Monthly Archives: January 2015

Spring 6pac

spring 6pac

This is kind of a retread of my first post, but eh, what can I do?

The Artisan’s Square 6pac threads always seem like such a good idea, alas I love color too much to commit to neutrals. So inspired by the thread for spring, here are my plans. I’m not sure if this is of interest to anyone but me, but I think it will help to write it all down.

The current color plans are:

  • one Kwik Sew 3036 in yellow
  • one Enid sweater in magenta
  • one Enid sweater in black
  • a Hollyburn in green,
  • a Bootstrap 8 gore skirt in purple
  • a Lady Skater in cobalt.

Speaking of the Lady Skater, my dream of having a galaxy print dress (years after the trend) is finally coming true. Some yardage is on its way to me.

galaxy fabric

It is obnoxious and I love it. Better yet, I already found an etsy seller offering skirts made out of what looks like the same exact fabric and they look really cute.There’s no way I could afford a dress from said seller, but even buying a yard extra I’m out ahead if this dress turns out alright.

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Unearthed a UFO

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Welcome to wrinkle city

Now what?

The fit is not the best but it’s mostly complete. I’m thinking of binding the neck and armholes in the mustard colored material lining the pockets, inserting a zipper and keeping it as an around the house dress. I mean there is no real reason to unpick and refit the whole dress when the pattern is still in print and I can make a better fitting version in the future. It’s Simplicity 6062, not some rare vintage find.

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I also want to hack off about 4 inches from the hem, I think that would be a better length. I don’t know what the optimal skirt length for me is, I’m still working that out, but I think I need to go shorter than I have been.

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As for the rest of my sewing, I’m making pouches for the auction at my Family Reunion in the summer. They’re pretty easy, I just wish I was better at top stitching. I’m also working on the Portrait Blouse from Gertie’s New Book for better sewing and it’s been a bear so far. I’ll put up a more through post about that a later date. I got caught up in the hype when that book came out and it’s looking like it was a poor decision.

Oh and finally, I’m working on my skirt sloper again. The side seam still isn’t straight and i fear it never will be. Still, I’ll buy more muslin and carry on, I will have a nice pencil skirt if it kills me.

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Sorbett-no

So about that Sorbetto I went to all the trouble of making bias tape for. It’s awful. Amazingly so.

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I should have known this would happen. I’d tried and failed to make a Peony a few years ago, the bust darts were extremely off from where I needed them to be and I could never make a satisfactory alteration. This top has a similar issue, I can tell I need a FBA, despite Colette drafting for C cups and the end point of the dart is literally an inch above where it should be.  I’m thinking I could probably fix that by lowering the whole dart, but honestly, I don’t want to. I’m kind of bummed and I’m not sure this shape of top is the best look on me, I don’t feel I carry off 60s insprired stuff well, I’m more of a 40s and 50s girl.

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The swayback adjustment needed on this is ludicrous, I’m not even sure I want to attempt it. I normally need a sway back adjustment anyway, but this is much worse than things normally look. To be clear, the pattern went together fine, the fit issues seem to just be a conflict between my body and what Colette drafts for.

The one good thing to come of this is I got a chance to practice my french seams. They’re as easy and lovely looking as I remember. I’m think I’ll try a different top, prehaps Gertie’s Portrait blouse. I think going back to tissue fitting is in order. I still have plans for another Hollyburn and I think that might get me back in the sewing groove. I don’t know, I’ll trawl my pattern stash and see what speaks to me. I know this isn’t it.

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Topstitching does make a difference.

I think a label is in order to cover up that ugly join.

Who knew? Okay, everybody knew, I was being a stubborn fool and didn’t topstitch the necklines of my t shirts because I could not get the twin needle to function on my sewing machine. I still can’t. Today I said screw it and did a single row of top stitching on the blue t shirt. I think it looks a good deal better when compared to before.DSCF1441

It seems to sit better on my neck anyway, although I’m still having the listing to one side issue I have with all my tops. I think one of my shoulders is more sloped than the other, I need to investigate fixes for when I make something more tailored. I’m not too worried about in it t shirts.

