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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 25, 2015

Sewing with Sweater Knits

I had to make some new sweater knits and with the vibrant colors and wonderfully soft fabrics available, it is no wonder I love both of these garments!

Both fabrics are acrylic knits with lycra.  the green, purple, black, or one on the left and made into the cardi is from Gorgeous Fabrics and was probably one of the nicest fabrics I have EVER used!  It literally feels like cashmere on your skin!

The McCall's dress fabric wasn't too bad either!  It came from Hancock's and even though it too is super colorful and the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew exactly what I would make from it.  
Both are washable and dryable.  Yahoo!

So, back to the Nina....
From the StyleArc site: This style has interesting design lines to create a slimming silhouette with a waterfall front.  The cardi is simple to sew yet creates a designer look.  

Look at how adorable those design lines are!  I love how it is longer in front and more fitted in the back.  The neckline is super cozy and hugs your body.This was so simple to put together and so unbelievably wonderful to wear!  I was truly worried I had forgotten to do something major as I was constructing it but I reviewed the directions and realized I hadn't missed a thing and look at the results!

I finally mastered using the rolled hem and ending up with a professional result--I always felt it looked like the rolled hem was an afterthought and I rarely used it on anything that would show....

One thing I love is the waterfall front.  You could put a facing on it but it would end up so heavy that you'd have to tug it down in the back all the time.  And the neckline wouldn't be nearly as flowing as it is here.  It's perfect as is.

I also cover-stitched the sleeve hems and those worked beautifully as well.  All in all, it was a great sewing day for this garment!  All the machines behaved as they should!  No times outs for bad behavior were necessary.  

Next up: McCall's 7244.  Is this dress cute or what?  At first I thought it was an ordinary dress but then I read that it was partially lined.  It also has an invisible zipper but with the fabric I used, it wasn't necessary.

I worked very hard to get a pattern to run down the middle of the dress and intersect well at the v-front and of course at the center back.  I also lengthened the sleeves so they were full-length instead of 7/8/  They are cute as drafted but living in the northern plains, you need long sleeves to stay warm from about mid-October until March or April.

You'll notice how freaking low cut this is!  I lifted the neckline's 'V' by about 2 inches and now find it appropriate for work.  It does sort of hug your chest as drafted, so that works and I may not have to wear a cami.  This was also pretty darn short--I lengthened this by about 2 inches.  I'm 5'7" and totally needed the length.  If you are taller, check before you cut your fabric.  If you are shorter, you might be okay!

For alterations, I made my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment and also made the darts a bit bigger for an FBA.  I am very pleased with the alterations and how the dress fits.

I made my usual size 14 and did end up taking it in a bit starting at the armsyces, bust, waistline and hips.  I'd have to make this again to see if it truly runs a little large.  I find McCall's size 14 tend to fit me perfectly if I make an FBA and swayback adjustment.

What makes this dress special is the lining.  I used tricot that I've had in my stash for a while and it worked like a charm.  There are even separate pattern pieces for the lining--always a bonus in my book!  The facing, is unique as well--it is made from the main garment fabric and also interfaced. Again, that worked beautifully.
Since my cover-stitch was behaving so well, I used that on the hems and it worked like a charm!

I really love both of my new sweater knits.  While I don't need a lot more dresses right now, I can see making this in a cute print for spring.  The Nina cardi I will make again this winter and I do love the elbow-length sleeves and plan to make another for spring!
Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 23, 2015

My first Lisette from Butterick--totally worth the effort!

So have you heard of other reviews of this pattern?  Here's the image if you need a reminder!

Drop-dead stunning, right?   Look at that drape!  The fit, the sleeves, the just about everything...stunning!  

There is even some twirlability with this coat/jacket!  

Here is the description from the back of the pattern which BTW is 6244 rated average...Misses' coat and dress: Semi-fitted, unlined coat (wrong side shows) has front extending into collar, flat-fell seams, narrow hem, and shaped front hemline longer than back.  Lined dress has shoulder yokes, fitted bodice with side front and side back seams, and invisible back zipper.  

