Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More J. Crew

I like J. Crew. A LOT. * Not only is much of my wardrobe from there, I often find inspiration for my sewing projects on their website and in the catalogs. As soon as this cami came out a few months ago I was smitten.

J. Crew Joelle cami, $78.00

I decided to go out on a limb and make my own pattern, I won't even call it draping because I don't have a dressform and I'm sure I broke all the rules, whatever they are. I just took some muslin fabric and started pinning and cutting. Here's what I came up with:

Now while I think I got pretty close to the real thing, I wasn't thrilled with it. I've been trying to figure out why and I decided it's just not that flattering on me. The gathers at the waist kind of poof out at the belly, and the pleats on the top just look better on someone with a smaller bust.
Like the lithe J. Crew model you see here.

I have 2 more colors of silk charmeuse ready to go that have been languishing while I mulled this over. Leave it to Erica B. to come up with something equally cute but probably a better fit for my figure, this simplicity top also done in charmeuse. I think the tank style, coupled with the princess seams and less tucks will be much more flattering on my shape. It just so happens simplicity is on sale at Hancock's until tomorrow, I think I will pick up this pattern and make up a quick muslin to confirm my hunch.

*DVF you will always have a place in my heart (and my closet), but I just can't wear pretty dresses everyday.




That is so cute. You are very talented. Do you have any hints for working with silk charmeuse? I just had a disaster trying to make a dress out of silk charmeuse. I accidentally sewed over a pin and broke my sewing machine needle which then proceeded to sew into my fabric and rip a hole and pull it badly. I had no choice but to throw away the dress.



Rachel I'm sorry to hear about your dress! I love working with silk charmeuse, there are a few things I do to make it easier, and a few I've heard of but not tried. :-) I always use a new, sharp needle, like a Schmetz Microtex 70/10 (I think?). I use sharp fine silk pins (don't use dull pins, throw them away). Always use a press cloth when pressing. I've never had to do much more than that to get it to behave, I do sew over pins when necessary but never fast, if the needle hits the pin at a slow speed it will usually just push it out of the way instead of break. Other people have recommended starching the material first, or using a straight stitch throat plate and foot. I haven't found those necessary. You can email me at the address in my profile if you have more questions.



Thank you so much for answering my question. I think I need to get some better silk pins than the one I am using. I am going to try again. Even with me starting over, I will still have less money spent than I would have if I had bought the dress I am copying. I really love your blog and am thinking about starting my own. I found your blog through MUA.

Carolyn (cmarie12)


Leslie, I think the top can be improved by adding tucks to the front and raising the elastic to just under your bustline. It would give the top more definition and probably would look better on you. Now this is totally unsolicited advice that you are free to ignore! *LOL*

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