Tag Archives: Fabric Mart

Kwik Sew 3121 with Faux Ribbing

Kwik Sew 3121 is pretty much my go-to pattern when I want a dartless, boxy fit pullover. It makes a great starting point for interesting designs. This particular design features a full cowl neck of self faux ribbing adorned with a decorative buckle, and long, full sleeves ending in thick cuffs of self faux ribbing.

For this make, I used a soft poly sweater knit with just a touch of metallic gold from Fabric Mart.  I made the faux self-ribbing from the fabric by sewing pin tucks, following threads in the sweater knit.

The faux ribbing is one of those fun projects I will never do again!! It was difficult to get right and very time consuming. At first I tried following the suggestions I found online and in an old issue of Threads Magazine to use a twin needle and a pin tuck foot. No matter what I did to the tension, stitch length or any other setting, the tucks came out messy at best. Worst still the thread from spool # 2 kept breaking. I tried rethreading, I tried different spools of thread, nothing helped.

Eventually I gave up and started looking through my stash for an acceptable alternative ribbing. I toyed with the idea of abandoning the ribbing altogether. I had no suitable alternative ribbing, so I decided to give it one more try.

This time, I used a single needle and a zipper foot, following the pattern in the sweater knit. To keep the ribbing even and avoid twisting, I stitched every tuck in the opposite direction. The resulting tucks were wider and deeper than the results from the twin needle and pintuck foot. And it took a little practice to get each tuck neat. It took a very long time, going up one tuck and down the next, and a lot of thread, to actually gather the material into the tucks. The faux ribbing also used a lot of material. The cowl neck is made from a strip of flat fabric a full 60 inches long! But with all the pin tucks, it gathers into a piece of faux ribbing just big enough to finish the neck!

NOTE: In the photos the sleeve is pinned to the front of the sweater so it’s easy to see the deep self faux ribbing on the cuffs.

 

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Butterick 5954 Again!

This make was a spontaneous spur of the moment kind of thing. I had just put the pattern away in the pattern drawer, and was digging through my stash looking for a piece for a different project. I came across this amazing Lilly Pad Green chenille design crepe knit. I knew I had to make it up in a short sleeve version of this Butterick  pattern, so I went right back to the pattern drawer and pulled it back out.

At first I was afraid I would not have enough fabric to get all the pieces going in the same direction. I decided if one big piece had to be upside down, it would be the front overlap. And, if necessary, I could cut the sleeves on the cross grain. But luckily I was able to get all the pieces, including the sleeves, going in the right direction.

I used a coverstitch on the hem again, but this time I had a little trouble with the thread breaking. I don’t know why. I used a mini-cowl for the collar and added a couple of  green glass buttons for extra color. I used the short sleeves, but instead of hemming them up all the way around I tacked the hem up in just a few spots, and added a button, so the sleeves have a little bit of poof at the bottom.

I love the softness, texture and color of the fabric. And I love the long, full back on this pattern. The line drawing really doesn’t show just how full the back is.

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Butterick 6487 The Real Make

SilkblouseoneI rarely make samples or mock ups, but I’m glad I did with Butterick 6487. I did it because I was afraid the design changes I made would cause a problem. Instead, I made several silly mistakes, and I’m glad I got them out of the way on the sample blouse!

For this make I used a floral print silk crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. The piece was barely enough for blouse and long ties, even a tiny cutting mistake could ruin the project completely!

Learning from my sleeve mistake on the previous make, I double checked each pattern piece to be sure it was the correct piece. The ties are rectangles cut on the cross gran from the little bit of fabric left after cutting out the blouse.

I also remembered my vent mistake on the previous make. This time I used a piece of super light weight fusible interfacing on the spot where the sleeve is slit, to prevent raveling. The pattern suggests a narrow hem on the slit, but I prefer faced slits. So I cut a piece of scrap into a rectangle, and interfaced it with the same super light weight fusible. I placed the facing face down on the right side of the sleeve. I stitched along the stitching lines, using a shorter stitch (1.8) near the top and taking two stitches across the top. Then I cut the slit as close as I could possibly get to the two top stitches. I didn’t have to worry about anything fraying or raveling because both sleeve and facing are fused to interfacing. Then, I pushed the facing through to the right side, pressed it in place, and topstitched.

The rest went together so easily there isn’t much to say. The ties are slightly wider than the neckband, and slightly gathered where they are attached to the neckband.

I LOVE the ties! They are so much fun. I wore it with a bow tied on the left side, but it could easily tie on the right as well. The photos here show the blouse with the tie as I wore it, with a bow tied low in front, with a bow tied low in back, and with the ties wrapped once around the neck and draped dramatically over the shoulders and down the back.

