Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ottobre 5/2011 Violet Rose top

Well, this was suppose to be for me.  I had cut it all out when my daughter declared that the rock'n'roll print would be a problem on someone my age. :(  I think she just wanted it for herself...haha.  So instead of waiting to get the call from "What Not to Wear." I recut this down to a size 34 instead of the 38. I'll have to make that sequined mini skirt for myself and go pick her up from the homeschool coop.  : o )

The biggest change I made was cutting the sleeves into a cap sleeve silhouette. She suggested that we turn this into a dress by adding a 3-4 inch band at the bottom.  We toyed around with some scraps and I do believe it would make an adorable dress too. 

Some of the sewing changes I made: I gathered between the arrows by zigzagging over some dental floss.  I started to try it the Ottobre way with clear elastic but my machine kept eating it. Instead of persevering, I just did the old TNT way.  I interfaced the neckline front and back with Sew Keyes' knit fusible tape. The outer yoke is with a medium weight rib type knit. So, I used a thinner black jersey for the inside lining. I thought it would be too thick if I used the stripe on both sides.  I did not finish the bottom edge of the yoke with a serger because I figured it would grow too much. When I completed both sides of the yoke, the neckline wanted to bag out a little in the front and back.  I fixed this with a 1/4 inch top stitch around the neck.
That's about it!  It was pretty simple little top to make.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Onion pants 4022

This is a loose fitting pant similar to a groovy sweatpant but made with a woven. It comes in capri and ankle length. I made the ankle length for my daughter. There is also version on this pattern that has seams that run down the middle of the front and back. When I make this for myself, I think I will add the center seams because it looks slimming and I need all the help I can get!
Onion 4022 pants

I love the pockets and the knit waistband with a woven. I used a tencel fabric which is very unstable and harder to sew, but the sheen, softness and pressability is wonderful. Tencel really shows starch, so that was not a good option prior to cutting out. Just a note: I made the longest version and my daughter is just under 5'3". Tall girls/women may need to lengthen this pattern.

One of the benefits to using the European patterns besides fabulous designs and drafting is customizing the seam allowances.  You can add wider sa's to the side seams for fitting issues and narrower sa's for tricky areas like a collar. You can also cut out templates and interfacing without seam allowances. I also find less problems with fit than many of the American patterns.


A note on pockets:  I did not gather the curved corners of the pockets per their instructions, instead I made templates out of comic cardboard and pressed around them. Comic cardboard is stiffer than manila folders but still thin. I use it to wrap fabric around like a mini-bolt too. To make the template, I use a needle tracer and just traced the pockets sans seam allowances, cut out and voila! a template.

Thanks for looking and sewing hugs to you!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Onion Jacket 1040 with my Burda Style top. I made the longer version. One of the views hits at the waist

On the Onion site I saw their version of this pattern and I had to have it.  The link is the Onion jacket that was my inspiration.
To no avail, I could not find a similar fabric.  I decided this fabric would do because its reverse side is very cute.
What I really like about this pattern is not only is it very well drafted but it lends itself to some very interesting variations.  The contrast was accomplished by applying the facings to the outside.  There was a notched out section of the front facing that I trimmed flush with the rest of it. To accomplish the facing to the outside trick, all you have to do is put the seam allowances at the neck to the outside instead of the inside.  When you attach the facing to the front, it will enclose those seam allowances.
                                          Stanzy, my kitten helper.

 Here is the notched out part of the facing that I trimmed in order to have a smooth line. That does not sound right.  This is the facing with the notch. After I cut out the fabric, I trimmed that portion away.
This is the front piece that wraps around the neck and the front side piece. I do not make princess seam anythings very often, so here is a tip because I seem to forget it and have to rip out and redo.  When joining the above pieces be sure the top tip of the side piece extends by the length of its seam allowance when you pin it.  Then it is perfectly matched when you open it up to press.  With 3/8ths seam allowances and relatively loosely woven fabric and good pressing, I did not need to clip the curves.  This just makes it prettier on the inside..

Just a picture of what I am talking about above.

This was a very simple pattern. It is unlined and unstructured. I was fairly certain about the sizing so I made my typical 38 with 3/8ths seam allowance. They recommend 1 cm which is approximately the same as 3/8ths. The princess seams and the center back could be made with a wider seam allowances for lots of adjusting opportunities.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lisette Pants...Simplicity 0450

I like how well these fit without any fit adjustments at all....weird. Burda is usually the only pattern company that I do not do many fit changes.From the photos, I can see where I could tweak, but I am really pretty OK with them right now. The instructions for the lapped zipper needs some improvement. Next time, I will do an invisible zipper or pull out my handy Reader's Digest sewing manual and just follow their instructions for a lapped zipper. Overall, this is a great little pant pattern.

This is the template that I made for the tabs.I just copied the tab pattern less the 3/8ths seam allowance onto a thin piece of cardboard that I got from a Comic store. Then I shoved it into my sewn tab, straightened it up a bit and ironed away.

