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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?"

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Jacinta Knit Maxi--LOVE!

My love ot StyleArc continues and here is a recent download from Etsy.  I made a 12 with zero modifications.  

Here's a description from the StyleArc site: 

This sought after look is style arc’s interpretation of the current maxi dress trend. This design is comfortable, yet so stylish. Front and back angled yokes give this dress a slimming effect. The pattern provides for a sleeveless or a short sleeve version. This pattern is made for a knit fabric.Maxi length dress with V-neck

Isn't this cute and comfy looking?  I just love the design lines with this one!  This is my wearable muslin and yes, I'll make another, although I will use a fabric or embellishment that compliments the design lines.


It's Memorial Day weekend and it's raining in South Dakota....although we need the rain, wouldn't it have been nice to wait until 11 pm for it to show up?  

I do love how you can see the raindrops in the above picture!  

My fabric is a poly-lycra blend from Fabric Mart.  It was purchased earlier this winter and I love how the dots are scattered rather than in neat little rows.  
It is very light weight so this dress will be cool and comfortable in the summer.  

What I wish you could see is the front and back yokes and how they add dimension and shaping to the garment.  Although, I will say the shaping on this dress is slight--it is more semi-fitted rather than fitted or close-fitting so don't let the line drawings showing how it fits the 'model' fool you.  :)  

You can also see my cami--this is rather low cut and since I make clothing I can wear for everyday and also to work, cleavage just isn't appropriate, hence the cami!  

Here is a glimpse of the back.  It fits well.  I could take it in somewhat so I can ditch the belt, but I will wear it a few times before I decide to make that change.  

I wanted you to see what I did with the neckline.  The neckline as cut following the pattern directions was a tad too big and I felt like it didn't lay very nice as in it rippled somewhat so, despite the fact that I had stitched, serged, and topstitched, I rippled it all out...and even though I was very careful I still managed a small hole or two.  Rather than trash the whole thing, I remember I had these iron-on silver discs that I applied strategically to cover the holes.  

This dress is a very nice length.  I didn't alter anything with this pattern and I am 5'7".  If you are taller, or plan on wearing this with heels, you'll want to lengthen it.  I am wearing flat white sandals with this.  Sorry you can't see the complete length but my photographer insisted on staying inside where he remained warm and dry.  

From cut out to final stitching, even with ripping out my mistakes, this took about 3 hours total.  A great project and I am sure it will look equally cute sans sleeves!  

Is it clearing up??? 

Nope...rain is forecast for the entire day!  

Thanks for reading!  I love my new dress and DH gave it a huge thumbs up!  I so love StyleArc!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Ziggi Biker Jacket is finally mine!

Do you have patterns that you literally lust over?  Be honest...I know I do and one of the top five for me was this drop dead HOT Ziggi Biker Jacket from StyleArc.  I am going to the first to admit I have a HUGE crush on StyleArc right now and I am even more dazzled than I was before embarking on this jacket. [insert huge grin!]

So, I saw another version on SPR where a gal used white fabric and I thought to my out of control stash and remembered I purchased a drop dead gorgeous white denim from my favorite local quilt shop in Sioux Falls.  They've had so many requests for high-quality denim they started carrying it.  I probably paid a little more than I should have for this, but with short term pain such as what happened when I swiped my debit card, I am darn glad I did as this 10 oz denim from Robert Kaufman sewed up pretty special and I am super pleased with my jacket.

Fabulous fully lined biker jacket with zip features

I had about 2 yards of this beautiful fabric--honestly, buy it if you come across it!  I intended to make capri jeans but I kept dreaming about this jacket and I finally just went for it and purchased the download from Etsy.  This bad boy was something like 59 pages to tape together but if you put on a movie or watch reruns on HGTV, it isn't so bad.  All in all, from printing to sewing the final stitch, I spent about 10 hours on my FREAKIN BEAUTIFUL JACKET!!!  Can you tell I really like it???

