Sunday, June 2, 2019

Vogue 1275 - Fancy Shoulder Knit Top

I must admit that I was a little apprehensive about making this top.  It was on the "to make list" for about three years. The neckline and the trim seemed to be quite intimidating at first look.  To get pass that, I had to simply pulled out the guide sheet and the tissue pattern; then get to working on it. Throughout my sewing adventures, there has been multiple occasions when I thought the construction of something was more than I bargain for.  

I think many sewists shied away from this one because it appears to be more labor intensive than it really is.  I only found four online postings:  two on Pattern Review and two in blog land.  Anyway, I am very pleased with how my version of view B turned out. 

This pattern is designed by Sandra Betzina.  It is described as Misses' top: close-fitting, pullover top has neck binding and optional stitched hem on lower edge.  A:  Ruched front and elastic forms ruched effect on sleeves.  B:  Self-lined sleeves with ruffles.

The sizing is A to J.  I found that in many cases I do not have to do my usual full bust adjustments with Sandra Betzina's patterns.  For starter, I used size E.  But end up doing quite a bit of tweaking during the construction process particularly below the bust area.  At the waist and upper hip areas I stitched somewhere between C and D.  So my sizing was a little all over the place between E and C.5.

My top looked like the drawing as far as style lines and shape of the top.  The princess seaming on my top is more pronounced than in the drawing.  I did change some of the construction techniques and continued to modify the seaming for fit purposes.  The instructions were pretty clear.  There were a few steps that made me pause though.  The first was step 9. I wish the placement lines for the trim were indicated on the tissue pattern. I didn't follow step 6 to mark the line; I just laid the top on a flat surface and carefully pinned the trim in place.  Then I basted it to the shoulder area.  Finally securing it by machine.  The neck binding instructions weren't completely clear.  I didn't really indicate how the finished neckline should appear and it was a little wide for my taste.  So, for that step,  I trimmed off about .75 inch along the long edge of it.  And I trimmed off 1.25 inches of the short edge.   Next I folded it in half, pressed, and attached it to the neckline of the top.  To finish it, I turned the binding to the inside of the top and stitched it down covering the raw edges.  The center front was turned in twice, stitched down, and anchored to the neck binding.  So my binding does not show on the right side the top.

My fabric came from FabricMart Fabrics.  The floral knit is actually a remnant from this dress that I made in July 2018.  Because I only had 1.25 yards left, I used a black jersey for the lining of the sleeves.  Also from FabricMart Fabrics.  I didn't use the ruffle tissue pattern.  I simply purchased some trim that I liked from JoAnn Fabrics, which saved me a little time. 

My Likes:
  • Princess seam front - easy for fitting.
  • Bust dart - it eliminated pooling of fabric along the bust area.  
  • The Fancy shoulder trim treatment.  I love it!  This is a nice embellishment.
My Dislikes:
  • No note worthy dislikes.
The only other change that I made was to do a swayback adjustment resulting in a center back seam.  No big deal there.

In conclusion, the construction process was really easy.   It was just a little time consuming with placing the trim.  I preferred my method of attaching the neck binding for this view.  Maybe if I make view A, I'll have exposed neck binding. 

This pattern was published in 2011 and it is out of print.  So if you have it, give it a try.

BTW-  I'm still working on my neutrals garments.  This was the last top that I made in May.  And I wanted to get a post up on the blog this weekend.  There are two other tops that I made in May that I will soon post.  One is a neutral, warm beige. 

So that's all for now.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Neutrals - Always Trending

Good day!

How about a little fashion talk?  Today, I want to share a few thoughts on neutral color fashion.  In my world neutral tones are always trending.  All of the colors are in my color palette (above image).  The brown and green hues compliment my warm dark brown skin and eye color.

Neutrals colors are not extremely eye grabbing but perfect for mixing and matching with other colors and prints.

Throughout the years, I've made it a point to up-date my wardrobe with several neutral pieces to fill in a grab or to update a look or styled outfit.  Sometimes my neutral garment is the main ingredient of my outfit like in my previous post. And other times I add a neutral to mix with a bold color.

