Saturday, October 29, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Black Wool Cape

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are doing well and enjoying the cooler temps. I've really been enjoying my fall sewing. I recently wrapped up this black cape with arm slits.


I had purchased something similar last month and while I loved the style, I did not love the fabric. The fabric was itchy and "synthetic-y" if you know what I mean. I simply love capes. So I decided to recreate the look in a nicer fabric. I chose this wool/cotton blend. It's made of 100% natural fibers and is way more lux than the original one I wore here.

My cape is collarless and simple, this will allow me to wear it just the way it is, or accessorize with different collars/ neck warmers to maximize its use in my wardrobe. 


I added vintage gold buttons as you can see in the pic above. I knew I wanted some gold hardware on it but decided to keep it fairly simple. These are shank buttons I recently found at an estate sale.

Sewing quick tip: To stabilize a shank button and keep it from drooping, add a regular 2 hole or 4 hole button on the back. While you are sewing the shank button on the front, loop your thread through the regular button on the back. That will keep it from drooping.

My favorite look is with the fur collar, re-purposed from another coat, paired with long gloves. I found these while antiquing with a friend.


I drafted the pattern and facings:


I decided to use contrast bias tape on the inside of the garment. I made the bias tape, thanks to a YouTube tutorial. Using a bias tape maker is so simple, and you can create any color or use a nice print!




I recently purchased this set of bias tape makers and they are so fun and easy to use! I highly recommend them. On the hem of the cape, I used store bought bias tape and then hemmed it.



Side view:


Here is a slightly different way I styled the same outfit. DIY Faux fur collar made by my mum in law with the cape on top, to show off those gorgeous buttons!




The cape is unlined. I decided to try the self-bound seam on the inside of the cape.  The fabric is on the medium side for a wool. I started off with drafting the pattern with 1/2 inch seam allowance, but given the turn of cloth, I decided to upgrade to a 5/8 inch seam allowance.  The seams turned out nicely, but there was a bit of waviness on the side seams around the shoulders.  Looking back, I think a hong kong finish would be nicer. But this is what I love about sewing, we learn something new with every project.


This project was so fun to make! I want to make another cape for winter, so I'll be looking for some more sewing inspiration.  What about you? What's your latest fall project?

Hope you have a wonderful Halloween!

XOXO

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!

Jenese 

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!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Scuba Dooba Do- Venturing into Scuba fabric


Have you noticed that just when you think you've tried it all, someone invents a new fabric?  That's one thing that I absolutely love about sewing- there is always something new to try.  Scuba knits have been around for a couple of years, but they hadn't made it into my sewing room yet.  But, as I have seen them more and more in ready to wear, I decided that they were worth a look!


I ordered two different types of scuba for this experiment- one with a sueded finish and one with a smooth finish.  Then I compared them both to an ITY knit.  Both of the scuba knits were considerably loftier than the ITY.  You can see here in this photo- the thickness of the same size piece of the solid brown ITY knit is much less.  The sueded scuba is the loftiest- it's thick but not heavy at all. The printed scuba is extremely lightweight- even lighter than the ITY knit next to it.



One of the things that attracted me to scuba was that I've heard that they do well in garments without hemming.  Being hemming-adverse, that was a real advantage in my opinion! Here's a curved cut edge up close of all three fabrics- you can see that there is no curling of the edges.

For the sueded scuba skirt, I used Vogue 9154.  Because the scuba is so stretchy, I left out the zipper and lining, and made an elastic waistband. The suede finish is really luxurious.  Everyone that has felt it has gone "OOOHHHHhhhh!"  Unfortunately, this color- Butterscotch, is sold out, but hopefully Fabric Mart will get more!


Here's a close-up of the non-hem.  I think it looks nice, and I just dabbed a bit of fray-check on the threads at the bottom of the seams to make sure that they didn't come undone.


My top is a rayon challis that was in a mystery bundle.  I used McCalls 7431 for it, cutting at top length instead of dress length, and omitting the ruffle on the sleeves for View C.

For the dress, I used a Kwik Sew pattern from 1997- Pattern 2672.  I have a lot of older Kwik Sew patterns and find that they are some of my favorites to sew.  I thought that the diamond pattern in the scuba knit would echo the diamond pattern in the bodice.  Alas, this fabric has sold out also.




At first, I used a black ponte knit as the insert, but it looked very heavy and prominent, so I switched it out with the cocoa ITY knit, and was very happy with the change.   I was careful to match the stripe of the print at the sides, and again, left it unhemmed.


The fabric is really comfortable, and completely wrinkle resistant, which is great for just pulling on and heading out for the day.  So, I am completely sold on scuba!  More of it will definitely be making it's way to my house.

I'll leave you with a photo of a black cat for Halloween.  I think he sees a mouse in the field and is very excited.

Have you tried sewing with scuba knit yet?  What do you think of it?


Happy October and Happy Sewing!

Ann 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

And The Winner of the Fabricista Fashion Challenge 4 Is.......

And the winner of the Fabricista Fashion Challenge 4 is....

Tee from Maggie Elaine! Great job on your final look and with all the other challenges!  

We will be seeing more of Tee on the blog in November, so keep following the blog as she joins our group of other talented seamstresses, The Fabric Mart Fabricistas!

Great job to the other two ladies that made it to the last round of the challenge. They both did a fantastic job and also won some great prizes.

LaTonya got second place with her look inspired by Roland Mouret. She has won a $100 gift certificate to Fabric Mart and a 2017 Julie's Picks membership.


Elizabeth got 3rd place with her looks inspired by Balmain and Miu Miu. She has won a $50 gift cerficiate to Fabric Mart and a 2017 Julie's Picks membership. 



Reader Participation!
We had two participants in this week's challenge! After a random drawing....

Congratulations to RoseKyKy on Instagram! You have won a free 2017 Julie's Picks membership! Please email fabricmartblog@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Thank you so much for participating! It's always fun to see what our readers make. 

RoseKyKy on Instagram:


TortillaDesigns on Instagram:
Thank you to all who participated in this challenge, whether you were part of it or a reader. And thank you to all the readers that followed along and gave encouragement to our contestants. This is not an easy challenge! 

We'll see you next year and be sure to follow our blog. You will definitely be inspired by all of our talented sewers!