I made a size 14 with my usual 1/2" swayback alteration.  I used this gorgeous double-faced wool from Hancock's that I purchased half-price.  It was just so awesome to work with and I so love wearing it!  


Construction for this is more than you think it would be.  I mean look at how simple it is and how fast it could be to put together!  What elevates this coat/jacket from ordinary to extraordinary is the construction process.  Yep, that's right....

Flat-fell seams are used everywhere except the armholes.  The inside of the jacket/coat is exquisite.  Even the pleat that radiates from the shoulder seam is enclosed in the flat fell seaming at the neckline.  

Look below and see those hems?  I worked very hard to make them exactly 3/8" with seaming super close to the fold line.  It took very careful pressing and accurate sewing.  Look at that beautiful mitered corner!  

Can you tell I really love this?  
I wore this to work today and received many compliments on it.  I LOVE this, totally worth the time and monetary investment of purchasing 2.5 yards of wool at almost $30 a yard.  

Thanks for the awesome pattern Butterick!  
And, thank you for reading!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A New Top: McCall's 7247

I made this top a few weeks ago and realized I haven't blogged about it.  The pattern is fun, cute and really just a variation of a basic tee, but that's ok.  I need variations.  And with pattern sales, this was less than $2.  How can you go wrong?

Line Art
McCall's 7247 is a pattern for a close-fitting top with one of two different overlays and a neck band.  This is easy to put together and a nice variation if you want some tees yet need some variety.

M7247, Misses' Tops

I made view B in a size 14 with an FBA.  I don't necessarily agree with the close-fitting part as I could have gone down a size but wanted a fit more like the model's photograph as is shown above. Does that look close-fitting to you?  I made the FBA on both the top and the overlay.  It was necessary!

I used fabric from Fabric Mart in this super cool wavy striped style fabric.  It was lovely to sew with. I believe it was 50% off which is an even bigger bonus and do you see the teal and orange with black? This is quite possibly my most favorite trio of colors on the planet.  :)

It was so windy today when DD2 took pictures!  For some reason, DH decided to run the sprinklers, even though it is mid-October and the water was spraying on us ever so slightly!  Also, the overlay wanted to blow everywhere as this is South Dakota and the wind has no buffers anywhere and seems to pick up speed as it zooms from somewhere in Canada.

Instructions were very well written for this top and yes, I did read and follow them.  After following a StyleArc pattern or two, McCall's directions were a welcome relief!  This pattern is very intuitive and super easy to figure out just looking at the photo of the top.

I coverstitched all the hemlines but ended up using lightweight fusible interfacing in between the hem and the top to stabilize it.  I also used some tear-away embroidery stabilizer as well to keep the seams nice and flat.  It works like a charm!  Simply and carefully tear-away the stabilizer and then wash the top.  The little scraps that hang around after tearing away disappear after washing and drying.

I like my new top.  It's comfortable, the fabric is super cute, and I like the fit.  This works well with a variety of denim from black to gray to black.  This pattern is a winner!

Thanks for reading!

Sewing For Simon! Ottobre and a Monster applique

Simon is growing fast and I love sewing for him.  So, when I was cleaning off my sewing table, I found this very nice gray ponte and it is the perfect weight for a long-sleeved tee for the little guy. The dark gray ribbing is from my stash and I have no idea where I purchased it!

I also had this monster applique/embroidery program laying close by, so I put two and two together and bam--Simon has a new shirt!


The pattern is from Ottobre 3/2012.  I modified pattern 4, or the Tigerfish striped top, only I left off the stripe. Wanting to make a size 92cm for him, I didn't have that many choices from this issue, but luckily this one fit the bill perfectly.

Don't ask me about the directions, this is a simple tee so I didn't use them.  I did modify the neckline and made it a bit wider and the neckband a little narrower as he just doesn't like things pulled over his head, and I don't blame him.  I also used my coverstitch from the hemline.

From start to finish, including the applique/embroidery, it took me about 2.5 hours.  The embroidery itself took almost an hour.  The design is from Anita Gooddesign and I really like her software.  I resized the design considerably so it would fit on her shirt.