In both cases, neutral are in important to my wardrobe and at times can save an outfit. My neutrals are like staple.  My wardrobe would not be complete without them.  So recently, I took a good look into my closets and noticed there weren't many neutral staples.  So this year, I decided to concentration some of my creative efforts towards filling in the gab.

So for the ladies and gents that share a similar state of wardrobe, please join me in my quest.  Or tell me how you feel are "being neutral".

In the meantime, enjoy the inspiration included in this post.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Simplicity 8891 - Warm Beige and Ivory Bengal Striped Stretch Twill

It is my pleasure to final post my first spring dress, made just for me!  Happy to show off Simplicity 8891 dress in Mood's Warm Beige and Ivory Bengal Striped Stretch Twill.  This dress was draped on my form for nearly two weeks before I was able to take a few pictures.

The mid-west has been like a tropical rain forest 80% of the time.  It rained hours before the photo shoot.  So me and my "photographer" raced to location before the next band of torrential wave hit the south suburbs. 

Anyway.., My review:

My fabric is fabulous!  I think by now, everyone knows I'm love a great striped textiles.  So when I saw it online, immediately I ordered four yards not having anything special in mind.  I just wanted to make sure I got some of it before it had a red sold out stamp on it.  Yes, there are 61 yards still available.  The details on the weight, fibers, and possible garment styles are on the website:  Warm Beige and Ivory Bengal Striped Stretch Twill. 

My pattern of choice is Simplicity 8891.  I just had to have it too.  Early May I posted on my blog my pattern notes.  It focuses on the fit adjustments.  The pattern also includes pants, shorts, and a top.  It's a simple wardrobe pattern that you can create a great little summer mini wardrobe from.  And I will probably make the top and pants too.  When I was finishing up my dress, I saw that Erica B had made the top and short.  It's a super cute outfit. Check it out on her blog if you haven't already.   I think we are the first to post outfits made using this new Simplicity pattern.

I started with size 16 modifying the tissue pattern, adjustments continuing as I constructed the dress. The sewing was very easy and steady. I practically finished the dress in one sewing session.   The instructions were typical.  No problems in them.

My dress looks much like the photographed dress on the envelope.  I only made minor changes that probably will go unnoticed. They are:

  • Placement of the buttons.  At the waist I added two close together.  The rest are evenly spaced as I desired.  So I didn't use the button guide at all.
  • On the shoulder, I added a little tiny dart where I added width for my prominent shoulder blades.  Initially, I thought maybe I'll ease in the excess.  But truth be told, I don't really like the effect of easing at the shoulder.
  • I added a few inches to the length of the belt.

My likes:

  • Button Front
  • Pleating at the waist
  • Lower band at the hem
  • Sleeve finishing
My dislikes:
  • The neck is a little wider than I like for this style.
  • Pocket placement is a little high

I've added the top and pants to my ever growing "Things to Make" list.  This is a super cute summer mini wardrobe pattern that I think fellow sewists will enjoy making and wearing.  Let's not forget to grab a few yards of this lovely Bengal Striped Stretch Twill.  I still have 1.5 yards to make something else. ;-)

Happy Sewing!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Notes on a Pattern - Simplicity 8891

In my last post I mentioned that I had completed several pattern adjustments.  These were done in preparation for my spring and summer projects.  Most are dresses. 

Today I want to talk about one that I am anxious to start sewing. 

Notes on a pattern:  Simplicity 8891

My fabric is lovely, warm beige and ivory Bengal striped stretch polyester twill #325805.  It's still available online. 

This is a cute little dress has buttons down the front, with tucks in the front and back near the waist. Cut-on sleeves with sleeve bands, in-set pockets and a wide belt to complete the look.   It's a good pattern to play around with stripes.  And of course, I chose a striped fabric to make my dress.  The short set is cute too.  I'm thinking of making it as well. 

I didn't make a muslin because there is so much style ease across the bodice.  So I thought I could skip the muslin fitting.  In my opinion, this will be a somewhat relaxed look.

