Saturday, January 26, 2019

Dolman Shirts Head to Head pt 2

This blog has been in the planning for ages, but I got stuck sewing one shirt over and over, and then I needed pants more than shirts, we moved, and moved again, started homeschooling, and well life has been crazy!
But George and I buckled down and got it done!

But I'm still working on my plan to #sewallthedolmans And making progress on that. Though in the time it's taken me to write this and sew up the dolmans for this blog, I've moved my number of patterns to try from 7 to 14! And many new patterns have come out that I don't even have because I can't justify ANOTHER pattern right now for a dolman shirt.  I may NEVER sew them all! lol

So today's blog will focus on 5 patterns, some of which are free just like last time. I decided this time to make the sleeves as the pattern directs rather than alter them all to long sleeved like last time. Although I did add cuffs to one and will denote that in my info.

I picked fabrics that were called for in the patterns, had the right stretch, or that I had enough of to make each pattern from. So it's not quite as similar as last time. Sorry. But hopefully it's still a helpful comparison.

I took the most unflattering angles so you can see exactly how each top fits, A straight from the front, side view, arms straight out(to compare the "wings", and then a nicer photo.
So without further ado Dolman Shirts HEAD to HEAD pt 2!

First up is the Cloud 9 Tee from Striped Swallow Designs
  • This pattern has Layers and no trim the pages. 
  • Pattern is written for size xs - xxxl 
  • pattern has long and short sleeves
  • I use a XL shirt for the front panel, and some white cotton spandex for the rest. 
  • I made a size Medium bust and graded to a Large hip. This shirt is one of my favorites as the fit required no alterations other than grading. I didn't even have to size up the sleeves like I usually do for my thicker biceps! I've made 3 of these in various fabrics and can say rayon spandex is dreamy, and likely my favorite fabric for this top, but all of the WORKED and I got wearable shirts. 
  • This pattern is free with a code in the group! 
  • I made my own neckband as before but I should have made it a touch wider. I served off a lot on this one and the band is more narrow than I like. 
  • directions were totally fine. Plenty of inspiration photos, Clear pictures and text for each step and easy to follow.

Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark

  • This pattern is Free! 
  • it has no layers and you do need to trim the pages. 
  • patten does NOT include seam allowance so you have to figure that on your own. I made the mistake of forgetting that the first time and had to scrap my project. 
  • I made size M bust, L waist, and XL hip. 
  • fabric is a walmart value french terry with a little one way stretch. I didn't hem the sleeves as I wanted to add self drafted longer ones after this so that edge is raw. 
  • Pattern is Short Sleeved only as written
  • I used my own neckband measurements but there is some suggestions in the directions about doing it with measurements, or calculating stretch.
    The pattern also has directions for using fold over elastic on the neckline which could be a neat feature if you used some fancy stuff. 
  • I really liked the outcome of this one. It has that comfy tee-shirt feel that I love so much. I did take a bit too much of my own seam allowance so I had to let it out a bit under the arms. I fixed this easily since I had just basted the side hems. But make sure you pay attention to how much seam allowance you add and stay within that. I recommend adding 1/2 and inch and basting so you get the best fit. 
  • The pattern has minimal sewing directions, but if you've made one basic dolman then you can make this one even without pictures. There ARE pictures when you get to the collar portion to explain that part. 

Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti Fabrics

  • This pattern is free! 
  • pattern is OS (max bust size is 58") and hand drawn
  • No layers due to OS
  • It features a 3/4 sleeve
  • there is no band on the neckline, this pattern has you turn under the neckline and stitch it down. This makes it SUPER fast. 
  • I used a silvery grey velour from walmart for this pattern. 
  • Fit is ok. I like the style of the body, but the sleeves were tight on me. I am unsure if this is due to my fabric choice or the pattern itself. I have just enough fabric to fix it I just haven't yet. Personally I'd add more seam allowance or sew on a smaller one to make them slightly larger, or just cut about 1/2 inch off the seam allowance for the width to give more room.
    The shirt itself is a very boxy fit and would be flattering on many body types. I actually gained weight and inches in my bust/hips/ and belly since making it and that part of the shirt all still fits and looks fine. 
  • directions include pictures and text. 

Hamburg Dolman by Shwin Designs

  • Pattern is NOT free
  • This pattern has no Layers and trim pages
  • I made a size M bust L hip
  • I used fabric upcycled from a knit bed sheet we had retired. 
  • My FAVORITE part about this shirt is it is both a dolman AND a raglan. Which can make from some fun color blocking. As such though it does use more fabric that the typical dolman to get the proper shape to the sleeves. 
  • Pattern has both a short and long sleeved option. (I made Long)
  • This pattern is very detailed about what all the sewing terms mean and included digitally drawn pictures as well to describe these terms. It also includes info on checking your fabrics for the required stretch. 
  • pattern includes pattern pieces for the neckband, optional banded hem, and the cuffs. 
  • Pattern has digitally drawn photos for the instructions. 
  • I felt like the fit and cut of this shirt is VERY flattering. I am not super tall, but am short waisted and long torso'd with an hourglass/pear shape. (depending on my measurements at the time.) I made this top last year and it still fits despite gaining weight and changing shape. 