In the photos, the ties sort of blend into the top. IRL the ties stand out more clearly.

silktieinfronttieinbackdrapeback

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Kwik Sew 3915 Collar Only

I think a glass of Apothic Crush helped Kwik Sew 3915 find it’s way into my cart. It’s an ordinary Tee pattern with a ruched collar accented with buttons and loops, nothing difficult or unusual. I have plenty of basic Tee patterns. But, the photo on the pattern envelope is charming. And there it was in the package with my other pattern selections. So, why not make it?

I chose a fern green wool jersey from Fabric Mart, and some green glass buttons from my stash. I may change my mind and switch to covered buttons.

I’m glad I took the time to read the pattern envelope and instructions because I saw two very scary words – Negative Ease.  I do NOT want to look like an Old Lady Sausage!

The pattern went on to explain it is supposed to fit tight, and if it’s too loose, go down a size. Tight does not look good on my no-waist figure. So I used the front and back from one of the many other basic Tee patterns I have in my stash. I traced the neck and armholes from Kwik Sew onto my basic pattern.

The button loops were miserable to make, as button loops always are. My first attempt was a failure, the tube came out so small I simply could not turn it inside out. Just. Could. Not. Grrrrr…. I recut another piece a little wider, so my loops are thicker than they are supposed to be. They are practically swallowing my buttons!

Next, I managed to get the collar half-flipped when I sewed it together, creating a wonderful Mobius Collar. Ugh! Disassemble, reassemble.

After installing the collar I discovered my next mistake. The pattern says to use sew in interfacing to reinforce the shoulders and back neck. The interfacing is based in place, sewn into the seams, then the leftover bit trimmed away. I just reached for the fusible knit interfacing I always use, so there’s no trimming away the extra bit. It’s fused to the top. Oh well, it’s on the inside below the neckline and along the shoulder seams, not places that are likely to be seen when the top is worn.

I used a cover stitch hem and sleeve hem. I love to use variegated thread in the looper, it’s my thing. I used green variegated serger thread in the looper, with embroidery thread in the needles. I wound some of the embroidery thread onto a bobbin for the second needle. You can use serger, sewing or embroidery thread in a serger or coverstitch machine. Sometimes, you can use any of these threads in a bobbin on an ordinary machine, too. But you can NOT use serger thread as the top thread in a regular or embroidery machine. The top thread in a sewing or embroidery machine goes through the tension and needle many times. Serger thread will wear out and break. How do I know this? Because I mistook a spool of variegated serger thread for embroidery thread, and tried to use it for embroidery.

Pattern Description: Misses Ruched Neck Tops: Pullover tops are close fitting. A: Long sleeves and V-neckline with lapped collar that is gathered at front neckline with four decorative buttons and loops. B: Short sleeves and wide round faced neckline with neckband that is gathered on front. Pattern includes ¼” (6 mm) seam allowances.

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, even though I used only the collar

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, BUT I should have read all the way through before sewing! I used fusible interfacing at the neckline, and it isn’t covered by a facing or anything. The pattern calls for non-fusible interfacing, then trimming away the excess.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the collar, the button loops were a pain, as button loops always are.

Fabric Used: Fern Green Wool Jersey from FabricMart

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The words “negative ease” scared me! I am thick through the middle and “negative ease” can make me look like an old lady sausage, so I used my own looser fitting block for the bodice

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I’d recommend it to anyone who likes snug fitting pullovers. I would make it again, but have no plans to do so.

 

 

 

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McCalls 7240 Knit Dress Test Run as a Top

Line Drawings and Fabric Tag

A recent McCalls release included several knit dress patterns that caught my eye. The little contrast yoke with asymmetrical neckline  is just the right touch this simple dress needs.

I need sweaters and tops more than I need dresses. I had a piece of grey and black animal print Hatchi sweater knit from Fabric Mart, and some leftover black stretch velvet in my stash. I decided to use these fabrics to make this pattern into a sweater top.

The line drawings show a wide neckline. I usually don’t care for wide necklines, but I decided to try it as drafted anyway.

Somehow I managed to cut the contrast yoke piece to sit on the RIGHT side of the top instead of the LEFT. Luckily, I also got the front bodice backwards, so my sweater has the contrast yoke on the right. I think this mistake is mine, not the patterns, because I tend to mix up right and left.

My Sweater Top Version

Other than the right-left glitch, the pattern went together quickly and easily. I used my Babylock Evolve to coverstitch the neck, sleeve hems, and hem. Usually I sew major seams with the machine, test the garment, then finish with the serger. This time I threw caution to the wind and serged the seams, which sped up the sewing process.

