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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...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vogue 8497 Marcy Tilton Top

So, I can't seem to stay away from the Tilton girls, so here is my latest creation from Marcy.  I am beginning to believe that yes, I was meant to be a Tilton and so I am hoping either Katherine or Marcy will adopt me!

I choose to create 8497 view B.  I just love the lines of the top.  I am in need of some autumn and winter tops and this one fit the bill. 

Here is a line drawing of each view.
My original plan was to use view A, but as I started to lay out the pattern, I felt B was better for my fabric choice.

This is a multi-sized pattern: AA ranges 6 to 12 and EE ranges from 14 to 20

Here is a description from the back of the pattern envelope: Loose-fitting pullover tops have neckline, hem, sleeve, and hemline variations.  A, B, decorative stitching C, side panels (no side seams).
So my original fabric I purchased from none other than Marcy Tilton.  I have been eyeing this fabric for a while and finally broke down and purchased some of it.  How fun is a geometric print?  I love it.  The colors are awesome for fall and winter, so I snapped some of it up.  As I began laying this out, I quickly discovered that an entire top of this print would take away from the design details, so I rushed to our newly expanded and improved Joanns.  They had the perfect poly/cotton/spandex blend in basic black to set off the print.  I also decided I needed a transition from the print to stark black so I found a pumpkin-ish colored knit from my stash  that I purchased from Treadle Yard Goods in Minneapolis.  DH thinks the top is 'really different' but in a good sort of way. 
Pattern instructions and design is just great.  Directions are super easy to follow.  Drafting is accurate and the fit is just what you'd expect in a garment such as this.  I love that there are  no darts on this top.  Sometimes I get tired of darts in a t-shirt. 
I made some minor modifications to the design based on the fabric choices I made.  I added the pumpkin colored ruffle on the curved edges, both front and back.  I added this ruffle just because I felt I needed another color on the top.  I decided to use my ruffler attachment for this job and it was super easy.  I cut 1 1/2 inch strips of the fabric 44 inches wide and ruffled the entire length.  After ruffling, I basted it to the curved edge and then attached the contrast fabric.  I didn't like how my fabric laid on the curve with the raw edges showing, so I removed the contrast or the geometric print and laid it with right side together.  I serged the edges together and turn the geometric print back.  After that step, I followed the pattern directions and top stitched.   I know it is okay to leave raw edges exposed in knits, but I am still getting over my fear of doing this.  It is easier for me if the fabric is heavier as I seem to have more faith in it.  So consequently I couldn't leave the neck edge raw, so I folded it over and stitched.  As a result, the neckline is very narrow, only about 1/4 inch instead of about 1 inch. 
Other than those very minor design changes, the made two other alterations.  The first was to take in the side seams about 1/2 inch on each side.  My fabric was pretty stretchy so fit your top before you automatically take any fabric off the sides.      
I also lengthened the sleeves so they were long.  I like wearing long sleeves in the winter and to have the option for pushing my sleeves up as it is ually too warm for me.   
All in all, this is a great pattern.  I think there are so many variations that you can use this pattern at least 10 times before tiring of it.  To prove my point, I already cut out View C., which is radically different from A or B.  I am excited to see how it turns out. 
Try this pattern.  I believe you will have great results! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Silhouette Patterns, Angie's Top

s  This is my first Silhouette pattern and for it I choose Angie's Top.  I just love the casual styling of this top.  I had read some reviews for Silhouette patterns and found that seamstresses like the simplicity of the pattern instructions. 
I have to say I agree! 

Silhouette patterns have B, C, and D cup sizing.  For this top, cup sizing isn't really necessary.  I found that to be true--sort of, read on. 

I used a fun and sparkly fabric I purchased from either Hancock or Joann.  I have so much in my stash sometimes I don't remember where I purchased what.  :)  My fabric was rather lightweight and the directions do not call for interfacing, so I used silk organza as interfacing just to give the collar section, cuffs, and ties some body.  The buttons I used were antique from a local shop that has some pretty vintage yardage as well.  That fabric will be used at another time, for another review.   

What is unique about these patterns is that you use finished garment measurements to figure out what size you'd like to make.  I started with a three and took the top in on the front sections about 1/2 inch for my final fitting.  I just found the top too loose.  My measurements, based on a favorite blouse with similar sizing would have been about a three. 

These patterns have you break up the sewing into two sessions, although with a blouse as easy and simple to put together as this, you could get it done in one. 

  I like the simple styling of this top.  It is current, simple to sew, and fun.  I really like the white as it shows off the lines in the design. 

This top is rather low cut, so beware.  I will have to wear a cami underneath if I wear it out in public, which I intend to do. 

Simple, fast, stylish, what more could you want?
Thanks for reading!

Vogue 8620 Marcy Tilton Jacket

Here is the description form the back of the pattern envelope: Semi-fitted jackets, A, B, have pockets, underarm gussets and front zipper closure.  B: silk-screened embellishments.  Package instructions include silk-screening. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Vogue+8620&view=detail&id=21182C825FA8584825AB7183FE61B00F1C611F1D&first=1

I love the fabric used on the pattern envelope. 

BB is 8 to 14 and FF 16 to 22. I made a 14 and like the fit.  You can see the detail in the line drawing all the details.  http://images.patternreview.com/sewing/patterns/vogue/8620/8620line.gif

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, I think so!  I even silk-screened in the places Marcy advised to do so.  I didn't have the exact screens she used, but all the same, I do like mine and the placement is awesome.  Not too much but also just enough.  Know what I mean? 