On the front, I made a little FBA.  I probably could have gotten away with not making one.  But I didn't want to take any chances on the hem of the dress not being even due to needed length/width in the bust area.  First I cut off the sleeve to make the FBA.  This adjustment added about 1/2" change in the sleeve/armhole area.  That's more room for a full bust.  There is a slight overlap on the side to eliminate the bust dart.  I'm trying something new hear.  Hopefully, it will work out.  For the shoulder and sleeve seam, I meant to adjust it for a slightly forward shoulder before the picture.  In the next, picture you can see that I added the needed room for my back.

For the back, I made a prominent shoulder blade adjustment.  I don't think I like a dart here.  I'll see if I can ease the 3/4" vs. making the shoulder dart.  To eliminate the extra width in the waist area, I will make deeper tucks.  Next, I made a swayback adjustment at the waistline and added the length of the tuck to the bottom of the back.  There is a center back seam, which is perfect for me.  Both the swayback tuck and the center back seam produce and great fit along the lower back area. 

The front and back lower panels have been adjusted accordingly.  So that the width matches the width of the respective pattern pieces.   So this weekend I plan to make my dress.  More later.

Parting Shot:  My McCall 7254 Jacket/Cardigan.  I added a closure to the front.  It really completes this jacket.  The quilted fabric is warm and can be worn fall and early winter as outwear.

Happy Sewing and Have a great Mother's Day weekend!

Friday, May 3, 2019

April Sewing! - The Machines Were Humming All Month Long

The month of April is over!  I did some "power sewing".  Some quick, some very quick, and some time taking projects.  My DD got a lot of attention this month.  Four garments for her, four for myself, a few pattern adjustments for future projects, and a little practicing on sewing techniques.  Half of what I made has not been posted yet.  It's coming..,

Here's the list:

1 Sequin Bomber jacket - DD
2 Pleated skirts - DD
1 Princess seamed, skirt waist dress - DD
4 Pairs of pants - me

More later..,

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Easter Dress for DD - Simplicity 8015

Its been awhile since I made by DD a dress.  Lately she has been more interested in casual pieces.  So it was a surprise to me when she asked me to make her what we call a "princess dress".  So,I paired Simplicity Project Runway pattern S8015 with Mood's exclusive "The Snail's Bounty Stretch Cotton #MD0107".  The fabric is something a little different from the usual brocade or silk fabrication.

This is a simple dress with princess seams, full skirt, and 3/4 length sleeves, with front and back facings to finished the bodice of the dress.  My preference is to completely line it.  So I did by adding lining to the facings and cutting the skirt lining the same as the skirt. 

The pattern comes in sizes 4 to 20.  I used size 12 with modifications.   My dress did look similar to view D without the contrast. 

My fit changes included a small FBA.  DD has a pigeon chest that is slightly rounded just above the bust area.  I also made square shoulder and swayback adjustments.  Finally, I lengthen the skirt of the dress about two inches.

The construction of the dress was easy and the instructions typical.  Of course, I changed a few things to suit my own taste.  The dress is completely lined except for the sleeves.  I hand picked the zipper and added seed beads.  I thought about adding a few beads to the eye for the snails on the bodice.  But by the time I finished hand stitching the lining to the zipper, waist and hemming the full skirt, I decided to press it and hand it over to the little lady.  It was Easter Eve and she wore this dress to church the very next day.

There are no real dislike about the style or construction of the dress.  No over the top likes either.  What I like is princess seams, which makes fitting a lot easier and a full skirt.  This is a good look for DD.

The snail fabric has a slight sheen to it.  The name includes stretch, but it really didn't have stretch in it, to me.  Not like a typical stretch woven.  To finish the dress, I used ivory pongee non-static lining from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston.  Both were easy to sew and press.

This is a easy dress to sew.  The seaming makes it easy to fit as well.  The style is basic and  you can mix and match the bodice, skirt and sleeve with other patterns.  I could make it again to get some mileage out of the fit adjustments made.  Will I use it again?  Maybe.  Do I recommend it to others?  Yes.

