Tag Archives: pattern hack

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 6487 Test Run

Inspired by a designer blouse, I wanted to make Butterick  6487 with a couple of potentially complicated alterations. I wanted to move the zipper from back to left shoulder. A zipper on the left shoulder is easier for me to do than one in back. My plan included long ties at the neck that could be tied many different ways, including at the back of the neck and draping down the back. So moving the zipper to the left shoulder keeps it out of the way.

The other potentially troublesome alteration was an FBA. Following the advice from the helpful members of Sewing Pattern Review Forum, I added side darts.

If I was doing just one alteration or the other, in a moderate or cheap fabric, I’d just dive in and do it. But, I planned to use a piece of silk crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. It was a pricier fabric, and no more was available.

So for this make I used some floral rayon challis from my stash, leftovers from a different project. To dress it up a bit I decided to cover the collar and cuffs with scraps of black lace.  I skipped the ties on the sample top.

The FBA went smoothly, and inserting an invisible zipper in the left shoulder seam was surprisingly easy. In fact, everything went together smoothly, until it came time to apply the cuffs to the sleeves. And then I realize I omitted the vent in the sleeve, and the cuff is huge. It flops over my hand. Adding a vent at this stage is trickier than installing a vent while the sleeve is still flat. A vent is a lot of extra steps; cutting the facing or binding, interfacing the opening, installing the vent itself, then the cuff. I’m not sure how easy it will be to put a buttonhole in lace covered fabric.

Throwing caution to the wind I decide to make faux cuffs, permanently sewn closed, just big enough for my hand to slip through. I’ll use the same technique used to attach a ribbed cuff to a knit sleeve, by gathering the end of the sleeve, slipping the sleeve inside the cuff, lining up raw edges and notches, serging the cuff to the sleeve and finally flipping the cuff down.

I start by pinning the cuffs to the proper size, with a red pin holding the inside lap, a blue pin marking the outside overlap, and a white pin matching the button position. I’m not going to do a buttonhole, I’ll just sew the button to all layers of cuff.

Lace band inserted into the sleeve

I start with the sleeves right side out. I mark the notch on the outside/backside of the sleeve with a blue pin. I turned the cuff inside out, slipped it over the sleeve, and lined up the blue pins. I adjusted the gathers evenly around the cuff, and sewed it to the sleeve.

Amazingly, it worked! Then, I closed the cuff and sewed on a permanent decorative button.

Next I attached the sleeves to the bodice, and tried it on. That’s when I discovered Big Mistake Number Two.

The sleeve was way too short and a little weird. What went wrong?? Well, me, of course, I used the WRONG pattern piece!!

I wasn’t giving up on this top! I picked a spot about 4″ about the cuff, and cut the cuff off the sleeve. I used the very last bit of black lace scraps to make wide bands that I inserted into the sleeve. The band extended the sleeve enough so that it fits comfortably. And because I used the same lace on the cuffs and collar it actually looks intentional!

Invisible zip in left shoulder. The zipper tails are not sewn down yet

In spite of the mistakes, the odd corrections, and the fact that the lace and fabric are scraps from other projects this blouse came out nice.

<b>Pattern Description: </b>
Misses blouse with gather detail mock neck, cuff or ruffle sleeve, and optional contrast yoke

<b>Pattern Sizing:</b>
Misses

<b>Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?</b>
Yes, in spite of all my errors, it does look like the pattern envelope!

<b>Were the instructions easy to follow?</b>
Yes, the instructions were clear and correct

<b>What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?</b>
I like the gathering at the mock neck. I did not like the zipper in the back seam

<b>Fabric Used:</b>
Floral rayon challis and black lace. Both are scraps from previous projects

<b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:</b>
FBA by adding side darts. Moved the zipper from the back to the left shoulder. The cuffs are mock cuffs, due to my mistake. I added a wide lace band on the lower part of the sleeve, again to correct my mistake

<b>Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?</b>
Yes, I would sew this again. As a matter of fact, this particular blouse is actually a test make for another blouse from this pattern

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Kwik Sew 3121 Revisited and Revised

I love the clothes in the Soft Surroundings catalog. Many of the pieces inspire me to use stuff from my stash. This velvet asymmetrical tunic was my inspiration for a remake of Kwik Sew 3121.

Butterick 6058 and McCalls 7194 were candidates for the starting point to recreate the Soft Surroundings velvet tunic. Kwik Sew is a loose fitting boxy long sleeved dartless Tee pattern.

This pattern might have been a little too boxy to be the best starting point for this tunic, but, I chose it because I had already traced out a full front and full back piece, AND modified those pieces into an A-line shape. All I had to do was cut out the side insert, and add a tail to the insert. And, maybe, slightly modify the cowl neck.

I sketched the tail insert free hand. I decided it wasn’t quite long enough, so I sliced the pattern apart, and added a two inch patch.

I use a single lay, where I laid the fabric out in a single layer, velvet side up, and cut whole pieces (not on any folds). Making the long asymmetrical tail by inserting a separate piece saved a lot of fabric over simply extending the existing pieces.  In fact, this is when I decided to trim off the little tail I’d added to the other side of the tunic, because it gobbled up a lot of extra fabric. I did not cut the collar yet.

