Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sleeves, Sleeves and More Sleeves

This spring there has been an explosion for sleeve designs to hit the garment market and the garment sewing market.  From cold shoulder designs to ruffles and multiple layer flounces, both marketplaces are saturated with interesting sleeve designs.  

Of course, this didn't just start.  I begin to noticed the focus on sleeves about five years ago.  One of my first recollection was when Rhonda Buss begin to post "Sleeves on Saturday".  Immediately, I was intrigued and wanted to try my hand at it; but felt a little intimated by the whole process.  So, I downloaded the instructed and stored them on the bookshelf for safe keeping.  I started feeling a little courageous a few days ago, I decided to take another look at what Rhonda posted in 2012. 

I belong to two groups on Facebook called:  "Pericrafters" and "SewMuchTalent".  For the month of June, our challenge is to hack McCall M6886.  Usually, I start early in the month deciding what I'd create for the challenge.  This month, I did not because there is such a saturation of sleeve design options available.  So why hack as if sleeves are the only thing to hack.  Anyway.

This brings my back to Ms. Rhonda.  She has created some very interesting sleeves.  Perfect for any sleeve hacking you or I may want to do. And I haven't seen her designs in any patterns yet.
Butterfly Sleeve

Rhonda - Cowl Draped Sleeve

Rhonda - Cowl Sleeve

Rhonda - Shirred Wrist Sleeve

So to share with all of you, here are a few sleeve options from her series that I am considering. No date in sight for doing these. I do plan to try at least one of them.  Join me if you please. ;-)

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mood Bold Floral Jersey and Vogue 1250

There is no question about the popularity of Vogue 1250.  This easy dress stormed the internet in 2011.  dozens of bloggers and sewists posted pictures of they versions on various social media platforms.  This is the fourth time I've made it.  My other dresses, retired now, are posted  herehere, and here.

So, of course, it was time to make a new dress.  And I made it with this beautiful, bold but lightweight Italian floral jersey from Mood.  You can find it here at the Mood online store.

It's available in three color ways.  This breathable jersey has 4-way stretch.  It's very light and perfect for summer dresses and T's.

There isn't much more I can say about the fabric.  It speaks for itself.  And as for the making of the dress.  You can finish this baby in two hours from cut to press.  Yep, that quick and easy, especially after you've made it a few times.

So that's all for now.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pretty Toppers - Inspiration

I just wanted to share some more toppers that I like. There are a few design elements that I hope to incorporate into some of my future sewing projects.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Draped in Vogue 1442 - A New Summer Dress Classic

Vogue 1442

I love this dress.  Sandra Betzina is so right!  This is a terrific summer dress.  It's rated as easy, but I had to do some tweaking before I was satisfied with the shape of the side and the drape.  There is only four pieces with the main body large enough to wrap around my entire body.  It's essentially a rectangle with curves.  The other three pieces are the shoulder strap, the neck and armhole facings.

I'm continuing my little stripe challenge.  This fabric came from Fabric Mart.  It is an ITY jersey with four way stretch and a smooth hand.  Love it.

The pattern description is misses' tunic and dress pullover tunic or dress has shoulder strap and underarm stitching forming drape, mock bands, front and back cut in one, no right side seam, and stitched hem.  It comes in "Sandra Betzina" sizing A through J.  I used size E through the bust, size C at the waist, and size D at the hip to the hem.  My selection of "sizes" created a curve along the side giving the dress some shape.

The instructions were easy to follow.  It is important that you follow the construction and final sewing of the strap as you may need to make some adjustments.  I needed to.  I did find the draping of the front right side interesting as you attach the extended strap to the inside of the dress to create the front drape.

My dress does look like the picture on the envelope, with the exception of the stripes going in a different directions.  I thought this was a more flattering look for me.

I like the drape and the ease of wear.  This is a simple, carefree look.  Perfect for summer and vacation.  The dress has a sort of Grecian style look to it, which I also like. 

