Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Raglans Version 1 - with Vest!

This is the first raglan I've made for the Pattern Review tee contest.  The pattern is Kwik Sew 2874.    The mesh knit is from Fabric Mart, lined on the front and back bodice with a cotton lycra from who knows where.  

It makes a great basic tee for the fall months. 

This is how I had to lay out the raglan - seams together.  I then took two pieces at a time to the machine and sewed before doing anything else!

How about a matching vest?!

I also drafted this vest from some mid weight linen from  Great linen!

It is lined in the front panel with the mesh.  I actually made the vest first and used the mesh so it wouldn't be so thick in the front.  

There is a wide panel down the front for visual interest.  

It took me several months of trying to decide how and where to put the buttons.  Such can be the case when you draft from scratch!

Here is a view of the inside.

And the back

In this photo, you can see that the tee follows my womanly curves.  It is cut smaller through the chest, then gradually gets wider to accommodate my pear shape.

And "in process" photo.  My daughter got shutter happy : )

This pattern is a very quick sew and it is quite comfortable to wear.

Happy Creating everyone!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Giving it a Try with Raglans

I am undertaking entering into my first Pattern Review contest!  I've seen several that I thought were neat, but somehow missed the deadline to enter...

The official rules

It’s time to pull out your go-to Tee shirt pattern. You know the one- it might be raglan sleeved, or maybe it’s a crew neck polo shirt. It could be a princess seamed Vogue pattern, or a self drafted, much altered, oldie but goodie. All you know is that it's the pattern you pull out whenever you need a perfect fitting t-shirt.

More rules say to make 4-6 shirts focusing on fit and construction.  Use one pattern and vary it every-which-way (my interpretation) except for making it a cardigan.  Also, it must be out of a knit.  Okie dokie then.

August is a great month to start sewing for fall and t-shirts are versatile wardrobe pieces to update last years pieces.  Who doesn't need more t-shirts?   I have been toying around with some design ideas I'd like to try based off my self-drafted tee pattern.

After the first shirt, I ditched this idea (more on that later) and switched to a raglan tee I've been wanting to try. 

 It is Kwik Sew 2874.

What fun it is to go through my stash with a new pattern idea!  I see the same old fabrics in a new light - with new vision.  I pulled out about 6 fabrics that were stuck in my mind's rut and they are being cut and transformed into something great!

This is a 2-sided knit I got at JoAnn.  I don't know how long it will hold up, but it's sure cute for now.  

This is a rayon-lycra knit from Fabric Mart.  The stretch lace is also from there.

This is the same as the above fabric, but with stretch mesh for sleeves and edging.  Also from Fabric Mart.

This is a dot mesh from Fabric Mart, underlined with some cotton lycra on the bodice.  The sleeves are just the mesh.

All turned out well!  I just kept working until I was happy with them.  All also were sewn from stash fabrics!  That's 9 yards worth of space freed up!  Well, relocated from stash to closet really : )

I will go in to more details in the next 4 blog posts.  Stay tuned!

Happy Creating everyone!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A New Way with Mesh

I have never sewn Mesh of any kind before this. I was copying a famous lagenlook designer mesh sweater that I already own (but mine is cream).  

Purchased at a consignment shop.  I would never pay $129 for a sweater like this.  And I didn't have to - dontcha love sewing?!?

  I wear it all the time in the summer.  Mesh is great - you can wad it up into the smallest ball and then pull out when the air conditioning is too much and it looks smart.  

 Talk about quick!  Serge the seams on the outside and bam!  You are finished.
This started out as a simple cardigan cut from my TNT (tried and tested and true) knit tee pattern.  I did cut the back by placing the pattern about and 1" away from the fold just to add enough room for a top underneath.  

I used silk sari ribbon ironed flat and sewn on with straight stitch for the button band.
I serged all the seams on the outside with 3 needles, and serged all the raw edges.  I did use fray check on the join before cutting off the thread tail.    

Well...I cut it much too big.

Sooo, here's what I did in the back.

I stitched a pleat to take up the extra room.  Then since a pleat in mesh is not very appealing, I sewed more silk sari strips down the back and left the bottoms hanging for interest. 

Here it is on me.  I accidentally cut off my head, but you can see that I'm smiling because I really like this sweater!  

The fabric is a cotton mesh from Fabric Mart that I got on sale.  Final cost is much less than $129, even including the silk!

Happy Creating everyone!

Monday, August 11, 2014

What if Designing

What if...

This is one of my favorite questions to ask when creating anything.

What if we cut it on the bias?  What if we leave the edges raw?  What if we lengthen one seam but not the other?

This dress is a What if dress!

I purchased this cotton poplin from on a clearance page for about $3/yard.  To me, that is as cheap as muslin.  Only now I have a wearable sample.  Love it when that happens : )

This dress is fairly simple from the waist up.  Front & back are plain with ½" straps.  There are also ½" side ties.

Below the waist, it is a whole lot of what if.

Here is a photo of the top part of the skirt sewn onto the bodice.  It is merely a giant square.  I cut 2 rectangular pieces, folded them in half and cut the corner (the one on the fold) so the total circumference would match the width along the bottom of the bodice.  

Then when adding the next tier of the dress,  I sewed rectangular panels to each side of the square.  If left hanging, there were a lot of handkerchief hems.  

Reminds me of Stevie Nicks.

Looks great on her.  Not really my thing.

So I sewed the short edges of those newly added rectangles together.  
They are nifty in person, and quite difficult to photograph!  You can kind of see on the right side where the fabric folds in on itself.  

The only changes I will make next time are to increase the width of the straps.  I think that would help with the proportions of the dress overall.

  What do you think?  

Do you ask "What if..." when you sew?

Happy Creating everyone!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Don'tcha Love Leftovers?!!

Ahhh, that last little bit of fabric left after a project - too little to do something by itself, but too much to throw away.  What to do?


I designed this top after seeing something funky while retail shopping.  Creative inspiration comes from all kinds of places!

I took my basic tunic pattern and sliced it up to create this.  I was going to add pockets, but didn't like the bulk so I sewed them out.  Instead, I sewed them together into the heart pocket on the front. 

This is a pique weave linen from Fabric Mart.  The rest of the fabric can be seen in this blog post.  

Cool and comfy for hot summer days.  It's all good!

Happy Creating everyone!