The neckline came out Wide. Very Wide. It’s elegant, it’s feminine. It’s chilly for a sweater. It exposes my bra strap and a scar. It’s just not right for me.

I used scraps of the animal print knit along with steel grey and solid black knit jerseys to make a swirl scarf. All three fabrics I used were close to 72 inches wide, so the scarf came out a little longer than expected, but looks nice looped twice, covers my neck, and keeps me warm,

I like the look of the asymmetrical neckline and contrast yoke, I’ll a little sad that the scarf partially hides these fun features. I think I will make this again as a dress, maybe in a floral print, but I will make the neck much less wide.

Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, pullover dresses (close-fitting through bust) have left front yoke and narrow hem. A: Short sleeves. B, C: Long sleeves. D: Three-quarter length sleeves and contrast yoke.

All views feature a wide neck, Views C & D have an asymmetrical neckline

With Matching Scarf

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except I made mine top length instead of dress length. And, I mixed up my right and left, so the contrast yoke is on the right side instead of the left

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions were clear and easy to follow

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the contrast yoke and asymmetrical neck line. I dislike the wide neck line, it’s too wide for me.

Fabric Used: Hatchi sweater knit and stretch velvet

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made the pattern top length, because I need tops more than I need dresses.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes! I do want to make this in a dress version.

 

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Classic Breton Tee Free Pattern

Brenton Top

 

Dropped shoulder

This fun shirt is a classic Breton Top.  The pattern features a simple, slightly scooped, sort of boaty neck and dropped shoulders. The pattern is free from Simply Sewing Magazine and I think it is from a Great British Sewing Bee. I downloaded it from http://www.simplysewingmag.com/downloads/simply-sewing-issue-17-templates/

I chose a gray and wine striped cotton knit from Fabric Mart. Because it’s 100% cotton I washed the fabric in hot water and dried it on hot in the dryer before cutting out. I plan to wash the finished Tee in cool water and dry it on low.

I made the largest size and it fits comfortably. I raised and rounded the neckline a bit. I don’t mind scooped necks, but I’m really not fond of boat necks, so my shirt has a jewel style neck.

I lengthened it to almost tunic length, and made the sleeves long. I didn’t use the front and back facing pieces, instead I used a narrow bias strip to finish the neckline. This method works much better for me on most light and medium knits than facings do.

The download came with several craft patterns, including a coastal doorstop, bunting and fish decorations, dog pincushion, girl’s sun dress and hat, denim crossbody bag, stitched flag, and whale toy. If you’re printing on your home printer, you may want to print only the pages with the Tee pattern. I had the whole file printed at Fed-Ex Kinkos, where I have my Lekala patterns printed, and so I printed everything.

The pattern includes a front, a back, a sleeve, a front facing and a back facing. Instructions are not included in the download, I don’t know if they are available anywhere on line. The Simply Sewing site says they are available in a printed issue of the magazine. I’ve never seen the instructions, so I can’t comment on them.

Here’s what I did 1. Sewed the shoulder seams. 2. Sewed the sleeves to the armhole. 3. Sewed the side/sleeve seams. 4. Stay stitched the neckline. 5. Sewed a narrow bias band to the neckline on the outside of the Tee. 6. Flipped the neckline to the inside and topstitched it in place using my coverstitch machine (a Babylock Evolve) 7. Sewed the hem and sleeve hems with my coverstitch machine 8. Trimmed away any excess on the inside of the hem, sleeve hems, and neckline, and any stray long threads

Pattern Description: The classic Breton Top featuring a slightly scooped, boat neck and dropped shoulders

Pattern Sizing: Regular Misses. I used the largest size

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Except for my changes, yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? No instructions were provided on the pdf file. The website indicates they are available in a back issue of the magazine, so I never saw the instructions

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s FREE! I like the dropped shoulder. I didn’t use the facings, instead, I used a narrow bias strip. I think bias strips or neckbands work much better than facings on light and medium weight knits.

Fabric Used: Cotton Jersey

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I don’t care for boat-ey necklines, so my neckline is more jewel. I also lengthened the sleeves to the wrist and the bodice to almost tunic length

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I recommend this pattern to anyone who feels comfortable assembling a Tee without instructions. The dropped shoulder feature is fun. I do plan to sew this Tee again!

 

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Hot Patterns HP1170 Blouse Back Tee, Fast & Fabulous

I love stripes, I love florals, I love mixing them in this easy, casual tee. I borrowed the idea of a contrasting front yoke from a RTW tee.

