Sunday, January 29, 2012

Be my Valentine....Simplicity 2058

Our house has been a hub of activity over the last few weeks, with little time to sew or create anything.  I was needing a quick and easy project with great results.  I found it, Simplicity 2058.  It is part of Simplicity's Amazing Fit Collection making it easy to find the correct fit without any hassle.

This skirt has 6 panels that are sewn together, add an invisible zipper, and the inside facing.  My fabric choice was a carnation pink stretch corduroy.  It will be great for a dinner out near Valentine's Day.

Due to the stretch corduroy, I added grosgrain ribbon to the inside waist seam.  This should help keep the skirt up and not let it stretch to the point it is at my knees!

This was also a heavy fabric, so I serged each panel's side seams before I even started to make construction easy and fast.  This skirt went together in about 2-3 hours from start to finish.  I did let it hang for a few days to let the bias seams settle.  

I wore the skirt to church today and it was so comfortable, no pulling or tugging anywhere.  This pattern is a keeper!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Corduroy Simplicity 2436

I tried the big pattern companies years ago for my daughter and was not impressed with the fit for her.  I tended to stay with small pattern companies that are sold at independent fabric stores for the last few years.  Now that my daughter is in about a size 8, I thought I might give them a try again.  

This is Simplicity 2436.   "Designer Details" I used include the 3/4 length sleeve, pockets, tabs, and piped outside facing.  I lined this dress with a simple brown polyester lining, so I changed the order of construction to allow for this.  I dropped the bust dart.  I am not sure why there is a bust dart in a pattern for an almost 8 year old?  The tabs really are aligned, but they don't appear in the picture to be.  The fabric is brown cotton corduroy with embroidered flowers all over.  

I think this is an adorable dress and may even make a summer one later.  I think this pattern may be discontinued from Simplicity.  Too bad, it was a great fit.

Isn't she cute!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playing with Knits, V8649 & Simplicity 2409

 I have a favorite t-shirt from Ann Taylor.  I bought it years ago and I haven't found another one anywhere near it since.  It has shrunk from repeated washings and faded over the years.  Still I love it and wear it.  I decided to try to find a new love.

I am trying to learn to love sewing on knits.  I should be great at it after getting my coverstitch machine.  I have found a few key principles for knits.

1.  They all have different degrees of stretch, which determine how tight you must fit a garment.  So, most garments need to be made twice.
2.  Some are easy to sew on, others are a bear.  I am speaking of a shirt from bamboo knit that I wanted to through out the window.
3.  It seems the big pattern companies are very generous in their sizing, so go down a size.
4.  Clear elastic is your friend.
5.  Buy interlock knit with caution.  It doesn't hang as well as jersey.

My first top is from Vogue V8649.  I made it from Michael Miller interlock knit.

Likes:  Cute pattern.
Dislikes:  Interlock doesn't drape well.  Pattern to large, need to go down a size. 

My second top is from Simplicity 2409.  I made it from organic cotton jersey.

Likes:  Cute design to pattern.  I used clear elastic on the seam between the bodice top and the skirt instead of inserting elastic.  I really liked the jersey knit.  It is the perfect weight for cute t-shirts.
Dislikes:  Elastic all the way around makes you look that big around.  Pattern also too large in my normal size and I need to go down a size.  

This is my old, favorite from Ann Taylor.

I stopped by Joann's on the way home today for a few new patterns from Simplicity.  They have a new one that is exactly my old Ann Taylor shirt.  Simplicity 1916, View D.

Stay tuned!  This experiment is not over until I have the perfect shirt.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Family Reunion Dress" and how to add piping....

I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it.  I love the traditional look and style.

The corduroy was purchased from a warehouse that sold end of the bolt children's clothing fabrics about 5 years ago.  No telling how many years it had sat at the warehouse.  I love red and plum, so I fell for this fabric.  I had been holding it for the perfect project.  After a good washing, I was amazed at how the fabric felt.  This is a high end corduroy that has a wonderful hand.  I could iron it without a pressing cloth and it came out beautifully.

The "Family Reunion Dress" pattern is written wonderfully and sews together like a dream.  By the time you finish the pin tucks and the neckline, you are almost done!  I also love a dress that is done by machine totally, including the hem.  (I fall on the lazy side.)

Front view
Back view

My daughter stirring up fire ants, even in the winter.
The front view.

I love the look of piping, so I planned on adding a touch.  I didn't read the instructions ahead of time, so I was looking to add the piping to the rounded collar and the tab front.  The collar overlay is sewn to the neckline and then flipped and topstitched.  The top-stitched edge is also slightly gathered to make it lay beautifully.  Well, to add piping to that could cause a little distortion, if I did it my normal way.  So, I borrowed a friend's idea and used a washable wonder tape.  (Thanks, Roberta!)

This is the collar sewn to the neckline as it calls for in the pattern.

This is my self-made piping with the wonder tape stuck to one side.

I then peeled the other side of the tape and stuck it to the underside of the collar overlay.

This is a close-up.

Then, I top-stitched the collar overlay down, using the piping edge to guide my stitching.

 I love this little dress.  It looks like it came from a boutique.  My only complaint is a general complaint about children't clothing.  I have noticed that square necklines and larger round necklines have a tendency to gap in the front.  It helps to fit them perfectly, but this dress fits perfectly across the shoulders, but still tends to move around as my daughter bounces.  It may have to do with the neck area of little girls not having a good tight place to fit and settle into.  Let me know if you have ideas on solving this fitting issue.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ringing in a New Year with the Savannah Swing Jacket

This pattern has been jumping off the cutting table wanting to be made.  So, I finally got it done, even though it was easy to sew together.

The fabric was a cable twisted corduroy.  It has a stiff hand, so I thought it would work well.  It does, but it is very heavy for my weather, so I can only wear a camisole under it.  The fabric does not crease well, so when I make it again, I will choose something that shows off the lovely pleats.

The construction of this jacket is easy, even though there is a lining.  I found Step 2 in the lining directions had a picture drawn incorrectly.  If you follow the picture, you will be "unsewing", but if you think through which way the fabric should turn, you will see that it is just the opposite and then you won't have to "unsew."  I wish the cuff pattern was given so I would have cut it out with the rest of the jacket and not sewn it on against the nap.....but that might have happened anyway.  Glad you can't see it in the photos.  It looks a little frumpy in the photos, but it may be due to an 11-year-old son doing the photos.

I have made a few Serendipity Studio garments and this jacket seems to be very fitted through the shoulders (or my fabric was very unforgiving in giving a little stretch.)  I love the length of the cropped jacket.  It would look great with a skirt or dress.

Happy New Year!

I can't wait to see what I can sew up this year!