Thursday, May 3, 2018

2018 Tops That Pop - Faye's Top Sew-A-Long

Last month, I decided to participate in Faye's Top Sew-A-Long again.  This is the second time around for me.  The idea it to inspire and motivate people to sew.  It's always fun to see what others are making.

For this sew-a-long I made Butterick 3521.  I've made view A three times before.  The last times was in 2010 for my sister.  It's pretty easy to sew.  You can read about that review here.

For this version notice that I made the sleeves super long with elastic band at the 3/4 length placement.  Then I added a lower sleeve that has elastic at the hem.  The fabric was not wide enough to cut the full length of the sleeve.  So I had to be creative.  Wanting to create some type of floaty fullness at the wrist, I added another section about 5" longer than my arm's length.  Later, I'll post a photo of me wearing it.

The finishing hems at the neckline and lower edge of the top I did a small zig zag stitch.  I haven't done that in a very long time.  The fabric is very stretchy and it crawls as you try to sew it.  So I used so fusible web, stitch witchery 1/4" width to help control it.  Often I use this technique with hemming knit.  I forgot to mention it.

Outside of the above change, I top was sewn as indicated in the guidelines (oh yes, no slit in the sleeves.).  Looking at the other views, I'm thinking of trying them soon.

That's all for now!

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Spring Is Here - My Custom Made Umbrella

It's May and we've had two days with temps over 70 degrees!  I'm so happy.  Hoping winter or signs of winter are gone!

This weekend I was determined to finish up my Haute Couture Club Fashion Show garments/items.  One of them was this lovely umbrella, custom made by yours truly.  I was so pleased with how easy and well it turned out.

At the end of last HCC meeting Rhonda, held a how to workshop, but I was unable to participate.  I was not ready and had some other responsibilities.  On Saturday morning I was able to finish mine all but anchoring the canopy to the stokes and applying the fabric shield spray.

I wanted some Wakanda something fabric, but couldn't find any.  I love the Black Panther movie.  It displayed so many positive roles of black women.  Who wouldn't want to be a super hero or fantasized about being one  (that would be me ;-) ).   So can someone create some Wakanda fabric, please?

The Black Widow movie is due out 2019.  She is fierce with enhanced technological powers that make her virtually invincible.

Anyway, back to the umbrella.  The supplies came from the Quilter's Trunk store in Chicago.  But you can contact Umbrella Joan to purchase the frame and the pattern.   Just follow the instructions and you are done!

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

McCall 7686 Top Hacked Into A Sequin Dress

Hi There!

I'm happy to finally post this cute little sequined dress that I made for my sister.  This is my one yard wonder.  Yes, that's right.  I made it with only one yard of Mood's Black Stretch Rayon Jersey with Waving Sequined Stripes.  What a mouth full.  I grabbed this sparkly wave about two years ago from the online store. Sewing it cause no problems.  The sequins are small and the Rayon jersey fabric provides a good support base.  The sequins can be easily flatten to create a smooth affect along the seams.

Too bad it's no longer in stock.   But no worries, though.  Mood has more sequined fabrics that are equally beautiful.

When I purchased McCall 7686 I decided to hack it and turned it into a slinky dress. A shiny, slinky one.  This dress was easy to make.  The hacking was no more than extending the length of the top into a dress.  I used only the front and back of view C.

McCall's description:  A, B, C: Close fitting one shoulder tops have sleeve variations. A, B: Collar. D, E, F: Close fitting off the shoulder tops elasticized neckline and sleeve variations. E, F: Collar. All views have narrow hems.  I used size 14.

I really didn't used the instructions. My construction process was to simply sew the shoulder and side seams of the dress.  I added a tricot lining to finished the inside.  I added elastic to the entire necklace to help the dress maintain a close fit.  For the armhole, the lining was attached then stabilized with twill tape.   Really simple construction and hacking.

My sister will model this dress in the upcoming Haute Couture Club of Chicago Fashion show.  I very please with how this one yard wonder turned out.

So that all for now!