If you do not have a button attaching foot, you must run out now and get one.  It is one of my all time favorite sewing feet!!! I used the edge joining foot to do my top stitching.  I use it to line up and then I off set my needle. Most of the construction is done with the straight stitch foot. 

Top: Seam roll for pant legs (I love this thing). Next is the flame that I burn the top of my zipper tape to seal the edges.  The little plier things help me squeeze the zipper stops on to the zipper. I just had a roll of zipper tape hanging around. Besides the feet, the rest of the notions  are Steam a Seam, 5/8ths SA Curve to remove the seam allowance on the curved waist facing, measuring gauge, double sided tape, etc..etc...

Measuring the 5/8ths seam allowance before it was cut off.

I have this thing about bulk in the seams.  I just have to remove what makes sense.  Here the center seam is angled back for bulk reducing operations.

Waist facing steam a seamed on the inside of the pants before I did the top stitching.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New 5/8ths Rulers are here!

My new 5/8ths inch wide seam allowance rulers are in!  They are exactly like my 3/8ths inch ruler just a 1/4 inch wider.  These rulers significantly improve your finished garments when using the European patterns because if the pattern is accurate then the fabric can be cut out right. I am all about happy sewing!! Look at my videos at the bottom of the page and see what you think.

Sewing Hugs!


Friday, July 15, 2011

How to put on a knit neckband without measuring!

I have been trying to locate a video that describes how to put on a neckband without actually measuring the opening or the band.  Much to my dismay, I can not locate this lovely video. So, I have attempted to recreate how she showed me ages ago how to do this.  It is a super quick method and my neckbands always come out hugging the neck.  It is way easier than measuring everything under the sun, subtracting a percentage, sewing it in the round and then pinning it in fourths.  That just exhausts me, saying all of that.  I am only a patient sewer if the tediousness produces really good results.  Here is the video and the final steps, I will show you in the pictures.  I am not much of a video person and my daughter (camera woman) is cheap help (ha)...bear with me. Tip:  Click on the pics for a close up.
The video ends when I have the neckband pinned. This pic is the sewn neckband. I sewed the neckband together at the ends and to the opening with a 3/8th width seam allowance. You can use a lightening stitch (tiny zig zag) to attach it.  I used a regular straight stitch. I do not usually have popped seams for some reason. I stretched the band to fit the neck opening between pins making sure to match the edges up well.

Here is a close up of the tiny dart I used to make the v neck.  If the dart is too bulky, just cut it on the fold so that it lays flat when pressed.

I cleaned up the edges with a serger (optional step).

Pressed, but do not leave it this way.  The seam allowances need to be sewn down.

I sewed the seam allowance down with a zig zag stitch. A double needle stitch, a cover stitch or another decorative stitch works well too. No gaping!

Shoulder is well hugged!

Back of neck is also well hugged!

((Sewing hugs from me to you!))

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kwik Sew 3120

I am just messing around with a Kwik Sew pattern (3120).  I can't decide if I like all of these ruffles or not.  After I gathered 1 inch wide strips of knit, I applied them in 3 rows with a zigzag stitch. Before I pressed them with a steam iron, they were way too fluffy for me.  My 15 yo daughter says that this is a cute top but it reminds here of a clown ruff.  I am thinking that is a weanie bit rough for a reasonably cute top.     I used the June Tailor Shape Cut to make the strips. You can slide this strip cutter across the length of fabric and make a variety of strip sizes.  It is a whole lot morestable to use than a ruler and rotary cutter.                                                                                        

Monday, July 4, 2011

Burda WOF 6-2011 from Burda Style website

I really like this top. I downloaded it for $5.40 from Burda Style. It went together really easy.  I had some "scratching my head" moments when it came to this neckline.  I swear, if Burda would use some good old fashioned cooking/food terms when describing how to do something in their directions, life would be good.  If you have sewed the Sunshine top from Hot Patterns or Kwik Sew 3617, you will get how to do this.  Below, I'll try to shed some light on this neckband.

My mannequin has broader shoulders and one more inch in the bust than I do.  She was the closest I could find without wrapping myself with ductape to get more of a likeness. I'm sure that is a good thing to do, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Not the best pic of me, but the shirt details were good.

Pattern information and changes:
This is a pattern that calls for woven fabric with a strip of jersey for the neck edge. I made the whole thing in mid-weight drapey cotton jersey (Super Textiles in Dallas) to see what I would get. I sewed a size 38 with absolutely no fitting adjustments except to shorten it by 2 inches (I am 5 ft 3in.).  The shirt on the model has normal size shoulders and the sleeve shoulders are meant to ride an inch or so smaller.  I have no shoulders to speak of, so this top fits my shoulders the way a normal shirt would. When I make this again, I am going to try to make the next one look more like the model's shoulder fit.
It has an outer band and an inner band (same pattern piece) that sandwiches a strip of jersey like a piping. The instructions do not call for interfacing, but I interfaced the outerband. Sew the 2 separate neckbands together at the shoulders, then lay the non-curled edge of the strip of jersey face down (make into a loop first if you want) to the top edge of the outside facing neckband and sew it down. No stretching is needed.  When you turn the right sides out (with the wrong sides together), the jersey strip will stick up like a piping. I had a beautifully curled selvage that I used.  Attach the front facing neckband to the neck edge opening of the shirt body, press seam allowances to the neckband, then on the outside stitch in the ditch or top stitch the neckband edge.  I use steam a seam to tack the inside neckband down so that stitching in the ditch is easier.

