, I suspect, over then next couple of weeks. We're in a Sept. heat wave - woohoo!!

  3. This looks like SUCH a great basic. I wear the crap out of teeny shrugs and shrunken cardigans. (They must be very shrunken, however. ) I have been hoarding some materials (nowhere near as luxe as yours) that I need to bite into. :D after the Hallowe'en costumes... >_<

    1. It is! You must get this pattern - it's totally you! This version is quite shrunken - which is why I'm going with a bit more stretch factor on the indigo one. I want to see how the different fabrics sew up.

  4. Wow, you've been super productive with all this sewing. You've inspired me to think about fall sewing. Well, not just think, but actually start working on something. Your Jenna looks lovely!

  5. Occasionally I get productive :-) And thanks so much! I'm really pleased with this pattern. This version may not be perfect (a bit snug) but I can keep making these cardis...