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I’m thinking about taking in the sides on the Kwik Sew 3036 next time. As you can see, there are almost four extra inches around the waist when compared to a RTW shirt I like the fit of. (I’m wearing it in this post.) I still want it to be loose, but I think I could stand to take out 2 of those inches. Although I bought this pattern to make shirts to tuck into skirts, it would be nice have the option to wear it untucked too.

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New project wise I’ve mostly been prepping. I printed out the Sorbetto (I’m years late on that bandwagon.) and cut it out of a lime green cotton lawn I’ve had sitting around for years. Tonight I finished up the bias tape for that, so I’ll probably sew it up tomorrow. I didn’t do a FBA, so this will probably end up falling into wearable muslin territory, but I’m not too bothered.

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My First Kwik Sew 3036 (And Simplicity 2758)

I need to improve my shirt tucking, sorry about the sloppiness.

I wasn’t expecting to get the shirt back this soon,  but now you can see what I mean, this version is way cuter, imo. It’s a 100% cotton jersey from Joann’s red tag. I didn’t realize that a 100% cotton knit would have basically no recovery, so when I stretched the neck out by attempting to turn and stitch as in the directions, I panicked a little. Thankfully there are all kinds of wonderful people posting tutorials like the the one I linked before , so I was able to save it.

I think neckbands are going to be a most interesting part of my knit sewing experience. I had no idea what I was doing with this one, but it actually sits better than the neckband on version two.

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The skirt is view c of Simplicity 2758 and was one the first things I sewed when I got back in apparel sewing. There isn’t much special about it, it’s a circle skirt in stretch poplin, I believe the fabric was from a Fabric Mart sale, but I think it’s cute and it goes with several of my shirts. It has the bonus of being easy to sew. I do not like that it lacks pockets, I’m going to try setting a pocket into a seam with an invisible zipper again. I’ve done it once, but it was quite the ordeal. I own a RTW dress with a pocket in the zipper seam, so I’m thinking there much be a simpler way to do things.

Normally I wouldn’t bring the skirt up, considering it’s only half in the photo, but this counts as the first “Me Made” outfit I’d completed, since I’m blogging these shirts out of chronological order. Speaking of, I took some photos of shirt two untucked. Sorry for the digital beheading, but my hair was a mess and you don’t need to be subjected to it.

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The only thing I find confusing is Kwik Sew calling these shirts “very close fitting”. I fit right into the xl in their size chart, except for my hips, and this is not what I would call a close fit. It’s fine since I plan on tucking them all anyway, but it’s a misleading description. I think the fit is okay, but I’m going to post for advice somewhere before I reinforce my tissue pattern. If this works out, I’ll finally at least one TNT pattern, one I can cut and sew in a day at that. That would be nice.

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Kwik Sew 3036, Take 2

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I’m not too displeased with this as my second knit top, although I think this pattern is much cuter in a print like the first version. (Which I will post, it’s currently at my parents’ house, sorry.)

Behold the magically appearing belt!

I sewed up view B and added a neckband, just as I did with the first one, as I mentioned in The Great Knits Conspiracy. I think I should have cut the neckband even smaller than I did, it gapes a bit. It’s not unwearable, but it is annoying.

Other than that the pattern went together easily, despite the fact that I was using a serger, not a sewing machine for as much of the construction as I could. This fabric was a bit fiddlier than the 100 percent cotton I made the first shirt out of, but it also has much better recovery. Both were Joanns buys, thanks to the giftcard my brother got me for Christmas.

One thing I did discover is that my machine will not work with a double needle, so I think I’m finally going to get around to fixing up the Kenmore I scavenged and see if that one is any more agreeable. A coverstich machine certainly isn’t in the cards, but I love the look of the double stitched hems and would like to be able to do a facsimile.

I’m all out of knit fabric for now, here’s to hoping my online sources have good sales next month. This may not be the most interesting pattern, but I’d like to make few more before I move on to a knit top with set in sleeves.