I wanted a Spring/Fall shirt, so I made the sleeves long-ish. I didn’t really measure the length because I wasn’t picky about the exact length. Anything from below the elbow to the wrist would work. Which is sort of ironic, because Hot Patterns includes an amazingly complete chart of finished garment dimensions for just about any measurement you can think of! I LOVE this feature about Hot Patterns, because the chart makes alterations super easy.

I also raise the neck in both front and back. I always raise the back neck line, I like mine higher than most RTW and sewing patterns. I raised the front neck line, because I’ve made this tee before, and I knew I wanted something a little higher for the transitional seasons.

This is a nice design, easy to wear in spring, summer or fall. I think my next version might use lace or sheer fabric as the contrast.

<b>Pattern Description: </b>
Semi-fitted, pull-on T-shirt with a relaxed silhouette featuring a contrast back, back yoke, “U” neckline and sleeves finished with self or contrast trim

<b>Pattern Sizing:</b>
Sizes 6 – 26 in one envelope

<b>Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?</b>
Yes, except for my design changes

<b>Were the instructions easy to follow?</b>
Yes. Hot Patterns instructions are always clear and their garments are easy to sew

<b>What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?</b>
The full gathered back and the WONDERFUL complete list of finished measurements

<b>Fabric Used:</b>
Polyester blend kints. The stripe is a poly/cotton ity blend from Fabric Mart. The floral is poly/spandex digital print from Ebay. Both were already in my stash when I chose them for this top.

<b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:</b>
I added a contrasting front yoke, made long-ish sleeves with a narrow hem, and raised the neckline. I like having a higher back neck than most RTW and patterns provide, and I wanted a less deep front neck

<b>Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?</b>
Yes and Yes! Hot Patterns are GREAT!

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McCalls 6927 Woven T

I knew it was going to be hot in Washington DC in June, and I knew I needed cool, comfortable clothing. and I wanted something dressier than the average t-shirt.Fabric Mart had some beautiful silk/cotton voiles on sale, and I already made up one piece into a peasant style top with lace accents. I used the second piece to make this woven T-shirt.

I made mine with a longer, flounced sleeve. The fabric is very light and airy, so it doesn’t get clammy, and the longer sleeve protects from the sun. Between the longer tunic length, the type of fabric, the print, and the long sleeves the end result looks more like a tunic than a t-shirt, but that’s Ok.

The pattern is easy, a front, a back, a sleeve, a neckband. I borrowed the semi circular sleeve flounce from a different pattern. It was easy to cut out and assemble, I used my serger. I finished the hem and sleeve flounce with a three thread rolled hem.

I also used a three thread rolled hem to attach the sleeve flounce to the sleeve and the neckband to the neck opening, so that the hem sits on the outside of the garment and resembles thin, thread-like seam piping.

Pattern Description: 
Simple darted woven T (or shell), in two lengths,

Three Thread Rolled Hem used as a seam

sleeveless or with long or short sleeves

Pattern Sizing:
I use RR (womens size).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes except for the sleeve flounce I added

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were clear and accurate

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked that it is a simple pattern that I can tweak to my taste and then use as a base for other designs, or surface designs (like dye, paint or embroidery).

Fabric Used:
Silk/Cotton Voile from Fabric Mart

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added semi circular flounces to the sleeves. I used a three thread rolled hem to finish the hem and sleeve flounces, and to attach the sleeve flounces to the sleeves and the neckband to the neck

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, and Yes

 

 

 

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New Look 6472 Puffy Boho Blouse

Fluffy Peasant Blouse

When an unfortunately placed cup of coffee met my envelope of basic pattern pieces that were tweaked to fit me, I was discouraged. I had to start over again! Well, any excuse to buy more patterns, right? So one of the first patterns I saw was New Look 6472, a puffy peasant blouse. I loved the top in the photo on the front of the pattern! But, elastic at my waist is not a good look for me, so I won’t be making that view, even though it is the reason I chose this pattern. I made View A with the rivet and lace front opening from View B.

I like New Look styles, but I’m at the very top of the size range and still need to make FBA/FWA. On this puffy pattern, FWA is not an issue, and a FBA is easy.

I used a wonderfully light silk/cotton voile in an old fashioned floral print from Fabric  Mart. I’m planning a vacation to a warmer place this summer, and I need some light, airy blouses. The long sleeves will keep the sun off my arms, the puffy style and light fabric will keep things cool.

