Thursday, February 27, 2014

Black and White and Red all over

Just getting this posted by the end of the's my February "Make a Garment a Month" project! I'm going to post even though the only pictures I could get were rather blurry phone shots taken in my front hall. Oh well! I am certainly not going outside today in the -30 wind chill for photos ;)

This Kwik Sew 3658 is super easy, as shown in my last post; I made up a 'muslin' and this dress in just a couple of nights. The first try was useful to get the construction figured out, though that only took a read-through of the clear instructions & illustrations, plus a couple of tries with the fabric, and all was set. But it also showed me that it might be a good idea to cut Medium on top and Large at waist to hem, particularly because I wanted a bit of room left to add in some side seam pockets (which I was able to do, using some stash scraps of a black damask - I wanted a woven fabric for the pockets to minimize any stretching in the side seams)

Nice solid pocket!

Cozy dress!
Side View: not too clingy!

Love it! I'm going to try my blue,
yellow, purple, and green tights too!
Not all at the same time...

The only thing I noticed was that the stitching at the v of the neckline started coming loose -- the neckline is a bit low so that is dangerous...remember to backstitch carefully at that seamline because there is quite a bit of stretch-pressure put on that point while wearing. I'm going to handstitch it up again from the back/inside, about an inch to make it a little more reliable.

Otherwise, this was a really fun project, and the fabric was a perfect choice. It's soft and warm, and this dress is extremely comfortable to wear. The weight of the fabric also made the collar stand up nicely, though I've folded it down a bit in the picture above. I'm pleased with this one.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Green Tee

To test out the Kwik Sew 3658 that is my February sewing goal, I made up View B, the t-shirt, in a medium weight green knit that I had in the stash -- just enough for this view, I think it was a sign ;)

I wanted to test out how the neckline sat on me, as well as the sizing. I cut a medium all through, and discovered that this is a really easy, quick design that looks a little special thanks to the different neckline. I had no problems sewing it up, but found that I'd probably want to grade to a large at the waist/hips when I made the dress -- despite the Kwik Sew pattern sternly warning me: DO NOT GRADE BETWEEN SIZES.

I wore this to work (with a cardigan, as it's still cold here, though I removed it for a good view of the top) and the colour is so cheery! Great news, the dress has benefitted from my test muslin; I'll be posting about that soon, too. I'll easily meet my February MAGAM goals.

Something I found interesting: this pattern states "Designed for stretch knits only with 35% stretch across the grain." Well, I'm still pretty new to knits so don't always know right away what that means in terms of the actual fabric. I've tended to wing it, but have learned that that habit can cause some mighty annoying situations. Thankfully, I recently discovered this great tool to help judge the stretch of a knit. Print yourself one and save yourself the trouble of guessing wrongly (can't imagine who might have done such a thing before...)

Monday, February 17, 2014

MAGAM February Plans

Well, better late than never! For the last little while I was working away at a muslin for a dress that I wanted to make for Pattern Review's Little White Dress contest, but I barely even finished the muslin in the time allotted, so no LWD for me...

Anyhow, I just realized that I never did choose my February garment, so here it is -- I would like to make this Kwik Sew 3658, using a black and white heavy knit. I like the design and the fact that it's a thick knit that is still quite soft and flexible. Also, I think it will be easy to accessorize with lots of different colours.

It's an easy KwikSew, with only three pattern pieces. Let's see if I can get this done before the month is out!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Simple Peplum: 1666

I've been sewing, really I have! These last few weeks have been very busy though, so I've been slowing down on the sewing front. I decided to tackle a couple of items that have been unfinished for months, for no good reason other than my extreme distractibility in the face of new patterns... starting with this one, 1666, a Lisette from Simplicity.

I'd cut out the top in a heavier-weight houndstooth in the summer, and kind of lost my drive to finish it. Probably because of the back zipper which I was feeling a little afraid of at the time... But I picked it up again and got right to it this time around. The zipper was installed a little more messily than I'd have preferred, but not noticeably enough to redo it or not to wear this. The busy little print also helped the hide the wavery nature of the stitching ;) 

I'd originally chosen this pattern because the peplum flare is only at the sides, leaving the front and back panel flat. I thought that this would flatter my figure a little more than a full peplum. As it turns out, I really, really like it. 

This is how it turned out:

Front view with only a little wrinkly bit
Side view: it captures the spirit of a peplum
without adding 6 inches to my posterior - love it!
I really liked this one, although I need to do a little more fitting -- I'd love to make this again, and I want to try the dress as well. Now I know that I have to bring the waist up about a half inch, and adjust the princess seams above the bust as there is just a little too much ease at that point. Otherwise it was very easy to run up once I actually got back to it, and I like the way it fits. A really nice pattern to work with.