Saturday, March 17, 2018

Made by A Fabricista: Jazz in the Gardens

Oh how I look forward to SPRING in Miami as I truly enjoy the amazing weather and the entertainment events during the month of March.  My favorite of them all is the "Jazz in the Gardens" music fest that occurs annually to kick off Spring (happening today and tomorrow) that celebrates the diversity of arts and culture. I look forward to a weekend of relaxation and music without the kids each year and the musical artists (both old and new school) that graces the stage.  I was so excited to select berry fuchsia linen fabric (here) as my March blog post to wear to the event.

Styled with a TANK top and flats.
When I came across a few linen looks on PINTEREST, I knew I wanted to create another palazzo pants for my March post just in time for Spring break vacation and the Jazz event.  After grabbing some great deal from the PRE-CUT section back in January of this yummy marmalade linen and how amazing the palazzo pants turned out, I knew that I would use linen to create a few looks this Spring.

After creating my first linen pants above using Simplicity 8389, I browsed Pinterest for other inspiration and I stumbled across the the perfect high waisted linen wool pants on Moda Operandi Madison and after seeing the price, I was floored.

I knew for a fact that I would NEVER spend $1,745 on a pants that I can create for 3% of the price tag.

I am in love with my version as it is perfect for my height (5 feet 10 inches) and curves. I did NOT want to create a look that was more fitted at the thighs and hip based on my body type. I knew this Simplicity paper bag waist pattern (8605) has room yet drapes perfect and could be used to achieve a similar look.  I opted to add a 2-inch knife pleat 5 inches from the front center seam and used a flat waist band with interface instead of the paper bag elastic style. I also gathered the back slightly as I did NOT want to change the pattern and include back darts.

 I definitely had a few sewing aha moments and will make a few changes for the next pants or shorts that I create using the waistband method.

The modifications for this style that I will definitely make next time around are:
 1. Add darts in the back.
 2. Add 5 inches to the length if I plan to wear with heels.
 3. Add pockets and remove the side zipper.
 4. Include a back center seam invisible zipper all the way to the waistband.
 5. Use medium weight facing instead of light featherweight for more stability.

For this version, I wanted to wear it with FLATS so I only added 3 inches instead of my normal 5 inches to the length of the pattern.  Unfortunately, I had only an extra 1/2 inch for the hem.

I am totally in love with linen as it is classic and comes in a variety of colors. The feel is amazing as the fiber is absorbent which makes it cool and comfy. Despite the fact that it crunches easily, it is perfect for Spring or Summer and the beautiful selection here at Fabric Mart  are all great options for loose pants, shorts, culottes, jackets and shirt dresses.  I can't wait to share my more Spring/Summer makes on my blog and here next month.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out my latest post at Overdrive After 30.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: A Trio of Closet Case patterns

Have you tried any of the fabrics in the Pre-Cut and Kit buyout sections?  I have been enjoying these for quite some time now, and have been amazed at the quality of the fabrics and the prices!  I wanted to make a black and white mini-capsule using some of the white and black pre-cut and kit fabrics that I've purchased, and was looking for some styles that were modern and easy to sew, when I came across Closet Case patterns.  I'd heard of them before, mainly of their Ginger Jeans pattern, but since I'm not a jeans person, I hadn't looked any further. But, they also have some very cute tops and dresses, so I decided to give them a whirl!

My first Closet Case pattern was the Ebony- this is a swingy knit top and dress pattern. The fabric is a solid black rayon lycra jersey that came in a kit, and is very drapey.

I liked it so much that I made a second out of a black and white printed rayon jersey.  Really a super simple raglan sleeved design, that should look good on everyone! The hemline on all of the versions is a shorter in the front, and I made the difference a little less extreme in my top versions, as I wasn't quite sure how I'd like it. 

So, then I decided to try making the dress length version, in a white and black rayon jersey stripe from a kit.  This is a completely different draft from the top because it has set in sleeves.  Well, what can I say, it was not flattering, in the least.  That's one nice thing about doing these blog posts, is that I can see pretty clearly in the photos when something isn't working.  So, what to do?  I thought about cutting it off to top length, but decided that part of the problem was the color.  I threw it in a navy blue dye bath, and voila!  Instantly loved it.  I really enjoy dyeing fabrics.  It's a great tool to have up your sleeve when projects aren't up to your expectations, so give it a try if you haven't yet!  One thing to note here- all purpose polyester thread will not dye, unless you are using a dye specifically for synthetics.  I had used all black topstitching thread, so it worked to dye the garment after construction, as the black was still appropriate with my color.  But, if you have used a thread color for topstitching that doesn't coordinate with your dye color, this may not be the best idea!

