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I simply love to be busy and create things, especially my own custom-made garments. Nothing is more fun than answering the question, "Where did you get that?"

Monday, March 2, 2015

Finally--a moto jacket!

I can't believe it took me so long to make this awesome jacket!  I guess the stars had to align so that inspiration and the right fabric merged!  Which is crazy to think about since I've had this pattern for months and the fabric for at least a month!

I guess cleaning up my sewing room and coming across the two things together made me finally jump on this and wow, I am thrilled with the results!

So this is Kwik Sew 3764 and I love everything about it!  The description from the back of the envelope is this: Unlined jackets have collar and overlapping fronts with zipper closure in left panel seam.  View A has epaulettes, waistband, pockets with zippers, zipper with gusset at bottom edge of sleeves, and snap or button closure on epaulettes and waistband.  View B has hemmed bottom edge. This is designed for medium weight woven fabrics.

I made a modified view A meaning I didn't include the epaulettes, but otherwise it is straight up as the pattern is written.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the directions are VERY well written and VERY well illustrated! Most Kwik Sew patterns are awesome, but this one is exceptional and I truly mean that!

I LOVE this fabric I choose which was made by P&B textiles and is listed as a faux leather.

It is made from Polyurethane, polyester and viscose.  It's hand wash, you then roll the garment in a towel to squeeze out the excess water and let dry.

It was actually fairly easy to work with although a little heavy and I didn't really struggle with it until the two sections of the collar and the facing were sewn together--that's three layers!  But I went slowly, used my walking foot and it all turned out pretty--if I do say so myself!  This fabric has an embossed quality to it.

The directions for the zippered welt pockets and the sleeve zippers and gussets was just brilliant!  If you follow those directions carefully and mark your fabric carefully, sew with precision, you will love your results!  Having said this, this isn't a pattern for beginners.  You need some experience before tackling this.

Another finishing detail that is very nice is how the top portion of the zipper is finished off.  You most likely will have to cut it down and don't be afraid of it!  If you use a metal zipper, there are so many tutorials on how to remove the extra teeth using a pair of needle nose pliers and pull.  If you have a plastic zipper, you sew the fabric piece to the top, wrap it and cut off the excess.  It looks professional, neat and tidy. I like metal snaps and attached one to the waistband using my dritz pliers.They worked great!  No issues at all.

I made my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment and that's it!  I was a little concerned I might have to make an FBA but it really wasn't necessary with the weight of the fabric and how this fit.

Next time, I will make a deeper swayback adjustment.  I'm 5'7" and the sleeves were perfect!

I am very happy with how this turned out and I hope you'll try this too!

Thanks for reading and I so love your comments!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Recap--what did you sew this month?

February is over and now on to March!  March goes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb...let's hope so as it's cold and I cry uncle!  Enough is enough!

I decided to make a few transitional garments (with a few lingering winter ones as well) just because the below zero wind chills and cold temps are getting really old.

So enough complaining....what did I accomplish in February?  First of all, I put myself on a fabric diet.  I was hoping I had enough will power to sew 15 pieces from my stash before I even considered purchasing anything else....did I do it?  Almost, does that count?  I think I sewed up 7 pieces before I purchased more and four others before that shipment arrived...not sure if that counts, but I tried....

So here is my recap of the month: I felt like my sewing mojo went on vacation but I found it again when I created a Kwik Sew fleece jacket, wow, do I love this pattern!  I hope to see many more of these in my future!

I made three StyleArc patterns but actually it was four as one was a repeat.  Now that I've discovered StyleArc is on Etsy with instant download possibility, I am so hooked!  I have several in my pile ready to go and I can't wait!

I had one wadder and that was a Burda from the winter style magazine.  I really wanted this pattern to work as I think it is super cute but I am blaming my fabric choice as the main culprit.  I do hope to find a perfect fabric to try again. No photo...argh!

I had to make another Coco from Tilly and the Buttons cuz it so cute and easy to wear!  When I wear knit tops/dresses such as this one, I feel like I am wearing pajamas all day but still feel cute and stylish.  How awesome is that!  I'll be making more!

