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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Simplicity 2600 Duffel Bags!

Simplicity Sewing Pattern 2600 Accessories, One Size
Simplicity 2600 Duffel Bags.  I made four of these bad boys for my two sons and two son-in-laws.  There is not really a description listed on the envelope so I am creating my own.  These are some decent sized bags.  The outside you quilt using fabrics of your choice.  You need some contrasting fabric for the inside of the bag and the underside of the handles.  Piping is also needed to attach the sides.  The finished bag measures about 13" X 20" X 11".  My son just packed his clothing for a three-day trip we are taking and he has a little room to spare. 

 Included in this pattern is a tote bag, jewelry caddy, make up case, passport cover and luggage I.D tag.  I had high hopes of also creating the jewelry caddy for my two daughters and soon to be daughter-in-law, but life just got in the way of sewing.  Maybe next year. 
The bag includes an inside pocket, outside pocket and outside side pocket.  For the first bag, I used an extremely heavy duty zipper and found it not as flexible as I'd like it to be so for the other three bags I purchased purse zippers all made of nylon, each with a double zipper thing-y. 
Also for the first bag, I made my own bias tape and took the time to quilt the handles.  After I completed this step of quilting handle fabric on the diagonal and then proceed to cut the six inch wide handle into three long strips of about two inches deep, I decided I was a fool and proceeded to not repeat that step again without rethinking the process.  On subsequent bags, I used denim as the layer in the handle, skipped the quilting by machine and am just as happy with the result.  I also purchased bias tape to edge the handles. 

I chose fabric I thought each guy would like and so far they all think these are pretty cool.  This is a great pattern, it only has 16 steps for the bag, although a few of the steps are time consuming--especially the quilting steps.  You can also opt to use bias tape on the bottom seam of the bag.  I did that on the first bag and then decided that on the remainder I was going to stitch the seam and then top stitch the seam edges down to reinforce them.  That seam was a little easier to handle without the bias trim. 

This is a great pattern.  A beginner could tackle this pattern with great results. 
One thing I had a little trouble with was the insertion of the side panel.  In order to get a great looking side, I decided to stay-stitch the entire edge and clip prior to stitching so it fit together and molded itself together.  I had less headaches and had to do less un-sewing afterwards.  I highly recommend this step for anyone tackling this bag. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Vogue 8689

This is such a cute Vogue Basic Design Pattern.  It is one of the custom fit patterns for A, B, C, and D cup sizes.  I love patterns like this!  Here is a picture. 
As you can see, there are a few design variations, which I love! 
Here are the line drawings, which I think help you to 'see' what the pattern is really like:

I choose to make view E but omitted the patch pockets.  My fabric was just too dressy for patch pockets.   See how pretty it is?  I love it! 

Here is a description from the back of the envelope: Misses' shirt: fitted shirts A, B, C, D, E have princess seams, collar and collar band, front band, front and back yokes, narrow hem, flat-felled seams and button closing.  A, B, side slit openings.  A, D: short sleeves with stitched hems.  B, three-quarter sleeves with button cuffs.  C, E: long sleeves with button cuffs.  D, E, patch pockets.  E, bias yokes, pockets, cuffs.  A, B, C, D cup sizes. 

Fabric choices are as listed on the envelope: sheer fabrics, batiste, lightweight linen, lightweight crepe and lightweight broadcloth.  I used 100% cotton from my favorite local quilt shop.  I wish you could clearly see the detail of the fabric, once I laid my eyes on it, I had to have it and knew it was just perfect for a crisp shirt! 

OK, so here is the low-down. 

The pattern is rated as Easy to sew.  I however don't think that a collared shirt with band is 'easy' to sew, so wouldn't want a beginner to pick up this pattern and be fooled by the easy rating.  Band collars are not difficult, but they do require a little practice to get the hang of.  The pattern is however very well drafted: everything fits together well.  I simply love the flat-felled seams.  If you didn't want to go through those extra steps, you could easily serge the seams and just top-stitch and you'd still get a cute effect. 


Directions were easy to follow and detailed.  Images were clear and easy to follow.  One thing that sort of bugged me was that the neck edge of the garment wasn't stay stitched prior to attaching the collar and band.  I did it anyway and found the collar and neckband went together beautifully. Sorry about the wrinkles in the picture. We had just gotten back from church and I should have pressed, but didn't . :)


One really nice thing is how this pattern has you put so many things together so that when you attach the collar and top stitch, all the hemming has been done previously so the total package is neat and tidy.   What I mean by this is that the lower hem is stitched before the front band is stitched on.  The inside looks just a lovely as the outside--see for yourself! 

All you need for notions are some interfacing, buttons and thread.  I used some additional notions that I had and make things easier for me!  For interfacing, I used Shirt-ese and just love it.  I used fabric glue to baste the buttons into place before sewing them on with my machine. 

Sizing is a little small--at least what I feel to be sort of a contradiction: the envelope shows a rather semi-fitted top while the description mentions it as fitted.  I found it to be too-fitted and ended up making a size larger than normal strictly because of how it fit in the chest.  I measured, and should have easily been a C cup but found it much too snug around the breasts.  Since the seams are all constructed using flat-felled seams, I had to cut a new side front and side back in the larger size.  My finished look is much more comfortable and looks much closer to the pattern image. 

What did I change?  Nothing substantial other than making a size bigger than normal.  The length is great.  The sizing is good, but keep in mind that it is a fitted top.  The flat-felled seams are cute and easy and give a great polished result on the inside of the top.  I think I have found a new go-to pattern for a simple blouse! 

I did make my usual 1/2 inch sway-back adjustment on just the center back pattern piece using a wedge at the center and tapering to nothing at the side seams. 

With all the lovely cotton fabrics, linens, and just vibrant colors, you can have so many of these tops. 

Have fun with this pattern!