Monday, January 29, 2018

Vogue 8674: Wool Cape with Laser Cut Hemline

Have you ever purchased fabric online with a project in mind, only to have the fabric arrive and your plans change?  That's how this cape came to be.
This lovely wool blend fabric was purchased online from Emma One Sock in September 2017. I loved the laser cut out border.  So much so that I didn't read the description closely. When the fabric arrived I discovered it had a black fusible attached to the back giving it a lot of body but also making it a bit stiff. 
It was destined to become an outer garment, but which one?  How could I best show off that fabulous border? I pulled out multiple coat patterns while trying to decide which one to sew.  I thought about sewing a coat and have a colorful lining pop through the laser cut design, but decided I wanted that portion to remain unlined. 

I ended up sewing Vogue 8674 (now OOP), deciding it was the perfect pattern. The body of the cape - the vest - is fitted and lined, while the cape portion is single layer and unlined. The custom fit sizing eliminated the need for me to do an FBA (full bust adjustment) - happy dance!
The cape portion is attached at the neckline keeping it in place.

I cut the back portion on the fold so the laser cut design would remain continuous.
The vest portion is fully lined. I choose to use an animal print that I had purchased about a year ago from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  It's heavier than a typical lining and I love the surprise inside the gray of the cape!
And the vest has inseam pockets! Perfect for stashing the phone when running errands.
The pockets are animal print too - our little secret :-)
The vest is sewn first, including the lining, before the cape is attached.  The darts and shoulder seams of the both body and lining of the vest are sewn. Next, the lining is stitched to the body at the center front, armholes, and bottom edges. After trimming the seam and turning the facing right side out, I staystitched the lining as far as I could. The only thing left was to stitch the side seams.
I lined up the side seams, right sides together, and stitched leaving about a 4" opening on one of the lining side seams.
I then carefully pulled the entire vest through that opening, turning it right side out.  After a good press, I stitched the opening closed.  The vest was now completely lined!
The cape is stitched front and back at the shoulder seam. Instead of pressing open, as instructed, I trimmed one of the seams, pressed them both to one side, and top stitched in place. 

The collar is interfaced and self lined. I thought about using a lighter weight fabric for the lining portion, but realized it would be seen when the collar button was not buttoned. (Which will be most of the time for me!) I like to press open the seam that attaches the collar and collar facing together before turning the lining in place. I think it defines the edge more.
I was concerned that it would be difficult to add the collar because of the thickness of all of my layers. I had three layers - the lining, the vest, and the cape - to attach the collar to (which is also interfaced).  However, it went together nicely. I was able to turn under the collar lining edge, press it, and hand stitch it in place with no problems.

I added my label along with a "dry clean" care label to the upper back.  I'll know it's dry clean only, but if I would ever donate the item I want to make sure the new owner knows how to care for the cape.
I choose the buttons as I thought they mimicked the laser cut on the cape.
Can we talk about buttonholes for a moment?  I practiced making buttonholes multiple times on scraps consisting of my three layers - lining, interfacing and fashion fabric - until I had a buttonhole that looked good! And wouldn't you know it?  As soon as I did the first one on my cape messed up!
Sigh...it's not easy to rip out those buttonholes!  Fortunately I started at the bottom so any stray stitches I may have missed won't be as noticeable.
Try as I might, I just couldn't get my Pfaff to sew a decent buttonhole on this cape!  I ended up pulling out my 90s era Elna to finish the job.  Still a wee bit botched on the inside, but good enough for me :-)
It's been quite a while since I've sewn an outer garment and it was quite fun! 
It's much too cold for me to wear this cape now, but I expect come mid-March I'll be able to wear it frequently!











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Saturday, January 27, 2018

McCall's 7688: A Stripe and Floral Hoodie

As I was browsing the Facebook page of one of the many boutiques I follow, I came across a simple knit hoodie with a striped bodice and floral sleeves and hood.  Under normal circumstances I may have popped into the boutique to purchase the hoodie.  However, as I've made a commitment to the 2018 RTW Fast, I decided to sew my own version.
I used McCall's 7688 and sewed view C, substituting the sleeve and cuff for the sleeves with the casing and tie. The fabrics are Liverpool knits from Cali Fabrics.  Let me pause for a moment to tell you how much I like Cali Fabrics!  I've ordered a few times in the past year and fabrics are always described accurately, are beautiful in person, and they ship fast!
I used the 1" black and white stripe for the body front and back, and chose to have the stripes vertical on the lower band for visual interest.

