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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Anne Klein: Vogue 1499 dress

The minute I saw this pattern from Anne Klein for Vogue (1499), I knew I had to make it!  I love the lines, I love it in a stripe, and I really think it is a classic style calling for a classic fabric.  Nothing screams summer like seersucker! 


You can play with how you lay out this pattern based on how you want the stripes to run.  I choose to vary my slightly from the pattern suggestion by making the back center bodice stripe run up and down, rather than side-to-side.  


I choose to use this beautiful Maggy London seersucker fabric for my dress.

White/Muted Blue 100% Polyester Horizontal Stripe Seersucker - Maggy London - 63W

This photo was copied directly from Fabric Mart's site.  
It is 100% poly and is 63"' wide.  It so and pressed very well.

We had to take the photos indoors as it is pouring outside.  My dog, Lucy, loves to help when it comes to sewing photos.  

I really didn't deviate from the pattern too much.  A few times I sewed on the machine rather than hand stitching.  Some days I love to hand sew and others, well, I will think to find a work-around!  

This dress is super comfortable in this fabric.  It is also lined, and that fabric was also purchased a while ago from Fabric Mart.

I love the cute little sleeves. Did I mention I am very happy with the fit of this dress?  Yes, I know it could use some additional tweaking, but I do believe there is a fine line between fitting comfortably and fitting so you look like a model in a photo!  

I S-T-R-O-N-G-L-Y suggest making a muslin before tackling this dress.  I did to tweak the fit and then had to do some additional tweaking after I made this up.  The most difficult part is to get the bust to fit, especially at the armscyes as it needs to fit snugly.   Typically I don't have any issues with this area with the big four patterns.   

Thanks for reading and I do hope that you are making some great garments for this hot and very humid summer we are having.  If you live in another part of the world, I hope you are looking forward to summer and planning your warm-weather wardrobe!

Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Simplicity 1199

Have you seen this Simplicity pattern?  I think I love all five views!  

Simplicity Pattern 1199 Knit Tops for Miss and Plus Sizes

I love this pattern so very much, I purchased it twice!  The first time, I knew I didn't have it in my stash and the second time is a long story.  I knew I'd purchased it but in one of my rather impulsive cleaning/organizing rampages, I misplaced it and thought I had accidentally pitched it.  So, I purchased it for the second time.  Luckily both purchased were when Hancock's was having one of those outrageous sales--five Simplicity patterns for five dollars!

 And, wouldn't you know, as soon as I pull pattern copy number two out along with fabric, yup, you guessed it, I stumble across pattern copy number one.  I will have to re-gift it.

I made view D.  I really love all the views, but wanted to make that cute little crossover back.  It really was super easy and I wore the top today in our almost 90 degree heat with a heat index of mid-90's and didn't keel over!  


There are three layers of fabric in the back with the two overlays and the underlay.  There are two layers in the front as well.  Yet, this top kept me as cool as you can be in this heat and humidity we are having.  

Construction was easy and I only slightly deviated from the directions.  For the collar band, I simply folded mine in half with wrong sides together.  I stitched that to the shirt front/back matching the notches.  This neckband is very, very well drafted and fit beautifully!  Next, I pressed the seam downward to the shirt and topstitched.  The directions want you to fold the band in three and treat it pretty much as bias tape.  I hate doing that with wiggly knits, so I did my own thing.  

I am pleased with how it turned out!


I decided to add sleeve bands instead of hemming as this top requires a lot of it!  I treated the sleeve bands just like the neck band.   

I usually make an FBA but didn't this time.  I don't think I needed it this time.  I did however make a swayback adjustment and sloping shoulder adjustment.   


I really like this top in this bright and summery fabric I purchased from fabric.com.  The ivory knit is from my stash.  

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Redesigning the Renfrew

I was so excited to participate in the Fabric Mart post on the summer of Tees.  I knew it would be a stretch for me as pattern hacking is something I don't do a lot of, but when I do, I am just (usually) stoked when I see the overall results.  I searched Pinterest for an idea that I could use with one of my favorite tee patterns: Sewaholic's Renfrew.  

In case you aren't familiar with the Renfrew, here is a picture of the pattern envelope.  Just think of the possibilities with this pattern!  I've made this pattern numerous times and have tweaked the fit quite a bit with an FBA, sloping shoulder adjustment, and swayback adjustment.

When I was looking at all the pins I have on Pinterest, here is the look I was hoping to recreate: 

But I wanted only to recreate the back color-blocking portion and of course use my beloved Renfrew, which doesn't have raglan sleeves.  

Here is what I did for re-drafting the back pattern piece.  

I use plain tissue paper when I copy off my pattern pieces.  It is easy to see through to copy and lightweight and I can refold it back into the pattern package easily.  
 And yes, I do lightly iron the tissue before I lay it out on the fabric to cut it out.  

Here is a closer-up of the drawing along with the reminder to add the 5/8" seam allowances, just like the rest of the pattern calls for.  

Here is what the back pieces looked like after I cut out my fabrics.  I really love the contrast of the blue perforated scuba knit and the ITY floral print.  The perforated scuba knit is from Gorgeous Fabrics and the ITY knit is from Fabric.com.  I really like the blue and white combination. 

That inverted 'V' I had made so pronounced on the pattern tissue and in the cut fabric is my less so when sewn together--this is more of the look I was going for!  Notice the topstitching along the seamlines of the neck band and the intersection of the two fabrics?  I did that to conceal the seam edges.  The neckband's seam was pressed upward into the neckband and then topstitched.  The seam long the back was pressed downward and topstitched into the lower portion of the bodice back.  

I really loved the sleeves that were in the contrasting fabric, just like the inspiration photo.