When I embarked on this journey to sew this together, I hadn't read the directions completely.  Don't snicker...I had a vague idea of what I would be getting myself into, especially since this is a pattern that is rated for an experienced sewer only.  Yep, after making this I'd say this is very accurate.  You have to know intuitively how to complete some of the steps as we all know StyleArc directions are minimal.  Another note is that on the Etsy site where I purchased and downloaded this pattern, the center back seam isn't shown and I was confused as to what I missed as I started putting this together.In addition, the directions don't mention topstitching the seams but I did anyway as I think it gives it a nicer finish.

You can either line or not and I chose not to.  Had I used a wool or leather, then without question I would have.  I also quilted the shoulder sleeve and the yoke and it just adds a nice little dramatic/boutique touch--if you catch my drift.

Since I chose not to line this freakin awesome jacket, that met the back collar seam wasn't tucked in nice and neat so I used some light pink bias tape, stitched it to the seam at the collar and then slip stitched the free end to the jacket itself with silk thread.  Have you ever hand sewn with silk?  It is luscious!

For those cute little exposed zippers at the pockets and sleeve hems, DH found them at a church rummage sale and purchased a bag of all sorts of zippers for about three bucks.  There are about 10 of these six inch decorative zippers in there along with black ones and all sorts of others.  Score!!!

I used a tutorial on StyleArc's site for exposed zippers and found it more than adequate.  There were even visuals included!

I made a straight up size 12 for this am even though I like the fit, I do wonder if it is perhaps just slightly too big?  Maybe not...what do you think?

As for interfacing, I used a medium weight from Fashion Sewing Supply.  I even used interfacing at the seams for the zippers at the sleeves and also the pockets, even though the instructions didn't call for it.

The snaps were from my stash,yay for hoarding materials!  I find an awl very useful to cut the hole before setting the snaps.  It makes lining everything up very easy and you don't have to use as much force when you set them with a hammer.

Yes, I love this, can you tell?  I'll make another with a wool or dressier fabric.  This is a lovely pattern and I am very smitten with StyleArc, in case you couldn't tell!!!

Thanks for reading!!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sew little time--Kwik Sew and StyleArc to the rescue!

Gosh I love sewing with knits and especially those that coordinate color, weight, and care-wise!

I walked into my local Hancocks looking for only more needles and walked out with three knit fabrics: two solids and this wildly colorful print which has so many loves for me from red to coral, black to peacock green!  I simply had to have these and am so pleased with the result that I wonder why I even stumbled even a mere thirty-seconds to think about it!

I knew I wanted a skirt and immediately of StyleArc's Gorgeous Gore as a perfect candidate.  I knew there were only six gores to this skirt but couldn't remember how much I needed and of course my phone had just died so I couldn't even look it up!  I guesstimated on 1.5 yards and it works, although matching those medallions on the fabric would have been much, much better.

Great 6 gore knit jersey pull on skirt

StyleArc's patterns are the bomb and this is no exception.  It has only two pattern pieces--both of which you need to cut numerous times, so pay attention to how many you need!  There are very few steps and the elastic waistline insertion is professional and easy!  Insert instant love here!

This skirt turned out exactly as described: knee length and easy to wear.  I say yes to both of those comments!  If you are taller than 5'7" check the length, it may be too short.  If you are shorter than 5'7", check that as well as this may be way to long!

I used a very stretchy poly-lycra knit from Hancock's.  It behaved beautifully!  I made sure I sewed from the top of the skirt to the hemline to avoid distorting the seams as which can potentially happen when sewing in multiple directions.  As it turns out, I did not need to worry, this fabric behaved beautifully--although I will say I spent quite a bit of time playing with scraps to make sure they both layers fed through the serger evenly with no distortions whatsoever--thank goodness for the differential feed adjustment!  It makes such a difference on how fabric ends up looking when you are done sewing!

