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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...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Look and antique sleeves top

Have you seen this pattern?  

             New Look Pattern 6434 Misses' Tops with Fabric Variations

It was suggested to me by Beatrice who frequently comments on my makes.  I so appreciate comments on my work!  Honestly, I never expect anyone other than my mother to read my blog.  :) 

So here is the story on this top.  I purchased a lacey dress at a super cool antique shop in Minneapolis called Hunt and Gather.  I had no idea what to do with it but I knew it would spark some creativity.  

I asked readers for some suggestions and Bernice suggested the New Look pattern.  It's cute, right?  I love the simple lines and feminine shape.  


Upon close inspection of the dress, I noticed the lace and pintucks were in pretty rough shape so I salvaged what I could and that was enough to create the sleeves.  The rest of the top is made from Kona Cotton.

While I am okay with the shape of the top, I wish I had made a muslin.  Either that, or used a very, very lightweight cotton or even batist (sp?) so it flowed better and didn't pool in areas.  

I also played with a hemstitch needle to create the hemline and neckline.  I love the little extra touch it gives.  

I practiced on scraps and read online about what stitches to use with a hemstitch needle.  You must use a stitch that will leave holes in your fabric.  

I love my top and the hubby does too but I am not crazy about how this fit.  I may have to redo the bodice section and reattach the sleeves.  
What say you?  Does it fit well enough?  I thought about adding fish-eye darts in the back to make it more fitted there.  Will that help?

Thanks again for reading and Bernice, if you will please send me your email address to parrott@sio.midco.net, I'd like to contact you regarding sending a little something from my stash to yours!


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Anne Klein: Vogue 1499 dress

The minute I saw this pattern from Anne Klein for Vogue (1499), I knew I had to make it!  I love the lines, I love it in a stripe, and I really think it is a classic style calling for a classic fabric.  Nothing screams summer like seersucker! 


You can play with how you lay out this pattern based on how you want the stripes to run.  I choose to vary my slightly from the pattern suggestion by making the back center bodice stripe run up and down, rather than side-to-side.  


I choose to use this beautiful Maggy London seersucker fabric for my dress.

White/Muted Blue 100% Polyester Horizontal Stripe Seersucker - Maggy London - 63W

This photo was copied directly from Fabric Mart's site.  
It is 100% poly and is 63"' wide.  It so and pressed very well.

We had to take the photos indoors as it is pouring outside.  My dog, Lucy, loves to help when it comes to sewing photos.  

I really didn't deviate from the pattern too much.  A few times I sewed on the machine rather than hand stitching.  Some days I love to hand sew and others, well, I will think to find a work-around!  

This dress is super comfortable in this fabric.  It is also lined, and that fabric was also purchased a while ago from Fabric Mart.

I love the cute little sleeves. Did I mention I am very happy with the fit of this dress?  Yes, I know it could use some additional tweaking, but I do believe there is a fine line between fitting comfortably and fitting so you look like a model in a photo!  

I S-T-R-O-N-G-L-Y suggest making a muslin before tackling this dress.  I did to tweak the fit and then had to do some additional tweaking after I made this up.  The most difficult part is to get the bust to fit, especially at the armscyes as it needs to fit snugly.   Typically I don't have any issues with this area with the big four patterns.   

Thanks for reading and I do hope that you are making some great garments for this hot and very humid summer we are having.  If you live in another part of the world, I hope you are looking forward to summer and planning your warm-weather wardrobe!

Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Simplicity 1199

Have you seen this Simplicity pattern?  I think I love all five views!  

Simplicity Pattern 1199 Knit Tops for Miss and Plus Sizes

I love this pattern so very much, I purchased it twice!  The first time, I knew I didn't have it in my stash and the second time is a long story.  I knew I'd purchased it but in one of my rather impulsive cleaning/organizing rampages, I misplaced it and thought I had accidentally pitched it.  So, I purchased it for the second time.  Luckily both purchased were when Hancock's was having one of those outrageous sales--five Simplicity patterns for five dollars!

 And, wouldn't you know, as soon as I pull pattern copy number two out along with fabric, yup, you guessed it, I stumble across pattern copy number one.  I will have to re-gift it.