I did make a few other minor changes:
  • 2" to hem
  • Adjusted the strap at the back by 1"
  • Added clear elastic to the neckline.  I was afraid the neckline would loose it's shape over time and wear.  After I sew the facing to the top of the dress, I then sewed the elastic from the side seam (front) to the beginning of the drape section.   I used a zig-zag stitch placing the elastic right next to the stitched seam on the seam allowance side.  And repeated the same for the back.  This helps the dress remain snug along the neckline, side and back.

I think I may make view A, tunic.  And I do recommend it.  Not too many people made this one.  It is worth a try.

Other thought:

I did notice that there is some blouseness at the back. And I thought of putting a couple of vertical darts in the back.  Then I just decided to leave it as is.  I can always decide to do that later. ;-)

Happy Sewing!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

One Piece Collar Tutorial Part II with McCall 7575

Today's tutorial will illustrate how to actually make the one piece collar. I used McCall 7575 collar, which was originally designed to cut two collar pieces (upper and lower) to form the shirt collar. I folded the original collar in half, copied the half minus the 5/8" seam allowance at the edge. Read the previous post to draft the pattern.

Making the collar 

Step 1 - Place the tissue pattern on the fold to cut one fabric and one interfacing.  Below is a picture of all three (fabric and interfacing still folded in half.

Step 2 - Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric collar.

Step 3 - With both ends together, sew 5/8" seam allowance.  This seam will be at the center back of the collar.

Step 4 - Press the seam allowance open and fold the collar so that the seam is at the center of the collar.

Step 5 - Stitch along the outer edge of the collar (5/8" seam allowance), press and trim the seam allowance (1/4").  Photo before trimming of the seam allowance.

Step 6 - Turn the collar to the right side, press, and edge stitch.  Below shows the collar with the center back seam as the under collar.  The second picture shows the collar with the center back seam as the upper collar.  You can install it either way.  It's up to you.  But for this shirt the center back seam side will be the under collar. (Note: sorry the photo is not as bright as the others.)

This is the finished collar.  From cut to finish, it took less than 10 minutes to complete.  That's it!  I hope this tutorial is helpful.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tutorial - Drafting One Piece Collar - Crisp and Sharp Corners Part I

There is always something new to try in sewing.  I have a library full of sewing books, full of ideas and techniques to try and possibly incorporating into my sewing practices. But, these days I rarely do.

This year I'd decided to try a few new things to improve and refine current my practices.  There is always room for improvement.    So today I'm sharing a technique published in Sandra Betzina's book, "Sewing Tool Box".  This technique produces perfect crisp, sharp corners on a shirt collar.  The following tutorial gives you step-by-step instructions on how to re-draft the collar pattern so that it is one continuous piece.  Part II will illustrate how the actual collar is made.

Here goes:

Step 1 - First you want to copy the collar onto tissue paper.  Include the notches.  For this example, I used Vogue 9029.  This collar is placed on the fold.  So it is only half of the collar.  If you are using a full collar, fold it in half, then trace it.

Step 2 - Cut it out and draw a line to mark the 5/8" stitching line.  Count off the seam allowance.

Step 3 - This picture show the half collar without the seam allowance.

Step 4 -  Now you want to take another sheet of tissue paper.  It should be at least 18 inches wide and 18 inches long.  Note: I double the paper to show you how the collar will look when it is cut out of fabric.  Place the center of the collar on the left lower edge of the tissue paper and trace the other three sides.

Step 5 -  Next, flip the pattern over to extend from the right end where the collar ends. Trace the three remaining sides.

Step 6 - This picture shows the two collar traced on the tissue paper.

Step 7 - Now on the right end, add 5/8" seam allowance to the new pattern.

Step 8 - Cut the new pattern out.  It should look like the pattern above.

Step 9 - Note - to show how the "fabric" collar will look, I cut the pattern on the fold.

Step 10 - This step shows how you would fold and sew the fabric collar, which has only one center back seam to create the upper and lower collar.  The second seam is along the long edge shown on the lower section of the following picture.

Happy Drafting!


PS - Next post actual collar being constructed.


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