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Another Red Dress for My Daughter in Review - Vogue 9021

Another Red Dress for My Daughter in Review – Vogue

Red is definitely one of “our” favorite colors.  Honestly, when I see red fabric in the stores, I’m drawn to it.  I have to go by it and touch it to see if it’s something that I’d like to create a dress or a pair of pants.  The same happens when I shop online.  I purposely search “red”. 

Sure “we” like other colors too, but red is one of those colors “we” never get enough.  This red knit is from FabricMart Fabrics.  I ordered it last summer, cut the dress out last fall, and finally sewed the dress early March.

This was other very easy Vogue (V9021) dresses.  It told only a few hours to make.

Pattern Description:  Fitted dress has front and back extending into flutter sleeves, low armholes, back zipper and hemline slit.  Sizes 6 to 22 are available. I used sizes 10 and 12 making adjustment along the side seams for view A.

Difficult:  Not, super easy.   There was nothing difficult or confusing in the construction process or in the instruction guide sheet.

I liked the shape of the sleeve and armhole.  Something a little different is good sometimes. No dislikes.

Changes made: No serious changes made.  I only omitted the sleeve/side facings.  A narrow hem was perfect.  The Suggested fabrics were all woven.  I used a medium weight knit instead.  

This is a very easy vogue dress pattern.  Any level of sewist should be able to make it.  After I finished it, I was very happy with the results and so was my daughter.  Now, I have a few more things in her sewing project bag to finish before summer.  Stay tune.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 6, 2018

KungFuKing Multifunctional Kit 32

My daughter purchased the KungFuKing Multifunctional Kit 32 for me back in January.  I’d planned to write a mini reviews on the feet as I tried them out.  By the time I started writing it, several fellow bloggers posted/reviewed on similar kits that they purchased.  So, I stalled on posting anything about the one I had.

Today, I decided to go ahead with my first mini review because there are several different sewing machine feet kits out there on the market and not all kits are created equal or are they compatible with every sewing machine. 

This particular kit can be used with Singer sewing machines.  So let me start by reviewing the description sheet.

The description sheet provides large pictures of each foot and the name is printed below them.  The description continues with how each one can help improve the quality of various construction processes.  The sheet does not provide details on how to facilitate those processes, which is not a problem for most experienced sewists.  But if you are a new sewist, instructions on how to use the blind hem foot might be helpful.

In the past, I’ve noticed that some universal feet are not well made.  This kit, although the feet are light weight, they produce very good stitching.  There are no rough edges.  When attached to the machine, they attach with no problem.
Rolled Hem Feet

I was most interested in the knit, ¼ and 1/8 rolled hem feet.  Both of them rendered the desired results. Below is my test of the rolled hem feet.  The first picture is (left to right) rolled hem with 1/8 foot and my two step process for creating a rolled hem (wider than 1/8). The next picture shows the right side of the fabric of the same illustrations.  The third picture is of the 1/4 and 1/8 rolled hem result.

The picture below is my test of the knit foot.  I used a sharp needle, size 12, with polyester regular thread.  No skipped stitches.  NOTE: I was also able to achieve the same effect without the special foot on the same fabric.  So, this foot may proof more effective of a knit with more stretch.  That test to come later.

So far these are the only feet I’ve tested.  The rest will be tested later.  I’ll try to remember to review each as they are used in upcoming projects.  

Here are a few more of the feet that come in the kit. The first two are the 7 and 5 Holes Cording Feet.  These are suppose to make attaching decorative cords and threads easy.  The second picture is of the Roller Foot.  It helps prevent fabrics like jersey, vinyl, and leather from slipping or puckering.  And the third foot shown is the Adjustable Bias Tape Binder Foot.  It is use to achieve beautiful edge finishes with bias tape.
7 and 5 Hole Cording Feet

Roller Foot

Adjustable Bias Tape Binder Foot

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Carriage Corner Sew Camp - March 2018

I’m way behind on posting to my blog.  There is so much going on right now.  Today, I wanted to tell you a little bit about my Carriage Corner Sew Camp in Pennsylvania.  I met Gaylen for the first time January, 2017 in New York.  There we talked about having a quarterly Sew Camp at her Bed and Breakfast.  Great idea, right?  The first Sew Camp was two months later, but I couldn't make that one.   So, I decided to wait until after my trip to Greece before deciding when to come.