I don't think that the dress in this pattern is going to be everyone's cup of tea.  I like it much better with the vest breaking up the large expanse of fabric.  Plus, I need pockets, and sadly, this dress has none.  Of course, that is an easy remedy, and I could easily add some side seam pockets if I make it again.  As far as the fit goes, I made the size 14, which I would take in ready to wear clothes, and I thought the fit in the bust, neck, sleeve and shoulder area was great.

I also had ordered the Kalle pattern.  Kalle is a shirt and shirtdress made for woven fabrics.

I decided to make the tunic length, View B, with a little extra length, out of a black cotton voile pre-cut with a tiny bird print.   The instructions for the front placket are very clever, and in all of my years of sewing, I don't think that I've done one quite like it.   I think that this one turned out really nice!

And here it is from the back.   I again made the 14 with no alterations, except for length because of my height, and I'm not sure that I even needed that- it's pretty long!  But, the designer says that her patterns are designed for a height of  5 feet 6 inches, and I'm 3 inches above that, so I added 1-1/2".  I always forget how much time woven shirts take to make.  I think that I made ALL of the Ebonys in less time than it took to make one Kalle!  But I did enjoy the process, and sometimes it's good to make yourself slow down and focus.

And last, but not least, I tried the Charlie Caftan.   This one has two lengths and two versions of the lower front.   I decided to make View B, with the pleated front.

My fabric was a black geometric rayon challis from a kit.  It was actually described as a cotton, and it had some sizing on it that made it feel more like cotton, but when I washed the sizing away,  I could tell that it was definitely a rayon challis.

This is a super comfortable dress, and I again, made no alterations to the pattern except for length.
I can definitely see making this one again, as it is pretty simple and I like the modern vibe.

I had enough scraps from the knit Ebonys to make one more top! The Ebony has one short top version, that is in the line drawings, view B.

Even though I had already added a couple of inches to the length of View B, it was still much too short for me. So in a "make it work" moment, I flipped the direction of the stripes from another scrap piece, and made a little addition at the hem.  I like this one a lot, and even though it's from the same white and black striped fabric that I ended up dyeing in the dress form, I think it works better here because there is the contrast neckband and sleeves to add in a little more color.

So, I'm really impressed with the Closet Case patterns that I tried!  They worked for me without as many alterations as I usually have to make for the more commercially available patterns, and that's a big plus in their favor.  But even more than that, I like the wearability and modern feel that the styles have.  I'm sure that I'll be using these patterns again!

Happy Sewing!
Ann for SewBaby News

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Sewing for little people!

Sometimes you just need to sew for others, right?  Do you ever feel that need?  I believe sewing for others and seeing them in your creations is so good for the soul!

I decided to sew for this little monkey, my granddaughter!  She is 11 months and on the move! 

She lives in a much warmer climate than I do so I am somewhat envious of the no shoes and short sleeves!

I had my daughter pick out the fabric choices and don't you just love this SHOCKING pink velour?  While this jacket is too big right now, in the fall it should fit just fine and won't that be fun to wear?  
Here is a link to the pattern I used: Simplicity 1566

I deviated from the pattern a bit.  I couldn't find a zipper the length I needed so I used oversized hooks and eyes.  I honestly thought this jacket needed a lower ruffle, so I decided how wide I wanted it and then cut the fabric 2.5 times longer than the length.  After gathering using my gathering foot, I attached it with my serger.  Easy.

These black pants are made from a ponte knit.  It is super soft and washes and dries beautifully.  You want to make sure your fabric has enough stretch for the pattern, and I knew this would.  

I based my decision on the description from Fabric Mart's site.  Here is a link to that pattern, if you are interested: Simplicity 8304

These pants are slightly large around the waist, and really, really long!  Momma is going to cuff them for now.  They should fit for a long time!  Every girl needs a pair of well-fitting black pants that are comfortable and go with everything! :) 

My favorite piece I made is this little onesie.  Here is a link to that pattern: Jalie 3133.  Some of Jalie's patterns are for sale on FMs site.  Jalie is the winner when it comes to drafting and working with knits.  I highly recommend their patterns! 