Reapplying the front facing

I added a navy blue lace ruffle at the neck and at the seam line in the sleeve, just for fun. But, I found myself trying to figure out what to do with the raw edges of lace at the front. Finally, I removed the facing from the slit, tacked the raw lace edges down to the raw edge of the slit, then reapplied the front facing over the lace. Well, truthfully, the previous facing didn’t come off nicely, so I just replaced with a brand new pieces. I f I had thought it all the way through in the first place, I would not have had to remove and reapply the facing.

Gathering with dental floss

Gathering long sections of fabric and distributing the fullness evenly can be tricky with the “Two rows of basting stitches, pull up the bobbin thread” method. So I used the “Zig zag stitch over dental floss” method of gathering the sleeves and neck. The only tricky part is making certain the zig zag stitches don’t catch the dental floss. The floss slides smoothly under the zig zags, so it’s easy to get the fullness even, and the dental floss won’t accidentally break under the strain of gathering

My original plan was to make tiny round buttonholes for the lacing at the front. The test hole worked beautifully. But the first attempt on the top came out in a weird shape. So I resorted to rivets as the pattern suggests.

Pattern Description: Misses Boho Peasant blouses with raglan sleeves and sleeve variations

All the pieces, pattern, lace and fabric

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except I added lace trim and used the sleeves from one view and the bodice from another

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. This top was very easy to make, and the instructions were clear, correct and concise.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I both like and dislike the narrow neck and wristbands. This is the only part I found “fussy” on this pattern. They required some hand sewing, and I’m not really fond of hand sewing. OTOH, the result is much sleeker and more professional than a drawstring (or elastic) casing, which is how I used to make the necklines for Renn Faire shirts and chemises. So while I dislike hand sewing, I do like the final result

Fabric Used: Silk/cotton voile from Fabric Mart. I chose cotton voile from the drop down list of fabrics, because silk/cotton voile (and just plain silk voile) were not options.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Added lace trim and did a FBA. Normally I’d need to do a FWA on a New Look pattern, but this puffy style easily fits my thick waist

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes. With a little bit more tweaking, this might become the basis for my next basic raglan sleeve peasant top block.

 

 

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Comfy Knit Dress Lekala 4386

Me at the Theater

I love this dress! It’s chic and comfortable. It was also an easy make.

I used a piece of digital print poly-spandex activewear knit from Ebay. The fabric is gorgeous, but I felt it was just a little bit thin and a little limp. I decided to beef it up with an underlining. But, what to use for the underlining? I dove into my stash. Only one of the swimsuit linings in my fabric resource facility (aka stash), a dark deep green, would work at all. Unfortunately, the deep green swimsuit lining was also thin and limp. Another option  was a black t-shirt knit, but I really wanted to use that fabric for something else. Option 3 was a rayon jersey in a soft apricot/flesh tone, but, it cost more than the floral fabric! Then I stumbled across the most unlikely choice of all, a vivid neon pink poly-lycra activewear knit from Fabric Mart. I bought the fabric thinking “Neon pink is cool”! When the fabric arrived, it was, well, REALLY neon pink!! Just a little bit too neon pink, except perhaps as an accent fabric, and I had plenty. So, the inside of my knit dress is neon pink!

On Dolly the Dummy

The pattern was easy, and I made no design changes or major fitting alterations (except I think the pattern may include a back zipper, which I did not use). Like all Lekala patterns, it’s sized to fit. Because it’s made with activewear fabric, it’s super soft and super comfortable. Almost like wearing pjs!!

Laying out the pattern

Usually I try to use as little fabric as necessary. I love leftovers! But, I didn’t plan to get more than one item out of this particular piece of floral print, and the print is kind of large and dynamic, so instead of trying to conserve every scrap, I focused on placing the pattern pieces on the fabric so that key elements of the floral design landed in appropriate places on the dress. Both sleeves have a larger floral motif at the top of the arm, a large motif falls on the right chest/shoulder, and another falls directly under the little faux belt that covers the gathers in front.

Because I was using two layers of fabric, I basted (technically pre-stitched, because i did not remove the stitches) both layers together, then sewed the seams with my serger.

Pattern Description: Knit dress with bodice gathers and a straight, slit skirt

Pattern Sizing: Like all Lekala patterns, it’s printed to your size

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Neon Pink Interior, as seen through the slit in the skirt

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Lekala instructions are really just a set of assembly steps, but the steps were easy to understand and in a clear, logical order

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the design, and that it was easy to make.

Fabric Used: Digital print poly/spandex interlined with poly/lycra activewear

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None (except omitting the back zipper because the fabric is so stretchy it isn’t necessary)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes I DO recommend it to others! If you are curious about Lekala patterns, this is an easy one to start with. Would I make it again? Maybe, in a solid color. The design is unique.

 

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