Monday, November 19, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Geometric Floral Double Knit Winter Dress (Butterick 6525).

Hi, all!

Happy November...and happy colder weather.  I dislike colder weather, so I am not exactly loving the weather right now (especially since it just snowed in November in Virginia--which is highly unusual).  But I do LOVE long sleeved jersey dresses, so I can at least dress like I am okay with the weather.

I have a very strong fondness for double knit fabrics.  They are warmer, they are thick, they are stretchy, they lay flat instead of curling up at the edges the way single jerseys do, and they are fairly easy to sew, even on a traditional sewing machine.  I was thinking about it, and I decided that if they invented linen double knit fabric, I would be in heaven (if this actually exists, please let me know!).

Most often, double knits come in a poly blend, and though polyester is not my favorite, they do travel well (no wrinkles) and they are durable.  They also hold color really well, so if you enjoy bright patterns, these are perfect for you.

I ended up deciding that for my November make I would try using this bold floral in a geometric design.  The minty blue mixed with black, white, fuchsia, and yellow was appealing.  (This color is sold out, but they do still have the orange version.) I do like Boden's bright and unique designs, so this clearly isn't a stretch for my taste.

The original intent was to make a dress/tunic from Ottobre, but the lines from the pattern sheet and tracing I would have to do seemed a bit overwhelming for this eighth grade teacher with high school recommendations, placement tests, grading, etc., on her plate.  So I will save Ottobre tracing for Christmas vacation and make it then with another fabulous fabric.

In the end I went to Joann's, saw that Butterick was on sale, and bought this pocketed dolman sleeved dress instead.  It was an easy enough looking pattern, and I figured it would look really cool in this fabric.

After sewing up the front, I placed on my dressmaker dummy to see how well the matching I attempted turned out.  Not perfect, but looks nice enough on my headless twin.

It was actually very easy to cut out and sew, but I did need to make sure of a couple of things.  First I wanted to make sure that the lines of the florals at least matched up at the marked points, as much as possible.  Though it wasn't perfect, you can barely tell if things don't match up exactly.  With stripes that are more prominent, you definitely should take care with matching.

Second, I made a huge error when applying the back inset to the back sleeve.  Ugh.  I found the directions very confusing compared to what my fabric looked like.  To be fair to Butterick, I was tired when sewing that night, but I do have the fact that their match points don't match (I tried it with the pattern pieces), so that is on them.  Boo, Butterick.  ;-)

This is what happens when you combine tired, a strong blur-inducing print, and an off match point.  Ha.

I ended up re-cutting and sewing the back again, and it was fine the second time.  It didn't take very long to re-do, but it could be because I just wanted to be done already.  LOL.

Third, they want you to sew the neckline by hemming it!  What?  I always use facings or some kind of binding.  Amazingly it worked, but I chose to fold down the neckline 5/8", pin it properly, and then hand sew it using this hem finish.  It looks great, but I can't decide if Butterick really knows this is the proper finish or were cutting corners by not including a binding or facing pattern piece.  Hmm.

The fit is okay.  I chose to make a medium throughout.  I am definitely a medium in the hip, but a small in the top, and I can tell it is roomy on me up top.  I think it looks fine, but I definitely have to wear a heel (or wedge) to add visual length to my body to make the silhouette less overwhelming for my frame.  I do think this style would really suit those who are bigger on top and smaller on the bottom half.

Even though it is not the ideal shape for me, I do LOVE this dress.  It is so cozy and comfortable.  The pockets are genius, and I really hope they make other patterns with a more fitted top with this feature.  I would definitely make that.  The pockets are really easy to sew up and look really nice.

I am wearing it today to school, and I know I will be comfortable all day.  These dresses are in overabundance in my wardrobe, and with good reason.

Have any of you made this pattern?  Do any of you know of other cute dress patterns that suit double knits?  I am always on a hunt for those!

I hope all of you have a lovely week, and do look forward to chatting with you all about another make in a couple of months!

Dina, My Superfluities.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Battle of the Cardigans

Happy Saturday loves!
I am so excited that this weekend the weather is finally cooling down here in Sunny South Florida which means its cardigan season.   This Fall, my goal is to create staple pieces including cardigans that can be styled from preppy to edgy. This month's sewing plans was to create a few cardigans from different pattern companies for my November Fabric Mart blog post just in time for Thanksgiving. I am sharing my thoughts about each pattern and what I like and would change next time around.  I wanted to use at least two commercial patterns, however, I did not select the right fabric choice for the Butterick I intended to use.  I did NOT make any modifications to the patterns and plan to make a few the next time around.