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Omg, the instructions were wonderful!  I hadn't made a hong-kong finish in a while but felt the directions were great.  I had not previously made underarm gussets but the directions walked me all the way through without any difficulty.  In the above picture, I had been squirming and my photographer got a little impatient.  It really doesn't have that many wrinkles in it.  :)  I hope you can see the silk screening I used. 
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I just love the styling of this jacket.  It looks very high end with a minimum amount of work.  Don't leave out all the little touches like topstitching around the pockets, hand-basting the zipper, and such.  Those touches make this jacket look boutique like. 

Fabric Used:
I just love this red denim I picked up at JoAnns.  It has just a little bit of stretch and the color is so pretty!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't alter a thing.  Gasp!  I usually alter at least one thing, but this time absolutely nothing. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes.  I would really like to find a fun print like is shown in view B. 

I just loved making this jacket.  It was fun to put together, the instructions are easy to follow, and it looks very high-end.  What fun for fall! 
Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Vogue 8151

I took a short hiatus from all the Tilton patterns I have been sewing and settled on this top by Sandra Betzina.  Here is a photo from the pattern envelope:

I made the view shown above, or view A, the wrap top.
Sandra's patterns are based on sizes for mature women (bigger than average patterns in the waistline).  Her sizes are also letters of the alphabet ranging from A to J.  I made a size D but took it in considerably in the waist area.  I probably could have taken it in more, but for now, I am happy with the fit. 

The description from the envelope is this: Pullover tops with set-in sleeves, A: wrapped front, band, shirred sides and long sleeves.  B: top with three-quarter sleeves and optional tie front. 

This pattern envelope boasts the following qualities: Can be made in less than two hours
Bust darts for a great fit
Figure flattering style with set-in sleeves
Instructions written by Sandra Betzina

I used a wonderfully soft knit from JoAnns.  It has some spandex in it and was so soft and fun to work with.  I was very attracted to the print which is pretty abstract yet in my favorite color combination of black and white. 

Directions: The directions for this top are easy to understand, are well-written, and just simple to sew.  I have to say, I love the shaping of the front band that extends down both sides of the front of the top.  The darts do add shaping and if you are fuller chested, like me, any fitting in a knit top is appreciated.  It is low cut, but not too revealing.  For work, I plan on wearing a cami underneath. 

What do I recommend to others?  Go through the process of fitting the top by pinning one-inch seam starting under the arms and pinning through to the hip area.  When I did this, not only did I find I needed to stitch more than the one-inch seam allowance, but found it beneficial to stitch another 5/8 inch seam starting at the underarm and finishing at the hip. 

I did make a silly mistake when I cut out the top and accidentally cut out the front for A and then realized that what I thought was back A, was actually front B.  Luckily all I had to do was take a small wedge of fabric and splice it to the mistakenly cut back to make it fit correctly.  I was going to try and cut a new neckband but I didn't have enough fabric.  So, I made do and now it looks like a design element. 

I highly recommend this pattern to others.  It can be made in a variety of fabrics in great color combinations if you'd like to have different colored sleeves. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Katherine Tilton Top

Yes, I believe that I have to sew every single pattern that has a Tilton label on it in the near future, I am hooked! 
My latest and greatest is shown below.
You can see the pattern here: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Vogue+8793&view=detail&id=9A031B4325E15086F2B405DD8D2BCD3B58C41497&first=1

Here is the description from the back of the envelope: Misses' Top: Fitted, pullover tops, A, B, C have inner and outer collars with zipper trim, long sleeves, cuffs and stitched hem.  Contrast collar is cut on crosswise grain of fabric. 
This patter is sized XS to XXL.  I made a medium. 

This pattern is designed for knits only such as lightweight jersey, double knit, or cotton knit.  The only notions you need besides thread is a 24 to 28 inch molded separating zipper or combination of two zippers, fray check and small pieces of knit fusible interfacing. 

Instructions were so easy to follow!  I had no difficulty whatsoever!  The zipper collar looks a little daunting, but it went together slick! 

Here is what I changed/altered: Instead of fusible interfacing at the shoulder seams, I used clear elastic and just stitched it on when I sewed the shoulder seam.  Nothing against interfacing, I just didn't feel like digging it out. 
I purposely offset the zipper on the collar so I wouldn't have to worry about where the opening ended up.  (Refer to the pattern diagram and then look at my neckline to see the difference.)

I also purchased a 28 inch zipper, knowing I could easily cut off the excess without any fuss or worrying about whether it would be long enough or not.  DH thought it would rub my neck, but it doesn't at all, in fact the zipper didn't even touch my skin when I was modeling for him. 
I also didn't flip the collars around so that one main fabric and one contrast fabric showed.  I messed with which sides should be exposed to the world and like the main fabric as forward on both upper and lower collar sections. 

Fabric used: Two lovely knits, both lightweight and from Marcy Tilton.com.  The solid color I layered under the body of the top, as you can see on the patterned sleeve it is rather sheer.  Both knits were wonderful to work with and stitched up well!

There are only 17 steps to this top and if you choose the right fabrics, this will become a show-stopper!  I do plan on creating another in something completely different color wise.  It was fun to put together, rather intuitive, despite what the zipper looks like, and well, fun! 

I think this top can be dressy or very casual depending on your fabric and zipper choices.  Couldn't you just see this with a zipper with rhinestones on the teeth?  How awesome would that be?

Thanks for reading!