Monday, May 2, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Spring Sweater Duster



I'm sew excited to become a Fabric Mart Fabricista! I love Fabric Mart's quality fabric and exceptional customer service. Last year I thoroughly enjoyed competing in Fabricista Fashion Challenge and I'm glad to be a back with Fabric Mart as a monthly guest blogger. To learn a little more about me (and to learn what frougie is) check out my blog Frougie Fashionista. Let's get on to the post, shall we?

I don't know about where you are, but here in the southeast Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind. It can go from highs in the 50s to highs in the 80s in a matter of days. Even when the temps stay somewhat consistent for the week, I usually have to turn on the heat for my morning commute then the A/C for in the afternoon.



Dusters are the perfect layering piece for the sporadic weather of spring (and fall). The big 4 companies offer several duster patterns, and I'm sure indie patterns as well, but I decided on Simplicity 8059 because of its simple construction and lack of buttons (I hate sewing buttonholes-especially on knits).



I fell in love with this Mandala Print Hacci Sweater Knit as soon as I saw it on the site. I feel larger prints, like this one, work best with simply constructed garments where the scale of the print can shine. Once the fabric arrived I fell in love again as it has a great feel and had snappy stretch. This hacci knit has a tighter weave and slightly heavier weight than others I have seen and I like it.



Simplicity 8059 is a straightforward pattern. The duster sews up fairly quickly as it is 5 pattern pieces (front, back, sleeve, neck facing and front facings) plus interfacing. This hacci knit sewed up beautifully. There was some rolling up on the edges but nothing a few extra pins couldn't take care of. Due to the large scale of the print I did not put any effort into matching up the print at the side seams. I feel it is so busy (in a good way) that the seams don't stand out.

Interfacing is often a necessary evil. I should interface as soon as I cut the pattern pieces, but I always seem to wait until the I get to the step that requires the interfaced piece. Then I have to stop sewing to warm up my iron and interface. Don't be like me, interface first. Due to the weight of this knit (all 3 yards of it) I added clear elastic as a stabilizer to the shoulder seams.



Despite the simplicity of this duster, I did make a few changes.  I didn't care for the elastic tab on the back so I omitted it. I chose to add belt loops and a matching belt in lieu of the tie ends as per the pattern. I felt the ties would drive me crazy when I wear the duster open where as I can tie the belt in the back to be out of my way.



To create the belt loops I cut the length of a scrap piece of fabric by 2" and folded each edge to the center and folded again and topstitched it closed. I pinned where I wanted the belt to hit on my waist and then sewed the belt loops to each side seam at the point.



For the belt itself I simply cut a strip of fabric the width of the fabric (58") by 3", this makes a 1" wide belt with 1/2' seam allowance. Next I folded the strip in half lengthwise right sides facing and sewed a 1/4" seam from the center to one end and then again about 1" away from the center point to the opposite end leaving a hole in the center for turning. I then turned the belt right side out and topstitched the 1" hole closed, because I was too lazy to slip stitch it. When I make this duster again I will keep the belt but increased the width to 2" (or a 5" strip).



The fabric is the perfect weight to cut the chill of the A/C in my office. I received several compliments throughout the day, so it's definitely an eye catcher. I am very pleased with the end result and I highly recommend this hacci knit and Simplicity 8059.

Enjoyed this post? Check out my blog Frougie Fashionista for more pattern reviews, sewing tips and ways to save.


~ Tiffany

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Made By A Fabricista: Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Dress



Hello again, Fabricistas!! It's been a while since I blogged last, but I've been lurking about and occasionally sewing.  While doing my daily (yes, daily, I am not shy to admit it!) rundown of Fabric Mart's new arrivals, I fell in love with this cotton pique lighthouse print fabric instantly.  I did some research for inspiration and quickly figured out this material was for a Lilly Pulizter shift dress in 2014-- I love the Designer Fabric section... I've picked up some sweet designer surprises before in that category.  It was not labeled with the designer's name, but I plugged into my search engine a few descriptive words about the print and up came a list of fashion bloggers wearing the original dress and then again on the designer's website.  


