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.

06 July 2017

Chloe's Custom Fit - Grandma's Panty Factory

At age 7-1/2, my granddaughter has experienced problems in trying to find ready-to-wear underwear that fit properly, serious business in my book. She's somewhere in between a size 6 and 8 off the rack, too small at one end of the size spectrum and way too big at the other end. "This won't do," I said to my girlie. I already had a class stashed in my www.craftsy.com library, "Sewing Panties - Construction and Fit" taught by Beverly Johnson. Following class guidelines, I was able to create a custom-size child's pattern with no problem at all. After sewing up a sample and with only a couple of minor adjustments, I had a perfect-fitting, master pattern for this dear girlie of mine. "These are so comfortable, Grandma!" she exclaimed. I am so very happy to oblige and will be sending along a batch of undies which I know she will love. We laughed as I teased that grandma had a mission and that Grandma's Panty Factory was now in action. Fabric of choice: cotton/lycra jersey with about 30% crosswise stretch.

01 July 2017

Butterick 6330; summer dress

Picked up this cotton knit fabric from downtown Los Angeles fabric/garment district which we visited on June 17, 2017. I chose Butterick 6330 from my pattern stash to make this simple summer dress. This knit fabric is lightweight and has very little stretch.  I paid particular attention to matching the stripes and placing the sequence of the print just so. There are no pattern facings but instead, the raw edges of the neck and armholes are turned under and then stitched. I included side pockets and, overall, the dress turned out nicely.

13 November 2016

McCalls 7100, Bomber Jacket #2

Bomber Jacket...me in it

This pattern, McCalls 7100 is the bomb.  You can easily add a lining, but I have not lined either of the two jackets I have sewn. Lining the jacket is a good way to enclose messy seams; keeping it unlined makes me pay attention to neat and tidy finishes. I have read that scuba knit fabric does not breathe, so I will think about wearing this jacket on cooler days.

04 November 2016

McCalls 7100; Bomber Jacket #2 in the making

#2 in the making
Jacket #1
After finishing #1 of this Bomber Jacket pattern, I am working on another one; fabric choice Nicole Miller scuba knit fabric, purchased from JoAnn's. This time playing with color and fabric choice. To successfully stitch on this fabric, had to switch to Schmetz stretch needle 75/11, as well as a wider stitch width (3.5); otherwise machine was skipping stitches like crazy. I think this "splashy color" jacket will be "the bomb" when it's done.

14 October 2016

McCalls 7100; Bomber Jacket Sew-Along; all done!


Here's my Bomber Jacket, McCalls 7100, completed.  Mine is cut in a size Medium.  I used 3/8" seams instead of 5/8" on the side and sleeve seams, to gain .  Neck, cuffs and bottom band attachments were sewn with regular 5/8" seams.  I made usual adjustments, shortening body and sleeve lengths by about 1".  Such a fun project.  I'll be making more.


03 October 2016

McCall's 7100 Bomber Jacket Sew-Along; work in progress



McCall's Bomber Jacket Sew-Along, using McCall's #7100; I signed up, yes I did! Would not normally have thought to sew a Bomber Jacket, but sew-alongs have always piqued my curiosity. I tend to go it alone, but fellowship among like-minded persons with a passion for all things sewing is a fabulous, heartwarming thing. My jacket is currently a work-in-progress. I'm waiting on a metallic-silver separating zipper which I had to order online; thus, a short breather until that zipper arrives. I love everything about this metallic-coated fabric which I got at Joann's with a 50% off coupon. Subtle sparkle on the outside, soft dusty rose color on the inside, this fabric drapes softly, dare I say "a buttery feel;" easy to handle, both in cutting and sewing. I chose not to line my jacket; this pattern does not call for a lining, and I took my cue from that. I have been very careful, using a serger as well as pinking shears to finish the seams. I will say that next time, I'd consider working on a light jacket lining, which would hide all those interior seams; a clean finish and less work in the long run. Note to myself: I cut a Size M, with a 41" finished garment measurement around the bust.  Size L (45" finished measurement around the bust) would have been too big for the fit I was looking for. To provide extra inches without going up a size, I used 3/8" seams instead of 5/8", which brought me to a 43" measurement. The fit is good.