The hood, which will always be worn down, is cut from the floral fabric.
There's a seam in the center of the hood. The instructions have you stitch the seam, press to one side, and topstitch in place.  It's knit fabric so it won't ravel, but I wanted to make the inside look a bit nicer.  I trimmed one of the seams, pressed both to one side, turned under 1/4"on the top seam, and stitched in place.
Since I wear my hair down (unless I'm working out) that inside seam will not be shown. But I like knowing that it has a clean look - even though I forgot to change the bobbin to white thread :-)
After stitching the hood to the top, I pressed the seam towards the garment, and edge stitched around the neckline to help hold the seam in place.  I like to use the markings on my pressure foot to guide my stitches.
The pattern only has markings to align the top of the front pocket to the front of the shirt.  I used a ruler to make sure everything was centered, and then lined the pocket top and bottom edge along the stripe.

I used Coats & Clark Eloflex thread, which I purchased locally at Joann Fabrics, for the entire project.  It worked beautifully on this knit.  I did wind the bobbin slower than I normally would, and adjusted the tension to get a nice stitch. There's no need to use a stretch stitch or small zig-zag when sewing knits using this thread. I love stretching the fabric and trying to pop the stitches after I've sewn them - so far so good!  I really like this thread!
I found the pattern, McCall's 7688, to have a generous amount of ease.  I sewed View E a few weeks ago (the dress with front drawstring), and cut a medium, with a small FBA. (I typically use a size 12/14 with an FBA in the Big 4 pattern companies.)  The dress was HUGE!  I ended up making it smaller.

When I cut out this hoodie I started with a small in the neck/shoulder area and tapered to a medium at the bust/waist/hip. The bottom band is a bit tight. Since I cut it crosswise it didn't have as much stretch and a cutting it slightly larger would have helped.

Overall I'm really pleased with my striped/floral hoodie!  It's not a style I'm typically drawn to, but I do see myself tossing it on with jeans for a fun, casual look and plan on using this pattern again!





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Monday, January 01, 2018

Hello 2018! Finishing Up Projects and Moving Ahead

2017 was a bit of rough year with a family member's cancer diagnosis (all is well), multiple funerals (three in one week alone), some minor surgeries, and of course just the busyness of careers and life.  Obviously it takes a toll on trying to find time to enjoy hobbies, such as sewing and working out, and I'm quite happy to put the year behind me!

As 2017 came to an end, I had multiple sewing projects in the works.  I'm going to finish them up before I decide what I need/want in my wardrobe next.

First up on my need to complete list is a floral jacket using McCall's 3322 pattern, a NYNY design from 2001.  It's one of few NYNY patterns I kept when I was decreasing my pattern collection.  I've always loved that faux fur collar!  The jacket is on hold as the faux fur I had purchased didn't work as well with the floral print as I had hoped. (I see a quick trip to SR Harris in my future!)
Another jacket that is in progress is one of Sandra Betzina's latest offerings, Vogue 1574.  I'm using a black and red stretch woven with black piping.  I didn't have any faux leather tabs, couldn't find any locally and ended up ordering from M&J Trimming. They've arrived so I can now finish up this jacket.
This gorgeous teal animal print coat (Vogue 8930) has been in progress for much longer than I want to admit!  I started it more than a year ago expecting it to be a quick sew.  I was about halfway through the construction before admitting to myself that I couldn't stand the unfinished seam edges, especially since the fabric ravels so much.  I need to rip out some of the seams and restitch.  As a final touch I'll cover the hems with faux suede ribbon, also found at M&J Trimming.
This simple knit top, McCall's 7688, is cut out just waiting to be stitched up. I debated about the double ruffled version, but am having a hard time getting the vision of those early 80s ruffle tops out of my head! I'm going to sew the dress, but plan on wearing it with leggings or skinny jeans. The fabric is a purple stretch velvet with stars outlined in mauve.
The last item I have cut out and ready to sew is another StyleArc Sunny Top. I'm using this fun knit print I found at Hobby Lobby. It's like a cross between a sweatshirt and fleece material.
With limited sewing time in 2017, I choose many instant gratification sewing projects. One of my goals in the new year is to be more intentional with my sewing, and to not focus on as many quick-to-sew projects. I'm looking forward to what 2018 will bring! Pin It

