Monday, September 18, 2017

The Rayon Velvet Duster Length Kimono Jacket: New Look 6467

As I sit wearing a big, comfy - and most importantly - warm sweatshirt watching the cold rain soak the ground, I wonder if Sept. 18 is too early to turn the heat on in the house.  Never mind that three days ago we had the a/c on due to the heat and humidity!  Ah yes, our unpredictable Minnesota weather. Last week I wanted to continue sewing summer garments and today I just want to sew something warm!

It reminded me of this velvet kimono I sewed last winter.  I only wore it to take photographs for the blog, but never wrote the blog post.  And can we just pause for a moment while I reminisce about how much fun I had achieving my winter sun-kissed Florida vacation tan!  (Sadly, the place we stayed in at Bonita Springs had some damage from Hurricane Irma, not too much but any damage is too much, right?)
Anyway.  I'm not sure why I never wore this!  I like the colors. I like the velvet. I like the 70s boho vibe. So you'd think I would have tossed it on for a date night now and then. But nope, not even once. 
Let's talk about the pattern. It's New Look 6476, an easy-to-sew kimono jacket with sleeve and length variations. As soon as a I saw the pattern cover I knew I wanted to sew myself one.
I especially liked the two fabric version and set off for my favorite local fabric store (SR Harris) in search of some fabric. I settled on two velvet pieces that went well together. One was unusual with small "holes"and the other was a burnout. Neither was cheap! Even at the SR Harris discounted prices I paid almost $20 per yard.  But I was enamored with both fabrics and was sure they'd make a stunning jacket!
Although the kimono is loose-fitting I choose to do a small FBA (full bust adjustment) as I wanted it to fit across the bust as designed.

Construction consists of simply sewing the center back seam, the shoulder seams, the side seams, and adding the sleeves. The bottom band is constructed separately and added after the kimono is sewn together and hemmed with a narrow hem.

I used a LOT of pins to hold the narrow hem in place on the burnout velvet.
The front and neck edges are finished with single fold bias tape.  I made my own using scraps of a brown silk that I had used to sew a blouse from a vintage 70s Vogue pattern.  (Hmm, I don't think I've blogged that one yet either!)
As you can see, there is a generous amount of fabric in the kimono and it flows nicely when you walk.
I used a serger to finish the seam edges of the body, and used a french seam to attach the bottom band to the body.
There's not much else to say about the kimono.  Like I mentioned earlier, I like the fabric, I like the style, and I like the idea of wearing it, I just haven't worn it yet!  As I'm looking at the photos I'm posting, I'm wondering if it's the length that's throwing me off. I'm going to try shortening it and see if I like it better.
 I still think it's a great pattern and a beautiful, velvet kimono jacket. 

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Saturday, September 09, 2017

Split Sleeves: Another New Look 6467 Dress

I never used to be a TNT pattern kind of gal.  I've always enjoyed purchasing new patterns and dreaming of how they'll look when completed. But over the past year or so, as my spare time (aka sewing time) has dwindled, I've found myself using patterns I've already altered and sewn more and more. That's the case with this pattern, New Look 6467. 
This is the third version I've sewn. The first was view A in a printed ponte (yet to be reviewed) that I wore frequently last winter. The second sewn is the one I'm reviewing today. It's view C in a rayon challis purchased at SR Harris.  The third was view B (minus the sleeves) in a floral scuba knit that I blogged about here.  
This view has a few fun details.  Like this random strip of fabric across the v-neckline. I didn't measure it before stitching it in place and, as you can see, it was too long.  I had to remove the facing, adjust the strip, and resew the facing.
I do like these slits in the sleeves!
It's a great transitional sleeve. You get the coverage of a long sleeve, but the slit keeps it from getting too warm. That being said I've only worn this work once as it feels too casual.
The sleeve is gathered into a narrow binding at the wrist.  I will cut the binding about 1/2" wider next time just to make it easier to stitch to the sleeve.
I didn't need a zipper in my ponte and scuba knit versions, but I did this time. I added an invisible zipper.
When I put the dress on to wear to work, I was concerned about the v-neck being too deep. You know. Cleavage.  So I stitched on a tiny piece of lace.
Nothing special about the back.  Love that it skims the body. Just enough room to be comfortable, but not so much it looks sloppy. 
I sewed this one last spring (as witnessed by the photos before the grass had turned green) and didn't get nearly as much wear out of it as I had thought I would.  Rayon challis was not a recommended fabric, and I have to agree. I think the reason I don't wear it much is because it's too lightweight for this dress. But, I do like the dress.  Enough that I have yet *another* version cut and ready to sew!

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Sunday, September 03, 2017

The "Wonder Women" Knit Cape Top aka Butterick 6490

"Wonder Woman!" sang my hubby as I entered the room modeling my new top. Keep in mind, he didn't mean this as a compliment.  He meant that he thought the cape was odd and it would draw attention when worn.

"Thank you!" I replied.  I don't care what he meant; I certainly don't mind being compared to a strong, intelligent woman!  And I certainly don't mind drawing attention to a top I'm wearing, especially if it was sewn by moi :-) 
The pattern is Butterick 6490, a fairly new release. If I remember correctly, it was released soon after I posted my review for my Vogue 8907 cape sleeve top (which I love, love, love!)  
This design is very similar to a Chico's top I had been eyeing, but I'd much rather sew one myself so I can be sure it will fit in the bust.

