Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sew Over It Kimono - Maternity Style

As many of you can probably relate, finding maternity clothes can be a hard task! I don't want to spend a lot of money on them but I also need to be comfortable. And as my baby bump grows, my regular clothes are getting tighter and tighter. 

Thankfully as a sewist, I have the ability to sew maternity clothes that will fit and I will like. I have already remade the tops of a few over-the-belly pants and took older pairs of regular shorts and added an over-the-belly band. That's been helpful for sure! (I think the over-the-belly pants are so uncomfortable. I make my belly bands a little bigger while still holding my pants on me.)

Being the frugal person that I am, I REALLY don't want to make a lot of garments that will only be used in pregnancy (and for a time in post pregnancy.) I want things that I can adjust later to fit my new "regular" body. Therefore I have sewn a lot of tunics and dresses that have plenty of room to grow but will still be stylish afterward. 

As I looked through maternity clothing sites, I saw some kimono-style jackets and I fell in love. They looked so comfortable but stylish at the same time. And being that a kimono stays open, I can wear them no matter what my size!! 


Enter the Sew Over It Kimono Jacket....

I'm not even sure how I came across the pattern. I heard of Sew Over It, but had never made anything from their line before. The only thing I didn't like was that it was only available in PDF. Yuck. But I went with it. I'm not sure if it was the pattern or my printer, but there was a section of the PDF that was slightly off. The tester square measured correctly and most of the pieces matched up really well, but a small section was off about 1/4-1/2". Thankfully it was easy to draw out and fix what it should be. 


I used a fun retro floral print rayon crepe that I picked up from our pre-cut piece fabric deal earlier in the year. I love the color combination! I always think about rayon (challis especially) as being cool. This isn't. Yes, it could be my pregnancy hormones making me warmer but I thought this would have been a pretty cool fabric. Oh well, I still love it! 

Construction was pretty straight forward. The directions are easy to follow although I didn't pay attention to them too much. Definitely easy for a beginner to follow along. 


The only construction detail I did differently was that I squared off the front band at the hemline. The pattern calls for you to sew the front band to the kimono, then hem all the way around. I decided to fold the band right sides together at the hemline and sew till I met the printed fabric. Then clipped the corner and turned it right side out making a nice point. Then I sewed the hemline around the rest of the kimono. I did this because I thought it would drape nicely at the band and not have the chance of winging out. 


I loved the kimono so much that I'm making another! This time in a 4-ply silk from a NY designer. It's not available anymore, but if you were lucky enough to get a piece of it, you may want to try it for this too! I cut this one longer and used the self fabric for the band. While the silk kimono won't be as practical when I'm a mom, I can still wear it to work or out with hubby on a date night. Then quickly take off the jacket as soon as baby is with me! 

Speaking of baby -- he's growing every day and a very active little fellow! One more week till the 3rd trimester!


Have you sewn maternity clothes? Have any pattern suggestions for me?


Happy Sewing, 
Julie 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Made By A Fabricista: Seersucker for Summer

Hi Fashionistas!

I was so excited to sew with a beautiful yellow seersucker I found at Fabric Mart recently.  Here is the top I made:



You see, I have been the slowest to catch on to the cold shoulder trend. I know, its been around for a while and is continuing into fall fashions.  I was meeting my hubby for pizza one night and had some time to kill. So I decided to do some window shopping when I saw and tried on this RTW top.. and loved it. 


So.. I made a pattern... and found the perfect fabric.




And made my own version! I really do love the tent shape of this top. It is very different than the usual type of garments I make and wear, which typically tend to be more fitted.







The sleeves are so lovely.. here are some more pictures of the sleeve: 




I drafted a facing and modified the sleeves a bit by removing the band at the bottom and hemming them instead. 


I also made the straps a fixed length as opposed to adjustable.


Overall I am pretty happy with the way the top turned out.  I topstitched all around the neckline to ensure the facing was sitting down. 

I actually started making another version in a white cotton, but that one is still a work in progress. I may or may not get to wear that one this year!



I hope you enjoyed this make!  I am going to work on some maxi dresses next! Fall is coming!! Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather. I sure am!

See you soon

XOXO
-Vatsla from Fashion Behind The Seams


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Made by a Fabricista: A Little Fall Sewing

Are you a current-season sewer?  Or like me, do you also like to create some garments for the upcoming season?  I like to do both!  For this month, I wanted to make a few transitional garments and when I found this gorgeous boucle, I knew exactly what I wanted to make! 


