15 November 2018

Knit Top; Christine Jonson #714 - Cross Your Heart & V-Neck Tee Pattern

Off the rack, I wear a Petite Size L. I've had this pattern for a long time, but never made it until now, mainly because of fear of fitting issues in working with knit. My list of I  DON'T LIKE includes I don't like too tight, too loose, all of that; and I don't like to have to do major alterations to patterns. I'm lucky because except that I'm petite (5'3" and shrinking), I normally can sew a Size 16 from any of the major pattern companies, with good results. But what is now opening doors for me in my sewing adventures is the application of body measurement, comparing them to actual finished garment measurement, taking into account pattern style, i.e., fitted vs. loose, moderately fitted, etc., and also fabric weight, body and stretch. When all is said and done, any pattern can turn out well, with the right choice of fabric and a good-fitting pattern.

Lately I've had success. I have finally mastered Christine Jonson's Cross Your Heart Tee for a proper fit. Mind you...I actually sewed three sizes before I got proper fitting results. First, I cut out a Size 14 - a tight stretch all around. Then I tried a Size 18 - too big, especially at the shoulders, around the chest, and around the cuff. Finally, determined to see if I could do anything with this pattern before tossing it, I cut out a Size 16 and made the following modifications: I did not alter front or back pattern pieces but sewed a 1/2" seam at the side and underarm, instead of 5/8". Before folding and sewing the cuff into a barrel as the instructions indicate, I cut off 5/8" on one side edge, to tighten up the circumference of the arm band for a tighter fit. How did I manage to cut out three different sizes from one pattern? CJ's paper patterns (like most) comes in multi-sizes, nested within each other. I lifted each pattern piece of the size I was working on, using tracing paper. My only "I WONDER" now is... Will those other Christine Jonson patterns that are in my pattern stash be less of a formidable fitting challenge now that I've nailed this one? We'll see. More CJ pattern attempts ahead in my future.

ABOUT CHRISTINE JONSON PATTERNS: Why I keep trying: They are easy to sew. For the most part, especially the jackets and some of the tops, design is classically simple. The professional touch, making them really "wow" is in the finishing details, i.e., seam finish, hem finish, topstitching and those kinds of things that take time but are worth the bother. And of course, using a better quality knit fabric is key. Weight, stretch and body, all so important!

02 November 2018

Knit Shirt; Christine Jonson Pattern #723 - Straight Shirt

On a sewing roll, using up fabric from my stash. The pattern, Christine Jonson #723, Straight Shirt, sewn up in a soft knit fabric. I thought this was a ponte knit, but it's more like a soft French Terry. The color is Champagne Pink, closer to a very pale shade of peach. I did not like working with this fabric; too soft, too fluid. The use of iron-on, double-sided fusible webbing which I applied on the hem and sleeve hems helped to give body to the garment, enough to prevent edges from stretching out of shape.. Also applying top-stitching to the collar and front along the edges gave the shirt a better finished appearance. This is a comfortable, wearable shirt, but I am glad this one is done.

29 October 2018

Medieval Print Knit T-shirt; Vogue 8582

Front view; Vogue 8582

Purchased this unusual, bold print online and here's what I made. The question on my mind, "Would I dare wear this out and about, around town, with all those faces staring out." It's not so bad and will look interesting under a jacket (maybe hide some of the scarier faces under the jacket). This knit fabric has a smooth, cool feel and is comfortable against the skin, although it may not breathe well in hot weather. I did say I'd like an artsy, wearable wardrobe, and this is definitely that!  I used Vogue 8582 to make the T-shirt, an older Marcy Tilton pattern which I tweaked.

28 October 2018

Double-sided, pre-quilted fabric jacket from Simplicity 8298. I made three covered buttons from black velvet, which I love for this jacket, as well as the dotted cotton binding. I did pre-shrink the fabric in the washer before cutting and sewing, but it's still a bit stiff. It fits nicely, but I hope the fabric will soften over time. Overall, a fun project, sewn pretty quickly.

25 October 2018

Stevie Tunic; Tilly and the Buttons Dress Pattern

Back view; Stevie Tunic by Tilly and the Buttons
Sample garment, the Stevie Tunic pattern from Tilly and the Buttons.  What I like about this pattern is the simple, quick and easy-to-sew design and, of course, the sweet tie closure in the back.  There's also an option to do a simple button closure at the back neck.  I used a lightweight linen fabric, which became very soft and fluid after pre-shrinking in the washer.  Next time I will use a mid-weight fabric with more body, for more structure and better wear.  It's very plain, but a very nice, flattering fit.