 Typically Jalie's patterns range in toddler to adult sizes, but this one is for babies only.  This pattern is so well drafted.  I made the 12 month size and since Elaina is almost 12 months exactly, I couldn't be more pleased with the fit.  I just love the fabric my daughter choose for this.  This is an ITY knit and it was rather lightweight.  It washes and dried beautifully and isn't that a fun print? 

It's hard to get a little one to sit long for photos!  To stabilize the shoulders and neckband, I used SewkeyeE staytape in the extremely fine weight.  It's typically for sale on FMs site.  If you've never used it, it is a must try!  

Here is the entire outfit once again.  I can't wait to see this little one in a few short weeks and smother her little face with kisses!  

Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Two Times Tried and True

Hello Fabricistas! It's Meg from Cookin' and Craftin', back with a couple garments made from some of my favorite TNT patterns and gorgeous Fabric Mart fabrics.

As I did a few months back, I've made something for myself, but also something for my husband! I chose patterns that I consider TNTs: the Cashmerette Concord t-shirt for me and McCall's 6044 for Tim.

First, for the dude, a slightly modified McCall's 6044 buttondown shirt. I've made this pattern for him so many times that I no longer look at the instructions. It works in a wide variety of fabrics and we've got the fit just how he likes it.

The fabric I used for his shirt is this cotton flannel twill shirting. I love the brick red color, which is created by terra cotta threads in direction and charcoal grey threads in the other.  The flannel is quite lightweight, but super soft and has a cool texture! A little bit shifty and easily unraveled, but it makes for a nice, comfy shirt.

I made a few change to McCall's 6044 (same that I made for his last one), namely to add a yoke, make the sleeve a 1-piece, and add tower plackets. Since the fabric was so lightweight, I decided to do french seams on the sleeves, side seams and armholes. French all the seams!! I topstitched everything with charcoal grey thread, which I think looks cool.

For me, I made a long-sleeved Cashmerette Concord t-shirt. I was reminded of how awesome this pattern is a few weeks back when I made a dress from it... the fit is just fabulous.

This is a size 16 C/D with a high neck, medium length and long sleeves. The only changes I made were to lengthen the sleeves so I could hem them since they're normally finished with a band and do a 1" full bicep adjustment.

The fabric I chose is this killer navy and white striped poly/rayon double knit (no longer in stock, sadly, but Fabric Mart has plenty of other double-knits for your viewing pleasure!). It's three-dimensional, with the white stripes being raised off the surface of the fabric.

I love the texture of the fabric, although it made it a little bit difficult to stripe match across the seams because the two sides seemed to want to interlock with one another rather than lay with the stripes straight.

I'm so happy with both of these pieces! Both will fit in seamlessly in our handmade wardrobes!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Purple and Green Pullover Dress for Mardi Gras!

Well, I'll wear it next year for Mardi Gras, anyhow...and a whole bunch of dates in between now and then...

Good day all friends!

Above you'll see the final version of the dress I made from a gorgeous poly crepe fabric from February's Julie's Picks.  The timing for this particular fabric in my life couldn't have been more perfect, too.  I was set to visit New Orleans with my family from February 11-13, exactly the time of Mardi Gras.  My husband's family lives on the border of Louisiana (in Mississippi), and my husband went to Tulane, so we spend a lot of time in NOLA, but have never gone to Mardi Gras (well HE HAS, but we haven't!).  We decided this was the year to go since it happened to fall at exactly my husband's and my eldest son's birthdays (2/11 and 2/12).  We celebrated two fun things at once, in other words!

Some of you may not know why I would call this fabric perfect for Mardi Gras, but the colors most often worn during the celebrations are purple, green, and gold.  Now there is no gold in this dress, but two out of three is actually hard to come by...most fabric designers don't put these three together, and even finding two is hard (though my college's colors were green and gold, so I guess I could have just worn a tee shirt, lol).

Anyhow, so I spied the four yards (pre-cut length) of the crepe in the Julie's Picks and was absolutely set on using it for a Mardi Gras tunic or dress to bring with me on the trip.  (Just so you know, Julie's Picks has gone monthly, in addition to annual, so if you just want to try one month, you can order that here.  I am annual, and plan to be for a really long time.  The curation is wonderful as most months I find something I just can't live without!)

Though the fabric is not available right now, I think this printed poly crepe would look so great made up in a dress like the one I made.

It almost came to life exactly as planned.  But then...tragedy...

When I was almost done with the first iteration, made using the Arum Dress by Deer and Doe, I went to go try it on, and though it fit fine, the back princess seams split at the shoulders and the waist.  I was so upset!  I was all ready to wear it in New Orleans and catch some matching beads to wear with it, but it wasn't to happen.  I finished the garment on the 10th in the morning, and with only 24 hours to liftoff, I knew I wouldn't have completed it in time.