I think my favorite garment this month was the Donna Koran jacket.  My non-sewing friends think I am crazy when I talk about how much fun I had creating a garment but this one really was FUN!  I think you seamstresses out there know what I mean!

I hope to make more spring garments the month of March.  What are you sewing?  How do you manage your stash?  I'd love to know!

Saturday Stash Buster--My first Bomber jacket! McCall's 7100

I am so in love with so many of the McCall's patterns as of late!  So very RTW!!!  Cute, classy, need I go on?  This one caught my eye and I've been contemplating the perfect fabric and decided to just make it already!  I have so much in my stash so I looked and found three pieces that not only worked together but I think look cute and are in my favorite color palates--black and gray!  I need to broaden my horizons, I know!

From the back of the envelope: Semi-fitted, unlined jackets have collar, side front seams, bands, exposed front zipper, and sleeves with shoulder dart.  A, B: welts.  A, B, C: side front pockets.  D: Front pockets.  

I used the welt pockets from a, and the color contrasting from B to create my jacket.  

This pattern is designed for medium weight woven and stable knit fabrics.  I used a black linen for the raglan sleeves and a white, black, and gray print from Marcy Tilton for the main body.  The gray knit is from my stash as well.  I even had the correct length zipper for this!  See what hoarding can do for you?

I made a straight up medium but included at 1 inch FBA.  When I tissue fit this, I knew the apex needed lowered about an inch and I added width that you can see in my photo below.  I just used some left over scraps of pattern tissue paper and taped the pieces in which makes it much easier to fold the it all back up and fit into the envelope.

The one thing I don't do is to add to the waist line.  When I have made FBAs in that manner, I end up taking in the lower edge of the garment so I taper to nothing at that point.

I know some reviewers have commented on the crazy illustrations for this pattern, but if you read the directions, look at the photos and compare your garment, it all makes perfect sense.  Everything is shown on the illustrations--darts, seams, etc.  Don't over think it...

I love how this fits through the shoulder area and neckline.  This isn't too baggy in the body either like some jackets are that I've seen.  And, did I mention the welt pockets?  They are awesome!  That little piece of black from the sleeves gave the perfect little contrast there.  The pockets are just deep enough but if you have larger hands or are creating this as a warm jacket, you may want to make them just a tad bigger.  I made this to wear with a short-sleeved t-shirt or tank, so basically as an indoor layering piece.

Something that I have noticed about the new McCall's is that the finishes are really nice and this jacket is no exception!  I love how polished the insides look!

My only deviation, other than the FBA, was to make my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment.

This is such a great pattern!  I hope you'll give it a whirl!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Burda--a wadder of epic proportions!

Let's clear something up, I am a big fan of Burda patterns.  They are edgy, fun, creative and some regular bloggers I read have made some amazing garments!  I have quite a few Burda Style magazines and hardly ever made anything...why?  Not sure but I do think tracing off the pattern pieces has a lot to do with it.  However, when I think about the cost, it is a little silly of me to have these sit around gathering dust so, when I saw the Burda challenge, I was on board!  This is my first of the 12 I will make. I jumped on this bandwagon a little late, but I'll get there!

I immediately fell in love with the design of this tunic.  The overall shape is great fun and I am a sucker for striped fabric.

This tunic is from the winter 2015 magazine.  The collection is High Contrast and all are black and white.  The top is called the optical illusion and is shirt 122-112014-US, just in case you are wondering!

I still really love the lines but I do believe my fabric, a striped ponte, is just too heavy to pull this off in a way that it floats on your body, just as it does on the model shown.  This pattern is also one featured in the back of the magazine and there are detailed instructions.  You HAVE to see the shape of the pattern pieces!  They are crazy but necessary for the overall shape to work out.  At first, I thought I really messed this top up with how mine turned out, especially the back.  See the stripes?  I just couldn't imagine how I cut so poorly and then I looked again at the shape and there is no way to get these stripes to run horizontally, but it's okay!  They don't have to!