 Unfortunately the fabric I used is sold out, but here are some other options for you: Boucle Fabric

 


One of the things that make boucle fabrics so wonderful to work with is the natural fiber content(s). I am a huge fan of using natural fibers when I can and this one is a wool and cotton blend. (Although you can find some beautiful boucle fabrics with synthetic blends too.)


Here are links to the two patterns I used:


Both called for the use of Boucle so it was a win-win!



For the jacket, I interlined the entire body of the garment using fusible mediumweight Pellon interfacing. I chose against interlining the sleeves and am happy with that decision.  

                         

I did make some pattern adjustments for fit:
1.  Sloping shoulder adjustment
2.  Sleeve cap adjustment--this pattern has an unbelievably large sleeve cap and despite my best efforts, it was too much so I shaved some off to get this to look right
3.  Swayback adjustment   
   
   
  

To give this a more professional look, I added some interlinings:
1.  Used multiple layers of woven interfacing cut on the bias in the sleeve cap area to keep it from collapsing.  In addition to the 2 layers of interfacing, I also cut one layer of hair canvas.  This also supported the sleeve head and gave it what it needed so the sleeve didn't collapse.  
2.  Cut the self-bias tape 1/4" wider to give a bit more turn-under room.  


Styling changes: 
1.  I've made this jacket before and even though I love it, I don't think I need two jackets with self fringe on them. I eliminated the fringe, but added a bias-cut center front section. 
2. Since the skirt has self-fringe, I decided not to over do the fringe on the jacket. Too much is simply too much! 
3.  I used complimentary denim fabric for the trim on the jacket.  


Did you see my lining?  It is by Maggy London, also purchased from FM.  I truly wish I'd purchased about 10 yards of this!  I love the colors and cute linings make me happy!  

I can't tell you how pleased with how well this turned out!  I feel like it is a modern 'suit' that will be perfect worn together or as separates.  

Thanks for reading!  
Sue from Ilove2sew

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gearing Up For Fall - New Fabrics!

As September inches closer by the day, we'll be saying so long to summer 2017. Boo hoo! But that brings a whole new set of exciting things ahead -- cooler temperatures, pumpkin patches, fall festivals and everything in between. 

As sewist, we have an abundance of sewing patterns at our fingertips, many that can be used year round. We also have so many different fabric choices to make our garments unique and interesting. 

Here at Fabric Mart, we are getting ready for fall with tons of new fabric filling our categories. I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.

I recently picked up a whole color range of Modal/Polyester blouseweight woven solids with a suede finish. Modal is similar to rayon in it's feel and that's why we think it would be great for some of the same patterns that call for challis. 

We don't have a category dedicated to these beauties, but go to our shirting category to find them. Then use the filter and select "content" and then "modal". That will show all of them! 

Cashmerette's Webster Top would be a great option for this fabric. Also, the Datura Blouse from Deer and Doe would allow you to highlight the triangular piecing in the neckline with a lux solid fabric. 

Blouseweight Wovens with Suede Finsih - Modal/Polyester Blend


Another addition to our website this month are cotton sateen solids. They have 3% lycra, which makes them great for pants or lightweight jackets. With the array of colors we have I'm sure you'll find a match for your wardrobe. McCall's 7632 takes a jumpsuit into fall and it just so happens to call for sateen fabrics! 


Stretch Cotton Sateen


Textured fabrics are on trend again this fall and we've got the right mix with our new brocade and jacquard fabrics. They are a medium weight, making them great for jackets, dresses, skirts and home decor. They also will work great for costuming! Vogue 1561, a new fall pattern release, would be a great pattern choice. And if you're looking for a costume idea, I really like McCall's 7641!


Brocade and Jacquard Fabrics


Lastly, we're stocking our shelves with beautiful coating fabrics. All wool and wool blends, this is your chance to make yourself a new coat for winter. Try Closet Case Patterns Clare Coat. It's gotten great reviews on Pattern Review!


Wool and Wool Blend Coating Fabrics

I hope you find some inspiration in this collection of new fabrics to our site. As always, they don't last long, so get them while you can! Don't forget to share your makes with us on Facebook and Instagram. Just tag us in your post, post it to our wall or send us an email with your photos. We'd love to share them with other makers! 

Happy Sewing!
Julie

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Made by a Fabricista: Jumping on the Bandwagon


If you are a part of any sewing online community you've already seen this dress all over Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or blogs. It seems everyone has been making Vogue 9253 this summer!
Thankfully so, because I almost missed out on this pattern. It wasn't that I hated it, I just didn't love it, but that all changed after I saw a few versions of it on actual sewists. It has been so popular that it has been selected for several sewalongs, patterns of the month and even McCall Pattern Company itself is holding a V9253 contest (details here-you still have time).


