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!!