Sewing Vloggers

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Dyna-Flow Top, Butterick 6486

I am 90% pleased with this wearable muslin. It is a muslin as well  as a painting experiment, after all. I'll go through and let you know where it failed. My goal here was to find a pattern for a dress/jumper that would basically hang from the shoulders but still fit those shoulders. I wanted something I could wear a turtleneck under in the winter, make out of warmer, bulkier fabric; and whose bodice I could manipulate into a curved waist that you don't see here (in my head).  Basically I was looking for a loose fitting block to play with at a later date and I found it.


This is Butterick 6486.   It is described as "Misses loose fitting , gathered waist pullover top with bell sleeves." I will now get back on my Ease Rant. This pattern got terrible reviews on Pattern Review due to the  fit. Did you know that the words pattern companies use to describe their patterns are up there with biblical book and verse? If it says loose fitting, it IS loose fitting, people. ALSO, in the pattern books at the store as well as on line on their sites are the ease charts for the Big Four pattern companies . If the pattern company describes this pattern as "loose fitting", (back to book and verse) by the ease chart, that means there is 5 1/8 to 8 inches of ease above your bust measurement for this particular pattern design. This is DESIGN EASE. This is not ill fit. Know what you are buying. Do your homework. If it has that much ease and no darts, you know it will be a bag. So if your bust measurement is 34, this could be up 42 inches wide at the bust. I was looking for something that would just hang from my shoulders. It works for me. If you want a bodice that is fitted with darts, this is not your pattern. I will now get off of my Ease Rant soapbox that I know I have been on a lot lately. I apologize for being so brusque!

All that being said about the fit of this garment, it went together perfectly at all seams. I was very pleased with the drafting. The pattern, once the fit is understood, makes a great, loose fitting, comfortable top, one I think that can be pretty versatile. There was not too much ease in the sleeve caps. The sleeves were beautifully shaped with a distinct and welcome difference in shape between the front and back armscyes. I applaud these sleeves.  Here, at the waistline,  is where I saw a problem, the ten % that failed, IMO.

 OK, I have boobage, a C cup and narrow torso. I did some measuring. For me to make the back bodice match horizontally with the front bodice I would have to either lengthen the front or shorten the back by 1 3/4 inches at CB or CF. I noticed this hiking up on most views I saw on PR. Boobage made it worse. The less endowed did not have as much of an issue. Yes, darting could help but I really think it was an intentional design call that just  flunked. I looked at other patterns like this that I own and they are longer in the back as well. Is it prego? baby doll? both? Just personally I would prefer either a horizontal waistline front and back or something with a distinct design curve that gave a reason for the lengths being so different. That is my only complaint with the pattern but one easily fixable in the next iteration. I made notes and will work around this next time. 


This was the fun part! Being a trial garment, I searched the stash for something I wasn't too invested in. I dug up a very soft, much washed but still lovely, damask tablecloth that I believe to be a heavy cotton. It's "card table" size which indicated it being quite old. I had been researching DynaFlow paints and decided this muslin would be a great chance to just try some out. The paint and the fabric did not disappoint and I go into more detail about the painting process in my last post. I first cut out my pattern pieces. Then, I painted them, let dried and then heat treated them for permanence. After that is was crank up the machine. The fabric was a bit ravelly but we managed. I love how the color separated in other shading. If this were done outside in the hot sun I think the colors would have dried to quickly to separate and would have remained more intense. I will definitely be ordering and using more DynaFlow again, great paint. In the first photo of the front of the top you see swirls on the breasts. It doesn't come across like this in reality. The damask design in the fabric is lighter and picked up the flash from the camera in a way that made it shine far more than it does. You don't motice it much at all in person. The fabric was great to sew on. Love those natural fibers! 


ditch stitching in well of shoulder seam and understitching

There is nothing difficult about this pattern. I did tweak a few things, aka, did them my way so here is a rundown. 

* I did not use the pattern recommended French seams. I wanted to be able to adjust my muslin if needed. I opted for a simple and quick stitch and serge for all seams. 

* I used the recommended facing for the V neckline. I did the Nancy Zieman triple stitch treatment for the understitching and serged the edges. It was interfaced. The facing was then ditch stitch at the shoulder and CB seam wells as shown above. 

facing triple zigzagged and interfaced. Fabric is baby cord.

sleeve head catch stitched to seam allowance between notches

* When the top was complete I felt like the sleeve cap was caving in. I had left my seam allowance in and pressed it toward the sleeve but it just didn't give the nice roll I like. What you see above is a strip of quilt fleece catch stitched to the seam allowance within the seam allowance so no stitching shows publicly. This is then flipped toward the sleeve with the seam allowance and gives the armscye a bit of a soft roll. 