I made view D.  I really love all the views, but wanted to make that cute little crossover back.  It really was super easy and I wore the top today in our almost 90 degree heat with a heat index of mid-90's and didn't keel over!  


There are three layers of fabric in the back with the two overlays and the underlay.  There are two layers in the front as well.  Yet, this top kept me as cool as you can be in this heat and humidity we are having.  

Construction was easy and I only slightly deviated from the directions.  For the collar band, I simply folded mine in half with wrong sides together.  I stitched that to the shirt front/back matching the notches.  This neckband is very, very well drafted and fit beautifully!  Next, I pressed the seam downward to the shirt and topstitched.  The directions want you to fold the band in three and treat it pretty much as bias tape.  I hate doing that with wiggly knits, so I did my own thing.  

I am pleased with how it turned out!


I decided to add sleeve bands instead of hemming as this top requires a lot of it!  I treated the sleeve bands just like the neck band.   

I usually make an FBA but didn't this time.  I don't think I needed it this time.  I did however make a swayback adjustment and sloping shoulder adjustment.   


I really like this top in this bright and summery fabric I purchased from fabric.com.  The ivory knit is from my stash.  

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Redesigning the Renfrew

I was so excited to participate in the Fabric Mart post on the summer of Tees.  I knew it would be a stretch for me as pattern hacking is something I don't do a lot of, but when I do, I am just (usually) stoked when I see the overall results.  I searched Pinterest for an idea that I could use with one of my favorite tee patterns: Sewaholic's Renfrew.  

In case you aren't familiar with the Renfrew, here is a picture of the pattern envelope.  Just think of the possibilities with this pattern!  I've made this pattern numerous times and have tweaked the fit quite a bit with an FBA, sloping shoulder adjustment, and swayback adjustment.

When I was looking at all the pins I have on Pinterest, here is the look I was hoping to recreate: 

But I wanted only to recreate the back color-blocking portion and of course use my beloved Renfrew, which doesn't have raglan sleeves.  

Here is what I did for re-drafting the back pattern piece.  

I use plain tissue paper when I copy off my pattern pieces.  It is easy to see through to copy and lightweight and I can refold it back into the pattern package easily.  
 And yes, I do lightly iron the tissue before I lay it out on the fabric to cut it out.  

Here is a closer-up of the drawing along with the reminder to add the 5/8" seam allowances, just like the rest of the pattern calls for.  

Here is what the back pieces looked like after I cut out my fabrics.  I really love the contrast of the blue perforated scuba knit and the ITY floral print.  The perforated scuba knit is from Gorgeous Fabrics and the ITY knit is from Fabric.com.  I really like the blue and white combination. 

That inverted 'V' I had made so pronounced on the pattern tissue and in the cut fabric is my less so when sewn together--this is more of the look I was going for!  Notice the topstitching along the seamlines of the neck band and the intersection of the two fabrics?  I did that to conceal the seam edges.  The neckband's seam was pressed upward into the neckband and then topstitched.  The seam long the back was pressed downward and topstitched into the lower portion of the bodice back.  

I really loved the sleeves that were in the contrasting fabric, just like the inspiration photo.

I just love using a pattern to 'hack' that you've used before, fits well, and is simple to sew.

You get a hint of some fun when you see the front but with this top, the party is mainly in the back!

I love the look of this from all angles!  

Sewing with two very different fabrics wasn't difficult at all.  Just use the right needles, notions, and take your time to think through the steps.  As I said previously, I folded the seams of the neckband to upward and topstitched to the neckband.  That way you don't see that seam on the finished garment back.  On the sleeves seams where both fabrics were the scuba knit, there were some 'holes' due to the perforations.  Since at times I would be sewing 'on air' I decided to reinforce that seam with stay tape.  It worked like a charm. I also topstitched the seam on the scuba knit only along the backside of the sleeves to not only reinforce the seams but to also help them lie flat.

I am very pleased with how my 'hack' turned out, or should I say redesign?

Do you have an redesigns of the Renfrew?  I'd love to see your version!

Thanks for reading!