Jalie 3354

  • This pattern has no layers
  • This pattern is not free
  • Pattern had long and Short sleeved options but long sleeves are not wrist length, rather 3/4 ish.
  • Sizes are letter based so I made a size S bodice and U hips. Personally I find this method of sizing obnoxious but Jalie runs from size 4- 22 so you get a LOT of bang for your buck. 
  • Pattern has lots of info on sewing and techniques as well. 
  • I used a green sweater knit from Knitpop and I can't recall if it's a hacci or something else. It has a feel similar to chenille but finer texture to the knit and the threads are not chunky. 
  • the pattern has info on hemming the neckline, or using a binding. I choose to do a band instead and used my own measurements for this. I also cut diagonally so the stripes run on an angle rather than straight across. ;) 
  • I added VERY long cuffs to mine as I do NOT like 3/4 sleeves. Be long or be short all ready! lol 
  • I'm ok with the fit of this shirt. I gained weight since making it and frankly I wasn't enamored with it before that either. I don't know if it's the fabric itself, or the cut but I just don't like how it hugs so much. It is soft and comfy so I will likely wear it still but not as frequently as other things I've made or that I've bought. 

In conclusion....

of this batch I think my favorite is a tie between the cloud 9(Did I mention I made 3 of those over the summer and fall?) and the Hamburg because I love the cut of the shirt and the raglan sleeve effect. They are both so different I don't think I could pick a favorite! So each of these will also be in my same fabrics lineup when I do a favorites comparison.

If you haven't read part one of this series check that out here>>> (this will open in a new window/tab)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ian's Birth Story 3.5 years late!

Woke around 3:30 to use restroom. Notices contractions with a strong "burn" across the muscle. 

They continued after I returned to bed.

At around 4, I started timing the contractions and they are around 3-4 minutes apart but all lasting different lengths of time. Texted the midwife around 5, and doula around 5:30. Woke John up around that time. Midwife texted back around 6 that she was headed our way as did our doula.

John packed Norrie 's lunch and the rest of her bag and woke her up. Then occupied her in the living room till her ride came to pick her up. Around 7 everyone started arriving. Our doula, Mallory got there first, with the midwives arriving next, then Johns mom to pick up Norrie. I remember crying through some of the contractions, hanging on to Mallory, squeezing both her, and Johns hands and at one point ripping the towel bar off the wall mount in the bathroom.
After Norrie left they checked me and I was at a 7-8. I was shocked! Ian was in a funny position though sort of angled with his head in my hip. My midwife recommended a rotation. Basically you do 3 contractions on your side, belly, back, in downward dog position, and with legs spread a certain way, in an effort to get him into better position and help me get to 10. We did this for about an hour when I started feeling like I needed to push. Checked again and at a 9 with a slight lip.
I pushed a little in a side lying, and squatting position. Ian's heart rate would drop but then Come back up. Around 9 we realized that while it was coming back up it was still dropping and eventually wouldn't come back up. I was put on oxygen to help myself and Ian get better heart tones. The midwives called EMS for a transfer at around 10:55. I don't feel like I was quite pushing "right" at this point. The EMS workers where really nice but had no clue what was going on despite the midwives giving the dispatcher all kinds of info. All they knew was I was female and 28 years old. I walked from my bed to the stretcher which was agony, they strapped me in and carried me down my hallway and out the door. That's when I noticed our fire department had been dispatched as well.(not unusual as our fire depatment are first responders as well. But John had them stay back and let the midwives work and give me privacy.) They loaded me up and my midwife rode in the back straddling the stretcher. The EMS worker in the back handed her things and stayed up near my face. A few minutes later we were under way. My midwife broke my water and there was A LOT. Shortly after Ian was born in the ambulance at 11:25. He was totally fine. Pinked up fast, came out crying and his Apgars where 9 and 10. We pulled over so John could come in the back and see him. The ambulance had to take us to the hospital at that point due to liability issues but they agreed that we looked fine. We where checked into labor and delivery as an outpatient pair. The Ob on staff came and checked my bleeding and determined I had a small tear but no need for stitches. Basically they then said we could check out when we where ready. John rode with Mallory back to the house to get me shoes and clothes. When they got back we weighed little man while I got dressed and he was 8lbs 13oz!!! We left shortly after and were tucked into bed once back home.
We think Ian was hiding behind my public bone and that he was fine we just couldn't hear him. We also think that the "typical" birthing position may have been a big help in me getting him out as well as having my water broken. I pushed much better in this position and was able to feel what I was doing which made a huge difference!
All in all I am very happy with our delivery. I got skin to skin, nursed right away, a second unmedicated vaginal birth, and no separation from my baby. The most important things for me. And I wasn't to tired to do it which was my fear.