Friday, September 23, 2016

You would have done it too . . .

I recently went to my local fabric boutique for the Pattern Review bias dress challenge (I MADE IT TO ROUND 3, by the way!!!!!!!!!!!!) and saw all these beauties. I bought them. You would have too. They were $0.10. Let that marinate for a moment. TEN CENTS per pattern. I couldn’t resist. You totally would have done it too. I would not have paid full price for most of these, but some of these are gems. These are the good ol’ Kwik Sew patterns of old. Most of these are printed on the thick, white paper. Kwik Sew is always good at the basics, knit tops, active wear, and directions. I was especially thinking of my kids here. I was thinking what great patterns for them to learn to sew.


These are all “new” Kwik Sews. These are ones made by McCalls and they have white paper, but it is thin. I have never made these before and some are not my style. But, ten cents? Come on . . . There are also some really cute patterns in here too. I really, really like the loose white and black knit tops with the ruffle edges. I, of course, love the active wear in the top row too.


These are the older Kwik Sews with the thick, white paper. I love all the kid swimsuits. And I’ve thought many times about purchasing the adult swimsuit with the side cut-outs. I love these knit tops and the kid sleeper pajamas. The shorts with the six buttons are really cute and I love the moto jacket. There are also a bunch of great basics in here: t-shirt dress, leggings, straight skirt, circle skirt, and loads of knitwear which is my bread and butter!


There were also some interesting blends of old and new. These patterns must have been produced in the “transition” year/s of Kwik Sew to McCalls. The drawings and packaging are old but the paper is the new style and they say McCalls on the back.


So, I bought 29 Kwik Sew patterns for $2.90. You would have too, wouldn’t you????


We find out the third challenge tomorrow morning and I’m just dying to know what it is. The first two challenges haven’t been exactly easy so I’m a little nervous about what this one will be. Jumpsuit? Activewear? Bomber jacket? Cocktail dress? Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ottobre 05-2016 #3 Knit Dress

Back in August, I had told you guys that I thought there were lots of cute things in this version of Ottobre magazine. Well, this is my third make from it and so far, I’m not disappointed.


I just love simple, easy knit dresses like this. I wear things like this constantly in the winter. These are great layering pieces.


What do you think? Cute, eh?


I did a small swayback adjustment and I’m happy with it.


This back bodice on this dress wraps around to the front of the bodice to make an overlap detail. I used purple coverstitching thread for a little contrast. It’s not much, but it is there. If you look REALLY closely, you can see the dark purple thread I used to attach the back flap to the front bodice piece.


The sides of the front of the top go way, way over making this top almost not bra friendly. It’s fine as long as I push the straps to the sides. If it’s a big issue, I’ll add bra strap carriers to the side. I made my typical alterations: add 1 inch above the bust (leaving the armhoes alone) and also pinching out about 1/2” at the CF and on the back.


I think next I’ll have to make something for my kids. They are begging for more sweatshirts now that it’s getting chilly!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Burda 03-2010 #126 Slouchy Knit Top

Once my entries are submitted to the Sewing Bee, I find that I have a lot of nervous energy. What to do with this extra energy? Why, I must sew, darlings!! This week is spirit week at my place of employment. Monday was Tie Dye day so I made a cute tie dye top. It’s a very simple pattern from the March 2010 magazine of Burda. This is a rayon knit from the National City Swap Meet. It’s very thin and drapey. This picture is the best representation of the color of the top.


Here it is on a washed-out me. The camera was working fine, but then the red was a little too much shock and awe for the camera. I only had a little over a yard of this fabric so I knew I needed some sort of easy-fitting top.


I really like the bat-like sleeves.


After trying it on, I found that the neckline on the back seemed to stretch out over my shoulders. After the fact, I attched a piece of clear elastic with a zig zag to the seam allowance of the neckline. I did stabilize the shoulders and should have done the same thing to the neck.


Isn’t it cute in a thicker fabric too? I may have to make this again. In stripes!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sewing Bee–Round - Bias Dress

Woof. This dress wrecked me. It’s not a hard dress, it’s not super technical or anything, but those arrows. . . and fitting everything on fabric on the bias . . . and more matching of arrows . . . yikes.

So here’s the backstory. I was pretty annoyed with this challenge for a few days. I actually could not sleep one night because I was so worried about figuring out a stupid pattern. In my head, I kept thinking of flowy, billowy, clingy bias dresses. I am not that gal, I hate slippery fabrics and hate wearing them. They always feel cold to me and I’m an Alaskan. I do not enjoy cold fabric on me. Then I realized that “bias” is just how you are cutting it. Ding, ding, ding! Once I got over that hump, I realized that Burda had tons of simple bodices that I could add a circle to and be done. Then, I realized that back in 2012, I actually made the perfect pattern for this dress. Really, my only change was to make there be a CF seam, length it, and to, of course, cut everything on the bias.


I spent so much time getting these arrows to match. So. Much. Time.


Under some sewing miracle, the side seams also match. This was not planned, it was just good luck.


There is a slight hi-low hem and the waist seam also goes down in the back.


This is a canvas from Cotton + Steel. Yes, a canvas. And it still spins like this! It’s a great fabric.


I did not line it because it was so pretty. I love how the inside makes chevrons too.


I bound the sleeves and neckline with bias strips.