* I used what has become my "signature" machine hems. I started using this just on knits and now bring it forth whenever I need a machine hem.

inside hem

outside hem

* The hem is made by folding under a 1/4 inch and then turning to the inside another inch and pressed into place. The hem is edgestitched with an edgestitching foot and then again almost an inch away to catch the top edge. There were a lot of thread color changes while making this top.


I think I have a cute top to wear with jeans, dark or white, or with a flowy pair of white linen pants. I recommend the pattern with suggested awareness about the design ease as well as the shape of the waistline seam, which I don't think flatters anyone. Otherwise, this is wearable, cute and fulfilled it's goal of giving me a loose block to play with in the future.

I apologize for no personal modeling but hubs and I are in the midst of carpentry on our facia boards and painting the house. We are doing it ourselves and have two weeks to get it all done and are in full focus mode. I am not sure what my next project will be. Have to get this house painted first! Color: Sherwin Williams Peppercorn!. ....Bunny

ETA: We had some visitors in the yard for brunch this morning!

Monday, August 5, 2019

A new top, Butterick 6486 and painted!

I am going to call this The DynaFlow Top. It has really been fun to play with. I got this pattern some time ago and a pretty floral to make it up with. Will it fit? On Pattern Review there were numerous comments about how large the pattern ran. I was specifically looking for a pattern for a future project that would have a rather loose hanging bodice with an attached skirt and this looked like one I could use to reach that goal, something along these lines.  I do promise you, my plaids will match a bit better than these if I use them!

 For now, it's hunt something for use as a muslin from the stash.

I started to search  and since I had a pretty good go with my Dandelion Dress muslin I looked at better fabrics but not fabrics that were too too good. I was just playing here. This was a loose fitting top so if the fit was a bit off on the wearable muslin I could live with it.  I decided on a vintage cotton damask tablecloth in sky/baby blue. It  was beautiful square cloth and so very soft but, ugh, that baby blue! The contrast on this photo has been exaggerated so you can better see the fabric. The design is not yellowy at all in reality and is really pretty. Having been washed countless times, it has that worn softness  and should be comfy to wear. The sample you see above also is from the scraps. When something goes into the stash and has a defect, I mark it with a small safety pin so I won't not notice it when it is time to cut.

This project has been in the "to do" pile for quite some time and in the meantime, on a Pinterest binge, I clicked and discovered a paint called DynaFlow (no affiliation). Then I got sucked into Youtube vids on said paint and I was sold. I cautiously laid down my plastic on the Zon for one bottle but in my favorite color, periwinkle. I thought I would try just this one bottle before buying one of the sets of colors. It was in the six dollar range. I did find that Amazon has limited color choices and there is a lot more available at Dharma Trading.  Let's see what happens!

Finally, today I got a chance to play with my paint and my soft, blue tablecloth. I cut out the top but only with my usual petite adjustments. There were no darts which worries me but we will see how it looks. In reviews the top pulled up on the uber busty but on those just a little extra busty it seemed ok.

I  cleared my work table and was thankful it was so long. Then I laid down what the bag said was a drop cloth but when you pick it up for a dollar at the dollar store you can't expect much. It was a big sheet of very thin plastic but it worked. I covered everything around my work area in case of over splash. the sheet was secured and then I spread out my pattern pieces flat on top. I did some piecing on the peplum strip to accommodate the design in the tablecloth and max out the yardage. This top pulls over the head. I did my best to match the design of the damask as I cut out.

Next I sprayed the areas of the garment pieces where I wanted to paint with water. This paint is the consistency of water itself but quite intense in color. It flows like watercolor paints but is more saturated. You can play with it like water color paints. It is heat set in the end and all I read and see says it is very permanent. Those areas I sprayed? Not enough water and too futzy. I switched to a bowl of water and a clean two inch paint brush. I just brushed water generously where I wanted to put paint. This technique made the fabric stick to the plastic sheet in a nice flat surface to work on, no wrinkles.

Once everything was wet. I poured straight DynaFlow into a junk bowl and dipped in that same brush. I painted along the top edge of the peplum and I wanted more intensity there. Then I cleaned my brush and just pulled down the paint with a clean wet brush which made it lighter, just like a water color would behave. By the time I did the full strip of the peplum I went back and did another coat near the top edge to intensify it further. I painted all my pattern pieces in this method as I had envisioned. I shut the light out, went upstairs, grabbed a beer and made dinner.

