Wednesday, October 14, 2015

V8689 -Button Ups

Hey there! I didn't mean to stay away so long. I've been making lots of different garments and do want to share them and log my notes, but I haven't felt like taking pictures. Truthfully, I never feel like taking pictures and find it to be a big fat bummer. I'm getting older and my face and body are changing in ways that I'm still not quite used to. Also, I pull some pretty funny looking faces sometimes and have been tempted to do that thing that a lot of French bloggers do where they chop off the head, but somehow that feels strange to me even though it doesn't really bother me when I see it on other people's blogs. Ultimately, though,  I think looking at pictures of my handmade garments is helpful. I can improve my sewing by looking at my garments objectively for fit and quality of construction. And also, I think it's just generally a good idea to have an idea what you look like in order to become more comfortable in your own skin. Another part of the photo thing that bugs me (I will get to the garment, I promise!) is uploading and editing photos to Flickr. I find the process tedious and am mystified when my edited version doesn't upload. For example, I adjusted the brightness of the above pic to compensate for the gloomy light and cropped it to show more of the shirt and less of my door, but the old version keeps showing up when I upload. I know I could look this up,  but then that turns into a rabbit hole when I'd much rather be working on a project. I'm sending a request to Gillian to include uploading tips in her Better Pictures Project. If anyone can break the process down into something succinct, informative, and helpful, it's her. Okay, on to sewing...


So the above pics are one of two button ups I recently made using Vogue 8689. The model photo (below) makes the shirt look hideous, in my opinion, but the line drawings reveal a nice basic shirt. Plus there are the different bodice/cup sizes, and I wanted to give that type of pattern another go after my failed McCall's version.
Vogue 8689 line drawingkr

Being short and large busted makes finding and fitting into button up shirts a nightmare, so it's worth it for me to keep practicing. I ran into some problems with the sleeves, which I'll include in my bulleted notes at the end, but I will definitely stick with this pattern and make some more. Here's my first one - a wearable muslin. (It's really only wearable if I wear a cardigan over it.)


The fabric I used, a cotton polyamide blend purchased on sale at Britex for five bucks a yard, can really take a beating, but I still managed to rip it due to sloppy serging. See below:

Okay, on to my notes before I forget:
  • Sleeves are my downfall for sure. I need more practice easing, but also they're not hitting me at right place. l tried a narrow shoulder adjustment on the white version, which helped a little bit, but it didn't make a substantial difference. 
  • I think the best fabric for my body in this type of shirt is drapey. I already have some crepe cut out for my next version. The white one is a made fro a mystery fabric that feels a bit like a rayon challis or voille. It's quite sheer. I didn't have enough, so the gold collar is from a retired Zara blouse that never fit well because: boobs. Buttons were harvested from said blouse. I think it has a bit of a 70's vibe. I kind of like it.
  • The dark pink blouse has flat felled seams and, as I mentioned before, is a cotton/polyamide blend. I had never heard of polyamide before so I looked it up. Initially, I was put off because it's obviously synthetic, but what I learned is that it's good for wicking away moisture and it's super strong. Unfortunately, though, it does not hold a press well. Omigosh, don't ever attempt flat felled seams with fabric containing poyamide. What a pain in the ass.
  • Speaking of flat felled seams, the instructions have you make the front bodice first, but if you're a beginner like me I recommend doing the back bodice first. I just think it's helpful to start with an uncurved part until you get into the flat felled groove. I didn't bother with flat felling the white one because I thought it would look puckery. 
  • Size is 22 with the D cup insert (obviously) 
  • Using the button attachment is super easy and fun. I used Katie's scotch tape trick.
  • Had I thought to take a photo of me with the sleeves rolled down, you would see cuffs that fit my short, T-Rex arms. Yay for that!
My plan is to keep making these so I can get better. There's something very satisfying about making a button up shirt.
Anyhoo, I'm off to start my day. I have some other items that I plan to share as soon as I get some decent picures, grrr. :) Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!


  1. Hmmm- Tell me more about how you take, edit, and upload pics! Is it al on your phone? iPhone or other?
    If I take pics on my DSLR, I upload them to the computer, make a few edits with iPhoto, Snapseed (desktop version) or PicMonkey, then upload to Flickr. If I take pics on my iPhone, I edit in iPhoto (on my iPad) or using Snapseed on the phone. I've had that issue you secribe where I make changes then the edits seem to disappear, but only when I edit using the basic editing tools in the iphone photos app. If I use a secondary app, it saves my edited version as a new photo. Obviously Snapseed is one of my favourites - I like it because it's pretty powerful but also fairly intuitive, once you've used it s a bit. It has good features like letting you lighten or enhance contrast just in one area of the pic, which is nice because you can, say, brighten the clothes without washing out your face.) Once I've uploaded pics into flickr, then I embed the code into my blog post. It does take time, for sure, but i don't find it too slow!
    Does that help? Let me know!

  2. Thanks so much for your response, Gillian! I'm taking pics with my camera, uploading to the computer, making basic edits in iPhoto on the desktop, and then uploading to Flickr. Sounds like I should look into a secondary photo editing system such as Snapseed or PicMonkey. Will try again.

    1. iPhoto should be enough on it's own - but Snapseed or something similar is nice when you have time! On iPhoto, I really like adjusting the slider under the, um, colour graph thingy - slide the centre triangle tot eh left or right to brighten or darken, and sometimes I punch up the black in my outdoor pics when they get a bit faded.

  3. I use iPhoto and haven't had any problems uploading to flickr, but I always save them as new files after editing (mostly so I can keep track)... I've been surprised at how well iPhoto works after being used to Photoshop for years!

    Love your shirt - the drapey fabric makes it look very flattering! I often have to make a pattern at least 3 times before I'm satisfied with the fit. I agree - it's worth the effort for a pattern you know you'll love.

  4. Thanks, Noelle! I think my problem is that I haven't been saving my photos as new files. Also, my photo library is kind of out of control and really should be moved to an external drive. Maybe that would help me organize my photos better.

  5. lovely shirt, I have problems too fitting my shirts around the bust and arms, i like making them too so all we have to do is practice :)
    about the photos, I think it is the fault of the program you're using. I used to have picasa and it did the same thing, now I have downloaded in my laptop and Ipad the Adope Photoshop Express which is a free app and problem solved!!!!

  6. Thanks, Idaaidasewing! I'm definitely going to reassess how I upload my photos. Years ago, I used to use PSD and make collages, etc. for my photos, but that started to get time consuming. I want to balance my blog so that it feels more in the moment and less staged, but I would also like to create more attractive photos. I supposed that's why Instagram is such a draw for so many bloggers. Cheers!