16 September 2018

White Denim Jacket...I did it, I did it!

Jacket Express #218; Islander Sewing Systems.  White denim fabric
It's the second jacket I've sewn, using the same pattern as the last, but this time in a white, non-stretch denim fabric.  I like it!

20 August 2018

Jacket Express #218; Islander Sewing Systems

Most recent project: Islander Sewing Systems Jacket Express pattern #218. Fabric: Dark magenta/natural animal print, cotton/lycra slubbed bottom weight fabric, which I had purchased online for $2.99/yd some time ago and, until I tried it on this jacket, I had no idea what to do with this wild print.  I had purchased a class through Craftsy.com, "Sew Better, Sew Faster/Garment Industry Secrets," by Instructor Janet Pray (the jacket pattern came with the class). I think the pattern and the fabric turned out to be a good match. By following the written pattern instruction booklet and with the Craftsy video instruction as a guideline, I got good results. In fact, this has turned out to be one of my favorite sewing projects to date. A fun project, I plan to make another jacket, next time in white denim.

13 December 2017

Room for improvement

Can she sew? Yes, but Christine, take a  note.  In 2018, shall we plan better? Still chasing that wearable, artsy wardrobe, says me.

19 November 2017

It's a bag...and I'm all over the place

Come November, my mindset switched direction, thinking of soft quilty things as well as gifts to knit and sew for the holiday season. I will set aside garment sewing until after the holidays...that is, with the exception of the warm sweater that I promised to sew for hubby, and also a nice knit top to wear for Christmas...something like that. Digging through, while organizing my closet-full of fabrics, I came across a half-finished project which, until two days ago, amounted to only a couple of rows of charm squares sewn together. Pictured: It's a bag! Just have to pop in the lining and I'm done with this one. See the little embroidered face? I did that and only note it because...well, I love that face : )
front side
back side

12 November 2017

Just a note...

Super excited to work on independent designer patterns. First, sizing is pretty much spot-on, thus fit is good. Downloading, piecing together patterns and then tracing onto tissue paper; time consuming but not difficult; I have not yet been disappointed. The results are what I hope for in that continual search for an artsy, wearable wardrobe. One of my latest, favorite websites is https://indiesew.com/. Also, I'm a member of https://sewing.patternreview.com/. When browsing/shopping for patterns these days, these are the sites that I often visit.

About Goldie's Bowl: Thoughts to share therein; inquiring minds want to know; that kind of thing...lol. I see you, can you see me?  

eTee - The Sewing Workshop

Purchased the download-only, "e-Tee" pattern from The Sewing Workshop a while ago.  Here are two tees that I've made to date.  Wish I could get my hands on some quality knit fabric for tshirts; with a little more weight, a little more stretch.  Next time, I will lengthen the sleeve just a wee bit.  Otherwise this is a reliable pattern for a casual tshirt; quick and easy to sew.

10 November 2017

Grainline Driftless Cardigan

Grainline Driftless Cardigan
Grainline's Driftless Cardigan pattern is simply fabulous; one of my favorites to date.  Purchased this pattern as a PDF download; the fabric is a lightweight thermal knit.  I love the results.  It's comfortable, travels well, very wearable and, for me, was quick and easy to sew.  Having a serger made for finished seams that hold up well in the wash.  I'll be making more of these cardigans, that's for sure.

08 November 2017

Busy sewing this and that...

Been sewing more things than I have posted.  These tops are both sewn using lawn fabric, which have worn well in hot weather.  It's that same pattern, Simplicity 1694...my "go to" shirt pattern, quick and easy to sew, with good results.  Took them with me on a trip to North Carolina where the weather was warm and slightly humid; pleased to note my shirts held up and did not wilt.

30 July 2017

Vogue 9171 #MarcyTilton

Second time I've used Vogue 9171, #MarcyTilton. First time, it was a solid aubergine, linen-like fabric. This time, I used a lawn print fabric purchased on sale from www.marcytilton.com. While both versions have appeal, I prefer the soft feel of this light-as-a-feather printed fabric, even though this gauze-like, textured fabric required careful handling while cutting and sewing.

18 July 2017

Simplicity 1694; Another Shirt

Most recent shirt just finished; I'm on a sewing roll again. This fabric is a breezy semi-sheer cotton, good in warm weather despite its dark color. Simplicity 1694 is a pattern I've had for a while. In fact, this is the second shirt I've made. The nice thing about this lightweight cotton fabric? The collar band and collar were so easy to handle, with so little bulk to deal with.