In conclusion, the little lady is happy.  I was happy to make it for her.  It looks great on her.  That's it, that's all.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, April 29, 2019

First Quarter 2019 - In Review

Late to publication:  I wrote this April 24, 2019.  Posted April 29, 2019  Warning Long Post

We are 24 days into the second quarter of the year.  It's spring and I like many others in the mid-west are relieved that the sun is shining more, the temperatures are warmer, and the days are longer.  All of these signs of spring motivate me to be more productive.  One of the things that I've wanted to start to do is post a quarterly review of my sewing projects.  This is a practice that I used to do when I was working at the university.  It kept me on task with my goals for the year.  It also help me highlight milestones accomplished rather than waiting until the end of the year to review the status of set goals.  In my sewing, this will help me catalog my sewing projects and help me focus on accomplishing more of my annual goals.  So, I'll note garment types, fabric used, and construction techniques practiced in one simple quarterly post.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, some projects never get posted to the blog.  They somehow get lost in the shuffle of my day-to-day routine of thinking about sewing rather than be able to do something sewing related.  So these quarterly posts will if nothing more give mention to ALL makes good, bad, and given away.

So it begins:

January - Wardrobe Building Month:  I wanted to beef up my staples, and I wanted to make comfortable easy to wear knit garments.  My focus was on quick and easy pieces that sewed up really fast, but also had some cute style elements.

  • Simplicity 8643 - Pleated Front t-shirt.  It's a great alternative to a basic t-shirt.  Luckily I was able to make it without doing a FBA.  Fabric Marcy Tilton  2 yards

  • Christine Jonson Funnel Neck Top Travel Trio 2 - Simple, cute, and easy. Fabricmart Fabrics 1.5 yards

  • McCall 7812 Drawstring front top - I wanted a new style.  This pattern fit the bill.  First, I made a "red wearable muslin" that I decided to gift someone.  The second one is perfect. Fabricmart Fabrics 1.5 yards for each.

  • Christine Jonson Center Seam Pullon Pants - I love these pants.  I made a black and a chartreuse pair.  Two pair made using a total of 4 yards from Mood Fabrics

     Not Posted -

  • McCall 7688 - Drawstring knit dress.  I didn't like it on me.  So I'm gifting it to my sister.  Will post later.  Mood Fabrics, 2 yards
  • PaperCut Oh-la-la Leggings.  Sorry, I didn't post these yet.  Later with a new top. Mood Fabrics, 2 yards
February - Another month of easy, quick garments.  I needed some new t-shirt dresses to replace the worn ones.  These dresses took less than three hours to sew.  I also made a quilted jacket.  Something a little different from my usual sewing garments for myself.  This jacket was a UFO, cut and ready to sew over a year ago.  I added a lining for the front, back and sleeves.  February I ended with only three garments made, but each is unique in it's own right.  Be it color, style or fabric texture.

  • Christine Jonson Funnel Neck Top and M7386 skirt - dress hack - This was a simple blending of two easy patterns that produced a cute little black flirty dress.    Fabric Mood Fabrics 3 yards

  • Vogue 1314, my TNT t-shirt dress.  This one I changed up a bit.  Using the pattern lining front and back, I lengthen the dress, added slits to the sides, and finished the look with a thin belt. 2 yards

  • M7254 - Cardigan/Jacket.  This one had been waiting in a box for about two years.  Already cut and ready.  What was I waiting for.  It turned out to be a winner.  Fabric from Mood and Vogue Fabrics about 3 yards

March - For the final month of the quarter, I decided to make two coats.  This coat pattern had been on my to make list for awhile.  The sewing techniques that I'm hoping to major are: welt pockets and attaching the lining to the coat to emulate the techniques seen in ready to wear coat.

  • Burda 6462 - Long belted boyfriend coat.  Special sewing techniques bound buttonholes and fully lined and attached at the hem of the coat.

  • Burda 6462 - Short fur collared boyfriend coat.  This is my favorite of the two.


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