Misses' Jiffy 1960's Vintage Dress

I made a version of the Lilly Pulitzer Delia Shift dress to fit my figure with a reprinted vintage 1960's pattern, Simplicity 1609.  I used View C and cut a 16 bodice and made the skirt much more of an a-line, somewhere about a 20 or so.  I also tweaked the overall fit on the side and back center seams, adding here and removing there slightly to fit my shape better.


I originally added my usual 1" on to the length of the bodice, but had to remove it after making my muslin up.  I did add an inch to the hemline afterwards. 



I have sewn up limited numbers of vintage patterns, and every time I've found that the upper back is monstrously humongous!!  I had to remove about 3" total from the front and back upper bodice in total.  You can see the before and after on my red and white polka dot muslin below.  I also removed the front center seam to keep the print one continuous piece. With that, I added a couple darts at the upper neckline.  I extended the back sleeve opening by about 5/8" for my wider back shoulder.




With such simple clean lines, I wanted to get the finishes super nice!  I added a lining, it's a lightweight 100% cotton.  I used an invisible zipper and of course hand sewed a blind hem.





Overall I'm really pleased with this sweet little dress. I know a die-hard Lilly Pulizter aficionado will be able quickly see it's not an original without the special imprinted hem tape that bares the designer's name... and the fact that my name is sewn in it!  Now I'm totally ready for my weekend at the beach, which is exactly where I will be when this blog post goes live!



Happy Sewing!!
~Kathy
Kathy Sews

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fit-Along Contest Extended and Update!

This is just a friendly reminder about the two contests we're sponsoring right now. We have two changes to the contest -- extended end date and additional prize until Contest #2. See below for details. 

Both contest deadlines have been extended to May 14 with winners being selected on May 16. Some needed a little bit more time to finish their wrap dresses, so that's why we're extending the deadline. 

Here's a copy of the contest info. 


We're having two contests!
Contest #1: Purchase one of the fit-along kits between April 11 and April 30th, and be entered into a drawing for sewing prizes! Winner will be picked at random. Contest ends April 30th, 2016. One entry per person. If you order more than one kit, you will NOT have that number of entries. You will have one entry only. Two winners will be selected on May 2nd. Winner will receive one of two prize packs.

Prizes Available:
1) A Julie's Picks Swatch Club Membership ($50 value)
2) Fit for Real People Book by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto ($30 value) & $20 Gift Certificate to Fabric Mart


Contest #2: Finish those wrap dresses! Submit a photo of your finished McCall 7246, wrap dress to fabricmartblog@gmail.com and you will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate for Fabric Mart and a Palmer/Pletsch Interfacing Pack including PerfectFuse Interfacing (Sheer & Light weights)

No need to have purchased the fabric from us. Just submit your photo, that's it! Of course we would love to see fabric from the fit-along kits or any other FM fabric, but not required. Share with us what alterations you made too. Entries must be emailed by May 14th, 2016.A winner will be selected on May 16th.

Here are two of my wrap dresses. Melissa sewed the red one for the videos. I sewed the splatter print one afterwards. 

One kit left HERE.

Kit available HERE

Nakisha sewed up THIS kit. She looks amazing! Read her review of this pattern on the blog
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Although, the Fabric Mart Fit-Along is over, I can't help but keep thinking about it! I have personally referred back to the videos as reminders of what was done to my body so that I can use them when fitting other sewing patterns. How about you? Did you follow along as you fit the pattern on yourself? Did you use them as reference on how to look for particular fit issues on your body?

If you are only learning about the Fit-Along, or didn't have time to be part of it in February, we still have fabric kits available in both ponte/double knits and challis prints. The fabric kits come with fabric, thread to match, McCall 7246 pattern and fitting order sheets to record all your alterations. These exclusive fabrics were hand-picked by Melissa and myself just for the fit-along. They are perfect for the wrap dress. 



 


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I can't wait to see all of your finished wrap dresses. Let's get a conversation started! Comment below about any alteration questions you have, what you thought of the fit-along and anything else in regards to the fit-along and pattern fitting. 

~Julie