A couple hours later I went back to my studio to check things out and loved what I had found. The color had migrated a bit in a nice soft way and it had separated into different tones in a few places, very pretty. I liked it even more now.  This morning, after drying all night, it looked great, what you see above. When it is all dry for 24 hours I have the option of ironing it or throwing it in the dryer to set the color.

Here we are after 24 hours. Years of painting fabrics have taught me that the color can migrate to your ironing boards and show up when you least want it to on a white shirt. I covered my steam press with a heavy towel, laid down the pieces to be heat set, put a press cloth on top, and turned the press to "cotton". I used no steam.  We are now ready to mark and get sewing. This looks like a pretty quick top. I will pay close attention to the upper chest armscye area per the reviews on PR but the largeness I think may be what I want for a future project and this experiment will let me know that. The DynaFlow muslin top begins!      Bunny

Saturday, August 3, 2019

I have found my Muse

I have finally found a woman I can really relate to, someone who gets my love of color, love of painted natural fabrics , and love of tailored details. I think this woman is beautiful, wears clothing extremely well, and inspires me to dress in ways I hadn't thought of. I don't know her name. I don't know the designer she models for. All I know is that if I could dress like her and even look like her in my dotage I would be very happy.  Why wait for my dotage? I am inspired to copy this garment now!

I keep seeing the name "Milano Moda"  and Daniela Gregis come up when I search these photos. Is this the designer? Is this the model? To me this outfit exemplifies how women of a certain age have earned the right to wear whatever they want and look like they are having fun doing it! Unfortunately, what I often see happening is the exact opposite of my muse above. Notice her simple hair, her lack of makeup, her bit of tan, breaking all the rules, the classic simplicity of her clothing paired with the vibrancy of color that many of a certain age simply over do or forget to do.

Often, when one does a search for fashionable women over 60 we get nothing like my Muse. The blog "Advanced Style" rises to the top on that Google ride. Photographer Seth Cohen has made a career of roaming the streets of New York City and other big cities around the world photographing some well known and some not so well known lovelies in their favorite clothing. I find the photos interesting and the subjects appearing to be really enjoying being models in their later years. They always seem to be having fun, lots of smiles! Yay for that. But sometimes, they really have dug a little too deeply into the back of the closet! Often the women are over corseted with over Botoxed faces in combinations of garments and jewelry whose scale is so out of sync it appears to have jumped from the cartoon Maxine. These are beautiful women. I just don't want to ever look like them. In my opinion, they would be far more beautiful without all the exaggeration. Too many bracelets, too many necklaces, too many patterns , too many colors, too many styles at once, and all happening at the same time. Feel free to cruise the "Advanced Style' Blog to get my drift. Do they get dressed in the morning hoping to run into Seth Cohen or are they really like this? Is this a Big City Thing? My muse above and her designer appear to be a part of Milan Fashion week so no lack of sophistication there.

Let's look closely at how she's working it. She is always in flats, usually Mary Janes. Nothing is corseted and she is clearly comfortable but she doesn't look like a lampshade from your grandmother's victorian parlor. There are no super voluminous shapes with layer after layer after layer of ruffle, no intentional hiding of the female form. (Think Tina Givens). She is belted, often. She goes braless but not blatantly so. She rocks being braless and who's to know? . If she has an extra layer, it is because she needs that layer. She has no fear of simple. I love me some simple, in my home and in my clothing. Yes, Simple shapes, Fabulous natural fabrics, Yes!

 Our Muse loves color. Do you see that bit of red lining peeking out? Those orange shoes? Just the right spot where  you need it.

Our Muse is comfortable, so comfortable. Have we not earned that right by her age? My age? I think of years of stilettos at work>bunion surgeries;  years of pantie hose>yeast infections; years of underwire bras> they still sag. All that was collateral invested in the future time when we could just be comfortable. Our muse shows we can be older, comfortable and beautiful.

I have been searching as I write this post and have found that our designer is Daniela Gregis who I believe is part of the Italian fashion scene. She is known for using models whose ages cross a broad spectrum. Her male models are not the perfect Calvin Klein underwear type of guy but good looking real men just the same and it is nice to see them up on the runway as well. I am going to continue to follow her designs. Here is another of her models from the runway that is not fitting the standard model mold, beautiful woman, a tad younger than my muse. Here is a link to her garments which I find so inspirational. I hope you do too. I must, must, must make that pants and top garment you see in the very first picture. Thank you for such gorgeous clothes and models, Ms. Gregis. You know  how to dress a women well!.........Bunny

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