Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Made It! Kwik Sew 4013

Just squeaking in with this one: I've finished my December project for the Make a Garment a Month challenge. Well, just about finished -- I just have to hem it but I did want to share it here while we're still in December!

I had to take photos of the finished dress in my tiny front hall, as it is cloudy, snowy and minus 22 outside so no heading out there coatless today! In any case, here it is, Kwik Sew 4013.

I decided to colour block it, with a black solid and a black floral knit, both rather lightweight and soft. I made the shorter version with the colour blocking of the long one. I must say, from the line drawings I expected the middle panel to be a bit narrower, but when looking closely at the finished dress on the cover of the pattern, I realize that mine turned out just as the pattern looks. I'd make the elastic gathering shorter on the coloured panels if I made it again, to create more of an hourglass illusion. And don't forget, I'll be hemming it up by at least an inch ;)

Front view
Back View
Of course, as usual I added side seam pockets. Love them. I also took the waist up by an inch, but probably could have used another half inch. This pattern was very straight forward. Lots of steps and pieces, but all easily done. I really liked the instructions for attaching the shoulders and facings, it made a lot of sense and looks very nice completed. I did understitch the back facing though, as it kept wanting to pop up. That wasn't indicated in the pattern but I prefer it as a finish.

Clear instructions on the pattern itself
All layers pinned together
Such a tidy finish!

The only problem I had with this pattern was one I've had with another Kwik Sew -- these fit large. I measured myself for this one to avoid that issue coming up again, but I had to take in 1 1/2" at each side waist when I was done nevertheless. (perhaps that's why the centre panel seems so much wider than the side ones...) I cut medium on top and large on bottom -- next time I'll do small/medium, if I use fabric with the same level of stretch. This wasn't excessively stretchy fabric, just a regular knit like a tshirt.

Something I really like about this pattern is how logically it's constructed. Each step follows on with no confusing or complicated bits. The pattern instructions are basic and very clear. I also really like the neckline, how the bodice crosses over itself high enough up that you don't feel like you need to wear an undergarment for modesty's sake. It lies nicely and doesn't gape at all. If I can get the minor fitting issues adjusted I might make this again. It is really comfortable and not difficult to make, but I think it has enough detail to look a little different.

One other new thing for me -- this pattern calls for a blind hem. I discovered my blind hem for knits stitch on my machine, which I have never used before. I intend to use it for the hemline, but so far I've done the sleeves with the blind hem, and I quite like it!

From the outside

And looking at the inside
So, just finished this one in time for this year, and learned quite a bit while making it. Not sure why I kept putting this one off -- possibly the busy days of December -- but glad I finished it and hope that I'll actually wear it.....

Here's to many more new sewing adventures in 2014!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Oldest Pattern in the Stash: McCalls 9309

Reorganizing my pattern stash slightly for the new year, I noticed a few interesting items. I've had some patterns for a very long time -- but which have I owned the longest? I sorted through and found it! This McCalls 9309, the 2 Minute Dress by Star Terrell,  is one that I have owned since I was 13 years old!

It was the first pattern I ever purchased, with my mother's help. It was intended for my home economics class in Grade 9. We had 2 patterns to choose from in class, neither of which appealed to me, so my teacher allowed me to choose one of my own as long as it was a "beginner's" pattern -- and she knew that my mother was an accomplished seamstress so would steer me right (one handy side benefit of a small town where everyone knew you!)

I still own the pattern, although sadly the actual dress is long gone. I had made it in a very soft t-shirt knit, in a very 80's pattern of mint and white tie dye; it was a "2 Minute Dress" pattern that only took me 4 months to sew, LOL. Good thing I'm more efficient these days. I recall being pretty proud that it stayed together. Do you remember the first pattern you ever purchased? Which one have you owned the longest?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2014 Plans and Dreams

Well, it looks like many sewing bloggers are sharing their plans and goals for the upcoming year. I think that sounds like a good idea -- in thinking about what I want to accomplish, and joining challenges to encourage me to keep sewing this year, I have found that I'm getting lots more done!

So I'm going to continue this focus in 2014. My goals are:

1. Continue with the Make a Garment a Month challenge, and use some of my pattern and fabric stash that way!
2. Learn new techniques -- try patterns that aren't always 'easy' for me
3. Following from the point above, I'd like to take a class or two this year to learn correct techniques and tips for improving my skills.
4. Reduce my pattern and fabric buying and USE UP some of what I now have. I'm not going to ban myself from buying something new but will try to be more mindful of what I already have.

Once I finish my December dress for the MGM challenge I'll be jumping right in with some of these new directions too. Lots to do in 2014!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

MGM Choice for December

I'm really enjoying the push to complete some of my projects that SarahLiz Sew Style's "Make a Garment a Month" challenge is giving me. I've been sorting through some of my patterns and fabrics and trying to decide which I should choose for December. I'd love to choose 2 or 3 items that I really want to make -- but, it is December after all, and I know that I just won't have time for them all.

So in the name of sanity, I have selected one garment that I vow I will make from start to finish this month. I've chosen another dress:  Kwik Sew 4013

I am going to make View A, but use the colour blocking option from View B. I have had the black floral knit in my stash for quite a while, and want to jump on that while it is still a bit on trend ;)

Line Art

sarahlizsewstyle.blogspot.comI'm hoping that it will work out nicely... and that I will be able to finish it up amidst all the sewing-for-others that I'm working on...