To hem this colorful skirt, I used steam-a-seam and was not disappointed!  I adhered it to the hemline, lifted the backing, folded that a second time, pressed and folded again.  This gave just he right amount of weight to keep the hemline nice and neat, or without ripples, when stitching.

My only alteration to this pattern was to topstitch the yoke band to the skirt portion to keep the seam from rolling.

Oh yes, I do plan on making this skirt again!  It's a great pattern. I hope you'll try it!

Can you tell I am gushing over this outfit?  I know it is VERY colorful, but with the gloomy winter we had, I need some over the top brightness in my life!

As usual, I thank you for reading!!!

More Kwik Sew Love!

Kwik Sew patterns are the bomb for directions and ease of sewing, agreed?  I love them and have never been disappointed in my final product as long as I pick the correct size, sew with careful attention, and use quality fabric.

Here is the description from Sewing Pattern Review: Pull-over tops are close fitting. View A has full length sleeves and V-neckline with lapped collar that is gathered at front neckline with four decorative buttons and loops. View B has short sleeves and wide round faced neckline with neckband that is gathered on front

I made a medium, used a poly-lycra knit from Hancock's that behaved and sewed beautifully and paid careful attention to the construction process, simply because I wanted the neckline to turn out astounding.  How do you think it looks?

This is an easy gratification project.  If you don't have much experience sewing super stretchy knits then please wait for this pattern or pick a knit that is relatively stable, yet with good recovery.

I mismatched this using the neckline of A but the sleeve length of B.  I was slightly worried it would 'hang' around the back of my neck, but it really doesn't so I'm pretty sure it will work great for spring, summer, and fall.  The neckline was easy to sew but I took a few precautions such as basting the collar edges together prior to attaching them to  the top and using fusible interfacing at the shoulder/back neckline for stability while sewing.

As with every Kwik Sew Pattern I've used to date, instructions and visuals are impeccable with no head-scratching moments at all!

I had very few alterations/modifications to this pattern.

  • I made my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment by making a wedge at the back waistline and tapering to nothing at the side seam.  However, when I see photos of my swayback adjustment, I wonder if the reason I have some bunching at the back waist line is because I didn't need the adjustment with this stretchy of a fabric?  Not sure....any ideas?  
  • I made an FBA by using the system in the book, Real Fit for Real People.  I use this method a LOT!!!  The exception I make to this process is to bring in the waistline to normal as I don't need extra width there.
  • I used an elastic hair band for the button loops and I only made three as I had only one hairband the correct color.  Therefore I only sewed three buttons at that point rather than four as the instructions call form.
  • The only other modification to the design was to topstitch the seam of the collar to the top using a stretch stitch.

I really love this top.  It's a bit different from any other tops I have in my wardrobe so that 's a bonus and I plan on making this same top, or version B, with long sleeves for cooler weather.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pattern, texture, a new dress and 2 cardigans! Every girl loves choices :)

Sometimes great things happen when you mix patterns and other times, you just don't get what you expected, right?  I love these fabrics, I am just not sure I love these together.... what do you think?

The watercolor wavy stripes was from the Fabric Mart's Julie's Pick's April mailer and not only is it beautiful, but it was just luscious to work with! It did everything I asked it and more! That's a bonus in my book.   Plus, don't the colors just scream summer? 

I used two patterns that I have been previously acquainted with. One is McCall's 7122, a GREAT dress pattern that is more fitted in the bust area and then falls from there into a lovely and graceful line at the hem.

Julie suggested this pattern for this fabric in her flyer and she couldn't have been more right! It is perfect! And, you don't even have to stress over matching the stripes since they are wavy and somewhat uneven.

It was a little windy while we were taking photos!  I had wanted to make the maxi dress, but the stripe repeat is almost a yard so I simply didn't have enough to make it longer without attempting to have some sort of order to the stripes. But I like the length, it will be perfect for the upcoming hot summer days we hope to have soon!

