Monday, July 24, 2017

Seamwork Loretta in Arizona After

My first sewing project back in the U.S., and my first project on my new baby, an all-metal vintage Bernina! 

For my first project on the new machine, I decided to go with something simple. Plus, since my serger is still on its way from S.E. Asia, I planned to use french seams, so simpler is better on that front, too.

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This is the Seamwork Loretta, a simple peasant-style blouse with flowy sleeves and an elastic neckline. It's billed as being convertible: you can wear it up on your shoulders or pulled down off of them. Off the shoulder is not my style, so I'll be sticking with the regular look. It comes in two lengths, tunic and top. I opted for the top here.

 The fabric, from my new local fabric and yarn shop, Nido, is from April Rhodes' Arizona After line at Art Gallery Fabrics: Ojos Flame in rayon. I love the rusty orange color. The fabric is quite silky and soft, although more lightweight than other designer rayons I've tried, like Cotton + Steel. I think I prefer the slightly heftier rayon.

Speaking of Nido, I am really excited to have a local craft community. Nido has weekly open craft nights on Tuesdays, which I am planning to start attending when I can, and it has sewing and craft classes, too, with visiting artists from time to time. I'm registered to take a shibori dyeing class in August, which I am looking forward to! I've also signed up for some classes at the Generator, a maker space in the city. Lots of creative happenings in this town, that's for sure. Hooray!

For my Loretta, I switched up the construction slightly at the neckline because I didn't think an exposed elastic casing would look good in this print. It looks lovely in the bias cut stripes in Seamwork's sample, but the Ojos Flame print looked a bit chopped up on the bias. Instead, I treated it like a hidden bias tape facing and ran the elastic through that.

I also messed around with the hem shape slightly. The way the pattern reads, there is a curved hem in the front, but the back goes straight across, which seemed strange to me. I decided to curve the back hem to match the front, so it's more of a shirt-tail hem that dips in the front and back and is slightly higher at the sides.

The fit is loose, as expected, and delightfully flowy, as I hoped. However, the armholes are really quite low- my whole bra band shows! Arg! I feel like a pattern this simple should really be sure to get things like that right. It's not the end of the world, but I would prefer if it came up about 2" higher at the underarm.

All-in-all, though, this was a good "welcome back" project! I love how it looks with my Birkin Flares and my new clogs (Clarks Ledella Trail, recommended by Jenny of Cashmerette... so, so comfy!). I topped the outfit off with a vintage '70s necklace I stole from my mom. Perfect!

What do you think of my new photo-taking spot? This is the front/side yard at the apartment building where I am currently staying for a few months. I felt a bit nervous about taking photos in public (yes, I know the balcony at my Bangkok apartment was not technically private, but it felt more private). I got a few questions (and two pairs of pants to hem from my neighbor/landlord) and some weird looks, but I like how the photos turned out. It'll do for now, I think!