I totally nailed this invisible zipper. The chevrons match, you can’t see the zipper, and there are no ripples or bumps at the end of the zipper.


I love how each chevron is unique because they are not all arrows meeting in the middle. My favorite is the gold metallic dots that meet in the middle.


I pinked every seam and pressed almost all the seams open so you can see the fun chevrons on the inside too.


This was the original pattern. I added 8.5” to the peplum to make it a dress. I lowered the neckline by 2 inches and I left off the sleeves.



I spend so much time on my knees marking the skirt panels on this fabric. I had to move them over and over again and try to fit everything on this fabric while making sure that the stupid lines matched. You can see I barely had enough fabric.


Woof, indeed. Even with all the hard work, I do really love the dress.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sewing Bee - Round 2 (EEK!)

So I made it to Round 2 of the Sewing Bee. Go me!!

Here are the rules with the pertinent ideas in bold:

1. Sew a garment using fabric cut on the bias grain.
2. The garment may be made from any woven fabric. Knit fabrics and stretch woven fabrics are not allowed in this round.
3. The entry must be intended for an adult. It can be for a man or a woman; it can be for yourself, members of your family, friends, acquaintances or charity - basically, any adult! As always, items intended for sale are disallowed in this contest.
4. One entry per person. As with all contests, the entry must be made entirely by the entrant, although advice and input from others is allowed.
5. Write a complete review including photos. The review must be self-contained; no links to blogs or affiliates allowed. (Any embedded links to pictures within the review will be ignored)
6. You must include a minimum of 3 photos in your review. Composite pictures are fine. At minimum one of the photos must be of the garment being worn. One picture must clearly show the grain compared to the cutting lines or seam lines (this can be taken during or after construction of the garment).
7. Self-drafted or commercial patterns are allowed. Combinations of multiple patterns or self-drafted and commercial patterns are allowed.
8. You may NOT make any changes to your review after the Round 2 deadline.
9. Failure to adhere to these rules will result in disqualification.

Well, crap. Seriously, I'm not a fan of working with the bias. The last thing I made on the bias was a dud. As in, I actually cut it up and recycled it into cute pencil purses. That wasn't even all the way on the bias, just the back was on the bias. First, I have to find a pattern, so I'm looking through my treasure trove of Burda patterns. I'm also going to be perusing the web for help with sewing bias garments. Ripply seams be damned! I would love to do something with stripes too. The other thing that is messing with me is I have very little non-stretch woven material. I will probably have to buy it which means JoAnn's. That is really the only fabric store here. Siiiighhhh. This round may knock me out of this competition. 

Research and things for me to read:
Seamwork magazine has an article about working with the bias
Threads also has an article. 
Tilly and the Buttons - 5 Tips for Sewing on the Bias

Monday, September 12, 2016

New KwikSew Patterns -- I likee . . .

I'm usually not a big fan of Kwik Sew. Well, take that back. I'm a fan of the "old" Kwik Sew. You know, the ones printed on the thick, white paper so many years ago?? I have many of those patterns. I guess I'm not a fan of the newest, old Kwik Sews. The ones that were created the last few years when McCalls took over the line. There were way too many Becky-Home-Ec-y patterns for me. There were matching Mom-Daughter patterns and weird-ass crafts. Those, I was not a fan of. The latest couple of releases though? I may have to buy a couple of these and try them out. They are really cute. 

First, K4026. Who doesn't need a cowl-neck knit dress with a bit of flare in the bottom? I absolutely love this brown, blue version below. This dress wasn't even in their most recent release. I could wear this to work everyday and be comfortable. 

Then there is K4171, which I love. This is such a great summer dress, I think. It's got a fun cowl, or fun back ruching, or BOTH, right?? It's a Kwik Serge pattern too so it's bound to be fast and easy. 

A faux-wrap dress with fun back racerback. This is K4169. I love, love, love the striped version of this dress. 

I really think these running shorts are cute. These are K4181. I don't love the colors they use in their model photos, but I think these would be great for leg movement. The running top would be nice too if it had a FUNCTIONAL sports bra in it. One of my other Kwik Sew patterns has a dismal attempt at a sports bra. 

This is part of the newest release. I love how warm and slouchy looking this is. This is K4190 and I'm crazy for anything with stripes like this. I could imagine a whole wardrobe of these.

K4188, I love the body-con version on the left, especially in the red like they show it on the model. 

K4189, another knit top from this release. I really like this one too. Nothing too exciting, but warm, cozy, and knit yumminess. 

K4187, another knit top. Maybe my tastes have changed, but I'm really digging the skinny jeans and ANYTHING long, slouchy, knit, and warm for this winter. 

K4135, this is really similar to the one above. This is from a previous release. Can you see a pattern here (*snort*)? I'm obsessed with long, knit, and anything cowl-neck. 

This is a much older pattern, K3720. This one would really depend on the fabric. With a warm drapey knit, this would be a win. With a cowl-neck added to this, WIN!

I love this one too. It reminds me of two of the Fehr Trade patterns. How cute is that pink top on the left? Again, this would have to have a FUNCTIONAL sports bra to be awesome. 

Maybe it just took McCall-Kwik Sew a little bit longer to find their way? Their new way seems to be comfortable knit separates and active wear. This is a like a return to the REAL Kwik Sew of old. I think it's a good change and I hope they keep it up. If I actually buy any of these patterns, I will let you know post-haste.