I based my sizing on my measurements and cut a 42.  This ended up being HUGE on me!  I won't even show you what it looks like as I just can't hardly stand to look at it!  Through the shoulders and waist it's large but snugger through the hips.  I took it in quite a bit but still can't get a workable fit.  I'll either give up on it and wad it or see if I can make it into something else I like better for myself or my 19 month old grandson.

The description is pretty accurate: Asymmetrical gathers along the raglan sleeve and side seam give this top a unique and compelling edge, especially when sewn in a striped fabric.  Wear it with any basic pant or legging for stylish flair.  This isn't included in the directions, but the sleeves are four inches longer than your typical sleeve length to give them a little gathering look at the bottom.

Since there are step-by-step directions, they are very good and complete with visuals.  The side seams are gathered and then elastic is sewn to the gathers to keep them nice and tidy.  The neckband is an easy way to finish the whole thing off!

If I find the right fabric, I may try this again but I am a little turned off by it.  I do hope I have better luck with my other 11 Burdas I am going to create this year!

Thanks for reading....any suggestions for this top?



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another Lillian jacket

Yes, I am a pattern repeater...there, I said it!  I don't even feel badly about it as I feel like repeats are the way you perfect a pattern, play with different fabric weights and types and just have fun experimenting!  

Both of the jackets from this pattern are made from Fabric Mart beauties.  My first was a lacey, wavy, striped knit that I am just so pleased with!  I've worn it and received many compliments on it!  That is a winner in my book!  This lace behaved so beautifully as it didn't stretch out of shape, washed and dried like a champ and also was perfect for the little details of this jacket such as the more fitted sleeves and armhole areas.  

I HAD to make another and so I choose this fun and funky floral that is off white with shades of brown, coffee, and black.  Neutrals are my friend!  I love sewing with colors such as these but also knew my wardrobe needs some color too!  I decided to use contrasting fabric for the facings along the neckline and the sleeve cuffs.  This pretty and punchy red was  the perfect compliment--not only color wise but also weight and fabric type.  It is slinkier than the floral and feels so nice on my skin! Isn't that always a bonus?  

This is a StyleArc pattern that I purchased from Etsy called the Lillian Knit Jacket.  This came as a PDF.  Ever wonder what PDF means?  It is Portable Document Format and that is exactly what a pattern is that comes as a download.  No more waiting for the mail service from half way around the world to deliver a pattern from Australia!

There are a few things you need to know if you've never used a PDF.  First, your printer MUST be set to the correct format or your pattern will end up the wrong size!  Always print out a test page and get your ruler out to measure.  It needs to be exact!  It's one thing to take a garment in, but letting out is another story, especially when the seam allowances are only 1/4" as in the case of Style Arc.  

This is too big.  The test square should be 10 cm or 3 15/16".  I had to change the setting on my printer before printing again.  See the difference?  

After printing, check the legend of the layout of your pieces.  This gives you great information on how you need to piece the pattern pieces so to speak!  

Note also the pattern tips!  

And, here is a beginning of a layout.  You need a big space for this!  

So back to the pattern and fabric.  What gives you a slim fit is the styling of the sleeves and how you fit the underarms.  You have to pivot at the points on the fabric.  You can see how I did that below.  

Look at what a great result you get!  

This is an easy to put together and was easier the second time!  You can really see the pop of red at the center front and slightly at the cuffs.  

The length of this pattern is great--it covers all the body parts you want covered without feeling like you need to tug it down all the time. 

See how nice this fabric hangs in the back?  It doesn't cling at all!  

 Here you can see the red contrast.  The facing is stitched down.  I also like to serge the edges of facings, which I know isn't necessary with a knit but it helps 'clean up' my edges and also gives the knit a little weight as some tend to roll a bit at the cut edge.

 I love my jacket!  I hope that if you've never tried a PDF, you'll give it a whirl.  I also hope that you'll consider using a fun and colorful contrast to an otherwise neutral color pallet.

Thanks for reading!