Fabric: Red Designer Ponte Knit (SOLD OUT).  Fabric Mart has another red 
ponte knit available here
The Blackwood cardigan is an open front, fitted shape with extra-long sleeves. There are two variations available for this pattern: View A hits mid-thigh with hand-level patch pockets and View B ends at the hips without pockets. I opted to create View A without pockets for a chic look.

What I love:
The design lines are clean and chic.  The bands (neck and lower) and sleeve cuffs add a special touch to the look. This pattern is very easy to sew, and any body type can rock it.
The neckband requires 2 pieces instead of 4 as it is folded.  Typically the Big 4 pattern companies requires 4 pieces which is stitched together and has a seam.  The neckband is folded which gives it a classic look.

What I dislike:
The sleeves are very long for my personal taste so the next time around, I will remove at least 1- 1.5 inches from the length.  I prefer cardigans that can cover my bust area so this style would not be my first pick as the design is more of an open look. Fabric choice is very important and a thinner lightweight fabric will not be as structured as a ponte knit.  I originally planned to create the Blackwood using only the rib knit which is sold out but did not like the structure based on the look I was trying to achieve after I was done. I opted to create another one from a red designer ponte knit from my stash purchased from Fabric Mart.

McCall’s 6844 View A
Fabric: Paprika-Poly-Lycra-4-Way-Stretch-Woven (Made last Fall). Fabric Mart has a beautiful suede scuba poly lycra here.
M6884 is a cardigan with 4 views and two length options. I opted to create View B size small based on the reviews last Fall.  The instructions called for interfacing the collar but if using a thicker knit such as a ponte, the interface is not needed. This style is very classic and simple and can be worn with or without a belt.  Unfortunately, this pattern is no longer available on McCall's site and is out of print.

What I love:
The design lines are clean and simple, and the view variations can work for any body type. This cardigan can be worn with or without a belt. 
The sleeve length is perfect for my height and no adjustments were required.

What I dislike:
The neckband requires 4 pieces instead of 2 that is typically used with the Big 4 pattern companies.  It also stated to be interfaced but this may not be necessary if working with a medium to heavy weight knit as it will make the collar stiff. 
After reading several reviews, the pattern does run big for a knit type cardigan so the size I cut was a SMALL. 

Fabric: Ponte knit available here
The Madison Cardigan drapes beautifully and has a high low feature. This cardigan with princess seam is surely not just your basic cardigan. The silhoutte and shape takes it from classic to edgy.  If you are new to sewing and wanted to try out a great cardigan pattern, this is the pattern to start with. 

What I love:
The princess seam in the back adds a special touch and the pattern has a tailored 2-piece sleeve.  This pattern is very stylish and versatile and is not your everyday boxy cardigan pattern.  The possibilities are endless when styling the Madison Cardigan because of the high low cut. 
There are no collar or neckbands to work with and Eryn has a sewalong to walk you through the process of sewing up this cardigan.  I also love the fact that this cardigan style doesn't add too much attention to the hips and highlights my smaller waist!

What I dislike:
NOTHING!  This is a winner in my eyes!  The length is perfect and it definitely flatters by body type! After working with a variety of fabric to make these cardigans, PONTE knit is definitely my first choice. Fabric Mart carries some of the BEST designer ponte knit and I always grab a few yards when they go on sale. I do plan to try a thicker sweater knit the next time around and give it a try with the Butterick pattern that I originally planned to make.

Do you have a favorite cardigan pattern?  Which cardigan is a winner in your eyes?  Please leave your comment below and let me know which one you would rock! As always, thank you so much for  reading and don't forget to stop by my Instagram page to check out my lastest make.  Wishing you and  your loved ones an enjoyable Thanksgiving break!!

One Love,
Marica - Overdrive After 30

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: A Trio of Blue Shirts!

Liesl + co Classic Shirt in navy blue linen

Hi everybody, blue is one of my favorite colours and I love all shades of blue - from pale sky blue to midnight blue and everything in between. For this month's post I was inspired by some blue fabrics on FM's website, and I made 3 shirts out of them!

I've been wanting to try the Classic Shirt by Liesl + co since its release, so I grabbed some designer quality blue linen and gave it a try.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Border Prints Are The Best!

Happy fall everyone!  I love making dresses for the cold months.  You can layer them with a jacket, wear tights and show off cute boots.  I found this gorgeous border print and knew it would be a dress.  Right?  Aren't the colors just beautiful?  This appears to be sold out, but FM always has gorgeous ITY knits (Which are on sale this weekend 11/10-11/11!) and if you search the designer section often, you'll come across some pretty, pretty pieces.