Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Tomboy Chic

Now that the weather is finally starting to cool, my need to get glammed up is diminishing.  At the same time, I realized I didn't have too many options in my wardrobe for the days I just want to put on some sneakers and still maintain my own personal style.  I mean, my gym clothes are pretty dope, but they are just that, gym clothes.  Somehow, I missed having more than a couple options for my"kick back" days.  

The fabric I used is a heather gray 100% wool chunky sweater knit from Fabric Mart. The fabric is no longer available, but is very similar to this choice (HERE).  The only difference is the fabric in the link is a lighter knit in weight.  

The pattern I used for the sweat pants is oddly Vogue 1411.  I have made these pants in every variation OTHER than what it was designed for.  Both previous pairs I made were with Goat and Lamb skin leather.  I cut my normal size before thoroughly pressing the fabric to loosen the weave.

This time I chose to double the pattern pieces on the middle front piece and create a 1/4 quilted top stitch design for a total of 4 pattern pieces in stead of 2.

To attach the two pieces per leg, I attached the middle front pattern pieces to the upper front pieces right sides together.

Once the pieces were attached, I completed the top stitch design before adding the bottom side pieces.  I then drafted my own tight fitting cuff for the bottom of the pants and added elastic to the waistband

Finally, this jacket!  I have been experimenting with different textures and designs that will change a normal garment into something truly different and unique.  This is one of the outerwear jackets I was working on over the past week.   A great deal of painting and repainting went into it. Because............. it would be too much like right for me to leave a brand new jacket in its original state right? RIGHT!!!  I look forward to showing you the next set of ideas I have been working on.

Overall, I love this look.  The chunky sweater knit on the pants is super warm so I know it will last me from now through the winter.  The fabric does tend to roll a lot, but no more than your typical jersey/ITY knits. The construction involved a great deal of pressing.  

Until next time, happy sewing!


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Made By A Fabricista: Ottobre for October

Like many sewing addicts, I am often on the hunt for new patterns to try. I had seen lots of reference to Ottobre magazine but felt a bit intimidated by a new foreign mag. But then I reasoned that I got the hang of Burda and therefore, I can get through anything!

The moment I saw the preview for the Autumn/Winter issue (05/2016), I went right to the site and signed up for a subscription -- seriously, I want to sew about 75% of this one! They put out two issues a year; a Spring/Summer issue sometime in February and the Autumn/Winter issue in August.

Having read several reviews for the patterns I chose my size using their size chart. It is in metric but I am quite comfortable with that - I know my 3 key measurements in both Metric and Imperial off the top of my head. But also, as a scientist, I have so many conversions memorized. I'll spare you the rant about the US still being Imperial! :)

I used a size 44 for the neckline and shoulders, grading out to a 46 for the rest. This is standard fare for me. With Burda I use 40/42 and with Big4 I use 14/16. Sometimes I still have to make additional adjustments for bust/waist/hip but I've found that Burda (and now it seems Ottobre too!) assumes a curvier/fuller figure than Big4.
The pattern is meant for jersey but I think a double knit works out okay! I like it!!

Another important note; hem allowances are added, seam allowances are not. Whenever I make knit tops or dresses from Burda I always use 3/8" seam allowances. I did the same here. It just makes serging so much easier.

Speaking of...This view is designed to have a visible seam at center front and back. This is to be done using the rolled hem setting on the serger. I found some info on how to do rolled hems for my Brother 1034D and tried some samples and it worked really well. But that was on single layer fabric.

This double knit is very thick and it's textured. Makes for an awesomely cozy sweater, but not something that's willing to submit to a serged rolled-edge seam.

In the draped photo, you can see it falls into wide folds. It's lusciously thick and stretchy and soft...but the rolled edge wasn't going to happen.

I briefly considered sewing normal seams and topstitching on either side of the seam and decided against it. I had to use something much closer to a normal serger seam on front and back and it's quite a bit wider than a rolled edge would be. 

Below you can see the texture of the fabric vs the solid (and spongey!) wrong side. You can also see my twin-needled topstitched hem.

This fabric took to topstitching very nicely. Single turn only - double turned seems like it would be far too thick. It takes a press but be sure to press from the wrong side. Pressing on the right side of the fabric left a shine mark and flattened the texture.

I recently discovered that all of my heavier winter sweaters were lost (either accidentally tossed or donated) in my move. So this is certainly a happy addition to my wardrobe!

Love that snuggly collar!
~ Nakisha from KS Sews

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: A Mesh Knit Top for Fall

I have had a fear of sewing with mesh for years...literally!  I finally overcame it and tried a few projects and decided it's fun...just take a few precautions and you'll be fine.  


Trust me!

My original project I had planned was a total wadder which was too bad!  I really liked the fabric but despite making a muslin, it fit so weirdly and was very, very unflattering.  I can't even show it to you!  

Luckily I hadn't taken the time to blog about this top I am wearing--whew!  

Can you see how cool this fabric is?  It's comfortable on your skin too!  

This top is made in a 'cocoon' shape which is sort of funky but I like it!   However, you must choose the right fabric.  This is a StyleArc pattern and here is a picture from the site: 

The cocoon shape is more pronounced that it appears in the line drawing.  The sleeves are VERY narrow, so test the fit prior to sewing together.   

 Mesh is a great choice since it doesn't stand away from your body making you look like an egg, which is important! 

I tested this fabric using both a regular sewing machine and a serger.  It worked just perfect on my serger so that is how I stitched the entire thing.  

I topstitched the neck band on and then single-stitched the hems.  

What do you think of sewing with mesh?  If you are worried, don't be, just create some test strips and find out what works for your fabric and design.  


Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!