Turns out that I chose to use the serger at the wrong time.  I suspect that this delicate fabric spun differently than other wovens (it features twisted yarns that results in a pebbled texture) couldn't handle the heavier stitching of the serger and the seams were made weaker through the process of serging.  I chose to serge because the fabric frays with fervor, but the way to fix that is not to serge when stitching, but rather to serge the edges of the cut garment, THEN sew with a regular machine.

I was right, as the completed second garment, made using Kwik Sew 3956.  This dolman sleeve pullover dress was made with serged edges and sewing machine stitched seams, and there were no split seams, at all, when I wore it on Wednesday this week.

So though the garment didn't travel to New Orleans with me, I am confident it will one day.  :-)  But at least I could wear the beautiful glass beads that were thrown to me at the Orpheus parade.  Most of the time revelers catch plastic ornamental beads during Mardi Gras, then the speciality plastic beads with pendants specific to the Krewe that is hosting the parade (like Orpheus), and then finally these pretty glass beads.  I felt pretty lucky to get them, and even luckier now that I see it is a good match for the fabric.  I also love that I can tell the history of beads in Mardi Gras when wearing them (it used to be only glass beads were thrown!).

Kwik Sew 3956 Construction and Notes:

Before I talk about how easy it was to sew Kwik Sew 3956, I do want to say I really wanted the Arum Dress by Deer and Doe to work out since it had a ton of hanger (and dressmaker dummy) appeal.  The princess lines at the back fit me well.  The only thing I noticed was that the sleeves were tight (but still fit), and I am not known for my bigger arms, so I suspect my straight shoulders were causing the tightness (the compensation the fabric had to make at that part of my shoulder ended up affecting the fit at the arms).  My plan going forward with the Arum is to make it in a jersey fabric (or a double knit) and enjoy its form in a stretch fabric.

The Kwik Sew 3956 dress was so easy to make.  In fact, if I hadn't used the first two yards for the Arum dress, the Kwik Sew would have been even easier to make!  I ended up having to use the selvedge to cut the back pieces on, so instead of laying the back on the fold, I had to create a seam line back there.

There were no real challenges, and this flowy fabric is exactly right for a dress that is meant to be loose and flowy (for the most part, the skirt is a bit more fitted).

There are only the front piece, the back piece, and the facings to deal with, so four pieces total!  I could have added pockets, but I was stressed that the fabric would be stressed by me handling it too much, so I just left those off.  I would like to use those on another version of this dress in the future.

The sizing was accurate to the size chart, so I started with a small at the bust and shoulders (this company's shoulder line looks very straight, so it worked with my shoulder line, but it could have just been because of the style of dress, too).  I decided to go from the small at the lower bustline to large at the high hips.  This meant that the curve of the waist to hip is a dramatic curve as opposed to a straight line like the original, but I am so much bigger in my bottom half as compared to my top half that I have to do this.  If I were to cut a large throughout, the dress would overwhelm my frame up top, and if I cut a small outright, my hips would hurt in protest.  And a medium would be wrong everywhere!

So here you see my attempt to fix the seamline at the back.  Though I had to sew the back seam instead of having it as one piece, the problem existed because the one side of the selvedge had a white line up it, with bits of the print on it.  It looked messy.  This fix involves using a ribbon on both sides of the seamline and sewn into place.  The ends of the ribbon are sewn into the hemline and the underside of the facing.

Above you see what I did to precisely place the ribbon on the seam.  I used fabric glue on the wrong side of the ribbon, carefully pressed it down the one side of the seam, and up the other side.  I then carefully pinned the entire ribbon feature to keep it super secure.

Though it's hard to tell, this ribbon is light lavender and looks really pretty next to the fabric.  (The fabric is glorious, too, it is unique and the colors are lovely to look at!)

So I wore the dress all day on Wednesday, and I got my hubby to snap this photo of me holding two glasses of wine (he doesn't drink at all and we bought a groupon that gave us each a glass of house wine, so I had both, lol...and no, I wasn't driving).

This dress was a hit, but the fabric was the real winner.  Everyone loves how pretty it is, the colors, and the feel of the crepe.  They also liked the ribbon back, so I guess the lack of fabric at the end worked out!

I hope all of you are well.  I look forward to coming back in a bit with another project!

Dina, My Superfluities.