Speaking of fit, the pattern is described as close-fitting, and based on the finished bust measurement, I knew I would need an FBA (full bust adjustment).  Instead of sewing the dart I added to the pattern,  I did small gathers along the side. However, I found myself tugging this top down as I wore it, which tells me I need more room in the bust.  I'll do a larger FBA next time around (oh yea, there WILL be another version of this top!)

The cape on this top makes you want to spin! 
Seriously, you won't want to stop! 
Or maybe that's just me. I love twirling any chance I get. Must be all those hundreds of ballet lessons :-)

But look at how the cape fans out!
Okay, now I'm dizzy!  So back to the pattern review.

Because of the large cape, the top requires about 2-1/2 yards of fabric.  The fabric I used is from Fabric Mart Fabrics. It's a lovely blue shimmer jersey knit with silver metallic threads. It appears to be sold out but any moderate (35% stretch) knit will do.

The cape has a center back seam and is finished with a narrow hem on all edges. From the back it does look like you're wearing a cape.  When you're not twirling that is :-)
I found the front edges of the cape wanted to turn back exposing the wrong side of the fabric. It might just be the way it fits me (large bust), but I'm not sure.  Next time I'm going to add more to the front of the cape so it is attached to more of the front neckline.

The instructions call for both the sleeves and neck edge to be finished by turning to the wrong side and stitching in place. I finished the sleeve openings that way, but added a narrow binding to the neckline.

I'm really pleased with how this turned out. It's fun, it's unique, and I can't wait to sew myself another one.  Right after I sew one for my sister that is!

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Simple Sewing: 1970s Infinity Wrap Dress Pattern Vogue 1640

Sometimes you just need an instant gratification sewing project. That's what this one was.  It's a 1970s Vogue pattern for a wrapped dress (or skirt) that can be worn multiple ways.
 I won't wear it as a dress  but I do plan on using it as a beach cover up!

The pattern is Vogue 1640. The pattern is for a Misses' dress or skirt, scarf and turban with the description of semi-circular, wrapped dress or skirt has attached pleated tie ends (Pattern includes instructions for wearing as a dress, with bodice tied in a variety of ways, or as a skirt.) Semi-circular scarf. Rectangular turban.
There's no copyright date, and I'm guessing 1977 or 1978 as I found it in my Very Easy Vogue Patterns counter book from May 1978.

The pattern was in a large lot of patterns I bought off of eBay oh, maybe 10 years ago. I especially love that tucked inside was a page from a Vogue fashion leaflet the the previous owner had torn out.
Here's the copy from the leaflet.
With the focus on "good fashion and dollar sense" perhaps this design was in response to a sluggish economy. You only needed to spend money on one pattern and fabric to sew one dress. Yet you could wear it many ways for different occasions.

The pattern was only partially cut, leading me to believe that the original owner planned to sew the dress but never got around to it. Oh, how I can relate to that!

The dress is one large pattern piece. It took almost all of the three yards of fabric I had available. It was so large I had to use my floor instead of my cutting table.
The fabric was an ITY knit purchased a few years ago from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  I originally planned on making a maxi dress, but upon arrival I discovered the fabric was quite lightweight and somewhat slippery. It was in my donation pile until I realized it would work well for a swimsuit cover up.

Although it's not labeled as an infinity dress, the instructions included show the multiple ways it can be worn.  Including:

As a skirt with the wrap and tie in front. 
As a skirt with the wrap and tie in back.
As a dress wrapped in front forming a halter.
As a strapless dress with the ties simply tied in the front above the bust.
As a dress with the ties draped over the bust and twisted into a halter.
As a strapless dress with the ties draped over the bust and tied.

Most likely I'll just wrap it around myself as a skirt when I'm at the beach or pool.

Sewing this was so simple! I used a fusible stay tape along the top edge. To hem the edges all I did was serge each raw edge, turn to the wrong side, and stitch.

Life has been busy lately (when is it ever not busy, LOL!) and this project was just what I needed to get a little sewing fix in.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sew Cute! Child's Butterfly Bib Apron (McCall's 6618)

How cute is this little butterfly on the bib of this apron?
I took a break from a wrap dress I'm working on as I need to fix a fit issue (it's a Vintage Vogue pattern for a Diane Von Furstenberg colorblocked wrapdress - pop over to my Instagram if you want a peek before I blog about it).  While I'm wrapping (ha!) my head around how best to fix the bodice I sewed a couple of quick kid's items.

One is this apron. The pattern, McCall's 6618, is now out of print.  The copyright date is 2012, and I don't remember exactly when I purchased it. I do know I've had it for a while.
I don't normally do a lot of craft sewing. Especially aprons as I like to create my own apron designs. But this one, with the lion, dinosaur, and butterfly faces, was too cute to pass by.

The apron is a great stash buster as there are lots of small pieces. I used yardage for the main apron body and ties. I used fat quarters for the rest of the pieces.  I didn't add the yo-yo flowers along the ric-rac as shown on the pattern envelope.  There is a nice big pocket in front. Who doesn't love a pocket?  I found the pattern piece for the pocket top binding was too small.  Other than that all the pieces fit together nicely.

The pattern calls for non-fusible fleece inside the butterfly body and wings.  I had fusible on hand so that's what I used.

The butterfly face, cheeks and circles on the wings are appliqued on. I used a narrow zig-zag stitch. The circles were pretty small and my machine applique skills are a bit rusty so it's not perfect. The butterfly eyes and mouth are embroidered and the nose is a stitched on button.

It's a simple project and the perfect break before I go back and tackle my wrap dress.
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