Here’s how I assembled it. 1. Sewed shoulder seams and stay stitched around the neck 2. Sewed the front insert to the front and the back insert to the back 3. Sewed the side seams and tried it on. 4. Sewed the sleeve seams, then installed the sleeves into the armholes. 5. Sewed the hem and sleeve hems in a coverstitch using my Babylock Evolve, with blue variegated thread in the looper.

At this point I put the top on and played around with the remaining velvet and a tape measure, and the cowl pattern from Kwik Sew. I knew I wanted my cowl to be thicker and longer than the pattern, so I cut the collar in a <=> sort of shape. When the collar is folded in half, the folded edge is longer than the raw edges.

It’s easy to just stitch the collar to the neck with a serger. But, it seems like when I use this method with cowl necks, that serged edge always manages to work it’s way front and center, not just visible, but framed neatly by the cowl like a focal point. So, I opted for the harder method of stitching one side of the collar on with a serger, then turning under the raw edge and stitching in the ditch to secure the other side of the collar, concealing the seam inside the collar.

Pattern Description: Misses pullover top with long sleeves and three different necklines. A, B: Side vents. A: Shawl collar sewn to a V-neckline. B: Fold-over wide turtleneck collar. C: Boat neckline with a ribbing neckband. It has a dartless, loose fit.

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Nope! I changed it quite a bit

Were the instructions easy to follow? I did my own thing with this make, but from previous makes, I can say Yes, the instructions are logical, clear and easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? No dislikes. I like the simplicity and loose fit

Fabric Used: Stretch velvet

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added a diagonal inset that tapers into a “tail” on the left side. I made the cowl wider and deeper. I made the sleeve a little slimmer

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

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Simplicity 1716 Again – Light Summer Dress

I really like this pattern, this is my fourth make for view  A/B/C. I have a short sleeved tunic length in pink floral, a long sleeved tunic length version in purple floral, a 3/4 sleeve long T/short tunic length in bold stripes. This time, I made a knee length dress in soft, tropical print ITY knit.

I needed a dress that would be cool and comfortable to wear outdoors on warm summer nights. I wanted a full style that did NOT cling to the body, so I picked this top/dress pattern, and made it knee length.

To keep it light and airy, I used a three thread rolled hem on the sleeves and hem. I knew from previous makes that the two side bust panels fit better when the end is extended a couple of inches. Basically, those couple of inches function as the FBA on this shirt.

The first time I made this pattern I found the collar section a little confusing, but after making several versions of this top I know how it works and it went together quickly. I cut and assembled the dress in one afternoon, except for the rolled hems.

I really love this dress. The ITY knit doesn’t wrinkle, making it a great dress to pack for traveling

Pattern Description: Misses top or short dress

Three thread rolled hem keeps it light and airy

Pattern Sizing: Regular misses

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions are clear and all the notches line up

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the gathered feature at the bust, and the collar

Fabric Used: ITY knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Lengthened the dress to knee length

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is my fourth time making this pattern, so I’m not sure I’ll make it again. But I do recommend it!

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June 29, 2017 · 3:38 pm

McCall’s 6992 – Hacked Again!

I love to take a basic, well-fitted pattern and play with it. Changing just a few simple details can make a big difference.

This time, I made a cross front bubble hem version of McCall’s 6992. The pattern is a simple raglan sleeve pullover, with long cuffed sleeves. I started with the basic pattern, back, front and sleeve. I chose a black and white sweater knit from Fabric Mart, and scraps of black jersey from the stash for the binding and cuffs.

I used the serger for most of the construction steps, including sewing the cuffs, sewing the construction seams, and attaching the cuffs.

I cut the neckline ridiculously high and small, because I planned to cut it down to the correct size later. I cut two front pieces. I placed them so that one piece was right side up, then I placed the other piece on top of it, also right side up, lining up all the cut edges. Then, I sewed across the bottom hem. I flipped the lower piece around, so it became the top piece. Both pieces were right side up. The seam allowance of the hem seam was hidden inside the bubbly- poof at the bottom of the front.

I sewed the raglan sleeves to the back piece. Then on the right side of the top, I sewed both front pieces to the raglan sleeve. I sewed both front pieces to the back at the side seam, and sewed the under arm seam. On the left side, I sewed only the lower front piece to the raglan sleeve, and the under arm seam. I pinned both front pieces to the back piece along the seam, but did not sew it.

I popped the top on, marked where I wanted the neckline to be, took the top off, and cut the neckline. I put the top back on, and using straight pins, marked along the line I wanted to follow when cutting the upper layer of the top away.

I took off the top and laid it flat on my cutting mat. I unpinned the left side, and smoothed out the layers. I took a deep breath, picked up my scissors, and cut away the top layer, more or less following the line of straight pins.

I cut strips from the black jersey and used it to band the neck and cutaway front, and to make cuffs.

End result – the cutaway front adds interest to this simple pullover sweater. It was an easy pattern hack.

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