Cuff detail
Pocket welt detail

19 September 2016

New Look 6414; Lacy Sleeve Top


I've been on a sewing roll these past weeks. The kind of patterns I pick are mostly quick to sew and I average about one garment every couple of days at this pace. I'm working on whittling away at my stash of fabric, so that I can re-stock...buy more that is. Lately, a lot of patterns feature the use of lace which creates a very feminine touch. I picked View D from New Look 6414, a short-sleeve, V-neck top, that flares softly to the hemline, with contrasting lace fabric at the shoulder and sleeve. 

18 September 2016

Butterick 5922; Sleeveless Knit Top


Butterick 5922; View A
I wanted to practice sewing a Peter Pan collar. Butterick 5922, View A, was what I was looking for, a simple sleeveless top with the kind of collar I wanted. There is a good go-to tutorial that provides information on how to sew a Peter Pan collar with a more professional finish. Thank you,
Sure Fit Designs: http://www.sfdlearningcenter.com/Peter_Pan_Collar_Instructions.pdf. Your instruction worked for me and my collar turned out nicely. I used an inexpensive cotton knit (not much stretch) that I had in my stash; I don't even remember where or when I purchased this fabric, it's been that long ago.


14 September 2016

McCalls 7314; getting dressed

First of a bunch of dresses I'm making to wear at home and for running errands around town. Dedicated sewing, one full day, to complete this dress, after pre-washing and cutting fabric.

12 September 2016

Jennifer George Top; Vogue Attitudes #1600

Initially, I had intended to use this Nicole Miller polyester twill, tropical parrot print fabric to make a bomber jacket. I'm currently participating in the McCall's Bomber Jacket Sew-a-long. The accompanying black twill fabric that I purchased for the sleeves of the jacket turned out to be stiffer and did not have the drape that the jacket calls for, so I scraped that idea. Decided to use the parrot print while it was still fresh on my table, so I dug into my pattern stash and came up with a vintage pattern, Vogue Attitudes #1600, by American Designer Jennifer George. Sleeveless, lined, cropped to the waist, fitted darts in the front and back, I'm pleased with the results. The Nicole Miller fabrics found at JoAnn's is a good line, decent quality at a fair price. I'll be going back for more.



04 September 2016

Leggings for Chloe and a dollie dress to go along


From 1-1/8 yd. of fabric, I made one pair of custom leggings, one knee-length pair of bike shorts, and a dress for dollie as well. Pants have a 22-1/2" waist and fit just right, from top to bottom, custom made for my 7-yr-old granddaughter. On my way to Idaho in just a few days to deliver the goods. See the buttons on dollie's dress? Couldn't find my velcro and the buttons are much easier to handle anyway. Very cute stuff! The doll dress is from Simplicity 8041, an American Girl pattern; the leggings were crafted from free pattern instructions provided by So Sew Easy, http://so-sew-easy.com/leggings-pattern-tutorial.

29 August 2016

e-Tee Pattern from Sewing Workshop


Here's Sewing Workshop's "eTee" t-shirt all sewn up. I purchased this download-only pattern from Sewing Workshop's website. I simply love the fit of this top, as good as off the rack. From printing and piecing together the pattern for tracing, to pre-washing fabric, then laying out and cutting the fabric, to sewing and serging, all was done in one day. The charcoal/black zebra stripe jersey fabric (pictured) which I used to make this sample garment, has a 97% cotton, 3% lycra content, perfect for t-shirt making.

28 August 2016

Simplicity 1323; Knit Top

Most recent knit top, just finished. Lots of natural folds starting at just below the bustline require a soft knit so that the folds will hang nicely. I made a short, knit pencil skirt (Pamela's Patterns) to wear with this top. Very wearable, very comfortable for around town.


Custom Leggings for 5-yr-old Granddaughter

I swear by this custom legging pattern listed at So Sew Easy; http://so-sew-easy.com/leggings-pattern-tutorial. The good news, the pattern is free (thank you So Sew Easy). There is a fabulous, fail-proof tutorial for how-to-measure and how to draw a leggings pattern based on your measurements. Pictured, I made custom-sized leggings for 5-year-old Natalie. Her waist measures at 20-1/2" inches. These leggings fit her like a glove, perfect around the waist, in the rise, front and back, and everywhere else that matters. From the leftover fabric, I was able to make a matching pair of leggings for Nat's dollie and, with that, a dollie top to go along. Simplicity has a line of doll clothing for 18" American Girl dolls, so making this mini-me outfit was quick and easy to do. I must mention, I have also made adult-size leggings for myself and again, the fit was just right and very comfortable.
http://so-sew-easy.com/leggings-pattern-tutorial/