Though the recommended fabrics include crepe backed satin, rayon challis, broadcloth and lightweight jersey I chose this fun abstract Ikat print ITY knit. Unfortunately, this knit has already sold out. Below are a few other knits I think would work well, a similar Ikat print ITY in gold and black (here), a bold bright leaf print ITY (here) or a navy tie die jersey (here). If you prefer to work with wovens I spotted a pretty floral print with a black background in challis (here), a multicolor outline floral challis (here) or a black and white diamond print challis (here).


This pattern is a bit of a fabric hog needing up to 4-1/8yd for the midi and 5 yards of 60" fabric for the maxi depending on your size. That said the most time consuming part of this dress was cutting out the fabric as the maxi has to be cut out on a single layer to accommodate the full skirt. Perhaps this is why I made the error I did. I cut the bodice piece twice without flipping the pattern piece, meaning that I had two right front bodice pieces instead of a left and right. HEADSLAP! Considering I already squeezed 4-1/8 yards worth of pattern pieces on 3-3/4 yds of fabric (last minute project change) I knew I did not have enough fabric to cut another bodice front.


After weighing my limited options, I ended up sewing two of the larger scraps together and cut the pattern piece from that patchwork of fabric. Sadly the only way the piece would fit was for me to cut the piece crossgrain. I really HATE that I made this error because I really love this dress and this will always bother me. So learn from me and always double check your pattern layout when you are cutting single layer fabric! The only saving grace is this print is so bright and busy that I'm hoping only the most advanced sewists will notice.


As long as you don't make any silly errors like I did this Very Easy Vogue pattern lives up to it's category. The most difficult thing would be the bias binding if you're not familiar with it. I actually omitted this since I was working with a knit and simple folded under the back neck hem. I also omitted the zipper as I can pull the dress over my head. 


My bodice was a little long making the plunging neckline much too low. I'm not sure if the bodice was truly too long for me or if the weight of the ITY pulled it down. I'll find out when I find the perfect challis for this pattern and make it again. Whatever the reason, instead of shortening the bodice I decided to add an 1" wide elastic casing. This solved two problems 1) it shortened the bodice by an inch and 2) it helped to support the weight of the full skirt. I also added belt loops at the side seams and center back to help keep the tie ends in place since I did not sandwich it in the center back seam. I like side loops for sashes anyway.


Many may pass over this dress due to the the cleavage baring neckline but this can be easily modified. You can either cross the front bodice pieces over each other creating a slighty wrapped bodice or you can sew the bodice pieces together at the center front to shorten the deep V.


Aside from my error I am pleased with the dress and can't wait to make the midi version with a challis.

See you in a few weeks! Have you entered to be a contestant for The Fabricista Fashion Challenge? You should! Read all the details here

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Made by a Fabricista: One More Summer Jumpsuit


I participated in the launch of the Anitra Jumpsuit by Style Sew Me Patterns and I love this jumpsuit! It has all the drama for a night out on the town and it's such a easy garment to make. My daughter Mori needed a causal-dressy outfit for a wedding and this is what happened. I opted for a solid print this time around and I say this time because this was the third use of this pattern. Eryn the owner of Style Sew Me Patterns outdid herself with this one. The instructions are super easy and she even has a sew-a-long to walk you through the construction.

                                                                     

The first time I used a gold coated knit which draped so lovely for this jumpsuit [here]. The second time around I used a  BOLD stripe ITY print [here]. The second jumpsuit was for my sister. Even though we dressed up all three of the jumpsuits with heels, you can easily put on a cute pair of sneakers, hike that purse up on your shoulders and be on your way!

Now I used this Kelly Green ITY knit that I bought a some time ago to make an off the shoulder top but that never happened. Mori had the shoes so it came in super handy for this jumpsuit and she didn't have to buy new shoes to wear with it. I put together a line of green solid fabrics that I think would make a nice jumpsuit and I threw a print in the mix as well. The choice of fabrics are endless and you can make this jumpsuit for just a few dollars!

Lime Green       
Kelly Green      
Apple Green     
Army Green         

Check out the video above to see just how easy it is to construct. 
I did a little hacking on this version because Mori wanted thin straps instead of the t-shirt top. 
It was easy as 1-2-3 as shown  below.



 



 



   

Let the shenanigans begin.....
Uummm I don't think there's enough room in there. 

  This is her I'm every woman pose!                 
I hope you enjoyed this jumpsuit as much as I have.
I'll be coming back in October with my next post, 
in the mean time make sure you visit my blog to stay in touch.
Michelle @  www.thatblackchic.com