Gathering at the neck and sleeves:  I always zigzag over dental floss about 1/4 inch away from the edge.  The wax on the dental floss gives a little drag to the fabric which keeps the gathering together nicely.

Likes:  When I copied this from Burda Style, the pieces matched up like a dream.  I added 3/8ths seam allowances to all of the pattern pieces except the strips for the sleeves because the SA was already included.  Also, it was a binding and the included 5/8ths SA was not a bother.  I also love the fact that the instructions tell you the inches/centimeters that the gathering section must reduce to. I have always had an issue with "gather between the large circles."  I mean really?? How much do you need to gather this area....Thank YOU Burda! 

This was  my muslin.  I think a bright floral print or a black cotton gauze would be really nice in this pattern.  Thanks for looking!!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ottobre Woman 2-2011 Trento top

I really like this pattern! Mostly because it was very flattering without a lot of work.  The links to the tissue fitting are on my pattern review.  Marcy Tilton has a super quick method of doing  a FBA on knits. I use a 3/8ths inch SA on all my knits because it fits under the presser foot perfectly and I like to to trim a little when I use my serger. 

I bound the neckline after I cut my SA off. Before I started, I fused a 1/2 inch knit interfacing strip I bought from SewKeys around the neckline. I used their straight stay tape (fusible) on the shoulders instead of the elastic that was recommended. I forgot to dart out some of the fabric around the armhole like Marcy Tilton does so I made the same dart in the fabric and fixed my pattern for next time. Steam a seam (1/4 inch lite) really helps hold the back of the bound neckband down on the inside before you stitch in the ditch and it never gums up my needle. I put in sleeves on thin knits with it too because it makes the armhole so precise and adds just a little stability to the fabric. Oh! I did not bind the sleeves like they recommended. I just hemmed with my coverstitch. This fabric was almost too thin for my coverstitch machine. I would have done better with a strip of interfacing and a twin needle finish.

This may have become my TNT. I can't be for sure until I try this neckline with a ribbing finish.  Gotta run, kids are getting impatient!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ottobre 2/2008 Cross front top

Knit versions of the same cross front Ottobre pattern.  This was my last top.  I took it in an extra 1/4 inch on the side seams just through the bodice. I put the neckline in with a 2 inch wide fabric strip as you would a ribbing.  The shoulders I bound the edges 1/2 inch deep.  The white and pink knit below was my "muslin"  for the knit version.  It was a bit loose and the ribbing application for the armholes did not lay as nice as I would like.  Both bottom bands were not hemmed.  I just did not want the added bulk.  Thanks for looking!!

I am on a mission to make some cool and comfortable tops for the Texas heat.  I pulled out an old Ottobre magazine and decided to try this top again.  I usually make myself a 38, but this pattern runs tight across the chest and the arms and neck gaped on my first attempt.  Maybe, I am just used to sewing knits that are much more forgiving.  When copying the pattern, I did not use seam allowances at the neck and arm holes because they were to be bound.  On the sides, I used 5/8ths SA because I needed that for the invisible zipper.  The rest of the top I used 3/8th SA. I have a link in the upper right side of this blog that goes to a "How to" video of my 3/8th SA ruler. To prevent gaping,  I zigzaged dental floss and slightly gathered the front criss cross about mid-chest down to prevent this top from gaping at the bra location.  On the armholes, I put a tiny dart at the level of my arm pit. It worked out OK, but I think I may have to rethink the armholes because the dart made a narrow curve and the binding was a bit tricky because of this.  Any suggestions would be welcome!  Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Twinkle Sews: Love in the Afternoon

This pattern is from the book Twinkle Sews. I have no idea why I have made something called Love in the Afternoon for my 15 yo daughter.

This picture is of my "muslin".  My dd does not like pink and boy do I have alot of pink fabric from when she did love pink.  The dark pink is a denim and it is too heavy of a fabric for this pattern.

I eventually cut about 10 inches off the length because dd prefered this as a tunic instead of a dress.

 This fabric folding is not what the book explained it is something that I made up because my not so nimble brain could not figure out what Twinkle did.

This is the non-muslin.  I did not make this two layers like the pattern calls for because it is not possible to wear this top with any modesty without a cami underneath. So one layer is plenty with a cami and being in Texas. In fact, for more breezy comfort, Niki Biki makes a bandeau cami that is perfect under tops in the summers.

I wish this was not blurry because the origami is really cute the second time around.

She adores this top and wears it all of the time.