To top this off, I choose this lovely coastal blue poly crochet-look lace. Isn't the color just lovely? I had hoped there would be more blue in the striped fabric, and it appeared on my computer screen they would coordinate perfectly, but sometimes you can have just a little too much pattern. I do really like the lace, it was very easy to sew with and my choice of McCall's 6708 cardigan worked great since it had minimal lines and I left if without embellishments such as no pockets or buttons, or even a contrasting band! I didn't want to use any interfacing with this as it would show through. I was a little worried at how it would work, but I think it turned out great. This is just enough structure for this cardigan and it worked!

Now after I sewed both pieces, I decided I didn't really care for how they looked together in person, but now that I see the picture, I do like it much better.

Just in case I didn't like it, I found this beautiful piece of linen knit I also purchased from Fabric Mart and decided to make another cardigan from McCall's 6708.  The colors are PERFECT together and I think the pink in the linen knit compliments all the color in the dress. I do like the textures together as well, it isn't quite as busy but still pretty, pretty, pretty!

With the amount of stretch that both knits had, I decided to give it some special care, just so everything came together well. For the neckline on the dress, I staystitched it first. Next, I cut interfacing that matched the neckline curve both front and back and fused it on.  After that, it was time to attach the neckline, which I did cut slightly narrower than called for with this pattern.

I simply serged it, turned and topstitched on the right side. It lays well and again, the fabric behaved perfectly. For the hemlines, I decided to use one inch strips of interfacing that I fused and then used a double row of topstiching to ensure the hem never falls out.  It also kept the stitching nice and even and flat.

Another thing to think about when sewing with knits is to sew all in the same direction.  So for example, if you sew from the armhole to the neckline on one side, you should do it on both sides, otherwise things can get pretty wonky as one side can end up a lot longer than the other--not a good thing to happen to your lovely fabric or garment! Also, I make sure I check how my knit is feeding through the serger, if I need to adjust the differential feed, I do. Sometimes I need to adjust the pressure on the presser foot as well to get things to feed evenly and achieve a straight seam.

I am very pleased with my new dress and I do love both of my cardigans!

My normal alterations to patterns are to make a FBA and also a swayback adjustment.  Why didn't I learn how to fit early on, say 20 years ago? 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Butterick 6132, or may I say another TNT?

B6132, Misses' Top

I purchased this pattern the first time I stumbled across it and can you blame me?  Just look at that neckline would you?  It's unique, it looks like it can be dressed up or down and that is something I need in my pattern wardrobe.

Line Art

I love views A and B.  I'm not overly fond of C and D as I don't ever want to emphasize my midsection--ever!  So, I went ahead and created B but used the 3/4 length sleeves.

I didn't deviate much from the pattern directions, that is order wise.  The order of construction is logical, even for putting the sleeves in the round, instead of flat.  For some reason, I am preferring to put them in by easing, not sure why, but when you use a bizzilion pins, it's super easy!  

So, let's talk about the yoke for a minute.  I think it is important to staystitch knits, no matter what.  I staystitched both the yoke and facing before attaching them.  Next, I used stay tape on one of the seams to stabilize this knit.  It's pretty, unusual, and the recovery isn't super awesome, so this was my insurance of keeping everything nice and neat.  

I didn't even top stitch this neckline, but I did under-stitch the facing to keep it from rolling. Oh, and I almost forgot that I added a bias band at the back neckline to stabilize that area as well.  The pattern calls for just turning and hemming, but I don't like to do that ever.  

I thought about a pocket at the usual place or breast area but decided against it.  I didn't want to not have some sort of embellishment so I put the pocket at the waistline, on the left side.  It's a two piece pocket with a band on the top portion, which you can sort of see in the pictures.  I used a curved edge ruler to press the lower portion around in order to get both sides to match.

I should know better by now to take photos in the compete shade!  

I love the fit of this, with the FBA and my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment, this is what I consider perfect for a spring/summer top.  

I love my new top!  I wore it to work and received many comments.  In fact, people I've never officially met stopped me to comment on it.  What a great compliment!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you'll give this pattern a try!