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Holiday Sparkle: Burda Cropped Sequin Jacket 08/2015 #109

This is a simple cropped jacket sewn using a sequined wool knit.  The lines of the jacket are very simple, with darts in the front, a center back seam, and two-piece sleeves.  As I'm trying to sew my stash as much as possible, I choose to sew this using fabric purchased years ago from Hancock Fabrics.  I always intended to sew a skirt with the fabric, but this simple jacket - Burda 08/2015 #109 - is something I'd wear more often than a sequined skirt.
 
The jacket is fully lined so I didn't finish any of the seam edges on the inside.
 I choose to use a contrasting, lighter weight fabric for the facings.
I added interfacing to the jacket hem and sleeve hems, as well as small shoulder pads.
Rather than bag the lining, I followed the instructions and hand stitched the lining in place at the hems.
The label is from Dutch Label Shop.  I've ordered from them multiple times and have been very happy with every label.
The only thing I don't like about the jacket is the closure. It calls for a decorative clip fastener. I couldn't find one, so I used a large hook and buttonhole.  It's okay, but next time I'll have to find something different.
The fabric, the lining, the interfacing, the shoulder pads, the thread, and the hook were all from my stash. Except for the closure, I'm pleased with the jacket!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Instant Sewing Gratification: The Simplicity 8529 "Toaster" Sweater

 
About a year ago I noticed a plethora of reviews for a "toaster sweater" popping up on sewing blogs. I was intrigued. Every version looked great on the wearer, and it did indeed look like a top I'd love to snuggle into during our cold weather months. (About nine months out of the year, LOL!)

I did a quick Google search and discovered it was an indie pattern by Sew House Seven. I made a mental note to return to the site and purchase the pattern, but promptly forgot.

Until I saw this offering in the Simplicity catalog.  It's Simplicity 8529, a pullover top from Sew House Seven. It's very similar to the popular Toaster Sweater, but if you look closely you'll spot some differences.
Eager to stitch myself one of these cozy sweaters, I made a trip to SR Harris where I found this lightweight plaid.  It was the perfect piece of fabric to test the pattern.  Note that I didn't cut this on the bias, the plaid is printed diagonally. 
I sewed view A, the one shown in pink on the front cover of the envelope. There are only four pattern pieces for this view, so stitching this up was pretty quick.

The instructions are clearly written, and I found all of the pattern pieces fit together nicely. I liked the directions given for the neck facing as it creates a nice clean finish at the funnel neckline. I added a size tag to the back. Not because it was needed to determine front from back, but because I like to include size tags in items I may end up donating.
The sweater is quite loose fitting. I figured it would be but still cut my normal combo of Small/Medium, but it feels like there is a lot of extra ease.  That could very well be because I used a lightweight sweater knit. I think I'll keep the sizing the same on the next one, which will be a much heavier sweater knit, before I decide if I need to adjust the size.

I really the hi lo hem and was delighted when I discovered I had matched the plaid!  Quite by accident though. I will say that this is one thing I don't like about the pattern: the opening on the side is high!  I don't wish to expose that area of my body, not just because of my extra fluff but because it's cold here! When I was outside taking these pics it was a bit chilly when the cold air swept through that opening onto my bare skin! If you don't plan to wear this with a high-waisted garment, keep that in mind.
The sleeves have a band which is a feature I like.
The top has a drop shoulder, which I think you can see better in the back view.
This top I was able to whip up in about two hours start to finish. Remember though, that I did zero pattern alterations, which is where I generally spent a fair amount of time when I sew a project.

This design reminds me of a tunic I saw on one of my favorite local boutique's Facebook page. And they are selling theirs for $52.  Which isn't a bad price, but I love knowing that I can get a similar look for less all while enjoying the process of creating it myself ! 

I'm quite pleased with my first sweater from this pattern. It's cute and comfy and exactly what I want when I need to toss on something casual.



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