Mandarin Shirt Sew-a-long: Day 4

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Find the rest of the Sew-a-Long series here!

Are you ready for the 4th installment of the Mandarin top?! Fitting can be intimidating. Just remember to go slow, take it one step at a time, and do tiny adjustments until you get it where you want it to be! And don’t over-fit! If you try to get a garment to lie completely flat with zero wrinkles, chances are you won’t have enough wearing ease left and it’ll be terribly uncomfortable. There are many great articles on the internet that can help you learn how to fit! Even if you’re nervous, go ahead and give it a try. Hands on experience is the best teacher 🙂

For this step you will need:

  • Mandarin pattern instructions
  • Both fabric AND paper pattern pieces
  • Sewing machine + thread + scissors + pencil
  • Pins or Wonder clips (my favorite!)
  • Seam gauge, measuring tape
  • Full length mirror or camera w/self timer to check the fit
  • Seam ripper!

First, assemble your shirt according to pattern instructions. They are really terrific! I love the illustrations of each step. And I was pleasantly surprised by how easily and quickly the top came together! Truly the most time consuming part of this pattern is the fitting. But that’s the whole point of sewing for yourself, isn’t it?
It was a dream working with all of these pattern pieces – they aligned perfectly. I imagine this is why quilting is satisfying for so many people….everything fitting together so nicely! I am an extremely sub-par quilter, so quilts don’t really do it for me, but I LOVE a well-cut, non-slippery woven clothing pattern!

As mentioned before, for the muslin I omitted the collar and cuffs. I even omitted the buttons and buttonholes at first, but I did add them in later.

Once it’s together, try the top on. I pinned together the buttonhole markings for the initial fittings.

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If you need fitting adjustments, take note, and fix one at a time. From this fitting, I could see that I needed to: [Read more…]

More Sewing, Coming Soon!

Hello dear readers! I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. But I have some excellent news….

I unearthed my long-lost Mandarin shirt pattern pieces!!!

We stayed in over Memorial Day weekend and deep-cleaned our house, and that’s when I finally found them. Buried in a box. In my husband’s office. Why?? Who knows!

In case you’ve forgotten what the Mandarin looks like, here is the photo from the Jailyn website! I haven’t quite finished mine up yet. Stay tuned 🙂

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I am so thrilled to be back on track for finishing that top. If you want to join me – check out the Mandarin Shirt Sew-a-long post for all of the pattern and fabric details, as well as the first 3 tutorials (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3). I’ll have the 4th tutorial posted next week, all about the completed muslin and adjustments to make for the final pattern.

I also have some more sewing to show you soon…I want to tell you all about my favorite Indie Pattern Company, Patterns for Pirates! Judy Hale, the pattern designer, has a gorgeous hourglass figure and drafts her patterns to accommodate curves. I haven’t had to do a full-bust adjustment yet! Stay tuned for my reviews of their Slim-Fit Raglan and Sweet Tee tops. They are both fantastic beginner patterns, with gratifying fit results!

Judy is also releasing a new swimwear pattern this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited….just look at these sneak peeks for the Take The Plunge one-piece that Judy posted to the P4P Facebook group:

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Wrap front, nipped in waist, low rise bottoms, multiple strap options…It is literally everything I have been longing for in a one piece. And since Judy made the pattern, I’m confident it will have room for my breasts, too! Can’t wait to try it out and let you know how it goes 🙂

ETA: The swimsuit pattern has been released! They had SO MANY testers of all shapes and sizes, and I am in AWE of how fabulous it looks on all body types! You seriously need to scroll through the image gallery. Look at how well the swim bra supports some of the larger-busted testers (and that Wonder Woman suit!! All the heart eyes):

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It’s on sale through Monday, no coupon code needed. Buy it here (not an affiliate link, I just love it)! I got mine printed and taped yesterday and am soooooo excited.

Happy summer, and happy sewing! Do you have any exciting projects planned? What curve-friendly patterns do you love?

Leah at the Launch

Sorry there’s no Off the Rack this week. I kidnapped Leah to my pop up shop launch last night, and Miss Non-Corporate finally tried on my shirts. She loved the way the 6M fit. For reference, her waist measured 31″ and her bust measured 37″, and she’s wearing an amazing Avocado Comexim bra under the shirt.

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Sew-a-Long Update

A sewing tragedy struck last week – one I’m sure you sewists are familiar with! Or at least, sewists who are untidy and scatterbrained like myself 😉

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My sewing space. Yes….this is what it generally looks like.

I finally found time to stitch up my Mandarin shirt muslin . . . and my pattern pieces were nowhere to be found! Both my cut-out fabric pieces AND my carefully adjusted paper pattern. The only pieces I could find were the top bodice pieces, because I had sewn the darts in and apparently separated them from the rest of the project (why I did that, I have no idea).

I tidied up my entire sewing room and couldn’t find the missing parts anywhere!

Tears were shed. It was a sad, sad day.

I haven’t completely given up hope –I’m still going to hunt one more time and clean more thoroughly. But it’s looking like I may have to start from scratch! Don’t you just love when you have to start a project over from the ground up??? At least it’s an opportunity to make improvements. Seeing as I just finished breastfeeding last week, my bra size might be changing soon and maybe I’ll need new pattern adjustments this time around! Hopefully this setback only amounts to an even better final product 🙂

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