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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Tentative Spring Plans

spring 2015 sewing

Kwik Sew 3036

Enid Sweater

Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

Bootstrap Fashion 8 Gore Skirt

Mccall’s 6706

Tenterhooks Patterns Snapdragon

I hope to complete these by the end of March/mid April. I do not think it is too ambitious, but I could be vastly underestimating the difficulty, I’ve never worked with knits before but I need to get over that. I’m a grown woman. There’s no reason be afraid of a textile.

I still need to decide on a color scheme, but there’s no need to rush that that since I am on a fabric fast until the new year. it’s become evident that I need to stop saving fabric for when I become a better sewist and just sew, or I’m never going to accomplish anything. There are a few special pieces that I am going to hold off on, but there is no good reason to save Joann’s clearance poplin for a distant day.

Anyway the hope is to work on this while I also fiddle with my skirt sloper. I feel like it will be easier to just sew if I’m not mucking about with my own patterns, I’m not exactly experienced with drafting.

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