I am hoping that after I wash this the lines from the hoop will no longer be visible.  Also, you will notice the left-most eye has a little bit of a place where it looks like the thread didn't completely cover the eye, well, the thread kept nesting under that part of the design so I had to move the stitches along a few hundred steps in order to bypass that little problem area.

Two of the thread colors are glow in the dark thread!  I had to loosen the tension even more than normally for embroidery so it didn't continue to break.  I took Simon into a dark room to show him the shirt and he replied with, "OH!"

I love OTTOBRE patterns and this is one I will reach for again.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Take 2--the Cindy Jean Jacket in a dark denim

Told you I was going to make another Cindy Jean Jacket...I had to, before I put this pattern away!  I had a great time playing with fabrics for my orange, white, and black version and I knew I wanted a denim one to replace an older jean jacket that I have in my regular rotation.  You can see it below, I sent the photo to StyleArc and they posted it on their site!

This Cindy Jacket is a dressed up and grown up jacket with fun details that make it interesting to put together.  And, since this is my second time around the block with this pattern, I found reading the directions about 100 times easier!  Note to self: make more muslins to test out the patterns!  It isn't difficult if you are experienced and the fitting is just superb!

Fabulous slightly fitted stretch jeans jacket

I purchased the fabric from Hancock's when it was 50% off.  It was a little stiff when I bought it and I washed it in hot water and a hot dryer.

What an amazing transformation!  It's soft and feels like a well worn jacket now.  No, I don't normally wear jackets buttoned, but I wanted to show you what it looks like if you do button it up. That is one goofy look on my face.  I really do love this so not sure where that came from!  

I followed the pattern as written and included the adorable raw edged and ruffled collar.  Isn't that just about the cutest detail you've ever seen?  It took a bit to unravel the fabric, but it won't go further as you first stitch around the edge and then pull from the cut edge. 

I love this jacket with a bright shirt underneath!  Also, there is enough room that I can wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath!  Yay!

 Sorry this photo below is a little blurry.  I am not sure what I did wrong on my camera!  You can see all the topstitching that's done as well to add some fun details!

I clipped about every inch to ease in pulling threads.  Next, I used my pleating/gathering foot and it was almost the perfect length!  To add to the funkiness of the collar, I randomly clipped every few inches the pleating so it wasn't perfectly symmetrical, if that makes any sort of sense at all!

I found the funky oval-shaped buttons at a local yarn store.  I don't shop there often but when I do I find the neatest stuff!  These buttons were a bit of a splurge--costing more than the fabric, but it's okay, I really love them and think that add a cool factor.

I really love this pattern and will most likely make it again.  I honestly don't care if I have two of these jackets that are the same except for color!  It fits great, is super stylish and I love feeling good in my clothes!

Thanks for reading!
Sue :)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Dress for Fall!

I really needed a fast and easy sew that also came out cute--know what I mean?  I've been struggling with my jacket for the 3rd round of SPR's sewing bee and while I like it, I don't love it but I also don't have enough time to make another lined jacket.  So later tonight I will write up the review and let the chips fall where they may.  If I make it to round four, awesome, if not, well I gave it my best shot!  Enough!  You aren't here to read about my jacket, you are here about this dress, right?

I cut out this sweater knit a few weeks ago but hadn't had time to make it up yet.  With our weather turning more fall like, I've been wanting a few dresses like this one: easy to wear, cute, can be warmed up with tights and boots and even a jacket.  SPR is also having a sweater knit contest and I am entering this dress in that as well!

This is a Cynthia Rowley pattern for Simplicity.  

What drew me to it are those darling little sleeve vents.  Aren't they cute?  Well, you can see from my finished dress that even though I cut those out with the intention of making them, I didn't like how they looked in my fabric nor did I like where they landed on my arm.

This dress can be sewn up in an hour and with only four/five pieces to cut, the entire thing from start to finish is an afternoon/evening project.

My alterations are simple: FBA and swayback adjustment.

I love this dress and can't wait to wear it!  Pick a fun fabric and this dress will shine!
Thanks for reading!