I just love using a pattern to 'hack' that you've used before, fits well, and is simple to sew.

You get a hint of some fun when you see the front but with this top, the party is mainly in the back!

I love the look of this from all angles!  

Sewing with two very different fabrics wasn't difficult at all.  Just use the right needles, notions, and take your time to think through the steps.  As I said previously, I folded the seams of the neckband to upward and topstitched to the neckband.  That way you don't see that seam on the finished garment back.  On the sleeves seams where both fabrics were the scuba knit, there were some 'holes' due to the perforations.  Since at times I would be sewing 'on air' I decided to reinforce that seam with stay tape.  It worked like a charm. I also topstitched the seam on the scuba knit only along the backside of the sleeves to not only reinforce the seams but to also help them lie flat.

I am very pleased with how my 'hack' turned out, or should I say redesign?

Do you have an redesigns of the Renfrew?  I'd love to see your version!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

StyleArc Amber Woven Top

Have you seen this pattern?  I've had it in my stash for over a year and finally got around to stitching it up!

Fashionable slip on top featuring interesting details

Can you see all the details?  Darts, piping or trim along the front band and front and back neckbands. It also has darts at the shoulder seam making it a 'real' raglan sleeve.  What makes this top special is the finishings on the inside.  Everything is so tidy and neat!

The best thing to do is just show you what it looks like and then explain

This is the inside at the neckline.  There are no facings!  The facings are made with the front and back neckbands and also the front panel.  Those decorative pieces are sewn wrong sides together and then flipped to the right sides.  You stitch down those panels on the front and that is how the neckline is clean finished.  At the shoulder seams you use bias strips made from the fabric and everything is just gorgeous inside!  

This fabric was from my stash and I believe it is a rayon challis.  It looked so different on the right and wrong side I decided to turn the fabric to the wrong side for the garment and the right side for the panels.  The rick-rack is from my stash as well.  I purchased an entire box of it at an antique store several years.  The price tag on the package was 15 cents.  I should have done a better job matching the zig and zag part of the trim to it was even all the way down.  

I was showing the hubby where i wanted him to focus the camera.  It was on the topstitching, not on my chest.  I think he's hopeless.

I like that the design wraps around the back of the top.  

This is pretty boxy but overly so.

From the side, you can see that I made an FBA and a swayback adjustment and it was needed.

I like this top.  It isn't my favorite but it was a fun sew just because of the way the the panels create a clean finish.  Fabric choice is critical.  I think my rayon may have been a bit too heavy.

Thanks for reading!  

Friday, July 22, 2016

I Lu Lu, do you?

How fun is this tunic from StyleArc?  I think it is super, duper fun! 


I made it yesterday afternoon and as you'll see from my photos, wore it today so there are some wrinkles that I hope you'll ignore!

Layered tunic length top made in woven

I purchased this as a PDF from StyleArc's Etsy store.  Have you gone there yet?  Not only are the patterns cheaper, but also it is instant gratification!  You can also order a size range.  My typical size for StyleArc is a 12 so at the Etsy store, I purchase the range of sizes from 10 to 14.  That way, if a garment is super over-sized, I can print off and put together the size 10.  


This pattern has some interesting details that caught my eye.  I LOVE neck and sleeve bands!  There aren't created from merely cutting a wide strip and then folding, there are separate pieces that are sewn together to create the shaped sleeve bands.  I really, really love this detail!


This is how this garment fit me straight from the package, so to speak!  Oops, let me say that I almost always make a swayback adjustment and I did here as well.  That was my only adjustment to the fit. When I make this again, I am going to consider make an FBA and add darts.  Notice, there isn't really any shaping to this garment which I was more than okay with.  We are having one heck of a HOT and HUMID summer as I am sure most of the country is but I don't really want any tops hugging my curves!

Let's talk about the fabric a moment, shall we?  I love this coral crepe.  I don't typically sew with crepe and while it is just lovely to look at and the finished garment I think looks pretty darn good, it has sort of a spongy-quality that was a little frustrating to get a sharp press with at the sleeve and neckline bands.  I ended up hitting those areas with a super hot iron, a pressing cloth, and a lot of steam.  That helped tremendously!  


If you've made StyleArc patterns in the past, you will realize that the strength of this pattern company is their drafting, not their directions.  I had read other reviewers comment the directions for attaching the lower skirt to the bodice was difficult to understand, so I look at the diagram that was included with the pattern download and it all made sense.  

I love this tunic.  I hope to make another at some point in a lovely silk or similarly silky fabric.  

As always, thank you for reading!

I love your comments!



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Burda--welcome to the jungle!

This is such an unusual top for me to make, but know what?  I like it!  It is unique and really out there!


This is Burda, 115 A from 05-2016.  I downloaded it from BurdaStyle.com.  IT is called a cape T-shirt and that sort of fits.  

I had this fabric left over from another project and I thought the cat print would give this top a different sort of vibe.  

See how the sleeves are not really sleeves?  

Above you can see the line drawing.  This is very, very cape like in the manner in which the top of the garment is formed and cut.

And yes, the back does really cross over to the front as much as it looks.  I like very much how this 'sleeve' treatment hugs your arms.  

There isn't a center back seam on the pattern but I had to squeeze my top out of this so I added the seam.  I don't think it detracts from the overall design at all.  

There wasn't a direction on how wide to make the neckband, so I cut mine at 2.5 inches wide, folded it in half, and used a 1/4" seam to attach to the neckband.  I wanted a nice thick band so this didn't dip too low in the front or back.  

If I decide to make this again, I will need to make a swayback adjustment.  

What are your thoughts on this unusual garment?  Should I keep it, wear it?  

Sue :)