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A Red Sateen Colette Ginger

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I’m really ambivalent about this skirt, I wish I hadn’t rushed though the finishing, (it was finished at one am on the day I went home for xmas), but I also don’t think it’s a great shape for me. I am happy I finally sewed up the pattern though, I’ve had it for years. I made a straight 16 in this, even though my hips fall into the 14. I tried blending on a muslin and it was too tight across my belly. I think this fits better, although there are still issues.

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The hem is… not good. Not only is it uneven, it keeps trying to flip up. I think I’m going to take it down and redo it in a different manner. I’m considering evening it out and then just serging the raw edge so I can do a single fold hem.

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The invisible zipper is black, mostly because  A.I was in a hurry and B. I had ordered black invisible zips in bulk a few years ago. I don’t think it looks too bad and the instructions Colette gives you for finishing the waistband over the zipper are worth the price of the pattern, IMO.It looks much more professional than handstitching your ends to the zipper tape and wasn’t too hard to execute.

There is one thing I haven’t seen mentioned very many places. The waistband notches, for the size 16 waistband at least, do not line up. It sewed up fine once I focused on lining up the raw edges, but it was irritating.

I may try this again in a fabric with a different drape, but then again I may not, there are so many patterns out there to try and this one was kind of disappointing, although that’s down to me.

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The Great Knits Conspiracy

Sewing blogs have been lying to me, for years. In fairness, it’s not all of them, just a sizable amount, especially among the cohort aimed at new sewists. And frankly, I think it’s sort of awful that this myth is so widespread that it’s taken as gospel in some cirlces, it is discouraging newer sewists from branching out.

I’m talking of course about the “knits are the devil” mantra. I recently sewed up a t shirt in an evening and I had never worked with knit fabric before. At all.

It wasn’t hard as such, just fiddly on occasion. I even messed up the neckline by stretching it out when I tried the turn and sew approach recommended in the pattern, but I was able to fix it with a self fabric band with minimal fuss. Now, in fairness, I did have the “new” serger I got for xmas to complete most of the seams on, but even hemming on my regular sewing machine was not much of a hassle. I also chose a midweight 100% cotton knit for the project, and I am certain there are harder knits to work with, but that holds true for woven fabrics as well and we don’t tell beginners to just not work with wovens.

I’m certainly no expert and with my dyspraxia a lot of more intricate parts of sewing require a great deal of effort on my part. Yet, once I got going I was fine. This post isn’t really meant to be an accusation that there’s actually conspiracy to keep people from sewing knits, in order to sell books or something, I don’t know, but it is weird.

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A Blue Twill Hollyburn

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I made this skirt for thanksgiving and I really should have blogged about it before now,but that didn’t happen.Please excuse the fuzziness, I had to use my camera phone and I was lacking a lint roller when the photos were taken.

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I really like this pattern, it went together well and as far as I can tell any errors you’re seeing are my fault. I’m not the shape Sewaholic drafts for, but I don’t think that’s a huge concern with this skirt.

Once it warms up I think it will have much bigger place in my wardrobe, although I have discovered that as long as it’s at least 20 degrees and I throw on some fleece lined tights, I can wear it for short jaunts outside. I took my sister’s dog on a walk and was absolutely fine. I plan on making several more.

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Now that I’ve gushed, let me not where I went wrong. The centered zipper is frankly awful, I’m terrible at them. I didn’t grade the enclosed waistband seam allowance and it is noticeable. I though I’d be clever and trim it down with my rotary cutter all in one go. Brilliantly, I managed to cut a v shaped slice in my already attached  and trimmed waistband. I satin stitched over it in in matching thread after reinforcing the hole with some fusible interfacing. It’s not too noticeable when I’m wearing it, but I will be thinking twice about pulling that stunt again.

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I double folded the hem and catchstitched by hand and it looked lovely, but after a few washes it’s puckering. I’m not sure if this just the nature of this kind of hem on a circle skirt. It’s not worse than the RTW I own, but it is annoying after all that handstiching.

It’s a cute enough skirt and I don’t regret making it, but I certainly have list of changes to make next time.

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