Then in January, Ms. Carolyn posted on her blog that she would go in March.  So Andrea and I immediately decided to come as well.  For me, it’s an opportunity for me to sew and hang out with some of my sewing friends. 

I came with no fabric.  My intentions were to buy from FabricMart Fabrics and use some of it to start new projects.  So our first full day of camp was shopping at FabricMart Fabrics and then lunch at a local café.  Needless to say, I bought a huge amount of fabric.  In many instances, I just purchased whatever was left on the bolt.  Besides, Julie gave us such a fantastic discount.  I mean it was GREAT!

A lot of what I bought is black and white.  Several striped pieces fell in my arms too.  But I couldn’t leave without something floral and bright colored knit.  See..,

I started on four projects while I was there:  two tops, one dress and a pair of pants.  I’ll post a full review on each later.  


More Knits

While waiting for my flight to return home, I thought about how much fun I had during the sewing camp weekend.  I saw some old friends and made some new ones.  It was a very good time all the way around.  I also reflected on my many friendships born out social media.  I’ve been blogging for almost eleven years.  I first met all of the ladies through blogging or Instagram (directly or indirectly).  It’s amazing when you think of it.  How small the world has become and how social media has changed the way we make new friends.  On the last days, everyone shared their delight in all the activities that occurred in what seemed like only a few hours.  We all agreed to come back for another Sew Camp.  Some of the ladies are registered for the September, 2018 session.  I’m coming back in June, 2018 for the extended session. 

Sew Camp is a winner!  Gaylen and her husband were the best.  The bed and breakfast, two snaps up!  Sew Camp is a great way to meet sewing buddies and spend some time with friends doing what we love to do, SEW!

More on the Sew Camp on Carolyn's Blog.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

McCall 7243 In Review

Today I'd like to finally review a McCall's dress that I made for my daughter two years ago.  Yes, two years ago.  Occasionally, I share projects that won't high on my favorites list.  this one was lingering at the bottom of the "things to blog about list". 

After I photographed my daughter wearing the dress, I was less than satisfied with how it fit/looked on my daughter.  One the first things I noticed was the lines that formed along the collar neckline.  Then, I felt the dress was a little baggy through the waist and hip area (an easy fit, right?).  Finally, the photos were not the best.  So, I immediately thought let me think about whether or not I want to post the review. It took me two years and then some to finally post.

The first time that Lauren wore it was to the Haute Couture Club of Chicago Holiday Luncheon in December 2017.  She added a cute wide belt shaped much like a obi belt which made the dress quite flattering.   

When we arrived at the luncheon, Eve was wearing her version of the very same dress.  I had to chuckle to myself.  Both of us, yield similar results.  And both Eve and Lauren decided to belt the dress for a better look.

So, of choice, I had to take a few pictures of them together!   On Pattern Review there are about sixteen reviews.  So I think most of the construction do's and don'ts have been discussed.  So I will be brief with my review as this is not a difficult dress to sew.

Pattern Description:  Close-fitting, pullover top and dresses have wide bertha collar, and stitched hems. A, D: Long sleeves. B: Sleeveless. C: Contrast collar and three-quarter length sleeves. Narrow hem finish on collar, and armholes A.

Pattern Sizing:  4 to 20; I used size 12 with a few modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  There was nothing difficult or confusing about the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  This is really a simple knit dress.  The collar and the double sleeve variations are what encouraged me to buy and make the dress.

Fabric Used:  Ponte knit from JoAnn's Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made very small changes to the pattern.  For the front dress and front collar, I did a pigeon chest adjustment and the back dress and collar I remove about a inch from the neckline. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  For the most part, there is nothing difficult about it that would discourage someone from sewing it.  But I probably will not make this one again.  I have at least 100 difficult dress patterns to try.  So, if you think this the dress from you, try it.

My DD with My Baby Sister

Conclusion:  My daughter is now happy to wear this dress with a belt.  And after seeing Eve wearing the same dress, I have a new appreciation for it.  ;-)  This is a likable knit dress that is easy to sew.


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